Energy Low Power Washer/Dryer

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by BenP, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. BenP

    BenP Monkey+ Site Supporter+

    I am building an off-grid house and it is time to start shopping for a washer and dryer. I have noticed the heat pump dryers and I was wonder if anyone knew which one uses the least amount of power before I spend the next 3 days trying to figure it out.
    UncleMorgan likes this.
  2. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Heat pump dryers are useless for off grid.
    They still require a 240v 30 amp connection, they only use around half the total power of a electric heated dryer, in operation I believe they draw 10 to 15 amps of 240v which is more than a lot off grid off grid systems can handle, not using a generator. Plus they are a waste of money. I see them for $800 to $1,000 or more new, haven't seen a used one yet.

    I say get a gas dryer. They use 120v power, consume about 1,000 to 1,100 volt-amps briefly while the gas ignition element is on then drop down to around 400 to 500 volt-amps during normal run. Total they use well under 1kwh total, mine uses around 1/3 of a kwh per cycle.
    They should use up to 1lb of propane per cycle, I never measured gas consumption.
    A used gas dryer should cost no more than $250. Leaving you at least $500 to buy propane.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
    UncleMorgan likes this.
  3. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    The best overall solution for clothes drying off-grid is the tried and true clothes line. Add in a vintage Maytag with a wringer and a couple of galvanized rinse tubs...voila!
    Yeah, it's not the set it and forget it many have become accustomed to, but it's simple, inexpensive, modular, and perhaps most importantly, reliable.
  4. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    A clothes washer is one of the better uses for expedient small-scale wind power.

    Even a slow churn for a few hours will do the job.

    You'd need a high-torque low rpm rig. Something like a vertical axis windmill with a rotor made form four halves of 55-gallen plastic barrels.

    All of the manual washing machines out there use less than 1/10th hp because that's what the person churning them puts out.

    A wind-powered washer is more practical than it might seem.
    Tully Mars likes this.
  5. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    Here in Southeast Asia, it is much more common for clothes to be washed by hand, than by machine. And, as techstar stated, the ol' solar clothes dryer (clothes line) can't be beaten for energy savings.
    Cruisin Sloth and Tully Mars like this.
  6. ochit

    ochit Monkey+

    old fashioned clothesline no plug no electricity a little elbow grease.
    Hillbilly549 likes this.
  7. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Out in the Alaskan bush most of the neighbors use a Clothes Line, outside in the summer, and inside in the winter.... The Most energy efficent is a Propane Dryer, and a Wringer Washer.... Did you know the original Wringer Washers were powered by a Single Cyl “Maytag” Gasoline Engine? I kid you not... It had a Kick Start, and even Old Ladies could get them started...
    We are very Hi Tech around our cabin, as we generate ALL our own Electric Power, so we have an industrial Washing Machine and Electric Dryer... No Propane anywhere inside the cabin, because our Main source of heat is an Open Pot burning CookStove, which is an excelent Ingition Source, should there be a Propane leak.. No Thanks... Do NOT need an Exploding Cabin....
  8. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    I've not seen one in person, but have seen pictures of them.
    sec_monkey likes this.
  9. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    My grandmother's wringer was powered by elbow grease.

    Cloths line and you can use one of those hand clothes washers that you spin

    Off Grid Clothes washing
  10. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Staying at my older Sister’s place, had to do some laundry tonite... She has a fancy NEW LG Wasing Machine... Boy do I feel STUPID... Turned it on by pushing the ON Button, and the Display says “ CL” blinking at me, and NONE of the other buttons do Squat.... Got the Manual out, No Reference to CL in 50 Pages... Got online, went to LG site and Chatted with a Tech... “ CL” stands for “Child Lock” and is supposed to keep the Kiddies from operation the machine... Apparently it also prevents Dumb Alaskan Bush Dudes from doing laundry without help from the Factory Tech Dudes... Amazing....
    sec_monkey, Tully Mars and ghrit like this.
  11. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I'm assuming the original poster has a good reason for needing a dryer off grid, like it's so wet there the clothes will get mildew, mold on them or get that wet funky smell before they can dry.
    For me it's the air is so thin, its also hot and dry enough here I can literally watch a bed sheet dry right before my eyes, way faster than any clothes dryer.
  12. BenP

    BenP Monkey+ Site Supporter+

    I found a Bloomberg DHP24400W that only draws 900 watts. I'm going to keep looking for something better.

    We have two children that make a lot of laundry and we both work + farm which leaves little time for monitoring clothes on a clothes line. I think we could do an indoor clothes line in the winter but in the summer it rains a lot and it just isn't practical for us right now.
  13. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    A gas dryer will draw well under 900w.
    Plus there is apparent power and true power. This is why volt-amps versus watts becomes very important when going off grid. Because inverters and generators only care about volt-amps. So if you plug a 900 watt dryer into a 1,500w inverter but the dryer is actually using 1,800 volt-amps it will over load the inverter.
    For example with my gas dryer it draws about twice as many volt-amps as it draws watts during normal running.
  14. BenP

    BenP Monkey+ Site Supporter+

    The specs say it is 5 Amps at 208 - 240V / 60Hz which would pull 1200w worst case and my inverter is a Schneider Electric 4024 which should handle it. I wouldn't mind having a gas dryer if I had a gas well but for now I will stick with electric to make use of free solar/wind.

    I bought a heat pump water heater and with a little modification I was able to make it work. When I bought it it had two 4500 watt elements in it and even when it was in "Heat Pump Only" mode it would still run the elements if the water temperature was below 75F. I found some 480v 2000w elements on-line that when run at 240v only draw about 500w. Now in the worst case scenario it will draw about 900w but most of the time it will only run on the heat pump and it draws about 350w. The heat pump has the added advantage of cooling and dehumidifying our house.
  15. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I have a heat pump water heater too.
    Mine is a 6,000btu per hour heat pump which should be about the same as what a 1700w electric heating element would do. If 6000 btu per hour can't keep up, then we need to use less hot water.
  16. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    Reminds me of when I was a boy, growing up in Gawga. That was when they had the prescription drug scare and began using the "child proof" lids on the bottles. I was the only one who could open them. :D
    3cyl likes this.
  17. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    WASHER. For off grid washing and drying I'd stick with this one. It's mostly wind/solar power, with some manual manipulation required. Nothing child proof about this set-up. I clearly remember getting my fingers mashed in a mangle when I was little.
  18. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Ahh yup! Got my hand/wrist/lower arm caught in my Grandmother's powered ringer washer.
    Would love to have the set up pictured above. The clothesline is very cool.
  19. BenP

    BenP Monkey+ Site Supporter+

    Still shopping, this is the latest from Whirlpool regarding their heat pump dryer.

    Whirlpool USA: Hi Ben, our Appliances have only been tested on a main stream grid. Using your own grid would void the warranty to the unit, since solar power has not been tested with our Appliances at this time.
    SB21 likes this.
  20. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    You don't want a heat pump dryer.
    They cost more, break more often, much more expensive to repair, heat exchangers get clogged up with lint and all that to use roughly half the KwH of an electric dryer, still runs off 240v power, last time I checked.

    A propane dryer will use about 1/10 or less of the electric power of a pure electric dryer, burn around 1lb of propane.
    Oh they also run off 120v power.
    3cyl and SB21 like this.
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