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Title: Energy Efficient Clothes Dryer with IR Heating and Electrostatic Precipitator

Abstract

The project goal was to develop a revolutionary energy saving technology for residential clothes drying. The team developed an IR (infrared) heating system and NESP (Nebulizer and Electro-Static Precipitator) for integration into a ventless clothes dryer. The proposed technology addresses two of the major inefficiencies in current electric vented dryers by providing effective energy transfer for the removal of the water and recapture of the vapor latent heat. The IR heaters operating in the mid wave (2.5-10um) are very efficient as they target the 3-micron peak absorption of the water molecule. This allows direct energy absorption, unlike conventional element heaters where heat is transferred by convection. The low power NESP removes water vapor from the exhausted stream and recaptures the latent heat in the ESP (Electro-Static Precipitator) exchanger section. This allows the warm dry air to be recirculated back into the drum for additional efficiency savings. The remaining majority of the dryer hardware stays the same. Summing the efficiency gain from the two subcomponents we anticipated the EF (Efficiency Factor) to exceed the goal of 4.04. EF is obtained by dividing the weight (lbs) of water removed by the energy (kWhr) used, where the test load size is 8.45 lbsmore » of bone dry clothing wetted to 57.5% or 4.8lbs of water, and dried to a remaining moisture content of 2.5-5%. Additional benefits include not having to recondition (heat or cool) the large amounts of make-up air to replace the air exhausted by a vented dryer. It was anticipated that the NESP/heat exchanger would be the most challenging and highest risk element in the program. Therefore, the team focused their efforts during Phase 1 of the program on the design, construction, testing, and optimization of the NESP/heat exchanger. At the end Phase 1, the team compared the performance of the NESP/heat exchanger with the system level requirements and made a Go/No-Go decision on proceeding with the second portion of the program. Phase 2 of the program was structured to develop the IR heating system and then integrate it and the NESP/heat exchanger into a residential clothes dryer prototype for final testing. The proposed technology utilizes heat recovery which is known to have the biggest impact on dryer efficiency. The two current mainstream recovery approaches are air to air exchangers and heat pump condenser systems. Air to air exchanges can be very efficient but require large surface areas which are prone to fouling from uncaptured lint. Dryers based on heat pump condenser recovery systems have shown efficiency improvements of 20–60% and are commercially available. The issue with a heat pump condenser approach is the added cost, as typical prices are twice that of standard vented dryers and they are only available in small to medium capacities. The energy factor (EF) for these systems is 5.50 to 6.88 pounds/kWh compared to conventional dryers at 2.75 to 3.67 pounds/kWh. The efficiency improvements for the proposed technology come from the use of IR heating and the NESP. As the concept is in its infancy, and these improvements were difficult to predict without experimental data, assumptions were made based on available literature. IR radiant drying times, when compared to convection, are typically 30% less. This is a result of the fact that radiant energy heats directly and is absorbed at and below the surface, unlike convection heating, that must conduct the heat through the boundary film of air at the clothes surface and rely on wicking of the moisture to the surface. The second area of improvement comes from the NESP. The NESP operation is as follows: 1. Highly charged, micron sized, droplets of water are injected into the dryer exhaust by the Nebulizer. 2. These charged droplets attract water molecules and continue to grow in size, until losing their charge. During this process, latent heat is rejected back into the air stream. 3. The large droplets enter the ESP, where they are recharged and drawn to the ESP wall, to be extracted at the bottom of the ESP. The warm dry air is then recirculated back into the dryer. The proposed technology, at the time of the proposal submission was estimated to have an EF of 4.79. At program completion we have designed, built, tested, integrated and optimized the proposed technologies into a prototype “high efficiency” residential clothes dryer. Testing of the integrated prototype dryer provided insight into the technical effectiveness and economic feasibility of the proposed technologies. The program has the potential of greatly impacting energy savings. The predicted EF of the proposed technology is 4.79, yielding an energy savings of 42% when compared to conventional electric vented dryers. Given there are approximately 84 million dryers in the US consuming ~64 billion kWh per year, a net savings of 27 billion kWh per year or 0.092 quads could be realized. Since the dryer is not vented, make up air from the room is not needed, adding an additional savings of ~1kWh per load, or 23.8 billion kWh per year. In addition, it is envisioned that the proposed ESP, when successful, would potentially find applications in industrial and residential dehumidification.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. GE Global Research, Niskayuna, NY (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
GE Global Research, Niskayuna, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B)
OSTI Identifier:
1412657
Report Number(s):
DOE-GE-06720
DOE Contract Number:  
EE0006720
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; residential clothes dryer; clothes dryer; ventless clothes dryer; infrared clothes dryer

Citation Formats

Weaver, Stanton. Energy Efficient Clothes Dryer with IR Heating and Electrostatic Precipitator. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1412657.
Weaver, Stanton. Energy Efficient Clothes Dryer with IR Heating and Electrostatic Precipitator. United States. doi:10.2172/1412657.
Weaver, Stanton. Tue . "Energy Efficient Clothes Dryer with IR Heating and Electrostatic Precipitator". United States. doi:10.2172/1412657. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1412657.
@article{osti_1412657,
title = {Energy Efficient Clothes Dryer with IR Heating and Electrostatic Precipitator},
author = {Weaver, Stanton},
abstractNote = {The project goal was to develop a revolutionary energy saving technology for residential clothes drying. The team developed an IR (infrared) heating system and NESP (Nebulizer and Electro-Static Precipitator) for integration into a ventless clothes dryer. The proposed technology addresses two of the major inefficiencies in current electric vented dryers by providing effective energy transfer for the removal of the water and recapture of the vapor latent heat. The IR heaters operating in the mid wave (2.5-10um) are very efficient as they target the 3-micron peak absorption of the water molecule. This allows direct energy absorption, unlike conventional element heaters where heat is transferred by convection. The low power NESP removes water vapor from the exhausted stream and recaptures the latent heat in the ESP (Electro-Static Precipitator) exchanger section. This allows the warm dry air to be recirculated back into the drum for additional efficiency savings. The remaining majority of the dryer hardware stays the same. Summing the efficiency gain from the two subcomponents we anticipated the EF (Efficiency Factor) to exceed the goal of 4.04. EF is obtained by dividing the weight (lbs) of water removed by the energy (kWhr) used, where the test load size is 8.45 lbs of bone dry clothing wetted to 57.5% or 4.8lbs of water, and dried to a remaining moisture content of 2.5-5%. Additional benefits include not having to recondition (heat or cool) the large amounts of make-up air to replace the air exhausted by a vented dryer. It was anticipated that the NESP/heat exchanger would be the most challenging and highest risk element in the program. Therefore, the team focused their efforts during Phase 1 of the program on the design, construction, testing, and optimization of the NESP/heat exchanger. At the end Phase 1, the team compared the performance of the NESP/heat exchanger with the system level requirements and made a Go/No-Go decision on proceeding with the second portion of the program. Phase 2 of the program was structured to develop the IR heating system and then integrate it and the NESP/heat exchanger into a residential clothes dryer prototype for final testing. The proposed technology utilizes heat recovery which is known to have the biggest impact on dryer efficiency. The two current mainstream recovery approaches are air to air exchangers and heat pump condenser systems. Air to air exchanges can be very efficient but require large surface areas which are prone to fouling from uncaptured lint. Dryers based on heat pump condenser recovery systems have shown efficiency improvements of 20–60% and are commercially available. The issue with a heat pump condenser approach is the added cost, as typical prices are twice that of standard vented dryers and they are only available in small to medium capacities. The energy factor (EF) for these systems is 5.50 to 6.88 pounds/kWh compared to conventional dryers at 2.75 to 3.67 pounds/kWh. The efficiency improvements for the proposed technology come from the use of IR heating and the NESP. As the concept is in its infancy, and these improvements were difficult to predict without experimental data, assumptions were made based on available literature. IR radiant drying times, when compared to convection, are typically 30% less. This is a result of the fact that radiant energy heats directly and is absorbed at and below the surface, unlike convection heating, that must conduct the heat through the boundary film of air at the clothes surface and rely on wicking of the moisture to the surface. The second area of improvement comes from the NESP. The NESP operation is as follows: 1. Highly charged, micron sized, droplets of water are injected into the dryer exhaust by the Nebulizer. 2. These charged droplets attract water molecules and continue to grow in size, until losing their charge. During this process, latent heat is rejected back into the air stream. 3. The large droplets enter the ESP, where they are recharged and drawn to the ESP wall, to be extracted at the bottom of the ESP. The warm dry air is then recirculated back into the dryer. The proposed technology, at the time of the proposal submission was estimated to have an EF of 4.79. At program completion we have designed, built, tested, integrated and optimized the proposed technologies into a prototype “high efficiency” residential clothes dryer. Testing of the integrated prototype dryer provided insight into the technical effectiveness and economic feasibility of the proposed technologies. The program has the potential of greatly impacting energy savings. The predicted EF of the proposed technology is 4.79, yielding an energy savings of 42% when compared to conventional electric vented dryers. Given there are approximately 84 million dryers in the US consuming ~64 billion kWh per year, a net savings of 27 billion kWh per year or 0.092 quads could be realized. Since the dryer is not vented, make up air from the room is not needed, adding an additional savings of ~1kWh per load, or 23.8 billion kWh per year. In addition, it is envisioned that the proposed ESP, when successful, would potentially find applications in industrial and residential dehumidification.},
doi = {10.2172/1412657},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Dec 12 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Tue Dec 12 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

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