Title:
Cooling system for a building
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cooling system for a building includes a glass structure unit having a frame and two spaced-apart inner and outer glass panels mounted on the frame. The frame and the glass panels cooperatively confine a fluidtight receiving space. A coolant fills the receiving space. A temperature-responsive flow control valve is connected to the glass structure unit, is connected fluidly to the receiving space, and has a valve casing, a valve member disposed in the valve casing, and a temperature sensor attached to the valve casing to activate the valve member to open when the temperature sensor detects that the glass structure unit has a temperature increased to a preset temperature, so that the coolant flows out from the fluidtight receiving space for replenishment of the coolant therein.



Inventors:
Kuo, Hsien-chih (Taichung, TW)
Application Number:
11/802836
Publication Date:
04/17/2008
Filing Date:
05/25/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F25D17/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GONZALEZ, PAOLO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP (McLean, VA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A cooling system for a building, comprising: a glass structure unit including a frame, and two spaced-apart inner and outer glass panels mounted on said frame, said frame and said glass panels cooperatively confining a fluidtight receiving space; a coolant filling said fluidtight receiving space; and a temperature-responsive flow control valve connected to said glass structure unit and connected fluidly to said fluidtight receiving space, and having a valve casing, a valve member disposed in said valve casing, and a temperature sensor attached to said valve casing to activate said valve member to open when said temperature sensor detects that said glass structure unit has a temperature increased to a preset temperature, so that said coolant flows out from said fluidtight receiving space for replenishment of said coolant in said fluidtight receiving space.

2. The cooling system of claim 1, wherein said glass structure unit further includes first and second passage holes communicated with said fluidtight receiving space, said coolant flowing into said fluidtight receiving space through said first passage hole, and flowing out from said fluidtight receiving space through said second passage hole.

3. The cooling system of claim 1, wherein said valve casing has a valve cavity, an inlet port and an outlet port communicated with said valve cavity, and a valve seat defining a valve orifice, said temperature-responsive flow control valve further having a spring member for biasing said valve member to abut against said valve seat so as to close said valve orifice, said temperature sensor having a temperature-sensing portion extending into said fluidtight receiving space, and an actuating portion to activate said valve member to move away from said valve seat.

4. The cooling system of claim 1, wherein said temperature sensor has a temperature-sensing portion disposed externally of said fluidtight receiving space.

5. The cooling system of claim 2, further comprising a coolant storage unit connected fluidly to said first passage hole.

6. The cooling system of claim 5, wherein said coolant storage unit is installed at a position higher than that of said second passage hole.

7. The cooling system of claim 5, further comprising a pump disposed between said coolant storage unit and said first passage hole.

8. The cooling system of claim 1, wherein said coolant is water.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a cooling system, more particularly to a cooling system for a building.

2. Description of the Related Art

A currently available glass curtain wall installed on a building utilizes a double-layered glass design, which has two spaced-apart glass panels confining a space therebetween. The space is evacuated so as to achieve the purpose of heat insulation.

Although the effect of heat insulation is obtained through evacuation of the space between the glass panels, when the glass curtain wall is heated through intense sunrays, an inner layer of the glass is still heated. Hence, there is a need to improve the heat insulating effect of the aforementioned glass curtain wall.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, the object of the present invention is to provide a cooling system that has a glass structure unit including a fluidtight receiving space and a coolant that flows automatically in and out of the receiving space to cool the glass structure unit when a preset temperature is reached.

According to this invention, a cooling system for a building comprises a glass structure unit, a coolant, and a temperature-responsive flow control valve. The glass structure unit includes a frame, and two spaced-apart inner and outer glass panels mounted on the frame. The frame and the glass panels cooperatively confine a fluidtight receiving space. The coolant fills the fluidtight receiving space. The temperature-responsive flow control valve is connected to the glass structure unit, and is connected fluidly to the fluidtight receiving space. The temperature-responsive flow control valve has a valve casing, a valve member disposed in the valve casing, and a temperature sensor attached to the valve casing to activate the valve member to open when the temperature sensor detects that the glass structure unit has a temperature increased to a preset temperature, so that the coolant flows out from the fluidtight receiving space for replenishment of the coolant in the fluidtight receiving space.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the invention, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a partly sectional view of the first preferred embodiment of a cooling system for a building according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of a glass structure unit of the first preferred embodiment taken along line II-II of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary enlarged sectional view of a temperature-responsive flow control valve of the first preferred embodiment;

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3, but with a valve member of the temperature-responsive flow control valve in a state moved away from a valve orifice;

FIG. 5 is a partly sectional view of a cooling system for a building according to the second preferred embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary enlarged sectional view of a temperature-responsive flow control valve according to the third preferred embodiment of a cooling system for a building of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Before the present invention is described in greater detail, it should be noted that the same reference numerals have been used to denote like elements throughout the specification.

Referring to FIGS. 1 to 3, the first preferred embodiment of a cooling system for a building according to the present invention is shown to comprise a glass structure unit 10, a temperature-responsive flow control valve 20, and a coolant storage unit 30.

The glass structure unit 10 includes a frame 12, an outer glass panel 11 facing the outside of a room, and an inner glass panel 11′ facing the inside of a room. The outer and inner glass panels 11, 11′ are mounted on the frame 12, and cooperate with the frame 12 to confine a fluidtight receiving space 13. The frame 12 has a bottom section 121, a top section 122, and two side sections 126 connected transversely and respectively to the bottom and top sections 121, 122. The bottom section 121 is provided with a first passage hole 123. The top section 122 is provided with a second passage hole 124 staggered with the first passage hole 123, and a mounting hole 125 proximate to the second passage hole 124. The first and second passage holes 123, 124 are communicated with the fluidtight receiving space 13.

A coolant, such as water, is filled into the receiving space 13.

The temperature-responsive flow control valve 20 is installed in the mounting hole 125 of the glass structure unit 10, and has a valve casing 21, a temperature sensor 22, a valve member 23, and a spring member 24. The valve casing 21 has a valve cavity 211, an inlet port 212 provided on one side of the valve casing 21 and connected fluidly to the second passage hole 124, and an outlet port 213 provided on the other side of the valve casing 21 and opposite to the inlet port 212. The valve cavity 211 has a small diameter hole section 214 communicating fluidly with the inlet port 212, a large diameter hole section 215 located on one side of the small diameter hole section 214 and communicating fluidly with the outlet port 213, and a shoulder portion between the small and large diameter hole sections 214, 215 and serving as a valve seat 216. The valve seat 216 defines a valve orifice 217.

The temperature sensor 22 is attached to the valve casing 21, and has a temperature-sensing portion 221 extending into the receiving space 13, and an actuating portion 222 disposed opposite to the temperature-sensing portion 221 and adjacent to the small diameter hole section 214. The actuating portion 222 is a conventional thermo element containing temperature-responsive metal component

The valve member 23 is disposed in the valve casing 21, and is located on one side of the temperature sensor 22. The valve member 23 has a valve disc 231 abutting against the valve seat 216, and a valve stem 232 extending from a bottom portion of the valve disc 231 and abutting against the actuating portion 222.

The spring member 24 is a compression spring, and is disposed in the large diameter hole section 215. The spring member 24 has two opposite ends abutting respectively against a top wall of the valve casing 21 and the valve disc 231, and biases the valve disc 231 to abut against the valve seat 216 so as to close the valve orifice 217.

The coolant storage unit 30 is a cooling tower, and is connected fluidly to the first passage hole 123 of the glass structure unit 10 through a pipe 31. In this embodiment, the coolant storage unit 30 is installed at a position higher than that of the second passage hole 124.

Referring back to FIGS. 1 and 3, under normal conditions, the actuating portion 222 of the temperature sensor 22 is in an unexpanded state, and the valve member 23 is at a closed position, that is, the valve disc 231 abuts tightly against the valve seat 216 through the biasing action of the spring member 24, so that the valve orifice 217 is closed to interrupt the fluid communication between the inlet port 212 and the outlet port 213. When the outer glass panel 11 is heated by sunrays, through the provision of the coolant in the receiving space 13, the purpose of heat insulation and cooling are attained.

Since the outer glass panel 11 is heated by sunrays, through heat conduction, the temperature of the coolant in the receiving space 13 may be increased to a preset temperature, assuming the outside temperature is not excessively low and/or the sunrays are of sufficient strength. In this embodiment, the preset temperature is 30° C. Referring to FIG. 4, in combination with FIG. 1, when the temperature of the coolant reaches the preset temperature, the temperature-sensing portion 221 of the temperature sensor 22 also increases in temperature to the preset temperature. This heat, which is at the preset temperature, is transferred from the temperature-sensing portion 221 to the actuating portion 222 of the temperature sensor 22. The actuating portion 222 expands and thus actuates the valve member 23. The valve disc 231 is thus moved away from the valve seat 216, thereby opening the valve orifice 217. At this time, as the coolant storage unit 30 is higher than the second passage hole 124, the coolant in the coolant storage unit 30 automatically flows into the receiving space 13 through the first passage hole 123, and the coolant that is originally in the receiving space 13 and that has reached the preset temperature flows out from the receiving space 13 through the second passage hole 124, the inlet port 212, the small diameter hole section 214, the valve orifice 217, the large diameter hole section 215, and the outlet port 213. As such, a cooling effect is achieved. Since the actuating portion 222 of the temperature sensor 22 that can expand is known in the art, a detailed description of the same will be dispensed herewith.

When the temperature-sensing portion 221 detects that the temperature of the coolant in the receiving space 13 is below the preset temperature, the actuating portion 222 contracts, and through the biasing action of the spring member 24, the valve member 23 is restored from an opened position to the closed position, as shown in FIG. 3.

Therefore, the present invention uses the temperature-responsive flow control valve 20 to automatically detect the temperature of the coolant and to automatically permit the coolant to flow out from the receiving space 13 when the temperature of the coolant reaches the preset temperature, so that not only can the anticipated heat insulation and cooling effects be achieved, but also the supply and exit of the coolant to and from the receiving space 13 are made completely automatic. Hence, use of the present invention is relatively convenient.

Referring to FIG. 5, a cooling system according to the second preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown to be similar to the first preferred embodiment. However, in this embodiment, the coolant storage unit 30 is installed at a position lower than that of the second passage hole 124. In this case, a pump 40 is disposed between the coolant storage unit 30 and the first passage hole 123. When the temperature of the coolant increases and reaches the preset temperature, the pump 40 is activated so as to replenish automatically the receiving space 13 with the coolant.

Referring to FIG. 6, a cooling system according to the third preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown to be similar to the first preferred embodiment. However, in this embodiment, the temperature-sensing portion 221 of the temperature sensor 22 of the temperature-responsive flow control valve 20 is disposed externally of the receiving space 13 (see FIG. 1) so as to detect the temperature of the glass structure unit 10. When the temperature of the glass structure unit 10 reaches the preset temperature, the actuating portion 222 actuates the valve member 23 to open the valve orifice 217, thereby achieving the purpose of replenishing the coolant in the receiving space 13.

While the present invention has been described in connection with what are considered the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is understood that this invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretations and equivalent arrangements.