Government, Manufacturing, and Sustainability

Appliance maker wins Emerging Technology Award from feds

December 1, 2014
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Appliance maker wins Emerging Technology Award from feds
The Whirlpool HybridCare Heat Pump Duet Dryer saves consumers more than 40 percent in energy compared to standard dryers. Courtesy EPA

An appliance maker has won the Energy Star Emerging Technology Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for one of its new products.

Whirlpool Corporation in Benton Harbor said today that it has received the award for its Whirlpool brand HybridCare Heat Pump Duet Dryer, model WED99HED.

The award

The award is presented to “innovative technologies” that meet performance criteria to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, without sacrificing features or functionality.

The HybridCare dryer exceeds the Emerging Technology Award's requirements to save consumers about 40 percent in energy compared to standard dryers.

North American dryers waste an estimated $4 billion per year in energy, according to a USA Today article cited by Whirlpool.

Whirlpool said that “based on estimated annual energy use” the HybridCare dryer is “its most-efficient clothes dryer sold in the United States.”

“Super efficient, cutting-edge technology like this has the potential to save significant amounts of energy and CO2 emissions,” said Ann Bailey, director of Energy Star products, EPA.

Dryer technology

The HybridCare dryer is designed to re-generate energy during the drying cycle to reduce energy consumption, while providing dryer speed and performance flexibility.

Compared to typical dryers that use large amounts of energy in the form of venting hot, moist air, the HybridCare dryer is a vent-less heat-pump dryer that uses a refrigeration system to dry and recycle the same air.

The HybridCare dryer doesn’t require an outside vent, which “gives consumers more options for where to install it in the home,” said Chris Ball, general manager of Laundry, Whirlpool North America.

Climates where there's a need to cool or heat the air brought in from a traditional dryer's venting during operation could also benefit from the vent-less feature.

The HybridCare uses advanced sensors tuned to manage energy consumption and temperature: speed mode, used when consumer focus is on managing time; eco mode, used when optimizing energy is the priority; and balanced mode, which blends the performance of speed and eco modes.

Product rollout

The launch of the HybridCare dryer is ramping up in select markets and will expand to others in the U.S. and Canada in early 2015.

Whirlpool said "many utilities" are developing plans to offer customer rebates to incentivize purchases of the HybridCare dryer.

Energy-efficient appliances

Whirlpool's first Energy Star-certified dryer, the Whirlpool brand Duet steam dryer, model WED87HED, was introduced in June, followed by Energy Star certifications for Whirlpool's entire front-load electric dryer lineup.

Whirlpool said it’s collaborating with industry alliances, as well as hundreds of U.S. utilities and energy-efficiency organizations through the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance and the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships to support efforts to mobilize the market toward energy efficiency.

Whirlpool has also established relationships with organizations, including the Super-Efficient Dryer Initiative, which brings together dryer manufacturers, government agencies, utilities and appliance retailers in the U.S. and Canada to promote the introduction of advanced clothes dryers into the North American market.

Energy Star

The federal Energy Star label can be found on products in more than 70 different categories, with more than 4.5 billion sold over the past 20 years.

Over 1.5 million new homes and 23,000 office buildings, schools, hospitals and plants have earned the Energy Star label. 

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