Smart Fan

Date of Graduation

Spring 2017

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Computer Engineering - Cooperative Education

Research Sponsor

Dr. Alex De Abreu Garcia

First Reader

Gregory A. Lewis

Second Reader

Dr. Nghi Tran


Modern box fans offer a simple solution to cooling an area. However, the simplicity that makes these fans appealing also limits their potential. A smart box fan that preserves its original simplicity while providing enhanced technological features such as smartphone connectivity and variable speed selection should lead to ease of use, improved performance, and increased customer satisfaction. To this end, a regular box fan will be instrumented and technology-enhanced, thus “smart fan.” The standard AC motor will be replaced with a DC motor for finer speed selection over the allowable range. The smart fan will offer three categories of operation: manual control, scheduled operation, and temperature-sensitive automation. Manual control operates the smart fan similarly to a standard box fan. Scheduled operation specifies the operation of the fan for any time. Temperature-sensitive automation will offer two modes. The first is a single-source mode that operates using a local temperature sensor. The second is a dual-source mode–intended for use in a window–that uses the temperature sensor and a weather API. Both modes operate by mapping speeds to a range of temperatures. The smart fan will allow users to run it when they want, how they want.