Patent application title: Air conditioning system
Maurice W. Lindauer (Valdosta, GA, US)
IPC8 Class: AF25B1900FI
Class name: Refrigeration vacuumized chamber with open vapor or gas outlet system, i.e., multiple treating or fluid handling means
Publication date: 2008-12-11
Patent application number: 20080302121
An air-conditioning system comprising water as the coolant in the heat
exchanger in relation with cooling the air. A source of vacuum assists
the vaporization action. The heat of vaporization of water is greater
than a coolant of the fluorocarbon series, and the system operates most
efficiently by dispersing the water vapor and its absorbed heat directly
into the atmosphere instead of being kept within a closed cycle system
which would require additional equipment and be much less efficient. One
modification of the system incorporates a steam ejector system for a
large air-conditioning system designed for a large structure.
1. An air conditioning system, comprising:a tank member,a heat exchanger
system positioned within said tank member and in connection with water
supply,means for providing vacuum in tank member to assist in a cooling
effect in cooperation with said heat exchanger by removal of water vapor
and heat thru outlet in said tank member,float valve positioned in tank
member for control of water level,a water inlet valve in said tank member
in connection with said water supply in further connection with a water
spray line of said heat exchanger,a blower connected to an air inlet of
said heat exchanger to supply exogenous air to said heat exchanger,a
thermostat member for temperature control, anda control unit in
connection with power supply and further operably connecting operable
components in response to thermostat setting.
2. An air conditioning system as described in claim 1, wherein:an emergency valve is positioned in said tank member to activate in case said float valve fails.
3. An air conditioning system as described in claim 2, wherein:a manually operable drain valve is positioned on said tank member for drainage of said tank member.
4. An air conditioning system as described in claim 3, wherein:a water spray member of said heat exchanger is operable to provide a fine spray of water onto a tubular member of said heat exchanger to provide cooling of air flowing thru said tubular member.
5. An air conditioning system as described in claim 4, wherein:a water pump is connected to a lower level of said tank member to provide means to respond to said float valve for directing water to a chosen member.
6. An air conditioning system, comprisinga tank member comprising a heat exchanger system and necessary cooperating components,a water inlet valve on said tank member adaptable to receive a water supply,a float valve positioned in said tank member for control of water level in said tank member,a vacuum pump connected to said tank member for exhaust of water vapor and heat from said tank member as had absorbed heat from said heat exchanger,said heat exchanger comprising a water sprinkler unit in connection with a water valve on a water line, said water sprinkler directed to spray tubular members of said heat exchanger,a blower unit connected to exogenous air and to said tubular members of said heat exchanger from which said air exists as cooled air, anda control unit for operation of system in response to settings of a thermostat.
7. An air conditioning system as described in claim 6, wherein:a manually operable valve is positioned in lower level of said tank member for drainage of said tank member,an emergency valve is positioned in said tank member to activate in case said float valve fails, anda water pump is connected to a lower level of said tank member to provide means to respond to said float valve for directing water to a chosen member.
8. An air conditioning system, comprising:a tank member comprising a heat exchanger system and cooperating units, including:means for providing a vacuum in said tank member to assist in a cooling effect in cooperation with said heat exchanger,a float valve positioned in said tank member for control of water level,a water inlet valve in said tank member in connection with a water supply line of said heat exchanger,a blower connected to an air inlet of a tubular member of said heat exchanger to supply exogenous air to said heat exchanger which is to exit said heat exchanger as cooled air,a thermostat member in connection with said heat exchanger for temperature control, anda control unit in connection with power supply and further operably connecting heat exchanger units for operation in response to thermostat setting.
9. An air conditioning system as described in claim 8, wherein:said means for providing a vacuum in said tank member comprises a steam ejector unit.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
My invention relates to air-conditioning systems relying on water as a coolant and a vacuum source for assisting in driving water thru a heat exchanger to develop cooled air. Still more particularly, my invention relates to air-conditioning systems comprising a multiplicity of heat exchange units relying on the economical advantage provided by the inclusion of a steam ejector system.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The basic principles of heat exchange science, including air-conditioning, are based on the behavior of a fluid as it changes from liquid to gas or from gas to liquid. For example, a cooling effect is produced by the expansion of compressed air or compressed carbon dioxide, or by the expansion of compressed gases such as ammonia.
A heat exchanger is described as a device in which heat energy is transferred between two separate pieces of equipment. I refer to the term "Heat Energy" because it is improper to describe the "heat" in a body, since "heat" is measured only as energy being transmitted.
Air-conditioning is essentially the process of removing heat energy from one specific component or enclosed space and transferring that energy to another component or space where it is not needed.
Then, in an air-conditioning process the amount of heat energy anticipated in the transfer of energy is most easily calculated as "Latent Heat". Latent Heat is best defined as the Heat of Vaporization".
Probably most air-conditioning systems in use today, especially domestic systems, operate with a fluorocarbon compound as a coolant, and consist of a closed cycle system because the expense of the coolant being used demands that the coolant be saved.
Also, a closed system is required to prevent the loss of the coolant to the earth's atmosphere where it is considered to be an environmental hazard.
Then, the requirement for a closed cycle system immediately brings significant expense on the system by requiring additional equipment to provide the closed cycle for the fluorocarbon coolant, which, in effect, is simply twice the operational equipment.
With water as a coolant, the air-conditioning system does not have to be a closed cycle system, therefore the condensing cycle of the coolant has been eliminated.
I have always been interested in the fields of chemistry and physics, and this interest drove me to my advanced degrees and long career as a professor of Physical Inorganic Chemistry and Nuclear Chemistry. The interest in this area eventually led me to become deeply interested in what I consider to be a novel area of air-conditioning, which I am describing herein.
As a consequence, I realized that water has a heat of vaporization which is most beneficial for the basic physical reaction for an air-conditioning system. I was also aware that the vaporization of this water coolant could be further enhanced by the proper inclusion of a source of vacuum in the system.
At the most basic action of an air-cooling process, using water, it is the vaporization of water which absorbs and removes heat from air passing thru the system, and this warm, heat-containing vapor must be removed from the immediate system and is either expelled into the atmosphere or directed into a separate operational piece of equipment for other purposes, if desired.
There are basically two types of air-conditioning systems; one is referred to as an absorption system, and the other is referred to as a compression system.
One typical form of absorption system operates with an ammonia-water solution as the refrigerant (or coolant), and includes the components identified as an evaporator and a condenser.
The strong solution of ammonia-water enters the evaporator under low pressure which causes the ammonia to evaporate and absorb heat from the area being refrigerated.
The heated solution enters the condenser which places the ammonia under high pressure and dispenses the heat to the area outside the refrigerated area.
A typical compression system is a closed-cycle system operating with a refrigerant, such as a Freon chemical, and includes components identified as an evaporator, a compressor, and a condenser.
Beginning at one phase in the cycle, as the refrigerant enters the evaporator it is under high pressure, then suddenly expands as it enters the evaporator. Because of this expansion the refrigerant becomes cooler and absorbs heat from the area being refrigerated. As it leaves the evaporator, it is under low pressure and is warm from the heat absorbed. The warm gas flows into the compressor.
The compressor places the warm gaseous Freon under high pressure. At high pressure, the condensed Freon is prepared to give off the heat it had accumulated. This is accomplished by the action of the condenser.
The condenser receives the Freon under high pressure from the compressor. The condenser collects the heat from the Freon while maintaining the high pressure. The heat is driven from the condenser by the flow of either air or water. Then, the Freon is ready to leave the condenser under low pressure and much cooler, ready to complete the cycle.
In considering the possible manner in which an air-conditioning system relying on water as the coolant could be developed, I eventually developed the invention which I describe herein.
To my knowledge, there has not been an air-conditioning system similar to my system.
In accordance with the usual practice, I had conducted a patent search, as a result of which I found the following patents which were considered to be the closest to my invention.
U.S. Pat. No. 337,394 to Goodale describes a storage chamber "a" within an inclosing chamber "b" in a manner that a vacuum space may be formed between "a" and "b". An air pump, "g" is connected to pipe "f" to exhaust air from the vacuum chamber. A valve "f" in pipe "f" seals the vacuum chamber. Valve "f" hermetically seals the vacuum chamber when the vacuum is to be maintained.
U.S. Pat. No. 416,788 to Jacobs describes a refrigerator-box which can be hermetically sealed, and has a pump-cylinder "D" connected with the interior section "C". Chamber "C" is filled with brine thru funnel "r". Any surplus of brine may be removed thru faucet "T". Then, operation of the pump creates a vacuum in the chamber and lowers the temperature.
U.S. Pat. No. 530,535 to Kuphal describes a water-tight tank "A" connected to a pump "F" at a lower section of the tank "A". The upper portion of the tank "A" is divided into three chambers "a", "b", and "c" by slabs of porous material, so that water is drawn thru the porous slabs by the pump in a manner that the water evaporates from atomized water. From chamber "c" a multiplicity of vertical pipes "d" extend thru larger chamber "c" with vaporized water, thus causing rapid cooling of the chamber.
U.S. Pat. No. 2,096,147 to Toulmin describes a refrigeration process based on a water-oil emulsion as a refrigerant and eliminates the use of steam in summer time when refrigeration systems are utilized. Also, the use of a water-oil emulsion provides for the lubrication for the pump.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,544,021 to Barrett describes a system which removes heat from well water under reduced pressure in a manner that the heat may be utilized for heating of homes.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,615,178 to Badenhop describes a vacuum cooling system for cooling produce and similar foodstuffs in which data is given to a controller, such as a microprocessor and the controller automatically controls the operation.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,723,415 to Chen describes a direct water evaporating cooling system in which the evaporator tank and the heat exchange unit are shown in the drawings as a single unit, but emphasizes that they are "separate". A spray of water is directed from a header into an evaporator tank partially filled with water. A partial vacuum provided by a vacuum pump absorbs heat from the main pool of water. This cooled water is then pumped thru a cooling coil.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,174,126 to Cameron describes an air-conditioning system which relies on the high dielectric constant of water and its vacuum to adapt the evaporator and condenser cycles of a conventional air-conditioning to use water instead of Freon:. A further feature of the patent is the provision of a system which utilizes a desiccant material for removal of the humidity, the desiccant material being continuously regenerated by the application of vacuum to the desiccant material.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,992,169 to Later describes an air-conditioning process being operated to apply vacuum cooling for fresh field produce. The fresh produce is loaded into cartons, and electronic equipment measures the initial physical condition of the produce and adjusts the desired condition in order to prevent unnecessary removal of water. The system passes reservoir water thru a filtration device to utilize a free radical method of filtration of ultraviolet light to reduce the micro biotic load and insure freshness.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The primary object of my invention is to provide an air-conditioning system which is simple in construction, efficient in operation, and safe to use.
Another object of my invention is to provide an air-conditioning system capable of operating with a source of water as the refrigerant.
Another object of my invention is to provide an air-conditioning system which includes a steam ejector to create a source of vacuum for assisting the flow of fluid thru the air-conditioning system.
Still another object of my invention is to provide an air-conditioning system which is adaptable for cooling larger structures.
Still another object of my invention is to provide an air-conditioning system which is of lower cost of manufacture and sale by elimination of expensive refrigerant material.
Still another object of my invention is to provide an air-conditioning system which is easier to maintain and operate by elimination of the expense required by a closed-cycle system.
I have considered the cost of construction as of primary importance with the design of my air-conditioning system.
Therefore, I have designed an air-conditioning system for operation with the usual city utility water as the coolant or refrigerant, not any halocarbon component, nor petroleum product.
The operator of my system does not cool this warmed water vapor to condense it to be re-cycled into the system. Re-cycling action would require considerable energy and would be most inefficient. In my air-conditioning system, the operator simply disperses the water vapor into the atmosphere.
I am describing in all my figures essentially the same basic heat exchange system, but with several adaptations and improvements of some components which are modified to exert certain beneficial effects.
One of the important considerations is the type and size of the structure with which the air-conditioning system is to be installed.
For example, in large office buildings, the heating and air-conditioning system is a most complex system. In addition to the complexity of the system, the building codes can be extremely detailed.
The existence of an air-conditioning system brings up many questions to be solved; first, where the basic air-conditioning components should be located for the type of system that is to be installed. Some units might be more properly placed on the roof of a large building, and other types of units might be more properly located in a basement area.
For example, a very large air-conditioning system of this type can have a source of vacuum created by means of a steam ejector system. In such systems, the steam ejectors must be located at least 32-35 feet above the surface of the earth to accomplish proper distribution of the hot water/steam discharge of the ejector system. In such a system, this hot water discharge is available for other use within the large structure, or it can be discharge in other ways. In use with a steam ejector, the water used as the refrigerant is sprayed into a vacuum created by the steam ejector. This results in evaporation of a portion of the water and a lowering of the temperature of the remainder. For a chamber maintained at 0.12 pounds per square inch the temperature of the chilled water would be 40° F. (4.5° C.) This chilled water is then available for air-conditioning or other cooling applications.
At the other extreme, the smallest air-conditioning system, such as a typical domestic unit, would be generally the same heat exchange system, but with a small vacuum pump, when needed, and dispersal of the water vapor/absorbed heat energy to the outer atmosphere.
Each type of air-conditioning system according to my system will include a blower component for distribution of air supply thru the system, either for distribution of warm air into the system or distribution of cooled air out of the system. For small systems, such as an individual heat exchange/cooling unit, a single blower unit may accomplish both purposes by driving a flow of air thru both systems.
The efficiency of my system is determined by and related to the correlation of the power of the vacuum source and the adaptability of the heat exchanging surfaces of the air tubes in regard to the power of the blower for the amount of air to be cooled.
I shall subsequently describe in detail other major important features of my air-conditioning system and how my system may be best modified according to the geography of the particular locale and demands of the size of system needed.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view of a typical air-conditioning system according to the instant invention which utilizes water as a coolant.
FIG. 2 is a schematic view of an air-conditioning system according to the instant invention which utilizes water as a coolant.
FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic view of an air-conditioning system according to the instant invention which includes a principal heat exchanger and an individual heat exchanger.
FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic view of an air-conditioning system according to the instant invention which includes a principal heat exchanger and an individual heat exchanger.
FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic view of an air-conditioning system according to the instant invention which includes a steam ejector system for production of a vacuum.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
In FIG. 1 I describe one example of an air-conditioning system according to my invention. I am showing the air-conditioning system 10 diagrammatically since the basic components are generally known and I am providing modification of various components to comprise a new air-conditioning system based on the advantage of using water as the coolant in a new and efficient manner. I show my air-conditioning system 10 diagrammatically in FIG. 1 for ease of understanding and I show my system specifically in FIG. 2 to provide a detailed understanding of my system.
My air-conditioning system 10 comprises a tank member 12, generally, which contains a heat exchanger 14, generally, and provides means for enclosure of other operating components as well as means of attachment for various units.
The operation of my air-conditioning system 10 relies upon a power supply 16 connected to an automatic control unit 18, generally, which is connected to all the components which are automatically controllable in response to proper signals.
As the power supply is activated, a proper signal from a room thermostat 20 activates a water supply control 22 to open the system to utility water source 24, as needed by the heat exchanger 14.
To begin the cooling process, blower 26 is turned on to start the flow of air thru the heat exchanger 14 to receive the cooling effect of the water being sprayed on the heat exchanger 14 from sprinkler units 28.
As the water is sprayed over the heat exchanger 14, a portion of the water performs a cooling effect over the heat exchanger 14 and settles on the lower portion of the tank 12, while air flowing thru the heat exchanger 14 is cooled and is emitted as cooled air at air outlet 30.
As the supply of water over the heat exchanger 14 provides a cooling effect for the air, a portion of the warm water vapor is drawn from the heat exchanger by the vacuum pump 12 to be exited as warm water vapor, thus performing an additional cooling operation.
Water flowing over the heat exchanger gradually accumulates in the bottom of the tank 12 until it reaches the water level control 34. When water level control 34 is activated the control activates the water pump 36 and opens drain 38 to release the excess water. I have also provided an emergency relief valve 40 in event water level control 34 should not operate.
Then, as a further emergency control, I have provided a manual water valve 42 in case all the other valves fail to operate.
As the immediate atmosphere reaches a comfortable temperature, the thermostat activates and the air-conditioning unit shuts off and the area starts another cycle.
In summary, the order of operation is:
1. Turning on a power switch, turns on the system.
2. Room thermostat activates the cooling system when room temperature is above temperature set on thermostat.
3. Water control valve attached to utility water line activates, allowing water to flow from spray nozzles in heat exchanger tank.
4. Blower activates the direct air to flow into the system from outside the system.
5. Air flows thru series of cooling tubes in heat exchanger positioned in tank and into room being cooled.
6. Vacuum system activates, drawing water vapor from inside tank and to outside of system, thus enhancing evaporation of water with its consequent absorption of heat.
7. Water accumulates in bottom of tank to a specific level, then a water level sensor activates a water pump to remove excess water.
8. When the room temperature reaches the temperature set on the thermostat, the air-conditioning system de-activates.
9. A manually operated drain valve on tank member provides for eliminating accumulated drain, when ever needed to empty the air-conditioning system.
In FIG. 3 I am describing a slightly modified air-conditioning system 44, generally, in which tank 46 includes a water-cooled principal heat exchanger 48 which is automatically operated similarly to FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, but in which a vacuum source is connected to the interior of the principal heat exchanger to assist in drawing warm water vapor thru the system while drawing only a small flow of air thru the tank, in an operation designed to cause most of the cooled water to be directed to a water pump 50 so as to enter an individual air-conditioning unit 52 as being already cooled-down as it reaches an individual heat exchanger 54.
The chilled water thereafter receives further cooling from heat exchanger 54 and collects in the bottom of tank 52 where the water level is controlled in a manner similar to that shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.
A source of air 56 permits air to be drawn thru tank 52 by a blower 58 in order to be cooled by action of the heat exchanger 54 as cooled air 60.
In FIG. 4 I describe an air-conditioning system which I intend for large buildings, and thus, all of the operating units must be much more powerful. For example, the vacuum source must be must stronger, so I have incorporated a steam ejector unit to provide the vacuum. However, when using a steam ejector unit, the steam ejector must be placed at least 32 to 35 feet above the surface of the earth. A vacuum is then created by passing a jet of steam thru a system of venturi.
When this system is placed in very tall buildings, the supply of water is kept in storage tanks at multiple levels of 30 feet, or successive pump devices are employed.
Also, because of the large system, the water pumps must be of a piston type pump. A centrifugal pump would not operate under these conditions.
In FIG. 4 the primary tank 62 includes a principal heat exchanger 64 formed of tubular links connected to a blower 66 and with an outlet 68 connected to the inlet of a steam ejector vacuum source 70 operating to draw air into the system and pass thru the heat exchanger 64 as warm warm water and absorbed heat.
Water for the heat exchanger 64 enters tank 62 and this water is sprayed over the tubes of the heat exchanger 64, then collects in the bottom of tank 62.
As in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the same emergency level water controls activate to control accumulated water, when necessary.
As shown in FIG. 4, a portion of the cooled air is made available by the principal heat exchanger 64, but most of the energy presentation is to be made available for the individual air-conditioning units.
For example, the water accumulating in the bottom of tank 62 is slightly chilled, so that water is pumped into an individual air-conditioning unit. It is pumped by water pump 72, if needed, or released to drain 74. For the operation of the individual heat exchanger 76 air enters the heat exchanger thru blower 78 and emits as cooled air.
In FIG. 5 I am describing an air-conditioning system for a multi-storied building similar to the system described in FIG. 4, except most importantly, I am directing a portion of the cooled air from the principal heat exchanger 64 directly to each individual heat exchanger 76 so that it will be used to assist in cooling the air supply within each room, thereby making the operation more efficient. I calculate a larger steam ejector unit 80 to produce more vacuum more efficiency, and thereby to require a slightly modified individual exchanger 82.
Since many different embodiments of my invention may be made without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, it is to be understood that the specific embodiments described in detail herein are not to be taken in a limiting sense, since the scope of the invention is best defined by the appended claims.