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Publication numberUS3696630 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 10, 1972
Filing dateDec 10, 1970
Priority dateDec 10, 1970
Publication numberUS 3696630 A, US 3696630A, US-A-3696630, US3696630 A, US3696630A
InventorsTony J Bressickello
Original AssigneeTony J Bressickello
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Humidified and refrigerated showcase
US 3696630 A
Abstract
A showcase for displaying and preserving flowers has a housing formed with a front access opening and an enclosure installed within the housing. An air flow path through which air may be recirculated is in part constituted by a space defined between the housing and enclosure. A refrigerating unit includes a refrigerant conduit oriented in the air flow passage and above a water pan located on the bottom of the housing. A blower mounted adjacent the refrigerant conduit operates to pull recirculating air across the water to collect moisture ad become humidified to the desired degree. Thereafter the air is forced in heat exchange relationship around the refrigerant coil and upwardly through the air flow path for distribution through perforations formed in the enclosure and into contact with the flowers.
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United States Patent [151 3,696,630 Bressickello Oct. 10, 1972 [54] HUMIDIFIED AND REFRIGERATED SHOWCASE Inventor: Tony J. Bressickello, 13015 S. Normandie Boulvard, Gardena, Calif.

Filed: Dec. 10, 1970 Appl. No.: 96,943

US. Cl. ..62/188, 62/247, 62/309, 62/256, 62/64, 62/373, 62/376, 62/310 Int. Cl ..F25d 17/02 Field of Search ..62/247, 256, 64, 373, 374, 62/375, 376, 188

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 12/ l 936 Zarotschenzetf .62/ 376 1 l/ 1937 Peddicord ..62/ 247 6/1941 Hermann .62/ 256 l l/ 1950 Geneck ..62/247 2/1958 Dickson ..62/256 6/1965 Bently ..62/256 Primary Examiner-William J. Wye Attomey--Pastoriza & Kelly [57] ABSTRACT A showcase for displaying and preserving flowers has a housing formed with a front access opening and an enclosure installed within the housing. An air flow path through which air may be recirculated is in part constituted by a space defined between the housing and enclosure. A refrigerating unit includes a refrigerant conduit oriented in the air flow passage and above a water pan located on the bottom of the housing. A blower mounted adjacent the refrigerant conduit operates to pull recirculating air across the water to collect moisture ad become humidified to the desired degree. Thereafter the air is forced in heat exchange relationship around the refrigerant coil and .upwardly through the air flow path for distribution through perforations formed in the enclosure and into contact with the flowers.

13 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTEDUBI 10 I972 FIG.|

INVENTOR. TONY J. BRESSICKELLO A TTORNEYS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to showcases and more specifically to a self-service showcase through which refrigerated and humidified air is recirculated to better preserve flowers.

Various types of self-service showcases have been constructed with top access openings and front access openings for the purpose of displaying comestibles such as meat, eggs or vegetables. The comestibles are customarily held in a special compartment in which a refrigerant coil is located to cool air circulating through the showcase.

The refrigerantcoil is sometimes oriented above a relatively small drip pan situated to collect condensation discharged from the coil. When the water level rises to a predetermined level then this condition is sensed and a pump is activated to lift the water to an overhead disipator pan arranged on top of the cabinet. The dissipator may include a heating coil to dissipate accumulated water. Other showcases eliminate condensation from the refrigerant coils by a drainage SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Briefly stated this invention contemplates an inexpensive, durable humidified and refrigerated showcase for displaying and preserving flowers or the like.

In its broader aspects the showcase includes a housing with generally closed side, rear, top and bottom walls and a front wall formed with a large access opening. Resting on or slightly above the housing bottom wall is a water pan whose area substantially superimposes the housing bottom wall. An enclosure installed within the housing has a perforated top panel, a perforated rear panel and a bottom panel that are spaced respectively from the housing top wall, housing rear wall and pan to define an air flow chamber.

A refrigeration system includes a refrigerant conduit which is oriented within a lower portion of the air flow chamber and above the pan. A fan positioned slightly above the refrigerant coil operates to draw recirculating air across the water contained in the pan so the air will accumulate moisture and become humidified to a predetermined degree. The humidified air is then drawn around the refrigerant conduit in heat exchange relationship and is eventually directed upwardly through the air flow chamber so it may be distributed through perforations of the enclosure and into contact with the flowers.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The numerous benefits and unique aspects of the present invention will be fully understood when the following detailed description is studied in conjunction with the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a humidified and refrigerated showcase constructed in accordance with this invention showing flowers inside the showcase;

FIG. 2 is a schematic flow diagram showing suitably chilled-and humidified air being constantly circulated through the showcase;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational sectional view taken approximately through the center of the showcase showing the air flow circuit; and,

FIG. 4 is a perspective, fragmentary view showing the interrelationships between various components in the lower portion of the showcase.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. 1, a humidified and refrigerated showcase 10 includes a cabinet or housing 1 1 of any desired aesthetic shape. Housing 11 has a pair of sidewalls 12 and 13 interconnected by a rear wall 14 and by a front wall 15 which has a lower section 16. Front wall 15 is formed with a large access opening 17 so that a florist or other person may gain access to the interior of housing 11. Housing 11 incorporates a lower wall 18 and an upper wall 19 which is recessed downwardly from the top edges of sidewalls 12 and 13, rear wall 14 and front wall 15.

Installed within housing 11 is an integrally constructed or sectional enclosure 20 which has a rear panel 21 spaced from housing rear wall 14. Rear panel 21 is formed with a plurality of perforations 22 which, as shall be more fully explained, serve as air passages through which suitably chilled and humidified air may be constantly supplied to flowers 24. The flowers 24 are held for display purposes in conventional vases, pots or other containers supported on vertically aligned and adjustable inner shelves 23 which span between housing sidewalls 12 and 13. A service shelf 25 is adjustably supported by brackets mounted to front wall lower section 16 and is illustrated supporting a plastic bag cutting and dispensing unit 26. In practice the florist or customer, on a self-service basis, would arrange selected flowers within a plastic bag and carry the flowers away.

Extending outwardly from lower wall 18 is a deck 27 over which is installed a series of side shelves 28 adjustably supported by brackets 29 mounted to housing sidewall 13. An object 29 which may be a pot of flowers not requiring humidity, imitation flowers, a statue or novelty is shown supported on the uppermost side shelf.

Resting on housing upper wall 19 and generally concealed from view is a dissipator unit 31, a compressor 32 for refrigerant and a condensor 32a for refrigerant whose functions will be more fully explained.

The showcase 10 may be supported on wheels or casters that permit it to be easily moved from place to place such as back and forth between a shop and lobby outside the shop.

Referring to FIG. 2, which depicts a schematic flow diagram, a relatively shallow metal pan 33 is filled with water 34 to a predetermined depth d. A water tempe rature regulator 35 may be adjusted to maintain the water 34 at a selected temperature, preferably 32F. A water level sensor 36 operates to maintain the water depth d at a predetermined level such as one-fourth inch to one-half inch for example. When the water level exceeds the desired depth d, due to drippage collected from the overlying refrigeration system, for example, the water level sensor 36 will trigger into operation, a water pump assembly 37 that will then remove excess water from pan 33 through upstanding water discharge line 38. Line 38 eventually discharges the water into dissipator 31 which includes a temperature regulation and switch control 40. Control 40 is constructed so that a heating coil will be switched on in response to movement by a float valve when the water level attains a predetermined height. If water is being discharged from line 38 at a faster rate than that at which the water can be dissipated, a portion of the water is returned to pan 33 through a water overflow line 39 and the excess water is then continuously recirculated until dissipation is accomplished.

A refrigeration system 41 includes a supply line 42 extending from condensor 32a to a refrigerant coil 43. As the refrigerant medium, which may be Freon 12, for example, travels through refrigerant coil 43 air is forced into heat exchange relationship therewith as shall be more fully explained. The refrigerant is returned through an exit line 44 to compressor 32. A suitable control 45 is coupled between the compressor 32 and condensor 32a for regulating the flow rate and temperature of the refrigerant medium.

A blower or fan 46 aligned above refrigerant coil 43 operates to pull air upwardly over the refrigerant coil 43. A control 47 may be used to adjust the speed of fan 46 to thereby vary the mass flow rate of the air. A deflector 48 is arranged to divert the air in a given direction.

A portion of recirculating air A driven downwardly by inertia and a small amount of commingled atmospheric air are pulled across the water 34 in pan 33 by fan 46 to accumulate moisture and therefore become a relatively warm humidified mass of air A The air A is pulled upwardly over and chilled by refrigerant coil 43 to become a relatively cold humidified mass of air A As the air is forced upwardly through the air circulation path a portion is supplied through the enclosure perforations in the form of tiny air streams A The balance of the air A reaching the uppermost level in the air circulation path is deflected downwardly by deflector 48 to constitute a cascading air mass of air curtain whose lower portion is formed by air mass A,.

Referring now to FIG. 3 enclosure 20 has a perforated rear panel 21 as previously indicated, a solid or nonperforated bottom panel 49 and a perforated top panel 50. A hidden partition 51 positioned behind front wall is secured to the forward edge of recessed upper wall 19. A conventional cabinet lighting fixture 52 is mounted on hidden partition 51.

An air flow chamber 53 is generally defined by the double wall constituted by housing 11 and enclosure 20. More specifically air flow chamber 53 through which humidified refrigerated air is continuously circulated has a lower duct 54 defined by enclosure bottom panel 49 and housing lower wall 18, an intermediate duct 55 defined by enclosure rear panel 21 and housing rear wall 14 and an upper duct 56 defined by enclosure top panel 50 and housing upper wall 19. Deflector 48 and a forward tip 57 of top panel 50 define a narrow construction 58 through which air A may pass with increased velocity to thereafter form a downwardly flowing air curtain 59. A screen 60, hinged to enclosure bottom panel 49, ordinarily is closed to prevent articles on service shelf 25 from falling into the water 34. It may easily be flipped from its closed position as shown to an open position so access may be gained beneath enclosure 20.

Referring to FIG. 4 a support plate 61 mounted on the housing lower wall (not shown) supports a conventional electrical control box 62 coupled to an external power source by line 63. An electrical line 64 is coupled to a junction box 65 from which electricity is distributed by line 66 to the dissipator, compressor and condensor mounted overhead in the housing. A metal sheath 67 houses the refrigerant conduit whose opposing ends are coupled to lines 42 and 44 of the refrigeration system. The top wall of sheath 67 is formed with three circular openings for mounting three fans 46 and a pair of brackets 68 may be used to secure sheath 67 against the housing rear wall (not shown).

The refrigerant conduit extends across at least twothirds of the distance between the housing side panels so adequate refrigeration can take place.

The metal pan 33 is sufficiently large to substantially entirely overlay the housing lower wall and its rearward or innennost portion underlies sheath 67 in order to collect condensation droplets from the refrigerant coil. By this construction a great quantity of water may be quickly accumulated by the overlying moving air mass since the exposed water surface will be correspondingly large. Pump 37 is shown lying near the surface of water 34 for driving excess water upwardly through water discharge line 38. The lower end 69 of screen 60 is hinged to enclosure bottom panel 49 and its upper or free end rests against the lower section 16 of the housing front wall. In order to gain access into the pan 33 or beneath panel 49 the person would merely be required to flip screen 60 backwardly.

As the air A of the air curtain reaches the lowest point in the path its velocity is lower and its temperature is higher than at any other point in the cycle. Inasmuch as warmer air has a greater capacity for holding vapor or moisture than relatively colder air the mass of air A being swept over the surface of water 34 is capable of accumulating comparatively great amounts of moisture. Preferably the air A is either fully saturated or has a relative humidity of at least percent. After the humidified air has been pulled past the refrigerant coil the now humidified and chilled air A is driven upwardly so that streams of suitably conditioned air may pass through the perforations 22 into the interior of the enclosure in the form of air streams A OPERATION Keeping the above construction in mind it can be understood how the objectives of this invention are attained.

After the humidified and refrigerated showcase 10 has been set in operation by a switch that may be connected to electrical line 63 for example, the air will continuously circulate through its intended path and thereby constantly service and preserve the flowers 24 arranged on the shelves 23 inside showcase l0.

Recirculating air at the lower portion of the air curtain 59 is commingled with a small amount of siphoned external air and the resulting mass of air A is forced in part by inertia and in part by the suction generated by fans 46 to screen 60. The driving force is then solely provided by fans 46 that pull air A through screen 60 and into contact with the water 34 in metal pan 33. As the relatively warm air A is dragged across the water 34 in pan 33 it accumulates a desired quantity of moisture (of at least 85 percent relative humidity) and is pulled around the refrigerant coil to become chilled to a predetermined temperature. The now optimum chilled and refrigerated air A is driven by the fans 46 upwardly through intermediate duct 55 of air flow chamber 53.

As the air travels through intermediate duct 55 and upper duct 56 streams of air A pass through perforations 22 in enclosure rear panel 21 and top panel 50 so that the flowers 24 will be satisfactorily conditioned and preserved in an ideal environment.

Upon arriving at the downstream end of converging upper duct 56 and air A is squeezed at increased velocity through constricted passage 58 and deflected downwardly by the depending skirt or deflector 48. This increased velocity prevents the chilled air from being invaded by excessive external air that would bring undesired heat into the air flow.

By way of example; the refrigerant medium is Freon 12; the average temperature of the refrigerant medium in the refrigerant conduit 43 is 20 F; the temperature of the water is kept at 32 F; the water depth d is between one-fourth inch and one-half inch; the temperature of the air at phase A is 34 F; the temperature of the air at phase A is between 38 F and 40 F; the velocity of the air passing through constricted passage 58 is 150 feet per minute; and, the slowest velocity of the air at the lower portion of the air curtain at phase A is between and 25 feet per minute.

From the foregoing it will be evident that the present invention has provided a humidified and refrigerated showcase in which all of the advantages are fully achieved.

What is claimed is:

1. A refrigerated and humidified showcase for flowers comprising:

a. a housing having generally closed side, rear, top and bottom walls and a front wall formed with an access opening;

b. a pan for containing water supported over the housing bottom wall, wherein the pan substantially entirely overlies the housing bottom wall so the exposed water surface will be relatively large to thereby permit air to better accumulate a desired quantity of moisture;

c. an enclosure with a perforated top panel, a perforated rear panel and a bottom panel that are spaced respectively from the housing top wall, housing rear wall, and pan to define an air flow chamber;

. a refrigeration system including a refrigerant conduit located within a lower portion of the air flow chamber, the pan extending beneath the refrigerant conduit to collect condensation droplets; and,

a fan located in the air flow chamber above the refrigerant conduit for the purpose of pulling air across water contained in the pan to accumulate moisture, then drawing the air in heat exchange relationship over the refrigerant conduit and directing the now optimumly refrigerated and humidified air upwardly through the air flow chamber so it can pass in the form of air stream through the perforations to the interior of the enclosure.

2. The structure according to claim 1, wherein; the depth of the water in the pan is between one-fourth inch and one-half inch.

3. The structure according to claim 1 including:

a sheath covering the refrigerant conduit and structure at a top portion to mount the fan.

4. The structure according to claim 3, including:

multiple fans for drawing air into the sheath and around the refrigerant conduit.

5. The structure according to claim 3, wherein;

the refrigerant conduit extends at least two-thirds of the distance between the housing sidewall and is confined by the sheath.

6. The structure according to claim 1, including:

a water level sensor for detecting the predetermined maximum depth of water in the pan;

a pump responsively coupled to the water level sensor for withdrawing water from the pan; and,

an overhead water dissipator mounted on the housing top wall.

7. The structure according to claim 1, including:

a service shelf mounted to the housing front wall;

and,

a screen hinged to the enclosure bottom panel and supported against the housing front wall so it may extend across the air flow chamber and prevent articles from falling into the water.

8. The structure according to claim 1, including:

a deflector for directing recirculating air at the top of the air flow chamber downwardly towards the pan.

9. The structure according to claim 8, including:

a narrow constriction defined in part by the deflector at the exit end of the air flow chamber for increasing velocity of the air to prevent it from importing excess heat from the external air during movement towards the pan.

10. The structure according to claim 1, wherein;

the refrigeration system, temperature-of the water in the pan and fan are adjusted so that the relative humidity of the air in the air flow chamber is at least percent.

11. The structure according to claim 1, wherein;

the pan substantially entirely overlies the housing bottom wall so the exposed water surface will be relatively large to thereby permit the air to better accumulate the desired quantity of moisture,

the pan extends beneath the refrigerant conduit to collect condensation and droplets,

a sheath is arranged to cover the refrigerant conduit and is structured at a top portion to mount the fan, and

a deflector is arranged to direct recirculating air at the top part of the air flow chamber downwardly towards the pan.

12. A refrigerated and humidified showcase for flowers, comprising:

a. a housing having generally closed side, rear, top and bottom walls and a front wall formed with an access opening;

a pan for containing water supported over the housing bottom wall;

an enclosure with a perforated top panel, a perforated rear panel and a bottom panel that are spaced respectively from the housing top wall, housing rear wall, and pan to define an air flow chamber;

. a refrigeration system including a refrigerant conduit located within a lower portion of the air flow chamber above the pan;

. a plurality of shelves supported within the enclosure;

. a fan located in the air flow chamber above the closure and into contact with flowers located on the shelves; and

g. the refrigeration system, temperature of the water in the pan and fan are adjusted so that the relative humidity of the air in the air flow chamber is at least percent.

13. The structure in accordance with claim 12, wherein:

the pan substantially entirely overlies the housing bottom wall so the exposed water surface will be relatively large to thereby permit the air to better accumulate the desired quantity of moisture,

the pan extends beneath the refrigerant conduit to collect condensation and droplets,

a sheath is arranged to cover the refrigerant conduit and is structured at a top portion to mount the fan, and

a deflector is arranged to direct recirculating air at the top part of the air flow chamber downwardly towards the pan.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4089322 *Aug 12, 1976May 16, 1978Raul GuibertFood processing technique
US4458501 *Jul 29, 1982Jul 10, 1984Hermen KooyCabinet for cut off flowers
US4551943 *Jul 30, 1984Nov 12, 1985Pas Rene J T MFlower merchandising display
US4608776 *Apr 16, 1984Sep 2, 1986Hermen KooyCabinet for cut-off flowers
US4608835 *Jun 3, 1985Sep 2, 1986Hermen KooyCabinet for cooling goods, etc.
US4680942 *May 14, 1986Jul 21, 1987Hermen KooyCabinet for cut-off flowers
US4854129 *Jun 6, 1988Aug 8, 1989Hickley PieterCooling process and apparatus
US5755108 *Dec 3, 1996May 26, 1998Kysor Industrial CorporationWedge type refrigerated display case
US6145327 *Dec 1, 1998Nov 14, 2000Navarro; Ramon M.Air curtain for open-fronted, refrigerated showcase
US6293048 *Jun 7, 1999Sep 25, 2001Clay BoulterHydroponic feeder and cooler
US6301916Nov 13, 2000Oct 16, 2001Ramon Munoz NavarroAir curtain for open-fronted, refrigerated showcase
US6360548Nov 13, 2000Mar 26, 2002Ramon Munoz NavarroOpen-fronted, refrigerated showcase with dual evaporators and dissipater pans
US6912864Oct 10, 2003Jul 5, 2005Hussmann CorporationEvaporator for refrigerated merchandisers
US6993925Mar 3, 2004Feb 7, 2006Hussmann CorporationRefrigerated merchandiser with access for cleaning
US7143605Dec 22, 2004Dec 5, 2006Hussman CorporationFlat-tube evaporator with micro-distributor
US7237398Feb 7, 2006Jul 3, 2007Hussmann CorporationRefrigerated merchandiser with access for cleaning
US8888013 *Nov 19, 2001Nov 18, 2014S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.Dispensing means
US9533314 *Mar 15, 2010Jan 3, 2017Areco Finances et Technologie—ArfitecCap for a display
US20040011885 *Nov 19, 2001Jan 22, 2004Mclisky Nigel HaigDispensing means
US20050076662 *Oct 10, 2003Apr 14, 2005Hussmann CorporationEvaporator for refrigerated merchandisers
US20050132744 *Dec 22, 2004Jun 23, 2005Hussmann CorporationFlat-tube evaporator with micro-distributor
US20050193755 *Mar 3, 2004Sep 8, 2005Hussmann CorporationRefrigerated merchandiser with access for cleaning
US20060123825 *Feb 7, 2006Jun 15, 2006Hussmann CorporationRefrigerated merchandiser with access for cleaning
US20100024462 *Oct 16, 2009Feb 4, 2010Panasonic CorporationRefrigerator, and electric device
US20100058786 *Jul 24, 2009Mar 11, 2010Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.Low temperature showcase
US20120067974 *Mar 15, 2010Mar 22, 2012Areco Finances Et Technologie - ArfitecCap for a display
CN1605821BSep 30, 2004Jun 16, 2010胡斯曼公司Evaporator for refrigerated merchandisers
EP0096945A2 *Jun 15, 1983Dec 28, 1983Hermen KooyCabinet for cut-off flowers
EP0096945A3 *Jun 15, 1983Aug 29, 1984Hermen KooyCabinet for cut-off flowers
EP0140453A2 *Oct 26, 1984May 8, 1985Hermen KooyCabinet for cooling goods, for example, flowers
EP0140453A3 *Oct 26, 1984May 28, 1986Hermen KooyCabinet for cooling goods, for example, flowers
EP1522238A1 *Aug 20, 2004Apr 13, 2005Hussmann CorporationEvaporator for refrigerated merchandisers
WO2006047797A1 *Mar 8, 2005May 11, 2006Gerhard DoczekalMethod for preserving food and presentation shelf for food
Classifications
U.S. Classification62/188, 62/310, 62/309, 62/256, 62/64, 62/373, 62/247, 62/376
International ClassificationA47F3/04, A01G5/04
Cooperative ClassificationA47F3/0447, A01G5/04, A47F7/0078
European ClassificationA47F7/00J1, A47F3/04B1A, A01G5/04