In the northern hemisphere temperatures are on the rise in August, while in the South, people are facing winter-like conditions. Wouldn’t it be great to have one machine that was able to keep you comfortable all four seasons?

Icsid asked Tom Crawford, Head of Product Development, Environmental Control, Dyson to share the vision behind the Dyson Hot + Cool, a fan and heater in a league of its own.

Q: What was the vision behind the shape and design of the Dyson Hot + Cool?

Like all technology from Dyson, our engineers set out to solve problems long forgotten or ignored by others. Conventional electric fans are riddled with problems– their spinning blades cause choppy air, they’re often hard to clean, and children always want to poke their fingers through the grille. They also have a tendency to be top heavy and topple over.

Dyson Air Multiplier technology eliminates the blades, thus eliminating many of the hassles that come with them. With our AM05 Dyson Hot + Cool, we took this a step further and combined a heater with a powerful fan.

Q: Was the design dictated by the technology or the other way around?

With over $2.25 million spent every week on research and development, Dyson engineers focus on creating new technology that is fundamentally better than any other. We tend to obsess over how it works, and less about how it looks.

We designed every component of the Dyson Hot + Cool to have a specific purpose. For instance, the tilting base holds a digital motor that draws in 28 litres of air per second. And the loop amplifier has an airfoil-shaped ramp that induces additional air from the back, sides, and front of the machine, promoting circulation within the room for even heat distribution.

Q: How long was the Dyson Hot + Cool in its developmental stages?

The first Air Multiplier technology that incorporated a heater took approximately 4-5 years from initial research investigations into different heating technologies and finally through to the first machine rolling down the production line.

Dyson thermodynamics and fluid dynamics engineers spent years measuring and optimising the various components to perfect its application in a dual-purpose fan heater. We mapped air fluctuations with Laser Doppler Anemometry and conducted testing for acoustics and electromagnetic compatibility.

The airfoil-shaped ramp design is critical for the speed and evenness of room heating; an angle that was too high would hinder air speed and projection, while one that was too low would affect air volume and evenness of heat distribution.

Q: Was the first prototype different from the product available today? Or was the design determined early on in the process?

Dyson engineers feel an obligation to understand the fundamentals of technology functionality, challenging existing assumptions to optimise performance. The development team investigated a number of different formats at the outset of this project, all of which went through rigorous analysis and validation steps to understand their impact on product performance, robustness and many other criteria. The final outcome is very different to the initial prototypes.

Q: What were the major obstacles in creating the Dyson Hot + Cool?

Dyson engineers faced an immense challenge in combining our Air Multiplier technology with heating capabilities. The engineering brief was to create a machine for use in all four seasons. We had to creatively examine how to re-engineer the motor drive, impeller, airways and electronic assemblies to deliver 33% more performance on the ‘cool’ setting. This allows for powerful cooling in the summer months, with the fastest whole-room heating in winter.

Q: Seeing as Dyson Air Multiplier machines are more environmentally friendly than air conditioning by using a fraction of the energy, safer (and better looking) than traditional fans, do you think that all heaters and fans will soon look similar to the Dyson model? 

(laughs) The Dyson Hot + Cool does look and work differently than its conventional counterparts. This is because it incorporates radically new and better technology; technology that we protect with over 240 patents and 170 patent applications worldwide. At Dyson, we continue to solve problems through inventions like these. We’ll have to see what the future will hold

Tom Crawford, Head of Product Development, Environmental Control, Dyson

Tom secured a first class BSc honours in Product Design at Bournemouth University (UK), and worked for Ford motorcars and Aqualisa, a UK based domestic shower manufacture before joining Dyson 10 years ago. During his time with Dyson he has lived in both Malaysia and Singapore, worked on the Dyson washing machine, been the Design Manager and lead engineer on both DC24 and AM01 and is now the lead engineer responsible for performance and future delivery of all Environmental Control Dyson Air MultiplierTM range of products.

Tags: , ,