US 3877459 A
A humidifier which opens a solenoid valve when the blower fan of a central heating system is energized, and which valve is closed upon opening the circuit to the blower fan, or is controlled by a humidistat while the blower fan is operating. A particularly salient feature of the device is that the body of the solenoid valve is constructed of non-metallic material, such as plastic, which will not corrode nor cause electrolysis between adjacent connections, which will greatly reduce the accumulation of residual mineral scale. The valve body, which is provided with a quick removable filter, is small in size and has a relatively large filtration capacity, before it has to be replaced. Furthermore, the valve body is molded of plastic in a single unit, which plastic may be Nylon, Velox, or Acetal or plastics having similar characteristics. The valve body is so constructed that a single spray nozzle can be used therewith, and the "drip," if any, conveyed to a suitable place of disposal, or, an adapter unit may be used to employ two or three spray nozzles, with a collector lip to direct residual drip, if any, into a drainage system and to a point of disposal.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 Harvey 1 Apr. 15, 1975 1 ATOMIZING HUMIDIFIER FOR CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEMS  Filed: Dec. 21, 1973  Appl. No.: 427,423
 US. Cl. 126/113; 137/549; 210/232; 251/141; 261/66  Int. Cl. F24f 3/14  Field of Search 126/113; 261/66, 4; 137/549; 251/141; 239/590.3; 210/232, 234, 235
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,139,804 12/1968 Chandler 261/66 2,325,878 8/1943 Ray 251/141 2,877,795 3/1959 Cocklin 251/141 3,334,877 8/1967 Payne 26l/D1G. 15 3,476,128 11/1969 Barker 251/141 3,709,462 1/1973 Piffath et al. 431/344 X 3,770,254 1l/l973 Morrow 26l/D1G. 15 3,817,491 6/1974 Burkhardt et a1 251/141 Primary ExaminerWilliam E. Wayner Assistant ExaminerTapolcai, Jr. W. E. Attorney, Agent, or FirmWayland D. Keith  ABSTRACT A humidifier which opens a solenoid valve when the blower fan of a central heating system is energized, and which valve is closed upon opening the circuit to the blower fan, or is controlled by a humidistat while the blower fan is operating. A particularly salient feature of the device is that the body of the solenoid valve is constructed of non-metallic material, such as plastic, which will not corrode nor cause electrolysis between adjacent connections, which will greatly reduce the accumulation of residual mineral scale. The valve body, which is provided with a quick removable filter, is small in size and has a relatively large filtration capacity, before it has to be replaced. Furthermore, the valve body is molded of plastic in a single unit, which plastic may be Nylon, Velox, or Acetal or plastics having similar characteristics. The valve body is so constructed that a single spray nozzle can be used therewith, and the drip, if any, conveyed to a suitable place of disposal, or, an adapter unit may be used to employ two or three spray nozzles, with a collector lip to direct residual drip, if any, into a drainage system and to a point of disposal.
4 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAPRISIQIS 3 877 459 saw 195 2 PATENTEDAPR 1 51975 877. 459 same I g ATOMIIZING HUMIDIFIER FOR CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEMS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Various atomizing humidifiers for central heating systems have been proposed heretofore, but these, for the most part, did not take into consideration several factors which make for efficient humidification over long periods of time without extensive cleaning or replacement of the valve body parts and the nozzles of some units, in use heretofore, would build up internal 8 residual oxides and residual mineral scale from the water, which would cause the humidifiers to vary greatly in the amount and quality of the atomized water discharged into the air system.
The present solenoid valve body and atomizing nozzle have been designed in an effort to overcome most of these deficiences, as found in other systems in use heretofore.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to humidifiers for central heating systems and more particularly to a humidifier which atomizes water to be incorporated into the warm air on the down stream side of a central heating system, which humidifier operates in conjunction with a humidistat so as to keep the air at the proper humidity for best living conditions.
The present system utilizes a solenoid valve, the body ofwhich is molded plastic, such as sold under the trade names of Nylon, Velox, Acetal or the like. The particular body with which the water is in contact is noncorrosive and does not create electrolysis problems which result in corrosion, as would be the result if dissimilar metals were in contact with the water internally, particularly where the water carries an objectionable mineral or chemical content. The associated parts connected with the present water passage in the valve body are also made of molded or machined plastic, or noncorrosive material and are not subject to oxidation, as would be the case with most metals.
The present valve body is formed of a unitary piece of plastic and is so constructed as to receive a removable, disposable filter therein, which filter can be quickly removed and a new filter quickly inserted. The filter may be of compressed media, such as sintered plastic granules, or it may have a ceramic filter unit, of controlled porosity, to filter or strain the suspended particles entrained within the water.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an exploded view of a central, heating unit employing an atomizing humidifier for central forced air heating systems, with parts broken away and shown in section to bring out the details of construction;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged elevational view of a solenoid valve and a humidifying apparatus shown apart from the heating system and showing a sectional view of a pipe connected thereto;
FIG. 3 is a longitudinal sectional view of the valve as shown in FIG. 2, showing an atomizing nozzle in full outline attached thereto;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken on the line 44 of FIG. 2, looking in the direction indicated by the arrows;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 3, looking in the direction indicated by the arrows;
FIG. 6 is a solenoid valve as shown in FIG. 2 but with parts broken away and showing a multiple humidifier discharge nozzle arrangement connected thereto;
FIG. 7 is a front elevational view of the nozzle arrangement as shown in FIG. 6, showing three nozzles; FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 7 but showing one of the nozzle connections as being closed by a plug;
FIG. 9 is a sectional view taken on the line 99 of FIG. 7, looking in the direction indicated by the arrows, with the nozzles removed;
FIG. 10 is a greatly enlarged longitudinal sectional view of one of the atomizing nozzles with parts broken away and with parts shown in elevation to bring out the details of construction;
FIG. 11 is a sectional view taken on the line l111 of FIG. 10, looking in the direction indicated by the ar- I'OW.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIG. 1 presents an exploded perspective view of a heating unit generally designated by the numeral 1 which embodies the present atomizing humidifier generally designated by the numeral 2, which humidifier directs atomized moisture into the discharge of the heating system so as to properly humidify the air being heated.
The heating unit 1 is enclosed in a conventional housing 4. A motor 6 drives a blower fan (not shown) to move the air through the furnace housing 4 in the direction indicated by the arrows, FIG. 1, and out through ducts 12 and 8 into branch ducts (not shown) as desired. A refrigeration coil unit 10 is shown within the air outlet duct 8, as a matter of conventionality, with the atomizing humidifier unit 2 secured to the housing 12 of the air outlet passage so that atomized moisture will be directed, under pressure, into the air stream from conduit 30 after the furnace motor has been started.
The present solenoid 14 on unit 2 is connected by means of electrical conductors l6 and 18, leading therefrom. The electrical conductor 16 leads to the hot leg of the electrical circuit 20 and the electrical conductor 18 leads to and through a humidistat 22 to conductor 24 that is connected in parallel with circuit 20 24 leading to blower fan motor 6. Upon closing switch 26 the motor 6 will operate the blower fan (not shown) to energize the coil of solenoid 14 so as to open valve 28 to direct water under pressure from conduit 30, with the water passing through filter 32 into central opening 34 through opening in passages 30A and 30B and through valve 28-29 and into passage 36-31. In the form of the invention as shown in FIGS. 1 through 5, the water passes out through an orifice 38 in nozzle 40, and since the orifice is only a few thousandths of an inch in diameter, the water is atomized as it passes therethrough and is admixed with the air passing upwardly from the furnace 1 through ducts l2 and 8.
The filter 32 is of such character as to filter out suspended solids, of about micron size, from the water and to direct the filtered water through passages 36 into atomizing nozzle 40. The atomizing nozzle 40 is constructed of an injection molded plastic of a type that resists scale build up, aging due to the passage of water therethrough, or to other factors that normally cause corrosion and scale on metal. Therefore the orifice 38 is kept free of solid build up, which is common in certain type nozzles, particularly those made of metal.
The nozzle 40 is axially bored to receive a centralizer element 42, which is cuniform in shape, and is so shaped that the water passing through the opening 44 in hollow set screw 46 will be directed into the four quadrants of the bore within the nozzle 40. The opening 47 in the body of the nozzle 40 is screw threaded to receive the hollow set screw 46. Water is directed from the bore of the nozzle through annular passage 48, with the water passing outward from the beveled face 50 of the turbo dispersal cone 50A, which cone preferably has four minute grooves 51 and two angles formed therein near the outer end thereof, so the liquid will be dispensed into the cyclone chamber 51A and will pass out through orifice 38 into the air stream passing upward through ducts 12 and 8. The nozzle 40 has exterior threads 52 to enable the nozzle to be screw threaded into the integrally molded plastic housing 54, which interfits with the solenoid unit 14, as will best be seen in FIGS. 2, 3, and 6. The bevel faces 50 of the dispersal cone 50A, taken with the off-set, angularly arranged grooves 51, will direct water under pressure to cyclone chamber 51A of nozzle 40 so the resultant atomized spray emitted from the minute orifice 38 will be conical.
A sleeve 58 passes through solenoid l4 and has a screw threaded ring 58A secured to the lower end thereof. The screw threaded ring threadably engages a complementary screw threaded portion of plastic housing 54, FIG. 3, in fluid tight relation and extends through the solenoid l4 and has an anvil 62 secured to the upper end of the sleeve 58, as by welding. The screw threaded anvil 62 has an axial recess formed therein to register with the axial recess formed in armature 56 to receive a compression spring 60 within the axial recesses to urge the armature 56 downward, when the solenoid 14 is de-energized, so as to seat elastomer seal 28 on hollow boss 29 to form a fluid tight seal. The upper end of the anvil 62 is screw threaded to receive a nut 63 thereon so as to securely hold the solenoid 14 to the plastic housing 54, as will best be seen in FIG. 3.
Upon closing switch 26 to activate blower fan motor 6, the circuit 16-18 which leads to and through humidistat 22 and to solenoid 14. If contact points within humidistat 22 are closed the water will be directed from conduit 30 and through passages 36 and 31 into and through the atomizing humidifier 2 by opening valve 28-29 within housing 54. If the humidstat contact points are open, no moisture will be discharged into the ducts 12 and 8.
Upon energizing the solenoid 14, the armature 56 will be moved upward to permit water to flow from passage 30B out through passage 36 into passage 31, if the circuit 16-18 is closed.
The valve 28-29 comprises an elastomer seal 28 which seats against a hollow boss 29 within plastic housing 54, with the elastomer seal 28 being seated in a non-corrosive metal armature 56 of solenoid 14. The plastic housing 54 has an angulated flange 54A thereon to enable the atomizing humidifier 2 to be installed at an angle on duct 12 so as to direct atmoized moisture therefrom upwardly into the air ducts l2 and 8, as shown in FIG. 1. The atomizing humidifier 2 has a conduit 33 leading from openings 55 and 55A therein to direct any accumulated droplets or leakage from the atomizing humidifier 2 downward therethrough to a selected place of disposal.
It is highly important that the water passing through the atomizing humidifier 2 be as nearly free of suspended solids as possible, and it is to this end that the removable filter 32 is fitted within water inlet chamber 32E, with a closure cap 30C screw threaded into the plastic housing 54 of water inlet chamber 32E, with an O-ring 30D forming a seal between the closure cap 30C and the water inlet chamber 32E.
A filter ejector plunger 32A is fitted within the housing 54 at the discharge end of the filter 32, which filter ejector plunger 32A has a beveled seat thereon to interfit with a complementary bevel in the housing 54, and an O-ring seal 32B is fitted within a groove within ejector plunger 32A so as to form a water seal between the housing and the plunger. The discharge end of the housing of filter 32 is reduced in size and has a groove formed therein to receive an O-ring 32C. The reduced discharge end of filter housing is in close fitting, complementary relation with a counter bore within the housing 54 The discharge end of the filter housing is beveled as indicated at 32D to complementally engage a bevel in the counter bore of the water discharge outlet from the filter 32 in housing 54. The discharge end of filter 32 is a spaced distance from the filter ejector plunger 32A so as to enable the water passing through the filter to be discharged into passage 30A and out through passage 308.
When the passages in filter 32 become clogged, the filter may be easily removed by the removal of screw threaded filter chamber closure cap 30C and using the filter ejector plunger 32A to push the filter 32 upward until O-ring 32D disengages the counter bore within housing 54, at which time a new filter may be installed and the closure cap 30C replaced to close the water inlet chamber 32E.
MODIFIED FORM OF THE INVENTION FIGS. 6 through 10 disclose a modified form of the invention which has a multiple nozzle adapter 101 which has a conduit 10 a screw threaded end 102 thereon to threadably engage threads 102A in plastic housing 54 so as to connect the multiple nozzle adapter having a plurality of passages therein with the passage 31 in the plastic housing 54 so as to direct water passing out through passage 31 into passages 101A, 1018, and 101C, which passages direct water therethrough into screw threaded openings 104 connecting with the respective passages. The screw threaded openings 104 are adapted to threadably receive threads 52 of nozzles 40, which nozzles may be arranged as indicated in FIG. 7 or FIG. 8, so that either three or two nozzles, rather than one, as described in the aforementioned form of the invention, may be used. When it is desired to use only two nozzles, as indicated in FIG. 8, a screw threaded plug 106 threadably closes one of the passages 104.
A moisture receiving tray 108 is positioned below the openings 104 and the orifices 38, so that any excess moisture that might drip from the nozzles 40 will be directed into the tray 108 and thence into passage 110, which passage is in fluid communication with passage 55 in housing 54, so as to direct moisture therethrough into a disposal sump (not shown). In this manner the atmosphere within the air passages 12 and 8 is maintained free of droplets of water. The passages 101A,
101B and 101C which lead to the respective nozzles 40, as shown in FIG. 7, have to be drilled and cross drilled, and it is preferable that passage 101A be plugged by plug 112 to prevent leakage of moisture therefrom.
It is to be pointed out that, with the present arrangement, the humidity within the air outlet of the heating system may be accurately controlled, as this system operates in conjunction with humidistat 22, switch 26 and motor 6 in the same manner as the aforementioned form of the invention, thereby enabling a greater amount of moisture to be supplied to a larger system without having to install a plurality of atomizing humidifiers, each with a separate solenoid operated valve. By the use of a multiplicity of atomizing nozzles 2 on a single solenoid valve operated unit, and with a single humidistat 22, the electrical wiring and controls are kept to a minimum. The humidistat 22 and solenoid 14 of the atomizing nozzles 40 of humidifier 2 are connected in parallel with the circuit 24 of the blower fan motor 6, so upon opening switch 26 the valve 28-29 will close to prevent atomized moisture being directed into air passages 12 and 8.
What is claimed is:
1. In combination with a central heating system having a furnace with ducts leading therefrom;
a. a water inlet supply conduit leading from a source of water under pressure,
b. a solenoid actuated valve, the body of which is made of plastic, mounted on the outlet duct leading from the furnace, which valve is in fluid communication with the water inlet supply conduit,
I. said solenoid actuated valve having the discharge thereofin position to discharge water into the duct leading from the furnace,
2. at least one plastic nozzle connected in fluid communication with said discharge of said solenoid valve to atmoize water which is discharged into the duct leading from the furnace,
3. a moisture receiving tray mounted on said valve body and positioned near the discharge end of said nozzle,
4. said moisture receiving tray having a passage formed therein, which passage leads therefrom to convey moisture from said tray,
5. a solenoid mounted on said solenoid actuated valve,
6. an armature within said solenoid of said solenoid actuated valve and extending into said valve,
7. a valve seat on said solenoid armature,
8. said plastic body of said solenoid actuated valve having passages formed therein to direct water from said water inlet supply conduit to said valve seat on said armature,
9. a complementary valve seat in said valve body surrounding the water discharge of said body, so when said valve seat is in open position, water will be directed therethrough.
2. A combination with a central heating system as defined in claim 1; wherein a. said at least one plastic nozzle is a plurality of plastic nozzles connected in fluid communication with said water discharge passage in said plastic body of said solenoid actuated valve,
b. said body having a further passage formed therein which further passage is in fluid communication with said passage which leads from said moisture receiving tray, to discharge moisture therethrough.
3. A combination with a central heating system, as
defined in claim 1; wherein a. said plastic body is formed of a unitary piece of material,
1. said plastic body has a recess formed therein,
2. a filter fitted within said recess in said plastic body,
b. a cap fitted on said plastic body to seal said recess,
which recess receives said filter in fluid tight relation,
1. said cap having a water inlet opening formed therein,
c. a filter ejector plunger fitted within said plastic body and being in axial alignment with said filter and normally being a spaced distance from said filter,
1. a fluid seal surrounding said filter ejector plunger to enable said plunger to remain in place before and after the ejection of said filter.
4. A combination with a central heating system as defined in claim 3; wherein a. the recess formed in said plastic body has a reduced end portion,
b. said filter having a reduced end thereon to complementally engage within the reduced end portion of the filter recess,
1. said reduced end portion of said filter having a groove formed therein to receive an O-ring,
2. an O-ring fitted within the groove in said reduced end portion of said filter to form a fluid tight seal with the reduced end portion of the fil-