skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Modeling and design of a high efficiency hybrid heat pump clothes dryer

Abstract

Computational modeling is used to design a hybrid heat pump clothes dryer capable of saving 50% of the energy used by residential clothes dryers with comparable drying times. The model represents the various stages of a drying cycle from warm-up through constant drying rate and falling drying rate phases and finishing with a cooldown phase. The model is fit to data acquired from a U.S. commercial standard vented electric dryer, and when a hybrid heat pump system is added, the energy factor increases from 3.0 lbs/kWh to 5.7-6.0 lbs/kWh, depending on the increase in blower motor power. The hybrid heat pump system is designed from off-the-shelf components and includes a recuperative heat exchanger, an electric element, and an R-134a vapor compression heat pump. Parametric studies of element power and heating element use show a trade-off between energy savings and cycle time. Results show a step-change in energy savings from heat pump dryers currently marketed in the U.S. based on performance represented by Enery Star from standardized DOE testing.

Authors:
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1368123
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-123349
Journal ID: ISSN 1359-4311; 400480000
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Thermal Engineering; Journal Volume: 124; Journal Issue: C
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

TeGrotenhuis, Ward, Butterfield, Andrew, Caldwell, Dustin, Crook, Alexander, and Winkelman, Austin. Modeling and design of a high efficiency hybrid heat pump clothes dryer. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2017.05.048.
TeGrotenhuis, Ward, Butterfield, Andrew, Caldwell, Dustin, Crook, Alexander, & Winkelman, Austin. Modeling and design of a high efficiency hybrid heat pump clothes dryer. United States. doi:10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2017.05.048.
TeGrotenhuis, Ward, Butterfield, Andrew, Caldwell, Dustin, Crook, Alexander, and Winkelman, Austin. Fri . "Modeling and design of a high efficiency hybrid heat pump clothes dryer". United States. doi:10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2017.05.048.
@article{osti_1368123,
title = {Modeling and design of a high efficiency hybrid heat pump clothes dryer},
author = {TeGrotenhuis, Ward and Butterfield, Andrew and Caldwell, Dustin and Crook, Alexander and Winkelman, Austin},
abstractNote = {Computational modeling is used to design a hybrid heat pump clothes dryer capable of saving 50% of the energy used by residential clothes dryers with comparable drying times. The model represents the various stages of a drying cycle from warm-up through constant drying rate and falling drying rate phases and finishing with a cooldown phase. The model is fit to data acquired from a U.S. commercial standard vented electric dryer, and when a hybrid heat pump system is added, the energy factor increases from 3.0 lbs/kWh to 5.7-6.0 lbs/kWh, depending on the increase in blower motor power. The hybrid heat pump system is designed from off-the-shelf components and includes a recuperative heat exchanger, an electric element, and an R-134a vapor compression heat pump. Parametric studies of element power and heating element use show a trade-off between energy savings and cycle time. Results show a step-change in energy savings from heat pump dryers currently marketed in the U.S. based on performance represented by Enery Star from standardized DOE testing.},
doi = {10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2017.05.048},
journal = {Applied Thermal Engineering},
number = C,
volume = 124,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Sep 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Fri Sep 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}
  • Electric clothes dryers consume about 6% of US residential electricity consumption. Using a solid-state technology without refrigerant, thermoelectric (TE) heat pump dryers have the potential to be more efficient than units based on electric resistance and less expensive than units based on vapor compression. This study presents a steady state TE dryer model, and validates the model against results from an experimental prototype. The system model is composed of a TE heat pump element model coupled with a psychrometric dryer sub-model. Experimental results had energy factors (EFs) of up to 2.95 kg of dry cloth per kWh (6.51 lb c/kWh),more » with a dry time of 159 min. A faster dry time of 96 min was also achieved at an EF of 2.54 kg c/kWh (5.60 lb c/kWh). The model was able to replicate the experimental results within 5% of EF and 5% of dry time values. Finally, the results are used to identify important parameters that affect dryer performance, such as relative humidity of air leaving the drum.« less
  • This project was successful in demonstrating the feasibility of a step change in residential clothes dryer energy efficiency by demonstrating heat pump technology capable of 50% energy savings over conventional standard-size electric dryers with comparable drying times. A prototype system was designed from off-the-shelf components that can meet the project’s efficiency goals and are affordable. An experimental prototype system was built based on the design that reached 50% energy savings. Improvements have been identified that will reduce drying times of over 60 minutes to reach the goal of 40 minutes. Nevertheless, the prototype represents a step change in efficiency overmore » heat pump dryers recently introduced to the U.S. market, with 30% improvement in energy efficiency at comparable drying times.« less
  • The integration of a heat pump heat source into a clothes dryer has been investigated by several U.S. and foreign appliance developers and manufacturers but no commercial or residential heat pump clothes dryers are currently available in North America. The objectives of this effort were to: (1) Evaluate a heat pump dryer prototype relative to residential dryer performance tests. (2) Quantify the product limitations. (3) Suggest design changes that would reduce the impact of the limitations or that have a positive impact on the benefits. (4) Position the product relative to utility DSM/IRP opportunities (e.g., reduced connected load, or energymore » conservation). (5) Develop preliminary cost data The program evaluated the performance of a prototype closed-cycle heat pump clothes dryer designed and built by the Nyle Corporation. The prototype design goals were: (1) Drying times equivalent to a conventional electric clothes dryer. (2) 60% reduction in energy consumption. (3) Effective lint removal (to prevent coil fouling). (4) Cool-down mode performance similar to conventional dryer. (5) 20 lb load capacity. (6) Low temperature dry for reduced clothes wrinkle. Test results indicated that the closed-cycle heat pump met some of the above mentioned goals but it fell short with respect to energy savings and dry time. Performance improvement recommendations were developed for the closed-cycle dryer approach. In addition, the closed-cycle design potential was compared to an open-cycle heat pump dryer configuration.« less
  • A heat pump clothes dryer (HPCD) is an innovative appliance that uses a vapor compression system to dry clothes. Air circulates in a closed loop through the drum, so no vent is required. The condenser heats air to evaporate moisture out of the clothes, and the evaporator condenses water out of the air stream. As a result, the HPCD can achieve 50% energy savings compared to a conventional electric resistance dryer. We developed a physics-based, quasi-steady-state HPCD system model with detailed heat exchanger and compressor models. In a novel approach, we applied a heat and mass transfer effectiveness model tomore » simulate the drying process of the clothes load in the drum. The system model is able to simulate the inherently transient HPCD drying process, to size components, and to reveal trends in key variables (e.g. compressor discharge temperature, power consumption, required drying time, etc.) The system model was calibrated using experimental data on a prototype HPCD. In the paper, the modeling method is introduced, and the model predictions are compared with experimental data measured on a prototype HPCD.« less