UCF Tech Commercialization – Gossamer Wind Fan

Orlando, FL  – Aerodynamically designed ceiling fans developed by Danny Parker of the University of Central Florida’s Solar Energy Center (FSEC) may be coming soon to a home near you. With blades modeled after the propellers on the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross aircraft, the fans are flying off the shelves of Home Depot stores nationwide, where they are exclusively sold under the Hampton Bay label. The design was developed in concert with AeroVironment,Inc. a leading company in advanced technology and aerodynamic design. These modern looking fans are manufactured by King of Fans of Fort Lauderdale, and can move up to 40 percent more air than standard flat blade models utilizing a motor found on many conventional ceiling fans.

Conventional Ceiling Fan Blade Turbulence
Gossamer Wind Fan - conventional ceiling fan blade

Powerful “Gossamer Wind” Ceiling Fan Blade Turbulence
Gossamer Wind Fan - "Gossamer Wind" ceiling fan blade

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 50% 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 though real savings in household energy use while providing improved comfort and convenience. This accounts for why our fan is the first ceiling fan to receive the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star designation for energy efficiency.

The Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa and the fan’s developer, Danny Parker, a senior researcher there, are sharing in royalties earned since the fans first arrived at Home Depot in March 2001.

The Gossamer Wind fans come in three models, two for homes (Callaway and Windward) and one for industrial or commercial use. Each shares the twisted blade design of propeller-driven planes.

The two home models are equipped with advanced remote controls, which turn the fans on or off and adjust fan speed depending on room temperature. 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. The Windward II model comes with a dimmable fluorescent light and the Callaway uses conventional dimming incandescent bulbs. The fluorescent system cuts lighting energy use to about one-third of most conventional fan/light units and generates much less heat.

UCF is extremely proud of Mr. Parker as well as the licensing professionals who worked diligently on finding the right licensee to get our product to the market place. We feel that this product is a perfect example of how universities can participate in fundamental research that leads to products for the general consumer.