US 3529437 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 22, 1979 E. J. BELL I SELF-COOLING DRINKING FOUNTAIN Filed Aug. 5, 1968 L L E T H B J D A W D E ATTORNEY United States- Patent 3,529,437 SELF-COOLING DRINKING FOUNTAIN Edward J. Bell, 12 West View Place, Berkeley, Calif. 94705 Filed Aug. 5, 1968, Ser. No. 750,337
Int. Cl. F28d /00 US. Cl. 62-316 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE My invention relates to liquid dispensing means and more particularly to a drinking fountain for dispensing of cool drinking water.
The present invention is directed primarily to a drinking fountain capable of providing cool drinking water 'under conditions where refrigeration either is not available or is not economically feasible. Such need exists, for example, in the fields among agricultural workers, where temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit could be the rule rather than the exception.
Among the objects of my invention are:
(1) To provide a novel and improved drinking fountain;
(2) To provide a novel and improved drinking fountain which is capable, through evaporation, of cooling liquid to be dispensed;
(3) To provide a novel and improved drinking foluntain with self-cooling means, and capable of portabi ity;
(4) To provide a novel and improved portable.selfcooling drinking fountain requiring no artificial power source for refrigeration;
(5) To provide a novel and improved self-cooling drinking fountain which is rugged, compact, rustproof, refillable, and sanitary.
Additional objects of my invention will be brought out in the following description of a preferred embodiment of the same, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a three dimensional view of a drinking fountain embodying the features of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a view in section, taken in the plane 22 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary view taken in the plane 3-3 and depicting a detail of the internal construction;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view depicting a modification of the embodiment of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary view, in section, taken in the plane 5-5 of FIG. 4.
Referring to the drawings for details of my invention, the same utilizes a self-contained source of supply of liquid, preferably in the form of a bottle 3 of sufiicient capacity, housed in an outer casing 5 having louvered side walls 7, a preferably recessed bottom 9, and a cover 11. The bottle having a neck 13 and removable closure cap 15, is refillable, as and when desired, and the bottom being recessed, can be insulated by a packing or pad 17 placed therein.
3,529,437 Patented Sept. 22, 1970 ice Installed in the cover is a hand pump assembly 21 having a suction line 23 extending downwardly into the bottle through a friction seal 25 in the upper end of the bottle. The pump has a discharge spout 27 directed inwardly and upwardly for drinking purposes, and for causing waste liquid to fall Within the area of the cover, which is formed to receive and guide such liquid to the interior of the louvered casing. In the embodiment illustrated, this may involve a drain basin 29 having drain openings 31 at the bottom thereof.
An important feature of the present invention resides in the manner of cooling the liquid contents of the bottle and maintaining the same in a cooled condition, despite ambient temperatures exceeding degrees Fahrenheit, and without reliance upon artificial refrigeration means or power. In this connection, I take advantage of such high ambient temperatures to bring about a rapid evaporation of liquid adjacent the outer surface of the bottle. Such rapid evaporation, I have found, can be effective in dropping the temperature of the contents of the bottle to a value of the order of 35 to 55 degrees below the ambient temperature and holding the temperature within such range.
To accomplish this, I provide a layer 35 of absorbent material between one or more of the louvered walls 7 of the outer casing and the bottle 3, with such layer of absorbent material held in contact with the proximate wall of the bottle. With the absorbent material thus installed, I cause it to become wet or saturated with evaporable liquid, utilizing the waste liquid from the pump for this purpose. The absorbent material may be made up into pads for ease of installation and replacement, if and when desired, and provision is made in the construction of the louvered casing, to facilitate the installation and replacement of such pads.
In one form of the invention, these layers are installable from above, with one end of each overlapping the proximate edge of an adjacent pad. Such embodiment is illustrated in FIG. 2 of the drawings. When thus to be installed, each layer may extend to the bottom of the casing where it is preferably received into a groove 41, provided for the purpose of stabilizing the layer along its lower edge. This necessitates prior removal of the cover and pump to expose the regions to be occupied by the absorbent material. The overlapping end of each layer may be formed with a shoulder 43 to engage and land support to the proximate end of the adjacent layer.
When thus installed, and the cover and pump replaced, it will be apparent that waste liquid from the pump will, in the absence of other provisions, drain through the cover onto the upper end of the bottle from where it will, without uniformity, flow down the sides of the bottle to the bottom of the louvered container, where it will accumulate. In the course of such draining, the liquid will wet such pads as it may come in contact with, but in the embodiment as thus far described, I rely on the accumulation of waste liquid in the bottom of the casing, as the primary means for wetting the pads, for it will be noted that each of the pads will extend at its lower end, into the accumulation of liquid and function as a wick in absorbing such liquid. This manner of accomplishing the wetting of the pads; e.g., primarily by wick action, will satisfy the requirements of the invention where the capacity of the assembly is small and the height of the bottle is nominal.
For larger units necessitating employment of bottles of greater height, I prefer to rely to a greater extent on 3 the direct wetting of the pads by the liquid as it flows down the sides of the bottle and to a lesser extent on wick action, and to accomplish this in an etficient manner, necessitates the provision of means for assuring a more uniform distribution of the waste water to all sides of the bottle.
Toward this end, I provide a baffle or distribution plate just below the cover, such plate being so contoured as to receive the waste water as it drains through the cover, and cause distribution thereof substantially uniformly in all directions. Such plate preferably spans the upper end of the louvered casing and is formed with the underside grooves 47 to receive the upper edges of the pads to further stabilize the same in contact with the proximate sides of the bottle.
At locations just above the side walls of the bottle, perforations 49 are provided in the bafile plate to permit waste liquid to drip through onto the upper edges of the bottle, from where such liquid will fiow down the sides, in the course of which, liquid will be absorbed into the pads, thus assuring that the pads will function effectively in the evaporation process.
Any accumulation of excess liquid in the bottom of the casing will continue to assure wick action in maintaining at least a portion of the pads active, should perchance intervals of non-use of the fountain occur, Which might otherwise tend toward a partial drying out of the upper portions of the pads. This would not necessarily constitute a serious situation if it were to occur, as the bottle will, in all likelihood, be partially empty, and cooling over the lower regions of the pads would be most effective.
Should the accumulation of excess liquid in the bottom of the casing rise to the level of the first louver opening, it could be permitted to drain out though such opening, but should this be undesirable, an overflow discharge passageway 53 may be provided from a point just below such louver Opening, and terminating in a threaded plug opening to which a drain tube 55 may be attached, if it be desired to conduct such waste liquid for discharge to a more remote location.
While the bottle may be of any suitable material such as glass or metal, I prefer to utilize a bottle of flexible material, preferably a plastic, and of a Wall thickness to give it stability, yet permit limited bulging of the side walls of the bottle in response to hydrostatic pressure of the liquid contents thereof. Such bulging Will assure intimate pressure contact with the layer of absorbent material along each side wall thereof, such positive and intimate contact assuring a more efiicient cooling function of the evaporation process.
In lieu of installing the pads from above as previously described, the louvered casing may be so designed as to permit of the installation of such pads through the side walls thereof.
In this embodiment, as illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5, each pad will be slightly shorter as I prefer to support the lower end of the pad at a level above the bottom of the casing, and rely primarily on direct wetting of the pad, as the waste liquid drains down the sides of the bottle, and with this in mind, the drain holes 49 in the baffle plate will be so determined in number and size, as will most effectively accomplish this.
A slot 57 provided in each side wall of the casing, in line with the position to be occupied by the absorbent pad, will enable installation and replacement when desired.
Like with the embodiment of FIGS 1 and 2, an overflow discharge passageway 53 may be provided.
A drinking fountain in accordance with the present invention, lends itself admirably to the construction of units which are portable, and in smaller sizes may be hand carried from place to place in which instance, a bail or strap handle 59 may be affixed to opposing walls of the TEST OF PORTABLE WATER COOLER Test No.1
Ambient, Water temp, Tune deg. deg. Taste 102 66 Fine 104 69 D0. 110 69 Do. 115 72 OK. 116 74 OK. 113 75 Fair. 113 75 D0.
Test N o 2 56 Fine. 106 59 D0. 107 65 Do. 109 67 OK. 111 72 Fair.
Test No 3 112 63 Fine. 116 64 Do. 117 66 Do. 119 68 Do. 121 70 D0.
Test N o 4 9:30 114 59 Fine. 10:30 119 62 D0. 122 64 D0. 124 69 D0. 125 71 OK. 126 74 Fair.
A study of the foregoing test data, will demonstrate that, in the presence of ambient temperature in excess of degrees Fahrenheit, the contents of the unit may be cooled to temperatures of the order of 35 to 55 degrees below the prevailing ambient temperature, from which it may be pointed out that the device fulfills all the objects of the invention. While I have illustrated and described the same in considerable detail, it is apparent that the invention is subject to alteration and modification without departing from the underlying principles involved, and I accordingly do not desire to be limited in my protection to the specific details illustrated and described, except as may be necessitated by the appended claims.
1. A self-cooling drinking fountain comprising:
a replenishable self-contained source of supply of liquid for drinking purposes,
means for withdrawing liquid for use,
means adapted to hold liquid in exposed relationship to ambient atmosphere, to induce evaporation and coolmeans for retaining said evaporation means in cooling relationship to said source of supply,
and means for wetting said evaporation means from above with an evaporable liquid.
2. A self-cooling drinking fountain in accordance with claim 1, characterized by said means for Wetting said evaporation means as utilizing liquid from said source of supply.
3. A self-cooling drinking fountain in accordance with claim 2, characterized by said self-contained source of supply as including a container, and said evaporation means as including at least one layer of absorbent material contacting walls of said container.
4. A self-cooling drinking fountain in accordance with claim 3 characterized by means for guiding Waste liquid to said absorbent material.
5. A self-cooling drinking fountain in accordance with claim 3, characterized by means for accumulating excess waste liquid about the bottom of said self-contained source of supply, and means supporting said absorbent material with its lower end extending into the region of such accumulated waste liquid.
6. A self-cooling drinking fountain in accordance with claim 4, characterized by said rneans for withdrawing liquid for use, including a manual pump having a suction line extending into said self-contained source of supply, and said means for guiding waste liquid to said absorbent material as including a top basin into which waste liquid may flow, and means for distributing same substantially uniformly to said absorbent material.
7. A self-cooling drinking fountain in accordance with claim 6, characterized by said top basin having drain holes therein, and said waste liquid distributing means as including a baffle plate below said basin in the path of waste liquid draining through said drain holes, and contoured to substantially uniformly distribute said waste liquid to said absorbent material.
8. Apparatus for cooling the contents of a container, comprising a container for holding material to be cooled, means adapted to hold an evaporable liquid in exposed relationship to ambient atmosphere to induce evaporation and resultant cooling, means for retaining said evaporation means in cooling relationship to at least one side of said container, and means exclusive of said evaporation means and supported above said container, for guiding an evaporable liquid from a source of supply to the upper region of said evaporation means.
9. Apparatus in accordance With claim 8, characterized by means for retaining evaporable liquid adjacent the lower end of said container, and said evaporation means extending downwardly into said liquid retaining means, whereby said evaporation means may be supplied with evaporable liquid from both top and bottom.
10. Apparatus in accordance with claim 8, characterized by said container being of flexible material to permit bulging thereof in response to pressure from within, to assure more positive surface contact with said evaporation means.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,515,127 11/ 1924 Levinthal 222-209 1,913,866 6/1933 Wolfe 62316 1,930,947 10/1933 Alex 623 16 1,973,392 9/1934 Rock 62-315 WILLIAM J. WYE, Primary Examiner g US. 01. X.R. 623 15; 222 2o9