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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/12530/an-innovation-in-the-fan/

An Innovation in the Fan

April 21, 2010 by

As a big-time fan of fans, I’m intrigued by the Dyson Air Multiplier. Even at the scary high price, it is tempting!


Huebert April 21, 2010 at 12:18 pm

I haven’t seen these fans in action, but Dyson’s hand dryers are amazing. The market continues to improve the environment and our lives.

Engine Near April 21, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Is Mises paid for this advertisement ? (joking)

Actually, from an engineering standpoint, I am very intrigued by Dyson products.

Jake April 21, 2010 at 1:13 pm

I’ve been skeptical about this thing for a while, but if it does move as much air as a similarly sized conventional fan then it’s quite a marvel of engineering and a work of art too. I do appreciate the incorporation of more advanced technologies from very sophisticated fields into consumer level goods. If the marketing is accurate then this product is drawing from 50 years and many MANY millions of dollars in R & D into turbine engines to produce an impeller that moves air quietly and very efficiently. Then add a brush-less DC motor instead of the crappy shaded coil motors frequently used in fans of this size and you have a very slick and very durable product, and one that will not be this expensive for long. It’s a nice illustration of how on the market what is state of the art, a toy for the mega rich, etc one decade is on the shelves of wal-mart the next. This thing is somewhere in between, but shows the trend from multi-million dollar jet engines to $200-$300 fans and vacuum cleaners, to…

Cramchakle April 21, 2010 at 1:22 pm

I saw one in action at my local Bed Bath and Beyond, and it was… just as loud as any other $10 box fan I’ve ever owned. It was louder than some of the more expensive desktop propeller fans I’ve owned. It actually felt like it was providing a less powerful stream of air at me as well.

Further, I’m an HVAC (air conditioning) sales engineer, so I’m intimately familiar with all the parts and principles of this thing’s operation. Short of eliminating the propellers you’re used to seeing and replacing it with a mixed-flow impeller in the housing, it’s not really doing anything any differently. A normal fan also “multiplies” the air it’s moving. Perhaps this is doing it a bit more efficiently, but considering the electrical draw of a fan this size, and the number of hours you’re actually running it, I imagine (educated gut feel here) that it will take many many lifetimes for you to actually see a payback.

So, this thing really just comes down to the Geo Metro vs Ferrari debate. Both get you from point A to B. One does it with more style and 10 times the cost of the other. Order your own priorities.

Engine Near April 21, 2010 at 2:24 pm


The job of an engineer is also to come up with the most cost efficient solution to a problem. In that case, as an engineer, you will most probably opt for the Geo Metro and if you absolutely need style, you will order a fiberglass decoration kit to make it look like a luxurious sports car for a fraction of the cost of a real one.

Cramchakle April 21, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Finding the most cost efficient solution is only sometimes the job of an engineer. Sometimes a person with a problem gets additional utility out of spending their money less efficiently on whatever inefficiency floats their boat. Some people are brand loyal. Some people are comfortable with how they’ve always been doing something. Some people have limited first-cost funds and can’t afford a “more efficient” piece of equipment that shows positive ROI after 20 years. Some people just get their jollies off of spending more money. The job of an engineer in the real world is to provide the solution their customers are most willing to pay for. Or are willing to pay the most for.

Daniel Hewitt April 21, 2010 at 3:16 pm

I am also an engineer, so I place a high priority on utility and a low priority on style. Therefore $10 box fans and Geo Metros are appealing to me.
Dyson offers “cool” products, does a great marketing job (I love that guy’s accent), and has been rewarded financially for it. Good for them.

Engine Near April 21, 2010 at 2:26 pm

A ducted fan will provide the same effect than dyson’s loop fan in terms of quantity of air moved. The real improvement of this dyson fan is the constant stream versus pulsed stream.

But really, this fan is just a fancy ducted fan.

Vitor April 21, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Would you guys know what would be really rad? An helicopter tail engine using this tech, like an Apache, from a private defense group of course. ;)

Engine Near April 22, 2010 at 9:24 am

Would you, Vitor, know what would be even rader ? An helicopter main engine using this tech, like an Apache, from a private defense group of course. ;-)

Artisan April 21, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Hey, but surprisingly they do not mention it being patented!
Only this:
Dyson proves no loss of suction and pick up performance using results from IEC60312 Cl 2.2, 2.3, 2.8, 2.9, ASTM F2607, F608 and F558, and DTM755 – an independently conducted Dyson test.
Dyson proves Dyson’s most advanced cleanerhead technology and engineered to pick up more dirt based on the results of IEC 60312 Cl 2.2, 2.3, 2.8, ASTM F2607, F608 and F558, and DTM 755- an independently conducted Dyson test.

newson April 21, 2010 at 7:17 pm

i’m very impressed with my dyson vacuum cleaner, but very aware of how dyson is a very aggressive towards infringements of its intellectual “property”, as artisan rightly points out. part of the promotional literature from the company describes the struggle to challenge earlier unauthorized copiers of the technology.

the dyson washing machine was a commercial flop, it’ll be interesting to see how the fan does.

widmerpool April 22, 2010 at 4:03 am

I would love a full body airblade drier in my bathroom.

Soft Dick April 22, 2010 at 9:26 am

I wonder if they could make a very small one so I could insert my dick in it in an effort to keep it soft to show mother nature who’s boss ? That way, I could make sure my dick never gets hard again.

James April 22, 2010 at 11:14 am


Looking for the Intelligence... April 22, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Just wanted to know what if anything does a flacid member of the human male anatomy have to do with the dyson air multiplier. Also, where is the blogmaster? It was my understanding that comments on Mises Economics Blogs were to be intelligent and civil…

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