Saturday, January 31

Your Clothes Dryer could Make Electricity Too

Clothes dryers throw off waste heat that could be a useful form of energy --if it could just be harnessed.

Even enough energy to run half of all your household appliances.

Co-generation; sometimes called combined heat and power (CHP) is already starting to be used by factories and data centers to save energy by creating both heat and power.

But until now, low heat has not been harnessed in creating electricity. Most existing technologies are efficient only at temperatures above 400 °F, and a lot of waste heat just isn't that hot.

But Ener-G-Rotors has just developed an innovative new technology that one day might have your clothes dryer supplying half the electricity in your house as well, and cheaply enough to deliver a payback in two years.

They initially plan for commercial use but also hope to target consumers with a one-kilowatt system.

That would be enough to supply half their electricity. Check your utility bill to see your total kwh used in the month: if it is approximately 500 kwh per month, a two-kilowatt system is enough to supply your electricity needs.

Ener-G-Rotors says "Our technology is more efficient and simpler than anything else out there right now," he says. "There aren't many technologies that are going to work here. And we think we have the lowest cost of any of the technologies out there."

So imagine getting half your electricity from your dryer...with help maybe, from that other energy hog - your fridge.

From MIT
Photo by Olivia Megalis