US 2511666 A
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Patented June 13, 1950 AIR DEHUMIDIFIER FOR COMPRTMENTS Samuel R. Barr,k Bridgeport, Conn., assignor to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Application October 9, 1948, Serial No. 53,624
z claims. 1
My invention relates to drying apparatus and more particularly to an air dehumidifying unit such as may be placed in various types of compartments in order to remove moisture from the air within these compartments.
Heretofore most dehumidifying units have required that the moisture removing agent in the unit be replaced from time to time as it became saturated with moisture. Otherunits in which the desiccating agent could be reactivated required that the reactivating means be turned on and off manually. t
vOne of the objects of my invention, therefore, is to provide a simple completely automatic dehumidifying unit which can be mounted easily in a compartment and requires little or no iurther attention after the installation.
Another objectl of my invention is to provide a dehumidifying unit whereby a desiccating agent included therein may automatically be reactivated after the absorption of a predetermined amount of moisture.
A further object of my invention', is to provide a cabinet structure for such dehumidifying apparatus which operates automatically to open and close suitable Ventilating apertures to enable the moisture laden atmosphere evaporated from an included desiccating agent during the reactivation thereof to be emitted outside of the dehumidifying apparatus.
In furtherance i these objects, I make use of the simple principle that as a desiccating agent absorbs moisture it also gains Weight. In a preferred embodiment of my invention, the container for 'the'desiccating agent is supported by resilient means and moves downward because of the increase in weight as the desiccating agent exposed to the air within the compartment absorbs moisture. At a predetermined point in its gradual descent, the container energizes a heatingv element placed near or within the desiccating agent. This heating element serves to reactivate the desiccating agent by evaporating the moisture it has absorbed. In order that the same water vapor will not be reabsorbed` by the. desiccating agent, automatic means are provided by which the water vapor escapes outside of the compartment while the desiccating agent is being reactivated.
. Since the desiccating agents in common use today, such as silica gel, do not deteriorate or evaporate with use, the unit requires little or no further attention once it is installed and adjusted.
For a more complete understanding ofwmy invention reference should be had to the accompanying drawing in which Fig. 1 is a vertical sectional view of a dehumidifying unit mounted within a compartment. Fig. 2 is a vertical view partly in section of the dehumidifying unit of Fig. 1 showing its position While the unit is being reactivated. Fig. 3 is a front view partly in section of the entire dehumidifying unit of Fig. 1. Fig. 4 is a vertical sectional view of a cabinet for this dehumidifying unit. Fig. 5 is a plan view, partly in section, of this dehumidifying unit.
Referring to the drawings, I have shown my invention in one form as applied to a compartment I having a door 2, a shelf 3 and a plurality of Ventilating aperturesl at thetop. Although my dehumidifying unit may assume a variety of shapes and sizes and may be located anywhere Within the compartment, I have shown it as comprising a rectangular cabinet 5 mounted at the rear of compartment I on shelf 3 directly beneath .the apertures 4 and secured in place by such means as screws 6 and nut 1.
Within this dehumidifier cabinet 5, I have provided a Smaller rectangular container 8 into which a desiccating agent 9, such as silica gel, is placed. A frame IIJ (best seen in Fig. 3) holds perforated screens II through which aircan pass at the front and back of this container 8. Attached to the upper portion of one side I2 of this container 8 is a bifurcated hinge I3 comprising a pair of parallel vextension arms I4, each arm having a `holef|5 formed across its outer end spaced a Short 4distance from the side I2 of said container 8. Hinge I3 tsovera hinge bracket I6 which isfinser'ted between extension arms I4 and vsecured to the side of cabinet 5 by such means as screws Iland I8. Bracket I6 also has a hole I9 Aformed within it correspondingly aligned to the holes `I5 `formed within the hinge extension arms I4. A hinge pin `2|] is inserted through holes I5, I9 in order to make Aa pivotal connection 2|. Holes I5, I9 arelsuitably formed to accommodate a ball bearing connection 22; best seen in Fig. 3.
AIn order to adjust the container 8 around pivot point 2| to a position substantially parallel to the base of cabinet 5, many different methods can be employed. 'One simple and eiective method, best seen in Fig. 3,.is to place a heavy spring 23 between pivot point2I and the side I2 of the container 8 extending parallel thereto within the space .between the hinge extension arms I4. Spring 23 is hooked at its upper end into a hole 24 formed in a. projecting flange 25 of hinge bracket '*I6. `The'lower end of spring 23 is adjustablysecured tothe side I2 of the container 8 by an eye bolt 2E to which spring 23 is attached.
Eye bolt 2B is inserted through a suitable aperture 21 in a conventional L-shaped bracket 28 secured to the lower portion 29 of side I2 of the container 8 by such means as screws 30. The tension of spring 23 is adjusted by wing nut 3I threaded to eye bolt 26 beneath the L-shaped bracket 28.
A heating element 32 which in one form may comprise a sheathed heater unit having a U- shaped outer enclosing tube 33 and aninner heating wire 34 electrically insulated from the tube is placed in or near container 8. In the preferred embodiment of my invention illustrated in Fig. 3, heating element 32 is immersed within the desiccating agent 9. The arms 35 of the U-shaped heating element 32 are inserted through suitable collars 36 in the top of the container 8. These collars 36 serve to position the heating element 32.
A sensitive switch 31 is adjustably secured to the rear of cabinet adjacent to the top of container 8 by such means as screws 38 and nuts 39 inserted within a pair of elongated slots 40 in a supporting bracket 4I. The switch 31 is attached to the bracket 4I by such means as screws 42 and nuts 43. The bracket 4I has a slight pitch; and a small measure of both vertical and horizontal adjustment of switch 31 may be obtained by loosening screws 38, moving bracket 4I as guided by the elongated slots 46, and retightening screws 38.
A laterally projecting contact arm 44 attached to the top of the container fits under the switching arm 45 of the switch 31 and serves to hold the switch open. A pair of terminal connecting` wires 46, i1 are attached to the arms 35 of the heating element 32, one of these connecting wires 46 going directly through an aperture in grommet 48 in the cabinet 5 to the electric current source (not shown) and the other of these wires 41 going to terminal 49 of the electric switch 31. Another terminal connecting wire 50 is attached to the other terminal 5I of switch 31 and extends out through the aperturey in grommet 48 to the other side of the electric current source (not shown).
The front of the cabinet 5 is enclosed by an upper door 52 and a lower door 53 suspended on hinges 54 which are pivotally attached to cylindrical hinge rods 55. These rods 55 extend the entire width of the cabinet 5 and are inserted through suitable holes 56 in each side of the cabinet 5. The upper door 52 has an upper portion 51 and a lower portion 58 forming an obtuse angle and pivotally mounted on a cylindrical hinge rod 55 at the vertex of this angle on the top front corner 59 of cabinet 5. The upper portion 51 closes the top of the cabinet 5 when the lower portion 58 is slightly open.
During the interval that the desiccating agent 9 within the container 8 is absorbing moisture, doors 52, 53 are respectively held slightly open at the bottom by an upper supporting arm 60 and a lower supporting arm lil-located to one side of the container 8 and having a generally arched conguration. One leg 62 of each arch is secured to the rear of cabinet 5 by such means as screws 63 and nuts 64, while the other leg 65 of the arch holds the door open. Supporting arms 60, 6I are composed of two or more dissimilar metals having different thermal co--eicients of expansion secured together lengthwise to form a unitary thermostatic bar. They are constructed to move inwardly as illustrated in Fig. 4, upon the application of heat; thereby a1- lowing the doors 52, 53 to close. When the lower portion 58 of the upper door 52 closes due to the inward movement of its supporting arm 60, the upper portion 51 moves open under` the force of a small wire spring 66 hooked to a pin 61 which is attached to a side of cabinet 5. This spring encircles the hinge rod and extends under the upperportion 51 of the door 52. A1- though I have shown the cabinet 5 as having two doors 52 and 53 respectively in order to obtain a large area of access between the internal desiccating agent and the atmosphere within the compartment, it is evident that, alternatively, only the angle-shaped upper door 52 and its associated supporting means need be employed; the remainder of the cabinet being entirely closed.
In the operation of my invention, the air within the compartment I ows through the doors 52, 53 normally held open by supporting arms and 6 I, to the desiccating agent 9 located within the container 8. This desiccating agent 9 removes the moisture from the air with which it comesin contact, and the dry air continues to Icirculate upward into the compartment I. As the desiccating agent 9 absorbs moisture it gains weight, causing the container 8 gradually to descend. This downward motion is permitted by the pivotal connection 2I and the resilient spring 23. As the container moves downward the contact arm 44 releases the switching arm 45 of the s-witch 31 throwing the switch to its on position. This closes the circuit to the heating element 32 immersed within the desiccating agent 9, and the moisture absorbed by the desiccating agent is evaporated due to the application of heat, thereby reactivating the desiccating agent. As the temperature within the cabinet increases while the heating element is operating, the legs 65 of the bimetallic supporting arms 60, 6I move inwardly, causing the doors 52, 53 to close and simultaneously causing the upper portion 51 of the upper door 52 to open. The movement of these doors prevents the moisture-laden air withg in the cabinet 5 from once again circulating out to the compartment I during the reactivating period. Instead, this moisture-laden air circulates upward through the opening formed by the position of the upper portion 51 of the door 52, and out through the apertures 4 in the compartment I to the outside. As the moisture is evaporated from the desiccating agent 9, the container 8 becomes lighter and moves upward due to the action of spring 23, once again opening switch 31. The interval of time between reactivating periods can be increased or decreased by tightening or loosening the tension of spring 23, or by adjusting the position of switch 31.
As can be seen from the foregoing detailed description, the size and shape of the cabinet 5 or container 8 are not critical. They can be made to fit almost any compartment. 'Ihe unit is easily adjustable and completely automatic once installed. Furthermore, sincey its automatic operation depends upon gravitational action, it is not subject to troubles inherent in units employing a mechanical motive force.
While I have shown a particular embodiment of my invention, it will be understood that I do f not wish to be limited thereto since many modi- What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A dehumidifying unit for drying the air within a compartment having Ventilating apertures at the top thereof comprising a perforate container, a desiccating agent within said container, an outer enclosing cabinet for said container mounted beneath said Ventilating apertures, said cabinet having a plurality of doors, the uppermost of said doors having upper and lower portions forming an obtuse angle and being pivotally mounted at the vertex of said angle at a top corner of said cabinet, the said upper portion closing the top of said cabinet when the lower portion is opened, a plurality of bimetallic supporting arms arranged normally to hold said doors open and constructed to close said doors upon the application of heat to said arms, said upper portion moving to an open position as the lower portion is closed upon the application of heat, a pivotal connection between one side of said container and one side of said cabinet, resilient means for adjustably positioning said container around said pivotal connection, a heating element immersed within said desiccating agent, and a switch for energizing said heating element operated by the downward motion of said container as it absorbs moisture.
2. A cabinet for dehumidifying apparatus of the type including a container having a desiccating agent therewithin comprising a member enclosing and supporting said container and having a vertically suspended door, said door having two portions forming an obtuse angle and being pivotally mounted at the vertex of said angle at the top corner of said container, one of said portions closing an aperture in the top of said enclosing member when the other portion is in an open position, and the other portion of said door being arranged to close an aperture in the side of said container when said one portion is opened, a heating element within said enclosing member for reactivating said desiccating agent after an absorption of moisture thereby, and thermal-ly responsive supporting means arranged normally to maintain said other portion of said door in said opened position, but to move said one portion of said door to said open position when subjected to heat generated by said heating element `during the reactivation of said desiccating agent.
SAMUEL R. BARR.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the iile of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 2,067,920 Heuser Jan. 19, 1937 2,136,618 Hull Nov. 15, 1938 2,278,854 I-Iunsicker Apr. 7, 1942 2,297,763 Higley et al. Oct. 6, 1942 2,328,521 Wittmann Aug. 31, 1943 2,411,039 I-Ieuser Nov. 12, 1946 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 636,162 France Apr. 3, 1928