Miele to Release Solar-Heated Clothes Dryer

fahrenheit_451September 3, 2011

Miele to release solar-heated clothes dryer

Of course, who knows whether this will ever make it to the North America market? Posted for LiveBetter as I know this member is particularly keen on the world's environment.

source: Gizmag

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asolo

Wait for the total price.....and all the other stuff they aren't talking about yet.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 9:24PM
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fahrenheit_451

Wait for the total price.....and all the other stuff they aren't talking about yet.No doubt, the upfront cost is expensive or the subsidized cost comes with many a caveat, but the fact that Miele is taking this approach is impressive, at least to me. Early adopters are a necessary part of product development; they pay more, but effectively jumpstart the product.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 9:32PM
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asolo

Joy to world. I'm all for it...that is for others with bucks enough to move the program along. Nissan Leaf, anyone?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 10:03PM
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livebetter

@fahrenheit_451,thank you for that. Interesting read.

I'm not "coo coo" for environmental issues but I do think there are things that need to be considered.

I think we have reached a point where we cannot buy things without conscience. We need to really ask ourselves what the impacts are of the products we use.

I'm still amazed at what people "take for granted".

I applaud the companies who pioneer new ways of doing things. Someday, this solar idea may be common place and people will laugh that we ever used electricity and gas. Who knows??

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 12:06AM
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sshrivastava

Doesn't anyone see the irony in a solar clothes dryer when... you can... dry your clothes... outside in the sun... for free?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 3:46AM
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livebetter

@sshrivastava, very different things (hang drying and the dryer). I much prefer the feel of most things dryed in a dryer and not hung out (towels especially).

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 9:08AM
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fahrenheit_451

Doesn't anyone see the irony in a solar clothes dryer when... you can... dry your clothes... outside in the sun... for free?Unfortunately, albeit in a single-family detached residence, we are also in a HOA (don't even get me started about HOAs). Since Germany has declared a complete move from nuclear by 2022, this does make sense. The article did have a link regarding smart metering (don't get me started on smart metering either) so that in conjunction with these solar collectors reduce energy. Multi-dwelling units can benefit from this owed to an economy of scale.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 12:18PM
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whirlpool_trainee

Yes, I read about this, too. It's all part of the IFA 2011 taking place in Berlin, Germany right now. It's just like CES in the US showcasing all the newest in home appliances and electronics.

The dryer is supposed to hit the market in fall next year. Very interesting technology. You can read more about Miele's new appliances following the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Miele Press Releases IFA 2011

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 12:47PM
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liriodendron

I, too, was amused at the need for a solar dryer when anyone can have one, for free, outside.

Re towels: dry them outside with an added (no heat) trip in the dryer before (preferable) or after. The electrical cost of running the just dryer motor is relatively small.

If you have a problematic HOA, just band together and fight it.

Anyway you don't need Miele's solar dryer contraption, you can install photovoltaic panels on your buildings, or on freestanding posts. I believe in most states you can feed in (to the grid, i.e. run the meter backward) your excess PV-generated power when you're not drying and then pull it back out when your dryer is running. The amount of PV generation to run an electric dryer concurrently (at full supply of power to dryer) is pretty hefty. You could supply the dryer's needs by generating less, but all day, every day, and feeding in to the grid.

This my DH's field. I'll ask him if all 50 states allow feed-in.

L

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 12:56PM
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fahrenheit_451

Photovoltaic panels are simply not where they need to be to make a difference today, and their energy yield is still too low. The big push in the solar industry is for Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) but these entail some long-term nightmares and are a subsidy to those who cannot afford solar in the first place (synonymous to the housing bubbles, if you ask me).

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 1:31PM
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Cavimum

"Doesn't anyone see the irony in a solar clothes dryer when... you can... dry your clothes... outside in the sun... for free?"

Yes, unless one is highly allergic to all sorts of pollens and/or the HOA forbids clotheslines. (standing up and raising hand to both)

We moved into our previous house thirty-one years ago and it had a clothesline. Brought back memories from childhood. I hung(hanged?) the sheets out to dry. Cost me a ton in water & energy to re-wash the bird-poop off them. Realized why my mother was so happy when she finally got a dryer. I still remember how her fingers & knuckles used to crack from hanging wet clothes outside in freezing temps.
Not everyone lives in the desert or Florida. ;-)

I would love the idea of a solar dryer if the costs aren't out the roof (no pun intended) as long as it has electric backup capability. There was one winter when we went six weeks without seeing the sun. I'll have to read the article linked in.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 9:44AM
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fordtech

"There was one winter when we went six weeks without seeing the sun. I'll have to read the article linked in."

Always a hitch to solar,you have to have the sun avaliable. So you have to always place a backup system with it. Just like heat pump, a backup must be there for extremely cold days.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 10:52AM
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suburbanmd

It's a condenser dryer. I've read mostly bad things about condenser dryers.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 11:59AM
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sandy808

Hmmm....I live out in the country, in the middle of timber being grown and cattle raised. I've only had to re-wash one item in two years because something "pooped" on it. I don't have my lines in the middle of trees though.

As far as allergies go, I tend to be sensitive to things and I really haven't had a problem from my clothing or sheets hung on a clothesline. If there is stuff blowing around I use my dryer that day.

Don't even get me going on HOA. Couldn't wait to move away from that lifestyle. I did have a neighbor from Germany that stood up to them and said she was going to hang her wash out whether they liked it or not, and she did. Everyone gave up and stopped bothering her. Maybe more people should be doing the same thing. Since when did laundry become "offensive". It is possible to construct a clothesline system that is not an eyesore. I plan on having a fabricater make pretty metal poles when we get our house finished.

As far as the towels go, if it is windy they are soft. If it is not then I look at it as a cheap way to keep my skin exfoliated without having to go to a spa:))

We have solar panels on our barn roof that have cut our electricity costs in half but I still hang clothes out to dry most of the time. I would find it absolutely insane to purchase a "solar dryer" that is a machine.

For those that don't live in a sunshine state and/or have winters, with few exceptions (depending on the state) you aren't producing solar at that time anyway so a grid powered dryer is needed. I know. I used to live in the northeast. I took advantage of fair weather though and saved money about half the year.

It is possible to ramp up a little at a time with solar panels and high capacity batteries. Not everyone would be able to do this themselves but with carefully studying the process it is possible to do.

fordtech, we had winters where we would go 3 months without seeing the sun. Not fun.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 3:42PM
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sshrivastava

@ sandy808

The fact that Miele's purported solar dryer is also a condenser model points to Miele's target audience - people who live in condominiums, apartments, etc., where they don't have venting options. In this situation, a solar dryer makes sense because you can't hang your laundry out to dry, you can't install solar panels on your roof, and the dryer and fridge are probably the two big energy hogging appliances inside of a townhouse or condo.

For the rest of us, it's a rather silly product. If you have any decent sized yard, the most ecological way to dry your clothes is to hang them - not dry them in a solar powered dryer. As you astutely stated, on days when it's cloudy you get no benefit from the solar anyway. I think it's a good "proof of concept" which may find a niche in crowded European cities, but little else.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 12:13PM
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dees_1

I read this totally expecting it to be from the Onion or something like that. Seriously? Solar-heated clothes dryer? Sounds like a racket to me.

I read all the posts waiting for the punch line but you all are serious!! To all those with HOA or some other reason to not hang them outdoors (i.e. bird poop), just think about alternatives. If you have allergies, hang them inside.

I've decided to dry all my clothes by hanging them indoors on a clothes dryer (you know, the accordian fold type). Finish them in the dryer for a short period of time if you need that softness or don't want to iron them. Between the costs of heating/cooling the home and other electronic items, not drying my clothes in the dryer is saving me HUNDREDS of dollars per year. If I save up all that cash, I can probably afford that solar-heated dryer (sarcasm fully out there!).

Thanks for the chuckle.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 10:46PM
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asolo

In my house, not using the dryer would save about as much as not cooking my food on the electric range.

Hang my wet laundry on racks in the house? I don't think so.

This is getting silly.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 11:44PM
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mara_2008

Ha! I had a solar clothes dryer decades ago. It was called a clothesline. Anyone want to hazard a guess what the difference in price would be?

If you put the line-dried laundry in the dryer for about 5 or 10 minutes, it will soften it right up. But I actually liked line-dried towels. They were much more absorbent and also acted as a loofah. :)

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 7:54AM
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