Innovation of the week
“Forget heat—drying laundry is about cranking up the volume,” said Jamie Condliffe in TechnologyReview.com. Researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have built an energyefficient clothes dryer that blasts laundry with high-frequency sound waves. The machine uses ultrasound to vibrate water droplets out of fabric, forming a fine mist that’s siphoned out like a regular dryer. Oak Ridge’s ultrasonic dryer can dry a medium-size load in 20 minutes, compared with 50 for a conventional machine. It also uses 70 percent less energy than conventional dryers, which are infamous energy hogs. The typical household dryer uses more power over the course of a year than a refrigerator, dishwasher, and clothes washer combined. The project was developed in collaboration with GE Appliances, which plans to eventually use the technology in its own dryers.