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Publication numberUS2920457 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 12, 1960
Filing dateMar 3, 1958
Priority dateMar 3, 1958
Publication numberUS 2920457 A, US 2920457A, US-A-2920457, US2920457 A, US2920457A
InventorsBartlett Jr James L
Original AssigneeGarrett Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Refrigeration system with vortex means
US 2920457 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 12, 1960 BARTLETT, JR 2,920,457

REFRIGERATION SYSTEM WITH VORTEX MEANS Filed March 5, 1958 INVENTORI JAMES L. BARTLETEJR.

U i ed W8 P m REFRIGERATION SYSTEM WITH VORTEX MEANS James L. Bartlett, IL, Rolling Hills, Calif., assignor to The Garrett Corporation, Los Angeles, Calif a corporation of California This invention pertains to refrigeration systems and more particularly to a vapor cycle refrigeration system which utilizes a vortex tube as a heat exchange means for dissipating heat to the surrounding atmosphere.

As is well known, a' conventional vapor cycle refrigeration system utilizes a compresor to increase the pressure of the gaseous refrigerant withdrawn from the evaporator. verted to a liquid in a condenser by transferring heat to the surrounding atmosphere or other coolant, after which the liquid refrigerant is passed through an expansion valve or other throttling or expansion device where it is partly converted to a low temperature gas. The mixture of liquid and gas, at relatively low temperature and pressure, then flows through the evaporator where the refrigerant absorbs heat from the medium being cooled, and the heated refrigerant, now completely gaseous,'flows from the evaporator back to the compressor where its pressure is again increased and the cycle repeated.

The size of the condenser required in the above-described vapor cycle refrigeration system is dependent, of course, on many variables, such as the temperature of the atmosphere or other coolant surrounding the condenser, the refrigerant used and the system pressures. The choice of refrigerant as well as the pressures used in the system can be varied to meet difierent conditions, but the temperature of the surrounding atmosphere or other medium is usually fixed. Thus, in order to further decrease the size of the condenser after the refrigerant and system pressures have been chosen, it would be necessary to increase the temperature diflerence between the compressed refrigerant and the surrounding atmosphere or to increase the coolant flow. This is often not feasible in the conventional type of vapor cycle system employing a condenser, and thus the size of the condenser can only be reduced to a certain minimum.

This invention would solve the problem of increasing the temperature difference between the compressed refrigerant and the surrounding atmosphere by utilizing a vortex tube in place of the condenser normally employed in such systems. The vortex tube is preferably of the type having a closed end hot tube so that none of the refrigerant is lost to the surrounding atmosphere. Such a vortex tube is more particularly described and claimed in the co-pending application of Frederick H. Green, Serial No. 171,147, filed June 29, 1950, now Patent No. 2,839,898, and entitled Multiple Vortex Tube Generator Cooling Unit. This type of vortex tube operates without loss of fluid and with the temperature of the fluid flowing in the hot tube above the temperature of the fluid admitted to the tube. This temperature difierence between the inlet temperature of the gas and the temperature of the gas in the hot tube results in a greater temperature diiferential between the temperature of the refrigerant and the surrounding coolant, thus permitting a decrease in the amount of heat exchange surface required.

The compressed refrigerant is then con- 2,920,457 Patented Jan. 12, 1960 Accordingly, the principal object of this invention is to provide a novel vapor cycle refrigeration system -which utilizes a vortex tube in place of the conventional condenser.

A still further object of this invention-is to provide a novel vapor cycle refrigeration system which is very compact and is capable of high efficiency over a wide range of temperature of the coolant employed.

These and further objects and advantages of this invention will be more easily understood by those skilled in the art to which it pertains, from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment when ,taken in conjunction with the attached drawing. The drawing shows a schematic arrangement of a vapor cycle refrigeration system embodying the principles of this invention.

Referring to the drawing, there is shown a suitable compressor unit 10, in this instance illustrated as being a motor-driven centrifugal compressor, which compresses the gaseous refrigerantwithdrawn from the evaporator 22. The discharge of the compressorltl is connecied to the inlet 12 of a vortex tube 13 by means of a conduit 11. The vortex tube '13 has a hot tube 14 extending from one end of the inlet 12 and a cold tube or outlet 20 extending from the opposite side of the inlet. The inlet 12,.of course, should be designed so that the compressed gaseous refrigerant is caused-to flow in a helical path into the interior of the hot tube 14, andto return out the cold tube 20, as required in operating a vortex tube of the aforementioned type- The operation of such a vortex tube ismore fully. explained in the above-referenced copending application. The extreme end 15 or the hot tube 14 is closed by any desired means, such as an end cap or the like, in order to prevent the escape of refrigerant from the system. The hot tube 15 may also be provided with suitable fins 16 in order to increase the surface available for transferring heat from the refrigerant in the hot tube to the surrounding atmosphere or other coolant. In some cases it may be desirable to provide artificial means, such as a fan or pump, not shown, for increasing the flow of coolant over the surface of the hot tube 14.

The cold outlet 20 of the vortex tube is connected, by means of a conduit 21, to the evaporator 22 of the refrigeration system. The lower end of the cold outlet 20 serves as the liquid receiver for the system, although it may be desirable in some systems to provide a separate receiver. An expansion valve 23 or other flow restricting means is mounted in the conduit 21 for controlling the expansion of the liquid refrigerant into a low pressure gas and liquid mixture.

The discharge of the evaporator 22 is connected to the inlet of the compressor 10 by means of the conduit 25 so that the gaseous refrigerant discharge from the evaporator may be recompressed by the compressor 10. A small motor-driven pump or fan 24 is shown for circulating the medium which is being refrigerated over the coils of the evaporator 22. The fan, of course, is unnecessary in many refrigeration systems, such as those utilized in household refrigerators.

As explained in the above-reference-co-pending application, a vortex tube may be operated with the end of the hot tube completely closed, and the surface of the hot tube will act as a heat exchanger to transfer to the surrounding coolant heat from the gaseous fluid flowing in a helical or vortical path in the hot tube.

The temperature of the refrigerant vapor flowing at the inner periphery of the hot tube will be much higher than its inlet temperature, and thus the transfer of heat from the compressed gaseous refrigerant to the surrounding coolant will be improved due to the greater tempera- "ice 3 ture difference between the gas and the coolant, thus permitting a reduction in the heat transfer area required in order to supply a desired condensing capacity. In addition to decreasing the size of the over-all system, the use of the vortex tube also permits the system to operate efficiently over a wider range of temperatures of the coolant.

While but one embodiment of this invention has been described in detail, many additional modifications and improvements will occur to those skilled in the art within its broad spirit and scope.

I claim:

1. A vapor cycle refrigeration system comprising:

means for increasing the pressure of a refrigerant; a vortex tube; the inlet of said vortex tube being connected to the discharge of said pressure increasing means; the cold outlet of said vortex tube being connected to the evaporator of the refrigeration system; and the outlet of said evaporator being connected to the inlet of said pressure increasing means.

2. A vapor cycle refrigeration system comprising: a compressor means; the discharge of said compressor means being connected to the inlet of a vortex tube, said vortex tube having a closed end hot tube, the cold outlet of said vortex tube being connected to an evaporator; and the outlet of said evaporator being connected to the inlet of said compressor.

3. A vapor cycle refrigeration system comprising: a compressor means for increasing the pressure of the refrigerant; the discharge of said compressor being connected to the inlet of a vortex tube, said vortex tube having a closed end hot tube; passage means for connecting the cold outlet of said vortex tube to an evaporator; flow restricting means disposed in said passage means for re- A} stricting the flow therein and the outlet of said evaporator being connected to the inlet of said compressor means.

4. A refrigeration system comprising: compressor means for increasing the pressure of a gaseous refrigerant; the discharge of said compressor being connected to the inlet of a vortex tube, said vortex tube having a closed end hot tube; cooling means disposed on said hot tube; the cold outlet of said vortex tube being connected to an evaporator; and said evaporator being connected to the inlet of said compressor.

5. A refrigeration system comprising: compressor means for increasing the pressure of a gaseous refrigerant; the discharge of said compressor being connected to the inlet of a vortex tube, said vortex tube having a closed end hot tube; cooling means disposed on said,hot tube; the cold outlet of said vortex tube being connected to an evaporator; and means for controlling the flow from said cold outlet to said evaporator.

6. In a refrigeration system having compressor means for increasing the pressure of a refrigerant, expansion means for said refrigerant, and evaporator means for said refrigerant; condensing means for said refrigerant comprising a vortex tube, the inlet of said vortex tube being connected to the discharge of said compressor means and the outlet of said vortex tube being connected to said expansion means.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,952,281 Ranque Mar. 27, 1934 2,111,904 Schlumbohm Mar. 22, 1938 2,295,983 Williams Sept. 15, 1942 2,683,972 Atkinson July 20, 1954 2,790,310 Green Apr. 30, 1957

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1952281 *Dec 6, 1932Mar 27, 1934Giration Des Fluides SarlMethod and apparatus for obtaining from alpha fluid under pressure two currents of fluids at different temperatures
US2111904 *Nov 19, 1932Mar 22, 1938Schlumbohm PeterRefrigerating system
US2295983 *Oct 15, 1940Sep 15, 1942Chrysler CorpAir conditioning system
US2683972 *Oct 30, 1951Jul 20, 1954Phillips Petroleum CoRecovery of natural gas condensate
US2790310 *Nov 23, 1954Apr 30, 1957Garrett CorpAxial flow vortex tube mechanism
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3287924 *Sep 2, 1965Nov 29, 1966Gen Motors CorpRefrigerating apparatus
US3982378 *Mar 13, 1975Sep 28, 1976Sohre Joachim SEnergy conversion device
US4594084 *Jul 15, 1985Jun 10, 1986Astrl CorporationAxial flow compressor and impeller
US4646524 *Mar 22, 1985Mar 3, 1987Jantec Co., Ltd.Method of intensifying heat in reversed Rankine cycle and reversed Rankine cycle apparatus for conducting the same
US5205126 *Apr 15, 1992Apr 27, 1993Schnurr Brian FVehicular cooling apparatus
US6082116 *Jul 10, 1998Jul 4, 2000Universal Vortex, Inc.Vortex pilot gas heater
US6250086 *Mar 3, 2000Jun 26, 2001Vortex Aircon, Inc.High efficiency refrigeration system
US6289679 *Jul 12, 2000Sep 18, 2001Universal Vortex, IncNon-freeze enhancement in the vortex tube
US6293108 *Jun 30, 2000Sep 25, 2001Vortex AirconRegenerative refrigeration system with mixed refrigerants
US6401463Nov 29, 2000Jun 11, 2002Marconi Communications, Inc.Cooling and heating system for an equipment enclosure using a vortex tube
US6425249 *Mar 24, 2000Jul 30, 2002Vai Holdings, LlcHigh efficiency refrigeration system
US6430937Mar 8, 2001Aug 13, 2002Vai Holdings, LlcVortex generator to recover performance loss of a refrigeration system
US6494935Dec 14, 2000Dec 17, 2002Vortex Aircon, Inc.For accepting high-pressure condensible vapor and separating condensible vapor into hot stream of vapor and cool liquid
US6507125 *Jun 11, 1999Jan 14, 2003Young Mi ChoiHigh efficiency energy converting apparatus and method thereof
US6507282Jan 12, 2001Jan 14, 2003The Holmes Group, Inc.Filter monitoring system using a thermistor
US7565808Aug 5, 2005Jul 28, 2009Greencentaire, LlcRefrigerator
US7654095Jun 3, 2008Feb 2, 2010Greencentaire, LlcEnergy transfer apparatus and methods
US7726135Nov 9, 2007Jun 1, 2010Greencentaire, LlcEnergy transfer apparatus and methods
US8099966 *Oct 18, 2006Jan 24, 2012Textron Innovations Inc.System and method for controlling an environment in an aircraft using a vortex cooler
US8640492 *Apr 27, 2010Feb 4, 2014Xergy IncTubular system for electrochemical compressor
US20110108246 *Apr 27, 2010May 12, 2011Xergy IncorporatedTubular System for Electrochemical Compressor
WO2000003186A1 *May 3, 1999Jan 20, 2000Universal Vortex IncVortex pilot gas heater
Classifications
U.S. Classification62/5, 62/498, 62/115
International ClassificationF25B9/04, F25B9/02
Cooperative ClassificationF25B9/04
European ClassificationF25B9/04