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Publication numberUS3740964 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 26, 1973
Filing dateJun 14, 1971
Priority dateJun 14, 1971
Publication numberUS 3740964 A, US 3740964A, US-A-3740964, US3740964 A, US3740964A
InventorsJ Herweg
Original AssigneeTomeco Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Portable air conditioner
US 3740964 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ June 26, 1973 PORTABLE AIR CONDITIONER Primary Examiner-Meyer Perlin Attorney-William T. Wofford et al.

[75] Inventor: Jack E. Herweg, Fort Worth, Tex.

[73] Assignee: Toleco, Inc., Fort Worth, Tex.

[57] ABSTRACT A portable air conditioner comprising a cooling unit to 22 Filed: June 14, 1971 Appl. No.: 152,558 be placed in a zone to be cooled, for example, a room of a house, and a refrigerant condensing unit to be placed outside of the zone. Located in the cooling unit is a heat exchanger and an air moving device. Located in the condensing unit is a compressor, a heat exchanger, and an air moving device. Flexible fluid con- 82 0 N9 M92 21 9 5 4 6 2 7 4 a 54 .WZ 66 .2

CUM wn. U-IF 1:11.. 218 555 [.ll.

duits are provided for coupling the cooling unit to the condensing unit.

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This invention relates to a portable environmental conditioning system and more particularly to a portable cooling system.

2. Description of the Prior Art:

Commercial window units employing a refrigerant for cooling homes or other enclosures have disadvan- 1 tages due to their weight and bulkiness. These factors make installation and removal of the units difficult; Proposals have been made for separating the window units into two parts. However, the known proposals and prior art locate the compressor and evaporator coil in the room to be cooled with the condenser being located outside of the room. This arrangement has disadvantages due to the weight of the compressor as well as the heat and vibration produced by the compressor when it is operating.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordancewith the present invention there is provided a portable environmental conditioning system comprising a first unit including a heat exchanger to be placed at least partially in the zone to be conditioned. Also included is a second unit comprising a compressor and a heat exchanger to be placed outside thezone. Flexible fluid conduits are provided for coupling the two units together.

In the embodiment disclosed, the first unit is a cooling unit while the second unit is a refrigerant condensing unit. Both units include air moving devices. Also located in the cooling unit is a device for storing refrigerant and removing moisture from the refrigerant.

The flexible conduits are long enough whereby the condensing unit may be supported outside while the cooling unit may be located on a table within the room to be cooled. This system has advantages in that the cooling unit is very light in weight and hence may be BRIEF DESCRIPTION OFTI-IE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 illustrates the portable conditioning system of the present invention with one unit located in the room of a house and the other unit located outside;

FIG. 2 illustrates the componentsof the two units of FIG. 1;

FIGS. 3A-3F illustrate the fittings and self-sealing disconnects employed for coupling the two units together with flexible conduits;

FIG. 4 illustrates storage space in the end of one of the units for storing the flexible conduits;

FIG. 5 illustrates the two units locked together having the flexible conduits stored between two ends of the unit; and

FIG. 6 illustrates the electrical system for the two units comprising the portable conditioning system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring now to FIG. 1, there is disclosed a portable environment conditioning system for conditioning a 0 zone, which, in FIG. 1 is illustrated as a room 10 of a house. This system comprises a cabinet 12 which is shown located in the room and cabinet 14 which is shown supported outside of the room or house on a wheeled dolly 15. Conditioned air flows from the cabinet 12 into the room by way of a grill 13. Extending between the two cabinets or units are a pair of flexible conduits l6 and 17 for passing operating fluid between the two units.

In the embodiment disclosed, unit 12 is a cooling unit or cabinet for cooling a room or zone, while unit 14 is a refrigerant condensing unit. The zone to be cooled may be a room of a house, the cabin of a boat, the interior of a camper, etc. Electrical energy is supplied to the components of the units 12 and 14 by way of electrical conduits illustrated at 18 and 19. If the system is employed for recreational use for cooling boats, campers, etc., the electrical energy may be obtained from a portable generator.

Referring to FIG. 2, the cooling unit 12 has supported therein an evaporator coil 20 or heat exchanger for heat removal. Also supported within the unit 12 is an air moving device comprising a motor 21 and a blower 22 which is provided for moving air across the heat exchanger 20. Located within the refrigerant condensing unit 14 is a compressor 24 and a condensing coil or heat exchanger 25. Also provided is an air moving device comprising a fan 26 and a driving motor 27 for moving air across the heat exchanger 25. The compressor 24 may comprise a sealed motor-compressor unit in which a motor drive is incorporated and illustrated at 28.

Extending from the heat exchanger 25 is a metal refrigerant liquid conduit 30 which is supported by the unit 14. A metal refrigerant return conduit 31, also supported by the unit 14, extends to the compressor 24. Extending between the compressor 24 and heat exchanger 25 is a metal compressor discharge conduit 32.

Coupled to conduits 30 and 31 are the flexible conduits l6 and 17, which preferably are non-metallic and are of plastic material. Conduit 16 is a liquid line while conduit 17 is a suction line.

Self-sealing disconnects 37 and 38 have coupling halves secured to the other ends of conduits l6 and 17 and to metal conduits 40 and 41 which are supported by the unit 12. These coupling devices are provided for connecting and disconnecting the flexible conduits l6 and 17 to and from metal conduits 40 and 41. When disconnected, the coupling halves maintain a seal against fluid or gas loss. Conduit 40 is a metal inlet conduit which leads to the heat exchanger 20 by way of a refrigerant receiver 42 and a refrigerant expansion valve 43. Conduit 41 is a metal return conduit which extends from the heat exchanger 20 to the wall structure of the unit 12.

In operation of the system, the compressor 24 takes the low pressure refrigerant gas from the evaporator or cooling unit 12 and compresses the gas to a high pressure, high temperature refrigerant gas. At that point, it is passed to the condenser or heat exchanger 25 where the heat is rejected to the atmosphere by means of the air moving device 26 and 27. Thus, the gas is condensed to a high pressure liquid and is passed on to the accumulator 42 by way of conduits 30, 16 and 40.

The receiver 42 stores liquid refrigerant and removes moisture. The expansion valve 43 meters refrigerant flow through an orifice creating a pressure drop. As liquid passes through the orifice, the pressure is reduced thereby causing the liquid to evaporate and hence causing the refrigerant to become cool. The low pressure, low temperature saturated gas is passed through the evaporator coil or heat exchanger 20 which absorbs the heat from the air moved across it by the motor 21 and blower 22. The gas then is returned to the compressor by the conduits 41, 17 and 31 and the cycle is repeated. In installation, the unit 14 is left outside of the room or zone to be cooled. This is desirable not only because of its greater weight but because the compressor creates vibrations and generates heat in its operation. For practical purposes the conduits 16 and 17 are permanently connected to the unit 14. Since conduits 16 and 17 are flexible and self-sealing disconnects are employed, a convenient arrangement for hookup, handling, and storage is provided. For example conduits 16 and 17 may be disconnected from unit 12 whereby it may be readily brought into the room free and clear of the conduits l6 and 17. Preferably unit 12 is placed completely inside of the room although it may be supported in the window whereby only its front end including the grill 13 is located in or exposed to the interior of the room. After the unit 12 has been located in a desired position inside of the room, for example, as illustrated in FIG. 1, the two units are coupled together by extending the conduits l6 and 17 through the window or through a small opening formed through the wall of the house or structure desired to be cooled.

In one embodiment, the system may have a cooling capacity of 10,000 BTU. In this embodiment the unit 12 may weight on the order of 30 pounds while the unit 14 may weigh on the order of 80 pounds. Thus, due to the light weight of the unit 12, it may be readily positioned in a room or other compartment to be cooled and then readily coupled to unit 14 by way of the flexible conduits 16 and 17.

Preferably the conduits 16 and 17 are non-metallic synthetic hose, for example, of nylon which may be purchased on the commercial market. The conduits 16 and 17 in one embodiment each are feet long and have inside diameters of 3/16 and of an inch respectively.

As indicated previously, the purpose of the accumulator 42 is to store liquid refrigerant and to remove moisture.

It comprises a drum for holding a liquid refrigerant charge. In addition, a small container is located within the drum and which contains a disiccant for absorbing any moisture that may be carried with the refrigerant.

When the system is charged, it is overcharged with refrigerant, including the accumulator 42, whereby the system will contain an amount of refrigerant in excess of that required for efficient operation. An adequate supply of refrigerant, thus, will be available over an extended period of time even though there will be loss of refrigerant due to connection and disconnection of the conduits 16 and 17 from unit 12 and due to effusion of refrigerant through the conduits. The use of the accumulator 42 thus minimizes recharging over an extended period of time.

By placing the accumulator 42 in the cooling unit 12, it will operate at a lower ambiant temperature and hence can contain a greater amount of moisture. For example, the accumulator 42 in the cooling unit 12 can hold 60 drops of water with an average ambiant temperature of 60. Whereas, of the accumulator 42 were located in the compressor unit 14, it may hold only 45 drops of water at an average ambiant temperature of The receiver 42 may be purchased commercially, for example, from Controls Co. of America, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

When the system, including units 12 and 14, is being charged with refrigerant for purposes of sale, it is charged to 44 ounces in the embodiment having a capacity of 10,000 BTU. Preferably the refrigerant used is identified as R-22 which is manufactured, for example, by DuPont under the tradename of Freon-22. Other types of refrigerants may be used, for example R-l2, although the system will not have the same cooling capacity. The amount of charge needed for efficient operation, using R-22, is only about 20 ounces in the embodiment where the conduits 16 and 17 have a length each of 10 feet. Thus, the system is overcharged by about 24 ounces.

As previously indicated, the conduits 30, 31 and 32 in unit 14 and conduits 40 and 41 in unit 12 are of metal and preferably of copper. In charging the system for storage or for sale, all air is removed and the unit 12 is charged to 40 ounces of refrigerant and the coupling halves of the self-sealing disconnects secured to the ends of the tubes 40 and 41 are sealed with metal caps. Since the conduits of unit 12 are of metal or copper tubing, unit 12 may be charged, sealed and stored for purposes of sale over an extended period of time, for example, several years or more, without loss of refrigerant.

The unit 14 including the conduits l6 and 17 are charged to a holding pressure of 4 ounces and the coupling halves of the self-sealing disconnects 37 and 38 secured to conduits 16 and 17 are sealed with metal caps. The purpose of the holding charge is to provide a positive pressure in the unit 14 to keep air out during storages. Although some refrigerant may effuse through the conduits 16 and 17 of the unit 14, it will not affect operations when the system is assembled for use since the unit 12 was initially overcharged. Thus, the complete system may be charged and stored for sale for an extended period of time without the need of recharging the system when it is sold. It will be operational regardless of the period of time between manufacture and use.

Reference is now had to FIGS. 3A-3F for a description of the arrangement employed for coupling conduits 16 and 17 between the two units 12 and 14. The description will pertain only to conduit 16 since the coupling arrangement for conduit 17 is the same. As can be seen in FIG. 3A, a threaded male connector 50 has one end soldered or welded to copper tubing 30 of the condensing unit 14. In assembly, this connector is threaded into a rotatable female connector 51 (FIG. 3B) which is coupled to an L-shaped tube 52. At the other end of tube 52, in one embodiment, is a threaded male connector 53. This connector is threaded into female connector 54 (FIG. 3C) which is attached to one end of conduit 16. A leakproof seal is provided for sealing the metal connector 54 to conduit 16 by dipping the fitting including the nipple 54A into a suitable sealing adhesive, for example, which may be purchased from Loc-Tite Corp. The nipple 54A then is inserted into the hose or conduit 16 in a manner as shown in FIG. 3C and the outer wall 548 then is crimped to couple the connector 54 to conduit 16 to provide a leakproof seal between the two members. The other end of the conduit 16 is coupled to a similar female connector in a similar manner. The female connector at this end of the conduit 16 is threaded onto a male connector 55 which has its other end threaded into coupling half 58 of the self-sealing disconnect 37. As seen in FIG. 3D, this disconnect comprises coupling halves 58 and 59. The coupling halves are connected and disconnected from each other by threading female and male connecting ends 58A and 59A together and apart respectively. The back end of coupling half 59 is soldered or secured to conduit 40 of cooling unit 12.

Coupling halves 58 and 59 have a valve and sleeve assembly 5813 and a poppet valve assembly 5913, respectively, which are employed to maintain a seal against fluid loss when the halves are disconnected as illustrated in FIG. 3D. When the two halves are connected, as illustrated in FIG. 3E, the valve assemblies open a fluid passage to allow fluid flow through the disconnect.

The two units 14 and 12 are evacuated and then charged with refrigerant, for purposes of sale, through connecting ends 58A and 59A of the coupling halves 58 and 59. After charging and for storage purposes, metal caps 62 and 63 (illustrated in FIG. 3F) are threaded to female and male connecting ends 58A and 59A of coupling halves 58 and 59 respectively, for sealing the refrigerant in the units 14 and 12.

, In one embodiment, the selfsealing disconnects may be of the type purchased from Aeroquip Corp., and identified as the 5400 Series. Connectors 50-54, as well as caps 62 and 63 may be of brass or stainless steel.

Insulation (not shown) is provided for covering the copper tubes 30, 31, 32, 40 and 41 and other metal parts to minimize condensation of liquid on the exterior of these parts. In addition, the flexible conduits l6 and 17 may be covered with insulation, at least that portion which will remain in the room or zone to be cooled.

Provision also is made for locking the two units 12 and 14 together and for storing the flexible conduits l6 and 17 as well as the electrical conduits between the two units unexposed from the outside. The supporting wall structure of the two units 12 and 14 is made of sheet metal iron. The storage space is provided at end of unit 14 and is illustrated at 64 in FIG. 4. This space is formed by an extension of the four side panels 14A-14B forming the side wall structure of unit 14. The conduits may be stored in the storage space provided by the extending ends 14A-l4B by coiling the conduits within the space. Tabs 65 help hold the coiled conduits. They also provide supporting surface for locking the two units 12 and 14 together.

As can be seen in FIG. 4 a latching system comprising a moveable latch 66 and a catch 67are secured to three side panels of the units 14 and 12 respectively. The latches 66 secure the tabs 65 to the side panels of unit 14. After the conduits have been coiled within the storage space 64, the back end 68 of unit 12 may be abutted against the front end of unit 14 and the two units latched or locked together with the latching system as illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5.

With this arrangement, the two units 12 and 14 may be locked together with the conduits stored between the two units whereby a convenient arrangement is provided for storing or transporting the complete unit with the conduits securely stored and concealed from the outside. For storage or transportation purposes the conduits 16 and 17 preferably will be disconnected from the unit 12 and metal caps 62 and 63 threaded to the coupling halves of the self-sealing disconnects.

Referring to FIG. 6, the electrical system for the portable air conditioning system is illustrated. An electrical male plug is provided for insertion into a wall socket for providing electrical power. Extending from the plug 70 are two leads 71 and 72 which extend to the evaporator blower motor 21. A ground lead 73 also is provided which is coupled to the wall panel of the unit 12. Leads 74 and 75 are coupled to leads 71 and 72 respectively and to a female plug 76. Electrical energy is applied to the unit 14 by way of a male plug 77 and electrical leads 78 and 79. The plugs 76 and 77 have ground connections 80 and 81 which are coupled to the wall panels of units 12 and 14 respectively. Conductors 78 and 79 extend to the compressor 24 which is a commercially available sealed motor-compressor which may be purchased, for example, from Tecumseh Corporation, Tecumseh, Michigan. The start-run components of the compressor are standard and comprise a run capacitor 84, a bleed resister 85, a start capacitor 86 and a start relay 87.

Electrical energy is supplied to the fan motor 27 by way of conductors 88 and 89.

Both systems may be turned off by opening switch 90 located at the cooling unit 12. A thermostat illustrated at 91 is provided in the cooling unit for turning the compressor off when the temperature in the room or zone to be cooled reaches a predetermined temperature. By disconnecting the plug 77 from plug 76 the unit 12 may be operated as a fan only.

Although not shown, plug 70 and its electrical leads may extend from the back end of unit 12 whereby they may be coiled and stored in the storage space 64 when the two units are locked together.

I claim:

1. A portable environmental conditioning system comprising:

a first unit adapted to be placed at least partially in a zone to be conditioned,

a heat exchanger and an air moving device supported by said first unit for applying conditioned air to said zone,

a second unit adapted to be placed outside of said zone to be conditioned,

a compressor and heat exchanger supported by said second unit,

flexible fluid conduits for coupling said heat exchanger and said compressor of said second unit to said heat exchanger of said first unit,

said two units having two ends respectively adapted to be connected together,

means for connecting said two ends together for forming a single rigid system, and

structure forming storage space in at least one of said ends for storing said flexible conduits between said two units when said two ends of said two units are connected together,

said connecting means being operable to allow said two ends to be disconnected to form two separate units to be coupled together by said flexible conduits.

2. The system of claim 1 wherein:

said structure forming said storage space comprises side wall structure extending from one end of said second unit,

said flexible conduits comprise two flexible conduits having first ends coupled to said compressor and heat exchanger respectively of said second unit,

coupling means secured to the other ends of said two flexible conduits and to said heat exchanger of said first unit for connecting and disconnecting said two conduits to and from said heat exchanger of said first unit,

said two flexible conduits extending from said one end of said second unit within said side wall structure forming said storage space.

3. A portable air conditioning system comprising:

a cooling cabinet adapted to be placed at least partially in a zone to be cooled,

a heat exchanger and an air moving device supported by said cooling cabinet for applying cool air to said zone,

a refrigerant condensing cabinet adapted to be placed outside of said zone to be cooled,

a compressor and heat exchanger supported by said refrigerant condensing cabinet,

flexible fluid conduits for coupling said compressor and heat exchanger of said refrigerant condensing cabinet to said heat exchanger of said cooling cabinet,

said two cabinets having two ends respectively adapted to be connected together,

means for connecting said two ends together for forming a single rigid portable system, and

structure forming storage space in one of said ends for storing said flexible conduits between said two cabinets when said two ends of said two cabinets are connected together,

said connecting means being operable to allow said two ends to be disconnected to form two separate cabinets to be coupled together by said flexible conduits.

4. The system of claim 3 comprising:

an inlet conduit supported by said cooling cabinet and leading to said heat exchanger supported by said cooling cabinet,

means coupled to said inlet conduit for storing refrigerant and removing moisture from said refrigerant, and

a return conduit supported by said cooling cabinet and extending from said heat exchanger supported by said cooling cabinet,

said flexible conduits being coupled to said compressor and heat exchanger of said refrigerant condensing cabinet and adapted to be coupled to said return and inlet conduits respectively of said cooling cabinet.

5. The system of claim 4 wherein:

said flexible conduits comprise two flexible conduits having first ends coupled to said compressor and heat exchanger respectively supported by said refrigerant condensing cabinet, and

self-sealing coupling means secured to the other ends of said two flexible conduits and to said inlet and return conduits of said cooling cabinet for connecting and disconnecting said two conduits to and from said inlet and return conduits respectively.

6. The system of claim 5 wherein:

said structure forming said storage space comprises side wall structure extending from one end of said refrigerant condensing cabinet,

said two flexible conduits extending from said one end of said refrigerant condensing cabinet within said side wall structure forming said storage space.

7. The system of claim 6 wherein said self-sealing coupling means each comprise:

valve means which open when a mating pair of selfsealing coupling means are connected together to allow the passage of fluid therethrough and which close when the mating pair of self-sealing coupling means are disconnected to prevent the loss of fluid.

8. A portable air conditioning system comprising:

a cooling unit to be placed at least partially in a zone to be cooled,

a heat exchanger and an air moving device supported by said cooling unit for applying cool air to said zone,

a metal inlet conduit supported by said cooling unit and leading to said heat exchanger,

means coupled to said inlet conduit for storing refrigerant and for removing moisture from said refrigerant,

a refrigerant expansion device coupled to said inlet conduit,

a metal return conduit supported by said cooling unit and extending from said heat exchanger,

self-sealing coupling means secured to said inlet and return conduits,

said cooling unit including said heat exchanger and said refrigerant storing means being charged at least to a predetermined refrigerant operating charge,

said inlet and return conduits being sealed with removable sealing means to prevent refrigerant loss,

a refrigerant condensing unit to be placed outside of said zone to be cooled,

a compressor and heat exchanger supported by said refrigerant condensing unit,

a metal refrigerant return conduit supported by said refrigerant condensing unit and extending to said compressor,

a metal compressor discharge conduit extending from said compressor to said condensing heat exchanger,

a metal refrigerant liquid conduit extending from said condensing heat exchanger and supported by said refrigerant condensing cabinet,

flexible fluid conduits having first ends coupled to said refrigerant return conduit and to said refrigerant liquid conduit of said condensing unit self-sealing coupling means coupled to the other ends of said flexible conduits,

said refrigerant condensing unit including said heat exchanger of said condensing unit being filled with a predetermined refrigerant holding charge,

said opposite ends of said flexible conduits being sealed with removable sealing means to prevent refrigerant loss.

9. The system of claim 8 wherein said self-sealing through and which close when the mating pair of selfcoupling means each comprise valve means which open sealing coupling means are disconnected to prevent the when a mating pair of self-sealing coupling means are loss of fluid. connected together to allow the passage of fluid there-

Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification62/262, 62/448
International ClassificationF24F1/00
Cooperative ClassificationF24F1/0003, F24F1/32, F24F2221/12
European ClassificationF24F1/32, F24F1/00B