US 3872684 A
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United States Patent [191 Scott Mar. 25, 1975 WATER VAPOR COOLING SYSTEM FOR AIR COOLED CONDENSER COILS 21 Appl. No.: 445,495
2,896,860 7/1959 Eberhart 62/280 Primary Examiner-William J. Wye Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Wayland D. Keith  ABSTRACT A system for cooling the air cooled condenser coils with a water vapor or mist so as to lower the temperature of the coil by evaporation to improve the effi-' ciency of an air conditioning system using air cooled condenser coils. in the present system water is directed through a solenoid valve in a regulated, metered amount to the upper surface of the lower portion of the air conditioner and is thermostatically controlled, which solenoid valve is connected in parallel with the electrical circuit which energizes the compressor motor so the solenoid valve will operate when the compressor motor operates. Further provision is made to supply a radially fluted annular ring to attach to the outer periphery of a blower fan to cause water, in the lower portion of the air conditioner to be vapor ized.
3 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures WATER VAPOR COOLING SYSTEM FOR AIR COOLED CONDENSER COILS SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present device is utilized to supply auxiliary water to direct water vapor to an air cooled condenser coil of an air conditioning system. The present arrangement enables a metered amount of water to be supplied to the upper surface of the lower pan of a normally air cooled condenser coil of an air conditioner, so that the water may be atomized due to the fan dipping thereinto, or due to an annular ring attached to a fan dipping into the water so as to cause a mist or water vapor to be created, so that the water vapor will be directed into the air stream and around the condenser coils and onto the fins of the condenser coil, so that the evaporation therefrom will lower the temperature of the condenser coil, and by cooling the coil, less electricity will be required to operate the compressor, which is driven by an electric motor.
Normally, the air conditioner fan is spaced only a short distance away from the botton of the air conditioner and the water condensate, if any, from the evaporator coil will be directed onto the upper surface of the lower pan of the air conditioner unit, so that the water will be vaporized and directed into the air stream to assist in the cooling of the condenser coil.
In many areas where air conditioning units, which utilize air cooled condenser coils, are low humidity areas, very little water is condensed from the atmosphere. In the present instance, auxiliary water is directed from an outside source through a metering control valve and a solenoid valve so when the air compressor is running, the solenoid valve which is connected in parallel relation with the motor circuit thereof which will cause the solenoid valve to open to discharge water onto the upper surface of the lower pan of the air conditioner, and when the motor which drives the air compressor of the air conditioner is de-energized, the solenoid valve will close, thereby preventing the wasting of water.
In some instances, the fan does not extend sufficiently close to dip into the water that is on the upper surface of the bottom pan; a fluted annular ring has been provided, which annular ring is attached to the periphery of the fan, the flutes of which annular ring direct the moisture from the evaporator coil into the air stream and through the condenser coils in an atomized condition as is the water which is admitted through a solenoid control valve, so as to provide additional water into the pan on the upper surface of the bottom. The bottom of the water pan may be flat or it may be slightly depressed to form a sump, so the present attachment may be readily attached to existing fans of an air conditioner without the necessity of buying pumping equipment and nozzles to perform such action.
The annular ring is constructed with radial flutes therein and with inwardly turned, apertured lugs thereby to enable the annular ring to be attached to the periphery of a conventional fan so the outer edge of the annular ring will dip below the surface of water that is contained in at least a portion of the lower pan of the air conditioner.
The present arrangement enables the picking up of rects water onto the outer surface of the condenser coils when the compressor motor is operating. A solenoid valve is connected in parallel with the motor circuit, so upon turning off the air conditioner compressor, as by a thermostatically controlled motor, the sole noid valve simultaneously is closed to turn off the water. This arrangement enables a conventional air condenser using an air cooled condenser coil to be readily converted .into an air conditioner in which the condenser coil is cooled by water vapor which increases the efficiency of a water cooled coil system.
OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION An object of this invention is to provide a cooling system for an air cooled air conditioner condenser coil so as to provide a water vapor or mist therefor, to accelerate the cooling of the coils.
Another object of the invention is to provide a conduit connected to a water supply having a control valve and a solenoid valve therein, so water may be directed onto the upper surface of the lower pan of the air conditioner in a regulated amount, so long as the compressor motor of the air conditioner is running.
Yet a further object of the invention is to provide a system for converting a conventional air conditioner, which utilizes an air cooled condenser coil, to a water vapor or water mist cooled condenser coil so as to increase the efficiency of the air conditioner.
A further object of the invention is to provide a system for converting an air conditioner having a conventional air cooled coil to an air conditioner in which water vapor or water mist cools the condenser coil, which device is low in cost of manufacture, to install and efficient in operation.
Another object of the invention is to provide an air conditioner fan with an attachable annular ring, which ring is so constructed as to have radial flutes therein to dip into the water, on the upper surface of the lower pan of an air conditioner so as to direct the water vapor or mist therefrom into the air stream which leads to the condenser coil.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Various air conditioners have been proposed heretofore, which utilizes a specially prepared pump, which pump withdraws water from a sump and directs this water onto a condenser coil or into the air stream leading to the condenser, either by a pump or by a slinger" ring. The arrangement for directing moisture into the air that cools the condenser coil often was inefficient because of the design of the slinger ring and further some of the slinger rings herefore in use were not readily adaptable to existing fans of an air conditioner that utilized air cooled coils.
The use of a pump to direct moisture into the air required a special drive and a special sump which made it impractical to convert conventional air conditioners having air cooled condenser coils into air conditioners having a water vapor or mist cooled condenser coils.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING With these objects in mind and others which will become manifest as the description proceeds, reference is to be had to the accompanying drawing in which like reference characters designated like parts in the several views thereof, in which:
FIG. 1 is a vertical sectional view through an air conditioner, showing the condenser coil and the fan associated therewith, showing an annular ring attached to the fan and showing the annular ring in position to dip into a water pan, showing a valve on the lower portion of the air conditioner, showing a conduit control valve and a solenoid valve therein to regulate an additional supply of water onto the upper surface of the lower pan of an air conditioner;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary elevational view of a portion of the blower fan of the air conditioner, showing an annular ring having inwardly extending, apertured lugs to enable the annular ring to be attached to the fan, and showing the annular ring to be radially fluted so as to disperse water vapor into the air;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary bottom elevational view of a portion of the annular ring having radial flutes therein and showing an inturned lug thereon;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on line 4 4 of FIG. 1, looking into the direction indicated by the arrows;
FIG. 5 is a schematic view of the electrical wiring system for supplying electrical current to fan motor compressor motor, the solenoid valve and the electrical system; and
FIG. 6 shows fragmentary elevational view of a modified form of the invention, showing a portion of a radial fan blade and a radially fluted annular ring, showing an inturned apertured lug thereon and showing a connecting link between the apertured fan blade and apertured lug.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT With more detailed reference to the drawing, the numeral l designates generally an air conditioner unit, such as used in windows for cooling rooms, buildings and the like, which air conditioner unit normally uses an air cooled condenser coil which is cooled by air at normal temperature. The present invention enables such air conditioners to be converted to an air conditioner which enables the condenser coil to be cooled .with a water vapor or mist which greatly lowers the temperature thereby lowering of temperature on the finned condenser coil thus giving a greater heat exchange value, thereby increasing the efficiency of the air conditioner unit, to approach that of an air conditioner unit which utilizes a condenser coil submerged in water, which water is cooled by aeration or the like. The present air conditioner shows a condenser coil 2 which is fitted within an air conditioner housing 4 which has a bottom 6 therein. A pan 8 may be added to seat on the bottom 6 to form an auxiliary sump, or, if the air conditioner is so constructed that it does not permit the addition of such pan, the water may be directed from conduit 10 directly onto the upper surface 6 of the lower portion of the housing 4 of the air conditioner; the condensate from the evaporative coil normally flows onto the upper surface 6 of the lower portion of the housing 4 to be dispersed by the fan 18.
The air conditioner 1 has a motor 12 mounted therein with a squirrel cage type fan 14 on one end of the shaft 16 and having a blower fan 18 on the opposite end of the shaft, which blower fan has radial blades mounted thereon. The blower fan 18 directs air and water vapor to and through the condenser coil 2, which coil 2 normally has fins 3 thereon such as the fins 19 of the evaporator coil 20.
The blower fan 18 has the blades thereof apertured near the outer ends thereof so that the apertures will register with the apertures in the inturned lugs 22, to enable a fastening means 23 to pass therethrough and through the respective blades of the fan 18 to secure the annular, radially fluted ring 24 in co-axial relation with the axis of shaft 16. The annular, radially fluted ring 24 is co-axial with the motor fan shaft 16 and the ring 24 or the blades of fan '18 will dip into water 26 which may be within a sump formed by the pan 8, or into the water on the upper surface of a lower portion 6 of the housing 4, when the fan is rotated at high speed it will cause a water mist or vapor will be formed within the chamber 28 that partially encloses the fan 18, to be directed outwardly as indicated by the arrows in FIG. 1; in so doing the water vapor within the chamber 28 will cover the heat radiation fins 3 and the elements of the condenser coil 2, so as to lower the temperature of the coils due to the evaporation factor which is well known in the art of heat transfer.
A manually operated, water control metering valve 30 is provided within conduit 10 leading from a water supply, which conduit leads to and through a solenoid actuated valve 32, which valve is within an electrical circuit 34 which is connected in parallel within an electric circuit 36, that leads to and through compressor motor 33, so upon closing the thermostat switch T, the solenoid valve 32 will be opened to direct water through the conduit 10 into the pan 8 that forms a sump or onto the upper face 6 of the bottom of the lower portion of the air conditioner 4 so as to supplement the water that is condensed from the evaporator coil 20 to maintain sufficient water therein or thereon so that the radially fluted annular ring 24 or fan 18 will dip thereinto, so when the fan 18 and/or the fan 18 and the ring 24 are rotated at high speed, the water vapor will be directed into the air stream, as indicated by the arrows passing around the condenser coil 2 and through the spaced apart fins 3 so as to cool the coil by evaporation of the water 26 therefrom. A switch 40 is provided to open the entire circuit and to close the same.
Normally, in a dry climate with relatively low humidity and with the temperature at to l 10, an air conditioner having-coils which are cooled by air at such temperature, the head pressure of the air conditioner may rise to 260 280 lbs. which causes considerable consumption of electricity.
With the present system of utilizing water vapor or mist, which is directed onto the condenser coils 2 of an air conditioner as hereinbefore set out, the evaporation of the water from the condenser coils and the condenser coil fins 3 causes the air conditioner to operate more efficiently with a head pressure of about 100 lbs. This makes possible considerable saving in electricity over the conventional air conditioner which utilizes normal temperature air to cool the condenser coils 2.
MODIFIED FORM OF THE EMBODIMENT Due to the varying sizes of blower fans 18 and-the closeness of the outer end of the fan blades to the upper surface 6 of the bottom of the air conditioner housing, when an annular ring is used, it is desirable to have a minimum number of different sizes of the annular rings 24 and by using links 40 to extend between fastening means 42 and 44 on the fan 18 and extend to on ring 24, the annular ring 24 may be correctly positioned to the exact depth in the water 26 on the upper surface of the lower portion of air conditioner housing 4. By having links 40 of varying lengths, a varying number of adjustments may be made as will best be seen in FIG. 6.
What is claimed is:
1. In combination with an air Conditioner having an air cooled condenser coil;
a. a blower fan having radial blades to direct air through the condenser coil,
1. said radial blades of said fan being apertured near the respective outer ends thereof,
b. an annular ring,
1. said ring having radial flutes formed therein,
2. inwardly extending, apertured lugs formed on said annular ring at spaced intervals around the inner diameter thereof so the apertures in said lugs will register with the apertures in said radial blades of said fan,
3. fastening means passing through the apertures to connect said apertured lugs on said ring to the apertured blades of said fan,
c. the lower portion of the housing being adapted to entrap water on the surface thereof,
(1. a conduit leading from a water supply to direct water onto the upper surface of the lower portion of the housing of the air conditioner,
e. a water control metering valve within the said conduit,
f. said radial flutes formed on said ring dip into the water in the lower portion of the air conditioner housing to cause the water to be broken into mist, when the fluted ring is rotated, to direct the mist into the air stream leading through said condenser coil.
2. In combination with an air conditioner having an air cooled condenser coil, as defined in claim 1;
wherein i a. an electric motor in the air conditioner,
b. a compressor connected in driven relation with said electric motor, 1. said compressor connecting with said condenser coil within the system of the air conditioner,
. a solenoid valve within said water conduit, anelectric circuit connecting said electrically actuated solenoid valve in said water conduit and said motor, which drives said compressor, in parallel,
. a thermostat within said electrical circuit with said 3. In combination with an air conditioner having an air cooled coil, as defined in claim 1; wherein a. an apertured link extends between the outer portion of each radial fan blade and the respective apertured lugs on said ring so the apertures in said links will register with the apertures in the respective fan blades and the apertures in the respective inwardly extending lugs,
l. fastening means extending through said apertures to secure said links to said radial fan blades and to said annular ring.