US 3698158 A
In an air reconditioning apparatus including a casing having inlet and outlet openings, a fan is mounted adjacent the outlet opening for drawing air to be reconditioned into the inlet opening through a plurality of expanded metal impingement screens, a power-operated dual action centrifugal atomizer is provided adjacent the inlets for supplying scrubbing water to the incoming air and a dehumidifying means is provided between the atomizer and the outlet fan.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Kinnebrew 1 Oct. 17, 1972 I54] AIR RECONDITIONING APPARATUS 2,233,976 3/194] Essick ..26l/29 72 I t h E. b l Monteus l 1 f x 'z' a 3,193,261 7ll965 Nesbitt ..26l/29  Filed: Feb. 24, 1971 Primary Examiner-Bernard Noziclt [211 App. No: 8,367 Attorney-John A. Mawhinney  ABSTRACT  US. Cl. ..S5/227, 55/228, 55/230, 1
55/259 55/419 261/90 n an a r recon ltiomng apparatus Including a casing [51 Int. Cl. ......i.B0ld /00 Pavmg and outlet. opemngs' f mounted  Field of Search ..26l/78, 28, a4, 29, 90, 92, F? "3 "Pf l 2" be 26195- /230 259 227 228 419 ditloned Into the in ct opening 1 rough a plurallty of expanded metal impingement screens, a poweroperated dual action centrifugal atomizer is provided  Re'ennces Cned adjacent the inlets for supplying scrubbing water to UNITED STATES PATENTS the incoming air and a dehumidifying means is pro- 1 736 799 l 2 m t 261/ vided between the atomizer and the outlet fan.
aner 2,225,740 l2ll940 Feinberg ..26l/90 7 Claims, 5 Drawing Flgures QT rr 'w 5 lip l6 e I K 1 /Z -tl- 1 /1 I l I I l K W Q A l 1 2e v 0 14 .0 -5 37 n m 4| 7 h n 33/ flc u 25 PATENTED 17 I973 3.698.158
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INVEN'IUR. JOHN E. KINNEBREW Jim CL.
sum 2 or 3 I N H 01 O 3' m y n g i \D Wu v f. 1'74 8 a A I r'. wn .v r H Q a o I} I; g 8 I Q N D h l m 0 N INVENTOR.
JOHN E. KINNEBREW PATENTEDnmnmn 3.698.158
sum 3 or 3 INVENTOR. JOHN E. KINNEBREW g an w ATTORNEY AIR RECONDITIONING APPARATUS This invention relates to apparatus for reconditioning air, and more particularly relates to apparatus for chilling, eliminating smog-producing contaminates from, and dehumidifying air. More specifically, this invention relates to a central air reconditioning apparatus comprising a self-contained package unit for chilling, scrubbing, and dehumidifying large volumes of contaminant laden air, for example, the large volumes of air normally required for industrial, commercial and residential air conditioning installations.
Evaporative coolers and air scrubbers" are known which are utilized to chill and wash or scrub air to remove contamination therefrom by producing movement of the air through a chamber while spraying water into the air, which water collects or combines with the contaminants therein.
The known air-washers generally do not provide an effective means of blending the air and water for effecting recirculation of treating water without reusing the contaminated water. In addition, the known airwashers generally do not provide effective means for dehumidifying the washed air.
An object of this invention is to provide a new and improved device of the type described which is useful for washing air to remove contaminants therefrom while simultaneously chilling the air by means which effectively dehumidify the air so treated.
Another object of this invention is to provide an air reconditioning apparatus provided with highly improved means for effecting blending of the air to be treated with treating water provided by a water recirculating means.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a new and improved air reconditioning apparatus in which means is provided for selectively passing to waste a portion of the contaminant laden washing water without requiring the use of excessive amounts of treating water.
A further object of this invention is to provide a new and improved air reconditioning device of the type described which may be readily used as a window unit, a through wall unit, or as a ducted central air reconditioning unit wherein a single fan provided adjacent a treated air outlet can be utilized to draw contaminant laden air into the device through one or more scrubbing assemblies incorporated within a single plenum cabinet.
These and other objects of my invention will become apparent from the following description of a preferred form of my invention, and in which like reference numerals are employed to identify like parts of the various views:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred form of the invention particularly suited for the invention in a ducted central air reconditioning installation;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view of a portion of an improved atomizing means of the air reconditioner of FIG. 1 with portions of the atomizer shown in section to better illustrate certain interior details thereof:
FIG. 3 is an enlarged vertical cross-sectional view of the exemplary embodiment of my invention as taken generally along the plane of the line 3-3 of FIG. 1',
FIG. 4 is a horizontal cross-sectional view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 taken generally along the plane of the line 4--4 of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 5 is an exemplary enlarged fragmentary perspective view of an impingement screen used in my invention.
Turning more specifically to the drawings, and FIG. 1 in particular, there is illustrated an air reconditioner indicated generally at 10 housed in a self-contained plenum-type cabinet 12 provided with a pair of opposed inlets 14, only one of which is shown in FIG. I. The cabinet 12 is further provided with a reconditioned air outlet indicated generally at 16 through which outlet is discharged treated air from the opposed inlets 14. While the preferred embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1 is primarily intended to be incorporated into a central air reconditioning system and includes opposed inlets 14 for intaking air to be reconditioned, such as supplied by dual return ducts, it will be understood that an air reconditioner constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invemtion may be provided with only a single inlet 14. In addition, the air reconditioner 10 may be utilized as a window, through the wall, rooftop, etc. mounted unit.
Turning now to a simultaneous consideration of FIGS. 3 and 4, it will be seen that the base of the cabinet 12 is provided with a water reservoir 18 within which water is maintained at a level indicated at 20 by means of a float operated valve assembly indicated generally at 22 which intakes water through a supply inlet pipe 24 connected to a source (not shown) of water at line pressure. An air mover, such as fan 26, is mounted adjacent outlet 16 for pulling ambient contaminant laden air into the cabinet 12 through the opposed inlets 14. The inlets 14 are provided with L- shaped downwardly inclined louvres 28 which drain in a con-densate back into water reservoir 18.
The ambient air being pulled in through the inlets 14 by the fan 26 after passing through the louvres 28 is acted upon by two or more expanded metal impingement screens 5 whereby extreme turbulence is imparted to the incoming contaminant laden air whereby in blending area 6 the turbulently flowing air must pass through dual areas of atomized water 7 which completely engulf the blending area 6. The atomized water is furnished by a high-speed motor 8 driving an atomizing disc 9, as seen best in FIG. 2, which is centralized within the blending area 6 parallel to the expanded metal impingement screens 5.
As best seen from a consideration of FIG. 2, in conjunction with FIGS. 3 and 4, a salient aspect of the present invention resides in the configuration of the atomizer disc 9 and the water feed thereto 10. Within this blending area 6 the incoming air is acted upon by the atomized water 7 whereby the water scrubs contaminants from the air and simultaneously chills the air by virtue of the evaporative cooling effect provided by the atomized water 7. The atomized water 7 necessary for attaining this result is provided by a motor operated pump means 27, such as comprising a centrifugal pump, which intakes water from the reservoir 18 through a centrifugal intake 29. The water is discharged through the tangential outlet 31 which is connected to a T-fitting 33. The T-fitting 33 is connected by flexible or rigid conduits 35 to water distributors 37 fixedly carried by the framework of the cabinet 12. As seen best in FIGS. 2 and 3, the stationary water distributor 37 comprises a tubular enclosure surrounding an intermediate portion of the output shaft 11 of the motor 8. The water distributor 37 is further characterized by an inlet fitting 39 which is positioned in a relatively low angle relative to the axis of the water distributor 37 so as to effect a spiral flow of water being delivered by the pump means 27 within the interior of the water distributor 37 as indicated by the flow arrows in FIG. 3. The forward end of the water distributor 37 adjacent the atomizer disc 9 is open and the opposite end of the water distributor 37 adjacent the motor 8 is closed. By closed it is meant that while the shaft 11 of the motor 8 is not seemingly engaged the clearance therebetween when cooperating with the angled input of water to the distributor 37 does not permit leakage of water outwardly between the distributor 37 and the shaft 11 but actually results in aspiration of air with the water being discharged through the open forward end of the distributor 37. To preclude travel of any condensate along the shaft 11 into the motor 8 a fiber washer M is provided to both absorb moisture and sling such accumulated moisture from the shaft 11 before it can adversely affect the motor 8.
As seen in the left-hand portion of FIG. 3, the shaft ll is turning counter-clockwise and the flow of water through the associated conduit 28 through its natural spiral motion and the centrifugal force imparted by the speed of the shaft 11 leaves the distributor 37 in a fast, smooth, even, circular motion where it is acted upon by the adjacent inboard face of the atomizer disc 9. As the evenly distributed water discharging from the distributor 37 contacts the inboard or inward face or side of the atomizer disc 9, a portion of the water, preferably one half of the amount of water, strikes the inboard face of the disc 9 close to the outboard or outward side or face of the disc 9 by means of a plurality of through passages 13, one of which may be clearly seen in FIG. 2. The through passages 13 are equidistantly spaced from the axis of the shaft 11 and generally uniformly spaced in a circular pattern thereabout to permit the aforementioned portion of water to pass to the outward side 15 of the disc 9. To assist in centrifugally accelerating the water along the outward side is of the disc 9 there is provided an integral or otherwise fixed backup shield 17, as best seen in FIG. 2, from the flow arrows therein, redirects the axially flowing water passing through the ports 13 back onto the outward face 15 of the disc 9 where it is centrifugally accelerated to create the dual atomized flow of water as seen in FIG. 3. For purposes of simplicity, the atomized water flow has only been shown on one side of the dual air reconditioner l illustrated. in addition, for the same reasons, the graphic illustration of the atomized water is absent from FIG. 4.
Turning now more specifically to the aforementioned dual action atomization of the water in the blending area 6, it will be seen from a further consideration of FIG. 2 that the aforementioned dual action atomization is effected by the centrifugally accelerated water simultaneously discharging from the juncture of the peripheral edge 19 and the inward and outward faces of the disc 9. It will thus be seen that contaminant laden air entering through the louvres 28 under the influence of the fan 26 are acted upon by the expanded metal impingement screens creating a turbulence which greatly assists in blending the atomized water 7 with the incoming air to effect scrubbing thereof. As the velocity of the scrubbing water decreases a substantial portion of the water falls by gravity back into the reservoir 18. The remaining portion of water centrifugally atomized by the discs 9 is conducted to a waste drain by trap means comprising a trough 40 having a slidably engaged cover 42 for selectively varying the opening of the trough 40, as indicated generally at 44. As seen best in FIG. 3, the trough 40 includes an outlet conduit 46 which connects the trough 2 and overflow stand pipe 48 which passes through the bottom of the reservoir 18. The conduits 46 enter the stand pipe 48 through opposed nipples positioned on the stand pipe 48 so as to permit gravity discharge of water from the trough 40. The trap means is designed to trap only the required amount of waste water under the most severe atmospheric conditions. The adjustable cover 42 can be pre-set to allow an appropriate portion of the atomized contaminate laden water to be discharged to waste on the basis of the prevailing atmospheric conditions. In other words, the more contaminants to be removed from the air, the more water would be discharged to waste by presenting more open area 44 of the trough 40.
Following the travel of the air further, it will be seen that the majority of the water having returned to the reservoir 18 or discharged to waste through the trap means, the air containing more than the normally desired amount of moisture entrained therein is acted upon by a dehumidifying means indicated generally at 50. Looking at the dehumidifying means 50 from the screens 5, it will be seen that the undesirable moist air first passes through a plurality of expanded metal impingement screens 52 which are of generally analogous construction to the screens 5, and then into an excelsior pad 54 preferably contained within a casing formed of water repellant synthetic resin netting 56. A combination of the impingement screens and the water repellant netting encased excelsior pad comprises a very effective dehumidifying filter where any excess humidity in the scrubbed air is collected by the dual agency of absorption and condensation and returned by gravity into the reservoir 18 through a plurality of weep holes 58 in the channel member 60 which supports the dehumidifying filter means. As seen best by a comparison of FIGS. 3 and 4, the channel 60 is a peripheral rectangular channel. The scrubbed dehumidified air then discharges from the cabinet 12 to the outlet 16.
Although the exemplary embodiment 10 illustrated discloses two identical scrubbing and dehumidifying means in conjunction with a single air moving fan 26, it will be appreciated that an air reconditioner constructed in accordance with the present invention can comprise a single scrubber dehumidifier means in combination with a single air moving fan 26. in addition, it will be appreciated that more than two combined scrubbing and dehumidifying means can be combined with a single air moving fan 26. In this regard, it will be appreciated that the incorporation of a plurality of scrubbing-dehumidifying means with a single air moving fan effects considerable economies of manufacture, power consumption, water consumption and space required to effectively recondition large volumes of contaminant laden air without greatly increasing the overall size of the cabinet or housing for such plurality of scrubbing and dehumidifying means.
From the foregoing description of the embodiment of an air reconditioner constructed in accordance with the pringiples of my invention, together with the discussion of the operation thereof set forth in conjunction with the description of the structure, it will be appreciated that there has been provided a highly improved means for effectively scrubbing and dehumidifying contaminant laden air, which air is simultaneously chilled.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.
1. in an air reconditioning apparatus:
a. a housing having at least one louvered inlet for intaking contaminant laden air and an outlet for discharging reconditioned air,
b. an air blower in said housing adjacent said outlet for creating a flow stream of air to be reconditioned through said housing from the inlet to the outlet,
c. means in said housing adjacent said inlet for imparting turbulence to the air entering said housing,
d. means adjacent (c) and downstream thereof for scrubbing the turbulently flowing air with an atomized flow of treating liquid, said means comprising a blending chamber provided with a motor rotated atomizer disc for the centrifugal atomization of the treating liquid,
e. means adjacent (d) and downstream thereof for dehumidifying the scrubbed air,
f. means in said housing for providing a recirculated flow of treating liquid to the means of (d), and
3. said atomizer disc having inboard and outboard axial faces and with means for providing an atomized flow of treating liquid centrifugally from both inboard and outboard axial faces.
2. The combination of claim I wherein (c) comprises a plurality of adjacent but spaced apart expanded metal screens.
3. The combination of claim 1 wherein (e) comprises a plurality of adjacent but spaced apart expanded metal screens and a moisture absorbent pad adjacent and down-stream of said screens.
4. The combination of claim 1 the means of (f) further includes means for selectively and continuously directing to waste at least a portion of said recirculated treating liquid.
5. The combination of claim 4 wherein the housing is provided with a treating liquid reservoir including means for maintaining a constant level of treating liquid therein.
6. The combination of claim 1 wherein (f) includes a water distributor fixed in said housing, concentric to the axis of rotation of said atomizer disc, for supplying axial flow of treating liquid to said disc.
7. The combination of claim 6 wherein said water distributor includes an inlet conduit disposed at an oblique angle relative to the axis of rotation of said atomizer disc.