Appliance Success Stories
On this page you'll find Building Technologies Program success stories on appliance technology research and development.
There are several success stories in appliance technology R&D that address a number of major home appliances, including the following:
A cooperative agreement was formed with the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) Appliance Research Consortium to establish technically achievable energy saving. DOE researchers designed and demonstrated an advanced refrigerator-freezer that uses less than 1 kilowatt-hour per day—half as much energy as the latest government standards allow, and one-fifth as much as 1972 models. This outstanding energy efficiency was achieved by:
- Using vacuum insulation panels around the freezer section and a double-insulation thickness of polyurethane foam on the doors.
- Replacing standard AC fan motors with more efficient DC motors.
- Replacing the automatic defrost control with an adaptive defrost that operates only when needed.
Power consumption for a 20-square-foot refrigerator-freezer is only 0.93 kilowatt-hours per day, a performance level far exceeding the government's 2001 energy standard, which requires units of this size to consume no more than 2.01 kilowatt-hours per day. If all 125 million refrigerator-freezers in the United States operated as efficiently, consumers would save $6.5 billion annually.
Horizontal-axis clothes washers
A landmark study, conducted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, demonstrated the benefit of horizontal-axis clothes washers. In cooperation with Maytag, the study tested the real-world efficiency of the washers in the small community of Bern, Kansas. The study found energy savings of 60% and water savings of 40%. A follow-up demonstration in Boston, MA produced equally impressive results.
Read about the Building Technologies Program "drop-in" residential heat pump water heater project.