US 3248861 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 1966 c. LOVERCHECK 3,
DEHUMIDIFIER Filed July 29, 1963 FIG.5
United States Patent O 3,248,861 DEHUMIDIFIER Charles L. Lovercheck, 632 W. 7th St., Erie, Pa. Filed July 29, 1963, Ser. No. 298,015 6 Claims. ((11. 55-281) This invention relates to air driers and, more particularly, to air driers sometimes known as deliquescent air driers, wherein a hygroscopic material is placed in the path of flow of air. The material goes into solution with the moisture from the air and the resulting solution collects in a sump.
Previous air driers of this type could not use a hygroscopic material such as calcium chloride in pure form successfully because it would cake in the drier when exposed to moisture. Various efiorts were made to prevent this caking. For example, in the disclosure shown in Patent No. 2,174,186, the calcium chloride is supported on shelves over which the air passes. In this type of drier, the air does not etficiently contact the hygroscopic material. Also, the top of the material only contacts the air. The structure of the drier also is subject to corrosion. In the drier shown in Patent No. 2,642,951, if a material such as calcium chloride is used in its pure form, it will cake into a solid mass and prevent the fiow of air through the drier or, on the other hand, the calcium chloride may turn to a mushy form and fall through the central partition into the sump.
The present invention provides a drier which operates efiiciently, notwithstanding the caking of the desiccant, by providing a plurality of spaced shelves or partitions made of sponge material wherein the hygroscopic material is supported on the shelves and it will be engaged by air as the air passes over it and, at the same time, the solution flowing toward the sump will engage the air as the air passes over and through it.
It is, accordingly, an object of the present invention to provide an improved dehumidifier.
Another object of the invention is to provide a dehumidifier having spaced shelves therein for supporting a hygroscopic material, the shelves themselves being constituted in part from a sponge material and having openings therethrough.
Another object of the invention is to provide a dehumidifier which is simple in construction, economical to manufacture, and simple and efiicient to use.
With the above and other objects in view, the present invention consists of the combination and arrangement of parts hereinafter more fully described, illustrated in the accompanying drawing and more particularly pointed out in the appended claims, it being understood that changes may be made in the form, size, proportions, and minor details of construction without departing from the spirit or sacrificing any of the advantages of the invention.
FIG. 1 is a longitudinal cross sectional view of a drier according to the invention;
FIG. 2 is a top view of one of the layers of sponge material used on top of some of the shelves;
FIG. 3 is a top view of one of the shelves which supports the material of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a top view of another shelf which supports material like that shown in FIG. 5; and
FIG. 5 is a top view of a sponge material for supporting on top of the shelf shown in FIG. 4.
Now with more particular reference to the drawing, the air drier shown may have a closed tank made of steel or the like with an air inlet 13, an air outlet 14, and a drain 15. The inlet and outlet may be connected in a compressed air line.
An opening 20 is provided at the top covered by a removable cover 21 through which desiccant material 22 may be replenished. As the desiccant material is dissolved by moisture from the air entering the inlet 13 and flowing over it, the solution thereof may collect in the bottom of the tank and be drained off through the drain 15.
Supported in the air drier are shelves or partitions 30, 31, 32, and 33. These partitions may be made of a corrosion resistant non-metallic material such as fiberglass or from any other suitable material. The shelves 32 and 33 are alike except that there is a greater space around the outside of the shelf 33 than there is around the shelf 32 so that the desiccant material 22 which will be supported at its natural 'angle of repose will spill over the sides of the shelf 33 and fall down onto the sponge material on the shelf 31 where it will again assume its natural angle of repose and the excess fall ontothe shelf 32 and, from there, the excess will fall on down to the shelf 30. The shelves should be spaced sufficiently far apart that desiccant assuming its natural angle of repose on the shelves as shown will not obstruct the flow of air through the drier; The angle of repose for much materials will not usually exceed fortyfive degrees but can be verified by test or upon a reliable handbook.
On top of the shelf 33 is supported a sponge-like material 25 which may be porous polyurethane sponge material or the like which may-be in pads /2 inch thick, for example. A similar circular disk like sponge material 26 will be supported on the shelf 32 whereon the desiccant will rest. Thus, as the desiccant dissolves in the moisture, the solution will soak down through the sponge and through holes 36 and the solution itself will be more highly diluted by the air as it flows toward the sump and is contacted by wet air as it comes up through the drier.
Likewise, sponge or foam material 17 is supported on shelf 30 and a similar sponge pad having a central opening is supported on shelf 31.' This foam or sponge material is formed in a circular disk having an opening 38 at the center for the air to pass through.
These shelves are held in spaced relation from each other and from the bottom of the drier by means of legs 40 which are disposed at spaced positions around the shelves as shown and may be one continuous rod extending from the bottom of the drier through each succeeding shelf to the top shelf 33. These rods may be secured to the shelves they pass through by means of an epoxy glue or the like or they could be supported by means of nuts and bolts, riveting, or some other convenient fastening means.
To prevent corrosion of the steel tank, a cylindrical liner 43 may be used inside the tank made of fiberglass or the like. It may be closed at the bottom to form a cup like container in the drier by a bottom 44 to prevent the corrosive solution of the desiccant and the moisture from attacking the steel tank.
The foregoing specification sets forth the invention in its preferred practical forms but it is understood that the structure shown is capable of modification within a range of equivalents without departing from the invention which is to be understood is broadly novel as is commensurate with the appended claims.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
1. A dehumidifier comprising a tank having an inlet for air and an outlet for air,
a plurality of apertured first partitions spaced from each other and disposed between said inlet and said outlet,
each of said first partitions having passages for air between the outside edges thereof and the wall of said tank adjacent the wall of said tank,
a plurality of second annular partitions at least one of which is located between two of said first partitions,
each of said second partitions having an unobstructed passage for air through the center thereof whereby air entering through said inlet passes through the center of one said second partitions around the outside of the next first partition and through the center of the next second partition to said outlet,
said second partitions having a plurality of relatively small openings therein in the annular sections thereof,
and a porous sponge like material resting on all said partitions and covering said small openings and apertures,
and deliquescent hygroscopic material in said tank,
said sponge like material supporting said hygroscopic material thereon whereby air passing from said inlet to said outlet is dehumidified.
2. The dehumidifier recited in claim 1 wherein said partitions are spaced from each other a sufficient distance that said hygyro-scopic material when assuming its natural angle of repose on one said partition will not engage a partition above it.
3. The dehumidifier recited in claim 2 wherein said partitions are supported by rod means extending through said material.
4. A dehumidifier comprising a tank having an inlet and an outlet,
a plurality of spaced first pads of sponge material disposed generally parallel to each other with their edges spaced from the inside surface of said tank between said inlet and said outlet,
a plurality of spaced second pads of sponge material at least one of which is between two of said first pads and having the outside edges in close proximity to the inside surface of said tank,
an opening for air through the center of each of said second pads,
and means to support said first and second pads in spaced relation to each other,
said pads supporting a hygroscopic material thereon in fluid flow relation to air passing through said tank from said inlet to said outlet.
5. The dehumidifier recited in claim 4 wherein said means for supporting said first pads of sponge material comprises first sheets of relatively rigid material having a plurality of openings therethrough allowing-the lower side of sponge material to be engaged byair flowing from said inlet to said outlet,
said first sheets having a part thereof terminating inwardly from the inside surface of said tank,
and means supporting said second pads comprises second sheets of relatively rigid material having enlarged openings through their central portions and relatively small openings through the parts thereof spaced from said central portions.
6. The dehumidifier recited in claim 5 wherein said sheets are generally circular and said first sheets have ears on-the outside edges disposed in close proximity to the inside surface of said tank.
References Qited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,950,502 3/1934 Madan 55-388 2,717,049 9/ 1955 Langford 55-446 X FOREIGN PATENTS 798,088 7/ 1958 Great Britain.
REUBEN FRIEDMAN, Primary Examiner.
C. N. HART, Assistant Examiner.