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Publication numberUS3516347 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 23, 1970
Filing dateDec 26, 1967
Priority dateDec 26, 1967
Publication numberUS 3516347 A, US 3516347A, US-A-3516347, US3516347 A, US3516347A
InventorsDouglass H May
Original AssigneeDouglass H May
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Double plenum air distribution system
US 3516347 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 23, 1970 D. H. MAY 3,516,347

DOUBLE PLENUM AIR DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM Filed Dec. 26, 1967 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR 2 DOUGLASS H. MAY

BY kn i314 ATTORNEY June 23, 1970 D. H. MAY 3,516,347

DOUBLE PLENUM AIR DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM Filed Dec. 26, 1967 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 'INVENTOR ooususs H. MAY

BY H

ATTORNEY June 23, 1970 I D. H. MAY 3,516,347

DOUBLE PLENUM AIR DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM Filed Dec. 26, 1967 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 KIM h. /l

I; I i

FIG. 7

INVENT OR DOUGLASS H. MAY

BY 9A.. ATTORNEY United States Patent Olfice Int. Cl. F24f 7/02 US. C]. 98-31 13 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Space between a structural slab and the floor or roof thereabove of a building is divided by a horizontal parti tion into upper and lower plenums, to one of which plenums supply air is fed and from the other of which return air is withdrawn. The supply air can be hot, cold or neutral. Inlets and outlets connect the plenums through the structural slab to the room below or through the floor to the room above. The relative amounts of air so conducted are adjustably controlled by valving the inlets and outlets. Electrical, water and other service lines can be run through either or both plenums.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION Field The invention is believed to be classified in Ventilation, Building, Hollow Wall.

Prior art Single-depth plenum chambers have been provided between the structural slab of a building and the floor above, with inlet or outlet connections through the slab or floor. In some instances these plenum chambers have been separated by vertical dividers into laterally adjacent plenum sections or passages, some of which carry supply air and others of which carry return air. The routing of the supply and return air passages of the plenum must be predetermined and coordinated with the required location of outlet and inlet openings. Once constructed, each passage permanently services only the openings it contains, and the openings common to each passage are regimented to function as either all inlets or all outlets. In contrast, openings applied to the subject system can basically be located at random, as any opening through the structural slab can function as an inlet, or an outlet, or both, and the function of each opening can be interchanged during the existance of the construction without altering the construction. Church et al. Pat. No. 3,082,676 and Harrison Pat. No. 3,099,200 are examp es of single plenum system with ceiling diffusers. See et al. Granco Steel Products Company Catalog A-E 641, January 1964.

OBJECTS The primary object of this invention is to provide a double-plenum air distributing system wherein the structural slab and a floor slab spaced thereabove provide the outer walls of the plenums, and wherein an intermediate horizontal partition constitutes a divider, the end result being that ductwork, save for header ducts in some cases, may be eliminated, and the limitation of single plenum application minimized, and air supply and return ports through the structural slab to or from the plenums may be located at virtually any desired location without limitation of access to the supply and return air system.

A further object is to provide various forms of air supply and return ports with valving effects for controlling the ingress and/or egress of air from a room 3,516,347 Patented June 23, 1970 to or from the double plenums so that the relative amounts of supply and return air can easily be controlled.

These and other objects will be apparent from the following specification and drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary isometric cross-sectional view showing the double plenum combination with one form of combined inlet-outlet with valving control;

FIG. 2 is a vertical cross section through the FIG. 1 construction, plus a floor inlet and outlet to the room above;

FIG. 3 is a view generally similar to FIG. 2, but showing another form of combined inlet and outlet with a control for the supply air;

FIGS. 4 and 5 are fragmentary cross-sections showing alternate forms of a combined inlet and outlet providing control over the relative amounts of supply and return air;

FIG. 6 shows the invention as applied to a suspended ceiling construction; and,

FIG. 7 shows an outlet with a damper therein applicable to a suspended ceiling construction of the type shown in FIG. 6.

Throughout the drawings, similar elements are denoted by the same reference numerals.

Referring first t0 the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, there is illustrated a typical between-floors structural slab 2 terminating in a wall 4. Ordinarily, slab 2 would be used as the ceiling of the room below, although a false ceiling may be hung if desired. The floor slab 6 for the room above is supported on subpurlins 8 which may be variously formed so long as they have open-work, such as trusses 9, for the free passage of air therethrough. Preferably, subpurlins 8 have flanges 10 supported on pedestal blocks 12 so as to space their flanges 10 above slab 2. Heat-insulating panels constructed for adequate structural integrity resting on flanges 10 provide a horizontal partition 15 dividing space between slab 2 and floor slab 6 into two plenum chambers which, for purposes of exposition, will be assumed to be an air supply plenum 16 and an air return plenum 18 although, in certain other cases, the supply and return functions may be reversed, or both plenums may supply air of different temperatures. Plenums 16, 18 are connected to header ducts, not shown, which may be disposed in the walls of the building in the form of wall plenums, in a service core, or elsewhere for convenience, such as on the floor or ceiling of the room above or below or between the structural slab and a suspended ceiling (ceiling plenum). Service lines, such as electric conduits, telephone cables, and the like may be run through either or both plenums in accordance with conventional practices for single plenum constructions.

Supply and return air may be introduced at the perimeter of the room above by means of a perimeter distributor 20 by providing a partition 22 which constitutes a vertical extension of an end panel 14 and suitable grills 24, 26. Obviously either one or both of the grills may include dampers, not shown. In addition, the perimeter system need not be connected to both plenums, but just to one of the two plenums, if preferred.

Registering openings 28 and 30 are provided at desired locations through structural slab 2 and partition 15, and the supply and return of air to and from the room below is controlled by diffuser valves 32 which, in this embodiment, are spool-shape elements comprising a cylindrical body 34 with end flanges 36, 3'8. Cylindrical body 34 slides in opening 30 in horizontal partition 15; flange 36 seals alternatively against the bottom of floor 6 or the top of partition 16; and flange 38 seals alternativelyhg'ainst thebotom of partition 15 orthe top of slab 2. Thus, if a diffuser valve is in the position shown towards the left of FIGS. 1 and 2, only supply air enters the room below, and if a diffuser valve is in the position shown towards the right of FIGS. 1 and 2, only return air leaves the room below.

The embodiment shown in FIG. 3 is basically the same as that shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 in that it incorporates the same double-plenum construction to which the same reference numerals have been applied. A different perimeter distributor 20' has been shown for the room above, this one being a corner box 40 having grills 24', 26' in the top and side walls 42, 44, respectively, and a larger partition 22' to reach between end panel 14 of horizontal partition 15 and the top wall 40 of the corner box. The perimeter distributor constructions of FIGS. 2 and 3 are merely demonstrative of the principle that the double-plenum system may be utilized both for heating, cooling and ventilation of a room perimeter as well as for a room ceiling.

An alternate form of difluser valve 32a is also shown in FIG. 3. Here, opening 28' through structural slab 2 is larger than opening 30 of FIGS. 1 and 2. Diffuser valve 32a is a horn-shape tube which extends through openings 28, 30 and which has a flange 48 which seals against the top of partition 15 around opening 30. In this arrangement, the supply plenum 16' is below partition 15 and return air plenum 18' is above.

The space between horns 46 and opening 28' is varied by means of an annular bladder 50 connected by an air line 52 through a control valve 54 and pump 56 so that bladder 50 may be expanded to reduce or close off opening 28', and thereby vary the relative amounts of supply and return air.

FIGS. 4 and illustrate alternate forms of difluser structural slab 2 A partitionlOtl sepaartes plenums 1 6 and 18 in the region of the header ducts.

It is anticipated that the jet method of supply air (FIGS. 4 and 5) may be applied to spaces with high ceilings. Nozzles are applied to throw air sufliciently to reach the occupied space. The jet stream is contracted while passing through the opening of the structural slab. This part of the jet is called the vena contracta which is natural to all jets. The remaining area in the slab opening is available for the free access of return air. In addition, the jet acts as an aspirator to induce room return air to migrate to the opening.

In all embodiments, either or both plenums may be for supply air; and where both plenums are for supply air, it is contemplated that at least one shall be for tempered air, either hot or cold. It should be understood that the system can be used for supply or supply and return of air through the ceiling, with or without perimcover all modifications, substitutions and equivalents withvalves 32b and 32c. In FIG. 4, diffuser valve 32b comperiphery thereof. As indicated by the double-ended curved arrows, plenum 18 may be used for supply or return air. If both plenums 14 and 18 are for supply air, one could be for tempered air and the other for untempered air. In either case, the opening through nozzle 58 could be throttled by adjusting a large-headed screw 59 threadedly supported by a nut 61 in floor slab 6.

In the FIG. 5 modification, tube 62 and flange 64 function somewhat similarly to tube 58 and flange of the FIG. 4 construction except in that the lower end of tube 66 is reduced in size to provide a nozzle 66. Supply air from plenum 16 jets downwardly through hole 28 in slab 2, and return air is drawn back into plenum 18 around the perimeter of hole 28. The passage for return air to plenum 18 and for supply air from plenum 16 may be throttled by moving tube 62 downwardly and upwardly. Both plenums may also supply air, and the total area for egress is constant regardless of position.

FIGS. 6 and 7 show the invention applied to a building construction comparable to that inFIGS. 1-3, but incorporating a suspended ceiling below beams 82 beneath structural slab 2. Through ceiling 80 are louvered openings 84. Extending downwardly and fitting through openings 30 in partition 15 are flanged tubes 86, smaller in diameter than the openings 28 in structural sla-b 2 through which they extend. The lower ends of tubes 86 extend through openings in ceiling 80 and terminate in diffusers 88. Within tubes 88 are damper assemblies 90 each controllable by a knob 91. Disposed between ceiling 80 and structural slab 2 are supply and return air header ducts 92 and 96, duct 92 communicating with plenum 16 via holes 94 in structural slab 2, and duct 96 also communicating with p enum 18 via holes98 in in the scope of the following claims.

I claim:

1. A double-plenum system for heating, cooling or ventilating regions in a building, said building having vertical Walls, said system comprising,

a horizontal structural slab extending from wall to wall in said building and having an upper surface which is substantially planar,

a substantially planar horizontal slab spaced above said structural slab,

a substantially planar horizontal partition spaced between said slabs and dividing the space therebetween into substantially unobstructed upper and lower plenums, wherein said lower plenum is disposed entirely above said structural slab,

support means extending between said lower slab and the upper slab and supporting said horizontal partition,

a pair of air header means respectively connected to said upper and lower plenums,

and air passage means through the partition and the structural slab from one side to the other and establishing air flow connections between the plenums and a region of the building below the structural slab, characterized by the fact that one header means and the plenum connected thereto may be for supply air while the other header means and the plenum connected thereto is for return air, or both headers and the respective plenums connected thereto may be for supply air wherein one supply air is tempered relative to the other.

2. A doubled plenum system as recited in claim 1, and means for damping the flow or air through said air passage means.

3. A double-plenum system as recited in claim 1, said air passage means including a pair of vertically aligned openings respectively through said partition and said structural slab.

4. A double-plenum system as recited in claim 3, and means for damping the flow of air through at least one of said openings.

5. A double-plenum system as recited in claim 1, and means establishing air passages from said plenums into a region of the building above the horizontal slab which is spaced above said structural slab.

,6. In double plenum system as recited in claim 1, and a suspended ceiling spaced below said structural slab, said air passage means also extending through said suspended ceiling.

7. A double-plenum system as recited in claim 1, and means for alternatively establishing and blocking air flow through said air passage means and the region of said building below the structural slab.

8. A double-plenum system for heating, cooling or ventilating rooms comprising, in a building,

a horizontal structural slab,

a horizontal slab spaced above the structural slab,

a horizontal partition spaced between said slabs and dividing the space therebetween into upper and lower plenums,

a ceiling spaced below said structural slab,

said slabs and said ceiling being disposed between upper and lower regions of the building,

a pair of header means respectively connected to said upper and lower plenums,

three vertically aligned openings, one through the partition, one through the structural slab, and one through the ceiling,

a pipe extending vertically through all of said openings, said pipe having an upper end portion sealing the opening in the partition,

an intermediate portion having a side wall spaced in wardly from the perimeter of the opening through the structural slab and establishing an air passage between the lower plenum and the space between the structural slab and the ceiling, and a lower end portion extending through the opening in the ceiling,

means for damping the flow of air through the pipe,

and means for establishing an air passage through the ceiling from the lower region into the space between the ceiling and the structural slab, wherein one header means and the plenum connected thereto may be for supply air while the other header means an the plenum connected thereto is for return air, or both header means and the plenums respectively connected thereto may both be for supply air wherein one supply air is tempered relative to the other.

9. A double-plenum system for heating, cooling or ventilating regions in a building, said building having vertical walls, said system comprising,

a horizontal structural slab extending from wall-to-wall in said building,

a horizontal slab spaced above said structural slab,

a horizontal partition spaced between said slabs and dividing the space therebetween into upper and lower plenums,

a pair of air header means respectively said upper and lower plenums,

air passage means through the partition and the structural slab and establishing air flow connections between the plenums and a region of the building below the structural slab,

characterized by the fact that one header means and the plenum connected thereto may be for supply air while the other header means and the plenum connected thereto is for return air, or both headers and the respective headers connected thereto may be for supply air wherein one supply air is tempered relative to the other,

said air passage means including a pair of vertically aligned openings respectively through said partition and said structural slab,

and means for damping the flow of air through said air passage means, comprising a generally spool-shape device having a cylindrical body engaged through the opening through the partition and having upper and lower flanges thereon,

said device being slidable in said opening between an extreme upper position in which the upper flange seals against said upper slab and the lower flange is spaced above the structural slab, and an extreme lower position in which the lower flange seals against the structural slab and the upper flange is spaced below the upper slab,

whereby flow of air between either of the plenums and the region below may be cut off.

10. A double-plenum system for heating, cooling or connected to 6 ventilating regions in a building, said building having vertical walls, said system comprising a horizontal structural slab extending from wall-to-wall in said building,

a horizontal slab spaced above said structural slab,

a horizontal partition spaced between said slabs and dividing the space therebetween into upper and lower plenums,

a pair of air header means respectively connected to said upper and lower plenums,

and air passage means through the partition and the structural slab and establishing air flow connections between the plenums and a region of the building below the structural slab,

characterized by the fact that one header means and the plenum connected thereto may be for supply air while the other header means and the plenum connected thereto is for return air, or both header and the respective headers connected thereto may be for supply air wherein one supply air is tempered relative to the other,

said air passage means including a pair of vertically aligned openings respectively through said partition and said structural slab,

and means for damping the flow of air through said air passage means, comprising a vertically disposed tubular member having an upper end engaged in the opening through the partition,

and intermediate portion extending through the opening in the structural slab and spaced from the perimeter of the latter opening,

and a lower end disposed in the lower region,

and adjustable means disposed between the intermediate portion and the perimeter of the opening through the structural slab for varying the space between the intermediate portion and said perimeter.

11. A double-plenum system for heating, cooling or ventilating regions in a building, said building having vertical walls, said system comprising a horizontal structural slab extending from wall-to-wall in said building,

a horizontal slab spaced above said structural slab,

a horizontal partition spaced between said slabs and dividing the space therebetween into upper and lower plenums,

a pair of air header means respectively connected to said upper and lower plenums,

and air passage means through the partition and the structural slab and establishing air flow connections between the plenums and a region of the building below the structural slab,

said air passage means including a pair of vertically aligned openings respectively through said partition and said structural slab,

said upper plenum and header connected thereto being for supply air,

and means for damping the flow of air through said air passage means, including a nozzle having a tubular body extending through the opening in the partition and a reduced lower end disposed above the opening in the structural slab and directed centrally of the last-named opening.

12. A double-plenum system as recited in claim 11, the means for damping the flow of air comprising plug means adjustably disposed in said nozzle for selectively restricting the flow of air therethrough.

13. A double-plenum system as recited in claim 11, said tubular body being engaged in the opening in the partition and having a flange on its upper end disposed above said partition, said nozzle being vertically slidable between two positions, in the first of which positions said flange seals against the floor slab and in the second of which positions said flange is disposed below said floor slab.

References Cited UNITED STATE PATENTS WILLIAM E. WAYNER, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3677165 *Oct 23, 1970Jul 18, 1972Connor Eng CorpAdjustable air pattern air diffuser
US3688477 *Jul 1, 1970Sep 5, 1972Coward Charles JrAir distribution/filtration device for clean rooms
US3919928 *Dec 26, 1973Nov 18, 1975Wehr CorpSuspended ceiling and air distribution arrangement
US4012875 *Feb 25, 1976Mar 22, 1977Active Fire Sprinkler CorporationOverhead structural, fire extinguishing and ventilating system
US4069973 *Nov 17, 1975Jan 24, 1978Edwards Douglas WThermal distribution and storage system for solar and other heating and cooling
US4176788 *Apr 12, 1978Dec 4, 1979Holman William PGeothermal home construction
US4663909 *Jun 26, 1985May 12, 1987Bridgestone CorporationOuter heat insulating structure on a building roof
US4830275 *Jun 29, 1988May 16, 1989Rli Byggdata AbTemperature control of buildings
US4874127 *Nov 12, 1987Oct 17, 1989Collier William RClimate control apparatus
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US5468184 *Oct 13, 1993Nov 21, 1995Collier; William R.Air circulation system for enclosed structures
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US5624312 *Jun 9, 1995Apr 29, 1997Collier; William R.Work-station with climate control capabilities
US6604993 *Apr 15, 2002Aug 12, 2003Andrew BonifaceAir partition member and air passageway system
US7546715Apr 9, 2003Jun 16, 2009Roen Roger CStructurally integrated accessible floor system
US8090476Jul 11, 2008Jan 3, 2012International Business Machines CorporationSystem and method to control data center air handling systems
US8251784Jun 9, 2008Aug 28, 2012International Business Machines CorporationSystem and method to route airflow through dynamically changing ducts
US8295035Jan 4, 2008Oct 23, 2012William R CollierModular multilevel raised floor electro-mechanical distribution system
US8382565Jun 9, 2008Feb 26, 2013International Business Machines CorporationSystem and method to redirect and/or reduce airflow using actuators
US8615945 *Jul 2, 2012Dec 31, 2013James WalkerVentilated structural panels and method of construction with ventilated structural panels
US8708788Mar 27, 2012Apr 29, 2014International Business Machines CorporationSystem to route airflow through dynamically changing ducts
US20120285116 *Jul 2, 2012Nov 15, 2012James WalkerVentilated structural panels and method of construction with ventilated structural panels
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Classifications
U.S. Classification454/185, 454/322, 454/323
International ClassificationF24F12/00
Cooperative ClassificationF24F12/001, Y02B30/16
European ClassificationF24F12/00B