Title:
Heating and Cooling System
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A building element of the walls or ceiling or floor has panels made of a thermally conducting material with the panels having pipes located therein. The pipes can selectively be connected to a source of high or low temperature so that the panels adopt a temperature different from ambient temperature which, as a result, allows the panels to cause heating or cooling of an area of the building in which the panels are located.



Inventors:
Rosenkranz, Dieter (Queensland, AU)
Ferber, Walter (Queensland, AU)
Application Number:
12/094122
Publication Date:
12/25/2008
Filing Date:
11/16/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/173.1
International Classes:
F24D3/16; E04D13/18
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
RUSSELL, DEVON L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
EDWIN D. SCHINDLER (4 HIGH OAKS COURT P.O. BOX 4259, HUNTINGTON, NY, 11743-0777, US)
Claims:
1. 1-23. (canceled)

24. A building element of walls, a ceiling or a floor of a building, comprising: a panel made of a thermally conducting material; a pipe located in said panel for circulating fluid of high or low temperature; and, means for selectively connecting said pipe to a source of the fluid of high or low temperature so that said panel is heated or cooled to a non-ambient temperature, thereby causing heating or cooling in an area of a building where said panel is located.

25. The building element of walls, a ceiling or a floor of a building according to claim 24, wherein said thermally conducting material for making said panel is a cementitious material.

26. The building element of walls, a ceiling or a floor of a building according to claim 24, wherein said pipe occupies a substantial area of said panel.

27. The building element of walls, a ceiling or a floor of a building according to claim 24, wherein said pipe is made of a plastic material.

28. The building element of walls, a ceiling or a floor of a building according to claim 24, wherein said pipe is made of a metallic material.

29. The building element of walls, a ceiling or a floor of a building according to claim 24, further comprising additional panels with said pipe of more than one said panel being manifolded with a manifold being connected to the source of the fluid of high or low temperature.

30. A building, comprising: a plurality of panels made of a thermally conducting material; a pipe located in panels of said plurality of panels for circulating fluid of high or low temperature; means for selectively connecting said pipe to a source of the fluid of high or low temperature so that said panel is heated or cooled to a non-ambient temperature for causing heating or cooling in an area of a building where said panel is located; a heat bank for supplying fluid above ambient temperature; and, means for supplying fluid below ambient temperature.

31. The building according to claim 30, further comprising a solar panel for heating fluid contained with said heat bank.

32. The building according to claim 30, wherein said means for supplying fluid below ambient temperature includes: a borehole having at least one continuous pipe in the borehole, said at least one continuous pipe extending from an upper surface of the borehole and returning to an adjacent position; and, means for causing fluid to pass through said continuous pipe so that temperature of the fluid is reduced from a first temperature of the fluid when entering the borehole with a reduction in temperature being dependent on a difference in ambient temperature and a second temperature at a lower end of the borehole.

33. The building according to claim 32, wherein said means for causing fluid to pass through said continuous pipe circulates fluid through said continuous pipe in the borehole a plurality of times.

34. The building according to claim 32, wherein said fluid is water.

35. A method for cooling a fluid to a temperature below ambient temperature, comprising the steps of: providing a borehole having at least one continuous pipe in the borehole extending from an upper surface of the borehole and returning to an adjacent position; and, causing fluid to pass through said continuous pipe so that temperature of the fluid is reduced from a first temperature of the fluid when entering the borehole with a reduction in temperature being dependent on a difference in ambient temperature and a second temperature at a lower end of the borehole.

36. The method for cooling a fluid to a temperature below ambient temperature according to claim 35, further comprising the step of: causing fluid to pass through said continuous pipe circulates fluid through said continuous pipe in the borehole a plurality of times.

37. The method for cooling a fluid to a temperature below ambient temperature according to claim 35, wherein said fluid is water.

Description:

TECHNICAL AREA

This invention relates to a heating and cooling system and particularly one which is environmentally friendly and which uses a minimum amount of power.

The system is specifically useful for small buildings such as houses and small commercial buildings, but can also be applied on a larger scale.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

The object of the invention is to provide a system by means of which a building can be heated and/or cooled with the use of minimal non-renewable resources.

OUTLINE OF THE INVENTION

The invention in its broadest sense provides a building part of the walls or ceiling or floor of which has panels made of a thermally conducting material, the panels having pipes located therein which pipes can selectively be connected to a source of high or low temperature fluid whereby the panels adopt a temperature different to ambient temperature whereby the panels cause heating or cooling of the area of the building in which they are located.

A preferment to be used in association with the invention is means to cool water to be passed through the sheet, including a bore passing into the ground, pipes passing into the bore and comprising a continuous path for a liquid to be passed therethrough and being connected either directly or by way of a heat exchanger to the pipes in the walls or ceiling.

The invention also provides a method of cooling a fluid to a temperature below ambient temperature which comprises providing a borehole having at least one continuous pipe therein which extends from the upper surface to the borehole and returns to adjacent this position and means to cause the fluid to pass through this pipe whereby the temperature, of the fluid is reduced from the temperature at which it enters the bore hole, the reduction in temperature varying depending on the difference in the ambient temperature and the temperature at the lower end of the borehole.

In a further aspect of the invention we provide a heat bank which is adapted to be heated by the sun or ambient air, which heat-bank has passing therethrough pipes whereby a liquid in the pipes can be heated; the pipes being connected directly or indirectly to the pipes in the wall or ceiling members.

It is preferred that the heat-transfer liquid is water.

DESCRIPTION OF AN EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

In order that the invention may be more readily understood, there shall be described, in relation to the accompanying drawings, which show, one particular form of the invention, as applied to a house.

In these drawings:

FIG. 1 is a schematic view of the house to which the invention is applied; and

FIG. 2 shows one form of arrangement whereby the pipes can be interconnected.

In this drawing the house, shown schematically at 10 has walls 11, floors 12 and roof 13.

Some or all of the walls 14, as will be described later, have heat transfer tubes running therethrough. Similar tubes 15 can be provided in the floor 12 and, although not shown, can be provided in a ceiling.

As illustrated, the building 10 is also provided with solar panel 16, to heat water. This can supply head directly to water to be used, but it may be preferred that it provides heat to a heat bank which can provide hot water for use in the building and also provide a source of heat to heat the building as will be described hereinafter.

There is a further solar panel 18 to provide electricity.

As will be described herein, the heat transfer tubes 14, 15 and others enable the building to be heated or cooled and the system is generally sealed so that the complete building can be located at a remote area. Provided a satisfactory water supply, normally by tanks filled from run off from the roof, or a bore, and a method of controlling sewage, either a septic tank or a ‘long drop’ toilet can be provided, the building is largely self-contained and is not reliant on external utilities.

Also, the heating and cooling system is effectively sealed so it is not wasteful on resources.

The sheets used for the walls and ceilings, and even, if required for floors, are made of cement and before the cement is located in a form, or the like, pipes are laid in a pattern within the panel and these pipes may be of PVC, copper or other metal, and once located, the cement is poured to form the panel.

The pipes are preferably in the form of a continuous pipe having an input and an output and may be of the order of 8-10 mm in diameter and may, in one exemplification be spaced approximately 80 mm apart.

The sheet so made can then be used to form the walls and/or ceiling of an area to be heated or cooled. The sheets can provide both internal dividing walls for the area and may also provide finished outwardly-directed surfaces which may be adapted to be painted. Alternatively, the sheets could be attached to the walls and/or ceiling of an existing building.

Under the floor of the building, or, if required in the ceiling, the pipes 31, 33 and 35 and the pipes 32, 34 and 36 extending from the sheets, one set being the inlet set and the other the outlet set may be manifolded to larger pipes 37, 38 which could be 20-30 mm in diameter.

It is preferred that these larger pipes 37, 38 which have manifolded thereto the pipes from the wall or ceiling can be restricted to serving a particular area and these pipes themselves may be further connected to other pipes, although such an arrangement is not shown in the drawings.

These pipes can, themselves, be connected to further similar pipes from other areas.

If required, the pipes for a particular area may be provided with a valve means 39, 40, 41 whereby the flow of liquid therethrough can be controlled so that there can be selective heating or cooling of an area. These valves can be controlled electrically or otherwise remotely, if required, or could be mechanical valves which can be accessed from the area which they control.

Ultimately, all of the pipes may be connected together, so there is a single inlet and a single outlet serving the whole, or part, of the area.

These pipes are adapted to receive hot or cooled water and because of the heat transfer between the pipes imbedded in the panels and the panels themselves, these will be heated or cooled and then both radiation from and convection caused by the heated or cooled panels will effect heating or cooling of the adjacent area.

Thus, the heating and cooling of the areas is a completely static phenomena as far as people in the area of concern, the whole of the heat emanating from or returning to the wall or ceiling panels.

To provide heat or cold to the areas, we may provide a heat-bank 17, for heat and, as mentioned this heat bank may have two sets of pipes therein, one of which is adapted to pass to the panels and the other to provide hot water for use in the building.

The heat-bank may be formed of bricks, rocks, gravel, or the like, or could even be a bath of liquid which has a high boiling point so that substantial heat can be stored for use overnight or when there is no or little sun.

The pipes from the volume to be heated can be passed through this heat-bank, and may take an elongated path to maximise the transfer and the contents of the pipes can be caused to circulate by an electric pump, or the like, so that as the pipes pass through the heat-bank, the fluid therein carried along the pipes is warmed by contact with the inner walls of the pipes, which themselves are warmed from the general environment of the heat-bank.

As mentioned above, the fluid in the pipe may be circulated by a small electric pump 40 which is located in the line.

The output from the heat-bank is connected to the input of the panels and as the liquid is circulated, so the heat in the liquid is transmitted by way of the pipes in the panels to the panel body and the panel body adopts a temperature higher than ambient and this effects radiation to the area to be heated.

To cool the area, we use the cooling method to be described later. It will be understood that if the water is at a temperature different to ambient, then the panels will warmer or cooler that the surround and there will be radiation from the panels into the area or absorption of heat from the area. The difference in temperature in the area will then lead to convection in the area and thus, generally, the area will be maintained at a constant temperature which will tend towards the temperature of the panels.

The power to operate the pump 40 can be obtained from the solar power panel 18, or some form of battery charged therefrom. Because of the form of heating and cooling, it is not necessary that the flow of water be great.

Where a volume is to be cooled, we provide a bore 20, which may be 100 m deep and between 100 to 200 mm in diameter although this will depend on the volume of fluid to be cooled. Into this bore there are located at least two PVC pipes 22, and preferably four such pipes, which may be of the order of 50 mm in diameter and which are continuous. If there are four pipes, the output of the first two pipes can be fed to the input of the second two pipes, so the water is caused to pass into the bore twice, traverse the 100 m depth of the bore, and return to the surface, twice.

If required, the bore hole can be back filled or filled with water to ensure good heat transfer to the pipes.

As the temperature within the bore-hole will be generally lower than the temperature of the adjacent landmass, and certainly the temperature inside a building, then this water can be caused to pass through the manifolds and pipes, as previously referred to and, in this case, the pipes absorb heat from the panels, the panels become cooler than the ambient air and there is an effective cooling of the ambient air.

It has been found that the temperature at the bottom of the bore hole is of the order of 14° to 18°. Thus, provided the water is in the pipes for a sufficient time, it will come to a temperature close to this. It is for this reason that it may be preferred to cause the water in the pipes to traverse the length of the pipes twice.

We are thus providing a closed system, or where both heating and cooling are provided two closed systems, a substantial part of each of which, the pipes passing through the panels, is common.

Mentioned earlier was the provision of valves to control the flow of heating or cooling fluid into the panels. Further valves preferably solenoid operated, can be provided to switch the liquid flow from passage through the heat-exchanger to passage through the pipes in the bore.

The liquid passing through the pipes may preferably be plain water, although if more efficient heat transfer is required, they may use saline, or some other satisfactory liquid.

The liquid is normally treated before being passed into the system so that algae growth and the like is inhibited.

As mentioned, in operation there my be provided valve means to isolate or connect areas to the system and also valve means so that the liquid in the system can selectively be passed through the heat-sink or to the bore.

The electric pump 40 which can effect circulation of the liquid and depending on whether this is connected to the heat-bank or to the pipes passing into the bore, so liquid which is warmer or cooler than ambient, is passed through the pipes in the panels, and this may be a selective passage if various valves are provided to isolate or connect separate panels and the panels are heated or cooled to a temperature above ambient and if heated, they will radiate heat into the area and, if cooled, will accept heat from the air in the area, thus heating or cooling the body in which the panels are located.

It will be seen that this heating and cooling is basically completely passive as far as occupants of the volumes are concerned, so there is no substantial air-flow which can carry dust and other irritants into and from the volumes.

Whilst we have described the heating as being by way of a heat-bank and the cooling by way of a liquid passing down a bore, it is to be understood that the panels of the invention could well be used in association with other forms of heat exchangers, such as furnaces, air-conditioning systems or heat pumps, and one would still get the benefit of the arrangement as far as the passive heating and cooling of the volume, but without the environmental advantage of using the temperature of the air to heat the heat-bank or the coolness of the earth under-ground to cool the liquid in the pipes passing therethrough.

Various modifications may be made in the system of the invention without departing from the spirit and scope thereof.