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Windows 7: Is 3 Volts enough to power a cpu fan

22 Jun 2014   #1
JBmorris

Windows Vista Business 32bit
 
 
Is 3 Volts enough to power a cpu fan

Is 3 volts enough to power a Cpu fan on a Solar panel?
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22 Jun 2014   #2
A Guy

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

3v will run many fans, albeit at a slower speed. Some fans need more voltage to start, so there is no specific answer. The fan will often have a voltage range listed on the label. Chances are it's a 12v fan, and if it will run on 3v, will not provide much cooling. A Guy
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22 Jun 2014   #3
JBmorris

Windows Vista Business 32bit
 
 

So 3 volts could possibly 50%/50% turn the fan but at slower speed?
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22 Jun 2014   #4
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by JBmorris View Post
So 3 volts could possibly 50%/50% turn the fan but at slower speed?
Possibly but it's highly unlike you will find a fan that can start at 3v. 5-7v is usually about the lowest starting voltage you will find and that will be only in the highest quality fans. And, as A Guy said, it won't move very much air. You may need to use a DC to DC inverter to power a 12v fan but that would at least quadruple your 3v current draw.

I did a quickie search for 3v fans and didn't find much of anything. This outfit sells 3.3v fans, which may work for you, but I don't know how reliable or safe the company is (my guess is not very).
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22 Jun 2014   #5
JBmorris

Windows Vista Business 32bit
 
 

I'm getting a cpu fan from an old computer made in the 1990's. or the 1980's.
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22 Jun 2014   #6
A Guy

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

I'd say 99% no. Many fans need more then 5v just to "kick" it into motion. At 3 volts you might get 100-200rpm and that wouldn't move any air. Anything running at 3v would probably be some tiny little fan. A CPU fan from 20 30 years ago won't work. A Guy
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22 Jun 2014   #7
JBmorris

Windows Vista Business 32bit
 
 

aw man, well, going for a 6 volt solar panel. i guess...
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22 Jun 2014   #8
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

What exactly are you trying to build?
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22 Jun 2014   #9
JBmorris

Windows Vista Business 32bit
 
 

Air conditioner.
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22 Jun 2014   #10
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Air conditioner or ventilation fan? There is no way in this universe you will ever power an refrigeration type air conditioner with only 3-6v or even 12v and you aren't going to move enough air to ventilate a room using computer fans. You will need a really large, not to mention really expensive, PV array just to power a fan powerful enough to ventilate a room.
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