US 3309886 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 23, 1967 F. WELTY 3 39 83 5 SECONDARY REFRIGERATION APPARATUS FIG 3 0 DQQQ (5C2) QCDTS Q QC; 2Q
3i INVENTOR FRANK WELTY F I G. 4 By ATTQRNEY United States Patent 3,309,886 SECONDARY REFRIGERATION APPARATUS Frank Welty, Youngstown, Ohio, assignor to The Vendo Company, Kansas City, Mo, a corporation of Missouri Filed Sept. 15, 1965, Ser. No. 487,499 6 Claims. (Cl. 62-119) This invention relates to a secondary or auxiliary refrigeration system to be used for the extension of refrigerated zones or areas to other zones or areas in which it may be inconvenient or impossible to locate primary refrigerant evaporating conduits or other primary refrigerating agents such as ice, for example. By way of an example, such secondary cooling circuit may find application in a beverage dispensing system wherein the beverage is cooled in a coil immersed in a bath of refrigerated water and thence brought to a dispensing faucet which is outward of the bath. It has heretofore been proposed to circulate some of the refrigerated Water about the dispensing faucet so as to keep the same and its contents cold thereby avoiding the serving of a warm drink after intervals of non-use of the apparatus, but this requires rather complicated and troublesome physical apparatus which the present invention avoids. Another possible application of the invention is the cooling of the liquid contents of an inner liner of a metal keg to the outer surface of which a refrigerating medium, such as a bag of ice, is applied at only one spot or area. In such apparatus it is common practice to introduce a pressurized gaseous expellant in the space outside the liner but within the metal keg to force the cold liquid out through a small faucet which may be molded on an end wall of the keg.
The invention has, as its principal features, means providing a closed path between the remote zone or area to be cooled and a primary source of refrigeration, such as the water bath or ice bag, with the path inclined upwardly to the latter and filled with a volatile refrigerant which at a certain pressure condenses and liquifies at or below a predetermined temperature and evaporates into the gaseous state above this temperature. Ordinary Freon as widely used in domestic and commercial refrigerators is suitable for this purpose, and the action is such that as the area or zone to be secondarily cooled warms up the refrigerant in the above mentioned path vaporizes and rises to the primary cooled upper end Where it condenses and rains or flows down to the area or zone to be secondarily cooled. The action is continuous and heat is rapidly and continuously withdrawn from the area or zone to be secondarily cooled, as will be understood.
It is thus the primary object of the invention to provide an exceedingly simple yet practical and eflicient method of refrigerating an area or zone which is separated from but Within a practical distance of a primary and more conventionally refrigerated area or zone. To put the invention into practical use it is only necessary in some applications to inject a quantity of a suitable volatile refrigerant under a predetermined pressure into a path already provided, assuming the same to be adequately fluid-tight and to have a refrigerated wall somewhere in its upper portion. In other applications the path may be simply provided by utilizing a closed heatconductive conduit having an upper portion which extends into a zone or area of prime refrigeration.
The manner in which the principles of the method of this invention are employed in a practical manner will become more apparent from consideration of the following specification and the accompanying drawing wherein the above mentioned representative applications of the invention are illustrated.
In the drawing:
3,3,83 Patented Mar. 21, 1967 FIGURE 1 is a schematic section of beverage dispensing apparatus utilizing the principle of my invention;
FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary horizontal section of the apparatus of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a front elevation of a self-contained and pre-charged shipping container for carbonated beverages utilizing the principle of my invention; and
FIGURE 4 is a vertical section through the device of FIGURE 3.
Referring first to FIGURES l and 2, reference numeral 10 designates an insulated tank for receiving a bath of water 11 which may be refrigerated by ice or the evaporator coil of a mechanical refrigerating device, all as is well understood in the beverage dispensing art. The purpose of the refrigerated water bath is to cool coils 12 through which the beverage flows from source inlets 1.3 to dispensing faucets 14. Since the faucets 14 must be readily accessible for manipulation by the attendant and for directing the beverage into consumers glass they are, of course, mounted on the outside of the tank 10, being connected to the coils 12 by the coil extensions 15. Enclosing these extensions 15 are insulating shrouds 16 Which commonly extend out to and over portions of the faucet structures 14.
Although it is common practice to agitate or stir the Water bath 11 by means of a motor-driven impeller to facilitate the heat transfer between the coils 12 and the refrigerating medium, the water in the shroud 16 is rather quiescent and becomes much warmer than the beverage and the outlets of the coils 12. Hence, the beverage in the extensions 15 becomes too warm for serving if the connected faucets are used only sporadically. It is one of the objects of this invention to overcome this difliculty in a most simple and inexpensive manner.
To accomplish the above, I provide a hermetically sealed tubular structure having, for each of the shrouds 16, a horizontally disposed forward portion 17 and an interconnected upwardly inclined rear portion 18 which, as shown in FIGURE 1, extends back into the body of the water bath 11 and is thus in the path of the chilled moving water. These interconnected tubes 17, 18, are made of highly conductive metal, such as copper, to provide for the efficient and rapid transfe heat in the manner to be explained below. For multiple-faucet installations, such as depicted in FIGURE 2, the tubes are preferably ganged together in multiple, being interconnected by tubular struts 19. The purpose of this is not only to facilitate the manufacture and installation of the device but also to insure uniform low temperatures in the water surrounding the various shrouds 16.
Before being hermetically sealed, the tubes 17, Q18 are evacuated and filled with a liquid-gaseous refrigeiant, such as Freon 12, which at the pressure maintained in the tubes boils at any temperature desired to be maintained within the shroud 15 but which condenses at the temperature normally prevalant in the water bath iii-Le, near 32 F.
The interconnected tubes 17, 18 are filled with a sufficient quantity of refrigerant which when all liquid will fill approximately half the volume of the horizontal tube 17. It should now be understood that if because of widely intermittent use of the adjacent dispensing faucet, an extension 15 and the water'surrounding it becomes Warmer than desired the liquid refrigerant in tube 17 will begin to boil and the resultant vapor will pass upwardly along the adjacent tube 18. The heat of the vapor will be transferred to the chilled metal of the tube 13 and thence to the chilled water surrounding the tube whereupon the vapor will condense and flow back down into the tube 17. The process continues endlessly so that a continuous refrigerating effect is maintained to the outer- 9 most extremity of the shroud 16 to maintain both the Water and the coil extension housed therein at a temperature equal to or very closely approximating the temperature of the bulk of the water in the bath 11.
In FIGURES 3 and 4, reference numeral 20 designates a pressure container, commonly made of stainless steel, and provided with a chilled closure cap 21. Mounted on the cap, in protected position within a chime ring 22, is a small dispensing faucet 23 which is connected to a hollow shank 24 and a restriction tube 25 where by the contents of the container may be expelled through the faucet. It is now known to provide the container 20 with an inner flexible fluid-impervious liner 26 to divide the space within the container into two compartments. The first of these compartments designated by reference numeral 27 receives a beverage to be dispensed, such as beer, and this beverage is charged into the compartment through the faucet 23. The second of the compartments is the space 28 outside the liner 26 but within the container 20 to receive an expellant, such as compressed air, which may be charged through an inlet fitting designated by reference numeral 29 and also mounted on the cap 21. It is obvious that if the beverage to be handled is carbonated the pressure applied to the beverage must be sufficient under all the temperature variations to be encountered to retain the carbonation in the beverage and, further, that this pressure must be in addition to that required to expell all the beverage out of the container at time of conception. Accordingly, compressed air in space 28 may be advantageously replaced by a liquidgaseous refrigerant, such as Freon, which maintains an adequate pressure for carbonation retention and for beverage dispensing under any ambient temperature to which the container may be subjected.
In accordance with the principle of this invention, the property of the liquid-gaseous expellant in the space 28 to readily fluctuate between its liquid and gaseous phase is utilized to cool the beverage content of the container in a remarkably simple and effective manner.
With the space 28 charged with a liquid-gaseous expellant of the kind mentioned above and having the characteristic of being readily condensable at normally available refrigerating temperatures the expellant, in itself, may be employed as a heat interchanger in the manner described above in connection with FIGURES l and 2. Thus, a closed bag of ice 30 may be laid across the top of the container 20 when the container 20 is laid down into dispensing position. The adjacent metal of the container, being highly heat conductive, will readily transfer the cold of the ice bag to the expellant gases which are accumulated under the top wall portion of the container 20. This will cause the gas to condense and the resultant liquid will flow or trickle down along the side wall portions of the container inside the container but outside the lining 26 to accumulate in bottom portions of the container. If the side wall and bottom portions of the container are at higher temperature or temperatures than that desired, the liquid expellant-refrigerant will boil off, absorbing heat from its surroundings and thence rise again in gaseous form to the upper portion of the container 20. This process continues endlessly and thus the whole of the container 20 and its contents are maintained at desired temperature even though the primary source of refrigeration-Le, the ice bag 30-is draped over a top portion of the container.
The above is highly advantageous in the consumer distribution of filled and charged beverage containers of the type herein disclosed. These may be encased in normally closed paste-board cartons 31 which are of inherent insulating characteristic and which at the time of dispensing of the beverage are opened as suggested in FIGURE 3 to permit the application of the ice bag 30, as illustrated. The carton serves not only as a convenient non-rolling support for the container but also serves as insulation to assist in maintaining a uniformly low dispensing temperature throughout the Whole of the container and its contents.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim is:
1. In liquid product dispensing apparatus having a tank for receiving a quantity of liquid coolant maintained in a refrigerated condition, a dispensing faucet adjacent the tank, and a product conduit within the tank below the level of coolant maintained therein and extending from the tank to said faucet, the combination with said tank and conduit of a hermetically sealed secondary refrigeration unit comprising a first tubular section extending from the tank in proximal relationship to the segment of said conduit projecting therefrom and terminating adjacent said faucet, an inclined second tubular section cornmunicating with said first tubular section, disposed to be substantially submerged in the coolant maintained in said tank and in a location with the extremity thereof remote from said first tubular section at a higher elevation than the opposite extremity of the same, and a quantity of a pressurized refrigerant in said unit and characterized by the property under said pressure of condensing at the temperature of the coolant maintained in said tank and vaporizing at the ambient temperature normally surrounding the faucet whereby the unit is operable to prevent warm-up of the product delivered to the faucet particularly during low demand periods.
2. The invention of claim 1 wherein said apparatus has a plurality of faucets in generally aligned relationship, and separate product conduits Within the tank and extending to respective faucets, and said unit includes a first tubular section for each conduit respectively located adjacent the segment thereof projecting from said tank, and an inclined second tubular section joined to each of said first tubular sections and extending therefrom Within the tank.
3. The invention of claim 2 wherein is provided tubular struts joined to and intercommunicating all of said second tubular sections.
4. The invention of claim 1 wherein said first and second tubular sections comprise elongated, generally rectilinear, closed end tubes.
5. The invention of claim 1 wherein is provided an insulating shroud around said first tubular section and the segment of said conduit extending from the tank.
6. The invention of claim 1 wherein the first tubular section of said unit is located above said segment of the conduit projecting from the tank.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 650,098 5/1900 Segal 62--399 1,725,906 8/1929 Gay l65-105 2,142,828 1/1939 Smith l05 2,835,480 5/1958 Perez 165-105 3,035,419 5/1962 Wigert 62-119 3,195,619 7/1965 Tippmann 165l05 X FOREIGN PATENTS 103,300 5/ 1926 Austria.
LLOYD L. KING, Primary Examiner.