October 15, 2009 at 8:58 am

The Bladeless Fan

by twistedsifter

bladeless fan by dyson fan with no blade The Bladeless Fan

From the makers of the $400+ vacuum with the big ball, comes the $300+ bladeless fan! Inventor James Dyson unveiled his latest product earlier this week. While the design aesthetic has garnered universal praise, the main focus has been on the audacious price given the times. Will people pay $300 for a 10″ oscillating fan? Dyson has already found success in delivering high-end products in a tough economic environment. His pricey upright vacuum cleaner debuted in 1993 at the height of a recession. They have since sold more than 31 million units with more than half of that volume achieved in the past three years.

dyson vacuum The Bladeless Fan


Electric fans haven’t changed since they were invented in 1882. Different materials, new buttons and the addition of grills, but still the same problem – the blades chop the air before it hits you. That’s why they cause unpleasant buffeting. The solution? Take the blades out, and the buffeting stops. But how can a fan work without blades?

regular fan buffeting air The Bladeless Fan


Dyson engineers started with pressurized air, forcing it through narrow apertures to create jets. But they needed it to be more powerful to work in a fan. The breakthrough came when they noticed that accelerating air over a ramp amplified it by 10 – 20 times, drawing in surrounding air through processes known as inducement and entrainment (think of an airplane wing). Hundreds of iterative tests revealed the ideal ramp angle, aperture width and loop amplifier dimensions.

impeller The Bladeless Fan
Example of an impeller

Then came the problem of air intake – the motor had to suck in more than 20 liters (5.3 gallons) of air per second to generate a powerful enough jet. A 3D impeller was required. Its nine asymmetrically-aligned fins have rows of tiny holes to reduce the friction caused by colliding high and low air pressure – birds of prey balance air pressure around their wings in a similar way. So in the most technical sense, the fan still has blades, they’re just completely enclosed.

air multiplier technology explained dyson bladeless fan The Bladeless Fan

– No blades makes it the safest fan on the market
– Light and easy to move and adjust
– Easy to clean

– Very expensive
– Surprisingly loud at higher speeds (think of an Xbox360 cooling down)
– Dead zone in the middle when hand is placed very close

dyson air multiplier bladeless fan with no blades The Bladeless Fan

Photographs above and below from Notcot. For more, visit their article covering the launch party

dyson bladeless fan closeup fan with no blades The Bladeless Fan

inventor james dyson bladeless fan air multiplier The Bladeless Fan


If you enjoyed this article, the Sifter highly recommends: Sander Mulder’s One-Handed Clock That Tells Hours, Minutes and Seconds

one handed clock The Bladeless Fan