Innovation: Breakthrough Water Spray System For Front Loading Washing Machines

Last update: 25.10.2013
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Keywords: 
water, water saving, spray technology, best rinse,
The project will deliver to the market the technical and economical solution of the SPRAY technology for a consistent water reduction in household appliance.

The principle of the SPRAY technology is to use the water much more effective than compared to standard application, without compromising main performance attributes. A hydraulic system is providing water directly to the laundry by the help of specially developed high efficiency 3D nozzle.

A key deliverable of the project is to confirm and set up the best production process for the proposed solution, in terms of performances, resources utilization, environmental impacts. Resource and Engineering for the proposed technologies has been completed and partly implemented. Currently R&D is finalizing the development of the hardware and the correct software to control the spray process adapted to load sizes, fiber types and other potential settings and usages. In parallel the Technology will be implemented crossover the model range of 60x60 washers.

PROJECT GOALS:

The Overall Objectives of the project are:

• To demonstrate to the market the technical and economical feasibility of the application of the SPRAY technology for a consistent water reduction in household appliances;
• To confirm and set up the best production process for the solution proposed, in terms of performances, energy consumption, resources utilization, environmental impacts;
• To ensure the most effective introduction of the innovative SPRAY solution into the target markets, through the development of a complete business plan, exploitation and dissemination activity.
• the commercialization of the innovative SPRAY system as water saver technology;
• series production monitoring and optimization;
• market replication of the novel eco-innovative solution;
• full dissemination of project’s results towards increased awareness on water savings solution on the home appliance sector.
The typical washer design structure today is using as central parts of the wash process a drum and a lifter were the drum contains the laundry and both are placed inside a lifter to assure a closed and safe wash process.

During the wash process, the lifter has to be filled up until a certain amount with water to ensure a proper contact of the water with the laundry. This includes as well the lifter volume below the drum, where typically the heater is placed. Unfortunately this amount of water does not contribute effectively to the wash process and is therefore wasted. This results also in a higher volume of water to be heated during the washing (therefore energy taken from the grid), as well as a higher amount of detergents needed to reach the desired concentration.

WHR has developed an innovative water inlet system, which is connected to the tap water and allows to directly spray fresh water into the center of the laundry. A second water path, as today conventional washer have, still provides a means to enter the detergent into the wash process conventionally, thus maintaining the same performances. Choosing the right water paths allows to manage water consumption more accurate.
The SPRAY project will demonstrate the feasibility of a new system based on an innovative water inlet, which allows to directly spray fresh water into the center of the laundry.

A second water path, as today conventional washer have, still provides a means to enter the detergent into the wash process conventionally, thus maintaining the same washing performances.

Compared with the best technologies present on the market, the SPRAY solution will be unique in keeping the same customer satisfaction on wash and rinse performances, while reducing at the same time the water consumption significantly, as well as energy. For a typical household, this will result in such an annual water reduction per year, a potential water saving of approx 400 Mln m3 in EU can be expected.

In order to understand the benefits in terms of resource efficiency and environmental impacts of the solution proposed in the present project, we can easily divide into:

Product level
The radical innovation, in terms of resource efficiency, brought by the innovative SPRAY solution lays mainly at product level, allowing to obtain considerable water savings in the range of 400m3, which accounts for a big share in the consumption of water in EU.

The present project has the objective to develop a break through hydraulic system which allows to effectively spray water directly onto the laundry. This requires novel water paths and nozzle designs as well as intelligent cycle control algorithms to optimize the system. The challenge will be to assure a uniform wetting process throughout the whole drum having only a limited number of water entry points.

It’s worthy underlining here that, according to many studies and tests, it has been largely proved that the greater rate of water consumption (and other resources) in the Life Cycle of a washing machine, is linked to the use phase of these products (almost 80%), while the rest would be associated to the other steps (approx 10% in production; 1-2% in transport and disposal (Source: Ecolabeling criteria for washing machines, 92). Therefore, the considerable benefits described above for the SPRAY solution have an enormous value if we think with a Life Cycle approach.


Process level
The production process of the new SPRAY machines will be similar to the traditional process of washing machines currently on the market.

The new components consist mainly in small objects (hoses, nozzles, clamps, valves, etc..) and the target for the design requirements is to use the same materials and production processes as today. This shall assure that the new SPRAY system components will not bring any negative impact on the materials and resources used, nor on the environmental impact (GHG emissions, wastes at End-of Life) for their production, with respect to traditional washing machines.

Actually, relevant improvements are foreseen on the production process as part of the project The first one is aiming at reducing the variation of the water filling process.
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This innovation is the result of the project

Title: Breakthrough Water Spray System For Front Loading Washing Machines

Acronym: 
SPRAY

Runtime: 
01.09.2012 to 31.08.2014

Status: 
completed project

Organisations and people involved in this eco-innovation.

Please click on an entry to view all contact details.

WHIRLPOOL R&D SRL

Field: Scientific research and development, Engineering (Italy)

Role in project: Project Coordination

Contact person: Mrs. MONTICELLI Enrica

Website: http://www.spray-project.eu/

Phone: +39-0332757649

Contact

BAUKNECHT HAUSGERATE GMBH

(Germany)

Contact person: SCHUSTER Rainer

Contact

PASELL SRL

(Italy)

Contact person: ARMITRANO Salvatore

Contact

SEEBER + PARTNER GMBH

(Germany)

Contact person: FISCHER Thomas

Contact