Home: Laundry: Clothesline
Solar/Wind-Powered Clothes Line   (+3)  [vote for, against]
For your more private articles of clothing.

The thing about living on a slope is that your neighbours can see into your back yard. A hazard of this is if you happen to enjoy the pleasures of certain... articles of clothing that you don't want many others to see. Most people do not want their neighbours to think that they are fetishists or have some kind of weird obsession (especially if you were a single, straight man and you were being seen on a regular basis hanging out women's clothing).

The solution? Use the dryer. Or for the perpetually cheap? A solar or wind powered indoors dryer, perhaps for the garage. It would be shaped like a small four tiered, four-pronged washing line that is rotated at a relatively fast speed while the metal bars would be warmed up like a heater (or would perhaps be good placed infront of a heater).

The panels would be placed outdoors, on the roof, in the back yard, or a wind turbine for winter, and the electricity produced would go towards the clothes line.
-- froglet, Jul 29 2006

Sunlizard http://www.sunlizard.com.au/
Hot air from the sun [BunsenHoneydew, Jul 31 2006]

Solar Heating and Drying http://www.heatwithsolar.com.au/
Create a drying room using solar power. [milly, Jan 09 2011]

DIY Heat Exchanger, by Make magazine http://www.make-dig...m/make/vol18/?pg=58
Low cost air preheater [goldbb, Jan 16 2011]

A nicely halfbaked idea. [+] But eliminate the solar/electric/heat conversion cycle; just use a hotbox on the roof and a small solar powered fan to pump hot air into the chamber, a la Sunlizard [link]
-- BunsenHoneydew, Jul 31 2006

Save money on expensive solar/wind powered washing lines...

Come out.
-- Twizz, Jan 14 2011

Wouldn't it be stranger if your garage door were opened and the neighbors saw a machine spinning ladies underwear in circles...? :P
-- thejehosephat, Jan 15 2011

First, select a room to use, and put in a few clotheslines.

Second, add a small heat recovery ventilation system to that room. This is nothing more than an air preheater that uses warm air from inside the room to heat fresh air from outdoors; the "used" air pulled from within the room is discarded outside, and the warmed air pulled from outside is directed into the room.

The motors for the ventilator's fans (and the motor for the air preheater, if it's of the rotating type) don't need to be particularly powerful, and can easily be powered by small photovoltaic panels.

Third, add a solar air heater or solar space heater - - not an open loop one such as the heatwithsolar link, but rather a closed loop one, which draws air from inside the room, heats it, and returns it to the room. If the room has a south-facing outside wall, then a passive (natural convection) design can be used, instead of a fan-forced one like the sunlizard link.

If the solar collector is appropriately insulated, it should work well in both summer and winter.

The combination of an air preheater and closed loop air heater allow the room's temperature to become almost arbitrarily high -- the limiting factors are how much heat is lost through the walls, how inefficient the air preheater is, and how much sensible heat is converted into latent heat by the moisture on the clothing.

Meanwhile, since the air preheater doesn't add moisture to the air, the absolute humidity of the air entering the room is naturally the same as that outside the room. But since the room's air will be hotter than the outdoor air, the relative humidity can potentially become quite low, thus resulting in very dry clothing.

Fourth (optional), add an ordinary air circulating fan -- probably a pedestal type fan with an oscillating mode. Again, this doesn't need to be powerful, and could easily be powered by PV panels.

This isn't necessary, but reduces how long the clothing needs to hang to become dry.

Most of these components are quite inexpensive, except perhaps the air preheater... and even that can be cheap, if you build it yourself.
-- goldbb, Jan 16 2011

Here in Wales, this wouldn't work. There is no sun and all of the wind contains too much rain to be put to use. Could power it by burning sheep though...
-- saedi, Jan 17 2011

A clothesline under a verandah, especially one with an uninsulated metal roof, is an excellent option in all weather. Even when it's raining, enough solar energy is re-radiated through the roof to dry clothes surprisingly quickly. In hot weather, the clothes are protected from UV damage.

I don't quite see the point of generating electricity and then converting electrical energy to heat, unless you have a large source of easy-to- harvest energy and no way of putting it to a better use (such as feeding the electricity grid). The idea that "this electricity was generated using solar or wind, so consuming it is green" is simply a fallacy.
-- spidermother, Jan 18 2011

"all weather" It is 15 F=-10 C out.
-- GutPunchLullabies, Jan 18 2011

random, halfbakery