Innovation

ObjectivesTechnical descriptionInnovation

Environmental benefits and resource efficiency in a life-cycle approach.

In order to understand the benefits in terms of resource efficiency and environmental impacts of the solution proposed in the present project, we can easily divide into:

Product level

The radical innovation, in terms of resource efficiency, brought by the innovative SPRAY solution lays mainly at product level, allowing to obtain considerable water savings in the range of 400m³, which accounts for a big share in the consumption of water in EU.

The present project has the objective to develop a break through hydraulic system which allows to effectively spray water directly onto the laundry. This requires novel water paths and nozzle designs as well as intelligent cycle control algorithms to optimize the system. The challenge will be to assure a uniform wetting process throughout the whole drum having only a limited number of water entry points.

It’s worthy underlining here that, according to many studies and tests, it has been largely proved that the greater rate of water consumption (and other resources) in the Life Cycle of a washing machine, is linked to the use phase of these products (almost 80%), while the rest would be associated to the other steps (approx 10% in production; 1-2% in transport and disposal (Source: Ecolabeling criteria for washing machines, 92). Therefore, the considerable benefits described above for the SPRAY solution have an enormous value if we think with a Life Cycle approach.

Process level

The production process of the new SPRAY machines will be simliar to the traditional process of washing machines currently on the market.

The new components consist mainly in small objects (hoses, nozzles, clamps, valves, etc..) and the target for the design requirements is to use the same materials and production processes as today. This shall assure that the new SPRAY system components will not bring any negative impact on the materials and resources used, nor on the environmental impact (GHG emissions, wastes at End-of Life) for their production, with respect to traditional washing machines.

Actually, relevant improvements are foreseen on the production process as part of the project The first one is aiming at reducing the variation of the water filling process.