Title:
Bed air conditioning apparatus
United States Patent 2159741


Abstract:
This invention relates to refrigerating apparatus and more particularly to methods of and apparatus for providing cool and properly treated air for a bed and the occupant thereof. In the summer months many persons have trouble in sleeping because of the very hot and humid weather which prevails...



Inventors:
Kettering, Charles F.
Sittler, Edwin C.
Application Number:
US68751233A
Publication Date:
05/23/1939
Filing Date:
08/30/1933
Assignee:
GEN MOTORS CORP
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
62/261, 62/419, 62/428, 62/457.1, 62/507, 454/197
International Classes:
F24F1/02
View Patent Images:



Description:

This invention relates to refrigerating apparatus and more particularly to methods of and apparatus for providing cool and properly treated air for a bed and the occupant thereof.

In the summer months many persons have trouble in sleeping because of the very hot and humid weather which prevails ,at times. It is ordinarily too expensive for most persons to have their bed rooms refrigerated and air conditioned and it is therefore an object of our invention to provide a relatively inexpensive enclosure for a bed which will satisfactorily confine cold air and which may be provided with an adequate supply of cooled and properly treated air.

During the summer months many persons are troubled with hay fever and similar diseases. In order to avoid the excessive sneezing and disagreeable effect on them, many hay fever patients from certain localities find it hecessary to go north in order to find relief. It is an object of our Invention to so construct an enclosure around a bed and to so provide a supply of properly cooled and treated air thereto so as to en'able persons so afflicted to sleep in comfort regardless of the locality in which they live.

It is a more specific object of our invention to provide, an inexpensive enclosure for a bed which prevents the escape of cool air therefrom and which is provided with a separate portable air cooling and air treating unit which provides an adequate supply of cooled and properly treated air so that any person, including hay fever patients, may sleep in comfort therein.

Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description, reference being had to the accompanying drawings wherein a preferred form of the present invention is clearly shown.

In the drawings: Fig. 1 is a view in elevation of one form of our invention; Fig. 2 is a vertical longitudinal sectional view of the form shown in Fig. 1; Fig, 3 is a fragmentary transverse vertical sectional view of a portion of Fig. 1; Fig. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view of a portion of the curtain shown in Fig. 3; Fig. 5 is a sectional view along the line 5-5 of Fig. 6; Fig. 6 is a fragmentary view of the tension adjusting means for the curtain; Fig. 7 is a fragmentary view showing a portion of the air filtering means; Fig. 8 is a perspective view of a modified form of our invention; Fig. 9 is a longitudinal vertical sectional view of the form shown in Fig. 8; Fig. 10 is a perspective view of another form of our invention similar to that shown in Figs. 8 and 9; and Fig. 11 is a perspective view of another form of our invention similar to that shown in Figs. 8, 9, and 10.

Fig. 12 is a sectional view taken along the line 12-12 of Fig. 10. Referring to the drawings, and more particularly to Fig 1, there is shown for the purpose of illustrating our invention an enclosed bed generally designated by the reference character 20 and provided with rigid end members 21 and 22 which may be made of some suitable structural material such as wood. These end members 21 and 22 are fastened to the framework of the bed and the bed is further provided with a top 23 which extends from one end of the bed to the other and covers the top of the end members.

Within the enclosure there are provided suitable springs and a mattress 24 as well as a pillow 25.

The sides of the bed are provided with slide curtains 26 which are suitably suspended from the upper portion of the enclosure. The curtains 26 are provided at the top with overdrapes 28 for covering the upper edge of the curtains and for preventing the escape of air around the edge of the curtains. The end member 21 at the head portion of the bed is provided with a window 21 on either side so as to provide light for the interior of the enclosure.

At the opposite end of the bed there is provided a separate portable air cooling unit 30. which is provided with a duct 31 connected by means of suitable rubber connection 32 with the end portion 22 of the enclosure for withdrawing air from within the enclosure and a second duct means 33 which is connected by a suitable rubber connection 34 with the top of the enclosure for supplying cooled and treated air to the enclosure. The rubber connections prevent the transfer of vibrations from the portable air cooling unit 30 to the bed 20. Referring now more particularly to Figs. 2 to 7 inclusive for the structural details of this form of our invention, there is shown an angle iron framework 35 which is supported upon rubber tired castors 36 to facilitate easy movement for the bed. The framework 35 contains vertical bars 37 which are connected by suitable horizontal bars 38 at a convenient heighth for supporting the bed spring. The vertical bars 37 are also connected by suitable upper horizontal bars 39 at their upper portion for supporting the top 23 of the enclosure. The end members 21 and 22 are mounted upon the framework 35 and are provided with suitable insulating means such as cellular wood fiber board 40 for insulating the enclosure. The end member 21 is composed of a pair of side panels 41 each containing a window 27. The end member 21 is also provided with an end panel 42. The end member 22 is provided with a pair of side panels 43 as well as end panel 44. Each of these panels is fastened to and supported by the framework 35. The end panel 44 is provided with a flanged aperture 45 at its upper end which is connected to the rubber connection 32 which in turn is connected to the duct 31 for withdrawing air from the enclosure.

The opening 45 is provided with a slide door 46 which controls the withdrawal of air from the enclosure.

Above the end members 21 and 22 is the top 23 which is formed in one piece and which is provided with a duct means formed by side walls 50, top wall 51, and a lower wall 52 which forms a filter for the air which is introduced into the enclosure. The bottom or filter wall 52 is formed of three rectangular frames 53, 54, and 55 which are linked together by a sort of a hook joint 57 which is formed by curling the adjacent edge portions of the frames so as to form an interlocking pivoted joint. These frames are provided with screens 58 which are laid thereon and which are merely held in place by gravity. On top of the screens 58, sheets of filter paper 59 are provided which are held in place by a set of screens 85 60 which are laid on top of the filter paper and hold it in place by their weight. At the end of the cabinet opposite the end of the filter screens, there is provided a small door 81 which permits access to the filter screens so that they may be drawn out and the filter paper changed.

The frame and screens are made in sections so as to make it more convenient to withdraw the frames and change the filter paper. The front edge of this filtering means adjacent the door 1 is provided with a seal 62 for preventing the escape of air from the duct means without passing through the filter paper. The opposite end of the duct means is connected by means of the rubber connection 34 to the supply duct 33.

Mounted upon the brackets 90 which are fastened to the inner sides of the side panels 41 and 43 are the upper curtain rods 91 for supporting the upper edge of each of the sliding curtains 20. The curtains are each fastened at one edge by snaps 92 to the adjacent edge of the side panels. When the curtains are closed, the edges which are drawn together at the middle of the sides are also fastened by means of similar snaps. The lower edges of the sliding curtains are held upon the lower curtain rods 93 which are located beneath the edge portion of the mattress 24. By this construction, when the curtains are drawn tight, they are held tightly against the edge of the mattress to prevent the escape of air from the enclosure at this point.

In order to tighten the curtains, the upper curtain rods are pivoted upon eccentrically located pins 94 which are rotatively mounted in the brackets 90. Figures 3, 5, and 6 show the curtains in the tightened position. In order to loosen the curtains so that they may be separated, the handle 95 is lifted up so that the curtain rod 91 is rotated upon its eccentrically located pins 94 so that it moves downwardly and thus relieves the tension upon the curtains.

When the rod is returned to the tightened position, it is held in place by the flange 96 which is formed upon the bracket 90 and which serves as a stop. At the same time the rod, together with the curtain thereon, moves against a flexible sheet metal air sealing member 97 which is fastened to the outer wall. In this way the upper edge of the curtains is sealed so as to prevent the escape of air therefrom.

The curtains 26 are quilted as shown in Fig. 4 so that they may be good insulators. The curtains are preferably formed of an outer sheet 98 of velvet and an inner sheet 99 of velvet or a less expensive material with a suitable animal, mineral, or vegetable fiber 100, such as kapok, in between the sheets held in place by quilting or stitching 101. When made in this way the curtains form a suitable insulating means.

A separate and portable air cooling unit 30 supplies cooled air to the duct means in the top of the enclosure and forces the air through the filter paper into the main portion of the enclosure and then removes it through the opening 45 in the end member 44. This separate portable air cooling unit may be removed from the enclosed bed by disconnecting the rubber connections 32 and 34 as well as certain electrical connections hereinafter described. This air cooling unit is provided with a base 64 mounted upon suitable swivel castors 66. Upon this base is a refrigerant liquefying compartment 61 which is surrounded by side walls 68 provided with louvers and a top wall 69. Within the compartment 66 there is provided a refrigerant liquefying apparatus including a compressor 10 for compressing the refrigerant and for forwarding the compressed refrigerant to a condenser 71 where the refrigerant is liquefied and collected in a receiver 12. The compressor is driven by an electric motor 13 through suitable pulley and belt means 14. The electric motor is also provided with a fan 75 for directing a blast of air over the condenser 71. This blast of air after passing over the condenser I1 escapes through the louvers in the side wall 68. The duct means 31 and 33 are mounted on top of the wall 69. Within the lower portion of the duct 31 there is provided a refrigerant evaporating means 76. This refrigerant evaporating means 76 is provided with liquid refrigerant from the receiver 72 under the control of an automatic expansion valve 77 of the type which is adjustable to vary the low side pressure within the refrigerating system and therefore to control the evaporating temperature within the evaporator 16. The refrigerant after being evaporated 5m in the evaporator T6 is returned to the compressor. The operation of the electric motor 13 and the compressor is controlled by a suitable thermostat 80 which is mounted upon panel 44 within the enclosure. This thermostat 80 is connected into the electric motor circuit by suitable electric conductors 81 which, of course, must be broken when the air cooling unit is separated from the bed. This may be done by providing the suitable plug connection for the electrical conductors 81.

The air is withdrawn from within the enclosure by an electric fan 83 preferably of the centrifugal type. This fan 83 draws the air over the surfaces of the evaporator 76. The evaporator 18 cools the air and under ordinary condition causes some of the moisture to be condensed out of the air.

This moisture from the evaporating means is caused to flow through the opening 84a beneath the fan 83 and to flow over the surfaces of the relatively warm condenser 11 in order to cause this condensed moisture to evaporate and in this way to be disposed of. The amount of dehydration or dehumidification is controlled by adjusting the expansion valve 77.

In order to provide fresh air an aperture 84 is provided in the duct means 31 and the amount of fresh air is controlled by means of a sliding door 85. By this arrangement the electric fan 83 draws both fresh air and air from within the enclosure and forces it up through the duct 33 into the duct means in the top 23 of the enclosure. The air which is forced into the horizontal duct means at the top of the enclosure then passes through the filter paper which removes dust and pollen from the air so that when it reaches the enclosure it will be properly cooled and treated so that anyone can sleep within the bed in comfort. The moist surfaces of the evaporating means 76 remove a considerable amount of the pollen carried by the air before the air reaches the filter screen. With this arrangement, anyone suffering from hay fever may sleep in such a bed in as complete comfort as in northern climates. Inasmuch as hay fever patients suffer the greatest amount at night, such a bed is of considerable benefit to them since it enables them to get proper sleep and rest and in this way they are often able to remain in a climate which they would be otherwise forced to leave.

In Figs. 8 and 9 we have provided, a greatly simplified form, but, nevertheless, this form is also highly effective. In this form there is shown a bed 120 having uprights 121 at the corners which support the springs 122 which in turn support a mattress 123 and a pillow 124. Extending around the uprights 121 is a suitable insulating fabric 125, such as velvet. This fabric 125 preferably extends about 18 inches above the mattress but this distance may vary from 12" to 36" above the mattress. We find that the relatively long nap present in velvet holds the air in very much the same manner as air is held in fur and in this way this fabric is a relatively good insulator. In addition, the velvet is very pleasing in appearance. Entrance to the bed is provided by a removable connection 126 in one side of the fabric 125. This connection is preferably made by hooks or snaps. By unfastening this connection, the enclosing velvet may also be removed from the uprights 121 and in this way the bed may be like any ordinary bed when no cooled air is desired. In order to make this enclosure sufficiently tight, the mattress 123 is made sufficiently wide to abut the side walls of the fabric 125 and is preferably made sufficiently long to extend at either end to the end walls of the fabric 125. At the foot end of the bed there is provided a rather short top piece 127 which may be made of velvet provided with a suitable supporting means or which may be made of some more rigid material, such as wood or corrugated cardboard.

In order to properly cool this bed and the air within the enclosure, we force, at a relatively low air speed, a supply of cooled and treated air into the enclosure formed by the mattress and the fabric 125. With this arrangement the cooled air falls slowly to the bottom of the enclosure in effect, forming a blanket of cool air, and remains there until it becomes warm. After being warmed, it rises upwardly out of the enclosure and passes off into the room. Inasmuch as warm air rises, the warm air will not gain access to 76 the enclosure and this arrangement has the additional advantage of being open at the top so that one may sleep under conditions very similar to what he has been accustomed. The short top piece 127 prevents cold air from the duct from escaping from the enclosure.

In order to provide this cooled air, we provide a portable refrigerating unit 130 which is separate from the bed. This refrigerating unit is provided with a base 131 provided with suitable swivel castors 132. Upon the base 131 there is mounted a refrigerant liquefying apparatus including a compressor 133, a condenser 134, and an electric motor 135 for driving the compressor. This refrigerant liquefying apparatus is enclosed by the side walls 136 one of which is provided with an aperture 137 for supplying air to cool the compressor. An aperture 138 is provided in the top of the unit for permitting the escape of air which has been warmed by the condenser unit 134.

Within the upper portion of the portable unit there is provided a separate air cooling compartment formed by the walls 141. Within the air cooling compartment there is provided a refrigerating evaporating means 143 for cooling the air. This evaporator 143 is provided with liquid refrigerant under the control of a suitable automatic expansion valve 144 which is provided with adjusting means for varying the back pressure within the refrigerating system so as to vary the temperature of the- evaporating means. Air is blown through an opening 148 in the side wall of the portable unit 130 and then over the surfaces of the evaporator 143 by an electric fan 145 and then blown through the duct 146 which has its. end portion 147 turned downwardly through an opening in the top wall portion 127. The evaporator 143, in addition to cooling the air, removes moisture therefrom by condensation.

This keeps the surfaces of the evaporator moist and these moist surfaces remove the pollen from the air. Since the pollen in the air is believed to be the agent which causes the suffering from hay fever, the patient is enabled to sleep in comfort in such a bed.

The supply of air is controlled by a slide door 149 which is provided to vary the effective area of the opening 148. In this way the velocity of the air flowing from the duct 146 into the enclosure is controlled.

In Figs. 10 and 12 we have shown another modi- 80 fication of our invention which is very similar to the modification shown in Figs. 8 and 9. Fig. 12 is a sectional view along the line 12-12 of Fig. 10. Fig. 10 shows an ordinary hospital bed generally designated by the reference character 85 150. This hospital bed is provided with a suitable mattress 151 supported upon a suitable under frame 152. The bed is provided with uprights 153 which form parts of the front and rear frames of the bed. Fastened on to these uprights 153 are vertical angle iron members 154 which provide a suitable support for the fabric enclosure.

The angle iron members 154 are fastened to the uprights 153 by suitable metal, leather, or fabric straps 155 which are more clearly shown in Fig. 12. The uprights 153 are protected by a suitable cushioning means 156, preferably in the form of felt. These straps 155 are shown of metal and are anchored to a pivot pin 157 at one end which connects the strap to one side of the angle iron while the other end is provided with a screw thread 158 which is fastened to the other side of the angle iron by a wing nut 159. The upper end of the .angle iron members 154 are step cut as shown at 160 so as to form a hook for supporting 6t the elastic shock cord 161 which supports the upper edge of the fabric curtains 162 which extend around the bed and form the side walls of the enclosure for the bed. The shock cord 161 is preferably provided with a detachable connection at one of the corners so that the fabric curtains may be dropped for entering and leaving the bed. The fabric extends from 18" to 24" above the top of the mattress. The lower edge of the fabric is preferably tucked in underneath the mattress so as to prevent the cold air from escaping from the enclosure. The fabric curtains 162 are preferably of velvet or some other suitable insulating fabric.

The bed is provided with cooled, dehumidified, and treated air by means of the portable air cooling and treating unit 165 which is provided with a duct means 166 which discharges air through an aperture in the fabric and into the interior of the enclosure. This air cooling unit is very similar to the cooling unit 130 shown in Figs. 8 and 9 and similarly has means for cooling, dehumidifying and reducing the pollen content of the air but differs in that it has the outlet at one side instead of the top.

With this form the angle iron members and the fabric curtains, as well as the shock cord, may be entirely removed from the bed and the portable air cooling unit may also be removed so that the 80 bed may be restored to its original condition very easily. The straps 155 are removed merely by removing the wing nuts 159 and pivoting the strap 155 away from the upright 153.

In Fig. 11 the fabric curtains are supported enS tirely separate from the bed. The bed in this figure is designated by the reference character 170 and for supporting the fabric curtains there is provided a metal framework having feet 171 upon which the castors of the bed rest. Extending upwardly from the feet 171 are pieces of pipe or tubing 172 which connect at their upper end to couplings 173. These couplings 173 are connected to each other by horizontal pieces of pipe or tubing 174 which telescope and slide therein and which are fastened to the couplings by means of a split threaded end which is clamped to the tubing 174 by means of a knurled nut 175. Extending upwardly from the couplings 173 are the pieces of tubing or pipes 176 which are provided Swith caps at their upper end to which hooks 177 are fastened.

Elastic shock cord 178 is fastened upon hooks 177 by loops which are fastened to the curtains and extend from hook to hook around the enclosure. At one of the hooks the shock cord is connected together by suitable hooks so that it may be unhooked and the fabric curtain allowed to drop so that the patient or the occupant of the bed may conveniently enter or leave the bed.

The fabric curtains, preferably of velvet and designated by the reference character 171, are suspended at their upper edges by a shock cord and the curtains draped down from the shock, cord and are tucked in underneath the mattress situated upon the bed 170.

The bed 170 is provided with a similar portable air cooling unit 180 which is identical to the unit 165 shown in Fig. 10. The unit 180 is provided with a discharge duct 181 for discharging cooled Sand treated air into the enclosure formed by the fabric curtains 171. In this modification the supporting means for the curtains is entirely separate from the bed and may readily be taken apart and removed therefrom. The framework Swhich supports the shock cord and curtains is adjustable by reason of the sliding connection between the tubing or pipes 174 and the couplings 173. It may also be disassembled and removed by removing the tubing 174 from the couplings 173.

In this way a removable enclosure is provided which may be applied to any ordinary bed and which may be readily removed therefrom. By having the castors of the bed resting upon the feet 171, a very firm curtain support is obtained.

In fact, with the castors resting upon the feet 17 1, li the couplings 173 and the horizontal tubing 174 may be dispensed with and the elastic shock cord and the curtains supported merely by the vertical rods corresponding to. the pipes or tubing 172 and 176 and extending upwardly from the feet. While the form of embodiment of the invention as herein disclosed constitutes a preferred form, it is to be understood that other forms might be adopted, all coming within the scope of the claims which follow. What is claimed is as follows: 1. Refrigerating apparatus including a bed structure having body supporting means and an air confining wall structure for confining cooled air above the body supporting means, said wall structure being supported by the bed structure and being separately removable therefrom, said wall structure extending upwardly from the edges of the body supporting means completely around the sides of the bed, at least a portion of said wall structure being formed of movable air confining fabric curtains for entering and leaving the bed, and forced draft means for discharging cooled air within the wall structure and below the top thereof. 2. Refrigerating apparatus including a bed structure having a body supporting means and an air confining wall structure formed of flexible fabric extending upwardly from the body supporting means for confining cool air above the body supporting means, removable posts detachably connected to and supported by the bed structure for supporting the air confining wall structure, and means for discharging cooled air within the wall structure.

3. Refrigerating apparatus including a bed structure having a body supporting means and an air confining wall structure formed of flexible fabric extending upwardly from the body supporting means for confining cool air above the body supporting means, said wall structure being provided with an elastic means for preventing sagging and for holding it in proper position, and means for discharging cooled air within the wall structure.

4. The process of cooling and circulating air, which consists in isolating a portion of air In a defined area open at the top and confining the bottom portion of said air against downward and sidewise movement out of said defined area, cooling air and causing it to drop by gravity into the bottom of said defined area and to displace warmer air, and causing said warmer air to rise and pass out at the open top of said defined area.

5. A device for cooling and circulating air in a segregated portion of a room, comprising a cooling receptacle for cooling human beings, said receptacle being open at the top, means for filling said receptacle with artificially cooled air so that the cooled air displaces warmer air and causes said warmer air to pass up out of the open top of said receptacle whereby the air warmed by the human being in said receptacle is displaced by the cooler air and passes out of the open top of said receptacle and the interior of said receptacle around said human being is maintained in a cooled condition.

6. An air cooling and circulating device comprising a receptacle into which the person is received, said receptacle having a wall, a portion of which is movable in a substantially vertical direction to secure entrance and exit from said receptacle, and means for inserting cooled air into said receptacle.

7. An air cooling and circulating device comprising a receptacle into which the person is received, said receptacle having a wall, a portion of which is movable in a substantially vertical direction to secure entrance and exit from said re16 ceptacle, said movable portion of said wall being flexible so as to have an accordion action when moved, and means for inserting cooled air into said receptacle.

8. An air cooling and circulating device comSprising a bed having a mattress and a support therefor, wall means extending upwardly from the edges of the mattress and cooperating with the mattress to form a receptacle substantially open at the top, said wall means being provided with means for preventing the escape of air between it and the edges of the mattress, said wall means including flexible portions at the side edges of the mattress, said flexible portions being provided with means for holding themselves normally substantially upright, and means for inserting cooled air into the receptacle formed by said mattress and upwardly extending wall means, said receptacle being substantially entirely open at the top to permit free exit of warm air from the receptacle.

9. A device for cooling and circulating air in a segregated portion of a room, comprising a cooling receptacle for cooling human beings, said receptacle being substantially entirely open at the top, and portable means constituting a unit separate from and detachable from said receptacle for filling said receptacle with artificially cooled air so that the cooled air displaces warmer air and causes said warmer air to pass up out of the open top of said receptacle whereby the air warmed by the human being in said receptacle is displaced by the cooler air and passes out of the open top of said receptacle and the interior of said receptacle around said human being is maintained in a cooled condition.

CHARLES P. KETTERING.

EDWIN C. SITTLER.