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ACFAD-C 'Cool Tree'


MSc Product Engineering Design Dissertation Brief (2014):

Study into the effects of fluctuating artificial airflow, produced by fan-based products, on cooling individuals.

Area Coverage Fluctuating Airflow Device - Concept (ACFAD-C), dubbed the 'Cool Tree Concept' designed to produce an artificial breeze in an open-plan office/recreational environment.  

This project investigated the impact of breeze-like airflow on the office environment and its relationship to worker productivity. The concept design was inspired by the human impulse to look to the natural world as an indicator of the elements/weather/natural conditions, and by the aesthetic desire to bring the outside, natural environment, indoors to invigorate our artificial spaces. The design attempts to merge the natural and synthetic, to bring elements of the outdoors inside to enhance the working environment both physically and psychologically. The subversive design plays on the physicality of a tree as indicator of wind conditions/ producer of wind conditions. 

Technical - Using a number of individually controlled units mounted on 'branches', the 'Cool Tree' can produce a breeze in any direction. Airflow is produced from a bank of small fans within each unit, allowing the 'Cool Tree' to produce light gusts, or surges of airflow.  Airflow is controlled using a wing-profile, or Coanda Surface, with movement dictated by a pseudo-random number generation program. 

Project involved:
▪ Quantitative and qualitative technical research into airflow production, control and phenomena.
▪ Producing computer models for simulation and design verification through CFD and FEA.
▪ Prototype design using laser cutting, CNC machining, CAD, vacuum forming and model making techniques for testing.

ACFAD-C 'Cool Tree'