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Viral Patel Invents Ultrasonic Clothes Dryer

Press Release
07/13/2017

Viral Patel and his team of researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a new type of clothes dryer that would remove moisture by using piezoelectric transducers.

“It is a completely new approach,” Viral Patel said. “Instead of evaporation, it’s technically performing mechanical extraction of the moisture within the fabric.” Where the traditional dryers work by using heat to dry the clothes, ultrasonic dryer basically shakes the water out of the fabric.

Not only the new technique saves time but also money. Patel said that while the traditional dryers use “enormous amount” of energy to dry the clothes, the new method could complete the work in almost half that energy. He said that nationwide the dryers use 60 billion kilowatt-hours of energy, which costs about $9 billion.  “If you say that $9 billion chunk of money is replaced by ultrasonic clothes dryers, then $9 billion becomes $1.8 billion,” Patel said, Knoxville News Sentinel reported on Thursday. “There’s potential for enormous savings, but of course that’s the best case scenario if everyone in the US were to buy one of these.”

Patel said that one of the main reasons that the dryer technology has not changed in the country in decades is the price factor. “We’re trying to develop the technology that has efficiency greater than or equal to the state of the art but with a competitive cost, so it can be sold on the US market,” Patel said. “GE brings the expertise in that area, which we do not have.”



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