How to choose a ventilation fan and estimate power usage for a costume h
July 28, 2013 11:58 AM   Subscribe

I have a costume helmet that I'd like to have a forced air ventilation system for. I would like a small, low power fan (maybe from a laptop or small computer?) that I can run on batteries.

I Don't know what to buy, however, and my searches are not very fruitful. I would need to be able to wire it directly to batteries, and also estimate how much juice it'd draw. I don't want to carry around pounds of batteries however, or any large ones (like those square batteries for camp lanterns). If this is infeasible I could just figure out something else.

It's not so much that I'm worried about oxygen flow, since I can make ventilation holes, but the heat and humidity from exhaled air could be unpleasant or fog up the view. I figure that it only has to push a very small amount of air, and that's why I was thinking something very small or low powered would possibly last a while on batteries I could carry with me (9 volt?). The issue is, I don't know how to estimate how much power is contained in a given battery, and how much a given fan will draw.

Any recommendations would be awesome.
posted by polywomp to Technology (3 answers total)
Best answer: Fursuiters have been doing this for years. A quick google for fursuit cooling fan tutorial turned up this set of instructions, but there's plenty more discussion out there that I'm sure you can get good tips from, with regards to things such as battery life and noise levels.

The important thing to remember is that to provide effective cooling, it has to be able to draw cooler air from the outside and there has to be a way for the hot air to vent out. Otherwise you're taking a hot costume and just adding the heat of a running electric motor that's not doing anything practical.
posted by radwolf76 at 12:17 PM on July 28, 2013

For a low-tech solution --- i.e. no power source needed --- you could do what a lot of professional Santas do: it gets really hot and humid under all that red & white fur (trust me, I have experience with this!), so underneath it they'll wear a vest and sometimes pants with pockets for those refreezable blue-ice packets people use in picnics or lunchboxes.
posted by easily confused at 1:14 PM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

If I did what the person in radwold76's link did, I would put a fan grill on the fan. (no need for the fancy bling stuff that's on that page - a $3 steel wire guard is fine).
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 2:47 PM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

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