By Arthur Dominic J. Villasanta , | April 19, 2017
Ultrasonic dryer being tested.
The U.S. science and technology organization famous for developing atomic bombs recently developed an "ultrasonic clothes dryer" that uses vibrations instead of heat to dry freshly laundered clothes.
The geniuses from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee said their ultrasonic dryer technology is up to five times more efficient than today's dryers and can dry clothes in half the time.
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They recently revealed the fruits of their brainpower: a full-scale press dryer and clothes dryer drum.
The ultrasonic dryer project, which is supported by the Building Technologies Office of the Department of Energy (DoE), might cut drying time to about 20 minutes per load compared to the average 50 minutes it currently takes Americans to do their laundry.
The ultrasonic dryer relies on high-frequency vibrations instead of heat as most dryers do. Devices called "green transducers" convert electricity into vibrations, thereby shaking the water from clothes.
Americans spend $9 billion, or 4% of America's total residential energy use, for the electricity to power clothes dryers.
The new drying technology also leaves less lint behind than normal dryers do because most of the lint is created when the hot air stream blows tiny fibers off of clothing. Drying clothes without heat also reduces the chance their colors will fade faster.
The ORNL team has been working with General Electric and the DoE to develop the ultrasonic drying technology, a process that has taken two years. DOE has invested $880,000 toward the project.
ORNL researchers have built a working prototype. The ultrasonic clothes dryer, however, won't get to stores for at least a couple of years.
ORNL is home to several of the world's top supercomputers, including the world's third most powerful supercomputer, Titan. It's also a leading neutron science and nuclear energy research facility
A video of this revolutionary new ultrasonic clothes dryer can be seen here.
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