US 3354668 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
NOV. 28, F FI CSERNY PORTABLE DRINK DI SPENSER 5 Sheets-Sheet l Filed Jan. 25, 1966 Fred R Cserny INI/ENTORA @52am n Nov. 28, 1967 F. P. csERNY PORTABLE DRINK DISPENSER Filed Jan. 25, 1966 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 ,i r e- Fred P. Cserny INVENTOR.
Nov. 28, 1967 F. P. CSERNY 3,354,668
PORTABLE DR INK DI'S PENSER Filed Jan. 25, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Fig 7 /94 /74 Fig.8
Fred R Cserny INVENTOR.
w @QW ami. 7 A mf United States Patent Oiice 3,354,668 Patented Nov. 28, 11967 3,354,668 IRTABLE DRINK DISPENSER Fred P. Cserny, 929 N. 7th St., Allentown, Pa. 18102 Filed Jan. 25, 1966, Ser. No. 522,957 6 Claims. (Cl. 62-449) Ali-SCT F THE DISCLSURE A refrigerated beverage dispenser including a side wall mounted dispensing tap and having a refrigeration means mounted in the cover portion.
The present invention relates to new and useful improvements in portable drink dispensers provided with refrigeration systems, and more particularly to portable refrigerated dispensers adapted to dispense a beverage from a pressurized container such as a beer keg and the like. More particularly, the present invention relates to new and improved beer keg coolers and dispensers wherein there is provided a compact refrigeration unit in the removable cover thereof.
Recently the brewing industry has experienced a tremendous increase in the distribution of beer in relatively small kegs due to the increasing popularity of unpasteurized and microtiltered draught beer both for consumption at home, social gatherings and sporting events, for example, in lieu of the consumption of canned and bottled pasteurized beer.
It has been long been appreciated that the public no longer wishes to be inconvenienced with the involved paraphernalia formerly required to properly cool and dispense keg beer.
With this need in mind there have been various attempts heretofore to design suitable compact, lightweight portable refrigerated dispensers for keg beer. However, none of the dispensers proposed heretofore have been entirely satisfactory.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a refrigerated beverage dispenser for use in the home or outdoors at picnics and other gatherings, which dispenser is readily portable so as to facilitate its transportation and handling.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved porta-ble refrigerated draught beer dispensing apparatus which facilitates the cooling of a keg of beer without the necessity of resorting to the utilization of cooling coil boxes, ice, and which does not require tap rods, pressurizing pumps, etc.
A further object of the present invention is to provide an improved refrigerated portable beverage dispenser wherein the refrigeration unit of the dispenser is wholly contained within the cover of the dispenser in order to facilitate pre-chilling of a tapped, pressurized keg Within the base portion of the dispenser in a walk-in cooler or the like without the necessity of having to subject the refrigeration unit of the portable dispenser to the detrimental atmos-phere normally present in a walk-in cooler such as normally utilized by draught beer distributors for the storage of relatively perishable keg beer.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide an improved portable refrigerated draught beer dispensing cabinet provided with a mechanical refrigeration unit in the cover thereof which refrigeration unit may ybe of a mechanical compressor or thermoelectric Peltier effect type therefore facilitating selection of the most suitable refrigeration unit for utilization with the -base portion of the dispenser consistent with the conditions under which the beer will be dispensed.
Still a further object of the present invention is tc provide an improved refrigerated portable beer dispenser of the character set forth which is comparatively simple in construction, strong, durable, compact, of light weight, attractive in appearance and which may be manufactured at low cost.
rl`hese together with other objects and advantages which will 4become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view, showing one embodiment of a refrigerated portable draught beer dispensing cabinet constructed in accordance With the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of a mechanical refrigeration unit which is adapted to be contained solely within the cover of the dispenser of FIGURE l;
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the dispenser of FIGURE 1 taken substantially on the plane of the line 3 3 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 4 is a vertical sectional view taken substantially along the plane of the line 4 4 of FIGURE 3 illustrating details of the mechanical refrigeration unit of the dispenser of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary perspective view of a further embodiment of an improved refrigerated portable beverage dis-penser constructed in accordance with the present invention wherein there is provided a thermoelectric refrigeration unit in the cover of the dispenser;
FIGURE 6 is a perspective view of the cover of the dispenser of FIGURE 5 showing certain details of the thermo-electric refrigeration unit contained therein;
FIGURE 7 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view taken substantially along the plane of the line 7 7 of FIGURE 5 further showing additional details of the thermo-electric refrigeration unit contained within the cover of the dispenser;
FIGURE 8 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view taken substantially along the plane of the line 3 8 of FIGURE 5 yfurther showing certain details of the heat sink means of the thermo-electric refrigeration unit; and
FIGURE 9 is a horizontal sectional view of the cover of the embodiment of FIGURE 5 taken substantially along the plane of the line 9 9 of FIGURE 7.
Referring now to the drawings in detail, it will be seen that the embodiment of the present invention illustrated in FIGURES 1 through 4 comprises a generally square Ibox or cabinet of suitable dimensions which is generally designated by the reference numeral 10, which dimensions are such as required to accommodate a 1A keg of beer for example. The cabinet 10 includes spaced inner and outer Walls 12 and 14, respectively, between which is a suitable heat insulating material such as polyurethane, as indicated at 16. The cabinet 10 further includes a bottom 18, a front wall 20, a back wall 22 and side walls 24.
The cabinet 10 is primarily intended to be utilized as a beer keg cooler and dispenser and accordingly as seen in FIGURE 3 a conventional Mi keg of beer indicated at 26 is shown therein. A exible tube or hose 28 of a suitable plastic or rubber material connects the outlet 30 of the keg 26 to a conventional spigot indicated generally at 32 which is mounted in an upper corner portion of the front Wall 20 of the cabinet.
Mounted in a rear portion of the interior of the cabinet 10 is a small shelf 34 adapted to support a tank 36 of pressurized gas, such as CO2, which is connected by means of a flexible tube 38 to the pressurizing port 40 of the keg 26 in order to pressurize the head space within the keg a ts beer is drawn out through the spigot 32. The cabinet 1l) s further preferably provided with a drainpipe indicated generally at 42 which is positioned in the lower portion of he front wall 20 in general alignment with the bottom )f the interior of the cabinet 10 so as to permit complete i-raining of condensation, etc., which may collect therein.
The inner and outer walls 12 and 14, respectively, as ,vell as the bottom 18 may be fabricated from any suitable igid corrosion resistant material such as galvanized steel, aluminum, plastic, and the like.
The portable dispenser 1li illustrated in FIGURES l hrough 4 further includes a lid indicated generally at 5l) which is provided with a substantially self-contained mechanical refrigeration unit indicated `generally at 52. As seen best in FIGURE 3 the cover 50 includes a lower wall member 54 formed of a substantially rigid material such as galvanized steel, aluminum, etc. and the like which in addition to providing a lip seal as indicated at 55 between the cover 50 and the lower portion of the cabinet 10 also provides a support means for the mechanical refri-geration unit 52.
As seen best in FIGURES 2, 3 and 4, the mechanical refrigeration unit 52 includes an electrically operated refrigerant compressor Se which in a conventional manner compresses a refrigerant gas, which high pressure gas is then condensed in an air cooled condenser S. As required, the high pressure liquid refrigerant is fed to an evaporator 60 through a conventional capillary expansion valve means, not shown. As seen best in FIGURE 4, the heat exchange evaporator 60 is supported in a suitable manner from the underside of the bottom wall member 54 so as to be in heat exchange relationship with the interior of the lower portion of the portable dispenser 1i). Although not shown, it Will be understood that the compressor 56 is controlled in a conventional manner by a thermostatic switch, not shown, preferably mounted on the underside of the bottom wall member 54. A suitable amount of insulating material such as polyurethane indicated at 62 is provided to reduce the heat transfer loss from the interior of the lower portion 11 of the portable dispenser through the bottom wall member 54 of the cover 50.
The cover 50 is preferably provided with a decorative false cover 70 formed of a suitable rigid material such as rigid vinyl, for example. The cover 70 is preferably provided with vented, louvered or grilled portions such as indicated at 72 so as to permit free passage of cooling air for the compressor 56 and the condenser 58. The louvered portions 72 may comprise inserts, as shown, or may actually be formed integral with the false top 7 0 during the stamping, molding, etc. thereof.
The false cover ill is preferably provided with a recessed portion 74 to accommodate drinking glasses, etc. whereby the raised edge will prevent the glasses from slipping off the top of the false cover 70;
Although not shown, it will be understood that the compressor unit 56 is further provided with a suitable electrical supply cord to permit connection of the refrigeration unit to a suitable source of line current.
Referring now to the embodiment of the present invention shownin FIGURES 5-9, it will be seen that the lower portion of the cabinet is substantially identical to that shown in FIGS. 1-4, and accordingly, like portions of the lower portion of the cabinet have been numbered by adding prefix 1 before the numeral of the comparable portion shown in FIGS. 1-4. Furthermore, since the lower portion of the cabinet shown in FIGS. 5-9 is identical in every respect to the lower portion 11 of the dispenser 10 only a fragmentary portion thereof has been shown.
The cover portion 150 of the embodiment as shown in FIGS. 5-9 is provided with a thermo-electric or Peltier effect refrigeration unit indicated generally at 152 which refrigeration unit 152 includes a plurality of thermoelectric cells 189 which are connected in series and energized through suitable conductors 182. The thermoelectric cells 186 are rigidly secured to the underside of the heat sink means 134 and are in the-rmo-conductive relation thereto. The heat sink means 184, of which there are two in the embodiment of the invention illustrated, are supported by a bottom wall member 196 formed of a suitable rigid, preferably insulating, material such as a rigid vinyl plastic, for example. As seen best in FIGURE 8, the thermo-electric cells project downwardly through suitable apertures provided in the bottom wall member 186 so as to be within the interior of the lower portion 111 when the cover 159 is positioned thereon.
As seen best in FIGURES 7 and 9, the heat sink means 184 include base members 185 provided with upstanding rigidly secured spaced parallel heat exchange fins 187 preferably fabricated from a suitable highly thermoconductive material such as copper, for example.
As seen best in FIGURES 7 and 8, a cold plate 188 preferably formed of a Ihighly thermo-conductive material such as aluminum, for example, is rigidly secured in heat exchange relationship to the thermo-electric cells 180, in spaced apart relation thereto, by a plurality of spacer blocks 196` which are preferably formed of aluminum also. Although not shown, it will be understood that when joining the heat sinks 184, thermo-electric cells 180, spacer blocks 19) and cold plates 188 by means of soldering for example, a suitable thermo-conductive doping compound such as a metallic oxide, for example, will be placed on the contiguous surfaces of the several elements to insure maximum heat transfer therebetween.
It will be understood that the thermo-electric semiconductor cells 180 are the type commercially available such as of the bismuth telluride crystal type wherein a current passed through the crystal transfers thermal energy at one pole into electrical energy at that pole. This electrical energy is then re-transformed into thermal energy at the opposite pole. An effective heat transfer is thus effected in the overall system and one pole becomesl cold while the opposite pole becomes hot. The polarity of this heating-cooling effect can be reversed by reversing the direction of current ow through the crystal. By connecting a plurality of such crystals in series in electrical circuit as the cells 180, the total heat pumping effect can be increased directly proportional to the number of crystals used, and as shown in the refrigeration unit 152, the current flow is such that heat is conducted from the cold plate 188 to the heat sink 184 from which the heat is dissipated by a suitable electrically operated fan means such as indicated generally at 190 adapted to draw cooling air through the fins 187 of the heat sink means 184.
As seen best in FIGURE 8, the direction of rotation of the fan means 190 is such that cooling air is drawn in through the air vent inlet ports 192 provided in the false cover 179 of the cover means 150 to provide a cooling means to dissipate heat absorbed by the sink means 184 from the thermo-electric cells 180. The cooling air, as indicated by the flow arrows in FlGS. 7 and 8, is then discharged through an air vent discharge port 194 provided in the recessed portion 174?.y of the false top 170.
In order to provide a plenum for the air being drawn over the heat sink means 184 by the fan means 194 and to further insulate the interior of the lower portion 111 from the ambient surroundings, the interior of the cover 150 is provided with a suitable rigid, preferably non-communicating cellular foam plastic mate-rial or the like 162, and it will also be seen that the cover means 150 telescopes over the lower portion 111 and in the manner similar to the cover 50 is provided with a seal such as indicated at 15S.
lnasmuch as the thermo-electrical semi-conductors 181) require a D.C. current it will be understood that a suitable transformer or rectier will be provided in order to facilitate operation of the Peltier effect refrigeration unit 152 from ll5 volt A.C., alternatively the Peltier effect unit 152 may be operated from a suitable power pack.
As stated heretofore, the lower portion of the dispenser 11 or 111 may be provided with a pre-tapped pressurized keg of beer 26 and placed in a walk-in cooler or the like normally utilized by beer distributors, thus facilitating the chilling of the beer keg 26 without subjecting the refrigeration units S2 o-r 152 to the damp atmosphere of the Walk-in cooler. In the event this is done, the covers 50 or 150 provided with the integral refrigeration units 52 and 152 would be placed on the lower portion of the dispenser at such time as the lower portion were removed from the walk-in cooler to be transported to the point of use, be it within a home or outdoors. Furthermore, the provision of either an electro-mechanical or thermo-electric refrigeration unit solely within the removable cover of the dispenser permits greater latitude in the utilization of a dispenser inasmuch as adequate refrigeration may be provided regardless of the characteristic of the electrical current available at the point of use.
It will further be appreciated that due to the compact construction of the dispenser of the present invention, it can be readily manipulated by a single person even when provided with the 1A keg of beer as illustrated. Toward this end, if desired, the lower portion of the dispenser may be provided with suitable carrying handles, not shown.
It may therefore be seen that there has been provided a highly versatile compact, relatively lightweight portable refrigerated dispenser for keg beer which is comparatively simple in construction, strong, durable and attractive in appearance.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equiv-alents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. In combination, a portable, refrigerated beverage dispenser comprising a thermally insulated lower cabinet portion having a normally closed open top, through which is received a keg of beer, removable cover means for normally closing said open top, uid handling means carried by said lower cabinet portion for pressure dispensing the contents of a keg of beer received therein without opening the normally closed open top of the dispenser whereby the entrance of gener-ally warming ambient air into the interior of said lower cabinet portion during dispensing of the contents of the keg is precluded, said removable cover means including a self-contained thermostatically controlled refrigeration system provided with a heat absorption element projecting into said lower cabinet portion so as to be in heat transfer relationship to the keg of beer, said removable cover means being provided with an integral lip seal means for normally maintaining said removable cover means in sealing relation to said lower cabinet portion and provide a support means for said refrigeration means, and an upstanding false cover adapted to cover said refrigeration system, said false cover being provided with air vent means for venting to the atmosphere heat labsorbed by said heat absorption element.
2. The combination of claim 1 wherein said refrigeration system is an electro-mechanical system utilizing a compressible refrigerant, and said heat absorption element projecting into said lower cabinet portion is :a refrigerant evaporator means adapted to absorb heat from the interior of said lower cabinet portion and which heat is absorbed is transmitted by the refrigerant to a refrigerant condenser to dissipate the heat to the atmosphere.
3. The combination of claim 1 wherein said refrigeration system is a thermo-elect-ric Peltier effect system and said heat absorption element projecting into said lower cabinet portion includes -a plurality of thermo-electric semi-conductor cells adapted to absorb heat from the interior of said lower cabinet portion and heat sink means conductively associated with said cells whereby the heat absorbed is transmitted to the exterior of said lower cabinet portion to be dissipated to the atmosphere.
4. The combination of claim 2 wherein said iluid dispensing means includes a spigot mounted on a vertical wall of the cabinet, a hose connecting the spigot to the lower portion of the keg, a tray mounted in the cabinet at an intermediate point, a beer pressurizing gas tank mounted in the tray, a hose connecting the gas tank t0 the top portion of the keg whereby the beer is pressurized for delivery through said spigot.
5. The combination of claim 3 wherein said uid dispensing means includes a spigot mounted on a vertical wall of the cabinet, a hose connecting the spigot to the lower portion of the keg, a tray mounted in the cabinet at an intermediate point, a gas tank mounted in the tray, l hose connecting the gas tank to the top portion of the 6. The combination of claim 1 wherein said false cover is provided with a generally planar top surface adapted to accommodate drinking glasses and the like without blocking the flow of air through said air vent means, said false cover also being provided with a raised peripheral edge around said planar top surface whereby drinking glasses and the like placed thereon will normally prevent it from slipping otf the top of the false cover.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,009,623 7/ 1935 Killen 62.-394 2,063,171 12/1936 Kucher 62-390 2,496,492 2/ 1950 Prosek 62-449 2,596,037 5/ 1952 Maniscalco 62-449 2,671,603 3/1954 Bauer 62-449 3,178,896 4/1965 Sandsto 62-389 3,250,433 5/ 1966 Christine et al. 62-382 LLOYD L. K ING, Primary Examiner,