US 3212492 A
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1965 M. HIMMERICH ETAL 3,212,492
HUMIDIFICATION APPARATUS Filed April 22, 1963 Wm H x mm W mm W% H W WZWS T5 3 M 6 a, a
I n. a a m m a 3/ r1 is 3 x l 2.1.. x g 1 A H 2 2 m 3 a Q m 1 4 m m a/ m T I. fi 4 .3 W4 5 0 AIR TURBINE WHEEL REDUCTION GEAR TRAIN H w w w m WWW m wmw%n mw W M m Ma Y B TO CIRCULATION FAN AIR SUPPLY United States Patent 3,212,492 HUMIDIFICATION APPARATUS Melvin Himmerich and Jack E. Vaughn, Brooklyn Center, Minn., assignors to Honeywell Inc., a corporation of Delaware Filed Apr. 22, 1963, Ser. No. 274,408 1 Claim. (Cl. 126113) The present invention is concerned with an improved humidification apparatus or humidifier; in particular, the humidification apparatus comprises a means for adding moisture to air which is propelled by an air flow responsive apparatus responding to the flow of air through the duct to which the moisture is added.
In the last few years, the importance of the correct amount of humidity in the air of a dwelling has greatly increased. Many humidifiers are available on the market for adding moisture to air which is used to condition or heat a home or dwelling. While many of these devices are quite complicated and relatively expensive, many people concerned with some aspect of this business have recognized that the need for improvements in these devices to not only reduce the cost but simplify the installation work will greatly increase the marketability of such a product. Some humidifying apparatuses have electrical connections for connecting a motivating means to an existing power circuit whenever the air conditioning or heating system is placed in operation. Whenever such a connection is necessary, the installation cost increases. The importance of a device which can be mounted with the least work to provide for good operation of the humidifier cannot be overemphasized.
The present invention is concerned with a humidifying apparatus for inducing the evaporation of water into air which is directed to a space. The motivating means or driving power supplied to the humidifying apparatus makes use of the energy from the air flow through the duct. Specifically, an air flow responsive means or impeller is placed in the duct to respond to the presence of air flow whereby the evaporating inducing device or humidifier is only operated when air flow exists. With such an improved device, the installation is relatively simple and can be done with a minimum expense to the ultimate consumer The apparatus can be installed in a duct of an air delivery system without the need for any direct control connection to the other part of the air conditioning system or electrical power.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved humidifying apparatus having a paddle wheel responsive to the air flow through a bypass conduit from the upstream side of the heat exchanger for activating the moisture evaporating discs of the apparatus.
This and other objects will become apparent upon the study of the following specification and drawings, of which:
FIGURE 1 is a schematic representation of the improved humidifier when used in a conventional forced air heating system;
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention; and
FIGURE 3 is another embodiment of the invention.
Referring to FIGURE 1, a space has a supply duct 11 and a return duct 12 whereby air flow induced by a fan 13 is provided through a heat exchanger or coil 14 to the space. A motor 15 is connected to the fan to drive the fan when a switch is closed by a relay 21. Coil 14 is connected to a source of heat or hot Water supply by a solenoid valve 22 and a pipe 23. Upon the energization of valve 22, water is delivered through pipe 23 to the coil and after heat is removed from the water, the water is returned through pipe 24.
3,212,492 Patented Oct. 19, 1965 A thermostat 25 which is mounted in the space has a switch 30 which is closed when-the temperature of a temperature responsive means or bimetal 31 decreases below a predetermined control point setting. When switch 30 closes, power is supplied from a power source 32 to valve 22 and relay 21 through a circuit traced as follows: from secondary winding 33, a conductor 34, switch 30, a conductor 35, a terminal 40, and through the parallel connection of relay winding 41, and a valve actuator for valve 22, to the other terminal 42, a conductor 43, and back to the other side of secondary winding 33.
Connected in air supply duct 11 is a humidification apparatus or humidifier 44. The humidifier has a tank 45 in which a predetermined level of water 50 is maintained by a conventional float operated valve 51 which is connected to a supply pipe 52. Connected upstream is a second valve 53 which is of a solenoid type similar to valve 22. Valve 53 is connected in a circuit with a humidity controller 54 responding to the humidity in space 10. Controller 54 has a switch 55 which closes when a moisture responsive element 60 responds to a predetermined low value of humidity in the space. Such a humidity control is shown in the Russell N. Booth Patent No. 2,866,023. When switch 55 closes, valve 53 is energized through a circuit traced as follows: from secondary 33, conductor 34, a conductor 61, switch 55, a conductor 62, a winding of solenoid valve 53, a conductor 63, and back to the other side of the secondary winding 33.
A paddle wheel or impelling means 64 is associated with humidifier 44 to provide a rotating movement of shaft 65 when air flow exists from the left to right through duct 11. The specific humidifier connected to impeller 64 is shown in FIGURE 2. A plurality of discs or moisture evaporation inducing means 70 are connected to shaft 65 to be rotated. The lower portions 71 of discs 70 protrude into the water of the tank. As the disc rotates, the wetted surface of the disc moves upward into the air of the duct so upon the flow of air through the duct, the evaporation of the water is induced. During the normal operation of the humidifier, the evaporation rate from the wetted discs would be relatively low unless air flow existed through the duct. While normally such devices would have electrical motors for driving the moisture evaporation inducing means or discs 70, the improved motivating means or impeller 64 provides for a direct coupling between the existence of air flow through duct 11 and the operation of the moisture inducing means or apparatus 70. As soon as air flows under the power of fan 13 in the system as shown in FIGURE 1, impeller 64 would move clockwise to rotate discs 70 as shown in FIGURE 2 to move the wetted surfaces upward into the path of the air flow.
With the present invention, a humidifier of the type shown in FIGURE 2 can be readily installed in a duct such as shown in FIGURE 1 with a minimum amount of work by only necessitating a connection of the water supply source to tank 45.
Another embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIGURE 3. An air turbine wheel of a type similar to paddle wheel 64 is designed to rotate shaft 81 when air flows out of tube 82. By the use of a pipe 82, the source of air pressure from the fan in the central system such as fan 13 of FIGURE 1 can be taken at some position along the air flow path Where a greater pressure is available. For example, pipe 82 can be connected directly to the outlet of fan 13 so the pressure drop through the heat exchanger 14 is eliminated and a greater power is available to the motivating means for the humidity inducing device 83. The invention may use a reduction gear train 84 of a conventional type between air flow responsive means 80 and humidity inducing apparatus 83.
While the present invention has been described in one particular manner, the intent is to limit the scope of the invention only by the scope of the appended claim, in which I claim:
A hot air heating system humidification apparatus comprising:
a heat exchanger;
a fan operably connected to circulate air through said heat exchanger thereby creating a pressure drop from the upstream side to the downstream side of said heat exchanger;
a duct positioned to convey the heated air from said heat exchanger to a space;
a tank attached to said duct intermediate said heat exchanger and the space;
float valve means connected to said tank and adapted to be connected to a source of water to maintain a predetermined water level in the tank;
a plurality of substantially planar discs mounted on said shaft;
means mounting said shaft so that said discs can rotate with a lower portion thereof protruding into the water in said tank;
a paddle Wheel attached to said shaft to rotate said discs to bring a wetted surface of said discs into contact with the air flowing in said duct;
a conduit; and
means connecting one end of said conduit on the upstream side of said heat exchanger and an opposite end near said paddle wheel, said conduit bypassing said heat exchanger for conveying air directly to said paddle wheel so that motivating power for the rotation of said discs is present only when the air flowing from said conduit has a pressure greater than that available at the downstream location of said paddle wheel in said duct.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 12,306 1/55 Babbitt 26192 1,587,277 6/26 Bolling 1261l3 1,826,508 10/31 Decker 126-113 X 1,976,228 10/34 Hutzel 261-92 2,003,938 6/35 Husson.
2,212,418 8/40 Hamann 126--l 13 2,678,810 5/54 Chandler 26l92 2,967,050 1/61 Geen.
25 HARRY B. THORNTON, Primary Examiner.