Energy Friendly Clothes Iron (off Grid Use)!




My clothes iron pulls 1200watts and is frankly a power hog. I always wanted to run the iron from my off grid home power but that power level is too much! I been forced to use utility power to iron my clothes, how sad!

Read on for how I tamed this massive power hog and made my clothes iron environmentally friendly and green power compatible! Please note that this project will work on any clothes iron and does not involve modifying the clothes iron in any way!

Step 1: The Dimmer.

This 3000watt pwm dimmer is very low cost off Easy to wire up and the neutral terminals on the unit are joined internally. Four terminals in all.

Step 2: Wiring Up!

Using a male plug and receptacle, I wired up the dimmer.

Step 3: Measurement.

My trusty killawatt meter will be used to measure the power consumption.

Step 4: Initial Testing.

Dialing anticlockwise to get a power draw of 122watts , I let the iron preheat for 2 minutes. I placed it briefly onto the ironing board and touched the board surface after removing the iron. Quite hot!

Since the heater uses far less than its nameplate rating, the thermal switch does not turn off the iron. This scenario is continous heat rather than on off duty cycles. Think of it as the advantages of an inverter air conditioner Vs the standard design air conditioner which wastes lots of power.

Step 5: Thermographic Inspection.

My super awesome seek thermal xr camera was used to measure temperature of the main components. The iron is approximately 117C and the dimmer ran a cool 44C. Very good results!

Step 6: A Real World Test!

I ironed one of my cotton slim fit shirts and at 120watts consumption the results were identical to the original wattage! Granted it took about 3 minutes to heat up from room temperature but it worked well.

People, why are we burning precious power when a clothes iron can use a fraction of its power rating to get the job done?

Lower power usage means the clothes iron lasts longer and the ironing experience is more pleasant for those of us in hot climates.

Stay tuned as I create a controller to automatically turn off my energy efficient clothes iron. I never liked the thought of accidentally leaving the iron plugged in.

I hope you my readers found this instructable helpful. I'm still doing victory dances as I write this last line. Lol. Oh yeah!



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    4 Discussions


    2 years ago

    good idea, I like to have my iron as hot as possible, it works better on my clothes,


    2 years ago

    A normal clothes iron only eats power during preheat, once the temperature is reached it stops consuming. If you limit its power, it will consume for a longer time but the global energy will be the same. My iron is electronically controled, if I send pwm to its entrance, its electronics will burn.