US 3926342 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Selvia et al.
[ Dec. 16, 1975 4] CARBONATED WATER PRODUCING APPARATUS  Inventors: Ray E. Selvia; Allan D. Barden, both of Terre Haute, Ind.
 Assignee: All State Vending Equipment, Inc., Terre Haute, Ind.
 Filed: Aug. 1, 1974  Appl. No.2 493,495
 U.S. Cl 222/129.1; 222/146 C; 261/140 R; 261/153; 26l/DIG. 7; 62/395  Int. Cl. B67D 5/62  Field of Search 222/146 C, 129.1;
26l/DIG. 7, 153, 140 R, 140 A; 62/395, 393
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,396,460 3/1946 Pietro 261/140 R X 2,433,977 l/l948 Bently 222/129.l X 2,586,499 2/1952 Anderson 26l/DIG. 7
2,749,096 6/1956 Cole 261/140 R X 3,215,312 11/1965 Guzzi.... 222/146 C X 3,259,273 7/1966 Kromer 26l/DIG. 7 3,730,500 5/1973 Richards 222/146 C X Primary ExaminerRobert B. Reeves Assistant ExaminerCharles A. Marmor Attorney, Agent, or FirmWoodard, Weikart, Emhardt & Naughton  ABSTRACT An apparatus for producing carbonated water. A first sealed pressure vessel is mounted within a second sealed pressure vessel having a cooling fluid surrounding the first pressure vessel. A cooling tube extends into the cooling fluid within the second pressure vessel and extends at least partially around the first pressure vessel. A recyclable coolant is circulated within the cooling tube and withdraws heat from the cooling fluid thereby cooling the first and second pressure vessels. A tube connected to a source of tap water extends through the first pressure vessel to an external outlet. A source of carbon dioxide is connected to a conduit opening into the first pressure vessel. The source of tap water is connected to another conduit opening into the first pressure vessel wherein the tap water and carbon dioxide are mixed forming carbonated water which may be withdrawn from the first pressure vessel via a tube connected to an external outlet. The pressure vessels are surrounded by insulation. Liquid drink concentrate is circulated through tubes extending through the insulation and are cooled by the pressure vessels.
5 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures US. Patent Dec. 16, 1975 Sheet 1 of 3 Fig. I
I8 l9 ls US. Patent Dec. 16,1975 Sheet20f3 3,926,342
US. Patent Dec. 16, 1975 Sheet30f3 3,926,342
CARBONATED WATER PRODUCING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention is in the field of cooling devices and more specifically, those devices for producing carbonated water.
2. Description of the Prior Art A main advantage of the apparatus disclosed herein is the ability to produce carbonated water in a relatively easy manner while any syrup to be subsequently externally mixed therewith is located initially apart from the carbonated water. Many ofthe prior art vending machines mix the carbonated water and syrup prior to dispensing into a cup. The carbonator disclosed herein is designed to produce and dispense carbonated water through a nozzle separate from the syrup. The carbonator includes a pressure vessel of tap water into which carbon dioxide is charged. The carbonated water is then routed to a nozzle separate from the syrup nozzle with the syrup and carbonated water then being discharged into a cup. The carbonated water within the carbonator is not contaminated with syrup spillage and other foreign particles since the carbonated water is produced in a sealed pressure vessel. The sealed vessel allows for the carbon dioxide pressure to be varied over a larger range as compared to the prior art devices to meet varied water conditions allowing for the proper delivery of carbonated water having a proper carbonation level.
The sealed pressure vessels are relatively small in size and are constructed to be nested in place within a dispensing cabinet without requiring a multitude of fasteners. As a result, the carbonator'may be quickly installed or removed from the dispensing cabinet and may be interchanged as a module in the field as opposed to existing water baths which are cumbersome and complicated to interchange. No servicing of the carbonator is required on location other than to completely interchange a new carbonator in theevent of a malfunction of the carbonator installed in the dispensing cabinet. The compactness of the carbonator enables the carbonator to be installed in relatively small dispensing cabinets of limited capacity where services such as wash water and sinks are not readily available. The carbonator is completely insulated thereby preventing heat penetration to the inner vessel. Rapid interchange of heat between theincoming water and the residual water in the system and the cooling jacket is also achieved.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION One embodiment of the present invention is a carbonator comprising a first pressure vessel having a first water inlet, carbon dioxide inlet and a carbonated water outlet, first means adjacent the vessel operable to cool the vessel.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved apparatus for producing carbonated water. Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a carbonator which may be nested in place within a dispensing cabinet without requiring a multitudeof fasteners. In addition, it is an object of the present invention to provide a carbonator which will accept carbon dioxide at a predetermined pressure in order to deliver carbonated water having the proper carbonation level. Likewise, it is an object of the present invention to provide a carbonator which will produce carbonated water in a semi-sealed environment to prevent contamination with syrup spillage and other foreign particles. In conjunction with the above objects, it is an object of the present invention to provide a carbonator having a relative small size allowing quick installation within a dispensing cabinet and which allows for rapid interchange of heat between the carbonated water within the carbonator and the cooling medium. Related objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of the carbonator incorporating the present invention connected to a source of tap water, a source of carbon dioxide and an outlet nozzle.
FIG. 2 is a top view of the carbonator of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a side view of the carbonator of FIG. 2 with the insulation removed and with the pressure vessels fragmented to show the interior thereof.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT For the purposed of promoting an understanding of the principles of the invention, reference will now be made to the embodiment illustrated in the drawings and specific language will be used to describe the same. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope of the invention is thereby intended, such alterations and further modifications in the illustrated device, and such further applications of the principles of the invention as illustrated therein being contemplated as would normally occur to one skilled in the art to which the invention relates.
Referring now more particularly to the drawings, there is shown a carbonator 10 connected to a source 11 of tap water, a source 12 of carbon dioxide, a refrigeration system 13 and an outlet nozzle 14. Carbonator 10 is shown in cross section in FIG. 1 and includes a first pressure vessel 15 disposed within a second pressure vessel 16. Vessel 15 is utilized to produce the carbonated water whereas vessel 16 is utilized to cool vessel 15 and the liquids contained therein. Insulation 17 surrounds vessels 16 and 15.
The pressure vessels are shown in FIG. 3 and are fragmented to more clearly illustrate. the interior thereof. In addition, the insulation has been removed from the outer vessel. Outer vessel 16 includes a cylindrical wall 18 welded to a ring-shaped bottom wall 19. A second cylindrical wall 20 of smaller diameter than wall 18 is positioned inwardly of wall 18 and likewise is welded to bottom wall 19 thereby forming vessel 16 disposed between walls 18 and 20. A downwardly facing concave wall 21 is welded to the bottom edge of circular wall 20 closing off the bottom portion of wall 20 and forming the pressure vessel 15. A second plate 22 extends across the top of vessels 15 and 16 and is welded to the top edges of walls 18 and 20 thereby sealing the top portion of the chambers within vessels 15 and 16.
Conduit 94 (FIG. 1) is connected to water pump 95 which in turn is connected to the source of water 11'.
duit 94 is connected to valve 97 which is operable to direct the tap water into conduit 98 or conduit 99. Conduit 98 is connected through valve 101 to conduit 91 in turn connected to nozzle 14. As a result, valve 97 may be operated so as to direct only tap water via conduit 91 into nozzle 14 without any carbonated water being dispensed simultaneously. Alternatively, valve 97 may be operated to direct the tap water back into vessel 15 via conduit 99. Conduit 99 is connected through valve 102 to conduit 105 extending sealingly through the top wall 22 of vessel 15.
A carbon dioxide tank 12 is connected via pipe 100 through regulator 106 to pipe 107 extending sealingly through the top wall 22 of vessel 15 allowing the carbon dioxide to enter vessel 15 which is filled with tap water. The tap water within vessel 15 is maintained at a sufficient pressure along with the carbon dioxide to insure that the carbon dioxide mixes thoroughly with the tap water within vessel 15 producing a high level of carbonization of the water vessel 15. The carbonated water exits vessel 15 via stern 108 which is connected to conduit 103 connected through valve 113 to nozzle 14. Carbonated water may be dispensed into a cup through nozzle 14 and then subsequently mixed within the cup with syrup dispensed by another nozzle.
Vessel 16 is sealed by top wall 22 and is filled with a cooling liquid such as water. Coolant tube 104 enters vessel 16 and extends helically around vessel 15 prior to extending out of vessel 16. A refrigerated, recyclable, coolant is circulated within coolant tube 104 so as to remove heat from the water within vessel 16 thereby cooling vessel 15 and any liquids contained therein. The source 13 of refrigerant includes a pump and compressor for recyling the coolant within tube 104.
A water plug 111 (FIG. 2) is mounted to the top wall 22 of vessel 16 and may be removed for filling the outer vessel 16 with water. Subsequent to filling, plug 111 is sealingly mounted to top wall 22.
Insulation 17 (FIG. 1) surrounds vessels 16 and 15 preventing heat penetration to the pressure vessels. Four conduits 30 through 33 are mounted within the insulation and extend approximately three-quarters around the circumference of vessel 16. Conduits 30 through 33 are located immediately adjacent the outer wall of vessel 16 allowing cooling of conduits 30 through 33 by vessel 16. Syrup is circulated through conduits 30 and 33. Conduits 30 through 33 are connected to sources of syrup 34 through 37 and to separate syrup nozzles (not shown) for the dispensing of syrup into a cup while the carbonated water is dispensed into the cup simultaneously by nozzle 14. Various pumps and other devices are required to force the syrup through the conduit but have been omitted from the drawing for the sake of clarity. While a variety of different insulating materials may be utilized to secure the conduits 30 through 33 to vessel 16, excellent results have been utilized by employing polystyrene foam as the heat insulation.
Carbonator allows for the dispensing of 100 percent carbonated water through nozzle 14 or 100 percent tap water through the nozzle. Likewise, a mixture of carbonated water and tap water may be simultaneously dispensed through the nozzle. A pair of electrically operated on/off valves 101 and 113 (FIG. 2) are mounted respectively to conduits 98 and 103 to control respectively the flow of tap water and carbonated water to nozzle 14. A temperature control 115 is mounted to top wall 22 of vessel 16 whereas a level probe 116 is mounted to top wall 22 of vessel 15. The temperature control 115 (FIG. 2) is connected to source 13 (FIG.
l) of the recyclable refrigerant so as to regulate the temperature within vessel 16. Level probe 116 is connected to appropriate circuitry including pump 95 for controlling the level of water within vessel 15.
The level of liquid or water within the vessel 16 may be at the same level or at a different level than the carbonated water within vessel since vessel 15 is sealed separately and apart from vessel 16. Many variations are contemplated and included in the present invention. For example, FIG. 2 shows the top of the carbonator to have a generally square configuration; however, other configurations such as round, oval, rectangular, etc. are included in the invention. The square configuration provides for a compact unit. In one embodiment, the carbonator has a generally cubeconfiguration providing a compact unit for nesting within a dispensing cabinet. The design and configuration of the carbonator allows for a completely modular unit including the vessel for producing the carbonated water, the chilling 2O jacket surrounding the vessel, a cooling coil within the chilling jacket and syrup carrying conduits mounted adjacent the jacket. An adequate amount of carbonated water may be provided even though the carbonator is relatively small in size in view of the rapid interchange of heat between the incoming tap water and the residual water within the system. The system is a definite improvement over the prior art units since the system is semi-sealed preventing contamination by syrup spillage and other foreign particles normally resulting in a rancid water cooling system. The interchangeable modular design of the carbonator allows for quick interchange in the field as opposed to existing water baths which are cumbersome and complicated to change.
It will be obvious from the above description that the present invention provides a system ideal for small dispensing machines of limited capacity where services such as wash water and sinks are not readily available since the subject system does not require servicing on location. It will be further obvious from the above description that the present invention provides a finished carbonator assembly which may be quickly installed within a dispensing machine. The carbonator may be nested in place within the dispensing machine without requiring extensive fastening devices. As previously mentioned, the present invention provides a carbonator which will allow carbon dioxide pressures to be varied over a relatively large range to meet varied water conditions allowing for final delivery of carbonated water with the proper carbonation level.
While the invention has been illustrated and described in detail in the drawings and foregoing description, the same is to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive in character, it being understood that only the preferred embodiment has been shown and described, and that all changes and modifications that come within the spirit of the invention are desired to be protected.
The invention claimed is:
1. A carbonator comprising:
a sealed first pressure vessel;
a sealed second pressure vessel containing liquid and said first pressure vessel;
a tap water carrying coiled tube extending into and out of said first pressure vessel being connectable to a source of tap water;
a carbonated water outlet tube extending into said first pressure vessel;
a carbon dioxide carrying tube opening into said first pressure vessel;
a tap water inlet tube connected to said coiled tube and opening into said first pressure vessel;
refrigeration means including a coolant tube extending into said second pressure vessel and adjacent said first pressure vessel operable to cool liquid within said second pressure vessel;
conduit means mounted adjacent and to said second pressure vessel operable to carry syrup adjacent said second pressure vessel; and,
insulation surrounding said second pressure vessel and securing said conduit means to said second pressure vessel.
2. The carbonator of claim 1 wherein:
said refrigeration means further includes a source of pressurized, recyclable coolant routed through said coolant tube and operable to remove heat via said coolant tube from said liquid in said second pressure vessel and to further cool said first pressure vessel, said coolant tube extends at least partially around the circumference of said first pressure vessel; and,
said conduit means includes a plurality of tubes at least partially surrounding said second pressure vessel with sources of syrup connected to said plurality of tubes.
3. The carbonator of claim 2 and further comprising:
a nozzle connected to said tap water carrying coiled tube;
valve means mounted to said tap water carrying coiled tube and said tap water inlet tube operable to direct tap water from said tap water carrying coiled tube to said nozzle and operable to direct tap water from said tap water carrying coiled tube to said tap water inlet tube,
additional valve means connected to said carbonated water outlet tube operable to allow passage of carbonated water through said outlet tube;
said coolant tube extends helically around said first pressure vessel.
4. The carbonator of claim 3 and further comprising:
plug means mounted to said second pressure vessel operable to be removed for filling said second vessel with water.
5. The carbonator of claim 4 wherein:
said first pressure vessel has a circular side wall and said second pressure vessel has a circular side wall with said side wall of said first vessel positioned inwardly of said side wall of said second vessel;
said second pressure vessel has a ring-shaped bottom wall sealingly joined to said side wall of said first pressure vessel and said side wall of said pressure vessel;
said first pressure vessel has a bottom wall sealingly joined to said side wall of said first pressure vessel; and,
said first pressure vessel and said second pressure vessel have a single top wall sealingly joined to said side wall of said first pressure vessel and said side wall of said second pressure vessel;
said carbonated water outlet tube extends to immediately over said bottom wall of said first pressure UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE CERTIFICATE 0F CORRECTIQN PATENT N0. 2 ,342 DATED December 16, 1975 |NVENT0R(5) 3 Ray E. Selvia and Allan D. Barden It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
In column 3, line 18, after the word "water" and before the word "vessel" please insert the word -within-.
Signed and Sealed this [SEAL] ninth D y of Mareh1976 A ttes t:
RUTH C. MASON C. MARSHAL Arrestin Offi L DANN ommissiuner ufParents and Trademarks