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Makers of battery-operated fans emphasize practical features

Multiple functions are being integrated into units. Add-ons target specific applications.

The latest battery-operated fans from China boast a range of attributes that make them usable in various situations. Most of these versatile models target outdoor and promotional applications, which currently account for the majority of output and exports.

LED message fan
  The RF7-F056 model from Richforth is a LED message fan with an ABS housing.

Besides ventilation, designs for the first segment usually have a lighting function. A few are even fitted with two or three illumination devices or offer different levels of brightness.

Fluorescent and LED bulbs are the light sources typically adopted. For the first, 5 to 15W U or O-shaped CFLs are the common options, while LED clusters employ 0.2 to 0.5W diodes.

A number of releases have a built-in AM/FM radio for news and entertainment. In addition, some can transmit an SOS alert.

To support the various functions of their models, makers are using batteries with higher capacity. Several are adopting two cells instead of one to extend operating time per charge.

Other companies are further enhancing the line’s value outdoors by enabling designs to recharge in various ways. Consequently, apart from AC/DC chargers, many units are now bundled with cigarette lighter plugs that allow them to obtain power from a vehicle.

Some fans are fitted with solar panels as an alternative power source not only for their operations but also for charging portable electronic devices. Adoption of a 5 to 16W module means a $10 to $30 increase in price.

In the promotional segment, visual appeal and other attention-grabbing features are the main considerations in choosing add-ons. Besides providing space for logos or other marks, suppliers are integrating LEDs that create figures or phrases when the product is turned on. Richforth Electronics Co., for instance, offers the RF7-F056 model that allows users to customize the patterns that will be displayed.

For greater differentiation, the body and handle come in various shapes, including animals and flowers. Richforth and Shenzhen Duolilong Industrial Co. Ltd produce football-themed fans.

Despite the integration of various features, outdoor and promotional releases continue to be portable. Several have constructions that can be compacted to fi t containers of different sizes. Built-in carabiners and clips allow certain designs to be attached to a bag, cap or piece of clothing.

In terms of geographic markets, promotional fans target mainly the US and the EU, which account for 50 to 60 percent of exports. Even with their stringent requirements and higher inspection fees, deliveries to these areas are profitable because cost is spread over a large volume.

Most outdoor models, on the other hand, are being developed for emerging markets such as South America, Africa and South Asia. Larger designs for indoor use will be rolled out for these locations as well.

Fans for various applications
Product gallery

Fans for various applications

China has 200 to 400 manufactures of battery-operated fans. Most are based in Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces.

The industry’s selection comprises handheld, clip-on, desk and stand fans. Models for emergency, vehicle, outdoor, indoor and promotional purposes are available.

Prices are heavily dependent on the size of the product. For units with similar dimensions, quotes are determined by the specifications of the materials and electronic components used.

Models with 2 to 4in blades in PP, ABS or EVA are often handheld or clip-on types suitable as premiums. Ranging from $0.30 to $3 each, most have a single speed setting and run on AAA alkaline batteries.

Desk and box fans are available starting at $5. Versions that go for $20 or below are fi tted with 15 to 40W motors and 5 to 12in blades. A 6V 4Ah secondary battery typically powers models for 1.5 to 3 hours when fully charged.

Generally meant for outdoor use or emergencies, models boast extra features such as radios, alarms and charging sockets for digital devices. LED and fluorescent lighting fixtures are also integrated into several designs.

Battery-operated fans with blades 14in or bigger are priced at least $25 per unit. Usually designed for indoor applications, these are fitted with 50 to 60W motors and batteries that can support operations for at least 3 hours. Some high-end products are bundled with remote controls and solar chargers.

Battery-operated fans price guide

Box fan
Product gallery

Foshan Shunde Lingqi Electrical Appliance Industrial Co. Ltd

Model: LW-3A
MOQ: 880 units
Delivery: 35 days
Description: Box fan; 10in blades; two 6 or 9W fluorescent tubes; two 6V 4Ah rechargeable batteries

Box fan

Foshan Shunde Lingqi Electrical Appliance Industrial Co. Ltd

Model: LW-9
MOQ: 580 units
Delivery: 35 days
Description: Box fan; 12in blades; 13 LEDs; overcharge protection circuitry; 12V 7Ah maintenance-free lead-acid battery; 40W

Oscillating desk fan

Meigee Electrical Appliances Co. Ltd

Model: MG-5514F
MOQ: 530 units
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Oscillating desk fan; 10 LEDs; overcharge and -discharge protection circuitry; 6V 7Ah rechargeable battery; USB port; two speed settings

Box fan

Ningbo Xiaorong Electronic Fty

Model: XR-168D
MOQ: 640 units
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Box fan; fluorescent lamp; one spotlight; AM/FM radio; one or two rechargeable batteries; 4 to 8hr operating time; remote control; two speed settings; optional car, mobile and solar charger

Handheld fan

Richforth Electronics Co.

Model: RF7-F002
MOQ: 3,000 units
Delivery: 20 days
Description: Handheld fan; ABS housing; light; carabiner

Desk fan

Richforth Electronics Co.

Model: RF7-F075
MOQ: 3,000 units
Delivery: 20 days
Description: Desk fan; football-shaped ABS housing

Handheld fan

Shenzhen Duolilong Industrial Co. Ltd

Model: D-IK19
MOQ: 5,000 units
Delivery: 15 days
Description: Handheld fan; two blades; ABS housing; two AAA batteries

Clip-on fan

Shenzhen Duolilong Industrial Co. Ltd

Model: TYNF-2
MOQ: 5,000 units
Delivery: 15 days
Description: Clip-on fan; ABS housing; lithium battery; solar charger

Note:This article was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.

All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.

Disclaimer: All product images are provided by the companies interviewed and are for reference purposes only. Those product images featuring products with trademarks, brand names or logos are not intended for sale. We, our affiliates, and our affiliates' respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or contractors, do not accept and will not have any responsibility or liability for product images (or any part thereof) which infringe on any intellectual property or other rights of a third party.

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