April 7, 2015 weblog
Panasonic will release spherical air blower
A spherical air blower that is 25cm in diameter has a double role of air circulator and fan, and it's from Panasonic. Say hello to Q. Ikutaro Kojima in Nikkei Technology said it blows out about seven times as much air as it sucks from its suction port. Matthew Humphries, Geek.com senior editor, said: "The design of the unit combined with an embedded turbo fan allows the Q to blow up to seven times the amount of air sucked in through its suction port."
Andrew Liszewski of Gizmodo asked, "So what kind of scientific sorcery allows this bladeless fan to pump out more air than its pulling in through its intake?" He said that the "air moves through specially engineered channels after passing through a turbofan which increases its pressure. And as the air leaves the fan through a series of holes, the breeze it produces induces additional air flow around its outlets."
Kojima said the blower has the "1/f fluctuation" function; it sends a "natural, fluctuating" wind that does not cool people excessively. That way, said Panasonic, people in an affected space will not tire even if exposed to wind "for long hours." The Q's structure, said Kojima, reveals characteristics of induced airflow.
The air blower measures 250 x 250 x 277mm, including the stand, and it weighs 2.1kg. Its maximum and minimum power consumptions are 18.5W and 2.5W, respectively. Humphries wrote: "On its highest setting the fan only uses 18.5 watts of power, while the lowest setting consumes just 2.5 watts."
Efficiency rules. The blower can be used in winter and summer months; it would lessen the unevenness of temperature caused by a heater, Panasonic said. While not billed as a heater device, Geek.com said Panasonic believed the Q could better heat the home by placing the device near a heat source. The heat would be distributed quickly and efficiently.
The device is made in Japan, said Nikkei Technology. It will be released May 20; the estimated retail price is ¥40,000 (about $334). Geek.com said the May 20 date is for Japan only. "If it proves popular," said Humphries, "I can see the Q heading to the US and Europe."
People are also talking about Dyson's AMO9 Hot+Cool fan heater. Dyson's site said it automatically cuts out if it's tipped over; it has rich design style, and it is engineered for both heating and cooling. It projects airflow for wide and long-range heat distribution. In cooling mode, it can draw in seven gallons of air per second, keeping one cool with a powerful airflow.
As with so many products, innovation and good design come at a price. Liszewski in Gizmodo said that "This new trend in highly engineered fans also means companies can charge more than they do for those cheap $30 fans you usually end up buying during a summer heat wave. Panasonic's new Q fan will sell for just north of $330, but at least there's some genuine innovation and design in there to help justify the cost."
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