Looking at the uses for appropriate technology, the household clothes dryer is near the top of the list for one of the least efficient appliances. The cloths dryer uses roughly 5.8% of the energy from an individual household. It typically costs 30 to 40 cents to dry a load of laundry in an electric dryer and approximately 15 to 20 cents in a gas dryer. Over its expected lifetime of 18 years, the average clothes dryer will cost you approximately $1,530 to operate, according to the EIA (Energy Information Administration).
Project Goals[edit | edit source]
To create an alternative to the household clothes dryer to reduce energy consumption in ones home.
- Acquire materials
- Build the outdoor umbrella clothes dryer
- Test to see the amount of laundry that can be held and how long it take for clothes to dry
Design[edit | edit source]
The design of the outdoor umbrella clothes dryer, consist of placing clothes wire through holes drilled on the arms of a wooden patio umbrella. Three wires will be placed around the umbrella making for areas to place clothing to be dried. along the outside of the umbrella, solar fans will be placed to assist in the airflow needed to dry the clothes. The cloth that usually comes with the umbrella meant for shading is to remain on the umbrella. This is to serve to purposes; one, so the patio umbrella never loses its original purpose of shading people outdoors, and two, so the clothes don't get faded from the sun. The clothes are going to dry outside no matter what, they just need proper airflow to assist in the drying process.
Costs[edit | edit source]
- Wooden patio umbrella- $58.99
- 50 ft of clothes wire- $21.56
- 24 wire clamps- $18.99
- 5 solar fans- $16.00
- Clothespins- $5.99
Net investment $121.51
Conclusions[edit | edit source]
After building the outdoor umbrella clothes dryer, the intentions were to see if the project would be able to hold an average load of laundry. The project was successful in being able to hold an average load of laundry evenly separated. The drying process for the clothes depended on the weight of the clothes. For light weight clothes, such as T-shirts and underwear, the time in which it took to dry clothes ranged around two hours to two and a half hours. For heavier weight clothes, such as jeans and towels, the drying time was roughly around three hours. The solar fans that were placed around the umbrella can be moved to assist in the airflow for drying the heavier thicker clothes. The outdoor umbrella clothes dryer is a simple project for most people to make, and can significantly make a difference in the amount of money spent to power a household dryer. It only consist of a one time payment. Although the outdoor umbrella clothes dryer cannot be used year round, it relies on the weather to accommodate with the drying process.