Title:
INTERIOR TEMPERATURE CONTROL SYSTEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
It is aimed to provide a control system which can automatically control air-conditioners and other devices according to the temperatures inside and outside the room, thereby keeping the interior temperature to a comfortable level.

A top light T1, a ceiling fan T2 and an air-conditioner T3 are installed in or on a house 1. A controller C controls the interior temperature by performing computing, and selectively opening and closing the top light T1, selectively rotating the ceiling fan T2 in one or the opposite direction, and selectively activating and deactivating the air-conditioner T3, based on signals from a temperature sensor D1 provided at an upper portion of the room, a temperature sensor D2 provided at a lower portion of the room, and a temperature sensor D3 provided outside the room.




Inventors:
Horiuchi, Hiroaki (Kanagawa, JP)
Application Number:
11/817260
Publication Date:
01/15/2009
Filing Date:
03/08/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F24F7/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
COMINGS, DANIEL C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WENDEROTH, LIND & PONACK, L.L.P. (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
1. 1-2. (canceled)

3. An interior temperature control system comprising a top light T1, a ceiling fan T2 and an air-conditioner T3 that are installed in or on a house 1, and a controller C for controlling the internal temperature by performing computing, and selectively opening and closing the top light T1, selectively rotating the ceiling fan T2 in one or the opposite direction, and selectively activating and deactivating the air-conditioner T3, based on signals from a temperature sensor D1 provided at an upper portion of the room, a temperature sensor D2 provided at a lower portion of the room, and a temperature sensor D3 provided outside the room, in the following steps: (1) the step of determining the difference X between the temperatures of the upper and lower portions of the room, the difference Y between the temperatures inside and outside the room, and the difference Z between the internal temperature and the predetermined temperature, based on input signals from the temperature sensors D1, D2 and D3; (2) the step of determining whether the difference X is not less than K1 (constant value); (3) the step of determining whether the difference Y is less than K2 (constant value) if in the step (2), the difference X is not less than K1; (4) the step of determining whether the difference Z is less than K3 (constant value) if in the step (3), the difference Y is determined to be less than K2; (5) the step of deactivating the ceiling fan T2, opening the top light T1 to introduce outer air into the room, and deactivating the air-conditioner T3 if in the step (4), the difference Z is determined to be less than K3 (constant value); (6) the step of turning the ceiling fan T2, thereby generating an upward air current, opening the top light T1, thereby replacing air in the room with outer air, and deactivating the air-conditioner T3 if in the step (4), the difference Z is determined to be not less than K3 (constant value); (7) the step of determining whether the difference Z is less than K3 (constant value) if in the step (3), the difference Y is determined to be not less than K2; (8) the step of deactivating the ceiling fan T2 and closing the top light T1 if in the step (7), the difference Z is determined to be less than K3 (constant value); (9) the step of turning the ceiling fan T2, thereby generating an upward air current, opening the top light T1 for ventilation with the ceiling fan T2, and activating the air-conditioner for cooling, if in the step (7), the difference Z is determined to be not less than K3 (constant value); (10) the step of determining whether the difference Y is not less than K2 (constant value) if in the step (2), the difference X is less than K1; (11) the step of determining whether the difference Z is less than K3 (constant value) if in the step (10), the difference Y is determined to be not less than K2 (constant value); (12) the step of deactivating the ceiling fan T2, closing the top light T1, and deactivating the air-conditioner T3 if in the step (11), the difference Z is determined to be less than K3 (constant value); (13) the step of turning the ceiling fan T2, thereby generating an upward air current, opening the top light T1 for ventilation with the ceiling fan T2, and keeping the air-conditioner T3 deactivated, if in the step (11), the difference Z is determined to be not less than K3 (constant value); (14) the step of determining whether the difference Z is less than K3 (constant value) if in the step (10), the difference Y is determined to be less than K2 (constant value); (15) the step of deactivating the ceiling fan T2, closing the top light T1, and deactivating the air-conditioner T3 if in the step (14), the difference Z is determined to be less than K3 (constant value); and (16) the step of turning the ceiling fan T2, thereby generating a downward air current, closing the top light T1, and activating the air-conditioner T3 for cooling if in the step (14), the difference Z is determined to be not less than K3 (constant value).

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates to a system for automatically controlling the interior temperature of e.g. a house, especially during summertime, to an optimum level.

BACKGROUND ART

Air-conditioners and ceiling fans are used to keep the interior temperature during summertime to a comfortable level. These devices were heretofore controlled by manually operating switches attached to these devices to a temperature and a rotational speed which the operator feels are most suitable. But it is difficult to operate these devices taking into consideration the interaction between these devices. It is also extremely troublesome to finely adjust these devices according to temperatures inside and outside the room that change with time. Electric energy is also wasted.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

Object of the Invention

An object of the invention is to provide a control system which can automatically control air-conditioners and other devices according to the temperatures inside and outside the room, thereby keeping the interior temperature to a comfortable level.

Means to Achieve the Object

In order to achieve the object, the present invention provides an interior temperature control system comprising at least a top light, a ceiling fan and an air-conditioner that are all installed in or on a house, upper and lower temperature detecting means for detecting the temperatures of upper and lower portions of a room respectively, an outside air temperature detecting means, and a controller for selectively opening and closing the top light, selectively rotating the ceiling fan in one or the opposite direction, and selectively activating and deactivating the air-conditioner, according to signals from the detecting means.

The controller may include means for comparing the temperatures of upper and lower portions of the room based on signals from the upper and lower temperature detecting means, means for comparing an interior temperature which is one or the average of the temperatures of the upper and lower portions of the room with the outside air temperature detected by the outside air temperature detecting means, means for comparing the interior temperature with a predetermined temperature, and means for selectively opening and closing the top light, selectively rotating the ceiling fan in one and an opposite direction, and selectively activating and deactivating the air-conditioner, based on the results of comparison.

EFFECT OF THE INVENTION

Using the simple means of merely detecting the temperatures at the upper and lower portions of the room and the temperatures inside and outside the room, it is possible to keep the interior temperature to an optimum level by automatically controlling air-conditioning devices. This gives comfort to people inside the room and it is possible to save energy too.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic view showing devices used in the interior temperature control system;

FIG. 2 is a schematic view showing different such devices;

FIG. 3 is a block diagram showing a method of controlling the interior temperature control system;

FIG. 4 is a flowchart showing processing steps of the interior temperature control system; and

FIG. 5 is a flowchart showing processing steps of the interior temperature control system.

DESCRIPTION OF NUMERALS

  • 1. House
  • 2. Roof
  • 3. Room
  • D1, D2, D3. Temperature sensor
  • T1. Top light
  • T2. Ceiling fan
  • T3. Air-conditioner
  • C1, C2, C3. Control unit
  • C. Controller
  • S10-S42. Processing step

BEST MODE FOR EMBODYING THE INVENTION

Now the embodiment of this invention is described with reference to the attached drawings. FIGS. 1 and 2 are schematic views of devices installed in or on a house. As shown in FIG. 1, a top light T1 is mounted on a ceiling 2 of the house 1. It can be opened and closed in response to a signal applied to a control unit C1. The top light T1 is provided with a rain sensor which applies a signal to the control unit C1 when it is raining to allow the control unit to close the top light T1. As will be described later, the top light may have a blind too.

A ceiling fan T2 is fixed to the interior surface of the ceiling 2 near the top light T1. The ceiling fan can be rotated at a suitable speed in either direction in response to a signal applied to a control unit C2 to produce an upward or downward air current in the room 3. At a suitable location in the room 3, an air-conditioner T3 is installed, which is activated for cooling and deactivated by a control unit C3.

At a suitable upper portion of the room 3, a temperature sensor D1 is provided. At a suitable lower portion of the room 3, another temperature sensor D2 is provided. Still another temperature sensor D3 is provided at a suitable location outside the room 3, such as under the floor. These temperature sensors D1, D2 and D3 may produce signals indicating the detected temperatures, or produce ON (or OFF) signals when the temperature exceeds or falls below a predetermined value.

As shown in FIG. 2, an air-intake fan T4 and an exhaust fan T5 may be further provided for more efficient ventilation of the room. Also an electric awning T6 may be provided e.g. over the terrace to control the incoming sunlight. These devices have control units C4, C5 and C6, respectively.

As shown in FIG. 3, signals from the temperature sensors D1, D2 and D3 are transmitted through wires or by radio to the controller C, which performs calculation based on these signals and outputs control signals to the control units C1, C2 and C3 to activate the top light T1, ceiling fan T2 and air-conditioner T3, thereby keeping the temperature in the room to an optimum level. If there are a large number of control devices as shown in FIG. 2, a correspondingly large number of detector means Dn for transmitting signals to the controller C are necessary. This in turn increases the number of control means Cn for controlling the control devices. Needless to say, the detector means Dn are not limited to temperature sensors but may be hygrometers or optical sensors.

Specific means for controlling the room temperature is described with reference to FIGS. 4 and 5. As shown in FIG. 4, in steps S10, S11 and S12, the temperature difference X between the upper and lower portions of the room, the difference Y between the temperatures inside and outside of the room, and the difference Z between the temperature inside the room and a predetermined temperature are calculated. The difference Z indicates whether the internal environment is hot or cool. These calculations are made based on input signals from the temperature sensors D1, D2 and D3. The internal temperature herein used may be the average of the temperature sensors D1 and D2 or the temperature of the temperature sensor D2 alone. Otherwise, an additional thermometer may be provided.

Then in step S13, determination is made on whether the temperature difference X between the upper and lower portions of the room is equal to or higher than K1 (constant value). If e.g. K1=3° C., and if the temperature difference X is less than 3° C., in step S14, determination is made on whether the difference Y between the temperatures inside and outside the room is higher or lower than K2 (constant value). If K2=0, determination is made merely on whether the internal temperature is higher or lower than the outside air temperature. If the internal temperature is higher than the outside air temperature, it is determined whether the internal temperature is higher or lower than the predetermine temperature in step S15 (K3=0). The predetermined temperature is the threshold temperature below which the internal environment is felt cool.

If the internal environment is determined to be cool, the programs proceeds to steps S16, S17 and S18 to stop the ceiling fan T2, open the top light T1 to introduce outer air into the room, and keep the air-conditioner T3 deactivated. These operations are carried out based on command signals applied from the controller C to the respective control units C2, C1 and C3. If the internal environment is hot, in step S19, the ceiling fan T2 is turned to generate an upward air current, and the top light T1 is opened to replace inside air with outer air, with the air-conditioner T3 deactivated.

If it is determined in step S14 that the internal temperature is not higher than the outside air temperature, it is determined in step S20 whether the internal environment is cool. If the internal environment is cool, the ceiling fan T2 is deactivated in step S21, and the top light T1 is closed in step S22. If the internal environment is not cool, the program proceeds to steps S23, S24 and S25 to turn the ceiling fan T2, thereby generating an upward air current, open the top light T1 for ventilation with the ceiling fan T2, and activate the air-conditioner T3 for cooling.

If it is determined in step S13 that the temperature difference between the upper and lower portions of the room is e.g. not more than 3° C., the program proceeds to step S30 in FIG. 5 to measure the difference between the temperatures inside and outside the room. If the internal temperature is lower, the program proceeds to step S31 to determine whether the internal temperature is equal to or lower than the predetermined temperature. If it is, the program proceeds to steps S32, S33 and S34 to deactivate the ceiling fan T2, close the top light T1 and deactivate the air-conditioner T3. If the internal temperature is higher than the predetermined temperature, the program proceeds to steps S35, S36 and then S34 to turn the ceiling fan T2, thereby generating an upward air current, and open the top light T1 for ventilation with the ceiling fan T2, with the air-conditioner T3 deactivated.

If it is determined in step S30 that the internal temperature is higher than the outside air temperature, it is determined in step S37 whether the internal temperature is equal to or lower than the predetermined temperature. If it is, the program proceeds to steps S38, S39 and then S34 to deactivate the ceiling fan T2, close the top light T1 and deactivate the air-conditioner T3. Therefore, the interior of the room is kept in the unchanged state.

If it is determined in step S37 that the internal temperature is higher than the predetermined temperature, the program proceeds to steps S40, S41 and then S42 to turn the ceiling fan T2, thereby generating a downward air current, close the top light T1, and activate the air-conditioner T3 for cooling. By performing these operations, cool air produced by air-conditioning is circulated throughout the room by the downward air current with the room interior shut out from the outer air. Thus, it is possible to keep the room temperature uniform.

In steps S10-S42, the values of K1, K2 and K3 are not limited. According to their values, the degree of opening of the top light T1 and the rotational speed of the ceiling fan T2 may be changed stepwise, or the operational intensity of the air-conditioner may be changed over among “high”, “medium” and “low”. If the top light T1 has a blind, the blind may be selectively closed and opened according to the amount of incoming sunlight as detected by an optical sensor.