Heat Exchanger for Clothes Dryer

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The Green Exchanger provides a means to recover the heat generated by a clothes dryer for reuse as a supplemental household heating source. This exchanger is the only product to provide the secondary filtration and moisture reduction of the flow to allow for re-use. This unit features an exchanger “core” comprised of stacked finned plates to accomplish the heat transfer that have a 200% advantage over “flat” plates. The hot flow from the dryer runs through a horizontal finned plate(s) which is sandwiched between two vertical finned plates which cool the flow and transfer the heat. The cooling flow is driven by a fan, the only moving part. This unit also utilizes flow rate reduction to provide a further mechanical advantage. By cooling the hot moist flow, the condensation produced is collected and removed to allow for re-use as household heating source. A temperature sensor makes operation completely automatic.

The average home spends over $50 per month operating their clothes dryer. There are about 120 million homes in the U.S. (not including apartments, condos, rentals, and commercial buildings), and about 80% of these (96 million) have dryers. This means that every year $57.6 billion goes right out the window in the U.S., then we pay again to generate the same amount of heat with the household system. We’re paying twice for the same amount of heat! Dryers have three types of heat loss: the loss of heat generated, removal of heated interior air, and infiltration through the exterior vent line making the total loss even higher. If we filter and reduce the moisture content of the flow it can be used again. This exchanger can save homeowners over $600 per year, and over $6000 in ten years! If you have more than 3 people in your home you will save even more.

This unit has a thermo-formed plastic case, stainless steel roll formed plates, and a blower. A smart model can have a high temperature sensor to shut-down power to both units if it detects higher than normal operating temperatures. Every year around 25-30 lives are lost in about 15,000 dryer fires (U.S.), further proof that there’s room for improvement. Secondary filtration allows for the elimination of the exterior vent line which is a huge lint trap and fire hazard that rarely gets cleaned. An incorporated version will create a heat recovery loop to supply pre-warmed air to the dryer intake for additional benefits.

Some sources estimate dryer use to be as much as 15% of household energy use. By re-using this heat we can effectively remove the carbon footprint of dryer use from the household footprint, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the demand for electric generation and transmission, and our dependence on foreign oil. With an estimated retail cost under $100, The Green Exchanger can pay for itself in about two months.
Patent image shows parts, not new smaller unit in development.

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  • ABOUT THE ENTRANT

  • Name:
    Richard Brunner
  • Type of entry:
    individual
  • Software used for this entry:
    AutoCad 2002
  • Patent status:
    patented