The quest to implement more energy efficient appliances always centers on the home. Theoretically this makes sense since there are so many individual households in the US. The problem with this approach is that the commercial sector is ignored resulting in a commercial equipment legacy that dwarfs the energy consumption of home appliances.
Let’s take a look at the lowly clothes dryer found in almost every household in the US. Recent years have brought great leaps in efficiency for home dryers but commercial dryers have remained largely unchanged. This is exasperated by the fact that a home dryer has a lifespan on average of 10 years (H&R Block reports), but the average commercial dryer is in service about 25 years. This lifecycle differential means that commercial dryers take a minimum of 2.5 times as long for generational efficiency upgrades.
The issue has not gone unnoticed. The Natural Resource Defense Council submitted Docket No. 12-AAER-2D Titled: “Proposal for Standards Commercial Clothes Dryers” to the California Energy Commission. The proposal estimates that standards implementation in California alone can save about 11.7 million therms of natural gas per year reducing emissions by 62,000 MT CO2 equivalent.
Let’s put that CO2 savings into perspective: Saving 11.7 million therms of natural gas would be equivalent to taking 13,060 passenger vehicles off the road, or offsetting 33.3 tons of burned coal per year. Remember, this is just in California, now spread these savings across the US and the saving potential is mind blowing.
Savings potentials for improved commercial dryers vastly exceed those for home dryers:
- Home Dryer: Uses 20,000 BTUs/Hour for 4 hours/week run time = 80,000 BTUs/Week
- Commercial Dryer: Uses 200,000 BTUs/Hour for 72 hours per week = 14,400,000 BTUs/Week
- Each commercial Dryer is the energy equivalent of 180 home dryers.
Therefore saving 10% on a single Commercial Dryer is the equivalent of the complete elimination of 18 home dryers.
Are new efficiency standards for commercial dryers the answer? Well, it is part of the answer, but even if new standards are finalized it will take 25-40 years to bring in new and compliant dryers due to the 25 year lifecycle. Upgrading the existing dryer fleet now is the path to realize a generation’s worth of savings. But how?
There is a proven dryer efficiency technology on the market today that has been 3rd party certified. This dryer burner upgrade uses a proprietary “Gas Stepping” technology. This technology can be used to upgrade any existing dryer and has been proven to increase the dryer’s efficiency from 10% to 30%. This upgrade kit is called the BiO-Therm and is manufactured by EZ-Efficiency.
In a study completed for Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy Program, the BiO-Therm had a 100% ROI turnaround time of only 8 months post-installation without rebate. Testing was conducted at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells under high demand conditions. These results are backed-up by the findings of The Gas Technology Institute (GTI) over a one year test period as part of the Nicor Gas Emerging Technology Program. An interesting note on the GTI study is that the customer surveys indicated the customers actually felt their dyers functioned better and faster with the BiO-Therm upgrade installed. If there were a rebate for this technology the ROI period would be even shorter and the adoption rate could be outstanding.
In today’s economy when money that can be allocated towards efficiency upgrades is limited, does it make more sense to inexpensively upgrade a single commercial dryer and save the equivalent energy of completely replacing 18 home dryers which would cost $14,400 to $21,600? If the goal is to maximize energy savings with limited incentive dollars, in the case of dryers it makes sense to focus on commercial.
The case has been made and the need for an energy efficiency upgrade for commercial laundry dryers is real. The energy savings are too high to leave on the table when a viable and proven upgrade is available today.
To learn more about the BiO-Therm visit EZ-Efficiency’s website at http://ez-efficiency.com