Title:
Tube support system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A heat exchanger assembly for a heating or cooling system, comprising an array of parallel tubes, and a mounting system comprising at least two spaced apart, elongate support members extending laterally across the array of tubes, the tubes and support members being interconnected by a plurality of connecting blocks each of which has one channel or aperture adapted to fit onto a heating tube, and another channel or aperture adapted to fit onto a support member.



Inventors:
Vilia, Philip Ferdinando (Surrey, GB)
Application Number:
10/258000
Publication Date:
02/19/2004
Filing Date:
05/30/2003
Assignee:
VILIA PHILIP FERDINANDO
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
165/171, 165/144
International Classes:
F24D3/16; (IPC1-7): F28F1/32
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
CIRIC, LJILJANA V
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Jay F Moldovanyi (Cleveland, OH, US)
Claims:
1. A mounting block for a heat exchanger tube assembly, comprising a first channel or bore adapted to receive a heat exchanger tube, and a second channel or bore extending at right angles to the first channel, and adapted to receive a laterally extending support member.

2. A mounting block according to claim 1 in which the first channel is open sided so that it can be slid onto the back of a tube comprising part of a tubular heating or cooling system.

3. A mounting block according to claim 1 or claim 2 in which the second channel comprises a slot adapted to receive a laterally extending support member comprising an elongate bar.

4. A heat exchanger assembly comprising a plurality of parallel tubes mounted on transversely extending support members by means of mounting blocks in accordance with any preceding claim.

5. A heat exchanger assembly for a heating or cooling system, comprising an array of parallel tubes, and a mounting system comprising at least two spaced apart, elongate support members extending laterally across the array of tubes, the tubes and support members being interconnected by a plurality of connecting blocks each of which has one channel or aperture adapted to fit onto a heating tube, and another channel or aperture adapted to fit onto a support member.

6. A heat exchanger assembly in accordance with claim 4 or claim 5 in which the tubes are interconnected by a manifold at each end.

7. A heat exchanger assembly in accordance with claim 6 in which each manifold comprises a plurality of tee connectors which can be interconnected by pipe sections of different lengths to allow for different spacings between the tubes.

8. A heat exchanger assembly in accordance with claim 6 or claim 7 in which each manifold is provided with bellows sections to allow assembly of the tubes with slightly adjustable relative positions.

9. A heat exchanger assembly according to claim 6 in which the tubes and manifolds are interconnected by means of push fit connectors sealed by means of O-rings.

10. A heat exchanger assembly in accordance with any of claims 4 to 9 in which each tube supports an elongate, substantially flat outer panel forming a heating or cooling surface, the arrangement being such that the relative positions of adjacent panels is adjustable by sliding the mounting blocks along the support members.

11. A heat exchanger assembly according to claim 10 further comprising a plurality of flat infill panels adapted to fit between the tube panels.

12. A heat exchanger assembly according to claim 11 in which the tube panels are provided with channels or flanges adapted to locate the edges of the infill panels.

13. A heat exchanger assembly according to claim 10 further comprising at least one housing adapted to fit between adjacent panels for accommodating air vents, luminaires or other accessories.

14. A ceiling panel assembly comprising a heat exchange system according to any of claims 4 to 13.

15. A ceiling panel assembly according to claim 14 further comprising suspension means to enable the assembly to be connected to overhead supports.

Description:
[0001] This invention relates to supports for tubular devices such as heating or cooling tubes, and in particular, to a support system for an array of such tubes which can easily be assembled and positionally adjusted.

[0002] In particular, the support system of the invention is adapted for applications such as suspended heating or cooling ceiling panels, and wall hung radiator panels.

[0003] According to a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a mounting block comprising a first channel or bore adapted to receive a heating tube, and a second channel or bore, extending in a direction at right angles to the first channel, and adapted to receive a laterally extending support member.

[0004] Preferably, the first channel is open sided, having a generally C-shaped cross-section so that it can be slid onto the back of a tube comprising part of a tubular heating panel, and the second channel is preferably in the form of a slot adapted to receive a laterally extending support member comprising an elongate bar.

[0005] The invention also extends to a heating or cooling panel assembly comprising an array of parallel tubes, and a mounting system comprising at least two spaced apart, elongate support members extending laterally across the array of tubes, the tubes and support members being interconnected by a plurality of connecting blocks each of which has one channel or aperture adapted to fit onto a heating tube, and another channel or aperture adapted to fit onto a support member.

[0006] Preferably the tubes are interconnected by a manifold at each end, or they may be interconnected by loops of tube to form a continuous length.

[0007] Preferably, each of the heating or cooling tubes supports a corresponding elongate, generally flat outer panel comprising a heating or cooling surface, the arrangement being such that the relative positions of adjacent panels is adjustable, by sliding the mounting blocks along the support members.

[0008] One embodiment of the invention will now be described by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which

[0009] FIG. 1 is a vertical cross section through a ceiling panel assembly in accordance with the invention; and

[0010] FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of an assembly in accordance with FIG. 1.

[0011] Referring to the drawings, a heating or cooling tube assembly which is adapted to form a suspended ceiling comprises a series of parallel tubes 2, 4, each of which comprises an extruded section including a front facia panel 6 or 8. Consequently, a series of these extrusions can be fitted together side by side, to form a continuous flat surface, and in the embodiment shown, each panel 6 or 8 is also provided with a pair of oppositely facing channels 10, 12 to receive the edges of a co-operating flat infill panels 14. These may be of various different widths, depending on the application. As will be clear from the drawings, the channels 10 and 12 are made relatively deep so that the panel 14 can be retained in position, even if the relative positions of panels 6 and 8 are adjusted slightly.

[0012] The assembly is supported by a series of mounting blocks 16 each of which comprises a relatively large diameter open sided channel 18 of C-shaped cross-section so that the block can be slid over one end of the tube 2 or 4 for assembly purposes. This arrangement is more clearly shown in the perspective view of FIG. 2. It will be appreciated that the tubes and thus the channels 18, could have a different cross-section.

[0013] The upper part of the mounting block 16 as shown in the drawings, comprises a laterally extending slot 20 which is adapted to receive a support bar 22, which extends across the back of the assembly as shown in FIG. 2, and thus interconnects a series of mounting blocks 16 supporting further parallel tubes. The mounting bar 22 is also provided with apertures 24 to enable the entire assembly to be fixed in position, for example by suspending it from wires in the case of a ceiling. In practice there will be at least two mounting bars 22 for each such panel assembly.

[0014] As will also be clear from the perspective view of FIG. 2, the end of the tubes are interconnected by respective manifold members 26 (only one of which is shown) made in sections, which may be of different lengths and may incorporate “bellows” sections 28 (for example of stainless steel). This allows the use of infill panels 14 of different widths and enables the entire panel to be assembled with slightly adjustable positions between the tubes, as mentioned above. The manifold members are connected together, and to the tubes, by “tee-pieces” 30.

[0015] It will be appreciated that the tubes may be connected to the manifold by means of various known interconnection systems, for example, by soldering or push-fit connections. These are preferably sealed by means of O-rings for example as shown in EP 0681667.

[0016] It will also be appreciated that instead of the “infill panels” 14, a filter mesh or the like may be incorporated to allow air extraction or circulation, or slots or apertures for mounting luminaires. In this way, the system may be adapted to provide a versatile suspended ceiling system, for example by attaching it to overhead brackets or wires, although it will be appreciated that an individual panel assembly could also be mounted in a vertical position, so as to provide a radiator panel. In addition, a decorative finish or additional layer of material such as paper or plasterboard may be applied to conceal the structure of the panels.

[0017] The panel assembly may be made in any suitable size. For example it may be made in the size of a standard suspended ceiling panel (e.g. 600×600 mm) so as to fit in a conventional modular suspended ceiling assembly.

[0018] Preferably, the main components 2, 4 are aluminium extrusions, whilst the connecting blocks 16 may be moulded from polycarbonate. This allows the mounting channels and slots to be made to suitably close tolerances, so that the metal components are a tight but slidable fit in the apertures 18 and 20.