box fan wind turbine

krisman Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭✭✭
hey i was wondering if you could maybe rig up a box fan to act as a wind turbine to store energy into a battery. i was thinking of this inside the house for the winter months, i have a box fan that has 5, 8 to 10 inch blades, can this be done?


  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: box fan wind turbine

    Get much wind inside the house do you? There's your problem! :p

    Okay, jokes aside. Yes you could theoretically turn any type of fan into a wind turbine. But the blades used for moving air with a motor are not aerodynamically the best for moving a generator with wind. Nor is the internal wiring ideally suitable. So you could do it, but it wouldn't be very efficient.

    You might also notice that most fans these days have plastic blades. They aren't going to stand up to weather very well. Especially not the sustained winds necessary to produce significant power. The motor is usually 'open vented' too; definitely not weather-tight.

    Go have a look at the numerous DIY windpower projects at Otherpower:
    They have tons of this kind of stuff there. No sense duplicating it here when there's already such a good source, eh? :D
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: box fan wind turbine

    probably not. the electric motor in it will doubtfully be able to generate electricity as only certain motors can do this to some degree. furthermore, the fan blades are meant to move air and not capture it and are far too small for any appreciable power to be generated. fans are not generators of electricity, but are quite the opposite as they are users of electricity by design.
  • Truth Squad
    Truth Squad Solar Expert Posts: 126 ✭✭
    Re: box fan wind turbine

    Well, the downside is it probably won't produce much power. The upside is it'll probably produce more power than a Skystream. :D It would probably last a lot longer than a Skystream, too. :p
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: box fan wind turbine

    that's not saying much for many skystreams were busted right out of the box.:cry:
  • Windsun
    Windsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: box fan wind turbine


    First, an AC fan will not generate power. Second, that size fan would give you under perfect conditions perhaps 2-10 watts at most.
  • GreenPowerManiac
    GreenPowerManiac Solar Expert Posts: 453 ✭✭✭
    Re: box fan wind turbine

    Change the A/C motor out for a D/C generator motor. Keep the fan blades & box. Run two fused wires from back of motor to charge controller to battery(s).


    Make a tail section that adds onto the box fan for rotational needs (Mount a 3' section of 1-1/2" PVC to top of box fan on one end). The other end of tail section, make something flat, like a 12" by 12" piece of lexan to fixture to end. Make a small pole mount (similar to a chair mount swivel base) that allows 360 degree rotation & wires to run through it. Place unit in area of wind tunneling capabilities. Can be on the ground for testing.

    A junkyard version of a real wind turbine....
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