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Thread: power outage fan

  1. #1

    Default power outage fan

    Last night I came home after being at a friends house and the power over there was blinking on/off. When I arrived home one side of the street had power and the side of the street I live on had... no power. I got to play with several lights and ended up using my accent lanterns and folding led lantern alone with an led headlamp to get around.

    One thing I noticed was the stickiness and I reached for my cheap $1 *personal fan* and it was a breeze but sleeping with it on wasn't but a hassle. I have seen a few battery fans at places such as walmart and was wondering if anyone had any experience with them.

    Here is my criteria for such a fan:
    runtime-at least 10 hours (so you can sleep with it on)
    batteries/voltage- 4/8 cells preferably AA or D cells for
    using either rechargables or long runtime.
    output- must be powerful enough to cool at a distance of 3 feet so you don't have to stick it in your lap or mount it backwards on a helmet.
    cost- must be a good value, overpriced weak units are not useful and combination lights/fans are of less use if you don't need the light and it adds cost.
    durability- must be portable and able to withstand normal punishment, doesn't require a box or carrying case to protect it so you can (gently) toss it in with other gear perhaps on a camping trip.

    It would be nice to have a tiny megablaster, perhaps I will have to manufacture a fan using 12v computer fan, but some of those put out a rather narrow or short throw air blast and may not be as *efficient* with current more concerned with reliability and output instead.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: power outage fan

    Sounds like you may end up building that out of a custom battery pack, sla and or a few muffin fans. I use a 12 volt clip on automotive fan from the auto section of walmart on my wheelchair away, on the bus and when the power fails. Its loud, blows out 300cfms and uses an amp or less. I later bought a 24 volt fan from bgmicro.com Man, its quiter, whirls up and down and blows about the same amount of air.

    I too need to get portable battery powered fan for use at work, waiting for the bus and on the bus. I am going to try walking than using the wheelchair. Plus I am not allowed an electric fan or heater at work, battery powered are ok.

    Think I saw a desktop fan at walmart that uses 9 C cells and has varible speed.

  3. #3

    Default Re: power outage fan

    I saw a few battery fans in the camping section at walmart near the lanterns, one with a light on it. I have a 4D fan I was trying to use but it wouldn't run off 4AA nimh so I am looking for a 6AA holder for it. A high power 12v fan run at 6v may work well also. I think I will try to get a fan that takes about 300ma current so my 2300mah nimh can run it for about 8 hours perhaps longer because I plan on driving it at higher than 6v.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: power outage fan

    I use the 4 D battery desk fan available at Brookstone Stores (or online). It also runs off of a wall wart. Thy are good desk fans, run for a long long time on batteries and cool well. I think they would be ideal for personal use during a power outage. They are not cheap at $20-$30. I much prefer the Brookstone version over the similar one from Sharper Image. It has infinite variability, runs quieter and has a better wind pattern. The fan blade is not enclosed, so not so good for jumbling together with other gear. The Walmart version is probably a better value, but I can't speak for it's quality. Good luck.

  5. #5

    Default Re: power outage fan

    Maybe they will put fans in those battery jump starters one day so you can cool off while starting dead cars.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* zespectre's Avatar
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    Default Re: power outage fan

    You want something like this one... Coleman Fan

  7. #7

    Default Re: power outage fan

    I think I would rather have a fan with protection over the blades that I could toss in a box or backpack for camping also. I think the biggest problem with these battery powered fans is they usually do not give you a clue to how much of a blast they put out.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* zespectre's Avatar
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    Default Re: power outage fan

    That particular coleman fan has some protection around the blades and the blade is made of a sort of stiff foam/rubber. On high it actually does move a surprising amount of air.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* KC2IXE's Avatar
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    Default Re: power outage fan

    There are plans around for LOW powered "sterling engine" based fans - I have a set at home, and HAVE seen the fans for sale - but darned if I can find one now, except for the High temp ones used for wood stoves

    Found one - an EXPENSIVE one, but it'll give you an idea what to look for

    http://www.pmresearchinc.com/solar004.htm

  10. #10

    Default Re: power outage fan

    zespectre
    It looks like the blades could be made of that foam/plastic they also use on cheap $1 fans. I will have to compare that to the $10-15 fans at walmart as one of them has a grill.
    I have been considering just using computer fans because I am planning on building a system and could toss in a few for cheap and get free shipping on them perhaps. ($3-5 each).

    KC
    sterling engine fans... doesn't that require a HEAT source?
    I have a feeling it would be self defeating in a power outage unless you were outside because it would add to the heat and stickiness of a place. But if you could get a sterling engine on the cheap and use it to drive a generator and make 120v to power an air conditioner... that would be coooool.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* zespectre's Avatar
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    Default Re: power outage fan

    Okay, maybe something here?
    Safety Central [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  12. #12

    Default Re: power outage fan

    zespectre
    my fan looks exactly like the deluxe battery operated desktop fan in second column second item but with different pushbuttons. The texsport (first column first item) looks a lot like the one at walmart (ozark brand?).
    YIKES!... they want $59 for my fan (I paid $2 on clearance)
    $39 for the other one which is less than half of that at walmart... forget that place they are way too high.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* zespectre's Avatar
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    Default Re: power outage fan

    Sorry, I was just directing you to a place where you could see some of the common types that are out there. I agree that that particular place is WAY too expensive though.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* KC2IXE's Avatar
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    Default Re: power outage fan

    RE Sterling fans

    They require heat diferential - they can be designed for cold OR hot

    Most of the fans run on a small alchohol lamps

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* Sub_Umbra's Avatar
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    Default Re: power outage fan

    This is an interesting subject.

    I'd like to figure out a way to make a 'ducted' fan run on batteries. A box fan or a fan in a cage (or no cage) put out a hollow cone of turbulent air. Much of the cone will miss you and be wasted. You also have to be close to the fan as the broad cone won't carry far. Sort of a 'throw vs spill' thing.

    Ducted fans put out a cohesive cylinder of air which is quieter and will carry much farther and hit the target you point it at. The first popular ducted fan was probably the Vornado. There are now many cheap ducted fans for 120VAC in different sizes, but I haven't seen any for DC.

    A small battery operated ducted fan would also be great for blackouts in the winter, too. If you have a gas stove you can fire up the oven but all the heat goes ut to the ceiling where it does you no good. A small ducted fan on the floor pointed straight up will de-stratify the temperature in that situation and make the room much more comfortable. If you try the same trick with a non-ducted fan A)__The fan has to be much more powerful to push the broad, hollow cone pattern all the way to the ceiling, and B)__You feel colder because of the draft from the big turbulent cone. I use small, quiet, ducted fans to de-stratify the temperature in my house in the winter.

    I bring this all up because ducted fans are better (IMO) for cooling, too.

    Has anyone seen a ducted fan that runs on DC?

    EDIT: About that subject -- 'power outage fan'
    Aren't we all power outage fans here?

  16. #16

    Default Re: power outage fan

    yes we are all power outage fans. I just want to be a COOLER power outage flashaholic thus I need a fan.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: power outage fan

    I havent had much luck finding more information on the cool box nascar uses. Supposely its like a private air condition system that pipes air into the drivers helmet that is cooled. I think it uses one of those thermal electric heat pumps.

    Ive never seen a ducted dc fan, I think. I think northern has a squerrel booster fan that hooks inline with your houses heating system. Now, I guarantee ever car has a battery powered ducted fan system, although they use a resistor or two to regulate speed.

  18. #18

    Default Re: power outage fan

    I saw an all in one radio,light,fan by coleman and thought... neato till I saw the $39.95 price tag... not so neato.
    Perhaps a cheap way to make a fan could be to harvest a blower motor out of a car if they didn't take too much current.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* zespectre's Avatar
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    Default Re: power outage fan

    You know, I had another thought. Buy a good computer UPS, say one of the 550 volt/amp ones by APC, and just plug your fan into it [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

  20. #20
    *Flashaholic* KevinL's Avatar
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    Default Re: power outage fan

    The UPS would work, and works well except the inverter goes bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.... may not be the quietest thing in the world. I can always hear when mine is working or self-testing. APC BackUPS PRO 650 here, and yes my fan is cabled to it [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  21. #21

    Default Re: power outage fan

    If UPS were cheap it wouldn't be a bad idea. I was looking for something between $8-20 that I could either build easily or buy to also recommend others when the power conks out.

    Next thing someone will be recommending a portable generator to power a fan, might as well power a small air conditioner instead with it. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  22. #22

    Default Re: power outage fan

    I think I just found what I have been looking for. I was bored and went to walmart and took a further look at their battery fans including a 12v oscillating car fan which looked interesting.
    I found two ozark brand fans, one was 9v (6D) and had a 4 watt fluorescent light in it, the other was a 10 inch box fan using 12v (8D) and has in addition a 12v power input.
    It is supposed to run 24 hours not sure on low or high though. Both fans were about $13+tax and I am going to try to pick one up when I get my miniscule paycheck. I may just use it as a table fan plugged into a 700ma 12v walwart.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: power outage fan

    I used an inverter and ups to power a fan. Man, the fan doesnt seem to come up to full speed and both make a bit of noise. I dont think inverters are great with electric motors or heaters.

    Yeah, I need to head to walmart to get me a battery powered table top fan I can use at work and maybe in my lap on the bus. I sweat a lot in this warmer weather.

  24. #24

    Default Re: power outage fan

    You may like the ozark one that uses 6D cells with a 4 watt fluoro on it, about the right size to sit on a lap. If I had one I would put a DC input jack on it and use it off an SLA with a resistor or voltage convertor.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: power outage fan

    Hmm...._Next thing someone will be recommending a portable generator to power a fan, might as well power a small air conditioner instead with it.
    Last edited by smallac; 07-19-2010 at 01:31 AM.

  26. #26
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: power outage fan

    Best to keep it simple; car/marine battery to inverter to fan of your choice. Some of the smallest portable a/c units only use ~600 watts, so if you've got a big enough inverter, it's a possibility..

  27. #27

    Default Re: power outage fan

    Wally World has a 2 x D fan with 3VDC 500mA plug for less than $10. The wall wart is not included. It's called "O2 Cool". I bought one and tested it. Draws 230mA on low and 360mA on high. It's the 5" model. They claim 40 hours on low, but I think 30 would be closer to the truth.

    It moves a lot of air for it's size and seems pretty efficient. I liked it so much I bought another one.

  28. #28
    Flashaholic JonN06's Avatar
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    Default Re: power outage fan

    2005 Wow, that is some crazy thread resurrection.

    Now that we are in the future I am sure they make something that will meet your needs.

  29. #29

    Default Re: power outage fan

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    You may like the ozark one that uses 6D cells with a 4 watt fluoro on it, about the right size to sit on a lap. If I had one I would put a DC input jack on it and use it off an SLA with a resistor or voltage convertor.
    Well, I had an Ozark fan back in 1995, like when this thread is from :-). It didn't blow very much air so I never used it enough to see how long the batteries lasted. And the tabs to keep the lid on the battery compartment break easily.

    I liked the full-size O2Cool (12volt?) fan from Walmart much better. Blew a decent amount of air and ran long enough. I keep a couple around for when the next hurricane hits.
    Last edited by Genesis; 07-26-2010 at 07:48 PM.

  30. #30

    Default Re: power outage fan

    I picked up one of the 12v fans and 2 of the 3v O2 fans at walmart on clearance in the fall awhile back. I use the 3v as a desk fan and have a 2AA battery holder attached to it so I can feed it nimh batteries. The 12v fan was nice during a power outage in 2007 when were heating the house with the burners on the kitchen stove I had the fan blowing the air out of the kitchen into the rest of the house till the SLA finally died on me.
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