Efficient clothes dryer topic of free webinar

June 10, 2015
1 p.m. MDT

Join the Washington State University Energy Program on Wednesday, June 10, at 1:00 p.m. Mountain Time, for the Emerging Technologies Showcase webinar, Heat Pump Clothes Dryers – Will Life Ever Be the Same Again? You are leaving WAPA.gov.  

Schematics of a heat pump clothes dryer: 1. drum; 2. filter; 3. warm, humid air; 4. evaporator; 5. condensate; 6. compressor; 7. expansion device; 8. condensor; 9. blower; 10. hot dry air. (Artwork by Oak Ridge National Laboratory)
Schematics of a heat pump clothes dryer: 1. drum; 2. filter; 3. warm, humid air; 4. evaporator; 5. condensate; 6. compressor; 7. expansion device; 8. condensor; 9. blower; 10. hot dry air. (Artwork by Oak Ridge National Laboratory)

Residential clothes dryers are not known for their efficiency—in the U.S., these appliances consume 4 percent of our annual electricity use. Worse yet, 20 to 25 percent of their heat disappears up the dryer vent. No wonder clothes dryers are not included in the federal government’s Energy Star program. However, recent advances in dryer technology may be poised to change all that.

This webinar explores basic design types of energy-saving clothes dryers and the technologies that make them more efficient than current models. Lab and field testing results will be discussed in depth, with special focus on the importance of testing dryers on actual wet laundry and in different settings. Utilities can learn about the energy savings, cost and near-term availability of the appliances, as well as ideas for providing consumer guidance and financial support to interested customers.

A question-and-answer session follows the presentation. All webinars are recorded and available from Energy Efficiency Emerging Technologies You are leaving WAPA.gov. (E3T) and Conduit  energy efficiency forum.

Register You are leaving WAPA.gov. today for this free event, or contact E3T for more information.

Bonneville Power Administration sponsors this monthly webinar series with support from Western. Get latest information about promising energy-efficiency technologies and practices that BPA is considering for future research.

Source: Bonneville Power Administration, 5/14/15

Energy Star program adds clothes dryers

EnergyStarLogoUtilities looking to expand their energy-efficiency programs to include new appliances may want to consider offering rebates for Energy Star-certified clothes dryers. On May 19, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the ENERGY STAR Version 1.0 Specification for Clothes Dryers. The standard will take effect on Jan. 1, 2015. 

Effective in 2015, the new specifications will recognize a selection of high-efficiency electric, gas and compact dryers that will use approximately 20 percent less energy than what the minimum efficiency standards require, the EPA stated. If all residential clothes dryers sold in the United States meet the Energy Star requirements, utility cost savings will grow to more than $1.5 billion annually According to the agency, the increase in efficiency could prevent more than 22 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

Clothes dryers are in more than 80 percent of U.S. homes, and account for about 6 percent of residential electricity consumption. “The addition of clothes dryers expands the range of Energy Star products to include one of the most energy-intensive home appliances not yet covered by the program,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Working with industry on innovative approaches to address our changing climate, we are helping consumers select more energy efficient appliances, save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Dryer models that meet the new Energy Star requirements are likely to have improved auto termination sensors, which help reduce energy use by ending the drying cycle once clothes are dry. Some of the more efficient gas and electric Energy Star dryers will employ a promising new technology to recapture the hot air the dryer uses and pump it back into the drum to dry more clothes. Re-using most of the heat creates a heat pump dryer that is more efficient and avoids the need for ducts to exhaust heat out of the laundry room.

The new Energy Star specification also establishes optional “connected” criteria for residential clothes dryers. This connected functionality offers consumers convenience and energy-savings features, such as an alert indicating there is a performance issue, or feedback on the energy-efficiency of different cycle selections. These products will also be “smart grid” ready, making the appliances a natural for demand response programs. Consumers will be able to connect the dryer with their local power provider to take advantage of programs that save them money on their energy bills, and help the utility with load control.

To earn the Energy Star label, products must be certified by an EPA-recognized third party, based on testing in an EPA-recognized laboratory. In addition, manufacturers of the products must participate in verification testing programs operated by recognized certification bodies.

In 2013 alone, Energy Star helped Americans save $30 billion on their utility bills and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equal to those of 38 million homes.