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Bladeless ceiling fan uses vortex airflow to regulate room temperature

Bladeless ceiling fan uses vor...
How the Exhale fan looks - very different than a traditional ceiling fan
How the Exhale fan looks - very different than a traditional ceiling fan
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How the Exhale fan looks - very different than a traditional ceiling fan
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How the Exhale fan looks - very different than a traditional ceiling fan
The Exhale fan as seen as seen from the side, with the spinning discs creating the airflow
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The Exhale fan as seen as seen from the side, with the spinning discs creating the airflow
The Exhale fan as seen from below, with no blades present
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The Exhale fan as seen from below, with no blades present
Nik Hiner is proud that the finished product looks exactly like his rendering
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Nik Hiner is proud that the finished product looks exactly like his rendering
The tooling equipment that will be used to produce the Exhale fan
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The tooling equipment that will be used to produce the Exhale fan
The Exhale fan draws air up in a vortex movement before spitting it out along the ceiling and down the walls
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The Exhale fan draws air up in a vortex movement before spitting it out along the ceiling and down the walls
The technical specifications for the first-run Exhale fan
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The technical specifications for the first-run Exhale fan
A moving GIF showing the way the Exhale fan moves the air around a room
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A moving GIF showing the way the Exhale fan moves the air around a room

The core design of ceiling fans hasn't altered in the 150 years or so since they first made an appearance. Most ceiling fans cool by blowing air straight down, which is fine if you're standing directly underneath the blades, but of less use for regulating and homogenizing the overall air temperature in the room. Nik Hiner, via his company Exhale Fans, is trying to disrupt the industry with an innovative new design.

The Exhale fan, developed by Hiner with help from Richard Halsall, works differently from normal ceiling fans. The spinning of the flat discs that make up the Exhale fan creates laminar movement which moves the air out and down the walls. This means air circulates around the whole room pretty evenly. Another advantage is that the fan is virtually silent, with even the motor powering it being designed to be as quiet as possible.

Once the air molecules have completed their circuit around the room they're swept back up to the center of the fan in a vortex pattern, as demonstrated by the GIF embedded below.

In theory this 360-degree movement of the air around the room should eliminate the hot and cold spots associated with traditional ceiling fans. The whole thing is powered by a high-efficiency DC motor with a 6-speed wireless remote.

Hiner was moved to invent a new kind of ceiling fan after becoming disheartened by the look and performance of those currently in his house and available on the market. His Eureka moment was thinking "Cyclonic air movement," and after studying how Nikola Tesla's bladeless turbines operated, he created his first attempt at a bladeless ceiling fan. That was back in 2005, and Hiner then spent the next few years adapting the design and constructing numerous prototypes before settling on the finished product.

The Exhale fan is now on crowd-funding site Indiegogo, with a minimum of US$250 required to score one unit upon release. The money raised from the crowd-funding campaign will be used for finalizing the tooling, designing the packaging, buying the raw materials needed to make the fans, and seeking UL (Underwriters Laboratories) approval. The first Exhale fan is expected to roll off the production line in February 2013.

The video below is Hiner's Indiegogo pitch.

Source: Indiegogo via Dvice

Exhale Fans Launches Its Bladeless Ceiling Fan On Indiegogo

26 comments
Clifton Golz
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.
MD
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.
Brad Needham
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.
SiteGuy
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.
JoeB
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!!
michael_dowling
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!
ukrauskopf
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.
POOL PUMPREAPAIR guy longwood
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 !
PrometheusGoneWild.com
JoeB, 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....
Bob Fately
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.