Jan 16

ultrasonic dryer vibrates moisture from clothes with less energy

Researches at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are working on an ultrasonic dryer that vibrates moisture out instead of evaporating it with heat. It makes the dryer more efficient and safer to operate.

Teaming with GE Appliances, the researchers are developing a dryer that uses ultrasound vibrations instead of heat, using five to ten times less energy than traditional dryers. The vibration turns the moisture in wet clothes into a cold mist and eliminates the risk of clothes shrinking in a hot dryer.
Electric dryers were first marketed in 1938 and became a must in American households in early 50s. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), about 85% of US homes have dryers and spend $9 billion a year to operate them.
Tumble dryers that heat clothes in a rotating barrel use two to four times more energy than a new washer and twice as much as European style heat pump dryers and account almost 6% of residential energy consumption, NRDC said.
The current ultrasonic dryer prototype is very small and can only dry scraps of fabric, but the researchers are working on a full size dryer that will dry a load in significantly less time. Also it is going to produce much less lint thanks to the new technology.

Oak Ridge researches expect to create a full working prototype by the summer of 2016.