Friday, July 12, 2013

PC Fan Wind Turbine

This post is not about Embedded Systems. But it is about a DIY project of mine. Old cheap PC Fan to a small Wind Turbine.

I looked at the some old PC Fans I have and thought that they can be used as Small Wind Turbines.


The PC Fan is Brush less DC ( BLDC ) Motor. It can be converted to a generator in 5 Minutes.

The concept is simple. You can skip this part and start directly with the conversion.

The BLDC motor used here has a stator winding and a Permanent Magnet Rotor. The motor is supplied by 12V DC. But the magnetic field rotation is generated by electronics ( Electronic Commutator ) . As the name implies , the electronics components convert DC into AC which makes the magnetic filed in the stator rotate.

The electronic commutation is achieved by a small IC.

To get the induced current from the motor used a generator , you must remove this IC .

This is what I 'll show you how.

All what you'll need is this tool

crocodile clip

First remove sticker on the back of the fan.

Then you 'll find a small piece of plastic lock that holds Fan shaft secured , Don't brake it. Remove it with a crocodile clip .

You can see 4 poles of winding connected in series and have only 2 terminals. To get the induced current ,  connect supply wires to those terminals and let the fan rotate.
With  a solder iron , gently remove solder under IC pins and then remove the IC.

Remove this IC.

You can see that the winding is connected to the board at three points. One common and tow other terminals.

 Remove the supply wires form there place to put them in the points where the tow winding wires are connected to the board.

Now , you have the stator ready to generate current. Now install the fan.


Assemble the fan in its place and lock it with the piece of plastic I told you about.

Put back the sticker.

Connect LED terminals to the Supply wires. Don't worry about +ve and -ve terminals , the LED will light if you connect it any way , trust me.

Roll the Fan

This video shows the fan in action.

Here is the project on

You can read this article in Arabic

يمكنك قراءة هذه المقالة باللغة العربية Done


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sandeep samuel said...

really interesting post ,thanks for sharing this. i will try this one.looking forward for more posts like this.

Embedded Systems india

Anonymous said...

very interested in this, but cant seem to understand, for the novice, in the pictures you don't show removal of the IC, the only terminals are the same one you have connected to in the beginning and the end. What is the IC? I found you on


MicroMonitor said...

Thanks Jon. I added the picture of the IC before and after being removed. Removing this IC is a very important step to get the generated Volts ~ 3 volts

saxat said...

From where exactly do we get the output?From the holes of removed IC or the terminals of windings?What about the capacitors and hall sensor?

Effie Per said...

Thank you for your post in "Instructables" for conversion of fan to wind fan, your explanation was extremely good, that make me do one for myself, that's work properly, the led is lighting once the fan is turn around. I don't know really how many volt come from fan, I will found out sometime. Thanks a lot again !!!
Effie Per

Anonymous said...

Hi , great work ! But , I do the same in the past , trying to charge a mobile tel and it is not suitable for this job . The numer of poles is to low , so u must have strong winds to make some little energy ....

MicroMonitor said...

Thank you. I 'm glad you visited the post and used it.
I am happy it was useful for you.

MicroMonitor said...

Hi. You can find a project on that used the PC fan with modification and connected to a Joule Thief circuit or a step up converter and a battery to charge a mobile phone.

Anonymous said...

Alright tutorial to some extend, there are a few steps missing which will make you pull your hair out. It assumes that you know something about electronics, so it doesn't bother explaining it to you.

wrongewayround said...

I'm stuck on this part

"Remove the supply wires form there place to put them in the points where the tow winding wires are connected to the board."

I don't understand what this means, could you perhaps post a picture illustrating this step?
Are you saying; put the black and yellow wires where the IC unit was? and if so, which of the holes are you putting them into?

or are you saying remove the three winding wires and replace with two alternative black and red wires which in turn power the LED?

Please advise, I'm a novice! Thank you

Vladimir said...

Bravo, man, BRAVO!!!

Ahmed Ebeed said...

Thank you very much.