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Dyson Reinvents the Humble Fan

Gordon Kelly by

Updated: Dyson Reinvents the Humble Fan

You have to wonder about Dyson. The company is every bit as much of a design genius as Apple yet it chooses to make vacuum cleaners and hand dryers. So now the company has chosen to apply its prowess to another area - FANS!

As you might expect the Dyson 'air multiplier' is no ordinary fan, in fact it is the most advanced fan in the world. Naturally it doesn't look anything even remotely like a fan either with a magnifying glass-esque appearance which does away with blades altogether.

So how does it work? The answer is rather ingeniously (and possibly in part by magic). The air multiplier silently draws in air behind it then amplifies it through the ring by 15x to produce a cool and continuous flow of 405 litres of air every second. This is all powered by a brushless motor and the air speed can be precisely adjusted with dimmer-switch controls rather than the usual two or three settings on regular fans. It's a bit like Stargate!

"I've always been disappointed by fans," said James Dyson. "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."

Dyson has fine points and from practicality, safety and hygiene perspectives the air multiplier makes a great deal of sense. Because it doesn't involve continuous top heavy motion it can also be made to rotate at the touch of a button and not turn into the whirling blades of death when traditional fans topple over at some point in their noisy lives.

So let's see if you can guess the downside to beautiful design and revolutionary technology with numerous benefits? That's right, price. For while you can pick up a large home fan for little more than £20 the Dyson air multiplier will set you back *deep breath* (no, *deeeeeeeeep breath*) £199! That's £199 for smallest 10in model (the 'AM01') with a 12 incher coming soon.

Yes, there's no way we can justify the cost unless you can afford and justify the cost because if you can you know you want one. And yes, so do we - badly...

Update: Following this remarkable response to this news story we've had Dyson get back in touch with us to clear up a few of the more technical elements about the air multiplier. So if you've vastly more physics knowledge than is healthy here is a some info from Dyson's engineering team which might help clear things up:

"The machine uses a 40W motor so is comparable with conventional fan in the energy used. The airflow performance is also similar. The real benefit is that the air isn't chopped or buffeted by fan blades: it's smooth and uninterrupted.

The fins on the mixed-flow impeller in the base of the machine are there to create pressure and only account for 7% of the overall air flow. The technology developed by Dyson has three-stages: 1. airfoil-shape induces vacuum to draw in air. 2. Conical 16 degree ramp creates further induction of air and 3. The viscous sheering after the air has left the fan to further multiply the air flow. So 93% of the airflow comes from the technology we have developed and refined over the last few years."


Dyson air multiplier

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