Recently I was asked to quantify the energy saving and carbon reduction opportunity from switching a traditional hand-drying facility for the Dyson Airblade hand dryer.
In this article I set out the potential energy, cost and carbon savings from using a Dyson Airblade hand dryer as opposed to paper towels or traditional electric hand-dryers.
To make the calculations below I have used the following assumptions:
Based on a fair assumption that a traditional electric hand dryer uses 20 watts of power per use (30 second drying time), then the total annual consumption would be 1,760 kWh (20 watts x 200 uses a day = 4kWh x 2 dryers x 220 work days = 1,760 kWh).
This translates to annually operating cost of £191 (1,760 kWh x £0.1085/kWh) and carbon emissions of 1,028 kg CO2 (1,760 kWh x 0.584 kg/kWh).
Based on the assumption that a bathroom is used 200 times a day and that the average person uses 2 paper towels per bathroom visit, then the total daily consumption of paper towels would be 400.
Assuming an average cost of £0.01 per towel, the total annual cost would be £880 (400 x £0.01 x 220 work days) and the total carbon emission would be 352 kg CO2 (400 x 220 work days x 0.004 kg CO2 generated per towel use)
Based on a fair assumption that a Dyson Airblade hand dryer uses 4.5 watts of power per use (10 second drying time), then the total annual consumption would be 396 kWh (4.5 watts x 200 uses a day = 0.9kWh x 2 dryers x 220 work days = 396 kWh).
This translates to annually operating cost of £43 (396 kWh x £0.1085/kWh) and carbon emissions of 232 kg CO2 (396 kWh x 0.584 kg/kWh).
Total savings compared to a traditional electric hand dryer = £148 per year and 796 kg per year
Total savings compared to paper towels = £837 per year and 120 kg per year
The average cost and payback of a Dyson Airblade hand dryer
The leading Dyson hand dryer is the Dyson AirBlade AB07
Significant savings can be made if you purchase in bulk (i.e. more than 10 units).
Assuming you go for the AB07 and purchase 2 units, it would take approx. 9 years to payback on a traditional hand dryer and 2 years to payback on paper towels.
Obviously the more units you buy the greater the economies of scale and the shorter the payback period. I would recommend using the assumptions above to calculate the potential cost and carbon savings from installing more than 2 units, if you have multiple bathrooms.
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