US 3566614 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 2, 1971 s, s, lMRAL, 3,566,614
AIR CONDITIONING UNIT HAVING PLURALITY OF FAN-ANDBYLOWER UNITS Filed March 28, 1969 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 S. S. lMRAL March 2, 1971 AIR CONDITIONING UNIT HAVING PLURALITY OF FAN-AND-BLOWER UNITS Filed March 28, 1969 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 5
` SADM 5. Mum.
United States Patent O 3,566,614 AIR CONDITIONING UNIT HAVING PLURALITY OF FAN-AND-BLOWER UNITS Sadik S. Imral, University City, Mo., assignor to Intertherrn, Inc., St. Louis, Mo. Filed Mar. 28, 1969, Ser. No. 811,407 Int. Cl. F25d 23/12 U.S. 'CL 62-262 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A low profile air conditioner unit is slidable under a mobile home, which it serves through flexible ducts. For minimum height, two fan-and-blower units are used, the blowers being staggered in plan form. Each unit is removable vertically, separately from the other, for ease in servicing.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to air conditioning units of low prole, intended particularly for cooling mobile homes to which the air conditioning units are connected by flexible ducts.
Flexible ducts have been used to connect external air conditioning units into the heating ducts of mobile homes. However, if such air conditioning units are to have adequate capacity, they must be relatively large; and units heretofore used have been too high to t under the mobile home. Standing separately, their duct connections to the home will be unsightly. Further, such ilexible ducts are delicate; and if made of plastic materials, they must be protected not only from physical contact but also from sunlight.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is intended to provide an air conditioning unit of low profile, with duct connections for circulating air all at one side. With its prole suliciently shallow, the unit may be slidably positioned beneath or partly beneath a mobile home or other enclosed space to be cooled, and moved outward from it for servicing. When in position under the home, all the duct connections will be concealed. Another purpose of the present invention is to provide the air conditioning unit with electrical components which are separately removable vertically, for easy installation, servicing and replacement. Other purposes will be apparent from the description which follows.
The following summary will aid in understanding the present invention, but is not to be taken as limiting its scope.
ln a relatively shallow cabinet which has an openable top wall, two vertically removable fan-and-blower units are used. Each includes a motor whose shaft projects to both sides. A fan is mounted at one end of the shaft, and the rotating member of an air-circulating blower is mounted on the other end. Frame means support the motor, a fan baille around the fan, a separator wall through which the shaft projects, and a blower scroll mounted on the opposite side of the separator wall. Each of the frames is open on its rearward side and the frame of the aft unit is open on the forward side also, so that condenser cooling air may ow from the front unit through the aft unit. The aft unit is wider, so that its blower scroll is staggered, or laterally offset from that of the forward unit; and their duct connections lead forward side by side. Each of the fan-and-blower units may be inserted and removed vertically, separately from the other unit, for ease of installation, servicing and replacement.
As is conventional, each blower scroll has its inlet substantially concentric with the motor shaft, but its outlet is vertically offset from center. Hence, air to the inlet of 3,566,614 Patented Mar. 2, 1971 ice the forward blower may pass over the duct connector from the aft blower. The two fan-and-blower units may therefore be mounted with their motor shafts in the same plane. This permits the use of horizontally elongated evaporator and condenser coils; and the over-all height of the air conditioner is thus minimized.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT A low profile air conditioning unit embodying the present invention is shown with its top removed in the plan view FIG. 1; its low profile is evident from the elevational view FIG. 3. A rectangular cabinet generally designated 10 includes a bottom wall 11, a removable insulated top wall 12, forward and rear walls 13, 14, a side wall 15 having a top-to-bottom condenser inlet opening 16, and an opposite side wall 17 which may be solid. In the preferred embodiment illustrated an alternate return air inlet flange 18, sealed by a removable circular door panel 19, is provided in the wall 17 near its juncture with the forward wall 13.
The air conditioner is of the unitary type which conducts through it both condenser cooling air and the circulating air which is drawn from the mobile home or other enclosed space, cooled and returned to it. Separator wall means, generally designated 20 and hereafter more fully described, divide the cabinet 10 into a circulation air portion 21 and a condenser air portion 22. The circulation air portion 21 has a return air inlet 24 in the forward wall 13 adjacent to the side wall 17, including a projecting flange 25 onto which is mounted a large diameter llexible air duct 26 which connects to a return air outlet, as may be installed, for example, in the floor of such a mobile home. In most installations, the position of the return air inlet 24 in the forward wall 13 will be highly advantageous. Should the alternate inlet 18 in the side wall 17 be more advantageous for a particular installation, its circular door panel 19 may be removed and used to seal the forward wall return air inlet 24.
Mounted by brackets 27, vertically but in an angular position within the cabinet 10, is a horizontally elongated evaporator coil 28. The mounting brackets 27 position it with its forward edge laterally inward of the return air inlet 24, while its aft edge is close to the cabinet side wall 17.
A conventional motor powered compressor 30 is mounted on vibration absorbing mounts 31 on the cabinet bottom wall 11, as shown in FIG. 2. It is positioned immediately forward of the rear wall 14 and is surrounded on its other three sides by a fixed internal cabinet wall 32. Its side 33 nearest the condenser inlet opening 16 serves as a continuation of the separator wall means 20, which thus extends from the forward wall 13 to the aft wall 14.
In the corner formed by the aft wall 14 and the condenser side wall 15 is a second right-angled internal cabinet wall 34, which forms an enclosed space of rectangular cross-section separate from the condenser air portion 22. Within this space is accommodated a vertically removable junction box b, to which reference will later be made.
Positioned at the cabinet side wall 15, adjacent to and within the condenser inlet opening 16, is a horizontally elongated condenser coil 35. Air flowing through the inlet opening 16 and the condenser coil 35 leaves the condenser air portion 22 of the cabinet 10 through a screened condenser air exit 37 in the rear wall 14.
The compressor 30, evaporator coil 28 and condenser coil 35 are operatively connected in the conventional manner with sealed tubing, not illustrated, and include refrigerant, expansion-permitting means and air conditioner controls which are conventional.
Two fan-and-blower units are used, each operating in both the circulation air portion 21 and the condenser air portion 22 of the cabinet space. These units are a forward fan-and-blower unit, generally designated 40, and an aft fan-and-blower unit, generally designated 41. A principal difference between them is the greater lateral width of the aft unit 41, as seen in FIG.'1 and by comparison of the perspective views FIGS. 4 and 5. Each of the fan-andblower units 40, 41 includes a motor 43 whose shaft 44 projects to both sides. At one end of the shaft facing the condenser coil 35 is mounted a conventional fan 45. A fan baille 46 whose circular opening 47 surrounds the fan 45 is supported and held in alignment by frame means, generally designated 48 which includes a motor-mounting bracket 49 mounted on a forward and aft horizontal channel 50 supported at its ends by lateral channels designated 51 for the forward unit 40 and designated 52 for the aft unit 41. Above the motor 43, just below the top of the cabinet 10, such frame for each unit 40, 41 includes a laterally extending top channel designated 53, 54.
The outer ends of the channels 51, 52, 53, 54 support the `fan bailles 46 so their openings 47 are precisely aligned with respect to the fans 45, The inner ends of these channels position and support separate portions of the separator wall means 20. In the case of the forward fan-andblower unit 40, such separator wall means includes a vertical insulated separator wall panel 55 which extends aft from a forward wall segment 56, which, as shown n FIGS. l and 4, when installed is contiguous with and forms part of the forward cabinet wall 13. The separator wall panel 55 has at its rear edge a right-angled lateral extending separator wall portion 57. A supplemental bottom wall segment 58` is attached to the lower edge of the `fan baille 46, forward wall segment 56 and separator wall portions 55, 57. This bottom wall segment 58 lends extra rigidity to the forward fan-and-blower unit 40. The surfaces of the separator wall portions 55, 57 may be covered by an insulating blanket, not shown.
The motor shaft 44 extends through the separator wall 55 where it mounts the rotating element 60 of a forward circulation blower generally designated 61, whose scroll element 62 is mounted onto the side of the wall panel 55 seen in FIG. 4. As there seen, the blower scroll inlet 63 is open to the circulation air portion 21, being on the side of the separator wall 55 opposite to the fan 45.
A short duct connection section 64 leads from the blower scroll outlet 65 to a flanged circulation air opening 66 in the forward wall segment 56. Onto it is amounted a flexible circulation air duct 67, which connects into the area to be heated, for example, into the heating duct system ofthe mobile home.
The aft fan-and-blower unit 41 includes an aft separator wall panel 70 which is supported by the inward ends of the channels 52, 54 which span between it and the aft fan baille 46. The length of these channels is such that the aft separator wall panel 70 meets, at its forward edge, the inward edge of the extension wall portion 57 and its aft edge abuts against the side 33 of the evaporator housing wall 32. Preferably the separator wall 70 also is covered by an insulating blanket. A bottom wall segment 78 joins the separator wall 70 to the baille 46 of the aft unit 41, and affords rigidity to it.
As with the forward unit 40, the motor shaft 44 of the aft unit 41 extends through the wall panel 70, to mount a rotating blower element 60, while the scroll 62 of the aft circulating air blower generally designated 68 is mounted on the wall panel 70 laterally offset from the forward blower 61. Its scroll outlet 69 has forward edges designed for easy vertical release from its relatively long duct connector 71, which as shown in FIG. 1 leads forward, just above the cabinet bottom 11 and alongside the scroll 62 of the `forward blower 61 and its duct connector section 64, to a flanged outlet 72 in the forward wall 13, to which a second flexible duct 67 is connected. The release provisions shown are a 180 reverse bent flange 73 on the vertical edge of the scroll outlet 69 which is remote from the wall panel 70, and a upstanding flange 74 along its top edge. The flanges 73, 74 are releasably secured to corresponding flanges on the duct connector 71, the reverse flange 73 by a sheet metal drive cleat 75, and the upper edge flange 74 by a pair of screws 76.
Arrows in FIG. 1 show how air flows through the cabinet 21. Circulation air proceeds inward through the return duct 26 and return air inlet 24 and passes through the evaporator coil 28 to the forward circulation blower l61 and aft circulation blower 68. The evaporator coil 2S is so positioned angularly as to provide a distance for air flow to the two blowers 61, 68 which substantially compensates for their lateral offset.
The exits 65, 69 of scroll type blowers 61, 68, are vertically offset from the level of their scroll openings 63. The effect of this vertical offset, as well as the lateral offset of the aft blower 68 from the forward blower 61, is that evaporator-cooled air may flow across over the long duct connector 71 into the scroll opening 63 of the forward blower 61. These two offsets thus permit the two fan-and-blower units 40, 41 to be mounted with their motor shafts 44 in the same plane; accordingly the overall height of the cabinet 10 is minimized.
An unusual flow pattern is provided for the condenser cooling air. Both the fan-and-blower units 40, 41 are open on their rearward sides, and aft unit 41 is also open on its forward side. Air flowing through the baille 46 of the forward unit 41 moves aft through the space between the baille 46 and wall panel 55 of that unit, into the broader space between the baille 46 and separator wall panel 70 of the aft unit 41 where it is joined by air flowing in through the aft baille 46. The combined air streams then flow outward through the screened condenser air exit 37.
The present invention features the easy installation and removal, separately from each other, of those electrical components which `are most likely to offer diillculties in service. After disconnecting the wires to the motor 43, `by conventional disconnect fittings not shown, and disconnecting the flexible duct 67, the forward fanand-blower unit 411, shown in FIG. 4, is simply lifted out by means of its top channel 53, a few conventional securing screws (not shown) which immobilize the unit 40 being flrst removed. The aft fan-and-blower unit 41 may be similarly lifted out vertically after removing similar securing screws `and after disconnecting its duct connector 71 by removing the screws 76 and the vertical drive cleat 75. When the fan-and-blower units 40, 41 are removed, servicing operations, such as the replacement of motors 43, may be made easily. The unit construction greatly simplies alignment of the fan 45 with the baille 46, and of the rotating blower element 60 with the blower scroll 62.
The junction box b contains conventional connections and controls. Preferably, all external connections to it have quick disconnects, so that the junction box b may be readily removed vertically, from its position within the wall 34, for servicing all of its elements. The provisions for vertical removal also makes it easier to assemble and align the units prior to original installation.
With its over-all profile, which permits sliding the unit beneath a mobile home and its three duct connections in the forward wall 13, the present invention takes optimum advantage of the flexibility of the connecting ducts; while in the operating position partly beneath the mobile home, the ducts are protected from accidental damage and from exposure to sunlight which would otherwise cause deterioration of the plastic materials used in such ducts.
I claim: 1. A low-proille air conditioning unit, comprising: a cabinet including forward, side and rear walls, separator wall means dividing the cabinet s-ubstantially from the front wall to the rear wall into a circulation-air portion and a condenser-air portion, the circulation-air portion having an inlet and having a horizontally elongated evaporator coil, the condenser-air portion having an inlet, a similarly elongated condenser coil thereadjacent, and a condenser-air exit rearward of the inlet opening, conventional powered compressor, refrigerant and refrigerant expansion-permitting means, and tubing operatively connected to the said coils, vand a fan-and-blower system for both the circulation-air portion and the condenser-air portion, said fan-andblower system including:
a forward fan-and-blower unit and a fan-andblower unit aft thereof, each unit comprising:
a motor whose shaft projects to both sides thereof and extends through said separator IWall means,
a fan mounted at one end of the motor shaft within the condenser-air portion, and a rotating blower element on the other end within the circulation-air portion,
a fan baille around the fan and a blower scroll surrounding the rotating blower element,
each of said units having an opening -between its fan baille and said separator wall means, on its rearward side, and said aft unit having a similar opening on its forward side, whereby to permit flow of air from the forward fan baille through the plurality of units to the condenser-air exit,
the blower scroll of the aft unit being in a position laterally off-set inward of that of the forward unit, and
duct connector means positioned alongside each other and extending from each blower scroll to the forward cabinet wall,
whereby air may flow in the circulation-air portion from the evaporator coil into lboth blower scrolls, such air to the forward blower scroll passing across the duct connector means from the aft unit, thus permitting said fan-and-blower units to be mounted with their motor side, thereby providing a distance for air flow to the two blower scrolls which substantially compensates for their lateral offset, and permitting all exterior air duct connections to be made to said forward wall.
3. An air conditioning unit as defined in claim 1, wherein:
the separator wall means at the aft fan-and-blower unit is spaced farther from its fan baille than the corresponding spacing at the forward unit, whereby to provide an increase in llow space for the condenser air drawn through the fan of the forward unit as it meets the air flowing from the fan of the aft unit and passes to the condenser air exit. 4. An air conditioning -unit as dened in claim 1, wherein:
the cabinet has an openable top wall, the separator wall means comprises two separable portions, and the said fan-and-blower units each include one of said separable portions and further include:
a frame mounting one of said wall portions in a position oilset from the other of said wall portions and also mounting the motor, fan baille and blower scroll of said unit, the frame of each unit being separable from the cabinet, whereby said units may be separately removed vertically when the cabinet top wall is opened.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,278,989 4/1942 Gruitch 62-262 2,885,142 5/1959 Eberhart 62-262 2,891,389 6/1959 Tull 62-262 2,977,774 4/ 1961 Ferris 62-429 WILLIAM J. WYE, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.