What is So Special About These Fans?

Developed at the Florida Solar Energy Center, the GossamerWind® series ceiling fans can provide significantenergy savings. Compared to conventional ceiling fans, they consume approximately half the energy in operation, saving an estimated $20 per year in electricity costs while providing the same or greater air velocities. To date, more than half a million Gossamer Wind ceiling fans have been purchased across the country, saving users more than $10 million annually. These savings can be further augmented by the reduced air conditioning from raising thermostat temperatures. This is possible since the enhanced air flow allows people to be equally comfortable at temperatures that are 2-4 oF higher. This web page describes the development and performance of these unique fans along with purchase information.

Online Reports and Information:

The Design

The "Gossamer Wind" was conceived by Danny Parker at the Florida Solar Energy Center as a means of realizing the energy efficiency and comfort potential of ceiling fans.The design was developed in concert with AeroVironment,Inc. a leading company in advanced technology and aerodynamic design. The "Gossamer Wind" is the first residential ceiling fan specifically engineered to provide maximum air moving efficiency and improved comfort while extending convenience through advanced technology controls. Both the aerodynamic fan blade design and novel controls are patented.

Callaway II
Windward II
Antigua Plus
Windward III
Gossamer Antigua Plus



The Blades

The "Gossamer Wind" uses the first aerodynamically optimized residential ceiling fan blades. Designed by Bart Hibbs, a Cal Tech physicist who created the propeller for the first human powered aircraft, the blades of the "Gossamer Wind" provide superior air moving efficiency to any ceiling fan ever designed.(1) The blades have an advanced computer-generated shape and airfoil designed to effortlessly cut through the air with an even load across its length. Superior aerodynamics improve efficiency and reduce friction, noise
and wobble.




The advanced aerodynamic blades on the “Gossamer Series” ceiling fans
were developed using the same technology used for the high-efficiency
propellers produced for the NASA “Gossamer Penguin&rdquo research plane.



(a)

(b)

Computer simulation of the energy lost due to turbulence across a cross section of (a) a conventional ceiling fan blade and (b) the twisted and tapered airfoil blades of the "Gossamer Wind." Simulated conditions: Both cross sections were examined at the tip of the airfoil (26" from the motor hub center) traveling at high speed (200 rpm). Note the reduced energy loss of the Gossamer airfoil due to greatly decreased flow turbulence and lack of flow separation. CFD simulation courtesy of Guan Su at AeroVironment, Inc.


A Smaller Motor

The advanced ceiling fan blades of the "Gossamer Wind" allow the use of a smaller ceiling fan motor. The combination reduces ceiling fan energy use by approximately 40% while reducing noise and wobble. The average ceiling fan using 25 - 100 Watts is in operation 6-12 hours or more each day. The "Gossamer Wind" will save the typical consumer $10-$20 per year in reduced energy use. Further, the improved comfort can allow the cooling thermostat to be raised. Conventional premium ceiling fans cost more. However, the similarly priced "Gossamer Wind" can pay for itself through real savings in household energy use while providing improved comfort and convenience.

Smart Controls:

Conventional fans use pull chains or rotary wall switches which are often unintentionally left on even when no one is home. A ceiling fan can only improve comfort if someone is there to feel its air motion. Optional smart controls for the "Gossamer Wind" greatly increase its convenience, energy savings and comfort potential. A 360-degree infrared motion sensor control automatically activates the fan when anyone enters a room and always remembers to turn it off when occupants are gone.

Light kit:

Conventional fan light kits use three or more 40 W incandescent bulbs which are often hard to reach and require frequent replacement. The "Gossamer Wind" has an available energy-efficient light kit within an attractive housing which provides up to 10,000 hours of superior lighting without a lamp change. The light kit can save up to $100 in reduced energy use over its life.


Is more information available on the performance of the fan?

A detailed summary of the performance of the fan against other common flat-bladed fan types is availableon-line within a detailed researchreport. Comparative testing ofthe initial prototype Gossamer fan has been conducted in a speciallydesigned test laboratory at FSEC. The graph below shows how measuredair velocities and power use of several commercially available fanscompare with the Gossamer 52" fan. Note that the Gossamer produces as much air flow as the conventional premium fan with thelargest motor (Emerson 4852), but uses only about 53% of the power.Not only is it twice as efficient, but it produces the greater airflow more quietly (6 dB lower) as evidenced by test with a sensitiveacoustic meter. Previous FSEC research on ceiling fan impact onenergy use, and the shortcomings of conventional fans and theircontrols, can be found at: http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/publications/html/FSEC-PF-306-96/index.htm


"WhatDoes That Mean for Comfort?"



Improved air flow under the fan with less power.



"What Energy Savings Can I Expect?"


The table below shows the kind of savings that can be expected of the Gossamer Wind fans compared to typical standard ceiling fans. The savings vary  based on the chosen fan speed and operation of the light kit. The estimates for annual energy savings are based on four hours of fan/lightingoperation per day with electricity costs of $0.10/kWh.

Energy Savings Comparison of Gossamer Wind Ceiling Fan with Fluorescent Bulb
versus Traditional Ceiling Fan with IncandescentBulbs

 

Gossamer Wind with 36W Fluorescent

Traditional Fan with Two-75W Incandescent Bulbs

 
Annual Energy Savings

Mode

Light Power (watts)

Fan Power
(watts)

Total

Power
(watts)

Light Power
(watts)

*Fan Power
(watts)

Total Power
(watts)

Total Energy
Savings

kwh
$

Light On

36

0

36

150

0

150

76%

166
$17

Light On + Fan Low

36

16

52

150

22

172

70%

176
$18

Light On + Fan Medium

36

34

70

150

48

198

65%

188
$19

Light On + Fan High

36

68

104

150

95

245

58%

256
$26



Where can I buy one?

The "Gossamer Wind Series" (TM) is currently available for retail sale at Home Depot stores across the nation in several models. All have an EnergyStar efficiency rating. Two have an advanced temperature-based remotecontrol (see image above). They can be purchased on-line here under "Products" on the left.

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1. Tests reveal that the air movement per input watt of the "Gossamer Wind" is nearly twice as great as any evaluated residential ceiling fan on the market


 

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