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Thread: small solar panel to pc fan,,info needed

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    rockhoppernc's Avatar
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    small solar panel to pc fan,,info needed

    Hello, Ok so I got 2 small solar panel to stick on the side of my tank to run a small pc fan but I need help finding a pc fan that will run off it.



    Techical:
    Max power 3.2w
    Max Voltage 18.8v
    Max current 170mA

    I need to know what fan to get,, and if the panel puts out AC or DC?
    I have 2 fans here one is 12 V.D.C .21 AMP and the other is a DC 12V o.14A

    the panel will not make the fan run..I was thinking need a smaller fan- can someone help here?

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    green1's Avatar
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    you could try connecting the solar panel up to a rechargable battery then take the power from that to the fan.The solar panels will keep the battery topped up if sunlight is availlable.

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    jesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockhoppernc View Post
    I need to know what fan to get,, and if the panel puts out AC or DC?
    Solar panels supply DC.

    Just try out both fans at different lighting (sun) levels, and find out which fan starts rotating at the lowest light level when connected to your panel. From the both fans you have, I'd say the one that starts rotating at the lowest light level will be better for your application.

    From the specifications the .21 AMP fan should never become overloaded as your solar panel can only supply .17 AMP max. current.

    But I suppose, also your .14 AMP fan will never become overloaded at max. sun insolation, because the specifications are a fake. Is there any hint "Made in China" on your panel?

    What is the size of the solar cell area on the panel? I doubt that this is a real 3-watt panel.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockhoppernc View Post
    the panel will not make the fan run..
    Did you test in full sun?

    Do you have a multimeter and know how to handle it checking DC voltage and current?

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    mobile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jesse View Post
    Solar panels supply DC.
    From the specifications the .21 AMP fan should never become overloaded as your solar panel can only supply .17 AMP max. current.

    But I suppose, also your .14 AMP fan will never become overloaded at max. sun insolation, because the specifications are a fake. Is there any hint "Made in China" on your panel?
    The fan will never consume more than its maximum stated current (unless faulty). For example, a car battery can supply 200+ amps but if you switch on the fan within your car it's not going to pull that much current. I suspect that the solar panels are not providing enough wattage. You need a fan that consumes less wattage (watts = amps x volts). The issue you might have is if the solar panel receives enough light to be able to provide a voltage above the maximum fan voltage, as fans don't like prolonged over-voltage. As previously mentioned, you might be better to use the solar panel to trickle charge rechargeable batteries, though you'll still need a lower wattage fan else it will consume it faster than the solar panel can charge the batteries. With rechargeable batteries the fan will still run if the light levels diminish and also the battery will provide a stable voltage. You will need to current limit the charge though.

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    jesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobile View Post
    The fan will never consume more than its maximum stated current (unless faulty).
    A fan rated 12 Volt DC will always draw more than its maximum current when connected to more than 12 Volt DC (or 13.2 V DC if it is automotive equipment).

    It will draw less than its stated current when connected to less than 12 Volt DC.

    And it should draw about its stated current when connected to exactly 12 Volt (unless faulty).

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    mobile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jesse View Post
    A fan rated 12 Volt DC will always draw more than its maximum current when connected to more than 12 Volt DC (or 13.2 V DC if it is automotive equipment).

    It will draw less than its stated current when connected to less than 12 Volt DC.

    And it should draw about its stated current when connected to exactly 12 Volt (unless faulty).
    Yes, that's sort of what I meant. Anyway, one way or another a means of providing a stabailised supply or some protection to the fan will be necessary in order to ensure it runs within the specified limits.

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    eou812's Avatar
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    That looks like a very usefull and eificent way to run a fun.

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