Engineers at Bosch and Siemens Hausgeräte (BSH) today received the 2010 Innovation Prize for Climate and Environment from Dr Norbert Röttgen, the German federal minister for the environment.
BSH received the prize – jointly presented by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment and the Federation of German Industries – for its zeolite drying system for dishwashers, which considerably reduces their energy consumption.
At just 0.83kW hours per cycle, the dishwashers need 20 per cent less electricity than the most energy-efficient dishwashers to date, according to BSH’s chief executive officer Dr Kurt-Ludwig Gutberlet.
The dishwashers feature a special container of zeolite, a mineral with the ability to store moisture and energy.
It dries the dishes after the cleaning cycle by absorbing the moisture from the air in the dishwasher’s interior.
During the next cleaning cycle, the zeolite is heated up and the moisture released so that it is ready for the next drying cycle.
The company claims that this is the first time that zeolite – until now only used in industry – is being used in a mass-produced household appliance.
The Bosch and Siemens design was originally unveiled in 2008.