This paper provides an overview of a thermoelectric heat pump clothes dryer which was developed with the aim of reducing the significant primary energy consumption attributed to residential electric clothes drying in the United States (623 TBtu/yr). The use of thermoelectric modules in place of the conventional electric resistance heater resulted in a 40% reduction in the energy consumption of the system, compared to the minimum energy efficiency standard. This was achieved for the first time for a standard test load of 8.45 lb, using a clothes dryer prototype with a thermoelectric heat pump module as the sole heating mechanism. The current experimental prototype was developed after extensive modeling, system design and control optimization, and experimental system-level evaluation of control parameters. The demonstration of improved energy consumption has laid the foundation for future development of this technology.

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