Looking at Laundry: Heat Pump and Hybrid Clothes Dryers Enter the U.S. Marketplace

Presented at the AESP 26th National Conference on February 3, 2016
Elizabeth Titus, NEEP
Brian McCowan, ERS
Rebecca Foster, VEIC

Electric tumble clothes dryers were introduced in the United States in the late 1930s, and until recently have remained largely unchanged, with only small incremental improvements in operation. Recent advancements in electric clothes dryers range from automatic control improvements to alternative methods for removing moisture, with heat pump technology showing the most promise for efficiency gains. The paper will introduce the reader to advanced dryer technologies, including improved moisture sensing controls, non-venting moisture removal/condensation, and heat pump drying. Results of both field and laboratory testing of these features will be presented. In order to calculate energy savings associated with these new advancements, baseline values must be established. The results of several recently completed field studies, conducted in the Northeast and the Pacific Northwest, are presented. The field study results demonstrate that dryer usage and potential savings are higher than the assumptions utilized by the ENERGY STAR program. Load shapes generated from those studies show regional variation in usage patterns. Finally, the authors describe the Super Efficient Dryer Initiative (SEDI) and its stakeholder contributions to the various activities, including DOE and EPA initiatives, which are helping to build the market for efficient dryers.

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Image credit: Wokandapix