Increasing the value of household appliances by adding a heat pump system
Abstract: Historically, domestic tasks such as preparing food and washing and drying clothes and dishes were done by hand. In a modern home many of these chores are taken care of by machines such as washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers. When the first such machines came on the market customers were happy that they worked at all! Today, the costs of electricity and customers’ environmental awareness are high, so features such as low electricity, water and detergent use strongly influence which household machine the customer will buy. One way to achieve lower electricity usage for the tumble dryer and the dishwasher is to add a heat pump system.The function of a heat pump system is to extract heat from a lower temperature source (heat source) and reject it to a higher temperature sink (heat sink) at a higher temperature level. Heat pump systems have been used for a long time in refrigerators and freezers, and that industry has driven the development of small, high quality, low price heat pump components. The low price of good quality heat pump components, along with an increased willingness to pay extra for lower electricity usage and environmental impact, make it possible to introduce heat pump systems in other household products.However, there is a high risk of failure with new features. A number of household manufacturers no longer exist because they introduced poorly implemented new features, which resulted in low quality and product performance. A manufacturer must predict whether the future value of a feature is high enough for the customer chain to pay for it. The challenge for the manufacturer is to develop and produce a high-performance heat pump feature in a household product with high quality, predict future willingness to pay for it, and launch it at the right moment in order to succeed.Tumble dryers with heat pump systems have been on the market since 2000. Paper I reports on the development of a transient simulation model of a commercial heat pump tumble dryer. The measured and simulated results were compared with good similarity. The influence of the size of the compressor and the condenser was investigated using the validated simulation model. The results from the simulation model show that increasing the cylinder volume of the compressor by 50% decreases the drying time by 14% without using more electricity. Paper II is a concept study of adding a heat pump system to a dishwasher in order to decrease the total electricity usage. The dishwasher, dishware and water are heated by the condenser, and the evaporator absorbs the heat from a water tank. The majority of the heat transfer to the evaporator occurs when ice is generated in the water tank. An experimental setup and a transient simulation model of a heat pump dishwasher were developed. The simulation results show a 24% reduction in electricity use compared to a conventional dishwasher heated with an electric element. The simulation model was based on an experimental setup that was not optimised. During the study it became apparent that it is possible to decrease electricity usage even more with the next experimental setup.
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