US 3746290 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 Sholtes WATER COOLER UNIT FRAME ASSEMBLY  Inventor: Carl E. Sholtes, Columbus, Ohio  Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corporation,
221 Filed: Feb. 24, 1971 211 Appl. No.: 117,927
 U.S. Cl. 248/15, 62/297  Int. Cl F161 3/00  Field of Search 248/2, 12, 14, 15,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,108,898 2/1938 Lyons 62/297 3,327,977 6/1967 Swearingen.. 211/87 1,929,562 10/1933 Pierce 211/88 UX 2,366,284 l/l945 Nofzinger 312/253 X 2,848,880 8/1958 Riedel et al..... 312/245 X 2,517,988 8/1950 Dobkin 312/245 3,146,978 9/1964 Carlson 248/15 3,260,559 7/1966 Newman et a1 312/245 X July 17, 1973 Baer 312/245 UX Zucker 211/88 X  ABSTRACT A water cooler is provided with a unitary, integral back and bottom plate frame of relatively thin material, with this integral plate having a configuration which permits the use of the thin material without extensive vibrations being transmitted from the operating parts of the water cooler to the room in which it is housed. The integral back and bottom plate frame includes an outwardly offset, laterally extending rib disposed at the top of the back portion and a pair of outwardly projecting truncated conical embossments adjacent the jointure of the back and bottom portions to space the water cooler unit from the wall on which it is disposed and also to limit to a great degree excessive vibrations from being passed to this wall.
2 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PMEFEnJm 3 7 am SHEET 2 BF 2 WATER COOLER UNIT FRAME ASSEMBLY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates generally to panels which have reduced vibration and vibration transmitting characteristics and, more specifically, relates to a water cooler whose supporting frame panel limits vibrations passed to the room in which the water cooler is disposed.
2. Description of the Prior Art All wall mounted water coolers have one common vibration problem; that is, the possibility of the transmission of fan and/or compressor vibration into the cooler frame plate and its functioning as a sounding board so that excess and enhanced vibrations are transmitted to the supporting wall and resulting noise occurs which is not desired and sometimes is of sufficient quantity as to not be tolerable within the space in which the water cooler is disposed.
Prior art attempts at the solution to the noise problem existing in wall hung water cooler units has followed one of two paths. The supporting panel of the water cooler unit was made sufficiently thick so as to provide a relatively inflexible back panel so that the same could not act as a sounding board. Alternatively, the speed of the circulating fan has been reduced to limit induced vibrations in the back panel. In some cases, both motor speed and thickness of the back panel have probably been utilized so as to lessen the noise generated by wall hung water cooler units.
Both of these solutions, either singly or in combination, do tend to limit the amount of noise imparted to the area in which the wall hung water cooler unit is disposed but they both suffer from problems of economics. More specifically, the use of an extremely thick back plate for the water cooler unit involves an additional cost factor being built into the unit when the thickness of the panel, except for vibration attenuation purposes, does not require or necessitate the thickness finally adopted. Utilization of reduced fan speed from the standard provided places the operating characteristics of the fan motor in a more inefficient position on its operating curve so that, for example, high fan winding temperatures and shorter fan motor life have been incurred when the speed of the fan has been reduced to limit the amount of sound vibration imparted to the area in which the water cooler is disposed.
Accordingly, it would be advantageous to provide a supporting panel for a wall hung water cooler unit which made provision for the attenuation of any undesirable vibrations imparted by operation of the fan motor at its standard design speed. The development of such a panel would also pennit the use of a material whose thickness was dictated only by the required support it was to yield to the operating components of the water cooler unit which were disposed on it.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A wall hung water cooler unit is provided having an integral back and bottom frame panel of thin sheet material, with this panel having an integral, upper, transversely extending, formed rib and a pair of embossed truncated cone-like projections at its lower corners. The rib and embossed projections abuttingly engage the wall from which the water cooler unit is disposed and effectively substantially prevent the setting up of harmonics within the frame panel and, at the same time, limit the area of frame panel which is contacting the wall to further attenuate any vibrational characteristics of the cooler unit from being imparted to the wall and/or surroundings within which it is disposed. The integral rear and bottom frame panel also includes a series of L-shaped embossments which project downwardly relative to the major surface of the bottom portion so that the frame panel may conveniently and easily be moved along a roller conveyor arrangement. Cutouts are also provided in the frame panel for the reception of plumbing and electrical wiring, a cut out is also furnished to provide a ventilating area for the compressor and its motor and cut-outs are also provided for general ventilation purposes. Due to this novel and inventive frame panel configuration material thickness of the panel can be reduced from 0.092 inches 0.049 inches.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For a better understanding of the invention, reference may be had to the preferred embodiment, exemplary of the invention, shown in the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the rear and bottom frame panel member and certain ancillary parts removed;
FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the water cooler unit with the panels and basin for it shown in exploded relationship;
FIG. 3 is a partial cross-sectional view taken substantially on line IIIIII of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a partial cross-sectional view taken on line IV-IV of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken on line VV of FIG. 2 but showing the wall hung water cooler panel frame engaged with a wall mounted bracket.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2 it can be seen that a wall hung water cooler unit 10 includes an integral rear and bottom frame panel member 12, side panels 14 and 16, front panel 18 and a basin 20 to complete the general outline of the water cooler unit 10. The basin 20 can also be seen as capable of mounting a fountain head 22 which provides a supply of cold water to the user of the water cooler unit 10.
Means are provided within the wall hung water cooler 10 for the mounting of the conventional refrigerating equipment utilized to cool the water supplied to fountain head 22. More specifically, integral back and bottom frame panel 12 has mounted directly thereon a compressor 24 and fan 26, with the compressor providing the requisite compression of a refrigerant gas for use in refrigeration and the fan 26 providing for the circulation of air within the water cooler unit 10 to provide cooling of a condenser unit 28 also mounted within the water cooler unit 10. The manner of mounting the compressor 24 and fan 26 will appear later in this description.
The condenser unit 28 includes a front panel 32 and a top panel 34 which in assembled condition support shaped brace 38 boltingly attached to the rear and bottom frame panel 12 and providing support for the front portion of bottom panel 30 of condensor unit 28. The rear portion of condensor unit 28 is supported] by an inwardly extending peripheral flange 40 formed on a cut out 42 in the integral rear and bottom frame panel 12, with this cut out also furnishing an area for convenient connection and passage therethrougli of plumbing and electrical wiring, required for wall hung water cooler unit 10.
An evaporative cooler assembly 44 is also provided for mounting within the wall hung water cooler unit 10, with this assembly including a water containing tank 46, evaporative cooling coils 48, and shell insulation 50. The shell insulation 50 for the evaporative cooler assembly 44 takes the general form of a split, hollow cylinder so that the same may easily be fitted over and envelop the water cooling tank 46 and evaporative cooling coil 48, with a convenientfastening together of the two parts of the shell insulation 50 being maintained by a pair of metal or plastic straps 52. Evaporative cooler assembly 44 may be supported from the top portions of U-shaped brace 38 by any conventional means.
' The majorcomponents, maintained and supported within wall hung water cooler unit are completed by a drain assembly,(not shown) which mounts within the condensor unit 28 so that a drain 56 disposed in the bottom of the basin mates therewith so that overflow water from fountain head 22 is conveniently drained downwardly within the wall mounted water cooler unit 10 for disposition by the plumbing connected with the water cooler unit 10.
It should be clear from the foregoing description that the rear and bottom frame panel 12 provides the main support for the operative components of wall hung water cooler unit 10. Further, the manner of mounting the side and front panels and basin 20 which complete the enclosure for the water cooler unit 10 should be clear from the illustration in FIG. 2.
Integral rear and bottom frame panel 12 includes a rear frame panel portion 58 and a bottom frame panel portion 60, with the bottom frame panel portion 60 extending substantially at a right angle to rear frame panel portion 58. Rear panel portion 58 includes flanges 62, 62 extending along its opposite sides for substantially the height of rear panel portion 58, while the bottom panel portion 60 includes flanges 64, 64 extending along its opposite sides for substantially their depth and a front flange 66 which extends for substantially the width of the bottom panel portion 60 so that the flanges 62, 62, 64, 64 and 66 provide a strengthening means for integral rear and bottom frame panel 12 and also a connecting means for connection thereto of the U-shaped brace 38 and a pair of diagonally disposed braces 68, 68 which extend between rear panel portion 58 and bottom panel portion 60 adjacent the corner formed therebetween. By this arrangement then, the U-shaped brace 38 and diagonally disposed braces 68, 68 tend to provide rigidity to integral rear and bottom frame panel 12 so that it may adequately function as the main supporting means for the remainder of the components of wall hung water cooler unit 10.
Bottom panel portion 60 includes a pair of cut cuts 70 and 72, with the cut out 70 being substantially rectangular in configuration so as to provide some ventilation and a lower access means for the utilization of plumbing, etc. which may be passed into water cooler unit 10. At the same time, out out 72 is substantially circular in shape, with this cut outaffording a ventilation means for compressor 24 which is mounted thereover. Each of the cut cuts and 72 include peripherally inwardly extending flange 74 and 76, respectively, which strengthen bottom panel portion 60 in the area of the cut outs and add overall rigidity to its horizontal extent.
The general formation of bottom panel 60 is completed by the inclusion therein, in its surface, of four L-shaped embossments 78, disposed one at each corner of the bottom panel 60 and with the apex of each of the L-shapes conforming, generally, to the apex of each corner of the bottom panel 60. These embossments also add a general rigidity to the horizontal extent of bottom panel portion 60 and additionally provide the important advantage of yielding a displaced surface on which the integral rear and bottom frame panel 12 move during the manufacture of wall hung water cooler unit 10. More specifically, Lshaped embossrnents 78 are that area of the bottom panel portion 60 which engage with and roll along a series of rollers which may be provided on a roller conveyor system for fabrication of water cooler unit 10. Since these four L-shaped embossments spatially displace the major horizontal extent of bottom panel 60 and the edges thereof upwardly relative to the upper plane of the rollers on which they are supported during manufacture, there is no ten dency for the edges of the bottom panel portion 60 from engaging between two rollers with a consequent damage to the integral rear and bottom panel frame member 12 or water cooler unit 10.
A series of punched holes 80 may also be provided in bottom panel portion 60 for the stud mounting of compressor 24, it being distinctly understood that differing compressor mountings than the one illustrated merely requires the addition of differently spaced punched holes 80 in the surface of the bottom panel 60. In order to provide for a securely mounted stud 81, due to the relative thinness of bottom panel portion 60, selvage or waste from for example, the cut-outs 42, 70 or 72 may be placed in an area of the studs (not shown) and punched so that each stud 81 passes through two thicknessesof material prior to its reception by a lug 83 of compressor 24.
Rear panel 58 includes the previously mentioned cut out 42 and also includes a pair of cut outs 82, 82 adjacent its upper termination, with these cut outs'spaced laterally enough to be close to the upper corners of the rear panel 58. Each of these cut outs provides an access means to the interior of water cooler unit 10 for ventilation purposes. Alternately they may also be utilized for the passage of electrical plumbing lines into the interior of water cooler unit 10. Rear panel 58 also includes, substantially immediately disposed laterally relative to the width of rear panel 58 are a pair of mounting pads 84, 84 with each of these pads taking the gen eral shape of a raised rectangle having rounded ends. These mounting pads serve as a mounting means for the aforementioned mounting of fan 26 and, because of their raised surface relative to the general surface of rear panel 58, again serve as a rigidifying and strengthening portion for the rear panel.
Since both the compressor 24 and fan 26 are motor driven a certain amount of vibration is existent within water cooler unit 10. To dampen this vibration (primarily fan induced vibration) and to serve as an attenuating means so that rear panel 58 does not act as a sounding board, rear panel 58 includes rearwardly projecting means 86 and 88. Rearwardly projecting means 86, (FIGS. l-3) is formed at the upper termination of rear panel 58 and is generally channel shaped in cross section, with the same being formed by an ofi'set portion 90 which extends at right angles to the major extent of rear panel portion 58, a web portion 92 which extends at right angle relationship to offset portion 90, and a flange portion 94 of slightly wider dimension than the offset 90 to provide a flange at the upper end of rear panel 58. The attenuating means 88 is disposed generally at the bottom extent of rear panel 58 and is formed by a substantially truncated conical offset 96 with an offset being provided adjacent each lower corner of rear panel 58. These truncated conical offsets 96 provide a flat annular portion 98 which, along with the webbed portion 92 of outwardly projecting attenuation means 86, provide means which abut against the wall on which wall hung water cooler is mounted. Round pierced holes 100 may be provided in each of the truncated conical portions 96 so that screws may be passed therethrough if desired to serve as one means for attaching the wall hung water cooler 10 to the wall from which it is suspended. However, such screws are not generally required since mounting of the wall hung water cooler unit 10 may be accomplished in the following manner.
Referring to FIG. 5, it can be seen that bracket member 102 having a flat leg 104 and an angular leg 106 is attached to the rear side of rear panel 58, with this bracket extending for substantially the entire width of the rear panel and with the angular leg 106 extending in a depending fashion relative to the flat leg 104 thereof. A wall brace 108 (also seen in FIG. 2) having a flat face 110 is disposed so as to be in abutting contact with a wall 112 from which the wall hung water cooler unit 10 is to be disposed. Wall brace 108 ofiers a pair of angular portions 114, 114 (FIG. 2) which slide behind and engage with the angular leg 106.0n bracket 102 thereby supporting the wall hung water cooler unit 10 therefrom and also tending to move the water cooler unit 10 inwardly towards the wall as it seeks its final support against wall brace 108. This movement disposes rearwardly projecting attenuating means 86 and -88 in continuous abutment with wall 112 so that wall hung water cooler unit 10 is spaced generally outwardly therefrom and proper attenuation of vibrations caused by fan 24 occurs, limiting the amount of noise transmission to the wall 112 in the room within which the water cooler is accessible.
It should be clear from the foregoing description that a water cooler unit has been described which provides all of the advantages set out as desirable in the beginning portion of this specification and, further, that the water cooler described may have many modifications made thereto but the same would still fall in the spirit and scope of the description offered.
What is claimed is:
l. A wall hung water cooler unit including:
a motor compressor;
a motor-driven fan;
a frame structure supporting said motor'compressor and said motor-driven fan, said frame structure comprising metal sheet material formed into a vertical back panel adapted to be supported from a wall, and a horizontal base panel, said back panel including a plurality of spaced-apart portions formed out of said back panel and projecting rearwardly out of the plane of said back panel to provide abutting contact with said wall;
said back panel and said base panel include cut-out portions therein, with at least a part of said material forming the boundaries of said cut-outs being flanged inwardly to impart added rigidity to said panels;
said back panel includes a pair of spaced-apart, forwardly-directed embossed portions forming mounting pads for said motor-driven fan;
said motor-driven fan is mounted on said pads;
said motor compressor is supported on said base panel;
one of said plurality of said rearwardly projecting portions comprises a rib of generally channel-shape in cross section extending substantially across the width of said back panel adjacent the top edge thereof;
the others of said plurality of rearwardly projecting portions comprise a generally frusto-conical embossment adjacent each of the lower corners of said back panel; and
said back panel and said base panel are formed of a single piece of sheet material bent to form a substantially right angle.
2. A water cooler unit according to claim 1 wherein:
said frame structure includes inwardly-directed flange means extending along the major portion of the length of the edges of said back and base panels.