Conference Year



residential appliances, waste heat recovery, thermal energy


With the United States being the world’s second largest consumer of primary energy, research into areas of significant consumption can provide large impacts in terms of the global energy consumption. Buildings account for 41% of US total energy consumption with the residential sector making up a majority. Household appliances account for the second largest site energy consumption at 27%, after the HVAC system for the U.S. residential sector. By quantifying the expected energy available in the waste stream for five major appliances; household refrigerator, clothes dryer and washer, dishwasher, and cooking oven, a potential energy source is presented. A cold water cooling stream is applied to the waste stream of each appliance and an estimated amount of energy can be recovered. The household refrigerator is modeled having an increase in cooling capacity of about 12% and a reduction on compressor power consumption of about 26%. A sample operation of the clothes dryer has the exhaust air stream being cooled down to 30.5°C (86.9°F) or on the other side, is able to heat 19 liter (5 gal) of water up to about 54.5°C (130.1°F). Large volumes of water are available by the clothes washer, but due to typical operation characteristics, low wash and rinse temperatures, the waste stream was not high in temperature. While the dishwasher provided higher heat source temperatures, 40°C (104°F), than the clothes washer, 36°C (97°F), the opposite was true. The volume of waste water drained is very low compared to the clothes washer 11.7 liter (3.1 gal) to 155 liter (41 gal). Thus water temperatures in the storage tank did not reach above 30°C (86°F) even with low storage volumes. The cooking oven can generate very high water temperatures depending how small of a storage tank is connected. Further work in this area is recommended due to the potential of high water temperatures generated from residential waste energy streams not currently being captured, and thus can offset some site-energy usage.