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Coanda Bladeless Fan

10/15/2009 8:41 AM

I've just read a short article on James Dyson's latest Australian 'invention' the bladeless fan. I also saw the bladeless fan advertised 30 or so years ago, as well as bagless industrial vacuum cleaners. ( I was selling coanda blowers to the mines in Zambia in the early 70's and they look remarkably the same as the new fan). He is clearly a talented developer of others ideas but does this make him an inventor?

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Guru
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#1

Re: Coanda Bladeless Fan

10/15/2009 9:13 AM

It's a moot point.
Most inventions are a rehash, reconfiguration, recombination or reappliction of what has gone before.
Relatively little comes like a bolt from the blue.
One of the few 'new' inventions which springs to mind is the laser, which for many years was a solution in search of an application.
Maybe even that had precursors?
The magnetron was pretty cool too, but didn't that evolve from valves?
Maybe someone can fill us in?
Del

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Guru

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#7
In reply to #1

Re: Coanda Bladeless Fan

10/16/2009 5:56 AM

Del,

Good example - the Magnetron is a thermionic valve with sunburst-shaped cavities for tuned circuits in a magnetic field to confuse the electrons making them run around in circles causing oscillations in the cavities as they pass by. That causes increased bunching of the electrons as they move past each cavity and a probe in one of the cavities draws off part of the energy. The process causes sustained oscillation.

The linear klystron with its variable voltage sources, cavities and magnetic lenses work the same way but are usually excited by an external source and can be adjusted to operate over a wider range of frequencies.

A reflex klystron is an electrostatic version of a microwave oscillator.

My favorite use of the LASER is the Ring LASER Gyro used in the inertial reference system used in Aerospace.

Jon

A lot of inventive genius goes into putting all the small ideas into one.

Jon

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Guru
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#2

Re: Coanda Bladeless Fan

10/15/2009 9:47 AM

There's nothing new under the sun. 99.999% of patentable inventions are just tweaks of what is already out there.

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Guru

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: Coanda Bladeless Fan

10/16/2009 2:07 AM

As the dad tells his kid at the zoo,'There is nothing, son, under the Gnu'

I have been using such air amplifiers for long for various purposes.

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#3

Re: Coanda Bladeless Fan

10/15/2009 4:30 PM

What's next a "Bladeless Ducted Fan Propulsor"

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Guru

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#5

Re: Coanda Bladeless Fan

10/16/2009 5:10 AM

Duikerbok,

The Venturi effect


The pressure drop induced by the increase in velocity of a fluid passing through a narrow orifice can be used to entrain air.

At point A air flows into the wider point B via a narrow orifice. Because of the narrowing the air speeds up and the pressure drop at that point is below atmospheric pressure and room air is drawn to this low pressure point. The nozzle has an aperture open to room air that sets the entrainment ratio and hence the inspired concentration.

Bernoulli principle.

The Coanda effect

This effect was named after a Romanian aircraft designer Henri Coanda, after an aircraft he designed went up in flames as a consequence of this effect.

Essentially any fluid coming into contact with a curved surface will cling to this surface and alter its direction of flow. You can illustrate this to yourself by running a thin stream of water from a tap, and bringing the curved surface of a spoon to touch it. The water follows the surface of the spoon. It does so because the solid stationary surface of the spoon slows the layer in immediate contact. This has a drag effect on the other layers, in effect pulling them into the line of the curved surface.

It is on these principles that the fan works.

Jon

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#6

Re: Coanda Bladeless Fan

10/16/2009 5:11 AM

Is an Australian 'invention' some derogatory term I just don't understand. James Dyson was born, educated etc and set up his business in England. All of which is slightly irrelevant but i do like my own country to get credit when it can.

Many inventions are a matter of bringing well understood technologies together in a new and more useful form. He is an inventor as he has taken the cyclone separator and developed it so that it is usable in the home. I dont know how big the industrial cleaners you mention were but I bet they wouldnt gop up the stairs in my victorian (built in 1895) house whereas my dyson vacuum does.

I am going to take a wild guess that ducting fans for Copper(?) mines in Zambia might also be a bit big for the average desk top. Similarly the idea for wind up radios all very simple standard technology but brought together in a new useful form.

The steam engine was a fine but limited device was James Watt's governor merely a development / a tweak or an invention of engineering genius.

Moving to other fields Oasis are still held us a great band despite copying hte beatles in all (even including the break up). Most art contains inspiration from previous sources (even Shakespeare as I was told in O level Eng Lit)

I am sure he has his faults but he is at least a high profile successful engineer. He presents the field in a positive light - he has also made a bundle of cash and while that is not the be all and end all it does capture the imagination of the young. His devices have improved the quality of life - clearly he is not up there with Watt / Brunel etc but this post seems a bit mealy mouthed sorry if I have got the wrong intonation from the post its always difficult when you dont know the poster and have only words to go on.

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: Coanda Bladeless Fan

10/16/2009 6:46 AM

Dear Guest, thank you for responding and apologies for a slightly misleading post re: Australia occasioned by the initial press releases that FT.com appear to swallow whole.

Now we hear that the development was in the UK and manufacture in Malaysia, and that Australia is a warm climate for buying the fans at $300 odd whereas the average UK price for a desk fan is £18.

You state that he (James Dyson) is an inventor because he has developed........

Good, this is the nub of the thread.

I contend that unless their is an innovative step then changing the scale of something relates to development rather than invention unless, as others here have pointed out, they have added (or even subtracted) something that changes the outcome.

Regarding your comments on the size of the vacuum cleaner, the workshop bagless cyclone cleaners were certainly of the same order as my early Dyson vacuum, which incidentally has right angle bends where the dust clogs its insides.

The mine blower for clearing dead pockets was about 40cms across and being in front of it was akin to standing in the path of a hurricane. Conversely, I have one in the drawer which is 12mm diameter.

I consider that Dyson is good for the economies, and the patent/copyright lawyers, that he is an aggressive marketer, and extremely aggressive at using his money to fend off competition (see Hoover).

If he has produced a suitable compressor and safe light air storage, and can sell for under £50 while making a profit and paying his Malaysian workforce, then I shall re-consider calling him an inventor in this instance, but only for the innovation in the air supply.

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#10
In reply to #8

Re: Coanda Bladeless Fan

10/20/2009 11:41 AM

I've just come across the invention detail by Gammack, Nicolas and Simmonds that has been assigned to Dyson as this may be of interest

www.faqs.org/patents/app/20090060710

Not certain if they work for Dyson or have developed this independently.

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#9

Re: Coanda Bladeless Fan

10/16/2009 9:09 AM

They have been using this concept on UAV's for a few years and are looking to move to manned vehicles. See link:

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2007/05/04/213657/gfs-reveals-plans-for-family-of-coanda-effect-aircraft.html

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