Ultrasonic Clothes Dryer

Save 5% of U.S. residential energy consumption by using ultrasonic cold drying.

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Six percent of U.S. residential electrical consumption is used drying clothes. That translates into 40 million metric tons of carbon dioxide--9 billion dollars on the electric bill. Ultrasonic drying has the potential to reduce that consumption by 80% or more.

Check out this U.S. Department of Energy study for more details.

Reducing energy consumption (while maintaining the useful activity) is a planet friendly goal.

An ultrasonic transducer, in contact with damp clothing, will create a cold mist and dry cloth in 20 seconds (versus 480 seconds at 80 degrees C).

I purchased this transducer:

This is great if you are making a witch's pot.

However, this is designed for underwater use, not contact with cloth in a relatively dry situation, so my search for appropriate transducers has merely started.

Traditional dryers (heat pump or resistance heat) utilize a spinning drum. A rotating drum is not the best solution for an ultrasonic system. Because transducer/cloth contact is necessary, a rotating drum requires roughly twice as many transducers as needed (half the drum is not in contact with clothing at any time). Rotating electrical connections (slip rings) and control (turning off the unused transducers) represent cost and complexity that can be avoided.

I'm proposing a simple basket (transducers on the bottom) to contact cloth and generate the cold mist that removes the moisture.

The clothing can be tossed by using a "seesaw" action rather than 360 degree rotation. This potentially avoids the use of slip rings.

When I select a proper transducer, I'll have to rework the bed and containment system.

This transducer blasts a stream of moisture droplets away from the wet material--but the contact surface is quite small.

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 258.09 kB - 04/21/2022 at 14:25


f3d - 213.04 kB - 04/21/2022 at 14:25


Standard Tesselated Geometry - 197.54 kB - 04/21/2022 at 14:25


f3d - 59.92 kB - 04/21/2022 at 14:25


f3d - 86.38 kB - 04/21/2022 at 14:25


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  • 1
    Building the prototype

    Start by 3d printing the components given in the "files" category. I included the design files (Fusion 360) for anyone who wants to alter them.

    The red base attaches to the servo horn using 3mm screws.

    The servo horn attaches to a "giant high torque servo."

    Assembled, it looks like this.

  • 2

    I found a transducer that "shoots water droplets out the backside" when touching wet cloth.

    The transducer is tiny, with a contact area of about 12mm in diameter.

    I found larger transducers and inserted them into the bed of the dryer.

    The next step will involve building appropriate drivers for the transducers.

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Enjoy this project?



Todd Medema wrote 05/10/2022 at 00:40 point

How's the project going? I'd love to see a working prototype!

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