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Old 01-03-2010, 08:56 AM   #1
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Re: Anyone ever seen or heard of

its an interesting concept. it would need some kind of regulator to keep the fan at a certain speed or else it would just unwind to fast to be worth it. I'll keep an eye out if I see something like that.

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Old 01-03-2010, 09:18 AM   #2
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Re: Anyone ever seen or heard of

This got me thinking for those of you who have or plan on having a wood burner these fans use no electricity but they are a bit pricey
http://www.wttool.com/product-exec/prod ... urce=froog

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Old 01-03-2010, 01:26 PM   #3
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Re: Non-Electric Fans

Quote:
Originally Posted by thesaltydog24
This got me thinking for those of you who have or plan on having a wood burner these fans use no electricity but they are a bit pricey
http://www.wttool.com/product-exec/prod ... urce=froog

Chris
I've seen one of these heat-powered woodstove fans in action when touring an off-grid home - they work!
It doesn't help Smitty air out the shower or toilet, though.
I think America believes we will have electricity everywhere forever, and powered gadgets have largely driven unique antique/alternative products out of production. A quote I heard this week attributed to a closed business: "When the cost of doing business exceeds income, it's time to shut the doors."

Lehman's, who sell to the "powerless" Amish, doesn't have a fan on their "hand cranked items" pages, so one probably isn't made.
All they have in their online catalog are 12-volt and battery fans: http://www.lehmans.com/
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Old 01-04-2010, 04:32 AM   #4
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Re: Anyone ever seen or heard of

I thought about it a bit and I don't think it would be all that hard to make one yourself if it was something that really interested you.

When I was in elementary school, we used to make these little cars that used the spring tension of a mousetrap to power wheels made of CD-ROMS. Basically, a string was tied to the part of the trap that clamps down on the mouse's neck, and the other end coiled around a thin axle, like a pen or a pencil. As the trap released, it pulled the string and unraveled it from around the axle, moving the wheels and propelling the little car. The trap released slowly both because it had to propel the car, and because of the mechanical disadvantage due to a very small diameter axle and a very large diameter wheel. Apply the same concept to this idea: replace the CD with a fan, the mousetrap with something that has a longer range of motion, and maybe add in a pulley to increase the mechanical advantage. Add some sort of a governor, maybe another spring, a friction brake, or a counterweight to slow it down
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Old 01-04-2010, 04:34 AM   #5
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Re: Anyone ever seen or heard of

EDIT: Oops double identical posts
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Old 01-04-2010, 09:56 AM   #6
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Re: Non-Electric Fans

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbear
Quote:
Originally Posted by thesaltydog24
This got me thinking for those of you who have or plan on having a wood burner these fans use no electricity but they are a bit pricey
http://www.wttool.com/product-exec/prod ... urce=froog

Chris
I've seen one of these heat-powered woodstove fans in action when touring an off-grid home - they work!
I've seen them in action too. My Grandma has one on her wood burner and I also seen them at an Eco Village I visited for a month back in 04 called Dancing Rabbit. they are located in Rutledge Missouri. They live completely off the grid using solar and wind, water catchment and also use composting toilets. It was an interesting visit and I learned a lot. if anyone is located near there you should check them out if you want to learn more about living off the grid. I think they give tours every sat during the summer time. not sure about winter. Their web site might also be of some help http://www.dancingrabbit.org
Of course most here are planning on using their bus for extended time or as a full time home. but if this type of stuff peaks your interest they are worth checking out and maybe pulling some ideas that you could apply to your own bus. I would love to live off the grid and be self sustainable but my soon to be wife and her son are the ones who would have problems with it. they are too "power hungry" lol.

Back to the windable fan. I have put more thought into it and it doesn't sound to difficult to build one. but while I was looking around for things to build one out of I ran across one of those shakeable flash lights. you shake them a few times and they have enough power to operate the flashlight for like 20 minutes. I'm wondering if this concept but with a crackable handle could power a fan for a given amount of time or at least long enough to clear the loo. I'll have to give this some more thought and I'm starting to like this idea.

Chris
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:29 PM   #7
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Re: Anyone ever seen or heard of

Old-time mechanical workings used regulators. Ever take apart an old crank-up 78 RPM Victrola? I have. While most wind-up devices go fast as the spring is tight, and slow down as it unwinds, the Victrola had centrifugal weights that spread out as the mechanism speeded up, and this caused the platter to settle in at a constant speed. There was a screwdriver adjustment to fine tune the speed if Caruso didn't sound quite right.

I don't remember if it worked by pure pendulum effect, or if it applied pressure to a felt braking mechanism. Either way, the end result was a constant speed for a long time instead of a quick spin and fizzle. I've seen the same type of regulator in the machine room above an ancient Otis elevator as part of the electro-mechanical controls. Adding a regulator like this would give a longer, steadier run to a fan.

As far as tours, The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association arranges open houses at various private residences, businesses, schools, and non-profits in New England, New York, and New Jersey on the first weekend in October. You can look at http://www.nesea.org/greenbuildings/ as the time approaches to find places to visit.

Be warned, the term "Green" is so overly broad as to be meaningless. The tours range from builders showing off new McMansions with expensive EnergyStar appliances, to standard houses with a few panels added, to self-designed off-grid homesteads. A memorable homestead built in the mountains had with south-facing windows, a wood stove, and 500 watts of PV for lights, refrigeration, water pump, stereo and a clotheswasher. If you live in the Northeast, pick through the listings to find the features you are interested in. I've been to over a half-dozen of these, and some of the stuff is pretty cool.
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