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Publication numberUS20010005990 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/727,518
Publication dateJul 5, 2001
Filing dateDec 4, 2000
Priority dateDec 23, 1999
Also published asUS6393842
Publication number09727518, 727518, US 2001/0005990 A1, US 2001/005990 A1, US 20010005990 A1, US 20010005990A1, US 2001005990 A1, US 2001005990A1, US-A1-20010005990, US-A1-2001005990, US2001/0005990A1, US2001/005990A1, US20010005990 A1, US20010005990A1, US2001005990 A1, US2001005990A1
InventorsCheol Kim, Yoon Hwang, Yun Ryu
Original AssigneeKim Cheol Min, Hwang Yoon Jel, Ryu Yun Ho
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Air conditioner for individual cooling/heating
US 20010005990 A1
Abstract
Air conditioner for individual cooling/heating including a front compartment and a rear compartment separated by a partition plate of an insulating material for forced inlet and outlet of external air therethrough respectively, at least two heat exchanger parts each in upper parts of the front and rear compartments and lower parts of front and rear compartments for making heat exchange with external air passing through the front compartment and the rear compartment respectively, first drawing means and second drawing means mounted in an upper portion or a lower portion of the front compartment or the rear compartment respectively for forced circulation of the external air through respective compartments, and driving means for driving the first and second drawing means, each of the heat exchanger parts includes thermoelectric modules each connected to a power source for absorbing a heat at a heat absorptive part and discharging the heat from a heat dissipative part provided opposite to the heat absorptive part, and heat exchangers each in contact either with the heat absorptive part or the heat dissipative part of the thermoelectric module for causing heat exchange between the air flowed into the front or rear compartment and the thermoelectric module, thereby providing individual cooling/heating to a user and constant temperature dehumidification.
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Claims(19)
What is claimed is:
1. An air conditioner for individual cooling/heating comprising:
a front compartment and a rear compartment separated by a partition plate of an insulating material for forced inlet and outlet of external air therethrough, respectively;
at least two heat exchanger parts each in upper parts of the front and rear compartments and lower parts of front and rear compartments for making heat exchange with external air passing through the front compartment and the rear compartment, respectively;
first drawing means and second drawing means mounted in an upper portion or a lower portion of the front compartment or the rear compartment respectively for forced circulation of the external air through respective compartments; and,
driving means for driving the first and second drawing means.
2. An air conditioner as claimed in
claim 1
, wherein each of the heat exchanger parts includes;
thermoelectric modules each connected to a power source for absorbing a heat at a heat absorptive part and discharging the heat from a heat dissipative part provided opposite to the heat absorptive part, and
heat exchangers each in contact either with the heat absorptive part or the heat dissipative part of the thermoelectric module for causing heat exchange between the air flowed into the front or rear compartment and the thermoelectric module.
3. An air conditioner as claimed in
claim 1
, wherein the air in the front compartment and the air in the rear compartment circulate in directions opposite to each other.
4. An air conditioner as claimed in
claim 1
, wherein the front compartment has an air inlet in a lower portion and an air outlet in an upper portion of a front surface thereof, and the rear compartment has an air inlet in an upper portion and an air outlet in a lower portion of a rear surface thereof.
5. An air conditioner as claimed in
claim 4
, further comprising filters for filtering contaminant from the air flowed into respective inlets and outlets of the front compartment and the rear compartment.
6. An air conditioner as claimed in
claim 4
, further comprising a blow direction guide detachably fitted to the air outlet of the front compartment for deflecting a discharge direction of the air discharged through the air outlet, freely.
7. An air conditioner as claimed in
claim 4
, further comprising a discharge duct detachably mounted to the air outlet of the rear compartment for discharging air from the air outlet to outside of room.
8. An air conditioner as claimed in
claim 1
, wherein the first and second drawing means are crossflow fans.
9. An air conditioner as claimed in
claim 1
, further comprising a condensed water pipe fitted to a bottom of each of the heat exchangers of respective heat exchanger parts in the front compartment and ended in the rear compartment through the partition plate between the front compartment and the rear compartment for collecting, and leading water condensed at the heat exchangers to the rear compartment.
10. An air conditioner as claimed in
claim 9
, further comprising collecting means on a bottom of the rear compartment for collecting water drops dropped through the condensed water pipe.
11. An air conditioner as claimed in
claim 10
, wherein the collecting means includes a heater for vaporizing the collected water drops.
12. An air conditioner as claimed in
claim 11
, wherein the heater is detachably fitted to the bottom of the rear compartment or to the air outlet of the front compartment.
13. An air conditioner as claimed in
claim 2
, wherein the heat absorptive part and the heat dissipative part of the thermoelectric module can be altered by change-over of the electrodes of the thermoelectric module connected to the power source.
14. An air conditioner as claimed in
claim 2
, wherein the thermoelectric module in each of the heat exchanger parts is connected to the power source through a change-over switch for selective change-over of the electrodes connected thereto.
15. An air conditioner as claimed in
claim 2
, wherein the heat exchangers in the heat exchanger parts are formed of aluminum plate.
16. An air conditioner as claimed in
claim 2
, wherein constant temperature dehumidification by the air conditioner is made possible by changing-over the electrodes connected to the thermoelectric module in the heat exchanger part disposed in the upper portion during cooling.
17. An air conditioner as claimed in
claim 1
, further comprising an air flow passage formed starting from a top of the heat exchanger in the lower heat exchanger part in the lower portion of the front compartment to the upper heat exchanger part in the front compartment through the partition plate between the heat exchanger parts, the heat exchanger in the upper heat exchanger part in the upper portion of the rear compartment, and the partition plate above the upper heat exchanger part.
18. An air conditioner as claimed in
claim 17
, wherein the air flow passage further includes an open/shut means at an inlet and outlet of the air flow passage for opening/shutting the air flow passage.
19. An air conditioner as claimed in
claim 18
, wherein the open/shut means is operable from outside of the air conditioner by an electrical device.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to an air conditioner, and more particularly, to an air conditioner for individual cooling/heating, which can provide fresh cooling or heating air to users, individually.

[0003] 2. Background of the Related Art

[0004] In general, a cooling/heating device is used for cooling/heating a room space, such as living rooms, restaurants, offices, or the like, of which operation will be explained with reference to FIG. 1.

[0005] A refrigerant gas compressed to a high pressure and a high temperature at a compressor 1 is provided to a first heat exchanger 2, and condensed into liquid as the refrigerant gas discharges a heat to external air blown by a blower 3 on one side of the first heat exchanger 2. The external air heated as it passes through the first heat exchanger 2 is discharged to outside of the room. The refrigerant condensed thus at the first heat exchanger 2 is throttled and decompressed into a pressure easy to vaporize as the refrigerant passes through an expansion valve 4, provided to a second heat exchanger 5, and absorbs an external heat as the refrigerant is vaporized by external air blown by a blower 6 on one side of the second heat exchanger 5. The external air cooled as the external air passes through the second heat exchanger 5 is discharged into a room, to cool down the room, and the liquid refrigerant vaporized into a low pressure refrigerant gas at the second heat exchanger 5 is provided to the compressor 1 again to repeat the foregoing process, until entire room is cooled down. In the meantime, if it is desired that the cooling/heating device is used for heating the room, the refrigerant is circulated reversely, when the second heat exchanger 5 works as a condenser, to make warm air to flow into the room, and, opposite to this, the first heat exchanger works as an evaporator to discharge cooled air out of the room.

[0006] However, the related art cooling/heating device has problems in that, as the related art cooling/heating device has a system to cool/heat entire room space, neither the air provided by the related art cooling/heating device can satisfy all individual tastes of persons in the room, nor an amount of the air required for the air conditioning is efficient. That is, it is known that though a rate of air required for respiration per one person is 0.133 l/s in view of physiology, a standard rate of conditioning air per one person is 10 l/s in a case of general air conditioning, that is, the rate of air required for respiration per one person is merely approx. 1% of the total conditioning air.

[0007] And, since the related art cooling/heating device is of a bulky and heavy stationary type, which is difficult to carry, transmission of a cooling/heating effect to a region far from the cooling/heating device is poor, and the cooling/heating can not be expected in a case when a person should work after the person comes out of the room where the cooling/heating is available and moves to a place where the cooling/heating is not available.

[0008] In the meantime, the dehumidified air, provided when the cooling/heating device is in a dehumidifying mode, may make people feel unpleasant as an air temperature in the dehumidifying mode is too low if an external temperature is relatively low in a summer season owing to rain, and the like because the air is cooled lower than an external air temperature for dehumidification.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] Accordingly, the present invention is directed to an air conditioner for individual cooling/heating that substantially obviates one or more of the problems due to limitations and disadvantages of the related art.

[0010] An object of the present invention is to provide an air conditioner for individual cooling/heating, which is portable and capable of providing cooling/heating air at a comfortable temperature and humidity to users in a room, individually.

[0011] Another object of the present invention is to provide an air conditioner for individual cooling/heating, which has a constant temperature dehumidifying function in which air can be dehumidified without dropping an air temperature too much so that air with comfortable temperature and humidity can be provided to the users.

[0012] Additional features and advantages of the invention will be set forth in the description which follows, and in part will be apparent from the description, or may be learned by practice of the invention. The objectives and other advantages of the invention will be realized and attained by the structure particularly pointed out in the written description and claims hereof as well as the appended drawings.

[0013] To achieve these and other advantages and in accordance with the purpose of the present invention, as embodied and broadly described, the air conditioner for individual cooling/heating includes a front compartment and a rear compartment separated by a partition plate of an insulating material for forced inlet and outlet of external air therethrough respectively, at least two heat exchanger parts each in upper parts of the front and rear compartments and lower parts of front and rear compartments for making heat exchange with external air passing through the front compartment and the rear compartment respectively, first drawing means and second drawing means mounted in an upper portion or a lower portion of the front compartment or the rear compartment respectively for forced circulation of the external air through respective compartments, and driving means for driving the first and second drawing means, each of the heat exchanger parts includes thermoelectric modules each connected to a power source for absorbing a heat at a heat absorptive part and discharging the heat from a heat dissipative part provided opposite to the heat absorptive part, and heat exchangers each in contact either with the heat absorptive part or the heat dissipative part of the thermoelectric module for causing heat exchange between the air flowed into the front or rear compartment and the thermoelectric module, thereby providing individual cooling/heating to a user and constant temperature dehumidification.

[0014] It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory and are intended to provide further explanation of the invention as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] The accompanying drawings, which are included to provide a further understanding of the invention and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the description serve to explain the principles of the invention:

[0016] In the drawings:

[0017]FIG. 1 illustrates a system of a related art cooling/heating device, schematically;

[0018]FIG. 2 illustrates a side section of an air conditioner for individual cooling/heating in accordance with a first preferred embodiment of the present invention, schematically;

[0019]FIG. 3 illustrates an operation principle of a thermoelectric module employed in an air conditioner for individual cooling/heating of the present invention; and,

[0020]FIG. 4 illustrates a side section of an air conditioner for individual cooling/heating in accordance with a second preferred embodiment of the present invention, schematically.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0021] Reference will now be made in detail to the preferred embodiments of the present invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. For reference, in the following explanation, a left side of the device in the drawing is a front side of the device, and a right side of the device in the drawing is a rear side of the device, and names of components explained below are given with reference to a cooling operation in which air discharged toward a user is a cooled air, which may be opposite in a case of heating or constant temperature dehumidification, and not absolute definition of functions of the components. For example, an absorptive heat exchanger explained below absorbs a heat during cooling operation, the absorptive heat exchanger discharges a heat, opposite to the heat absorption, during heating operation. FIG. 2 illustrates a side section of an air conditioner for individual cooling/heating in accordance with a first preferred embodiment of the present invention, schematically.

[0022] Referring to FIG. 2, the air conditioner for individual cooling/heating in accordance with a first preferred embodiment of the present invention includes a front compartment 10, a rear compartment 20, a partition plate 30 of an insulating material for isolating the front compartment 10 and the rear compartment 20, a first heat exchanger part 100 in upper parts of the front compartment 10 and the rear compartment 20, and a second heat exchanger part 20 in lower parts of the front compartment 10 and the rear compartment 20. The first and second heat exchanger parts 100 and 200 have the same system, each inclusive of a thermoelectric module 300 connected to a power source 40 mounted on a bottom of the air conditioner for absorbing a heat through a heat absorptive part and discharging the heat through a heat dissipative part by using an electric power, an absorptive heat exchanger 110 or 210 in the front compartment 10 in contact with the heat absorptive part 10 in the thermoelectric module 300 for absorbing a heat from, and cooling down air flowing into the front compartment 10, and dissipative heat exchanger 120 or 220 in the rear compartment 20 in contact with the heat dissipative part in the thermoelectric module 300 for discharging a heat to air flowing into the rear compartment 20, to heat the air. That is, the two absorptive heat exchangers 110 and 210 are arranged in the front compartment 10 in upper and lower parts thereof, and the two dissipative heat exchangers 120 and 220 are arranged in the rear compartment 20 in upper and lower parts thereof, for cooling/heating the air flowed into the front or rear compartment 10 or 20 twice by the two heat exchangers, respectively. It is preferable that the heat exchangers 110, 210, 120, and 220 are plates formed of a material which is light with a good heat transfer coefficient, such as aluminum. And, the thermoelectric modules 300 are connected to the power source 40 on a bottom of the front or rear compartment 10 or 20 through a change-over switch (not shown) for selective change-over to an electrode of either thermoelectric modules 300 in the first heat exchanger part 100 or the second heat exchanger part 200. Accordingly, the air conditioner of the present invention makes, not only at will selection of cooling/heating available, but also a constant temperature dehumidifying function available. Moreover, there is a crossflow fan 13 or 23 in an upper part of each of the front compartment 10 and the rear compartment 20 for forced drawing and discharge of external air. Directions of air flows in the front compartment 10 and the rear compartment 20 are opposite to each other. For this, while there is a front air inlet 11 in a lower portion of front side of the front compartment 10 for drawing air, and a front air outlet 12 in an upper portion of front side of the front compartment 10 for discharging the air, there is a rear air inlet 21 in an upper portion of rear side of the rear compartment 20 for drawing air, and a rear air outlet 22 in a lower portion of rear side of the rear compartment 20 for discharging the air. There is a filter 50 fitted to an inside of each of the front air inlet 11 and the front air outlet 12 of the front compartment 10, and the rear air inlet 21 and the rear air outlet 22 of the rear compartment 20. The filters 50 may be fitted to the front and rear air inlets 11 and 21 or the front and rear air outlets 12 and 22, selectively. There is an air guide 60 detachably fitted to the front air outlet 12 of the front compartment 10 a direction of which can be adjusted in an up, down, left, or right direction for discharging the air cooled/heated as the air passes through the front compartment 10 to a desired direction.

[0023] In the meantime, there are condensed water pipes 130 and 230 fitted to bottoms of the absorptive heat exchangers 110 and 210 of the first heat exchanger part 100 and the second heat exchanger part 200, both in the front compartment 10, and led to the rear compartment 20 through the partition plate 30 for collecting, and guiding water drops condensed by cooling at the absorptive heat exchangers 110 and 210 during the cooling operation to a water receiving heater 70 on the bottom of the rear compartment 20, wherein a first water pipe 130 fitted to the bottom of the absorptive heat exchanger 110 of the first heat exchanger part 100 ends right over the dissipative heat exchanger 220 of the second heat exchanger part 200 in the rear compartment 20 so that the water drops guided through the first condensed water pipe 130 can be utilized as a cooling water for cooling the dissipative heat exchanger 220 of the second heat exchanger part 200, and a second condensed water pipe 230 fitted to the bottom of the absorptive heat exchanger 210 of the second heat exchanger part 200 ends right over the water receiving heater 70 so that the water drops guided through the second condensed water pipe 230 is guided to the water receiving heater 70 directly for vaporizing the water drop. The water receiving heater 70 is connected to the power source for operation, and may be detachably fitted to the bottom of the rear compartment 20 or on an outside surface of the front air outlet 12 for receiving warmer air from the front air outlet 12 in heating.

[0024] The use of thermoelectric module as cooling/heating means, which can make an accurate temperature control, in the air conditioner of the present invention permits an accurate temperature control in a range of 20 C.23 C. which provides the most comfortable feeling to a human body. And, the air conditioner of the present invention can change a cooling mode into a heating mode simply by changing over the electrodes connected to the thermoelectric module 300, which converts the heat absorptive part into a heat dissipative part and vice versa.

[0025] For reference, system and operation principle of the thermoelectric module 300 will be explained. Being an electric element based on a semiconductor which acts as a solid state heat pump, the thermoelectric module employs the Peltier Effect in which a current applied to an interface of two different materials connected in series causes heat absorption/dissipation in proportion to the current. As shown in FIG. 3, the thermoelectric module 300 employed in the air conditioner of the present invention includes an upper ceramic plate 310 to be brought into contact with a substance Tc to be cooled by absorbing a heat therefrom, a lower ceramic plate 320 to be brought into contact with a substance Th for discharging the heat thereto, p type semiconductors 340 and n type semiconductors 350 connected between the upper ceramic plate 310 and the lower ceramic plate 320 alternately, and electric alternative connection layers 330 of copper or the like each electrically connected to the p type semiconductor 340 and the n type semiconductor 350 alternately and connecting one ends of the p type semiconductor 340 and the n type semiconductor 350 to the upper ceramic plate 310 or the lower ceramic plate 320. The alternative connection layer 330 is connected to a DC power source P for having a current flowing through the p type semiconductor 340 and the n type semiconductor 350. Accordingly, if a DC power is applied for cooling/heating the substance Tc by using the thermoelectric module 300, a current i flows through the p type semiconductor 340 and the n type semiconductor 350 connected to the alternative connection layers 330 alternately, to cause electron (−) migration opposite to a flow direction of the current i in the n type semiconductor 350 and hole (+) migration in a direction the same with the flow direction of the current i in the p type semiconductor 340. That is, electrons (−) and holes (+) migrate from the upper ceramic plate 310 to the lower ceramic plate 320 through the n type semiconductor 350 and the p type semiconductor 340, causing the upper ceramic plate 310 to absorb a heat and discharge the heat to the lower ceramic plate 320 such that the upper ceramic plate 310 acts as the heat absorptive part to cool down the substance Tc in contact with the upper ceramic plate 310, and the lower ceramic plate 320 acts as the heat dissipative part to heat the substance Th in contact with the lower ceramic plate 320. And, if polarities of the electricity connected to the thermoelectric module 300 are changed over, to change the flow direction of the current, i.e., if connections of a positive pole (+) and a negative pole (−) of the power source P is changed over, opposite to the foregoing explanation, the heat is transmitted from the lower ceramic plate 320 toward the upper ceramic plate 310, converting the heat absorptive part into the heat dissipative part, and vice versa.

[0026] In summary, the thermoelectric module has the following features.

[0027] First, an accurate temperature control is possible as the absorbed/dissipated thermal energy is proportional to an intensity of a provided current.

[0028] Second, there is no noise or vibration from the air conditioner as there is no mechanical moving parts in the air conditioner.

[0029] Third, the air conditioner has a small size and light.

[0030] Fourth, local cooling/heating is possible.

[0031] Fifth, the air conditioner is friendly to the environment as CFC gas or any other refrigerant gas is used.

[0032] Sixth, a flow direction of the current determines heating or cooling mode.

[0033] The operation of the first embodiment air conditioner of the present invention will be explained.

[0034] In cooling, the air conditioner is operated, setting the air conditioner such that the ceramic plates 310 in the thermoelectric modules 300 of the first and second heat exchanger parts 100 and 200 in the front compartment 10 act as the heat absorptive parts, and the ceramic plates 320 in the rear compartment 20 act as the heat dissipative parts. Upon putting the crossflow fan 13 in the upper portion of the front compartment 10 into operation, external air flows into the front compartment 10 through the front air inlet 11 in the lower portion of the front compartment 10. Then, the air flowing through the front compartment 10 is cooled down at the first time as the absorptive heat exchanger 210 in the second heat exchanger part 200 absorbs a heat from the air, rises upward, and cooled down at the second time as the absorptive heat exchanger 110 in the first heat exchanger part 100 absorbs a heat from the air, to cool down the air to a temperature suitable for the user, and discharged to the user through the front air outlet 12 in the upper portion of the front face of the air conditioner. On the same time with this, an air flow is occurred in the rear compartment 20 in a direction opposite to a direction in the front compartment 10 by the crossflow fan 23 fitted in the upper portion of the rear compartment 20, i.e., external air flows into the rear compartment 20 through the rear air inlet 21 in the upper portion of the rear compartment 20, flows down to be heated at the first time as the dissipative heat exchanger 120 in the first heat exchanger part 100 dissipate a heat thereto, and to be heated at the second time as the dissipative heat exchanger 220 in the second heat exchanger part 200 dissipate a heat thereto, and discharged through the rear air outlet 22 in a lower portion of the rear compartment 20, and to outside of the room through a discharge duct 80 provided right after the rear air outlet 22. In the meantime, the water drops formed as the air passes through the absorptive heat exchangers 110 and 210 in the front compartment 10 are led to the rear compartment 20 through the first and second condensed water pipes 130 and 230, wherein the water drops led through the first condensed water pipe 130 are dropped onto the dissipative heat exchanger 220 of the second heat exchanger part 200, and evaporated while cooling down the dissipative heat exchanger 220, or, a portion of the water drops left after the evaporation, dropped onto the water receiving heater 70 on the bottom of the rear compartment 20 and evaporated, and the water drops led through the second condensed water pipe 230 is dropped onto the water receiving heater 70 directly, and evaporated therefrom.

[0035] Next, the heating operation of the first embodiment air conditioner of the present invention will be explained.

[0036] In the heating, the change-over switch(not shown) is operated to change the electrodes of the thermoelectric modules 300 in the first and second heat exchanger parts 100 and 200, for altering the heat dissipative part and the heat absorptive part. In this instance, the air conditioner can heat the room as the absorptive heat exchangers 110 and 210 in the front compartment 10 are made to be operative as dissipative heat exchangers which discharge a heat to the flowing air, and the dissipative heat exchangers 120 and 220 in the rear compartment 20 are made to be operative as absorptive heat exchangers which absorb a heat from the flowing air, thereby discharging warm air through the front air outlet 12 in the front compartment 10.

[0037] In the meantime, the air conditioner of the present invention also has a constant temperature dehumidifying function in which a dehumidification can be carried out without dropping an air temperature much, wherein, in a state the second heat exchanger part 200 is set to be operative the same as the cooling mode, the change-over switch (not shown) connected to the thermoelectric module 300 in the first heat exchanger part 100 is operated to alter the heat absorptive part and the heat dissipative part in the first heat exchanger part 100, for operating the absorptive heat exchanger 110 in the first heat exchanger part 100 as a dissipative heat exchanger, and the dissipative heat exchanger as an absorptive heat exchanger. That is, the air flowed into the front compartment 10 through the front air inlet 11 in the lower portion of the front compartment 10 is involved in dehumidification as the air is cooled by the absorptive heat exchanger 210 in the second heat exchanger part 200, rises upward, heated again by the absorptive heat exchanger 110, which acts as a dissipative heat exchanger at the present time, to an appropriate temperature, and discharged through the front air outlet 12, thereby having the constant temperature dehumidification done. Therefore, if a dehumidification is required in a cool rainy day, this constant temperature dehumidifying function is selected, to carry out dehumidification with an external temperature kept the same.

[0038]FIG. 4 illustrates a side section of an air conditioner for individual cooling/heating in accordance with a second preferred embodiment of the present invention schematically, of which system is almost same with the first embodiment air conditioner except that the second embodiment air conditioner has an air flow path which is changeable for the constant temperature dehumidification function.

[0039] Referring to FIG. 4, there is an air flow passage 400 from a top of the absorptive heat exchanger 210 in the second heat exchanger part 200 to the partition plate 30 above the dissipative heat exchanger 120 through a portion of the dissipative heat exchanger 120. And, there is an inlet open/shut device 410 between an inner bottom side of the dissipative heat exchanger 120 in the first heat exchanger part 100 and an inner top side of the absorptive heat exchanger 210 in the second heat exchanger part 200 for opening/shutting an inlet to the air flow passage 400, and an outlet open/shut device 420 in the partition plate 30 above the first heat exchanger part 100 for opening/shutting an outlet from the air flow passage 400. It is preferable that both of the inlet and outlet open/shut devices 410 and 420 are operable by means of an electric-mechanical system which may be known. Accordingly, in room heating/cooling by using the air conditioner of the present invention, both of the inlet and outlet open/shut devices 410 and 420 are closed, and the room heating/cooling is conducted in a process the same with the first embodiment. However, in a case of the constant temperature dehumidification, both of the inlet and outlet open/shut devices 410 and 420 are opened, for the constant temperature dehumidification. Upon opening the air flow passage 400 by opening the inlet and outlet open/shut devices 410 and 420 for the constant temperature dehumidification, air flows into the air flow passage 400 through the front air inlet 11 in the lower portion of the front compartment 10, and is dehumidified as the air is cooled at the absorptive heat exchanger 210 in the second heat exchanger part 200, one portion of which air rises upward above the second heat exchanger part 200 directly, and is cooled at the first heat exchanger part 100 as the air keeps rising passing through the first heat exchanger part 100, and the other portion of which air rises through the air flow passage 400, is heated as the air keeps rising through the dissipative heat exchanger 120 in the first heat exchanger part 100, and discharged through the outlet open/shut device 420 above the second heat exchanger part 200. Eventually, the air cooled at the first heat exchanger part 100 is involved in a temperature rise to a level almost similar to an external temperature as the cooled air is mixed with the heated air discharged through the outlet open/shut device 420 on the air flow passage 400, and discharged through the front air outlet 12, thereby having the constant temperature dehumidification done. As explained, the temperature of air discharged through the front air outlet 12 can be controlled by controlling a voltage provided to the respective thermoelectric modules 300 of the first and second heat exchanger parts 100 and 200.

[0040] As has been explained, the air conditioner for individual cooling/heating of the present invention has the following advantages.

[0041] Since the employment of small thermoelectric modules as air conditioning means permits to fabricate air conditioners in a variety of sizes taking carriage and air conditioning capability into account, the air conditioner serves better to the users because only a space around the user can be cooled/heated intensively as the air conditioner can be placed with easy anywhere the user like.

[0042] The availability of accurate temperature control by the thermoelectric module permits the air conditioner of the present invention to control an air temperature, accurately.

[0043] The air conditioner of the present invention has no noise or vibration, and is easy to change from a cooling mode to a heating mode and vice versa as the mode conversion can be done by change-over of electrodes connected to the motors for driving the crossflow fans or the thermoelectric modules.

[0044] The constant temperature dehumidifying function can serve better to the users as the dehumidification can be done at a temperature similar to an external temperature in an environment the air temperature is low while the humidity is high, such as in a rainy day.

[0045] It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made in an air conditioner for individual cooling/heating of the present invention without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. Thus, it is intended that the present invention cover the modifications and variations of this invention provided they come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6466737Nov 21, 2001Oct 15, 2002Honeywell Consumer Products, Inc.Portable electric space heater
US6467295 *Oct 1, 2001Oct 22, 2002Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerated cooling apparatus for semiconductor device
US8490412Jun 6, 2008Jul 23, 2013Bsst, LlcThermoelectric personal environment appliance
US20090000310 *May 23, 2008Jan 1, 2009Bell Lon ESystem and method for distributed thermoelectric heating and cooling
US20130125563 *Nov 21, 2012May 23, 2013Kbautotech Co., Ltd.Condensate water removing apparatus for vehicle air conditioners
WO2008154444A1 *Jun 6, 2008Dec 18, 2008Bsst LlcThermoelectric personal environment appliance
WO2009015235A1 *Jul 23, 2008Jan 29, 2009Amerigon IncRadial thermoelectric device assembly
Classifications
U.S. Classification62/3.1, 165/59
International ClassificationF24F1/02, F24F13/20, F24F13/22, F24F5/00, F25B21/04
Cooperative ClassificationF25B21/04, F24F5/0042, F24F2221/12
European ClassificationF24F5/00D, F25B21/04
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 15, 2014FPExpired due to failure to pay maintenance fee
Effective date: 20140528
May 28, 2014LAPSLapse for failure to pay maintenance fees
Jan 3, 2014REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
Oct 28, 2009FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
Nov 4, 2005FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Dec 4, 2000ASAssignment
Owner name: LG ELECTRONICS,INC., KOREA, REPUBLIC OF
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:KIM, CHEOL MIN;HWANG, YOON JEI;RYU, YUN HO;REEL/FRAME:011351/0885
Effective date: 20001114
Owner name: LG ELECTRONICS,INC. 20,YOIDO-DONG YOUNGDUNGPO-GU S