Interview Easy Aero roof ventilator

V.l.n.r.: Jeroen Rovers and Gertjan van der Veer with the Easy Aero roof ventilator

An interview with Gertjan van der Veer on his innovation for vans

Gertjan van der Veer developed the Easy Aero roof ventilator, a unique design for providing ventilation for vans. How did the idea for the Easy Aero come about, what have been the reactions from the market and…what will his next innovation be? We talk to him.

Gertjan, how did the idea for the Easy Aero come about?

“Imbema had various ventilators within its range: mechanical, electrical, with a grille, without a grille, etc. and all of A-grade quality. However, these models had one thing in common: a suction system with rotating parts. That creates vulnerabilities and that is why we decided that it was necessary to launch an alternative on the market. The idea for the Easy Aero roof ventilator was born.”

What is the disadvantage of ventilators with rotating parts?

“Rotating ventilators have mechanical components which will ultimately fail. That could be for various reasons such as the vehicle being hit by low-hanging branches, for example. If the ventilator is damaged, it can become unbalanced. You will not only be able to hear this but also experience it. The result will be a buzzing noise and the exhaust system will become less efficient.

There has to be another, better way…? This created the need to launch a new roof ventilator on the market. And once he was at his drawing board, Gertjan decided to resolve two further common problems too. He decided that not only did the roof ventilator need to be water-resistant and able to go through a car wash without any problems but – unlike traditional models – it should also be suitable for installing on vehicles with a roof rack.

Who is the Easy Aero suitable for?
“For anyone with a van. The ventilator is designed to provide ventilation for the loading space and remove moisture and gases.”

Can you tell us more about how the Easy Aero roof ventilator is made?

“Once we had clearly identified the requirements that the Easy Aero roof ventilator needed to meet, we set about producing the necessary drawings. This resulted in the production of various 3D models which we then tested by collaborating with a company that carries out CFD calculations. These led to the creation of a prototype which was then tested in practice – on the vehicle itself. Once the roof ventilator had passed all the tests, an industrial model was designed and we then refined the model.”

How was the Easy Aero roof ventilator tested?

“First of all, we carried out a CFD calculation on the initial 3D drawings. The details of the design were refined based on these results and that design was ultimately turned into a prototype which we attached to our own van. We installed a smoke machine in it and then drove around at various speeds. We were able to analyse the flow of air inside the vehicle from video images taken within the loading space. We also took our vehicle through a car wash and filmed where moisture was able to get in. The product was perfected based on all these extensive research data. With successful results: the ventilator was certified by Dekra.

What was the greatest challenge during the development of the product?

Gertjan laughs. “No rain! Just when we wanted to make sure that the ventilator was water-resistant, we had the hottest summer for 3 centuries in 2018. Everything was ready to go but the dry summer meant that we were unable to carry out the final tests required.” Van der Veer goes on to say: “One time it suddenly started bucketing with rain. I just drove around in the middle of the night, armed with my prototype roof ventilator.”

It was all worth it in the end. While the Easy Aero roof ventilator will officially go on sale from mid-February, more than 200 have already been sold in advance. And there are already 5 vans driving around which have been fitted with the prototype of the Easy Aero. Why the great interest in the latest addition to the range of roof ventilators?

What has been your favorite reaction from the market up to now?

“How can such an attractive design be so functional? That is my favorite of all the reactions to the Easy Aero roof ventilator that we have received up to now. It’s great to have got off to such a flying start.”

What makes the Easy Aero so unique?

“The Easy Aero has a powerful push and pull effect and provides demonstrably better ventilation than traditional models. As a result, no floor drainage is required. And that is regarded as a great plus: a lot of entrepreneurs who are the proud owners of their own van don’t want to have to start drilling holes in it. Fortunately, they don’t have to do that, which prevents serious damage to the van’s exhaust, wiring and braking system, for example. The Easy Aero is easy to use, install and maintain.”

Finally, if you could resolve one ‘problem’ with vans, what would it be? “I would make sure that packages automatically ended up by the door so that the driver didn’t have to climb into the loading space every time.”

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