Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20040108096 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/643,440
Publication dateJun 10, 2004
Filing dateAug 19, 2003
Priority dateNov 27, 2002
Also published asCA2507211A1, US20040159110, WO2004051148A1
Publication number10643440, 643440, US 2004/0108096 A1, US 2004/108096 A1, US 20040108096 A1, US 20040108096A1, US 2004108096 A1, US 2004108096A1, US-A1-20040108096, US-A1-2004108096, US2004/0108096A1, US2004/108096A1, US20040108096 A1, US20040108096A1, US2004108096 A1, US2004108096A1
InventorsTerrance Janssen
Original AssigneeJanssen Terrance Ernest
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Geothermal loopless exchanger
US 20040108096 A1
Abstract
This invention is a geothermal heating and cooling system for providing space conditioning, including heating, cooling and humidity control, by transferring heat, or cooling, from a city water main supply, or other like flooded state water source, thereby allowing for a more economical heating, cooling and climate control of the building. The geothermal system may also provide water heating, either to supplement or replace conventional water heaters.
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(6)
I claim:
1. A geothermal loopless exchanger apparatus comprising:
a geothermal heat pump;
a pumping means attached to said geothermal heat pump;
a closed loop line conduit comprising a fluid inlet, a heat exchanger and a fluid outlet whereby the fluid inlet and the fluid outlet are attached to said geothermal heat pump and whereby the heat exchanger is situated such that the heat exchanger is inserted into a water source thereby creating a flooded state about the heat exchanger;
said heat exchanger comprising a fluid intake and a fluid return, said fluid intake being attached to the fluid outlet of the closed loop line conduit and said fluid return being attached to the fluid inlet of the closed loop line conduit;
a fluid flowing within said closed loop line conduit;
a contaminate monitor alarm and shut down switch attached to said fluid outlet of the closed loop line conduit whereby the contaminate monitor alarm and shut down switch would monitor the closed loop line conduit and shut down the apparatus if a leak of fluid is detected;
an insulated vault encasing said heat exchanger, said insulated vault having a locking cover thereby restricting access to the heat exchanger;
a first walled failure alarm attached to the fluid outlet and contained within the insulated vault whereby any failure in the apparatus within the insulated vault would be detected thereby allowing for the shutting down of the apparatus; and
a flow meter attached to the fluid inlet of the closed loop line conduit and further situated at a position on the fluid inlet that is relatively close to the geothermal heat pump to monitor the flow of the fluid within said closed loop line conduit, whereby the fluid is pumped through the closed loop line conduit by the pumping means, flowing through the heat exchanger to allow for the transfer of heat from the water supply into the fluid, the fluid then continuing to flow back through the closed loop line conduit to the geothermal heat pump to extract the transferred heat for use in a dwelling or other such type building.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the fluid is an ecologically safe coolant or refrigerant having a very low boiling point such that the fluid is in a gaseous state at room temperature.
3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the ecologically safe coolant or refrigerant is R22 or R410a.
4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein the water source is a city water main.
5. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein the water source is provided by a solar energy heat source system
6. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein the water source is any flooded or forced water source, such as a natural spring, well or river.
Description
    RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    This application is being filed as a corresponding application to and claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 601429,160, filed Nov. 27, 2002, the entire teachings of which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    This invention relates to geothermal heating and cooling systems for providing space conditioning, including heating, cooling and humidity control. The geothermal system may also provide water heating, either to supplement or replace conventional water heaters, pool heating and cooling, and refrigeration.
  • [0004]
    2. Description of the Prior Art
  • [0005]
    The prior art is exemplified by many examples of heat reclamation systems and earth heat exchange systems, most of which are gravity flow, expensive, complicated and require periodic cleaning and maintenance in order to avoid fouling and/or degradation of heat recovery efficiency; examples of which are shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,304,292; 4,300,247; 4,150,787; 4,352,391, 4,372,372 and 4,619,311. Typically such systems include conduit, conduits, and/or a pipe loop within the earth, a pond or well, apparatus for circulating heat transfer fluid there through and through other systems or apparatuses above the surface, and heat exchange apparatus for exchanging heat between the transfer fluid and an item, apparatus, device or other thing. However, as will be seen herein, there are no existing systems that are as simple, versatile and inexpensive as the instant invention.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0006]
    In the present invention, the disadvantages of the prior art are overcome by using a relatively simple heat exchanger configuration in a flooded state, rather than a gravity state, and attached to a city water main, or similar forced water source, whereby the city water supply and the like flows through the heat exchanger. Said heat exchanger is comprised of an inner pipe or conduit through which the water source will flow, and is wrapped by a coiled conduit, through which the heat transfer fluid will flow.
  • [0007]
    The use of said heat exchanger in this manner is inventive because the fluids within said heat exchanger never mix with the city water supply, or the like, thereby ensuring safe operation. Further, the cost is greatly reduced due to the length of conduit needed.
  • [0008]
    Due to the simplicity of said heat exchanger design, the flooded water supply can pass through, providing an even temperature, whereas prior art heat exchangers utilize stagnant or gravity heat sources which may fluctuate in their respective heat intensities. Finally, the constant forced flow of water through the city water main, and the like, allows for a more rapid transfer of heat, or cooling, than prior art suggests.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
  • [0009]
    [0009]FIG. 1 is a schematic view of the apparatus and shows a system whereby a geothermal heat pump, or multiple pumps, is located within the building with a closed conduit loop line that has a heat exchanger within the loop line, said heat exchanger being attached to the city water main.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING AND DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • [0010]
    The prior art includes many techniques for the recovery of heat energy contained primarily in waste water. As disclosed, for example, in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,304,292; 4,300,247; 4,321,798; 4,150,787; 4,352,391, 4,372,372 and 4,619,311, water used for showering, as well as other purposes, and discharged through drain lines can be placed into a heat exchange relationship with colder feed water in order to preheat either water heater feed water and/or cold water prior to mixing with hot water to provide tepid water for direct use. (See also A. A. Field, Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning, Volume 48, No. 3, pp. 87-91, “Solar Energy: Part II, The Continent,” March 1976.) Said heat exchange relationship conserves energy by lowering the temperature of said waste water by transferring heat energy to said feed water, or said cold water, or both, thereby reducing primary hot water heater input energy requirements and the quantity of hot water used in showering, for example. The present invention is directed at installations whereby the heat source comes from a flooded source, such as city water flowing through the city water main.
  • [0011]
    Referring to FIG. 1, the geothermal heat pump 1 is contained within the building. The geothermal heat pump may be connected to a variety of apparatus to utilize the heat, or cooling, generated, such as heating or cooling air ducts, interior water lines, etc.
  • [0012]
    Still referring to FIG. 1, a closed loop line conduit 2 is attached to the geothermal heat pump 1 at two points, one being a fluid inlet 3 and the other a fluid outlet 4, the outlet 4 having attached thereto a contaminate monitor alarm and shut down switch 5 to monitor leaks and shut down the apparatus if a leak is detected. The closed loop line conduit 2 contains a fluid, such as an ecologically safe coolant or refrigerant that has a very low boiling point such that the fluid is in a gaseous state at room temperature. Two such fluids that are acceptable are R22 and R410a, although others may work equally as well.
  • [0013]
    Still referring to FIG. 1, the heat exchanger 6 is inserted as a section of the city water main 7, such that a section of the city water main 7 is cut out and replaced by the heat exchanger 6, thereby allowing the city water supply 8 to flow through the heat exchanger 6. The section where the heat exchanger 6 is attached is encased in an insulated vault 9 with a locking cover to allow restricted access into the vault 9 to service the heat exchanger 6. Within the vault 9 area, and attached to the outlet 4 of the closed loop line conduit 2, there is a first walled failure alarm 10 whereby any failure in the system at that point would be detected, thereby allowing for the shutting down of the apparatus and servicing and repair within the vault 9 area.
  • [0014]
    Referring still to FIG. 1, the heat exchanger 6 comprises a fluid intake 11, which is attached to the outlet 4 portion of the closed loop line conduit 2, and a fluid return 12, which is attached to the inlet 3 portion of the closed loop line conduit 2. A flow meter 13 is attached to the inlet 3 portion of the closed loop line conduit 2 at a location within the building and relatively close to the geothermal heat pump 1, whereby the flow of the fluid within the closed loop line conduit can be monitored. The fluid within the closed loop line conduit 2 is moved within the closed line loop conduit by a pumping means at or within the geothermal heat pump 1.
  • [0015]
    The invention, thus, allows for the flow of a refrigerant or other like fluid to flow from the geothermal heat pump 1 through the closed loop line conduit 2 to the heat exchanger 6, whereby the heat exchanger transfers the heat from the city water supply 8, or in the summer months, the cooling from the water supply 8, to the fluid, and the fluid flow returns to the geothermal heat pump 1 which transfers that heat, or cooling, to a variety of building space conditioning purposes.
  • [0016]
    The present invention is more efficient and economical than prior art in that it requires less conduit and utilizes an easily and readily available heat and cooling source, that being the city water main supply. Further, the present invention allows for the more rapid and even transfer of heat from the heat source, such as the city water supply 8, due to the flooded state of the exchanger. The flooded state also reduces the need for cleaning, as the water flows rapidly and freely through the exchanger and does not allow the buildup of residue along the inside of the heat exchanger 6.
  • [0017]
    The conduit connections are relatively simple and straight, thereby eliminating many curves and bends which may weaken the conduit. The preferred embodiment would have the system installed below grade level, however other installations, such as above ground level, could also be used simply by inserting an elbow down joint in both the inlet 3 and outlet 4 portions of the closed loop line conduit 2 near the geothermal heat pump 1 and within the building, so that the closed loop line conduit 2 thereby exits the building below grade.
  • [0018]
    The present invention also differs from prior art in that it utilizes a flooded state heat exchanger rather than a gravity flow exchanger as described in prior art. Thus, the present invention can be utilized with any flooded or forced water source, such a natural spring, well or river. Further, other embodiments of the present invention can be used in a lake or pond, or other still water source, with the addition of a pump to force the water through the exchanger. The present invention can also be easily adapted to work with a solar heat source system, wherein the heat exchanger 6 would be situated such that the fluid heated by solar energy would be pumped through the heat exchanger 6, and thus allow for the transfer of heat from the solar heated fluid to the fluid contained within the closed line loop conduit 2.
  • [0019]
    While the form of apparatus herein described constitutes a preferred embodiment of the invention, it is understood that the invention is not limited to this precise form of apparatus and that changes may be made therein without departing from the scope of this invention.
Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1553639 *Sep 30, 1924Sep 15, 1925Sherman Warren SCover lock
US4150787 *Apr 4, 1978Apr 24, 1979Braathen Chris RMethod and arrangement for saving energy in preparing hot water for household
US4300247 *May 7, 1980Nov 17, 1981Berg Charles AEnergy conservation in shower bathing
US4304292 *Jun 30, 1980Dec 8, 1981Cardone Jeremiah VShower
US4321798 *Oct 29, 1980Mar 30, 1982Centro Ricerche Fiat S.P.A.Method for heating water used in an appliance connected into a domestic water circuit and the apparatus for carrying out said method
US4352391 *Jul 8, 1980Oct 5, 1982Rederiaktiebolaget NordstjernanMethod and apparatus for recovering heat in waste water
US4372372 *Jan 26, 1981Feb 8, 1983Raymond HunterShower bath economizer
US4619311 *Jun 28, 1985Oct 28, 1986Vasile Carmine FEqual volume, contraflow heat exchanger
US4782888 *Jul 21, 1986Nov 8, 1988Bardenheier Jean WCommunity thermal energy exchange system
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7146823 *Jun 22, 2004Dec 12, 2006Earth To Air Systems, LlcHorizontal and vertical direct exchange heating/cooling system sub-surface tubing installation means
US7856839Dec 11, 2006Dec 28, 2010Earth To Air Systems, LlcDirect exchange geothermal heating/cooling system sub-surface tubing installation with supplemental sub-surface tubing configuration
US20070074847 *Sep 29, 2006Apr 5, 2007Wiggs B REncasement assembly for installation of sub-surface refrigerant tubing in a direct exchange heating/cooling system
US20070089447 *Dec 11, 2006Apr 26, 2007Wiggs B RDirect exchange geothermal heating/cooling system sub-surface tubing installation with supplemental sub-surface tubing configuration
US20080028761 *Jul 20, 2006Feb 7, 2008Tai-Her YangTemperature equilibrating methodology & installation with water supply system
US20090000318 *Jun 27, 2008Jan 1, 2009Hart Charles MEnvironmentally friendly heatpump system
US20100236266 *Mar 23, 2009Sep 23, 2010Michael SkidmoreGeothermal Heating and Cooling System
US20100252228 *Nov 13, 2008Oct 7, 2010Tracto-Technik Gmbh & Co. KgGeothermal System
US20110238362 *Mar 30, 2011Sep 29, 2011Kelix Heat Transfer Systems, LlcEnthalpy-based ground heat exchanger (ghe) performance test instrument system
EP2148160A2 *Jul 22, 2009Jan 27, 2010Yang Tai-HerIsothermal method and device using utility water thermal energy
EP2148160A3 *Jul 22, 2009Jul 18, 2012Tai-Her YangIsothermal method and device using utility water thermal energy
WO2008119528A1 *Mar 31, 2008Oct 9, 2008Lessing JuergenSafety heat exchanger
WO2009062721A2 *Nov 13, 2008May 22, 2009Tracto-Technik Gmbh & Co. KgGeothermiesystem
WO2009062721A3 *Nov 13, 2008Mar 18, 2010Tracto-Technik Gmbh & Co. KgGeothermiesystem
Classifications
U.S. Classification165/11.1, 165/200, 165/45, 165/48.2
International ClassificationF28D7/00, F28D7/02, F24D3/18
Cooperative ClassificationY02B10/40, F28D7/0008, F24D3/18, F24J3/081, F28D7/024, Y02E10/12
European ClassificationF24D3/18, F24J3/08A, F28D7/00B, F28D7/02D