US 2956417 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 18, 1960 w. R. LYMAN 2,956,417
AIR CONDITIONING APPQARATUS Filed July 28, 1959 FIGJ. 4 w I 5 ,I2
ma mn- INVENTOR WALLACE R.LYMAN CQZQIVE A ATTORNEY United States Patent AIR CONDITIONING APPARATUS Wallace R. Lyman, West Springfield, Mass., assignor to Westinghouse Electric Corporation, East Pittsburgh, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed July 28, 1959, Ser. No. 830,058
3 Claims. (Cl. 62-150) This invention relates to air conditioning apparatus, especially dehumidifiers, and more particularly to means for preventing the condensate collected therein from overflowing its receptacle.
In the past, various means have been proposed for deenergizing the apparatus before the condensate overflows, some being of the liquid level responsive type and others being of the kind that are responsive to the Weight of condensate collected, as is the present invention. A number of prior art weight responsive devices require the condensate receptacle to occupy considerable space within the apparatus housing, thus sacrificing economical and compact housing construction. With the present invention, no such sacrifice is made; and the device is not only dependable, but also permits the receptacle to be conveniently located.
The invention is particularly useful in low-cost type domestic dehumidifiers intended to be used in the cellar or basement of a private residence for maintaining acceptable humidity conditions within a limited zone. Broadly stated, such units comprise a casing which houses a refrigeration system that is electrically powered. A refrigerated surface, such as an evaporator coil, is exposed at an upright wall of the housing, preferably at the rear thereof, for extracting moisture from humid air brought into contact therewith. A container for accumulating condensate formed on the refrigerated surface is further provided, and this container is either positioned to catch the condensate falling from the refrigerated surface or suitable means are provided for collecting the condensate and delivering it to the container.
According to the present invention, and in the interest of preventing condensate from overflowing its container, the container is removably supported adjacent an upright wall of the housing, preferably the rear one, for angular movement toward and away from this wall about a horizontal axis. This axis is disposed above the center of gravity of the container. Further provided are means for biasing the container away from the wall so that,
when empty, its center of gravity is horizontally displaced from a vertical plane containing its axis of movement. The biasing means yields to progressive movement of the container toward the wall as condensate is accumulated in the container and increases the weight thereof. The biasing means includes, for example, a compression spring and a plate interposed between the spring and the container, the biasing means being moved by the container from a first position in which the container is empty, to a second position in which the container is nearly filled. Serially connected between a source of electrical power and the means for refrigerating the surface on which condensate is collected is a switch which is opened incident to movement of the biasing means to second position. With this arrangement, the dehumidifier is effectively shut down when the container is nearly filled, and in this way prevents further condensate from being accumulated and overflowing its receptacle.
The various objects, features and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description and claims taken in connection with the accompanying drawing, forming a part of this application, in which:
Fig. l is a vertical sectional view through a dehumidifier embodying this invention;
Fig. 2 is a rear elevational view of the dehumidifier;
Fig. 3 is an enlarged view of a fragment of Fig. 1, showing the invention in detail; and,
Fig. 4 is a schematic illustration of the switch and its associated wiring.
As shown, the dehumidifier employs a refrigerating system that includes a motor-compressor unit 10, which pumps compressed refrigerant gas into a condenser 12 through a discharge line 14. Refrigerant condensed by the condenser 12 flows through a small bore expansion tube 16 into an evaporator 18. Vaporous refrigerant is returned to the motor-compressor unit 10 from the evaporator 18 through a suction conduit 20.
An outer housing or casing 22 of the dehumidifier houses the motor-compressor unit 10, the condenser 12 and a motor-driven propeller fan 24, the latter being adapted to draw air into the casing through an inlet 26 provided in a rear, upright wall 28 of the casing. The evaporator 18 is mounted on the outer surface of the rear wall 28, as by suitable brackets, and covers the inlet 26 so that air drawn into the casing 22 contacts the outer surface of the evaporator. It should be understood, however, that the invention may be practiced by employing other kinds of refrigeration systems, including thermoelectric devices, so long as a refrigerated surface is provided which functions similarly to the evaporator 18 for extracting moisture from the air by means of condensation.
As is the conventional manner, air drawn over the evaporator 18 by the fan 24 is cooled and the condensate falls into a collection trough 30 which delivers the condensate into a portable container or receptacle 32. Cooled and dehumidified air is propelled by the fan 24 past the motor-compressor unit 10 and through the condenser 12, from which parts heat is absorbed, and the air is then returned to the room in a dry condition and at a slightly elevated temperature. The left end of the casing 22 (as viewed in Fig. 1) is opened to provide it with an air outlet.
In accordance with this invention the container 32 is supported adjacent the outer surface of the rear Wall 28 of the casing 22, in a position to receive condensate from the trough 30, by means of a support member 34 which is connected to the casing. The support member 34 has a bent portion in which is received, for pivotal support, a bail 36 forming part of the container 32. The container is angularly movable about a horizontal axis which, as determined by the support member 34 and the bail 36, is disposed above the center of gravity of the container, and preferably parallel to the rear wall 28, for swinging movement of the container toward and away from the rear wall.
One side wall of the container rests against a bend in a channel-like plate 38 which is horizontally elongated and connected to the rear wall 28 for pivotal movement about its upper edge. Thus, there is a substantially fixed distance between the axis of swinging movement of the container 32 and the point at which the container contacts the plate 38. An adjustable spring 39 is interposed between the rear wall 28 and the plate 38 to urge the latter rearwardly about its upper edge. The lower edge of the plate 38 extends through an elongated opening in the rear wall and is bent downwardly, terminating interiorly of the casing 22 for engagement with a switch 40 which is serially connected between a source of electrical power and the motor of the unit 10. The switch 40 is mounted on the inside surface of the rear wall 28 and has its contacts held closed when the lower edge of the plate 38 is pressed into contact therewith.
As best seen in Fig. 3, the plate 38 contacts the container 32 and, under the force of the spring 39, biases the container rearwardly and away from the rear wall for angular movement about the previously defined horizontal axis, and in fixed relation thereto, so that the center of gravity of the container is horizontally displaced an appreciable distance rearwardly of a vertical plane containing the axis. A horizontal component of the combined weight of the container 32 and the condensate accumulated therein is directed opposite to the biasing force of the spring 39, thus tending to compressively deflect the latter. After the combined weight of the container and the accumulating condensate overcomes the initial compression of the spring, a further increase in weight further compresses the spring 39 and the latter permits the container to move closer to the rear wall 28. At the same time that the container 32 moves, the lower edge of the plate moves away from the rear wall 28 and removes pressure from the switch 40, whereupon the switch contacts open and the motor-compressor unit is deenergized.
The container 32 may be removed from its support member 34 to be emptied and replaced, at which time the switch 40 will again be closed and the unit 10 energized.
In order to render the device easily adjustable, in regard to the level of water which must be reached to effect deenergization, the spring 39 is mounted on a collar 42 which, in turn, is carried by a threaded bolt member 44 extending longitudinally of the spring through the rear wall 28. The head of the bolt member 44 is accessible through a registering opening 45 in the plate 38, large enough to admit the tip of a screwdriver, so that the degree of initial compression of the spring and, consequently the biasing force offered thereby may be adjusted to effect deenergization at a higher or lower level of condensate in the container 32.
With the present arrangement, the convenience of a practicable, low-cost device of the type set forth may be included or added to dehumidifiers without requiring enlargement of the casing.
While the invention has been shown in but one form, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that it is not so limited, but is susceptible of various changes and modificationswithout departing from the spirit thereof.
What is claimed is:
1. A dehumidifier comprising a housing including an upright wall, a refrigerated surface, electrically powered means within said housing for refrigerating said surface, means for conveying air into contact with said surface, a container for accumulating condensate formed on said surface, means for delivering the condensate formed on said surface to said container, means adjacent said wall connected to said housing removably supporting said container for angular movement toward and away from said wall about a horizontal axis disposed above and offset from the center of gravity of said container, means fixed in relation to said axis for biasing said container away from said wall, said biasing means being movable by said container from a first position in which said container is empty to a second position in which said container is nearly filled, and a switch serially connected between said refrigerating means and a source of electrical power; said switch being in open position for deenergizing said refrigerating means incident to said biasing means being in its second position, but otherwise held closed.
2. A dehumidifier comprising a housing including a rear wall, an exposed refrigerated surface disposed rearwardly of said wall, electrically powered means within said housing for refrigerating said surface, means for conveying air from which moisture is to be extracted into contact with said surface, a container for accumulating liquid condensate formed on said surface, means for delivering the condensate formed on said surface to said container, means adjacent said wall removably supporting said container at the rear of said housing for angular movement about a horizontal axis disposed above and offset from the center of gravity of said container and generally parallel to said rear wall, means fixed in relation to said axis and including a compression spring biasing said container away from said rear wall, said container growing heavier as condensate is accumulated therein, said biasing means being movable by said container from a first position in which said container is empty to a second position in which said container is nearly filled, and a switch serially connected between said refrigerating means and a source of electrical power, said switch being in open position for deenergizing said refrigerating means incident to said biasing means being in its second position.
3. A dehumidifier comprising a housing including a rear wall, a refrigeration system including an evaporator coil exposed at said rear Wall and an electrically powered motor-compressor within said housing, means for conveying air into contact with said coil, a container below said coil for accumulating condensates formed on said coil and falling therefrom, means for conveying the condensate to said container, said housing having means at the rear thereof removably supporting said container adjacent the outer surface of said rear wall for angular movement about a horizontal axis, said axis being disposed above and offset from the center of gravity of said container and parallel to said rear wall, means fixed in relation to said axis and mounted on said housing for biasing said container about said axis, said biasing means yieldingly permitting movement of said container toward said rear wall under the increasing weight of the container as condensate is ac cumlated therein, said biasing means being movable by said container from a first position in which said container is empty to a second position in which said container is nearly filled, and a switch serially connected between said refrigerating means and a source of electrical power, said switch being movable by said biasing means to an open position for deenergizing said refrigerating means incident to movement of said biasing means to second position, but being closed incident to said biasing means being in other positions.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,759,335 Weschler Aug. 21, 1956 2,811,842 Taylor Nov. 5, 1957