Thermoelectric fan repair

DickRussell

Feeling the Heat
Mar 1, 2011
252
central NH
I was given a VonHaus thermoelectric fan a year or so ago. It worked properly for a while, spinning right along. How much air it actually moved relative to natural convection is another matter, outside the scope of this thread. At some point I noticed that it was not working anymore. The problem can be only one of two things, the small electric motor or the TEG module connected to the motor. Both are removable with Allen wrench or Phillips screwdriver. The wire leads are soldered.

I haven't yet tried to see which of the two components has failed. I tried looking online for replacement parts. A replacement motor for another brand is available. TEG modules are available, for a price, but I can't find anything specific for that fan, even on the mfg site. I'm reluctant to snip a wire and attach a small battery to the motor to test just that, as I have no idea how much voltage the TEG module puts out. I wouldn't want to fry the motor with overvoltage, and it would be nice to know about how much voltage is required to drive it to see if the motor is any good.

So, does anyone have any info on the motor and TEG module I can use? I can't say I have a pressing need to fix this, as I was given a replacement unit for Christmas. I just hate the thought of trashing something that might easily be fixed for short money.
 

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,852
SW Virginia
I don't know much about these but I'll offer a few thoughts anyway:
I'd start with a voltmeter to see if the TEG is putting out any power
Are the bearings going bad?
Since TEGs are DC it follows the motor would be too. Is it brushless? if not, are the brushes worn out?
 

Touch0Gray

Member
Feb 8, 2020
134
Wi
Since it is a DC motor, if you spin it it should essentially act as a generator, put your volt meter on the motor and spin it. If it shows voltage output, it is the thermo electric cell I would assume.