New ultrasonic drying technology uses 70% less energy and dries clothes in 20 minutes - no heat required!
The topic of washing and drying clothes might not be nearly as sexy as, say, renewable energy and Tesla cars, but it’s an important one, considering that 80% of households in the U.S. use dryers which account for approximately 4% of all residential electricity consumption.
In an attempt to cut down on utility costs and benefit the environment, a number of eco-minded consumers have begun using clotheslines to dry their clothes. However, if the ultrasonic clothes dryer turns out to be as effective as researchers are predicting, environmentalists will no longer need to rely on clotheslines to dry their clothes – an exciting prospect, indeed.
TreeHugger relays that scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), with support from the US Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office and GE Appliances, have been working on a prototype of an innovative clothes drying technology that could shorten drying time to an astounding 20 minutes. In addition, it could reduce the amount of energy used for each load by a whopping 70%!
How does it work?
Instead of using heat to remove water from clothing, the ultrasonic clothes dryer uses high-frequency vibrations – ultrasonic waves – produced by piezoelectric transducers driven by a custom amplifier. Absolutely no heat is required.
The byproduct of the ultrasonic drying process is a cool mist, rather than the warm, humid air that conventional dryers need to vent. This could cut down on mold and mildew issues – an extra benefit!
So far, the concept has been proven with a lab prototype. Now, researchers are working on building a full-size model to test whether or not the technology could someday compete with conventional clothes dryers. Because the prototype yielded “mind-blowing” results, according to ORNL scientist Ayyoub Momen, many are optimistic that this could be the dryer of the future.
Watch the video below to learn more:
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