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Publication numberUS20050089409 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/958,846
Publication dateApr 28, 2005
Filing dateOct 5, 2004
Priority dateSep 5, 2002
Also published asUS6821095, US20040047743, WO2004022978A1, WO2004022978A8
Publication number10958846, 958846, US 2005/0089409 A1, US 2005/089409 A1, US 20050089409 A1, US 20050089409A1, US 2005089409 A1, US 2005089409A1, US-A1-20050089409, US-A1-2005089409, US2005/0089409A1, US2005/089409A1, US20050089409 A1, US20050089409A1, US2005089409 A1, US2005089409A1
InventorsRobert Boohar, Thomas Dooley, Anatoly Muchnik, Rodney Wilson
Original AssigneeLasko Products, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Air blower with horizontal air outlet
US 20050089409 A1
Abstract
A portable, free standing air blower capable of generating a user directed exhaust air stream is provided. The device includes an air blower assembly located within an air director housing rotatably coupled to a base about a horizontal axis of rotation. The air blower device includes a pre-determined range of rotation of the air director housing around the axis of rotation and the air director housing is able to rotate about the axis of rotation within the pre-determined range of rotation substantially unimpeded by the base. Preferably, the at least one air outlet can be positioned so as to direct a flow of exhaust air at an angle below an imaginary plane through the air outlet and parallel to the support surface.
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Claims(63)
1. A portable, free standing air blower comprising:
at least one air director housing;
at least one interior space defined by said at least one air director housing;
at least one air intake passageway in said at least one air director housing allowing air to enter said interior space as an intake air stream;
at least one air outlet in said at least one air director housing allowing air to exit said interior space as an exhaust air stream;
an axis of rotation of said air director housing, said axis of rotation being parallel to a support surface;
a rotational perimeter of said air director housing defined by the radial extents of said air director housing being rotated about said axis of rotation of said air director housing;
a pre-determined range of rotation of said air director housing;
a blower assembly comprising, at least one motor having at least one shaft, at least one air impeller connected to said at least one shaft, said at least one air impeller at least partially disposed within said interior space of said air director housing;
an axis of rotation of said at least one air impeller, said axis of rotation of said at least one air impeller being substantially parallel with said axis of rotation of said at least one air director housing;
an elevation of said axis of rotation of said at least one air impeller relative to said support surface;
a controller for controlling a function of said air blower;
a base in contact with said support surface, said air director housing being rotatably coupled to said base;
wherein said air director housing rotates within said pre-determined range of rotation with respect to said base and said rotational perimeter of said air director housing is unimpeded by said base during a rotation of said housing through said pre-determined angular range; and
wherein said predetermined angular range of rotation permits said at least one air outlet to be positioned so as to direct a flow of said exhaust air stream at an angle below an imaginary plane through said air outlet and parallel to said support surface.
2. The air blower of claim 1, wherein said base further comprises:
at least a pair of side-supports extending upward from said support surface and being oriented substantially parallel to one another and spaced apart by a pre-determined distance;
a space between said side-supports defined by said pair of side-supports and said pre-determined distance;
wherein said at least one air director housing rotates within said space between said side-supports of said base.
3. The air blower of claim 2, wherein said space further comprises:
a front opening extending upward from said support surface and laterally between front edges of said at least a pair of side supports;
a rear opening extending upward from said support surface and laterally between rear edges of said at least a pair of side supports;
wherein said at least one air director housing rotates unimpeded from said front opening upward and backward through said rear opening.
4. The air blower of claim 1, wherein said base further comprises:
a side-support in a substantially orthogonal orientation relative to said support surface;
a lower member connected to and supporting said side-support, said lower member contacting said support surface;
wherein said at least one air director housing is rotatably coupled to said side support of said base.
5. The air blower of claim 4, wherein said side support further comprises:
a front opening extending upward from said support surface and laterally from a front edge of said side support;
a rear opening extending upward from said support surface and laterally from a rear edge of said side support;
wherein said at least one air director housing rotates unimpeded from said front opening upward and backward through said rear opening.
6. The air blower of claim 1, further comprising:
at least one saddle surface on said base;
a mounting surface on said at least one air director housing, said mounting surface substantially conforming to said at least one saddle surface;
wherein said a mounting surface slidably engages said at least one saddle surface allowing said at least one air director housing to rotate about said axis of rotation of said air director housing.
7. A portable, free standing air blower comprising:
a base contacting a support surface, said base comprising:
at least a pair of side-supports oriented substantially parallel to one another and spaced apart by a pre-determined distance;
open peripheral edges of said side-supports defined as peripheral edges of said side-supports opposing one another from opposite extents of said predetermined distance, said open peripheral edges extending from a point on a front portion of said side-supports to a point on a rear portion of said side-supports;
an open peripheral area between said side-supports defined by said open peripheral edges of said side-supports and said pre-determined distance, said open peripheral area being substantially unobstructed;
at least one air director housing rotatably coupled to said base, said at least one air director housing comprising:
at least one wall defining at least one interior space;
at least one air intake passageway in said at least one wall allowing air to enter said interior space as an intake air stream;
at least one air outlet in said at least one wall allowing air to exit said interior space as an exhaust air stream;
an axis of rotation of said air director housing, said axis of rotation being parallel to a support surface;
a blower assembly at least partially disposed within said interior space of said at least one air director housing, said blower assembly comprising:
at least one motor having at least one shaft;
at least one air impeller connected to said at least one shaft;
an axis of rotation of said at least one air impeller, said axis of rotation being substantially parallel with said support surface;
an elevation of said axis of rotation of said at least one air impeller relative to said support surface;
a controller for controlling a function of said air blower;
a pre-determined angular range of rotation of said at least one air director housing, wherein a portion of said air director housing rotates within said open peripheral area between said side-supports of said base substantially unimpeded by said base; and
wherein said point on said front portion of said side-supports defining said open peripheral edges is at an elevation between said elevation of said axis of rotation of said at least one air impeller and said support surface.
8. The air blower of claim 7, wherein said axis of rotation of said at least one air director housing is substantially orthogonal to respective planes defined by said side-supports.
9. The air blower of claim 7, wherein said location on said rear portion of said side-supports defining said open peripheral edges is at an elevation between said elevation of said axis of rotation of said at least one air impeller and said support surface.
10. The air blower of claim 7, further comprising at least one lower member, wherein said at least one lower member extends between and connects said pair of side-supports to one another.
11. A portable, free standing air blower comprising:
a base contacting a support surface, said base comprising:
a side-support in a substantially orthogonal orientation relative to said support surface;
said side-wall defining at least one interior space;
a lower member connected to and supporting said side-support, said lower member contacting said support surface.
at least one air director housing coupled to said side-support of said base, said at least one air director housing comprising:
at least one interior space;
at least one air intake passageway allowing air to enter said interior space;
at least one air outlet allowing air to exit said interior space as an exhaust air stream;
a blower assembly at least partially disposed within said interior space of said at least one air director housing, said blower assembly comprising:
at least one motor having at least one shaft;
at least one air impeller connected to said at least one shaft;
an axis of rotation of said at least one air impeller, said axis of rotation being substantially parallel with said lower member of said base;
an elevation of said axis of rotation of said at least one air impeller relative to said support surface;
a controller for controlling a function of said air blower; and
an axis of rotation of said at least one air director housing, wherein said at least one air director housing rotates within a pre-determined angular range substantially unimpeded by said base and said axis of rotation is substantially parallel to said lower member of said base.
12. The air blower of claim 11, wherein a portion of said blower assembly is at least partially disposed within said interior space of said side-support of said base.
13. The air blower of claim 11, wherein said at least one air director housing further comprises two air director housings, said two air directing housing being independently rotatable relative to one another.
14. A portable, free standing air blower comprising:
at least one air director housing comprising:
at least one interior space;
at least one air intake passageway allowing air to enter said interior space as an intake air stream;
at least one air outlet allowing air to exit said interior space as an exhaust air stream;
a mounting surface;
a blower assembly at least partially disposed within said interior space, said blower assembly comprising:
at least one motor having at least one shaft;
at least one air impeller connected to said at least one shaft;
an axis of rotation of said at least one air impeller, said axis of rotation being substantially parallel with a support surface;
an elevation of said axis of rotation of said at least one air impeller relative to said support surface;
a controller for controlling a function of said blower assembly;
a base contacting said support surface, said air director housing being rotatably coupled to said base, said base comprising:
at least one saddle surface substantially conforming to and slidably engaging a portion of said mounting surface of said at least one air director housing; and
an axis of rotation of said air director housing, wherein said at least one air director housing rotates within a predetermined angular range substantially unimpeded by said base, and said axis of rotation of said air director housing is substantially parallel to said support surface.
15. The air blower of claim 14, further comprising a retainer wherein said at least one air director housing is coupled to said base and retained by said retainer.
16. The air blower of claim 15, wherein said retainer is a rolling retainer.
17. The air blower of claim 15, further comprises mating features, said mating features being disposed between and slidably coupling said at least one air director housing to said saddle area of said base.
18. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, wherein said axis of rotation of said at least one air director housing and said axis of rotation of said at least one air impeller are substantially parallel.
19. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, wherein said axis of rotation of said at least one air director housing and said axis of rotation of said at least one air impeller are substantially coaxial.
20. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, wherein said pre-determined range of rotation is between about 0 degrees and about 360 degrees.
21. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, wherein said pre-determined range of rotation is between about 0 degrees and about 270 degrees.
22. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, wherein said pre-determined range of rotation is between about 0 degrees and about 180 degrees.
23. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, wherein said pre-determined range of rotation is between about 0 degrees and about 90 degrees.
24. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, wherein said predetermined angular range of rotation permits said at least one air outlet to be positioned so as to direct a flow of said exhaust air stream substantially orthogonal to said support surface.
25. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, further comprising detents disposed between said base and said at least one air director housing, wherein said detents provide a plurality of positive location stops for a controlled rotation of said at least one air director housing with respect to said base.
26. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, wherein said controller is a remote controller.
27. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, wherein said controller is mounted to said base.
28. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, wherein said controller is mounted to said at least one air director housing.
29. The air blower of claim 28, wherein said blower assembly is mounted to said at least one air director housing.
30. The air blower of claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, further comprising control wires that connect said controller to said blower assembly, wherein said control wires remain substantially stationary with respect to said controller and said blower assembly during a rotation of said at least one air director housing.
31. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, further comprising:
an overall height of said air blower defined as the distance from said support surface to a furthest extent of said air blower measured substantially orthogonal to said support surface when said air director housing is rotated to position said air outlet for directing said exhaust air stream forward and substantially horizontal with said support surface;
an overall width of said air blower defined by a dimension that would encompass the extents of said air blower measured parallel to said axis of rotation of said at least one air impeller;
an overall depth of said air blower defined by a dimension that would encompass the extents of said air blower measured substantially orthogonal to said axis of rotation of said at least one air impeller.
32. The air blower of claim 31, further comprising an overall horizontal aspect ratio, said overall horizontal aspect ratio being defined as said overall width being greater than said overall height, wherein said overall horizontal aspect ratio is greater than 1.1 to 1.
33. The air blower of claim 31, further comprising a planar usage area, said planar usage area being defined by said overall width multiplied by said overall depth, wherein said planar usage area is about 80 square inches or less.
34. The air blower of claim 31, wherein said overall height is about 10 inches or less.
35. The air blower of claim 31, wherein said overall height is about 6 inches or less.
36. The air blower of claim 31, wherein said elevation of said axis of rotation of said at least one air impeller relative to said support surface is less than about 66% of said overall height of said air blower.
37. The air blower of claim 31, further comprising a shipping configuration wherein said air blower is assembled substantially complete and stored in a shipping package.
38. The air blower of claim 37, further comprising dimensions of said shipping package defining a package height, a package width, and a package depth, wherein all of said dimensions of said shipping package are less than 115% of said corresponding overall height, said corresponding overall width and said corresponding overall depth, respectively, of said air blower.
39. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, wherein said elevation of said axis of rotation of said at least one air impeller relative to said support surface is about 4 inches or less.
40. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, further comprising a horizontal aspect ratio of said air outlet, said horizontal aspect ratio defined by a width of said air outlet being greater than a height of said air outlet, wherein said width of said air outlet is measured parallel to said axis of rotation of said impeller and said height of said air outlet is measured substantially orthogonal to said width of said air outlet from an extent of said air outlet to an opposite extent of said air outlet.
41. The air blower of claim 40, wherein said horizontal aspect ratio of said air outlet is about 2:1 or greater.
42. The air blower of claim 40, further comprising an area of said air outlet defined by said width of said air outlet multiplied by said height of said air outlet, wherein said area of said air outlet is about 15 square inches or less.
43. The air blower of claim 40, further comprising an area of said air outlet defined by said width of said air outlet multiplied by said height of said air outlet, wherein said area of said air outlet is between about 8 square inches and about 14 square inches.
44. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, wherein less than about 25% of a circumference of said at least one air impeller is visible through said air outlet.
45. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, wherein said at least one air impeller further comprises a diameter and an axial length, and an elongated aspect ratio defined by said axial length being greater than said diameter of said at least one air impeller.
46. The air blower of claim 45, wherein said diameter of said at least one air impeller is about 4.5 inches or less.
47. The air blower of claim 45, wherein said diameter of said at least one air impeller is between about 1.5 inches and about 4 inches.
48. The air blower of claim 45, wherein said elongated aspect ratio of said at least one air impeller is about 1.5:1 or greater.
49. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, wherein said at least one air director housing comprises a scroll shape.
50. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, further comprising at least one air intake grill located proximate said at least one air intake passageway.
51. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, further comprising at least one protective grill located proximate said air outlet, wherein said protective grill has at least one grill element, said at least one grill element at least one of substantially directs and/or substantially forms said exhaust air stream.
52. The air blower of claim 51, wherein said at least one grill element further comprises at least one louver to at least one of substantially focus and/or substantially diffuse said exhaust air stream.
53. The air blower of claim 52, wherein said at least one louver is adjustable allowing said exhaust air stream to be adjusted between a substantially focused exhaust air stream and a substantially diffused exhaust air stream.
54. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, wherein said air enters said interior space along a first flow path and said exhaust air stream exits said interior space along a second flow path, said first flow path being substantially orthogonal to said second flow path.
55. The air blower of claim 54, wherein said first flow path and said axis of rotation of said at least one air impeller are substantially parallel.
56. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, wherein said blower assembly further comprises, at least one motor having two opposing shafts and two air impellers, said two air impellers connected each respectively to one of said two opposing shafts.
57. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, wherein said blower assembly further comprises a centrifugal blower.
58. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, wherein said blower assembly further comprises, a transverse blower.
59. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, wherein said motor is a DC electric motor.
60. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11, or 14, wherein said base further comprises a clamping mechanism to attach said air blower to an edge of said support surface.
61. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, wherein said base further comprises features allowing said air blower to be mounted to a vertical or inverted surface.
62. The air blower according to claim 1, 7, 11 or 14, further comprising at least one of a clock, an auxiliary plug, a circuit interrupter, a pencil holder and/or a storage compartment.
63. The air blower according to claim 7,11 or 14, wherein said predetermined angular range of rotation permits said at least one air outlet to be positioned so as to direct a flow of said exhaust air stream below parallel to said support surface and downward toward said support surface.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE APPLICATIONS

This application is a Continuation-in-Part of application Ser. No. 10/236,265 filed Sep. 5, 2002.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to air circulation devices for use in a household, office, or work area environment. More specifically, the present invention relates to an air circulation device having an air director housing that pivots with respect to a support surface about a horizontal axis of rotation.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Various air movement devices have been utilized to generate an air stream. Many of these devices have been used to specifically create an air stream for the purpose of cooling a user.

The normal use of a conventional device is to provide a cooling sensation to the user by passing a current of air generated by the air moving device over the skin of an individual. The current of air that passes over an individual serves to cool the user by increasing the convective heat loss of the body through the natural evaporative process of moisture (e.g. sweat) on the skin. Typically, the greater the air flow, the greater the amount of evaporation, and hence the greater the cooling sensation.

Many conventional devices are positioned either on the floor, a tabletop, or desktop. The area that the air stream effects is fixed based on the air stream shape being exhausted by the device. One disadvantage of conventional devices primarily used on a table or desk top is the shape of the air pattern produced. A conventional device that uses an axial fan blade creates an air stream that is conical and increases in diameter as the distance traveled by the air stream increases. As the diameter of the air stream increases the air stream will begin to disturb object on the desk or table top. As a result, loose objects, such as paper, may be moved as the air stream passes. This may not be desirable as these objects can be dislodged from their intended place. Furthermore dust, pollen or dander on a mounting surface within the air stream will be disturbed to airborne. These dust and debris can be detrimental to, for example, respiratory conditions.

Another disadvantage of a conventional device that uses an axial fan blade is the visible distraction that the rotation of the axial fan blade creates. Further these conventional devices often require a height that tends to impair the ability to see the area around the device. In addition, the required height makes these devices more susceptible to accidental tip-over. The instability of these devices is further exacerbated by the need to locate the motor of the device at an elevated position above the mounting surface. The elevation of the motor, which accounts for a substantial portion of the total weight of the device, raises the center of gravity and contributes to instability. The required height of a conventional device using an axial fan blade will often dictate that a large base be used for stabilization. The use of a large base utilizes area on the mounting surface (desk or table top) that could otherwise be used as work space.

Another disadvantage a device using an axial fan blade is the requirement that the customer partially assemble the unit. The partial assembly of the unit is required to allow the shipping package to remain small in an attempt to minimize transportation cost.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides an air blower device that overcomes one or more of the shortcomings of the prior art. Described is an exemplary air blower device for use on a mounting surface (desk or table top) that allows the air stream to be distributed along a path parallel with the mounting surface minimizing the disturbance to object on the mounting surface. The air blower device would ideally have an air outlet with a horizontal aspect ratio.

The height of the improved air blower device would be limited to increase the stability and limit the impedance of visual inspection of the mounting surface around the air blower device. The location of the motor within the device would be low with respect to the mounting surface resulting in a lower center of gravity of the device, thus enhancing it's stability. The movement of the fan blade of the improved air blower device would also be substantially hidden from view so as to reduce it's distractive qualities.

The improved air blower device would also have the ability to allow a user to direct the air stream where desired. Preferably the improved air blower device would be fully assembled while requiring a shipping package that will promote efficient transportation. The present invention is an improved air blower device that combines one or more of these characteristics and advantages for the user and the manufacturer.

According to one aspect of the invention, the device is a portable, free standing air blower including at least one air director housing defining at least one interior space and a base utilized to contact a support surface.

According to another aspect of the invention, the air director housing is rotatably coupled to the base and rotates with respect to the support surface.

According to another aspect of the invention, the device includes a blower assembly at least partially disposed within the interior space of the air director housing. The air blower assembly includes at least one motor having at least one shaft and at least one air impeller connected to the shaft.

According to another aspect of the invention, the at least one air impeller has an axis of rotation that is substantially parallel with an axis of rotation of the at least one air director housing. The axis of rotation of the at least one air impeller is located at an elevation relative to the support surface. In another embodiment, the axis of rotation of the air director housing and the axis of rotation of the air impeller can be substantially coaxial.

According to another aspect of the invention, the air director housing includes at least one air intake passageway which allows air to enter the air director housing and at least one air outlet which allows air to exit the air director housing as an exhaust air stream.

According to another aspect of the invention, the device includes an axis of rotation of the air director housing and a pre-determined range of rotation of the air director housing around the axis of rotation.

According to another aspect of the invention, the air director housing is able to rotate about the axis of rotation within the pre-determined range of rotation substantially unimpeded by the base.

According to another aspect of the invention, the predetermined angular range of rotation permits the at least one air outlet to be positioned so as to direct a flow of the exhaust air stream at an angle below an imaginary plane through the air outlet and parallel to the support surface.

In one embodiment, the pre-determined range of rotation is between about 0 degrees and about 360 degrees. In another embodiment, the pre-determined range of rotation is between about 0 degrees and about 270 degrees. In another embodiment, the pre-determined range of rotation is between about 0 degrees and about 180 degrees. In yet another embodiment, the pre-determined range of rotation is between about 0 degrees and about 90 degrees.

According to another aspect of the invention, detents are disposed between the base and the air director housing. The detents provide a plurality of positive location stops for a controlled rotation of the air director housing with respect to the base.

According to yet another aspect of the invention, the base further includes at least a pair of side-supports extending upward from the support surface and oriented substantially parallel to one another and spaced apart by a pre-determined distance defining a space between the side-supports where the air director housing is located and rotates.

According to another aspect of the invention, the base further includes a front opening extending upward from the support surface and laterally between the front edges of the pair of side supports and a rear opening extending upward from the support surface and laterally between the rear edges of the side supports and the air director housing rotates unimpeded from the front opening upward and backward through the rear opening.

According to another aspect of the invention, the base further includes an open peripheral area defined by open peripheral edges of the pair of side-supports extending from a point on the front portion of the side-supports to a point on the rear portion of the side-supports and the pre-determined distance between the pair of side supports. A portion of the air director housing is able to rotate through the open peripheral area unimpeded by the base.

According to another aspect of the invention, the base further includes a side-support in a substantially orthogonal orientation relative to the support surface defining an interior space within the side support and a lower member connected to and supporting the side-support. The air director housing is rotatably coupled to the side support of the base.

According to yet another aspect of the invention, the base further includes at least one saddle surface and the air director housing further includes a mounting surface which substantially conforming to the saddle surface on the base and the mounting surface is slidably engaged with the saddle surface allowing the air director housing to rotate with respect to the base.

According to yet another aspect of the invention, a retainer is provided between the base and the air director housing, wherein the air director housing is coupled to the base and held by the retainer. Further, the retainer may include a rolling retainer.

According to yet another aspect of the invention, mating features are disposed between and slidably couple the air director housing to the saddle area of the base.

According to yet another aspect of the invention, the air blower includes a controller for controlling a function of the air blower. The controller can be a remote controller. The controller can be mounted to the base or the air director housing.

According to yet another aspect of the invention, the control wires that connect the controller to the blower assembly remain substantially stationary with respect to the controller and the blower assembly during a rotation of the air director housing.

According to yet another aspect of the invention, an overall height of the air blower is defined as the distance from the support surface to a furthest extent of the air blower measured orthogonal to the support surface when the air director housing is rotated to position the air outlet to direct the exhaust air stream forward and parallel to the support surface.

According to another aspect of the invention, an overall width of the air blower is defined by a dimension that would encompass the extents of the air blower measured parallel to the axis of rotation of the air impeller.

According to another aspect of the invention, an overall depth of the air blower is defined by a dimension that would encompass the extents of the air blower measured orthogonal to the axis of rotation of the air impeller.

According to yet another aspect of the invention, the air blower includes an overall horizontal aspect ratio greater than 1.1 to 1, defined as the overall width being greater than the overall height.

According to another aspect of the invention, the air blower includes a planar usage area of about 80 square inches or less, defined by the overall width multiplied by the overall depth.

According to another aspect of the invention, the overall height is about 10 inches or less.

According to another aspect of the invention, the overall height is about 6 inches or less.

According to yet another aspect of the invention, the elevation of the axis of rotation of the air impeller relative to the support surface is less than about 66% of the overall height of the air blower.

According to another aspect of the invention, the device includes a shipping configuration where the air blower is assembled substantially complete and stored in a shipping package and all of the dimensions of the shipping package are less than 115% of the corresponding overall height, overall width and overall depth, respectively, of the air blower.

According to another aspect of the invention, the elevation of the axis of rotation of the air impeller relative to the support surface is about 4 inches or less.

According to another aspect of the invention, the air outlet has a horizontal aspect ratio of about 2:1 or greater, defined as the width of the air outlet being greater than the height of the air outlet. The width of the air outlet measured parallel to the axis of rotation of the impeller and the height of the air outlet measured substantially orthogonal to said width of the air outlet from one extent to an opposite extent of said air outlet.

According to another aspect of the invention, The air outlet includes an area of about 15 square inches or less defined by the width of the air outlet multiplied by the height of said air outlet.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a portable air blower with horizontal air outlet;

FIG. 2 illustrates an exploded view of the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIGS. 3A, 3B and 3C are side, top and front views, respectively, of an exemplary embodiment of the air blower device illustrating air patterns of the device;

FIG. 3D is a cross sectional side view of the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 3A, illustrating rotational aspects of the device;

FIGS. 4A and 4B are perspective views of an exemplary embodiment of the air blower device illustrating dimensional and packaging aspects;

FIGS. 5A and 5B are perspective views of exemplary embodiments of the blower assembly of the air blower device;

FIG. 6 is another exemplary embodiment of the portable air blower;

FIG. 7 is another exemplary embodiment of the portable air blower;

FIG. 8 is another exemplary embodiment of the portable air blower; and

FIG. 9 is another exemplary embodiment of the portable air blower.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS

The following is a description of a portable, free standing air blower. Portable being defined as having the ability to be carried or moved with ease. Free standing being defined as having the ability to remain stable and upright without external restraints. The portable air blower has an air outlet with a horizontal aspect ratio. Also described is a limited height of the portable air blower which increases the stability and decreases it's impedance to visual inspection of a mounting surface. The motor of the device is located low with respect to the mounting surface thus lowering the center of gravity and further increasing the stability of the device. The impeller of the portable air blower is substantially hidden within the structure of the device so as to reduce the visual distractive qualities of the rotation of the impeller. Also described are various rotational features that allow the user to direct the air stream to a desired location. The overall dimensions of the portable air blower described herein facilitates the use of a shipping package for a fully assembled device that will promote efficient transportation; lowering the cost and simplifying the set-up and use of the device for the end user.

FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of the portable air blower 100 with horizontal air outlet 124. As shown in FIG. 1 portable air blower 100 includes base 110, air director housing 120, and blower assembly 130. Base 110 is defined by the portion of portable air blower 100 that supports air director housing 120 above a support surface. Base 110 may include, as in this example side-support 112 and side-support 114 spaced apart a predetermined distance creating space 115. Air director housing 120 as shown, may be coupled rotatably between side-support 112 and side-support 114 within space 115. Also shown is base cross member 116. It is contemplated that base 110 may be constructed to be an integral part of another component of portable air blower 100, for example air director housing 120.

Air director housing 120 is mounted to base 110 being either rotatable or fixed with respect to base 110. In the example shown in FIG. 1, base 110 is designed minimize it's impedance to the rotational range of air director housing 120. It is also contemplated that portable air blower 100 may include such mechanisms (not shown) that would oscillate air director housing 120 with respect to a support surface (not shown). Air director housing 120 defines interior space 122.

Located within interior space 122 of air director housing 120 is blower assembly 130. Air blower assembly 130 is used to draw air through air intake apertures 112 a and 114 a into interior space 122 and discharge an exhaust air stream through horizontal air outlet 124. Air intake apertures may be covered, as shown, by air intake covers 118 and 119.

Air intake covers 118 and 119 may include air intake grill portions 118 a and 119 a. Intake grill portions 118 a and 119 a of air intake covers 118 and 119 respectively allow air to enter blower assembly 130 through air intake covers apertures 112 a and 114 a located for example in side-support 112 and side-support 114 of base 110. Intake grill portions 118 a and 119 a also help to reduce and/or prevent foreign objects from entering air director housing 120.

Protective grill 126 is located proximate horizontal air outlet 124. As shown, protective grill 126 includes grill elements 127 a, 127 b and 127 c. Protective grill 126 helps to impede the penetration of objects (not shown) into interior space 122 of air director housing 120. This protects blower assembly 130 from damage. Protective grill 126 can also help to direct the exhaust air stream generated by blower assembly 130 and discharged from interior space 122 through horizontal air outlet 124. Preferably, protective grill 126 is movable and can be used to direct the flow of air being discharged to a desired location. Preferably, protective grill is positionable up and down and/or side to side.

Moreover, it is contemplated that protective grill 126 may be designed so as to facilitate either focusing the discharged exhaust air stream or diffusing the discharged air stream over a large area. It is also contemplated that protective grill 126 may be designed with movable mechanisms, such as for example louvers, (not shown) allowing the user the option of either concentrated or diffuse discharged of the air stream.

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of exemplary portable air blower 100. As shown in FIG. 2, base 110 includes side-supports 112 and 114. Base 110 may also include a cross member 116. Cross member 116 may provide additional structural rigidity, may include a tray or storage area, may include an oscillation or rotation mechanism, or may include controls for controlling an operation of the air blower 100. Side-support 112 and side-support 114 are spaced apart a predetermined distance defining space 115. Space 115 receives air director housing 120 when air director housing 120 is coupled rotatably between side-support 112 and side-support 114.

Also shown in FIG. 2 are open peripheral edges 113 a and 113 b of side-supports 112 and 114 respectively. Open peripheral edges 113 a and 113 b are defined as opposing peripheral edges of side-supports 112 and 114 respectively that are open with reference to one another, i.e. having no obstruction between the opposing lengths of open peripheral edges 113 a and 113 b. Open peripheral edges 113 a and 113 b extend from a point on a front portion of side-supports 112 and 114 respectively, to a point on a rear portion of side-supports 112 and 114 respectively. Open peripheral edges 113 a, 113 b and the pre-determined distance between open peripheral edges 113 a, 113 b define open peripheral area 113 of base 110. In FIG. 2 open peripheral area 113 is indicated by arrows 113 c and 113 d.

As shown in FIG. 2, side-support 112 and side-support 114 may also include air intake aperture 112 a and air intake aperture 114 a, respectively. Air intake apertures 112 a, 114 a allow air to pass through the side supports 112, 114 and enter interior space 122 and blower assembly 130 through air intake passageways 129 and 128 respectively of air director housing 120. As shown in this embodiment air intake passageways 129 and 128 fluidly connect air intake apertures 112 a and 114 a to blower assembly 130.

Also shown are air intake covers 118 and 119. Air intake covers 118 and 119 include intake grill portions 118 a and 119 a respectively. Intake grill portions 118 a and 119 a may be a plurality of openings that allow air to pass through intake covers 118, 119, through air intake apertures 112 a, 114 a, through air intake passageways 128, 129 and into interior space 122 and air blower assembly 130. Intake grill portions 118 a and 119 a of air intake covers 118, 119 also serve to impede the penetration of objects (not shown) into interior space 122 of air director housings 120 thereby protecting blower assembly 130 from damage.

Blower assembly 130 is disposed within air director housing 120. As shown in FIGS. 2, 5A and 5B, blower assembly 130 includes a motor 134 having a motor output shaft 135, an air impeller 132 coupled to the motor output shaft 135, and a mounting bracket 136 for mounting motor 134 to the air director housing 120. It is contemplated that impeller 132 may be constructed as a single unit as well as multiple portions.

As shown in the embodiment of FIG. 5A, impeller 132 is constructed as a single unit. As shown, motor 134 is located at one end of air impeller 132. Air impeller 132 is mounted to the output shaft 135 of motor 134. Mounting bracket 136 is used to mount motor 134 to the air director housing 120.

As shown in the embodiment of FIGS. 2 and 5B, blower assembly 130 may includes a split impeller 132 having two portions 132 a, 132 b. As shown, motor 134 includes two motor output shafts 135 extending in opposite directions from motor 134. Impeller portion 132 a and impeller portion 132 b are mounted to opposing motor shafts 135.

Motor 134 is mounted to air director housing 120 via motor mounting bracket 136. Motor 134 rotates impeller 132. The rotation of impeller 132 about axis of rotation 342 induces air to enter interior space 122 of air director housing 120 and blower assembly 130 through intake grill portions 118 a and 119 a of air intake covers 118 and 119 and through air intake apertures 112 a and 114 a and through air intake passageways 128 and 129. The air is then discharged from air blower 100 through horizontal air outlet 124.

Blower assembly 130 in this embodiment is a centrifugal type blower, however it is contemplated that other types of blowers may be used, such as for example, a transverse type blower.

Motor 134 of blower assembly may be an electric motor using AC current or DC current. It is contemplated that portable air blower 100 using a DC current motor 134 may use various power sources, for example: batteries and the electrical systems of automobiles, boats, buses, etc.

Air director housing 120 defines interior space 122. As shown in FIG. 2, air director housing 120 includes air intake passageways 128, 129 and horizontal air outlet 124. Blower assembly 130 is disposed within interior space 122. Air director housing 120 may be formed as a single piece or more than one piece. As shown in FIG. 2, air director housing 120 is a spilt housing having a front portion 120 a and a rear portion 120 b.

In the exemplary embodiment, air director housing 120 is rotatably connected to base 110. As shown, air director housing 120 is rotatably about a horizontal axis of rotation 340. Preferably, the horizontal axis of rotation 340 of air director housing 120 and the axis of rotation 320 of air impeller 132 are coaxial. In another embodiment, the exhaust air stream can be rotated about a vertical axis of rotation, by for example, rotating the air director housing relative to the mounting surface and/or using movable air directing vanes at the horizontal air outlet 124.

As shown, flanges 123 located around air intake passageways 128 and 129 mate with surface 112 b and surface 114 b of base 110 allowing rotation of air director housing 120 with respect to base 110. Detents 117 may be included, for example in base 110 to correspond to a feature (not shown) in air director housing 120 to help control the rotational characteristics of air director housing 120 relative to base 110.

As shown, the design and construction of air director housing 120 incorporates features to facilitate the proper function of blower assembly 130. The incorporation of features within the design and construction of air director housing 120 eliminates and/or minimizes the need for extra parts and decreases manufacturing complications and costs. Such features may include, for example a scroll shape. The scroll shape in this example is defined as the shape of housing 120 required to increase the radial distance from impeller 132 to housing 120 within interior space 122. In this example this distance increases in the direction of rotation of impeller 122. Air director housing 120 may be constructed from such materials as stamped metal or molded plastic. Utilizing such materials facilitates the ability to incorporate such features within air director housing 120.

Protective grill 126 can be formed as part of air director housing 120 or as a separate piece that is attached to air director housing 120. As shown in FIG. 2, protective grill 126 is an integral part of air director housing 120, specifically front portion 120 a.

Also shown in FIG. 2 is motor control assembly 140. Motor control assembly 140, in this example includes control knob 144 and switch 142 mounted to air director housing 120, specifically rear portion 120 b. It is contemplated that motor control assembly 140 may include electronics and/or a remote device. Control wires, (not shown) connect motor control assembly 140 to blower assembly 130. As shown blower assembly 130 and motor control assembly 140 are both mounted to air director housing 120, specifically rear portion 120 b. One advantage to mounting blower assembly 130 and motor control assembly 140 to air director housing 120 is that control wires, (not shown) are stationary relative to the components and thereby avoid flexing when air director housing 120 is rotated. The ability to avoid flexing of control wires helps to avoid or reduce wire breakage caused by, for example material fatigue over time.

FIG. 2 also illustrates mounting component 150. The exemplary embodiment illustrates mounting component 150 in this example includes foot pads. As shown mounting component 150 would allow portable air blower 100 to mount to a substantially flat surface, such as for example a desk or a table top. Preferably, mounting component 150 is made of a material that frictionally engages the mounting surface, such as for example a rubber material.

It is contemplated that mounting component 150 may alternatively include clamping mechanisms, grips and other components that would allow air blower 100 to securely mount to the edge of mounting surface. It is also contemplated that mounting component 150 may include features that would allow portable air blower 100 to be mounted to a substantially vertical or inverted surface, such as for example a wall, ceiling, desk side or below a desk or table top. Mounting component 150 may be a separate component or an integral part or feature with another component, such as for example base 110.

FIGS. 3A, 3B and 3C are front, top and side views, respectively, of an exemplary embodiment of portable air blower 100 illustrating air flow patterns generated. As shown in FIGS. 3A and 3B, intake air 300 is drawn into interior space 122 of air director housing 120 by the rotational movement of blower assembly 130. Blower assembly 130 imparts energy to the flow of air and generates exhausts air stream 302. As shown in FIGS. 3B and 3C, exhaust air stream exits from interior space 122 of air director housing 120 via horizontal air outlet 124.

As shown in FIG. 3C, exhaust air stream 302 in this position flows substantially parallel to mounting surface 310. Mounting surface 310 may be as in this example a desk or tabletop. Because exhaust air stream 302 flows substantially parallel to mounting surface 310 object such as papers 312, pencils 314 and other materials, (not shown) are not disturbed from their intended place.

In the embodiment shown, air director housing 120 rotates about horizontal axis of rotation 340 of blower assembly 130. The use of rotational movement (shown in FIG. 3C by arrow 320) allows adjustment of the horizontal outlet 124 of air director housing 120 up and down and further elevates exhaust air stream 302 above mounting surface 310.

Referring again to FIG. 3B exhaust air stream 302 also exits air director housing 120 in a linear fashion substantially within focused air stream boundaries 330 a and 330 b. It is contemplated that louvers, (not shown) could be incorporated to allow air stream 302 to exit air director housing 120 within diverging air stream boundaries 332 a and 332 b. It is also contemplated that louvers, (not shown) could be manually or automatically adjusted to allow exhaust air stream 302 to exits air director housing 120 as either a focused air stream, (between air stream boundaries 330 a and 330 b) or a diffuse air stream, (between diverging air stream boundaries 332 a and 332 b).

As shown in FIGS. 3A and 3B, intake air 300 is drawn into interior space 122 of air director housing 120 along a first flow path. As shown in FIGS. 3B and 3C, exhaust air stream 302 exits from interior space 122 of air director housing 120 along a second flow path. In one embodiment the first flow path is substantially orthogonal to the second flow path. As shown in FIG. 3A exhaust air stream 302 exits from interior space 122 of air director housing 120 at an elevation above axis of rotation 342 of impeller 132. An advantage regarding the elevation of exhaust air stream 302 relative to axis of rotation 340 as described, allows impeller 132 of portable air blower 100 to be substantially hidden within the structure of the device. This reduces the distraction experienced by the user due to the visible rotation of impeller 132. The reduction of distraction experienced by the user is advantageous to a work environment, especially when air blower 100 is used on a desk or table top in close proximity to the user. In one embodiment less than about 25% of the total circumference of impeller 132 is visible to the user.

As shown in FIG. 3A, axis if rotation 340 of air director housing 120 and the axis of rotation 342 of impeller 132 may be coaxial. Axis if rotation 342 of impeller 132 is located at a low elevation relative to mounting surface 310 allowing the mass of blower assembly 130 to remain lower with respect to mounting surface 310 of portable air blower 100. Maintaining the mass of blower assembly 130 low as described lowers the center of gravity of the device, thereby increasing the stability of the device. In one embodiment the elevation of axis of rotation 342 of impeller 132 relative to mounting surface 310 is less than about 4 inches.

Also shown in FIG. 3A is an overall height “OAH” of portable air blower 100. “OAH” is defined as the dimension from mounting surface 310 to a highest vertical extent of portable air blower 100 when air director housing 120 is rotated to position horizontal outlet 124 to direct exhaust air stream 302 forward and horizontal. In one embodiment the elevation of axis of rotation 342 of impeller 132 relative to mounting surface 310 is less than about 66% of “OAH”.

In one exemplary embodiment axis of rotation 342 of impeller 132 and the axis of rotation 340 of rotational movement 320 of air director housing 120 are substantially parallel and offset horizontally and/or vertically. In yet another embodiment axis of rotation 342 of impeller 132 and the axis of rotation 340 of rotational movement 320 of air director housing 120 are substantially coaxial.

As shown in FIG. 3A, peripheral edges 113 a and 113 b extend below axis of rotation 342 of air impeller 132 and toward mounting surface 310. Extending peripheral edges 113 a and 113 b toward mounting surface 310 maximizes the open periphery area 113, (see FIG. 2) and the range of rotational movement 320 of air director housing 120.

FIG. 3D is a cross sectional side view of portable air blower 100 illustrating rotational aspects of the device. Air director housing 120 rotates about axis of rotation 340. As air director housing 120 rotates about axis of rotation 340 the radial extents of air director housing 120 define a rotational perimeter 170 of air director housing 120. Base 110 of portable air blower 100 is designed to allow unimpeded rotational movement 320 of air director housing 120 over a predetermined angle. In effect no part of base 110 interferes with rotational perimeter 170 of air director housing 120 throughout the predetermined angle of rotation.

In one embodiment air director housing 120 can rotate to position horizontal outlet 124 directing exhaust air stream 302 forward and below horizontal, (below parallel to support surface 310). In another embodiment air director housing 120 can rotate to position horizontal outlet 124, directing exhaust air stream 302 up to and beyond a vertical direction, (beyond 90 degrees perpendicular to support surface 310). In one embodiment air director housing 120 can rotate to position horizontal outlet 124 directing exhaust air stream 302 forward and at least 45 degrees below horizontal.

The range of rotational movement 320 of air director housing 120 in one example is between 0 degrees and 90 degrees. In yet another example the range of rotational movement 320 is between 0 degrees and 180 degrees. In still yet another example the range of rotational movement 320 is between 0 degrees and 270 degrees. In yet another example the range of rotational movement 320 is between 0 degrees and 360 degrees.

Stops (not shown) can be use to limit the rotational travel of air director housing 120. For example, it may be desirable to limit the forward rotation of the air director housing 120 such that the exhaust air stream 302 does not discharge downward onto the mounting surface 310. This feature can further assure that object and other materials on the mounting surface 310 are not disturbed from their intended place.

FIGS. 4A and 4B are perspective views of another exemplary embodiment of portable air blower 100 illustrating overall dimensional aspect ratios and packaging advantages. As shown in FIG. 4A horizontal air outlet 124 is defined by longitudinal length “HDL” and height “HDH”. Longitudinal length “HDL” is defined as the length that includes the horizontal extents of horizontal air outlet 124 measured parallel to axis of rotation 342 of impeller 132. Height “HDH” is defined as the dimension that includes the vertical extents of horizontal air outlet 124 measured orthogonal to length “HDL” of horizontal air outlet 124. Horizontal air outlet 124 has a horizontal aspect ratio defined by longitudinal length “HDL” being greater than height “HDH”. In one exemplary embodiment the horizontal aspect ratio of horizontal air outlet 124 is greater than about 2:1. More preferably, the horizontal aspect ratio of greater than about 3:1.

In yet another embodiment the area of horizontal air outlet 124, defined as longitudinal length “HDL” multiplied by height “HDH” is less than about 15 square inches. More preferably the area of horizontal air outlet 124 is within a range of between about 8 inches to about 14 inches.

FIG. 4A also shows overall dimensions for portable air blower 100. Overall height “OAH” is defined as the dimension from a mounting surface to a highest vertical extent of portable air blower 100 when air director housing 120 is rotated to position horizontal outlet 124 to direct exhaust air stream 302 forward and horizontal. Overall width “OAW” is defined as the dimension in which reside the width extents of portable air blower 100 measured parallel to axis of rotation 342 of impeller 132. Overall depth “OAD” is defined as the dimension in which reside the depth extents of portable air blower 100 measured orthogonal to axis of rotation 342 of impeller 132 and parallel to the mounting surface.

Portable air blower 100 has a horizontal aspect ratio defined by overall width “OAW” being greater than overall height “OAH”. In one exemplary embodiment the horizontal aspect ratio of portable air blower 100 is greater than about 1.1 to 1. Portable air blower 100 also has a planar usage area. The planar usage area is the area that portable air blower 100 occupies on a horizontal mounting surface, such as for example a desk or table top. The planar usage area of portable air blower 100 is defined by “OAW” multiplied by “OAD”. In another exemplary embodiment the planar usage area is less than about 80 inches square. In yet another exemplary embodiment “OAH” is limited to about 10 inches or less. In yet another exemplary embodiment “OAH” is limited to about 6 inches or less.

Limiting “OAH” and the planar usage area as described minimizes the obtrusiveness of portable air blower 100 in a room or on a desk or table top. As described, portable air blower 100 occupies less area than a standard 8.5×11 piece of paper. Limiting “OAH” as described allow portable air blower 100 to be stable and less susceptible to accidental tip-over when placed on a substantially flat mounting surface.

FIG. 4B shows overall dimensions of shipping package 400 for portable air blower 100. Shipping package 400 is defined by a height “PH”, a width “PW”, and a depth “PD”. In one preferred embodiment, the structure of portable air blower 100 allows the device to be shipped completely assembled. Shipping package 400 for the assembled embodiment of portable air blower 100 requires no additional internal packaging, thus the size of shipping package 400 is economized. In one embodiment “PH” of shipping package 400 is less than about 115% of “OAH” of portable air blower 100, “PW” of shipping package 400 is less than about 115% of “OAW” of portable air blower 100 and “PD” of shipping package 400 is less than about 115% of “OAD” of portable airblower 100. The structure of portable airblower 100 and shipping package 400 so described allows the maximum number of units shipped in a shipping container, thus minimizing the cost of transportation.

FIGS. 5A and 5B are perspective views of exemplary embodiments of blower assembly 130 that can be used with portable air blower 100. As shown in FIG. 5A blower assembly 130 includes impeller 132, motor 134, output shaft 135, and motor mounting bracket 136. Impeller 132 is defined dimensionally by impeller diameter “ID” and by axial length “IL”.

As shown in FIG. 5B, blower assembly 130 includes impeller 132, motor 134, output shafts 135, and motor mounting bracket 136. FIG. 5B shows a split impeller configuration including impeller portion 132 a and impeller portion 132 b. Impeller portions 132 a and 132 b are connected to opposing shafts 135 of motor 134. It is contemplated that impeller 132 may be constructed of more than two portions. Impeller 132 is defined dimensionally by impeller diameter “ID” and overall axial length “IL”, and individual axial lengths “IL1” and “IL2”. Dimension “IL” is defined as the dimensional extents of impellers 132 a and 132 b measured parallel to axis of rotation 342.

In one exemplary embodiment impeller diameter “ID” of impeller 132 is less than about 4.5 inches. In another embodiment impeller diameter “ID” of impeller 132 is between about 1.5 inches and about 4 inches. In yet another embodiment impeller diameter “ID” is about 3 inches. In yet another embodiment the ratio of axial length “IL” of impeller 132 to diameter “ID” of impeller 132 is about 1.5 to 1 or greater.

Limiting diameter ID of impeller 132 as described enhances the ability to allow axis of rotation 342 of impeller 132 to be located low in elevation relative to mounting surface 310, further increasing the stability of the device as illustrated and described in FIGS. 3A, 3B and 3C.

Blower assembly 130, having the dimensional and proportional characteristics as described in FIGS. 5A and 5B allow blower assembly 130 to properly fit and function within portable air blower 100 having a horizontal aspect ratio and dimensional limitations as described with respect to FIGS. 4A and 4B.

FIG. 6 illustrates another exemplary embodiment of portable air blower 600. As shown in FIG. 6, portable air blower 600 includes base 610, air director housing 120, and blower assembly 130. Base 610 is defined by the portion of portable air blower 600 that supports air director housing 120 above a support surface. Base 610 may include, as in this example, side-wall 612 and lower member 614 connected to side-wall 612. Lower member 614 in this example structurally supports side-wall 612. Also in this example sidewall 612 defines interior space 616. Partially disposed within interior space 616 may be for example: control 140 and/or a portion of blower assembly 130.

Air director housing 120 is mounted to side wall 612 being either rotatable or fixed with respect to lower member 614. In this example base 610 is designed minimize it's impedance of rotational perimeter 170, (see FIG. 3D) of air director housing 120. It is also contemplated that portable air blower 600 may include such mechanisms (not shown) that would oscillate air director housing 120 with respect to base 610 and/or a support surface. Air director housing 120 defines interior space 122.

At least partially located within interior space 122 of air director housing 120 is a portion of blower assembly 130. Blower assembly 130 is used to draw air into interior space 122 and discharge an exhaust air stream through horizontal air outlet 124.

Also shown is at least one air intake grill portion 118 a. Intake grill portion 118 a allows air to enter interior space 122 of air director housing 120. In the exemplary embodiment intake grill portion 118 a is coupled directly to air director housing 120. It is contemplated that intake grill portion 118 a could be constructed so as to be an integral part of air director housing 120.

In this exemplary embodiment compartment 620 is located in base 610. Compartment 620 may be used to store various object such as for example, paperclips, note pads, writing utensils, etc.

In other respects, this embodiment is similar to the previous exemplary embodiments, including the exemplary range of rotation.

FIG. 7 illustrates another exemplary embodiment of the portable air blower 700. As shown in FIG. 7, portable air blower 700 includes base 610, more than one air director housing 120, and at least one blower assembly 130. In other respects, this embodiment is similar to the previous exemplary embodiment of FIG. 6. Preferably, motor 134 is housed in side wall 612 and air impellers 132 a and 132 b extend in opposite directions into each of the air director housings.

FIG. 8 illustrates another exemplary embodiment of portable air blower 800. As shown in FIG. 8, portable air blower 800 includes base 810, air director housing 120, and blower assembly 130. Base 810 supports air director housing 120 above a support surface. As shown in FIG. 8, base 810 includes at least one saddle surface 812 and lower member 814.

Air director housing 120 is rotatably coupled to base 810. As shown, air director housing 120 includes a retainer surface 824 and base 810 includes a corresponding retainer 816. Retainer 816 is used in this embodiment to couple air director housing 120 to base 810 while allowing air director housing 120 to rotate with respect to base 810. As shown, retainer 816 is a rolling element, for example a wheel. It is contemplated that other devices and features may be used to couple air director housing 120 to base 810, such as for example, stationary retainers, screws and slots.

Also shown is mounting surface 822 of air director housing 120. Mounting surface 822 is similar in form to saddle surface 812 of base 810. The similarity of form of mounting surface 822 and saddle surface 812 allow air director housing 120 to rotate smoothly while yet being supported by base 810. In this embodiment, base 810 is designed to minimize it's impedance on the rotational range of air director housing 120. It is also contemplated that portable air blower 800 may include such mechanisms (not shown) that would oscillate air director housing 120 with respect to base 810 and a support surface.

In other respects, this embodiment is similar to the previous exemplary embodiments, including the exemplary range of rotation.

FIG. 9 illustrates another exemplary embodiment of portable air blower 900. As shown in FIG. 9, portable air blower 900 includes base 910, air director housing 120, and blower assembly 130. Base 910 supports air director housing 120 above a support surface. As shown, base 910 includes at least one saddle surface 912 and lower member 914.

Air director housing 120 is rotatably coupled to base 910. As shown in this embodiment, air director housing 120 includes mounting surface 922. As shown mounting surface 922 is similar in form to saddle surface 912 of base 910. Mounting surface 922 and saddle surface 912 of base 910 also have retention features to rotatably couple air director housing 120 to base 910. In this example, the retention features include channels and tee-slots formed in air director housing 120 and base 910. It is contemplated that other devices and features may be used to couple air director housing 120 to base 810, such as for example, stationary retainers, screws and slots.

In other respects, this embodiment is similar to the previous exemplary embodiment of FIG. 8.

The exemplary embodiments of portable air blower 100 as described, having horizontal air outlet 124 has advantageous portability and use. As described, the limited height of the portable air blower 100 increases the stability and decreases it's impedance to visual inspection the area around portable air blower 100 for example a desk or table top. The motor of the device is located low with respect to the mounting surface thus lowering the center of gravity and further increasing the stability of the device. The impeller of portable air blower 100 is substantially hidden within the structure of the device so as to reduce the visual distractive qualities during rotation of the impeller. Also described are various rotational features that allow the user to direct the air stream to a desired location. The overall dimensions of the air blower allow it to be placed on a work surface without occupying excess space on the work surface. The overall dimensions of the air blower described also facilitates the use of a shipping package for a fully assembled device that will promote efficient transportation; lowering the cost and simplifying the use of the device for the end user.

It is contemplated that other accoutrements may be incorporated into the portable air blower without departing from the scope of the present invention, such as for example auxiliary plugs, clocks, circuit breakers, pencil/pen holders and various compartments, (to store, for example items such as paper clips).

Although the invention has been described with reference to exemplary embodiments, it is not limited thereto. Rather, the appended claims should be construed to include other variants and embodiments of the invention, which may be made by those skilled in the art.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7600998Jan 30, 2007Oct 13, 2009Eric PitchfordPortable heater with roll cage
US7748381Dec 9, 2005Jul 6, 20103M Innovative Properties CompanyPortable blower system
Classifications
U.S. Classification417/234
International ClassificationF24F7/007, F04D25/08
Cooperative ClassificationF24F7/007, F24F2221/12, F04D25/08
European ClassificationF04D25/08, F24F7/007
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 5, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: LASKO HOLDINGS, INC., DELAWARE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:BOOHAR, ROBERT L.;DOOLEY, THOMAS J.;MUCHNIK, ANATOLY;ANDOTHERS;REEL/FRAME:015876/0596
Effective date: 20041004