SUN REAL Renewable Energy Systems

Fisher & Paykel 053 Washing Machine

The Story So Far...

Martin [Nichol, partner in Sun Real] has been using his new washing machine for a couple of months now and is pleased to report that it has lived up to expectations.

For the technically minded here a few details about its performance. The followings figures are averages from a few washes and all measurements were taken with a Selectronic SA21 inverter.

Regular Cycle power consumption - 8 amp hours(AH) @ 12 volts or 98 watt hours.

Heavy Duty Cycle - 10 AH @ 12V or 123 watt hours.

By way of example, two 75 watt solar panels in full sun will produce more than enough energy to run this washing machine in one hour - just a bit longer than the longest wash cycle. By doing washing during the day when the batteries are fully charged any energy used is quickly replaced.

The difference between the above 2 figures is really just the length of the wash cycle. Both cycles used full loads and the high spin speed (and that is fast!).

Maximum power is used during the start up of the spin cycle. The maximum recorded was 460 watts on the DC side. That was only for a few minutes so just about any inverter over 350 watts could run this washing machine. The power rating given on the back of the machine is 165 watts. We imagine that this must be an average. Makes one wonder how many other appliances give only an average power rating?

There is one trap for the unwary. The washing machine uses a small amount of power whenever it is plugged in, around 12-15 watts (a phantom load!). So it should always be turned off at the wall switch when not in use.

And, as an added bonus, it even washes clothes!