US 2625804 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 20, 1953 A. H. PATCH ETAL BARREL COOLING APPARATUS 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed June 28. 1949 Rm 5. MW
Jan. 20, 1953 A. H. PATCH ETAL BARREL COOLING APPARATUS 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed June 28, 1949 INVENTORS 177/290 [/1 Fair/t Jan. 20, 1953 A. H. PATCH ETAL 2,625,304
BARREL COOLING APPARATUS Filed June 28. 1949 4 S ee sheet W8. MM,
Jan. 20, 1953 A. H. PATCH EIAL BARREL COOLING APPARATUS 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed June 28. 1949 Patented Jan. 20, 1953 BARRELCOOLING APPARATUS Arthur. H. Patch, Glen Ridge, and George M;
Booth, Westfield, N.. J assignorsto Novadele Agene Corporation, Belleville,,N. J.-, a corporation of Delaware Application June. 28, 1949, Serial No. 101,752
This invention relates to thecooling'and dispensing of beverages, specifically beer and similar brew, and in a more particular sense relates to apparatus and procedure for cooling brew which. is packaged in metal barrels. It will be understood that the invention is applicable to the conditioning of beer, ale and other beverages of like character, each of which-may be defined as brew; thus where reference is made hereinbelow to beer and operations for cooling or otherwise treating it, itwill be understood'that what is said is similarly applicable to other types of brew. as .just explained. While the storing and handling of beer in wooden barrels has been practiced for centuries and has certain advantages, there has recently been increasing use of metal barrels for such purpose, likewise to considerable but perhaps difierent advantage, especially in durability, ease of handling and over-all cost.
As they are nOW used, metal barrels are containers made wholly or substantially wholly of metal (aluminum andstainless steel being the materials more commonly preferred, although ordinary or standard steel is sometimes em ployed) the entire wall ofthe barrelbeing. substantially non-insulating. That is to say,. the
barrel hasqits-sideawall and heads. constructed of essentially a single thickness of metal of" sheet or plate-like character, which is relatively durable. and which has relatively substantial heat conductivity as distinguished from wooden barrels or kegs. (the term barrel being used herein synonymously with keg) or as distine guished from barrels having double walls packed with insulating material or. providing quiescent air spaces of large extent;
In the. case of wooden barrels, effective results in cooling the beer within the barrel, at the locality where the beverage is to be dispensed, have been achieved with coolant coils inside the barrel, but such structures have not been found feasible or convenient for metal barrels. A pointed out in our copending patent application Serial No. 91,272, filed May 4, 1949, for Beverage Cooling and Dispensing, various prior proposals for cooling metal barrels, as by-jacketing the entire outer surface of the barrel or by spraying cold water over it or by simply disposing it in the cold air of a refrigerated chamber, have been unsatisfactory in one way or another.
Accordingly and for the purpose of cooling the beer within the barrel at the dispensing locality, soas-tokeep the entire body of brew cold from its-timeof delivery at the restaurant, tavern, or
' the like, and so as to avoid thenecessity of separate beer-carrying coils for externally chilling the brew as it fiows to. the faucet, the cited co.- pending application describes and claims animprovedarrangementof cooling vessels accessibly associated with the. barrel. Such improvements are preferably embodied in encircling jacketsor conduitsaround the upstanding barrel, having spacedrelationship and mutual proportionality of'coolant effect whichare found to. achieve re.- markably efiicientresults incooling. and conditioning the-entire contents of the. barrel. For
example, it. has, been found that. by employing. a.
relatively Wide cooling band (i. e. oisubstantial verticalyextent) around the; barrel: near its bottom, and,a :.separ.ate-, encirclingiband of: considerably less width atran. upper locality (the barrel, being. considered as standing upright with its axis. vertical), there isnotonly a prompt coolingofv the beer. which is first dispensed from the tap. rod or. the like that opens in, the barrelat a place; near the:b,ottom,but also an effective reduction of; the entire body of brew to' a safe, cool temperature, as; well as effective maintenance of. the, body at such temperature thereafter, yet, all with. a; remarkable: economy of. refrigeration.
Bothqsuch-coolant channels-or bands are deg signed-tov withdraw heat through the'me'tal wall of the; barrel. ing; the lower one serves primarily to chill the layer ,-of ,brew at the bottom of the barrel, while the upper jacket produces athermal circulation of the remaining and major portion. of the body of beer so that it is all soon brought to, and) kept at the desired lowtemperature, the respective.
dimensions, of. the jacket or the respective rates of coolant flow through, them being such that the stated thermal circulation is effective, but. without impairing or disrupting the promptcooling of the bottom layer of beer.
While apparatus of the improved character disclosed hereinbelow may be otherwise employed for cooling metal barrels, or indeed for other purposes, a special object of the present invention isto provide new, more efficient and economical cooling'band' structure to be used. in beer cooling systems of the sort mentioned. A further objectis to provide such a device of removable nature, which may be readily applied to and removed from a metal barrel or the like, so as to require no structural change in the latter.
It will be understood that'the general requirements of beer cooling? apparatus for restaurants, taverns; clubs and the like, are simplicity and According. to present. understand convenience for the insertion and removal of barrels, as well as economy of cost and operation, and effectiveness in accomplishing the several cooling functions mentioned above. It is very advantageous to keep the whole contents of a barrel at a low temperature, e. g. from about 40 to 50 F., from the time of delivery until all of the beverage has been dispensed; at higher temperatures draught beer tends to deteriorate rapidly in taste, appearance and other characteristics. As drawn and served the beer should likewise be cold, a commonly preferred temperature being about 42 F.; chilling to a substantially lower point tends at least to dull the flavor. As indicated, a prime requisite of the apparatus is mechanical convenience, both in making the cooling connections without special skill, and in permitting the barrels to be handled'with a minimum of effort, for removal and replacement, it being remembered that a metal barrel filled with beer is heavy and cumbersome.
Further and important objects .of the invention are to provide barrel-cooling apparatus satisfying the various criteria just set forth and providing simple and effective coolant-circulating structure of an easily removable or separable sort.
Additional objects are to afford new and improved instrumentalities and systems for cooling brew-containing barrels, especially with respect to arrangements for inducing circulation.
of coolant from a source thereof, and for facilitating removal and replacement of barrels in a given system.
To these and other ends and in accordance with the invention, an especially satisfactory cooling device may be constituted by a vessel, preferably having an elongated and flattened configuration and adapted to encircle a barrel in proximity to the outer wall thereof, which vessel is constructed so that at least its innermost wall, i. e. facing the barrel, is of flexible material. Provision is included for securing the vessel in proximity to the barrel so that the flexible inner wall of the former may abut the surface of the latter, a special and preferred feature of the invention being the construction of the vessel as an annular band (to go around the barrel), with separable ends that may be fastened and unfastened. Through suitable inlet and outlet means coolant fluid is circulated through the vessel or band, which is so constructed that upon admission of such fluid under pressure, it is in-. flated and its inner flexible wall is firmly and effectively pressed against the outer surface of the barrel, e. g. throughout the entire annular extent of the vessel and advantageously across a width (i. e. the dimension measured vertically of the barrel) of desired extent.
Pursuant to a further feature of the invention, the device includes stiffening means, associated fiatwise with the outer wall or surface of the band so as to back up the inflating force of the liquid and effectuate the desired compression of the inner wall against the barrel surface. The stiffening means is preferably provided with limited flexibility, either inherently or by appropriate structure so that when the end-s of the band are unfastened, they may be bent or turned outwardly to permit mutual separation of the barrel and band in a horizontal direction without lifting either relative to the other. The new and improved jackets of the described character have been found to afford a peculiarly satisfactory cooling effect, essentially as effective as metal channels or the like of a permanently attached nature, and yet are of notable convenience in permitting ready application to andremoval from the brew-containing barrels.
Presently preferred devices according to the invention also include connections for supply of coolant under pressure, the return connection from a given band or set of bands having means, including for instance a restriction, to produce a pressure drop so that a higher pressure within the band or bands is promoted and full expansion against the barrel is insured. The circulating means also advantageously include pumping devices in both the supply and return lines for coolant, to facilitate the pressure effect described above. These or equivalent arrangements are especially desirable for applying suction to afford evacuation of the bands of a given set upon closing their inlet line, when it is desired to collapse them for removal of the barrel and its replacement by another.
By way of example, and likewise for disclosure of further features of novelty and advantage.. certain specific embodiments of the invention are.
30.6 which is enclosed in a suitable box or cabinet;
Fig. 2 is a horizontal section on line 2-2 of Fig. l;
Fig. 3 is a perspective view of one of the cooling bands, e. g. the upper band as shown in Fig. 1,
35.. set forth by itself but disposed as if in operative relation;
Fig. 4 is a section of the upper coolant band of Fig. 1, taken on line 4-4 thereof;
Fig. 5 is a greatly enlarged vertical section taken on line 55 of Fig. 4, showing also the means for attaching the band to the interior of the barrel box;
Fig. 6 is an enlarged section on line 66 of Fig. 4; r
Fig. 7 is an enlarged, fragmentary, horizontal section on line 11 of Fig. 6;
Figs. 8 and 9 are elevational views of the upper and lower bands of Fig. 1, each spread out flat-- wise;
Fig. 10 is a diagrammatic view showing one example of the circulation of coolant through the bands of Fig. 1, and illustrating a presently preferred embodiment of circulating and connecting means;
Fig. 11 is a view similar to Fig. 2, showing a modified form of cooling band;
Fig. 12 is a perspective view of the band of i Fig. 11, shown by itself, without the enclosed barrel; and
Fig. 13 is a greatly enlarged vertical section on line i3-l3 of Fig. 12.
Referring first to Figs. 1 and 2, the illustrated apparatus comprises an upright box or cabinet 20, having thermally insulated walls and having a removable door (not shown), similarly insula-ted, to close the front side. A metal barrel 2! stands upright within the box and is provided with suitable draught means, for example a central fitting 22 in the upper head through which a tap rod or draught tube 23 may extend into the barrel, e. g. to a point near the bottom and also externally to the locality (as shown or elsewhere) of the faucet 24 from-which beer is to be drawn. As usual, gas under pressure. such as carbon .dioxide or air; is admitted; to-th'e': barrel through; a; tube: 26. While: an; insulated box around. the barrel is not..essential,.,it is desirable,
to minimize loss of cooling effect and to avoid (by preventing change of air) excessivecondensation andsweating on the cold metalsurface o f-the is. constructed in essentially the same-way, butwhere thejimprovements of. thev cited co'-pend-- ing application are employed in a presently preferred manner, the lower band 3fl'may- -be considerably wider than the upper one, i. e. in adirection extending vertically of the barrel. While:
for purposes of illustration the drawing. shows the-lower band at least about twice the width of the upper one, greater or less. relationships can be used in many cases. Indeed, for example,,the lower band can have a suitable width, say as wide as practical, to fit the portion of the barrel below the lower one of the rolling hoops or rings 3|, while the upper band can likewise be dimensioned for convenience and efiectivenesssay as;
narrow as is practical to handle. It will be understood that the improvements contemplated by our cited .patent application may be effectuated otherwise than by proportioning the widths alone of the bands; alternatively or additionally the: rate or extent of heat removal may be controlled in other ways with respect to the bands. Furthermore, the devices of the present invention are useful in other cooling procedures, as in employing a single band, or a plurality of bands differently arranged or proportioned- Referring also now to Figs. 3 to 7 inclusive, and specifically considering, the upper band 28, the latter comprises essentially a conduit-like structure of fully flexible material, such as non-metallic material of a relatively limpand entirely flexible or inflatablecharacter, examples being sheet rubber, flexible plastic material. in. sheet form such as. vinyl-type resins, and the like.
While some extensibility or elasticity of the material is useful, most embodiments of the device do not require a great degree of such property, a principal criterion being the capability of. the completed jacket to conform itself, under pressure, to the outer surface of the barrel. Durability of the plastic material combined with good heat. conductivity is also an important criterion.
While other methods of fabrication may in some cases be employed to construct the tubular vessel 28, preferably in an inherently flattened configuration, one satisfactory structure comprises a plurality of elongated sheets or bands of the flexible material, secured atv their edges to form a water-tight enclosure which may be wrapped around the barrel in the manner of a long narrow bag or flattened conduit. Thus in Figs. 4 to '7, there are provided an outer wall or layer 32, an inner wall or layer 33 and an intermediate sheet or wall 34, the wall 34 having a Width or vertical extent slightly smaller than that of the others and being secured adjacent its long edges 35, 36 to the inner face of the wall 33, thereby providing a closed chamber '38 between the walls 33 and 34. The outermost wall or layer 32 is similarly secured along its edges to the-outer edge portions of the sheet 33, thus forming a more inclusive enclosure with the latter member, such enclosure being in effect'divided. longitudinally by the wall 34 so as to provide. an outer. chamber or. passage (between: the. walls 32. and 34). here:
generally designated 40..
The wall elements. 33 and 34 are also closed together at their ends, as indicated. at .41, .42. in Fig. 4, but the outer pair of walls'32, 34- are left open at such ends, for reasons described. below. It will beunderstood that the described fastenings or seams between the several wall components can be made in any suitable way, as with a cement, or indeed as in the case of vinyl-type materials, by a heat-sealing operation such as is commonly usedfor bonding pieces. of such substances.
While the circulation coolant liquid, e. g; cold water, through the chamber 38 can for some pur poses be achieved-simply with inlet and outlet openingsrespectively adjacent the ends 4|, 42, a-
presently preferred structure includes a longitudinal partition 44 consisting of a relatively narrow strip of the same flexible material sealed along its; lengthwise edges respectively to the inner faces of the walls 33 and 34, and disposed to'divide the chamber 38 into two long vessels 38a and 38b vertically separated by the partition. As shown in Figs. 3 and 4, the partition 44 stops short of the ends 41', 42 of the band, affording terminal spaces 46 for liquid to pass between the upper and lower chambers 38a, 382). At a locality which may be centrally disposed in the band, e. g. at a convenient place intermediate the ends 4!, 42, the upper chamber 38a is divided by a similarly constructed, vertical partition 48 (see Figs. 4 and 7). Liquid inlet and outlet means are provided adjacent the partition 48 on opposite sides thereof, so that the liquid may circulate into thechamber 38a and along it to one of the ends 4!, 42, then back'through the lower chamber 381) to the opposite end of the band and thence up and along the remaining portion of the upper passage 38a to the locality of the outlet on the other side of the partition 48.
For example each of the inlet and outlet devices may comprise a section of flexible tubing 5% traversing an opening in the outer wall 32 and having a flared or flanged inner end 5! adhered to the outer face of the wall 34 around a corresponding opening 53 in such wall. Thus means are provided for-access to the interior of the upper passage-38a at .a place near the partition 48. As shown, two such passages, of identical structure, are provided throughthe wall 34 on opposite sides of the partition 48, thus constituting inlet means 54 and outlet means 55 for coolant liquid. Connection to the projecting tube or nipple 55' of each of the devices 54, 55, may be effected in any suitable manner, for example. (as shown on one of the devices in Fig. 7) by means of a tubular, metal coupling element 58 inserted in the tube 55 and likewise received within the end of a connecting tube or hose 57, which communicates with the cold water circulating system. It may be noted that the inner wall 33 is preferably a pieceof the sheet material or fabric having somewhat greater width than the outer wall 32, e. g. to afford a desirable fullness for an ample volume of liquidflow and for effective contact with the outer barrel wall 51, which usually has an axially cur'vband 60 may simply be a long fiat, stiilly flexible sheet of metal, say 0.015 to 0.062 inch thick, inserted endwise in this outer recess of the band, e. g. through one of its open ends described above. The metal strip 60 may have latching means, for example including a hook-shaped part 6| at one end and a loop-type latch 62 at the other (such as a so-called trunk latch), whereby as shown in Figs. 1 to 4 the ends of the band can be fastened together with the inner wall 34 in abutment against the barrel surface. While a moderately snug fit of the complete band device around the barrel when the latch is fastened and the chamber 38 remains empty or otherwise free of liquid pressure, is convenient to facilitate location of the band on the barrel, a tight relationship is by no means necessary in most cases. That is to say, the actual and effective engagement of the inner wall 33 with the barrel surface is aiforded by the pressure of the coolant water itself, rather than by the mechanical securing structure of the band.
While the reinforced cooling band may be an entirely separate and removable device, means are preferably included for fastening it to the interior of the box or cabinet 20. Thus the stiffening strip 60 has a pair of projecting lugs or loops 64, 65, struck out from it at localities widely spaced, i. e. opposite each other and in proximity to side walls of the box when the band is disposed in surrounding relation to the barrel. The flattened loops 64, 65 project through corresponding openings 66, 61 in the outer flexible wall 32 of the band, and receive the clip devices 68, 69 which are fastened to the inner faces of the cabinet walls. Although these devices may, if desired, be of a self-adjusting character to. suit different keg dimensions, a fixed arrangement is depicted for brevity of illustration. As shown, each clip such as the clip 69 has aligned, vertical blades or fingers 16, II that are adapted to be forced into the upper and lower openings of the loop 65. Thus the band 28 can be permanently mounted in place in the box 20 (Figs. 1 and 2) in a position for ready insertion of the barrel within it, i. e. when the latch 6|, 62 is open and the ends 4 I, 42 of the band have sprung apart (by the natural resilience of the stiffening strip 60) to the dotted line position of Fig. 2.
It will be understood that the lower cooling band 30 is conveniently constructed in a manner similar to the upper band, providing a like group of chambers with an inner flexible wall facing the barrel surface and adapted to engage the latter in conforming relation under the pressure of circulating water. Similar latch structure is provided for securing together the ends 16, H of the lower band, i. e. by pulling together the ends of the stiffening member I6, which is mounted to the walls of the box by mounting means 19, 88 similar to the loop and clip devices described above for the band 28. The lower band 38 also has inlet and outlet means 8|, 82 for coolant fluid, these and the like connections 54, 55 of the upper band being connected by hose or other tubing to inlet and outlet fittings generally designated 84 whereby the coolant liquid is delivered to and removed from the box. It will be appreciated that the coolant, e. g. cold water, may be supplied by an appropriate-circulating device including a liquid-containing vessel, refrigerating means for cooling the contents and pumping means for delivery through the circulating system to fittings such as indicated at 84; such apparatus may in general be as here tofore used for circulation of cold water to other 8 types of barrel-cooling instrumentalities, al though certain further features as described below are preferably included in use of the present invention.
In the devices shown, the upper or narrower band is designed to fit around a. locality of the barrel where the surface of the latter, though somewhat curved, does not depart very greatly from a truly cylindrical shape. In consequence the upper band 28 may be designed and constructed so that when laid out fiat as illustrated in Fig. 8, it has an essentially rectangular shape. It is at present preferred that the lower and wider band 30 be such as to encompass the lowermost part of the barrel, indeed to the very bottom thereof, where the surface of the latter departs to a much greater extent from a true cylinder. Accordingly the structural elements of the lower band are preferably so cut and fitted that it has a frusto-conical shape when bent in the desired encircling relationship, and has a curved configuration when in flattened position as shown in Fig. 9. By virtue of the flexible nature of the inner wall (such as the wall 33) in each band, and the automatically conforming fit of such wall with the barrel surface under the pressure of the circulating water, it is ordinarily not essential that either band be more than very ap-- proximately shaped to conform with the actual barrel surface.
In assembling each band, for example the band 28, the flexible structure is first completed with the tubular elements 50 attached to the wall 34. The spring steel strip 60 is then inserted in the pocket or recess between the walls 32, 34. During such insertion the tubes 50 are folded down out of the way, while the Wall 32 is stretched as necessary to clear projecting parts of the endwise-inserted strip, e. g. the loops 64 and the forward end part of the latching device. The latter projects from the opposite end of the flexible sleeve when insertion is completed, while the loops 65, 61 protrude from the apertures provided in the wall 32. The tubes 56 are then threaded or fished out through the holes in the metal element 60 and wall 32.
While other instrumentalities and systems of connection may be employed, Fig. 10 illustrates a novel and particularly convenient arrangement of cooling water circulation and control, which cooperates effectively with the bands 28, 30. A supply of cooling water 96 (or other coolant liquid) in a tank 9| is kept cold by coils 92 supplied with refrigerant from suitable refrigerating means 94 which may be of conventional type. The tank 9| may be open or otherwise arranged to keep the surface of the water 96 at atmospheric pressure. Cold water from the tank enters the inlet 95 of a pressure pump 96, which delivers the water continuously, at a higher pressure, through its outlet 91 into a conduit or header 98. The latter, together with a return conduit or header I00, may constitute the coolant supply and return lines for the cooling bands of one or more barrels. While in many cases at least several barrels, i. e. the bands for them, may be connected for coolant circulation from the common lines or conduits 98, I IN], Fig. 10 indicates only one such, by its upper and lower bands 28, 30; it will be understood that others may be similarly connected, in parallel, to the lines 98, I00.
Through an inlet valve I02, individual to the barrel (not shown) to be cooled by the bands 28, 36, cold water flows from the conduit 98,
through a tube I03 to the inlet 54 of the upper.
band 2 8, where'sit'l'circul'ates through the path-indi'catedihereinabove; e. g; partway around the barrel in theupper' course of the'band, then back almost entirely around the barrel in the lower passage, and finally in the opposite or original directionalong' the upper path tothe'outlet-55. From the latter the water then travels through aconn'ecting conduit I05 to the inlet 8| of the lower'band 30, and there follows a similar backand=forth path of travel to the outlet 55, which deliversthe' water through another conduit I00 to the return pipe I00. The conduit I06 preferably includes arestrictor I08, e. g, an orifice of restricting size, or other flow resistance, through which the water must flow. The restrictor I08 serves to keep the pressure, in the system constituted bythe bands 28, 30, at a value appreciably above atmospheric on the up-stream side I09of the restrictor and. thus within the bands. Dimensioned for such purpose, the restrictor or orifice I08 thereby insures full and proper inflation of'both bands 28, 30, to provide a maximum of cooling area in intimate, conforming contactwith the outer surface of the barrel.
From the return conduit or header I00 the water enters the inlet or suction side IIO of another pump II2 (which maybe similar to the pump 96) which through its outlet II3'returns the water'to' the body 90 in the tank 9|. The pump I I2 has the effect of keeping the water in the pipe I00, i. e. on the downstream side ofthe orifice I08 (and of like orifices for the cooling bands'of other barrels, not shown), at a pressure appreciably below atmospheric. Although the pumps 96, H2 may in some cases be of other and various kinds and may be separately driven, Fig. 10 shows an advantageous system employing two rotary pumps of similar type driven, as on a common'shaft indicated at I I5, by a single motor drive unit II6, which may be of suitable, known character. Each pump thus effects continuous advance of water through it, providing a pressure rise'from its inlet to outlet of a' few pounds, e. g. values selected in the range, say, of two to four pounds.
When a barrel is embraced by the bands 28, 30 and the valve I02 is opened, cold water from the tank circulates continuously through the bands as described above. The rest-rictor I08 serves to keep the water in the bands at'higherthan-atmospheric pressure (as delivered in the line 90 by the pump 96), thus providing prompt, maximum expansion of the bands and keeping them expanded throughout succeeding operation. Specifically, the drop across the orifice I08 is sufficient for such purpose, despite the lowerthan-atmosphericpressure in the line I00;
When it is desired to remove the barrel; e. g. to replace an exhausted barrel with a fresh one, the valve I02 is first closed, to shut off the supply of coolant under pressure. The pump II2, by its continuing suction effect, then acts to reduce the pressure in the bands by drawing'coolant through the restrictor I08. As the liquid pressure in the bands falls, the atmospheric pressure'on'their'outer surfaces cooperates in the resulting-collapse of the flexible walls'of each band; that is to say, all or nearly all of the coolant is effectively evacuated from each band through the conduit I00, by the continuing action of the pump II2. In consequence each. of the bands 28, 30 becomes lighter, more flexible and easier to handle when its ends are unfastened and separated for removal of an empty barrel and insertion of a fresh one.
While: other circulating arrangements, e. g. simply'providing for continuous flow through the bands (withoutspecial pressure drop in the outlet), or utilizing a closed, pressure-tight system (as with a single pump) at the supply end of the lines 98, I00, and while other means may be employed for emptying or collapsing the flexible bands, the combination of Fig. 10, including the two pumps, is peculiarly satisfactory. Thus despite the fact" that the flexible bands are at all times externally subjected to atmospheric pressure, the arrangement provides maintenance of a higherpr'essure for full inflation during cooling operation, yet affords-presence of a pressure low enough to evacuate-the bands, simply by closing one valve. Thesystem, which may find applicationwith other types of bands or cooling devices, is also entirely flexible; a number'of barrelsmay be served by connection of their bands toa common pair oflines 98, I00, yet the above operations can be performed" for any given barrel and set of bands: without in any way interfering with continuous cooling, under pressure, of the other barrels;
By connections of the characterdescribed, effective circulation is thus obtained throughout each of the two cooling vessels or bands associated with a given band. For example, by circulating waterat 34 to 37 F. in a cooling system of the sort shown, the beerat' the bottom of a freshly installed barrel may be'promptly brought, e. g. within about anhour or less, to the desired serving temperature of 42 F. and may thereafter beso kept. At the same time the remainder of the barrel contents, asb'y the thermal circulation described above, is reduced to a temperature of 50 F; or less, within a few hours and is likewise so kept thereafter. While the cooling bands .for a given barrel can be connected differently in some cases; e; g., in series in the opposite order (or even in parallel), it has been found that with the lower band second in the series the coolantempties better when the valve I02 is closed.
The. entire apparatus isextremely simple to use; Assuming that an exhausted barrel is to be removed from thebox 20' (Fig. 1) the valve I02 (Fig. 10) is'first turned off. The bands then promptly become deflated. Thelatches 62, 15 are opened, releasing th'e'ends of both the bands, which thenspri'ng apart and away as shown in dotted line in Fig. 2, so'that the barrel, upon removal of the fitting 22 and the tap rod if necessary, is easily moved out of the box. A fresh, filled barrel is then brought into place, by simple edgewise rolling. and without cumbersome lifting; The fitting 22 and tap rod are properly inserted in thenew barrel,-while the latter is pushed back'against the rear'part of the two bands. With the barrel so seated the forward ends of the bands are brought together and latched, assuming again the positions shown in Fig. 1. Thereupon the valve I02 (Fig. 10 is opened, initiating circulation of cold water through both bands and thuscommencing the cooling operation so that cold beer may bedrawn as desired within a' relatively short time.
Figs. 11 to'13'illustrate one of various alternativestructureswhich may be useful in some circumstances. Here the band I20, illustrated as the upper of the two cooling bands (in a system utilizing two such jackets) but considered as representative of both, consists of an inner flexible wall I22 to which is attached an outer flexible wall I23 in the same manner-as the walls 33 and structure, afforded by side edge portions I32,
e. g. of the wall element I22, each curled around a longitudinal cord I34 of flexible material. The reinforcing device I36, instead of a simple strip, constitutes a member of similar spring steel or other stifif material, but having its long edges curled and crimped around the bead structure I32-I34, i. e. as shown at I31 in Fig. 13. The stiffener I 36 with its beaded edges I31 is originally shaped in a curve, conforming loosely to the circumference of the barrel, and is preferably made in a number of parts, i. e. including a back section I39 and adjacent forward sections I40, I4 I, which are hinged to the back section at I42, I43 so that when the latch I45 is released the ends of the cooling band may be opened away from the barrel as to the dotted line position in Fig. 11. The structure may be similarly mounted in a box or cabinet, its general function and operation being of the same sort as the devices in Figs. 1 to 7.
It will now be seen that the described appa ratus provides a simple and convenient means for applying coolant to the exterior of a metal barrel or the like, at desirably localized regions, for direct, conductive transfer of heat through and from the barrel wall. As the circulating water under pressure, e. g. four pounds per square inch, traverses each flexible, inflatable conduit or vessel, the inner wall, such as the wall 33 in Fig. 5 or the wall I22 in Fig. 13 is compressed into full and complete contact, throughout a relatively large area, with the surface of the barrel. Maximum heat transfer is thus provided, automatically and without special adjustment or precise mechanical design for fit between the band and the barrel. At the same time the device is completely removable in an entirely simple manner so that no special, permanent fixtures need be attached to or built into the barrel.
It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the specific apparatus herein shown and described may be embodied in other forms without departure from its spirit.
1. Apparatus for cooling a barrel, comprising a thermally insulated box to receive a barrel in upright position, cooling band structure mounted in the box and having shiftable portions respectively including ends of said band structure, said shiftable portions being movable apart, relative to the box,'for insertion and removal of a barrel, and being adapted to be closed together to encircle the barrel, said band structure including an elongated vessel to be disposed therewith annularly about the barrel, said vessel including a wall of flexible material disposed to abut the barrel and said vessel having means for inlet and outlet of coolant fluid and being inflatable upon admission of said fluid to compress said flexible wall against the barrel surface, and means connected to the box and the band structure for mounting the latter in the box at a position adjacent the side wall surface of a barrel received upright in the box, so that the mounted band structure may be 'removably disposed around the received barrel, the connection of the mounting means to the band structure being disposed to leave said shiftable portions free for movement apart and together as aforesaid.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 in which the band structure includes a long stiffening member disposed to surround the barrel and including portions adapted to bend to constitute the aforesaid shiftable portions, separable fastening means at the end of said stiffening member, to fasten the ends of the band structure together around the barrel, the aforesaid mounting means being connected intermediate the stiffening member and the box to mount the band structure to the latter, said inflatable vessel being disposed to surround the barrel on the inner side of said stiffening member.
3. In barrel-cooling apparatus, in combination, a tank adapted to contain a body of coolant fluid exposed to atmospheric pressure, said tank having associated refrigerating means for cooling the fluid therein, a selectively inflatable and collapsible cooling vessel adapted to be associated with a barrel, supply conduit means and return conduit means extending to said vessel, a pumping device communicating with the fluid in said tank, for delivering said fluid into the supply conduit means at a pressure greater than atmospheric, a pumping device communicating with the return conduit means for withdrawing fluid therefrom, valve means associated with the supply conduit means and operable to close the latter to interrupt supply of fluid to the vessel, and flow- .resisting means in said return conduit means,
adapted to maintain the fluid in the vessel at a pressure greater than atmospheric.
4. Apparatus as described in claim 3, wherein the second-mentioned pumping device is arranged to discharge the withdrawn fluid into said tank, said apparatus including common driving means for both said pumping devices.
5. Apparatus for cooling a metal barrel, comprising a thermally insulated box having a floor and adapted to receive a metal barrel in upright position with one head seated on said floor, cooling band structure mounted in said box and comprising an elongated vessel, adapted to be wrapped around a received barrel and having a stiffening band member substantially covering the outside of said vessel, said vessel having a flexible inner wall to engage the barrel surface, said band member having separable ends with releasable fastening means for selectively securing the band structure around the barrel and moving the ends of the band structure apart for removal and insertion of a barrel, said vessel having means for inlet and outlet of coolant fluid and being inflatable against the band member, upon admission of said fluid, to compress said flexible wall against the barrel surface, and means connected to said band member intermediate its ends and extending to the box, for mounting the band structure in the box with end portions thereof free to move apart as aforesaid.
6. Apparatus as described in claim 5 in which the stiffening band comprises a continuous stiff metal band having suflicient resilience to permit its end portions to move apart when the releasable fastening means is released.
7. Apparatus as described in claim 5 in which the stiffening band is constituted of stiff sheet metal and. comprises, circumferentially of the barrel, a central portion and end portions hinged endwise respectively at the ends of the central portion, for separation of said end portions when the releasable fastening means is released.
8. Apparatus for cooling a barrel, comprising a thermally insulated box to receive a barrel in upright position, cooling band structure mounted in the box and having shiftable portions respectively including ends of said band structure, said shiftable portions being movable apart, relative to the box, for insertion and removal of a barrel, and being adapted to be closed together to encircle the barrel, said band structure including an elongated vessel to be disposed therewith annularly about the barrel, said vessel including a wall of flexible material disposed to abut the barrel and said vessel having means for inlet and outlet of coolant fluid and being inflatable upon admission of said fluid to compress said flexible wall against the barrel surface, means connected to the box and the band structure for mounting the latter in the box at a position adjacent the side wall surface of a barrel received upright in the box, so that the mounted band structure may be removably disposed around the received barrel, the connection of the mounting means to the band structure being disposed to leave said shiftable portions free for movement apart and together as aforesaid, releasable means for securing the ends of the band structure together around a barrel, conduit means extending from said inlet to a source of coolant fluid under pressure and including valve means in said conduit means for closing said conduit to interrupt supply of fluid through said inlet conduit at desired times, permanent flow-resisting means in the outlet from the vessel, permanently arranged to provide a pressure drop in fluid flowing through said outlet, and means continuously connected to said outlet for withdrawing fluid from the vessel, said last-mentioned means being adapted to continue said withdrawal when the aforesaid valve means is closed.
9. Apparatus for cooling a barrel comprising an elongated vessel of flexible material adapted to be disposed annularly about a barrel to cover a predetermined area thereof, a stiffening band of stiff, incompressible material extending lengthwise or said vessel on the outer side thereof relative to the barrel, said stifiening band being substantially coextensive in area with the vessel, and separable fastening means for holding the said band in surrounding relation to the barrel, said vessel having means for inlet and outlet of coolant fluid for circulation of the latter through the vessel, and said flexible vessel being adapted, upon admission of said coolant fluid, to be inflated in compressive relation between the stiffening band and the outer surface of the barrel, said elongated vessel having a transverse dimension, in the axial direction of the barrel when the vessel is disposed annularly thereabout, which is substantially less than the altitude of the barrel, said vessel comprising a pair of thin, freely flexible sheets joined together at their long edges and at their ends to constitute a limp, flat band-like structure to be wrapped around the barrel, said stiffening band being secured to said vessel in flatwise aboutment with the outer sheet and rigidly holding said outer sheet against outward displacement upon inflation of the vessel, and the inner sheet being freely movable, substantially throughout its area, into freely conforming, compressive engagement with the barrel surface, upon said inflation.
10. Apparatus as described in claim 9, wherein the sheets are connected along a longitudinal central region extending at least nearly the entire length of the vessel to divide the vessel into parallel longitudinal passages communicating at least at one end, the aforesaid inlet and outlet means being disposed for circulation of coolant fluid through said passages in successive relation.
11. Apparatus as described in claim 9, which includes a third sheet of thin, freely flexible material having its long edges joined to the long edges of the aforesaid vessel to constitute a flat longitudinal sleeve between the outer sheet of the vessel and the said third sheet, said stiffening band being fitted within said sleeve for securing the band to the vessel in abutment with said outer sheet of the vessel.
ARTHUR H. PATCH. GEORGE M. BOOTH.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS 454,325 Great Britain Sept. 28, 1936