Title:
Timer controlled dehumidifier
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A dehumidifier includes a casing inside which a dehumidifying and condensing unit for removing water from surrounding air is mounted. A container is located below the dehumidifying and condensing unit for collecting the water A drainage controlling device is mounted to the container for selectively discharging the water A control panel is mounted to the casing and includes a power switch for selectively activating the dehumidifying and condensing unit A timing system is electrically coupled to the power switch, including pushbuttons and a display mounted on the control panel The pushbuttons allow a user to enter a number of settings for controlling the dehumidifier via the power switch and display confirms the settings The settings include starting data and time for starting the dehumidifier, continuous operation time interval, temporary pause time interval and shut-down data and time, wherein the continuous operation and temporarily pauses are repeated within the time span between the starting date and time and the shut-down date and time. Thus, the dehumidifier is operable in a continuous way with intermittent pauses and the water removed from the surrounding air is allowed to continuously discharge so as not to interrupt the operation of the dehumidifier.



Inventors:
Yang, Hung-chun (Taipei City, TW)
Application Number:
10/247517
Publication Date:
04/10/2003
Filing Date:
09/20/2002
Assignee:
YANG HUNG-CHUN
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
62/288
International Classes:
F24F3/14; F24F13/22; (IPC1-7): F25B49/00; F25D21/14
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
NORMAN, MARC E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DENNISON, SCHULTZ & DOUGHERTY (Arlington, VA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A dehumidifier comprising. a dehumidifying and condensing unit for removing water from surrounding air, a control panel comprising a power switch for selectively activating the dehumidifying and condensing unit; a water collection container receiving the water removed from surrounding air from the dehumidifying and condensing unit, a timing system electrically coupled to the power switch, the timing system comprising pushbuttons and a display mounted on the control panel, the pushbuttons allowing for user input of a number of setting for controlling the dehumidifier via the power switch, the setting comprising starting data and time, continuous operation time interval, temporary pause time interval and shut-down data and time, and a drainage controlling device connected to the water collection container for selectively discharging the water from the container; wherein the dehumidifier is operable in a continuous way with intermittent pauses and wherein the water removed from the surrounding air is allowed to continuously discharge so as not to interrupt the operation of the dehumidifier

2. The dehumidifier as claimed in claim 1 further comprising a humidity setting and sensing unit electrically coupled to the power switch whereby the dehumidifier automatically starts when humidity level of the surrounding air reaches a predetermined threshold

3. The dehumidifier as claimed in claim 1 further comprising a discharge hose connected to the drainage controlling device for conducting the water from the water collection container to an external drainage system

4. The dehumidifier as claimed in claim 1 further comprising a piping system arranged outside the dehumidifier and connected to the drainage controlling device for discharging the water from the water collection container

5. The dehumidifier as claimed in claim 1, wherein the drainage controlling device comprises a pipe connected to the water collection container and a valve mounted to the pipe

6. The dehumidifier as claimed in claim 1 further comprising a casing inside which the dehumidifying and condensing unit, the water collection container and the drainage controlling device are mounted, the casing comprising a cover removably shielding the water collection container, the water collection container being removable from the casing by removing the cover first

7. The dehumidifier as claimed in claim 6, wherein the cover forms a cutoff corresponding in position to the drainage controlling device.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention generally relates to a dehumidifier, and in particular to a dehumidifier incorporating a timer-based controller for controlling the operation thereof

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] In humid areas or countries, dehumidifiers are commonly used to remove humidity from the surrounding air in order to keep a comfortable environment for people The major concerns of the dehumidifiers are dehumidification capability and temperature control. Some of the dehumidifiers available in the markets are provided with a timer for controlling the operation of the dehumidifiers The timer of the conventional dehumidifiers simply turns on/off the dehumidifiers based on the scheduled time In other words, the conventional dehumidifiers, no matter a timer is incorporated or not, starts operation when the scheduled staring time is reached, or when the humidity level or temperature of the surroundings reaches a threshold And when the humidity level or temperature is lowered down to a predetermined setting or when a scheduled time is reached, the dehumidifiers stop

[0003] The conventional dehumidifiers are provided with a container for collecting the water removed from the surrounding air. Such a container has a limited capacity Once the container is full, the operation of the dehumidifiers is interrupted until the water inside the container is cleared

[0004] Dehumidifiers that are capable of continuous operation are also available in the markets Such dehumidifiers can only be turned off manually by a user. If the dehumidifiers are inadvertently left in operation without being attended to, a potential risk of damage to the dehumidifiers due to overheat or excessive operation may arise

[0005] All these constraints of the conventional dehumidifiers cause troubles to the general consumers For example, due to the limited capacity of the water collection container of the dehumidifiers, the dehumidifiers may soon get stopped due to fullness of the container in a heavily damp environment People must frequently clear the water collection container in order to keep the operation of the container This is especially true for country side houses, which may be only accommodated at for example vacations Since such houses may not be attended to by the owners from time to time, it becomes very damp and may get damaged soon.

[0006] It is thus desired to have a timer controlled dehumidifier for overcoming the above problems

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] An object of the present invention is to provide a dehumidifier comprising a timer capable to set date and time of starting and stopping the operation of the dehumidifier whereby continue operation of any span of time can be freely set without causing damage to the dehumidifier due to excessive operation.

[0008] Another object of the present invention is to provide a dehumidifier capable to immediately drain the water removed from the surrounding air whereby the operation of the dehumidifier cannot be interrupted by fullness of a water collection container.

[0009] To achieve the above objects, in accordance with the present invention, there is provided a dehumidifier comprising a casing inside which a dehumidifying and condensing unit for removing water from surrounding air is mounted. A container is located below the dehumidifying and condensing unit for collecting the water A drainage controlling device is mounted to the container for selectively discharging the water. A control panel is mounted to the casing and comprises a power switch for selectively activating the dehumidifying and condensing unit. A timing system is electrically coupled to the power switch, including pushbuttons and a display mounted on the control panel The pushbuttons allow a user to enter a number of settings for controlling the dehumidifier via the power switch and display confirms the settings The settings include starting data and time for starting the dehumidifier, continuous operation time interval, temporary pause time interval and shut-down data and time, wherein the continuous operation and temporarily pauses are repeated within the time span between the starting date and time and the shut-down date and time. Thus, the dehumidifier is operable in a continuous way with intermittent pauses and the water removed from the surrounding air is allowed to continuously discharge so as not to interrupt the operation of the dehumidifier

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] The present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art by reading the following description of the preferred embodiments thereof, with reference to the attached drawings, in which;

[0011] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a dehumidifier constructed in accordance with the present invention,

[0012] FIG. 2 is a front view of the dehumidifier of the present invention with a cover removed to show inside details;

[0013] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a modification of the dehumidifier of the present invention,

[0014] FIG. 4 is a front view of the dehumidifier of FIG. 3 with a cover removed to show inside details, and

[0015] FIG. 5 is a front view similar to FIG. 4 but showing a further modification of the dehumidifier of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0016] With reference to the drawings and in particular to FIGS. 1 and 2, a dehumidifier constructed in accordance with the present invention, generally designated with reference numeral 1, comprises a dehumidifying and condensing unit 2 arranged inside a casing (not labeled) of the dehumidifier 1 Ventilation holes or slots 14 are defined in the casing for conducting surrounding air toward the dehumidifying and condensing unit 2. The dehumidifier 1 comprises a control panel 11 on which a power switch 21 is mounted for selectively activating the dehumidifying and condensing unit 2 to start/stop the operation of the dehumidifier 1 A water collection container 3 is removably arranged inside the casing below the dehumidifying and condensing unit 2 for collecting the water removed from the surrounding air by the dehumidifying and condensing unit 2

[0017] The dehumidifier 1 comprises a timer 4 electrically coupled to the power switch 21 The timer 4 comprises a number of pushbuttons 41 and a display 42, both mounted in the control panel 11 of the dehumidifier 1 for user's access and observation The timer 4 is capable to set starting date and time by means of the pushbuttons 41 and controls the operation of the dehumidifier 1 by starting and stopping the dehumidifier 1 according to the scheduled date and time. Thus, the user is allowed to set the timer 4 in such a way to turn on the dehumidifier 1 at a first time point of a first date, pause the dehumidifier 1 at a second time point of a second date, and start again the dehumidifier 1 at a third time point of a third date The process may be repeated unlimitedly. Long-term continuous operation of the dehumidifier 1 can thus be maintained and no risk of damage to the dehumidifier 1 may be caused by excessive operation for the dehumidifier 1 can be intermittently and temporarily stopped by the timer 4 The timer 4 also allows for setting of complete shut-down date and time for the dehumidifier 1

[0018] The water collection container 3 comprises a drainage controlling device 31 comprised of a discharge pipe 311 extending from and in communication with the container 3 and a valve 312 mounted to the pipe 311 A removable cover 12 is attached to the dehumidifier casing for shielding the water collection container 3 and the drainage controlling device 31 The container 3 is removable from the dehumidifier 1 by removing the cover 12 first By properly setting the valve 312, the drainage controlling device 31 allows for selectively continuous drainage of the water removed from the surrounding air by the dehumidifying and condensing unit 2 The situation that the operation of the dehumidifier 1 is interrupted by fullness of the water container 3 is thus eliminated

[0019] The timer 4 can be of any known type available in the markets and the related circuits are known to those having ordinary skills in electronic control Thus no further detail is needed herein

[0020] To operate, the user enters, by means of the pushbuttons 41 of the timer 4 that are mounted on the control panel 11, the date and time to start the dehumidifier 1 and the time span of operation The data and instruction entered by the user are displayed on the display 42 for user's visual confirmation. For example, the user may enter a number of settings of which the first one gives the starting date and time to operate the dehumidifier 1, such as Nov. 1, 2002, 13.30, when the dehumidifier 1 is turned on by the timer 4 via the power switch 21 The second setting gives the time interval, such as eight hours, within which the dehumidifier 1 is kept in continuous operation. The third setting corresponds to a pause time interval, such as five hours, within which the operation of the dehumidifier 1 is temporarily paused. The four setting is the shut-down date and time for completely shutting down the dehumidifier 1, such as Dec. 1, 2002, 18.30. Thus, the dehumidifier 1 starts to operate at 13 30 on Nov. 1, 2002 and continuously runs for eight hours. Thereafter, the dehumidifier 1 pauses for five hours and then re-starts after the five-hour interruption The process of eight-hour running and five-hour pause is repeated until Dec. 1, 2002, 18 30 when the dehumidifier 1 is completely shut down by the timer 4. Potential risk of over-operation caused by long-term continuous operation of the dehumidifier 1 is thus completely avoided by means of the intermittent pauses

[0021] The dehumidifier 1 can be operated in the regular way when the timer 4 is not set In other words, when the timer 4 is not set, the user may selectively start and stop the dehumidifier 1 by turning on/off the power switch 21.

[0022] The dehumidifier 1 comprises a humidity setting and sensing unit 5 arranged inside the casing thereof. The humidity setting and sensing unit 5 comprises a sensing hole 51 defined in the control panel 11 which allows for the detection of the humidity level of the surrounding air by the humidity setting and sensing unit 5 The dehumidifier 1 comprises a circuit associated with the humidity setting and sensing unit 5 and electrically coupled to the power switch 21 whereby the circuit starts the dehumidifier 1 when the humidity level of the surrounding air reaches a predetermined threshold Thus, the dehumidifier 1 automatically operates in accordance with the humidity level of the surrounding air

[0023] Also referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, a modification of the dehumidifier 1 is shown For simplicity, the modified dehumidifier is also designated with reference numeral 1 The modified dehumidifier 1 comprises a discharge hose 32 connected to the drainage controlling device 31 In this respect, the cover 12 forms a cutoff 121 for the extension of the hose 32 The hose 32 conducts the water removed from the surrounding air by the dehumidifying and condensing unit 2 to any desired draining system for continuous and uninterrupted drainage of the water from the dehumidifier 1 Alternatively, a piping system arranged outside the casing of the dehumidifier 1 can be connected to the drainage controlling device 31 for discharging the water from the container 3 Thus, interruption of the operation of the dehumidifier 1 by the fullness of the water collection container 3 is eliminated In this case, the water collection container 3 can be simply fixed inside the casing of the dehumidifier 1 without being removable from the casing

[0024] Also referring to FIG. 5, a further modification of the dehumidifier 1 is shown, wherein the water collection container 3 is eliminated and the hose 32 is directly connected to a water outlet 13 of the dehumidifying and condensing unit 2. Thus, the water removed from the surrounding air by the dehumidifying and condensing unit 2 can be drained directly.

[0025] Although the present invention has been described with reference to the preferred embodiments thereof, it is apparent to those skilled in the art that a variety of modifications and changes may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention which is intended to be defined by the appended claims.