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Old 11-06-13, 11:19 AM   #1
razor02097
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Default reclaiming heat from dryer...need ideas.

I would like to design a system to reclaim the heat from my clothes dryer during the winter... I would like to use a heat exchanger instead of venting the air inside and have some sort of way to drain any condensation that builds up. I also need to think about lint buildup and moisture... Anyone have ideas?

I would just vent the air in the basement but I'm worried about the humidity.

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Old 11-06-13, 11:29 AM   #2
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I would just vent the air in the basement but I'm worried about the humidity.
If you do a search, of EcoRenovator, you will find a huge discussion regarding this very subject.

As for myself, I think that clothes dryers are an abomination... in that they beat our clothes to death and shorten their useful life (look in the lint filter for the evidence) and they use a huge amount of energy.

I'd say that the best way to recover the lost heat is to carry the clothes dryer to the dump and leave it there.

Then find a way to dry clothes that does not require a dryer.

-AC
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Old 11-06-13, 11:31 AM   #3
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This is the thread AC Hacker is talking about. There are several ideas and some were even made and tested:

http://ecorenovator.org/forum/conser...ry-system.html
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Old 11-06-13, 11:40 AM   #4
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I tried the search but probably didn't use the right keywords... Thanks
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Old 11-06-13, 01:03 PM   #5
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I tried the search but probably didn't use the right keywords... Thanks
THIS may help.

-AC
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Old 11-06-13, 02:18 PM   #6
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I was going to suggest the same solution as Doax but I did not read the hole topic he posted.

The way I would do it is use flex pipe for the bends to connect to the outlet and to the drier between them would be a rigid pipe with fins as seen in the link he posted.

To construct it get several short sections of pipe (easier to work with) heat them up in the oven and then spray them with VHT Wrinkle Plus™ Coatings (I believe that krylon has the same stuff and calls it crackle). That will double the surface area by turning it from a smooth surface to a textured one this was tested on a supercharger for air temps and cool off time.

Do the same with the fins, just remember to leave the part that you will attach to the pipe unpainted. I would also make sure to make a tape line on the pipe so you will have metal to metal contact. You could weld the fins in place or use thermal past (for CPUs) and pop-rivet them in place.

When putting the pipes together make sure that the upper pipe goes over the lower pipe, and if the drier is gas instead of electric I would also make sure to seal any holes that were created in the pipe.
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Old 11-06-13, 02:40 PM   #7
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I once saw a dryer that was basically a heated cabinet in which clothes were hung. I presume that would put basically no wear and tear on the clothes. Maybe a DIY version could be made with a modified window A/C for those who live where a clothesline isn't a good option.
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Old 11-08-13, 12:35 AM   #8
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I know a thermodynamics teacher that would hang his wet clothes in a closet and turn on a dehumidifier and it worked really well.
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Old 11-08-13, 08:49 AM   #9
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I know a thermodynamics teacher that would hang his wet clothes in a closet and turn on a dehumidifier and it worked really well.
Which is basically how one of those "heat pump" dryers work.

In an area where air conditioning is used for a good part of the year, it might be possible to siphon off some of the heat for drying clothes. An obvious solution is to just hang a clothesline over the outdoor unit. Using a desuperheater would work even better and allow year round use if it's a heat pump, but then you'll need to modify the unit.
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Old 11-08-13, 01:25 PM   #10
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Default It's a dirt cheap 3X-win!

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I know a thermodynamics teacher that would hang his wet clothes in a closet and turn on a dehumidifier and it worked really well.
I think we have an amazingly good hack on our hands, folks!

There have been some really great conventional clothes-dryer alternatives appear on EcoRenovator.

One of the best was the sunny side room Piwoslaw has in his house for drying clothes.

We have also seen other rooms being used for such a purpose.

The heat-pump clothes dryers seem to wok great, but they still beat the clothes to deth, and cost $1000+.

Clothes lines wherever possible.

* * *

But one of the ironies is that in many places that have deep cold winters, home interiors can suffer from excessively dry air, and mechanical/electric humidifiers are employed.... while in a different part of the house, mechanical/electric devices are employed to remove humidity (and fiber) from clothes.

Well, I have been using my own personally designed dryer/humidifier implimentations for several years now and it has saved me lots of money, has reduced the lint extraction process remarkably, has reduced the number of times I have been required to run a laundry cycle, etc...

Here it is... AC_Hacker's Combination Towel-Dryer and Room Humidifier


It is best that AC_Hacker's Combination Towel-Dryer and Room Humidifier be implemented in a room where people frequently suffer the discomfort that excessively low humidity can cause. This has the dual benefit of providing speedy relief to the the sufferers, and also makes the towels dry fastest.

Here is a detail photo of my Combination Towel-Dryer and Room Humidifier.


Just go to the appropriate store and get some cheap Bull Dog clips and screw them to a door, and hang your towels up by the clips.

This will reduce drying time to a few hours or less.

It also keeps the towels fresh because wet-towel crud doesn't have the opportunity to start growing.

You will not need to wash towels nearly as often, because they stay fresh for periods of time that will completely amaze you.

It's a dirt cheap 3X-win!

-AC

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Last edited by AC_Hacker; 11-08-13 at 06:54 PM.. Reason: It's a dirt cheap 3X-win!
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