The SFU Student Social Innovation Fund, a collaboration between RADIUS and Embark, provides project funding of up to $1000. Below, we get an update from Kuelii Smart Fan, a project team funded earlier this year. See their first and second posts to catch up on their story!

Image 2.1

My old office summer setup — a trusty but loud Holmes fan.


I used to place fans by my window to achieve a cooling effect after especially hot days. It was a stopgap solution for only the hottest nights because it was so disruptively loud, inefficient, and had a tenancy to over cool. I then looked around the market for a solution that not only worked but looked unobtrusive while doing so. Around now, you’re probably thinking, “Well, Jay what you’re making sounds a lot like a product already on the market: the window fan.” If that’s what you’re thinking, you’re largely correct!
Innovating an age old solution
We’re making an Internet of Things solution that innovates on the age old window fan, bringing it into the 21st century (no, it’s not super exciting like a shiny new device, but we think you’ll love it just as much.) Our solution uses two high power computer fans that are optimized to move air. We thought since computer fans are excellent at quietly moving air through crowded and messy spaces, why not use it to cool a room?
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Let’s stick a computer fan onto a window!!!


 
Image 2.3

Of course, this is what people will say if we just used computer fans.


Not only does our fan need to work, it also needs to look great. We’re working hard on making an enclosure that is unlike the loud plastic solutions currently out there.
Hardware wise, we have an array of sensors hooked up to the internet that allow our smart fan to gain an understanding of its environment, both inside and outside. It would, armed with that information and our cooling algorithm, determine when to turn on to and which way to move the air to achieve the most effective cooling using the least amount of power.
Our progress
Over the last few months we’ve been working very hard to not only make a make a prototype but make a prototype that works fully to our spec. We’ve been working on the core device, the fan, by building and prototyping the parts, connecting it to the internet, and building out the back end. We’re really really close to getting that done. Right now, we’re still having trouble sourcing bi-directional fan motors but we’ve been able to complete almost all the other features (if you happen to know a source, please reach out to us!)
Image 2.4

Second hardware prototype!


We’re nearly at the end! In the final post of this series, we’ll tell you why we think you will LOVE the Kuelii Smart Fan.
Expect a new blog post from us in the near future!
Coming soon the juicy finale — Final Part: The Kuelii Smart Fan
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