Scanning for Ideas: Turning a Dishwasher Green

Nov. 23, 2008
General Electric engineers added sensors that monitor wash cycles and can signal controllers to alter dishwashers to earn Energy Star certification for being 41% more efficient than federal standards demand

Edited by Stephen J. Mraz

Many of the new dishwashers from General Electric earn Energy Star certification for being 41% more efficient than federal standards demand. To accomplish this, GE engineers added sensors that monitor wash cycles and can signal controllers to alter them. They also added an internal heater to help boost water temperature. The controls let users fine-tune wash cycles. For example, choosing SpeedCycle for only slightly soiled dishes cuts the wash and dry time in half, with comparable savings in energy and water. And choosing Single Rack Wash cleans five place settings with 3.5 gallons of water. The machines also boast three pumps: one to circulate water throughout the wash cycle; one to remove soil and water as it drains; and a third that dispenses detergent based on water hardness and soil levels. The machines are said to be among the quietest on the market, generating about 47 dBA when in operation.

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