Title:
Hand-drying device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A hand-drying device is disclosed. The hand-drying device includes a volute defining a spiral air passage, the volute comprising a spiral conduit for air, the conduit having an input at its center, a peripheral output, and a cross section that increases from the input to the output. The hand-drying device further includes a motor, located at the center of the volute and connected to the input of the volute for pulling in air from the environment at an input velocity and for passing the air through a the volute input to the volute output to expel the air at an output velocity that is greater than the input velocity. The spiral conduit comprises a cross-section that increases progressively from the input to the output.



Inventors:
Egusquiza, Eduard (Barcelona, ES)
Application Number:
10/917045
Publication Date:
05/12/2005
Filing Date:
08/12/2004
Assignee:
EGUSQUIZA EDUARD
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K10/48; (IPC1-7): F04D1/00
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Primary Examiner:
WIEHE, NATHANIEL EDWARD
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Michael J. Buchenhorner (Miami, FL, US)
Claims:
1. A hand-drying device, comprising: a volute defining a spiral air passage, the volute comprising a spiral conduit for air, the conduit having an input at its center, a peripheral output, and a cross section that increases from the input to the output; and a motor, located at the center of the volute and connected to the input of the volute for pulling in air from the environment at an input velocity and for passing the air through a the volute input to the volute output to expel the air at an output velocity that is greater than the input velocity; wherein the spiral conduit comprises a cross-section that increases progressively from the input to the output.

2. The hand-drying device of claim 1, wherein the output comprises a segment comprising an extension of the volute.

3. The hand-drying device of claim 1, wherein the volute comprises a point where the volute narrows and wherein the output comprises an air outlet nozzle.

4. The hand-drying device of claim 3, further comprising a segment leading to the air outlet nozzle wherein the segment comprises a constant width along substantially its whole length.

5. The hand-drying device of claim 4, wherein the segment comprises a chamber comprising a heating element mounted thereto.

6. The hand-drying device according to claim 2, wherein the air output comprises a nozzle having a narrower section than a duct leading to the nozzle.

7. A method for providing a stream of air for drying hands, the method comprising: pulling environmental air into an input of a volute; and passing the environmental air through a volute having a cross section that increases from the input to its output.

8. The method of claim 7, further comprising heating the environmental air before it is expelled at the output.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Applicant claims priority of Spanish Patent Application No. P200301954, filed Aug. 13, 2003.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED-RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE OF MATERIAL SUBMITTED ON A COMPACT DISC

Not Applicable.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention disclosed broadly relates to the field of hand drying devices, and more particularly relates to a reduced-dimension hand-drying device.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Known hand dryer devices generally include a fairly powerful motor to draw in and expel an amount of air sufficient to fulfill the purpose of drying hands. Such a motor consumes a certain amount of electricity and is of a certain size, which has an effect of generally requiring a fairly powerful motor to draw in and expel an amount of air sufficient to fulfill the purpose. This has an effect on the overall size of the device, of requiring complex configurations which, to make the size smaller, have an adverse impact on the performance of the device. Therefore, there is a need for a hand dryer device that overcomes these detriments.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly, the claimed invention relates to a hand-drying device of the type that includes a turbine powered by a motor for drawing in outside (environmental) air and, after passing the air through a volute, expelling it at a higher speed through an air outflow duct. The device includes a volute in whose air intake area the turbine-motor assembly is located. The volute has from its initial point, coiling around the turbine's centrifugal impeller, a spiral configuration whose cross section widens progressively up to the point where it connects with the air outflow duct. The duct ends in a progressively narrowing segment that ends in an air outlet nozzle. This configuration makes it possible for the hand dryer device to have reduced dimensions and power consumption, in addition to leveraging to the maximum fluid-dynamic performance.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a side elevation schematic view of a hand-drying device according to the present invention, sectioned as indicated by the A-A cutoff line shown in FIG. 4.

FIG. 2 illustrates a front elevation schematic view of the device of FIG. 1 without the motor.

FIG. 3 illustrates a transversal section schematic view of the device, sectioned as indicated by the B-B cutoff line in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 illustrates a bottom plan schematic view of the device without the motor.

FIG. 5 illustrates a schematic view in perspective of the device without the motor-turbine assembly.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to FIG. 1, a hand-drying device comprises a single-intake chamber or volute 1 that has an off-center area or opening 2 (see FIG. 2) for entry or intake of ambient air. Inside the volute 1 there is a motor-turbine assembly 3 used to pull in air (see FIG. 3). A single-intake centrifugal impeller 4 is placed inside the volute 1 while the motor 5 protrudes from the volute (see FIG. 3).

The above-mentioned air intake area or opening 2 is tilted peripherally towards the inside of the volute 1 and has a variable width, being wider at the front-end and narrower at the mouth of the impeller 4 (see also FIGS. 3 and 5). This configuration minimizes blockage of the air intake due to the presence of the motor 5. The volute 1 is spiral-shaped 7 from its front end 6, it coils around the impeller 4 (see FIG. 1) and progressively increases in cross-section until its back-end 7′ connects with a duct 8 from which the suctioned air will flow out. In an embodiment of the present invention, the duct 8 duct may be an extension of the volute 1, as illustrated.

The duct 8 can be straight, and uniformly shaped along its whole length. The duct 8 may have a rectangular shape, as illustrated, or an alternative shape. The interior of the duct 8 comprises a flow-equalization chamber 8′ that minimizes the blockage therein of the outgoing air using a heating element 9 and multiple transverse and parallel fins 10′ incorporated into the chamber 8′ (see FIG. 1). The fins 10′ comprise a grill 10 lodged between the heating element 9 and a progressively narrowing segment 11 ending the duct 8. The narrowing segment 11, which is free from sharp angles and ends in the air outlet nozzle 12, ensures that the air will be progressively channeled and concentrated as it exits, reducing the turbulence level and minimizing the loss of pressure. The air outlet nozzle 12 can be rectangular (as illustrated) or have an alternative shape.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the volute 1 and the impeller 4 include a double intake. The device is mounted in a suitable housing for holding the components of the device. The housing is fastened to a pertinent wall or partition through the device. The housing includes a flat, quadrangular vertical base 13 consisting of an expanded lateral face of the volute-duct assembly 1, 8 (see FIGS. 1 and 4) that are opposite the face including the ambient air intake area 2. The base 13 includes openings 14 suitable for fastening the device to a wall or partition, as indicated.

Although specific embodiments of the invention have been disclosed, those having ordinary skill in the art will understand that changes can be made to the specific embodiments without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. The scope of the invention is not to be restricted, therefore, to the specific embodiments. Furthermore, it is intended that the appended claims cover any and all such applications, modifications, and embodiments within the scope of the present invention.