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Publication numberUS2475511 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 5, 1949
Filing dateMar 26, 1942
Priority dateMar 26, 1942
Publication numberUS 2475511 A, US 2475511A, US-A-2475511, US2475511 A, US2475511A
InventorsNicholson Ralph A
Original AssigneeRaymond T Moloney
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Beverage dispensing system
US 2475511 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 5, 1949.

R. A NICHOLSON BEVERAGE DISPENSING SYSTEM Filed larch 26, 1942 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 In 0612 tor Ralph Clflzcholson pMQ-PW R. A. NICHOLSON BEVERAGE DISPENSING SYSTEM July 5, 1949.

Filed March 26, 1942 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 lizvezztor July 5, 1949. R. A. NICHOLSON BEVERAGE DISPENSING SYSTEM 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed March 26, 1942 .lllll Ralph (Lnicholson By M0 PM July 5, 1949. v 1 RDA. NICHOLSON 2,475,511

BEVERAGE DISPENSING SYSTEM Filed March 26 1942 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 anger-a liy j Patented July 1949 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE Ralph A. Nicholson, Chicago, Ill., assignor to Raymond T. Moloney, Chicago, Ill.

Application March 26, 1942,-=Serial No. 436E287 19 Claims. "1

This application is a continuation in part of my co-gpending application 3. N. 350,816, filed rAllgLlSl? 3, 1940, which becamelabandoned.

This invention relates to liquid dispensing and :has .as its principal object the :provision .of imiprovements in armethod and-apparatus adapted "to dispense a carbonated beverage, particularly one'of the pre-mixed variety in which the flavor- ;ing syrup and carbonated water are stored in Lmixedcondition in supply drums and maintained underipressure and refrigeration to be dispensed in measured quantities one cupful at a time, pref- -erab1yin a coin-controlled dispensing machine.

Detailed :objects of the invention are to overicome certain problems in "connection with dispensing pre-mixed beverages which are carbonated; :to provide means for maintaining uniform temperature :andpressure conditions for the beveeragexor otherliquidregardless-ofthe load or dispensing rate, andlregard1ess of whether or not =the :reserve. beverage or lliquid supply is low; :to provide improved :;pre-cooling means in which the -beverage is retainedin quantity :in a ,pre-cooling itankizand is also passed through a ipre-cooling coil in a refrigerating bath, and then retained in a 'measuringichamber cooled by thesame refrigeratingbath; to {providepressure-control means in- :cluding pressure-regulating valve means and :a novel relief venting means for icausing a predeitermined tor artificial pressure :drop which will always efiectspositive operation of vthe regulating- :valve means notwithstanding that quantities of "beverage maybe withdrawn in too small amount -to cause iotherwise normal operation of the regulatingvalve means; to provide acoordinated valve system and pressure-regulating :means co-acting ato-effect-deliverypf a foam-free beverage of predetermined or irequisite volumeand gas-content, which will remain uniform regardlessof the :op- =eratingload upon the machineysothat a palatable nbeveragewill always be dispensed by 'the machine.

Other objects, advantages and aspects of novllty of the invention reside in the method of disipensing the beverageias well as in-details of con- -struction and operation of the apparatus described hereinafter ;as a preferred: embodiment of means iforxcarrying out the method and achieving the aforesaid objects, :all of which will appear from the following description taken in view aOf the annexed drawing in which:

Figure '1 *is a front diagrammatic view 'of :a drink venderzembodyin'g the novel drink vending *apparatus;

-Figurelz isiasectional vlewitaken along thealine the arrangement of .the containers and the=drink ivending apparatus 'therein Figure 3'is ran enlarged'sectional view of the ;constant ipressure container, and its shifter 10].

auxiliary vent valve;

:Figure A is :a sectional view ;of the snifter valve shown in its open ;position;

Figure .5 is a side viewipartly in section ofthe improved Vending apparatuswith atypical-wiring diagram for operating the same;

Figure 6 is alsectionalviewtthrougha modified arrangement of the machine with 5132113135 shown vin elevation, and a schematic control circuit.

Referring to Figures 1=and 2=.of thedrawings, therdrink vender ishoused in a refrigerated .cabiznetilllzwithiniwhich isprovided awet refrigerated brine tank ll. The refrigeratedcabinet1011s, in this .case,-maintained at a temperature ,ofabout 145 and thelbrin'e tank: H 'isakeptat atemperature between: 31 and. 36 (Fahrenheit) Within the refrigerated: cabinet l0, and on' 'the floor thereofvrests "a bulk mixed drink container :1 Z-to which is connectedgbyaconduit l3, a drum 4410f carbonrdiox-idegas. Adjacentthe container J2 and won th :floor of the refrigerated cabinet xrests another container 15 which is connected-to 'the container 1-2 -:by aconduit [6. The pressure Afrom'the :drum -14 of CO2 :gas is regulated by :-a

memb'eri2 la whichth-as .an open top onwwhichfits a cover 23. An annu'lar shaped memberi24 encircles the member 2 lw and restse-againstahead Q25 provided around the periphery of the cup- Jshapedmember Z Ia. Asuitable gasket 26 isipro-'ded between the -;-cover 23 and the edge of the ,openrtopof zthememberd la. Bolts 21 secure the :"cover-:23to theannularmemberfl. A conduit=28 :connects the container l5 and-the carbonated "drink containerdl.

In the conduit 28 is provided a pressure-regui=lator valve 2-9twhich comprisesa bodyrportion 3| .in-which is threadeda par-n32, between which por- 1 tion and" part is held a resilient rubber diaphragm -"33. ,Inthei'partflZ is threaded a nut "34 in which is seated: aspring 35 that rests against a circular, disc sfli which lcontactsrthe diaphragm 33. In the: abodyilflor-tionlfll-is threaded a nutt31 in which xi-490i -.the';vender shown in Eigurerhandishows movably :mounted -a conical valve 38 that his 3 adapted to seat itself in a conical opening 39 in the body portion 3|. A spring 4| is inserted between the valve 38 and the nut 81. Pressure is applied to the containers l2 and I5 by the tank of CO2 gas l4 through the conduits l3 and it. From the container I5 pressure is applied through the conduit 28 into the pressure regulator 28 which regulates the pressure applied into the drink container 2|, by permitting valve 38 to open when the pressure in the container drops below a certain value. The construction and operation of such valves is known.

From the foregoing description it should be noted that a considerable number of cold drinks are always in the machine. The container l5 holds a number of drinks which are maintained at a temperature of about 45, and the container 2|, which is in the brine tank holds a number of drinks at a temperature of between 31 and 36. These temperatures may be varied, but they are given here merely to illustrate the advantages of my machine. For example, when the container I2 is empty, a considerable number of cold drinks are still in the machine, therefore, the warm drink from a newly installed bulk container l2 has time to become cooled before drinks are tapped therefrom. By this arrangement, a small economical refrigeration unit may be used in the machine, with adequate reserve refrigeration for relatively heavy demands for beverage.

The pressure regulator 29 is adjusted by turning the nuts 34 and 31 so as to cause this valve to close when the ressure in the snifter tank 2| reaches a desired level. I have found that it is desirable to maintain not less than twenty-three pounds pressure within the container 2| so as to maintain at least four volumes of gas in the drinks to be dispensed therefrom. A gauge 4| is provided on the cover 23 so that the pressure within the container may be readily noted.

Within the container 2| a float controlled valve 42 is provided. The cover 23 has an opening in which is fitted a part 43 which has a very narrow axial bore providing a small escape orifice 43m. The part 43 extends downwardly through the opening in the cover 23, and a bracket 44 is secured at the inside thereof by a nut 45 which is turned onto a threaded portion of the part 43. The valve 42 comprises a bulb or float 46 from which extends a tube 41 which is movably mounted in alined openings provided in the bracket 44. A rubber 48 inserted in the end of the tube 41 is held therein by a cotter pin 49. As shown in Figure 3, the rubber 48 moves upwardly into engagement with bore within the part 43 due to the buoyancy of the bulb 48 in the liquid within the container 2|. A conduit 5| is connected in the part 43 by a nut 52 and to an electromagnetic valve 53.

A conduit 54 is secured in the cover 23 and extends downwardly toward the bottom of the container 2| so as to take the liquid from the bottom thereof. A fitting 55 provided on the cover 23 connects the conduit 54 with a conduit 56 which is connected to an electromagnetic valve 51, and thence into the measuring and defoaming device 22.

The measuring device 22 comprises a closed container 58 which is provided with inlet and outlet passages 59 and El respectively. A conduit 62 connects the electromagnetic inlet valve 51 and the inlet passage 59 of the container 58. A conduit 63 connects the outlet passage 8! and an electromagnetic outlet or dispensing valve 64 from which extends a pouring'spout 65.

. and opens the valve.

At the top of the closed container 58 extends a flange 68 on which rests an enclosed bulb 61. A cover 68 is threaded onto the top of the container 58 between which is disposed a gasket 59 so as to seal the cover 68 to the container.

The cover 68 is provided with a threaded opening 58 in which is secured a tubular part 9| having an axial bore 12 and a transverse opening 13. At the end of the tubular part 1| is secured a solenoid 14 from which extends a movable rod 15 at the end of which is provided a circular part 16. A compressible part or rubber washer 11 encircles the rod 15 so as to form a valve seat between the circular part 16 on the rod 15 and the end of the tubular part 1|. Upon deenergizing the solenoid 14, the rod 15 moves downwardly This valve is a main vent valve, the purpose of which will appear shortly.

The electromagnetic valves 53, 51, 84, and the solenoid 14 are operated by a timing device 18 which is of the type disclosed in the Nicolaus Patent No. 2,138,243 of November 29, 1938. A functionally comparable timing device is shown in Fig. 6 herein, and will be described later. However, any suitable type of timing device may be used to operate the valves 53, 51, 64, and the solenoid 14, and therefore, it is believed that it will be sufiicient to say that the timer 18 is adapted to be connected to a source of electrical energy by the plug 19, from which extends a main wire 8| and a return wire 82. The wire 82 extends into the timer 18 and is connected to a series of switches provided therein. The main wire 8| is provided with a switch 83 from which the wire 8| extends into each of the electromagnetic valves 53, 51, 64, and the solenoid 14.

The timing device 18 is so constructed that when the switch 83 is operated, either manually or by a coin operated mechanism, for example, the machine operates only during the cycle of operation of the timer 18. Upon operation of the timer 18, the solenoid valve 14 is opened to vent head gas from the measuring chamber and under certain conditions to be explained, the auxiliary vent valve 53 may open at the same time as the main vent valve 14. Next, the electromagnetic dispensing valve 64 is closed. Finally, the electromagnetic inlet valve 51 is opened and the cycle is complete. When the timer has completed its cycle of operation, the valves 53, 51, 64, and the solenoid vent valve 14 are all closed.

The operation of the form of machine shown in Figures 1 to 5 will now be explained. The bulk container i2 is readily connected to the system through the valves l8 and Hi. The container l5 preferably stays in the refrigerated cabinet l8 and the drinks therein are always maintained at the temperature within the cabinet.

Pressure is applied into the container l2 through the conduit |3 from the tank l4 of CO2 gas. From the container I2 the drink is directed into the container I5 through the conduit l8, and from the container I5 through the conduit 28 into the drink container 2 I. The pressure of the drink from the conduit 28 to the drink container 2|, however, is controlled by the pressure regulator valve 29 so as to maintain any desired given constant pressure within the drink container 2| within certain limits determined by the sensitivity of the valve. By maintainin a given constant pressure within the container 2|, the desired volume of gas or charge in the drink may be maintained therein, and, more important still, the requisite volume of beverage will positively be forced into the measuring chamber 22, and proper defcaming action, which, depends upon. the existence of a, certain, pressure behind the measured,drinhaaexplained. in my co-pending application; S. N. 248,114, new Patent No. 2,284,880, dated June 2, 1942, can therefore be reliably efiedted in the chamber 22; The drinkis then directed throughv the conduit 55;- to pass into the measuring device 22whi-le-valve 5 1 remains open.

The auxiliary vent valve 5-3isenergiZed to be held open while the main vent valve 14. is open, but. the rate of gas escape through the constricted. orifice 43.9: (when open) is comparatively Slight to the sudden and total pressure relief efiectedthrough the mainvent valve 14.

When a certain number of drinks, usually about seven'are removed from the container 2|,

the float. valve 42 moves downwardly and permits the headpressure inthe. container to escape throughthe-smallorificefla: in conduit 5| when valve 53 iswopened, during a dispensing cperation. By releasing pressure in the container 2|, a. positive, artificial, pressure drop is caused therein calculated to effect certain opening of the regulating valve, so. that. therewill at once be a replenishment. of beverage. in container 2 I, as well as an increase in pressure, suflicient to drive the; beverage into. the measurin chamber in full measure and with. adequate pressure to dispel the foam which inevitably, arises therein.

It. willbeobserved fl'OmFlg. 3 that the liquid level. may rise considerably after float valve 48 is, closed. It is for this reason. that the latter valve usually doesnt. open until several drinks have been withdrawn, and the explanation for this fact is. thatif. there is. asuflicient pressure yandvolume. of beverage in the container iii. to force the levelabove the. opening point of the float valve, then itis unnecessary to shift off any gas. However, if pressure tends'tobe low on the supply side of the line, the regulating valve 29 may not open because. of its limited sensitivity, then the pressure must. be maintained at least at. the level necessary toclose the float valve 48,

otherwise positive measuring and defoaming cannot beautomatically assured in chamber 22. It is to be. understood, however, that this dispensing method and .the apparatus for carrying it out, as just described, operates equally well if the float valve means 42-45-46-48 be omitted; the

'saidvalye means is. desirably employed to effect economies in the gas. supply, since it is ordinarily not necessaryto artificially drop the pressure in container 2| to cause operation of the re ulating valve 32 if thesupply pressure is high enough to keepthe. level in tank 2|. at a point where the said floatvalve would be closed if it and the automatic regulating means just described, obvious, faulty operations due to these causes, as well. In addition, some defoaming is. achieved in container 2 I, sincev bubbles and foam.

always ensue when a highly carbonated beverage of the class.,d.escribed is. transferred through pipes, connections, andvarying pressure levels.

In Fig. 6 there. is .showna, modified form of the apparat s. in which the precooling, pressure regulating. or snifting containeris removed from the. refrigerating bath. but. is, nevertheless kept I 6 cool. by thelatter, as will appear; and. thereis additionally provided a pre-cooling: connection between the shifter. tank. and measuring chamber, whichoconnection: is adequate to hold several drinks, and is immersedin the refrigerating bath.

As in. the case of thestructure. of Figs. 1 and 2, the apparatus of: Fig. 6 is housed in an insulated cabinet III], in which; there are disposed two bulk supply drums III and H2, analogous to. containers I2 and I5 of Fig. l. The two sup ply drums are coupled b a pipe H3 which leads via its end. II-Sa. from the lower. region of drum H2 into the upper region of drum III at II3b.

Drum H2 is connected. by conduit. H4 to a drum I I5 of carbon dioxide gas confined at. a pressure considerably above that which would ordinarily be. necessary to drive the total supply. of. beverage through. the dispensing circuit. In; other words, the gas supply is calculated always to be in excess, as to. quantity and pressure, of the maximum needsfor each loadin of the machine. This gas pressure causes the beverages in drum II 2 to be transferredzvia pipe II3 into.

, drum. II I as the latter becomes emptied of its" contents, beverage fromdrum III passing-from thev intake portion H6 at the bottom thereofthrough pipe IIta and thence through a pres sure-regulating valve [11. (similar to valve 2.9Ioi? Fig. 5), andvia conduit IIBinto theupper rei gion of a reserve pro-cooling drum or receiver: H9, situated in the upper or cooling.compart-- ment, which is separated from the lower compartment by partition 9.

From the pre-cooling drum, the beveragepasses viaxconduit I through a. pre-cooling coil I:2.I.and':. thence through an inlet valve: I22 into a measuring chamber I23 disposed, withthe coil I2I, in a brine bath, or other. cooling mediumv I24 arranged to be cooled by any suitable refrigerating: means (not shown, since many typesare avail-- able) and which includes refrigerating coils I38; which means also serves to cool the reserve drum H19 through the mediumof the bath I24 since the latter also cools thewcompartment in which the drum I I9 is situated.

At the lower end of the measuring chamber I23 there is a discharge pipe I25 which passes through an electro-magnetic dispensing valve I25 and terminates as a delivery spigot I21 above a cup I 28 (positioned. therebelow byautomatic cup dispensing means schematically indicated at I Ell-) Additional features of importance are the pro vision of an electro-magneticvent valve I28 con-- nected by pipe lzfl'withzthe'top of the measuring chamber I23; anda-n auxiliary electromagnetic. vent valve I39 connecting into the top of the: pre-cooling drum II 9 througha pipe I 3| having a small orifice of the order of about inch .in diameter (similar to orifice 43a: in Fig. 3).

The small orifice leadinginto pipe I3I' is nor mally .open,pbut maybe closed by a valve member: I32 disposed atthe upperend of guide rod I33 on a float I34, which is mounted to rise. and. fall in a bracket I35 secured to the underside of the? coupling head. I36 which'connects the various pipes with thepre-cooling drum orreceiver I I9 at. thetop thereof.

The operation of this embodiment is also auto:- matic and preferably; coin-controlled, although nocoin control meansv is shown. herein since the invention perse is not concerned therewith. As: a part of the control means there is shown sche-- matically in the drawing a timing device like the: unit I8 of Fig. 5, including, a timing motor: I40

which would ordinarily be set into operation by the patron, as by a coin controlled starting switch (not shown), and which is arranged to complete a cycle of rotation of certain control means such as the cams A, B, C, and D, each of which con trols the opening and closing of a corresponding switch I4I, I42, I43 or I44. Each of the foregoing switches has one of its terminals connected to a common conductor or ground G, to which common ground is connected also one terminal of a power source indicated as battery I45. The remaining terminal of this battery or power source is connected via conductor I46 to vent valve I30, the inlet valve I22 and via conductor I4'I to one terminal of the dispensing valve I26.

The valve switches I4I, I42, I43, and I44 are normally open. Upon deposit of the starting coin in the machine, or energization of the motor I40 from any other source of control, the cam shaft I40a rotates slowly and the switches remain open so long as the offset nose portions I4Ia, I142a, M311, and I441 ride on the peripheral portion of their respective cams A, B, C, and D. The first thing that happens in each cycle of operation of the cam shaft, is the closing of switch MI by action of the nose portion I4Ia dropping into the slot A This results in energization of certain cup dispensing mechanism, schematically indicated by the dotted line representation I50, such energization being effected via a conductor I5I, so that the dispenser may be energized from a connection I80 to battery I45, resulting in the deposit of cups I28 in position beneath spigot I2'I,

Meanwhile switch I42 is closed by action of the nose portion I42a thereof dropping into the peripheral cam slot B, with the result that the inlet valve I22 is energized, the circuit for this operation being completed from the ground G to switch I42, through the closed contacts of the latter, and via conductor I52 through the electromagnetic operating coil of valve I22 and thence via conductor 546 to battery I45.

The inlet valve I22 remains open long enough for a quantity of cool beverage from coils I2I to enter the measuring chamber I23, such action of the beverage resulting in the creation of a considerable amount of foam owing to the relatively low pressure in the measuring chamber at the time the beverage enters under considerably higher pressure from the supply line. This foaming of the beverage releases a certain amount of gas which compresses the air in the head space at the top of the measuring chamber with the result that a limited amount of beverage will be admitted to the chamber, and this limited amount is calculated to the desired measure of beverage to be dispensed by controlling the temperature and the pressure in the supply line.

Since these pressures and temperatures must be more or less empirically determined for the various operating conditions to be encountered, only one set of suitable values will be given by way of example. Satisfactory results are obtained by maintaining a gas pressure from 25 to 30 lbs. per square inch on the supply side of the line, while the temperature of the beverage in the cooling coils and particularly in the measuring chamber, is preferably maintained between 31 and 36 F. Similar temperatures may obtain in the pre-cooling drum II9 if the dispensing rate is slow by reason of the fact that the drum is situated in the same compartment with the cooling bath I2 and subject to refrigeration from the same source.

Back pressure in the measuring chamber I23 limits the amount of beverage which can enter the latter, and as the back pressure begins to operate, the foam is collapsed and restored to liquid form with amounts of head gas in the chamber also restored to the liquid. The exact amount of liquid to be dispensed is thereby automatically measured off byaction of back pressure in the measuring chamber, whereupon the beverage is prepared for transfer to the cup by relieving the excess head gas in chamber I23 as a result of closing switch I43 by rotation of cam C to present the slotted peripheral portion C beneath the offset I43a of the switch permitting the latter to close. Closure of switch I43 effects simultaneous energization of both the main vent valve I22 and the auxiliary vent valve I30 by a circuit'which includes one side of the operating coil vent valve I30, juncture I48 connecting with one terminal of the operation coil for vent valve I22, and switch I43 connecting ground G via conductors I53 and I54 to the remaining terminals of each of the operating coils of valves I28 and I30.

Opening of vent valve I22 permits the head gas to be popped-on quickly from above the surface of the liquid beverage in chamber I23, this being a very important step in the dispensing cycle if the drink is to be delivered without objectionable foam and loss of gas.

It will be recalled that the auxiliary vent pipe I3i was stated to be provided with a very small orifice, which results in a relatively slow escape of gas, while the auxiliary valve I30 remains open, to the pre-cooling drum II9, for purposes of restoring a desired pressure condition as will be described hereinafter. This orifice arrangement is the same in both embodiments, and is illustrated in Fig. 4, attention being called to the orifice as indicated at 43x.

Shortly after the opening of the main vent valve I22, switch I44 is closed by rotation of cam D in the manner heretofore described in connection with the operation of the other switches, with the result that circuit is completed from ground G via conductor I55 to the coil of the dispensing valve I23 so that the latter is open while the main vent valve I22 remains open, cams D and C being designed with this object in view that is to say, to maintain switches I43 and I44 closed until the measured quantity of beverage has had time to be delivered by gravity from the measuring chamber I23 through the dispensing spout I2"! and into cup I28.

If the main vent valve I22 is not held open while the drink gravitates into the cup, escape of gas and residual head pressure in the measurin chamber would cause the creation of objectionable amounts of foam in the drink dispensed.

By the time the measured quantity of beverage has descended into the cup, the operation cycle for the control cams has been completed and motor I40 is automatically deenergized, whereupon the customer may remove the cup I28 from the machine by raising glass door I50 at the ar en as heretofore discussed, pressure at the supply "side is important not only to collapse foam'in the measuring chamber, but also to predetermine the amount of beverage to be dispensed, it becomes necessary to constantly rectify the pres- :sure on the supply side, and this is accomplished by the operation of the auxiliary vent valve which, although the amount of gas reli-eved'thereby is relatively small, permits enough gas to escape to create an artificial pressure drop suflioient to positively effect operation of the regulating valve ll 'l, with the result that additional quantities of beverage and gas are immediately restored to the drum H9. This effects prompt replacement of additional quantities of beverage which may become cooled prior to reaching the cooling \cOil [21, and also increases the volumetric displacement in the drum with consequent rise in internal pressure apart from any additional volumes ofgas which may have been entrained by the replacement liquid.

As described in conjunction with the operation of float valve in Fig. '5, as soon as the liquid level is raised in drum H9 of Fig. 6 to a point where the pressure condition therein is :suitable (i. e. capable of forcing the desired voliume to be measured into chamber I23) the float 5134 is likewise raised sufiiciently to cause valve .132 to close the orifice leading into pipe I31 and through the vent valve 139. However, the arrangement is such that the restoredliquid level rises beyond the point where the float valve first closes, with the result that it requires the with.- drawal of as many as ten to twelve drinks from :drum H9 before the float valve will again open to render the auxiliary vent valve I30 effective. When a volume of liquid is withdrawn equivalent :to ten or twelve drinks as aforesaid, the pressure :condition in the drum H9 is such that further withdrawal might endanger the uniformity of the volume and gas content of subsequently removed quantities should the regulating valve fail to open, and it is thereforeat this juncture that the float valve renders the auxiliary vent valve effective to restore the desired pressure and volumecondition in drum H9, However, *float valve means I.3'2I 34 may beomitted for'reasons heretofore set forth in the description of float valve means-42--48.

The liquid measuring and defoaming functions performed 'by the measuring chamber are covered in my aforesaid co-pen'ding application S. 248,114, but :in the present application there are the new features of pressure :control or rectification and immersing the measuring chamber in acooling bath along with ipre-coolingcoils I21, one purpose of which will now be described.

I In a preferred mode of "operation, the inlet valve L22 is opened immediately following the closure of the dispensing and main vent valve in order to admita quantity of beverage into the measuring chamber to be held there pending withdrawal upon the next operation :of the ma--' chine, the purpose of this being to transfer a quantity from the pre-cooling coil 12-! to make room for another quantity which .may be cooled in the interval between subsequent withdrawals. The coils 121 are primarily a heat-exchange and storage means designed to hold abouts'ix '12 oz. drinks. In this way thecapacity of the machine with respect to its maximum refrigerating load, is considerably enlarged, and this becomes of great importance where the machine is situated in a busy location and subject to frequent operation. The provision of the .pre-cooling rdrum of the reserve pre-cooling drums may be withdrawn. The capacity of these drums is about 7 gallons, equivalent to approximately 100 drinks, and in an extreme condition it may be that one or more of the supply drums I2, IE or H 9, H2 has been installed at an elevated temperature of perhaps degrees. Even under these extreme conditions the arrangement of the pre-cooling coil l2i (orchamber 2!) in the same refrigerating medium with the measuring chamber makes it possible to cool the beverage down to an acceptable temperature by the time it is ready for dispensation.

Iii-designating the drum H9 as a pre-cooling" means, there is no intention to employ a limiting term, but rather a convenient designation suggestive of one of the functions of the drum. Obviously, the drum H9 is of considerable importance in its pressure regulating functions, as well, even though it is not immersed in the bath as is the container 21 of Fig. 2. If the liquid level is normal in the drum or vessel H9, the float valve means |32-l34 will prevent escape of gas through the auxiliary vent valve I39. If the liquid level is low however and the float I 31 descends so as to open the restricted passage to the auxiliary vent valve, then gas will be relieved directly from the drum H9 during the approximate fifteen-second interval while the vent valves remain open, while the excess head gas in the measuring chamber I23 Will be relieved by the main vent valve I22.

Following the operation of the vent valves as aforesaid, switch I44 will be operated to energize thedispensing'valve I 26 which will be held open while the main vent valve 122 remains open so as to permit the measured quantity of beverage todrain bygravity from the chamber 123 into the cup I28.

Relief of gas from the pre-cooling receiver H9 is calculated always to efiect an operation of the regulating valve H1 so that there will be an influx of beverage from the supply drum H2 to drum H9 to restore the necessary pressure therein and to increase the volume of liquid to be subjected to pro-cooling temperatures,

In addition to the pre-cooling feature of such transfer of beverage to the pre-cooling drum, the pressure condition in the latter is brought upto the required standard to assure that there will be no short measures and that there will "be adequate gas content in the beverage, since measurement depends upon the gas pressure at a given temperature, and since it is absolutely necessary in order to deliver an acceptable beverage that there be at least a certain minimum gas content therein '(for example about 4.0 to 5.0 volumes). The defoaming operation also depends upon the existence of a minimum pressure in the supply side of the system ahead of the measuring chamber. In general, the operation of the embodiments shown in Figs. 1 to 5, and in Fig. 6, is the same, the differences being largely structural and relating to the arrangement of a pro-cooling storage coil l2! in the cooling bath with the measuring chamber, instead of having the pressure-regulating or snifting chamber 2| immersed in the brine tank H.

11 as in Fig. 2. The arrangement of Fig. 6 makes it possible to employ a smaller tank for bath \l2 l, While enlarging the refrigerating capacity, since drum H9 is also appreciably cooled by virtue of being disposed in the same insulated compartment with the bath.

It is the intention that the foregoing disclosure shall not be limited to the precise arrangement shown and described, but shall be accorded. liberal interpretation with the inclusion of reasonable equivalents and substitutions not inconsistent with the appended claims and the scope and nature of the improvement, and while the invention is especially suited to the vending of pre-mixecl carbonated beverages, it is contemplated that it'may be applied to control systems for other liquids, as well.

I claim as my invention:

1. Apparatus for dispensing a carbonated beverage comprising means providing a cooling m'edium; a measuring chamber cooled by said medium, a normally closed vessel, connection including normally closed inlet valve means between said vessel and chamber, means for supplying beverage under gas pressure to said vessel, automatic regulating valve means interposed between said supplying means and vessel to admit quantities of fluid to the latter when the pressure condition therein drops to a predetermined value, means for venting said vessel and chamber, and means for dispensing beverage from said chamber, and control mechanism for effecting operation of said venting means, said dispensing means, and said inlet valve means in the order named.

2.'Dispensing apparatus comprising: a cooling medium, 'a measuring chamber in said medium, a beverage receiver, a beverage supply container, automatic regulating valve means between said container and receiver to admit beverage to the latter when the pressure therein reaches a predetermined condition, a source of gas pressure connected to displace beverage from said {container to said receiver under control of said regulating valve means, a valved connection between said receiver and measuring chamber, dispensing valve means operable to permit passage of beverage from said chamber, venting valve means for said receiverand for said chamber, and control means for opening and closing 3. Dispensing apparatus includinga beverage receiver, means for supplying beverage under gas pressure to said receiver, dispensing means for effecting discharge in succession of measured quantities of beverage from said receiver, regulating valve means interconnecting said supply means and receiver and operable upon a predetermined lowering of pressure in the receiver to admit beverage thereto, and means controlled oooperably with said dispensing means for venting said receiver to artificially lower the pressure in said receiver sufficiently to cause operation of said regulating valve means independentl of the volumetric displacement of beverage in said receiver responsive to discharge of beverage therefrom.

4. Dispensing apparatus including a beverage container, means for supplying beverage under gas pressure to said' container, said' gas pressure being maintained in excess of a predetermined minimum value, means for dispensing beverage from said'container, a gas escape valve operatively associated with said container, means controlled by the volume of liquid in said container for rendering said'escape valve ineffective when the liquid volume exceeds a predetermined amount in said container, automatically acting means for normally closing off communication between said container and supply means when the pressure in the container is above a predetermined minimum value and for opening such communication when said last-mentioned pressure is below said minimum value thereof, and means coacting with said dispensing means upon each dispensing operation thereof for opening said escape valve for the purpose of causing an artificial pressure drop in said container, provided said volume-controlled means does not render the escape valve ineffective as aforesaid, whereby to effect positive operation of said means for opening communication to the container from the supplying means as aforesaid.

5. Dispensing apparatus including a beverage receiver, a beverage supply container connected to said receiver through a regulating valve adapted to open at a predetermined pressure differential between said receiver and container, means for applying gas pressure behind the beverage in said container, a measuring chamber, a vent valve for said chamber, a dispensing valve for said chamber, an escape valve for said receiver, a float valve arranged to render said escape valve inefiective when greater than a predetermined volume of beverage is in said receiver, a pre-cooling connection between said receiver and meas- O uring chamber and including a normally closed inlet valve, means for cooling said chamber and said pre=cooling connection, at least, and operating mechanism arranged to open said escape and vent valves, then open said dispensing valve while said vent valve remains open, and after closing said escape, vent and dispensing valves, to open and close said inlet valve long enough to permit a measured quantity of beverage to enter said measuring chamber in readiness for the next dispensing operation.

6. The combination, with means for storing a supply of beverage, and means for dispensing beverage from said storing means, of means for maintaining saidbeverage under a desired gas pressure, said means comprising a source of gas pressure connected to said storing means, regulating valve means interposed between said source of pressure and said storing means and operable to admit fluid under pressure from said source when the pressure in said storing means drops below a predetermined value, and auxiliary means, actuated automatically each time said dispensing means is operated, for causing a suflicient amount of gas to escape from said storing meanstc effect an artificial pressure drop therein to a value at least equivalent to said predetermined value whereby to effect positive operation of said regulating valve means. i

7. The combination of claim 6 further characterized by the provision therein of means for automatically rendering said auxiliary means for producing an artificial pressure drop ineffective when the liquid volume is greater than a predetermined value in said storing means.

8. In a dispensing system, in combination, means for storing a supply of liquid, means for applying gas pressure to the stored quantity of liquid, means for dispensing the liquid, means providing a pre-storage compartment ahead of said dispensing means and connected with said 13 supply means to receive liquid from the latter, pressure regulating means interposed between said supply means and said pre-storage means and operable to admit liquid under pressure to said pre-storage means when the pressure convdition in the latter reaches a predetermined state, and means including a venting device controlled cooperably with the said dispensing means and actuable on each dispensing operation of said dispensing means for relieving gas from said prestorage compartment upon a dispensing operation whereby to create said predetermined pressure state in the pre-storage compartment to effect positive operation of said regulating means together with control connections between said 1 venting device means and said dispensing means for simultaneously actuating said means for the purposes set forth.

9. The combination of claim 8 further characterized by the addition thereto, of means controlled by the volumetric liquid displacement in said .pre-storage compartment for preventing effective operation of said venting device to relieve gas from said pre-storage compartment, when the volumetric liquid displacement therein rises above a predetermined amount.

, 10. In a beverage dispenser, the combination, with pressure-controlled drink measuring means, of gas regulating means comprising a beverage receiver connected in advance of said measuring means, means for storing a supply of beverage, normally closed automatic regulating valve means connecting said storing means with said receiver, means for maintaining a head of gas behind the beverage in said storing means, an escape valve of restricted orifice for said receiver, means for opening said escape valve in correspondence with each measured quantity of beverage passed through said measuring chamber, said escape valve means being arranged to cause a pressure differential between said receiver and storing means to effect positive opening of said regulating valve means to cause an influx of beverage and gas into the receiver, and a float valve in said receiver normally closing off passage to said escape valve when the receiver is loaded, and operable by reduction of the beverage content therein below a, predetermined level to open passage from the receiver to the escape valve.

11. In a carbonated drink vending apparatus comprising a bulk container in which there is a ready mixed carbonated drink, means supplying gas to the bulk container so as to place the drink therein under pressure, a second container having a displacement-responsive valve with which is operatively associated an electrically controlled vent valve, a pressure-regulating valve operatively associated with the second container for maintaining a minimum displacement pressure therein, means for directing the drink from the bulk container to the pressure-regulating valve, a second electrically controlled valve, means for directing the drink from the second container to the second electrically controlled valve, and electrical timer means for operating said electrically controlled valves, the displacement valve serving to alter the constant displacement within the second container to cause an operation of the regulating valve.

12. A carbonated drink vending apparatus comprising a bulk container in which there is a readymixed carbonated drink, a gas drum connected with the bulk container so as to place the drink therein under pressure, a second container having a float-operated valve to vent gas from the --bulk container adapted to contain a readymixed drink, pressure supplying means connected with the bulk container so as to place the drink therein under pressure, a second container to receive said ready-mixed drink, a pressure regulating valve associated with the second container, means for directing the drink from the bulk container to the pressure regulating valve and into the second container, auxiliary valve means associated with the second container, a measuring device having an inlet .and outlet, valve means associated with said inlet and outlet, a gas relief valve on said measuring device, means for directing the drink from the said second container to the inlet valve of the measuring device, means for opening the outlet valve and the relief valve on said measuring device so that the drink therein may drain therefrom by gravity, means for opening said inlet valve of said measuring device at a time when the relief and outlet valves are closed so that the measuring device may be refilled, and means for opening the auxiliary valve means associated with the second container at a time following opening of said outlet valve so that the pressure therein may be reduced by an amount suificientto cause operation of said regulating valve.

14. A drink-vending apparatus comprising a bulk container in which there is a ready-mixed drink, means connected with the bulk container for placing the drink therein under pressure, a second container having gas relief valve, means for directing the drink from the bulk container to the second container, pressure-responsive means for controlling passage of the drink to the second container as aforesaid, a measuring device having an inlet and an outlet, valve means associated with the inlet and the outlet, means for directing the drink from the second container to the inlet valve of the measuring device, means for operating the outlet valve and then the inlet valve, a vent valve for the measuring device and means for operating the latter, prior to opening of said outlet valve and means for operating the relief valve on the second container during the operation of the said vent valve.

15. A drink-vending apparatus comprising a bulk container in which there is a ready-mixed drink, means for placing the drink in the bulk container under pressure, a second container in which there is stored. a ready-mixed drink, pressure-sensitive means for directing the drink from the bulk container into the second container and operable when the pressure therein drops below a certain value, means for directing the drink out of the second container, and valve means partly controlled by level of the drink in the second container and partly controlled coincidentally with the operation of said directing means for releasing the pressure in said second container to at least said certain value, to cause positive operation of said pressure-sensitive means.

16. An automatic snifter for a carbonated drink-vending apparatus adapted to operate through a given cycle, comprising: a carbonated drink container, means for supplying carbonated drink to said container automatically when the pressure in the container drops below a certain value, means for directing the drink out of the container under pressure, valve means associated with the container and operably controlled by movement of the drink into and out of the container, and a second normally closed gas escape valve means associated with the first valve means and adapted to be opened at a time during the cycle of vending operation of the vending apparatus.

17. In a beverage dispenser, means for controlling the fiuid pressure characteristics of the beverage dispensed under pressure from a bulk container, said means comprising: in combination, a bulk beverage container, a beverage receiver connected to receive beverage from said container, means for applying pressure to the beverage in said container at a pressure greater than necessary to drive the beverage into said receiver, regulating means for admitting beverage from said container to said receiver responsive to a pressure drop of predetermined magnitude in said receiver, a measuring chamber, inlet valve means connecting said chamber with said receiver, dispensing valve means providing egress for beverage from said chamber, main pressurerelieving means for said chamber, auxiliary pressure-relieving means for said receiver, means for actuating said dispensing valve means, said main and auxiliary pressure-relieving means, and said inlet valve means in timed relation constituting a dispensing cycle in which said pressure-relieving means is actuated in advance of dispensing operation of said dispensing valve means, and said auxiliary relieving means effects pressure relief at a slower rate than said main relieving means but sufiicient to create a pressure drop of at least said predetermined magnitude in said receiver in a time interval between successive operations of said inlet valve means.

18. The invention defined in claim 17 further characterized by the provision of means acting to render said auxiliary pressure-relieving means ineffectual when the volume of liquid beverage in said receiver exceeds a predetermined value.

19. In a carbonated beverage vender of the type including a refrigeration compartment, improvements comprising: a pre-cooling beverage storage container, means connecting said container with a source of beverage under pressure; a cooling receptacle including a heat-transfer medium; means for refrigerating said medium, said medium and receptacle being exposed to said refrigeration compartment for heat-transfer relative to the latter; a measuring and de-foaming chamber in said medium; a length of conduit in said medium and connecting said storage container and chamber through a first normally closed valve and having a capacity to hold a given volume of beverage for pre-cooling purposes prior to entry into said chamber; a dispensing valve for said chamber and normally closed; a vent valve for said chamber and normally closed; control means for opening said dispensing and vent valves together, and for opening said first valve at a time when said dispensing and vent valves are closed, and auxiliary valve means actuated cooperatively with said dispensing valve when the latter is open for effecting escape of gas at a predetermined controlled rate from said storage container; together with means for automatically regulating the flow of beverage from said source into said storage container dependent upon pressure changes in the latter effected by operation of said auxiliary valve means.


REFERENCES CITED The following referemces are of record in the file of this patent:

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U.S. Classification137/170.2, 137/433, 137/624.18, 62/390, 62/393, 62/306, 137/170.4
International ClassificationB67D1/00, B67D1/04
Cooperative ClassificationB67D1/04
European ClassificationB67D1/04