Ceiling fan with light

Fan – a machine used to create flow within a fluid, typically a gas such as air. The fan consists of a rotating arrangement of vanes or blades which act on the fluid. The rotating assembly of blades and hub is known as an impeller, a rotor, or a runner.

Ceiling fan – fan suspended from the ceiling of a room is a ceiling fan. Ceiling fans can be found in both residential and industrial/commercial settings.

Typical applications include climate control and personal thermal comfort. While fans are often used to cool people, they do not actually cool air, but work by evaporative cooling of sweat and increased heat convection into the surrounding air due to the airflow from the fans. Fans are less effective at cooling the body if the surrounding air is near body temperature and contains high humidity.

What’s the problem?
Ceiliing fans (video 5:38)

  • Ask – Will a ceiling fan help with air movement? Can a ceiling fan be used in the winter as well as in the summer? How will the fan be installed?
  • Imagine – How does air flow in this space?
  • Design, Build – What size ceiling fan is right for this space? What are the indications that a fan is a well made one?
  • Improve

That’s engineering

  • body temperature – the general temperature maintained in the body. For humans, it is generally around 98 degree Fahrenheit (37 degree Celsius).
  • wobbling – caused by the weight of fan blades being out of balance with each other. This can happen due to a variety of factors, including blades being warped, blade irons being bent, blades or blade irons not being screwed on straight, or blades being different weights or shapes or sizes (minute differences matter).

Engineering ideas

  • flow, rotating, vanes, blades, hub, impeller, rotor, runner, thermal, evaporation, convection, humidity, body temperature, weight, balance, shape, minute

Do It
Challenges for you to work on…

  • Make a fan using paper or other craft materials. Try out different materials for the blades. Change the weight and balance to see the effects.