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Publication numberUS3808698 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 7, 1974
Filing dateApr 4, 1973
Priority dateApr 10, 1972
Also published asDE2217090A1, DE2217090B2, DE2217090C3
Publication numberUS 3808698 A, US 3808698A, US-A-3808698, US3808698 A, US3808698A
InventorsA Peters
Original AssigneeRohe A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for drying washed motor vehicles and for heating the washing and drying stations
US 3808698 A
Abstract
A washing station is divided from a drying station by a suspended barrier which provides for overhead clearance for the passage of motor vehicles on a moving endless conveyor from the washing station to the drying station. The washing station includes a suitable combination of rotatably mounted washing brushes. The motor vehicle is washed by the combination brushes in the washing station and passes beneath the suspended barrier on the endless conveyor to the drying station. An overhead swivelable nozzle and stationary side nozzles positioned in the drying station combine to discharge a stream of warm air downwardly upon the horizontal surfaces and laterally upon the vertical surfaces of the washed motor vehicle respectively to dry the vehicle as it passes through the drying station. A portion of the warm air discharged from the overhead nozzle passes from the drying station below the suspended barrier into the washing station and follows a circulating path therethrough to provide heat in the washing station during the washing operation. A low pressure fan positioned in the drying station draws the warm air circulating throughout the washing and drying station into an air heating device. Air is heated in the air heating device and is directed through a conduit to a high pressure fan. The high pressure fan feeds heated air to the overhead nozzle from which the air is discharged for drying the motor vehicle in the drying station. A suction pipe fitting discharged into the drying station draws heated circulating air from the drying station to the high pressure fan. A reversing box provided in the first conduit selectively directs the flow of heated air to the overhead nozzle for drying or through a second conduit to the washing station for supplying warm air to heat the washing station. The reversing box is operable to provide simultaneous warm air heating in the washing station and warm air drying of washed motor vehicles in the drying station.
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United States Patent Peters METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR DRYING WASHED MOTOR VEHICLES AND FOR HEATING THE WASHING AND DRYING sTAT oNs Inventor: Armin Peters, Solbad Melle,

Germany Assignee: A Rohe, Offenbach am Main,

Nordring, Germany Filed: Apr. 4, 1973 Appl. No.: 347,654

Foreign Application Priority Data Apr. 10, 1972 Germany 2217090 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,584,395 6/1971 Peters 34/229 3,263,341 8/1966 Allen 34/229 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,800,827 5/1970 Germany...' ..34/229 1,924,094 11/1970 Germany 34/229 Primary Examiner-Kenneth W. Sprague Assistant Examiner- James C. Yeung Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Stanley J. Price, Jr.

57 ABSTRACT A washing station is divided from a drying station by a suspended barrier which provides for overhead clearance for the passage of motor vehicles on a moving endless conveyor from the washing station to the drying station. The washing station includes a suitable combination of rotatably mounted washing brushes. The motor vehicle is washed by the combination brushes in the washing station and passes beneath the suspended barrier on the endless conveyor to the drying station. An overhead swivelable nozzle and stationary side nozzles positioned in the drying station combine to discharge a stream of warm air downwardly upon the horizontal surfaces and laterally upon the vertical surfaces of the washed motor vehicle respectively to dry the vehicle as it passes through the drying-station. A portion of the warm air discharged from the overhead nozzle passes from the drying station below the suspended barrier into the washingstation and follows a circulating path therethrough to provide heat in the washing station during the washing operation. A low pressure fan positioned in the drying station draws the warm air circulating throughout the washing and drying station into an air heating device. Air is heated in the air heating device and is directed through a conduit to a high pressure fan. The high pressure fan feeds heated air to the overhead nozzle from which the air is discharged for drying the motor vehicle in the drying station. A suction pipe fitting discharged into the drying station draws heated circulating air from the drying station to the high pressure fan. A reversing box'provided in the first conduit selectively directs the flow of heated air to the overhead nozzle for drying or through .a second conduit to the washing station for supplying warm air to heat the washing station. The reversing box is operable to provide simultaneous warm air heating in the washing station and warm air drying of washed motor vehicles in the drying station.

14 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures :4 Z I 17 2 l PATENTEDHAY H91 7 38081598 SHEET 1 BF 8 SHEET 2 OF 8 PATENTED MAY 7 IBM PATENTEDMAY H514 I SHEET 5 (1F 8 iATENTEDMAY 11914 $808,698

SHEET 6 0F 8 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR DRYING WASHED MOTOR VEHICLES AND FOR HEATING THE WASHING AND DRYING STATIONS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a method and apparatus for drying washed motor vehicles and for heating the washing and drying stations, and more particularly to a method and apparatus for selectively controlling the flow of warm air for heating the washing and drying stations.

2. Description of the Prior Art In the conventional installation for washing and drying motor vehicles, adjacent washing and drying stations are divided by a curtain with suitable ground clearance or by swinging doors, in which the doors and the curtain are suspended from the roof of the washing and drying installation. Motor vehicles to be washed enter the washing station which comprises suitable combinations of washing brushes. The washed motor vehicle is transferred on the endless conveyor beneath the curtain to the drying station. The drying station includes'a combination of roof and side nozzles to provide a uniform stream of warm air directed substantially over the entiresurface area of the motor vehicle to remove the water therefrom. A conventional air heating device discharges warm air which is fed through the nozzle combinations and directed upon the motor vehicle moving through the drying station on the endless conveyor.

German Patent application OLS 1,924,094 provides an economical drying process in which the circulating air present in the drying chamber is heated and exhausted to accomplish the drying operation in the drying chamber. The passage of motor vehicles throughout the entire installation provides an exchange of air between the washing and drying chambers to thereby permit the temperature of the circulating air to rise to a temperature of about 1 12 F. A portion of the warm air in the drying chamber is directed into the washing chamber so that the washing chamber is thereby supplied with warm air for heating. The exchange of warm air between the drying and washing chambers is possible only when motor vehicles move from the washing chamber to the drying chamber because the air flow capacity of the installation must be directed exclusively for either drying or heating. Furthermore, the roof nozzle is positioned in a vertically rigid and downwardly directed arrangement so that the washing chamber is heated only when a motor vehicle having a favorable configuration deflects the stream of warm air in a direction toward the washing chamber.

German Patent application OLS 1,800,827 discloses an apparatus for drying washed motor vehicles by means of a swivelable roof nozzle. The roof nozzle is swivelable about its longitudinal axis to follow a washed motor vehicle as it passes through the drying station.

' drying stations by directing a portion of the warm air heated in the air heating device to the washing station for heating. In addition, the apparatus should permit heating of the washing station regardless of the presence of a motor vehicle in the drying station.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a method and apparatus for drying washed motor vehicles and for heating the washing and drying stations, which includes a suspended barrier for dividing the washing station and the drying station. The suspended barrier is operable to permit transfer of the motor vehicles from the washing station to the drying station.- An air heating device is positioned in the drying station and is adjustable to heat air supplied from the drying station to a predetermined, constant temperature level. An air conveying device is-provided in the drying station for supplying air circulating through the drying station to the air heating device for heating. A discharge device selectively positioned in the drying station directs the flow of heated air in a controlled stream throughout the drying station. A first conduit means is provided for transferring heated air from the air heating device to the discharge device. A suction mechanism arranged in fluid communication with the first conduit means draws circulating air from the drying station and directs the air to the discharge device for return to the drying station. A second conduit means is connected to the first conduit means and is arranged to supply a flow of heated air to the washing station. A fluid control mechanism is provided in the first conduit means for selectively directing the flow of heated air to the discharge device to be discharged therefrom into the drying station for drying a washed motor vehicle. The fluid control mechanism is operable to direct the heated air through the second conduit means to the washing station for heating.

With the above apparatus, it is now possible to direct a uniform stream of warm air from the discharge device in the drying station for distribution throughout both the drying station and the washing station. For operational periods in which no motor vehicles are being dried in the drying station, the discharge units are operable to supply warm air for'heating in the washing station. During periods in which only isolated motor vehicles are transported through the washing installation at variable intervals, the fluid control mechanism is operable to' direct the flow of warm air exclusively to either the discharge units or through the second conduit to the washing station. Furthermore, the fluid control mechanism may be selectively adjusted in an intermediate position to provide simultaneous warm air heating in the washing station and warm air drying of motor vehicles in the drying station.

Accordingly, the principal object of this invention is to provide a method and apparatus for combining warm air heating of the washing and drying stations, together with the warm air drying of the motor vehicles in the drying station.

Another object of this invention is to provide a method and apparatus for automatically heating the washing and drying stations and supplying warm drying air to the drying station during the winter months.

Another object of this invention is to provide a method and apparatus for simultaneously heating the washing and drying stations.

A further object of this invention is to provide a method and apparatus for warm air drying washed motor vehicles in the drying station with the warm air circulating throughout the drying station.

These and other objects of this invention will be more completely described and disclosed in the following specifications, the accompanying drawings and the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a schematic representation in side elevation, illustrating the flow pattern of heated air circulating throughout the drying and washing stations according flow of air through the air heating device to the swivelable roof nozzle and the provision for the side nozzles in the drying station.

FIG. 4 is a schematic representation in side elevation, illustrating the apparatus for drying washed cars in the drying station and the apparatus for heating the washing station.

FIG. 5 is a plan view ofthe schematic representation illustrated in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a schematic representation in side elevation, illustrating the arrangement of an additional stationary roof nozzle provided in the drying station.

FIG. 7 is a schematic representation, illustrating the arrangement of the reversing box provided in the drying station for directing the flow of heated air from the air heating device to the swivelable roof nozzle in the drying station and to the washing station for heating.

FIG. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary view illustrating the reversing box provided in the drying station for directing the flow of heated air to the drying station and to the washing statoin according to the invention.

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary view in side elevation taken along the line IX-IX in FIG. 8, illustrating a stop apparatus provided for cont-rolling operation of the reversing box.

DESCRIPTION'OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to the drawings, and particularly FIGS. 1 and 2, there is illustrated the apparatus for drying washed motor vehicles and for heating the washing and drying stations that includes a washing station 1 divided from a drying station 4 by a barrier such as the curtain 3 suspended from the roof 2. The curtain 3 has an intermediate portion 3a and a lower end portion 3b suspended therefrom and arranged for movement relative the intermediate portion 3a. Clearance is provided between the bottom of the curtain lower end portion 3b and the floor so that motor vehicles may be transferred on the moving endless conveyor 10 in the direction indicated by the arrow 6 through the swinging doors 5,

ment, the washing station 1 and the drying station 4 are enclosed for economical heating by the circulation of warm air throughout both stations even during the washing operation.

1 A pair of vertically positioned washing brushes 8 are rotatably mounted opposite one another at the sides and to the rear of the washing station 1. A horizontal washing brush 9 is rotatably positioned at an intermediate location within the washing station 1 at a suitable elevation above the endless conveyor 10 and is arranged rearwardly and between the washing brushes 8. The brushes 8 are arranged to move toward and away from each on opposite sides of the conveyor 10; while, the brush 9 moves vertically relative the brushes 8 so that all the surfaces of a motor vehicle are effectively washed by the brushes 8 and 9.

The drying station 4 is provided with a pair of 'stationary side nozzles 24 having aligned outlets positioned transverse to the direction of travel on the endless conveyor 10. A swivelable overhead nozzle 12 is positioned forward of the stationary side nozzles 24 at substantially the center location within the drying station 4. The swivelable overhead nozzle 12 is vertically movable in an arcuate path 1 1 about the nozzle longitudinal axis 13. The nozzle 12 directs the flow of heated air in a controlled stream throughout the drying station 4. In FIG. 1, the overhead nozzle 12 is illustrated in its lowermost position within the drying station 4 and is ary ranged to sweep upwardly through an arc of substantially The nozzle 12 has an outlet port directed downwardly toward theendless conveyor 10. Thus the overhead nozzle 12 is operable to follow the contour of a motor vehicle passing beneath it on the endless conveyor 10 so that a continuous flow of heated air is directed downwardly upon the horizontal surfaces of the motor vehicle. When no motor'vehicle is present within the drying station 4 for drying or when a motor vehicle is expected for drying therein, the the overhead nozzle 12 is retained in its lowermost position as illustrated in FIG. 1.

Heated air is preferably discharged from the overhead nozzle 12 into the drying station 4 at a rate of approximately 82 feet per second and follows a downwardly directed path generally designated by the numeral 14. A portion of the warm air stream flowing along the floor of the drying station 4 is conveyed directly from the drying station 4 into the low pressure fan 15. The low pressure fan 15 is suitably mounted at an elevated position in the drying station 4. The remaining portion of the warm air stream discharged from the overhead nozzle 12 passes beneath the curtain lower end portion 3b into the washing station 1. The, warm air stream flows along the floor of the washing station 1 following a path which presents the least atmospheric pressure resistance to its direction of flow. Thus the energy of the forced air system is not immediately dissipated so that a continuous warm air stream flows through the washing station 1 toward the entrance thereof.

As the warm air stream approaches the doors 5, it rises upwardly toward the top and sides of the washing station 1. The warm air stream is then directed over and around the washing brushes 8 and 9 in a generally circular path. Operation of the low pressure fan 15 reduces the atmospheric pressure in the air space below the curtain 3 to thereby draw the air stram circulating through the washing station 1 under the curtain lower Referring to FIG. 3, there is illustrated the arrangement for supplying heated circulating air to the overhead nozzle 12 for discharge therefrom into the drying station 4. The low pressure fan 15 is connected in fluid communication with a conventional air heating device 16. The air heating device 16 is provided with a vent 17 for expelling the exhaust gases from the air heater 16 out of the drying station 4. The burner for the air heating device 16 is controlled for a preselected heating capacity by adjusting the regulator 18 provided at the ear portion of the air heating device 16. A conduit 19 connects the air heating device 16 in fluid communication to a high pressure fan 21 for the passage of heated air from the air heating device 16 to the high pressure fan 21. The high pressure fan 21 has an output of 15 horsepower and operates at 2,900 revolutions per minute as compared to the low pressure fan 15 having an output of 4 horsepower and operating at 1,430 revolutions per minute. An optical noise insulating device 20 is provided in the conduit 19 between the air heating device 16 and the high pressure fan 21 through which the heated air passes. A conduit 22 connects the high pressure fan 21 with the overhead nozzle 12 for supplying heated air thereto.

The conduit 22 is provided with a flexible intermediate portion about which the lower end portion of conduit 22 and the overhead nozzle 12 connected thereto rotate in an arcuate path 11. Thus the nozzle 12 is adjustable vertically within the drying station 4 to provide a maximum range of air circulation throughout the washing station 1. The connection of the low pressure fan 15 in series with the air heating device 16 and the high pressure fan 21 provides for a potential pressure increase at rising temperatures in the outlet of the overhead roof nozzle 12. The loss of pressure that takes place in the warm air system at the suction side of the high pressure fan 21 is offset by the increase in pressure of'the warm air system that takes place in the low pressure fan 15. Thus a total pressure increase in the warm air system is provided at the overhead nozzle 12.

After a motor vehicle has passed through the drying station 4 and the overhead nozzle 12 returns to its 10- westmost position therein, the nozzle I2 supplied warm air for heating the drying station 4 and the washing station 1. For the intervals in which the washing station 1 and the drying station 4 are to be heated exclusively, the high pressure fan 21 is not utilized. The low pressure fan 15, controlled by a room thermostat in the washing station 1, provides a constant'volume stream supplied to the overhead nozzle 12. As a result of ceasing operation of the high pressure fan 21 during the heating intervals, the volumetric flow ra'te'of warm air to the drying station 4 is reduced, for example, 245,108 cubic feet per hour to approximately 77,682 cubic feet per hour. This reduced volumetric flow rate is sufficient, however, to provide adequate passage of heat at a preselected capacity in the drying station 4.

Further in accordance with the present invention, there is illustrated in FIGS. 4, 5 and 7, the arrangement for directing the flow of warm air from the air heating device 16 through the conduit 19 and a reversing box 23 to the conduit 32 to thereby supply warm air to the washing station 1 for heating. The conduit 32 is arranged in fluid communication with the conduit 19 and passes from the drying station 4 through the curtain 3 adjacent the roof 2 into the washing station 1. The embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5 features an additional swinging door for separating the washing station 1 from the drying station 4; furthermore, a suitable noise insulating device 26 is also provided in the conduit 19.

The reversing box 23, having two adjusting flaps 27 and 28 operable to swing in the direction indicated by the arrows 29, selectively provides warm air flow to the overhead nozzle 12 for dryingor warm air flow through the conduit 32 for heating the washing station 1. When 1 the adjusting flaps 27 and 28 are swung in a clockwise direction as indicated in FIG. 7, warm air flows in the direction indicated by arrow 30 through the conduit 19 to the overhead nozzle 12. Air is discharged from the overhead nozzle 12 for drying at a temperature of approximately 212 F. When the adjusting flaps 27 and 28 are swung counterclockwise from the position indicated by the dashed lines in FIG. 7 to the rightmost position indicated by the solid lines, warm air flows from conduit 19 into conduit 32 in the direction indicated by the arrow 31. The heated air in conduit 32 is discharged therefrom through the grates 33 into the washing station 1 for heating.

Warm air discharged from the conduit 32 heats the washing station 1; while, warm circulating air in the drying station 4 effects drying therein. For this arrangement, the adjusting 'flaps 27 and 28 swing about the axes 34 in a counterclockwise direction to interrupt the flow of warm air from conduit 19 to the overhead nozzle 12. Warm circulating air in the drying station 4 is drawn through the opening of the suction pipe fitting 35 which discharges into the drying station 4. The warm air is directed from the suction pipe fitting 35 to the high pressure fan 21 along the path indicated by the arrow 36. The warm air is then conveyed by the conduit 22 to the overhead roof nozzle 12. Thus by swinging the adjusting flaps 27 and 28 in a counterclockwise direction about the axes 34, the warm air is blocked from passage between the conduit 19 and the overhead nozzle 12. Then direct heating of the washing station 1 is accomplished by the discharge of warm air from the intake grates 33 of the conduit 32. With this arrangement, it is possible to achieve a combination of warm air heating in the washing station 1 and the drying station 4, together with warm air drying in the drying station 4. Furthermore, heating of the washing station 1 and the drying station 4 may be accomplsihed without simultaneously providing for warm air drying in the drying station 4. In order to return to the condition of warm air drying, the adjusting flaps 27 and 28 are swung clockwise about the axes 34 to thereby restore air flow from the conduit 19 to the overhead nozzle 12.

Referring to FIG. 6, there is schematically illustrated the washing station 1 separated from the drying station 4 by the curtain 3 as described hereinabove. Also, the

stationaryside nozzles 24 and theswivelable overhead nozzle 12 are suitably arranged in the drying station 4. In addition, a stationary roof nozzle 37 having a blower 25 with a suction opening discharged into the drying station 4 is positioned forward of the nozzle 12 and adjacent the curtain 3. The stationary roof nozzle 37 is operable to provide circulating preheated air at a temperature between approximately 104 and 122 F. in the drying station 4. As a washed motor vehicle advances on the endless conveyor 10 through the drying station 4, an increased drying effect is provided as the motor vehicle passes from beneath the nozzle 37 to the nozzle 12. The swivelable overhead nozzle 12 provides air heated to a temperature of approximately 212 F; while, the stationary side nozzles 24, together with the stationary roof nozzle 37, are operating at a temperature in a range of 104 to 122 F.

The warm air discharged from the overhead nozzle 12 and the stationary roof nozzle 37 into the drying station 4 flows over substantially all the horizontal surfaces of the motor vehicle. The horizontal surfaces are more difficult to dry in comparison with the vertical surfaces from which water droplets adhering thereto are more easily removed. Water droplets adhering to the vertical surfaces of the motor vehicle have a stable equilibrium. Thus a warm air flow having a low energy capacity is sufficient to expel the water droplets from the vertical surfaces. Accordingly, the side nozzles 24 discharging warm air at a low energy level function to effectively remove the water droplets from the vertical surfaces. To remove the water from the horizontal surfaces, however, the nozzles 12 and 37 generate a high velocity of warm air flow directed upon the horizontal surfaces. The high flow rate increases the rate of heat transfer from the warm air to the water. As a result a vaporous envelope forms over the horizontal surfaces and serves to annul the adhesion of water to those surfaces so that the water may be removed therefrom. Thus a maximum drying effect is achieved at a minimum energy level by the arrangement of the overhead stationary nozzle 37 and the overhead swivelable nozzle 12 together with the stationary side nozzles 24. In experimentation conducted according to the practice of this invention, as illustrated in FIGS. 4, and 7, without the provision of the stationary roof nozzle 37, the heating and drying system was found to have a specific heat requirement of 2,020 kcal/passenger car with a specific electric power consumption of 0.358 kw/passenger car in which the specific drying capacity was equal to or less than 9.4 X slugs per cubic .feet. The specific drying capacity indicates the maximum mass of water droplets per unit area of car surface (which includes the front, rear, side panels, roof, motor hood, hood of trunk space and lateral surfaces) remaining after passage of the motor vehicle through the drying station 4. Thespecific drying capacity was calculated under the condition of preliminary spraying with clean unheated tap water having normal purity and hardness without the presence of wax.

Referring to FIGS. 8 and 9, also in accordance with the present invention, there is illustrated an apparatus in which the adjusting flaps 27 and 28 are initially positioned to provide flow of heated air in the direction of the arrow 30 through the reversing box 23 into the conduit connection 40. In comparison with the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5, the axes 34 of the adjusting flaps 27 and 28 are positioned upstream in the conduit able to swing in the direction indicated by the arrow 29.

When the adjusting flaps 27 and 28 are swung in a clockwise direction about the axes 34, air heated by the air heating device 16 flows in the direction indicated by the arrow 30 through the conduit 41 to the conduit 32. Thereafter the warm air is discharged from the air grates 33 into the washing station 1 for heating. The warm air circulating throughout the drying station 4 is drawn into the air suction pipe 35 by the high pressure fan 21 and fed therefrom to the overhead nozzle 12 for discharge into the drying station 4 when the adjusting flap 27 opens the air suction pipe 35.

The adjusting flaps 27 and 28 are swung in a counterclockwise direction to the position shown in dashed lines in FIG. 8 so that warm air from the air heating device 16 flows through the conduit connection 40 to the overhead nozzle 12. As a result, the washing station 1 is not heated because the adjusting flap 28 closes conduit 41 from fluid communication with conduit 32. The warm air is subsequently conveyed through the conduit connection 40 to the overhead nozzle 12. During heating operations only, the adjusting flaps 27 and 28 are positioned in the reversing box 23 to permit the flow of warm air therethrough in the direction indicated by the arrow 31 in FIG. 8, and by the arrow 36 in FIG. 7. Arrow'31 indicates the warm air flow to the washing station 1 for heating purposes. Operation of the suction pipe 35 and high pressure fan 2] permits flow ofpreheated circulating air from the drying station 4, in the direction indicated by arrow 36, through the suction pipe 35 and high pressure fan 21 to the overhead nozzle 12. In addition, the side nozzles 24, together with their blowers 25 draw preheated circulated air from the drying station 4 to be returned thereto for drying washed motor vehicles. With this arrangement, the temperature in the washing station 1 is maintained above the freezing level during the winter months, and at the same time, preheated circulating air in the drying station 4 is fed to the high pressure fan 21 and returned to the drying station 4 throughthe overhead nozzle 12.

Positioning of the adjusting flaps 27 and 28 in the reversing box 23 is accomplished by radial movement of the small adjusting lever 42 and the large adjusting lever 43, illustrated in FIG. 8. The rod 44, having fork head joints provided at opposite ends thereof, connects the small adjusting lever 42 to the large adjusting lever 43. A conventional reciprocating pneumatic cylinder 45 is rotatably mounted at 46 on the reversing box 23. An extensible piston rod slidably positioned in pneumatic cylinder 45 is connected by a fork end joint 47 to the rear end portion of the large adjusting lever 43. The adjusting levers 42'and 43 are rotatably secured to the axes 34 of the adjusting flaps 27 and 28 respectively.

Fluid under pressure in the cylinder 45 extends the piston rod outwardly therefrom to rotate the adjusting lever 43, together with the adjusting flap 28, in a clockwise direction about the axis 34. Rotation of the adjusting lever 43 is transmitted through the rod 44 to the adjusting lever 42. The adjusting lever 42 rotates in a clockwise direction about the axis 34 to thereby rotate the adjusting flap 27 also in a clockwise direction about the axis 34. With this arrangement, warm air is fed from the air heating device 16 to the washing station I for heating. Also preheated circulating air from the drying station 4 is drawn into the high pressure fan 21 for discharge through the overhead nozzle 12 for drying in the drying station 4.

Retraction of the piston rod within the pneumatic cylinder 45 rotates the lever 43 and the lever 42 acting through the rod 44 to thereby rotate the adjusting flaps 27 and 28 in a counterclockwise direction about the axes 34. In the fully closed position, as illustrated in FIG. 8, the adjusting flaps 27 and 28 close the air suction pipe 35 discharging into the drying station 4 and the conduit connection 40 leading to the washing station 1. Thus warm air is conveyed exclusively from the air heating device 16 through the high pressure fan 21 to the overhead nozzle 12for discharge into the drying station 4. Swinging the adjusting flaps 27 and 28 by operation of the pneumatic cylinder 45 into the open and closed position provides an efficient method of exclusively providing warm air flow to either the overhead nozzle 12 or to the washing station 1 during individual load intervals in which isolated vehicles pass through the washing installation.

An angle iron 50 having a longitudinal slot 48 therein is suitably positioned for longitudinal movement in the reversing box 23. Bolt means 49 secure the angle iron 50 to the reversing box 23 and permit movement of the angle iron 50 in the direction indicated by the arrow 51. With this arrangement, the angle iron 50 may be selectively positioned within the reversing box 23. An adjusting lever 53 is rigidly secured to the lower end portion of the angle iron 50 by the fastener 52. The adjusting lever 53 is arranged on the angleiron 50 to swing toward and away from the angle iron 50 about the fastener 52 in the direction indicated by the arrow 54 in FIG. 9.

The adjusting lever 53 includes-a recessed end portion 55 and a stop member 56 positioned adjacent thereto. The adjusting lever 53 is rotated away from the angle iron 50 to thereby engage the adjusting lever 43 in the recessed portion 55 by the stop member 56. In FIG. 8 the stop member 56 engages the adjusting lever 43 to retain the flaps 27 and 28 in the'closed position for conveying warm air to the overhead nozzle 12 for drying purposes. Accordingly, by disengaging the bolt means 49, the angle iron 50 may be selectively positioned in the reversing box 23 to provide for intermediate positioning of flaps 27 and 28 within their swinging ranges. Thus the operations of heating in the washing station 1 and drying in the drying station 4 can take place simultaneously by virtue of above described arrangement.

A unidirectional pneumatic cylinder 57 having an extensible piston rod 58 is rigidly secured by a bracket 59 to the lower end portion of the angle iron 50. Fluid under pressure, controllable by a manual valve (not shown), is directedthrough the feedline 60. The fluid under pressure functions to extend the piston rod 58 outwardly from the cylinder 57 toward the lever 53. The piston rod 58 contacts the lever 53 and continues to extend outwardly thereby rotating the lever 53 about the fastener 52. Rotation of the lever 53 away from the angle iron 50 urges the stop member 56 into engaging relation with the lever 43 to retain the flaps 27 and 28 in a predetermined position in the reversing box 23.

When a motor vehicle has passed through the brushes 8 and 9 in the washing station 1, the pneumatic cylinder 45 is actuated to position the adjusting flaps 27 and 28 as indicated by the dashed lines in FIG. 8. All

the warm air flowing from the air heating device 16 is conveyed through the swivelable overhead nozzle 12 to dry the washed motor vehicle in the drying station 4.

The adjusting flaps 27 and 28, by operation of the pneumatic cylinder 45, are then returned to the position illustrated in FIG. 5 for initiation once again of the heating cycle. This arrangement is desirable for minimizing the operating costs of heating the washing station 1 and the drying station 4 during individual load intervals when only a single or a few motor vehicles pass through the washing station 1. However, when there is a need to provide continuous operation of the washing cycle during constant load intervals or for operation during the winter months, an intermediate positioning of the adjusting flaps 27 and 28 provides an adequate supply of warm air to both the washing station 1 and the drying station 4. Also, with the flaps 27 and 28 arranged in an intermediate position, preheated circulating air is .drawn from the drying station 4 through the suction pipe 35 by the high pressure fan 21.

During periods of low activity or after the entire washing and drying operations are shut down, the adjusting flaps 27 and 28 operably return to the initial closed position. With the adjusting flaps 27 and 28 retained in closed position, the washing station 1 is completely and automatically heated with a uniform stream of warm air emitted from conventional plate heating elements (not shown). During periods of uninterrupted transportation of motor vehicles along the moving conveyor 10, the adjusting flaps 27 and 28 return to a preselected intermediate position within the reversing box 23 to provide a combination of warm air heating and warm air drying. Then for individual load operation in the washing installation, the pneumatic cylinder 57 is vented manually and a return spring (not shown) urges the piston rod 58 back into the cylinder 57. The adjusting lever 53 returns to its initial position on the angle iron 50. Thus the adjusting flaps 27 and 28 are again positioned in the reversing box 23 forperformance of the individual load heating and drying operations.

Studies of the volume flow of warm air from the air heating device 16 have established that for an outside air temperature of approximately 14 F. and during constant load intervals, approximately 41 percent of the warm air volume flow is fed to conduit 32 in the washing station 1. This warm air volume flow was determined for an intermediate adjustment of the flaps 27 and 28. Preferably, between 55 and 65 percent of the warm air volume flow should be conveyed from the low pressure fan 15 to the overhead nozzle 12 for drying motor vehicles. The remainder of the volume flow should be directed to the washing station 1 to maintain it free from frost. For an outside air temperature of l4 F temperatures in the range 45 to 50 F. are attainable in the washing station 1, having alength approximately between 23 and 81 feet for a combined washing and drying station of a length between approximately 40 and 98 feet with a total volume between approximately 5,648 and 19,768 cubic feet. This temperature range is attainable in the washing station 1 with a single air heating device having a heat capacity of less than one half of that which is achieved using a conventional air heater in the washing station 1.

It is now apparent from the hereinabove described method and apparatus that the adjusting flaps 27 and 28 of the reversing box 23 may be intermittently positioned therein to provide for precise and economical operation of combined heating and drying operations in the washing installation. in addition, a motor and a shaft may be substituted for the pneumatic cylinder 45 to provide for mechanical adjusting of the pneumatic cylinder 57. A motor and shaft arrangementwould provide the entire swinging range for any desired intermediate positioning of the adjusting flaps 27 and 28 in the reversing box 23. However, it should be pointed out that the substitution of the pneumatic cylinder 45 for a combined motor and shaft arrangement will necessitate increased expense in comparison with the economical features provided by operation of the pneumatic cylinder 45 alone. I

Accordingto the provisions of the patent statutes, I have explained the principle, preferred construction and mode of operation of my invention and have illustrated and described what I now consider to represent its best embodiment. However, it should be understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically illustrated and described.

I claim: 1. Apparatus for washing and drying motor vehicles which comprises,

a washing station, a drying station, suspendedbarrier means dividing saidwashing station from said drying station to permit transfer of a motor vehicle from said washing station to said drying station, an air heating device positioned in said drying station for heating air to a predetermined, constant temperature, air conveying means connected to said air heating device for supplying air to said air heating device, discharge means positioned in said drying station for directing the flow of heated air in a controlled stream into said drying station, first conduit means connecting said air heating device to said discharge means, second conduit means for supplying heated air to said washing station, said second conduit means connected in fluid communication with said first conduit means, suction means arranged in fluid communication with said first conduit means for directing the air from said drying station into said discharge means, fluid control means provided in said first conduit means arranged to assume a first position for directing substantially the entire flow of heated air to said discharge means while closing said suction means and a second position for directing substantially the entire flow of heated air to said second conduit means while opening said suction means,

and

said fluid control means further operable to assume a third position for simultaneously directing the flow of heated air to said discharge means and to said second conduit means while opening said suction means to an intermediate position.

2. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 in which said air 65 conveying means includes,

a low pressure fan arranged in fluid communication with said air heating device,

said low pressure fan operable to draw circulating air from said drying station to supply said air heating device with the air.

3. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 in which said dis- 5 charge means includes,

a swivelable nozzle having an outlet positioned overhead in said drying station, said swivelable nozzle.

arranged for vertical movement in an arcuate path,

0 said swivelable nozzle selectively adjustable to direct the flow of heated air in a controlled stream into said drying station and from said drying station below said suspended barrier means to said washing station,

a high pressure fan arranged in fluid communication with said first conduit means between said air heating device and said swivelable nozzle to supply heated air from said air heating device to said swivelable nozzle for discharge therefrom.

4. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 in which said discharge means includes,

a swivelable nozzle positioned overhead in said drying station operable to selectively direct flow of warm air upon the horizontal surfaces of said washed motor vehicles,

pair of stationary side nozzles secured to opposite walls of said drying station operable to direct flow of warm air upon the vertical surfaces of said washed motorvehicles, and

stationary roof nozzle positioned forward of said swivelable nozzle adjacent said suspended barrier means in said drying station operable to direct flow of warm air upon the horizontalsurfaces of said motor vehicles.

5. Apparatus as set forth in claim 4 in which,

each of said stationary side nozzles and said stationary roof nozzle includes a blower device ssociated therewith, I

said blower device having an opening arranged in fluid communication with said drying station,

said blower device operable to draw a portion of the circulating air from said drying station and feed the circulating air to said stationary side nozzles and said stationary roof. nozzle for discharge therefrom into said drying station.

6. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 in which said air conveying means includes,

a low pressure fan arranged in fluid communication with said air heating device to supply circulating air from said drying station to said air heating device for heating therein.

7. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 in which said suction means includes,

a suction pipe fitting arranged in fluid communication at one end with said drying station and at the other end with said first conduit means and said discharge means,

said suction pipe fitting operable to draw circulating air from said drying station and convey the air through said conduit means to said discharge means.

8. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 in which said fluid control means includes,

a reversing box positioned in first conduit means,

said reversing box arranged in fluid communication with said air heating device and said discharge LII means to permit the passage of heated air therebetween,

said reversing box arranged in fluid communication with said second conduit means,

adjusting means rotatably positioned in said reversing box for selectively directing the flow of heated air to said dischage means for drying in said drying station, to said second conduit means for heating said washing station and to said first and second conduit means for simultaneously drying in said drying sta tion and for heating said washing station respectively.

9. Apparatus as set forth in claim 8 in which said adjusting means includes,

a first flap member rotatably positioned to swing about a first fixed axis in said reversing box, a second flap member rotatably positioned to swing about a second fixed axis in said reversing box, lever means for discharged said'first flap member to said second flap member so that both of said flap members rotate simultaneously in the same direction,

pneumatic cylinder means for rotating said first and second flap members about the axes thereof,

said pneumatic cylinder means operable upon actuation to rotate said first and second flap members in.

a counterclockwise direction about the axes thereof to thereby direct the flow of warm air to the discharge means when the first flap member closes the reversing box from fluid communication with said second conduit means,

said pneumatic cylinder means operable upon actuation to rotate said first and second flap members in a clockwise direction about the axes thereof to thereby direct the flow of warm air to the second conduit means when the second flap member closes the reversing box from fluid communication with said discharge means.

10. Apparatus as set forth in claim 9 in which said adjusting means includes,

stop means for engaging said lever means and maintaining said lever means immovable in said reversing box, a

pneumatic cylinder means for urging said stop means into engagement with said lever means so that said first and second flap members are retained at an intermediate position in said reversing box to provide flow of warm air simultaneously to said discharge means and said second conduit means, and

slotted means for selectively moving said stop means longitudinally within said reversing box. 11. Apparatus as set forth in claim 9 which includes,

said reversing box arranged in fluid communication with said suction means in said first conduit means,

one of said flap members operable to permit the flow of circulating air from said suction means through said reversing box to said discharge means when said flap members are suitably positioned in said reversing box to provide flow of warm air exclusively to said second conduit means.

. 12. A method for drying washed motor vehicles and for heating the washing and drying stations comprising,

14 conveying circulating air from said drying station through a low pressure'fan to an'air heating device,

heating the air in said air heating device to a predetermined, constant temperature level,

feeding the heated air from said air heating device through a first conduit to a reversing box,

passing the heated air through said reversing box to a high pressure fan,

directing the heated air from said high pressure fan to a swivelable nozzle positioned overhead the moving endless conveyor in said drying station,

discharging the heated air from said swivelable nozzle in a downwardly directed controlled stream upon the horizontal surfaces of said washed motor vehicles as they are transferredon the moving endless conveyor from said washing station to said drying station,

drawing preheated air circulating throughout said drying station into the blowers associated with a pair of stationary nozzles positioned at the sides of said drying'station, I

discharging the preheated air from said stationary nozzles in a laterally directed stream upon the vertical surfaces of said washed motor vehicles passing through said drying station,

circulating the preheated air dischrged from said swivelable nozzle from said drying station through said washing station to thereby 1 furnish heat therein, and

conveying heated air from said reversing box to a sec- 0nd conduit for passage to said washing station and discharge therein to heat the washing station after flow of heated air from said reversing box to said high pressure fan is terminated.

13. A method as set forth in claim 12 which includes,

adjusting the rotatable flap members of said reversing box to an intermediate position therein,

feeding heated air from said air heating device to said reversing box,

directing a portion of the heated air by said flap l4. A method as set forth in claim 13 which includes,

discharging 55 to 65 percent of the volume stream of heated air conducted by said low pressure fan through said swivelable nozzle to said drying station for drying washed motor vehicles, conveying the remaining portion of the volume stream of heated air conducted by said low pressure fan through said second conduit into said washing station to supply heat therein.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 11 mm qg Dated May 7 1974 Inventor(s) Armin Peters It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 3, Line 41 After "washing" delete 'statoin' and insert --station- Column 5, Line 21 After "the" delete ear and insert rear- Column 5 line 31 After An" delete 'optical' and insert -optional-- Column 5, Line 55 After "12" delete 'supplied and insert --supplies Column 6, Line 59 After "be" delete 'accomplsihed' and insert --accomplished-- Claim 5, Line 3 After "device" delete 'ssociated' and insert associated- Claim 12 Line 28 After "air" delete 'dischrged' and insert -discharged- Signed and Scaled this fourth Day Of November 1975 [SEAL] Arrest:

RUTH C. MASON C. MARSHALL DANN Anesting Officer Commissioner oflarems and Trademarks

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4472889 *Jan 1, 1982Sep 25, 1984Hanna Daniel CTop nozzle air dryer with counterbalanced motor assembly
US4771552 *Jul 6, 1987Sep 20, 1988Taikisha, Ltd.Hot air drying system for automobile bodies
US4817301 *May 27, 1987Apr 4, 1989Belanger, Inc.Apparatus for drying vehicles
US5582544 *Jan 13, 1995Dec 10, 1996Ely; Robert S.Adjustable air distribution apparatus
US6273109 *May 19, 1999Aug 14, 2001Karl-Heinz BaralCleaning device for automobile bodies
US7971369 *Feb 28, 2006Jul 5, 2011Roy StudebakerShrouded floor drying fan
US8328126Sep 18, 2009Dec 11, 2012Suncor Energy, Inc.Method and apparatus for processing an ore feed
US8393561Nov 9, 2007Mar 12, 2013Suncor Energy Inc.Method and apparatus for creating a slurry
US8413669 *Jun 11, 2007Apr 9, 2013Suncor Energy Inc.Heating system for outdoor conveyors in a carwash
US8622326Oct 24, 2011Jan 7, 2014Suncor Energy, Inc.Method and apparatus for processing an ore feed
Classifications
U.S. Classification34/500, 34/222, 15/DIG.200, 34/229
International ClassificationB60S3/00
Cooperative ClassificationB60S3/002, Y10S15/02
European ClassificationB60S3/00B