US 3744556 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 Church 1111 3,744,556 1451 July 10, 1973 AIR DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM  Inventor: Richard A. Church, North Syracuse,
52 US. Cl. 165/57, 98/38 E, 98/40 D,
137/5135, 165/57, 165/96, 165/123 51 1111.01 F241 3/06 58 Field of Search 165/16, 123, 53,
165/57, 59, 96; 98/38 E, 38 R, 38 E1, 40 D, 40 DL; 236/13; 251/117; 137/513.5
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,032,323 5/1962 Church 98/38 E X 3,390,720 7/1968 Mechler 236/13 X 3,213,928 10/1965 Anderson et a1. 165/123 X 2,345,536 3/1944 Keep 98/38 E X 3,217,788 11/1965 Adam 236/13 X 3,470,945 10/1969 Schmidt 165/123 X 1,320,298 10/1919 Walborm 137/5135 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,347,152 11/1963 France 98/40 D Primary ExaminerAlbert W. Davis, Jr. Attorney-1-1arry G. Martin, Jr. and J. Raymond Curtin [5 7 ABSTRACT An air distribution system for providing treated air to an enclosure wherein the ceiling of the enclosure defines the lower surface of a plenum. Each of the enclosures served by the system has a heat exchanger disposed in an inlet to the plenum. High velocity primary air is discharged from a suitable duct to draw treated ambient or secondary air from the plenum. Secondary air from the enclosure flows into the plenum by passing in heat transfer relation with the heat exchange medium flowing through the heat exchange coil. A damper operates to regulate the quantity of secondary air drawn from the plenum.
1 Claim, 2 Drawing Figures AIR DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates primarily to an air distribution system for use where it is desired to provide treated air for a plurality of enclosures, such as apartment buildings and offices in commercial buildings. More particularly, this invention relates to such systems wherein the occupant of each enclosure may regulate the quantity of treated air discharged into his particular enclosure in accordance with his own personal desires.
There are many air distribution systems that may be installed to simultaneously provide treated air for a plurality of enclosures or rooms located in a common structure. Many of such systems do not permit the individual occupant of a separate room to regulate the quantity of treatedair discharged to obtain desired air temperatures.
Those systems that do permit such individual control are very often costly to install and expensive to maintain. Very often the controls and other components are in remote locations or are otherwise located to make repair or servicing thereof quite difficult and expensive.
The object of this invention is a novel air distribution system that may be individually regulated, yet is relatively inexpensive to install and to maintain operable.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to an air distribution system for simultaneously providing treated air to a plurality of enclosures in a common structure.
The system includes a plenum, the lower surface thereof being defined by the ceiling of the enclosure. In a preferred embodiment, each enclosure served by the system includes a heat exchange coil disposed in at least one opening serving as an entrance into the plenum. Either a relatively warm heat exchange medium for heating the enclosure or a relativelycold heat exchange medium for cooling the enclosure is circulated through the heat exchange coil. Regulation of the temperature of the heat exchange medium will preferably occur in a central station or other remote location.
High velocity primary air is discharged from a suitable supply duct through one or more nozzles, the primary air having been previously treated at a remote location to obtain desired psychometric conditions therefor. The discharge of the high velocity primary air creates a low pressure area, whereby treated secondary or ambient air from the plenum is discharged intothe enclosure through an appropriate opening. Secondary air from the room flows into the plenum through the heat exchange coil and is treated thereby.
Movable damper means, having means associated therewith that provide for regulation by the individual occupants of each enclosure, may be modulated to vary the quantity of treated secondary air discharged from the plenum. Thus, each occupant may obtain temperature conditions in each of the enclosures that are suitable to his particular preference.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a sectional view of a preferred embodiment of the invention; and
FIG. 2 is a second sectional view of the embodiment I of the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the figures of the drawing, there is shown a preferred embodiment of my invention.
Reference numeral 10 represents one room or enclosure in a structure having a plurality of separate rooms. Enclosure 10 includes structural slab l1 functioning as the ceiling of the room. Ceiling lll defines the lower surface of a secondary air plenum 12. The upper surface of such plenum is defined by structural slab 13,
which functionsas the floor for the room or enclosure directly above.
A heat exchange coil 14 is disposed in opening 15 of ceiling 11. Opening 15 serves as an entrance for flow of ambient or secondary air into plenum 12. Heat exchange coil 14 includes supply conduit 16 and return conduit 17. Either a relatively cold heat exchange medium or a relatively warm heat exchange medium, such as water, is supplied to coil 14 via conduit 16 from a central machinery plant or other remote location (not shown). The temperature of the heat exchange medium is regulated to a predetermined level at such central station prior to its delivery to coil 14. After passing through the coil, the medium is returned for retreating via conduit 17.
Disposed in the plenum is primary air supply duct 18. Duct 18 provides a continuous supply of high velocity primary air simultaneously to a plurality of the enclo sures in the structure. Duct member 18' functions as the male member for interconnecting the adjacent duct portions. High velocity primary air is delivered from a central source (not shown) wherein the psychometric properties of the air is regulated to a predetermined level.
As is particularly shown in FIG. 2, passages 19 communicate primary air supply duct 18 with primary air plenum 20. Suitable discharge members, such as nozzles 21, are provided to discharge the high velocity primary air from plenum 20 into the enclosure through outlet 22. Outlet 22 is defined by easing member 23, which is connected to the primary air supply duct by suitable means, such as by welding, and by discharge grille 24.
Air duct 18 and outlet 22 are suitably lined with ap propriate sound absorbing material, as would be obvious to one skilled in the art.
The discharge of high velocity primary air from nozzles 21 creates a relatively low pressure area at outlet 22. Treated secondary or ambient air is drawn from the plenum l2by the creation of such low pressure area. The induction of treated air from the plenum causes ambient air to flow thereinto; the ambient air is treated as desired by passing in heat transfer relation with the heat exchange medium flowing through coil 14. The treated air is induced from the plenum through passage 27 via the discharge of the high velocity primary air.
To obtain suitable temperature control as is desired, there is provided an appropriate damper mechanism, such as damper 28, to regulate the quantity of secondary air discharged from the plenum. As shown, such damper mechanism includes a first member 29 and a second member 30 connected together to pivot about point 31. Member 29 has a suitable stop attached thereto for a reason to be more fully explained hereinafter. Temperature sensing element 36 is positioned in passage 34' of grille 34 to sense the temperature of the ambient air. Preferably element 36 is a bleed-type thermostat of a type familiar to those skilled in the art.
The position of damper 28 may be controlled by operation of inflatable bladder 26 in a manner that is well known to those skilled in the art. The operation of bladder 26 is regulated in response to element 36. Element 36 and bladder 26 are connected in parallel and are supplied with primary air via lines 40 and 41. Line 40 includes orifice 42. As shown, damper 28 is rotatable in an arc of approximately 30. Other suitable devices may be employed in lieu of bladder 26 to regulate the position of the damper.
When damper 28 is in its dotted line position 29', a maximum quantity of treated air is discharged from plenum 12. It should be noted that passage 34' is not closed by damper 28 at such time, thus allowing ambient air to pass over element 36 as required. As less treated air from plenum 12 is required, damper 28 is rotated in a clockwise direction to partially block off passage 27. As the discharge of primary air is maintained substantially constant, the quantity of air induced thereby is likewise constant. As less secondary air is drawn from the plenum, an increased quantity of ambient air is drawn through opening 33 having grille 34 disposed therein. The secondary air passing through opening 33 is bypassed about coil 14. When the damper is at a median position, for example, as repre-. sented by the solid line of FIG. 1, the air drawn through opening 33 is admixed with the air induced from plenum 12 through passage 27 and is further admixed with the primary air before being delivered to the enclosure.
When desired temperature conditions in the room have been reached, damper 28 is rotated to a substantially horizontal position, as represented by dotted line 29". However, stop 32 prevents member 29 form closely engaging the lower surface of supply duct 18 and casing 23 so as to maintain a minimal flow of air from plenum 12. This prevents plenum 12 from becoming pressurized, thus eliminating the possibility of having a backflow of air from the plenum through the heat exchange coil.
The air distribution system thus described is relatively inexpensive to install and is extremely easy to maintain operable. The system particularly utilizes the space obtained by the installation of a false ceiling comprising, for example, acoustical tile. In particular, the novel system does not reduce the rentable floor space as do many systems heretofore installed, yet does permit the occupants of individual rooms to obtain temperature control.
While I have described and illustrated a preferred embodiment of my invention, it should not be limited thereto, but may be otherwise embodied in the scope of the following claims.
1. An air distribution system to provide treated air to an enclosure comprising:
A. means defining a plenum, at least a portion thereof including the ceiling of the enclosure, said plenum having treated secondary air therein;
B. heat exchange means disposed in the ceiling of the enclosure and defining an entrance to said plenum, said heat exchange means having a heat exchange medium flowing therethrough;
C. means operable to discharge high velocity primary air into the enclosure, the discharge of such high velocity primary air inducing treated air from said plenum to mix therewith, the discharge of air from said plenum causing secondary air to flow therein through said coil, the air being treated by passing in heat transfer relation with the heat exchange medium flowing through the coil; and
D. damper means operable to regulate the quantity of air discharged from the plenum, said damper means including stop means so a minimal flow of air is discharged from said plenum irrespective of the operation of said damper means.