Hotels, gyms and care homes all use large numbers of towels each day. Cleaning and drying them consume a lot of energy, water and chemicals, resulting in huge environmental and financial costs. The BD Body Dryer project has developed an efficient way to tackle the problem. DARID (website in Spanish) is a wall-mounted body drying machine that leaves the human body completely dry in just 1.5 minutes. For a 200-room European hotel, the team estimated that DARID could save 1 640 m3 of water, 178 000 kWh of electricity and up to EUR 40 000 each year. DARID was also specifically designed to help the more vulnerable members of society who have reduced mobility. “The simple act of drying can be very difficult and require much effort, but thanks to DARID they will be able to benefit from greater autonomy during the drying process,” explains Guillermo Soria, inventor and founder of Body Dryer.
Creating a column of heated air
The DARID system is a column that fits onto a bathroom wall and can be used outdoors. A powerful hidden engine in the tower system creates warm air. A descending turbine feeds this through a central groove, creating a uniform wall of air that dries the body. The engine runs at 20 000 rpm, delivering compressed air at 30 °C above room temperature, at a speed of up to 59 m/s. It is operated via a control panel that programs the system activation and the air delivery, and has an inbuilt sensor for voice control and height measurement. A HEPA filter purifies the air, and embedded lights means drying never has to happen in the dark.
Increased efficiency brings wide range of savings
After purchase and installation, the only running costs are for electricity. DARID costs EUR 0.01 to use each time, compared to EUR 0.12 for the average washing machine, and EUR 0.44 for a dryer. Once detergent and water are taken into account, the financial savings grow further. There are huge environmental gains too, from DARID’s use not just in hotels but also in individual homes. “Several studies have shown that if a family of three uses a body dryer instead of towels for 1 year, it will achieve a 76 % reduction in electricity and water costs for washing towels, save 4 800 litres of water and stop emitting 227 kg of CO2 into the atmosphere,” Soria adds.
Ready to dry
The BD Body Dryer team set up validation trials with two early adopters of the technology: Hoteles Santos, a major Spanish hotel chain; and GO fit, a gym network across Spain and Portugal. DARID’s powerful engine means it works three times faster than other solutions currently on the market, according to the BD Body Dryer team. The prototype, which is protected with two patents, is expected to head to market soon. The EU grant helped the team develop a research and development strategy and define a solid business structure. “We’ve also completed the necessary product tests to achieve a device that meets our high standards and that can be marketed in the short term,” says Soria.
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