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Publication numberUS3117509 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 14, 1964
Filing dateJan 22, 1962
Priority dateJan 22, 1962
Publication numberUS 3117509 A, US 3117509A, US-A-3117509, US3117509 A, US3117509A
InventorsArcher Lee A, Kontos James S
Original AssigneePyle National Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Combination air outlet and return with fluorescent lighting means
US 3117509 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

J 1964 L. A. ARCHER ETAL 3,117,509

COMBINATION AIR OUTLET AND RETURN WITH FLUORESCENT LIGHTING MEANS Filed Jan. 22, 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 m x L, 3 a g [g] z N/ 104100 1199/7 141107.73

[SJ INVENTORJ 1 ea /frcier' BY James J. lento;

ATTORNEYS Jan. 14, 1964 L. A. ARCHER ETAL 3,117,509

COMBINATION AIR OUTLET AND RETURN WITH 'FLUQRESCENT LIGHTING MEANS 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 22, 1962 INVENTORJ- [667Z27'6 Y Tame; i/(anfas %Wn $10 yMTORNEYS Jan. 14, 1964 A. ARCHER ETAL 3,117,509

COMBINATION AIR OUTLET AND RETURN WITH FLUORESCENT LIGHTING MEANS Filed Jan. 22, 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 w, M, 1% W%YS United States Patent COMBINATION AR OUTLET AND RETURN WITH FLUORESCENT LIGHTWG MEANS Lee A. Archer, Wheaten, and James S. Kontos, Chicago, Ill., assignors to The Pyle-National Company, Chicago,

131., a corporation of New Jerse Filed Jan. 22, 1962 Ser. No. 167,545 9 Claims. (Cl. 98-40) This invention relates generally to air-lighting troifers wherein the functions of lighting and air distribution or return are combined in one practical unit.

In the lighting field, fluorescent lighting sources were recognized as affording many advantages, particularly the provision of highly increased lighting levels without necessitating the increase of additional electric current or without producing excessive quantities of heat in the space being illuminated. The benefits of using fluorescent lighting sources, however, were offset by the architectural problem of how to deal with fixtures which were large and cumbersome and which presented an interruptive element insofar as the aesthetics of an interior space design were concerned.

In response to such problems, the concept of a recessed troifer was developed wherein the advantages of fluorescent lighting could be obtained while presenting a clean and uncluttered appearance to a ceiling surface.

The problems of ceiling or wall air distribution were, in a sense, comparable to the problems presented in connection with the lighting field, since ceiling diffusers also represented a severe interruptive problem.

By including the air distribution diffuser as a part of the recessed lighting trough, the appearance drawback of ceiling diffusers was eliminated and interior design was enhanced. New problems have been presented in such combined units, particularly where similarly appearing units are used to develop selectively either the function of air distribution or the function of air return.

When used as an air distributor, cooled or heated air is fed from a source at increased pressure to the trolfer fixture. When used as a return, the air from the space and at the temperature of the space, is circulated through the fixture and back to the temperature conditioning source.

Since fluorescent lighting fixtures operate most eflicient- 1y at a temperature range which is close to normal room temperature, combined units receiving cooled or heated air would tend to establish an operating ambient for the fluorescent lighting means different from the normal room ambient. Accordingly, in conventional trotfers of the prior art the difference in operating temperature would produce a color change which would be particularly noticeable if both types of troffers are used in a single ceiling installation.

In accordance with the principles of the present invention, supply air from a temperature conditioned source at increased pressure is discharged through the trough with the assistance of kinetic baflling operable to direct the air through the trough without moving the air in the lighting trough excessively and without appreciable spilling of the conditioned air in the lamp cavity.

Thus, the air-troffer functions effectively as an air distribution troifer providing an ambient for the fluorescent light tubes substantially at an optimum operating temperature. The identical fixture also functions effectively as an air return since return air is permitted to circulate freely through the fixture. Since the return air is at an optimum temperature, the fluorescent tubes will operate close to peak efliciency. By virtue of the utilization of such kinetic baflling in the trough of the air-trotfer, the fixture can be designed for perfect color match so the 3,ll7,5fl9 Patented Jan. 14, 1984 identical fixture can be effectively used as an air distribution-trolfer and an air return-troifer.

It is an object of the present invention, therefore, to provide an air-troffer wherein is employed kinetic bafiling to direct air flowing through the trough so as to induce an optimum air motion in the trough.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide an air troifer wherein air flow is channeled without wall enclosed passage means.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide an air troifer wherein the air ejector of the troifer is balanced to a neutral point, thereby eliminating any venturi action.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide an air troifer suitable for use as either a supply unit or a return unit but wherein air movement within the lighting trough is minimized when used for supply.

Many other objects, features and additional advantages of the present invention will become manifest to those versed in the art upon making reference to the detailed description which follows and the accompanying sheets of drawings in which a preferred structural embodiment of an air troifer is shown and described in connection with the methods contemplated by the present invention.

On the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a somewhat diagrammatic view showing a ceiling construction of a space being illuminated and ventilated incorporating recessed trolfers constituting air troffers of the present invention and wherein one or more of the troffers is used as an air distribution troffer, while others are used as air return trotfers;

FIGURE 2 is a cross-sectional view taken generally in the plane of line IIII on FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 3 is a cross-sectional view taken generally on the plane of line III-III of FIGURE 2;

FIGURES 4, 5 and 6 are fragmentary cross-sectional views illustrating alternative forms of kinetic bafliing in accordance with the principles of the present invention; and

FIGURE 7 is a light chart demonstrating the performance of the present invention and wherein relative light output in percent is plotted against supply temperature in degrees Fahrenheit.

As shown on the drawings:

In FIGURE 1 there is shown an architectural structure including a ceiling 10 and side walls 11 prescribing the confines of a space 12 to be illuminated and ventilated. The space 12 is provided with a false ceiling 13 spaced from the ceiling 10 to provide a concealed space 14- behind the false ceiling 13, which space 14 may also function as a plenum chamber for the reception of return air. Thus, return air is carried from the space 14 via a return conduit'16 to a heat exchanger HE. It will be understood the heat exchanger may constitute either a furnace or an air conditioner, or both, the function of the heat exchanger being to temperature condition a supply of ventilating air which is then pressurized and discharged under pressure through a discharge conduit 17. The heat exchanger is provided with a fresh air inlet shown at 18.

The main air supply duct 19 extends into the space 14 behind the ceiling 13 and is connected to the conduit 17 to receive the supply of pressurized ventilating air.

The ceiling 13 has a plurality of openings formed therein as at 20 and in each respective opening there is provided a recessed trofler which may comprise an air distribution troifer as shown at D, or an air return troffer as shown at R. Each distribution troffer D is connected to the main air duct 19 by a length of flexible tubing 21. In accordance with the present invention, the air enters through a valve assembly into a distribution chamber and then flows in a uniform path through louvered vanes running the entire length of both sides of the troifer. The air flow is controlled by the valve assembly and by kinetic baflling inside the troifer so the air flow is discharged between the shielding frame and the trolfer housing.

The return unit R, having no flexible tubing connected thereto, permits return air to be discharged directly into the plenum 14, whereupon the return air flows through the conduit 16 back to the heat exchanger.

Referring now to FIGURES 2 and 3, the structural details of an air-troffer provided in accordance with the principles of the present invention may be observed.

A troifer housing 22 is provided which constitutes a generally inverted U-shaped member divided by a wall means 23 into an air distribution chamber 24 and a lighting trough 26.

The housing has an opening 27 formed therein in which is received a collar 23 forming a valve seat 29 and cooperable with an adjustable valve assembly 30, thereby to control the flow of air from the flexible tube 21 which may be conveniently connected to the collar 28, into the air distribution chamber 24.

The wall means 23 constitutes a horizontally extending partition 32 and flanged as at 33 on both sides of the troffer, which flanges 33 are spaced from an adjoining side wall 34 of the troffer housing 22 to form a nozzle 36. It will be noted each nozzle 36 has a wide inlet portion 37 communicating with the air distribution chamber 24 and a restricted throat forming an outlet 33 spaced at a level considerably lower than the horizontal plane of the horizontal partition 32.

Located in the lighting trough 26 and disposed between the vanes 33, 33 are fluorescent light source means taking the form in the embodiment of FIGURE 3 of three elongated fluorescent tubes shown at 40.

A row of louvered vanes 41 run the entire length of both sides of the air distribution chamber 24 and operate to flow supply air from the air distribution 24 in a uniform path into the nozzles 36.

At the bottom of the troifer housing 22, there is located a shielding frame 43 in which is supported suitable shielding, taking the form in the embodiment of FIGURE 3 of a glass plate 44which extends across the bottom of the lighting trough 26 and which, in effect, forms an extension of the finished surface of the false ceiling 13.

Additional details of the construction described in connection with FIGURE 3 are shown in FIGURE 4. It will be apparent from the foregoing description that the air from the air distribution chamber 24 is discharged in r the form of a jet out of the throat of the nozzle 36. Since the air is then free to expand, it may be noted that the theoretically perfect divergence angle of an expansion nozzle handling air would be approximately 9, the expansion angle being illustrated in dashed lines on FIG- URE 4 and identified at 50.

It is contemplated by the present invention, therefore, to locate a scoop 51 having a forward intercepting edge 52 spaced within the angle of divergence of the air stream, thereby to intercept all of the air discharged by the nozzle 36. The scoop 51 is also a turning vane and has a trailing edge 53 which terminates at a curved portion 54, thereby forming with a similarly offset portion 56 on the side wall 34 an outlet passage 57 which extends horizontally outwardly and is then turned downwardly by an offset portion 58 formed on the side wall 34. The shielding frame 43 has an upstanding portion 59 which cooperates with the offset portion 58 to continue the passage 57 and it will be noted the upstanding portion 59 is particularly characterized by a kicker lip 60 disposed at approximately a 45 angle and operative to offset induced secondary air motion. Accordingly, air passing through the passage 57 is pushed downwardly with minimum entrainment and a coalescent air stream is produced.

It will be appreciated that a scoop 51 is provided on both sides of the troffer.

In order to enhance smooth air flow and to cut down possible turbulence, a liner 62 may be aflixed to the side Wall 34, thereby forming the outside wall of the air passage 57.

By virtue of the arrangement thus provided, use of the troffer as an air distribution trot-fer is facilitated since supply air will be kinetically baffled by the scoop 51 and directed through the trough 26 without appreciable movement and Without producing any venturi action. Accordingly, the fluorescent tubes 46 are permitted to operate in an ideal operating environment close to peak efliciency.

When used as a return, the kinetic baflling provided by the nozzle 36 and the scoop 51 does not interfere with the free circulation of return air through the fixture. However, since the return air passes through the fixture via the passage 57 from the space 12 being illuminated and ventilated, the air is at an optimum temperature and, again, the fluorescent tubes 4% are permitted to operate close to peak efficiency.

In the embodiment of FIGURE 5, there is provided a shielding frame 43a which has an upstanding portion 59a and the scoop previously referred to in the embodiment of FIGURE 4 as at 5 1 is integrally formed with the shielding frame 43a, shown in FIGURE 5 at 70.

The scoop 70, of course, has a trailing edge which blends into the upstanding portion 59a. The intermediate portion of the scoop 79'' is gradually curved and terminates .in a forward intercepting lip 71 which, in accordance with the principles of the present invention, is arranged and located within the divergence angle of the nozzle 36, thereby to intercept all of the air discharged out of the throat 38.

The shielding frame 43a is again provided with a kicker lip herein shown at 60:: for the purposes previously described.

In the embodiment of FIGURE 6 there is shown a shielding frame 43b having a kicker lip 60b and an upstanding portion 5912. In this embodiment there is provided a dual scoop including a primary scoop 5112 having a forward intercepting edge 52b positioned within the divergence angle of the nozzle 36 to catch the primary air in the discharged stream having the greatest kinetic energy. The scoop 51b has a curved portion 54b and a trailing edge 53b disposed in the same manner as the scoop 51 described in connection with FIGURE 4.

The scoop shown at 7% is a secondary scoop of the dual scoop arrangement and has a forward intercepting edge 71b arranged to catch the boundary layer of air which has residual motion and which was not intercepted by the primary scoop 51b. Accordingly, the boundary layer is trapped and is assisted in its motion through the discharge passage by the action of the primary air stream.

Referring now to the light chart of FIGURE 7, the curve shown at A is representative of the performance of a troffer having shielding in the form of a solid lens and Without the kinetic baflling of the present invention. The curve shown at B is of a troffer having a completely open lighting trough. The performance of a structure as shown in FIGURES 3 and 4 is illustrated by the curve shown at C, while the performance of the structures of FIG- URES 5 and 6 is shown at E and F, respectively. It Will be noted on comparing the curves that effective volumes of supply air can be furnished through the troffer of the present invention with minimum air movement 7 in the lighting trough, thereby enhancing the operating efliciency of the fluorescent tubes. Moreoven'the same troifer can operate eflectively as an air return since the return air circulates freely through the fixture and exposes the fluorescent tubes to an optimum operating temperature. I

Although minor modifications might be shown by those versed in the art, it should be understood we wish to embody within the scope of the patent warranted hereon all such modifications as reasonably and properly come within the scope of our contribution to the art.

We claim as our invention:

1. A recessed troffer for combination with the wall or ceiling of a space to be ventilated and illuminated comprising,

a housing having side walls and :forming a trough,

a tubular fluorescent light source in said trough to emit rays of light into the space,

means for conducting air from a source of increased pressure including an opening in said housing,

means including said side walls forming a nozzle connected to said opening and having a restricted throat vforming an outlet at the side walls and spaced at a level in said trough lower than said opening,

shielding means extending across the bottom of the trough and together with said housing forming an opening adjacent the side wall, and

said housing having a separate baffle in said trough below said nozzle,

said bafile having a forward intercepting edge spaced inwardly of the side walls and located within the angle of divergence of the air stream discharged by said nozzle,

said baffle having a turning vane offset transversely outwardly with respect to the side walls to direct the intercepted air outwardly of said trough through said opening and into the space to induce optimum motion of the air in the trough.

2. A troffer housing forming a trough for elongated tubular fluorescent light source means,

said housing having a longitudinal side wall adapted to extend inwardly from a ceiling of a space to be illuminated and ventilated,

nozzle means in said trough near the top thereof and including a vane forming together with said side wall a discharge throat having an upper inlet communicating with a source of ventilating air at increased pressure and a lower outlet for discharging a stream of air downwardly, shielding means extending across the bottom of the trough and together with said housing forming an air outlet, and a scoop member subjacent said throat having a forward intercepting edge located inwardly of said side wall to intercept the air stream discharge from said throat and having a curved turning vane directing the air outwardly with respect to said side wall and into the air outlet with optimum movement of the air in the trough.

3. A combination air outlet-return and lighting fixture for combination with the wall or ceiling of a space to be ventilated comprising,

a housing forming an inverted trough and adapted to be recessed in the wall or ceiling,

and having side walls extending inwardly of the wall or ceiling,

a first bafile member in said trough and including a lip inwardly of and in substantially parallel adjacency to the innermost edge of said side wall and together therewith forming a generally vertically extending air passage having openings at opposite ends thereof for either the return or supply of air,

elongated fluorescent light source tubes disposed between said lips,

and a second battle member in said trough and spaced from one of said air passages adjacent the outer most end of said corresponding side wall,

each said second baffle member having a front intercepting edge disposed inwardly of a corresponding side wall with respect to the air flow angle of divergence of said passage to intercept the air stream discharge out of said passage, said second bafile member having an olfset turning vane and a rear edge and said housing comprising offset portions at said side wall forming with said turning vane and rear edge an air passage opening into the space being ventilated for discharging the air stream.

4. In a ventilating system, duct means including a flexible tube conducting temperature conditioned air from a source at increased pressure, an air distribution troiier connected to the end of said tube,

and having a distribution chamber formed therein and a valve assembly to control the flow of air into the chamber, louvered vanes running the entire length of both sides of the trolfer,

said troifer having a housing forming a lighting trough beneath said distribution chamber and including side walls extending downwardly from said louvered vanes on both sides of the troflFer, a vane in said trough spaced from each said side wall and forming therewith a downwardly extending nozzle means having an outlet at a level below the top of said trough, a shielding means extending across the bottom of said troffer for substantially shielding the trough and forming together with said housing elongated openings transversely outwardly thereof, fluorescent light source means in said trough disposed between said vanes, and a bathe in said trough spaced below said outlet and having a forward intercepting edge disposed inwardly of said side walls to intercept the air discharged from said outlet and having an offset turning vane for directing and discharging the intercepted air through said elongated openings between the shielding means and the troffer housing and out of the troffer.

5. Plural air-troflers recessed in a ceiling to function as air distributing trofters and air return trofiers, respectively,

each of said air troffers comprising a housing forming an air distribution chamber having an opening thereinto,

a lighting trough adjacent said air distribution chamber,

and passage means between said trough and said chamber,

baffle means on both sides of said trough extending downwardly from said passage means and including a baflie member in spaced relation to the adjoining housing wall to form a nozzle for receiving supply air from said passage means when the troifer is used as a supply troffer and directing the supply air downwardly,

each said nozzle having a diifusion angle of approximately 9 divergence,

fluorescent light source means in said trough between said nozzles, shielding means extending across the bottom of the trough and forming with said housing air passages at the outside portions of said trough, and

a second baflle means having a forward intercepting portion spaced from said nozzle to intercept air from the nozzle and including an offset turning portion directing the air outwardly of the trough into said air passages,

return air circulating freely through said air passages and the trough when the trotier is used as a return air troffer and returning the air to the source via said passage means, whereby supply troflers and return troflers can achieve an improved color match.

6. An air trofler suitable for use as an air distributor or an air return comprising,

a generally U-shaped inverted housing,

said housing having side walls formed with means for connecting said housing in recessed relation in the ceiling of a space to be ventilated and illuminated,

wall means in said housing dividing said housing into an air distribution chamber and a lighting trough and having air passages formed on opposite sides thereof to intercommunicate the chamher and the trough, vanes on both sides of the troifer extending downwardly from said openings and spaced to form with each respective side wall a nozzle extending from said air distribution chamber toward a lower portion of said lighting trough, fluorescent light source means in said lighting trough disposed between said vanes, and a bafile means on both sides of said trough comprising a vane having a leading edge spaced with respect to each respective side wall in said nozzle to catch air discharged out of said nozzles when said trolfer is used to distribute air and having an oifset portion offset outwardly with respect to a corresponding side wall, said housing having complementary offset portions forming with said oifset portion ofsaid vane air passages opening out of the bottom of the trofier to permit free circulation of room air through said troifer when said troffer is used to return air.

7. An air troffer as defined in claim 6,

and a shielding frame spaced from and extending be tween the side walls of said trofi'er,

and shielding means closing the bottom of the trough,

said bafile means being formed integral with said shielding frame and discharging air between the shielding frame and the housing side Walls. 8. An air troffer as defined in claim 6, a shielding frame extending between the side walls of said troifer, and

including in spaced relation to each adjoining side wall a reentrant portion oifset at an angle with respect'to horizontal to form a kicker lip, said kicker lip oifsetting secondary air motion and assisting in pushing supply air downwardly with minimum entrainment to provide a coalescent air stream discharging out of the troifer. 9. An air trotfer as defined in claim 6, said batfie means including dual spaced vanes wherein said vane comprises one of said dual vanes and a second vane of complementary shape is spaced therefrom to catch boundary air not intercepted by said first vane.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,713,300 Honkerkamp July 19, 1955 2,730,942 Peterson Jan. 17, 1956 2,749,044 Chace June 5, 1956 3,004,142 Archer Oct. 10, 1961 3,010,373 Geocaris Nov. 28, 1961 3,012,133 Archer Dec. 5, 1961

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2713300 *Feb 3, 1950Jul 19, 1955Anemostat CorpVentilating apparatus
US2730942 *Jun 29, 1951Jan 17, 1956Wakefield CompanyCombination luminous ceiling and air conditioning system
US2749044 *Oct 31, 1951Jun 5, 1956Dole Valve CoAutomatic thermostatic register
US3004142 *Aug 3, 1959Oct 10, 1961Pyle National CoOverhead air and light distributor unit
US3010378 *Oct 22, 1959Nov 28, 1961Thomas Industries IncLighting and ventilating system
US3012133 *Oct 7, 1959Dec 5, 1961Pyle National CoAir and light distributor unit
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3259052 *Aug 8, 1963Jul 5, 1966Emerson Electric CoCombined lighting and air handling apparatus
US3498206 *Oct 9, 1967Mar 3, 1970Westinghouse Electric CorpAir-handling luminaire
US3901540 *Apr 17, 1973Aug 26, 1975Trilux Lenze Gmbh & Co KgConnecting member for the reception of electrical wiring between two lamp fittings in a strip lighting scheme
US4439816 *Dec 10, 1981Mar 27, 1984Sci-Med Environmental Systems, Inc.Lighting and air filter structure
US6945866 *May 17, 2002Sep 20, 2005Airfixture L.L.C.Method and apparatus for delivering conditioned air using pulse modulation
US6986708Apr 25, 2003Jan 17, 2006Airfixture L.L.C.Method and apparatus for delivering conditioned air using dual plenums
US20060076425 *Nov 28, 2005Apr 13, 2006Airfixture L.L.C.Method and apparatus for delivering conditioned air using dual plenums
US20070066213 *Feb 24, 2006Mar 22, 2007Andrew HelgesonVariable air volume time modulated floor terminal
U.S. Classification454/248, 362/218, 454/295
International ClassificationF21V33/00
Cooperative ClassificationF21V33/0088
European ClassificationF21V33/00F