Patent application title: THIN-WALLED SELF-SUPPORTING CUBOID VACUUM CONTAINER FOR SORPTION MACHINES, ESPECIALLY ADSORPTION MACHINES
Niels Braunschweig (Berlin, DE)
Niels Braunschweig (Berlin, DE)
Sören Paulussen (Berlin, DE)
IPC8 Class: AF25B1700FI
Class name: Automatic control of closed system sorbent type discontinuous operation of refrigerant or sorbent container unit
Publication date: 2011-12-29
Patent application number: 20110314850
The invention regards a self-supporting, substantially cuboid vacuum
container which is particularly thin-walled, and the use thereof
especially for adsorption devices.
1. Self-supporting vacuum container for sorption machines with container
walls and partition walls where appropriate, characterized in that the
vacuum container is cuboid and the container walls exhibit a thickness of
less than 3 mm, preferably less than 2 mm and particularly preferably
less than 1 mm.
2. The device of claim 1, characterized in that at least one stiffening means is attached exteriorly to at least one exterior side of the container wall.
3. The device according to claim 1, characterized in that at least one stiffening means is attached interiorly to at least one interior side of the container wall.
4. The device according to claim 3, characterized in that at least one stiffening means is attached to at least one partition wall.
5. The device according to claim 1, characterized in that the vacuum container is stabilized additionally by interior stiffening means, preferably by a transverse strut and/or transverse frames, which are formed from brackets, sections, and/or square tubes.
6. The device according to claim 1, characterized in that the reinforcing means are selected from the group comprising struts, rods, brackets, corrugations, tubes, welds and/or sections, in particular square tubes.
7. The device according to claim 1, characterized in that at least one pressure-reducing element is integrated into at least one stiffening means.
8. The device according to claim 1, characterized in that at least one steam valve, particularly preferably a return steam valve, is integrated into at least one stiffening means.
9. The device according to claim 8, characterized in that the stiffening means are effected such that the constitute a fixing ability, especially a fixing ring, for a shell/cladding and/ the feet of the device are integrated into the stiffening means and/or the stiffening means are designed such that they are integrated into points of attachment for transporting or lifting devices and/or the stiffening means are designed such as to permit the attachment of switch control boxes and/or the stiffening means are designed so as to allow for lift truck capability
10. Sorption machine, comprising at least one adsorber/desorber unit, at least one condenser, at least one evaporator, at least one condenser/evaporator unit and/or evaporator/condenser unit, whereby at least one of these building blocks is disposed in a self-supporting vacuum container according to claim 1 and the sorption machine, preferably the adsorption chiller, exhibits connection and coupling elements and pipe ducts for hydraulic interconnection and operation.
11. Sorption machine according to claim 10, characterized in that the adsorber/desorber unit is located in an inner or partial inner housing, the condenser/heat exchanger and the evaporator/heat exchanger are disposed at a distance from each other, and the inner housing, having the adsorber/desorber unit, is provided in the intermediate space between them; the separating surfaces of the inner housing directed toward the condenser/heat exchanger and toward the evaporator/heat exchanger exhibit steam valves.
12. Sorption machine according to claim 10, characterized in that the self-supporting vacuum container is designed as a thin-walled casing that is not laid against the building blocks, so that the collapsive forces produced by a vacuum deform the vacuum container.
13. Use of the device according to claim 1 for sorption machines, particularly adsorption chillers.
14. Use according to claim 13 characterized in that building blocks, selected from the group comprising an adsorber/desorber unit with heat exchanger and sorbent, a condenser/heat exchanger, an evaporator/heat exchanger, an evaporator/condenser unit and/or condenser/evaporator unit, are disposed in the vacuum container.
15. Use of the device according to claim 1 for the deformation of the vacuum container under vacuum impinging, preferably such that the stiffening means and the wall thickness are designed such that the vacuum container is not imploded.
 The invention relates to a self-supporting, substantially cuboid
vacuum container which is particularly thin-walled, and the use thereof,
especially for adsorption devices.
 A vacuum container is normally required to effect evaporation in sorption machines as, for example, water can be used as a refrigerant, and as a result low pressures are necessary. The well-known classic vacuum containers exhibit a primarily cylindrical main body, which is composed, among others, of a metal shell which possesses a thickness of at least 4 mm or 5 mm. Such vacuum containers are extremely heavy in comparison to other sorption machine components. The internal fixtures in these vacuum containers are often rectangular, such as in laminated heat exchangers used as adsorbers, condensers, or evaporators. For these reasons, the space occupied by the vacuum container can often not be used effectively. This is detrimental to the power density and material costs, but also for the thermal mass (see FIG. 1).
 Thus in the prior art there were continual efforts and attempts to overcome these disadvantages. For example, attempts were made to produce cylindrical containers with corrugated reinforcement, whose shell is made of a material which is normally not thicker than 3 mm. Furthermore, non-self-supporting containers have been described which are supported internally by fixtures such as heat exchanger elements. This principle is known to the average skilled person, for example, via vacuum packaging in the food industry, whereby a thin vacuum film is stabilized and supported by the product contained inside.
 In the prior art, various sorption heat pumps are described in which an adsorber/desorber unit comprises a heat-conducting receptacle, which is in thermally conductive contact with a heat exchanger. These well-known receptacles perform two functions: on the one hand, heat transfer between heat exchanger and sorbent and, on the other hand, they produce a stable structure for the adsorber/desorber unit. It is reported that this stable structure makes it possible to use an especially thin wall for the common housing of sorption heat pumps, since this structural unit is not required to provide additional stability, serving only to seal the interior space containing the adsorber/desorber unit and the condenser/evaporator unit, against the outside environment. Typically, the exterior wall is designed as a thin sheet metal casing and has a thin wall thickness such that, especially after vacuum impinging, it rests against the adsorber/desorber unit or condenser/evaporator unit and is supported by them. As the thin sheet metal casing is braced and supported by the above-named units, such casings are referred to as non-self-supporting vacuum envelopes or as unsupported vacuum envelopes.
 Numerous self-supporting containers are known to the specialist (JP 63280964 A; GB 2303694 A, DE 10 2007 003 077 A1; DE 10 2006 032 304 A1). These well-known, partially self-supporting vacuum containers have a circular cross section and are, as a rule, joined together by several circular shell segments. In particular, JP 63280964 A describes a cylindrical, self-supporting vacuum container. GB 2303694 discloses an ultra-light, laminated vacuum container made of a synthetic material.
 Self-supporting thin-walled tanks are also used in the construction of hull structures for aircraft or tank structures for rockets, however, these tanks cannot be used as vacuum containers. The majority of well-known pressure containers, in as far as they are self-supporting, are cylindrical; vacuum containers are overwhelmingly cylindrical.
 In addition to reinforcing cylindrical containers with corrugations it is also of course possible to produce rectangular vacuum containers with exterior walls exhibiting a wall thickness of at least 5 mm and which are additionally given support by internally located reinforcement brackets.
 These prior art solutions are collectively disadvantageous, as even cylindrical containers, which in some cases may have only a 3 mm-thick, thick-walled casing, only allow for poor volume usage when fitted with rectangular internal fixtures.
 The first very convincing, non-self-supporting vacuum containers exhibit many drawbacks in practical use, as vacuum forces are absorbed by the container walls and transferred to alt internal components and fixtures. All internal parts of the device must be finely positioned in relation to each other, resulting in numerous dependencies during construction. Furthermore, only very stable components can be used, components which are capable withstanding the mechanical loads transferred by vacuum forces. Heat transfer devices required for thermal decoupling of components, as well as spacers, regularly result in dead volume (see FIGS. 2a) and 2b)). Cuboid, thick-walled containers supported interiorly by reinforcing brackets are very heavy and therefore expensive (see FIG. 3).
 Therefore, the object of the invention was to provide a device that does not exhibit the disadvantages of the prior art.
 It was very surprising that for sorption machines, particularly adsorption chillers, a self-supporting vacuum container with container walls, i.e., with the exterior walls and in some cases partition walls inside the container, can be produced, which is cuboid or substantially cuboid with container walls exhibiting a thickness of under 3 mm, preferably less than 2 mm, and particularly preferably less than 1 mm. In the prior art there is no mention of self-supporting vacuum containers for sorption machines, in particular adsorption machines, which are cuboid and exhibit walls with the above-specified wall thicknesses. Developments in the state of the art were in an entirely different direction. Proposals have been advanced for either thin-walled, tubular, self-supporting vacuum containers, or thin-walled rectangular, non-self-supporting vacuum containers, whereby thin-walled is taken to be less than 3 mm.
 For the average specialist there was no encouragement to furnish thin-walled vacuum containers--particularly not for adsorption chillers--which are cuboid and self-supporting and whose exterior walls exhibit a thickness of less than 3 mm, preferably less than 2 mm and particularly preferably less than 1 mm. In particular this means that thin-walled vacuum containers exhibit exterior walls or container walls with a wall thickness of less than 0.8 mm, preferably less than 0.7 mm and particularly preferably less than 0.6 mm. Self-supporting vacuum containers with such minimal wall thicknesses of the exterior walls are particularly advantageous in that they are very light while still being able to withstand the mechanical load of vacuum forces. It was very surprising that vacuum containers can be furnished with the above wall thickness according to the invention, and above all with the preferred wall thickness, which under vacuum forces (pressure or vacuum, depending on which pressure is used as a reference; a vacuum inside a container leads, for example, to increased pressure exerted against it) will indent selectively and yet remain completely functional. The selective indenting means that vacuum containers are implosion-resistant but become distinctly deformed under vacuum impinging. Previously, the average specialist has assumed that such vacuum containers cannot be used under any circumstances in sorption machines, particularly in adsorption machines. Previously, such vacuum containers have not been used in said manner since the expert community presupposed instability and uncertainty on the part of such containers. It is to the credit of the inventors to have demonstrated that even a clearly perceptible depression or indenting of the vacuum containers subjected to pressure impinging (and depending on the degree of deformation, even following the application of negative pressure in a resting phase), in the vacuum container according to the invention, in particular when used in an adsorption chiller, does not lead to functional failure or other disadvantages. The depression results from the application of negative pressure and can therefore be defined as a consequence of such.
 It was very surprising that the problem of the invention can be solved by a thin-walled self-supporting cuboid vacuum container, exhibiting preferably exterior struts, sections or brackets, or interior or exterior corrugations. In the prior art there is no mention of self-supporting thin-walled cuboid vacuum containers for sorption heat pumps. The inventive containers are lighter and less expensive than those in the prior art and exhibit container walls with a thickness of <3 mm, ≦2 mm, ≦1 mm. Unstable fixtures can also be deployed inside these self-supporting rectangular vacuum containers as they are not required to absorb the vacuum forces. This furthermore obviates the technical necessity of placing fixtures directly up against each other, as well as the need for thermal decoupling of the components which otherwise would be pressed up against each other in sorption heat pumps. The inventive self-supporting cuboid vacuum containers for sorption machines contain at least one heat exchanger according to the invention. Preferably, the inventive container may exhibit either interior or exterior braces or corrugations in the wall of the self-supporting vacuum container.
 It was completely surprising that, in particular, solid-sorption heat pumps comprising  (a) at least one adsorber/desorber unit preferably with a heat exchanger and a solid sorbent;  (b) at least one condenser, at least one evaporator and/or at least one condenser/evaporator unit, at least partially and preferably completely disposed in a common housing sealed against the outside environment,  (c) whereby the sorption heat pump exhibits the following additional features:  (d) the adsorber/desorber unit comprises a heat-conducting receptacle which is disposed in thermal-conductive connection with the heat exchanger;  (e) the receptacle collects the sorbent;  (f) the receptacle provides the adsorber/desorber unit with its stability;  (g) the interior space of the common housing is subjected to a vacuum impinging and the common housing is designed as a thin-walled, self-supporting, cuboid vacuum container according to the invention, so that the collapsive forces generated by the vacuum can lead to deformation of the vacuum container, but not to implosion of the vacuum container, whereby the deformation of the vacuum container does not lead to the collapsive forces generated by the vacuum being diverted to the receptacle, the heat exchanger, evaporator, condenser and/or the condenser/evaporator unit, can be furnished which do not exhibit the disadvantages of the prior art.
 Accordingly, a deformable, i.e., implosion-resistant vacuum container is furnished in particular for adsorption chillers.
 Unlike the prior art, the collapsive forces generated by the vacuum are not diverted to the adsorber/desorber unit, condenser, evaporator and/or the condenser/evaporator unit or to the receptacle as the vacuum container according to the invention is a self-supporting vacuum container. Thus, for the purposes of the invention, adsorber chambers, the condenser or the evaporator, as well as other possible components are enclosed in a cantilevered vacuum envelope.
 The skilled person is familiar with several ways to stabilize a self-supporting container. These can include, for example, cladding, reinforcement, mounting plates and sections with different joining techniques, whereby the sections are joined, for example by adhesive bonding, spot welding, laser welding or soldering and applied to the self-supporting container. The supporting function is provided solely by this structure. The rigidity of the container can be increased by stiffening means that are either attached to an exterior side of the container wall or to the interior side.
 The inventive container which can be reinforced by the stiffening elements is cuboid or substantially cuboid. A substantially cuboid vacuum container can for example be a container that deviates from an idealized rectangular shape without the average specialist describing it as not a rectangular vacuum container anymore. That is, for purposes of the invention, a vacuum container would be substantially rectangular if it exhibits at least one rounded corner. Another form of a substantially rectangular vacuum container would, for example, be a container wherein two elongated exterior walls are only substantially spaced parallel to each other. The specialist would also describe such a container as being rectangular.
 It was very surprising that the container walls, if they exhibit a wall thickness of less than 3 mm, enable the construction of a self-supporting vacuum container for sorption machines. Until now, the expert community has assumed that vacuum containers for sorption machines, and in particular for adsorption chillers, can only be either tubular or non-self-supporting vacuum containers, such that it was completely surprising that self-supporting vacuum containers can be furnished with a wall thickness of less than 3 mm, preferably less than 2 mm and particularly preferably less than 1 mm, without the vacuum generated by the collapsive forces of the vacuum container being diverted to the receptacle, the heat exchanger and/or the condenser/evaporator unit.
 In particular, it was very surprising that sorption machines, preferably adsorption machines, can be furnished with a vacuum container which is visibly deformed under a vacuum. A visible deformation here is taken to be a deformation that the average specialist perceives as significant in the form of depressions or buckling. Deformation is not meant to mean a deformation appearing on the vacuum container's exterior wall and measured in the tenths of one millimeter, but rather an indenting of the vacuum container which is optically perceptible without additional assistance.
 In a particularly preferred design of the invention, if at least one stiffening means is placed on at least one exterior side of the container wall, this surprisingly leads to a good reinforcement of the self-supporting vacuum container when it is used in particular in adsorption chillers. Especially particularly preferred is, if 2, 3, 4, 5 or in particular 6 containers walls are stabilized by application of stiffening means on the exterior wall of the container.
 Another preferred design of the invention can be devised such that at least one reinforcing means is attached to at least one interior side of the container wall. The attachment of the stiffening means leads to a surprisingly good or surprisingly high stability of the container.
 It may be preferential for stiffening means to be disposed to only one container wall. Such self-supporting vacuum containers for sorption machines are particularly lightweight and yet exhibit surprisingly good stability.
 Another preferred design of the invention is devised such that at least one, preferably several, stiffening means are disposed to at least one interior and exterior wall, preferably to several interior and exterior walls. This combination surprisingly results in particularly well-designed vacuum containers which do not exhibit the disadvantages of the prior art.
 In another preferred embodiment of the inventive self-supporting vacuum container, the container can also possess at least one or more partition walls. Depending on the specific pressure conditions, the partition walls can be exposed to different forces. It was surprising that the application of stiffening means to any or all partition walls leads to a clearly improved self-supporting vacuum container. Since, due to stiffening means, the partition wall bends less in response to variously acting pressure levels (depending on the process, different process pressures can arise in the chambers formed by the partition walls), the inventively preferred vacuum container can be especially effectively used for sorption machines, in particular adsorption chillers.
 Stiffening means may be comprised, for example, of struts, rods, brackets, square tubes, sections and/or corrugations. The specialist is aware of other possible ways of applying stiffening means. Of course, it is also possible for welds to be effected such that a stiffening is made possible by the shape and orientation of the weld seams. In such instances it is advantageous, for example, to join together the long walls of the rectangular vacuum container from several sections which are welded. The stability of the welding seams or welds can be increased by targeted deformation of the sheets that form the container wall. It is possible, for example, that the sheets possess brackets or grooves at their opposing ends, which interlock and are welded, soldered or riveted in the areas named. Advantageously, the formation of possible brackets, grooves or channels leads to an improved stability of the vacuum container. In another preferred design, it can be devised such that the different joined sheets exhibit different material composition and/or different dimensions, e.g. different thicknesses. That is, the container walls can be assembled from various sheets with different characteristics, whereby characteristics are taken to mean different metallic compositions or a different dimensioning of the sheets or a different surface- or other type of chemical or physical treatment of the sheets and/or stiffening means. Advantageously, the above-named stiffening means lead to a self-supporting vacuum container that does not exhibit the disadvantages of the prior art.
 Another preferred embodiment of the self-supporting vacuum container for sorption machines is devised such that the vacuum container, which, on its walls, preferably on the exterior side of the container walls, has stiffening means disposed to it to stabilize the container walls, is stabilized additionally by means of a transverse or several transverse struts which comprise part of the container. Furthermore, the vacuum containers can be additionally stabilized by transverse frames, which are formed from brackets, sections and/or rectangular tubes or other device elements. Of course, the inventive vacuum container can be fashioned without the aforementioned additional stiffening means. But with certain unusual dimensionings of the vacuum container, the additionally mentioned stiffening means can be advantageous.
 Corrugations in the context of the invention are manually or machine-made trough-shaped depressions in the wall of the container which serve to increase rigidity. Advantageously, the purpose of the reinforcement can be combined with a special design. The corrugations can be pressed manually into the sheet with a bordering hammer on a creasing anvil or automatically with a grooving machine, with the help of two grooving rolls. There are grooving roles for different forms. The effectiveness of a corrugation depends substantially on the following factors: position of the corrugation, form, flow, radius and disposition of the different corrugations with respect to each other. When used to provide stability to thin-walled vacuum containers, corrugated sheets should also be tested to determine the stresses to which they are exposed. The following types of loads occur as a rule: torsion, thrust, and normal force. There is no especially preferred ideal corrugation, as the following principles must always be taken into account in their design: a) an imagined cut through a corrugated sheet should advantageously cut at least one corrugation, b) the more uneven a corrugation runs, the greater the stiffening effect, and c) sheets with rectangular area can advantageously be provided with circularly extending grooves, and vice versa.
 Particularly preferred are the stiffeners attached on the exterior, as these, for example--especially if they are welded--they can be post-processed very well. For example, the weld seam can be adjusted to the appropriate requirements. The walls of the vacuum container according to the invention can be reinforced such that they do not indent whatsoever in response to the applied vacuum, e.g. by possessing numerous reinforcements. Of course, it may also be preferred that the walls indent partially and be supported by interior or exterior stiffening elements. It may further be preferred that the indentation of the walls not be supported. In the inventive cuboid vacuum container the reinforcements in the form of brackets or struts, or in the form of corrugations, may also be placed so that, by way of example, only several or a single wall(s) are/is supported by a transverse strut. The skilled person in the art can readily determine, by routine tests, the number of corrugations, struts, or brackets that are necessary to ensure that the deforming forces leading to the indentation of the walls do not lead to a collapse and thus the destruction of the container.
 The stiffening means may advantageously be designed such that they are operatively connected with pipe connections and pipe ducts or form such. That is, the stiffening means may be connective elements, for example in adsorption chillers with respect to hydraulic interconnection. It may further be preferred that the stiffening elements possess at least one pressure reducing element. Furthermore, preferred embodiments of the invention are advantageous when the stiffening means possess at least one steam valve. That is, in a particularly preferred embodiment of the invention either pressure reducing elements and/or steam valves can be integrated into separate stiffening means where appropriate. In the context of adsorption chillers, the terms pressure reducing elements or steam valves are well known to the specialist and need not therefore be explained in more detail.
 Because of the pressure difference between the external pressure (as a rule absolute ambient pressure: 1,013 mbar) and the internal pressure (for example, absolute: 10 mbar), vacuum containers are exposed to strong forces acting on the container walls in the direction of the container interior. Here, as described above, there must be a distinction between the deforming forces which, for purposes of the invention, lead to an acceptable deformation of the container walls, and the collapsive forces that lead to a destructive deformation, in particular to an implosion of the vacuum container. In particular, non-self-supporting containers subject to the influence of vacuum forces on the vacuum container walls are not stable and implode. Therefore, due to the deformations which occur, they are not functional within the meaning of the teaching pertaining to the invention. The self-supporting containers, according to the teaching relevant to the invention, are stable under the influence of vacuum forces. Depending on the design of the containers there is no deformation or a deformation which, in the context of the invention, results in no adverse influencing of their application. In particular, the inventive self-supporting vacuum containers with no interior fixtures--i.e., empty containers--are also vacuum-stable and do not implode. The design of the cuboid vacuum containers as implosion-resistant containers, preferably in an adsorption chilling machine, it is not a formulation of the inventive object, as the skilled person--after learning the inventive teaching--without achieving an inventive step--can determine the wall thickness within the bounds of the selected wall density range, as well as the stiffening means so that the deformation of the vacuum container is taken into account and the vacuum container does not implode. It was surprising that, differently than suggested by the prior art, sorption machines can be furnished according to the invention. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the reinforcements of the inventive device serve to stabilize and fix a casing which envelops the sorption machine. It may also be advantageous if the reinforcements are designed so that the feet are integrated into them in the lower area. Advantageously, the stiffeners, such as struts, rods, sections, brackets, or corrugations, can also be designed so that the entire apparatus can be accessed from beneath by a lifting truck. With respect to this it can be particularly advantageous to construct these reinforcements so that they serve as attachment points for transport- and/or lifting devices. That is, in particularly preferred designs of the invention, the stiffening means may have additional functions. They can preferably be designed such that they constitute a fixing ring for the casing and/or they can be integrated into the feet of the entire device, i.e., the sorption machine. Therefore they can also function as attachment points for transporting or for lifting devices, or be employed in another functionality.
 It was very surprising that the stiffeners can be designed so that all additional components associated with a sorption machine, e.g. controllers, display, or control boxes, can be affixed to these reinforcements.
 The teaching of the invention enables the use of plates (less than 3 mm thickness) in the construction of vacuum containers, but also sheet metal as well. Sheet metal sheets are sheets with a thickness of less than 2 mm or preferably less than 1 mm. Preferably, warm or cold-rolled ready-made sheets are used; such sheets are chiefly used for forming purposes. Depending on the type of steel, these sheets can be surface coated with tin, zinc, copper, nickel, lacquer, enamel, or synthetic material.
 The invention also relates to a sorption machine comprising at least one adsorber/desorber unit with heat exchanger and sorbent material, at least one condenser, at least one condenser/heat exchanger, at least one evaporator/condenser unit and/or an evaporator/heat exchanger, wherein at least one part of these building blocks is disposed in an inventive self-supporting vacuum container, and the sorption machine exhibits connection and coupling elements and pipe ducts for hydraulic interconnection and operation. Advantageously it is not necessary, for example, that the adsorber/desorber unit exhibit a stable structure, as it is not required to absorb or dissipate the collapsive forces generated by the vacuum. The average specialist knows, depending on the type of sorption machine involved, which of the above-named building blocks to use. The above-named listing represents a set of building blocks from which--depending on the type of sorption machine involved--individual units can be assembled; the specialist is aware of the selection and assembly of the individual components.
 In a preferred embodiment of the sorption machine, the adsorber/desorber unit is located in an inner and/or partial inner housing, wherein the condenser/heat exchanger and the evaporator/heat exchanger are arranged at a distance from each other and the inner housing of the adsorber/desorber unit is provided in the space between them. The separating surfaces of the inner housing directed toward the condenser/heat exchanger and toward the evaporator/heat exchanger exhibit steam valves. It was a complete surprise that the inventive sorption machine, in particular the adsorption chiller via the cantilever-supported or self-supporting vacuum container, does not exhibit the above-mentioned disadvantages of the prior art.
 Thus the invention also relates to the use of the inventive vacuum container for sorption machines, especially adsorption chillers. In a particularly preferred embodiment of the invention, provision is made that in the inventive vacuum container, building blocks are disposed such that the building blocks, by way of example, can be an adsorber/desorber unit, a condenser, an evaporator, a condenser/evaporator unit or an evaporation/condenser unit, an evaporator/heat exchanger and/or an evaporator/condenser unit.
 The teaching according to the present application is characterized by the following features:
 Departure from the technically customary
 The existence of an old, unsolved urgent need for the solution of the problem which is solved by the invention
 The simplicity of the solution speaks for the inventive step, in particular as it replaces complicated teachings
 Misconceptions among experts about the solution of the respective problem (prejudice)
 Technical progress, such as: improvement, increased performance, price reduction, savings in time, material, work steps, costs, and greater effectiveness, increase of technical possibilities, opening a second route, alternatives, possibility of rationalization,  Combination invention, i.e., several known elements are combined into a combination that has a surprising effect  Licensing  Praise of experts, and  Economic success.
 In particular, the advantageous embodiments of the invention exhibit at least one or more of the named benefits.
 In the following, and using the figures, the invention is explained in more detail while not being limited by them. The following is shown:
 FIG. 1 Cylindrical container with cuboid building blocks
 FIGS. 2a) and b) Non-self-sustaining vacuum container
 FIG. 3 Cuboid thick-walled vacuum container
 FIGS. 4a) and b) Thin-walled vacuum containers according to the invention
 FIG. 1 shows a schematic representation of a cylindrical container with rectangular fixtures or components. A sorption machine described as state of the art, such as an adsorption machine, is shown, whereby a condenser 1, an evaporator 2, and two adsorbers 3 are disposed in a container formed from a cylindrical container wall 4. The adsorbers 3 may be an adsorber/desorber unit, i.e., the refrigerant is adsorbed in an adsorber, whereby energy is transferred to the adsorbent and desorbed in a desorber, where energy must be introduced into the desorber in order to desorb the refrigerant. The components, such as condenser 1, evaporator 2, and adsorber 3 are cuboid. However, the container wall 4 is designed so that dead volume (unusable space) forms in the interior of the container between the container wall 4 and the components (condenser 1, evaporator 2, adsorber 3). Consequently, such adsorption machines are designed disproportionately and require significant space, with the bulk of the internal volume unusable. Furthermore, the container wall 4 of the container described in the prior art is designed to be very thick, making the weight of the adsorption machine very high. The container walls 4 are designed thick enough so that they do not collapse when a vacuum is created.
 FIG. 2a) and b) show non-self-supporting vacuum containers. FIG. 2a) represents a non-self-supporting container or, for example, an adsorption machine comprising a condenser 1, an evaporator 2, two adsorbers 3, other components (for example spacers or heat transfer devices 6) and a non-self-supporting container wall 5. The container wall 5 is formed such that at the creation of a vacuum, the container wall 5 lies against the internal fixtures and is thus stabilized. The fixtures or components are compatible with one another in shape and size, which rules out a flexible arrangement and component design. The container wall 5 can be designed to be either thick or thin so as to completely compensate for the vacuum forces or, alternately, be deformed by the vacuum as a thin shell. In every instance this leads to a decreased flexibility of the mentioned machine. Spacers 6 are inserted between the components, guaranteeing a certain amount of stability for the container, and the spacers can possess other functional features. The disadvantage here is that by the contact between the container wall 5 and fixtures results in thermal conduction, i.e., on the one hand heat is transferred from the fixtures to the container wall 5 and, on the other hand, heat conduction takes place between the internal elements and the spacers 6. This rules out efficient operation as heat is lost during operation of the adsorption machine and thus more energy must be expended to effect a constant performance, which in turn deteriorates the efficiency of the machine. In addition, the components and fixtures must be precisely built into the machine, which, however, limits the construction of the machines and the components/fixtures.
 Furthermore, in FIG. 2b) the vacuum forces exerted on the container or adsorption machine are schematically represented as arrows. The structure of the adsorption machine is identical to the machine sketched in FIG. 2a). During operation of the adsorption machine, vacuum forces are exerted on the container and spill over to the internal components depending on the construction of the container and the arrangement of the fixtures or components. During the operation of the adsorption machine a vacuum arises inside the machine, thus creating strong vacuum forces acting on the container wall. As the container wails described in the prior art surround the fixtures and come in contact with the fixtures when a vacuum is applied, the vacuum forces are transmitted to the fixtures. In addition, for example, the spacers distribute the vacuum forces between the fixtures, such as condenser, evaporator, and adsorber. Over a longer period of time, the internal components can be irreparably damaged by the vacuum forces and may need to be replaced, which is associated with high costs and operational interruption.
 FIG. 3 shows a schematic representation of a cuboid thick-walled vacuum container with interior reinforcement brackets. The adsorption machine comprises a cuboid container wall 7, which includes a condenser 1, an evaporator 2, interior reinforcement bracket 8, and two adsorbers 3. Again, the container wall 7 is designed to be thick to compensate for the vacuum forces and to protect the components; however, additional reinforcement brackets 8 are mounted on the inside of the container wall 7. The reinforcement brackets 8 stabilize the container wall 7 and prevent deformation of the container wall 7 due to pressure differences, that is, an applied vacuum and the resultant vacuum forces are compensated by the inner reinforcement brackets 8. A disadvantage of this design is that heat-conductive contact can arise between the container wall 7 and the fixtures or components, leading to reduced efficiency. In addition, the means of reinforcement 8 and the container wall 7 are constructed about 1.5 cm to 3 cm thick to compensate for the vacuum forces. Thus, the material cost and weight are very high. In addition, the flexibility of the machine is limited by this because a simple moving or maneuvering of such a machine is no longer possible. Through the interior reinforcement brackets 8 the available space inside the machine is also severely reduced; thus no additional components can be integrated into the machine.
 FIGS. 4a) and b) show the inventive thin-walled vacuum containers. A condenser 1, an evaporator 2, and two adsorbers 3 are arranged in a thin-walled cuboid container 9a. In the case of adsorbers 3 it may be adsorber/desorber unit. The use of cuboid fixtures or components is preferred, as they require little space and can be arranged to save space. However, components with other forms such as round or oval can be used. Thin-walled refers to a wall thickness of less than 3 mm, preferably less than 2 mm and particularly preferably less than 1 mm. Metal can be used for the container 9a. Advantageously, stainless steel sheets or steel sheets, but other metals can be used. Stiffening elements 10 or reinforcing means are attached exteriorly to the container wall 9a. These may be struts, rods, brackets, corrugations, tubes and/or tubes which are made of materials such as metal, plastic, or ceramic materials. Welds can also be used as stiffening elements 10. The container walls 9a may be disposed such that a weld is used as a reinforcing element 10 and results in reinforcement of the container. Conceivable are container walls 9a assembled from several individual container parts and exhibiting lips or flanges at which the container parts are welded together. Welds can be used as a reinforcing element 10 in containers produced in this manner. The number of stiffening means 10 attached to the container wall 9a can be determined empirically by the specialist through known approaches. In some cases only a single container wall 9a need be provided with stiffening elements 10. The container 9a can be used with different sorption machines, such as adsorption or absorption machines and can be adapted easily and quickly to the size of the components to be encased.
 The container wall 9a is self-supporting and is not supported by any elements, or connected to the fixtures. During operation of a sorption machine such as an adsorption chiller, a vacuum is applied to evaporate the refrigerant (e.g., water) at low temperatures in an evaporator 2. The resulting water vapor is conducted into the adsorber 3, where it adsorbs and releases thermal energy to a heat exchanger integrated into the adsorber 3. Here, a heat carrier flowing through the heat exchanger is heated up. In the next step, the adsorbed water vapor, due to energy from the adsorber 3, which now acts as a desorber, is expelled and condensed in a condenser 1, which transfers energy to the heat carrier located there. The application of a vacuum and the resulting vacuum forces causes no deformation of the container 9a, although the container may be constructed from a thin metal sheet.
 In a preferred variant the vacuum forces are compensated by the container of the invention such that no deformation takes place. The stiffening elements 10 compensate for the vacuum forces and thus relieve the container wall 9a. In the prior art, mention is made of containers or vacuum containers for sorption machines, containers that are not self-supporting and/or are thick-walled, and in which on the one hand great demands are placed on the internal elements by vacuum forces, while on the other hand the machines are expensive and heavy. The inventive cuboid thin-wailed containers guarantee, however, that the fixtures are not subjected to loads and the container, and therefore the machine, is light in weight. FIG. 4b) shows still another preferred cuboid thin-walled container with reinforcing means placed exteriorly, wherein deformations of the container occur. The container wall 9b can be constructed such that under load, i.e., when a vacuum is applied, it deforms, but only to the extent that the container neither collapses, nor do the fixtures/components (1, 2, or 3) arranged in the container become damaged by the container wall 9b, nor do they absorb collapsive forces. There is also no heat transfer between the container wall 9b and the fixtures/components. Even an empty container without internal fixtures or components does not implode; the deformation of the container wall 9b occurs in a manageable amount, i.e., the container wall 9b is constructed so that a controlled deformation takes place under vacuum. The thin-walled and cuboid configuration of the container wall 9a, 9b allows for optimal integration of internal fixtures/components, whereby the container remains lightweight and flexible. The internal fixtures are protected from external influences and are not damaged by the resulting vacuum forces. Also, no heat conduction or transmission of the vacuum forces via the container wall 9a, 9b occurs, which ensures constant and efficient operation of the machine.
 1 Condenser  2 Evaporator  3 Adsorber  4 Cylindrical container wall (thick-walled)  5 Non-self-supporting container wall (thin wall)  6 Internal fixtures such as spacers or heat-conducting devices  7 Cuboid container wall  8 Interior reinforcement brackets  9a Thin-walled cuboid container wall without deformation  9b Thin-walled cuboid container wall with deformation  10 Stiffening element
Patent applications by Niels Braunschweig, Berlin DE
Patent applications by Invensor GmbH