US 3640456 A
The invention is in a self-contained steam heating unit for heating an area or room, said unit being self-contained and not requiring any permanent connection or attachment to a liquid or heat source. The heating unit is a closed system including a radiator unit having a flow passage therethrough. A boiler containing a liquid and having a heater for heating the liquid and converting the same into steam is provided with a discharge distributing the steam through the radiator unit. A condenser chamber is connected to the radiator unit remote from the boiler, the condensed vapors returning to the boiler. A thermostat or the like is responsive to the temperature in the area to be heated and is operative to interrupt a circuit to the heater when the temperature in the area is above a predetermined amount. A cabinet encloses the heating unit and may be a baseboard cabinet type arranged with openings whereby air flow is from the bottom of the cabinet upwardly by the radiator to be heated thereby and then circulated into the room or area to be heated.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [151 3,640,456
Sturgis Feb. 8, 1972  SELF -CONTAINED STEAM HEATING UNIT Primary Examiner-Edward J. Michael Attorney-Fishbum, Gold and Litman  inventor: Clifford M. Sturgis, 1213 Westmoreland,
Colorado Springs, Colo. 80907 57 ABSTRACT  Filed: June 25, 1970 The invention is in a self-contained steam heating unit for [21 1 Appl' NOJ 49,595 heating an area or room, said unit being self-contained and not requiring any permanent connection or attachment to a liquid or heat source. The heating unit is a closed system including a  U-S- Cl ....237/7, 237/16 radiator unit having a flow passage therethrough. A boiler  Int. Cl l ..F24h 3/08 containing a liquid and having a heater for heating the liquid  Field of Search ..237/7, l6, l7, i8, 70; and converting the same into steam is provided with a 165/142 discharge distributing the steam through the radiator unit. A condenser chamber is connected to the radiator unit remote  References Cited from the boiler, the condensed vapors returning to the boiler. A thermostat or the like is responsive to the temperature in UNITED STATES PATENTS the area to be heated and is operative to interrupt a circuit to 2,611,584 9/l952 Labus 1 65/142 x heat" when tempeam'e the is ""237 I16 X predetermined amount. A cabinet encloses the heating unit 27 12/ 9 Barbler and may be a baseboard cabinet type arranged with openings 3,450,346 6/1969 Bilinski...
3 4 whereby air flow is from the bottom of the cabinet upwardly 69,075 9/1969 Barbler 237/16 by the radiator to be heated thereby and then circulated into FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS the room or area to be d.
187,210 10/ 1 956 Austria ..237/ 16 9 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PATENIEUFEB 8 mg Q/ifford MI WrZI'S ATTORNEYS SELF-CONTAINED STEAM HEATING UNIT The present invention relates to steam heating units and more particularly to self-contained steam heating unit not requiring any permanent connection to a liquid or heat source.
The principal objects of the present invention are: to provide a self-contained steam heating unit which may be portable and which is adapted to heat an area or room; to provide such a heating unit which does not require a permanent connection or attachment to a liquid supply or heat source other than to an electric circuit; to provide such a heater enclosed in a cabinet arranged for air flow affected by the heating action; to provide such a closed heating system including a liquid boiler, radiator unit, and condenser connected in a circuit whereby the heater in the boiler vaporizes the liquid which flows through the radiator unit with the vapors being condensed in the condenser and the liquid returning to the boiler; to provide such a heating unit having a vapor flow block between the condenser and the boiler; and to provide a closed system heating unit that is economical to manufacture, capable of continued efficient operation in providing suitable heat in surrounding area, durable in construction, and particularly well adapted for the proposed use.
Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein are set forth by way of illustration and example certain embodiments of this inventron.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a cabinet enclosed heater embodying features of the present invention with portions broken away to show the portions thereof.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged elevational view of the heating unit with portions broken away to illustrate the structure thereof.
FIG. 3 is a transverse sectional view through the radiator unit.
Referring more in detail to the drawings:
The reference numeral 1 generally designates a heater unit adapted to be enclosed within a cabinet 2 and in the illustrated structure, the cabinet 2 is an elongated member for use as a baseboard heater. The cabinet 2 may be suitably supported adjacent the baseboard of a wall 3 in spaced relation to a floor 4. The cabinet has opposite end walls 5, top wall 6, bottom wall 7, front wall 8, and a rear wall 9. Passages or openings are arranged in a bottom portion or wall of the cabinet 2 and openings or passages 11 arranged in an upper portion or wall of the cabinet 2 for flow of air through the cabinet. In the illustrated structure, there are a plurality of spaced strips 12 arranged in the openings 11 to form a grill or louver like appearance. A temperature responsive device or thermostat 13 may be arranged in any suitable location in the area to be heated, and in the illustrated structure, the thermostat 13 is shown mounted on the front wall 8 adjacent one end of the cabinet.
The heater unit 1 may have one or more elongated radiator units 14 and in the illustrated structure there are two extending in opposite directions from a boiler unit 15. Each radiator unit has a tubular flow member or pipe 16 with a plurality of heat dissipating fins 17 arranged on or carried thereby for substantially the length thereof, said units being of finned tube structure for rapid heat radiation. One end 18 of each of the pipes 16 communicates with an upper portion of an inner liquid containing chamber 19 of the boiler 15. The heater unit 1 has the boiler centered therein and the tubular flow members or pipes 16 communicating with opposite sides thereof and the oher end 20 of e ch of the radiator units has communication through a flow pipe or duct 21 to a condenser 22 having a condensate chamber therein. The boiler unit 15 is preferably positioned in the center of the heater unit 1 with the pipes 16 connected to the upper portion of the chamber 19 whereby the communication from the chamber 19 to each of the radiator units 14 is of short length.
The boiler 15 may be of any suitable form with a heater 23 arranged in a lower portion thereof to heat the liquid in the chamber 19. The heater 23 is preferably an electric immersion type heating element mounted on a bottom wall 24 of the boiler 15 in sealed relation thereto with electrical conductors extending therefrom in an insulated conductor member 25 to a connector or plug 26 adapted to be connected through a conductor 27 to the thermostat or heat responsive device 13 which functions in a conventional manner to interrupt the circuit except when heat is needed.
In the illustrated structure, the boiler 15 is generally cylindrical and the bottom wall 24 of the boiler 15 is suitably secured, as by a threaded connection 28 to an outer sidewall 29 of the boiler 15 to form a sealed structure whereby when the electric circuit to the heater 23 is completed and the temperature is such that the thermostat 13 calls for heat, the heating element is energized.
The illustrated boiler 15 includes the inner steam chamber 19 formed by a sidewall 30 spaced inwardly from the boiler chamber wall 29 to thereby define an outer or liquid receiving chamber 31. The top wall 32 closes the upper end of the inner steam chamber 19 adjacent a top wall 33 of the boiler 15. Steam discharge pipes 34 communicate with the upper portion of the inner steam chamber 19 and extend outwardly therefrom into the pipes 16. The lower portion of the sidewall 30 has openings 35 for movement of liquid from the liquid chamber 31 to the steam chamber 19. When the heating ele ment is energized, the liquid in the bottom of the steam chamber 19 is heated to boil and the vapors rise in the steam chamber and enter one end of the steam discharging pipe 34 within each of the tubular flow members or pipes 16.
Each of the steam discharging pipes 34 has a plurality of apertures or orifices 36 longitudinally spaced along the length thereof. The orifices 36 are preferably at the sides of the pipes to reduce possibility of liquid droplets forming therein. The other end of each of the steam discharging pipes 34 is closed, as by a suitable fitting or cap 37, whereby the steam is directed outwardly through the apertures or orifices 36 and into the tubular flow members or pipes 16 whereby the vapors will heat the radiator units 14 and the heat will be dissipated through the fins 17 into the air passing through the cabinet 2. The finned pipes 16 are inclined upwardly from the boiler 15 in the nature of one-eighth inch to three-eighths inch per foot whereby any liquids forming therein drains back to the outer chamber 31 of the boiler 15.
The vapors in the radiator units 14 at the ends 20 thereof flow upwardly into the condenser 22. The condensate chamber of the condenser 22 is preferably in the form of a tank of high heat conductive materials, such as copper, whereby air passing in contact with side, bottom, and top walls 38, 39 and 40 respectively on the condenser 22 cools same. The condenser chamber is of substantial size, as for example 20 to 30 cubic inches per foot of radiator length to insure condensing ofthe vapors and no back pressure. In the structure illustrated, the vapor connections from the radiator units 14 are at opposite ends 41 of the elongated condenser tank 22. The condenser tank has the bottom wall 39 thereof formed to have a high point 42 at the center thereof and the bottom wall 39 slopes downwardly from the high point 42 toward each end of the tank 22 and the flow pipes or conduits 21 whereby vapor within the tank 22 will condense therein and flow through the respective pipes 21 and 16 and into the boiler 15 for flow down between the outer wall 29 and the wall 30 of the steam chamber 19 to collect in the lower portion of the boiler chamber 19. The quantity of liquid in the system is such that the opening 35 in the lower end of the steam chamber wall 30 is covered by a quantity of liquid in the chamber 19 to form a vapor block.
It is necessary to insulate the condenser 22 from the radiator units 14 to maintain the condenser 22 at or below a temperature at which the vapors will condense therein to thereby permit the vapors from the flow members or pipes 16 to condense and return to the boiler 15, therefore, suitable insulating material 43 is mounted on at least a lower surface or bottom wall 39 of he condenser 22.
The liquid used in the closed system preferably has boiling point above that of water and it has been found that a suitable liquid is a mixture of water and a glycol antifreeze, as for example, a mixture having substantially 40 percent water and 60 percent glycol antifreeze, such as Prestone," and a suitable wetting agent or sunfactant. This mixture also has the advantage of having a low freezing point so that the heater may be safely left unheated without emptying in cold weather. While the heater may vary in size, it is preferred to use a heater having a capacity of approximately 80 watts per foot of length of radiator and a convenient length is approximately 7 feet of radiator with a condenser size of 7 feet in length and approximately 175 cubic inches. Examples of size of the steam discharging pipes 34 are three-eighths inch in diameter and the tubular flow members or pipes to are three-fourths inch in diameter.
In operation, the heat from the radiator units 14 heats the air causing same to rise and pass through the openings or passages 11 in the cabinet 2. This causes cold air from the floor area in the room to move through the passages llti into contact with the fins 17 of the radiator units 14 to be thereby heated. The condenser 22 is protected by the insulating material 43 and remains cool or at a temperature below which the vapors will condense to liquid which will flow back into the boiler 15 through the pipes 16 and the outer chamber 311. This arrangement provides a flameless heating system with a high degree of safety and convenience, which also is mobile whereby it can be suitably arranged where heat is desired.
It is to be understood that while i have illustrated and described one form of my invention it is not to be limited to the specific form or arrangement parts herein described and shown.
What I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
l. A self-contained closed system steam heating unit comprising a. an elongate radiator unit having a longitudinal flow passage therein, said passage being slightly inclined for gravity flow of liquid to one end thereof;
b. a boiler unit containing liquid to be vaporized and having inner and outer chambers with communicating passages at lower portions thereof, for flow of liquid from the outer chamber to the inner chamber said outer chamber having free flow communication with said one end of said flow Passage;
c. a heating element in the boiler and operative to heat the liquid and form steam in the inner chamber;
d. an elongate steam discharge pipe having one end communicating with the upper portion of the inner chamber and extending therefrom longitudinally within and above the bottom of the flow passage of said radiator unit, said discharge pipe having spaced orifices distributing steam along the length of said flow passage;
e. a condenser having a condensate chamber of substantial size above the radiation unit, a riser connecting an end of said flow passage of the radiator unit remotely from the boiler with said condensate chamber and providing free flow from said condensate chamber to the flow passage of the radiator unit; and
f. means including a temperature responsive device controlling the heating element of the boiler.
2. A self-contained steam heating unit as set forth in claim 11 wherein:
a. the heating unit has a pair of radiator units with said boiler centered therebetween and said radiator units extending from opposite sides of said boiler; and
b. said condenser is an elongate tank positioned above the radiator units.
3. The self-contained steam heating unit as set forth in claim 2 wherein:
a. each of said radiator units is an elongated pipe with heat transfer fins carried thereon substantially for the length thereof; and
b. said condenser extends substantially the length of the radiator units and is formed of material having relatively high heat conductivity to facilitate condensation of the vapors entering the condensate chamber.
4. The self-contained steam heating unit as set forth in claim 1 including:
a. a cabinet having walls enclosing the heating unit; and
b. air passages in upper and lower portions of the cabinet with the heating unit disposed in said cabinet between said passages whereby air moving between said air passages is heated by said radiator units.
5. The self-contained steam heating unit as set forth in claim ll wherein the liquid in the unit is a mixture of water and glycol and antifreeze and a wetting agent.
d. The self-contained steam heating unit as set forth in claim 5 wherein the mixture is substantially 40 percent water and 60 percent glycol antifreeze and a wetting agent.
7. A self-contained steam heating unit comprising:
a. an elongated radiator unit having a flow passage therein;
b. a boiler having a liquid containing chamber therein;
c. a heating element in the boiler and operative to heat the liquid in the chamber and form steam;
d. an elongated steam discharging pipe within the flow passage of said radiator unit, said steam discharging pipe having one end communicating with the liquid containing chamber of said boiler and plurality of spaced orifices above the bottom of flow passage for discharging steam therein;
e. a condenser having a condensate chamber of substantial size therein;
f. means communicating the flow passage of said radiator unit with the condensate chamber;
g. means communicating the condensate chamber with the liquid containing chamber of said boiler for free flow of condensed liquid to said boiler chamber, said means having a delivery outlet to said chamber below a liquid level in the boiler chamber; and
h. means including a temperature responsive device controlling the heating element in the boiler.
8. A self-contained steam heating unit comprising:
a. a pair of elongated radiator units each having a flow passage therein;
b. a boiler centered between said radiator units and having an inner and outer chamber therein and containing a quantity of liquid to be vaporized, said flow passages of the radiator units having ends connected to the boiler in communication with the outer chamber thereof;
0. a heating element in the boiler and operative to heat the liquid in the inner chamber and form steam;
d. an elongated steam discharging pipe within the flow passage of each of said radiator units, said steam discharging pipes each having one end communicating with an upper portion of the inner chamber of said boiler and a plurality of spaced orifices above the bottom of said passage for discharging steam therein;
e. a condenser having a condensate chamber of substantial size therein;
. means communicating the other ends of the flow passage of each of said radiator units with the condensate chamber;
g. means communicating the condensate chamber with the outer chamber of said boiler for flow of condensed liquid to said boiler chamber, said outer chamber having communication with said inner chamber below a liquid level in the outer chamber; and
in. means including a temperature responsive device controiling the heating element in the boiler.
9. The self-contained steam heating unit as set forth in claim it wherein the flow passages in the radiator units and the condensate chamber are inclined for gravity flow of condensate to the outer chamber of the boiler.
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