|This page describes the first method of modifying the dryer so that
it can be used with solar heated air to save energy.
Go back to the main solar dryer page...
Cut opening in the back panel of the
dryer where the new 6 inch air
intake duct will provide solar heated air.
Preparing the duct for attachment to
the back of the dryer. The tabs are used
to anchor the duct in place in the new
hole in the back panel.
Duct in place on dryer back panel.
Ready to hook up the duct from the
solar attic collector.
I used 6 inch as the intake to the cabinet. Most all the air was vented thru the back. I used gorilla tape to cover the grills. This was very easy to do. Cutting the hole with tin snips went well. The back doesn't have to be removed, I loosened it only to check for where to put the new vent and to bend the tabs. The problem I originally had (method 2), with the dryer design and bypassing air at the drum gasket is gone. The sealed cabinet stops the bypass. I can now run the dryer on sunny and rainy or cloudy days. Of course the dryer will still draw air from the attic.
I was hoping that this method would eliminate the need for the blower on the attic collector to provide a pressurized air source, but find that it is still needed on this dryer. I think that on some dryers the blower may not be needed, depending on the details of the dryer design. Shorter ducts from collector to dryer will also lessen the need for the blower.
Still thinking about this change. After running several loads I find it dries clothes about the same, 90 min. If you can only have one machine and it's in the garage, then this is better. However, the cabinet now radiates and blows heat, All seams and holes must be taped.
I suppose If the duct was large enough. The longer the duct, the larger it would need to be. 8 ft. and 6inch, 10 ft. and 8 inch., and so on. Then a fan may not be needed. The problem is the suction caused by the intake duct. I have a filtered intake in the attic that increases the suction. I will add a larger one soon. It look like the machine design depends on the bypass of air for the intake. Maybe to take out heat, moisture, and exhaust coming from the machine that could fill the room?
The issue of heat in the cabinet, with electric relays and motors? Only time will tell.
My preference for now would be to have two dryers. One strictly solar attic heat, the other unchanged for back up. In a pinch they could both be run.
Maybe, present as an option with conditions or considerations?
This picture show a temperature probe in the duct. Note how lint has already
started to accumulate on the probe -- so, be aware of this tendency of lint to collect
on anything that penetrates the duct wall.