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Topic: Multiple cooling fan control (Read 2830 times) previous topic - next topic

LJ_Blake

Hello all!

I have recently bought an Arduino uno to help me complete my final year project at university. I am looking to use it in an art installation to control multiple fans, (in a dimmer switch manner), in various places in my degree show space. I am a complete beginnner and have not yet managed to get that far. I was wondering how feasible my idea is and how I begin to go about programming it? If anyone has any recommendations for sites with relevant programming codes that would be amazing. Do I need to buy a servo motor?

Many many thanks, LJ_Blake.

MarkT

We need to know more about the fan motors... Voltage power and motor type.
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LJ_Blake

Thanks Mark. I am still at a stage of playing with different fans, so am not sure of the motor type, But I would not want them to be any less powerful than a standard 16" oscillating fan which power at approx 45-50w and generally a remote voltage of 220v (sometimes 240). I am hoping to power at least three fans, (obviously from the mains), how feasible is this?!

MarkT

These common mains powered fans use synchronous motors which are not amenable to easy speed control alas...  They are highly inductive so standard light-dimmer modules won't work with them.  They usually come with 3 switchable speeds that work by switching several windings on and off.   See if you can locate ones with continuously variable speed built-in...
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mowcius

I replied to your other thread - please don't multi-post in future.

Quote
See if you can locate ones with continuously variable speed built-in...

+1

The standard '3 speed' or single speed fans are not going to be easy to control the speeds of with an arduino.

LJ_Blake

if i didnt control the speed but turned them on and off would it be much simpler?

LJ_Blake

ie. could i use regular fans to do this?

MarkT

With big relays, yes - but note the inductive nature of these motors means a relay rated for motors is needed otherwise the contacts will rapidly be damaged by arcing.
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mowcius

Perhaps you could get remote controlled sockets as has been discussed many times before and then simply use the arduino to control or emulate the remote control for those sockets. Keeps you away from relays and 220V :)

LJ_Blake

Ahhh, that sounds much easier. Sorry for the menial questions, but im very much a beginner. Could one arduino remotley control multiple sockets?

mowcius

Quote from: LJ_Blake
Could one arduino remotley control multiple sockets?

Yes - these remote controlled sockets can often control as many as 6 individual sockets from one remote control.

cr0sh


Thanks Mark. I am still at a stage of playing with different fans, so am not sure of the motor type, But I would not want them to be any less powerful than a standard 16" oscillating fan which power at approx 45-50w and generally a remote voltage of 220v (sometimes 240). I am hoping to power at least three fans, (obviously from the mains), how feasible is this?!


Have you thought about using 12 or 24 VDC automobile (or truck) radiator fans? You could power them off the mains using suitable power supplies (rated for the voltage/amps), and control their speed via PWM using a transistor or FET control. Since they are designed for engine cooling, they will have more than enough power (cfm), and they come in multiple sizes. You can purchase them from automobile and truck part suppliers, as well as wrecking yards (pick-ur-part places, and others).

New or used, they shouldn't cost too much...

:)
I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.

LJ_Blake

Thanks guys, I'm looking into all of these ideas. Thinking the remote control sockets may be the best option. Any directions to code for use the arduino as a remote control?!

mowcius

Quote
Any directions to code for use the arduino as a remote control?!

Depends on the type you get.
The easiest might be to hack the remote control and use transistors/optos to 'press' the buttons on the remote.

acrossell

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKjChvta5Bs&feature=player_embedded#at=19

I have been trying to do something similar to yourself(i used rc plane props and drill motors), you can see my results in the vid above. I'd be happy to help if I can.

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