New Whirlpool dryers will react intelligently to signals from the smart grid by modifying their energy consumption
Whirlpool says deployment of smart appliances will also increase the value of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, which are inherently variable due to weather. When wind- and solar-generated power availability is reduced, smart appliances will allow for the temporary reduction of energy consumption, helping to ensure reliable performance by the electrical grid even during periods of peak demand. The deployment of one million smart grid-compatible dryers could shift the equivalent energy of 10 coal fired, 500-megawatt power plants.
In 2006, Whirlpool Corporation was the first appliance company to conduct a smart grid pilot, using 150 Smart Energy dryers in the Pacific Northwest. Whirlpool created and holds key patents for this type of technology.
"The pilot yielded remarkable results: when a grid sensor observed a peak demand event, the dryers turned their heating elements off, reducing their power demand by 95 percent, with little to no impact for consumers," said Hank Marcy, vice president, technology, Whirlpool Corp.