Title:
Overhead air distribution system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is an integral heating, ventilation, and cooling ducting that is formed in the bulkheads and overheads of a boat or ship. The ducting is custom designed for each boat or ship and is made of a hard material such as plastic, fiberglass, hard insulation board, etc., which will maintain its integrity and cannot be restricted in size or get crimped. The ducting is formed by attaching opposing sidewalls made from the ducting material to the underside of the deck to so that three sides of the duct are formed. The duct is completed when the interior overhead is put into place. Ducts are also formed in bulkheads wherein opposing bulkhead sidewalls form two opposing sidewalls of the duct and ducting material form the remaining two opposing sidewalls of the duct. In this manner, ducting systems can be designed utilizing the small space between the deckplate and the interior headliner which most commonly have a height of approximately 2½″ or less.



Inventors:
Bogart, Michael M. (Delray Beach, FL, US)
Liptak, William (West Palm Beach, FL, US)
Application Number:
10/873076
Publication Date:
02/24/2005
Filing Date:
06/21/2004
Assignee:
BOGART MICHAEL M.
LIPTAK WILLIAM
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
454/78
International Classes:
B63J2/04; (IPC1-7): F25B21/02; B63B25/26; B63J2/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
TAPOLCAI, WILLIAM E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MICHAEL M. BOGART (BOYNTON BEACH, FL, US)
Claims:
1. A cooling air distribution system for a marine vessel, comprising: an air conditioning unit; a high static pressure blower operatively connected to the air conditioning unit; and one or more ducts in fluid communication with the high static pressure blower for delivering cooling air throughout the marine vessel, the ducts being integrally formed in a bulkhead or overhead of the marine vessel, comprising; a pair of opposing sidewalls; a bottom wall connecting said pair of sidewalls; and a top wall formed from one of either a portion of the deck or a portion of the interior bulkhead connecting said pair of sidewalls and opposed from said bottom wall.

2. The cooling air distribution system for a marine vessel of claim, wherein said pair of opposing sidewalls and said bottom wall is comprised of sheet fiberglass.

3. A cooling air distribution system for a marine vessel, comprising: an air conditioning unit; a high static pressure blower operatively connected to the air conditioning unit; and one or more ducts in fluid communication with the high static pressure blower for delivering cooling air throughout the marine vessel, the one or more ducts being located in the overhead of the marine vessel.

4. A method of cooling a marine vessel, comprising: providing an air conditioning unit; providing a high static pressure blower operatively connected to the air conditioning unit; and providing one or more ducts in fluid communication with the high static pressure blower for delivering cooling air throughout the marine vessel, the ducts being integrally formed in a bulkhead or overhead of the marine vessel by: providing a pair of opposing sidewalls; providing a bottom wall connecting the pair of sidewalls; and providing a top wall formed from one of either a portion of the deck or a portion of the interior bulkhead connecting the pair of sidewalls opposed from said bottom wall.

5. A method of cooling a marine vessel, comprising: providing an air conditioning unit; providing a high static pressure blower operatively connected to the air conditioning unit; and providing one or more ducts in fluid communication with the high static pressure blower for delivering cooling air throughout the marine vessel, the one or more ducts being located in the overhead of the marine vessel.

Description:

This application claims priority to provisional application U.S. Ser. No. 60/480,418 filed on Jun. 20, 2003.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to marine air conditioning and, more specifically, to integral heating, ventilation, and cooling ducts that are formed or placed in the bulkheads and overheads of a boat or ship.

2. Summary of the Prior Art

Air conditioning plants on marine vessels are well known. The conventional way of ducting a boat or ship would be to run round non-insulated and/or insulated ducting with an inside diameter of 3″, 4″, 5″, 6″, or 7″ and having approximately 1 of insulation that wraps around the ducting adding 2″ to the diameter of the ducting and the space needed to run the ducting thru the boat. Many times the installer (whether at the factory or aftermarket) squeezes the ducting into the space provided by the boat builder and/or his turns are too tight or get crimped. This can cause restrictions in airflow resulting in improper ventilation and also can damage or cause a malfunction in the air conditioning unit such as freezing, icing up or cause a high pressure overload of the A/C unit. The ducting is located in either the exterior or interior bulkheads of the vessel.

The present invention is an integral heating, ventilation, and cooling dusting that is either formed or placed in the bulkheads and overheads of a boat or ship. The placement of the ducting in the overhead is heretofore unknown. The ducting is custom designed for each boat or ship and is made of a hard material such as plastic, fiberglass, hard insulation board, etc., which will maintain its integrity and cannot be restricted in size or get crimped. The ducting is formed by attaching opposing sidewalls made from the ducting material to the underside of the deck so that three sides of the duct are formed. The duct is completed when the interior overhead is put into place. Ducts are also formed in bulkheads wherein opposing bulkhead sidewalls form two opposing sidewalls of the duct and ducting material form the remaining two opposing sidewalls of the duct. In this manner, the ducting systems can be designed utilizing the small space between the deckplate and the interior headliner or between the opposing sidewwalls of bulkheads which most commonly have space therebetween of approximately 2½″ or less. Therefore, the present invention fulfills a need not found in the prior art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is an integral heating, ventilation, and cooling ducting that is formed in the bulkheads and overheads of a boat or ship. The ducting is custom designed for each boat or ship and is made of a hard material such as plastic, fiberglass, hard insulation board, etc., which will maintain its integrity and cannot be restricted in size or get crimped. The ducting is formed by attaching opposing sidewalls made from the ducting material to the underside of the deck so that three sides of the duct are formed. The duct is completed when the interior overhead is put into place. Ducts are also formed in bulkheads wherein opposing bulkhead sidewalls form two opposing sidewalls of the duct and ducting material form the remaining two opposing sidewalls of the duct. In this manner, ducting systems can be designed utilizing the small space between the deckplate and the interior headliner or between opposing sidewalls which most commonly have a space of approximately 2½″ or less.

In an alternate embodiment of the invention, the ducts can be pre-formed from the ducting material of a size which can be installed in the hollow space between the deckplate and the interior overhead or in between the opposing bulkhead sidewalls. These ducts have a higher rigidity preventing restrictions but are smaller in cross-sectional area than conventional ducts. The smaller cross-sectional area ducts require an A/C unit having a higher static pressure blower. Ducts installed in a boat or ship in this manner avoid unsightly ducting on the exterior of bulkheads. Restrictions in the ducting are also eliminated which is possible when conventional ducting sections are installed in the hollow interior of bulkheads and the ducting must be directed around corners and other spaces. Ducting formed in this manner has a smaller cross-sectional area through which the air must flow. Therefore, in order to have airflow equivalent to that of conventional ducting, the static pressure of the airflow must be increased. This is accomplished by utilizing a blower operating at a higher static pressure than traditionally used in the marine air conditioning industry. Both the use of a higher static operating pressure blower and the integrally formed ducting design installed in the bulkheads or overhead of a boat or ship are new to the marine industry.

Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide a ship or boat with an overhead air distribution system with integrally formed ducting formed in the overhead or bulkheads.

It is another object of the invention to provide a ship or boat with an overhead air distribution system with integrally formed ducting formed in the overhead or bulkheads to prevent restrictions.

It is yet another object of the invention to provide a ship or boat with an overhead air distribution system with integrally formed ducting formed in the overhead or bulkheads which wherein conventional ducting would be too large.

It is still yet another object of the invention to provide a ship or boat with an overhead air distribution system having smaller cross-sectional area ducts requiring cooling air at a higher operating pressure

It is another object of the invention to provide an air conditioning unit having a high static pressure blower to supply cooling air at a higher operating pressure to the overhead air distribution system.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Reference may now be had to the accompanying drawings for a better understanding of the invention, both as to its organization and function, with the illustration being only exemplary and in which:

FIG. 1 is a top view of a portion of the cabin of a boat or ship with integrally formed ducting forming an overhead air distribution system, according to the preferred embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is partially cutaway sectional side view of a portion of a cabin of a ship or boat taken along line I-I showing the detail of the construction of an integrally formed duct forming an overhead air distribution system, according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the integrally formed ducting shown in FIG. 2, according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a partially cutaway side view of a portion of a cabin of a ship or boat showing the overhead air distribution system shown in FIGS. 1-3 being connected by integrally formed ducting in the bulkhead to an air conditioning unit with a high static pressure blower, according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 5 is a partially cutaway side view of a portion of a cabin of a ship or boat showing the overhead air distribution system formed from a section of conventional ducting located in the space between the headliner and the deck, according to the alternate embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to FIG. 1, shown is top view a portion of ship or boat 5 having an overhead air distribution 50 integrally formed in the overhead bulkhead 125 (FIG. 2), according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention. The overhead bulkhead 125 is formed from the interior headliner 120 and a portion of the deck 140 and there is a space 130 therebetween wherein the ducting is formed so that airflow from the air conditioning plant 10 (FIG. 4) flows to distribution grilles 100 (also FIGS. 1 and 4) located throughout the interior spaces of the boat including the portion of the cabin 8 shown in FIG. 1. The overhead air distribution 50 extends from fore to aft for distributing cooling air throughout the boat or ship 5. The overhead air distribution 50 may also be used to supply heated air throughout the ship or boat if equipped with a heater.

Referring now to FIG. 3, shown is a sectional view of the portion of cabin 8 shown in FIG. 1 including a sectional view of the integrally formed ducting 55 that forms the overhead air distribution system 50. The integrally formed ducting 55 is formed from sheets of material such as fiberglass which is stiff to prevent restrictions. The integrally formed ducting 55 is formed by two opposing sidewalls 132, 136 and a bottom wall 134 connecting the sidewalls 132, 136. An air distribution grill 100 provides fluid communication from the integral ducting 55 to the cabin 8. The integral ducting 55 is completed by a portion of the deck 140 which forms the top wall of the integral ducting 55 which forms the overhead air distribution system 50. The integral formed ducting is located in the space 130 between the deck 140 and the headliner 120.

FIG. 4 shows the connection of the overhead air distribution system 50 to the air conditioning unit 10 via integral ducting 35 formed in the interior bulkhead 30. Recycled air is input into the air conditioning unit 10 through a grill 60. The air conditioning unit 10 is equipped with a high static pressure blower to deliver the cooling air at a higher static pressure as compared to the blowers with conventional air conditioning systems because of the lower cross-sectional area of the integral ducting 35 and 55. The following chart provides an examples of the operating pressures and cooling air velocities of a 16,000 BTU A/C unit with a standard blower vs. a h gh static blower:

sp = static pressure
(lnWG)0.2 (sp)0.4 (sp)0.6 (sp)0.8 (sp)
high static pressure475 (cfm)430 (cfm)380 (cfm)345 (cfm)
blower
standard blower458 (cfm)416 (cfm)360 (cfm)265 (cfm)

Finally, FIG. 5 shows a portion of cabin 8 having an overhead air distribution system 50 located in the space 130 in the overhead 125 formed from the deck 140 and the headliner 120, according to the alternate embodiment of the invention. The overhead air distribution system 50 is formed from ducting 75 that is simply in stalled in the space 130 in the overhead 125. One or more air grills allow air to flow from ducting 75 into cabin 8. No portions of the headliner 120 or deck 140 form part of the ducting. The ducting is formed from a high rigidity material to resist crushing and restrictions. Due to the relatively small space 130 between the deck 140 and the headliner 120, ducting 75 has a smaller cross-sectional area compared to conventional ducting which requires the use of a high static pressure blower with the air conditioning unit 10 (FIG. 4) as heretofore described. The use of the ducting 75 of this type allows air distributions systems to be located in overheads or other tight bulkheads which is not possible with conventional ducting.

It should be clear from the foregoing that the described structure clearly meets the objects of the invention set out in the description's beginning. It should now also be obvious that many changes could be made to the disclosed structure which would still fall within its spirit and purview.