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Publication numberUS3875996 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 8, 1975
Filing dateJun 13, 1974
Priority dateSep 20, 1973
Publication numberUS 3875996 A, US 3875996A, US-A-3875996, US3875996 A, US3875996A
InventorsHaughwout James A B, Von Kohorn Henry
Original AssigneeHaughwout James A B, Kohorn H Von
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
System for comfortable, year-long use as an athletic playing surface, pedestrian mall, or the like
US 3875996 A
Abstract  available in
Images(7)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent n 1 Von Kohorn et a1.

1 1 SYSTEM FOR COMFORTABLE,

YEAR-LONG USE AS AN ATHLETIC PLAYING SURFACE, PEDESTRIAN MALL, OR THE LIKE [76] Inventors; Henry Von Kohorn, 22 Perkin Rd.,

Greenwich, Conn. 06830; James A. B. Haughwout, 232 Byram Shore Rd., Byram, Conn. 10573 [22] Filed: June 13, 1974 [2]] Appl. No.: 479,090

Related U.S. Application Data [63] Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 399.171, Sept. 20,

1973, Pat. No. 3.818.392.

[52] U.S. Cl. 165/48; 165/45; l26/l7l.1;

34/237; 237/1 R [51] Int. Cl. F25b 29/00; F24j 3/02 [58] Field of Search 34/104, 105, 225, 230,

34/231, 232 233,237,243R;126/2711. 271.1 R. 271.1 C. 343.5 R; 237/1 R; 165/45, 47, 48; 219/213; 138/3225 1 1 Apr. 8, 1975 Primary E.ranzinerl(enneth W. Sprague Assistant E.tam r'ner.lames C. Yeung Almrney, Agent, or FirmHaynes N. Johnson [57] ABSTRACT A system is provided for comfortable year-long use as an athletic playing surface, pedestrian mall or the like. This system may be adapted to remove snow and ice from and to subsequently dry the surface during winter months. This system may also be adapted to cool the surface during summer months, and includes a playing surface mounted above a plenum chamber. A heating unit or furnace is associated with the chamber to introduce hot gases in the chamber under pressure sufficient to cause them to pass up through the porous surface. These hot gases then serve to melt the snow and dry the surface. The openings in the porous surface should be large enough to permit up-flow of the gases and drainage of the melted snow, but small enough so as to not adversely affect play on the surface.

The surface of this system may also be divided into a number of sections and provided with an arrangement for selectively heating or cooling individual sections or zones of the surface.

15 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures SIZE S G? PATENTEUAPR 19 ll IIllllllllllll' aar- SYSTEM FOR COMFORTABLE, YEAR-LONG USE AS AN ATHLETIC PLAYING SURFACE, PEDESTRIAN MALL, OR THE LIKE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION l. Field of the Invention This application is a commutation-impart of the copending application Ser. No. 399,l7l filed Sept. 20, l973, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,818,892.

This invention relates to a system for comfortable, year-long use as an athletic playing surface. pedestrian mall and the like. It may be adapted as a self snow and ice removing and drying surface for winter use and as a self cooling surface for summer use. This cooling feature may also have utility in surfaces used as floors in computer rooms, indoor malls and the like.

Outdoor athletic playing surfaces are used by countless numbers of people who seek to engage in vigorous physical activity in the open air. They are used extensively in municipal parks, on school playgrounds. and

at athletic clubs. The increased public interest in physical fitness in general, and in such sports as tennis in particualr, has greatly increased use of outdoor athletic facilities. Such outdoor athletic playing surfaces thus are of central importance in the recreational scheme of present public life. Other outdoor surfaces such as pcdestrian malls are also heavily used.

However, outdoor athletic playing surfaces. pedestrian malls and the like are frequently unusable for a portion of the year because they are often covered by snow. Additionally. they usually take a relatively long period of time to dry after a heavy rain. Moreover, during hot summer months, these surfaces. which are often dark colored, absorb tremendous amounts of heat and are consequently uncomfortable for walking or playing. The ever increasing demand to extend the usuable time of such surfaces makes it desirable to provide a means whereby the surfaces can be quickly freed of snow and subsequently dried of melted snow or rain in winter, and whereby the surfaces may be cooled in summer. Additionally, it is desirable to cool many industrial or commercial surfaces.

2. Description of the Prior Art A variety of systems have been previously used for heating and drying athletic playing surfaces and other outdoor surfaces having other uses. Such systems are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 795,772 .Ianney; l,868,745 Greimann; 2,505,622 McKee; 2,634,659 Jordanoff; 2,9l8,052 Budenholzer et al.; 3,069,522 Jamison; 3,568,924 Chenault; 3,573,427 Minsk; and 3,683,152 Laing. Typical systems designed for this purpose employ a network of air ducts or the like embedded in the surface base composition below the playing surface. Heat is transferred from hot air or other hot gases pumped through the ducts to the surface in order to melt fallen snow.

Other systems pass electric current through the surface composition to warm it and thereby melt fallen snow.

Still other systems attempt to prevent accumulation of snow by, for example, blowing it away before it can collect or by impregnating the surface with a chemical compound to prevent freezing.

Prior art systems of the type generally discussed above are not entirely satisfactory. Those which utilize extensive air duct systems embedded in the playing surface base may be extremely expensive. Additionally,

those systems which employ heat exchange units of some kind and thereby conduct heat through the surface base to the playing surface may be inadequate to transfer sufficient heat to the surface in order to quickly melt fallen snow.

Draining and subsequently drying the playing surface may prove difficult with certain systems presently known. Typically, an outdoor athletic field is constructed so that its surface is not level but rather is canted slightly to one side or is crowned being higher at its center than at its periphery. Thus, when snow is melted on such a surface, the snow must drain to the surface periphery. This drainage process can thus be very time consuming and inefficient.

Prior art systems for cooling surfaces generally have similar drawbacks.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In the preferred embodiment of the present invention to be described below in detail, the system for comfort able, year-long use as an athletic playing surface. pedestrian mall or the like includes an air impervious foundation which forms the bottom and side wall boundaries of a plenum chamber. A supporting structure is mounted within or on the foundation and comprises an open frame work of supporting beams. Hot or cool gases may flow up through the structure and water may flow down through the structure. A subsurface platform including a series of elongated members such as boards or planks mounted side-by-side on the supporting structure carries a water permeable web which defines the playing surface. The boards which form the platform are mounted or constructed in such a manner that hot gases can flow up and water can flow down through the platform. For example. the boards may be mounted in spaced relation so that hot or cool gases and water can flow between them. Alternatively. a plurality of holes may be disposed in the boards so that hot or cool gases and water can flow through the platform.

The foundation is covered by the subsurface platform and a resilient web to completely enclose the plenum chamber under the surface. In the preferred embodiment, a burner or furnace is associated with the plenum chamber to generate hot gases when desired, namely, the products of combustion, under pressure greater than atmospheric pressure in the chamber. These products of combustion are forced up through the supporting structure, the platform, and the resilient web to melt accumulated snow. As this snow melts it may drain directly through the web, the platform, and the supporting structure into the plenum chamber to finally be disposed of through a suitable drain means. After the snow has melted, the continued up-flow of hot gases dries the playing surface.

This system for automatically removing snow and ice from and for drying a surface efficiently and effectively melts snow which may accumulate by directly heating the surface without employing complex heat exchange units embedded in the subsurface base. Further, melted snow and rain are drained directly through the surface rather than flowing to drainage areas at the surface periphery. Finally. the surface is quickly dried immediately after snow is melted and has been drained. All three operations are accomplished with the same system. This heating function can be performed during the winter months when snow and ice inhibit surface use or after rain to dry the surface.

This preferred embodiment further includes an air conditioning or cooling unit. also associated with the plenum chamber. which may be integrated with the furnace or burner. This air conditioning unit is adapted to generate cool gases when desired under pressure greater than atmospheric pressure in the chamber. These cool gases are forced up through the supporting structure. the platform. and the resilient web to cool the surface to a comfortable temperature. This cooling function can be performed during the summer months when the surface would otherwise be uncomfortably hot to use.

The surface of this preferred embodiment of the present invention is divided into a number of sections. each provided with a baffle arrangement for selectively controlling the quantity of hot or cool gases reaching that section surface. This sectional baffle arrangement permits zonal control of the relative heating or cooling of various areas of the entire surface.

These and other advantages and aspects of this system for comfortable, year-long use as an athletic playing surface, pedestrian mall or the like will be described in greater detail below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view of the system for comfortable. year-long use as an athletic playing surface, pedestrian mall or the like shown used as a tennis court;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of this system taken through plane 22 in FIG. I showing diagrammatically the heating, draining, and drying mechanism or alternatively the cooling mechanism;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional view ofa portion of the subsurface platform, the water permeable web. and a melting layer of snow also showing diagrammatically the heating. draining. and drying mechanism or alternatively the cooling mechanism;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged cross-sectional view ofa portion of another subsurface platform construction, the resil' ient, water permeable web. and a melting layer of snow again showing diagrammatically the heating. draining, and drying mechanism or alternatively the cooling mechanism;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of this system partially broken away to show the supporting structure. the furnace-air conditioning unit, and the means for distributing the hot or cool gases;

FIG. 6 is a side view of this system, taken through discontinuous plane 6-6 in FIG. 5, illustrated in cross section also showing the furnace-air conditioning unit. the supporting structure, and the gas distribution sys tem;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged perspective view ofthe platform and the web illustrating one platform configuration which facilitates water drainage and surface drying;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view, similar to that shown in FIG. 2, of an alternative embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a partial top plan view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 8',

FIG. 10 is a partial. enlarged cross-sectional view similar to that shown in FIG. 2, illustrating one form of a section baffle arrangement;

FIG. II is a partial, enlarged, cross-sectional view, similar to that shown in FIG. 6, illustrating this baffle arrangement;

FIG. '12 is a partial top plan view broken away to show this bafile arrangement;

FIG. 13 is a partial, enlarged cross-sectional view similar to that shown in FIG. 10, illustrating an alternative baffle arrangement; and

FIG. 14 is a partial. enlarged cross-sectional view similar to that shown in FIG. 11 also illustrating this al ternative baffle arrangement.

Corresponding reference numerals indicate corresponding structural elements and corresponding characteristic features in each of the respective drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIG. 1 of the drawings is presented to illustrate the system of the present invention for comfortable, yearlong use as a pedestrian mall, athletic playing surface or the like as it might be used for a tennis court. This surface system may be adapted with equal advantage for use as a basketball court, a handball court, or as a court or field for any other popular outdoor sport in which participants want to engage. It may also be adapted for use as any other floor surface where its functions may be utilized with advantage.

FIG. 2 generally illustrates the mechanism by which the outdoor playing surface system of the present invention is heated to melt fallen snow, drained, and finally dried of excess moisture. The cooling mechanism is also illustrated.

FIGS. 3 and 4 are enlarged illustrations of two different embodiments of the present invention which show in detail the mechanism for heating, draining and drying, or alternatively cooling the outdoor playing surface.

Referring now to FIG. I, two tennis players. 10 and 12 are shown using outdoor tennis court 14 outlined on an athletic playing surface 16 constructed in accordance with the present invention. This playing surface 16 is built coincident with ground level and may be surrounded by a fence (not shown) or other boundary to confine balls. However, the surface may be built above ground level or below ground level. as will be explained in detail below.

The athletic playing surface includes a water permeable platform 18, constructed above an air impervious foundation 20 which is recessed into the ground in the same way as is a standard foundation for a house or other structure. This foundation 20 defines a plenum chamber described in greater detail below. Furthermore, the foundation may be constructed of concrete, cinder blocks. or other sufficiently rigid materials. In areas where hard clay or other suitable soil exists, the rigid foundation may be omitted and a soil foundation substituted.

Adjacent the foundation 20 is a vault 22 which houses means for generating hot gases and means for generating cool gases. This generating means is shown in detail in FIG. 5 as a furnace 24 having a burner 26 and a combustion chamber 28. This furnace is adapted to generate products of combustion and force them directly into the plenum chamber. Means for generating hot gases such as hot air, other than a furnace, may be employed. For example, electrical or radiant heaters may be used. The generating means also includes an air conditioning unit 31 having conventional components such as a compressor. evaporator, and condenser. A control panel 29 may be positioned near the court so players may operate the furnace and the air conditioning unit.

A supporting structure 30 is mounted within the plenum chamber defined by the foundation for carrying the water permeable platform 18 at ground level. This supporting structure is constructed so that hot or cool gases may pass up through it at substantially all points underlying the platform 18. The supporting structure 30 may be of any suitable design which permits this upflow of hot or cool gases. but is illustrated here as an open network of beams. This network includes a first series of beams 32, each of which extends the length of the foundation 20 and a second series of beams 34, each of which is mounted at a right angle to the first series and extends the width ofthe foundation 20. The first beam series is shown mounted on the foundation floor 36 but may be mounted on driven piles or other appropriate supports in installations where a rigid foundation floor is not provided. Hot or cool gases can flow through the spaces between each beam 34 in the second series, over the tops of each beam 32 in the first series.

The water permeable platform 18 comprises a subsurface supporting platform 38 constructed from a series of elongated members shown in the form of planks 40. These planks 40, mounted side-by-side at right angles to and carried on the second series of beams 34 in the supporting structure 30, may be laterally spaced from one another. shown in FIG. 3, to permit hot or cool gases to flow up between them and water to drain down between them. The upflow of gas is indicated by arrows A, and the down-drain of water is indicated by arrows B. The spaced feature of the plank mounting permits the subsurface platform to be drained. The spaces between adjacent planks should be sufficiently large to permit free upflow and down-drain of hot or cool gases and water respectively, but yet should be sufficiently small to prevent inefficient heat loss through the inefficient escape of hot gases and to provide substantially uniform, continuous support for the surface.

The supporting structure of beams 32 and 34, and the planks 40 may be made from any suitable outdoor construction material such as aluminum, plastic, or creosote treated wood.

An alternative arrangement for making the subsurface platform 38 suitable for permitting upflow and down-drain of hot or cool gases and water is illustrated in FIG. 4. In this arrangement the planks 40 are mounted in abutting side-by-side relation but are provided with multiple holes 42 which provide the desired feature. Again upflow of gases is indicated by arrows A and down-drain of water by arrows B.

These holes 42 should also be sufficiently large to provide for free upflow and down-drain of hot or cool gases and water but yet should be sufficiently small to prevent inefficient heat loss through inefficient escape of hot gases and to provide substantially uniform. continuous support for the athletic playing surface.

The water permeable platform 18 further comprises a water permeable. resilient web 44 which overlays the planks 40 which form the subsurface platform 38 to form the final surface upon which the tennis court outline 14 is disposed. This web 44 may be made of any suitable commercial material which permits the upflow of hot or cool gases and the down-drain of water therethrough. The web 44 should not be moisture absorbent,

that is, the material from which it is made should be hydrophobic. Also, if the surface is to be used for athletic play, this web 44 may desirably be made of a resilient material to provide a playing surface which is comfortable for participants using it. For example, the web may comprise non-woven. needlepunched or other random polymeric fiber web. a plastic or plastic foam sheet and should be sufficiently resilient to permit participants to use the court without developing shin-splints, an affliction usually associated with athletic play on hard surfaces.

As shown in FIG. 2, the resilient, water permeable hydrophobic web 44 and subsurface platform 38 enclose the open cavity defined by the foundation 20 to form a plenum chamber 46. The furnace 24 and air conditioning unit 31 are disposed in the vault 22 associ ated with this plenum chamber 46 to generate hot and cool gases, namely, the products of combustion, under pressure greater than atmospheric pressure in the plenum chamber 46. As shown in FIG. 5, a blower 48 is provided to force these hot or cool gases under pressure into the plenum chamber 46. A distribution system may with advantage be provided to uniformly distribute hot or cool gases to all points in the chamber 46. Such a system, shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, includes a duct net work comprising a longitudinal main duct 50 and laterally directed nozzles 52 positioned between each pair of laterally disposed beams 34. These nozzles 52 direct hot or cool gases between the beams 34 over the tops of the longitudinally directed beams 32 shown in FIGS. I and 5 by arrows A.

Any other system appropriate for distributing hot or cool gases to all points in the plenum chamber may alternatively be used. For example, the products of combustion produced by the furnace may be confined and circulated in a sealed duct network mounted within the plenum chamber as shown in FIG. 8. These closed ducts are fed by the blower 48 from an intake manifold 72 connected to the furnace 24. The ducts 70 exhaust into an outlet manifold 74 which then returns the new cooled gases to the furnace for reheating. The closed ducts, heated by these products of combustion, then radiantly or conductively heat the air confined within the plenum chamber. As the temperature and pressure of this confined air rises, it is forced up through the porous playing surface to serve the snow removing and surface drying function. The air confined in the chamber can thus be heated and forced up through the playing surface.

In similar fashion. this closed duct network may be used to circulate cool gases produced by the air conditioning unit to cool the air confined in the plenum chamber.

Referring now to FIGS. 2 through 6, the mechanism for self snow removing and drying or for cooling the surface of the preferred embodiment of the present invention is illustrated. The mechanism for self snow removing and drying operates as follows: Products of combustion hot gases are generated by the furnace 24 under pressure greater than atmospheric pressure. These hot gases are pumped under pressure by the blower 48 through the main distribution duct 50 and out each of the laterally directed nozzles 52. The hot gases are laterally forced through the plenum chamber 46 under the subsurface platform 38. The pressurized hot gases are then forced up through the water permeable subsurface platform 38 and the resilient, water permeable. hydrophobic web 44 where they warm accumulated snow and ice indicated at 54 in FIGS. 3 and 4. These hot gases should. of course, be at temperatures higher than the melting point of water, that is sufficiently high to quickly melt accumulated snow and ice. Circulation and upflow of hot gases are indicated by arrows A.

As the temperature of the snow 54 begins to rise above the melting point of water, the snow 54 begins to melt. As it becomes liquid water. it immediately begins to drain down through the web 44 and subsurface platform 38, as indicated by arrows B. into the plenum chamber 46. The foundation floor 36 may advantageously have an inverted conical shape which thereby collects the water and funnels it into the ground through a drain 56 and through similar liquid seals at the periphery of the foundation 20. The drain should be fitted with means such as a conventional trap 59, to prevent the escape of air therethrough while permitting water drainage.

The upflow of hot gases through the resilient. water permeable platform 38 and web 44 continues after all snow is melted from the surface in order to dry the surface of excess moisture. The system may be used equally well to dry the court after rain even though no snow was present to be melted.

The mechanism for cooling the surface during sum mer months operates. in like manner, as follows: Cool gases are generated by the air conditioning unit 31 under pressure greater than atmospheric pressure. These cool gases are pumped under pressure by the blower 48 through the main distribution duct 50 and out each laterally directed nozzle through the plenum chamber. Then. these cool gases are forced up through the subsurface platform 38 and the web 44 in order to cool the surface to a comfortable temperature.

It is also often desirable to be able to selectively control the amount of hot or cool gases which are forced up through the subsurface platform and web. For ex' ample. if snow has drifted in large amounts onto one area of the surface while leaving the remaining areas relatively free. it is desirable to direct more heat to the thickly snow covered area. Or it may be desirable to cool specific areas of the surface. For example, players may wish to concentrate the upflow of cool gases to those areas about the baseline of the tennis court illustrated in FIG. 1. Accordingly. provision is made in one preferred embodiment of the present invention for such area control.

As shown in FIGS. 11, and 12, one such arrangement for providing selective area control of the quantity of gases which flow up through the platform and web divides the surface into a number of individual sections. As seen in FIG. 12, each section spans one half the width of the surface and is bounded laterally by the beams 34. Each section is provided with a baffle configuration which includes a series of baffles 100 which are mounted for horizontal sliding reciprocal movement on a pair of rails 102 which are fixed to the sides of the beams 34. Each baffle is mounted to close the space between two adjacent planks 40,115 shown in FIG. 10. An electric motor 104 is suitably mounted on one of the beams 32 and has a shaft 106 which projects from both ends of the motor. Identical sprockets 108 are carried at both shaft ends to engage an endless bicycle-type chain I10. The baffles 100 are each fixed to the chain 110 at regular intervals as shown in FIG. 10. The chains are reaved about the end sprockets 112 which are carried on shafts 114 as shown in FIG. 12. Thus when a motor is operated. it simultaneously drives the chains engaged by the sprockets 108 carried on the motor shaft 106. This in turn slides the baffles into or out of alignment with the spaces between the planks 40 to open or close them as shown by arrows C. By varying the openings between the planks 40, the quantity of hot or cool gases flowing up through the platform may be varied. Since the surface is divided in individual sections each provided with an independent baffle configuration, the cooling or heating effect in any given area or zone may be selectively controlled.

An alternative baffle configuration is illustrated in FIGS. 13 and 14. This configuration includes baffles 116 which are aligned with the spaces between the planks 40 and are carried on a support strip I18 which is mounted for vertical reciprocal movement on a series ofjacks 120. These jacks may be pneumatic. hydraulic, mechanical or any other suitable type of jack. Each jack I20 is mounted on a pedestal I22 positioned on the top of a beam 32 and braced by corner supports 124. The baffles 116 are opened and closed by being raised or lowered by means of the jacks 120 as shown by arrows D.

This second baffle configuration may also advantageously be used in individual sections of the surface to provide zonal or area control of the quality of hot or cool gases which pass up through the platform.

The furnace air conditioning unit may be provided with an automatic control device 57 associated with the control panel 29 which monitors the surface, to turn the furnace on when a predetermined amount of snow or rain has fallen on that surface, and to turn the furnace off when the snow has been melted and the surface is dry. The automatic control may also operate to turn the air conditioning unit on when the surface temperature rises above a first predetermined temperature and to turn the unit off when the surface temperature falls below a second. lower predetermined temperature.

As illustrated in FIG. 7, the upwardly-facing support surface 58 of the planks 40 forming the subsurface platform 38 may be provided with a series of lateral grooves 60. These grooves reduce the area of contact between the planks 40 and the resilient web 44 and thus facilitate the distribution of hot gases directly to the web. Additionally. the grooves function to collect down-draining water and thereby facilitate the drainage process. The reduced web-platform contact area also speeds surface drying.

Various modifications may be made in the illustrated design while still employing the basic functional features of the illustrated embodiments of the present invention. For example. the furnace and air conditioning unit are shown mounted in a separate vault at the side of the court. This permits the foundation and consequently the plenum chamber to be of shallow construction as shown in FIGS. 2 and 6. Such shallow construction reduces the required excavation and hence reduces the cost. Additionally. this design provides easy access to the furnace and air conditioning unit without disturbing the surface. However, the foundation may be made deeper and the furnace and air conditioning unit may be mounted directly in the plenum chamber thus formed.

The illustrated embodiment has its foundation recessed into the ground. In such a case, soil fill may advantageously be built up around the foundations outer walls to provide added insulation to contain heat radiated by the hot gases. Or this system may be constructed at any location where it is desirable.

The system of the present invention for comfortable, year-long use as an athletic playing surface, pedestrian mall or the like provides several beneficial features. First it heats or cools the surface constructed directly with hot or cool gases which are introduced into a subsurface plenum chamber and then forced up through the playing surface. Therefore. a minimum of heat is lost to the surroundings when the system performs the heating function. A minimum of heat is absorbed from the surroundings when the system performs the cooling function. Heat need not be conducted or absorbed through the mass of a subsurface base to the playing surface. Second, the water permeable nature of the subsurface platform and web eliminates the need to cant the athletic court from a level attitude. Since the water drains straight downward, drainage is hastened.

Additionally, the construction is relatively simple. Thus costs are reduced.

Although a specific embodiment of the present invention has been disclosed in detail herein. it is to be understood that this is only for purposes of illustration.

We claim:

I. A system for cooling a floor for use as an athletic playing surface, pedestrian mall, or any other floor which may desirably be cooled. comprising:

a foundation which defines a plenum chamber,

a supporting structure associated with said foundation. said supporting structure being sufficiently porous to permit cool gases to flow up therethrough,

platform means. mounted on and supported by said supporting structure. sufficiently porous to permit cool gases to flow up therethrough, said platform means having an upwardly-facing surface which defines said floor, said platform means further enclosing said plenum chamber. and

means associated with said plenum chamber for generating cool gases under pressure greater than atmospheric pressure whereby cool gases are introduced into said plenum chamber and forced, under pressure greater than atmospheric pressure. up through said supporting structure and said platform means to cool the floor.

2. The system for cooling a floor for use as an athletic playing surface. pedestrian mall. or any other floor which may desirably be cooled as claimed in claim 1 wherein said floor is divided into a plurality of sections and wherein said system further comprises:

means for selectively, variably controlling the quantity of cool gases which pass up through each of said floor sections for providing zonal cooling control to thus cool only selected areas of said floor surface.

3. The system for cooling a floor for use as an athletic playing surface, pedestrian mall. or any other floor which may desirably be cooled as claimed in'claim 2 wherein said platform means comprises:

a subsurface platform including a series of elongated members mounted side-by-side in spaced relation on said supporting structure, the spaces between said elongated members being sufficiently large to permit cool gases to flow up therethrough and sufficiently small to provide substantially uniform continuous support for said floor surface, and

wherein said means for selectively variably control- 5 ling the quantity of cool gases which pass up through each floor section comprises:

a plurality of spaced baffles slidably reciprocally mounted to variably close the spaces between said elongated members; and

means for slidably reciprocally positioning said baffles.

4. The system for cooling a floor for use as an athletic playing surface, pedestrian mall, or any other floor which may desirably be cooled as claimed in claim 2 5 wherein said platform means comprises:

a subsurface platform including a series of elongated members mounted side-by-side in spaced relation on said supporting structure. the spaces between said elongated members being sufficiently large to permit cool gases to flow up therethrough and sufficiently small to provide substantially uniform continuous support for said floor surface. and wherein said means for selectively variably controlling the quantity of cool gases which pass up through each floor section comprises a plurality of spaced baffles vertically reciprocally mounted to variably close the spaces between said elongated members; and

means for vertically reciprocally positioning said baf fles.

5. The system for cooling a floor for use as an athletic playing surface, pedestrian mall, or any other floor which may desirably be cooled as claimed in claim 1 wherein said platform means comprises:

a subsurface platform including a series of elongated members mounted side-by-side in spaced relation on said supporting structure. the spaces between said elongated members being sufficiently large to permit cool gases to flow up therethrough and sufficiently small to provide substantially uniform continuous support for said floor surface. and

a hydrophobic web. carried on top of said subsurface platform, and being sufficiently porous to permit the flow of cool gases up therethrough and forming a continuous. resilient floor surface.

6. The system for cooling :1 floor for use as an athletic playing surface. pedestrian mall. or any other floor which may desirably be cooled as claimed in claim 1 50 wherein said platform means comprises:

a subsurface platform including a series of elongated members mounted side-by-side on said supporting structure, each of said elongated members having a plurality of holes disposed therein to provide fluid communication between said plenum chamber and said playing surface. said holes being of sufficient number and size to permit cool gases to flow up therethrough and providing substantially uniform,

6O continuous support for said floor surface. and

a hydrophobic web, carried on top of said subsurface platform and being sufficiently porous to permit the flow of cool gases up therethrough and forming a continuous resilient floor surface.

7. The system for cooling a floor for use as an athletic playing surface. pedestrian mall, or any other floor which may desirably be cooled as claimed in claim 1 further comprising:

means for distributing the cool gases generated by said generating means uniformly throughout said plenum chamber to uniformly force the cool gases up through said supporting structure and said platform means.

8. The system for cooling a floor for use as an athletic playing surface, pedestrian mall, or any other floor which may desirably be cooled as claimed in claim 1 further comprising:

automatic control means for monitoring the temperature of said floor surface, for starting said cool gas generating means when this temperature rises above a first predetermined temperature, and for stopping said cool gas generating means when the temperature of said floor surface falls below a second predetermined temperature, lower than said first predetermined temperature.

9. A system for cooling a floor for use as an athletic playing surface, pedestrian mall, computer room floor or any other floor which may desirably be cooled, comprising:

a horizontal platform defining a floor surface comprising a porous surface having openings therein large enough to permit cool gases to flow upwardly therethrough but small enough not to prevent use of said surface for use as a floor;

means for supporting said platform;

an enclosed, cool gas retaining chamber positioned below said platform and substantially coextensive therewith said platform defining the upper surface of said chamber; and

a source of cool gases associated with said chamber and capable of supplying cool gases at greater than atmospheric pressure whereby cool gases are generated in said chamber and are forced up through said platform to cool said floor surface.

10. The system for cooling a floor for use as an athletic playing surface, pedestrian mall, computer room floor or any other floor which may desirably be cooled as claimed in claim 9 wherein said system further ineludes:

an open duct network, mounted in said chamber, for distributing cool gases originating from said cool gas source throughout said chamber.

11. The system for cooling a floor for use as an athletic playing surface, pedestrian mall, or any other floor which may desirably be cooled as claimed in claim 9 wherein said system further includes:

a closed duct network, mounted in said chamber, in

which cool gases are confined and circulated to radiantly cool the air confined within said chamber, said cool air being forced up through said platform.

12. A system for removing snow and ice from and for subsequently drying an outdoor surface in winter and for cooling said surface in summer, said system being suitable for year'long use as an athletic or work surface, and comprising:

a foundation which defines a plenum chamber;

a supporting structure associated with said foundation, said supporting structure being sufficiently porous to permit hot gases to flow up therethrough and water to flow down therethrough;

a water permeable platform means mounted on and supported by said supporting structure, said plat form means being sufficiently porous to permit hot gases to flow up therethrough and to permit water to flow down therethrough, said platform means having an upwardly-facing surface which defines said surface, said platform means further enclosing said plenum chamber;

means associated with said plenum chamber for generating hot gases under pressure greater than atmospheric pressure whereby hot gases may be introduced into said plenum chamber and forced, under pressure greater than atmospheric pressure, up through said supporting structure and said platform means to melt snow and ice on said surface, whereby said melted snow or ice is then drained down through said platform means and said supporting structure into said plenum chamber, and whereby said playing surface is then dried by addi tional hot gases forced upward through said platform means; and

means also associated with said plenum chamber for generating cool gases under pressure greater than atmospheric pressure whereby cool gases may be introduced into said plenum chamber and forced, under pressure greater than atmospheric pressure, up through said platform means to cool said surface.

13. The system for removing snow and ice from and for subsequently drying an outdoor surface in winter and for cooling said surface in summer, said system being suitable for year-long use as an athletic or work surface as claimed in claim 12 wherein said floor is divided into a plurality of sections and wherein said system further comprises:

means for selectively, variably controlling the quantity of hot or cool gases which pass up through each of said floor sections for providing zonal heating or cooling control to thus heat or cool only selected areas of said floor surface.

M. The system for removing snow and ice from and for subsequently drying an outdoor surface in winter and for cooling said surface in summer, said system being suitable for year-long use as an athletic or work surface as claimed in claim 13 wherein said platform means comprises:

a subsurface platform including a series of elongated members mounted side-by-side in spaced relation on said supporting structure, the spaces between said elongated members being sufficiently large to permit hot or cool gases to flow up therethrough and sufficiently small to provide substantially uniform continuous support for said floor surface, and wherein said means for selectively variably controlling the quantity of hot or cool gases which pass up through each floor section comprises a plurality of spaced baffles slidably reciprocally mounted to variably close the spaces between said elongated members; and

means for slidably reciprocally positioning said baffles.

15. The system for removing snow and ice from and for subsequently drying an outdoor surface in winter and for cooling said surface in summer, said system being suitable for year-long use as an athletic or work surface as claimed in claim 13 wherein said platform means comprises:

a subsurface platform including a series of elongated members mounted side-by-side in spaced relation on said supporting structure, the spaces between said elongated members being sufficiently large to permit hot and cool gases to flow up therethrough and sufficiently small to provide substantially uniform continuous support for said floor surface, and wherein said means for selectively variably controlling the quantity of hot or cool gases which pass up through each floor section comprises plurality of spaced baffles vertically reciprocally

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4059146 *Nov 26, 1975Nov 22, 1977Idc Chemie AgHeating system with a thermal pump
US4146221 *Apr 28, 1977Mar 27, 1979Newquist Barbara LPlatform paddle tennis court deck and associated equipment
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US7077191 *Jan 9, 2004Jul 18, 2006Sciconsult, Inc.Means for maintaining the surface temperature of a playground structure within an ergonomically acceptable range
US20140038752 *Jul 31, 2012Feb 6, 2014Jean A. Kempner, JR.Concrete sport court with embedded heating
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Classifications
U.S. Classification165/48.1, 237/1.00R, 126/271.1, 34/237, 165/45
International ClassificationF24F3/044, E01C13/02, E01C13/00, E01C11/26, E01C11/24
Cooperative ClassificationE01C11/26, E01C13/02, F24F3/044
European ClassificationE01C13/02, E01C11/26, F24F3/044