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Alternative to conventional clothes dryer

Narrator: This is Science Today. Engineering students at the University of California, Riverside, are working to commercialize a system they developed that eliminates the need for a conventional clothes dryer. It works by essentially using a solar powered attic fan to divert heat to a retrofitted closet that serves as a clothes dryer.

Tam: If you don't have to pay for electricity, that's a huge benefit so with our system, after the initial cost, you won't be needing electricity to dry your clothes after that. And so this system will be paid back in five years' time. So, if we compare a 20-year lifespan, which is the lifespan of a traditional, conventional dryer, you get to pay yourself back four times over.

Narrator: Lecturer Kawai Tam of the UCR's Bourns College of Engineering is the student advisor on this project and says the students won a national $90,000 grant to help commercialize this system.

Tam: The students will be taking that money and using it over a two-year period, installing units on four different homes in the community and they're going to be able to optimize the system.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.