Appliance Efficiency Projects
Whirlpool Corporation is committed to looking beyond current needs to future capabilities of total home efficiency and grid load management. We have partnered with utilities on programs related to electrical grid-friendly appliances, are working with builders to support their efforts to build more sustainable homes and also are looking to the future with our GREENKITCHEN concept and involvement in Italy’s Leaf Community
In March 2008, Whirlpool Europe unveiled its GREENKITCHEN concept. This ecosystem is designed to optimize the use of heat and water and increase energy efficiency up to 70 percent through an integrated use of appliances.
GREENKITCHEN will use the heat produced from the refrigerator’s compressor – the only appliance to operate 24 hours a day – to produce hot water. Sensors will measure the amount of soil in tap water so that when water runs down the drain it can be diverted to a special tank and reused to water plants, clean floors or in the dishwasher.
In June 2008, Whirlpool Europe, along with Enel (Italy’s national electricity board) and Loccioni Group (an industrial technology supplier to Whirlpool), launched the LEAF Community project, a sustainable, zero-emissions community in the village of Angeli di Rosola, Italy.
Included in the project is the LEAF House, a six-unit apartment unit that is entirely emissions-free. The unit can maintain an ideal internal climate due to its advanced insulation, and it produces its own electricity from renewable sources. Whirlpool is supplying the apartments in the house with a special GREEN SET of appliances comprised of the most water and energy efficient Whirlpool brand appliances available on the market. The GREEN SET of appliances can generate savings of up to 30 percent more than appliances manufactured just two years ago.
One of the apartments in the LEAF House is a loft entirely dedicated to Whirlpool, the ZEOS (Zero Emissions Open Space). It has been designed with open-space architecture so it can be organized in many different ways. The first working prototype of GREENKITCHEN will be located in the ZEOS loft.
While energy- and water-saving appliances have been a staple at Whirlpool Corporation for years, we are further supporting the U.S. building design community’s quest for green design with a kitchen and laundry concept featuring all sustainable products.
The Sustainable Kitchen and Laundry design offers a complete sustainable solution, including our most energy and water efficient appliances and sustainable building materials, including countertops, cabinets, flooring and lighting, from a number of different manufacturers.
Through efforts like the Sustainable Kitchen, we are demonstrating sustainable design ideas to help architects and designers incorporate green home features that save energy and natural resources, while providing their clients with comfortable, efficient and healthy homes.
In the United States, Whirlpool Corporation participated in the Pacific Northwest GridWise Demonstration Project in 2006 and 2007, by providing specially-designed electric dryers that could communicate with the electrical grid. In response to very high electricity demand, the dryer heat was automatically turned off for brief periods, while the drum continued to turn to prevent clothing wrinkles. Once the demands on the electrical grid returned to normal levels, the heat function resumed.
The project demonstrated that an Internet-based network coordinating demand response could reduce peak load on the grid by approximately 15 percent over the course of one year. On average, consumers who participated in the GridWise project saved approximately 10 percent on electricity bills over the prior year.
In 2005, Whirlpool became one of 15 member corporate manufacturing partners of the Noisette Urban Alliance (NUA) in North Charleston, South Carolina. We have been committed to the Noisette development since 2001, which serves not only to change the face of North Charleston, but also as an example of how societies can be designed and built for sustainability. Whirlpool is participating in the NUA Studio, a facility that provides educational programs to building industry professionals and the general public in an effort to bring consumer products and resource-friendly concepts to mainstream America.