Title:
Engine cooling structure having fan module sandwiched between condenser and radiator
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An engine cooling structure (20) includes a condenser (22) constructed and arranged to be disposed on a grille side of a vehicle, a radiator (24) constructed and arranged to be disposed on an engine side of a vehicle, and an engine cooling fan module (26) sandwiched directly between the condenser and radiator. The module has at least one motor (28) driving at least one fan (30) such that when the fan moves air, air is pulled through the condenser and pushed through the radiator.



Inventors:
Gubbles, Alex (Mt. Brydges, CA)
Application Number:
12/068183
Publication Date:
10/16/2008
Filing Date:
02/04/2008
Assignee:
Continental Automotive Canada Inc. (Chatham, CA)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
180/68.1
International Classes:
F01P11/10
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
FLANIGAN, ALLEN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Continental Automotive Systems, Inc. (Patents & Licenses 21440 W Lake Cook Road Floor 7, Deer Park, IL, 60010, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An engine cooling structure comprising: a condenser constructed and arranged to be disposed on a grille side of a vehicle, a radiator constructed and arranged to be disposed on an engine side of a vehicle, and an engine cooling fan module sandwiched directly between the condenser and radiator, the module having at least one motor driving at least one fan such that when the fan moves air, air is pulled through the condenser and pushed through the radiator.

2. The engine cooling structure of claim 1, wherein the fan module includes a shroud having an opening therein, the fan and motor being carried by the shroud within the opening.

3. The engine cooling structure of claim 2, wherein the shroud has a first side and an opposing second side with the opening there-between, the condenser substantially covering the first side and the opening, and the radiator substantially covering the second side and the opening.

4. The engine cooling structure of claim 3, wherein the first and second sides are generally rectangular and the radiator and condenser are each generally rectangular.

5. An engine cooling structure comprising: a condenser constructed and arranged to be disposed on a grille side of a vehicle, a radiator constructed and arranged to be disposed on an engine side of a vehicle, and means, sandwiched directly between the condenser and radiator, for moving air, such that air is pulled through the condenser and pushed through the radiator.

6. The engine cooling structure of claim 5, wherein the means for moving air includes a fan module including a shroud having an opening therein, and a fan and motor carried by the shroud within the opening.

7. The engine cooling structure of claim 6, wherein the shroud has a first side and an opposing second side with the opening there-between, the condenser substantially covering the first side and the opening, and the radiator substantially covering the second side and the opening.

8. The engine cooling structure of claim 7, wherein the first and second sides are generally rectangular and the radiator and condenser are each generally rectangular.

9. A method of isolating an engine cooling fan module of a vehicle, the method comprising: providing a condenser, providing a radiator, and locating an engine cooling fan module directly between the condenser and the radiator so that when a fan of the engine cooling module moves, air is pulled through the condenser and pushed through the radiator.

10. The method of claim 9, wherein the fan module includes a shroud having an opening therein, the fan and a motor driving the fan being carried by the shroud within the opening.

11. The method of claim 10, wherein the shroud has a first side and an opposing second side with the opening there-between, the method including substantially covering the first side and the opening with the condenser and substantially covering the second side and the opening with the radiator.

12. The method of claim 11, wherein the first and second sides are generally rectangular and the radiator and condenser are each generally rectangular.

Description:

This application claims the priority benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/911,153, filed on Apr. 11, 2007, the contents of which is hereby incorporated by reference into this specification.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

With reference to FIG. 1, an engine cooling “puller” fan module 10 is configured for mounting behind a radiator (not shown) in front of a vehicle's engine (not shown). The module 10 includes the conventional motor 12 that drives a fan 14.

The motor 12 and fan 14 are carried by a shroud 16. It can be appreciated that the puller fan module 10 can include a duel fan/motor configuration. Air, moved by the fan 14, is pulled through both of the heat exchangers (condenser and radiator, not shown) associated therewith. The heat exchangers protect the module from environmental exposure such as moisture, salt and ingress of debris through the openings in the vehicle's grille. As ambient air passes through the heat exchangers, the air temperature increases. A typical puller fan module operation is 100 degrees Celsius. Thus, the engine cooling fan motor 12 of the module 10 operates in a high temperature environment that limits motor durability. The higher the operating temperature, the larger the motor needs to be in order to meet the durability requirements. This adds cost and mass to the engine cooling puller fan module 10.

With reference to FIG. 2, an engine cooling “pusher” fan module 10′ is configured for mounting in front of an air conditioning condenser (not shown) and in front of the engine of a vehicle (not shown). The module 10′ includes the conventional motor 12′ that drives a fan 14′. The motor 12′ and fan 14′ are carried by a shroud 16′. It can be appreciated that the pusher fan module 10′ can include a duel fan/motor configuration. Air, moved by the fan 14′ is pushed through both of the heat exchangers (condenser and radiator, not shown). A pusher fan module requires a finger guard 18, as an additional part, in order to protect an individual from incurring injury if they were to place their fingers through the openings in the front grille of the vehicle. In addition, the motor 12′ of the module 10′ is subject to the elements of salt, moisture and debris form ingression into the openings in the vehicle grill. This limits the motor's performance over the life of the motor.

There is a need to provide an engine cooling structure that addresses the disadvantages of the puller and pusher type modules described above.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the invention is to fulfill the need referred to above. In accordance with the principles of the present invention, this objective is achieved by providing an engine cooling structure including a condenser constructed and arranged to be disposed on a grille side of a vehicle, a radiator constructed and arranged to be disposed on an engine side of a vehicle, and an engine cooling fan module sandwiched directly between the condenser and radiator. The module has at least one motor driving at least one fan such that when the fan moves air, air is pulled through the condenser and pushed through the radiator.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, an engine cooling structure includes a condenser constructed and arranged to be disposed on a grille side of a vehicle, a radiator constructed and arranged to be disposed on an engine side of a vehicle, and means, sandwiched directly between the condenser and radiator, for moving air, such that air is pulled through the condenser and pushed through the radiator.

In accordance with yet another aspect of the invention a method of isolating an engine cooling fan module of a vehicle provides a condenser and a radiator. An engine cooling fan module is located directly between the condenser and the radiator so that when a fan of the engine cooling module moves, air is pulled through the condenser and pushed through the radiator.

Other objects, features and characteristics of the present invention, as well as the methods of operation and the functions of the related elements of the structure, the combination of parts and economics of manufacture will become more apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description and appended claims with reference to the accompanying drawings, all of which form a part of this specification.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

The invention will be better understood from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments thereof, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts, in which:

FIG. 1 is a view of a conventional engine cooling puller fan module.

FIG. 2 is a view of a conventional engine cooling pusher fan module.

FIG. 3 is a view of an engine cooling structure provided in accordance with an embodiment of the invention, including an engine cooling sandwich fan module between a radiator and a condenser.

FIG. 4 is a rear view of the engine cooling sandwich fan module of FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENT

With reference to FIG. 3, engine cooling structure is shown, generally indicated at 20, in accordance with the principles of an embodiment of the present invention. The engine cooling structure 20 includes a condenser 22 that is constructed and arranged to be disposed on a grille side of a vehicle. The engine cooling structure 20 includes a radiator 24 that is constructed and arranged to be disposed on an engine side of a vehicle. In accordance with the embodiment, the engine cooling structure 20 also includes engine cooling sandwich fan module, generally indicated at 26, sandwiched directly between the condenser 22 and radiator 24 and coupled to the condenser 22 or radiator 24 or both. The module 22 is thus behind the condenser 22 and in front of the radiator 24. The three parts 22, 24 and 26 of the engine cooling structure 20 can be considered to be a single unit.

With reference to FIG. 4, the engine cooling sandwich fan module 26 includes a motor 28 driving a fan 30 in the conventional manner. The motor 28 and fan are carried by a shroud 32 within opening 33 in the shroud. Thus, air, moved by the fan 30, is pulled through the condenser 22 and pushed through the radiator 24 (FIG. 3). The module 26 is generally rectangular and is constructed and arranged such that a first surface 36 and the opening 33 are substantially covered by the generally rectangular condenser 22. An opposing second surface 38 and the opening 33 are substantially covered by the generally rectangular radiator 24. Thus, the module 26 is not subjected to the elements of salt, moisture, and debris from ingression through the vehicle grill.

An advantage of the engine cooling structure 20 is that the engine cooling sandwich fan module 26 is isolated and thus operates in a 60 degree Celsius environment, which is 40 degrees Celsius lower than the puller fan module of FIG. 1. This reduces the fan module cost and mass significantly. In addition, the engine cooling sandwich fan module 26 is not subjected to the elements of salt, moisture, and debris from ingression through the vehicle grille and no finger guard is required.

The foregoing preferred embodiments have been shown and described for the purposes of illustrating the structural and functional principles of the present invention, as well as illustrating the methods of employing the preferred embodiments and are subject to change without departing from such principles. Therefore, this invention includes all modifications encompassed within the spirit of the following claims.