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Spherical Ceiling fan

360 Degeres of air circulation
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This came to me in a dream. Let me preface this by acknowledging that current ceiling fans circulate air throughout the whole room.

Take a sphere (I’m thinking 1-2 feet diameter) and seal it into two halves. Place a fan in the center of the seal so it pumps air from one half to the other. Now mount small air driven motors with small fan blades on them as closely spaced as possible. Air will be drawn in one side to drive the motors on one half, and out the other to drive the motors on that half. Fan blades will be angled so that air emanates out from the orb.

This is probably (definitely) less efficient than existing fans, but aesthetically much cooler (no pun intended) I think. Internal lighting on the sphere would add even more aesthetic value.

bleh, Dec 04 2006

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       first: i don't see how this would be any lounder than an ordinary ceiling fan.   

       second, air does not blow out of holes in the ball (for means of circulation) the air pressure difference between the inside and outside of the ball drives small fans mounted to the outside of the ball.
bleh, Dec 04 2006
  

       Bleh, this sounds like a dream. There's a fan in the middle, which produces airflow. Said airflow then drives air-powered motors. Said motors then drive fans? What the . . .? Definitely less efficient.   

       I could see making a sphere and covering it with small fans, each with its own electric motor. I could see making a sphere and covering it with little louvered openings fed by one big fan inside the top. Either would look pretty, sorta.
baconbrain, Dec 07 2006
  

       i though about both of the other options, and I almost edited it to have one large fan at the top, but i liked the verticaly aligned fan. I also envisioned this made solely from plexi (all but the main drive motor) so that the air motors are clear also.   

       I just thought it was a neat idea for a chandelier/ fan for those people who dont have to worry about money or efficency.
bleh, Dec 08 2006
  

       Inefficiency is heat without airflow, which you don't want. But maybe the heat isn't that much.   

       Am I correct to see this as a ball that blows out air on one end and draws it in on the other side, with whirlygigs mounted around its surface?   

       I may need a drawing to understand.
jmvw, Dec 09 2006
  

       The problem with standard ceiling fans is that they create a strong draft. This new version has the potential to redistribute air in a more chaotic manner, less disturbing to any people in the room.
SledDog, Dec 09 2006
  

       //The problem with standard ceiling fans is that they create a strong draft//   

       I thought that was the purpose of ceiling fans.
jmvw, Dec 09 2006
  

       //Am I correct to see this as a ball that blows out air on one end and draws it in on the other side, with whirlygigs mounted around its surface//   

       no. the ball blows air in all directions. the shafts the outer flablades are mounted on will be long enough to allow air to pass in one side (driving motors that turn the fan blades) and out the other (driving the motors that turn the fan blades) the outer fanblades all spin to blow air away from the ball.
bleh, Dec 10 2006
  

       Sorry, I can not picture this at all. How about a diagram?
jmvw, Dec 11 2006
  

       i'll see what i can do.
bleh, Dec 11 2006
  

       Well, I guess I need to ask a blunt, and possibly brutal sounding question. I'm not trying to be mean, I just want to make sure we're all on the same page here.   

       These "air-powered motors," How are they different from... pinwheels? Windmill blades? I think it is these devices which are causing us a bit of confusion.   

       In short, aside from fan blades, and a central axle, do they contain any moving parts, which would warrant the need to use the word "motors" to describe them?   

       Is it not the central fan which is providing the motive force (via wind-power) for all of these others? And is not the simplest way to deliver this power through the passive process of having the wind spin the fan blade? If so, I'm not sure that there's any functional purpose, although it might indeed have a cool effect... especially if it was all made of clear prismatic material, and placed in sunlight.   

       Then again, there's also a small chance that some of the curves needed for the blades might include parabolic sections, and you might burn someone's house down with it. I think it's worth the risk though.
ye_river_xiv, Jun 02 2008
  

       //no. the ball blows air in all directions// You may not have meant this literally, but if it blows in ALL directions, then it will do nothing but create a small cavity of low pressure at the center of your ball.
Ozone, Jun 02 2008
  

       Nope, don't get it. Where is the intake? This sounds like a a cool lamp, not a fan.   

       PS if you want to move more air but not have a draft, use bigger blades moving slower: bigassfans.com, we are putting them in our warehouse.
MisterQED, Jun 03 2008
  

       // we are putting them in our warehouse //   

       Better to fix them to your ceilings, shirley ?
8th of 7, Jun 03 2008
  

       //first: i don't see how this would be any lounder than an ordinary ceiling fan//   

       Standard fans circulate airflow vertically downwards in the centre of the room and upwards near the walls, creating a toroidal airflow. The spherical fan would create multiple airflow vortices in addition to the major torus, giving rise to self-similarility.   

       "Lounder" is a measure of fractal dimension in choatic flow systems, so a spherical fan will create flow with more lounder (or "be more lounder" in lab parlance) than a standard ceiling fan.   

       I am more skeptical of the "360 Degeres" claim, the Degere being of course a unit of refreshment (invented by Monsieur Dégere), with one Degere being equal to drinking a single glass of water at standard room temperature and pressure with a body hydration of 60.0%. 360 Degeres works out as being equal to going ice swimming in Antarctica after spending thirty six years in a sauna.
wagster, Jun 03 2008
  

       If you want a ball that shoots air, why not hang the ball over a vent? One big central fan could then power multiple blow balls.
bungston, Jun 03 2008
  

       Or just have a huge fan under the floor and a ball pit in the room...
wagster, Jun 05 2008
  

       OR you could line the floor with shredded newspaper and wood chips, and install in-door hamster cages everywhere!
ye_river_xiv, Jun 13 2008
  

       I haven't been to the HB in a while, my studies have consumed me for the past few years (I transfered to Georgia Tech, a real school). I'll address the latest comments now.   

       //Well, I guess I need to ask a blunt, and possibly brutal sounding question. I'm not trying to be mean, I just want to make sure we're all on the same page here.   

       These "air-powered motors," How are they different from... pinwheels? Windmill blades? I think it is these devices which are causing us a bit of confusion.   

       In short, aside from fan blades, and a central axle, do they contain any moving parts, which would warrant the need to use the word "motors" to describe them?   

       Is it not the central fan which is providing the motive force (via wind-power) for all of these others? And is not the simplest way to deliver this power through the passive process of having the wind spin the fan blade? If so, I'm not sure that there's any functional purpose, although it might indeed have a cool effect... especially if it was all made of clear prismatic material, and placed in sunlight.   

       Then again, there's also a small chance that some of the curves needed for the blades might include parabolic sections, and you might burn someone's house down with it. I think it's worth the risk though.//   

       I think you're the first reader who has seen my vision. I don't know why I said motors in the original post (perhaps I was actually wanting to use small pneumatic motors, that was a long time ago). Upon re-reading, yes, I am envisioning a sphere with a bunch of pinwheels protruding from it in all directions. These pinwheels are turned by the air flowing (flow caused by the large central fan in the center of the sphere) in or out of the holes in the central sphere which also have pinwheels in them.   

         

       //I am more skeptical of the "360 Degeres" claim, the Degere being of course a unit of refreshment (invented by Monsieur Dégere), with one Degere being equal to drinking a single glass of water at standard room temperature and pressure with a body hydration of 60.0%. 360 Degeres works out as being equal to going ice swimming in Antarctica after spending thirty six years in a sauna.//   

       Ah, I see your mistake. I was referring to the term circulation, invented by a colleague of Msr. Dègere, Msr. Cirulàt, not the commonly used circulation referring to the movement of a fluid. His unit involved a surface integral of the Degere and some other convoluted calculations (I'll skip the fluid mechanics as they get quite involved). Suffice to say that when you take a circulation and substitute in the properties of air at STP, a Degere of air circulation is approximately equal to 2*pi/360 radians. Sorry for obfuscation
bleh, May 13 2009
  
      
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