MintakaCat

06-20-2009, 09:36

Awhile back there was some debate as to the energy efficiency of the Nesco brand dehydrators here on WhiteBlaze.net. These dehydrators are very popular with the hikers on this web site, along with others such as the Excalibur brand that I currently have.

In order to settle the debate I purchased a Nesco FD-75PR dehydrator and ran some comparison tests between it and the Excalibur 2400. Here are the results:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3583/3643947990_ef0a7dd3f8_o.jpg

The Nesco FD-75PR average current was 2.67 AC Amps at the 135° setting. This was calculated with a peak current 5.7 amps at 51 seconds over a 2 minute time frame and a minimal current of 0.43 amps at 69 seconds.

2.67AC Amps x 120VAC = 320.4 Watts

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3617/3643144401_567b451723_o.jpg

The Excalibur 2400 average current was 1.1 AC Amps at the 135° setting. This was calculated with a peak current 2.1 amps at 58 seconds over a 2 minute time frame and a minimal current of 0.17 amps at 62 seconds.

1.1AC amps x 120VAC = 132.0 Watts

The Nesco emitted an additional 188.4 watts power than the Excalibur. To get a better understanding of how much additional heat that is, put your hand over a 60 watt incandescent light bulb and feel the heat. Then imagine the heat of three of those light bulbs and that is the additional heat the Nesco FD-75PR is putting out above what the Excalibur 2400 would do.

As for the Nesco FD-75PR having 5 trays and the Excalibur 2400 only having 4 trays, the Nesco only has 8% more tray area than the Excalibur. The Excalibur has 12 inch by 12 inch trays giving a total square footage of tray area of 4 square feet.

The tray area of the Nesco was a bit more challenging to calculate because it uses round trays that are 12.75 inches in diameter with a 2 inch diameter hole in the middle. Using the formula of Area = π x r2 the area per tray came out to be 0.8644 square feet. The total area for five trays would be 4.322 square feet or 8% more tray area than the Excalibur.

Another selling point of the Nesco brand is that it dehydrates faster than other models, however in comparing the recommended drying time in both manuals the numbers are approximately the same. There were some foods listed in the Nesco manual that required less drying time than the Excalibur such as apples, peaches, figs, beets and pineapples. However, the Excalibur listed faster drying times for bananas, blueberries, asparagus, corn, mushrooms and peppers.

In terms of costs, the average price of the Nesco FD-75PR is around $66.00. The average cost of the Excalibur 2400 is around $113.00, making the Excalibur $47.00 more expensive than the Nesco. This is probably why the Nesco brand is so popular.

Just for fun, I calculated how long you would have to run the Excalibur in order to utilize the energy savings to cancel out the cost difference of the Nesco. If you use the Department of Energy figures, the average cost of residential electricity is 9.75¢/kWh (March 2009). With that cost figure you would have to run the Excalibur 2558 hours (106 days) in order for the energy savings to cancel out the additional $47 costs. This figure does not take into account the lower heat load placed on your home cooling system so in reality this time might actually be less.

Bottom Line: The Excalibur 2400 used 42% of the energy that the Nesco FD-75PR required to accomplish the same task with approximately the same amount of food. However, the Excalibur 2400 did cost $47 more than the Nesco FD-75PR.

If the whole issue of carbon footprints and green living is important to you then the Excalibur 2400 would be a better choice for you. If the initial costs are more important to you then the Nesco FD-75PR would be a better choice.

If you plan to use your dehydrator a great deal then the Excalibur 2400 would be better in the long run, if not then the Nesco FD-75PR would be the better choice.

In order to settle the debate I purchased a Nesco FD-75PR dehydrator and ran some comparison tests between it and the Excalibur 2400. Here are the results:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3583/3643947990_ef0a7dd3f8_o.jpg

The Nesco FD-75PR average current was 2.67 AC Amps at the 135° setting. This was calculated with a peak current 5.7 amps at 51 seconds over a 2 minute time frame and a minimal current of 0.43 amps at 69 seconds.

2.67AC Amps x 120VAC = 320.4 Watts

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3617/3643144401_567b451723_o.jpg

The Excalibur 2400 average current was 1.1 AC Amps at the 135° setting. This was calculated with a peak current 2.1 amps at 58 seconds over a 2 minute time frame and a minimal current of 0.17 amps at 62 seconds.

1.1AC amps x 120VAC = 132.0 Watts

The Nesco emitted an additional 188.4 watts power than the Excalibur. To get a better understanding of how much additional heat that is, put your hand over a 60 watt incandescent light bulb and feel the heat. Then imagine the heat of three of those light bulbs and that is the additional heat the Nesco FD-75PR is putting out above what the Excalibur 2400 would do.

As for the Nesco FD-75PR having 5 trays and the Excalibur 2400 only having 4 trays, the Nesco only has 8% more tray area than the Excalibur. The Excalibur has 12 inch by 12 inch trays giving a total square footage of tray area of 4 square feet.

The tray area of the Nesco was a bit more challenging to calculate because it uses round trays that are 12.75 inches in diameter with a 2 inch diameter hole in the middle. Using the formula of Area = π x r2 the area per tray came out to be 0.8644 square feet. The total area for five trays would be 4.322 square feet or 8% more tray area than the Excalibur.

Another selling point of the Nesco brand is that it dehydrates faster than other models, however in comparing the recommended drying time in both manuals the numbers are approximately the same. There were some foods listed in the Nesco manual that required less drying time than the Excalibur such as apples, peaches, figs, beets and pineapples. However, the Excalibur listed faster drying times for bananas, blueberries, asparagus, corn, mushrooms and peppers.

In terms of costs, the average price of the Nesco FD-75PR is around $66.00. The average cost of the Excalibur 2400 is around $113.00, making the Excalibur $47.00 more expensive than the Nesco. This is probably why the Nesco brand is so popular.

Just for fun, I calculated how long you would have to run the Excalibur in order to utilize the energy savings to cancel out the cost difference of the Nesco. If you use the Department of Energy figures, the average cost of residential electricity is 9.75¢/kWh (March 2009). With that cost figure you would have to run the Excalibur 2558 hours (106 days) in order for the energy savings to cancel out the additional $47 costs. This figure does not take into account the lower heat load placed on your home cooling system so in reality this time might actually be less.

Bottom Line: The Excalibur 2400 used 42% of the energy that the Nesco FD-75PR required to accomplish the same task with approximately the same amount of food. However, the Excalibur 2400 did cost $47 more than the Nesco FD-75PR.

If the whole issue of carbon footprints and green living is important to you then the Excalibur 2400 would be a better choice for you. If the initial costs are more important to you then the Nesco FD-75PR would be a better choice.

If you plan to use your dehydrator a great deal then the Excalibur 2400 would be better in the long run, if not then the Nesco FD-75PR would be the better choice.