US 2778203 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 22, 1957 w. F. R. GRIFFITH AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM HAVING A COOLING TOWER OR THE; LIKE 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 13, 1954 IN V EN TOR. lt/f/l/am 17R. Griff/f5 Jan. 22, 1957 w. F. GRIFFITH 2,778,203 AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM HAVING A cooumc TOWER OR THE LIKE! Filed April 13, 1954 4 Sheets-Shet 2 INVEN TOR. l Mime m FR. Gmr'fffffi for-ever E LIKE Jan. 22, 1957 w. F. R. GRIFFITH AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM HAVING A COOLING TOWER OR TH Filed April 13, 1954 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 y mm V m6 2 r m m w M Jan. 22, 1957 w. F. R. GRIFFITH 2,778,203
AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM HAVING A COOLING TOWER OR THE LIKE Filed April 13, 1954 4 Sheeis-Sheet 4 jqfforney Am CQNDITIONING SYSTEM HAVING A COOLING TOWER GK THE LIKE William F. R. Griiiith, Tucson, Ariz. Application April 13, 1954, Serial No. 422,937 10 Claims. (Cl. 62-429) My invention relates to cooling tower and the like. It relates more in particular to an evaporative system for cooling water for use in a heat-exchange device; but it may also be used, in whole or in part, for providing cooled air for space conditioning, cooling a condenser unit of an air conditioning system, or like purpose.
Cooling towers for removing heat from water by evaporation have been produced in many different forms. Generally, installations or" the type usually characterized as cooling towers have been fabricated at the site, and in general have been relatively very large considering the cooling capacity involved.
In recent years, package units for cooling water have been produced, using either the principle of the evaporative pad or spray system for water and air contact. Such units, however, have had one of several disadvantages which have prevented their being fully satisfactory for the intended purpose. One of the principal disadvantages has been that even though they were furnished as a unit, they have been entirely too bulky for easy movement through doors, Windows and other openings of buildings in which they are to be housed. Another disadvantage has been relative low capacity for the size of the unit; and still another disadvantage has been the rapid deterioration because of the moving parts being exposed to humid atmospheric conditions.
The principal object of my invention is the provision of an improved cooling tower or the like in the form of a single unit of sufiiciently small size that it may readily be passed through doors, Windows and other openings in buildings in which it is to be employed.
Another object is the provision of such a unit in which improved air-handling means is employed.
A further object is the provision of a cooling tower or the like of marked water-cooling capacity for its size and in which both the air and water may be reduced to a temperature approaching that of the ambient wet bulb temperature.
Still a further object is the provision of a cooling tower or the like in which a blower wheel is employed without the usual scroll, with marked advantages in air movement and in size of the overall unit resulting therefrom.
Other objects and features of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description taken with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
Fig. 1 is a perspective view partly broken away to illustrate structural features, showing a preferred embodiment of my invention;
Fig. 2 is a side elevational view partly broken away and partly sectionalized to show structural features;
Fig. 3 is a sectional View taken on the line 33 of Fig. 2 looking in the direction of the arrows;
Fig. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to the righthand side of Fig. 3 but with the pads removed in order to show the supports and guide means therefor;
Fig. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to Fig. 4 but with a pad-positioning panel insert removed;
Fig. 6 is a reduced scale, perspective View of such insert;
, the line 8-8 of Fig. 2
Fig. 9 is a fragmentary vertical, sectional view taken.
2,778,203 f atented Jan. 22, 1957 Fig. 7 is a fragmentary plan sectional view taken on the line 7-7 of Fig. 2;
Fig. 8 is a fragmentary elevational View looking along showing a latch member;
on the line 99 of Fig. 1; and
Fig. 10 is a perspective view similar to Fig. l but illustrating an installation in which both the cooled air and the cooled water of the unit are employed.
Referring now to Figs. 1-9:
The cooling tower of my invention comprises a lower pan or water reservoir 11 of generally rectangular shape but having its bottom raised at one corner to leave a bottom recess or space 12, as shown particularly in Figs. 1 and 2. The reservoir 11 is supported above a floor or other base structure by three legs 13 and one leg 14 at the location of the bottom recess or space 12. The
factors known in the art.
water reservoir or pan 11 may be suitably formed of relatively heavy sheet metal and has its top edge at four sides angulated to form exterior flanges 16.
Above the water reservoir 11 is a cabinet comprising end panels 17 and 18, a top panel 19, and removable side panels 21 and 22. The end panels are provided with a fillet 23 secured along their full length by spot welding or the like, and having their top edges formed to engage the exterior flange 16 on the water reservoir, as shown particularly in Fig. 9. The panels 17 and 18 are secured together by several sheet metal members extending between them. One bent on its center line to form an obtuse angle, upturned flanges 26 at its two ends which are secured to the end panels 17 and ill by spot welding, with sheet metal threading screws, or any other common fastening means. The central baffle 26 generally separates the cabinet into an upper subchamber 2'7 and a lower subchamber 28 which are important in controlling air movement, as will be later described.
Near the top of the lower subchamber 28, the end panels and having 17 and 18 are provided with circular openings, preferably a blower wheel 31 with inner annular flanges 29; and is supported by means of bearings 32 with its ends aligned with the openings framed by the annular flanges 29. The blower wheel shown is a forward-curved blade type, and in common with other blower wheels pulls air into its interior along its open ends and discharges the same between the blades according to a pattern determined by several Adjacent the blower wheel 31 and immediately below the central baffle 24 is an upper stripping bafiie 33 with upturned end flanges 34 secured by suitable means to the end panels 17 and 18. On the opposite side and having one edge positioned close to the blower wheel is a lower baffle member 36 with flanges 37, and a bottom skirt 38 which forms a seal by extending below the level of water in the reservoir or pan lll.
Looking at Fig. 3, the two bafiles 33 and 36, both having a stripping action, divide the lower subchamber 28 into an upper section immediately below the central bafi le 24 and a lower section immediately above the water in the pan. 11. A second seal 39, cabinet as shown in Fig. flanges which are suitably and 1%.
Attached to forward and rear edges of each of the end panels 17 and 18 is a removable panel 41 of general 3, is also provided with end attached to the end panels 17 pentagon shape, with one long side bent on itself as ,1
44 forming an obtuse angle and marking the position of upper and lower pads 46 and 47, respectively.
such member is a central bafiie 24' at the righthand side of the.
The upper pads 46 rest on supports 48 in the form of angulated sheet metal members secured to outer edges of the central panel 24. These supports form a trough and have openings along the apex of the trough so that water discharged from the top pads is collected in the trough and delivered through the same to the bottom pads. The bottom pads are supported on angular support members 49 secured by metal screws, welding or the like to the transverse seals 38 and 39, respectively. The pad supports are such that they may be fitted into position along the flanges 43 or 44, as the case may be, and lowered to their bottom support, in which position they will be retained.
The removable side panels 21 and 22 are shaped at their tops and side edges to fit around exterior flanges 51 and 52 formed on the top panel 19 and end panels 17 and 18 but the lower edge of the removable side panels fits w thin the corresponding side portion of the pan or reservo r 11, as shown particularly in Fig. 3. Top sealing strips 53 and side sealing strips 54 (see Fig. 7) form a waterand air-tight connection; and the removable side panels may be further held in place by suitable means such as latches 56, as shown particularly in Fig. 8. The removable side panels and pads form plenum chambers 57; and 58, as shown clearly in Fig. 3. The top panel 19 is provided with a top central openmg 59 through which air may be discharged, and carries awater supply system including a supply pipe 61, crossover pipe 62, and distributing pipes 63, with bottom apertures immediately above the top edges of pads 46.
Within the recess 12 an electric motor 64 drives a double sheave or pulley 66 from which the blower wheel isdrrven by means of a belt 67, and from which a water pump 68 is driven by means of a belt 69. The water pump is suitably connected to withdraw cool water from thereservoir 11 and deliver it through a pipe 71 to any type of device in which its cooling effect is required. The return water, after it has picked up its burden of heat, IS delivered to supply pipe 61. Thus the water in the system is continuously recirculated, except for the water which is lost through evaporation. Make-up water is delivered through a pipe 72 and controlled by a suitable valve 73 operated by a float 74-, which thereby controls the level of water in the reservoir. The standpipe 76 acts asan overflow in the event there should be a surge of wateror if the float valve should fail to function, the standpipe 76.being removable as required for drainage.
It will be observed that the cooling tower of my invention uses a blower wheel Without a scroll as such, and I obtain improved results in many waysbecause of such construction. When the blower wheel is rotated in a clockwise direction, as indicated by the arrow in Fig. 3, air is drawn in through the ends and discharged into the bottom and top sections of the subchamber 26, where a static pressure is created and air flows uniformly through thetwo bottom pads 47 into the plenum chambers 57 and 58. The static pressure in plenum chambers 57 and 58 is also higher than the static pressure in the top'chamber 27, this chamber being substantially directly connected to atmosphere and having substantially ambient pressure conditions existing therein. The air therefore flows uniformly through the upper pads 46 into thge-top chamber 27 and thence through the top opening This structure should be contrasted with that of the typical scroll in which air is delivered at relatively high velocity-along a sharply defined channel. With such an arrangement, if it were desired to move the air through a lower pad such as 47 and back through an upper pad such as 4 6, it would be necessary to extend duct work some considerable distance beyond the position occupied by the plenum chambers 57 and 53 so that the overall width of the unit would be increased by 50% or more.
In connection with the use of the forward-curved blades I have found it advisable to employ'the strippers is indicated at 89, and louvers at 101. The louvers can 33 and 36 because there is a definite tendency to impart a swirling action to the air immediately outside the circumference of the wheel when the forward-curved blade is used, and the strippers function to remove this air and thus move a somewhat greater volume of air and establish more nearly uniform static pressure conditions at the two lower pads than is possible without the strippers.
The forward-curved blades have been used so extensively in blowers equipped with usual scrolls that they may be purchased at much lower cost than blades of other shapes, and I have therefore found it advantageous to employ this type of blade and a blower so formed in a commercial device in order to keep down the cost. With other shapes of blades the stripping feature may be modified extensively or even omitted entirely.
The slanting of the pads in the manner described and shown has several unique advantages. It will be noted that the pads slope toward the air moving to them; that is to say, looking at the pads 47, there would be a tendency for the relatively large amount of water used in a cooling tower to flow out of the pad inwardly because of its slanting condition. I have found, however, that by balancing the slant and tendency of the water to drip toward one side of the pad against the pressure of the air tending to blow it through the pad I am able to make the water define a smooth pattern through the center of the pad, with substantially no leakage and with greatly reduced entrainment of water droplets in the air as it leaves the pads. This slanting of the pads and the counter-flow structure employed also result in the forming of plenum chambers of ample size, even though one edge of each pad is almost in contact with a side panel. This further has the effect of reducing the overall width of the unit.
With the seals 38 and 39 as described there is no way in which the air can move from the bottom chamber 28 except through the pads 47. Since all of this air is drawn in through the ends of the blower wheel, it is relatively dry and can pick up no appreciable moisture until it passes through the pads 47. As a consequence, all of the operating mechanism is not only kept out of the path of the moisture-laden air, but even within the chamber in which the blower wheel is supported substantially dry conditions are maintained regardless of the time or manner of operation, so that no moisture-laden air can at any time come in contact with the blower bearings, blower blades, or any of its parts.
In the installation shown in Fig. 10 I illustrate one typical use of the cooling tower of my invention which takes advantage of both the cooling eifect on the water and on the air.
Additional supports 77 are provided to raise the cooling tower and provide additional space to accommodate a compressor 7 8 arranged to deliver refrigerant under pressure. through pipe 79 to a. condenser 89 where the refrigerant is cooled by air passing out through opening 59. (not shown in this view) and is delivered through a liquid receiver 81 and deliver therefrom through pipe 82 to expansion coils 83 and thence through pipe 84 back to the compressor 78. from the reservoir 11 through pipe 86 to coils 87, and from coils 87 through pipe 88 back to the supply pipe 61 for re-circulation and cooling through the tower detailed: in the preceding figures. A blower arrangement of course be operated by hand or by any suitable automatic control means common to the art.
By this system, air delivered to a conditioned space is passed through coils 87 where it delivers up some of its heat and thence passes either entirely into contact with the coils 83 or in part or entirely through louvers 101, depending upon temperature conditions involved. In relatively mild weather in which only a minimum amount of cooling action is required, it may be suificient to pass the air onlyinto contact with the coils 87. In this manner the cooling efiect of evaporative cooling is obtained with- Cooling water is pumped out introducing the moisture resulting from such cooling into the conditioned space. By supplementing the evaporative cooling unit with a ret 'geration type cooling unit of lower capacity, which itself utilized the cooling action of the air, a versatile, relatively low cost installation results having advantages over other types of systems heretofore employed. So far as I am aware, this'illustrative use of the cooling tower of my invention is in large water surface at opposite sides of the cabinet and between said end panels; a blower wheel extending across said chamber with air intake end openings at said openings in the end panels, and means for rotating said blower wheel whereby to compress air within said chamber and cause the same to how by substantially uniform expansion through said large water surface.
2. In a cooling tower or the like, a cabinet forming a chamber with top and bottom, and end panels with generally circular air-admitting openings; evaporative pads defining sides of said chamber; removable cabinet side members forming plenum chambers between said pads and cabinet sides adapted to receive air delivered through the pads; a blower wheel extending across said first mentioned chamber between said pads with air intake and openings at said openings in the end panels, and means for rotating said blower wheel whereby to compress air within said blower wheel chamber and cause the same to flow by substantially uniform expansion through said pads and into said plenum chambers.
3. In a cooling tower or the like, a cabinet with top, bottom, side and end panels, the latter provided with circular openings generally below a median line dividing said cabinet transverseiy into generally equal top and bottom portions; top and bottom evaporative pads at each side of the cabinet and spaced from the cabinet sides to form two plenum chambers between said pads and cabinet sides; a transverse partition extending between the end panels above said circular openings to form top and bottom chambers with two evaporative pads associated with each such chamber; a blower wheel with airintake end openings at said circular openings in the end panels, and means for rotating said blower wheel to compress air within the said bottom chamber and cause the same to flow by substantially uniform expansion through the bottom pads into the plenum chambers and from the plenum chambers into the said top chamber.
4. A cooling tower or the like as defined in claim 3, wherein each top pad is shaped to deliver water centrally of a bottom pad and including a water reservoir, means for maintaining a substantially constant supply of water in such reservoir including addition of make-up water as required, means for delivering water from said reservoir to a heat exchange device, and means for delivering water from the heat exchange device to said top pads.
5. In a cooling tower or the like, a cabinet having an apertured top, bottom, sides and end panels; evaporative pads disposed generaily vertically and spaced from said sides to form two plenum chambers between the pads and sides; a generally horizontal baffle having its ends secured to the end paneis, and its sides extending contiguous to said pads to form top and bottom chambers; and blower means withdrawing air through said end panels to increase the static pressure within the bottom chamber, whereby air is caused to how substantially uniformly from the bottom chamber through the pads to the plenum chambers and from the plenum chambers through the pads into the top chamber for discharge through said apertured top.
6. The combination with a cooling tower or the like of a type comprising a bottom cool water reservoir, an evaporative pad system, a water system delivering water to said pad system and an air system for delivering air through said pad system to a discharge opening of a space conditioning system including water coils, means for withdrawing water from said reservoir and delivering the same through said water coils and thence to said water system above said evaporative pads, a refrigerant compressor, a refrigerant condenser positioned to receive cool air from said air discharge opening, and a refrigerant expansion coil receiving liquid refrigerant from said condenser, and means for passing air through said water and refrigerant expansion coils.
7. In a cooling tower or the like, a cabinet with top, bottom, side and end panels, the latter provided with circular openings generally below a median line dividing said cabinet transversely into generally equal top and bottom portions; top and bottom evaporative pads at each side of the cabinet and spaced from the cabinet sides to form two plenum chambers between said pads and cabinet sides, said two top pads sloping inwardly from top to bottom, and said two bottom pads sloping outwardly from top to bottom; a transverse partition extending between the end panels above said circular openings to form top and bottom chambers with two evaporative pads associated with each such chamber; a blower wheel with air-intake end openings at said circular openings in the end panels, and means for rotating said blower wheel to compress air within the said bottom chamber and cause the same to flow by substantially uniform expansion through the bottom pads into the plenum chambers and from the plenum chambers into the said top chamber.
8. In a cooling tower or the like, a cabinet with top, bottom, side and end panels, the latter provided with circular openings generally below a median line dividing said cabinet transversely into generally equal top and bottom portions; top and bottom evaporative pads at each side of the cabinet and spaced from the cabinet sides to form two plenum chambers between said pads and cabinet sides; a transverse partition extending between the end panels above said circular openings to form top and bottom chambers with two evaporative pads associated with each such chamber; a blower wheel with air-intake end openings at said circular openings in the end panels; a pair of baffles extending between the end panels with one edge close to the blower wheel to strip air therefrom and another edge positioned to divide the bottom chamber into two generally functionally equivalent sections, each such section communicating with a bottom pad; and means for rotating said blower wheel to compress air within the said bottom chamber and cause the same to flow by substantially uniform expansion through the bottom pads into the plenum chambers and from the plenum chambers into the said top chamber.
9. in a cooling tower or the like, a cabinet having an apertured top, bottom, sides and end panels; evaporative pads spaced from said sides to form two plenum chambers between said pads and sides; a generally horizontal bafiie having its ends secured to the end panels and its sides extending contiguous to said pads to form top and bottom chambers, said pads above and below said battle being difierentially slanted so that the top portion at each of said top and bottom chambers is slanted toward the direction from which the air passes therethrough, whereby the tendency of the air to blow water from the pads is balanced by gravity movement of the water in an opposite direction; and blower means withdrawing air through said end panels to increase static pressure within the bottom chamber, whereby air is caused to how substantially uniformly from the bottom chamber through the pads into the plenum chambers and from the plenum chambers through the pads into the top chamber for discharge through said apertured top.
10. A cooling tower comprising a generally rectangular cabinethaving an apertured top, a recessedbottom formirig'awater pan, integral end panels having generally centra'lly located circular apertures and separable sides, a transverse gabled bafile secured between the end panels with its-apex slightly above said circular apertures, said batfie separating the cabinet into top and bottom chambers, evaporative pads spaced from said sides and engagin'gsides of said baflle, said pads sloping from the top inwardly to said baffle sides and outwardly from said baflie toward said bottom to form two plenum chambers, bottom skirts extending between said pads and a position below a Water line in the pan to seal said plenum chambers at their bottoms, and a transverse blower in said bottom chamber withdrawing air axially through said circular aperture and discharging said air into said bottomchamber, whereby air moves uniformly through said p'a'ds from the bottom chamber to the plenum chamber,
thence to the upper chamber and through said top aperture.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,118,949 Scott May 31, 1938 2,157,070 Coey May 2, 1939 2,165,979 Nicholson July 11, 1939 2,194,711 Meyer et al Mar. 26, 1940 2,233,633 Mollenberg Mar. 4, 1941 2,386,826 Wallach et a1 Oct. 16, 1945 2,414,135 Berlowitz Jan. 14, 1947 2,497,389 Ahrens Feb. 14, 1950 2,631,021 Arnold Mar. 10, 1953 2,655,795 Dyer Oct. 20, 1953 FOREIGN PATENTS 136,889 Austria Mar. 26, 1934'