Title:
Universal adapter for moisture removal
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A moisture removal system for removal system for treating water-damaged structures is provided. The system includes a base that attaches to a variety of air movers and multiple ports that attach to duct and direct flows of air to different areas, as well as an adapter allowing attachment to additional air movers.



Inventors:
Storrer, Ernest J. (Bothell, WA, US)
Storrer, Eric Sean (Bothell, WA, US)
Application Number:
11/330029
Publication Date:
10/04/2007
Filing Date:
01/10/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
454/241
International Classes:
F25D17/08; F24F7/00; F24F13/00; F25D17/06
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
GRAVINI, STEPHEN MICHAEL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Foster Garvey PC (Seattle, WA, US)
Claims:
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. A flow diverter, comprising: a base configured to operably connect to an air mover; and, a cap configured with a plurality of ports, the ports configured to operably connect to a duct.

2. The diverter of claim 1, wherein the base is configured to operably connect to a plurality of air movers.

3. The diverter of claim 1, wherein a perimeter of the base increases as the height of the base increases.

4. The diverter of claim 1, wherein the base includes a plurality of tiered rings, such that the base may operably connect to a plurality of air movers.

5. The diverter of claim 1, including at least one port cover, the port cover configured to operably connect to a port such that the cover blocks a flow of air through the port.

6. The diverter of claim 1, including an adapter configured to operably connect the diverter to at least one additional air mover.

7. The flow diverter of claim 1, wherein the base is cone-shaped.

8. The flow diverter of claim 1, wherein the base is pyramid-shaped.

9. A ventilation system comprising: an air mover; and a flow diverter, the flow diverter having a base and a cap, the cap comprising a plurality of ports, the base configured to operably attach to the air mover.

10. The ventilation system of claim 9, including a plurality of ducts configured to operably couple to the ports.

11. The ventilation system of claim 10, wherein the ducts are hoses.

12. The ventilation system of claim 9, wherein the air mover is an Abatement Technologies 1800.

13. A method for directing air flow for drying purposes, comprising the steps of: operably coupling a flow diverter having a plurality of ports to an air mover; operably-coupling an end of at least one hose to a port of the flow diverter; operating the air mover to create a flow of air; and, placing another end of the at least one hose to direct a flow of air to a desired location.

14. The method of claim 13, further comprising operably coupling at least one port cover to a port of the flow diverter.

15. The method of claim 13, further comprising: operably coupling additional hose ends to the flow diverter; and placing the additional hoses to direct multiple flows of air to multiple desired locations.

Description:

PRIORITY CLAIM

This application claims the benefit of the filing date of co-pending U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/642,825, attorney docket number INJS-1-1005, filed on Jan. 10, 2005, titled, “UNIVERSAL ADAPTER FOR MOISTURE REMOVAL,” under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e). This application is also a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/605,267 filed Sep. 18, 2003, which is a divisional of and claims priority to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/516,827 filed Mar. 1, 2000, and claims the benefit of U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 60/123,401 filed Mar. 8, 1999. This application also claims priority to 10/997,211 filed on Nov. 24, 2004. This application also claims priority to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/785,383 filed on Feb. 24, 2004. Each of the above applications is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety as if fully set forth herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates generally to remediation of water-damaged structures and, more specifically, to increasing the productivity and efficiency of air movers used to remove moisture from water-damaged structures.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Buildings suffer water damage, from floods, sprinkler systems, storms, and other acts of nature. After all standing water is removed from a building, the building—floors, carpets, walls—must be dried. This drying is accomplished with air movers, or fans. The fans are placed in or near the room to be dried and positioned so that the fan blows air through the area. The air absorbs moisture as it moves through the area and the moist air continues out of the area.

Fans may only produce a flow of air in one direction. They are often used inefficiently, as in a situation where a damp area is small such that the fan produces much more air flow than is needed to dry the area in a timely manner. In this case, any excess capacity of the fan may be wasted. In cases where there are many damp areas in different locations, a user may have too few fans to finish the job in a timely manner. A user may have to acquire more fans, thereby increasing the cost of remediation.

A need exists for a device which may increase the productivity and efficiency of fans, and to reduce the number of fans needed for any particular job.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A system and method of utilizing fan capacity more efficiently is provided.

One embodiment comprises a system for directing an air flow from a fan more efficiently and productively. The system may comprise a flow diverter that a user may connect to a fan, such that the diverter may direct multiple flows of air in multiple directions.

In accordance with further aspects of the invention, the diverter may comprise one or more ports capable of attachment to air ducts or hoses. The diverter may direct a flow of air to each hose, and each hose may direct a flow of air to a different area. In accordance with still further aspects of the invention, the diverter may additionally comprise one or more port covers which may be attached to the ports to block a flow of air.

In accordance with other aspects of the invention, the diverter may be configured to connect to a variety of fans, and may be used on the intake or exhaust of the fans.

In accordance with still further aspects of the invention, a ventilation system is provided, comprising a fan which may produce a flow of air, and a flow diverter which may be attached to the fan to produce multiple flows of air through multiple diverter ports.

In accordance with yet other aspects of the invention, hoses are also provided, which may be attached to the diverter ports to direct the multiple flows of air to multiple locations.

In accordance with still another aspect of the invention, the system may additionally comprise an adapter which, when attached to the diverter, may allow the diverter to connect to a wider variety of fans.

In accordance with still further aspects of the invention, a method of using a ventilation system of the present invention is provided.

As will be readily appreciated from the foregoing summary, the invention provides a system and method of increasing the productivity and efficiency of air movers.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Preferred and alternative embodiments of the present invention are described in detail below with reference to the following drawings.

FIG. 1A is a cross-section of a flow diverter of an embodiment of the present invention;

FIGS. 1B and 1C show diverter embodiments with pyramidal and cone-shaped bases, respectively.

FIG. 2 is a top view of a port of the diverter of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of an adapter of an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a diverter showing a cap and a plurality of ports;

FIG. 5 is a view of a diverter showing tiered rings of a base of the diverter;

FIG. 6 shows an adapter of an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7 shows the adapter of FIG. 6 attached to a flow diverter;

FIG. 8 shows an Abatement Technologies air mover;

FIG. 9 shows the air mover of FIG. 8 attached to a diverter;

FIG. 10 shows a conventional air mover;

FIG. 11 shows the air mover of FIG. 10 attached to a diverter;

FIG. 12 shows a fan attached to a diverter assembly.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In accordance with the several principles of the present invention, a flow diverter embodiment is generally indicated at reference numeral 100 of FIG. 1 and the other various figures of the drawings. The flow diverter 100 is generally hemispherical in shape and includes a rounded cap 110 and a circular base 120. While the preferred embodiment of most of the components of the described system are preferably constructed of plastic, those components may be made of other suitable materials known to those of ordinary skill in the art.

A perimeter of the base 120 varies in diameter in a stepwise fashion such that it may operably connect to a variety of air movers having flow outlets or inlets of differing diameters. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the base 120 has a three-tiered circular perimeter. The radii of the tiers from smallest to largest are twelve inches, fourteen inches, and sixteen inches, respectively, in this embodiment. Other embodiments may include a cone-shaped perimeter (as in FIG. 1B) or a pyramidal perimeter (FIG. 1C). The cone-shaped base may allow attachment to a variety of air movers with circular exhausts, and the pyramidal base allows attachment to a variety of air movers with square exhausts. In each case, the base 120b, 120c may be attached to a variety of air movers with clips (not shown) to form an operable seal between the base 120b, 120c and the air movers.

The cap 110 is hemispherical and includes a plurality of cylindrical ports 130. Each port 130 may include means for attaching a hose or duct. In this embodiment, the ports 130 include flanges 140 as shown in FIG. 2 (and FIG. 4), while alternate embodiments may include clips, screw threads, or other means of attachment. Embodiments may include one or more port covers (not shown) which may be attached to unused ports 130 to prevent a flow of air through the ports 130.

FIG. 3 shows a further aspect of the present invention, an adapter generally indicated at reference numeral 300 that may be operably connected to the base 120 of the diverter 100 of FIG. 1. The adapter 300 includes a circular aperture 310 to which the diverter 100 is attached. The diverter 100 may be attached with clips, threads, or other means; in the embodiment shown, the adapter 300 is configured to slide into the diverter 100 and be held in place by friction. The adapter 300 also includes a square or rectangular aperture 320 that may be configured to attach to an air mover with a square or rectangular exhaust. In this way, the diverter 100 may be operably connected to a variety of air movers with a variety of exhaust sizes and shapes.

FIG. 4 shows a second embodiment of a flow diverter generally indicated at reference numeral 400. The cap 410 includes a plurality of ports 430 with flanges 440 for hose attachment. The base 420 is circular, does not include tiers, and is attached to an air mover with clips (not shown). FIG. 5 shows the base 520 of the embodiment of FIG. 1. The base 520 includes, in this embodiment, three tiered rings 450a, 450b, 450c of different radii for attachment to air movers with circular exhausts or intakes of different radii. The cap 510 includes ports 530 with flanges 540.

FIG. 6 shows an adapter generally indicated at reference numeral 600. The adapter 600 includes a circular aperture 610 for attaching to the diverter 400, and a rectangular aperture 620 for attaching to an air mover with a rectangular exhaust. FIG. 7 shows the adapter 600 of FIG. 6 attached to a diverter 610.

FIG. 8 shows a conventional air mover generally indicated at reference numeral 800 which is useable with embodiments of the present invention, and FIG. 9 shows the air mover 800 operably attached to a diverter 810. Similarly, FIG. 10 shows a conventional air mover 1000, and FIG. 11 shows the air mover 1000 operably attached to a diverter 1010.

FIG. 12 shows an embodiment of the device generally indicated at reference numeral 1200 with a fan 1210. The base 1220 is attached to the fan 1210 so that the base 1220 does not interfere with the fan blades and the output of the fan 1210 is directed to through the base 1220 to the cap 1230. The cap 130 includes several ports 1240 with hoses 1250 and port covers 1260 attached.

While the preferred embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described, as noted above, other embodiments are contemplated which can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, and which will be apparent to those of ordinary skill upon reviewing this disclosure. Accordingly, the scope of the invention is not limited by the disclosure of the preferred embodiment. Instead, the invention should be determined entirely by reference to the claims that follow.





 
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