Title:
Header and coil connections for a heat exchanger
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A header and coil connection assembly is provided for a heat exchanger. The header is comprised of a first section of a generally half cylindrical structure and a second section of a generally half cylindrical structure. The second section has a plurality of openings each of which receives a heat exchanger tube. The heat exchanger tubes are connected to the second section by welding around the opening.



Inventors:
Aaron, David A. (Reisterstown, MD, US)
Mcnelia, John A. (Harington, DE, US)
Flamm, Katherine K. (Baltimore, MD, US)
Application Number:
10/937141
Publication Date:
03/09/2006
Filing Date:
09/09/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
165/178
International Classes:
F28F9/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
FLANIGAN, ALLEN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
AMSTED Industries Incorporated (Chicago, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A header for use in a heat exchanger, the header comprising a generally cylindrical tube structure comprised of two half sections, a first section comprised of a half generally cylindrical structure, having a first end, a second end, a top edge and a bottom edge, the top edge and the bottom edge running the length of the first section, a second section comprised of a half generally cylindrical structure having a first end, a second end, a top edge and a bottom edge, the top edge and the bottom edge running the length of the second section, the second section having a plurality of openings between the top edge and the bottom edge, such openings extending through the half generally cylindrical structure, the first section being joined to the second section along the respective top edges and bottom edges to form a header.

2. The header of claim 1 wherein the first section is joined to the second section by welding along the joined top edges and bottom edges.

3. The header of claim 1 wherein a heat exchanger tube is welded to each of the plurality of openings in the second section.

4. The header of claim 1 wherein a heat exchanger tube is welded to each of the plurality of openings in the second section and wherein the welding is performed around each opening on a concave side of the second section half generally cylindrical structure.

5. The header of claim 1 wherein a heat exchanger tube is welded to each of the plurality of openings in the second section and wherein the welding is performed around each opening on both a concave and a convex side of the second section half generally cylindrical structure.

6. A method of making a header for use in a heat exchanger comprising the steps of: providing a first section comprised of a half generally cylindrical structure having a first end, a second end, a top edge and a bottom edge, the top edge and the bottom edge running the length of the first section, providing a second section comprised of a half generally cylindrical structure having a first end, a second end, a top edge and a bottom edge, the top edge and the bottom edge running the length of the second section, providing a plurality of openings in the second section half generally cylindrical structure between the top edge and the bottom edge, joining at least one heat exchanger tube to one of the openings in the second section half generally cylindrical structure, and joining the first section to the second section along the respective top and bottom edges to form a header.

7. The method of claim 6 wherein the heat exchanger tube is joined to the second section half generally cylindrical structure by welding around the opening in the second section.

8. The method of claim 7 wherein the second section has a concave side and the welding is performed around the opening receiving the heat exchanger tube on the concave side.

9. The method of claim 7 wherein the second section has a concave side and a convex side and the welding is performed around the opening receiving the heat exchanger tube on the concave side and on the convex side.

10. A method of making a header for use in a heat exchanger comprising the steps of: providing a first section comprised of an elongated, generally half cylindrical structure having a first end, a second end, a top edge and a bottom edge, the top edge and the bottom edge running the length of the first section, providing a second section comprised of an elongated, generally half cylindrical structure having a first end, a second end, a top edge and a bottom edge, the top edge and the bottom edge running the length of the first section, providing a plurality of openings in the second section between the top edge and the bottom edge, joining at least one heat exchanger tube to one of the openings in the second section by welding around the heat exchanger tube at the opening, and joining the first section to the second section by welding along the respective top and bottom edges to form a header.

11. The method of claim 10 wherein the second section has a concave side and the welding is performed at the opening receiving the heat exchanger tube on the concave side of the second section.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

The present invention relates to an improved header and method for making a header for use in a heat exchanger or thermal storage device.

Indirect fluid cooling arrangements are comprised of a plurality of tubular passageways immersed in a pool of liquid within a vessel. The pool of liquid itself is cooled, usually by the use of a cooling tower. In turn, the liquid passing through the plurality of tubular passageways is cooled by the indirect contact with the pool of cooled liquid.

Such a fluid cooling arrangement is similar to an ice storage arrangement. In an ice storage arrangement, a refrigerant liquid is provided from a mechanical refrigeration unit through a plurality of tubular passageways immersed in a pool of liquid within a vessel. The refrigerant acts to form ice about the tubular passageways from the pool of liquid, which is usually water. During supplemental cooling, the refrigerant liquid itself is circulated through the plurality of tubular passageways after the refrigerant has been warmed by passing through a heat exchanger in an air conditioning or cooling system. Such a refrigerant is thusly sub-cooled by passing through the ice surrounded passageways. The refrigerant in turn melts the ice surrounding the passageways. This is the concept of ice thermal storage.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved header for use in a heat exchanger or thermal storage device.

A header and tubular coil connection assembly is provided for use in a heat exchanger or ice thermal storage device. The header is comprised of a first section of a generally half cylindrical structure, and a second section of a generally half cylindrical structure. Each of the first and second sections are formed of an elongated structure, typically formed into a half cylindrical or nearly half cylindrical structure in a bending operation. It is within the scope of the present invention to provide a generally half cylindrical structure utilizing multiple bends that approach a purely half cylindrical form.

One of the first and second sections, which herein is referred to as a second section, includes a plurality of openings passing through the cylindrical structure. Due to the generally half cylindrical nature of the first and second sections, one side of each of the first and second sections can be considered a concave side, while the other side is considered a convex side. The second section has a plurality of openings, each of which receives a heat exchanger tube. The heat exchanger tube end which passes through the opening is an end of the tubular passageway that forms the indirect heat exchanger or ice thermal storage coil. Each heat exchanger tube is connected to the opening through which it passes by a suitable means, which in the case of galvanized steel heat exchanger tubes and header sections, usually is comprised of a welding operation. The welding usually is performed through the concave side of the second section, thereby allowing the end of the heat exchanger tube to be readily visible to the welder, allowing a complete and uninterrupted weld to be formed about the heat exchanger tube and opening. Such a continuous weld is important to assure a leakproof seal between the heat exchanger tube and the header section.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the drawings,

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a heat exchanger with a first embodiment of a header section in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the header section of the first of embodiment of the header section;

FIG. 3 is a side view of the first embodiment of the header section;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a heat exchanger assembly utilizing a second embodiment of the header of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of a header section of the present invention;

And FIG. 6 is a side view of a second embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to FIGS. 1-3, a heat exchanger is shown generally at 10 as comprising structural support members 12, and a plurality of tube circuits 14. Structural supports 12 are usually comprised of galvanized steel or stainless steel, while heat exchanger tubes 14 can be comprised of galvanized steel, stainless steel, or other suitable materials such as copper. Ends of heat exchanger tubes 18 are seen to extend through openings 20 in second header section 16. Header section 16 itself is usually comprised of galvanized steel, but can be comprised of stainless steel or other suitable materials such as copper.

Tubing ends 18 are seen to extend through openings 20 in second header section 16. Second header 16 itself is seen to be comprised of an elongated, generally half cylindrical shaped structure. Second header section 16 includes top edge 22 and bottom edge 24, which extend the length of second header section 16. Further, second header section 16 is seen to have a concave side 26 and a convex side 28. Further, as shown in FIG. 1, first header section 29 is seen to be assembled against second header section 16. First header section 29 is similar to second header section 16, except that it usually does not have openings to receive heat exchanger tubes therein. In all other respects, first header section 29 is similar in shape and material to second header section 16.

In assembling heat exchanger 10, heat exchanger tubes 14 are spaced and placed within structural supports 12. The ends 18 of heat exchanger tubes 14 are then placed through openings in second header section 16. A continuous weld is them formed around the section of tubing end 18 that directly passes through and is adjacent opening 20. In this manner, by forming the welding of concave side 26 of second header section 16, a continuous weldment is formed about tubing end 18 to ensure a complete and watertight weld. From an access point of view, it is seen to be difficult to perform welding about the tubing end 18 at convex side 28 of second header section 16, but it is possible to perform welding at certain of tubing end of convex side 28. However, it is seen to be preferable to perform welding from an access point of view and a continuity point of view from concave side 26 of second header section 16.

In the last step of assembling heat exchanger 10, first header section 29 is placed such that its top and bottom edges contact, respectively, top edge 22 and bottom edge 24 of second header edge 16. Then appropriate welding is performed along the junction of such edges again to produce a watertight seal between first header section 29 and second header section 16.

Referring now to FIGS. 4-6, a heat exchanger is shown generally at 30 as comprising structural support members 32, and a plurality of tube circuits 34. Structural supports 32 are usually comprised of galvanized steel or stainless steel, while heat exchanger tubes 34 can be comprised of galvanized steel, stainless steel, or other suitable materials such as copper. Ends of heat exchanger tubes 38 are seen to extend through openings 40 in first heat and second header section 36. Header section 36 itself is usually comprised of galvanized steel, but can be comprised of stainless steel or other suitable materials such as copper.

Tubing ends 38 are seen to extend through openings 40 in second header section 36. Second header section 36 itself is seen to be comprised of an elongated, generally half cylindrical shaped structure. Second header section 36 includes top edge 42 and bottom edge 44, which extend the length of second header section 36. Further, second header section 36 is seen to have a concave side 46 and a convex side 48. Further, as shown in FIG. 4, first header section 49 is seen to be assembled against second header section 36. First header section 49 is similar to second header section 36, except that it usually does not have openings to receive heat exchanger tubes therein. In all other respects, first header section 49 is similar in shape and material to second header section 36.

In assembling heat exchanger 30, heat exchanger tubes 34 are spaced and placed within structural supports 32. The ends 38 of heat exchanger tubes 34 are then placed through openings 40 in second header section 36. A continuous weld is them formed around the section of tubing end 38 that directly passes through and is adjacent opening 40. In this manner, by forming the welding of concave side 46 of second header section 36, a continuous weldment is formed about tubing end 38 to ensure a complete and watertight weld. From an access point of view, it is seen to be difficult to perform welding about the tubing end 38 at convex side 48 of second header section 36, but it is possible to perform welding at certain of tubing end of convex side 48. However, it is seen to be preferable to perform welding from an access point of view and a continuity point of view from concave side 46 of second header section 36.

In the last step of assembling heat exchanger 30, first header section 49 is placed such that its top and bottom edge contact, respectively, top edge 42 and bottom edge 44 of second header edge 36. Then appropriate welding is performed along the junction of such edges again to produce a watertight seal between first header section 49 and second header section 36.