US 3280591 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 25, 1966 M. E. WEBSTER 3,280,591
PORTABLE, ABSORPTION REFRIGERATOR TYPE BEVERAGE DISPENSER Filed Jan. 8, 1965 5 Sheets--Sheefl l INVENTOR I8 @El M20@ v MlLo E.wEsTER ATTORNEYS.
Oct. 25, 1966 M. E. WEBSTER 3,280,591
PORTABLE, ABSORPTION REFRIGERATOR TYPE BEVERAGE DISPENSER Filed Jan. 8. 1965 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR MILO E. WEBSTER ATTORNEYS.
Oct. 25, 1966 M, E, WEBSTER 3,280,591
PORTABLE, ABSORPTION REFRIGERATOR TYPE BEVERAGE DISPENSER Filed Jan. 8. 1965 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 FIG. 4.
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l l I INVENTOR \5, BY MlLo WEBSTER ATTORNEYS.
United States Patent O 3,280,591 PORTABLE, ABSORPTIGN REFRIGERATOR TYPE BEVERAGE DISPENSER Milo E. Webster, Rochester, N.Y., assignor to Bernz Matic Corporation, Rochester, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Jan. 8, 1965, Ser. No. 424,312 4 Claims. (Cl. 62-390) This invention relates in general to vbeverage ldispensers and more particularly to a portable, carbonated beverage dispenser having a self-contained source of carbonated water, syrup dispensers, and refrigeration system, all assembled into a single compact unit.
It is an object of the invention to overcome the disadvantages of prior art beverage dispensers which used ice or refreezable liquid-filled packages as refrigerating agents, by providing the beverage dispenser of the instant invention with an absorption-type refrigerating unit that can be selectively operated by either the heat genera-ted from a fuel gas burner and cylinder, or electrical energy from either 4a conventional A.C. home power source or from a DC. power source, such as a battery. Thus, the beverage dispenser according to the invention requires no replacement of refrigerant, and is adapted to operate practically anywhere.
Accordingly, another object of the invention is to provide a beverage dispenser having a refrigeration system which can be operated either independently of electrical power sources, or from such sources as desired.
Another object of the invention is to provide a beverage dispenser which can manufacture and store the carbonated water used in the beverages it dispenses, in a single vessel, using only common water and carbon dioxide gas contained in a pressurized cylinder.
Consequently, another and further object of the invention is to provide in a `beverage dispenser as aforesaid, a water carbonation system which is simple and effective to produce carbonated water with a minimum consumption of carbon dioxide gas, so Ithat a single carbon dioxide gas cylinder of limited size and weight will suiiice for several rellings of the carbonated water vessel -to produce carbonated water less expensively than in prior art carbonated beverage dispensers.
Still another and further object of the invention lis to provide in a beverage dispenser as aforesaid, a water carbonation system having a pressure-regulated, carbonated water tank which can be easily and safely disconnected for a refilling with water and recharging with carbon dioxide gas, and a carbonated water ydispensing valve which has improved sealing properties so as to reduce carbon dioxide gas loses and maintain the carbonation of water within the tank as it is 'being dispensed therefrom.
Other and further objects and advantages of the beverage dispenser according to the invention will appear in, or become evident from, the following detailed description and accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a front and side perspective view of the beverage dispenser according to the invention;
FIG. 2 is a View taken along line 2*2 of FIG. 1 looking downward towards the bottom of the beverage dispenser; Y
FIG. 3 is a separate view, partly in section, of the water carbonation and storage tank used in the beverage dispenser of FIGS. l and 2;
FIG. 4 is an end view of the water carbonation and storage tank of FIG. 3, looking at its lling end, and
FIG. 5 is a side view, partly in section, of the improved carbonated water rdispensing valve used in the beverage dispenser of the ivnention.
Referring now to FIG. 1, the lbeverage dispenser 3,2%,591 Patented Oct. 25, 1966 ICC according to the instant invention is lassembled into a cabinet 11 having a hinged front closure 12, side walls 13 and 14, a top wall 15, a bottom wall 16, and a rear shroud enclosure 17. A tray 18 is attached at the front I of t-he cabinet 11 and extends horizontally outward therefrom along its bottom wall 16, so as to provide a support for beverage glasses (not shown) and means for catching spillages as might occur during the mixing of such beverages.
As shown more clearly in FIG. 2 taken together with FIG. 1, a plurality of syrup dispensing containers 19 are hung on the inside of the closure 12, with their associated dispensing valves 2.0 extending through said closure 12, so as to be operable externally. Any suitable combination of syrup vdispensing containers 19 and valves 20 can lbe used, although simple gravity-feed syrup containers 19 are -used advantageously.
A carbonated water dispensing valve 21 also extends through the closure 12 so as to be operable externally. The carbonated Water ydispensing valve 21 is connected by a conduit 22, preferably flexible, to the water delivery fitting 23 of the water carbonation tank 24 via the quick disconnect fitting 25 on said conduit 22.
The conduit 22 is preferably of such a length that the closure 12 can be swung open for access to the refrigeration compartment 26, or to refill the syrup containers 19 without pulling on the tank 24. The interior surfaces of the side walls 13 and 14, top wall 15, bottom wall 16, and rear wall 27 together with the closure 12 define the boundaries of the refrigeration compartment 26. The water carbonation tank 24 is disposed within the refrigeration compartment 26 so `as to .maintain the carbonated water produced and stored within said tank 24 at a temperature suicien-tly low for making palatable carbonated beverages. Likewise, when the closure 12 is shut, the syrup containers 19 are subjected to refrigeration within the compartment 26, thus advantageously preventing spoilage and enabling a cooler 'beverage to be prepared.
An evaporator coil 28 of the absorption refrigeration system 29 provides for cooling the compartment 26, said evaporator coil 28 being disposed within the compartment 26 at the rear wall 27 thereof. The `refrigeration system 29, which operates on the absorption principle, is housed within the shroud enclosure 17, and outside of the rear wall 27, except for its evaporator coil 28, which is located within the compartment 26 and is operatively connected to the rest of the refrigeration system 29 via the pipe lines 30, which pass through the rear wall 27. Since absorption refrigerators as well as compression vapor cycle refrigerators must reject the heat which is absorbed at a low temperature in the evaporator 28, this heat rejection being at a higher temperature, it is necessary that the components of the refrigeration :system 29, which reject heat, be located outside of the compartment 26 and preferably insulated therefrom, as is provided in the walls 13, 14, 15, 16, 27 and front closure 12 of the cabinet 11. To aid in the rejection of heat from the refrigeration system 29, the shroud 17 is provided with a plurality of apertures or louvres 31, which permit free circulation of ambient air around the hot components of the refrigeration system 29.
Thus, the region bounded by the exterior of the rear wall 27 and the shroud enclosure 17 is actually a heat rejection compartment 32 for housing the heat rejecting components of the absorption refrigeration system 29, such as the generator 33, condenser 34, means for heating the generator 34, such as an electric heating element 35, or fuel gas burner element (not shown).
By utilizing a conventional absorption refrigeration system 29, wherein the generator 33 is provided with a capability for operating from heat generated either by electricity or gas, the beverage dispenser 10 is adapted for use practically anywhere, and is not restricted to areas serviced by utility companies.
For simplicity, only the electric heating element 35 is illustrated, and the element 35 is preferably made in the form of an insertable cartridge whichV encapsulates a resistive heating wire or coil thereof (not shown), and which can be either screwed into or fastened by other conventional means (not shown) into the generator 33.
As 'will be apparent to those skilled in the art, the gas. burner element (not shown) is preferably made in shape oxide gas pres-sure regulator 36 operatively connected to.
said tank 24 via the fitting 37, conduit 38, fitting 39 (quick disconnect), and tank fitting 40 (quick disconnect), andy a pressurized carbon dioxide gas container 41 operatively connected to theregulator 36 via the valve 42 and fitting 43 on the regulator 36.
FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate the construction of the tank 24, and the arrangement of its scalable and removable cover 44, its carbonated water delivery tube 45, and its associated porous diffuser 46. As shown in FIG. 4, the cover 44 is of an oval shape, somewhat elongated, so that when its latch 47 is released, it can be turned and tilted within the tank 24 for removal and replacement,
, as when the tank 24 is filled with a quantity of water to be carbonated therein. An elastic gasket 48 is disposed around the peripheral edge of the cover 44, so that when said cover 44 is inserted and positioned within the somewhat smaller dimensioned opening 49 and locked against the lip 50 by the latch 47, the gasket 48 is compressed into sealing engagement with said lip 50. By reason of the lip l) configuration, the latch 47 need not be constructed so as to withstand the full internal pressure of the tank 24 acting upon the cover 44, but rather can be constructed of relatively light rod or bar stock, since the internal pressure loading upon the cover 44 is taken up by thelip 50, such that as the internal pressure of the tank 24 increases, the compressive forces on the gasket 48 correspondingly increase to provide a tighter seal.
To make a supply of carbonated water, the tank 24 is removed from the refrigeration compartment 26 after disconnecting the carbon dioxide gas line 38 and water delivery line 22 at their respective quick disconnect fittings 39 and 25. Before disconnecting .the carbon dioxide line 38, the valve 42 should be closed. Removal of the tank 24 isthen accomplished by releasing the catch 51, which holds the tank in place within the compartment 26, and lifting said tank 24 out by the handle 52. With the coverv44 removed, the tank 24 is held upright and filled with ordinary water, up to approximately one `inch below the opening 49. After closing and latching the cover 44, the` tank 24 is replaced within the compartment 26, and the lines 22 and 38 are reconnected viatheir respective fittings 25 and 39.
Carbonation of the water Within the tank 24 is obtained by opening valve 42 to admit carbon dioxide gas into said tank 24 through the regulator 36, line 38, fittings 39 and 40, flexible line section 53, check valve 54, flexible line section 55 and diffuser 46. The diffuser 46, which is made of a porous material such as stone, cement, or ceramic and has a centrally disposed passage, which is closed at one end, lies against the bottom portion of the cylindrical tank 24, submerged in the water, so as to permit the carbon dioxide gas to be diffused therethrough to carbonate said water. To prevent the diffuser 46 from being damaged by rubbing or knocking against the wall of the tank 24, as when the tank 24 is removed or the 4- beverage dispenser 10 is moved, a pair of elastic bumper bands 56 are disposed around the periphery of the dif- Ifuser 46.
The check valve 54, disposed in the carbon dioxide gas flow line formedv by the sections 53 and 55, is operative to. prevent both liquid and gas from reverse flowing through the diffuser 46 to the regulator 36 and container 41, while permitting the necessaryy gas iiow'for water carbonation.
The regulator 36 operates to reduce the gas pressure from the container 41 so that the pressure within the tank 24 can be held at a value between 40 to 50 pounds per square inch for proper carbonation. As an aid to checking tank 24 pressure, a gauge 57 is provided on said tank 24. To protect the water carbonation system 100 from the effects of excess pressure, a relief valve 58, set to open at 100 to 120 pounds ,per square inch, is also provided on said tank 24.
During the initial period of carbonation, when carbon dioxide gas is being diffused into thewater Within the tank 24, the carbonated water dispensing valve 21 is preferably maintained in a closed position.
Afterward, to prepare carbonated beverages, the valve 21 is opened so as topermit carbonated water under tank, 24 pressure to ow up the delivery tube 45, through the fittings 23 and 25, the line 22 and out through said valve 21.
The valve 21 is of special construction according to the invention so as to maintain water carbonation within the tank 24 during periods when said valve 21 is opened to dispense carbonated Water. This is accomplished by providing a pair of compound restrictive orifices in the. inlet passage 59 of the valve 21.v
Essentially the valve 21 includes a body 60, having an inlet passage 59 for the admission of carbonated water from the tank 24 under pressure, an outlet passage 61 for dispensing said carbonated water, a bonnet 62, and a beveled cylindrical seat 63. A spring-loaded elasticy stopper 64 is mounted on a slidable shaft 65 extending through the bonnet 62 so as to normally bear against the seat 63 andy thus block the flow of carbonated waterV through the inlet orifice 66 to the outlet 61. A cam lever 67, pin-connected to the end 68 of the shaft 65, said lever having a cam surface 69. which bears against the bonnet 62, is provided for slidablyy displacing said shaft and stopper 64 against the force of the spring 70, so as to permit carbonated water to be dispensed from the valve 21.
It should be noted that the cam surface 69 is so shaped, and the pin connection 71 is so located with respect to said cam surface 69, that the valve 21 will open regard-L less of which direction the lever 67 is moved from the equilibrium position shown in FIG. 5. This is advantageous in preventing breakage of the lever 67, which, like the other parts of the valve 21,. for simplicity and corrosion reasons, are preferably made` of plastic.v
If an inexperienced user strikes the lever 67 (not recommended) there is no wrong direction or rigid stop to cause breakage of said lever 67, as in the case of some prior art valves (not shown).
It has been found that better water carbonation can be maintained if -a valve insert 72, preferably provided with an external thread and having a hollow interior passage 73 closed at one end 74, except for a small orifice 75, is screwed into a thread connection 76 provided on the inlet passage 59 of the valve 21, with the line 22 being connected over the end 77 of said insert 72. Thus, the carbonated water to be dispensed through the valve 21 must necessarily pass through two restrictive orifices, the orifice `and the orifice 76, there-by greatly reducing the gas pressure loss in the tank 24 each time the valve 21 is opened, since in the space 78 between said orifices 75 and 66,` the soda water is at a pressure level intermediate between tank 24 pressure and ambient atmospheric pressure. Since both orifices 66 and 75 must be of sufficient size as to prevent clogging under normal operation, by impurities in the water, and a single orifice of such size would produce and excessive exit velocity, as Well as cau-se excessive gas pressure loss, the compound orice restriction provided by the orifices 66 and 75 overcomes these disadvantages.
Also, it should be noted that the valve 21, since it comes in contact with a material used in the preparation of food, i.e. carbonated water for beverages, must be so constructed as to prevent contamination of said carbonated Water. Thus, the valve 2l should be made of a material, such as plastic, and any parts such as the spring 70 which must, for practical reasons, lbe made of a material such as steel other than stainless, should be protected from Contact with the carbonated water.
This is accomplished by constructing the shaft 65 with an annular protrusion 78, by which it can be attached to the stopper 64 by pushing into a molded recess 79 in said stopper 64.
The spring 70 is enclosed within a centrally disposed passage 80 in the stopper 54 and is disposed therein such that the spring 70 surrounds the shaft 65 and is in endabuttinfy contact with the bonnet 62 and lip 81 of the recess 79.
When the lever 67 is displaced from its equilibrium position, as shown in FIG. 5, the stopper 64 being of an elastic material, such as rubber or neoprene, is compressed axially so as to uncover the orice 66, thereby permitting the carbonated water to ow therethrough and be dispensed at the outlet 61.
Thus, the valve 21 is so constructed that it can be simply assembled, the stopper 64 can be easily replaced, and the metallic spring 70 is not in contact with the carbonated Water.
1. A carbonated -beverage dispenser comprising (a) a cabinet having an enclosed refrigerating compartment, a heat rejection compartment, and a plurality of avoring syrup-dispensing compartments;
(b) an absorption refrigeration system having a generator, means for heating said generator, and a condenser, which are iixedly disposed in the heat rejection compartment of said cabinet, and an evaporator disposed within the refrigerating compartment of said cabinet;
(c) a water carbonation system having a water carbonation tank disposed within said refrigeration compartment, a carbonated water-dispensing valve mounted to said cabinet so as to be operable from the exterior thereof, a carbonated water delivery conduit operatively connected to said valve and to said tank, and a carbon dioxide gas pressure regulator operatively connected to said tank; and
(d) a pressurized container of carbon dioxide gas operatively connected to said pressure regulator, whereby when a quantity of Water is placed within the tank and carbon dioxide gas is admitted thereto under a pressure established by the regulator, the water is carbonated, and is cooled by the refrigeration system evaporator, so that when the dispensing valve is operated, cold carbonated water is released for mixture with avoring syrup to make a carbonated beverage.
2. A water carbonation system which comprises (a) a water carbonation and storage tank having a scalable and removable cover, a carbon dioxide gas l,
inlet fitting, and a carbonated water delivery tube extending into the interior of said tank;
(b) a porous diffuser disposed within said tank, said diuser having a centrally disposed passage for the admission of carbon dioxide gas, said passage being closed at one end and provided with a gas inlet fitting at the other end;
(c) a flexible gas line connecting the gas inlet fittings of said tank and diffuser;
(d) a check valve disposed in said gas line, said check valve being operative to permit gas ow only in the direction from the tank gas inlet tting to the dituser inlet fitting, and to inhibit both liquid and gas ow in the reverse direction;
(e) a carbonated water dispensing valve;
(f) a exible conduit connecting said dispensing valve to the carbonated water delivery tube of said tank;
(g) a gas pressure regulator operatively connected to the carbon dioxide gas inlet fitting of said tank;
(h) a pressurized container of carbon dioxide gas having a gas dispensing valve; and
(i) a conduit connecting the gas dispensing valve of said container to said gas pressure regulator, whereby when a quantity of water is sealed within the tank, and carbon dioxide gas from the container is admitted thereto Vat a pressure established by said regulator, via said conduit, pressure regulator, check valve and diffuser, said water is carbonated under pressure and can be withdrawn from the tank through said carbonated water dispensing valve.
3. The water carbonation system of claim 2 wherein the porous diuser is made of a ceramic material and is cylindrical in shape.
4. The w-ater carbonation system of claim 3 wherein at least one resilient bumper band is ydisposed on the eX- terior of the cylindrical diiuser, to protect said diffuser against damage by impact with the Water carbonation tank Wall.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,586,499 2/ 1952 Anderson 62-394 X 2,956,418 10/1960 McCann 62-394 X 3,021,685 2/1962 Gore et al 62-390 X 3,084,718 4/1963 Ash 239-583 X 3,139,219 6/1964 Gran 62-390 X 3,170,310 2/1965 Cronelid 62-490 3,195,779 7/1965 Nicko 62-390 X ROBERT A. OLEARY, Primary Examiner.
LLOYD L. KING, Examiner.