General Question

cloudvertigo's avatar

Would it save energy to use a centrifuge for drying clothes?

Asked by cloudvertigo (345 points ) March 1st, 2011

Really, I suppose that it would require a much more well-grounded dryer. . . because if the unit went off-kilter it might shake itself though a wall but we did put a man on the moon.

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9 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

If you want to save energy, dry your clothes on a line the way it was done for eons.

jaytkay's avatar

A washing machine’s spin cycle is a centrifugal dryer, typically at 800 to 1600 RPM. And they have a mechanism to shut down if the load is unbalanced.

cazzie's avatar

Kinetic motion takes a lot of energy to produce. If you want to live ‘Green’ get yourself one of these, http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50095091
instead of one of these: http://www.hiwtc.com/photo/products/4/00/98/9887.jpg

LuckyGuy's avatar

Good out of the box thinking. The answer is “Yes, but.” There are washers that spin the clothes much faster than normal – 2000 rpm instead of the old 600–700 rpm. That is a huge difference as the force is a square law on speed. It takes a lot of mechanical energy to get that last bit of water out – and it would make terrible wrinkles.
If you live in a cold climate (like me) and have an electric dryer the best way to save energy is to vent it indoors during the winter when you can. The relative humidity in my house now is only 34%. I can use the moisture. By venting indoors every watt is going inside your home instead of outdoors. While it is running, I am basically heating my home with electricity instead of my furnace. And few things smell as nice as clean laundry.

markferg's avatar

Well, it depends on the alternative. We dry our clothes inside during the winter and out on a clothes lines from, well, about now! Sticking them in a centrifuge would certainly just cost us more in electricity and the cost of an industrial sized centrifuge! So, for me, no this is not saving (man-made and metered) energy i.e. money, which is what really matters.

downtide's avatar

Clothes used to be dried this way, in spin dryers. But they’re big, bulky, extremely heavy and they’re not as efficient as tumble dryers or drying outside.

blueiiznh's avatar

you still will need a heat source to completely remove any moisture.
Too many other obvious ways listed already to save energy for clothes drying than a centrifuge.

RocketGuy's avatar

But clothes won’t be so fluffy.

thecaretaker's avatar

You would need to know 3 things, how many RPMs at how long and watts required to do the job, it would probably require more electricity than using a 240v heating element; the best answer is to just hang them up and let them air dry just like Grandma used to do.

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