Design of a Dynamic Balancer for Ceiling Fans

Photo of Austin Brancheau, Clay Caroland, John Entralgo Students: Austin Brancheau, Clay Caroland, John Entralgo

Sponsor: Kellogg, Brown, and Root

Date: Fall 2010

Requirements:
The specifications include a maximum permissible center of gravity imbalance of 0.24 inches, less that 15 fan correction steps, less than 10 system components, and system weight less than 30 pounds. The method should utilize common tools found in an average household. The time from installation of the analysis system to correct fan balancing to be less than 1 hour.

Problem:
This project focused on designing a tool that provides an untrained operator with a simple and reliable method for stabilizing commercial and consumer ceiling fans. The method is intended for adjustments to be made without trial and error.

Solution:
The team designed both a measurement system and an analysis system. The measurement system consists of a sensor assembly magnetically attached to the fan center body. This assembly houses an accelerometer and a Halleffect switch that dynamically measures the forces and blade position present during dynamic fan operation, respectively. The analysis system initially filters data from the sensor assembly and then utilizes vector algebra and a computer algorithm to ultimately specify the location and amount of mass required to bring the ceiling fan into a balanced configuration. A user-friendly virtual computer interface guides the operator through the balancing process. Successful verification tests were performed on various unbalanced fan configurations with the balancing system to prove the system as a working prototype.

Images related to the project:

Photo related to Design of a Dynamic Balancer for Ceiling Fans project
Photo related to Design of a Dynamic Balancer for Ceiling Fans project
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