Fisher & Paykel Appliances  have announced their support for Earth Hour 2009, reaffirming their commitment to climate change and to providing environmentally friendly appliances for consumers.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances’ SmartDrive technology, which helps save energy in the AquaSmart range of washing machines, will be used to generate power for the Future Spark concert – the key launch event for international Earth Hour celebrations.

The main source of energy for the concert will be the Future Spark Power Trailer. The trailer is comprised of rooftop solar panels and electricity-generating bicycles attached to Fisher & Paykel SmartDrive motors. The motors, taken from used washing machines, will create electricity when the bicycles are pedalled by groups of cyclists.

Earth Hour brings to light the importance of climate change, and efficient technology from Fisher & Paykel Appliances will help in avoiding large quantities of greenhouse gases and wasted energy that are normally associated with concerts of this scale.

Developed by Fisher & Paykel Appliances, SmartDrive motors are direct drive motors with a breakthrough concept in design simplicity and do away with drive shafts, gear boxes and independent motors in washing machines. The SmartDrive motor became part of the washer’s bowl. They were selected for Future Spark due to their capability to generate large amounts of power at low speeds.

SmartDrive motors continue to power Fisher & Paykel Appliances’ AquaSmart and top loader washer ranges.

SmartDrive technology operates as an efficient, tightly packaged motor when powered by electricity but also act as a generator when spun independently, making it a suitable source of sustainable energy. These motors have a viable function after domestic use.

The event hopes to contribute to the fundamental objectives of Earth Hour by engaging and educating people to change their lives.

In the week leading up to the event, cyclists will compete in teams to generate the most power, sending power to the grid and enabling similar power demands to be drawn down later at near zero net effect for the concert.