Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Novel solutions to improve energy efficiency of home appliances

An EU initiative set up a research network on energy efficiency and the optimised use of home appliances. Currently, these white goods use more than 50 % of the total electrical energy consumed in the home.
Novel solutions to improve energy efficiency of home appliances
Domestic appliances such as ovens, refrigerators, washing machines and dishwashers generally use electricity or gas and produce waste products. By exploiting newly emerging scientific and industrial knowledge, the eco-design of integrated home appliance systems could help households to save huge amounts of heat and water.

However, until now this knowledge was fragmented across a wide variety of academic and industrial organisations. Sharing this knowledge was the main goal of the EU-funded project GREEN KITCHEN (Network for strategic industry-academia research on energy efficiency, optimised resources use and process innovation of home appliances and their domotic integration).

Project partners set out to develop the future home appliances and domotic (home automation) systems that provide automated or smart controls for homes. They assessed the waste heat generated by popular appliances in EU countries, designed modelling tools for energy storage systems appropriate for kitchens and advanced a working prototype of thermal heat storage.

The GREEN KITCHEN team developed a modelling tool that determines the maximum temperatures that can be achieved by a magnetic cooling system and two working magnetic cooling device prototypes. It analysed waste recovery and resource-sharing strategies to enhance overall efficiency of white goods. This was done by focusing on eco-design integration of refrigerators with dishwashers to recover heat generated by the former and then use it to preheat water in the latter. For water, scientists examined novel technologies for evaluating the quality of household wastewater.

An innovative domestic oven design was tested that can reduce electric power consumption by up to 20 %. Lastly, a software prototype for a domotic unit was developed that provides users with feedback on actual energy consumption and potential savings.

GREEN KITCHEN advanced the state of the art in integrated and high-efficiency domestic appliances. Ultimately, it will help to empower households to reduce energy consumption and improve energy efficiency in Europe.

Related information

Keywords

Energy efficiency, home appliances, eco-design, heat and water, domotic
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