US 3585811 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Inventor Appl. No.
Filed Patented Assignee AIR CONDITIONED STORAGE SYSTEM Murray Friedel North Miami Beach, Fla. 887,712
Dec. 23, 1969 June 22, 1971 Visual Graphics Corporation New York, N.Y.
10 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.
62/90 62/91, 62/180, 62/428, 62/274 Int. Cl F25b 29/00 Field of Search  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,133,039 10/1938 Phili p 2,188,526 1/ 1940 Burden 2,213,421 9/1940 Wagner 2,268,769 l/1942 Newton 2,654,232 10/ 1953 Galoui Primary Examiner-William J. Wye Attorney-Albert F. Kronman ABSTRACT: A storage system comprising dual compartments in which materials requiring temperature and humidity control are stored. The double compartments with different locks include a system of inventory control as well as stock rotation. The compartment which is filled first is used first and, when empty, an order for replacement stock is made. Both compartments are controlled to stabilize temperature and humidity by a single control unit which is a separable unit.
PATENTEU JUN22 I971 SHEET 1 BF 3 INVENTOR. MURRAY FRIEDEL BY a PATENTED JUH22 I971 SHEET 2 OF 3 FIG. 4
PATENTED JUN22 197i SHEET 3 OF 3 FIG. 5
AIR CONDITIONED STORAGE SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Air conditioning systems and humidity controllers are well known and used in many applications. In general the control of air temperature is accomplished in one unit and the humidity control in a separate unit, each having their own air blowers and sensing arrangements. The present invention combines both units into a single integral assembly, using only one set of blowers and arranging for an automatic humidity control without the usual humidity sensing unit. The result is a system with a reduced number of parts, a smaller air control system, greater efficiency, and a big saving in cost.
One of the features of the invention is a simple humidifier which controls the water in the air. It comprises a water spray delivered to a series of conduits which are maintained at a definite temperature. The saturated air from this space is then moved to a second space where it is heated to a desired temperature and percent humidity.
Another feature of the present invention is the double compartment system of stock control which uses two storage spaces with means for requiring the use of all the stock in one compartment before the other compartment is opened. This arrangement also provides an inventory control since a new order for stock can be scheduled each time'a compartment is empty.
Another feature of the present invention is the apparatus which controls the final temperature of the air discharged into the compartment. Portions of the conduits containing the compressed refrigerating fluid are moved into the exit air stream, thereby heating the air to the correct temperature. The device includes an adjustable wall connected to the main structure by a bellows.
For a better understanding of the present invention, together with other details and features thereof, reference is made to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES FIG. I is an isometric-view of the entire system, showing the control unit and two storage compartments. FIG. 2 is a top view of the system shown in FIG. 1 with parts broken away to show the internal structure of the storage compartments.
FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view of a simplified form of the control unit taken along a vertical plane.
FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view similar to Figure 3 but including additional components for controlling the humidity.
FIG. 5 is another cross sectional view of the control unit similar to Figure 4 but showing a series of water sprays directed on the cold conduits.
FIG. 6 is still another cross sectional view of an alternate form of the invention wherein the water sprays are directed downwardly into a space adjacent to the entrance part of the apparatus. A heat exchanger is employed to give the proper temperature to the spray water.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, the complete air conditioned storage system includes a double compartment 10, l1, and a control unit in an enclosure 12. Each compartment has a door 13, I4 for convenient access to store or remove materials, such as photographic film and paper. The control unit 12 comprises a vertical oblong metal box having louver boards 15 at an entrance port and a metal wire mesh 16 set in a portion of the top surface. On the front panel there are two indicating pointers, one 17 for showing the desired temperature of the air in the compartments, and the second 18 for showing the humidity. Both pointers are movable over a calibrated scale which may be marked with appropriate symbols.
The control unit 12 is made with three extensions which fit into holes in the adjoining compartment 10. The upper extension 20, shown in dotted lines in FIG. 2, delivers cooled and dehumidified air to both compartments since they are separated only by a metal screen 21. The second extension 22, shown only in FIGS. 3, 4, 5, and 6, is formed with a metal heat conductive plate 23, adjacent to a portion of the coil containing expanded, cold refrigerant. The purpose of this extension is to provide a frozen storage compartment accessible from storage area 10. The third extension 24 also fits into a hole in compartment 10 and is an entrance port for drawing air from both compartments to cool the air and adjust its humidity. The inside walls of the compartments may be lined with slabs of heat insulating material if desired, or the entire structure may be made of heat insulating material.
Referring now specifically to FIG. 3, the space within control unit 12 is divided into two main enclosures. A duct 25 is provided where air is drawn in through louvers l5 and forced out through screen 16 by a power fan 26. During its passage through the duct 25 the air cools a motorized refrigerant compressor 27 and a portion of the coils 28 which carry the compressed and liquidized fluid refrigerant. A second duct 30 is provided where air is drawn from a refrigerated compartment 10 through entrance port 24 and expelled through exit port 20 into the same compartment 10 by means of a power fan 31. During the passage through duct 30 the air is cooled by a lower set of pipes 32. Just before leaving the control unit, the air is circulated near a portion of the hot pipes 28A which carry the compressed fluid. This is done to heat the air to a temperature which is most suitable for the goods or articles stored in the two compartments l0 and 11. Reheating is generally necessary because the cooling units 32 and 33 are always below the optimum temperature required for storage compartments. They are at this low temperature mainly to condense water vapor from the air and to reduce the humidity.
The motor compressor 27 may be any one of the several types now used in refrigerator units. It comprises an electric motor directly coupled to a compressor. The refrigerant is drawn from pipes 32 (in gaseous form), compressed by the pump, and then ejected through pipes 28. During the compression, the temperature of the fluid is greatly increased, a portion of this heat being carried off by the air stream in duct 25. The electric motor is connected to an external power supply (not shown) and is turned on or off by a thermal sensing unit 34 which may be a simple bimetallic switch. The motor, compressor, and the switching unit are all well known in the art and no further detailed description is necessary. The usual expansion valve 35 permits the liquid in the pipes 28 to expand to a gas in the cold pipes 33 and 32, thereby lowering the temperature of the pipes and the air which flows through duct 30.
The operation of the control unit shown in FIG. 3 is as follows: Thermostat 34 is adjusted to control the temperature at a reduced value, as for example 35 F. A second thermostat 36 in the exit duct 20 is adjusted to the desired temperature of the compartments l0 and 11. This temperature may be 55 F. When the power is turned on, the compressor motor 27 compresses the refrigerant fluid in pipes 28, the fluid (gas) has the heat of compression removed by the air pumped through space 25 and then the fluid moves through valve 35 to cool the pipes 33 and 32. Air is circulated through the compartments l0 and 11, entering the control unit by means of extension 24, passing up through the pipe assembly 32 where some condensing moisture may accumulate and drip to storage tank 37. The air then moves up through pipes 33 and passes over the condenser pipes 28A where it is heated and finally blown out through exit duct 20. The first thermostat 34 maintains the temperature of duct 30 at a desired cold temperature by turning the compressor motor on or off. The second thermostat 36 maintains the temperature of the air in the first compartment 10 at a desired temperature by adjusting a movable baffie 38 to expose more or less of the hot pipes 28A to the air stream. An accordion pleated diaphragm 38A around the baffle 38 separates the compartments 25 and 30.
lf it is desired to increase the humidity of the air supplied to the compartments, the first thermostat is adjusted to provide warmer air to space 30, thereby condensing less water vapor from the air entering duct 24. Then the second thermocouple 36 is adjusted to maintain the bafile 38 at a position closer to the ends of the pipes 283A. The temperature of the air entering the compartment W can be the same under either set of conditions. Conversely, if the humidity of the air is to be lowered, the pipes 32 are lowered in temperature to condense more water and the bafile 38 is arranged to expose a greater length of the hot pipes 2%A so that the resulting air temperature is the same as before.
it should be noted that the above described control device uses only one electric motor, only two thermostat controls and two fans, but no independent heater units, no movable louvers, and no humidity sensing control means. The unit is selfcontained and occupies a small space adjacent to the compartments it cools and conditions. For this unit there is no water pump and no water spraying jets.
The above described control device is all that is required for most installations. However, there may be times in dry climates where some additional equipment is required to raise the humidity level. For such a requirement, the control unit shown in FIG. 43 may be used. This control unit is the same as that shown in H6. 3 except that a water pump 40, run by a motor 4H, and a water tank 42 have been added. The tank 42 drains into a fabric mesh 43 where it evaporates to increase the humidity of the circulating air. Water is carried from tank 37 to container 42 by a conduit 44 and the water in tank 42 is carried by conduit 45 to the fabric mesh 43. A limit float 46 and switch 47 control the motor 41 so that the tank 42 cannot be filled above a desired height. This additional equipment insures a desired humidity control even if completely dry air is available in the compartments at the start of any operation. The equipment may be deactivated, if not needed, by simply cutting ofi power to the pump motor 41. The presence of this additional equipment in no way changes the operation or efficiency of the remainder of the apparatus.
The air conditioning system shown in FlG. includes the same components as the device shown in FIG. 3. In order to insure that a definite humidity control is in operation at all times, the pump 44) with its motor 41 and a water spray means 43 have been added. Pump 40 is connected to spray means 48 by conduit 50 and a baffle 51 is added to keep the fine spray from being carried up into the top portion of space 30. Baffle 53 is shown in FIG. 5 as a series of double louvered panels. However, the baffle may assume many other forms, such as a series of horizontal spaced fabric sheets each having a coarse, open weave.
The humidity control of the device shown in FIG. 5 is quite accurate because the water jets from conduit 48 are spread over a wide area and all the water drops come in direct contact with one or more of the pipes 32. This arrangement provides an atmosphere of 100 percent humidity at the temperature of the pipes which may be adjusted over a wide range of values by a setting of the first thermostat 34. If the pipe 32 temperature is 20 F the air contains 2.832 grams per cubic meter, a water content representing 100 percent humidity. If, now the air is heated by pipes 28A to a temperature of 50 F., the air could contain a maximum of 9.33 grams per cubic meter. But, since no water is added during the heating, the result is a humidity of 30.35 percent. If the pipe 34 temperature is raised to 32 F., the air contains 4.835 grams of water per cubic meter of air, again representing 100 percent humidity. When raised to the exit temperature of 50 F., the result is 49.7 percent relative humidity.
The control system shown in FIG. 6 is similar so that of FIG. 5 in theory of operation. However, the temperature of the spray jets from conduits 48A is controlled before emerging from the nozzles instead of afierward. In FIG. 5 the temperature of the water supplied by pump 44) has little effect because it is conditioned by the pipes 32. In FIG. 6 the water from pump 40 is sent through conduit 50 to a heat exchanger 52 which also contains the cold fluid from pipes 33, flowing back to the compressor 27. The heat exchanger 52 cools the water from reservoir 37 to a desired temperature and then this water is sprayed into space 30 to cool and humidify the air from entrance duct 24. Again, percent humidity results but at the temperature of the spray water. When heated by pipes 23A, the temperature is raised to a predetermined amount and the humidity is reduced. An additional set of louver slats 53 is added to the entrance duct to keep the spray mist from moving into the compartment 10. All the other components are the same as the system of FIG. 5 except that the automatic adjustment of the baffle 38 has been replaced by a manually operated lever 54. Either the manual or automatic control may be used.
it is apparent from the above description that system has been invented for controlling the air in a compartment. Humidity is controlled without the use of a humidity sensing means and the system uses only a small number of components.
Having thus fully described the invention, what I claim as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent of the United States, is:
l. An air conditioned storage system comprising: two storage compartments each with a separate closure means, said compartments separated by an air permeable but article retaining wall; said compartments connected to a container for housing the compartments of a refrigeration system and including a first air duct in the container for housing hot portions of the refrigeration means, a first fan for forcing air through the first duct to cool the hot portions, a second air duct in the container for housing cold portions of the refrigeration means together with parts of the hot portions, a second fan for forcing air through the second duct to lower the air temperature; said hot portions of the refrigeration means including a motor-compressor for compressing a refrigerant fluid, and a series of hot pipes for receiving the compressed fluid; the cold portions of the refrigeration means including a series of cold pipes and an expansion valve connected between the hot pipes and the cold pipes; a first thermostat in the second duct for controlling the action of the motor-compressor; a movable baffle forming a part of a wall between the first and second air ducts and having holes therein for enclosing lengths of said hot pipes; and a second thermostat in an exit portion of the second duct for varying the position of the baffle to expose variable lengths of the hot pipes to the air passing through the second duct.
2. A system as claimed in claim 1 wherein said baffle is connected to the wall between the first and second ducts by an accordion pleated flexible diaphragm.
3. A system as claimed in claim 1 wherein a water saturated fiber mat is positioned in the second duct to increase the humidity of the air passing therethrough.
4. A system as claimed in claim I wherein a storage tank containing water is positioned at the bottom of the second air duct and a pump conveys water from the tank to an evaporation means for stabilizing the humidity of the air passing therethrough.
5. A system as claimed in claim 4 wherein the evaporation means is a fibrous mat positioned in the second air duct.
6. A system as claimed in claim 4 wherein the evaporation means is a plurality of jets for producing a finely divided mist.
7. A system as claimed in claim 6 wherein said jets are directed toward a plurality of cold pipes for maintaining the temperature of the jet water within a desired range.
8. A system as claimed in claim 6 wherein the water from the pump is directed through a heat exchanger to reduce the water temperature to a predetermined value before being sprayed into the second air duct.
9. A system as claimed in claim 8 wherein the heat exchanger is cooled by the cold refrigerant fluid after it leaves the cold pipes. W n
It) A system as claimed in claim 8 wherein a plurality of louver slats are positioned above said jets in the second air duct to prevent water drops from being ejected from the second air duct.