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Publication numberUS2931188 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 5, 1960
Filing dateMay 2, 1958
Priority dateMay 2, 1958
Publication numberUS 2931188 A, US 2931188A, US-A-2931188, US2931188 A, US2931188A
InventorsLevit Edward C
Original AssigneeWhirlpool Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fluid cooling apparatus
US 2931188 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 5, 1960 E, c, LEW 2,931,188

FLUID COOLING APPARATUS Filed May 2, 1958 EDWARD C. LEVIT fiw w ATT'YS v Unite 2,931,188 FLUID COGLING APPARATUS Application May 2, 1958, Serial No. 732,508 7 Claims. (Cl. 62-3) This invention relates to a water cooler.

In the conventional electric powered water cooler a refrigeration system is used employing the conventional refrigerant compressor-evaporator-condenser circuit. Although such water coolers are satisfactory for providing a supply of cool water they have the disadvantage of being somewhat expensive, noisy and bulky because of the amount of equipment required. Furthermore they are subject to repair and require servicing because of the many moving parts such as pumps, the compressor and the like.

The water cooler of this invention is electrically powered but it uses no moving parts in that it depends upon thermoelectric couples for refrigeration. These couples are Peltier couples arranged in a group or bank to provide cold junctions on one side and hot junctions on the other. Typical Peltier couple panels or banks are shown and described in the copending application of M. K. Baer Jr. and C. R. Lopp, Serial No. 735,804, filed May 16, 1958, and assigned to the same assignee as in this application.

One of the features of this invention is to provide an improved apparatus for cooling and heating separate bodies of fluid comprising a thermoelectric structure having spaced hot junctions and-cold junctions, means for thermally contacting one body of fluid with the hot junctions for heating said fluid and means for thermally contacting the other body of fluid with the cold junctions for cooling said fluid.

Another feature is to provide an improved apparatus for cooling and heating a liquid comprising a thermoelectric structure having spaced hot junctions and cold junctions, means for thermally contacting one body of liquid with the hot junctions for heating said liquid including a chamber for said liquid, means for thermally contacting the other body of liquid with the cold junctions for cooling said liquid including a chamber for said liquid, means for withdrawing cool liquid from its chamber, means for withdrawing heated liquid from its chamber, and supplemental means for cooling the liquid in the heated chamber when said liquid has reached a predetermined temperature.

A further feature is to provide an improved water cooler comprising a thermoelectric structure having spaced hot junctions and cold junctions, a cold water storage chamber in thermal contact with the cold junctions, a separate heated water storage chamber in thermal contact with the hot junctions, an intake conduit for conveying water into said cold water chamber, an outlet conduit for conveying water from said cold water chamber to a place of access, a conduit for conveying excess cold water from said place to said heated chamber, a heat exchanger connected to said intake conduit and said excess water conduit for heat transfer between the water in said conduits, and supplemental means for cooling the water in said heated water storage chamber comprising a vertically arranged water circuit, one portion of which includes an air cooled radiator.

Other features and advantages will be apparent from the following description of one embodiment of the invention as illustrated in the accompanying figure. This figure is a semi-diagrammatic view showing a water cooler embodying the invention.

States Patent "ice The water cooler shown in the accompanying drawing includes an ordinary drinking fountain arrangement embodied in the water receiving cup 10, valve 11 and water stream indicated at 12. The water is supplied to the valve by a conduit 13 which leads from the bottom of a cold water storage chamber 14 insulated as indicated at 15.

Water is fed into the chamber 14 by means of an intake conduit 16 leading through a valve 17 through a heat exchanger 18 into the top of the chamber 14. In the top of the chamber 14 is a bank 19 of Peltier couples having their cold junctions 19a in thermal contact with the water in the chamber 14 and their hot junctions 19b on the opposite side of the panel at the bottom of an upper heated water chamber 20.

Water to the heated chamber 20 is fed through a conduit 21 leading from the cup 10 into the top of the heat exchanger 18. As can be seen in the drawing, the conduit 16 which supplies water to the cold chamber 14 leads through the heat exchanger 18 while the overflow conduit 21 leads to a chamber 22 in the heat exchanger surrounding inlet conduit 16. This chamber is provided with spaced baffles 23 for breaking up streamlined flow of the water in order to insure more efficient heat transfer between the incoming water and the overflow from the cup 10. From the bottom of the heat exchanger 18 .a conduit 24 leads to the bottom of the heated water chamber 29. The top of this chamber is provided at one side with a vent pipe 25 extending upwardly.

The bottom of the heated chamber 20 on the side opposite to the inlet conduit 24 is provided with an, outlet conduit 26 having an upwardly extending loop 26a therein at a level higher than the top of the chamber 20 but beneath the open vent pipe 25 which is used to vent undissolved gases. The outlet conduit 26 leads to a sewer or other place of disposal.

The interior of the heated water chamber 20 is arranged to provide a closed flow path for the water. Thus the chamber 20 is divided into a bottom chamber 20a having an upper baffle 32 sloping upwardly from the connection of the inlet conduit 24, an upwardly extending end passage 20c and a top manifold 20d. The bottom of the baffle 32 is spaced above the inner end of an inlet baflie 33 to provide an opening 32a. Extending between the chamber 20a and manifold 20d are a plurality of vertical pipes 27 each provided with a plurality of heat radiating fins 28. The pipes 27 and the fins 28 are exposed to the atmosphere for cooling the pipes and their contents.

The direct current power supply to the Peltier couple bank 19 is indicated in broken line at 29. This power of the cold water storage chamber 14- adjacent to the exit into the cold Water supply conduit 13.

In operation the cold water flows through the conduit 16 and open valve 17 through the heat exchanger 18 into the cold Water storage chamber 14. In the heat exchanger 18 the incoming water is precooled by the overflow cold water from the cup 10 which flows through the conduit 21 and the outer chamber 22 of the heat exchanger 18.

The cold water which is maintained cold by the junctions 19a of the couple bank 19 is maintained at substantially constant temperature by the thermostat 30. When cold water is required at the drinking fountain the user opens the valve 11 in the customary manner. As was previously stated the overflow from the receiving cup 10 flows through the conduit 21, the heat exchanger 1'8 and" throu h the conduit Z4 from" the? heat incliidi'rigthis' overflow portion until the operating valve 11 turned on. During the time thatthe valved is turned on the incoming overflow water from the corn diiit 24 will force water from the chamber 20 through the conduit 26 and into the sewer. This water flow through the chamber 20 serves to cool the hot junctions 19b, of the thermocouple panel 19.

Whenthe valve 11 is not turned on so that there is no water flow through the various conduits and the heat exchanger the Water within the chamber 20 will be automatically cooled by the radiator comprising the vertical pipes 27 and the has 28. This is brought about by a thermosyphon effect indicated by the dotted lines 31. The water flows to the left as seen in the drawing along the hot junctions 1912, then' flows up the bottom of the inclined bjaffie 32 and upwardly in end passage 20c and into the uppermanifold 20d, down the top surface of are inclined baflle 3-2 andflback intothe' chamber 20a by way ofthe" end opening 32d. Here the water flows down through the vertical pipes 27 because the water in these pipes. is'. cooled by the surrounding air. Thus there is acontinuous circulation of water brought about by the changes in temperature of the water in the different portions of the system. The chamber is kept filled at all times by reason of the elevated loop 26a which exte'iids'above the top of the chamber but beneath the open outlet of the vent pipe 25. I

As can be, seen the water cooler of this invention uses no pumps, compressor or other moving mechanical parts. Furthermore, the waste water from thegwater cooler overflowis used to cool the hot junctions or heat dissipatorside, of the couple bank. The temperatureriri the cold water chamber 14 is kept substantially constant by the thermostat 30 while the temperature in" the hot water chamber 20 is automatically cooled by the radiator operating on thermosyphon principles in the manner previou'sly described.

, Although thespecific embodiment of the invention is directed to a water cooler of the drinking fountain type itis obvious that the apparatus is usable for cooling and heatingseparate bodies of fluid. Thus the cooling portion described. is used in the specific embodiment to coolwater for drinking purposes. t could, of course, used. for cooling any other fluid. Similarly the heated water is shown as being directed into the sewer or any other waste disposal system. However, it is obvious that this heated water or other heated fluid put throughv the system could be used wherever such heated fluid is esir v In one specific embodiment the water was maintained in the storage chamber 14 at a temperature of about 47 F, At the valve 11 the water was 50 F. The incoming water into the conduit 16 was at 90 F. and theoutlet waterthrough the conduit 26 was also at 90 F. The overflow water from the cup was about 54 F. Having described my invention as related to the embodiment shown in the accompanying drawing, it is my intention that the invention be not limited by any of the details of description, unless otherwise specified, but rather be construed broadly Within its spirit and scope as set out in the accompanying claims.

Iclaim:

1. Apparatus for cooling and heating separate bodies of fluid, comprising: a thermoelectric structurehaving spaced hot junctions and cold junctions; means for thermally contacting one body of fluid with the cold junctions for cooling said fluid; means for thermally contacting a portion of said body of cooled fluid with the hot junctions for heating said fluid; and supplemental means for cooling at all times the fluid receiving heat m s id bu j n ti ns-.7 g

2. Apparatus for cooling and heating separate bodies of fluid, comprising: a'- thermoelectric structure having spaced hot junctions and cold junctions; means for thermally contacting one body of fluid with the hot junctions for heating said fluid; means for thermally con tacting the other body of fluid with the cold junctions for cooling said'fluid; andsupplemental'm'eans for cooling said heated fluid, said supplemental means comprising a vertically arranged fluid. circuit for said body of heated fluid, one portion of which includes cooling means.

3. Apparatus for cooling and heating separate bodies of liquid, comprising: a thermoelectric structure having spaced hot junctions and cold junctions; means for maintaining liquid in' thermal contact with the hot junctions for heating said liquid including a first chamber for said' one body of liquid; means for thermally contacting the other body of liquid with the cold junctions for cooling said liquid including a second chamber for said second body of liquid; means for withdrawing cool liquid from said second chamber; means for withdrawing heated liquid from said first chamber; and supplemental means for cooling the liquid in the heated chamber, said supplemental means being operated by the heat delivered to the liquid at said hot junctions.

4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein said supplemental means comprises a' vertically arranged liquid circuit for said body of heated liquid, one portion of which includes an air cooled radiator.

5. Awater cooler, comprising: a thermoelectric structure having spaced hot junctions and cold junctions; a cold water storage chamber in thermal contact with the cold junctions; a separate heated water storage chamber in thermal contact with the hot junctions; an intake conduit for conveying water into said cold Water chamber; an outlet conduit for conveying water from said cold water chamber to a place of access; a conduit for conveying excess cold water from said place to said heated chamber; and means for cooling the water in said heated chamber, said cooling means comprising a vertically arranged water circuit, one portion of which includes an air cooled radiator. V p j 6. A water cooler, comprising: a thermoelectric structure having spaced hot junctions and cold junctions; a cold water storage chamber in thermal contact with the cold junctions; a separate heated water storage chant her in thermal contact with the hotjunctions; an intake conduit for conveying water into said cold water chamher; an outlet conduit for conveying water from said cold water chamber to a place of access; a conduit for conveying excess cold water from said place to said heated chamber; a heat exchanger connected to said intake conduit and said excess water conduitfor heat transfer between the water in said conduits; and supplemental means for cooling the water in said heated water storage chamber comprising a vertically arranged water circuit one portion of which includes an air cooled radiator.

7. Apparatus for cooling and heating separate bodies of fluid, comprising: a thermoelectric structure having spaced hot junctions and cold junctions; means for thermally contacting one body of fluid with the hot junctions for cooling said junctions; means for thermally contacting the other body of fluid with the cold junctions for cooling said fluid; fluid circuits for-the fluid contacting the hot junctions including a closed circuit wherein a portion of the fluid therein is in thermal contact with the hot junctions to cause fluid flow through the closed circuit; and means for cooling the fluid in a portion of the closed circuit.

References Cited the file of this patent M v UNITED STATES PATENTS

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US420641 *Nov 15, 1889Feb 4, 1890 dewey
US2010504 *May 13, 1933Aug 6, 1935Fedders Mfg Co IncLiquid cooling and dispensing device
US2837899 *Oct 13, 1954Jun 10, 1958Rca CorpThermoelectric refrigerator
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3088289 *Feb 19, 1962May 7, 1963Sparkletts Drinking Water CorpWater cooler
US3100969 *Aug 3, 1960Aug 20, 1963Elfving Thore MThermoelectric refrigeration
US3149471 *Feb 9, 1962Sep 22, 1964Borg WarnerWater chiller
US4350016 *Feb 20, 1981Sep 21, 1982Bipol Ltd.Device and process for effecting refrigeration
US4744220 *Jan 29, 1987May 17, 1988James M. KernerThermoelectric heating and/or cooling system using liquid for heat exchange
US4833888 *May 16, 1988May 30, 1989James M. KernerThermoelectric heating and/or cooling system using liquid for heat exchange
US5072590 *Feb 11, 1991Dec 17, 1991Ebtech, Inc.Water dispenser station
US5073312 *Apr 22, 1991Dec 17, 1991Ebtech, Inc.Water carbonator system
US5269146 *Nov 13, 1991Dec 14, 1993Kerner James MThermoelectric closed-loop heat exchange system
US5493864 *Jun 14, 1994Feb 27, 1996On Demand Cooling Systems, Inc.Apparatus for cooling or heating liquids and method of using same
US5609033 *Jan 16, 1996Mar 11, 1997Chung Ho Nais IncorporationWater cooling device for water purifiers
US6324850 *Nov 9, 2000Dec 4, 2001Imi Cornelius Inc.Beverage dispense system
US6546737 *Jun 14, 1999Apr 15, 2003Imi Cornelius Inc.Beverage cooler
US6755026 *Oct 24, 2002Jun 29, 2004Tech Medical Devices Inc.Thermoelectric system to directly regulate the temperature of intravenous solutions and bodily fluids
EP0373445A2 *Dec 1, 1989Jun 20, 1990Bodenseewerk Gerätetechnik GmbHJoule-Thomson cooling device
WO1992014104A1 *Nov 5, 1991Aug 20, 1992Ebtech IncBottled water chilling system
WO2008061726A2 *Nov 21, 2007May 29, 2008Eugster Frismag AgHeat exchanger for cooling or heating a fluid, coolant circuit and method for cooling or heating a working fluid or a heat exchanger
Classifications
U.S. Classification62/3.3, 62/452, 62/238.2, 62/391, 62/3.64
International ClassificationF25B21/02, F25D31/00
Cooperative ClassificationF25D31/002, F25B21/02
European ClassificationF25B21/02