US 2988980 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 20, 1961 H. R. TSCHUDIN 2,988,980
HEAT DISTRIBUTION PANEL Filed July 1, 1957 2 SheetsSheet 1 INVENTOR. HAMS R. TSCHUDI/y ATTORNY-S June 20, 1961 H. R. TSCHUDlN 2,988,980
' HEAT DISTRIBUTION PANEL Filed July 1, 1957 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 W I W I FIGS.
FIG 9 INVENTOR.
F/A/VJ' x2, mam/0w ATTOIQMEYJ Hans The present invention relates to improvements in air conditioning systems and in particular relates to a novel and improved air distribution panel for covering the walls and ceilings of a room, the covering providing means for distributing air of a regulated temperature into the room over a large surface area, and also for heating and cooling the walls and ceiling of the room Air conditioning systems have hitherto been devised in which heatedor cooled air is distributed into a room over a relatively large surface or area. Up to the present time, however, such systems, because of structural requirements, have been confined to ceiling attachments, and operate to direct air downwardly into the room in streams or jets of relatively high impulse. Such arrangements, being commonly referred to as the Swedish system, comprise a perforated board or plate which covers the ceiling and is suspended in spaced relationship therebeneath by a support structure. These systems operate on the principle of providing a deep air chamber behind the perforated ceiling board, and distributing air under pressure to the air chamber, the latter serving as a pressure equalizing chamber. As a result of this arrangement, it is necessary to space the perforated ceiling board a large distance from the ceiling, requiring a heavy support structure. In addition, the deep air chamber decreases the interior volume of the room to a considerable extent. For these reasons, the so-called Swedish system has been used only in conjunction with the ceilings of high rooms and has never been appliedto the walls of a room, such application to the walls being prevented by lack of space.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a thin, lightweight air distribution panel to serve as a covering for the walls and ceiling of a room, which covering has an outer and an inner wall closely spaced from each other to provide an air-flow cavity therebetween. The outer wall is perforated over its entire surface to distribute air into the room over a very large surface area. Means are provided to feed heated or cooled air into the cavity for distribution into the interior of the room through the said perforations.
In accordance with the invention herein, the panels constituting wall covering for the walls and ceiling of the room are made as thin as possible to provide an airflow cavity of minimum depth. For this purpose, the inner and outer surface of the wall covering are spaced so closely together that the covering is in the form of a thin sheet and is of light weight. 'Consequently, an important advantage of this invention is the ability of the wall covering to be attached directly against the wall by cementing, nailing, or the like, without the necessity of using metal framework or other heavy supporting structures such as are used in the conventional Swedish systems. In addition, the mounting of the thin panels closely adjacent to or flush against the walls and ceiling, enables the entire wall and ceiling surfaces of the room to be covered by air distributing means without decreasing the internal volume of the room to any appreciable extent.
Another object of the invention is to provide an air conditioning system of the character described in which the walls and ceiling are directly heated or cooled by the covering panels, due to the mounting of the panels flush against, or closely adjacent to, the ceilings and walls. It is well-known that in heating a room, a person is most comfortably disposed when the walls of the room are IQC warm and the surrounding air is relatively cooler. The human body then loses its body heat by convection rather than by radiation, which increases body comfort. In the heating system of the present invention, the heated air flowing through the covering panels, first heats the walls and ceiling and then enters the room through the panel perforations at a lower temperature than that of the heated walls and ceiling. As a result, optimum body comfort is achieved.
The initial heating of the walls and ceiling of the room by the air introduced into the covering panels, as above described, presents an additional advantage in enabling the heating system to eliminate draft conditions, which are often prevalent in systems of the type in which air is introduced through ceiling perforations in high impulse jets. Under the system of the present invention, the air entering the room, having already heated the wall, is only required to compensate for the heat losses through the uncovered floor and window surfaces. Consequently, the panels covering the walls and the ceiling can be perforated over their entire area in order to distribute the air over the entire Wall and ceiling surface. Thus, the air entering theroom through these perforations, flows at a low rate, avoiding high impulse jet streams and eliminating draft effects, the term impulse as used herein designates the air velocity multiplied by the mass of air. While the velocity of air flowing through the perforations could be quite high, it is offset by the small mass of air flowing through each perforation so that the power of the jet is very small and is dissipated close to the perforated sheet.
Another object of the invention is the provision of a perforated air distribution panel of the character described, in which the coverings for the walls and ceiling may becomposed of a numberof individual panels connected'together, these panels being of light weight and being adapted to be easily attached to the walls and ceiling, so that they may be economically manna factured and installed.
Additional objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent during the course of the following specification when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a room covered with wall and ceiling panels made in accordance with the present invention, several walls of the room having been eliminated and the ceiling being broken away to reveal the room interior;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view of an airdistribution panel made in accordance with the invention, a portion of the panel front-wall being broken away to disclose inner structural detail;
FIG. 3 is a horizontal section on a more enlarged scale through a portion of an air distribution panel made in accordance with the invention, but having a somewhat modified type of construction, the panel being shown mounted against a room wall;
FIG. 4 is a horizontal'section through a portion of a panel similar to that shown in FIG. 2, but having rear wall perforations, the panel being shown mounted spaced from the room wall;
FIG. 5 is a horizontal section through a portion of a modified type of panel constituting a flat sheet mounted on the wall by spacer elements;
FIG. 6 is a horizontal section through another modified type of panel in which integrally-formed spacer elements are formed in the panel to mount the same spaced from the wall;
FIG. 7 is a horizontal section through another modified type of panel formed of a corrugated board mounted di rectly on the wall surface;
FIG. 8 is a horizontal section through a panel arrange;-
n l V a merit in which a corrugated board is utilized as a spacer element to mount a fiat board panel on the wall surface;
FIG. 9 is a front plan view of a section of wall panel formed of panel sections with .a modifiedv perforation arrangement; and I FIG. 10 is a front plan view of a wall panel section arranged and constructed to permit feeding of the air from one corner thereof.
In its broad aspects, the invention comprises the provision of a panel for covering the walls and ceiling ,of a room, the panel including or forming an air passage channel located adjacent the wall and ceiling surfaces. Heated or cooled air is fed into one end of the channel so as to flow from one end of the panel to the other, the air in the channel regulating the temperature of the wall or ceiling.
The panel air passage channel is made of sufficientiy small depth to provide a laminar flow distribution of air over the wall or ceiling surface. This air flow is in two dimensions, the third dimension; namely depth being made so small as to be negligible. In one preferred form, the panels are provided with a series of narrow passages arranged in a parallel row, the air flowing through these passages in a uni-dimensional flow.
The air introduced into the panels has the primary purpose of heating or cooling the wall or ceiling surface against which the panel is mounted. In addition, the panels are perforated to enable the air to enter the room for heating or cooling of the air within the room.
The air distribution panels are made as thin as possible, and for this purpose, are preferably formed of an outer wall and an inner wall connected together by spacer elements. The spacer elements may be in the form of wooden strips, tenons, or the like, or the panel may be formed of corrugated board, with a central corrugated insert connecting the front and rear walls. The spacer elements are sized to separate the front and rear walls by a small distance, so that the air-flow channels between the walls are of minimum depth.
The panels are used to cover the entire interior wall and ceiling surfaces of a room, with an air duct or similar airfeeding means employed to feed air at one end of each panel in such a manner that the heated or cooled air traverses the panel from one end to the other. For example, a duct may be mounted at the junction of a wall with the ceiling to feed air into the top end of the wall panel, the air then flowing downwardly through the panel.
The panels are thus located at those places in the room where heat transfer would ordinarily take place. In cool weather, for example, a room will lose heat through the walls and ceilings. With the panels of the instant invention, however, the walls and ceilings are heated by the warm air flowing through the panels adjacent the walls and ceilings, the panels thus serving to prevent heat loss from the room. In addition, the panels are perforated to distribute enough warm air into the room to compensate for heat losses through the floor, windows, doors, and other uncovered areas.
The panels are perforated over their entire surfaces, providing an extremely large area of air distribution. As'
a result, the air emitted through the perforations travels into the room in a low-impulse flow, as contrasted with the high-impulse jets produced by the conventional ceiling heating systems.
FIG. 1 shows a portion of a room in which walls 10 and 12 and a portion of the ceiling 14 are shown. The wall 10 is shown covered by a heat distribution panel 16, the wall 12 by a panel 18, and ceiling 14 by a panel 20. Each of the panels 16, 18 and 20 is sized to cover the entire surface of the respective wall or ceiling. In the case of wall12, the panel 18 is shaped to border a window 22, leaving the latter exposed.
The panels in FIG. 1 are shown as unitary structures extending continuously over the entire wall surface. As a practical matter, the panels may be made in smaller sections which are secured together during installation to 4 form a single panel covering for the entire wall or ceiling.
In accordance with the invention, the panels are constructed to provide an air passage channel adjacent the wall or ceiling surface. In its simplest form, the panel may consist of a single perforated sheet mounted closely spaced from the wall or ceiling surface by spacer elements. The spacer elements may be screwed into the building wall and the single panel sheet glued or nailed to the spacer elements. In this instance, the wall or ceiling surface forms the rear wall of the air passage channel.
In the preferred commercial form, however, the panels are made in at least double-walled form. The walls of the panels may be made of any suitable sheet material which satisfies the requirements of the particular installation, as will be presently explained in greater detail. Such material may, for example, be fibre-board, plastic, or the like, and preferably is of light weight. The front and rear walls are spaced apart by spacer elements located therebetween. The spacer elements may be wooden or plastic plugs, strips, or the like. If plugs are used as the spacers, they are distributed at random throughout the panel and the air flow in the cavity between the panel walls will be a two-dimensional flow, that is to say along the height and width of the panel. If elongated strips are used as the spacers, the strips may be arranged to provide parallel air passage channels within the panel so that the air-flow will be one-dimensional, that is along the length of the channels.
In a preferred form of the panel, the latter is formed of a corrugated board of the type which is presently marketed. This board may be modified in structure and in constituent material to fit the needs of the particular installation. FIG. 2 shows a wall panel section 30 having a front wall 32, a rear'wall 34, and a corrugated insert 36 located between and connecting the front and rear walls. The insert 36 acts as a spacer element to separate the walls 32 and 34, and its corrugated shape also provides a series of narrow, forwardly-facing air channels 38 which alternate with a series of rearwardly-facing air channels 40. Thus, air introduced at one end of the board, for example at its top end, will flow through the channels 38 and 40 along the length of the panel 30.
The panel 30 may be drilled from the front to form alternate rows of perforations 42 and 44 in the front wall 32 as well as rows of perforations 46 in the corrugated insert 36. The rows of front wall perforations 42 register with the insert perforations 46 providing air-passage openings from the rearwardly-facing channels 40 to the room interior. Thus, air travelling through the rearwardlyfacing channels 40 will flow along the rear wall 34 to heat or cool the latter, and will pass through the registering perforations .6 and 42 into the interior of the room. The rows of front wall perforations 4i communicate directly with the forwardly-facing channels 38 and provide passages through which air flows from the channels 38 into the interior of the room.
As shown in FIG. 2, the perforations 42 and 44. are arranged in vertical rows alongthe lengths of the air channels 38 and 40, and are also arranged in horizontal rows. The perforations may also be sized or positioned to provide an equal flow of air through all of the perforations into the room. If air, for. example, is introduced into the top of the panel 30, it will be obvious that the air pressure will be greater at the top of the panel than at the bottom, and that the flow of air through the perforations into the room. will thus tend to be greater at the top of the panel. To compensate for the pres sure drop along the panel and to equalize the distribution of air into the room, the perforations may be made of increasingly larger diameter toward the bottom of the panel. Alternately, the perforations may be positioned to be more closely spaced toward the bottom of the panel, as shown in FIG. 1.
=FIG.'3 illustrates a modified form of corrugated panel which may be used as a wall and ceiling covering in accordance with the invention. In this panel 50, both the forwardly facing channels or flutes and the rearwardlyfacing channels are used as-air-flow channels, but only the forwardly-facing channels communicate with the room interior. The panel 50'has a front wall 52 and a rear wall 54 connected by a corrugated insert 56, which insert forms a row of forwardly-facing air channels 58 and alternate rearwardly-facing channels 60. One common wall of each pair. of adjacent channels 58 and 60 is provided with vertically-spaced perforations 62 which permit the air to flow from the rearwardly-facing channel 60 into the forwardly-facing channel 58, as indicated by the arrows in FIG. 3. The front wall 52 is provided with spaced rows of perforations 64 in communication with the forwardly-facing channels 58, so that air may flow out of the channels 58 into the room, as indicated by arrows in FIG. 3". The perforations 64 may be sized or arranged as previously described to provide an equal flow of air through all of said perforations.
The panel 50 is mounted on the wall 66 of a room, with the rear panel wall 54 lying flush against the room wall 66. If the system is used to heat the room, warm air will be introduced at one end of the channels 58 and 60. The Warm air in the rearwardly-facing channels 60 will be efiective to heat the room. wall 66 through the panel rear Wall 54, the air then flowing into the respective forwardly-facing channels 58 through the perforations 62 and joining with the heated air in channels 58 to flow through the front wall perforations 64 into the room.
, FIG. '4 illustrates an arrangement which may be used primarily for cooling a room. The panel 30 of FIG. 2 is mounted on the room wall 66 by spacer elements 72. These spacer elements provide an air space '74 between the outer surface of the room wall 66 and the rear wall 3 f panel 30. Cool air fed through the air passage channels is permitted to enter this air space 74 through the panel rear wall 34. For this purpose, the rear wall may be made of air permeable material such as woven fibre or plastic, which is also water impermeable, or perforations 76 may be provided in the panel rear wall 34 in communication with the rearwardly-facing air channels 40. Some of the cooled air fed through the air channels 40 will therefore leave the channels through the perforations 76 or through the rear wall 34 itself if it is made air permeable, and enter the space 74 between the panel and the room wall 66. Heat penetration is therefore directly stopped at the room walls, the cool air penetrating the room walls and reversing the heat flow therethrough. The remaining cooled air of both air channels 38 and 40 enters the interior of the room through the front panel wall perforations 42 and 44, with its original low temperature unaffected.
It will beapparent that variations in the perforations may bemadeto conform to the requirements of individual installations. One such variation is shown by way of example in FIG. 9 in which a wall covering panel 114 is madeup of individual upper panels 116 and lower panels 118 with a corrugated insert 120. The upper panels 116 are provided with rows of perforations 122 which communicate with the forwardly-facing corrugation channels. The lower panels 118 are provided with staggered rows of perforations 124 which communicate with the rearwardly-facing corrugation channels. the air in the rearwardly-facing channels may be used exclusively for heating the wall before it is allowed to enterthe room through the channel perforations, and at the same time, a uniform air distribution is achieved over the entire area of the panel. Additional modifications to achieve optimum air conditioning effects by variation of the front wall and insert perforations will be obvious to those skilled in the art.
The panels are made with a front and rear wall as a preferred commercial structure for convenience of mounting, control in the flow of air into contact with the wall,
Thus 6 nel will heat or cool the wall.
- single sheet may be in flat form or in corrugated form.
FIG. 5 shows a flat sheet panel mounted closely spaced from the wall or ceiling surface 66 by spacer elements 82 which may be in the form of wooden or plastic plugs. The spacer elements may be screwed into the building wall and the panel sheet 80 glued or nailed to the spacer elements. The panel sheet 80 forms with the wall surface 66 a thin air passage channel 86, the rear wall of which is formed by the wall surface 66, so that heated or cooled air flowing through the air passage chan- The panel sheet 80 is provided with perforations 84 which act as air outlet openings to permit the heated or cooled air to enter the interior of the room. Instead of plugs, the spacer elements 82 may be made in the form of elongated strips which form therebetween narrow and parallel air passage channels.
Instead of separate spacer elements, the panel sheet may be formed with integral spacer elements by adding material at selected places on the panel sheet, or by merely deforming the sheet at certain spots consistent with the decorative function of the sheet. FIG. 6 illustratesa panel sheet 88 which may be pressed out of fibre-board for example, and is formed with integral spacer elements 90. The spacer elements 90 may be fixed to the wall surface 66, asby cementing, to form an air passage channel 94 between the panel sheet 88 andsaid wall surface 66. Again, the sheet 88 may contain air therethrough in a unidirectional flow. The front of the rearwardly-facing corrugations are provided with perforations 98, through which the air of each air passage" channel may flow into the room interior.
FIG. 8 shows a modified structure in which a com-- gated board is utilized as a spacer element to mount a flat board 104, provided with perforations 106, closely spaced from the wall or ceiling surface 66. In this embodiment the front panel 104, corrugated spacer 102 and wall surface 66 cooperate to provide a series of forwardlyfacing air passage channels 108 which alternate with rearwardly-facing air passage channels 110. These channels may be interconnected by perforations 108 in the wall of the corrugated spacer 102.
' Air may be fed to the panels by means of an air duct in communication with a blower and a heating or cooling unit. FIG. 1 shows a preferred arrangement in which a duct 70 extends completely around the room, and is mounted at the junction of the walls with the ceiling to supply air along the entire top edges of the wall panels 16 and 18, and. also at one end of the ceiling panel 20."
The air-supply duct may be located at other positions in the room as required by the particular installation; for example, along the bottom of the room.
front panel wall 134 is mounted by means of elongated spacer strips 13 6 which extend radially from theairsupply duct'130 and form therebetween a series of radial air passage channels 138 extending over the area of the In additiom the duct may be arranged and adapted to communicate 7 panel 132. The front wall perforations 140 are arranged in rows in communication with the air-passage channels 138 and extend radially outwardly from the ,duct' 1'30.
Because of the location of the front wall perforations over the entire ceiling and wall area ofthe room, the air within the panels is maintained at low impulse and fiows into low velocity or low volume. Consequently, drafts within the room are avoided. In addition, furniture may be placed close to the wall panels without interfering with the air distribution.
A contrast may be seen between the above-described system and the so-called Swedish'system in which a deep air chamber is located above a perforated ceiling panel. The air in this chamber is introduced and maintained at high pressure in order to achieve as closely aspossible an equal pressure throughout the chamber. As a result, air passes throughout the ceiling panel perforations into the room in high-velocity jets. Since the depth of the air chamber is considerable, the Swedish system utilizes an extensive steel structural framework for supporting the perforated panel and fixing the panel to the ceiling. This steel framework is made sufficiently large to support all occurring bending forces on the panel. Because of the considerable depth of the air chamber, the spacing of the perforated panel cannot be made with a number of small and simple spacer elements as in the present invention in which the panel is subjected only to pressure and tensile forces instead of bending forces.
The wall and ceiling panels of the system of the present invention are not required to withstand bending forces, but are subjected only to pressure and tensile forces. Thus the panels may be made of relatively light-weight material, and may be cemented or nailed directly upon the wall or ceiling without requiring any support structure. Since the panel walls are closely spaced from each other, the panel presents a very thin covering for the walls and ceiling which permits the entire area of the room to be panelled without appreciably diminishing the interior volume of the room;
By permitting the entire wall and ceiling surface of the room to be covered by the panels, the principal source of heat exchange, namely at the walls and ceiling, is effectively overcome. As a result, only enough air is required to be distributed into the room through the panel perforations to compensate for heat exchange at the floor and at uncovered windows, doors, etc. For this reason, the air can be introduced at low impulse as previously described.
The separation of the air-flow into two parts, one leaving the panel in the direction of the building wall or ceiling, and the other leaving the panel in the direction of the room interior can also be accomplished by the use of a multi-layer panel having a plurality of corrugated layers defining rows of air channels.
The wall and ceiling panels may be, for practical reasons, composed of individual panels of a size which can be brought through the door of a room, and during installation are fitted together and secured to each other to provide a complete panel covering the entire wall or ceiling. Various sizes and shapes of panels may be used to fit a particular wall. For example, in FIG. 1, individual pairs of panels 18a, 18b, 18c and 18d are joined together to form the complete wall panel 18 covering wall 12 and bordering window 22. The panels 18d may be' made unperforated, as shown, to provide suflicient air pressure to permit the air flowing therethrough to flow along the window 22' and then flow horizontally beneath the window, being distributed into the'room through the perforations of the panel 18c beneath the window.
While preferred embodiments of the invention have been shown and described herein, it is obvious that numerous structural alterations, omissions and additions may be made without departing from the spiritand scope of the invention.
1. Air conditioning apparatus for a room, comprising a plurality of thin, lightweight air distribution panels covering the entire wall and ceiling surfaces of said room, each of said panels including a front wall, a rear wall, and spacer means connecting the front and rear walls closely spaced from and parallel to each other, said front and rear walls defining therebetween an air passage channel of shallow depth, means mounting said rear wall on a respective surface with the air passage channel in heat-exchange communication. with said surface, and means for feeding air of a regulated temperature into said air passage channel at a low rate of flow at one end of said panel, said spacer means being sized and arranged to form a series of narrow air flow ducts in said air passage channels, said air flow ducts leading from said air feeding means to the opposite end of the panel, said front wall having a plurality of rows of air outlet perforations aligned with and communicating with the air flow ducts, said outlet perforations being so arranged as to provide a selected heat output distribution over the entire panel area, the depth of the air passage channel being sufliciently small so provide a laminar flow distribution of air over said wall and ceiling surface. I
2. Air conditioning apparatus according to claim 1 in which the air feeding means comprises an air duct extending around the upper end of the room walls and communicating with the upper ends of the panels covering the room walls and with one end of the panel covering the ceiling.
3. Air conditioning apparatus according to claim 1 in which the perforations of each row are spaced apart a greater distance in the vicinity of said air feeding means and are progressively spaced more closely in a direction away from said air feeding means.
4. Air conditioning apparatus for a room, comprising a plurality of thin, lightweight air distribution panels coverng the entire wall and ceiling surfaces of said room, each of said panels including a front wall, a rear wall, and a corrugated insert connecting said walls in parallel, closely-spaced relationship, said corrugated insert defining a series of shallow, narrow forwardly-facing ducts and a series of shallow, narrow rearwardly-facing ducts between said walls, said ducts being parallel to each other and extending the length of said panel, said front wall panel having rows of air-outlet perforations communicating with at least one series of ducts, and means for feeding conditioned air at a low rate of flow at one end of said panel into said ducts, the ducts receiving said air flow being in heat-exchange communication with said surfaces, said air outlet perforations being arranged to provide selected heat transfer with the interior of said room over the entire area of said panels.
5. Air condinioning apparatus according to claim 4 in which said air-outlet perforations communicate with the forwardly-facing ducts only, the corrugated insert being also perforated to provide communication between the rearwardly-facing ducts and the forwardly-facing ducts.
6. Air conditioning apparatus according to claim 5 in which the air outlet perforations are positioned to register with perforations in said insert in communication with the rearwardly-facing ducts.
7. Air conditioning apparatus according to claim 4 in which said panels are mounted with the rear walls thereof lying flush against the wall and ceiling surfaces of the room, the rearwardly-facing ducts being positioned to regulate the temperature of said surfaces through the rear panel walls.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,748,505 Bemis Feb. 25, 1930 (Other references on following page) UNITED STATES PATENTS Hale Apr. 18, 1930 Norris Sept. 12, 1939 Germonprez July 28, 1942 Chipley Sept. 7, 1943 Williams June 28, 1949 Hlavaty Feb. 6, 1951 10 Macdonald Nov. 4, 1952 Antony June 9, 1953 FOREIGN PATENTS Great Britain Oct. 31, 1956