The Gossamer Wind. series ceiling fans – the first residential ceiling fans specifically designed and engineered to maximize air movement and improve indoor comfort – have sold more than 678,000 units since being commercially marketed in 2001. It is estimated that these fans are saving users more than $12.5 million in energy costs every year.
The fans were developed by Danny Parker, a researcher at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), following a talk he had several years ago with his father-in-law, a long-time airline pilot. They discussed the shape of airplane propellers and how the design differed from that used in conventional ceiling fans, which are very popular in homes and businesses. Parker thought about the conversation during research he was conducting at FSEC on energy-efficient cooling strategies, and he conceived the idea of a unique propeller-like fan blade design. Working with AeroVironment, Inc., a company that specializes in aerodynamic design, and Bart Hibbs, a CalTech physicist who created the propeller for the first human-powered aircraft (the Gossamer Albatross), the concept was turned into an advanced airfoil designed to effortlessly cut through the air with an even load across its length. (more…)