We’re in the wrong business, Dyson Fan edition
I’ve seen pictures of those new Dyson “bladeless” fans, which look like a magical ring that moves air, somehow. You’ve probably seen commercials for them. They’re, like, three hundred bucks which is a lot for a fan that sits on the table. I suppose if you were absolutely loaded with dough…
Anyway I had wondered how they work; what moves the air? Some kind of spooky magnetohydrodynamic effect like the propulsion system in the Russian submarine in Hunt For Red October? And today I got a close look at one, and the answer is; no, they’re actually pretty conventional.
There’s a regular old fan (probably a squirrel cage type) that sucks air in through the little holes in the round base, pressurizing the magic ring, which is actually a hollow manifold with a circumferential output on its inside surface. The air comes out in a particular direction and the resulting cone-shaped turbulence is all the same way, so it moves air. This unscientific cutaway view is how I think it works.
There’s at least a buck’s worth of plastic in the whole thing, molded into various shapes plus an electric motor and some kind of fan (blade or squirrel cage) in the base. It’s not even particularly quiet; I’ve heard conventional fans that made less noise. In fact, the hissing noise is what directed my attention to the display in the first place.
Confidential note to James Dyson: make the holes in the side bigger so it will be quieter (and move more air without clogging), make the base section around the squirrel cage removable so both it and the cage can be cleaned. And you’ll probably make more money if you drop the price to seventy bucks. And stop acting like you invented the cure for polio; you make overpriced fans and vacuum cleaners.