Title:
Heat exchanger comprising an integrated supply and discharge
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A heat exchanger, with a core region having a plurality of tube bundles through which a fluid flows in series is provided with at least one specially designed header composed of two half shells. The specially designed header deflects the fluid stream between two successive tube bundles in opposite directions, with the supply and discharge of the fluid to and from the core region through the header. The resulting heat exchanger is structurally simple, having a minimum number of components to be mounted.



Inventors:
Bohn, Michael (Weinstadt, DE)
Sitterlee, Darius (Goeppingen, DE)
Application Number:
10/569376
Publication Date:
03/29/2007
Filing Date:
08/13/2004
Assignee:
DAIMLER CHRYSLER AG (Stuttgart, DE)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
165/110, 165/176
International Classes:
F28B1/00; F28D1/053; F28F9/02; F28F9/04; F28F27/02
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
LEO, LEONARD R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CROWELL & MORING LLP (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. 1-14. (canceled)

15. A heat exchanger for a fluid, comprising: a core region with at least two tube bundles of tubes arranged in parallel, through which the fluid flows; collecting container headers arranged on end faces of the core region and open to end faces of the tubes, a supply for supplying the fluid into the core region; a discharge for discharging fluid out of the core region; and wherein the headers include transverse partitions which delimit regions of the headers through which the at least two tube bundles are fluidly connected in series, and at least one header has a longitudinal partition which subdivides the header into a first region open to the tubes and a second region which is a tube bundle bypass.

16. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 15, wherein a block screw connection containing the supply and the discharge is arranged at one end of one of the headers.

17. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 16, wherein the longitudinal partition of the header has at least two passage orifices.

18. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 17, wherein a connection between the second part region of the header and a tube bundle of the core region is formed by at least one of the passage orifices in the longitudinal partition and a connection of the second part region to the block screw connection is formed by another of the at least two passage orifices.

19. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 16, wherein the block screw connection is arranged fixedly on the header.

20. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 15, wherein the at least one header having a longitudinal partition is formed from an open half shell and a closed half shell.

21. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 15, wherein the second part region of the at least one header having a longitudinal partition faces away from the tubes, and is continuous over a length of the header.

22. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 21, wherein the second part region of the header is subdivided into at least two separate ducts for the routing of two independent fluid streams.

23. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 22, wherein the at least two ducts of the second part region are arranged in parallel.

24. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 22, wherein the second part region is formed as a closed half shell having two chambers.

25. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 23, wherein the second part region is formed as a closed half shell having two chambers.

26. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 15, wherein the headers are configured to be received in a corresponding guide rail for holding the heat exchanger.

27. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 26, wherein the heat exchanger is an air conditioning condenser.

28. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 27, wherein the air conditioning condenser has a supercooling stage.

29. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 26, wherein the heat exchanger is a gas cooler.

Description:

This application is a national phase application of International application PCT/EP2004/009111, filed Aug. 13, 2004 and claims the priority of German application No. 103 39 072.3, filed Aug. 26, 2003, the disclosure of which are expressly incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a heat exchanger for a fluid.

Heat exchangers are used, for example, in the air conditioning systems of motor vehicles, in which, via the multiplicity of tubes and large surface resulting from these, heat transmission between the fluid circulating in the tubes and the outside air is carried out. The various applications may involve both changes in temperature of the fluid and changes in heat due to phase transition of the fluid.

Such a heat exchanger is known, for example, from DE 198 30 329 A1. The heat exchanger described in this publication is a coolant or refrigerant condenser with a core region having a multiplicity of tubes which extend horizontally and are arranged parallel to one a meandering manner, the deflection of the fluid when it emerges from one of the tubes or tube bundles and when it reenters the next tube or tube bundle in the opposite direction taking place in headers arranged on both end faces of the tubes and open with respect to these. The inflow and outflow of the coolant or refrigerant into and out of the heat exchanger take place via a connecting block which is connected via pipelines to the first tube where the fluid enters the heat exchanger and to the last tube when the fluid emerges from the heat exchanger.

An object of the invention is to provide a heat exchanger which is structurally simple and having a minimum number of components to be mounted on the heat exchanger.

To achieve this object, in a generic heat exchanger, there is provided a heat exchanger in which at least one header has in the longitudinal direction a partition which subdivides the header into a first region open to the tubes and connecting these and a second region which is a bypass with respect to the tube bundles.

With the at least one header being divided, this gives rise not only to the region in which the control and deflection of the fluid stream meandering through the serial tube bundles take place, but also to a second region which forms a bypass with respect to the tube bundles. This arrangement makes it possible to control the entire fluid stream within the heat exchanger solely by the tubes of the core region and the headers in each case arranged on the end faces of the tubes. Since the header or headers assumes or assume the function of supplies and discharges with respect to the core region of the heat exchanger, further functional components in this respect are unnecessary.

In an advantageous development, a block having the supply and discharges with respect to the heat exchanger is arranged at one end of the header. Via this block, the fluid is supplied to the heat exchanger and, after being routed to the individual tubes or tube bundles from the corresponding regions in the header, is discharged from the heat exchanger again.

Also advantageously, the longitudinal partition of the header has at least two passage orifices through which the fluid can be conducted from the conducting region of the header through the passage orifices and via the deflection region of the header and be returned in the opposite direction. Depending on the choice of position of the passage orifices, fluid exchange between the conducting region of the header and the tubes can take place at a largely freely selectable point over the length of the header, with the result that the flow path of fluid through the tube bundles can also be influenced.

In this case, a connection to a tube bundle can be formed by at least one first of the passage orifices in the longitudinal partition and a connection to the junctions of the block can be formed by at least one second of the passage orifices. That is to say, the fluid stream can be routed from the block into the deflection region of the header, then conducted through the tube system in a meandering manner and be led back to the block via the conducting region of the header. The fluid stream can also be routed in the same way in the opposite direction.

In this case, it is beneficial to arrange the block having the supplies and discharges fixedly on the header, so that the entire heat exchanger can be mounted in one piece without further additional components.

It is expedient, further, for the header to be composed of an open half shell and of a closed half shell which can be connected fixedly in a simple way.

In a first alternative design, the second region is open over the length of the header, so that the fluid stream can be conducted over the entire length of the header between the block and, selectively, the starting point of the end point of the fluid stream in the heat exchanger.

In the second alternative embodiment, that region of the header which faces away from the tubes is subdivided into two separate regions, with the result that at least two independent fluid streams can be routed in the region. By means of this configuration, there is the possibility of introducing and discharging the fluid stream into and out of the system of tubes or tube bundles at two different points and of being able to route the fluid streams resulting from these in the second region of the header completely independently of one another.

In an advantageous design of the second alternative, the region is subdivided into two ducts arranged in parallel. Thus, in a simple production process, a header can be produced, by means of which a plurality of introductions and discharges of the fluid stream into and out of the conducting region of the header can be carried out at a freely selectable point, without the inflow and the return flow of the fluid stream from the block being impaired.

In an expedient development, in this case, the closed half shell is designed in a structurally simple way as a double chamber.

In the invention, taken as a whole, the headers are advantageously designed to be pushed into a guide rail for holding the heat exchanger. One of the criteria for the advantageous configuration of the heat exchanger is to limit this to a minimum number of necessary components and to fulfill all the functions by means of these necessary components.

In an expedient design of the invention, the heat exchanger is an air conditioning condenser, in which a coolant or refrigerant is transferred from a gaseous phase into a liquid phase, with heat being discharged into the ambient air.

Alternatively, the heat exchanger may also be designed as a gas cooler.

In the case of an air conditioning condenser, it is particularly advantageous to design the last pass through one of the tubes or tube bundles as a supercooling stage, in each case, in the second alternative design of the header, the supercooling stage does not have to be arranged on one of the end pieces of the header, but may be arranged freely over the entire length of the header.

Other objects, advantages and novel features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the invention when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings for example.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows an overall view of a the heat exchanger in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention,

FIG. 2 shows the heat exchanger according to the embodiment in FIG. 1 in a partially cut away illustration and partially exploded illustration,

FIG. 3 shows a cross-sectional illustration of the header according to the version in FIG. 2,

FIG. 4 shows an alternative embodiment of the heat exchanger in a partially cut away illustration and partially exploded illustration,

FIG. 5 shows a cross-sectional illustration of the header according to the embodiment in FIG. 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 shows a heat exchanger which is designed as an air conditioning condenser 10 which is integrated into a coolant or refrigerant cycle, not illustrated, of a conventional air conditioning system of a motor vehicle.

The cooling or refrigerating fluid is supplied in gas form in the air conditioning condenser 10 and is condensed into its liquid phase, with heat being discharged. For this purpose the air conditioning condenser 10 has a core region 12 with a multiplicity of tubes which are arranged horizontally and in parallel and over the large overall surface of which the heat released during the condensing or cooling of the fluid can be discharged into the ambient air flowing around the tubes.

The air conditioning condenser 10 has, in addition to the core region 12 of the individual tubes, two collecting containers 14, 16 which are arranged in each case on the end faces of the individual tubes of the core region 12 and which are connected to the tubes. The cooling or refrigerating fluid is supplied to and discharged from the air conditioning condenser 10 via the block screw connection 18. For this purpose, the block screw connection 18 has a first junction 20 for the supply and a second junction 21 for the discharge of the fluid. The junctions for the supplies and discharges may also be interchanged as a function of the flow routing of the fluid.

The individual tubes of the core region 12 are connected on the end faces to orifices on the collecting containers 14, 16, so that the fluid circulating in the air conditioning condenser can be conducted via the collecting containers from one individual tube to the next individual tube.

In the conventional design, the air conditioning condenser 10 has, furthermore, a filling valve 22 and a drier bottle 24 for drying the circulating fluid by means of granulate contained in the drier bottle. Furthermore, the drier bottle 24 forms a buffer in the case of possible overfilling.

The block screw connection 18 may be arranged on the collecting container 16, in which case the routing of the fluid may take place via the collecting container 16 in the way outlined below, so that, apart from the block screw connection 18, there is no need for any further pipework with the corresponding additional components.

With the exception of the necessary junctions (20, 21) for the supply and discharge of the block screw connection 18, no further components are necessary for the functioning and for the fastening of the air conditioning condenser 10. By virtue of this compact type of construction of the air conditioning condenser 10, the latter can be held, for example, by the collecting containers 14, 16 being pushed into correspondingly designed rails, for example on the cooling module.

FIG. 2 shows the collecting container 16 in a partially exploded illustration. The collecting container 16 is designed as a double tube with the separate regions 16a and 16b, partitions 26a to 26e being arranged transversely to the longitudinal direction of the collecting container 16 and parallel to the tubes of the core region 12 in addition to the separation in the longitudinal direction of the collecting container 16.

The longitudinal division of the collecting container 16 and the partitions 26 serve for routing the fluid stream of the coolant or refrigerant in a meandering manner through the tube system in the core region 12 of the air conditioning condenser 10. Slots 28 are shown in the part region 16a of the collecting container 16, each slot being connected to a tube of the core region 12.

By means of the partitions 26a to 26d, the individual tubes issuing in each case between two partitions into the region 16a of the collecting container form a tube bundle in which the fluid in each case flows codirectionally. The part region 16a of the collecting container 16 deflects the fluid stream coming from one tube bundle into the tube bundle following in series, so that the fluid stream flows through the successive tube bundles in each case in the opposite direction. The corresponding region, not illustrated, of the second collecting container 14 is constructed in a similar way to the part region 16a of the collecting container and with the same function.

The fluid stream (illustrated by broken lines) enters the air conditioning condenser 10 via the supply line 20 of the block screw connection 18. The fluid stream is conducted through a passage orifice 30, provided in the partition between the region 16a and 16b of the collecting container 16, into the region 16b of the collecting container (arrow A) and in this part region rises upward (arrow B) as far as a second passage orifice 32 arranged at the upper end of the collecting container 16, transition taking place back into the region 16b of the collecting container.

Via the orifices 28a which are arranged in the portion of the part region 16a between the partitions 26a and 26b, the fluid stream enters the tubes which form a tube bundle and are connected to the orifices 28a (arrow C).

After passing through these tubes and being deflected in the collecting container 14, not shown, the fluid stream is returned in the next tube bundle to the collecting container 16 (arrow D).

The meandering throughflow through the tubes of the core region 12 takes place in a similar way in the next tube bundles (arrow E, F).

The number of individual tubes forming a bundle can be determined by the positioning of the partition 26 in adaption to the actual application.

After flowing through all the tube bundles provided, the fluid stream is led out of the air conditioning condenser by the discharge line 21 of the block screw connection 18 (arrow G).

The two part regions 16a, 16b of the collecting container 16 which are designed as double tube halves are produced separately from aluminum and are subsequently soldered. The block screw connection 18 is also connected fixedly to the part region 16a by soldering. The partitions 26a and 26e arranged on the end faces of the collecting container 16 in each case cover the entire cross section of the collecting container 16, so that an emergence of fluid is prevented. The last portion of the throughflow through the core region 12 (arrow F) is designed as a supercooling region in which the fluid which is already condensed out and is in the liquid phase experiences a lowering of temperature to a temperature below the evaporation temperature.

According to the cross section, shown in FIG. 3, of the collecting container 16, the latter is composed of a part region 16a designed as an open half shell and of a part region 16b designed as a closed half shell, these two part regions being connected to one another by soldering. The part region 16b fulfills the function of a supply line to the core region of the air conditioning condenser, while the part region 16a serves for controlling and steering the fluid stream when it emerges from a tube bundle or when it subsequently re-enters the next following tube bundle. In this illustration, the partition 16c can be seen, which is an integral part of the part region 16b of closed design and which separates the part regions 16a and 16b over the entire length of the collecting container 16, with the exception of the passage orifices 30, 32 (FIG. 2). The cross section according to FIG. 3 lies in the lower portion of the header 16. FIG. 3 shows both the block screw connection 18 and the partition 26e which sealingly closes off the header 16 on the lower end face of the latter and passes completely through the two part regions 16a, 16b.

FIG. 4 shows an air conditioning condenser, in which, by means of a differently constructed collecting container 16, the flow of the fluid can be varied, as compared with the first alternative described, in such a way that the tube bundles follow one another such that the last throughflow tube bundle is not located on the bottom of the collecting container 16, but in a position vertically above the latter. The supercooling region of the fluid can thereby be placed on a largely freely selectable tube bundle when the outside temperature conditions make this necessary. Details described separately with reference to FIG. 4 correspond to those of the design alternatives described above.

Owing to the simple design of the air conditioning condenser with the two collecting containers 16, 14 and with the block screw connection 18 arranged on the foot side of the header 16, no changes to these are necessary.

The changed fluid flow is possible solely as a result of a structural change in the part region 16b of the collecting container 16. According to the variant described here, this part region is designed as a double tube, and the fluid stream can be routed in a crossed manner in the double tube without any impairments.

As illustrated in FIG. 4, the supply and outlet orifices 20, 21 of the block screw connection are controlled conversely to the way illustrated in FIG. 2, so that the fluid stream is conducted (arrow H) via the junction of the supply line 20 into the part region 16a and from there into the lowermost tube bundle, delimited by the partitions 27f and 27g, of the core region 12. In this embodiment, the fluid is conveyed upward in the core region and is returned again in the opposite direction in the adjacent tube bundle (arrow I). After running through the tube bundle according to the arrow I, the fluid stream passes through a first of four passage orifices 33a into a first duct 17a of the region 16a, designed as a double tube half, of the collecting container 16 and is conveyed in this to the upper end of the header 16 to the second passage orifice 33b (arrow J).

After the passage orifice 33b, the fluid stream passes into the region of the part region 16a of the header 16 between the partitions 27a and 27b and from there into the tube bundle arranged in this region (arrow K). From this tube bundle arranged in the upper portion of the core region 12, the fluid stream is routed in the way stated above through three tube bundles arranged in series (arrows L, M and N) and then passes, between the two partitions 27c, 27d, through the third passage orifice 33c into the second chamber 17b of the region 16b, designed as a double tube, of the header 16. The fluid stream is routed (arrow O) through this chamber 17b to the lower end of the header 16 and is conducted via the fourth passage orifice 33d from the part region 16b into the part region 16a and from there to the outlet orifice 21 of the block screw connection 18.

As is evident from this application according to FIG. 4, the last throughflow tube bundle of the core region 12 of the air conditioning condenser 10 is located approximately in the middle of the air conditioning condenser in this alternative embodiment (arrow N). Since this last pass through a tube bundle constitutes the supercooling stage, if such is incorporated, it should be ensured that this region is not exposed to any heat radiation from other assemblies of the air conditioning system or of the motor vehicle.

In a conventionally arranged air conditioning system, the charge air cooler is often adjacent to the lower region of the air conditioning condenser, so that, in the case of a high engine power, high heat radiation occurs which makes it necessary to change the location of the supercooling stage.

It is possible to change the location of the supercooling stage, without additional structural measures, by means of the header 16 designed according to FIG. 4.

As can be seen from FIG. 4, furthermore, the fluid stream, by being routed crosswise in the chambers 17a and 17b, can be routed through the core region in such a way that the position of the supercooling stage can be as far as possible selected freely.

FIG. 5 shows a cross section of the header 16 which again is constructed from two half shells 16 and 16a which consist of aluminum and are soldered. The region 16a has an unchanged design, as compared with the first variant, and again serves, above all, for steering the fluid stream from one tube bundle to the next following tube bundle. The part region 16b designed as a double tube has a chamber 17a, via which the fluid, after the first two passes through the two lower tube bundles (arrow H, I according to FIG. 4), is transported into the upper region of the header (arrow J according to FIG. 4).

After the last pass through a tube bundle, usually the supercooling stage, the chamber 17b receives the fluid (arrow N according to FIG. 4) and routes the supercooled fluid into the lower region of the header 16, from where the fluid leaves the air conditioning condenser via the block screw connection 18.

The foregoing disclosure has been set forth merely to illustrate the invention and is not intended to be limiting. Since modifications of the disclosed embodiments incorporating the spirit and substance of the invention may occur to persons skilled in the art, the invention should be construed to include everything within the scope of the appended claims and equivalents thereof.