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Old 07-07-2009, 08:05 PM   #16
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non-electric ceiling fan???


Well, it has been a while since I checked my OP. Thanks to all who have replied. Giascott and MBunker I appreciate your posts and I would ask that you share any findings here. I'm still looking...this thing has had to have been invented somewhere before. Keep in touch.

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Old 07-12-2009, 05:33 PM   #17
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My aunt in Eugene, OR had two wall-mounted, wooden art pieces that used a relatively simple mechanism which included a spring and thin rope (as i recall)... which would spin a large 14" (?) wheel for up to 24 hours... i don't see why such a thing couldn't be modified and ceiling mounted; the artist was local.
I just mentioned this to a friend whose father is a machinist... and if it can be simply built he would definitely be able to produce it! ... a different friend and I have been contemplating this since we built her off-the-grid cabin, 4 years ago and just today, I remembered my aunt's art! it's a great idea. It can and will happen.
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Old 07-12-2009, 06:10 PM   #18
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i'll get right to it...

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Old 07-12-2009, 10:51 PM   #19
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My aunt in Eugene, OR had two wall-mounted, wooden art pieces that used a relatively simple mechanism which included a spring and thin rope (as i recall)... which would spin a large 14" (?) wheel for up to 24 hours... i don't see why such a thing couldn't be modified and ceiling mounted; the artist was local.
I just mentioned this to a friend whose father is a machinist... and if it can be simply built he would definitely be able to produce it! ... a different friend and I have been contemplating this since we built her off-the-grid cabin, 4 years ago and just today, I remembered my aunt's art! it's a great idea. It can and will happen.
jfryboothe, seriously, if you can locate a photo, sketch or anything from your aunt please share it with us. thanks
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:59 PM   #20
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Not a ceiling fan, but you might find this helpful if you are using a woodstove.

http://www.leevalley.com/gifts/page....at=4,104,55967
99bn99: i had a problem w/ your link, but I assume you are referring to the ecofan on the same site. I've not seen that before and it looks very interesting. I use propane so version c for gas stoves seems to be the one. This is definitely a bookmark-for-further-research item. Thank you for the post.
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:10 AM   #21
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Yes, I was looking at the ecofan. sorry about the link - if what I see showing up in the thread is what you got, I am not surprised it did not work - I do not understand why the link would abreviated in the middle.
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Old 07-15-2009, 05:25 PM   #22
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I would like to craft something that looks like this, lower profile though because my ceilings are only about 8 feet high and the span isn't nearly as long. Rather than scramble around looking for a clock mechanism and trying to figure out how to retrofit it how about using a weighted pulley system? On the surface it would seem to be an easier way to accomplish this rather than a clock mechanism, wouldn't it?
Now I think I need to cross post this to a mechanical engineering forum so that someone can shed some light on gear ratios or reduction pulleys so that the fan moves slowly.
Comments?? Ideas??
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Old 07-15-2009, 05:33 PM   #23
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that setup looks do-able, if you can find out who did it and can get plans, please post them here.

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Old 07-15-2009, 05:45 PM   #24
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that setup looks do-able, if you can find out who did it and can get plans, please post them here.

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Not so easy, DangerMouse. I just googled until I found something that looked like what I wanted to make. I doubt if the fan/belt/pulley system would be too difficult to make w/o plans, but experimenting around with blade speed is probably going to be the killer and will no doubt require some experimenting UNLESS I can get some engineer type who can figure this based on room size, etc. and calculate weights, ratios and such. Otherwise it will be an experiment until the cows come home.
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Old 07-15-2009, 05:53 PM   #25
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i've been thinking about using lawnmower parts for the spring action, there may even be a bearing i can use too....
i'm interested in how that guy did his. i imagine he uses a pole with a flat end like they use for some window cranks.
the spring would be housed inside the bottom piece. weighting and chaining sure seems easier to me too though.
(besides, i've always been partial to those giant metal pinecones/acorns....)

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Old 07-16-2009, 08:54 PM   #26
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I think as soon as you are getting into using gravity weights, you are duplicating on a large scale the movement in a clock tower. If you do a search on clock towers and grandfather clocks, you get some idea of the weight needed to drive a clock.

Now consider how much greater the resistance to run a fan, with the resulting greater weight.

Unless you really like tinkering with large heavy mechanisms, you might be better with solar and wind generated electricity, battery storage, and an electric fan. Remember that you are not trrying to make a windtunnel, you just want to move the air around the room, to mix the cold floor air and the hot ceiling air. If the blades are large and light (light to make easy starting), the large blades will displace a lot of air at low speeds, with very little sound.
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:15 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by 99BN99 View Post
I think as soon as you are getting into using gravity weights, you are duplicating on a large scale the movement in a clock tower. If you do a search on clock towers and grandfather clocks, you get some idea of the weight needed to drive a clock.

Now consider how much greater the resistance to run a fan, with the resulting greater weight.

Unless you really like tinkering with large heavy mechanisms, you might be better with solar and wind generated electricity, battery storage, and an electric fan. Remember that you are not trrying to make a windtunnel, you just want to move the air around the room, to mix the cold floor air and the hot ceiling air. If the blades are large and light (light to make easy starting), the large blades will displace a lot of air at low speeds, with very little sound.
I appreciate your comments, and it reinforces all of the issues that have perplexed me about this whole project.
I have thought of a motorized fan since we do already generate solar power but it would be a strain on the small system and that is why I'm all for avoiding power consumption. That ecofan is beginning to look a lot better but some of the reviews have been less than favorable and those blades are so small....

Well, we have over 1000 views on this thread already so maybe a magnanimous engineer will step forward with a solution
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:59 PM   #28
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You might also want to consider posting at yahoo answers: http://ca.answers.yahoo.com/question/ask

There are a lot of viewers there as well. As with any internet group, expect both serious and nonsense and senseless answers.
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Old 07-16-2009, 11:51 PM   #29
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I think I'm going back to the spring driven mechanism vs. weights. Wouldn't you think that spring tension would overcome inertia to move lightweight fan blades (after maybe a little nudge to put it in motion)?
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:56 AM   #30
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Hey Bobrok

Go rent the Mosquito Coast with Harrison Ford. They have the exact fan you are looking for in the movie. It uses a gravity weight as a power source. If you pause the image, there is enough detail to reverse engineer it. I am planing to build a replica of this fan for my off grid cabin later this summer.

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