US 3752452 A
Carbonating apparatus includes a single tank or chamber for carbonating, cooling, mixing and dispensing a liquid and having an inlet for liquid to be carbonated, and a valve-controlled dispensing outlet, a restricted inlet for continuous inflow of gas and another inlet for intermittent inflow of gas and controlled by a valve that is opened when the dispensing valve is opened to admit gas for dispensing the liquid and coacts with a liquid-level controlled gas vent valve that is open to vent gas from the tank and is closed when the liquid level rises to a predetermined point, and to prevent excessive escape of gas during the lowering of the liquid level and while the liquid level controlled valve is open.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States atent [1 1 Iannelli  Inventor: Frank M. Iannelll, 5 Penwood Rd.,
 Filed: June 30, 1971 [5 ABSTRACT  App]. No.: 158,277 Carbonating apparatus includes a single tank or chambet for carbonating, cooling, mixing and dispensing a liquid and having an inlet for liquid to be carbonated, 261/52 261/124 and a valve-controlled dispensing outlet, a restricted  Field s 124 inlet for continuous inflow of gas and another inlet for 261/DIG intermittent inflow of gas and controlled by a valve that is opened when the dispensing valve is opened to admit I 56] References Cited gas for dispensing the liquid and coacts with a liquidlevel controlled gas vent valve that is open to vent gas UNITED STATES PATENTS from the tank and is closed when the liquid level rises 3,337,197 8/1967 lannelli 26l/DIG. 7 to a predetermined point, and to prevent excessive es- Black 7 ca e of gas during the lowering of the level and while the liquid level controlled valve is open.
' 5 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures I .5 7 m s i r GAS INLET U B 6' H F" 1 VALVE OPEN J5 3a 75 CARBO NATED LIQUID OUT GAS-OPERATED CARBONATING APPARATUS [451 Aug. 14, 1973 Primary Examiner-Tim R. Miles Assistant Examiner-Steven H. Markowitz Attorney-Harry B. Rook PATENTEU MIG I4 l9?! saaannra R Q K INVENTOR. H'anK M. lanneffi Pmmmms 14 m3 sum 2 OF 4 INVENTOR. FrazzK M Janna/4 ATTORNEY PATENIEU MIR 1 4 i975 SHEEI 3 (IF 4 INVENTOR. Frank M Iannei ATTORNEY saw u 0F 4 PAIENIEmuc 14 an GAS IN f nssrmcreo' GAS INLET VA LVE CLOSED ax INLET H 15aAsoFF f6 If H ens vsmma VENT OPEN ATTORNEY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to carbonating apparatus wherein the liquid to be carbonated and the carbonated mixture are circulated through the apparatus by the carbonating gas itself and without the aid of motordriven liquid pumps.
2-. The Prior Art Such apparatus is known wherein water or other liquid flows from its source, such as a city water supply, under normal pressure into a combined reservoir and pre-carbonatiiig chamber and is forced from said chamber by the gas itself into a combined mixing and dispensing chamber, the supply of carbonating gas to both said chambers being controlled by an electromagnetic valve which is controlled by a switch operated by a float in the mixing and dispensing chamber. The supply of carbonating gas is automatically shut off upon interruption of the supply of water or upon depletion of the carbonating mixture faster than it can be replaced by water from the reservoir, and if the gas is shut off, the water flows into the apparatus under the water supply pressure and may continue to flow until the rising of the float opens the switch and the gas supply is shut off, after which in order to resume operation, it has been necessary to manually close the switch.
In another apparatus described in my US. Pat. No. 3,578,214, a constant gas pressure, for example, 60 p.s.i. is supplied through a restricted duct to the mixing and dispensing chamber so that if water fails to enter the apparatus from the source, or if carbonated mixture is depleted from the dispensing chamber by withdrawing the mixture faster than it can be replaced by water from the reservoir, the float controls a solenoidoperated switch which will be opened to cut off the gas supply and cause the reservoir to vent and thereby allow the water to enter the reservoir from the source. The dispensing valve being held open, the 60 lb. gas pressure is quickly reduced to near zero because the inflow of gas is impeded by the restricted duct and therefore the water flows from the reservoir into the mixing and dispensing chamber until the water level rises sufficiently to cause closure ,of the float-operated switch and the consequent restoration of the gas supply to'the apparatus. Then the dispensing valve is closed and normal operation or cycling of the apparatus is resumed.
However, this known apparatus requires two tanks, namely, a combination liquid reservoir and precarbona'ting chamber and a combination mixing and dispensing chamber, and a float-controlled solenoid operated valve for controlling inflow of water or other liquid into the apparatus.
Also, the prior apparatus requires one supply of gas at a high pressure such as 130 p.s.i. and another supply of gas at lower pressure, such as 60 p.s.i., in order to cause the flow of liquid from one chamber to the other and to adequately saturate the liquid before the dispensing thereof.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Among the objects of the invention is the provision of carbonating apparatus which overcomes the objections to and disadvantages of the prior art apparatus, and which requires only one tank or chamber and in which there is automatically controlled replenishment of the liquid to be carbonated, and also there is thorough saturation of said liquid from a supply of carbonating gas at a pressure that is less than required in prior art apparatus.
Another object is to provide carbonating apparatus of this character which ensures continuously a full head of gas in the-tank to ensure continuous carbonation of the liquid and precarbonation of incoming fresh water.
It is a further object to provide in such apparatus means including a novel and improved valve to reduce loss of gas during refilling of the tank or chamber after the dispensing-therefrom of the carbonated liquid, i.e., means to control automatically the replenishment of the water.
The invention also contemplates a novel and improved valve means which admits or shuts off supply of gas to the tank and at the same time vents or prevents caused to circulate with a swirling action into contact with the ice, whereby the liquid is quickly and thoroughly and continuously cooled.
It is highly important that the invention provides for a continuous but restricted flow of gas into the tank from a source of gas supply and an unrestricted flow of gas from the same source but intermittently, for example, each time the dispensing valve is opened, and thus ensures continuous carbonation and cooling of the liquid, adequate gas pressure at all times for dispensing carbonated liquid, and quick automatic replenishment of the liquid to be carbonated.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For a more complete understanding of the invention, reference should be had to the following description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a schematic side elevational view of the gasoperated carbonating apparatus embodying the invention showing the dispensing valve in closed position,
FIG. 2 is an enlarged plan view approximately on the plane of the line 2--2 of FIG. 1 with portions of the tank broken away;
FIG. 3 is a longitudinal vertical sectional view of the valve mechanism shown in FIG. 1, illustrating the dispensing valve and the gas inlet valve in open position and the vent valve in closed position;
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 with portions omitted and showing the gas inlet valve in closed position and the vent valve in open position to permit influx of liquid into the tank;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view aproximately on the plane of the line 5-5 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a greatly enlarged vertical sectional view through the tank on the plane of the line 6--6 of FIG.
FIG. 7 is a schematic combination vertical sectional and side elevational view of the upper portion of the tank and the valve mechanism showing the gas inlet valve closed and the vent valve open to permit influx of liquid into the tank, the direction of flow of gas being indicated by the arrows;
FIG. 8 is a similar view showing the gas inlet valve open and the vent valve closed, the direction of flow of liquids and gas being indicated by the arrows;
FIG. 9 is an enlargement of a portion of FIG. 6 showing the liquid inlet check valves;
FIG. 10 is a schematic side elevation of the tank and a refrigerating coil thereon, with portions of the coil and of the tank broken away and shown in section;
FIG. 11 is a schematic side elevational view of a modification of the valve mechanism including an operating solenoid.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Specifically describing the invention, the whole assembly is illustrated in schematic side elevation in FIG. 1 of the drawings and includes a tank A which may be formed of any suitable material and of any desired shape and supported in any suitable manner, for example on the underside of a counter. For clearness in illustration the tank has been shown as formed of transparent material and as including a body 1 having cylindri cal wall portions 2 between its ends and a removable cover 3 at one end. Also included in the assembly is a main gas control valve B and a dispensing valve C which may be of the same nature as the valve shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,41 1,540. The control valve has an inlet 4 connected to a supply tank for carbonating gas under pressure by a pipe 5 that includes a T-fitting 6 one branch 7 of which is connected by a tube 8 to a gas inlet pipe 9 mounted in the tank and which in turn is connected to a carbonating head D which includes perforated pipe coils 10 to which are also connected a second gas inlet pipe 11 which is connected to one branch 12 of a T-fitting 13, another branch 14 of which is connected to the outlet 15 of the control valve B. The third branch of the T-fitting is connected by tube 16 through an outwardly opening check valve 17 to a gas vent in the form of a nipple 18 for venting gas from the tank which coacts with a valve disk 19 carried by a float 20 reciprocably mounted on a support rod 21 in the top of the tank and being responsive to changes in the liquid level in the tank so that when the tank is full of liquid 'the valve disk seats on the nipple 18 to close the vent. The gas is vented from the tank when the vent is open as shown, for example, in FIG. 5 and while liquid to be carbonated is flowing into the tank through a pipe 22 and double outwardly closing check valves 23 and 24 (FIG. 6). Preferably a liquid inlet duct 22a to which the pipe 22 is connected is disposed in the cover of the tank in eccentric relation to the cylindrical wall portions 2 of the tank (FIGS. 2, 6 and 9). Desirably each check valve 23 and 24 comprises a resilient packing disk 25 held in a metal cup 26 that is normally biased by a compression spring 27 so as to cause contact of the packing disk with a valve seat 28 on the fitting. These check valves permit free inflow of the liquid to be carbonated, for example water from a supply of a pressure of, for example, 20 p.s.i. but prevent the outflow of the liquid from the tank and the escape of gas through the liquid inlet duct 22a.
It is also desirable to have known types of inwardly opening rubber check valves 30 and 31 for the respective gas inlet pipes 9 and 11. Also in accordance with the invention the gas flows from the source through the 7 tube 8 into the pipe 9 through a restricted passage 32 so that there may be a continuous but restricted or slow flow of carbonating gas, for example carbonic acid gas, into the tank. Inlet duct 33 for the pipe 11 is unrestricted but flow of gas therethrough is intermittent, for example each time the dispensing valve C is opened for dispensing carbonated liquid from the tank through a discharge pipe 34 one end of which is disposed adjacent the bottom of the tank while the other end is connected by a tube 35 to the inlet nipple 36 of the dispensing valve casing as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3.
A part of the dispensing valve casing 37 has a discharge opening 38 at one end of which is a seat 39 with which coacts a valve disk 40 carried by a reciprocable actuating rod generally designated 41; and the other end of the discharge opening is a mixing chamber 42 from which leads a dispensing nozzle 43. In FIG. 3 the valve is shown in open position but it is normally biased into closed position by a spring 44 which biases the actuating rod H in the direction to close the valve. As shown, the actuating rod includes a threaded stem 46 which carries the disk 40 and is connected by a coupling 47 to a rod section 48 slidably guided in an opening 49 in the casing of the main control valve B. The spring 44 is interposed between a shoulder in said casing of the main control valve and the coupling 47.
Connected to the section 48 of the actuating rod by a screw thread 51 is a rod section 52 of smaller diameter on which is relatively slidably mounted a gas control valve 53 and which has an O-ring packing 54 to coact with a frusto-conical valve seat 55 disposed between the inlet port 4 and the gas outlet port 15. Also having a relatively slidable connection with the rod section 52 and loosely located in recess in valve casing is a vent valve head 56 which has a packing disk 57 to cooperate with a vent valve seat 58 to control a main vent opening 58a. The gas control valve 53 and the vent valve 56 are normally yieldingly held apart by a compression spring 59, and the rod section 52 has a head 60 loosely dis-- posed in a recess in the valve head the end of which is abutted by the head 60 for actuating the latter into open position as shown in FIG. 4, and for permitting the valve head to be pressed by the spring 59 into closed position as shown in FIG. 3.
It will be noted that the valve 53 is slidable .in a cylinder 61 with an O-ring packing 62 to prevent gas leakage, and the coupling 47 slides in a cylinder 63 in the dispensing valve casing so that the actuating rod is accurately guided for longitudinal movement, thereby to ensure proper coaction of the valve packing ring 54 with the valve seat 55 as well as proper coaction of the vent valve disk 57 with the valve seat, and also proper coaction of the dispensing valve disk 40 with its seat.
The actuating rod H is shown as spring actuated in one direction to close the valves 54,55 and the dispensing valve 39,40, and the actuating rod is actuated in the other direction to open the valves by a hand lever E pivotally mounted between its ends at 65 on the valve casing and having one end in abutting relation to a pin 66 which projects from the end of the valve stem 46.
In the operation of the invention so far described, assuming the tank is empty, the float 20 is at its lower position as shown in FIG. 1, and the dispensing valve C is closed as shown in FIG. 7; the gas control valve 54,55 is also closed while the vent nipple 18 and the vent valve 57,58 are open as shown in FIG. 7. Liquid to be carbonated will flow at its supply pressure into the tank and at the same time pre-carbomiting gas will flow through the restricted passage 32 and pipe 9 into the carbonating head D. At the same time that the water is flowing into the tank, the gas is being vented through the nipple l8, tube 16, T-fitting 13 and main vent opening 58a to permit the liquid to flow freely into the tank until the level of the liquid causes the float valve disk 19 to close the nipple 18. The influx of water will then be prevented by the pressure in the tank. When the dispensing valve is opened the actuating rod causes opening of the gas control valve 54, 55 so as to admit gas into the tank through the pipe 11 and cabonating head, as shown in FIG. 8, while at the same time the vent valve 57, 58 is closed. Consequently, gas flows from the source through the T-fltting and the tube 11 so as to force the liquid out of the tank through the tube 35 as indicated by the arrows; during this time the gas will continue to flow slowly through the restricted passage 32 but the gas will be prevented from escaping from the tank by the closed vent valve 57, 58.
A modification of the invention is shown in FIG. 11 where a solenoid F is provided instead of the hand operated lever E for reciprocating the actuating rod for the gas control and vent valve B. The armature of the solenoid has a stem 70 which correspondes approximately to the stem 46 of the dispensing valve shown in FIG. 3, and the stem 70 is connected to the rod section 48 in the same manner in which the stem 46 is connected to the rod section in FIG. 3. The valve B is con- 7 nected to the tank approximately in the same manner as shown in FIG. 1. In this construction the valve B may be remotely related to the carbonating and dispensing apparatus and instead of the operator actuating the hand lever E, he will energize the solenoid F through a suitable switch controlled circuit generally by the wires 71.
The invention contemplates both pre-carbonation and continuous carbonation of the liquid for simultaneous cooling of the carbonated liquid, and as shown in FIG. 11 of the drawings the tank A is surrounded by a known-type of refrigerating coil 72 which when in operation builds on the inner surface of the cylindrical portions of the tank wall a layer of ice the thickness of which is indicated by the dot-and-dash line G. The degree of refrigeration is controlled by any known apparatus which includes temperature sensitive tube or rod 73 and a control unit 74 associated therewith in known manner. As hereinbefore described, the inlet 25 for the water or other liquid to be carbonated is disposed eccentrically to the layer of ice which is coaxial with the cylindrical portions 2 of the wall so that the inflowing liquid is caused to circulate with a swirling action into contact with the ice and the liquid is thus quickly, thoroughly and continuously cooled during the operation of the apparatus.
The invention therefore provides for continuous but restricted flow of gas into the tank from a source of gas supply at a pressure of, for example 80 p.s.i. to maintain a head of gas in the tank, and also provides from the same source an unrestricted but intermittent flow of gas through the passage 33 and pipe 1 l, for example each time the dispensing valve is opened, during which time escape of gas is prevented by the closed vent 57,58. Thereby the invention ensures continuous carbonation and cooling of the liquid, adequate gas pressure at all times for dispensing the carbonated liquid through the tube 35 and the dispensing valve with a minimum amount of gas, and quick, automatic replenish'ment of the liquid to be carbonated without any possiblity of overflow of the incoming liquid or of shutting off the supply of gas to the tank.
While I have shown and described the now-preferred embodiment of the invention, it will be understood that this is primarily for the purpose of illustrating the principles of the invention and that modifications and changes can be made in the structural details without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention.
l. Acarbonating apparatus comprising a tank having an inlet duct with an inwardly opening check valve for liquid under pressure from-a supply of liquid to be'carbonated, said tank also having two gas inlet ducts with inwardly opening check valves for admitting gas under 7 pressure, one duct being connected directly to a source of gas supply and having a restricted portion to retard the flow of gas into the tank, means including a discharge pipe having one end near the bottom of the tank for dispensing the carbonated liquid from the tank, a dispensing valve including a housing having an inlet connected to the other end of said discharge pipe and having an outlet, a valve in said housing for controlling flow of liquid from said inlet through said outlet, a gas vent for said tank having a liquid level responsive valve which is closed and open when the liquid level in the tank is at and below a predetermined level respectively,
and control valve means actuated by said dispensing valve and providing for flow of gas from said gas supply through the second-mentioned gas inlet duct into the tank and for simultaneously preventing flow of gas out of the tank through said vent upon opening of said dispensing valve, said control valve also providing for stopping flow of gas into said second-mentioned gas inlet duct and for simultaneously venting gas from the tank and consequently permitting flow of water into the tank when the dispensing valve is closed and before the closing of said gas vent by said liquid level responsive valve at said predetermined high liquid level, said restricted gas inlet duct retarding the flow of gas therethrough into said tank to maintain ahead of gas in the tank and to cause pre-carbonat'ion of the incoming water.
2. A carbonating apparatus comprising a tank having an inlet duct with an inwardly opening check valve for liquid under pressure from a supply of liquid to be carbonated, said tank also having two gas inlet ducts with inwardly opening check valves for admitting gas under pressure, one duct being connected directly to a source of gas supply and having a restricted portion to retard the inflow of gas into the tank, means including a discharge pipe having one end near the bottom of the tank for dispensing the carbonated liquid from the tank, a dispensing valve including a housing-having an inlet connected to the other endof said discharge pipe and having an outlet, said dispensing valve being slidable in said housing to control said outlet and including a reciprocable actuating rod, a gas vent for the tank closed and openedby a float valve in response to rise and fall of the liquid level in the tank, and a control valve including a casing having a first port connected directly to said gas supply and having a second port connected to the second-mentioned gasinlet duct and there being a gas inlet valve means in said casing actuated by said reciprocable actuating rod and allowing and preventing flow of gas between said ports in response to opening and closing of said dispensing valve, respectively, said control valve casing also having a vent duct to communicate with said second-mentioned gas inlet duct to release gas from said tank and there being a valve head on said reciprocable actuating rod to close and open said'vent duct upon opening and closing of said dispensing valve, respectively, simultaneously with the respective opening and closing of said gas inlet valve, said float valve controlled gas vent communicating with said second port of the control valve casing, thereby providing for the simultaneous venting of gas from the tank and consequently permitting the flow of liquid into the tank when the dispensing valve is closed and before closing of the gas vent by said float controlled valve upon rising of the float in the tank, and also providing for stopping the escape of gas from the tank when the dispensing valve and gas inlet valve are open.
3. A carbonating apparatus as defined in claim 2 wherein said gas inlet valve and said valve head for the vent duct are slidable relatively to said actuating rod and to each other and there is means for normally yieldingly holding them apart, and said actuating rod has means operative upon sliding of the rod in opposite directions to cause simultaneous movement of the vent valve head into open position and said gas inlet valve into closed position and to cause simultaneous movement of the vent valve head into closed position and said gas inlet valve into open position, respectively, and there is means normally yieldingly urging said actuating rod in the direction to open said vent valve head and to close said gas inlet valve.
4. A carbonating apparatus including a tank having a liquid inlet and a valve controlled liquid outlet, and a gas inlet duct and a control valve to control the passage of gas into the tank and from the tank through said inlet duct, said control valve comprising a casing having a first port connected to a gas supply and a second port connected to said gas inlet duct, and a reciprocable main valve in said casing incluing an actuating rod allowing and preventing flow of gas between said ports upon reciprocation of the valve in opposite directions, respectively, said control valve casing also having a vent duct to establish communication between the atmosphere and said second port for releasing gas from the tank through said gas inlet duct when said main valve stops flow of gas between said ports, and there being a valve head on and movable by said reciprocable actuating rod to close and open said vent duct when said main valve stops and permits flow of gas between said ports, respectively.
5. A carbonating apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein the wall of said tank has a cylindrical portion between its ends, and with the addition of means for refrigerating said tank to form and maintain a wall of ice on the inner surface of said cylindrical wall portion, and wherein said liquid inlet duct is disposed at one end of the tank eccentrically to said wall of ice, providing for the direction of the incoming liquid tangentially against the wall of ice with a swirling motion and consequent immediate cooling of the incoming liquid.