US 3826106 A
Means and methods of equalizing atmospheric pressures inside and outside a refrigerating chamber, collecting atmospheric moisture outside of and away from refrigerating units, elongating time periods between defrostings, thus increasing overall efficiency and economy of cold production.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[111 3,826,106 451 Jul 30, 1974 United States Patent [191 OHanlon et al.
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 Filed: Dec. 14, 1972  Appl. No.: 315,158
ABSTRACT l 52 us.
Means and methods of equalizing atmospheric pressures inside and outside a refrigerating chamber, collecting atmospheric moisture outside of and aw from refrigerating units, elongating time  Int. F25d 21/06  Field of Search....... 62/93, 283, 150, 151, 272,
periods between defrostings, thus increasing overall efficiency References Cited and economy of cold production. UNlTED STATES PATENTS l,489.780 Moore 62/409 4 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures REFRIGERATION APPARATUS AND PROCESS PROBLEM Today the use of solid core air tight modular molded foam panels in the construction of controlled temperature chambers buildings and refrigerators, has caused a heretofore unrecognized problem to appear. It is related to the atmospheric and vapor pressure stabilization and latent heat control.
In older walkin freezers and controlled temperature facilities this problem was insignificant, as the wall design was comparatively loose, allowing air to circulate through the walls in either direction, through cracks, crevaces and porous materials.
Modern practices and manufacturing techniques have changed this situation. Now solid core wall panels are connected together by practically air tight joints, that are made even more air tight by using joint compounds that definitely insure air tight seam (wall seam) connections. Changes in internal air pressure, due to temperature and barometric fluctuations and daily usage factors must be mechanically compensated for.
Some serious failures have resulted from this present day lack of loose wall ventilation. Refrigerators and cold chambers are much more efficient built as tightly as they are presently constructed. But records show that complete structures have collapsed as a result of the inwardly directed explosive forces associated with air shrinkage. Large volumes of less dense air, having a high vapor pressure are introduced into the controlled temperature structure, which has by design a lower temperature and subsequently a lower vapor pressure. This air change occurs as a result as of the door being opened, and is further aggrivated during periods of heavy usage of the cold chamber. When the door closes, the newly introduced warmer air, more heavily laden with moisture immediately shrinks in volume as a result of its temperature reduction and sudden moisture loss. This action is almost instantaneous and if the cold chamber structure is air tight, it becomes disasterous. The resulting negative pressures inside the cold chamber can easily reach 2 inches of vacuum which is equivalent to 1 pound per square inch of explosive energy. The result: the cold chamber collapses inwardly.
To overcome this problem one manufacturer installs a square door in the cold chamber side wall which is hinged from the top and mounted in an electrically heated casing. On a change of pressure, the door swings in or out to compensate.
Another manufacturer installs a duct through the cold chamber wall and locates two or more ping pong balls on the outside to act as compensating pressure check valves. These, of course, are ineffective as they are purely directional in their operation. Another cold chamber maker cuts a hole through the door section to allow aspiration. All of these procedures reduce cold chamber refrigeration efficiencies.
Every method tried to date has proven unsatisfactory because in overcoming one problem they have created another. The injection of massive quantities of latent heat in the form of moisture laden air. This new moisture seeks out the lowest pressure area and the coldest object. During the refrigeration-cycle the fins and the coil of the evaporator are, of course, the coldest objects in the freezer (or cold chamber). Since air is continually circulated through these fins, the moisture introduced blankets them with a layer of frost, thus insulating them and drastically reducing their overall efficiency as cold producers.
As an example, the greatest danger as to the stability of a balanced refrigeration system operating within a cold room designed to hold F or 4C is the sudden introduction of large amounts of moisture. Obviously if you cut a hole through a wall and allow air to enter freely, it will, as the vapor pressure on the outside is always seeking a lower pressure point, this being represented by the interior of the cold chamber. Warm air rushing through the vent device mixes with the normal internal convestion currents in the cold room. Moisture travelling inwardly with this newly introduced warmer air is deposited on the nearest coldest surface contacted. This creates the same undesirable effect as opening the door of the cold chamber.
Our invention from both its refrigeration apparatus and process aspects is designed directly to solve all the above problems, balance the internal and external atmospheric pressures, avoid the collapsing of the cold chamber and its walls, increase its air tightness effects which improves refrigeration efficiencies, by bypassing air to be introduced and removing its moisture inside of said bypassing unit. The period between the defrosting the main refrigeration coils is elongated and the accummulation of unwanted frost on these same coils is corresspondingly minimized, all of which in an air tight wall refrigerator makes for greater economy in the daily electric power requirement.
IN THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 shows the combined cold chamber and Capelator attached thereto.
FIG. 2 is a detailed view of my moisture collector shown in FIG. 1 only in diagramic form.
FIG. 3 is a detailed view of my swinging ventilator (or Capelator door) as it is positioned in FIG. 1 at the intake and outlet points of my Capelator as attached and connected to my cold chamber.
The parts of my refrigerator apparatus are; l, Capelator: 2, Cold Chamber (or refrigerator); 3 Capelator casing (sheet metal): 4 Capelator foam insulation: 5 Capelator hard plastic tube (enclosing the electrically heated moisture pickup devise): 6 Electric heating cable (of braided aluminum wire): 7 Moisture collector (made of sheet aluminum): 8 Electric current supply voltage for defrosting Capelator moisture pick up devise; 9 Capelator insulation foamed in place): 10 Electric Reostat: 11 Cold Chamber door: 12 Electrically heated Water drain for draining water when Capelator is defrosted): l3 Braided Aluminum wire Electric heating cable 14 Electrical connections between reostat and heating cable: 15 Moisture pick up metal wings giving incoming air a spiral motion: 16 Air Damper (weighted): 17 Electric Switch box with reostat: 18 Electric wires connected to braided aluminum wire cable (heating cable) 19 Air entrance pipe going into Copelator: 20 Section of moisture pick up devise shown here in diagramitic form: 21 Pipe entrance into cold chamber from Copelator: 22 Electrically heated moisture drain off plug: 23 Cold Chamber door lock 24 Swinging door on pivots: 25 Weights on swinging door: 26 sheet metal wings on moisture heat pickup devise.
Basically we have here an invention with four main aspects; 1, a Capelator containing a U -tube for continuous by-passing and equalizing refrigerator or cold room air pressures; 2. A Capelator method of by-passing cold room ventilating air at the same time removing the moisture from said air before its introduction into the refrigerator or cold room; 3, a refrigerator or cold room with a Capelator attached thereto; and 4, a method of refrigeration in which internal and external air pressures are automatically equalized without excessive moisture forming as an insulating frost too rapidly on the main refrigerating coils of the cold room or refrigerator.
That portion of our invention which we have named a Capelator helps to solve most of the foregoing problems. lts many functions suggest the name Capelator" through the abbreviations of the words involved in its operation: namely refrigeration capacity booster, air pressure differential eliminator, and a latent heat and moisture (atmospheric moisture) extractor.
The Capelator designated by numeral 1 is a means for bypassing air which enters through pipe or tube 19 and issues through outlet pipe 21 into the cold room or refrigerator 2. Except for the by-passing air tube the Capelator 21 is filled with foamed insulation indicated by numeral 4. Thus when the Capelator is attached to the side of a cold chamber 2 it provids added insulation obstructing the arrival of external warmth'into a cold chamber on one of its sides.
During normal freezer or cold room operation the U- shaped hard plastic ventilation (air ventilation) tube fills with air, which is at approximately the same temperature as that existing in the cold room 2 itself.
This cold air in the U-tube 5 is usually below freezing and is accordingly very dense, completely filling the U- tube. The air within tube 5 is insulated from heat gain by foamed in place urethane foam indicated by numerals 4 and 4. This heat shield extends over the area of the side of the cold room and enables the cold room to be that much colder than it would be if this additional heat shield was absent. Internally in the Copelator 1 this same heat shield with supplemental cooling derived from the continual convection cooling within the cold room 2, helps to maintain a temperature in the U-tube 5 with a close temperature relationship of that temperature normally existing in cold room 2.
When the front door 11 of the cold room (or refrigerator) 2 is opened warm air falls into the cold room over and between the top of the refrigerator door 11. At the same time intensely cold air escapes from the cold room, out of the door opening and the bottom of the door 11 itself. When the cold room door 11 is closed, warm air has gone in to replace the cold air which escaped. Thus a partial vacuum in the cold room has been created since the warm air that has entered is suddenly cooled, and occupies less space in the cold room than the cold air which escaped when the cold room door 11 was opened. Thus when this warm air shrinks (shrinks in volume) a partial vacuum in the cold room is suddenly created.
Without any compensating ventilation between the inside and the outside of the cold room 2, the partial vacuum formed by the shrunken warm air introduced through the previously opened front door 11 may cause the walls of the cold room to cave in, thereby ruining the refrigerator as a structure (or an insulated enclosed refrigerationg space).
When the door 11 is opened the warm air is introduced, and when the door is closed the tight (air tight) wall and door produces a suction action that may ruin the cold room unless ventilation or air pressure internal and external equalization is properly provided for.
If ventilation is provided by a simple small swinging door way this lets in additional warm air and lets out cold air at the cost of lost refrigeration effect. So merely a small swinging door in the side wall of the cold room does not solve the several problems but increases the general inefficiency ofthc cold room as a refrigerator.
On the other hand, by means of our Copelator, the refrigerating efficiency of our cold room is increased. When the main door 11 of the cold room is opened and the warm air and cold air exchange takes place, after the cold room door 11 is closed, additional warm air is sucked into our cold room directly through the hard plastic U-tube almost immediately.
But while the door 11 had previously remained closed, the air in the U-tube had assummed the approximate temperature (low temperature) then existing in the cold room. As a result the vanes (spiral vanes) 15 inside the Utube 5 had gotten cold to the point of being about as cold as the temperature then existing in the cold room. As a result, when the partial vacuum is inside the cold room, due to the opening and closing of its door 11, the compensating air going through the U- tube into the cold room leaves its moisture on the vanes 15, which vanes cool down this by-passed air before it enters the cold room, through swinging door in the entrance pipe 19.
v The warm air travelling through the Capelator tube 5 spins through the vanes of the moisture heat exchanger in a spiral manner. In this way this warm bypassed air is cooled before it enters the cold room. Likewise its moisture is to a considerable extent removed. The U-trap like shape of the hard plastic bypass tube (Capelator tube 5) along with the barometric damper 24 tends to limit the amount of air changed and entering the cold room 2 as it is shown in the drawings.
At predetermined times the cold room refrigerating coils must be defrosted, and at other predetermined times the defrosting of the spiral vanes of the Capelator must then have the frost that collects on them also removed (by defrosting).
lf our cold room was furnished with a simple swinging door to keep the cold room wall from collapsing (or caving in) there would be extra frost on the cold room refrigerating coils that would necessitate the defrosting of the cold room coils oftener.
Since the cold sheet metal wings on our helix 1S collects the moisture, or a good share of it, that would otherwise form on the main cooling coils of the cold room cooling unit, we thus do not have to defrost the main cold room cooling coils as often as might otherwise be needed, if our Capelator did not exist.
The way in which the Capelator spiral vanes 15 are defrosted is by means of the electrical heating aluminum wire braided cable shown in FIG. 1 diagramieally as numeral 6 and also as numeral 6 in FIG. 2 where it is shown in much greater detail. This braided electric heater cable is furnished with electric current through leadin wires 18 from electric reostat switch box 10 that receives its electric current supply directly from electric supply lines 8. The braided aluminum cable delivers the electric warmth from this cable at various points (connection places) to the spiral vanes in the by-pass air cooling and moisture pick up vanes as shown in numeral 15.
When the defrosting of the Capelator wings occurs the resulting water falls to the bottom bend of the U-tube 5. Here a short portion of the braided aluminum heating cable keeps this water reasonably warm so it may be removed through the moisture removal tube 22. A clip on the drain off plug holds the water (or moisture) in the U-tube when water is not being drained off.
The net result of all thus is that this moisture in the bypassing ventilating air, that is cooled in the Capelator, is not being cooled or having its moisture removed by the main cooling coils of the cold room 2. This means that these main cooling coils do not have to be defrosted quite so often, and that the efficiency of the main cooling room is proceeding on a better basis. This, of course, is another direct advantage of the Capelator. The defrosting of the Capelator does not warm up the cold room to any real extent. if the ventilation warm air were only cooled by the cold room cooling coils this advantage would not then exist.
So summarizing the advantages of our invention, we find: our Capelator making possible the building of much tighter cooling rooms (or refrigerators), walk in coolers that are not loosely built, where the warm air filters in through cracks and crevases, and the cold air leaks out in the same way, but make possible cool room facilities that are structurally much tighter from an air tightness standpoint, and that when properly operated do not cave in or collapse, and provide their refrigeration on the most efficiency bases and with utmost economy so far as the electric power to operate them is concerned. When additional air is required in the cold room, to supply this air by means of a bypass that removes the unwanted moisture before the extra air has entered the cooling room (or refrigerator) accomplishes other economies that are most important. Extra frost does not have to be removed from the main cooling coils serving the cooling chamber, therefore, these main cooling coils do not have to be defrosted quite so often, and when this extra moisture from the by-passed air is removed by frosting the moisture pick-up elements in the Capelator this operation does not disturb the refrigeration as it may then exist in the main cooling room itself. Being well insulated with foamed in place polyeurathane foam helps to heat insulate the cooling chamber as well. The swinging dampers at the entrance of the Capelator, and at the entrance of the Capelator U tube, as it is inserted into the cold room, provide automatic entrance and exit for the cooled off Capelator air as it leaves the outer atmosphere to enter the cold chamber to replace the cooled air that escaped through the door way when the cold chamber door was opened.
Be it understood that our Capelator is attachable and useful when forming a part of a cold walk-in cold chamber, or cold room, or in connection with the operation of the ordinary electric house-hold refrigerator.
Let the scope of our invention be determined by the claims attached hereto.
1. A cold room or refrigerator of exceptional air tightness, an insulated tube connected to said cold room, said tube containing electrically heated moisture collecting means for supplying outside air predried to said cold room.
2. The invention according to claim 1, wherein said insulated tube is a U-tube.
3. The invention according to claim 2, wherein means are provided at the bottom of said U-tube for releasing moisture from said U-tube.
4. The invention according to claim 2 wherein said U-tube is provided with a damper.