|Publication number||USRE40818 E1|
|Application number||US 11/117,773|
|Publication date||Jul 7, 2009|
|Filing date||Apr 28, 2005|
|Priority date||Aug 30, 2000|
|Also published as||US6386123, US6553923, US20020178980|
|Publication number||11117773, 117773, US RE40818 E1, US RE40818E1, US-E1-RE40818, USRE40818 E1, USRE40818E1|
|Inventors||William Stuart Gatley, Jr.|
|Original Assignee||Gatley Jr William Stuart|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (32), Referenced by (5), Classifications (12), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a continuation of patent application Ser. No. 09/651,650, filed Aug. 30, 2000, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,386,123 and presently pending.
(1) Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to blowers used on high efficiency (e.g. 90% or higher efficiency) furnaces for drawing air from outside the home into the furnace to support combustion and for expelling the combustion exhaust products outside the home. More particularly, the invention relates to a construction of a blower housing that maximizes the interior space available for the blower impeller.
(2) Description of the Related Art
Combustion blowers for high efficiency furnaces are common in the art. These blowers are used to draw air for combustion from outside the home. Generally, these blowers are located downstream of a combustion chamber or combustion tubes in the furnace, depending upon the style of furnace, into which the combustion air is drawn, mixed with fuel, and ignited to generate heat for the furnace. The exhaust gases are drawn into the suction side of the blower and discharged from the blower through an exhaust pipe that vents to outside atmosphere.
Although the mounting arrangement and available space inside the blower is similar between one furnace model and the next, each model of furnace typically is designed to use a specific type and size blower. Among other general specifications set by the furnace manufacturer, the blower must meet requirements for dimensional size, mounting arrangements, and air moving capacity. In particular, the size of the blower housing must fit within a given space which then in turn determines the location of mounting holes in the furnace bonnet. Thus, these dimensional size requirements limit the air moving capacity of a blower because the impeller size must be chosen to fit and operate efficiently within the given size housing.
In order to increase the air moving capacity of the blower given the fixed size for the blower housing and the impeller, the designer may choose to increase the speed of the impeller. This in turn requires that the blower be operated with a higher speed motor. This option has significant drawbacks, including increased cost to buy, to operate, and increased noise. The speed of the motor and the speed of the impeller must be closely matched to maximize efficiency of the impeller. This requires additional engineering considerations in designing the impeller to operate efficiently at increased speeds. Efficient high speed motors are generally more expensive and tends to increase the cost of the blower. A blower with a higher speed motor also tends to produce more noise and vibration. The higher speed motor also has greater electrical demands. High speed blower motors tend to operate at higher temperatures and generate more heat than lower speed motors. Since the motor is in close proximity to hot exhaust gases in the blower, higher speed motors may require auxiliary cooling systems such as a shaft mounted fan, or a larger bonnet interior to avoid heat buildup. Auxiliary cooling systems lower motor efficiency, and the higher operating temperatures tend to decrease the life cycle of the blower motor.
As shown in
In the construction of older blower housings, a cut-out in the side wall of the blower housing is sometimes provided adjacent the mounting feet for clearance of the driving end of the mechanical fastener. A sponge foam rubber or rubber type sealing insert is then used once the fastener is installed to completely seal the housing along the narrow spacing adjacent the driving end of the fastener. These inserts and gaskets are problematic in that they tend to leak over time and represent the weak link in exhaust system integrity. Additionally, some blower housing constructions require the use of gasket material to build up the axial height of the bottom piece in the area of the mounting foot when the blower is installed on the furnace. This gasket material seals the blower housing in the area of the mechanical fastener and prevents the mounting foot from heeling over when the mechanical fastener is tightened and the blower housing is attached to the furnace.
What is needed to overcome the disadvantages of the prior art is a blower housing which has a maximized interior space to permit the use of the largest capacity impeller practicable while meeting the size restrictions set by the mounting holes located in the furnace by the manufacturer. The blower housing having the largest practicable capacity impeller would meet the manufacturer's requirements for air moving capacity with a lower speed motor. Such a blower would meet furnace manufacturers' specifications for air moving capacity with decreased noise and vibration, and cost for the blower. Additionally, such a blower would eliminate the need for sealing inserts or gasket materials at the mounting locations for the blower housing.
In order to overcome the disadvantages of the prior art, the blower of the present invention provides an increased interior spacing while maintaining fixed exterior dimensions including especially the mounting hole locations. By having a larger interior for containing a larger impeller than in the prior art design, the blower of the present invention is capable of generating a higher air moving capacity with a decreased operating speed, cost, and lower noise and vibration levels. The blower of present invention also improves the containment of exhaust gases in the blower housing by improving the integrity of the seal around the housing against the furnace bonnet.
The blower of the present invention includes a blower housing and a blower motor. The blower housing has a top piece, a side wall, and a bottom piece that detachably engages the top piece to enclose the blower housing. The top piece includes an annular lower support portion for supporting the blower motor and an annular upper portion extending above and around the lower portion. The upper portion of the top piece of the blower housing has an outer peripheral edge and at least one lug extending outwardly beyond its outer peripheral edge. The bottom piece of the blower housing has a flange extending beyond its periphery that aligns with the lug of the top piece when the blower housing is assembled. The flange interlocks with the lug to detachably engage the top piece to the bottom piece. The top piece, side wall and bottom piece thus form a volute for the blower housing when assembled.
The lug on the top piece has a lug hole to receive a mechanical fastener such as a threaded bolt or screw. The flange on the bottom piece preferably has a flange hole that receives the mechanical fastener therethrough when the mechanical fastener joins the top piece to the blower mounting surface of the furnace. The mechanical fastener preferably attaches the blower housing to the furnace such that the blower housing is positioned between a blower motor and exterior mounting surface of the furnace. Thus, by locating the mechanical fastener with its head above the top piece, it may be driven tightly against the lug at the top of the blower and space need not be provided for the head of the mechanical fastener to be driven tightly against a blower housing surface which itself is located within the envelope of the impeller space.
In other words, in the prior art construction as seen in
In another aspect of the present invention, the blower housing is provided with an improved seal between the top and bottom pieces. Preferably, the blower housing comprises a bottom piece having a disk shaped bottom portion with an outer perimeter border and an upstanding annular wall extending outward from the bottom disk around the outer perimeter border. The upstanding annular wall has an interior surface that forms a portion of the volute for the blower housing. The upstanding wall has an annular end axially opposite the bottom disk portion that extends between the exterior and interior surfaces of the upstanding wall. The annular end has an annular lip axially spaced from the annular end.
The top piece fits over the bottom piece to enclose the volute and form a casing for the blower. The top piece has a lower portion recessed into the top piece and extending into the casing. This lower portion receives the blower motor. The top piece also has an upper portion which extends around and above the lower portion. The upper portion has a primary groove and an outer peripheral edge surrounding the primary groove. The primary groove has an annular outer side wall and an annular inner side wall spaced apart by an annular groove wall. The groove wall has a secondary groove intermediate the coterminous edges of the groove wall and inner and outer side walls. The inner side wall of the primary groove abuts the interior surface of the upstanding wall of the bottom piece and the annular lip of the bottom piece is received in the secondary groove when the casing is assembled.
The inner side wall of the primary groove preferably has an annular rib extending outwardly from the side wall into the primary groove. The interior surface of the upstanding annular wall preferably has an annular notch on its interior surface. In this arrangement, as the annular notch receives the annular rib in the primary groove, the pieces tend to “snap” together as the bottom piece is fully assembly with the top piece. This construction thus provides a positive indicator of sealing between the top and bottom pieces when the blower housing is assembled.
Further objects and features of the invention are revealed in the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment of the invention and in the drawings wherein:
Corresponding reference numerals indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views of the drawings.
As shown in
As shown in
The bottom piece 58 is provided with a plurality of mounting flanges 106 circumferentially spaced around the outer perimeter border 96 of the bottom disk portion 94. Each of the mounting flanges 106 extends radially outward from the outer perimeter border 96 and has a flange hole 108 therethrough. Each of the mounting flanges 106 preferably aligns with a corresponding lug 80 on the top piece 58. The alignment of the lugs 80 and flanges 106 may be such that the top piece 58 and bottom piece 60 are assembled in only one orientation. Similar to the lug hole 82, the flange hole 108 is also preferably arcuate to allow minor adjustment of the blower 50 when the blower 50 is mounted on the blower mounting surface 21 of the furnace 22. To maximize the diameter of the upstanding annular wall 56, an inner edge 110 of the flange hole 108 may be formed flush with the exterior surface 102 of the upstanding annular wall 56.
Preferably, the flange hole 108 is also formed to receive the depending leg 84 of the top piece 58 when the blower 50 is assembled. As shown in
Details of the attachment between the top and bottom pieces are best shown in FIG. 8. The upstanding annular wall 56 of the bottom piece 60 has an upper section 114 that cooperates with the annular groove 92 in the upper portion 74 of the top piece 58. The upper section 114 includes an annular end 116 that extends between the interior and exterior surfaces 98,102 of the upstanding wall 56. The annular end 116 has a lip 118 extending axially outward from the bottom disk portion 94 intermediate the coterminous edges of the annular end 116 and the interior and exterior surfaces 98,102 of the upstanding annular wall 56. Preferably, the annular lip 118 has a generally triangular shaped cross section to act as a guide during assembly as well as an overlapping fit between the top and bottom pieces 58,60. The upper section 114 also importantly includes an annular notch 120 extending around the interior surface 98 of the upstanding wall 56.
The annular groove 92 formed in the upper portion 74 of the top piece 58 includes a primary groove 122 and a secondary groove 124. The primary groove 122 includes an annular inner side wall 126 and an annular outer side wall 128 spaced apart from the annular inner side wall 126 by an annular groove wall 130. When the top piece 58 is installed on the bottom piece 60, the annular inner side wall 126 abuts the interior surface 98 of the upstanding annular wall 56, and the annular outer side wall 128 faces the exterior surface 102 of the upstanding annular wall 56. The annular outer side wall 128 may be formed with a lead-in taper 132 to allow the top and bottom pieces 58,60 to more easily fit together.
The primary groove 122 also includes an annular rib 134 axially spaced below the annular groove wall 130. The annular rib 134 cooperates with the annular notch 120 in the upstanding annular wall 56 of the bottom piece 58 to form a first sealing area 136 for the blower housing 54. When the top piece 58 is fully installed on the bottom piece 60, the top piece 58 will snap fit onto the bottom piece 60 as the annular rib 134 slides across the interior surface 98 of the upstanding annular wall 56 and into the annular notch 120. The rib 134 and notch 120 provide a positive lock indication for a blower assembly operator when assembling the blower housing 54.
The secondary groove 124 in the annular groove 92 on the upper portion 74 of the top piece 58 is formed internal to primary groove 122. The secondary groove 124 is formed intermediate the coterminous edges of the annular groove wall 130 and inner and outer side walls 126,128. The secondary groove 124 has a generally triangular shaped cross section that matches the geometry of the annular lip 118 on the upstanding wall 56 of the bottom piece 60. The secondary groove 124 provides a secondary sealing area 138 for the blower housing.
In assembling the blower housing 50 into the arrangement shown in
The depending legs 84 of the lug 80 of the top piece 58 may be inserted into the step recess 112 formed in the flange hole 108 such that the circumferential guide portion 90 of the interior arcuate surface 88 of the depending lug 84 mounts flush against the exterior surface 102 of the upstanding annular wall 56 of the bottom piece 60 and a bottom portion of the leg 84 is nested within the recess 112 of the flange hole 108. Preferably, the lengths of the depending legs 84 are sized such that when the upper section 114 of the annular wall 56 is fully inserted into the annular groove 92 in the top piece 58, the leg 84 is captured by the flange hole 108. The lugs 80 and matching flanges 106 may have irregular angular placement along each of the respective top and bottom pieces 58,60 to provide a keying assembly for the blower housing 54 such that the top and bottom pieces 58,60 may be assembled in only one orientation.
Each of the top and bottom pieces 58,60 may be formed from materials that are capable of withstanding relatively high temperatures from the exhaust gases being expelled from the blower housing 54. The blower housing 54 may be made from a polypropylene or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) type plastic, although other materials capable of withstanding the heat from the exhaust gases may also be used. The material used must be sufficiently resilient to allow the top piece 58 and bottom piece 60 to flex during installation so that the top piece 58 and bottom piece 60 may properly form the primary and secondary seals 136,138 in the blower housing 54.
By locating the lugs 80 on the upper portion 74 of the blower housing 54, the diameter of the upstanding annular wall 56 can be increased. By moving the driving end 42 of the mechanical fastener 40 above the lug 80 on the top piece 58, the clearance between the screw head driving end 42 and the upstanding annular wall 56 of the blower housing 50, as well as any clearance between the shaft and the opening through which it extends can be eliminated. The mechanical fastener 40 used to secure the blower housing to the blower mounting surface of the furnace may run directly down the exterior surface 102 of the upstanding annular wall 56 because there is sufficient clearance on the upper portion 74 of the top piece 58 for the screw head driving end 42 of the mechanical fastener 40. Furthermore, there may also be a savings in assembly time as the driving head is much more readily accessible with the fastening tool making it easier to apply the tool to the driving head.
As the top piece 58 snap fits with the bottom piece 60 to create a sealed unit, gasket materials and other sealing inserts commonly used in the prior art are no longer needed. By constructing the bottom piece 60 with a flat bottom disk and an upstanding annular wall 56 extending from the outer perimeter border 96 of the bottom disk portion 94, and a top piece with the annular grove 92, the locations for the seals 136,138 between the top piece 58 and bottom piece 60 are moved to a position on the blower housing 54 where use of mechanical fasteners 40 does not interfere with the integrity of the seals 136,138. By locating the lugs 80 on the outer peripheral edge 78 of the upper portion 74 of the top piece 58, the upper portion 74 of the top piece 58 may flex inward such that the normally tapered outer side wall 128 of the primary groove 122 contacts the exterior surface 102 of the upstanding wall 56. Thus, the combination of the primary seal 136 and internal secondary seal 138 provides improved sealing characteristics for the blower housing 54 not found in the prior art.
Although the description of the blower housing presented herein refers to a primary and secondary seals formed on respective portions of the top and bottom pieces, it should be noted that the location and combination of the components comprising the primary and secondary seals may be reversed and positioned on the other of the top and bottom pieces of the blower housing.
Various other changes to the preferred embodiment of this invention described above may be envisioned by those of ordinary skill in the art. However, those changes and modifications should be considered as part of the invention which is limited only by the scope of the claims appended hereto and their legal equivalents.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US87523||Mar 2, 1869||Improvement in blower-case|
|US1271072||Jan 30, 1917||Jul 2, 1918||Richard Clere Parson||Fluid-pump, turbine, and the like.|
|US1584944||May 28, 1921||May 18, 1926||Johnson Arthur J||Blower construction|
|US1650873||Jan 18, 1927||Nov 29, 1927||Bertha C Ryan||Rotary blower|
|US2142834||Apr 13, 1938||Jan 3, 1939||B F Sturtevant Co||Centrifugal fan|
|US2290423||Feb 19, 1940||Jul 21, 1942||Advance Aluminum Castings Corp||Air moving apparatus|
|US2518869||May 22, 1948||Aug 15, 1950||Corless Thomas K||Muffler with rotatable baffle|
|US3007417||Jul 16, 1958||Nov 7, 1961||Goulds Pumps||Liquid ring pump|
|US3485443||Dec 12, 1968||Dec 23, 1969||Trane Co||Fan scroll|
|US3561885||Aug 11, 1969||Feb 9, 1971||Pyronics Inc||Blower housing|
|US3627442||May 14, 1970||Dec 14, 1971||Gen Electric||Blower housing|
|US3776660||Feb 22, 1972||Dec 4, 1973||Nl Industries Inc||Pump for molten salts and metals|
|US3861339||Jan 29, 1974||Jan 21, 1975||Nissan Motor||Method of joining the edge portions of two sheets|
|US3902045||Feb 21, 1973||Aug 26, 1975||Laing Ingeborg||Electric convection heater having a friction-type blower|
|US4599042||May 18, 1984||Jul 8, 1986||Coolair Corporation Pte., Ltd.||Fan casing volute|
|US4629221||Apr 4, 1984||Dec 16, 1986||Hunting Oilfield Services (Uk) Ltd.||Pipe connectors|
|US4865517||Jul 11, 1988||Sep 12, 1989||Heil-Quaker Corporation||Blower with clam shell housing|
|US5141397||Jan 18, 1991||Aug 25, 1992||Sullivan John T||Volute housing for a centrifugal fan, blower or the like|
|US5192182||Sep 20, 1991||Mar 9, 1993||Possell Clarence R||Substantially noiseless fan|
|US5257904||Jun 3, 1992||Nov 2, 1993||Sullivan John T||Volute housing for a centrifugal fan, blower or the like|
|US5314300||Jan 13, 1992||May 24, 1994||Fasco Industries, Inc.||Noise control device for centrifugal blower|
|US5351632||Sep 23, 1993||Oct 4, 1994||Mann Carlton B||Top fired burn-off oven|
|US5443364||Oct 18, 1993||Aug 22, 1995||Carrier Corporation||Snap-fit inducer housing and cover for gas furnace|
|US5573383||Mar 14, 1995||Nov 12, 1996||Nippondenso Co., Ltd.||Blower assembly including casing housing a fan and a motor|
|US5620302||Aug 31, 1995||Apr 15, 1997||Fasco Industries, Inc.||Dynamic condensate evacuator for high efficiency gas furnaces|
|US5820458||Apr 16, 1997||Oct 13, 1998||Lai; Bi-Hing||Ventilation device|
|US5947682||Aug 21, 1996||Sep 7, 1999||Daewoo Electronics Co., Ltd.||Pump housing and a manufacturing method therefor|
|US5954476||Aug 12, 1997||Sep 21, 1999||Fasco Industries, Inc.||Snap-fit blower housing assembly and seal method|
|US6038756||Feb 2, 1998||Mar 21, 2000||Ford Global Technologies, Inc.||Method of mounting a suspension bumper|
|US6152646||Apr 24, 1997||Nov 28, 2000||Brose Fahrzeugteile Gmbh & Co. Kg, Coburg||Fastening device|
|US6260254||Jul 9, 1997||Jul 17, 2001||Decoma International Inc.||Integrally formed B-pillar and belt-line window molding|
|WO1995032363A1||May 25, 1995||Nov 30, 1995||Tec Air, Inc.||Blower housing|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US7861708 *||Feb 3, 2006||Jan 4, 2011||Fasco Industries, Inc.||Draft inducer blower mounting feature which reduces overall system vibration|
|US8801406 *||Dec 28, 2011||Aug 12, 2014||Zhongshan Broad-Ocean Motor Co., Ltd.||Blower|
|US9172283||Jan 16, 2013||Oct 27, 2015||Regal Beloit America, Inc.||Electric motor|
|US9188137||Dec 1, 2011||Nov 17, 2015||Trane International Inc.||Blower housing|
|US20120121409 *||Dec 28, 2011||May 17, 2012||Zhongshan Broad-Ocean Motor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.||Blower|
|U.S. Classification||110/162, 415/206, 415/213.1|
|International Classification||F03D11/04, F03B11/00, F04D29/62, F04D29/42|
|Cooperative Classification||Y10S425/047, F04D29/4226, F04D29/626|
|European Classification||F04D29/42C4, F04D29/62C2|
|May 8, 2008||AS||Assignment|
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:JAKEL INCORPORATED;REEL/FRAME:020919/0271
Owner name: RBC HORIZON, INC., WISCONSIN
Effective date: 20080429
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:JAKEL INCORPORATED;REEL/FRAME:020919/0271
Effective date: 20080429
Owner name: RBC HORIZON, INC.,WISCONSIN
|Oct 29, 2010||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Oct 25, 2011||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: JAKEL MOTORS INCORPORATED, WISCONSIN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:RBC HORIZON, INC.;REEL/FRAME:027114/0783
Effective date: 20111019
|Oct 29, 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12