How long will a DC motor last?

If I connect a 5vdc motor to a 3.7V Lipo that is recharged by a solar panel and I place it in the sun, how long will the motor run for?

In other words, what is more likely, will the motor get ruined first by wear and tear and in about how long, or will the lipo battery die first from charging cycles?

So many different things.

Is it outside ?
Is the motor rated for outside ?
Exactly which type of motor ? (a real link would be nice)
Are you stepping up the voltage for the motor ?
What capacity LIPO ?
What are the actual charging electronics ?
Are they rated for outside ?
What are the full specs for the solar panel ?

If ANY of it is outside what are the weather extremes and do all of the parts fall within that temperature / humidity specification.

How long is a piece of string?

A huge amount depends on the quality of the motor bearings, whether the bearings can become contaminated in use, and the quality of the commutator and brushes. A brushless motor will last longer.

I have a computer fan as part of my heating system and it runs 24/7 for about 6 months every year. I think it has done that for 5 winters now. I have the power reduced with a resistor to slow the fan to reduce the noise. (And for the know-it-alls, the heat from the resistor is part of the home heating energy !)

…R

Thanks

I dont have a link to the motor. Its a basic 5v dc motor that came with an arduino kit. So no, its not rated for outside. It will be outside though, albeit inside a pvc housing in order to vibrate. The Lipo is a 3.7V that came from a chinese solar phone charger. Its about 1000mAh I believe. I dont have the data on the solar panel except that its a 5V panel since that is what it outputs, 5-6V. Id have to test the amperage, Im pretty sure it wont put out more than the 10A my multimeter can handle. Its probably less than 100mA since it wont run a motor directly, Ive tried.

I guess the best thing to do is just try it out.

A cheap toy motor will not last - you ideally need ball bearings, you need quality brushes (or better,
a brushless motor). For outdoors aim for a motor rated for automotive/outdoors, or ensure its fully
enclosed against water/moisture ingress, otherwise when moisture gets in the bearings and commutator
will likely corrode quite rapidly.

Remember few consumer grade motors are designed for 24/7 operation.

Marciokoko:
I guess the best thing to do is just try it out.

That might be the most economical option unless a premature failure would cost you a lot of money. Predictable reliability is not cheap.

...R

Sat here thinking of a shorted burnt out toy motor and a slowly cooked Arduino because of the short fed from an unknown battery fed from an unknown solar panel with not a thought to "what if A does this or B does that"

Sounds more like a "Hold my beer and watch this" moment.
May enjoy the video though.

There is no Arduino in it. Its just a dc motor with a solar panel-lipo battery.

Here on the northern atlantic coast it would last for a couple hours before it gets destroyed by rain, mud, salt spray, seagulls, gets eaten by a raccoon or stolen by a hunter.

@ Marciokoko

Are you at least regulating the charge rate to suit the battery ?

(ducks down behind big wall and switches on device) :wink:

Yes and No. Im not doing it. Im assuming the electronics that came with the battery/panel couple are taking care of that.

Ah… I once assumed my feet were hanging out of the bed and got up to check !

Marciokoko:
Thanks

I dont have a link to the motor. Its a basic 5v dc motor that came with an arduino kit. So no, its not rated for outside. It will be outside though, albeit inside a pvc housing in order to vibrate. The Lipo is a 3.7V that came from a chinese solar phone charger. Its about 1000mAh I believe. I dont have the data on the solar panel except that its a 5V panel since that is what it outputs, 5-6V. Id have to test the amperage, Im pretty sure it wont put out more than the 10A my multimeter can handle. Its probably less than 100mA since it wont run a motor directly, Ive tried.

I guess the best thing to do is just try it out.

Your comment about vibration concerns me. What do you mean? Is the motor swinging a weight to cause vibrations? If so, the simple sleeve bearing will wear out quickly.

Paul

Ballscrewbob:
Ah... I once assumed my feet were hanging out of the bed and got up to check !

Well ... were they?

The suspense is killing me!

...R

The vibration is a problem with cheap motors too as Paul mentioned, do you need it to vibrate all the time or just for small intervals ?

The vibration motors inside xbox ( or any vibrating) controllers handles are built a little more ruggedly and draw a very small current.

Marciokoko:
There is no Arduino in it. Its just a dc motor with a solar panel-lipo battery.

If you're connecting a solar panel with a variable output of up to 6V direct to a 3.7V lipo battery with no charge control circuitry it isn't going to last very long at all. You'll kill the battery in no time.

Steve