|Publication number||US3565405 A|
|Publication date||Feb 23, 1971|
|Filing date||Nov 7, 1968|
|Priority date||Nov 7, 1968|
|Publication number||US 3565405 A, US 3565405A, US-A-3565405, US3565405 A, US3565405A|
|Inventors||Stewart L Black|
|Original Assignee||Vendo Co|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (3), Referenced by (23), Classifications (10), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent 1,737,336 11/1929 Sager Inventor Stewart L. Black Lees Summit, Mo.
Appl. No. 774,054
Filed Nov. 7, 1968 Patented Feb. 23, 1971 Assignee The Vendo Company Kansas City, Mo.
Field ofSearch 261/35, 78, 124; ZZZ/129.1, 129.4
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS (26l/Carb.)
3,215,312 11/1965 Guzzi 3,347,421 10/1967 Yingstetal ZZZ/129.1 (261/Carb.)
ABSTRACT: Apparatus for furnishing carbonated water of either high or low carbonation. A liquid container is immersed in the liquid content of a supply tank and a tubular turbulator is interposed in a carbonated liquid-dispensing line leading from the container. Carbon dioxide supply and control structure includes mechanism for directing carbon dioxide under pressure into the container to force liquid therein to the dispensing line and through the turbulator. The liquid in the container absorbs some of the carbon dioxide to provide a liquid outflow of low carbonation. Additional, selectively operable mechanism permits carbon dioxide to also be injected into the turbulator to further carbonate the liquid flowing therethrough and thus permit delivery of a highly carbonated liquid from the dispensing line.
TURBULENT FLOW CARBONATOR This invention relates to apparatus for carbonating a liquid, such as water, and is adapted to provide either high or low carbonated water in either a fixed single-cup quantity or on a continuous flow basis for beverage dispensing machines of the postmix type.
Dispensing machines capable of delivering a beverage to a container, which the operator then removes from the machine have been either of the premix type in which the syrup and carbonated liquid mixture is stored in the machine cabinet in a single container, or of the postmix type with syrup and liquid directed into the cup simultaneously from different sources in the machine. The postmix type of machine has the advantage of providing greater machine capacity in less space than is available in a premix machine, and enables a wider range of flavors to be dispensed of varying levels of carbonation. Postmix machines usually have a bulk carbonator therein capable of producing a rather large volume of carbonated water which is then stored in the machine under suitable pressure until portions thereof are dispensed during eachcycle of operation of the machine. This system .requires rather complicated mechanical pumping devices andthe storage tank has to be made of stainless steel or of thick wall' plastic material to withstand the internal pressures involved and avoid corrosion problems associated with the carbonatedliquid which is acidic in character. In addition, because the bulk'storage container requires a finite time to replenish itself once it has been depleted, a serious interruption in the operation of the dispenser can occur especially under peak draw conditions.
An important object of this invention'is to provide a carbonator which has the same if not greater capacity than prior units, especially during peak demand intervals, but which permits elimination of the mechanical pumpingdevices that were used in previous machines, thus providing a much simpler and less expensive carbonator because it contains no moving parts except for necessary valves.
Another important object is to provide acarbonator that in one form thereof is adapted for continuous operation, thus eliminating the storage tanks.
Another important object of this invention is to provide a carbonator that is operable independently of local water line pressure.
Still another important object of this invention is to provide a carbonator that is under no internal pressure when not in use and which utilizes only the pressure of the carbon dioxide to force the carbonated liquid from the machine.
A still further important object of this invention is to provide a carbonator capable of delivering carbonated water of either high carbonation or low carbonation upon demand.
Yet another object of this invention is the maintenance of a stable ratio of CO and water pressures at their common inlet to a turbulator forming a part of the carbonator for admixing the CO with water by using the carbon dioxide itself to pressurize the water and thereby eliminating complicated individual regulators.
Another object of this invention is to provide a control circuit for a beverage dispensing machine having a carbonation system therein which substantially eliminates relays and other expensive and complicated components required by previous machines.
In the drawings:
'the carbonator of FIG. 1. In FIGS. 1, 3-9 a carbonator 20 includes first and second liquid containers broadly designated 22 and 24 associated with tubular structure therebetween comprising a turbulator 26, all immersed in liquid content 28 of a supply tank 30 open to the atmosphere. Each of the containers 22 and 24 is provided with a lower unit 25 having a cavity 27 therein communicating with a respective liquid inlet 32 therein presenting a.valve seat. The cylinders 29 resting on each unit 25 areclosed at the upper endsthereof by elements 32 joined by fastener 33. A ball check valve 34 in each cavity 27 normally engages the valve seat defined by a corresponding inlet andprecludes tlowvof liquid from the containers 22 and '24 to the tank through inlets 32. Perforated retainers 35 within cavities 27 maintain check valves 34 adjacent the seats therefor during inflow of liquid to containers 22 and 24.
Liquid passages 36 in units 25 of containers 22 and 24com municate respective cavities 27 with the horizontal bore 37 of mixing tee 38 forming a part of turbulator 26. Common check valve 40 in bore 37 is shiftable back and forth in bore 37 (FIG. 3) for alternately blocking return flow of liquid from the turbulator 26 to the containers 22m 24-.
Tubulator 26 includes a vertical tube 39 of restricted transverse area whichis received in an upriglit bore 41 in mixing tee 38 and telescopes over a tubular coupling 44 threaded at the upper end and telescoped through a passage therefor formed in elements 31. A tubular fitting 43 in bore 41 has a pair of L-shaped. passages 45 communicating with the interior of tube 39 and bore 37 respectively. U-shaped passage 47 in tee 38 has one upright leg 47a connected to bore 41 and the two small, restricted passages 49 through the lower. end of coupling 43' joins leg 47a of passage 47 to passage 45. Ball check valve 51 within leg 47a of passage 47 prevents downward flow of liquid through leg 4711 from tube 29.
Cylindrical elements 42 within tube 39 have perforated bot tom wall partitions 48 for imparting turbulence to the liquid as the same flows therethrough to coupling 44 which in turn has a central passage 44a. The dispensingline 90 (FIG. I) joined to coupling 44 has acapillary tube 45 therein to reduce agitation of the liquid as it is dispensed. Each partition 48 is rigid to the cylindrical sidewall of a respective tubular element 42 and has a plurality of spaced-apart perforations 40 (FIGS. 4, 8 and 9). Tubes 42 are placed in tube 29 of turbulator 26 so that a partition 48 of one tube 42 abuts the open end 46 of an adjacent tube.
Upright tube 53 telescoped into an upwardly opening cavity 55' in tee 38 and into the downwardly opening cavity 57 in valve unit 59 communicates at its lower end with the upright leg 47b of U-shaped passage 47. Unit 59 has a central restricted bore 61 which leads to an enlarged cavity 63 that is internally threaded at its upper end forreceiving an externally threaded needle type valve 641. Cross bore 65 in unit 59 leads to a coupling 67 on a sidewall of the unit.
FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of a dual-type continuously operable carbonator made pursuant to my invention;
FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram similar to FIG. 1 but showing a single portion, noncontinuous carbonator;
FIG. 3 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the form of carbonator of FIG. 1; v
FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 are cross-sectional views taken along lines 4-4, 5-5 and 6-6, respectively, of FIG. 3;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary, front elevational view on a reduced scale;
FIG. 8 is an enlarged, top plane view of one of the tubes that impart turbulence to the liquid; I
FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view taken along line q-9 of FIG.
A carbon dioxide supply line 52 is connected with the coupling 67 of turbulator 26 through a conduit 54 and is also connected through conduits 56 and 58 to the passages 69 in couplings 7 l threaded into bores therefor in the elements 31 of first and second containers 22 and 24. A carbon dioxide shutofi' valve 60 in conduit 54 permits selective coupling of tee 38 with CO supply line 52. The needle valve 64 is provided within unit 59 leading to conduit 52 for adjusting CO pressure at the tee 38. The check valve 51 in tee 38 prevents flow of liquid into passage 47 from passages 36 and the turbulator 26. Conduits 56 and 58 have 2-position solenoid valves 66 and 67 respectively therein which alternately connect them with line 52. When the conduits 56 and 58 are not connected to line 52, the same are exhausted to atmosphere through outlets 68. L- shaped conduits 70 in couplings 71 communicate the interior of cylinders 29 with passages 69 and thus corresponding conduits 56 and 58. Each of the conduits 70 has a check valve 72 Combination check valve and CO, dispersion assemblies 74 within each container 22 and 24 are carried on the lower end of corresponding carbon dioxide delivery tubes 75 telescoped into the lower portion of couplings 71 in in communicationwith respective passages 69. Valves 74 each includes a resiliently biased closure member 76 that mates against valve seat 78 on sleeve 80 carried by the lower ends of respective tubes 75. The sleeve 80 of each valve 74 also has carbon dioxide dispersing means which includes a plurality of upright, restricted channels 86 along the outer periphery of the reduced portion 80a of sleeve 80 to permit carbon dioxide to escape into the container 22 or 24 through the channels 86. Plug 84 threaded into the lower end of sleeve 80 carries spring 83 for biasing check member 76 toward seat 78. Member 76, acting against the seat 78, prevents liquid in the containers 22 and 24 from entering the conduits 56 or 58.
A pair of fasteners 87 on opposite sides of the units 25 and tee 38 embrace the components and hold them together as a composite assembly.
In FIG. 12 a control circuit for use with carbonator 20 in a fountain dispenser is illustrated having three solenoid-controlled syrup-dispensing valve units 106, 108 and 110, the coils of the solenoids thereof being designated by 106a, 108a, and 110a. Manually controlled switches 112, 114 and 116 are coupled in series with the coils 106a, 108a and 110 respectively. Multiposition switches 118, 120 and 122 are also coupled in series with switches 112, 114 and 116 respectively.
A solenoid-controlled water-dispensing valve unit 130 has its solenoid coil 130a coupled in series with a manually manipulatable switch 132. The solenoid-actuated carbon dioxide control valve 60 has the coil 60a of its solenoid coupled in series with the manual switch 134.
Coil 136 of relay 138 is also coupled in series with switch 134 and operated to close switch 140 of relay 138 to in turn energize a motor 142 in series with switch 140. Motor 142 rotates a cam 145 (see also FIGS. and 11) to alternately close a pair of switches 144 and 146. When switch 140 is closed, the closing of switch 144 energizes coil 66a' of the solenoid of valve 66 by virtue of the series relationship of switch 140, switch 144, and coil 66a. Similarly, coil 67a of the solenoid of valve 67 is coupled in series with switches 140 and 146.
Tank 30 may be replenished with water by a float switch 148 coupled in series with coil 1500 of a solenoid valve 150 which is connected in a water supply line (not shown) for tank 30.
The selective switches 118, 120 and 122 are each adapted to be preset at the factory or from time to time by service personnel to deliver either low carbonated water with a syrup or high carbonated water with a syrup or noncarbonated water with a syrup, it being understood three different types of syrups corresponding to units 106, 108 and 110 may be provided if desired.
Water alone may be dispensed simply by closing switch 13 2. And, carbonated water alone (as, for example, at a soda fountain) may be dispensed by closing switch 134.
Each of the switches 118, 120 and-122 may be set in any one of three positions. Switch 118 is shown set for a low carbonated beverage; switch 120 is shown set for a high carbonated beverage; and switch 112 is shown set for a noncarbonated beverage.
Selective closing of switch 122 by an operator desiring a low carbonated drink, which includes a syrup dispensed by unit 106, energizes coil 1060. At the same time, bridged contacts 1180 of switch 118 energize coil 136 of relay 138, closing switch 140. This places motor 142 in operation, driving cam 145 to open switch 146 and close switch 144. As soon as switch 144 is closed to energize coil 66a, the valve 66 is opened directing carbon dioxide of line 52 to conduit 56.
Thus, throughout the time switch 112 is held closed, a syrup is dispensed by unit 106 and carbonated water is dispensed from outlet 90. But no CO, is delivered to the turbulator 26 because valve 60 remains closed.
The cam 145, which is driven by motor 142, is provided with a pair of spaced discs 145a and 145 b associated with switches 144 and 146 respectively. Each disc 145a and 145b holds its corresponding switch 144 and 146 closed for slightly more than 180 rotation of cam 145. Accordingly, switch 144 will open after switch 146 closes.
Switches 144 and 146 are timed to supply carbonated water from containers 22 and 24 alternately just prior to depletion of liquid in either container to the level of the liquid outlets from the respective containers to turbulator 26. There will be no 0 CO, released into the turbulator 26 from containers 22 or 24, and there will be a continuous flow of low carbonated beverage as long as a corresponding selector switch is held closed.
Closing of switch 114 energizes coil 108a causing unit 108 to dispense a syrup. At the same time, a circuit is established through contacts 120a of switch 120 to energize coil 136 and start the motor 142 as above described. Additionally, a circuit is established through contacts 120b of switch 120 to energize coil 60a thereby operating valve 60. Therefore, CO, is delivered not only to the containers 2 or 24, but also to the turbulator 26, resulting in delivery of a high carbonated beverage. I
In the event the operator desires a noncarbonated beverage, switch 116 is closed, energizing coil a. At the same time, a circuit is closed through contacts 1220 of switch 122 energizing coil 1300 to open .water control unit 130.
Manifcstly, any number of units (not limited to the three units 106, 108 and 110) may be provided, and the nature of the syrups for such units preselected as desired. Moreover, the settings shown for switches 118, and 122 are for illustrative purposes only; each has three settings which can easily and quickly be changed as desired.
Diodes 152 prevent reverse current flow from any one of the switches 118, 120 and 122 to the remaining switches 118- 122 while switches 112, 114 or 116 are closed. This prevents dispensing of two syrups at the same time. It also prevents dispensing of a syrup or syrups when switches 132 or 134 are operated to obtain plain water or carbonated water respectively without flavoring.
Although the circuit of FIG. 12 illustrates the carbonator 20 used in a fountain dispensing machine, carbonator 20 may also be used in a coin-operated vending machine with appropriate control circuits for actuating the various components in the same sequence as that described above.
After dispensing from container 22 or 24, liquid 28 stored in the tank 30 will flow through inlet 32, filling the respective container as any gas remaining therein is exhausted through the conduits 70 and 56 to the outlets 68. Since refilling either container 22 or 24 requires a finite amount of time, two containers are provided so that beverages may be continually dispensed. Thus each container has time to refill with water while the other is dispensing.
Referring to the embodiment of FIG. 2, the carbonator 220 illustrated schematically therein includes a container 222 and a turbulator 226 immersed within the liquid 228 of the tank 230. The container 222 has an inlet 232 with a check valve 234 therein for precluding flow of liquid from the container 222. A passage 236 connects the container 222 with the mixing tee 238 of turbulator 226. A plurality of axially aligned, end-to-end tubes 242 are housed within turbulator 226 and are identical in all respects with the tubes 42 illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 9. An outlet 244 leads from the turbulator 226 to a dispensing line 290 and includes a capillary tube 245 near the machine dispensing station (not shown). A carbon dioxide supply line 252 is connected to conduits 254 and 256 through a solenoid valve 266 which alternatively connects the conduits 254 and 256 to the supply line 252 or to an atmospheric outlet 268. Conduit 254 includes a needle valve 264 for adjusting the pressure of carbon dioxide flowing into the mixing tee 238,
and a check valve 265 to prevent flow of liquid into the con duit 254 from the passage 236 and turbulator 226. Container 222 also includes a discharge conduit 270 with a check valve 272 therein for exhausting the container 222 of its gaseous contents as it is refilled but preventing flow of carbon dioxide through the conduit 270 into the container 222. Dispersion assembly 274 is identical to the assemblies 74 and has a check valve 276 therein.
The carbonator of FIG. 2 operates in a manner similar to that of the carbonator of FIG. 1. However, since no carbon dioxide shutoff valve has been provided in conduit 254, only a highly carbonated beverage can be dispensed, and since only a single container 222 is used, the carbonator ofFIG. 2 will require a relatively short time after dispensing a beverage to permit the container 222 to refill before a second beverage may be obtained from the machine. If desired, the carbonator of FIG. 2 could be modified to also'dispense low carbonated beverages by providing a suitable carbon dioxide shutoff valve in the conduit 254.
Needle valves 64 and 264 permit adjustment of a desirable pressure differential at the inlets to turbulators 26 and 226 to obtain optimum carbonation and smooth flow of carbonated liquid from the dispensing lines 90 and 290 respectively.
As can now be seen, the carbonator is uniquely adapted to dispense either high carbonated or low carbonated beveragescontinuously and without the use of mechanical pumping devices or surge tanks for manufacturing and storing carbonated liquid in quantities. Since the liquid is forced through tubes 42 to agitate the liquid, the carbon dioxide entering the liquid through the conduit 54 will be absorbed at a very rapid rate because the agitated liquid presents a much greater surface area for absorption than does a quiescent liquid. The carbonator of this invention is also seen to be selectively adaptable to the dispensing of successive fixed volume beverage portions under the control of aconventio'nal timer device. Dispensing is interrupted before the liquid in container 222 has fallen to the level of the line 236 leading to turbulator 226 so that CO is not directed to the discharge line 244. Since carbon dioxide propels the liquid from the carbonator, and since the liquid containers 22, 24 and 222 are refilled by the head pressure of the liquid 28 in the tank 30, the carbonator operates independently of local water line pressure and no mechanical devices are necessary to move the liquid. Since the switches 118, 120 and 122 may be easily changed to dispense beverages of various carbonations, the present invention provides an extremely flexible machine for dispensing a wide range of beverages. lclaim: 1. In apparatus for carbonating a liquid: a liquid container having carbon dioxide and liquid inlets and a liquid outlet; v means for supplying liquid to the container through said liquid inlet thereof; an elongated turbulator having a liquid inlet at one extremity thereof communicating with the liquid outlet of the container and a carbonated liquid outlet at the opposite extremity of the same; and carbon dioxide supply and control structure including mechanism .for directing'carbon dioxide under pressure into the container through said carbon dioxide inlet thereof to carbonate the liquid therein to a low lever and force at least a part of such liquid to and through the turbulator, and for permitting selective direction of carbon dioxide simultaneously to the carbon dioxide inlets of the container and the turbulator whereby the degree of 'carbonation of the low carbonated liquid directed to the turbulator from the container may be increased to a level to cause the outflow from the turbulator to be a liquid of high carbonation. 2. ln apparatus for carbonating a liquid as claimed in claim 1, wherein said turbulator includes structure for imparting turbulence to the carbon dioxide and liquid as the same flow through the turbulator to said liquid outlet thereof.
3. In apparatus for carbonating a liquid as claimed in claim 2, said structure comprising a plurality of perforated partitions spaced along the turbulator between said liquid inlet and the liquid outlet thereof.
4. In apparatus for carbonating a liquid as claimed in claim 3, there being a plurality of end-to-end tubes in the turbulator, each partition being secured to a corresponding tube.
5. In apparatus for carbonating a liquid as claimed in claim said liquid supply means including a liquid supply tank open to the atmosphere; said container being at least partially immersed in the liquid with the liquid inlet thereof communicating with said liquid of the tank; and v said liquid inlet having means precluding flow of liquid from the container tothe tank. 6. In apparatus forcarbonating a 1,,wherein is provided: g
a pair of said containers connected to said turbulator; and means for alternatively directing carbon dioxide into first one and then the other of said containers and for alterna-' tively replenishing the liquid therein. 7. In apparatus for carbonating a liquid as claimed in claim 6; and
a liquid supply tank; said containers being immersed in the liquid supply of said tank; Y both of said containers having their liquid inlets communicating with said liquid supply; and said liquid inlets each having meansprecluding the flow of liquid from respective containers to' the tank. 8. In apparatus for carbonating a liquid as claimed in claim liquid as claimed in claim 6, and means for exhausting said containers of carbon dioxide after each discharge of carbonated liquid therefrom.
9.In apparatus for carbonating a liquid as claimed in claim there being a carbon dioxide supply line connected with the carbon dioxide inlet of each container respectively; and
multiposition valving in said line for admitting carbon dioxide into the line when the valve is in one position, and exhausting the line of carbon dioxide when the valve is in a second position. v
10. In apparatus for carbonating a liquid:
a liquid supply tank;
a carbon dioxide supply line;
a liquid container having liquid inlet means communicating with said supply tank for filling therefrom, said inlet means having means for precludingfflow from said container to the tank, and a liquid outlet, said container having a second inlet communicating with said carbon dioxide supply lineand a, liquid outlet adjacent the bottom of the container;
means for exhausting carbon dioxide from the top of the container;
an elongated turbulator having a liquid inlet at one extremity thereof communicating with the liquid outlet of the container and a liquid outlet-at the opposite extremity of the same;
a carbonated liquid-dispensing line joined to said liquid outlet of the turbulator;
a conduit communicating the carbon dioxide supply line with the turbulator adjacent said liquid inlet thereof; and control mechanism in said carbon dioxide supply line and the conduit operable in one mode to direct carbon dioxide under pressure into the container through said carbon dioxide inlet thereof for an interval of time to carbonate the liquid therein to a low level-and force at least a part of such liquid to the dispensing line through the turbulator whereby the outflow from the dispensing line is low carbonated liquid, and operable ina second mode to direct carbon dioxide under pressure simultaneously to the carbon dioxide inlets of the container and the turbulator for said interval of time whereby the degree of carbonation of the low carbonated liquid directed to the turbulator from the container is increased in the turbulator to a level to cause liquid of high carbonation to be delivered from the dispensing line.
11. Apparatus as defined in claim 10, wherein is provided:
a pair of said containers each having liquid inlet means communicating with said supply tank and a carbon dioxide inlet connected to said carbon dioxide supply line;
the liquid outlets of each of the containers being connected to said liquid inlet of the turbulat or;
said control mechanism being operable to alternately direct carbon dioxide to one and then the other of said containers through said carbon dioxide inlets thereof; and
blocking means in said liquid inlet of the turbulator for preventing flow of liquid into one container from the other while the latter is connected to said carbon dioxide supply line and vice versa.
12. A In apparatus for carbonating a liquid as claimed in claim 11 said blocking means in the liquid inlet of the turbulator being a common shiftable check valye alternately movable into a position blocking flow of liquid from the turbulator to either of said pairs of containers.
13. In apparatus for carbonating a liquid;
a liquid supply tank open to the atmosphere;
a carbon dioxide supply line;
a liquid container having liquid inlet means communicating with said supply tank for filling therefrom, said inlet means having means for precluding flow from said container to the tank, said container having a second inlet communicating with said carbon dioxide supply line and a liquid outlet adjacent the bottom of the container;
means for exhausting carbon dioxide from the top of the container;
a tube of substantially smaller cross-sectional area than said container and having a dispensing outlet, a carbon dioxide inlet connected with said carbon dioxide supply line, and a liquid inlet communicating with said carbon dioxide inlet and connected to said liquid outlet of the container;
means within said tube for causing turbulent liquid flow therethrough;
a variable orifice valve in the portion of the carbon dioxide supply line leading to the carbon dioxide inlet of said tube for adjusting a pressure differential at the inlets of said tube to obtain optimum carbonation and smooth liquid flow from the outlet of said tube; and
means for controlling the supply of carbon dioxide to said carbon dioxide supply line.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
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|U.S. Classification||261/35, 261/DIG.700, 261/124, 222/129.1, 261/78.2|
|International Classification||B01F1/00, B01F3/04|
|Cooperative Classification||B01F3/04815, Y10S261/07|
|Mar 24, 1982||AS02||Assignment of assignor's interest|
Owner name: FAWN ENGINEERING CORPORATION, 8040 UNIVERSITY BLVD
Effective date: 19820311
Owner name: VENDO COMPANY THE
|Mar 24, 1982||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: FAWN ENGINEERING CORPORATION, 8040 UNIVERSITY BLVD
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:VENDO COMPANY THE;REEL/FRAME:003962/0700
Effective date: 19820311