US 3612173 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
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 UNIT HEATER DEVICE 7 Claims, 7 Drawing Figs.
ABSTRACT: A unit heater is provided having a housing with an opening in one wall and a fan and heating element adapted to cause heated air to flow through the opening. An air deflector assembly is positioned adjacent the opening by clips which permit rotation of the air deflector assembl 2 2 8 4 .0 0 424 1 2 h FH 9 6 1 m mhm m WS 0 in d S Ld I I. U .mF 1] 2 0 5 55 .i
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1/1950 y as well as easy removal thereof to permit substitution of a different air deflector assembly.
PATENTEDncnzmn I 3.612.173
' "sum 1 [IF 2 INVENTOR RAGHBIR O. GOYAL PATENTED our 1 21971 SHEET 2 BF 2 INVENTOR RAGHBIR O. GOYAL %/W%/@ fiag "Z42 ATTYS.
UNIT HEATER DEVICE The present invention relates generally to unit heaters and, more particularly to air deflector assemblies adapted to be attached to a unit heater to direct the air flowing from the heater into a particular pattern or direction.
Unit heaters are commonly mounted on the wall or ceiling of a room in an industrial or commercial facility. The mountings are of a relatively permanent nature and the heater housing is therefore maintained in a fixed location. This position, however, does not necessarily correspond precisely to the needs of the area where the heated air is desired but may, in fact, be somewhat removed from such an area to takeadvantage of available structural support beams or the like, or to avoid interference with other equipment. Consequently, it is common to provide some form of air-deflecting system to direct the flow of air from the fixed location toward a more remote location where the benefits of the heated air are most desired.
It is, of course, possible to install a permanent air deflector on or adjacent to the heater housing. However, the needs and conditions surrounding the heater may change from time to time as the room or facility is adapted to other uses and as equipment and personnel are relocated within the environment. In fact, the desired form of airflow pattern may vary several times daily with personnel changes. As conditions change, it may become desirable to change the direction of airflow. Fixedly mounted heaters permitting only limited adjustrnent of the air deflector assembly, for example, by varying the pitch of deflector vanes, usually are not capable of altering the airflow significantly enough. On the other hand, replacement or remounting of a nonadjustable air deflector assembly relative to the heater housing requires considerably effort and time so as to make frequent changes of this type impractical.
It is therefore a primary object of the present invention to provide an improved heater.
An additional object of the invention is to provide a unit heater having an air deflector assembly which is directionally adjustable and also readily removable.
A further object of this invention is to provide a unit heater on which air deflector assemblies of various types are essentially interchangeable.
These and other objects of the present invention are more particularly set forth in the following description and the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. I is a perspective view of a unit heater showing various of the features of the invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional elevational view taken along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary elevational view of a portion of the unit heater as shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary exploded view showing the relationship between certain of the elements shown in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an alternate form of unit heater showing various of the features of the invention;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional elevational view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 5; and
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the elements shown in FIG. 6 illustrating their relationship to the housing of the unit heater of FIG. 5 when in operative position relative thereto.
Briefly referring to the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, a heater 10 is shown which comprises a housing 12 having a wall 14 defining an opening 16.,As is more clearly shown in FIG. 2, a heating element 18 is mounted within the housing 12 to heat the air therein, and a fan 20 is provided which is effective to force the heated air out through the opening 16 (i.e., toward the right in FIG. 2). Several resilient clips 22 mounted on the housing 12 secure an airdeflector assembly 24 adjacent the opening 16. The air deflector 24, which includes deflecting vanes 26, defines a circular track 28; the clips 22 are biased resiliency of the clips 22 permits them to be urged away from the air deflector track so that the deflector can readily be removed from the housing 12 if desired, as in the replacement or substitution of the deflector assembly.
More specifically, in the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the housing 12 is generally of rectangular configuration and is preferably formed of sheet'metal. As illustrated, the
wall 14 is in a vertical position and, for convenience of reference, it will hereinafter be referred to as the front" wall of the housing. However, it is to be understood that the wall 14 may assume a variety of dispositions, including a horizontal disposition, in which case it forms the bottom wall of the housing, as shown in FIG. 5. In addition to the front wall 14, the housing 12 includes a backwall 30, a top wall 32, a bottom wall 34, and sidewalls 36.
The opening 16 in the front wall is of circular configuration. The backwall 30 is also provided with an opening 38 which receives the fan 20, as hereinafter described. The housing in the illustrated embodiment is mounted on the ceiling of a room tobe heated by means of a bracket 40 so that the primary flow of air across the heating element 18 is in a horizontal direction.
The heating element 18 is carried within the housing 12 and, in the illustrated embodiment, is in the form of a high-resistance elongated conductor fonned into a looped configuration and encircled by a plurality of fins 42 and mounted on a plate 43 disposed in vertically spaced relation to the bottom wall'34. Suitable means (not shown) are provided for connecting the heating element 18 to a source of electrical potential, and other electrical circuitry such as fuses or circuit breakers (not shown) may also be provided. The fan 20 is mounted within the opening 38 in the backwall 30 and is preferably surrounded by a protective guard or screen 44 secured to the outside of the housing.
As can best be seen from FIG. 4, brackets 46 for mounting the clips 22 onto the housing 12 are permanently affixed to the inside of the front wall 14 of the housing adjacent the periphery of the opening 16. In the illustrated embodiment, the brackets are made of a single strip of metal having an offset central portion 48. When the ends of the bracket are placed flat against the inner surface of the wall 14, a slot 50 is defined intermediate the central portion and the wall which receives a portion of a clip 22, as hereinafter described. The bracket 46 may be affixed to the front wall in any suitable manner such as by welding or soldering. In a preferred embodiment, four such brackets are spaced equally around the circumference of the opening 16.
The clips 22 are preferably made of steel or other strong resilient material. In the illustrated embodiment, each clip-22 comprises a central portion 52, a slightly bowed mounting portion 54 located at one end of the central portion and offset relative thereto, and a V-shaped portion 56 defining a notch 58 adapted to receive the track 28 of the deflector assembly 24. The mounting portion 54 is inserted into the slot 50 defined by the offset central portion 48 of the bracket 46 and is retained therein due to its bowed configuration and the resiliency of the material from which it is fabricated. The V- shaped portion, which can best be seen in FIG. 4, is provided with curled backside edge portions 60 to prevent binding between the edges of the clips and the track 28 of the air deflector, as will be explained further in connection with the description of the air deflector assembly 24.
When the clips are in their operative position mounted on the rearward face of the front wall 14, the central portion-52 extends inwardly away from the front wall 14 and toward the center of the opening 16. The V-shaped portion is oriented with the notch 58 of the V opening toward the center of the opening 16. Each of four clips is positioned on the housing so as to receive the air deflector assembly 24.
In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 through 3, the air deflector assembly 24 includes a ring 62 which is in the form of a generally U-shaped channel bent into a circular configuration. The channel is defined by a web or bight 64 which defines an air passageway, an outer flange 66 which provides a transition between the outer edge of the bight and the front wall 14 of the housing, and an inner flange 68 which defines the track 28 and which is received into the notches 58 of the four clips 22.
In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 through 3, the deflector assembly includes the parallel vanes 26 which are either fixedly mounted inside the ring 62 in a preselected position, or rotatably mounted to permit pivotal movement through some limited angle about axes extending longitudinally of the vanes. The air deflector assembly 24 is inserted inwardly of the opening 16 in the front wall of housing 12 until the track 28 defined by the edge of the flange 68 enters the notch 58 of each of the four clips 22. Entry of the edge 28 into the notches 58 determines the limit of inward movement of the deflector assembly into the opening 16, and this limit also closely coincides with the engagement of the edge of the outer flange 66 with the face of the front wall 14.
In the movement of the deflector assembly 24 into its operative position, the edge 28 of the flange 68 first engages the faces of the central portions 52 of the clips 22. Continued inward movement of the deflector causes the clips to be forced back and flexed away from the center of the opening 16. Thus, when the edge 28 becomes positioned within the notches 58, the clips 22 exert a biasing force on the edge tending to maintain the deflector in place. However, since the edge or track 28 is circular, the interengagement of the clips and track permits free rotation of the entire deflector assembly 24 relative to the housing 12, thus permitting an orientation of the vanes which will cause the heated air to be channeled.
It was previously mentioned that the V-shaped portion 56 of each clip 22 includes curled side edge portions 60 adjacent the notch 58. This offset provides a small space at each side of each clip which does not contact the track 28. This configuration prevents snagging of the track on the edges of the clips when the air deflector assembly is being rotated.
Several different air deflector assemblies are suitable for use on the type of heater unit described herein. If it is desired for purposes of changing the assembly or for any other reason to remove the air deflector assembly described above, this can easily be accomplished by pulling the deflector outwardly away from the housing 12 and out through the opening 16.
Referring now to FIG. 5 a unit heater identical with the one shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 except for the clips 22 and air deflector assembly 24 is shown oriented so that heated air emitted through the opening 16 moves in a vertical downward direction. However, in this embodiment, a modified air deflector assembly in the form of a cone 70 is show supported in suspended relation beneath the opening 16. The cone 70 may be formed of any suitable material and is oriented with its apex pointing upwardly toward the center of the opening 16 but located below the plane of the opening. Such a deflector assembly causes the air passing downwardly through opening 16 to be radially deflected in all directions with approximately equal force.
The cone 70 is mounted on the housing 12 by means of spring clips 72 such as that illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7 and a ball chain 73 for each clip. Each clip is in the form of a flat thin strip of material, preferably spring steel, and is bowed slightly and provided with an upturned ,lip 74 at one end. The width of the clip 72 is such as will enable it to fit into the slots 50 defined by the brackets 46 and the bowed form of the clips serves to retain them within the slots.
Each clip 72 is provided with a central opening of a keyhole configuration, having a wide circular head portion 76 and an elongated neck portion 78 extending therefrom longitudinally of the clip. In the illustrated embodiment, a ball chain 73 is inserted in the circular head portion 76 of the opening in the clip 72 and the narrow portion of the chain intermediate the balls is moved into the neck portion 78 which is narrow enough to preclude the ball of the chain from passing through. The clip is then inserted into the slot 50 defined by the offset central portion of the bracket 46 with the upturned lip 74 serving as the leading edge. When fully and properly inserted, the portion of the clip defining the circular head portion 76 of the opening is under the bracket and therefore precludes escape for the ball chain 73. The curvature or how of the clip provides a spring loading action when the clip is wedged under the bracket 46 so that the clip will not have a tendency to vibrate or pull out. At the same time, if it is desired to withdraw the clip, a firm pull will effect its removal. The air deflector assembly 70 may be provided with keyhole openings for the ball chain 73, or the chain may be otherwise secured to the deflector assembly as desired.
From the description of the preferred embodiments above, it is evident that a versatile unit heater has been provided. The same unit can be mounted vertically or horizontally. in the horizontal position the air deflector assembly can be rotated through 360 to direct the airflow in any desired direction, or it can be removed entirely for servicing of the heater components as well as for cleaning or substitution of deflector assemblies. Mounting of the unit heater in a vertical position pennits the use of a conical assembly suspended below the unit and permits equal airflow in all directions from the heater simultaneously. The change of assembly is permitted very simply by changing four clips.
Other deflector configurations may also be employed using the novel mounting means disclosed herein. The shape of the vanes does not affect the versatility of the mountings.
While two specific structural embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, it should be apparent that various modifications may be made therein without departing from the scope of the invention.
Various of the features of the invention are set forth in the following claims.
I. A unit heater comprising A. a housing having a wall defining an opening,
B. a heating element mounted in said housing,
C. a fan mounted on said housing and adapted to cause a flow of air from within said housing past said heating element and outwardly through said opening,
D. an air deflector adapted to be mounted in an operative position on said housing,
1. said air deflector including an annular web extending through said opening and having portions located both interiorly and exteriorly of said housing when said air deflector is in said operative position,
2. said annular web defining an airflow passageway,
E. a plurality of generally flat deflector vanes mounted on said annular web extending transversely of said airflow passageway and adapted to lie in planes generally parallel to one another, but inclined at an acute angle with respect to the longitudinal axis of said airflow passageway,
F. means defining an annular track on that portion of said annular web located interiorly of said housing when said air deflector is in said operative position,
G. means on that portion of said annular web located exteriorly of said housing when said air deflector is in said operative position defining a flange positioned in close proximity to that portion of said housing wall surrounding said opening so as to minimize a flow of air outwardly of said housing intermediate said annular web and the periphery of said opening,
H. and clips mounted on the inner surface of said wall of said housing defining said opening adapted to releasably mount said air deflector on said housing in said operative position,
I. each of said clips including a portion adapted to be positioned in continuous sliding engagement with said arcuate track so as to permit rotation of said deflector relative to said housing while releasably supporting said air deflector with said annular web disposed within said opening and with said flange in said close proximity to that portion of said housing wall surrounding said open- 2. said clips being formed of a resilient material so as to enable them to be urged out of engagement with said track to permit detachment of said air deflector from said housing.
2. A unit heater as defined in claim 1 wherein said clips are mounted on said housing by brackets, said brackets frictionally holding said clips in mounted position while permitting easy removal and remounting of said clips.
3. A unit heater as defined in claim 1, wherein said clips comprise a mounted portion and a track contact portion joined by a flexing portion, said track contact portion being resiliently urged into contact with said arcuate track by said flexing portion.
4. A unit heater in accordance with claim 1, wherein said annular track on that portion of said annular web located interiorly of said housing when said air deflector is in said operative position is defined by the outer edge of an annular flange extending radially outwardly from the interior edge of said an nular web.
5. A unit heater in accordance with claim 1, wherein said flange on that portion of said annular web located exteriorly of said housing is turned inwardly toward the wall of said housing defining said opening and includes a peripheral edge in close proximity to said wall.
6. A unit heater in accordance with claim 4, wherein that portion of each of said clips adapted to be positioned in continuous sliding engagement with said arcuate track is disposed transversely of said edge of said annular flange defining said track, and wherein the edges of said portion are curled away from said edge of said annular flange to prevent binding during sliding movement.
7. A unit heater in accordance with claim 4, wherein that portion of each of said clips adapted to be positioned in continuous sliding engagement with said arcuate track includes a notch to receive the edge of said flange so as to capture said flange and maintain said air deflector in said operative position.