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Dyson ditches blades on Air Multiplier desk fan

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October 15, 2009

The Dyson Air Multiplier

The Dyson Air Multiplier

The humble desk fan wouldn't be top of many people's list when it comes to modern technology that needs reinventing, but James Dyson, who knows a thing or two about manipulating airflow, has decided that it's time to do away with those pesky blades that would seem a fundamental part of any design.

The Dyson Air Multiplier has no visible blades, instead dragging air in via a brushless motor in the base and accelerating it through the ring at the top before forcing it out through an airfoil-shaped ramp. The end result of this design, combined with air dragged into the flow from above and behind is a 15 fold amplification according to Dyson. This means it drags in 27 liters of air per second and expels more than 400.

Speeds are adjustable via a "dimmer switch" mechanism, providing more precise control than the common 1-2-3 settings found on conventional fans.

The position of the motor in the bottom of the unit lends itself to stability plus smooth, easy tilting and oscillation.

James Dyson is keen to highlight the specific benefits of the Air Multiplier over conventional bladed fans: "I've always been disappointed by fans. Their spinning blades chop up the airflow, causing annoying buffeting. They're hard to clean. And children always want to poke their fingers through the grille. So we've developed a new type of fan that doesn't use blades," said James Dyson.

In addition to this the fan is constructed of a tough thermoplastic with the same shock absorbing properties found in car bumpers, crash helmets and golf clubs. Available in 10" and 12" sizes, you're going to have to pay quite a lot for this kind of office kudos - the 10" version costs US$300 and the 12" costs US$330 - it's available from October 21.

No energy consumption details have yet been made available.

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13 Comments

Very nice design like all Dyson products. The cost puts it in a gallery rather than in a home however. There's no way I'm paying a 10x premium for 'cool'.

Raum Bances
16th October, 2009 @ 11:33 am PDT

the only comment I can make here, is " COOL ! " !

robinyatesuk2003
16th October, 2009 @ 07:20 pm PDT

Okay, there is a brushless motor in the base creating airflow... But HOW does it create the airflow? Is there not a fan attached to that motor pushing air into the ring? Some clarification would be appreciated...

tjshire
17th October, 2009 @ 05:48 am PDT

I'm wondering about the noise levels and whether this could be adapted for use on CPU coolers in PCs.

alcalde
17th October, 2009 @ 10:33 am PDT

tjshire, the article never said it has no blades. It says there are no VISIBLE blades. There's obviously some kind of impeller within the base, hidden from sight.

Gadgeteer
18th October, 2009 @ 07:53 pm PDT

The design utilises the venturi effect to produce the airflow. It will utilise a fan (most likely) in the base to create the required air pressure to get the venturi working. Basically, you inject air radially around the circumference towards the direction of required flow and the resulting low pressure generated behind this point draws more air in...

Very simple and if you have a compressed air system, no moving parts at the unit. Good for stirring up air or dust/gas extraction with no electrical components.

Lawrie Simmonds
19th October, 2009 @ 01:24 am PDT

Wow. This seems to be ideal for kids rooms and even hospitals, or anywhere else where a fan is needed but the danger of spinning blades is not. I can imagine a time, not very long from now, when having regular fans in the nursery will be considered criminal child endangerment. $300. is cheap compared to the price of a severed limb, after all.

Gorbag
19th October, 2009 @ 08:19 am PDT

If he added a lamp to it (maybe an alarm clock at the base) it would be a brilliant addition to any room. You would not need to store it in the winter and if he made it a heater too. . . well, let's just say I'll order three of them!

Knut Scott Lindsley
19th October, 2009 @ 09:31 pm PDT

I've played with one of these are they are really cool. They put out a serious amount of air. Even having an engineering background with a ton of fluid dynamics, I couldn't figure out how they could generate such a volume of air with the way it is configured, but I would imagine that there is a venturi effect around the entire ring of the fan. Anyway, pretty pricey, but definitely a really cool piece of equipment.

Jamie Estep
15th September, 2011 @ 02:10 pm PDT

Jamie or anyone esle who have used it,

How is the noise level?

You need a vaccuum cleaner like motor and fan to push with the speed to induce the associated vaccuum in the venturi like outlet, is it too noisy?

Alain Trahan
16th September, 2011 @ 06:51 am PDT

Noise level is probably lower than average fans.

I tested those Dyson fans in some shops. They look really cool and work well, however, even they advertise them by "They don't have fast-spinning blades that chop the air and cause uncomfortable buffeting. Instead, they use "Air Multiplier technology to draw in air and amplify it up to 18 times, producing an uninterrupted stream of smooth air."

Well, I couldn't feel the difference by trying them or a usual fan with eyes closed.

The bladeless design definitely have advantages but they are highly overpriced.

Imhof Iván
16th September, 2011 @ 09:50 am PDT

Definitely a good concept, but at those prices I'll just deal with that "annoying buffeting"

Forward Thinker
20th September, 2011 @ 07:59 pm PDT

NO, Dyson has not 'done away with blades'. He's only moved them into the base of the thing. They're still there, doing what rotating blades do, grab and throw chunks of air in a direction. The venting system no doubt helps decrease the fan blade pulsations. They're still there.

I agree with other commenters who want to see a heater version; one with a clock, etc.

Dan Lewis
14th March, 2013 @ 10:27 am PDT
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