You are not quite right on how a normal ceiling fan operates. A fan has two directions, one for cooling a room, and the other for warming. If a fan is blowing down, it is circulating warm air down from the ceiling to mix with cooler air near face/chest level. Switch it in the opposite direction and it will pull cooler air from the floor and mix it with the warm air you're breathing, helping to cool you off.
This does look like a cool design, though. Efficient.
8th November, 2012 @ 8:44 p.m. (California Time)
Well I am glad that they aren't really calling this an invention or innovation merely applying century-old invention (I hate the word technology, when something is just an invention (Using traditional machining, or other production methods), not a development of a whole new technology itself..).
Credit to the inventor of the bladeless turbine.... NT.
9th November, 2012 @ 2:08 a.m. (California Time)
fans do not regulate temperature. (unless they are used in conjunction with a thermostat of some type). fans do not cool or warm they provide air flow which in a closed room will eventually result in a median temperature for the room ie the airspace will be the same temperature at most if not all locations in the room. it would be interesting to know the maximum ceiling height or draw height to see how useful it really is.
another innovation based on 100 year old tech. wonder if they will get
a new patent too lol.
9th November, 2012 @ 2:17 a.m. (California Time)
As far as reversing the direction goes, the inventor noted in the video that they selected a DC motor for the fan design. Given that reversing a DC motor is trivial, and that there seems to be no reason why the cyclonic movement of air could not be reversed as well, it's reasonable to assume that production models will incorporate this feature with almost no additional cost for production.
9th November, 2012 @ 3:56 a.m. (California Time)
WOW! Just what I wanted... a huge, deep three foot wide fan hanging way down in the middle of my living room!! What a wonderful idea!!
9th November, 2012 @ 5:12 a.m. (California Time)
I have a ceiling fan in my bedroom,and in summer,when it is quite hot,I run the fan in reverse to do the same thing as this new one does.The result is a cooling steady breeze across my bed.I don't need my A/C on at all!
9th November, 2012 @ 6:35 a.m. (California Time)
why not insert the exhale fan into a dropped ceiling arrangement where only the (smaller non protruding) vortex opening is visible in the center of a room and small vent slits (possibly hidden by moldings) at the perimeter of a room.
9th November, 2012 @ 8:28 a.m. (California Time)
I have seen something similar in a Bar it's called a smoke eater, they are designed to remove cigarette smoke from the air and when running wobbled like a old wagon wheel. and look like a blast to keep clean. go for a dark color if you plan on getting one !
POOL PUMPREAPAIR guy longwood
9th November, 2012 @ 8:28 a.m. (California Time)
I reached up and stretched in my mothers condo a couple years back and broke off two blades on her ceiling fan. There may be a market for these....
9th November, 2012 @ 8:35 a.m. (California Time)
Intriguing - I wonder if the blade (it looks like a helicoid single blade in the movie) gather dust like my current traditional ceiling fan does.
As for reversing direction in the manner of a traditional fan - I don't see how that can work; the helicoid is not going to "suck air inward" from the ceiling area and push it downward. Or, more specifically, it's not going to suck air up from the outer walls as a reversal effect of the one shown. Seems to me reversing the fan's direction will be useless.
9th November, 2012 @ 9:17 a.m. (California Time)
If AeroVironment had developed blades for ceiling fans as they intimated they might during the Gossamer years, then much of the inefficiency of existing ceiling fans may have been overcome. But they didn't. This is a fan with a non-reversing flow (even if you change rotation) that operates like a normal ceiling fan in winter mode, but perhaps more efficiently. Cleaning will be fun, and I hope the fan has a quick disconnect that lets you take the blade outside for a quick wash and rinse. And it is not a good changeout for those fans that include a light kit, unless there is a top ring of LEDs beyond the blade circumference.
Bruce H. Anderson
9th November, 2012 @ 9:26 a.m. (California Time)
There is no reverse in this design, Regardless of what direction the discs spin the flow will be from center to outside edge.
9th November, 2012 @ 9:45 a.m. (California Time)
@ SiteGuy: Why would you need to reverse this fan? Based on how it moves air, it would be just as effective in drawing heat from floor ducts upwards as it would be drawing cooler air up and forcing hot air down.
9th November, 2012 @ 11:10 a.m. (California Time)
As I sit beneath my ceiing fan which is currently blowing air downward and creating a nice cool breeze as I compose this comment, I am reminded that in my 26 years as an electician has taught me anything, it is that people believe whatever they choose to believe.
First things first - ceiling fans neither 'heat' nor 'cool' - unless the manufacturer specifically includes a heating element or a mechanism to actually lower the air temperature within the space the fans occupies. Ceiling fans either creates updrafts or downdrafts - nothing more.
Warm air rises. Cool air sinks. This stratifiction of air temperatures is addressed by using ceiling fans. When the fan is set to move the air downward as mine is, I perceive the breeze moving across my skin as being cool because of mild evaporation even though the air temperature at ceiling height is warmer than at desk height. This perception varies with ceiling height and from people to people. Try getting two people agreeing with which direction of blade movement is 'forward' and which is 'reverse'!
When I reverse the rotation of the fan blades so that the air is pulled up from the floor to the ceiling, the warm air is pushed up against the ceiling and is deflected downward by the rooms walls. The idea is to force the warm air downward without creating a noticeable draft, yet effectively raises room temperature enough that the thermostat is satisfied at a lower temperature.
All reversable ceilng fans - including this one - operate on the same principal. The only thing new here is the absence of fan 'blades'.
9th November, 2012 @ 4:10 p.m. (California Time)
See Dyson desktop fan, only a ring pumping out air, No blades.
9th November, 2012 @ 6:11 p.m. (California Time)
From the video it looks as thought the discs are spinning. If I am correct what about the liability issue. You have several spinning discs that will act like meat slicers if touched. Why no guarding? Can't say no one will get near it, remember Murphy's law....it will happen and the law suits will start.
10th November, 2012 @ 4:44 a.m. (California Time)
You think cleaning the blades on a regular ceiling fan is hard? Wait till you try one of these!
10th November, 2012 @ 2:42 p.m. (California Time)
Ken Dawson, the spinning disks are within an enclosure. I'd be more surprised if the product designer failed to consider the need to clean the fan.
Geoffrey, the spinning disks are in an enclosure. If I were concerned about product liability, conventionl ceiling fans pose a greater risk for injury.
10th November, 2012 @ 5:24 p.m. (California Time)
There's a better method for homogenizing air temperature.
Actually, it's one method for storing heat inside a "solar" house (a house with lots of windows that collects much solar heat).
The goal is to harvest and store solar energy for the purpose of re-heating the home when the sun goes down.
In order for this to work, when you build the ceilings in your solar house, you have to make them peaked. In the peak you install a collector, which is a perforated pipe that runs the length of the peak and is connected with a suction fan.
The fan draws all that hot air from the peak and pipes it down to a large insulated "thermal mass", which is sort of a thermal battery. This can be anything, but generally it is an insulated bed of gravel that you had fabricated underneath your foundation. The gravel is laced throughout with the air pipes.
So now here's the goal. During the day you'll collect all the solar energy you possibly can. Normally leaving the windows wide open on a sunny day would make the house unbearably hot, but you rely on the fact that hot air rises to collect the hottest air in the ceiling peak and then you pull that hot air away and use it to warm up an insulated gravel bed underneath the house.
Then, whenever the sun goes down or behind clouds, the thermostat shuts the collection system down.
And then, whenever the house is too cold your HVAC system has a two stage scheme. First stage is it pulls the heat back out from the gravel bed for as long as it can until the gravel bed plays out. Second stage, you create heat as normal using a furnace.
10th November, 2012 @ 11:07 p.m. (California Time)
Fans are popular because they produce a cooling breeze and are cheap to buy and run. How does this compare? 250 bucks is a lot of doe for a ceiling fan that only sucks. I don't think I'll bother....
11th November, 2012 @ 6:30 a.m. (California Time)
Saw an alternative idea, that has a very cheap DIY version. A hollow column in one corner, openings either end, small internal fan. Runs up or down. DIY: small fan on the floor in one corner, either directed up the walls (too vertical and a standard fan's bearings will burn out) or deflected up with an angled surface.
Works like a charm; sucks cool air off the floor and mixes with/displaces warm ceiling air. In best case, can cut heating/cooling costs by 40% (cool air doesn't have to fill house from botttom up, warm air doesn't have to push cold out from top down). Occupants and thermostat quickly get to draftless median temperature.
I've used the above for 20 years after reading an article in an architectural mag. Costs $10-15 every few years for a new fan.
11th November, 2012 @ 5:37 p.m. (California Time)
@ Stephen N Russell
Dyson should never have gotten the patent for that fan. It is all but identical to a device shown in a mid-1970s article in Scientific American about the Coanda effect.
@ Brian Hall
Why not make the tube L-shaped and mount the motor with its axis horizontal in the horizontal part? This should save the motor bearings.
12th November, 2012 @ 8:34 a.m. (California Time)
Search "Fan Death". 80% of South Koreans beleive that a conventional fan's blades "chop" the air, breaking it's molecules down into toxic gasses to a degree that one will die if they sleep in a closed room with the fan running. Dyson's "Air Multiplier" claims that it does not "Chop the air" even though it has a fan hidden in its base. This marketing seems to address this fear. My guess is this ceiling fan will also sell well in South Korea.
15th November, 2012 @ 6:17 p.m. (California Time)
What connects those spinning disks, one to another. We only see it spinning, and can't really tell. Spinning disks alone will not sling air outward. Could there be something like squirrel cage fan blades connecting the spinning disks? Would these not "chop the air" to some degree? Those concerned about "Fan Death" should take a second look.
15th November, 2012 @ 6:26 p.m. (California Time)
Having read this article and people's comments, there seems to be a great misunderstanding of how fans actually produce a cooling effect.
A ceiling fan will not actually cool the air. All it will do is to mix hot and cold air. This is not an ideal situation, and it would be better to leave the hot air at the top of the room if possible. However, the cooling effect is purely caused by evaporation of moisture from the body (latent heat of evaporation) I would say that horizontal fans are more effective than ceiling fans, as they do not suck in hot air, which by convection is in the upper part of the room.Dyson fans do have blades but they are not visible.
Don't forget how they use fans in the Far East: large paddles moved slowly by hand.
30th July, 2013 @ 7:56 a.m. (California Time)
7th August, 2013 @ 5:13 a.m. (California Time)