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August 20, 2010

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Home » Metro » Education

Local student's invention is pretty cool

A LOCAL student yesterday unveiled what could be this summer's must-have item - an electric fan which can be worn around the waist.

The fan and its battery pack clip on to a belt and can produce a cooling breeze at a speed of 5,500 revolutions a minute.

"Your back and neck can feel the wind," said designer Fang Tianhao, an economics student at Fudan University. He has had 1,000 fans made and started selling them on yesterday at 20 yuan (US$2.9) each.

A fan can run for 10 hours continuously with eight AA size batteries, he said.

When the design was posted online there was a tremendous response from people across the country.

Fang is hoping his invention will benefit his fellow students, who are undergoing military training on campus at the moment.

Chinese university students are required to do some basic military drills over the summer break. The fan could be ideal for people exercising in the scorching heat.

"I have gone through the military training before," he said. "It will be very comfortable using this."

Ordinary movements wouldn't cause the fan to be dislodged, he said. The voltage (12v) also posed no risk, Fang said, of overheating or spontaneous combustion.

He is working on an upgraded device for outdoor workers.

However, Johnson Liu, a sophomore at East China University of Political Science and Law, said that he wouldn't buy the fan and pointed out what could be a flaw. "It's too heavy to carry," he said.

Some students also worried that coaches wouldn't allow them to wear the device.

Fang said that even if his enterprise failed, it would still be a valuable experience. "I have learnt a lot from the experience, which will benefit my future career," he said.


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