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MICROWAVE CLOTHES DRYERS PASS PRELIMINARY ENERGY DEPARTMENT TESTS

 MICROWAVE CLOTHES DRYERS PASS PRELIMINARY ENERGY DEPARTMENT TESTS
 ROSEMEAD, Calif., June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Microwave technology for residential clothes-drying applications has moved a step closer to reality, as prototypes sponsored by Southern California Edison have passed stringent tests administered by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
 The technology could lead to significant savings for Edison customers, as it uses 10 percent less energy than conventional electric dryers and 28 percent less than gas units, according to proposed DOE standards.
 Built as modifications of a conventional electric dryer, the test microwave units are each fitted with two microwave generators, positive lock door handles, integral seals, and necessary support electronics to power and control the operation of the machine. In addition, the original electric resistance element, which is still needed to heat air and carry moisture out of the dryer, has been replaced with a much lower-wattage element, thereby improving efficiency. The prototype was developed by Lake Oswego, Oregon-based American Micro-Tech Inc. (AMTI).
 To prove the viability of this microwave technology, tests were conducted at B.R. Laboratories in Huntington Beach, Calif. to monitor fabric weight through the drying process. Differential water loss was measured against the energy required to produce the drying, allowing efficiencies to be calculated.
 Upon completion of the independent laboratory tests, the microwave units were found to successfully dry most types of residential laundry loads at lower energy consumption.
 The tests further determined that in addition to shortened drying periods, drying temperatures were also reduced, thereby adding longevity to the life of the fabrics being laundered.
 According to AMTI, the test revealed the following results:
 -- Drying time was reduced by about 35 percent on large loads.
 -- The microwave unit dries at temperatures substantially lower
 than those for conventional dryers, thereby protecting fabrics.
 -- Because there is no combustion, lower temperature and shorter
 running cycles, less lint is built up, thereby minimizing the
 potential for fire.
 -- No static electricity is created, wrinkles are virtually
 eliminated, and no cool-down cycle is necessary.
 -- Because of the elimination of combustion, the on-site
 environmental impact is reduced significantly.
 Having complied with the DOE's proposed energy requirements, AMTI is currently seeking an appliance manufacturer to support the commercialization of the concept.
 Edison sp?orts the development of new technologies such as microwave applications, that can benefit its 3.6 million residential customers by reducing costs, saving energy and cutting emissions.
 -0- 6/3/92
 /CONTACT: Jeff Perlman of Southern California Edison, 818-302-2255/ CO: Southern California Edison ST: California IN: SU: PDT


MC -- LA012 -- 6344 06/03/92 12:56 EDT
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Jun 3, 1992
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