US 3822990 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
nited States Patent 11 1 1111 3,822,990 Henson et al, July 9, 1974 ENERGY CONVERSION MODULE 3,186,697 6/1965 Haedike Ct al 432/222 312, 66 4 1967 D'b 432 22  Inventors: AmlR-Henson/11099399419114 31473392 10/1969 Ainzih CIHL. 1 32/52 Myron Coopemder, North 3,524,632 8/1970 Davies 432/222  Assignee:
Royalton, Ohio Disco Engineering, Inc., Detroit,
 Filed: Nov. 10, 1972 [21 Appl. NO.I 305,460
 US. Cl. 432/222, 432/223  Int. Cl. F231 9/04  Field of Search 432/222, 223
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,044,715 6/1936 B1116m61.... 432/222 2,249,439 7/1941 Noack 432/223 2,836,409 5/1958 Harrison 432/222 3,116,915 1/1964 Nesbitt 432/222 3,134,582 5/1964 Robson 432/223 x Primary Eraminer-John .l. Camby Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Harness, Dickey & Pierce [5 7] ABSTRACT A direct fired oil burner module comprising a housing having means defining air inlet and outlet passages; means for inducing air into the housing through the air inlet passage and for causing the air to travel along a flow path interiorly of the housing and for thereafter discharging the air through the discharge passage, and a direct fired oil burning assembly including a fuel burner unit and an energy conversion section disposed in heat transfer relationship to air traveling along the flow path and adapted to heat the air preparatory to the air being discharged from the module.
31 Claims, 17 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJUL 91974 SHEUZHF 4 Mfl Ma 11 ,1; w y
PATENTEUJUL SIBH 3. 22.990
"SHEEI'JUF I' ENERGY CONVERSION MODULE While the essentials of efficient, clean combustion requiring the proper introduction and proportioning of the air-fuel mixture apply to gaseous, liquid or solid fuels, liquid fuels require a carefully engineered enviornment to accomplish complete combustion. The requirements are atomization, vaporization or gasifying (liquid fuels burn as a gas, not a liquid), a radiant surface to accelerate gasification and adequate residence time to insure complete combustion. These principles are basic to all types of combustion, but are vital to direct fired combustion where the products of combustion are discharged directly into the heated air currents.
While substantial activity has been experienced in the direct firing of gaseous fuels, such direct fired principles have not found widespread acceptance in connection with liquid fuels, such as kerosene, fuel oil, etc., due to the combustion properties of such fuels; however, due to the ever growing demands on the natural gas supplies as well as myriad of problems which arise in connection with the space and ducting (venting) requirements of indirect fired heating systems, there is an increasing need for an efficient, compact and easily installed direct fired liquid fuel burning systern.
The present invention is intended to satisfy the above requirements through the provision of a novel direct fired oil burner module which is of an extremely simple and compact construction; to wit, approximately 25 percent of the size of indirected fired designs of like heating capacity. More importantly, however, the present invention is designed so as to satisfy to a very high degree the aforementioned essentials of clean, efficient combustion in keeping with modern industrial hygiene standards. In general, the heating module of the present invention includes a housing or enclosure provided with air inlet and discharge passages, as well as with means for inducing fresh air into the housing through the inlet passage and for causing said air to flow along a preselected flow path toward the discharge opening. Disposed within the housing in heat transfer relation to the air flow path therein is an energy conversion section which is cooperable with an associated oil burner assembly to effect a highly efficient controlled combustion and heat transfer of the burning air-fuel mixture to the air flowing along the aforementioned path. The energy conversion section is designed so that the air-fuel mixture supplied thereto is pressurized to a predetermined degree and is thus retained within the energy conversion section for a sufficient residency time to gain maximum utiliztion of convection, radiation, infrared and other energy forms to assure for virtually complete combustion of the objectionable exhaust gas contaminants which have traditionally been a problem in connection with both direct and indirect fired heating systems. Thus, only a fraction of the objectionable components of the exhaust gases, i.e., carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, etc., are emitted, as compared to both direct and indirect fired heating systems known in the prior art. The'dire ct fired heating module of the present invention together with finding highly universal application as a primary makeup air unit and heating I systems, is also intended to find related applications in be easily converted, through the use of draft inducers or the like, to be used in an indirect fired application with only minor modification of the basic energy conversion section thereof. Further, the module system of the present invention may be utilized with a wide variety of ducting, pipes or other heated air communicating structures for make-up air and/or air curtain systems to I provide for extreme universality of application and minimization of inventory, installation, time, etc., as will hereinafter be described in detail.
7 SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is directed toward a new and improved heating and air make-up system and/or curtain door system, and more particularly, to a direct fired liquid fuel system which may be incorporated in a basic heating module adapted to be operatively associated with a variety of different types of heated air requirements.
i It is, accordingly, a general object of the present invention to provide a new and improved direct fired oil burner energy conversion section.
It is a more particular object of the present invention to provide a new and improved section of the above character which may be easily converted for indirect fired installations.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a new and improved section of the above described type which will provide highly efficient combustion so as to minimize to the extreme the emission of any objectionable exhaust gas contaminants.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a new and improved direct fired system which will find wide and varied use in providing for heated makeup air and/or air curtain door systems.
It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a new and improved direct fired module which may be operatively associated with a wide variety of different types and sizes of heater ducts, conduits, etc.
It is yet another object of the present invention to provide anew and improved energy conversion section for a module of the above described type which is highly efficient in operation and which is economical in construction.-
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
I BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 3A is a side elevational view of the module shown in FIG. 1 installed in a generally vertical position.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary view of a portion of the module shown in FIG. 3, with the burner assembly located at the opposite end of the energy conversion section.
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 and shows the energy conversion section provided with a viewport.
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIGS. 4 and 5 and illustrates the energy conversion section provided with separate burner assemblies at the opposite ends thereof.
FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary view of the structure shown within the circle 7 of FIG. 5.
FIG. 7A is a view similar to FIG. 7 and illustrates the use of a draft inducer, or the like, for use in indirect fired applications.
FIG. 8 is an elevated perspective view of an air curtain structure incorporating the principles of the present invention therein.
FIG. 9 is an enlarged transverse cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 99 of FIG. 8.
FIG. 10 is an enlarged transverse cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 10-10 of FIG. 9.
FIG. 11 is an enlarged fragmentary view taken substantially along the line l111 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 12 is an elevated perspective view of a modified embodiment of the heating module of the present invention.
FIG. 13 is an elevated perspective view of a plurality of different types of air conducting ducts, chambers, conduits and the like which are adapted to be interchangeably associated with the module shown in FIG. 12.
FIG. 14 is an enlarged transverse cross-sectional view of the module shown in FIG. 12.
FIG. 15 is an enlarged transverse view taken substantially along the line l515 of FIG. 14.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now in detail to the drawings and in particular to FIG. 1 thereof, a direct fired oil burner module is generally designated by the numeral 10 and is shown as comprising an external housing or enclosure 12 that may be constructed of sheet metal or other easily fabricated material. The housing 12 is preferably, although not necessarily, of a generally parallel piped configuration and comprises a top section 14, a bottom section 16, a pair of longitudinally spaced end sections 18 and 20, and a pair of laterally spaced side sections 22 and 24. Generally speaking, the housing 12 comprises an air inlet 26 and an air outlet 28 at the opposite ends thereof, with an energy conversion means 30 and an air inducing means 32 disposed between the inlet and outlet. Generally in operation of the module 10, the air inducing means 32 functions to draw air interiorly of the housing 12 through the inlet 26, which air is conditioned by means of the energy conversion means 30 and is thereafter discharged from the housing 12 through the outlet 28, as will hereinafter be described in detail.
Referring now in detail to the construction of the module 10, as best seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, the air inlet 26 is provided by means of an inlet grill or grate 34 which extends substantially across the end section 18 of the housing 12. The grill 34 may, if desired, be provided with suitable louvers, filters, or other air conditioning means, as required, for controlling the flow of air therethrough, as will be appreciated by those skilled in the art. The outlet means 28 is provided by means of an outlet grill or grate 36 which extends substantially across the bottom section 16 of the housing 12 at the opposite end thereof from the inlet grill 34. Disposed interiorly of the housing 12 is a transversely extending partition or wall 38 which extends between the side section 22, 24 and the top and bottom sections 14, 16 at a position between the outlet grill 36 and the air inducing means 32. The partition 38 is formed with an opening or aperture 40 which communicates air between the opposite sides thereof. The air inducing means 32 is in the form of a centrifugal or similar type fan 42 which is disposed interjacent the partition 38 and the inlet grill 34. The fan 42 includes an enclosure 44 which terminates at one end thereof in a discharge section 46 that extends through the opening 40. The enclosure 44 also includes an inlet opening 48 through which air induced into the interior of the housing 12 will move radially of the fan 42, which air will thereafter be forced out through the discharge section 46 into the end of the housing 12 within which the outlet grill 36 is located. The fan 42 is actuated by means of a conventional electrically energized motor 50 that is mounted within the housing 12 and connected to the fan 42 by means of a conventional drive belt or the like 52. A suitable motor control cabinet, generally designated by the numeral 53, may be mounted interiorly of the housing or enclosure 12, as best seen in FIG. 2. Such a cabinet 53 may function in a manner well known in the art in containing suitable thermostatic and other manual or automatic controls for use in controlling selective operation of the module 10. It will be appreciated that upon energization of the motor 50, the fan 42 will operate to induce ambient air into the interior of the housing 12 via the inlet grill 34. This air will flow along a longitudinal flow path toward the fan 42. The air will then enter the interior of the fan enclosure 44 by means of the inlet 48 and will thereafter be communicated through the opening 40 of the partition 38, from where the air will be discharged out of the housing 12 through the outlet grill 36.
Referring now in detail to the energy conversion means 30, said means, in accordance with the principles of the present invention, comprises a direct oil fired energy conversion section 54 which is in the form of an elongated tubular structure best seen in FIGS. 2 and 3 that extends transversely of the aforesaid flow path of air between the inlet grill 34 and the fan 42. The energy conversion section 54 is of a general airfoil configuration in transverse cross section that extends transversely across the housing 12 and consists of inner and outer laminated layers 56 and 58, respectively, which have their longitudinally extending edges joined by means of a transversely extending closure element 60. The inlet end of the section 54 is communicable with an inlet conduit 62 that extends through the side section 22 and in turn is communicable at its outer end with an oil burner assembly, generally designated by the numeral 64, that is mounted on the outside of the housing 12. The burner assembly 64 may be of any suitable construction well known in the art and is preferably of the high pressure, mechanical atomizing type having a suitable pump that delivers fuel oil under pressure to an atomizing nozzle, from which the oil is emitted in the form of a fine mist. Typically, the assembly includes an air blower motor 66 that supplies air for mixture with the oil mist, which air-oil mixture is ignited by means of sparking electrodes that receive high-tension power from an associated transformer. By way of example, one type of burner assembly that has been found to be highly satisfactory for use in connection with the present invention is manufactured by the R. W. Beckett Corp. of Elyria, Ohio, and is designated as model AF or SF oil burners.
The energy conversion section 54 constitutes the combustion chamber for the assembly 64 and is formed with a plurality of transversely spaced apertures, generally designated by the numeral 67, that communicate the interior thereof with the interior of the housing 12. More particularly, the apertures 67 are arranged in rows (the number of which will vary as required) along the downstream side of the unit 54, with some of the apertures 67 being located above the closure element 60 and others being located directly below the element 60. The apertures 67 are arranged in what could be described as the lift" area of an airfoil, whereby when air flows over the section 54, an aspirating action occurs at each of the apertures67 which promotes rapid and uniform mixing of the combustion products with the circulating airstream. While two'rows of apertures 67 are shown herein, the number of such rows may be varied in accordance with the particular firing or heating capacity required for the housing 12.
As best seen in FIG. 11, each of the apertures 67 is comprises of a pair of aligned openings 68 and 70 formed in the inner and outer layers 56, 58, respectively, of the section 54. The openings 68 formed in the inner layer 56 are somewhat smaller in diameter than the associated openings 70 formed in the outer layer 58. The relatively small size of the openings 68 of each of the apertures 67 function in a restricting capacity, whereby to limit the flow of the products of combustion within the section 54 from being transmitted into the interior of the housing 12, as will hereinafter be described in detail. In accordance with the present invention, the outer layer 58 of the unit 54 is preferably fabricated of a suitable high temperature resistant metal alloy, such as a suitable aluminized steel alloy, while the inner layer 56 is fabricated of a ceramic material, preferably consisting of alumina silica fibers. One satisfactory material which may be used in connection with the fabrication of the inner layer 56 is manufactured and distributed under the name Pyrolite by Rex Roto Corp. of Walled Lake, Michigan. It will be appreciated, of course, that various alternative materials may be utilized in connection with the construction of the section 54; however, the aforesaid construction has been found to be highly satisfactory in maintaining the maximum efficient energy conversion of the fuel combusted within the section 54.
In operation of the module 10, upon energization of the burner assembly 64 and the motor 50, fresh ambient air will be inducted into the housing 12 through the inlet grill 34. This air will then pass over and around the energy conversion section 54 where the'air will become will be communicated through the interior of the housing 12 into the inlet opening 38 of the fan 42. The fan 42 will then cause the heated air to be transferred through the opening into the downstream end of the housing 12, from where the heated air will be discharged from the housing 12 via the outlet grill 36 in the bottom section 16 of the housing 12.
In accordance with the present invention, the energy conversion section 54 is intended to provide for the highly efficient combustion of the air-fuel mixture which is introduced thereinto by the associated burner assembly 64. Toward this end, the plurality of apertures 67 are designed to be of such a cross-sectional size and be so related to the capacity of the associated burner assembly 64 such that the products of combustion will escape through the apertures 67 when a preselected pressure drop between the interior of the section 54 and housing 12 is achieved. Accordingly, the interior of the heat exchanger 54 will be pressurized to some preselected magnitude. Pressurizing the energy conversion section 54 will increase the combustion chamber temperature which promotes more complete combustion. Additionally, the airfoil configuration of the section 54 results in a low pressure zone in the area of the apertures 67, whereby a sufficient pressure drop exists across the apertures 67 for the combustion products to escape from the section 54 without the necessity for a larger capacity blower on the oil burner. More importantly, however, the aforesaid pressurization of the section 54 results in an extremely small amount of objectionable contaminants, i.e., carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, etc. being discharged or exhausted from the section 54. In addition, the energy conversion section 54 will be seen to function in an extremely superior manner in effecting heating of the flow of air passing thereover. This is due to the fact that the'air will be heated not only by conduction of the heat generated by the energy conversion section 54, but also by the heat of the exhaust gases and the convective action of the section 54 and by the radiant energy emitted thereby. Therefore, the present invention provides a heating system incorporating an energy conversion section which serves the twofold purpose of minimizing to the extreme the emission of objectionable exhaust gas contaminants andalso provides for a highly effective conversion and transfer of heat therefrom to the air passing therearound, as compared to the various devices known in the prior art.
In accordance with the principles of the present invention, the module 10 is adapted to find universality of application in that it may be mounted in either a vertical or horizontal position, depending upon theparticular location and type of application thereof. As best seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, the module 10 is shown mounted on the underside of a ceiling C of a suitable structure, with the housing or enclosure 12 being secured to the ceiling C by means of a plurality of suitable mounting brackets or the like, generally designated by the letter B. The module 10 is preferably mounted at a position adjacent a suitable outside wall structure, designated by the letter W, of the associated building, which structure W is provided with a transitional frame element F that is mounted within a suitable opening in the wall W,
whereby to communicate the opposite sides thereof. In
the installation shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the module 10 is mounted adjacent the wall W such that the inlet grill 34 thereof is abutted directly adjacent the frame F.
Means in the form of a suitable louvered hood or the like H may be mounted on the opposite side of the wall W from the module 10 for purposes of directing inlet air into the module 10 and preventing undesirable elements from entering thereinto. The inlet end of the hood H may be provided with suitable motorized backdraft dampers, filters, etc. or other suitable means for controlling and conditioning the flow of inlet air thereinto, which air will pass through the frame F and thereafter into the module 10, as hereinabove described.
With reference to FIG. 3A, the module is shown mounted in a generally vertical orientation upon the wall W. In this application, the inlet grill 34 of the module 10 is disposed at the uppermost end thereof and is communicable via a suitable hood H or other appropriate ducting which is in turn communicable with the transitional frame F mounted within the wall W. If desired, an additional hood H may be provided at the opposite side of the wall W from the module 10 for purposes of directing and controlling the flow of air into the module 10. It will be appreciated, of course, that the module 10 of the present invention may be mounted in various other orientations and positions and thus will find many wide and varied applications, which applications are intended to come within the purview and fair meaning of the claims appended hereto.
With reference now to FIGS. 4 through 6, it may be noted that the burner assembly 64 may be located at the opposite end of the energy conversion section 54 from that shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. In addition, if the capacity of the module 10 is such that two burner assemblies are required, a second burner assembly, as designated by the numeral 72, may be located at the opposite end of the section 54 from the originally described burner assembly 64. In such an application, the second burner assembly 72 would be communicable via a suitable inlet conduit 74 in the same manner as the assembly 64 was communicable with the unit 54 via the inlet conduit 62. As another alternative to having the burner assembly 64 mounted at the opposite end of the unit 54 or to having two separate burner assemblies provided, it may be desirable to provide a viewport at the opposite end of the unit 54 from the burner assembly 64, as is illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 7. The viewport is generally designated by the numeral 76 and may be mounted directly in the side of the housing 12. Typically, the viewport 76 may comprise a transparent element 78 mounted by means of a suitable frame arrangement 80 which is cooperable with a conduit means 82 for permitting an observer to view the energy conversion operation occurring interiorly of the section 54 during operation thereof. While the module of the present invention will find particularly useful application in connection with the direct firing of the fuel oil used to produce the thermal energy emitted by the energy conversion section 54, for certain types of installations, it may be desirable to utilize the module 10 in an indirect fired application. As will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, indirect firing occurs when a volume of air is heated by a combusting fuel without the products of combustion of the fuel being combined with the heated air, i.e., the heated air and products of combustion are communicated along separate ducts, etc., toward respective locations where the heated air is utilized for any desired purpose and the combustion products are discharged via suitable flue-pipes or the like.
The module 10 of the present invention may be easily modified in a wide variety of ways so as to be adapted for such indirect firing. One simple and preferred modification consists of blocking the plurality of apertures 67 in the energy conversion section 54 by any suitable means and thereafter communicating the products of the fuel combusted therein via a suitable draft inducer duct or conduit with the exterior of the module 10, whereby the products of combustion will be vented away from the air which is flowing over the energy conversion unit and thus not combined therewith. FIG. 7A illustrates one preferred way of removing such products of combustion of the fuel which is burned within the energy conversion section 54 and thereby assuming that said products are not combined with the air that is heated by the section 54. In particular, it will be seen that a suitable duct or the like 83 is communicable with the outlet end of the conduit 82 which is in turn connected to the energy conversion section 54. The conduit 83 may, if desired, be provided with a suitable viewport or the like 78, as previously described, which conduit 83 may then be communicable via any suitable ducting or the like, for example, to the exterior of the associated building, whereby the products combustion will be transferred away from the interior of such building. It may be noted that where it is desired to utilize the module 10 in an indirect firing application, the apertures 67 in the heat exchanger unit 54 may be closed by a suitable covering element (not shown) or may be omitted altogether. It will be appreciated, of course, that the present invention is intended to encompass other ways of utilizing the module 10 in an indirect firing application, as defined by the claims appended hereto.
Although the module 10 will find wide and varied use in connection with heating make-up air for use in a wide variety of applications, the module 10 is also intended to find particularly useful application in connection with simultaneously providing heated make-up air and providing an air curtain across an access opening to a building or the like. In such an application, the module 10 can be mounted directly' above such an opening wherein fresh outside air could be inducted through the inlet grill 34, which air will thereafter be heated in the manner hereinabove described and be caused to flow downwardly out of the outlet grill 36 across the opening, thus providing an air curtain thereacross in an extremely simple and economical manner, particularly as compared with indirect fired systems as known in the prior art which have traditionally been objectionable from an efficiency and expense standpoint, as well as being undesirable due to their large size and shape.
In accordance with the principles of the present invention, reference is now made to FIGS. 8 through 10 wherein an air curtain providing structure is shown and generally designated by the numeral 84. The structure 84 is preferably fabricated of sheet metal and is formed to include a pair of downwardly projecting legs 86 and 88. The legs 86, 88 are spaced apart and generally define an access opening through which persons, vehicles or other articles may be moved. The upper ends of the legs 86, 88 support an overhead transversely disposed connecting part 90 which defines an air inlet opening 92 through which air is intended to be inducted interiorly of the part 90. The interior of the connecting part 90 defines a chamber area 94 that is communicable with the opening 92 and which may, if desired, be provided with a suitable inlet grill or the like 96. Disposed on the opposite sides of the opening92 is a pair of baffles 98 and 100 which define an inlet passageway 102 therebetween. The passageway 102 is intended to communicate air from the inlet opening 92 to a pair of energy conversion sections, generally designated by the numerals 104 and 106, that are preferably identical in construction and operation as the aforedescribed energy conversion section 54. The units 104, 106 are respectively provided with oil burner assemblies 108 and 110 which cooperate with the units 104, 106 in heating air which is induced into the chamber area 94. A pair of centrifugal or similar type fans 116 and 118 are disposed within the chamber area 94 adjacent the opposite ends thereof, which fans are adapted to be driven by a pair of suitable motors 120 and 122, respectively, that are drivingly connected to the fans 116, 118 by conventional'drive belts 124 and 126. If desired, the fans 116, 118 may be oriented at a position wherein they force air directly down the legs 86, 88, as indicated by the fan 118' in FIG. 10.
The chamber area 94 is closed by laterally spaced end walls 128 and 130 which are formed to provide openings 132 and 134, respectively, matching and receiving the outlets from the fans 116 and 118 so that the exhaust or discharge from the fans 116, 118 is communicated through the openings 132, 134.
With reference now to the supporting legs 86 and 88, it will be seen that these legs are essentially of the same construction and each includes a plenum chamber 136 which is receptive of the air which is introduced thereinto by the associated of the fans 116, 118. The air within the chambers 136 is intended to be exhausted through elongated slots 138 formed in the confronting sides of the legs 86, 88, which slots extend substantially the entire length-of the legs 86, 88, whereby the air passing therethrough is directed between thelegs to provide an air curtain therebetweenThe inner side walls of the legs 86, 88 are slanted or tapered, whereby the exhaust pressure throughout the length of the legs will be relatively uniform. In order to facilitate a more constant exhaust pressure, exhaust nozzle forming passage walls 140 are preferably provided just behind the exhaust slots 138.
Generally in operation of the air curtain providing structure 84, fresh outside air is inducted through the inlet grill 96 upon operation of the fans 116 and 118. This airpasses in heat transrelation to the energy conversion sections 104 and 106 whereupon such air is heated. The heated air then passes downwardly through the legs 86 and 88 where it is discharged through the slots 138 formed therein.
In order to provide for universality of application, the heating module of the present invention may, instead of discharging heated air directly from theoutlet section 28 thereof, communicate such heated air through suitable ducting means to some ultimate location or destination. Such ducting means may be utilized in an air curtain capacity, as was described in connection with the air curtain providing structure 84, or altematively, the ducting may be utilized for communicating the heated air to some location in the building where said air may be used as make-up air, or any combination of these applications,'and toward this end, it is contemplated that a basic module, one of which is shown in P10. 12 and designated by the numeral 144, could be utilized in combination with various types of duct work. The module 144 is, for all practical purposes, essentially identical in construction and operation to the aforedescribed module 10, and as such, comprises an exterior housing or enclosure 146 having an inlet end 148 which may be communicable via a suitable opening in a wall structure W with a source of fresh outside air. The housing 146 also includes a discharge section 150 which, for purposes of example, is located at the opposite end of the enclosure 146 from the inlet end 148. The housing146 is adapted to be operatively associated with any one of a variety of different types of ducting systems, three of which are shown in FIG. 13 and generally designated numerals 152, 154 and 156. By way of example, the ducting arrangement shown in FIG. 13 and designated by the numeral 152 is shown as comprising a plurality of grills, grates, louvers or the like 158 and 160 and 162 which are located on the top, front and ends, respectively, of a generally plenum-like enclosure 152. The enclosure 152 is adapted to be attached directly to the inner end of the housing 146, whereby the outlet portion 150 thereof will function to communicate heated air directly into the enclosure 152 wherethe same will be selectively discharged through the grills 158-162. The ducting arrangement designated by the numeral 154 in FIG. 13 is shown as com- .prising a plenum-like chamber 164 adapted to be attached directly to the inner end of the enclosure 146, with the lower side chamber 164 being communicable with a suitable discharge duct 166 having an outlet or discharge end 168 at the opposite-end thereof from the plenum chamber 164. The length and specific configuration of the duct 166, may, of course, be varied in accordance with the particular application thereof,- with the discharge end 168 functioning to provide for makeup and/or an air curtain directly therebelow. In a similar manner, the ducting arrangement shown in FIG. 13 and designated by the numeral 166 includes a plenum chamber 170 adapted to be'secured to the inner end of the enclosure 146, with the opposite ends of the chamber 170 being communicable, via laterally outwardly extending ducts or conduits 172 and 174 having discharge ends or register elements 176 and 178, respectively, at the opposite ends thereof. It will be appreciated, of course, that more or less ducts or conduits may be attached to the enclosure 146 either directly or via a suitable plenum attachment arrangement so as to best adapt the module 144 for a particular type of installation.
Referring now to FIGS. 14 and 15, still another embodiment of the present invention is illustrated and generally shown as comprising a module 180. The module 180 includes a generally parallel piped housing or enclosure 182 comprising a top section 184, a bottom section 186, a pair of longitudinally spaced end sections 188 and 190 and a pair of laterally opposed spaced parallel side sections 192 and 194. The inlet end of the housing 182 is shown at the right side of FIGS. 14 and 15 and is depicted as including an inlet grill or gate, generally designated by the numeral 196, which is located within the end section 190. The outlet section of the module 180 is shown in the form of a suitable outlet grill or grate 198 that is mounted in the bottom section 186 of the housing 182 directly interiorly of the inlet grill 196. Disposed at the opposite end of the housing 182 from the grills 196,198 is a transversely extending partition or a wall 200 which separates or divides the interior of the housing 182 into the heating chamber 202 and a control chamber 204. The end section 188 of the housing 182 is provided with a pair of access doors 206 and 208 that are hingedly mounted along the laterally opposite sides of the enclosure 182 and may selectively be opened and closed to provide for access to the interior of the control chamber 204. Disposed within the interior of the heating chamber 202 is an energy conversion section, generally designated by the numeral 210, which is preferably of the same construction and operation at the aforedescribed energy conversion sections herein. The section 210 extends longitudinally within the chamber 202 and is commnicable via a suitable conduit 212 with a burner assembly 214 which may be of the same construction as the aforedescribed assemblies herein. As illustrated, the conduit 212 extends through the partition 200, whereby the assembly 214 is located interiorly of the control chamber 204. Disposed within the chamber 202 is a pair of laterally spaced blowers or fans 216 and 218 that may be of the aforedescribed type and which are actuated by a common drive shaft 220 located below the conduit 212 and driven via a suitable drive belt 222 by a motor 224 that is disposed within the control chamber 204, as illustrated. Upon energization of the fans 216, 218, air is drawn inwardly through the inlet grill 196 and longitudinally of the chamber 202 and around the energy conversion section 210, whereby such air is heated by the combusting fuel within the section 210. The thus heated air then is inducted axially of the shaft 220 into the sides of the fan housings, whereby such air will thereafter be forced longitudinally back toward the inlet end of the housing 182 through a large duct arrangement 226 that is disposed directly interiorly of the bottom section 186 of the housing 182. The duct arrangement 226 is communicable with the outlet grill 198, whereby such heated air will thereafter be forced downwardly through the grill 198 and will be discharged into the adjacent surroundings. If desired, suitable side or top discharge ducts (not shown) or deflecting baffles, best shown in FIG. 15 and designated by the numerals 228 and 230, may be provided on the housing 182 for directing the heated air toward the discharge or outlet grill 198.
It will be seen from the foregoing that the present invention provides a novel system for providing for the direct and indirect combustion of oil and similar liquid fuels, which system may be used as either or both a make-up air system and an air curtain system, depending upon the particular application thereof. Incorporated in all of the embodiments of the present invention hereinabove described is a basic energy conversion section which will be found to provide for the highly efficient combustion of the air-fuel mixture introduced thereinto, which combustion is achieved by virtue of a novel energy conversion and pressurization concept wherein the products of combustion are retained within the combustion chamber for a predetermined time prior to being exhausted therefrom, whereby such products are combusted to the highest possible degree so as to minimize to the extreme, the emission of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and similar objectionable atmospheric contaminants. It will be noted that for certain applications, the energy conversion section can accept a gas burner of the same basic design as the above described oil burners, thus further enhancing the universality of application without requiring an extensive modification of the basic concepts disclosed herein. In addition, the present invention will be seen to have extreme universality of application since it may be utilized in a wide variety of different types of heating systems and be operatively associated with a myriad of different types of heating conduits, ducts, etc. Further, the present invention, in its most fundamental form, will be seen to be extremely simple in design and may thus be economically manufactured installed and operated, as compared with various analogous systems known in the prior art.
While it will be apparent that the preferred embodiments illustrated herein are well calculated to fulfill the objectives above stated, it will be appreciated that the present invention is susceptible to modification, variation and change, without departing from the scope of the invention.
1. A direct fired burner module comprising:
a housing having means defining air inlet and outlet openings,
means for inducing air into said housing through said air inlet opening and for causing said air to travel along a flow path interiorly of said housing and for thereafter discharging said air through said discharge opening, and
a direct fired burner assembly including an energy conversion section defining a combustion chamber and adapted to heat air traveling along said flow path preparatory to said air being discharged from said housing through said discharge opening, said section including means for aspirating the products of combustion of said burner into said flow path.
2. The invention as set forth in claim 1 wherein said energy conversion section is disposed in part within said flow path, and which includes a fuel burner assembly for transmitting fuel to said conversion section.
3. The invention as set forth in claim 1 wherein said air inducing means includes blower means for causing air to be induced into said housing and travel along said flow path.
4. The invention as set forth in claim 1 wherein said air inducing means includes blower means disposed between said inlet and said outlet.
5. The invention as set forth in claim 1 wherein said air inducing means comprises blower means disposed between said energy conversion section and said outlet, and wherein said conversion section extends generally transversely of said flow path.
6. The invention as set forth in claim 1 wherein said energy conversion section is of a general airfoil configuration in transverse section.
7. The invention as set forth in claim 1 wherein said energy conversion section extends generally transversely of said flow path and which includes a fuel burner assembly disposed exteriorly of said housing for communicating fuel to said section.
8. The invention as set forth in claim 1 wherein said inlet is located at one end of said housing, wherein said outlet is located at the opposite end of said housing, and wherein said energy conversion section and said air inducing means are disposed intermediate said inlet and outlet.
9. The invention as set forth in claim 8 wherein said energy conversion section is of a profile with respect to the air flow path such that a preselected pressure condition occurs as the air passes over said section in order to aspirate the products of combustion out of said energy conversion section into the air flow path.
10. The invention as set forth in claim 9 wherein said energy conversion section is of an airfoil configuration and is of a laminated construction.
11. The invention as set forth in claim 10 wherein said energy conversion section includes at least two laminated layers, one of which consists of a ceramic material comprising alumina silica fibers.
12. The invention as set forth in claim 1 wherein said energy conversion section is of a generally hollow tubular construction, one end of which is communicable with an associated burner assembly, whereby combustion for the burner assembly occurs within the energ conversion section.
13. The invention as set forth in claim 12 which includes means for selectively communicating the products of combustion produced within the energy conversion section into the current of air flowing thereover, and wherein said communicating means causes a preselected pressure differential between the interior and exterior of said energy conversion section.
14. The invention as set forth in claim 13 wherein the pressure interiorly of said energy conversion section is greater than the pressure of the air flowing over said section.
15. The invention as set forth in claim I which includestwo separate burner assemblies communicable one with each end of said energy conversion section, and which includes means defining a plurality of apertures within said section for communicating the products of combustion of fuel within said section into said air flow path.
16. The invention as set forth in claim 1 which includes means for providing visual observation of the combustion operation occurring within said energy conversion section.
17. The invention as set forth in claim'l which includes means for causing said flow path of air to travel along at least one side of an access opening to a building for providing an air curtain thereacross.
18. The invention as set forth in claim 17 wherein said last mentioned means comprises a pair of spacedapart ducts located on the opposite sides of said access opening and adapted to discharge a flow of air thereacross, and wherein said energy conversion section is disposed centrally of said ducts above said access openin T9. The invention as set forth in claim 1 wherein said inlet and said outlet are disposed adjacent said one end of said housing and which includes air flow control means interiorly of said housing for communicating air from said inlet over said energy conversion section and for thereafter reversing the directionof the flow of air toward said outlet.
v20. The invention as set forth in claim 1 which includes means for communicating the products of combustion within said conversion section exteriorly of said housing for indirect fired applications.
2]. An energy converter for use in a heating apparatus through which a flow of air passes,
said converter adapted to having'fuel combust therewithin and being disposed in part adjacent said flow of air, and
said converter being of a general airfoil configuration and including means for aspirating the products of combustion of said apparatus into said flow of air.
22. The invention as set forth in claim 21 wherein said converter is of a hollow tubular configuration and which includes an associated burner assembly for communicating fuel interiorly of said converter.
23. The invention as set forth in claim 21 wherein said converter is of a laminated construction.
24. The invention as set forth in claim 23 wherein one layer of said laminated construction is fabricated of a ceramic material.
25. The invention as set forth in claim 21 which includes a plurality of apertures for communicating the products of combustion produced within said converter into the flow of air.
26. The invention as set forth in claim 25 wherein said apertures are located at a low pressure area of the flow of air passing over said converter, whereby the products of combustion will be aspirated from within said converter.
27. The invention as set forth in claim 21 which includes means for producing a differential pressure condition between the interior of said converter and the flow of air passing thereover.
28. The invention as set forth in claim 27 wherein said means for producing said differential pressure condition comprises restricted orifice means for communicating the products of combustion produced interiorly of said converter into said flow of air.
29. A direct fired burner module comprising:
a housing having means defining air inlet and outlet openings,
means for inducing air into said housing through said air inlet opening and for causing said air to travel along a flow path interiorly of said housing and for thereafter discharging said air through said discharge opening,
a direct fired burner, and an airfoil shaped combustion chamber for said burner located in said path between said openings for heating said air, said chamber including a plurality of transversely spaced apertures arranged at the lift area of said airfoil for mixing the products of combustion from said burner into said air flow path.
30. A heating module comprising: a longitudinally extending housing having an air inlet opening at one end and an air outlet opening at an opposite end,
air induction means located in said housing for circulating air along a flow path between said inlet and outlet openings,
a laterally extending combustion chamber of generally hollow tubular construction located in said flow path including passage defining means for communicating said chamber with said flow path,
a direct fired burner associated with said chamber for heating said circulating air and means for causing said flow path to travel at least partially along an access opening to a building for providing an air curtain thereacross.
31. The module as recited in claim 30 wherein said chamber is shaped as an airfoil and wherein said passage defining means comprises a plurality of transversely extending apertures in the lift area of said air foil.