Products + Technology, Research

Bladeless Ceiling Fans?

Bladeless computer fans

In February, I published a story about whether a new trend in toroidal propellers could lead to toroidal ceiling fan blades, here. This article became one of the most viewed LightNOW posts of the past year, garnering 10 times the views of a typical post. As a follow up, let’s explore the trend of bladeless ceiling fans and the possible directions this trend could go. Googling “bladeless ceiling fans” in Google Images will pull up the following:

  • Ceiling fans with conventional blades inside a cage,
  • Blades that are clear and mostly invisible when spinning,
  • Clear blades that retract into the motor housing when off.

None of these are really “bladeless,” simply less visible. There are a couple ceiling fans that don’t have blades in a traditional sense yet produce vortices. These deserve the moniker of “bladeless.” See the Exhale Fan below, as an example.

In researching this topic, I came across a YouTube show that created and tested bladeless computer fans with 3D printing of the blade alternatives. The images above show two of these bladeless computer fan designs. While these two fan designs are LESS efficient than conventional blades, they do move air with a very different aesthetic. Could they be optimized for ceiling fans sufficiently to meet DOE ceiling fan efficiency requirements? I don’t know.

To see the above bladeless computer fans in action, watch the YouTube video here.

Exhale fan

Image: Exhale Fans

Top image:

  • Derek Cowburn April 11, 2023, 1:26 AM

    I think it’s a patent issue. I’ll check.


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