Tumble Dry In Vacuum

DryMate is a clothes dryer that uses a new vacuum technology to dry clothes at lower temperature. As a result lesser energy is consumed, and heat-related damage to the clothes is avoided. The dryer scores another brownie point for being easily accessible from a standing position. To aid its stand further, a 9 degree tilt and a wide-mouth drum has been incorporated to the design. The rounded exterior gives a refreshing new form to the redundant cuboids that we see at homes.

Technology as explained by Nico:

From a technical view every enclosed space with an air pressure lower than in our environment is already a vacuum. In every vacuum there are special physical conditions as a result of the lower amount of material. DryMate uses one of those special conditions. In a drum with lower air pressure (vacuum) water already evaporates at much lower temperatures than 100°C. The lower the air pressure the lower the temperature that is necessary to evaporate water. It is much more energy-saving to create a minor under pressure than heating your wet laundry to 100°C. Therefore DryMate can achieve much better energy efficiency than conventional tumble dryers.

Supervising Professor: Prof. Hatto Grosse, Köln International School of Design

Designer: Nico Kläber

32 Comments

  • Berkana says:

    The idea of using a partial vacuum to assist in the drying of clothes is not new. Variations of this have popped up at various times in the past. It is not easy to do. This would certainly reduce the amount of heat needed, but until tests are done, it cannot be said that it would take less energy. Pumping out air to maintain a vacuum and continuing to pump out water vapor as the water evaporates takes a considerable amount of energy; additionally, sucking the air out of a closed chamber causes the temperature to drop dramatically. What you have here is an idea without implementation; if you have an idea for how to pump out the air and maintain a vacuum while somehow heating the very little air inside to warm the clothes (or at least to resist the adiabatic chilling effect of sucking air out) and assist in drying, bravo. If not, this design is styling more than design, especially if the core technology that is needed does not exist.

  • Berkana says:

    The idea of using a partial vacuum to assist in the drying of clothes is not new. Variations of this have popped up at various times in the past. It is not easy to do. This would certainly reduce the amount of heat needed, but until tests are done, it cannot be said that it would take less energy. Pumping out air to maintain a vacuum and continuing to pump out water vapor as the water evaporates takes a considerable amount of energy; additionally, sucking the air out of a closed chamber causes the temperature to drop dramatically. What you have here is an idea without implementation; if you have an idea for how to pump out the air and maintain a vacuum while somehow heating the very little air inside to warm the clothes (or at least to resist the adiabatic chilling effect of sucking air out) and assist in drying, bravo. If not, this design is styling more than design, especially if the core technology that is needed does not exist.

  • fritz says:

    Sometimes design concepts can push a good idea further and maybe someone finds a way to make it possible! Design is not only about technology. It's about use, it's about people, consumer behaviour, culture and so on.

  • jotpe says:

    For what clothes dryer at all? I don't understand 🙂 Fresh air outdoor is better…

  • Nico says:

    hey jotpe, clothes dryer are extremely important in densed cities with lack of space and in regions where the humidity is too high. And every family with children has a real need!

  • jotpe says:

    Hey Nico 🙂
    My comment wasn't a very serious 😉 You are a right when a humidity is too high… And the oder side I live in place where a humidity is low so… I made a simplify 🙂

  • angel lee says:

    yes nico, definitely need one in my new hm now.hk's humidity is crazy. even more impt so when u live in a 2m by 2m room=p

  • Doris says:

    hey Nico
    I read your invention in one of the Hong Kong magazines. And I found that it is so interesting and really suitable in HK as it is quite humid in Hong Kong, especially in spring. But i have some questions about the invention. I wold be grateful if you can reply me by emial. Thanks!!!

  • Doris says:

    hey Nico
    I read your invention in one of the Hong Kong magazines. And I found that it is so interesting and really suitable in HK as it is quite humid in Hong Kong, especially in spring. But i have some questions about the invention. I wold be grateful if you can reply me by emial. Thanks!!!

  • Walter Weiler says:

    Hey Nico. I like the design and idea of your vacuum dryer but I also agree with Berkana's comment on the technology challenges. How did you come about it? Have you been approached by a white goods manufacturer? Or have you presented it to one of those companies? What were their reactions?

    Thank you for your answers!

    Walter

  • Walter Weiler says:

    Hey Nico. I like the design and idea of your vacuum dryer but I also agree with Berkana's comment on the technology challenges. How did you come about it? Have you been approached by a white goods manufacturer? Or have you presented it to one of those companies? What were their reactions?

    Thank you for your answers!

    Walter

  • ramble says:

    I'm not sure heat would be required to dry cloths. Cold environments are much more suitable for removing moisture.

  • ramble says:

    I'm not sure heat would be required to dry cloths. Cold environments are much more suitable for removing moisture.

  • richard bencsik says:

    I can actually say the idea of usinga vacumn to dry clothes was my very own original idea. However I have not had the time or money to test or develop it into a working model. On the surface it seems like a great idea. A typical clothes dry uses tons of energy to first tumble, and heat the clothes. And it still takes forever to get the clothes dry. I started thinking about ways to increase the evaporation process, which is all were talking about here. Lower pressure results in faster evaporation. Of course heat increases evaporation as well. Combine the 2, considering the idea is to save energy, and increase the process speed and you might have a working model. The questions are, how much energy is required to pump out all the air, and water vapor. How much heat energy would have to be added to the system. Would you result in a net savings of energy? Would you decrease the drying time? And what cost could a product like this be brought to the consumer? I highly doubt anything less than a perfect vacumn would work, except for novelty reasons such as the drymate. Sure you could add a small vacumn, with less heat, call it an eco-friendly dryer..but the damn thing takes 24 hours to dry your clothes.

  • richard bencsik says:

    I can actually say the idea of usinga vacumn to dry clothes was my very own original idea. However I have not had the time or money to test or develop it into a working model. On the surface it seems like a great idea. A typical clothes dry uses tons of energy to first tumble, and heat the clothes. And it still takes forever to get the clothes dry. I started thinking about ways to increase the evaporation process, which is all were talking about here. Lower pressure results in faster evaporation. Of course heat increases evaporation as well. Combine the 2, considering the idea is to save energy, and increase the process speed and you might have a working model. The questions are, how much energy is required to pump out all the air, and water vapor. How much heat energy would have to be added to the system. Would you result in a net savings of energy? Would you decrease the drying time? And what cost could a product like this be brought to the consumer? I highly doubt anything less than a perfect vacumn would work, except for novelty reasons such as the drymate. Sure you could add a small vacumn, with less heat, call it an eco-friendly dryer..but the damn thing takes 24 hours to dry your clothes.

  • richard bencsik says:

    On the same note, I saw a cool device that you can attach to a pressuized water line, run water past a valve and it can create a decent vacumn through a line connected to a chamber. Could it be possible to use some of the energy of a pressurized water line (typical 60 psi to a standard home) to create the vacumn needed to dry your clothes? Then the water would have to go into a holding chamber, then to be re-used to wash the clothes, or used for the rest of the home via a localized pump? More questions arise.. How much water would need to be used to create the vacumn long enough to sustain drying? How much more energy would be consumed to re-pump the same water back to the sinks and faucets. I would love to see this technology come to be, as long as I somehow get some money out of it.

  • richard bencsik says:

    On the same note, I saw a cool device that you can attach to a pressuized water line, run water past a valve and it can create a decent vacumn through a line connected to a chamber. Could it be possible to use some of the energy of a pressurized water line (typical 60 psi to a standard home) to create the vacumn needed to dry your clothes? Then the water would have to go into a holding chamber, then to be re-used to wash the clothes, or used for the rest of the home via a localized pump? More questions arise.. How much water would need to be used to create the vacumn long enough to sustain drying? How much more energy would be consumed to re-pump the same water back to the sinks and faucets. I would love to see this technology come to be, as long as I somehow get some money out of it.

  • engineering_thoughts says:

    You can extract some of the energy from a pressurized water line and use it for creating a vacuum. However, the amount of energy in a low pressure water line (60 psi is low pressure) isn’t much compared to the very large demand of continuously creating a vacuum in a large chamber.

    The water lines in your home just don’t have much throughput (small volume of water).

    At the end of the day, physics works against you. There is a minimum amount of activation energy required to get water to evaporate. Lowering the pressure reduces that activation energy, but artificially lowering the pressure requires a LOT of energy itself and adds another point of inefficiency in the system.

    You could, perhaps, dry **faster** at the cost of requiring more power. People will pay for that – but you can’t lead them on to think it’s more energy efficient.

  • Clive says:

    What you said about temperature dropping is untrue in this case. If you reduce the temperature of, say, a closed cylinder by drawing air out of it, then yes, temperature drops dramatically. But notice that this vacuum dryer is not a closed cylinder. In order to draw air from the atmosphere into the dryer at vacuum, it must go through an orifice or a throttle. This is what gives the pressure drop. Assuming the air flow speed within the dryer is negligible, the temperature stays the same as a load of entropy is generated at the orifice. Think of it this way: the kinetic energy gained as a result of the pressure drop is completely converted to heat via turbulence.

  • Sai Krishna says:

    Hi,
    I just wanted to know whether this works,warming the clothes first and then reducing the pressure.Because if we first reduce the pressure,the boiling point of water comes close to room temperature and the water has to evaporate ,but its experimentally proved that 15-20% of water is left out freeze (even after reducing pressure to 0.5 psi)this is because all the water molecules dont have the required threshold energy to boil out when the boiling point reaches the room temperature. So to avoid this can we just heat the clothes(using hot air or pumping warm water through clothes) before reducing pressure so that all the water molecules reach that threshold value??

    Can you just help me out whether it is feasible or not?? if it is,then what about the energy requirement,what material must be used inside the tub and it is grateful if you could give me any information on this concept.

  • Darryl says:

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    user of net so from now I am using net for posts, thanks to web.

  • If you want to heat laundry in vacuum (freeze-drying may be better) use an infrared (e.g. halogen) lamp. You may also add an ultrasonic device to vibrate the inner drum to whack the water out of the laundry into the vacuum. The ultrasonic energy may be also useable for dirt removal in a combined washer-dryer. But be careful not to cause hairline cracks by the vibration device or it may implode. Possibly a sphere instead of drum (on bearings like a trackball) would make it more stable and permit to spin in both directions to untangle laundry (controlled by artificial intelligence and a webcam).

    When installed on a spaceship or space station, the device might even use the natural outer space vacuum to save energy, but you would need some kind of piston between space and dryer to avoid wasting wasting precious water into space.

    MAY THE SOFTWARE BE WITH YOU!

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  • Tim Young says:

    Why not use a small heat light(s). The near infrared light, like heat from sunlight, would cross the vacuum and very little of it would be needed to keep the clothes (or more importantly the remaining water) warm due to the insulating property of the vacuum. In fact, it could be kept quite warm with very little power, while still not too warm to risk heat damage, and would require much less of a vacuum as a result, so less energy. Even at 0.5psi the boiling point of water is room temperature. Imagine what you could do if the moisture in the chamber was heating to even 35C. I think wrinkling is the biggest obstacle, since creating a chamber of sufficient size to allow tumbling would require a lot more energy to evacuate.

  • Rich says:

    While evaporation would cool the clothes being dried, that heat could be supplied by the air around the clothes dryer, if the temperature of the clothes was less than ambient temperature. We would not introduce that air into the vacuum chamber, we would just heat the chamber through a heat exchanger. There may be some desirable cooling to air condition the residence.

Comments are closed.