US 1939957 A
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Dec. 19, 1933. J DAY 1,939,957
METHOD AND IMPROVED MEANS FOR PRECOOLING REFRIGERATOR CARS Filed 30. 1931 2 Sheets-Sheet l (h In FIG. I
INVENTOR. FRED J. DAY
Dec. 19, 1933. F. J. DAY 1,939,957
METHOD AND IMPROVED MEANS FOR PRECOOLING REFRIGERATOR CARS Filed Nov. 30, 1931 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 lNl EN TOR.
FRED J. DAY
Patented Dec. 19, 1933 UNITED STATES METHOD AND IMPROVED MEANS FOR PRECOOLING REFRIGERATOR CARS Fred J. Day, Los Angeles, Calif.
Application November 30, 1931 Serial No. 578,056
' 12 Claims.
This invention relates to an improved method and apparatus for pre-cooling refrigerator cars subsequent to the loading of perishable products. One of the important objects of this invention is to improve in general upon the method of pre-cooling a refrigerator after it has been loaded with perishable products, and especially the means for accomplishing this method in a more definite and expeditious manner than has heretofore been known.
It is therefore an important object to more fully improve upon my own ways and means, the objects and features of which are outlined in two of my former applications, one of which was filed April 1, 1929, Serial No. 351,584 and the other of which was filed August '7, 1929, Serial No. 384,134.
Some of the present improvements involve a modification and summation of my former inventions supra and by these later improvements I am better enabled to render the apparatus more efiicient, simpler, durable and cheaper.
As a result of the foregoing, I am also enabled to reduce the personnel. of the force as well as contribute to a saving in transportation of the apparatus from one vicinity to another.
Coupled with the foregoing objects is the all important object of permitting fruit and vegetables to stay on the vine or tree until fully ripened 30 thus giving to the consumer a fully sugared product, which as a result of their matured ripening are enriched with their own natural flavor, and a shipper being in a position to deliver this fully ripened fruit in a condition where it still retains these qualities, contributes largely to a successful sale of the goods upon reaching their destination and at a much higher figure.
I attain the fulfillment of these objects in the manner hereinafter described, when taken in conjunction with the drawings forming a nucleus of the disclosure, a preferred embodiment being shown in the accompanying two sheets whereon:
Fig. 1 is a schematic longitudinal vertical section taken through a standard refrigerator car showing my apparatus installed ready for use.
Fig. 2 is'a fragmentary schematic perspective view of a refrigerator car, principally showing the hook-up apparatus for pre-cooling installed on the roof of the car. Y i
Fig. 3 is a transverse vertical section in perspective, looking toward the ice bunker of a refrigerator car, a portion of the bunker partition wall being, broken away to show a further adaptation of the method and means employed to theend desired.
Fig. 4 is a side elevation and section of the detached motor, fan and frame.
Fig. 5 is a perspective view of the padded apertured bunker board with its cover removed, the initial position of the motor being indicated in dotted lines.
In the latter view some parts are broken away to show interior construction.
In Fig. 1 is shown a longitudinal vertical section taken at a point where the two hatchways are shown in section.
The view shows a present schematic design of the circulation of the air currents in a standard express refrigerator car when iced to maintain a temperature at a pre-arranged level which is considered best for the transportation of perishable commodities.
To this present scheme of natural circulation I add the present improved means of temporary forced circulation.
From this section it willbe observed how the side and end walls, the roof and floors, together with the body of the car are heavily insulated with standard insulating materials to protect 'the interior from outside temperature and enable a proper reduced temperature to be maintained.
Fruit and vegetables are usually loaded into the car as soon as possible after it is iced. The fruit which is placed in cars is brought in from the trees and vines containing field heat or pulp temperature. This field heat must be quickly removed after the car is loaded else the products will start to deteriorate from over ripeness. The natural circulation provided for in a refrigerator is insufficient to chill the products and remove quickly this field heat in the time allotted therefor. As a consequence the car is soon filled with foul air impregnating the fruit and vegetables and adding to their depreciation due to the fact it has no egress from the car.
In order to overcome this objectionable feature it is necessary to pre-cool the car immediately after loading by a forced circulation which during the first hour is normally suflicient to rid the car of the foul air and gases thrown ofiby the fruit, then continuing to reduce the temperature to a point so as to properly refrigerate the car before starting and have it reach its destination in a condition that is properly sustained by natural circulation.
' Pre-cooling plants which are built-in require that the cars be brought to the plant, whereas with, the present invention, this service is performed at a point where the cars are loaded and without any delay by reason of switching.
Furthermore the pre-cooling device is so portable that one man can handle each unit and can service as many as six cars at a time. The advantage gained by the simplicity and portability of the machine enables it to be installed and ready for use as soon as the car is loaded. Or if for any reason the loading is held up the machines may be immediately put into operation and thus enable the shipper to keep his perishable products in a fresh, first class condition, even though as it so often happens, a period of forty-eight hours is consumed before vegetables such as apricots, asparagus and strawberries are completely loaded.
In the roof of the car is a double hatchway leading to the ice bunkers through which the ice is fed. A bunker partition wall or bulkhead in the form of a pair of insulated swinging doors separate the ice space from the loading space of the car. In the top of these bulkheads are openings provided with down draft louvers. The bottoms of these bulkheads have screened openings.
In the bottom of the cars are provided floor racks to raise the load off the floor to permit the cold air to circulate from the bottom opening of the bulkhead beneath the ice throughout the load to the center of the car.
Due to warm air rising to the ceiling of the car and cold air settling toward the floor, this flow of cold air beneath the racks circulates up through the load and forces the warm air into the top opening of the ice bunkers, where it is again chilled, settling as cold air at the bottom opening of the ice bunker. Thus is created a continuous cold air natural circulation.
Means whereby this natural circulation is converted into forced circulation now follows in detail.
In Fig. 2 is shown the location of the hatchways on the roof of a car 1. In oppositely disposed diagonal corners of the car, two ofthe standard hatch covers 2 are removed and in their stead is placed in position two padded bunker boards 3.
The construction of the boards 3 is shown somewhat in detail in Fig. 5 and comprises a cover board 4 of suflicient area which when padded, as will be presently outlined, will cover the hatch opening over which it is placed.
The board is provided with an aperture 5 of slightly g eater diameter than that of the motor.
housing 6, which at times is adapted to project part way therethrough. The aperture 5 is tapered to provide a seatfor the lid '7, which is always affixed to the boards 3 by means of a bolt and chain 8.
The lid '7 is removed when it is desired to use the cool night air for pre-cooling purposes or for exhausting foul interior air; the fan 9 which is fastened direct to the shaft of the motor being adapted to entrain or expel the air through the aperture into the car. The lid 7 is further provided with a canvas cover 10, a spanner bar 11, and a knob 12 to which is fastened an end of the chain 8.
Adjacent the aperture 5 is a recess 13 through which the cable 14 to the motor is led when the lid 5 is in place. There is also a thermometer well 14' which extends through the boards 3 and into the bunker whereby temperature may be taken without opening the doors of the car. At each end of the boards are fastened wearing strips 15 and alongside said wearing strips are placed metal bars 16. The latter bars are provided with one and two openings respectively for the accommodation of the flexible suspending means 1'7, 18 and 19. The said means preferably comprise chains which are fastened to the motor by means of special lugs welded thereto and the chains are individually manually retractible through the openings in said bars. Said chains are composed of a system of links which are each adapted to have the pin 20 on the free end of the chain extend through the links to hold the fan in whatever lowered or tilted position desired.
The fan 9 is encased within a'screened housing 21 in a manner taught by the construction shown in Fig. 4. The lengths of the chains are varied to tilt the fan to augment cooling conditions.
On the under side of the board 3 is a padded bustle 22 which extends around the edge of the board to provide an air seal between the board and the roof of the car. The bustle pad consists of first tacking canvas 23 to the board in a manner as a; 24, then placing mineral wool 25 on the board, tightly drawing the canvas 23 thereover and tacking it to the edge of the board. Usually two such boards are provided for each car to be treated.
In Fig. 3 is shown the fan and motor suspended into the bunker in a tilted position with the lid in place.
Fig. 3 is further intended to show how up-todate refrigerator cars are now provided with bulkheads -0r bunker partition walls, which are composed of a pair of doors 26 and 2'7 openable within the car, whereby'the bunkers 28 may be utilized for other purposes than the storage of ice 29.
Being able to make the bunker compartments thus a part'of the car storage proper and to attach the fan to the padded board with its aperture, whereby outside air can be entrained into the car, and further being able to lower the fan at various adjusted positions, brings about a better accomplishment of cond'tioning air than it is possible to attain by my former invention alluded to wherein the fan is placed on a detachable panel fastened to the bunker partition wall. It will therefore be obvious with the lid '7 removed, how, by working at diagonal angles of the car, and by lowering the fan and adjusting it at various angles, and by changing the polarity of the wiring whereby the direction of the fans are reversed to cause a forced circulation of the air currents within and out of the car, the car can be quickly and efficiently cooled using the cool night air alone.
The method in which the car is pre-cooled with the ice 29 in the bunkers will now be more definitely stated.
After the bunkers have been iced properly the hatch covers 2 which are to be replaced by the padded boards are removed and ice spears are used to manually pierce the ice blocks thus making a plurality of ice lanes or channels 30 as shown in Fig. 1.
Over the ice and into the lanes is sprinkled a layer of salt and when the motors 6 are energized to rotate the fans 9 a copious flow of water is soon produced. The air from the fan is thus ch lled to a very low temperature and is forcibly directed down through the ice lanes out through the bottom opening 31 and into the car as shown by the arrows in Fig. 1 in a manner as taught by the natural circulation. As the ice is melted the fan is lowered to augment the melting of the ice. As the fan is lowered its inclination is also varied to cavitate the ice which is fed through the adjacent hatchway.
The manner in which the ice is melted beneath the adjacent hatchway is illustrated in Fig. 3. Being able to vary the inclination of the fan by foreshortening one strand of the chains and lowering the fan at intervals during the stages of melting the ice, eliminates the changing of the padded board from one hatch cover to the other.
By reversing the polarity of the wiring so that one fan will run opposite to the other, a circuitous path of cold air circulation is created down through one ice bunker through the bottom of the car and up through the other ice bunker out at the top opening 32 of one ice bunker and into the top opening 33 of the other ice bunker. Or one fan may entrain air while the other fan expels air in fact many desirable aims may be thus achieved. Thus any stale air left in the car can be kept from flowing up through the load and being impregnated therein.
The 2 or 2% H. P. motors 6 are rated for 3600 R. P. M. operating in 60 cycles and 3000 R. P. M. operating on 50 cycles.
The propeller'fan is about 1''! inches in diameter and is designed to produce a reverse suction stroke.
The circuitous path of moving air created as just afore outlined is similar to the manner in which the circulation was attained in my former application alluded to except in the former invention I employ canvas tubes placed on the top of the car.
By placing these fans as shown in Fig. 1 I avoid exposing the canvas ducts to the suns rays and thereby eliminate a rise of two degress in temperature as compared with any method using external tubes. I also eleminate considerable air leakage through the use of the padded bunker board.
Furthermore it will be obvious of the great decrease in bulk of apparatus handled whereby I am enabled to reduce the personnel and the reduction of costs in transportation handling.
At all loading places is provided a power line to which I connect a switch line 34 connecting with a switch box 35 placed on the top of car (see Fig. 2) From the switch box power is fed to the motors through lines 36 and 37.
The switch arm 38 regulates the current to said motors. Further by changing the polarity of the leads the propeller fan can be reversed at will.
Operation The car to be pre-cooled is usually iced prior to* loading. A shipper usually renders information at what hour he or they will complete the loading so that the pre-cooling process may immediately follow.
With this information at hand the paraphernalia is placed on the roof of the car. As soon as the ice is tamped down and the ice lanes or channels 30 have been formed in the bunkers with the ice spears, salt is then applied to the top of the ice to secure the proper amount of meltage of the ice necessary to furnish the required cold air.
The bunker boards are then placed over the hatches with the machine in place. By machines is meant the motors 6 and the fans 9. The electric cable 37 is then connected to the switch in the box 35 on the top of the car and then a cable 34 is attached to the switch 35 which runs into the shippers shed to his power line. When the latter cable is connected to the power line and the switch 38 is operated the motor 6 is energized to operate the fan 9.
By virtue of the fact, there being an aperture 5 in the bunker boards operable exteriorly of the car, by reversing one of the motors and opening the apertures on each end of the car, such positions being shown in Fig. 2, it is possible to entrain outside air through one hatch and exhaust the foul air and gases thrown off by the fruit through the other aperture. This method has proved feasible during the first hour of pre-cooling. The reversing of the motors is accomplished simply by changing one of the phases in the switch box 35.
Hourly temperature readings are taken from a thermometer placed in the thermometer well 14. This scheme offsets the necessity of opening the car door.
In cases where there is a low night temperature it is possible to use the outside air to completely pre-cool the car and in such events the icing of the bunkers is dispensed with.
The converse is also true. The present equipment may be utilized to circulate warm air throughout the load in climates where freezing weather prevails thus preventing the freezing of the contents of such cars.
As soon as the pre-cooling is completed the service is detached and usually within thirty minutes after the service is completed the cars are detached and left for making their regular train schedule.
It being unnecessary to open the car at any time after the service is started or stopped the prevailing cold temperatures obtained are maintained.
Through this method of pre-cooling it has been proven to shippers that they can allow cantaloupes, peaches, cherries and other fruits to remain on trees or on the vines until they are close to full sugar and in good palatable condition, then pick, pack and load them into cars and by reason of the prompt pre-cooling enable the cars to carry its load and arrive in all markets in good to first class condition, thereby enabling the consumer to buy these commodities in a condition that is more fit for use and immediate consumption.
1. In a refrigerator car, an ice bunker having a hatch opening in the top thereof, a bunker board provided with an aperture openable to the outside air adapted to close said hatch opening, means supported by said board subjacent to said aperture to entrain outside air downwardly thru said aperture into said bunker and to exhaust inside air thru said aperture outside said bunker, the support for said means extending thru said board and being manually regulative exteriorly of the car.
2. In a refrigerator car, the combination with an ice bunker of a bunker board having a bustle pad extending around its lower side edge adapted to close the hatch opening of said ice bunker, a fan and suspending means attaching said fan to said bunker board, said suspending means being adjustable whereby to change the angle of inclination of said fan.
3. In a refrigerator car, the combination with an ice bunker of a bunker board having a bustle pad extending around its lower side edge adapted to close the hatch opening of said ice bunker, a
ing adjustable whereby to change the angle of inclination of said fan, conductors to form an electric circuit, and a motor included in said circuit to operate said fan.
4. In a refrigerator car, the combination with an ice bunker provided with a hatch opening, of a padded bunker board having an aperture adapted to overlie said hatch opening, a motor includ-- ing a fan and flexible suspending means uniting said motor to said bunker board in position to entrain air from the exterior of said car through said aperture.
5. In a refrigerator car, the combination with an ice bunker having a hatch opening affording communication between the ice bunker and the exterior of the car, of a detachable bunker board overlying said hatch opening, a reversely operable fan, suspending means attaching said fan to said board, said suspending means extending thru said board and being manually accessible exteriorly of the car, whereby to regulate the height and tilt of the fan within said bunker, there being an aperture thru said board thru which air is entrained and exhausted by said fan.
6. In apparatus of character described, in combination, a car body having ice bunkers at opposite ends provided with hatch openings, a padded bunker board adapted to detachably cover said hatch openings, said bunker board having an aperture, a motor having suspending means comprising three flexible connections connected to said board, said motor being extendable through said aperture and air circulating means carried by said motor.
'7. In apparatus of character described, in combination, a car body having ice bunkers at opposite ends provided with hatch openings, a padded bunker board adapted to detachably cover said hatch openings, said bunker board having an aperture, :3. motor having suspending means comprising three flexible connections connected to said board, said motor being extendable through said aperture and air circulating means carried by said motor, any one of said suspending means being retractible or extendable to vary the angle of tilt of said circulating means.
8. The combination with an ice bunker provided with a hatch opening and a refrigerator car enclosure to be cooled, of a detachable padded bunker board provided with an aperture adapted to overlie said hatch opening, a motor including a fan having a triangularly positioned suspending means from said bunker board, said suspending means being adjustable to vary the tilt of said fan with respect to said aperture whereby to entrain outside air downwardly through said ice bunker, a bulkhead separating said ice bunker from theinterior of said car, there being an opening in the bottom of said bulkhead through which the air entrained through said aperture is directed.
9. The combination with an ice bunker provided with a hatch opening and a refrigerator car enclosure to be cooled, of a detachable padded bunker board provided with an aperture adapted to overlie said hatch opening, a motor including a fan adjacent said aperture and having a triangularly positioned suspending means from said bunker board, said suspending means being adjustable to vary the tilt of said fan with respect to said aperture, a bulkhead comprising a pair of doors, said doors being openable within the interior of the car, whereby the air entrained through said aperture is directed into the adjacent portion of said car.
10. The combination with an ice bunker provided with a hatch opening and a refrigerator car enclosure to be cooled, of a detachable padded bunker board provided with an aperture adapted to overlie said hatch opening, a motor including a fan adjacent said aperture and having a triangularly positioned suspending means from said bunker board, said suspending means being adjustable to vary the tilt of said fan with respect to said aperture, a bulkhead comprising a pair of doors, said doors being openable within the interior of the car, whereby the air entrained through said aperture is directed into the adjacent portion of said car, said fan being also adapted to suctionally exhaust the air from the interior of the car through said aperture.
11. In a refrigerator car, an ice bunker at each end of said car, there being diagonally disposed hatch openings in said ice bunkers, a hinged bulkhead separating each ice bunker from the interior of the car, a padded apertured bunker board for covering said hatch openings, a motor and a fan attached to said motor, said motor being adapted to extend through said aperture, three suspending means carried by said bunker board and united to said motor for lowering said fan and motor into said bunker, any one of the three suspending means being manually retractible or extendable whereby to vary the tilt of said motor and means to energize said motor.
12. In a refrigerator car, an ice bunker at each end of said car, there being diagonally disposed hatch openings in said ice bunkers, a hinged bulkhead separating each ice bunker from the interior of the car, there being a top and bottom opening in said bulkhead, a padded apertured bunker board and a detachable cover for said aperture for covering said hatch openings, a motor and a fan attached to said motor, said motor being adapted to be extended through said aperture, a flexible suspensioning means carried by said bunker board and united to said motor for lowering said fan and motor into said bunker, any one of the suspensioning means being adapted for extension and retraction whereby to adjust the position of said fan, and means to energize said motor to cause a forced circulation from said fan to pass in a circuitous path through said ice bunkers and the interior of said car.
FRED J. DAY.