non powered fan ideas for circulating warm air

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Old 12-17-13, 12:17 PM
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non powered fan ideas for circulating warm air

Hi, I live in a 40 year old ski cabin that has a wood stove.
We're looking for ideas to better circulate the warm air off the stove.

We'd prefer to use a non powered fan. ie why burn more hydro when the convection of the air coming off the stove could be used.

Eco fan has a unit
Ecofan Ultrair Black with Gold Blade | Canadian Tire

which we're going to try.

I've been looking for some thing I can hang from the ceiling that uses the natural updraft of hot air to better circulate the air.

Bear with me on these next two ideas
1- a paper or other material 'bird' that has wings that flap when the hot air rises
or
2- a 'wind chime' that turns (spins) when the hot air rises then circulates the hot air.

finding such a device has been challenging hence this post
I look forward to your ideas
thanks in advance
Merry Christmas
 
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Old 12-17-13, 12:23 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

finding such a device has been challenging hence this post
I can believe that.

The idea of using rising heated air to operate a device to force it back down is counter-productive.

If you force air down....the heated air will no longer rise. You are looking for perpetual motion.
 
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Old 12-17-13, 01:13 PM
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Hi PJ

what I'm trying to accomplish is circulating the air better.
a device that 'blow's ' the air around the room rather than just hang out on the ceiling will reduce my energy use.
we often see ceiling fans that do exactly this.
as far as perpetual motion,....not sure where you've come from with this...we're burning wood, and trying to move the air around the room not pushing the air back down expecting it to reblow the 'fan'.

hot air will continue to rise as we continue to burn wood which recreates new rising air
 
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Old 12-17-13, 05:29 PM
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Correct.... ceiling fans on low are used to circulate and move the warm air back to the floor.
You are trying to find something that doesn't use power.
 
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Old 12-17-13, 08:44 PM
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What you want is a fan powered with a Stirling engine. Do the Google boogle using stirling engine stove fan as the search term.
 
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Old 12-17-13, 09:06 PM
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what I'm trying to accomplish is circulating the air better.
The Ecofan Ultrair you linked to is an intriguing gadget that attempts to do that. I'm not sure how effective they are, but you can try one if you like.

We use our ceiling fans to increase comfort and reduce cooling and heating costs year-round. They are turned off for 15 or 20 minutes to be cleaned and maintained, then turned back on, twice a year, in the spring and fall. Other than that they run 7/24.

The wind chime and the bird sound entertaining, but neither sounds like it would be effective at circulating the air.

You could try suspending a set of fan blades on a low-friction axle and bearing and seeing what that does. The hub of a bicycle's front wheel comes to mind.

You could also replace the stove you have now with a high-efficiency model, if you haven't already done so. That's where I'd start.
 
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Old 12-18-13, 06:16 AM
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Hi eric,
My son has a fan similar to the ecofan you posted and it works great. Not sure just how much air it pushes, but it spins like crazy.
While you are inventing, here's a technical point that may help. Your stove creates the lighter hot air, but it is the heavier cold air falling that displaces the hot air and moves it up. Convection involves the movement of both, thus you may be able to tap into the downward flow of cold air as well as the upward flow of hot air.

My old fireplace from many years ago had vents high and low with the internal ducts being heated by the fire. The resulting convection helped to circulate the air. Even my current wood stove has an air intake at the bottom that directs the cooler air up the back and through a chamber on top of the stove. I can't say it blows air, but it clearly is an attempt to move some in the right direction.

As a comparison, I'm looking at (in my hand) a 3 inch 115v muffin fan. It doesn't say how much air it moves, but it is only 16 watts. If that ran for 8 hours a day for 150 days at $0.15 per kwh, it would cost a total of $2.70. Over 6 months, that would be $.45 per month.

Enjoy
Bud
 
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Old 12-18-13, 07:53 AM
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We have an EcoFan on the woodburning stove in our rental cabin. It works exceptionally well. We once had a couple staying there in January when we lost power during the night. They said they built a fire and turned the fan pointed toward the bedroom and stayed toasty all night. For passive heat distribution in a scenario such as that, they can't be beat.
 
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