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Ultrasonic Drying

Posted on June 20, 2017 by Matt Tomasino There have been 0 comments

Washing and drying clothes remains a huge energy draw that innovators and designers have been attempting to remedy for years. From basic home units to industrial laundry mats, hotel and hospital applications, the amount of water, electricity, gas, heat and waste is a huge energy hog significantly worth changing.

One of the most promising advancements in the laundry sector is the invention of the ultrasonic drier. Currently, a conventional drier uses more energy than a household refrigerator, dishwasher, and washing machine combined. Ultrasonic technology is revolutionizing the industry and causing it to re-think conventional approaches that are in dire need of an upgrade. It is a non-toxic cleaning option that can do the job faster and more efficiently than ever before.

A Laboratory Advancement

Design teams can only wish for something like the ultrasonic drier. Researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee have devised a way to discharge bursts of high-frequency sound waves to wet clothing which results in vibrating water droplets off of the material. The sloughed water then turns into a fine mist which is removed via a conventional drying stage. The best news about this ultrasonic technology is that it does the job in almost half the time, uses 70% less energy and conserves water exponentially.

Government Cares

Many people have been duped by fake news rants and anti-government sentiment but in the long run it is some of our more higher thinking elected officials that are embracing progress rather than stone-age attitudes.

The ultrasonic drier is a perfect example of how energy efficiency is supported by most rookie and career politicians alike. Through one of many incentive programs, the U.S. Department of Energy has helped fund the Oak Ridge design team with close to a million dollars in assistance.

The project impact, as reported by the DOE, states,

“Being able to remove impurities in the water contained in clothes might lead to softer and higher-quality dried clothes, which is good for marketability of the final product. Eliminating the need for a high flow rate, high temperature air will minimize issues with lint in the air processing system. At the end of the project, appliance manufacturers including GE [General Electric] will be ready to invest in this technology and commercialize it. This will result in the U.S. becoming the leader in the clothes drying industry and generate new jobs and innovative applications of the technology. This technology also has the potential for 0.4 quads of energy savings.”

quad is a unit of energy equal to 1015 (a short-scale quadrillion) BTU, or 1.055 × 1018 joules (1.055 exajoules or EJ) in SI units. Basically, it's a lot.

The Technical Expertise

With enough capital on their side, Oak Ridge researchers needed some additional technical expertise. They reached out to the Electrical and Electronics Systems Research (EESR) Division which was able to investigate some electrical and detailed physics questions regarding the ultrasonic process. This involved studying specifics that included:

  • Diverse frequencies
  • Wave shapes
  • Amplitudes
  • Voltage levels
  • Piezoelectric transducers
  • Centrifugal force

The study outcome by EESR helped move the project to the next level with lead researcher ORNL scientist Ayyoub Momen commenting,

"The first results were mind blowing. We could dry a piece of fabric in just 14 seconds. If you wanted to do that in an oven at different temperatures it would take several minutes."

 

The ultrasonic drier is not only a home improvement it is a testament to the continued Eco-friendly research that is reaping some impressive results.

 


This post was posted in Eco Home Improvement, Your Green Home and was tagged with clothes dryer, CONSERVES WATER, ENERGY EFFICIENT, laundry, NON-TOXIC, ultrasonic dryer

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