Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Solar Dryer Ideas

A dryer is just a heater and a motor to tumble the contents.

Looking for alternatives around my home:
Heat Sources:

Motion Sources:
Fridge Waste Heat Too small
Mains Elec Motor Prob ok, low watts
Solar PV Heat Too expensive
Hand Crank Convenience
Solar Radiant Heat Need a site close to house
Solar pump Too complex
Gas Heater Waste Heat Minor Gas smell?

Electric Heat Currently the problem

Thinking about it some more, our gas heater outside discharges a lot of waste heat, so it's the candidate. And it runs on days when you can't use a clothesline.

A small idler motor run from mains power or DC would be ok as it would need only 50 watts or so. Thats not a lot out of the 4000 watts our dryer uses.

I think it would be convenient to make it so the washing basket becomes the tumbler. I hate hanging up washing on lines, which I suspect is why some people use dryers on sunny days. And lots of everyday items come out good enough to not need ironing. The device would need to be ergonomic with no risk of pinch points or combustion if too hot at a point.

You can say 'lazy' - but in the world of management we call this 'efficient'. :P

**Addendum 5/8/11: Looks like Miele has come up with a horribly complex solution - as only the great over-engineers could. Lose further points for integrating it into the building...

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