US 3088289 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 7, 1963 Filed Feb. 19, 1962 M. ALEX WATER COOLER 2 Sheets-Sheet l jil 24 MA x ALEX INVENTOR.
ATTORNEYS M. ALEX WATER COOLER May 7, 1963 Filed Feb. 19, 1982 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 M A x ALE INVENTOR.
ATTORNEYs United States Patent 3,088,289 WATER COOLER 1 Max Alex, Pasadena, Calif., assignor tolSparkletts Drinking Water Corporation, Los Angeles, Calif., a corporation of California 1 Filed Feb. 19, 1962, Ser. No. 174,051 4 Claims. (Cl. 62--3) This invention has to do generally with refrigeration devices and more particularly with electrically operated water coolers.
Refrigerated water coolers and household refrigerators of conventional construction utilize the expansion and contraction of gas to eflect cooling and this entails apparatus which takes up considerable spaceand consumes a substantial amount of electricity or gas, depending upon the type of fuel used.
An object of the invention is to provide a novel compact refrigerator device specifically designed for use as a water cooler but adapted for other uses embodying a thermoelectric cooling unit.
Another object is to provide novel apparatus of the general type indicated embodying novel means for utilizing a thermoelectric unit efliciently in cooling a container and its contents.
More specifically it is an object to provide a novel refrigeration device or cooler embodying a container and novel means for mounting a thermoelectric cooling unit thereon which enables the unit to be replaced quickly and easily should it become inoperative.
Another object is to provide an improved, efiicient means for removing heat from the thermoelectric unit.
A further object is to provide a novel construction which enables a substantial quantity of uncooled water to be drawn from the cooler without impairing the quantity of cool water therein. This enables the drawing of relatively large quantities of water for use in cooking, making hot beverages, and the like, without drawing upon the supply of cool water.
These and other objects will be apparent from the drawings and the following description. Referring to the drawings: 1
FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a water cooler such as might embody the invention; 1
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of the upper portion of the cabinet of the device of FIG. 1 and showing therein the water storage and cooling means embodying the invention;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view on line 33 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view on line 44 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary elevational view of the rear of the cabinet as taken on line 55 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged sectional detail on line 66 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 7 is a plan view of an alternate form of clamp band; and
FIG. 8 is a sectional view on line 8-8 of FIG. 7 but on a larger scale.
More particularly describing the invention, in FIG. 1 I show a typical water cooler such as might embody the invention and this comprises a casing 11 from which project two water spigots, designated 12 and 13. The casing is provided with a top wall or cover 14 having a central opening 15 for the reception of the neck of a water bottle 16 which is inverted and placed on the cover as shown, a gasket 18 preferably being provided to seat the bottle. The use of bottled water is optional since the cooler can be connected to a remote source by a pipe, hose or the like.
Within the housing I provide a metal container 20 3,088,289 Patented May 7, 1963 which holds a given or desired quantity of water and this has an outlet pipe 21 at its lower end portion which terminates in the aforementioned spigot 12. The container is preferably encased in insulation 23 which may be a foam type plastics or other suitable heat and cold insulation. A ring or insert 24 of plastics or other suitable material is shown mounted in the upper end of the container.
The container 20 and its encasement of insulation is supported upon a mounting plate 25 which is bolted to the housing, being supported upon suitable brackets 26 provided for this purpose.
In order to provide the refrigeration or cooling of the water or other contents of the container 20 I provide a thermoelectric unit 27 which, as is known in the art, will create a temperature differential on opposite sides thereof when an electrical current is passed through it. This unit may be fabricated to provide the plates 28 and 30 on each side thereof, these plates being made of a material of high heat conductivity. In the installation shown the device will be wired so that 28 is the hot plate and 30 the cool plate. In order to secure maximum heat transference between the plate 30 and the container 20 I provide a special mounting block 32 which is contoured on its inner surface 33 to fit the container which in this instance is cylindrical. The mounting block is secured in firm engagement with the container by means of a band or clamp 34 which, in the form of the invention shown in FIGS. 1 to 6, comprises two complementary sections 35 and 36. Each of these is provided with a projecting terminal flange 37 which is mounted to an edge of the block 32 by means of screws 38 which thread into tapped holes 39 in the block. The opposite ends of the bands or clamp elements are also provided with terminal flanges designated 40, which are secured together by screws 41 and nuts 42.
Since heat must be removed from the side of the thermoelectric unit facing away from the container, namely, the so-called hot plate 28, I provide a heat dissipating device or heat exchanger 44 which is secured against the outer plate 28 of the unit by relatively long screws 45. Preferably the screws are formed of nylon or some other suitable material which is a poor heat conductor and these are threaded into tapped holes 46 provided in the mounting black 32. The outer ends of the screws are threaded to accommodate nuts 45. The member 44 is made up of two complementary sections 44A and 44B to faciliate casting or fabrication by other means and each of these comprises a main or side wall 47 and a plurality of serrated fins 48 defined by slots 49 which extend the entire length of the sections. In order to facilitate heat transfer I provide a blower 52 mounted on a lower mounting plate 53 which is suspended from the brackets by the mounting screws 54. The blower is connected to the lower end of member 44 and, during operation of the thermoelectric unit, blows air through the passages formed by the slots 49.
The lower plate 53 may carry the electrical components such as are required to operate the thermoelectric unit 27, including a transformer 55, a temperature sensitive control switch means 56 and miscellaneous other means 57. Leading from the switch is a fluid filled temperature sensing tube 60 of conventional type with bulb (not shown) at its end. The tube is shown housed in a metal tubing 61 which is supported on the band or clamp 34 by means of fingers 63 which are cut from the material of the band and bent around the tube as shown in FIG. 6.
In FIGS. 7 and 8 I show another form of band wherein the band is made in a single piece of metal having a cylindrical section 65 which terminates in spaced ends with parallel flanges 66 suitably apertured to receive screws for securing the same to the mounting block 32. In this band the material of the band itself is formed to provide an annular groove 66 which extends for a substantial distance circumferentially and is adapted to receive the aforementioned tubing 61 and thermosensitive tube 60.
It will be apparent that with the above-described construction wherein the thermoelectric unit is detachably mounted, it is an easy matter to replace the unit with a new one in the event of failure of the unit to function properly.
Another feature of the invention is the provision of means to enable a person to withdraw a substantial quantity of water from the cooler for use in cooking or the like without materially diminishing the supply of cooled water, thusenabling a substantial saving in the amount of refrigeration that would be required over that of an ordinary cooler where only the cooled water can be withdrawn. This is accomplished by providing a baffie 70 of metal, plastics or other suitable material in the upper end of the cooler which receives the neck of the bottle. This member is shown as having a flange 71 at its upper end which may rest upon the upper end of member 24 and as having a frusto-conical side wall 72 and a bottom Wall 73. Adjacent the bottom wall I provide a plurality of openings 74 in the side Wall for the escape of water. The container is provided with an outlet pipe 75 having the aforementioned spigot 13 through which water can be drawn. I
It will be apparent that when water is drawn through spigot 13 and pipe 75 only a small quantity of cool water will be withdrawn from the container 20 before uncooled water flows from the bottle through holes 74 of the baffle inch follow. (a :claim:
1. A mounting assembly for detachably securing a thermoelectric cooling unit to a container or the like and for detachably securing a heat exchanger to said unit, com- 4. prising a metal mounting block, a relatively wide, thin metal mounting band extending around said container and secured to the block, said block having an inner surface against the container and conforming thereto, said cooling unit being disposed with its cool inner side against said block and said heat exchanger being disposed against the other side of said cooling unit, and fastening elements of low heat conductivity engaging said'block and said heat exchanger and holding the same and said unit'in place.
2. In a water cooler having a container adapted to hold water and having good heat conductivity, a mounting block having a side shaped to fit an area of the outer surface of the container, a metal band around said container and secured to said block, a thermoelectric cooling unit, a heat exchanger, means securing said unit to said block and securing said exchanger against said unit, and means on said band for supporting a temperature-sensing tube or the like thereon.
3. A water cooler as set forth in claim 2 in which the means on the band for supporting a tube comprises a semiannular groove formed in the inner side of the band open to the outer side at at least one end.
4. A water cooler as set forth in claim 2 in which the means on the band for supporting a tube comprises a plurality of outwardly projecting curved fingers cut from the band and spaced circumferentially of the band.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 337,716 Todd Mar. 1, 1886 2,186,900 Dick Jan. 9, 1940 2,237,246 Askin Apr. 1, 1941 2,919,553 Fritts Jan. 5, 1960 2,922,284 Danielson Jan. 26, 1960 2,931,188 Levit "Apr. 5, 1960 2,991,628 Tuck July 11, 1961 3,008,299 Sheckler Nov. 14, 1961 3,008,300 Ryan Nov. 14, 1961