Title:
Package terminal/split unit air conditioning
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A system and method for a package terminal/split unit air conditioning unit which eliminates condensate leakage normally associated with air conditioning systems. The present invention includes a first section and a second section, where the first section connects to the second section by means of refrigeration piping, drain piping and electrical wiring and the first section includes a blower chamber and a condensing chamber. The air conditioning unit may operate with the two sections joined together or separated. During operation, the second section generates and collects condensate in a drain pan, the accumulated condensate flows, via drain piping, into a centrifugal blower within the first section. The centrifugal fan blower conveys the condensate into the condensing chamber. The heat within the condensing chamber causes the condensate to evaporate, and therefore eliminates leakage of condensate from the second section.



Inventors:
Brifu, Bernard (Staten Island, NY, US)
Application Number:
09/760859
Publication Date:
07/18/2002
Filing Date:
01/16/2001
Assignee:
BRIFU BERNARD
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
62/262
International Classes:
F24F13/22; (IPC1-7): F25D23/12; F25B47/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SHULMAN, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Bernard Brifu (Staten Island, NY, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An air conditioning unit comprising: a first section which includes a blower chamber and a condensing chamber separated by a barrier, wherein the blower chamber includes a first centrifugal blower and a first motor, and the condensing chamber includes a compressor, a condensing coil, and drain piping; and a second section which includes an expansion coil, a drain pan, a second centrifugal blower, a second motor, and drain piping, wherein the second section connects to the first section, and wherein the second section generates and collects condensate in the drain pan, the condensate flows into the first centrifugal blower via the drain piping, and the first centrifugal blower conveys the condensate through an opening in the barrier and into the condensing chamber.

2. An air conditioning unit according to claim 1, wherein the second section is housed in a galvanized steel cabinet.

3. An air conditioning unit according to claim 1, wherein the expansion coil includes aluminum fins bonded to copper tubes.

4. An air conditioning unit according to claim 1, wherein a liquid refrigerant is supplied through the expansion coil.

5. An air conditioning unit according to claim 1, wherein the second motor is a low temperature pole motor.

6. An air conditioning unit according to claim 1, wherein the first motor is a pole fan motor.

7. An air conditioning unit according to claim 1, wherein the first centrifugal blower is surrounded by an enclosure.

8. An air conditioning unit according to claim 8, wherein the enclosure is made of galvanized steel.

9. An air conditioning unit according to claim 1, wherein the condensing coil includes aluminum fins bonded to copper tubes.

10. An air conditioning unit according to claim 1, wherein the barrier is a galvanized sheet metal.

11. A method of eliminating condensate in an air conditioning unit, comprising of the following steps: collecting condensate in a storage device, wherein the air conditioning unit creates condensate during the operation of the air conditioning unit; transferring the condensate from the storage device to a centrifugal blower; and dispersing the condensate into a condensing chamber, wherein the condensate evaporates due to heat within the condensing chamber.

12. A method according to claim 11, wherein the storage device is a drain pan.

Description:

[0001] The present invention relates to an air conditioning device and more specifically to a package terminal/“split” unit air conditioning device.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] One common type of window air conditioner is designed for installation in a window or other convenient opening in a wall. Typically, these window air conditioners include a compressor, a condenser and an evaporator which are all contained in a single housing. The common window air conditioner provides a convenient and efficient means to cool a room, however, the use of a common window air conditioner can produce some undesirable results such as excessive noise, air leakage, blockage of sunlight, and possible security problems.

[0003] The present invention eliminates many of the above difficulties associated with air conditioning units. The present invention operates as a package terminal/split unit air conditioner and includes two separate units, an indoor unit and an outdoor unit which houses an evaporator, a compressor and a condenser. The indoor and outdoor units communicate with one another through electrical wiring and refrigeration piping. The package terminal/split unit air conditioner operates based upon the same basic principles associated with a conventional window air conditioning unit however, it offers additional flexibility not available with window units. In one exemplary embodiment, the outdoor unit may be installed in a variety of manners such as through a wall opening or mounted on the roof, the ground or a balcony, depending upon the application. The indoor unit may also be installed in a variety of manners such as mounting on the floor, wall or from the ceiling. The indoor unit may also be packaged through the wall as a unit. The multiple installation options enable easy installation of refrigeration piping inside the space to be conditioned.

[0004] The existing split unit air conditioners lack the flexible installation options that are available with the present invention. Also, the existing split unit air conditioners do not take thermodynamic advantage of the cold condensate from the evaporator section of the unit. Furthermore, most split unit air conditioners require sophisticated valve systems to meter the amount of liquid refrigerant supplied to the expansion coil, when a simple capillary tube will suffice. In addition, the existing window air conditioners are often too bulky for many space-critical applications and do not offer the flexibility of being converted into a split-unit-through-the-wall air conditioning unit if desired. The present invention eliminates or substantially reduces the above deficiencies present in the prior art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] The present invention is a package terminal/split unit air conditioner having a means for accumulating and conveying the accumulated condensate from the indoor section to the outdoor section, in order to take thermodynamic advantage of the condensate from the indoor section. Also, the present invention provides a means for circulating the liquid refrigerant through the indoor and outdoor sections via capillary tubing, thereby eliminating the need for sophisticated valve systems to meter the amount of liquid refrigerant supplied to the expansion coil.

[0006] The present invention consists of two sections, an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. The indoor unit includes the following: an attractive heavy gauge galvanized steel cabinet, a removable front panel, attractive supply and return aluminum grilles, an expansion coil (evaporator), a drain pan, a centrifugal fan blower and a control section. The attractive cabinet blends with any decor and may be mounted on a wall or ceiling. This invention is the ideal alternative to bulky, unattractive conventional window air conditioning units. The indoor unit is easily installed, simple to operate and will not obstruct any view. The cabinet of the indoor unit is acoustically lined to ensure quiet operation. Since the indoor unit is in a different compartment from the outdoor unit, any air leakage problem from the outside into the conditioned space is eliminated, even if used as a packaged unit.

[0007] The outdoor unit includes a centrifugal blower, a compressor, and a condensing coil. The outdoor unit cabinet is made of heavy gauge galvanized steel and is acoustically lined for quiet operation. When used as a split unit, the outdoor unit can be mounted in the wall, or vertically on the roof, ground or balcony. When used as a split system, the two units may be connected through a small hole, thereby eliminating any risks in security.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0008] FIG. 1 shows a perspective view constructed according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention wherein the interior and exterior units are attached as a single packaged air conditioning unit.

[0009] FIG. 2 shows a profile view of the indoor unit constructed according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0010] FIG. 3 shows a view of an exemplary embodiment of the outdoor unit of the present invention.

[0011] FIG. 4 shows a view of an exemplary embodiment of the condensing unit chamber of the present invention.

[0012] FIG. 5 shows another view of the outdoor unit according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0013] FIG. 6 illustrates the pathway of the refrigerant according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0014] FIG. 1 shows a single packaged air conditioning unit consisting of two sections, an indoor unit 1 attached to an outdoor unit 2. The indoor unit 1 and outdoor unit 2 are connected by means of refrigeration piping, drain piping and electrical wiring. The indoor unit 1 includes two aluminum supply air grilles 3, 4 which convey the conditioned air into a room. The indoor unit 1 also includes a removable control panel 5, a removable aluminum return air grille 6 and a heavy gauge, galvanized steel cabinet 7. The removable control panel 5 and removable aluminum return air grille 6 allow for easy access to the interior of the indoor unit. The outdoor unit 2 is encased in heavy gauge, galvanized steel 8.

[0015] FIG. 2 illustrates the internal components of the indoor unit 1. Contained within the heavy gauge, galvanized steel cabinet 7 are an expansion coil 9, a drain pan 10, a centrifugal fan blower 11 driven by a low temperature pole motor 12 with a permanent split capacitor, and a filter section 13. The expansion coil 9 includes aluminum fins which are bonded to copper tubes. A liquid refrigerant is supplied via a capillary tube to the expansion coil 9 through liquid refrigeration piping, and changes its state to a low pressure gas refrigerant. Upon arriving at the expansion coil 9, the liquid refrigerant is vaporized by the heat flowing through the wall of the expansion coil 9. The vaporized refrigerant flows to the outdoor unit via the low pressure gas refrigeration piping. Water condensing on the expansion coil 9 falls to the drain pan 10 situated beneath the expansion coil 9. The drain pan 10 is connected to drain piping which conveys the condensate water to the outdoor unit 2. Air, which circulates through the aluminum return air grille 6 and the filter section 13, passes across the expansion coil 9 and is expelled through the two aluminum supply air grilles 3,4 via the centrifugal fan blower 11.

[0016] FIG. 3 shows a view of an exemplary embodiment of the exterior unit. Particularly, it shows an outdoor centrifugal blower 14, a compressor 15, a condensing coil 16, a heavy gauge galvanized steel pan 17, drain piping 18, a shaded pole fan motor 22 and a permanent split capacitor 23. The centrifugal blower 14 includes a galvanized steel enclosure for rust prevention with a fan scrolls. Low pressure gas refrigerant from the indoor unit 1 is introduced into the compressor 15 through the low pressure gas refrigeration piping. The compressor 15 compresses the refrigerant to a high pressure gas which is conveyed to the condensing coil 16 through high pressure gas refrigeration piping. The condensing coil 16 includes aluminum fins bonded to copper tubes. The outdoor air flows through the aluminum fins, cooling the tubes and condensing the vaporized gas into liquid refrigerant. The liquid refrigerant is then conveyed to the indoor unit 1 by liquid refrigerant piping.

[0017] FIG. 4 shows a view of an exemplary embodiment of the condensing unit chamber. An acoustical lining 20 surrounds the condensing unit chamber 19 to ensure quiet operation. A galvanized sheet metal 21 separates the condensing unit chamber 19 from the blower chamber 19a (shown in FIG. 5) that has an opening to allow the passage of air between the chambers.

[0018] FIG. 5 shows another view of the outdoor unit. The outdoor unit 2 includes a blower chamber 19a and a condensing chamber 19 as shown in FIG. 4. The blower chamber 19a contains the outdoor centrifugal blower 14 which is driven by a shaded pole fan motor 22. A heavy gauge galvanized steel cabinet 24 provides a shell for the outdoor unit 2. The blower chamber 19a has outdoor passages 25a and 25b on each side of the fan motor 22. When in operation, the fan motor 22 creates a negative pressure in the blower chamber 19a and as a result air passes into the blower chamber 19a. The air passing through air passages 25a and 25b cools the fan motor 22 during operation. Also, during operation, the fan motor 22 pulls air into the outdoor air intake 26. A galvanized sheet metal 27 is connected to condensing coil 16, where sheet metal 27 provides further insulation for the condensing chamber 19.

[0019] The outdoor centrifugal blower 14 serves a multiple purpose. When in operation, air is drawn into the outdoor air intake 26. Outdoor air passages 25a, 25b allow some of this air to circulate around and cool the fan motor 22 in the blower chamber 19a. The centrifugal blower 14 also conveys outdoor air into the condensing chamber 19 to cool the condensing coil 16 and the compressor 15. The air is then expelled through the outdoor air exhaust 28. Cooling is supplemented by conveying condensate from the drain pan 10. The condensate comes from the indoor unit 1 via the drain piping 18. The drain piping 18 is inserted into the centrifugal blower 14 where the condensate is mixed with the outdoor air, and conveyed into the condensing chamber 19.

[0020] FIG. 6 illustrates the basic operating principle of an air conditioner. The compressor 30 maintains a difference in pressure between the expansion coil 32 and the condensing coil 34. The compressed vapor flows into the condensing coil 34, whereby the heat from the outdoor air condenses the vaporized gas into liquid refrigerant. The liquid refrigerant then flows through a filter dryer 29 to a capillary tube 36 that acts as a throttling device that controls the amount of liquid refrigerant flowing into the expansion coil 32, thereby maintaining the difference in pressure between the expansion coil 32 and the condensing coil 34. As a result, only a small trickle of refrigerant fluid flows through the capillary tube 36 into the expansion coil 32. The liquid refrigerant that flows through the expansion coil 32 is vaporized by the heat from the indoor air flowing through the walls of the expansion coil 32. The vaporized refrigerant then flows back to the compressor 30.

[0021] The operation of the indoor and outdoor unit is controlled by means of electrical controls located in the indoor unit. The unit contains a rotary switch having “Off,” “Fan” and “Air Conditioning” positions. In the “Fan” position, only the centrifugal fan blower 11 is activated. In the “Air Conditioning” position, the compressor 15 and outdoor centrifugal blower 14 are activated in addition to the centrifugal fan blower 11. The present invention provides an improved condensate removal system and eliminates condensate water leakage to the outside of a building. The heat generated by the compressor 15 within the condensing chamber 19 helps to evaporate any condensate water introduce into the condensing chamber 19 from the blower chamber 19a.

[0022] Several embodiments of the present invention are specifically illustrated and/or described herein. However, it will be appreciated that modifications and variations of the present invention are covered by the above teachings and within the purview of the appended claims without departing from the spirit and intended scope of the present invention.