Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Latest Marvel: Drying Clothes with Ultrasound

Here's an idea:
Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have developed a dryer that could make doing laundry much quicker. Called the ultrasonic dryer, it's expected to be up to five times more energy efficient than most conventional dryers and able dry a large load of clothes in about half the time.

Instead of using heat the way most dryers do, the ultrasonic dryer relies on high-frequency vibrations. Devices called green transducers convert electricity into vibrations, shaking the water from clothes. The scientists say that this method will allow a medium load of laundry to dry in 20 minutes, which is significantly less time than the average 50 minutes it takes in many heat-based machines.
Besides using much less energy the new dryer does less damage to clothes and pulls off much less lint, "since the majority of lint is created when the hot air stream blows tiny fibers off of clothing." I wonder how much they will cost, and if they will have weird side effects like driving cats crazy.

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

This idea has been floating around in science fiction for decades. Nice to see it finally approaching marketability.

"I wonder how much they will cost, and if they will have weird side effects like driving cats crazy."

They'll cost what all new technologies cost - too much at the start, then a more reasonable amount within maybe 5 years, then be pretty much the affordable standard within maybe 20 or so.

As for things that drive cats crazy, that depends entirely on the frequencies employed and the production standards imposed. Ideally you'd want these things to be reasonably insulated sonically to avoid interference from outside sources, which would also help keep the ultrasonics in.

That said, our cats are already exposed to plenty of different sources of ultrasound that most of us are totally unaware of. One more probably won't make much difference.