US 2637540 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 1953 c. B. ROWE 2,637,540
GAS-LIQUID CONTACT APPARATUS Filed May 5, 1949 2 SHEETS-SHEET l C. B. ROWE GASLIQUID CONTACT APPARATUS May 5, 1953 v 2 SHEETS-SHEET 2 Filed May 5, 1949 eZa Kwd zrzg-gga Patented May 5, 1953 GAS-LIQUID CONTACT APPARATUS Carl B. Rowe, Madison, Wis., assignor to Research Products Corporation, Madison, Wis., a corporation of Wisconsin Application May 5, 1949, Serial No. 91,597
This invention relates to apparatus for altering the vapor content and temperature of gases and more particularly to improved apparatus for cooling, humidifying and dehumidifying air by bringing it in contact with Water. Apparatus of the character described is especially adapted for use in coolers in hot arid climates and in humidifiers in warm air heating systems and also in unit humidifiers and dehumidifiers.
An object of the invention is to provide an improved apparatus for causing the flow of air and bringing water into contact with the flowing air and causing an efiective evaporation operation for the cooling and humidifying of the air or an effective chilling operation for the cooling and/or dehumidifying of the air, as may be desired.
Another object of the invention is to provide a contact unit of the character described which presents to the flowing air a succession of short flat wet surfaces disposed at an oblique angle to the direction of air flow.
Another object of the invention is to provide a contact unit of the character described which while it is highly effective in bringing the water into thorough contact with the air, offers resistance to air flow which is relatively low, is uniform over the area of the unit, and is readily controlled.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved contact unit of the character de scribed which is simple and inexpensive and has a long operating life.
More specifically, it isthe object of the invention to provide a contact unit of the character described which comprises a plurality of superposed expanded sheets of water-absorbent character. The sheets may be arranged so that their planes are at an angle to the direction of flow of the air or parallel thereto.
Other objects and advantages will become apparent as the following description progresses. In the accompanying drawings,
Fig. 1 is an elevation view of an apparatus in accordance with the invention, with portions thereof broken away to show internal structure;
Fig. 2 is a sectional view taken along line 2-2 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a contact unit in accordance with the present invention;
Fig. 4 is a transverse sectional view of the contact unit of Fig. 3;
Fig. 5 is a fragmental view of an expanded sheet such as is employed in the contact unit of Figs. 3 and 4;
bodiment of a contact unit.
Referring to Figs. 1 and 2, the apparatus includes a casing designated generally by the numeral [0, which may be so shaped that it is adapted to fit into a window or other opening in a wall of the space to be cooled, humidified or dehumidifled. The casing It] has an inlet opening l in one wall thereof and an outlet opening I Z in the opposite wall thereof. Means for moving a stream of air through the apparatus is provided comprising a fan l3 which is mounted inside the outlet opening [2 upon bracket members M which are supported by the casing IE9. A protective grill [5 is mounted over the outlet opening 12 and fan IS. The fan I3 is adapted to draw a stream of air through the inlet opening II and forwardly through the casing I9 and out through the outlet opening l2.
A contact unit designated generally by the numeral I! is mounted Within the casing and across the inlet opening II The contact unit 1 is supported upon a frame 18 which is mounted upon the rear wall of the casing Ill and borders the inlet opening upon the bottom and the two sides thereof. The frame has a flange l9 at the inner end thereof and the side and bottom marginal portions of the contact unit I! flt into the frame with the edges resting against the main portion of the frame and the margins of the inner or outlet face resting against the flange I9. An exterior frame-shaped holding member 2| is hingedly supported at 22 upon the exterior of easing l0 and is adapted to rest in contact with the margin of the outer or inlet face of the contact unit ll. A spring latch 23 mounted on casing l0 cooperates with the portion of holding member 2| remote from hinge 22 to releasably hold said member in the closed position. The contact unit I! is removable and insertable into the frame I8 by swinging open the holding member 2| against the spring pressure of latch 23.
Means are provided for supplying water to the top edge of the contact member I! comprising an elongated distributor 24 which is mounted within casing l9 immediately above the contact unit and extends lengthwise of the upper edge of said unit and is substantially coextensive with said edge.
The distributor 24 is in the form of a pipe and the ranged in superposed relation to form a blanket lower portion of the wall thereof is provided in which the planes of the sheets are parallel to with openings 26 through which water is fed from the broad surfaces of the blanket. The sheets are the distributor 24 upon the contact unit IT. A preferably arranged in such manner that the conduit 28 serves to supply water to the distribuopenings 3'! of one sheet do not coincide with tor 24, said conduit passing through openings in those of the next sheet. The sheets may all be the walls of casing. l anddistribut'or 24 as'shown oriented similarly or tlreygniay be oriented difandbeing connected to a source of Water supp y ferently so that the -long dimensions of the openwhich is not shown. The openings 26 are dislugs 31 extend in different directions in the diftributed along the length of the distributor 24. and 2m ferent sheets. By way of example and not of are of such size and number as to feed a conlimitation, laiunit such as is shown in Figs. 3 and 4 trolled quantity of Water down upon the top edge may contain superposed expanded sheets of the contact unit I! which-water is distributed 1c: :iorming-aipad adapted to fit into frame I8 as demore or less uniformly'over the area oftsaid edge. 1'1 ascribedrheretofore.
he W t Spreads ow w y thlOllghout the la The superposed sheets 35 may be united into a body of contact member I], aswillbadescribed p,ad .38 by stitching 39 which may be applied in in detail hereinafter. Means are provided in the lines as shown in Fig. 3 by sewing a, heavy thread bottom of the casing ID for removing any water .'.::.-'through the thickness of the pad. Such uniting Which y drip from the unit IT o the bottom of the sheets resists the tendency of the latter to i f thet as such means homprises aniop 211 whilasoakedrwithvwateriand-holds the layers ;.28-.in the bottom Wall. of the casing tol-which is l iniclose mm; leachhotherfiwhereby t connected a Conduit 9 w y c t d i '.-..water travels; fronrone sheet tor-another by a 'rtotwaste ole-t0. a recirculatinap p (noiishown) i wicking-, actionagr-Fig s. z3 -ande-4izil-lustratea the adapted to-retu1 n the-iwaterlto therdistributor 24. specificwconstruction i t expanded The inlet to Opening w/mayhe plOtected-hy a sheets'35 are rcomposed: 0fpaper:and-.a. separate cyl nd ic 'l screen- W id t0 -P '.z':expanded sheeti w composed of amen-absorbent matte from n er n hewp p ndc s .2 -material,.preferablyflexibleiexpandedimetal such the same. as metal foil, :is provided in substantially the The Contact unitJ isilh s t p y in aniddle of the unitcas-;a,reenforcement, to resist --e d i Convenience Oil-illustration, v saggingwhen theunitissoakedwithswater": The
the thickness of the is i a :reenforcing sheet All may ,be located-elsewhere i-ln-accoldancefwith the present I than in the middle ref therunitandlmorathan one --l..vention, th unitwmpri spl r li y 15111361 such reenforcing-sheetxmaybe employedmThe =--D -.--e p d sheets When-absorbent .z ..-istitchingi til-,extendsvthrough the expanded sheet .-.character.. ;..A;'frag-ment.of ran expandedsheet 35 .35 4 through theiQpQningSIthereOf-Ol' vthrough the is shown inlEigifi, and is formedin a. known mant m of t thi expanded foil, Thestitqhing i y t 'h -all l:l nesoisp e slits .attaches theabsorbent sheets,35xto thereenforcinasheet, theslits ofieach ln h iii-staggered ing sheet at locationsthroughout thetarea of the relationship .toethose .ot the adjacent line, and ,q t id th d i d m xp ndin th ShBEUJII-BJISVEISEIY 0f the-slits to 4 11. Theipadwith the flexiblareenforcing sheet 40 1 convert thecslitscinto openingsmexpanded may be initially made in the formrofcanelongated le -"sheet is anetwor'kbfethin, fiat websrorbaflles 3S 1 1; t rgllgd up; spirallyjnto therform of a, ..-separated by theopenings 131, therbroadsurfaces H49 hownjn Fig .7 for storage purposes, of the.websdbeingadisposed at an obliqueangle to lga may cutirom th iblankehby a the-general 1 thefiheetsuitable instrumentwhen-desired.
The sheets. are of water-absorbent character pachof superposedvsheets is facedonrboth l andwmay be composed of. any water-absorbent vof itsfbroadsurfacesiwith, openimeshrsmfl material whichldoes not rupturewordisintegrate pol-ting grids 4| d 42 hi h areflcomposgd of whenso'akedrwith water. .Sheets of felted, woven an intersectingpattepn of spaced apapt wires or ..or knitted .vegetablaianimal,or synthetic fibers 50 other,5tifi thin elongated non-a,bsorbent ,mem-
m y b usedr h sw r m nt p p bers... '1 he-grids Hand-.42 are held imposition by H- l JWOOL felt the like, having suffi suitable means, such as the .wirehooks 43. H The St h es st up u when W t hooks are-fastened at oneend, .as by, welding or ulrating papersmay be. used, that is, the porous r. soldering, to cheat the grids-and'pa'ss through papers whiehiabsorband become. saturated with 5 the body of. the pad. and at. the other. end are Water 0 0 q n he liquid is brought in A. l looped about the membe'rsof the .othergridmlhe i Contact therew thi In making I the, expanded .7 .lhoo'ks 43 are of a lengthlsuch that the grids are ishe'etslfrom Such pap'e y be S t in the heldfirmly against the faces of the. pad 38lwith- Expanded, condition y moistemng th W out compressing the padsufficiently to cause una vaporiand thendrying, A preferred material for so desired compactin'g'bf the sheets 35. .cThe hooks L the expanded sheet is water-absorbent kraft 43 also serve to space the grids apart'andiprotect paper, and itmay be impregnatedwitha small the'p'ad from being crushed during storage. and to amount of a-water' resistant substance to improve shipment. As illustrated in Figs. i3 and. 4, the its strength when wet; As an example, impreglength'and'widthof th'e'gridsM and 42 are somenationlWith from 1%to 2% of polymerized mela- 5 What less than themcrresponding dimensions of .1 mineformaldehyde resin, based on the dry Weight thev pad: This is the "preferred construction al- .W of the paper, produces a satisfactory water-abthough the invention is notlimitecl thereto and sorbent sheet which. resists :.disintegration by the grid may be larger than shown:- ;In the prewater, soaking for a :long periodlof time. Other ""ferred construction, themargins'rof thepad proimpregnating substances may be usedhsuch as ject'beyond the-gridsand'provideresilient com.. .phienohformaldehyde. resin and .ur'earformaldepressible edge surfaces forv fittingtwithi'ni the '1 ,.Jhyde'.resin'. The substancermay be. introduced by frame I8.
'. incorporating itin powdered formwith the pulp Additional means for resisting the sagging of in the. wetvinachineprior to thefelting operation. the expanded sheets 3'5.when soakedwithwater -Aipluralityhf the. expanded sheets 35 are arare showni'n Figs. 3, randfiatIhejgridsidlx and 42 have pins or spikes 44 attached thereto and projecting inwardly into the body of the pad 38. The said spikes may be composed of metal and attached to the grids by welding or any other suitable method. As shown in Fig. 6, they are attached at any desired locations on the cross members of the grid. The spikes 44 project inwardly from the grid to which they are attached through the major portion of the thickness of the pad.
As an alternative, one of the facing grids only may be provided with spikes which penetrate through substantially the entire thickness of the pad, instead of the spikes being provided upon both grids. The pad 38 with the supporting grids 4| and 42 make up the contact unit H.
The contact unit I! is highly effective for the purpose of bringing the water into thorough contact with the air and producing rapid cooling of the air. It is quite pervious and offers but little resistance to the flow of air through it. In effect, it is an air-pervious body composed of an interstitial network of the thin, flat, narrow Webs 33 which have their broad flat surfaces disposed at an oblique angle to the direction of flow of air through the unit. In operation, these webs are soaked and carry water internally and on their surfaces and each of them represents a small baffle which deflects the flowing stream of air. As the air passes in contact with each baffle it picks up water in an effective manner, and s ch water supply is replenished by travel from other portions of the unit upon the surfaces of the network and by a wick action within the elements of the network. The expanded pattern provides a uniform porosity throughout the area of the unit and the air is brought into a thorough and uniform contact with the Water across the entire stream. The sheets 35, being of water-absorbent character, are uniforml wetted throughout the volume of the pad 38, and the uniform wetness is maintained during the continued operation of the device. In addition, the material can be fabricated to close specifications and can be fabricated into pads having accurately controlled uniformity throughout their volume. As a result, the effectiveness of air and water contact and the resistance to air flow at any particular part of the face area of the unit is equal to that at any other particular part. Also, the construction readily lends itself to the production of the stock rolls 49 from which pads 38 of any desired size can be readily cut by an instrument as simple as a pair of shears;
Tests show that the loss of performance caused by the accumulation of salt deposits is not as great as with other forms of material, such as massed fibers or filaments. Also, the-open and uniform porosity of the unit results in it maintaining its advantageous effectiveness and low resistance for a long period of use. It has been found, furthermore, that a contact unit constructed as described herein resists rupture and disintegration and has a long useful life. In addition, it is relatively simple in structure and the out the volume of the unit and chills the air pass-' ing through it. The cooling is accomplished by this chilling effect and may be accompanied by a dehumidification. If the chilling causes the .temperature of the air to be reduced below its dew point, a condensation of some of the contained vapor will take place and the resulting water is deposited on the baflles 36 and drains downwardly and away from the unit II with the cooling water. In this application, recirculation of the water may be accomplished by means of a pump which is not shown, as has been described heretofore, and the incoming water or the recirculated water, or both, may be cooled by a suitable cooling apparatus which is not shown. In this service, the quantity of water fed to the unit IT and passing downwardly through it will probably be greater than that employed in the cooling and humidifying type of apparatus, but the operation is otherwise the same.
As a modification of the structure which has been described, the contact unit may be constructed with the expanded sheets of absorbent material disposed with their planes parallel to the direction of air flow instead of perpendicular thereto as has been heretofore described. Such an embodiment of the contact unit is illustrated in Figs. 8 and 9 and may be employed in the same manner as is the unit I! illustrated in Figs. 3 and 4. In said embodiment, the unit is composed of expanded sheets 5! having a length equal to the length of the unit and a Width substantially equal to the thickness of the unit. The sheets are built up in superposed relationship to a hei ht equal to the width of the unit. The result is an interstitial body in which the planes of the sheets 5| are perpendicular to the broad surfaces of the body. Upon the broad surfaces or faces of the body are arranged the expanded sheets 52 and 53 of non-absorbent material, preferably thin metal, whichmay be of foil thickness. The Width of the webs of sheets 52 and 53 is exaggerated in Firs. 8 and 9. The surface sheets 52 and 53 are united to the body by suitable means r such as tufting 55 to form a pad. Any usual form of tufting may be used as for example, the stitches 55 which pass through the body of sheets 5! and are looped at their ends over portions of the expanded sheets 52 and 53. The expanded sheets 52 and 53 serve as supporting members and the tufting 55 is employed at suificiently close intervals over the area of the body of sheets 5! so that there is no objectionable sagging when the body is soaked with water. The pad is faced by open mesh stiff grids 57 and 58 similar to the grids 4| and 42 shown in Fig. 4. The grids 51 and 58 mav have means (not shown) for holding them to ether and resisting sagging of the body of expanded sheets 5!, similar to the hooks 43 and spikes 44 described heretofore in connection with unit 11. The edges of the pad and the grids are fitted into a channel shaped frame 59 which encloses all four edges of the unit and may be composed of sheet metal, synthetic resin or the like. The frame 59 has elongated openings 60 and BI at the top and bottom thereof for the introduction and drainage of water.
The contact unit 50 is adapted to be arranged in the casing ID in the same manner as is unit ll described heretofore. With contact unit 50, the flat surfaces of the webs of the expanded sheets 5| are disposed at an oblique angle to the direction of flow of the air and the operation and performance are substantially the same as has been described in connection with the unit I! illustrated in Figs. 3 and 4.
Various additional modifications may be made from the structures which have been described. For example, the facing girds 4!, 42, 51 and 58 may be composed of any open mesh structure, such as expanded metal, screening, or the like. Also, while the non-absorbent reenforcing sheets 40, 62 and 53 are described as preferably being flexible, they may be stiff and may be composed of anon-absorbent material other than metal, such as thermoplastic resin. The advantage of the flexible sheets is that the pad of contact material may be made initially in the form of an elongated blanket which can be rolled up and stored and then cut into pads as needed. The reenforcing sheets 40, 52 and 53 may also be composed of wire screen if desired. Also, while stitching is described in connection with unit 51 and tufting with unit 50, either stitching or tufting or other suitable means for securing the sheets to ether may be used in either unit as desired. Also, if the grids 4i and 42 or one of them are of relatively small mesh the stitching 39 may be fastened thereto and they may serve as reenforcement for the pad 38 and the sheet 40 may be omitted.
By way of definition, when the term expanded is used herein in the specification and claims, it means the slitted and expanded conditionsuch as has been described in connection with the sheet illustrated in Fig. 5. Also, by the term air" it is intended to include other gases which it may be desirable to cool, humidify or dehumidify.
Whilebut a single embodiment'of the overall apparatus and a few embodiments of the contact unit have been described, the invention is not limited thereto but is commensurate with the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is: o
-1. A gas -pervious water and gas contact unit comprising a plurality of superposed sheets of high wet strength water-absorbent fibrous material, said'sheets each comprising an open mesh network of thin fiat webs having their broad sur" faces disposed at an angle to the general plane of the sheet.
2. A' gas-pervious water and gas contact unit comprising a plurality of superposed expanded sheets of high wet strength water-absorbent fibrous material.
3. A gas-pervious water and gas contact unit comprising a plurality of superposed expanded sheets of water-absorbent paper impregnated with particles of a water-resistant binder.
4. A gas-pervious water and gas contact unit comprising a plurality of superposed expanded sheets of high wet strength Water-absorbent paper.
5. A gas-pervious Water and gas contact unit 8, comprising a plurality of superposed expanded sheets or high wet strength water-absorbent fibrous material, and means for securing said expanded sheets together.
6. A gas-pervious water and gas contact unit comprising a body composed of a plurality of superposed open mesh sheets, at least one of said sheets being composed of non-absorbent material, the remainder of said sheets being composed of high Wet strength Water-absorbent expanded fibrous sheet material, and means for securing said water-absorbent sheets to said non-absorbent sheet at intervals over the area. of said sheets.
7. A water and gas contact unit comprising a gas-pervious pad having generally parallel broad faces for the ingress and egress of gas, said pad comprising a plurality ofsuperposed expanded sheets of high wet strength water-absorbent fibrous material, the planes of said expanded sheets being generally parallel to said broad. faces.
8. A water and gas contact unit comprising a gas-pervious pad having generally parallel broad faces for the ingress and egress of gas, said pad comprising a plurality of superposed expanded sheets of high wet strength Water-absorbent fibrous material, the planes of said expanded sheets being generally perpendicular to said broad faces.
9. As a new article of manufacture, a spiral roll composed of a rolled up elongated flexible blanket comprising a plurality of superposed expanded sheets, and means for securing said sheets together at intervals over the area of said sheets,
at least one of the sheets of said blanket being composed of flexible non-absorbent material and the remainder of the sheets being composed of high wet strength waterabsorbent fibrous material.
CARL B. ROWE.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 754,053 Derham Mar. 8, 1904 1,841,536 Jordahl Jan. 19, 1932 1,897,976 Birkholz Feb. 14, 1933 1,917,456 Mickelson July 11, 1933 2,124,370 Gaarder July 19, 1938 2,160,003 Slayter et al. May 30, 1939 2,182,501 Quave et al. Dec. 5, 1939 2,201,647 Feinberg May 21, 1940 2,366,906 Hester Jan. 9, 1945 2,408,158 Belsher Sept. 24, 1946 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 869,527 France Nov. 7, 1941