Monday, December 19, 2011

Electric Hand Dryers

Conservation Measure from Recent Utiliyt Audit - Electric Hand Dryers

$2,000 first cost, $17,200 annual savings, less than 2 month simple payback.

Existing Condition: Paper Towels in Restrooms
There are at least 9 restrooms in the building, all of which have paper towels for hand drying. Historic purchasing records show that 30 units are purchased per week at $15.42 per unit for an annual spend of $23,125.

Recommendation: Electric Hand Dryers
Remove the paper towel dispensers from restrooms and install energy efficient electric hand dryers. A good hand dryer will use 1,500 W or less and require about 12 seconds to dry the user’s hands. The Xlerator is one such option and sells for $400. It is recommended to install electric hand dryers in the two large production area restrooms. Since 90% of the building users are in the production and warehouse areas, these areas will see the greatest savings. Since the payback will be longer in the office area restrooms and the electric hand dryers can be loud, it is not recommended that hand dryers be used in these areas at this time. Most units do not require special wiring and can be installed with in-house labor. Units can be purchased online at sites such as:

It is assumed that 2 hand dryers are needed per restroom for each of the two large restrooms. The units are $400 each. It is assumed that labor and mounting costs will be an additional $100 U.S. for each unit or $500 total. The total cost will be $2,000. It is assumed all 1,900 production and warehouse workers will use the restrooms and the hand dryers 3 times per day for 250 days per year. The units will draw 1.5 kW and will run for 12 seconds per use (0.0033 hours) for a total annual electricity consumption of 7,125 kWh. At $0.12 per kWh, this is $855 per year. It is assumed that 75% of the total annual paper towel cost is attributed to the two large restrooms, which represents $18,038 annually.

This measure was identified for a factory in Tijuana. All prices were converted from Pesos.