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Publication numberUS3240395 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 15, 1966
Filing dateJan 22, 1963
Priority dateJan 22, 1963
Publication numberUS 3240395 A, US 3240395A, US-A-3240395, US3240395 A, US3240395A
InventorsFred M Carver
Original AssigneeFred M Carver
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Self-contained portable dispensing system
US 3240395 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 15, 1966 .F. M. CARVER SELF-CONTAINED PORTABLE DISPENSING SYSTEM 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 22, 1963 ATTORNEYS March 15, 1966 F. M. CARVER 3,240,395

SELF-CONTAINED PORTABLE DISPENSING SYSTEM Filed Jan. 22, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 228 I32' no u lwkmmos here 002 25-30psi as (:0 40-50psi INVENTOR Fred M. Carver ATTORNEYS 324,395 Patented Mar. 15, 1966 rice 3,240,395 SELF-CONTAINED PORTABLE DISPENSING SYSTEM Fred M. Carver, 4206 Anthony St., Kensington, Md. Filed Jan. 22, 1963, Ser. No. 253,215 12 Claims. (Cl. 222-1291) This invention relates to a drink dispensing system and more particularly pertains to a self-contained, operative carbonating dispensing system requiring no external connecting lines for electricity, gas or for the liquid or liquids which are being dispensed.

It has been previously known to make drink dispensing systems portable or substantially self-contained, however the previously known systems require pumps and motors and a source of power such as electricity or a gasoline engine, some require external gas connections and many require external water connections. To applicants knowledge, even those systems which are essentially selfcontained, i.e., include containers of water and an engine, require some form of mechanical pump to accomplish high pressure carbonation of Water. In previously known portable units conveyed on a motorized vehicle, the vehicle either carries batteries or, by means of a gasoline engine, generates its own electrical power to provide the motive power for a carbonation pump and in many cases for pressurization of the water utilized.

There is a previously known drink dispensing system which has been used at outdoor sporting events and has no mechanical pumping components, however, true carbonation is not accomplished in such systems. Rather, the liquids being dispensed consist of premixed carbonated drinks stored in large containers and a container of pressurized air or CO is used to pressurize the premix containers, forcing delivery of the premix through dispensing valves.

As distinguished from the above mentioned known systems, the present system is, in fact, a true self-contained drink dispensing system, including in an exemplary form, a pressurized tank of CO containers of water, small containers of concentrated syrups, cold temperature interchangers utilizing crushed ice as a cooling medium, an automatic pumpless carbonator unit, mixing dispensing valves and interconnecting conduits providing a system for dispensing carbonated soda drinks, carbonated water and plain water as desired. In the present invention all power to render the system operative is self-contained, e.g., all power can be derived solely from the CO under pressure, plus the crushed ice. The present system is versatile and, subject to simple modification, enable a plurality of different mixed cold drinks such as grape, orange, cola, etc. to be dispensed from individual dispensing valves or, in its simplest form, may consist basically of an apparatus to make and dispense carbonated water. The system can be completely and very conveniently incorporated within a portable cabinet mounted on wheels for use as a soda-car in ballrooms, indoor and outdoor sporting events, around pools for swimming parties, etc. In a somewhat more expensive organization, the system can be mounted in motorized vehicles such as ice cream, snack bar or pizza trucks, to carry and dispense soda drinks through neighborhood streets and to factories during 'hot summer days.

Accordingly, the primary object of the present invention resides in the provision of a novel self-contained and operative drink carbonating and dispensing system, and desirably, the system may be incorporated in a wheeled vehicle for portability.

Still another object resides in the provision of a novel self-contained drink dispensing system including a removable pressurized container of CO a cooling device, a replenishable water storage system, a self-contained pumpless carbonator unit and mixing dispensing equipment with conduits connecting the CO container, the water, the cooling device and the carbonator unit to place them under selected operating pressures. In conjunction with this object, a still further object resides in providing desired concentrate syrup containers in appropriate fluid communication with the foregoing system and, with appropriate mixing dispensing valves, to provide desired carbonated drinks.

A further object resides in the provision of a compact soda-drink dispensing unit including a chamber for crushed ice, a cooling interchanger located in the crushed ice chamber, a pressure actuated pumpless carbonator located in the crushed ice chamber, a pressurized tank of CO at least one container of water, and at leastt one dispensing valve unit together with suitable conduits and conduit components enabling pressurized CO under selected pressures to be applied to the water in the container(s) and to the carbonator unit to force the water through the cooling interchanger and into the carbonator unit and to force CO through and into the cold water in the carbonator unit and to force the carbonated water, resulting from mixing of cold water and CO within the carbonator unit, up to the dispensing valve(s). In conjunction With this object, a still further object resides in the provision of an additional liquid container or containers for concentrated soft drink syrup(s) also having conduit connections, components and cooling interchanger(s) enabling selected pressures from the CO tank to force the syrup concentrate through the additional cooling interchanger(s) and up to the mixing dispensing valve(s).

Further novel features and other objects of this invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, discussion and the appended claims taken 'in conjunction with the accompanying drawings showing a preferred structure and embodiment in which:

FIGURE 1 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of a complete self-contained soda-bar dispensing system in accord with the present invention, the components and conduits being illustrated in a somewhat diagrammatic manner and disposed within a phantom outline of a portable soda-car cabinet in the positions in which they could be suitable located;

FIGURE 2 is a diagrammatic view showing a simplified basic system for carbonating water but without syrup concentrate components. Although this figure omits the CO pressure regulator components for clarity, it does show the interior details of a suitable pumpless carbonator; and

FIGURE 3 is a perspective view of the exemplary sodacar or wheeled dispensing cabinet, like that shown by phantom lines in FIGURE 1, some of the system components being illustrated in dotted lines to better illustrate their location within the cabinet unit.

In FIGURE 1, all of the necessary components for a portable soda-car, or wheeled dispenser, having means to dispense several different soft drinks together with means for dispensing cold water and cold carbonated water are illustrated. It is to be understood that all conduits will be made of a material suitable for use in carbonated drink dispensing fountains, e.g., blocked tin, stainless steel or some inert plastic tubing such as nylon or suitable polyethylenes, specially treated it necessary, in order to avoid the deterioration eifects of carbonated water. It is to be understood that one or more tanks of water may be utilized as desired and also if more than two types of syrup concentrates are desired, the system can be modified to accommodate the desired number of different kinds of syrup concentrate in separate tanks and a comparable number of associated dispensing mixing valves. Also, more than the one tank of CO may be utilized by incorporating conventional interconnecting fittings. Many types of suitable mixing dispensing valves are available on the commercial market, a very economical, satisfactory and acceptable such dispensing valve being illustrated and described in United States Patent No. 2,921,605 to J. J. Booth and W. C. Branch.

With reference now to FIGURE 1, an exemplary form of a portable soda-car unit consists of a cabinet 12 rendered portable by a number of caster wheels 14 fixed to the cabinet base 16. Access to the interior of cabinet 12 is provided by hinged doors 18 and 19 (seen in FIG- URE 3) at the rear of the cabinet. The top Wall 20 of the portable soda-bar constitutes a counter and can be made of multi-ply material with a plastic composition top. Toward the rear of the counter, a center portion is removed to provide a large opening 22. A metal tub 24 fits within the opening 22 and is secured with its top approximately level with the counter top. Tub 24 contains several units to be hereinafter described, and serves as a bin to contain a large quantity of crushed ice, used for system cooling and also available to place in drinks being served over the counter.

The ice tub 24 is preferably covered on its exterior with a layer of insulation 26 and includes a drain fitting 28 at its bottom. Connected to the drain fitting below the tub is an on-otf valve 30 which can be deleted if desired. A drain water bucket 32 can be kept in the cabinet immediately below the drain valve 36. Normally valve 30 will be kept open, permitting water from the melting ice to run off.

A small, upstanding, dispensing valve backboard 36 is secured to the counter-top 20 adjacent the front edge of the ice tub opening 22 and mounts a simple mixing dispensing valve 38 and a multiple purpose mixing dispensing valve 46; A conventional soda fountain drain tray 42 will be firmly mounted against the backboard 36 and over the opening 22 substantially on a level with the countertop. In a conventional manner, drain tray 42 should be removable for cleaning purposes. A small drain sleeve is located at the lowest level of tray 42 and connects with a drain line 46 leading to a terminal position inside the cabinet 12 immediately above the drain bucket 32. In the assembled cabinet, drain tray 42 is disposed over only a forward portion of the ice tub 24 and, for convenience, the portion of the ice tub which is covered by the drain tray can contain a carbonator unit 50 and syrup cooling interchangers 52 and 54, components which will be mounted in the ice tub and will be further described hereinafter.

A large flat cooling interchanger 56, known to the soda drink dispensing art as a cold plate, slightly smaller than the bottom of the ice tub 24, is located closely adjacent the bottom of the tub 24, preferably being spaced slightly therefrom by short legs 58. Cold plate 56 has an internal chamber of substantial volume and includes an inlet fitting 60 and an outlet fitting 62 which enable introduction and removal of water to and from the cold plate under pressure with a resultant cooling of the water to a temperature close to 32 F. Preferably the temperature should be at least as low as 34 F. for optimum results. Shown dia grammatically in FIGURE 1, the cold plate inlet 60 is situated at one end and the outlet 62 is located at the other end of the plate. With such construction, water enters the cold plate at one end and as it progresses to the outlet at the other end becomes progressively chilled. Other commercially available cold plates have both the inlet and outlet at the same end in adjacent relationship. In such a cold plate, an interior baflie would direct the Water through a labyrinth path from the inlet to the outlet, resulting in substantially the same chilling effect as can be accomplished in the illustrated cold plate.

Carbonator 50 is disposed in one of the front corners of the ice tub 24 while the small syrup cooling interchangers 52 and 54 can be clipped to suitable brackets on a forward sidewall of the ice tub.

Pressurizing system Other than the cooling derived from the crushed ice which will completely fill the ice tub 24 and surrounds the carbonator, all power utilized in unit 10 is derived from a tank 64 of CO under pressure (usually 600-80O p.s.i.). Such tanks of pressurized CO are commercially available and normally have a valved outlet fitting 66 at one end.

In the FIGURE 1 system, three different CO pressures are used. A high pressure regulator 68 is connected in fluid communication to the outlet of the CO tank valved fitting 66 and is set to reduce the tank pressure to a first high value between 40 and 80 p.s.i. This pressure is used to pressurize the water supply and preferably should be above 40 p.s.i. but not above 80 p.s.i. in order to protect the lines fittings and components. The outlet of high pressure regulator 68 is connected to a multiple branch fitting 70 from which pass outlet conduits 72 and 73 and to which is attached a pressure indicator gauge 76.

High pressure CO conduit 73 connects to an intermediate pressure regulator 75, the outlet of which connects to a T-fitting 77 which provides connections to a conduit 74 and an intermediate pressure gauge 79. The intermediate pressure regulator 75 is set to further reduce the CO pressure to a value of from 25-30 p.s.i. Conduit 74 is connected to, and directs CO under the intermediate pressure, to a C0 inlet fitting 78 on the carbonator 5'0.

High pressure (40-80 p.s.i.) conduit 72 connects through a T-fitting 80- to high pressure CO branch conduits 82 and 84. Conduit 82 connects to an inlet fitting 86 in the cap 88 of and directs the high pressure CO to a Water container 96. A second fitting 92 in the water container cap 88 is in direct communication With an interior container outlet tube 94 which extends down wardly to a position closely adjacent the bottom of the associated water container 90, resulting in an arrangement whereby CO under pressure, being introduced through fitting 86, will force the water within container out through its outlet tube 94, through the associated fitting 92, thence through a serial connection conduit 96 to a similar inlet fitting into a second water container 98 identical to container 90. A suitable size for each of the water containers 9t and 98 is ten gallons. Two or more such water containers, as desired, can be connected serially in the manner shown.

The interior outlet tube 100 of the second water con tainer 98 is in fluid communication with an associated container outlet fitting 102 to which is connected a high pressure water conduit 104. The pressurized Water conduit 104 passes to the interior of the ice tub 24, either through a sealed opening in the sidewall of the tub or over the top edge of the tub, being connected Within tub 24 to the inlet fitting 60 of cold plate 56. An outlet conduit 106 attached to the outlet fitting 62 of cold plate 56 connects to a T-fitting 108 from which two conduits are connected, one of the conduits connecting through a check valve 110 and thence through a short conduit 112 to a water inlet fitting 114 in the top of the carbonator 50. Check valve 110 could if desired be deleted, it being used as a safety precaution to prevent possible backup of carbonated water from carbonator 50 whenever dispenser valve 40 is operated to dispense plain water although such action should not occur. The other branch conduit 116 from T-fitting 108 connects to a plain water inlet 118 of the multiple unit dispenser valve 40. By manual depression of the plain Water button 120 on valve 40, plain water can be dispensed from discharge nozzle 122. The construction of a valve unit which accomplishes the same multiple functions as valve unit 40 is fully described in the aforementioned Patent No. 2,921,605.

The pumpless carbonator 51) has two outlets, one of which is for carbonated Water and is represented in FIGURE 1 by fitting 126, and the other of which is represented by fitting 128 providing a relief passage through an exhaust conduit 130 to atmosphere. The components within carbonator 50 which are in communication with each of the four fittings 78, 114, 126 and 128 will be more fully described hereinafter, although the basic carbonator is not applicants invention and per se is not being claimed. The outlet fitting 126 has connected thereto a high pressure conduit 132 which permits passage of carbonated water from the carbonator to a manifold fitting 134 in, and preferable located near the bottom of, the ice tub 24. Manifold 134 may have as many outlets as desired, each outlet corresponding to a desired dispensing valve unit. In the exemplary disclosure shown in FIGURE 1, which has two mixing dispenser valves 38 and 46, manifold 132 has two outlets 136 and 138 and connected respectively thereto are high pressure conduits 146 and 142 providing individual fluid communication for cold carbonated water to the associated mixing dispenser valves 38 and 40-.

If plastic tubing is utilized in this system, each of the conduits 72, 74, 82, 84, 96, 104, 106, 112, 116, 132, 140 and 142 should be a high pressure type of tubing, for example, plastic tubing reinforced with an outer layer of woven cording such an nylon or stainless steel. The water lines 96, 104, 106 and 112 should be at least 4 ID. and should not be smaller than dispensing conduits 132, 140 and 142 in order that water supply will always keep up with draw-off.

Two syrup concentrate containers 144 and 146 are conveniently situated under the ice tub 24. A separate syrup concentrate container will be provided for each type of soft drink being dispensed, for example container 144 may contain cola concentrate and container 146 could contain root beer concentrate. Each different type of syrup concentrate of course will require its individual mixing dispenser nozzle. In the instant disclosure, since there are two mixing dispenser nozzles 38 and 4d, the system can accommodate the two ditferent types of syrup concentrate.

Containers 144 and 146 are identical and are similar in construction to the water containers 90 and 98 although of smaller size. For example, if the water containers are ten gallon containers, each sy-ru-p concentrate rontainer need be only a two gallon container. As with the water containers, each syrup concentrate container has a sealed, quick disconnect cap, 148 and 159 respectively. Each cap contains an inlet fitting and an outlet fitting including an interior container discharge tube such as 152 which extends to a position closely adjacent the bottom of the associated container. Such containers are per se commercially available. Unlike the two water containers 9i) and 98, which are serially connected, the syrup containers are connected in a parallel arrangement with their discharge fittings, as will be described, being independently connected to the associated mixing dispensing valves.

The syrup concentrate in both of the containers 144 and 146 is pressurized by means of CO from the pressurized tank 64, however the pressure applied to the syrup concentrate containers to force it through the container discharge lines and up to the associated mixing dispensing valves is lower than that required for pressurizing the Water and that for carbonating the water, i.e., a low pressure of the order of -25 pounds per square inch is wholly satisfactory. Accordingly, the CO under high pressure (40-80 p.s.i.) in conduit 84 is applied to the concentrate containers through a third low pressure regulator valve 154 which reduces the pressure to that de sired, eg, the aforenoted 15-25 pounds per square inch, depending upon syrup consistency. Low pressure CO from regulator 154 passes through a T-fitting 156 which has a low pressure indicator gauge 158 and a conduit 160 connected thereto. The low pressure CO then passes via conduit 1613 through a branch fitting 162 which is connected to the inlet 164 of syrup concentrate container 144 as well as to the inlet 166 of the second syrup concentrate container 146.

As has been described, each concentrate syrup container system includes an associated small syrup cooling interchanger 52 and 54. The syrup containers and their individual outlet systems are similar so the description will be essentially confined to one. Outlet fitting 168 on tank 144 has connected thereto a low pressure conduit 170 which terminates at the inlet 172 of the small cooling interchanger 52. Both of the small cooling interchangers 52 and 54 are sealed, integral stainless steel units, the inlets of which terminate at the interior of the upper ends of the interchangers and the outlets of which are connected to a discharge tube such as 174 extending down to a position adjacent the bottom end wall of the interchanger. As has been described, the two interchangers are disposed in a vertical position substantially as indicated, being immersed in the crushed ice which fills the tub 24. When low pressure is introduced into the two syrup concentrate containers 144 and 146, syrup is forced up through the associated conduits to the inlets of the syrup cooling interchangers 52 and 54 which are clipped within the ice tub to be surrounded by crushed ice. As the syrup enters the inlets of the associated interchangers under the low CO pressure, cool syrup will be forced through the interchanger discharge tube 174 and out of the outlet fitting. The outlet fitting 176 of small interchange-r 52 is connected via a conduit 178 to the syrup inlet 180 of mixing dispenser valve 38.

In a similar manner the outlet fitting 182 of the second syrup concentrate container 146 connects via conduit 184 to the inlet of small interchanger 54, thence through its outlet and conduit 186 to the syrup inlet fitting 188 of mixing dispenser valve 40.

Mixing dispenser valve unit 38 has two inlet fittings, one of which is connected by way of conduit 140 to the carbonated water manifold 134 and the other of which is connected through conduit 178 to one of the syrup concentrate interchangers 52. Thus, whenever the operator knob 190 of mixing valve unit 38 is pressed in, a predetermined ratio of syrup and carbonated water will be discharged and mixed through the valve outlet 192. Commercially available syrup and water mixing dispensing valves generally include provision for adjusting the syrup to water ratio.

As has been previously mentioned, the mixing dispensing valve 46 is a multiple discharge valve independent from valve unit 38. If desired, the several dispensing valves can be combined in a Single housing as is shown in Patent No. 2,921,605. The small operating button 120, as has been previously described, controls discharge of plain cold Water from outlet 122. In addition to the cold water inlet to valve unit 40, a conduit for carbonated water under pressure and an associated syrup concentrate under pressure, pass into the valve unit 40. The main control knob and lever device 194, when operated, provides an action identical to that of the mixing valve unit 38 to deliver a predetermined ratio of the srup concentrate associated with that dispenser valve unit and carbonated water through outlet 196. However, unlike the plain valve unit 38, valve unit 40 has an additional discharge button 198 which controls a separate internal valve permitting discharge of carbonated water only from a third outlet 260. Thus, the multiple inlet connections and the three operating controls of mixing dispensing valve unit 40 permit the dispensing of any one of (1) cold Water, (2) cold carbonated water, (3) or a cold mixed carbonated drink.

It is to be understood that the water containers 90 and 98 and the syrup containers 144 and 146 can be made of any suitable material compatible with CO systems and capable of withstanding the pressures which exist in the system. As with the conduits, such suitable containers may be blocked tin, stainless steel or high strength plastics with suitable CO resistant proper-ties. In the 7 FIGURE 1 system being described, which has been constructed, assembled and successively operated, commercially available stainless steel water and syrup containers were utilized. The containers are capable of being easily refilled and accordingly, the caps, such as cap 88 of container 90 and cap 148 of container 144, can be quickly removed by a small increment of twist which unlocks the bayonet type interlock fittings between the container and the cap. A suitable sealing gasket between the cap and the container prevents loss of pressure.

Simplified system Referring now to FIGURE 2, the modified system therein disclosed does not include the syrup concentrate containers, being intended for use where it is desired to dispense only cold water or cold carbonated water.

A pressurized CO container together with a high pressure regulator and an intermediate pressure regulator, not shown in FIGURE 2 but similar to those components in FIGURE 1, connect and introduce intermediate pressure CO (25-30 psi.) through a conduit 214 and high pressure CO (40-80 p.s.i.) through conduit 216. The high pressure CO conduit 216 connects to the inlet 86' of a water tank 90' to force water under the high pressure through the tank outlet 92' thence through conduit 104 to the inlet of the cold plate 56'. Cold water under high pressure passes from the outlet of cold plate 556' through a conduit 106 into branch T-fitting 108', one branch of which leads through check valve 110' and conduit 112' to the cold water inlet 114' of the carbonator 50. The other branch outlet of T-fitting 108' leads through a conduit 116 to a double dispensing valve unit 218 from which discharge of cold water through outlet 222 is under the control of an internal valve operated by the button 220. Dispensing valve unit 218, in this specific example need not be a mixing valve. For convenience it may be a double dispensing valve assembly with common inlets, independent outlets and independent discharge controls.

The intermediate pressure CO conduit 214r connects from its regulator valve (pressure reducing valve) to the CO inlet fitting 78 on the top of carbonator 50'. The carbonated water outlet fitting 126' from carbonator 50 connects through a conduit 132' to an inlet fitting 228 of the dual dispensing valve unit 218. By depressing button 224 on valve 218, its associated internal valve is opened to discharge cold carbonated water through the outlet 226. Carbonator 50', has a relief exhaust fitting 128' which leads through conduit 130 to atmosphere. Conduit 130 can be omitted, if desired. Carbonator 50' is identical to the carbonator 50 seen in FIGURE 1, prime numbers being utilized because of the different embodiments shown in FIGURES 1 and 2.

The carbonator 50 consists of a stainless steel container 230 having a normal operating capacity of about pints of carbonated water. Fixed rigidly, as by welding, to the upper end of container 230 are threaded studs 232 which extend upward from a peripheral rim 234. A suitable annular gasket is disposed on top of the rim 234 and a cover plate 238 fitted over the several studs 232 and against gasket 236. Cover plate 238 is tightly clamped in sealed relationship by gasket 236 on container 230 by wing nuts 240 threaded on the studs 232. Other suitable cover clamping means can be utilized as desired, the readily removable cover being desirable and required in some localities to enable thorough cleaning and sterilization of the interior of the carbonator at appropriate intervals.

The water inlet fitting 114, the high pressure CO inlet fitting 78', the carbonated water outlet fitting 126' and the relief exhaust fitting 128' are suitably, integrally secured to the cover plate 238 and each fitting provides a fluid communication passage between the interior and exterior of carbonator 50, each fitting being connected to suitable conduits at the exterior side of the cover plate, as has been described hereinbefore.

Cold water inlet fitting 114' provides fluid communication of the chilled water (about 34 F.), after it leaves the cold plate 56, to a float controlled carbonator inlet valve 242 located on the interior of the carbonator and secured on the underside of cover 238. As has been described, under normal operating conditions the carbonator contains about five pints of carbonated water. The space in the chamber above the water (about A1 of total container volume) during normal operation is filled with an atmosphere of CO gas. Inlet valve 242 has an outlet tube or nozzle 244 directed to discharge incoming cold water against a deflector plate 246, causing the incoming Water to be broken up into a fine spray as it enters the carbonator St). The control stem of inlet valve 242 is connected to a float arm 248 which has connected to the end thereof a float 250. As is common with float controlled inlet valves when the float reaches the position illustrated in FIGURE 2, as a result of the rising water level, it rotates the control member of valve 242 counterclockwise to the shutoff position, at which point no further cold water is permitted to enter the carbonator. When the water level drops, due to draw-off of carbonated water, float 250 falls, following the water level, turning valve 242 clockwise and permitting introduction of additional cold water under high pressure, 40-80 p.s.i.

CO which enters the carbonator under the intermediate pressure through inlet fitting 78', passes through a stainless steel tube 252 and thence through a short flexible conduit 254, which includes a back pressure check valve 255, to the inlet of a block type fullers earth, or the equivalent, filter 256 which lies on the bottom of the carbonator at a slight angle and from which the CO is emitted through thousands of minute passages into the cold water with carbonator 50. The filter 256 should not lie flat against the bottom of the carbonator, and ring bumpers can be placed on the filter block to keep it away from the bottom, if desired.

The minute passages through the wall of the filter block 256 permits CO gas to be introduced in a fine, effectively atomized, discharge into the cold water, and carbonation occurs as the CO rises to the top of the carbonator.

Carbonation thus occurs in two ways. First, introducing cold water through the float-operated valve, its nozzle and spray deflector plate causes the water to be admitted in a fine spray, which absorbs or accepts the CO gas as it passes down through the CO atmosphere in the top of the carbonator. The action of the water spray accounts for about 50% of the total carbonation. Second, the contact between the body of cold water in the container and the incoming gas as it rises in fine dispersion through the water to the top of the carbonator provides about 5 0% of the total carbonation.

Water is introduced into the carbonator 50' under a sufiiciently higher pressure than the CO so that water W111 ys enter when the spray inlet valve 242 is opened, and the only pressure opposing it is the CO pressure of the gas above the water. When the water reaches the proper level, the spray inlet valve 242 will close and CO Wlll difiuse in fine bubbles up through the water until the CO trapped in the upper part of the carbonator is at the same pressure as the entering CO Thus, the carbonator is pressurized at the intermediate CO pressure. Whenever the dispensing valves are operated to draw-off carbonated water (under the intermediate pressure) the resulting drop in water level in the carbonator opens the valve 242 and the fine entering spray passing down through. the upper space filled with CO will accept CO suflicient for about 50% carbonation. The drop in pressure in the carbonator due to dispensing and also due to acceptance of some of the CO in the upper space by the water spray permits additional CO to pass through the filter and up through the water, resulting in acceptance by the water of additional C0 The aforedescribed action occurs whenever carbonated water is drawn from the carbonator.

The closer that the temperature of water gets to its freezing point of 32 F. the more readily it will accept CO This phenomenon is used in conjunction with spray entry of water through CO gas and with the thousands of minute discharge passages through the fullers earth filter 256 passing CO up through the body of water, to result in a very high degree of carbonation. Accordingly, this type of carbonator eliminates the need of mechanical pumps to achieve the pressures normally needed to obtain high and acceptable degrees of carbonation of water.

The carbonated water outlet fitting 126' from carbonator 50' includes a stainless steel discharge tube 262 which extends downward to a position closely adjacent the bottom of the carbonator container 230. Thus, a discharge path for cold (now about 32 F.) carbonated water from carbonator 50' is provided from adjacent the bottom of the container 230, up through discharge tube 262 and via discharge conduit 132 to the dual control valve 218 or valves such as the mixing dispensing valves 38 and 40 shown in FIGURE 1. Whenever the appropriate discharge valve is manipulated to direct carbonated water to a respective outlet of the dispensing valve, the pressure of CO gas in the upper space within the carbonator 50 will force the carbonated water up through the discharge fitting 126 and through the associated conduits. As will be apparent this causes a decrease in the level of carbonated water within the carbonator 50' and the float 250 will move downward opening the water control inlet valve 242 thereby replenishing the water and initiating carbonation, as has been described.

Carbonator 50' includes an automatic float actuated pressure relief valve 258 which can be a poppet type needle valve which is normally lightly biased closed by a small spring 259 so long as the water level is above a certain predetermined height. Actuating stem 26% of the relief poppet valve member projects downward and through a lost motion connection 261, cooperates with the lever arm 248 of float 250 to be extended to open the poppet valve whenever the water level falls slightly below the level where the water inlet valve is open. When the water level in the carbonator increases to the poppet valve shut-oif level, float 250 (or the lever 248 or an auxiliary abutment) will either engage the poppet stem 260, moving it up to close the relief valve 258 or rise to a position permitting the valve to close. In any event the valve will close when the water reaches an appropriate level, preventing escape of CO gas through the relief fitting 128 and exhaust conduit 130' to atmosphere. If fresh water for some reason is insufficient to balance the amount of carbonated water drawn from the carbonator or, if the fresh water pressure is permitted to be lower than the CO pressure in the carbonator, no fresh water can be admitted. In either case, the water level in the carbonator will drop permitting the float to lower and open the poppet relief valve 258. This action will allow the CO gas entering the chamber to escape, thus reducing the internal carbonator pressure and permitting the water to enter the carbonator chamber.

If the system is operating satisfactorily, draw-off will not exceed fresh water supply and the poppet valve will stay closed. Introduction of water should equal drawolf so long as the water conduits are of suflicient size and water pressure is at a value (408O p.s.i) which is higher than that (25-30 p.s.i) of CO introduced into the carbonator.

It will be apparent that upon depletion of the supply of water in tank 90, the introduction of water under pressure into the carbonator 50 will cease, and the control float 250 will drop and cause relief poppet valve 258 to open and stay open, resulting in undesirable escape of the CO gas from its container. Such an occurrence, of course, could be eliminated by using additional containers of water; however, to warn the operator of such condi- 16 tion, a whistle device can be installed on the atmospheric escape conduit and would indicate that the water supply was depleted if the whistle blew continuously.

FIGURE 3 illustrates a suitable form of portable sodacar, such as shown in FIGURE 1, and includes two mixing dispensing valve units two ten gallon containers of water and two containers for separate syrup concentrates. The CO tank and drain bucket are also illustrated in FIGURE 3, all components being disposed to show an arrangement of the various components interior of the soda-car 10. As is clearly apparent, the various containers of water syrup concentrate and CO are readily accessible for removal and replacement. At the same time, considerable space remains in the interior of the soda-car for various soda-fountain supplies such as cups, towels, straws, spoons, etc. It is to be understood that a more compact organization of the containers could be realized, if desired, particularly when such a system is incorporated in motorized vehicles, such as ice cream trucks, snack bar trucks, snow ball trucks, pizza trucks, etc. It is to be understood that the portable unit described above is intended for use in any such motorized vehicle as Well as for manually pushed portable soda-cars as used for recreational activities at stadiums, coliseums, sand lots, swimming pools, beaches, ball rooms and the like.

The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.

What is claimed and desired to be secured by United States Letters Patent is:

1. A completely self-contained and self powered drink dispensing apparatus comprising: self powered cooling means; a replaceable source of CO under pressure; a replaceable source of water; and means including a fluid communication system interconnecting said source of CO said source of water and said self powered cooling means to pressurize said source of water, to carbonate said water and to dispense carbonated water; said means including a fluid communication system comprising means providing at least two different values of CO under pressure, the means with the higher pressure CO being in fluid communication with and pressurizing said source of water and providing the power for a portion of carbonation and the means with the lower pressure being in fluid communication with and pressurizing said carbonated water for dispensing purposes and providing the power for a further portion of carbonation.

2. A completely self-contained drink dispensing apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said means including a fluid communication system includes a replaceable source of syrup concentrate and means for pressurizing and, cooling said syrup concentrate and for, mixing said syrup concentrate with carbonated water and dispensing said syrup and carbonated water mixture.

3. A completely self-contained drink dispensing systern as defined in claim 1, wherein said means including said fluid communication system includes conduit means from said source of water through said cooling means to provide fluid communication enabling selective dispensing of plain cold water in addition to dispensing of carbonated water.

4. A completely self-contained drink dispensing apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein the higher CO pressure is at least 10 p.s.i. greater than the other CO pressure and the other CO pressure is maintained within a range of from 2530 p.s.i.

5. An operative self-contained drink dispensing unit comprising: portable, refillable means for providing a source of water; means for providing a source of CO under pressure; a cooling exchange device; self-contained and self powered means for keeping said cooling exchange device cold; syrup concentrate containing means; a pumpless cold water carbonator; and a fluid system including mixing dispensing valve means, conduits interconnecting said CO source means through parallel paths with and for pressurizing said water source means, with and for pressurizing said syrup concentrate means and with and for pressurizing said carbonator, conduit means interconnecting said water supply means to and through said cooling exchange device to said carbonator, and conduit means providing fluid outlet communication from said syrup concentrate and from said carbonator to said mixing dispensing valve means.

6. An operative self-contained drink dispensing unit comprising: portable, refillable means for providing a source of water; means for providing a source of C under pressure; a cooling exchange device; means for keeping said cooling exchange device cold; a pumpless cold water carbonator; and a fluid system including dispensing valve means, conduits interconnecting said CO source means through parallel paths with and for pressurizing said water source means and with and for pressurizing said carbonator, conduit means interconnecting said water supply means to and through said cooling exchange device to said carbonator, and conduit means providing fluid outlet communication from said carbonator to said dispensing valve means.

7. An operative, self-contained drink dispensing system including: a removable container of CO under pressure; a cooling means; at least one refillable container for water; at least one refillable container for beverage syrup concentrate; a pumpless, pressure operated carbonator means; mixing dispensing valve means; a fluid communication system comprising selectively variable pressure regulating means providing fluid communication from said CO container to said concentrate container, to said water container and to said carbonator units to place them respectively under selected different operating pressures, conduit means from said water container through said cooling means to said carbonator unit, conduit means from said carbonator unit to said mixing dispensing valve means, and conduit means from said concentrate container to said mixing dispensing valve means.

8. An operative self-contained drink dispensing system as defined in claim 7, wherein said conduit means between an individual said concentrate container and its associated dispensing valve unit includes a secondary cooling interchanger located in said cooling means whereby syrup concentrate passing to said dispensing valve unit will be cooled.

9. A self-contained drink dispensing system as defined in claim 7, wherein said cooling means constitute a tub for containing ice and a large cooling plate in the conduit means between said water container and said carbonator.

10. A self-contained drink dispensing system as defined in claim 9, wherein said carbonator unit is located in said tub to be subjected to the cooling eifect of the ice contained therein.

11. An operative self-contained drink dispensing system including a removable container of CO under pressure; a self-contained cooling means; at least one container for water; a self-contained pumpless, pressure operated carbonator unit; a dispensing valve unit; and a conduit system with means providing fluid communication from said CO2 container to said water container and to said carbonator unit to place them under selected diiferent operating pressures, conduit means from said Water container through said cooling means to said carbonator unit, and conduit means from said carbonator unit to said dispensing valve unit.

12. A self-contained drink dispensing system as defined in claim 11, wherein said dispensing valve unit includes dual and independent operating dispensing valves, said conduit means from said carbonator unit provides fluid communication to one of said dispensing valves in said dispensing valve unit, and said conduit means from said water container through said cooling means provides fluid communication to the other of said dispensing valves in said dispensing valve unit, thereby enabling selective dispensing of carbonated water and plain water.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,261,986 4/1918 White 2221291 1,503,811 8/1924 Bastian 222129.1 X 1,772,111 8/1930 Rice 222129.1 X 1,979,549 11/1934 Hickel 222176 X 2,104,467 1/ 1938 Marzolf 222396 X 2,455,551 12/1948 Booth 2222 2,514,773 7/ 1950 Kromer 222399 X 2,750,076 6/1956 Welty et al. 2221291 2,755,979 7/1956 Lawson et al. 2,776,074 1/ 1957 St. Laurence 2222 2,828,889 4/1958 Joshko 2222 X 2,850,213 9/1958 Cole 222129.4 2,880,912 4/ 1959 Fisher. 2,978,143 4/1961 Arnett et al. 2,894,377 7/1959 Shikles et al. 62-306 X 2,986,306 5/1961 Cocanour 222-l29.1 3,119,485 1/1964 Bayers 222129.4 X

FOREIGN PATENTS 409,518 5/ 1934 Great Britain.

RAPHAEL M. LUPO, Primary Examiner.

LOUIS J. DEMBO, Examiner.

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U.S. Classification222/129.1, 222/608, 261/DIG.700, 62/390, 222/399, 261/51, 261/123, 261/70
International ClassificationB67D1/00, B67D1/06
Cooperative ClassificationY10S261/07, B67D2210/00031, B67D1/06, B67D1/0021
European ClassificationB67D1/06, B67D1/00F4