With the heat of summer in full effect, it has never been more tempting to crank up the AC and turn your home into a giant walk-in refrigerator. Not entirely friendly to Mother Nature, so the next time your friend with a swimming pool is out of town and you desperately need to cool off, try this fun little project for a batteryless, solar powered personal fan.
Start with a basic solar panel. Nothing fancy and not too big and bulky. Scrounge for some wire and a capacitor. The capacitor can be reused from any old electronic device you have lying around. If you can, try to use the largest one you can find to get the most power out of your fan. The voltage is usually printed on the side of it to help you get a better idea as well. You can also pick up a circuit box to house your fan, but this item is purely for aesthetics.
The most important part: the fan itself! This too can be taken from, say, the motherboard from an old computer. Alternatively, you can just buy a handheld mini-fan at a dollar store for chump change.
Take the wires inside the fan and connect the positive end to the solar panel and the negative on the capacitor. This enables the capacitor to store excess power generated from the solar panel, and act like a battery. If you used a circuit box (this can even be an old shoebox if you’d like), cut a hole for the air to blow through and secure all the parts with glue or tape. Close up your box and you have a handy fan that you can place on your desk, bedside table, or wherever else!