Solar News

Rainbow Washing Power

9 July 2010
Category: Appliances

Washing Machine Review:

The www.energyrating.gov.au site now lists the power for cold wash power consumption. These range from a low 39kWh per 365 uses to a high of 188kWh/365 uses. The lowest power consumption washers were all top loaders. The lowest power consumption for a cold water front loader was a Samsung (cold water connection only) at 71kWh/365 uses.

It is interesting to note that if you choose a washing machine with cold water connection only, then it will be supplied with its own internal heating element. This then allows you to choose it to wash in hot, warm or cold water. If your home is supplied with hot water from gas or a solar hot water system, this internal element will not be the most efficient method to heat the washing water. It would be more energy efficient to have hot and cold connections on your washing machine. The added power load would certainly need to be taken into consideration if you are living with a Stand Alone solar power system.

The best front loader with hot and cold water connections was also a Samsung at 98kWh/365 uses, however LG and Westinghouse were close behind this Samsung.

The total amount of water used, for those with hot and cold connections, was 27 litres per wash to a high 112 litres/wash.

To see the cold water usage you need to click the ‘Basic Detail’ and then again on ‘Comprehensive Detail’. You can click the small up and down arrows in the headings to list the results by that parameter.

So you can use this site to select for the best power and water usage or a combination of both. You can select a model with hot and cold water options, or cold water only if you are happy to always wash in cold water, unless you want to use electricity to heat your water.

The last big question is how effective are they in getting your clothes clean. Choice magazine has articles about this aspect for subscribers. You may also be able to buy the article on their website if you are not a subscriber.

One of our customers has advised that Electrolux have a new ‘5 Star’ model coming out in the next few months. Considering the power efficiency of their fridges, it will be interesting to see this new model. In the meantime, happy washing!

Dave Lambert

Sales Manager

This excerpt is taken from the RPC Newsletter. Subscribe.

From our FAQ Washing Machine Power Consumption

Modern washing machines are surprisingly energy efficient. If you are on a solar system and are shopping around for a new one, here are a few points to consider:

1) Buy one with hot and cold water connection and with a program whereby you can provide your own hot water rather than a unit that will heat the water with its own element!

2) The Star Label is a bit misleading if you are only considering power consumption and water usage is not a big issue with you. This is because the Star Label assumes that you are using electricity to heat the water. This means that washing machines which use a fair bit of water show a low star rating (due to all the water they are theoretically heating up).

3) Even though most washing machines only use 50-150 Wh/load (from our measurements of a few models), it still might need quite a large inverter, say 1200W, to power it for the few minutes while it is in spin dry mode, etc.

4) The Fisher & Paykel Smart Drive range use a DC type of motor which soft starts. They will normally work off a 600W inverter.

5) Most modern washing machines have a lot of electronics and need a sine wave inverter to operate. Don´t run them on cheap dodgy generators!

This article is take from our FAQ about washing machines, inverters and dishwashers.

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We install solar systems in Northern NSW and Southern QLD.


QLD:
Gold Coast (from Coolangatta to Southport), Nerang and Hinterland (Beaudesert) and out West (Warwick, Stanthorpe, Killarney)


NSW:
Northern NSW (Tweed Heads to Yamba, including Evans Head, Byron Bay and Ballina); the Far North Coast Hinterland (Grafton via Lismore to Murwillumbah) and out West (Casino to Tenterfield, including Drake and Tabulam, as well as Woodenbong and Bonalbo)

For larger system we also go up to Brisbane or down to Coffs Harbour and even Glen Innes. Other places by arrangement.