Review 2023 – Savortex EcoCurve 550D
The Savortex Ecocurve 550D with SMART technology is the only hand dryer to not only be designed in the UK, but also be manufactured here.
It is also the only dryer currently on the market with SMART connectivity, allowing real-time data collection and diagnosis. Why is this needed in a hand dryer? Well, it allows facilities managers to identify the moment a product fails before it’s even reported. Additionally, it informs on washroom usage to help cleaners maintain facilities based on footfall, and it provides energy usage reporting for the purpose of energy management reporting. It all sounds great, but at £999 + VAT, is it worth it?
From £999.99 + VAT
EcoCurve 550D Value
There are only a couple of dryers in this price bracket: the Dyson 9kj and the Dyson wash and dry. So, this is certainly an expensive bit of kit.
However, if we put price to one side, it’s the only dryer to offer cleaning alerts, which can significantly increase efficiency across buildings as it eliminates routine cleaning visits and allows washrooms to be cleaned based on actual use. Alerts about breakdowns are an added benefit; however, good dryers rarely break down, so this is useful rather than game-changing. The smart technology also provides long-term energy usage data, which allows facilities managers to demonstrate savings compared to previous equipment. The dryer is British, performs well, and has a long motor life, so we are happy to give it an above-average score.
EcoCurve 550D Dry Speed
The manufacturer states 11 seconds, this is pretty accurate as we recorded dry times between 12 and 14 seconds, this is quick enough to satisfy the most demanding clients.
EcoCurve 550D Energy Efficiency
The energy efficiency of a dryer is measured by taking the rated power of the device and the dry speed to calculate the consumption per dry.
The Savortex Ecocurve has a rated power between 0.45 kW – 0.55 kW, which, based on the manufacturer’s stated dry times, means that each dry would consume as little as 1.67 watt-hours per dry. In reality, it’s probably about 10% higher than this due to the slightly longer dry times we found. Nevertheless, consumption is very efficient.
To put this into context, the Dyson Airblade AB14 uses 4.44 watts per dry, a traditional dryer uses 20-30 watts per dry, and the best available uses 1-2 watt/hours.
It is possible to dry almost 5000 pairs of hands for just £1; this is a 97% saving against paper towels.
EcoCurve 550D Quiet Operation
We can’t find an official manufacturer’s decibel level; however, the digital brushless motor provides a smooth and tolerable noise output. If you require exceptionally low noise, this will not be appropriate, but as high-speed dryers go, it’s not bad at all.
EcoCurve 550D Vandal Resistance
It’s a really weighty bit of kit, and first impressions are that it’s extremely robust. Further inspection reveals that the steel, reinforced backplate provides extra strength and the fully curved cover provides zero leverage points. The only downside is that the cover is attached with standard screws, although they are well-concealed.
EcoCurve 550D Life Expectancy
5000 hours is the stated, tested motor life, which is around 1.5m dries. We haven’t actually tested this, but the digital brushless motor used does appear to be of good quality, so we have no reason to doubt it.
A 5-year warranty is provided, which is standard for dryers competing in this price bracket.
This dryer has a number of things going for it from an environmental perspective. Firstly, it is made in the UK. This is less significant than you might think, as most of the internal components have to be shipped in. That said, the motors are European, and the covers and plastic components are moulded in the UK, which makes up the bulk of the weight. However, where the original raw materials came from is not known, and there is no LCA analysis provided, so we cannot verify the footprint of the dryer. It is quite heavy, which normally implies an increased carbon footprint.
The lifespan is a big positive, as you may go through 3-4 lower cost high-speed hand dryers in the time this one stays operational.
The ultra-low energy usage is another positive.
The Savortex Ecocurve 550D is a totally novel hand dryer due to its app connectivity and real-time data. If you operate large facilities with multiple toilets, then this dryer is worth a closer look, so you can weigh up the cost and efficiency savings it can deliver. There really is nothing else like it on the market. Savortex has been pushing this technology for many years, and we think the time has now come for it to shine.
As a hand dryer, it’s a really solid all-rounder and clearly a good quality bit of kit; however, it’s hard to justify the price tag as a hand dryer alone. The value is in the connected technology.
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