Dyson’s Fanless Fan – How Exactly Does That Work?
Dyson is best known for their great vacuum cleaners and I must say, I was shocked to hear about their newest technology; A fanless fan. Straight off their website, the “Dyson “Air Multiplier” fan works very differently to conventional fans. It uses “Air Multiplier” technology to draw in air and amplify it 15 times, producing an uninterrupted stream of smooth air. With no blades or grill, it’s safe, easy to clean and doesn’t cause unpleasant buffeting.”
I was able to get my hands on one and I must say, I was a bit perplexed at first, and you are probably wondering yourself how exactly the idea works. If you have gone into a BestBuy or Target recently, you will walk by this thing and do a double take. It is intriguing at first glance and you just have to walk over and play with it and stick your hand in the large hoop. So how does it work? The Air Multiplier uses friction in the air to push out its cool breeze. Around the rim of the circular fan is a little opening from which jets a very thin stream of air at 55 mph. That thin stream of air pulls more air into the stream thanks to the aforementioned friction. This is called entrainment – a new word I just learned.
The air that gets pushed away from the ring towards your face creates an area of low pressure – not quite a vacuum, but the same effect – in the ring. If you stick your hand in there you can kind of feel it. That low pressure pulls in more air from behind the machine which is then in turn drawn into the air stream. That’s called inducement. I knew this word already
The engineering challenge is in keeping that stream of air flowing smoothly. When I asked an engineer on the process he told me there were a lot of calculations involved. I’m no mathamatician so I won’t make myself look like an idiot by explaining a bunch of numbers he gave me, but I can describe a better way of thinking about it. Imagine, if you will, a water hose or a faucet. If you turn on the tap half way, then the flow out of the hose is smooth, right? It stays together in a stream when it exits the end of the pipe. If you squeeze the hose or block the faucet in some way making the exit smaller, or if you turn the tap on full, the water sprays all over the place, right? In a fan, you want a smooth airflow (obviously) which stays aimed at whatever you point it at for without going all over the place, wasting energy in turbulence. The Air Multiplier appears to have achieved this with those complicated equations. The “multiplier” part of the name refers to how much efficiency it saves. It sends approximately 15 times more air at you thanks to taking advantage of these physical processes than it actually has to drive through its own internal spinning turbine.
There you have it! Now you can tell all your friends and family how it works. But before you run out and buy one, I want to put you a little at easy before you see the price:
- Completely unique design – this eye catching fan looks more like a giant magnifying glass than a fan. It’s simply the coolest fan you have ever seen.
- Safe (no external moving parts) so your pet or toddler can examine it with no worry of injury
- No doubt, it’s great at fanning delivering a breeze on par with most fans it’s size
- It’s not cheap, with the 10 inch model going for $299 and the 12 inch fo $329
- It isn’t the quietest fan I’ve heard, but definitely not the loudest, so if you are looking for a silent fan, you may want to look at other alternatives.