Plasma Actuator Fan

Technology #15063

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Categories
Researchers
Subrata Roy
Managed By
Lenny Terry
Assistant Director 352-392-8929
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending US-2015-0264794-A1

No Motor Required; Plasma Actuator Generates Electrohydrodynamic Forces to Control Air Flow

This fan utilizes a plasma actuator to generate electrohydrodynamic body forces that drive the flow of fluid or air through the system. Traditional fans cool rooms by moving still air rather than by directly changing the temperature of the air. By circulating air in a room, fans induce evaporative cooling by cooling perspiration on human skin. Most fans are mechanical and electric, utilizing a motor and moving fan blades to circulate air around a room. Recent improvements allowed the creation of solid state fans, which do not use fan blades to generate air circulation. University of Florida researchers have developed a plasma actuator fan that is a non-intrusive surface to circulate air and cool rooms without any rotating blades or heavy motor. Interactions between electrodes on a plasma actuator, which generate electrohydrodynamic body forces, control the flow of air through the fan.

Application

A plasma actuator fan to circulate air and cool a room

Advantages

  • Surface compliant, appearing as flat and non-intrusive as wallpaper
  • Houses plasma actuators, utilizing electrodes that can interact with each other
  • Applies high-voltage electricity, ionizing the electrodes and accelerating them through the electric field
  • Uses little electricity and requires no motor, decreasing energy costs

Technology

Traditional fans utilize a motor and fan blade to direct the circulation and flow of air around a room to induce cooling. This plasma actuator-driven fan generates electric body force that drives air through a fan that can be as flat as wallpaper. The fan can be in a solid-state form without rotating arms attached to it. The plasma actuators on the fan house electrodes that are ionized when high-voltage electricity is applied. The ionized electrodes accelerate through the electric field, creating electric body forces to control the flow of air through the fan.