US 2843943 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 22, 1958 P. E.'GELDHOF ET AL 2,843,943
COMBINED WASHER AND DRIER Filed Nov. 2, 1953 E'qnl hVEZ-YZUFE P5752 [01/4120 Chm/0F CZ/Fra/v 12 C085 Unite COMBINED wAsnEn AND DRlER Application November 2, W53, Serial No. 389,643
Claims. (Cl. 34-75) The present invention relates to a new and improved combined clothes washer and drier, and more particularly to a new and improved air circulating system for a com: bined clothes washer and drier.
The principal object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved air circulating system for a combined clothes washer and drier, and particularly for the drier, and method of cleaning lint catching portions of the air circulating system. By the present invention many of the difficulties and problems accompanying use of heretofore known types of systems and mechanisms are obviated. Among the problems which confronted users of heretofore known types of clothes driers and combined clothes washers and driers employing the hot air drying techniques, resided in the requirement for venting the exhaust air from the drier into the atmosphere outside of the room housing the drier or venting the exhaust air into the room through a lint catching filter or the like. The first of these venting techniques is frequently not available to domestic users of hot air clothes driers and the latter of these techniques causes an undue increase in the temperature and humidity content of the air in the room. Therefore, botlrof these techniques are undesirable even though one or the other of them was necessary with heretofore air drying systems.
Discomfort created by exhausting the drier into the air in the room and the necessity for exhausting the air into the outside atmosphere obtains from the large quantity of lint and moisture picked up as hot air is circulated through the drier.
By the principles of the present invention these diificulties are avoided and a substantially closed air circulating system is provided for the drierin a manner to efiiciently remove the lint from the air and to etficiently dehumidify the same.
.It is therefore an important object of the present invention to provide a closed air circulating system for a hot air clothes drier or the like wherein the air is substantially washed and dehumidified following exhaust thereof from the drier and preceding reheating of the air and recirculation thereof to the drier.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide a new and improved condenser for a hot air clothes drier or the like.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved air washing and dehumidifying means Where closed air circulating system in combination with a hot air clothes drier or the like and a method of periodically removing the lint and the like from the air washing and dehumidifying means.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved air circulating system for hot air drier or the like and wherein there is provided a new and improved and more efficient air heating chamber supplied with air from a new and improved condenser unit.
Still other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent from the following detailed description, from the claims, and from the tates atent O 2,843,943 Patented July 22, 1958 accompanying drawings illustrating a preferred embodiment of the present invention and fully and completely disclosing each and every detail shown thereon, in which like reference numerals refer to like parts, and in which:
Figure l is a back elevational View of a combined washer and drier mechanism incorporating the principles of the present invention and having the rear cover removed therefrom to better illustrate certain features of the present invention and having portions thereof broken away to still further illustrate additional details and features of the present invention;
Figure 2 is a fragmentary sectional view of a portion of the structure illustrated in Figure 1 and taken substantially along the broken line 11-11 of Figure 1; and
Figure 3 is a sectional view of another portion of the structure of Figure l and taken substantially along the line III--III thereof.
Although the features of the present invention and embodiments thereof are of general utility they find most advantageous employment in combination with a combined washing and drying machine for clothes or the like as illustrated in the drawings. In Figure 1 there is illus trated a combined Washing and drying unit 10 having a washing compartment 11 and a drying compartment 12 disposed above the washing compartment 11 and spaced therefrom a sufficient distance to accommodate a drive and control compartment 13. The unit 10 is generally enclosed by a housing having side walls 14-14 joined by a base plate or the like 15 and a top cover or the like 16. The walls 14 and the top 16 have their rearward edges flanged or the like as at 17 to permit easy and efiicient removal and replacement of a back cover (not shown). Adjustable legs and feet l8l8 on the base plate 15 support the unit it) above the floor line 19 and are adjustable to level the unit.
Clothes washing and the like is conducted in the washing compartment ill by a washing mechanism which is hidden from view in Figure 1 by a washing compartment partition wall and which forms no part of the present invention and is therefore not further described and illustrated here. It is preferred however that the washing mechanism be one which is operable both as a washing and extracting mechanism as is known in the art.
After the clothes are washed as in the washing compartment 11 they are deposited in a rotatable drier drum 2]. in the drier compartment and as they are tumbled by rotation of the drum 21 hot air is circulated across to dry the same.
To effect rotation of the drum 21 a motor or the like 22 is mounted in the drive and fan compartment 13 and coupled to the drum as hereinafter further described in detail. The drum 21 itself is preferably a substantially cylindrical member having substantially cylindrical side walls 23 and a perforated substantially circular rear wall 24 and is mounted for rotation about its axis which is disposed horizontally and extending from front to rear through the unit. A small shaft or the like 25 is secured to the perforated rear wall 24 at a hub or the like 26 in the rear wall 24, and the shaft 25 is journaled in a bearing 2"] which is preferably a self'centering type bearing and which is further secured to a bulkhead 28 which forms a mounting and securing partition in the vicinity of the rear region in both the drier compartment 12 and drive compartment 13. The bulkhead 26 is secured to the washing compartment partition 2t} as at 28 (Figure l) and together with the washer compartment partition 20; forms a support structure for numerous members in the combined unit 19. Both of the partitions 26 and 20 are further secured to the side walls 14 and to the base and top 15 and 16, respectively. The bulkhead 26 is secured to the top 15 through a flange thereon as indicated at 29 (Figure 2).
The rear wall 24 of the drum 21 is perforated topermit the passage of air into and out of the drum 21 as supplied thereto and exhausted therefrom through apertu'res30'and 31, respectively, in the bulkhead 26. To prevent airescaping from between the bulkhead 26 and the rear'wall25 of the drum 21, the bulkhead is substantiallycircularly depressed inwardly in the region of the drum 21 as indicated at 32 thus forming a flange-like ring 33'on the bulkhead 26. An air seal 34 is preferably secured to the flange-like ring 33 by a securing ring or the like 35 and the seal 34 overlaps a marginal portion of the substantially cylindrical wall 23 of the drum 21 thereby overlapping and sealing the space between the perforated wall 24 and the bulkhead 26.
Air is' supplied to the drier drum 21 through the aperture'30and' the bulkhead 26 and from an air heater and duct 36. The air having circulated through the drum and over the clothes tumbling therein is'exhausted from the drum through the perforated wall 24 and through an exhaust aperture 31 in the bulkhead 26 and into an exhaust duct 37.
Exhausting and feeding air through the drum 21 is accomplished through the means of a substantially closed a'ir circulating system wherein the exhaust air passing into the exhaust duct 37 is taken therefrom by an exhaust blower or fan 38 which is driven by coupling to the motor" 22 and which delivers air to a condenser assembly 39 where it is washed and cleaned and dehumidified before feeding the air back to the heater and duct work 36 for feeding reheated air into the drum 21 through the aperture 30 in the bulkhead 26.
'The' air is forced through this substantially closed recirculated air system for the drier by the fan 38 which has an impeller assembly 40 fixed to an impeller shaft 41 for rotation therewith. A pulley or the like 42 is also fixed for rotation with the shaft 41 and is coupled to a pulley 43 affixed on the shaft 44 of the motor 22 for rotation therewith. The coupling between the pulleys 41 and 43 is effected by a belt or the like 45 which also couples an idler pulley 46 to the motor 22 to be driven thereby. The idler pulley 46 is fixed to an idler shaft 47 carrying additional pulleys 48 thereon and is journaled in any convenient support structure therefor within the drive compartment 13.
'An' additional belt49 couples one of the pulleys 48 to the drum 21 (as shown in Figure 1). Thus, energization of the motor 22, which is suitably mounted and secured within the drive compartment 13, is effective to drive the impeller assembly 40 of the fan 38 to exhaust air from the drier drum 21 and to drive the drum 21 for rotation thereof and to tumble the clothes therein so that the hot air circulating thereover will be effective to dry the clothes.
The fan 38 elfectively sucks air from the exhaust duct 37 which guides the air into the center of the impeller assembly, and as the impellers 40 rotate within the substantially volute configurated housing 50 therefor they force the air into the condenser 39 at the inlet end 51 thereof which mates with the outlet from the fan housing 50.
The condenser 51 is formed as a V-shaped duct with its vertex 52 as its lowest point and with the legs 53 and 54 thereof extending upwardly. The terminal end of the leg 53 forms the inlet end 51 for the condenser 39.
The material from which the condenser housing is formed may be of any desired convenient material which is coolant insoluble and may be metal or plastic or the like as desired but is preferably formed from a material such as galvanized sheet iron or the like.
Immediately below the inlet end 51 of the condenser 39, a nozzle 55, best viewed in Figure 3, is secured to' one-wall of the leg 53 and is fed with liquid coolant and air cleaning liquid from any convenient source and through an inlet pipe or tube 56 extending through that same wall of the leg 53.
A sheet of cold water or the like or other liquid coolant is expelled from the nozzle 55, as indicated at 57, with sufficient force to substantially cover the cross-sectional area of the leg 53 in the plane of the nozzle 55. It is preferred that the liquid coolant being expelled from the nozzle 55, be expelled as a sheet and that atomization thereof not occur. This form of coolant admission into the condenser 39 is preferred since atomization of the coolant may result in small quantities of the coolant.
being carried through the condenser by the air-stream and then into the air heater-and duct work 36. If the water is sprayed into the condenser in a heavy sheet'or the like, as described, it will merely break up into relatively large drops or the like which will be too heavy to be carried by the air stream. As the Water sheet hits the back wall of the leg 53, the Wall opposite to the wall to which the nozzle is secured, it will rebound therefrom and pass downwardly through the leg 53. Baffie plates or the like 58 are secured to the outside wall of" the leg 53 within the condenser 39 causing the water droplets to continue to rebound back and forth between the inside and outside walls of the leg 53 until they reach the region of the vertex 52 of the condenser 39.
Air passing into the inlet leg 53 is substantially washed by the liquid coolant sheet and droplets to remove the lint and dust carried thereby as picked up in passing 'over the clothes or the like in the drum 21. Further, sincethe coolant in the inlet leg 53 substantially cools the'air passing through the condenser, the air is cooled and a substantial quantity of the water content is removed therefrom so that substantially dry air flows into the exhaust leg 54 of the condenser 39.
The lint catching action in the condenser 39 is further enhanced and improved by maintaining a liquid pool 59 in the vertex or drain region 52 of the condenser 39.
By maintaining this pool 59 the opportunity for the air' to carry lint past the water sheet and droplets and into the condenser exhaust leg 54 is greatly reduced since the air must pass over the wet surface of the poolas it flows from the inlet leg 53 to the outlet leg 54. The pool is maintained by providing a drain standpipe 60' secured at the bottom 61 of the condenser assembly and extending thereabove for a distance preselected in accordance with the desired height for the pool 59. Thus liquid flowing through the leg 53 will accumulate'in' the bottom of the condenser 39 until the levelthereof reaches the top of the standpipe 60. Thereafter, the liquid will flow out through the drain standpipe 60 and to a drain pump 62 to a drainpipe or the like 63 for disposal in any convenient sewer or the like.
The pump 62 may be of any desired form of pump such as a centrifugal sump pump or the like and is driven by a belt 64 coupling the same to a second of the pulleys 48 on the idler shaft 47 so that the pump 62 is drivenby the motor 22.
As lint collects in the pool 59 in the condenser 39 there may be a slight reduction in the efliciency of the condenser to remove lint from the air passing therethrough. To obviate this difiiculty and to insure efiicient operation of the condenser 39 and to further clean thesame and free the same of lint which may be collected therein, the condenser is periodically subjected to a flushing action. This flushing action is provided by increasingthe flow of water or other coolant through the nozzle 55 by increasing water or other liquid coolant flow through a control valve or the like indicated generally at 65 and controlling the coolant flow through the inlet pipe 56. In accordance with the principles of the present invention the flushing action is conducted preferably at least once during each drying operation and the valve 65 is so controllably operated as to increase the coolant flow either at the end of each drying operation or periodically during each drying operation and at the end' thereof as by'being controlled by a timer mechanism or a switch mechanism associated with the drier controls. By this method of periodic flushing the efiiciency of the condenser 39 is maintained at a high level and the condenser is maintained substantially clean and free of lint as collected therein from the air passing therethrough.
As the clean cooled dehumidified air flows from the condenser exhaust leg 54 it enters into the air heater duct work 36 where it is elficiently reheated and circulated to the drier drum 21 in accordance with the principles of the present invention. The inlet end 66 of the heater and duct work 36 mates with the outlet end of the condenser exhaust leg 54 and guides the air into a double channel air duct including channels 67 and 68. The duct work 36 is formed by a sheet metal or the like housing including side Walls 69 and 70 carrying an outer wall 71 and an intermediate partition 72 which divides the interior of the duct Work into the two channels 67 and 68. The inner wall of the duct work 36 is formed by the bulkhead 26 to which the duct work 36 is secured. The partition 72 is secured to the side walls 69 and 70 and is so positioned therein as to limit the outer air channel 68 to a slightly smaller cross-sectional area than the cross-sectional area of the inner duct 67.
A heater unit 73 is disposed within the inner channel 67 of the air inlet duct 36 and heats the air passing thereover to a substantially high temperature, for example, about 180 F. The heater unit 73 may be of any convenient type of heater unit and is preferably an electrical unit which is temperature controlled by any convenient thermostatic means well known in the art.
The heater unit 73, in addition to heating the air passing thereover, also heats the bulkhead 26 and the partition 72. Heating of the bulkhead 26 involves no loss of heating energy since it in turn heats air within the drier compartment 12. Heat in the partition 72, however, would represent a loss if permitted to be exposed to the outside atmosphere. In accordance with the principles of the present invention, however, air from the condenser 39 is in part passed through the second air inlet channel 68 and is there heated by the relatively hot partition 72 so that as it passes into the drier drum 21 through the aperture 30 in the bulkhead and through the perforated wall 24, together with the hot air from the duct channel 67, the air supplied to the drier drum 21 is relatively hot and dry as heated in the heating chambers at 36 and as dehumidified and cleaned in the condenser 39.
It will be understood, of course, that numerous variations and modifications and various embodiments of the principles of our invention may be effected without departing from the spirit and scope of the novel concepts and the principles of our invention. We, therefore, intend to cover all such modifications and variations as fall within the true spirit and scope of the novel concepts and principles of our invention.
We claim as our invention:
1. A substantially closed air circulating system for a hot air drier for clothes and the like comprising, a fan to exhaust substantially spent air from the drier and to force circulation of the air through the system, a condenser to receive the air from the drier, a nozzle in said condenser in the region of the air inlet thereto, means to connect said nozzle to a source of air cleaning liquid coolant to be expelled from said nozzle as a sheet thereof through which the air from said drier passes and is substantially cleaned and dehumidified thereby, a standpipe drain in the bottom of said condenser with an opening of suflicient height above the bottom to form a pool of the liquid thereabout as the liquid flows through the condenser from said nozzle to the drain and through said drain, a return air duct to return air from the condenser to the drier and leading from the lower end of the condenser whereby the air will flow over said pool of liquid at the intersection of the condenser and air duct, and means to periodically increase liquid flow through said condenser to flush the same and to flush lint from the pool surface to improve its condensing action.
2. A substantially closed air circulating system for a hot air drier for clothes and the like, comprising a condenser to receive the air from the drier, a nozzle in said condenser in the region of the air inlet thereto, means to connect said nozzle to a source of air cleaning liquid coolant to be expelled from said nozzle as a sheet thereof through which the air from said drier passes and is substantially cleaned and dehumidified thereby, a return air duct connecting to the lower end of the condenser, a standpipe drain in said condenser of sufficient height to form a pool of the liquid at the base of the: condenser at the intersection of the return air duct and condenser as the liquid flows through the condenser from said nozzle to the drain and through said drain, whereby air will flow over the pool surface passing from the condenser to said duct, and means to periodically increase liquid flow through said nozzle to flush the condenser and flush lint from the pool surface to improve its condensing action.
3. A substantially closed air circulating system for a hot air drier for clothes and the like comprising, a fan to exhaust substantially spent air from the drier and to force circulation of the air through the system, a condenser to receive the air from the drier, a nozzle in said condenser in the region of the air inlet thereto, means to connect said nozzle to a source of air cleaning liquid coolant to be expelled from said nozzle as a sheet thereof through which the air from said drier passes and is substantially cleaned and dehumidified thereby, an air duct leading upwardly from the bottom of the condenser and back to the drier, a standpipe drain in said. condenser at the juncture of the air duct and condenser of suflicient height to form a pool of the liquid thereabout as the liquid flows through the condenser from said nozzle through said standpipe drain whereby air will flow over said pool to efiect a separation of lint as it changes direction to flow upwardly, and valve means to periodically increase liquid flow through said nozzle to flush the condenser and flush lint from the pool surface into the drain to improve its lint collecting action.
4. A condenser to substantially clean and dehumidify air for a hot air clothes drier or the like, comprising, a vertical air inlet channel and an air outlet channel, said channels being joined together in registration and having an inlet and an outlet end respectively, a nozzle in said air inlet channel adjacent to the air inlet end thereof to expel substantially a horizontal sheet of air cleaning liquid coolant thereacross, a plurality of vertically spaced baffie plates in said inlet channel with the ends projecting diiferent distances across the vertical inlet channel to rebound the liquid thereacross, means to form a liquid pool in said condenser at the junction of said channels whereby air flowing from said inlet to said outlet channel will cause a separation of lint, means to drain liquid from the surface of said pool and to maintain the pool at a predetermined depth, and further means to increase liquid flow in said inlet channel to flush and clean said condenser and to flush lint from the pool surface to improve its lint separating action.
5. A condenser to substantially clean and dehumidify tion, a nozzle in said condenser positioned to spray an air cleaning liquid coolant into the condenser to flow to the bottom of the condenser, an air outlet duct leading upwardly and connected to said air outlet opening with a pool of liquid being collected at the junction of the duct and condenser chamber whereby air flowing downwardly through the condenser and turning to flow upwardly through the air duct will deposit lint at the surface of said pool of liquid, a drain opening for draining liquid coolant located spaced above the bottom of the condenser for draining liquid from the surface of the pool formed at the bottom of the condenser, and means for periodically increasing the flow of liquid coolant into said con- 7 denser whereby lint'willbe flushed'from the pool'snrface into the drain opening to improve the 'lint' collection action of the pool' surface.
References Cited inthe file of this patent 5 UNITED STATES PATENTS Van Osdel Jan. 7, 1890 ONeil June 7, 1921 Fisher Aug. 1, 1944 10