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Old 08-30-2011, 11:08 PM   #15
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We have and max out a Honda EU 11,000. It runs our essential equipment. This time we tried to run two small portable air conditioners and some fans too. The third fan popped the breaker. We got by but it was MISERABLE during the heat of the day. We kept moving the fans from cube to cube to give people a brief break.

We need 10 to 20 small personal fans for each cubicle or another $10,000 generator to air condition the building. The fans really helped - and for something that happens once every three to ten years... well I'd prefer not to spend that kind of money.

The clockwork fan idea came to me years ago when I had "this old house". I envisioned it as a ceiling fan with the weights running inside the ceiling & wall joists. I really think it is pragmatic and very green.

The winding gear from an old hand cranked phonograph has some serious merit... The thing is our staff has to take an overwhelming number of calls during any weather emergency, so we need something that they don't have to reset every 5 minutes.

I really enjoy all the suggestions. I just can't fathom that someone else hasn't developed something like this. Maybe I SHOULD build a prototype and patent it.

Paula
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:16 PM   #16
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The problem with a weight powered fan is you are asking for a lot of energy output for the amount of gravity input. The reason a clock works with weights is it is a very small regulated output of motion and thus the weight doesn't need to move at a fast pace. In order to move a reasonable amount of air you would either need a lot of rapid (relatively speaking) weight movement to move a reasonable amount of air. Or, a VERY heavy weight, through a gear train. It would work, but kind of unrealistic because you would either need a person to rewind the weight very frequently or a lot of space to hang weights for the necessary travel between windings. Refer to the brilliant clock Thomas Jefferson built at Monticello. A Marvel to be sure, but the weights travel through the floor into the cellar.
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:47 AM   #17
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Hi, simple; Just get a shaft mounted on a bearing, put a fan on one side of the shaft, and a squirrel cage on the other end of the shaft. And finally make a trail out of pieces of cheese to attract something small and energetic to run around inside of the squirrel cage.
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Old 08-31-2011, 06:48 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
We have and max out a Honda EU 11,000. It runs our essential equipment. This time we tried to run two small portable air conditioners and some fans too. The third fan popped the breaker. We got by but it was MISERABLE during the heat of the day. We kept moving the fans from cube to cube to give people a brief break.

We need 10 to 20 small personal fans for each cubicle or another $10,000 generator to air condition the building. The fans really helped - and for something that happens once every three to ten years... well I'd prefer not to spend that kind of money.

The clockwork fan idea came to me years ago when I had "this old house". I envisioned it as a ceiling fan with the weights running inside the ceiling & wall joists. I really think it is pragmatic and very green.

The winding gear from an old hand cranked phonograph has some serious merit... The thing is our staff has to take an overwhelming number of calls during any weather emergency, so we need something that they don't have to reset every 5 minutes.

I really enjoy all the suggestions. I just can't fathom that someone else hasn't developed something like this. Maybe I SHOULD build a prototype and patent it.

Paula
I haven't been to your office, but why not get say, a single Honda 2000 or 3000 generator, put it outside somewhere nobody will steal it and it won't asphyxiate y'all, and run an extension cord inside to operate a bunch of fans?
I've done something similar during hurricanes. It would be easier to go out a couple of times a shift and fill the tank than find a battalion of hamsters.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:32 AM   #19
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I was thinking about the old movies that were about Africa, remember the huge
flat fans hung from the ceiling and a handy slave waved it back and forth, or a monkey if you had one, perhaps a more humane way might be give everyone a rocking chair and power them that way. When not in use they would make a great sound deading barrier
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:37 AM   #20
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Now there's an idea: perhaps the low-performer in the group gets the honor of being fan master.

Pat
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:18 AM   #21
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Split Rock Lighthouse on the North Shore on Lake Superior has the mirrors for the light spun by a giant clock mechanism, with the weights traveling the entire height of the lighthouse building. Something like that should spin a large slow moving fan quite nicely.
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:58 AM   #22
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Just the other night on the Antiques Roadshow someone had a fan that was driven by a hot air engine. An oil flame in a small container below the unit provided hot air that was contained and directed through a motor that then spun the fan. Kinda defeats the benefit of having a fan in hot weather if you need an open heat source to power it. Not sure what the cooling gain would be. Just thought it was interesting. I used to work for a guy that had a sign on his desk " There ain't no free lunch". I guess that goes for air movement too.
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:11 PM   #23
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polaryse, a friend has one of those fans sitting on the woodstove at his cabin. Crank the stove up and around it spins. He uses it in an effort to distribute more warm air to the lower levels in the room.
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:43 PM   #24
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of course the genny makes the most sense and you KNOW you want justification for one anyhow...but along what I think is the spirit of your thinking...

maybe a little electric motor that slowly and cheaply raises a big weight in times of power, then hits two micro switches that both disengage and turn off at the upper limit. Then you could manually release the weight, give your belt or cable driven fan a twirl to get it started, and let that mass slowly fall back down keeping the fan spinning. A big slow fan would probably be best. Your backup to raise it again could be a block and tackle in the shaft the weight traverses. I see a threaded rod up through the middle. A split nut or even slotted plate arangement to grip and release the rod threads.

Hey, you could house all this inside a new dumbwaiter setup, add it to the exterior of existing houses. the bottom of the dumbwaiter could be iron plate or something with some meat to it. Dumbwaiters are handy to have, too. More fun than laundry chutes.
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:28 PM   #25
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Seems like a lot of work. Work generates heat so counterproductive. I think I would just stay at higher elevations. Cool enough not to need a fan or AC.
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:30 PM   #26
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where do you find higher elevations during hurricanes?
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:23 PM   #27
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Hi go ask google to show you stirling engines, these were popular in the 1800,s. Sa w abig one that ran a elevator, Lots of kits online.
Should power a fan..
Jim
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