Title:
FAN APPARATUS AND CEILING-SUSPENDED AIR CONDITIONING APPARATUS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fan apparatus includes a fan and a mounting device that mounts the fan to a ceiling-suspended air conditioner at a position above an air outlet of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner. The fan of the fan apparatus is mounted to the ceiling-suspended air conditioner at a position above the air outlet of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner via the mounting device.



Inventors:
Hirano, Jun (Osaka, JP)
Application Number:
15/076651
Publication Date:
10/06/2016
Filing Date:
03/22/2016
Assignee:
Panasonic Intellectual Property Management Co., Ltd. (Osaka, JP)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F24F1/02; F24D19/10; F24F11/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
JONES, GORDON A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GREENBLUM & BERNSTEIN, P.L.C. (RESTON, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A fan apparatus, comprising: a fan; and a mounting device that mounts the fan to a ceiling-suspended air conditioner at a position above an air outlet of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner.

2. The fan apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising: a receiver that receives a signal from an external device; and a control circuitry that controls an operation of the fan in accordance with the signal.

3. The fan apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the receiver receives an ON/OFF signal of the operation of the fan.

4. The fan apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the receiver receives a signal regarding an ON/OFF state of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner.

5. The fan apparatus according to claim 4, wherein, upon the receiver receiving a signal indicating that the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in an ON state, the control circuitry causes the fan to operate, and wherein, upon the receiver receiving a signal indicating that the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in an OFF state, the control circuitry causes the fan to stop operating.

6. The fan apparatus according to claim 4, wherein, upon the receiver receiving a signal indicating that the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in an OFF state, the control circuitry causes the fan to operate, and wherein, upon the receiver receiving a signal indicating that the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in an ON state, the control circuitry causes the fan to stop operating.

7. The fan apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the receiver receives a signal regarding an operation mode executed in the ceiling-suspended air conditioner.

8. The fan apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the operation mode includes a heating mode in which the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in a heating operation and a cooling mode in which the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in a cooling operation, wherein, upon the receiver receiving a signal indicating that the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in the heating mode, the control circuitry controls the operation of the fan in accordance with an ON/OFF state of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner, and wherein, upon the receiver receiving a signal indicating that the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in the cooling mode, the control circuitry causes the fan to stop operating.

9. The fan apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the operation mode includes a first airflow volume mode and a second airflow volume mode, in which an airflow volume of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is larger than in the first airflow volume mode, are classified according to the volume of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner, wherein, upon the receiver receiving a signal indicating that the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in the first airflow volume mode, the control circuitry causes the fan to operate, and wherein, upon the receiver receiving a signal indicating that the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in the second airflow volume mode, the control circuitry causes the fan to stop operating.

10. The fan apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the operation mode includes a first airflow direction mode and a second airflow direction mode, in which an airflow of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is directed more downward than in the a first airflow direction mode, are classified according to the inclination angle in a downward direction, wherein, upon the receiver receiving a signal indicating that the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in the first airflow direction mode, the control circuitry causes the fan to operate, and wherein, upon the receiver receiving a signal indicating that the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in the second airflow direction mode, the control circuitry causes the fan to stop operating.

11. The fan apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the receiver receives a signal regarding a temperature of air sucked into the ceiling-suspended air conditioner.

12. The fan apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the receiver receives a signal regarding an operating environment of the fan apparatus.

13. The fan apparatus according to claim 12, wherein the operating environment concerns humidity, wherein, upon the receiver receiving a signal indicating that the humidity is high, the control circuitry causes the fan to operate, and wherein, upon the receiver receiving a signal indicating that the humidity is low, the control circuitry causes the fan to stop operating.

14. The fan apparatus according to claim 12, wherein the operating environment concerns an ON/OFF state of another ceiling-suspended air conditioner different from the ceiling-suspended air conditioner in which the fan apparatus is installed.

15. The fan apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising: a detector that detects an operating environment of the fan apparatus; and a control circuitry that controls an operation of the fan in accordance with the operating environment of the fan apparatus detected by the detector.

16. The fan apparatus according to claim 15, wherein the detector is provided above the air outlet of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner.

17. A ceiling-suspended air conditioning apparatus comprising: a ceiling-suspended air conditioner which is an air conditioner suspended from the ceiling; and the fan of the fan apparatus set forth in claim 1 is mounted via the mounting device at a position above the air outlet of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Technical Field

The present disclosure relates to fan apparatuses to be mounted to ceiling-suspended air conditioners and relates to ceiling-suspended air conditioning apparatus.

2. Description of the Related Art

Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. 2002-364911 and Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. 2013-137150 disclose ceiling-suspended air conditioners.

These ceiling-suspended air conditioners, however, have room for improvement in air conditioning performance.

SUMMARY

One non-limiting and exemplary embodiment provides a fan apparatus and a ceiling-suspended air conditioning apparatus with improved air conditioning performance.

In one general aspect, the techniques disclosed here feature a fan apparatus that includes a fan and a mounting device that mounts the fan to a ceiling-suspended air conditioner at a position above an air outlet of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner.

According to the present disclosure, improved air conditioning performance can be provided.

It should be noted that general or specific embodiments may be implemented as a system, a method, an integrated circuit, a computer program, a storage medium, or any selective combination thereof.

Additional benefits and advantages of the disclosed embodiments will become apparent from the specification and drawings. The benefits and/or advantages may be individually obtained by the various embodiments and features of the specification and drawings, which need not all be provided in order to obtain one or more of such benefits and/or advantages.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram illustrating an example of a fan apparatus according to a first embodiment;

FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram illustrating an example of a ceiling-suspended air conditioner according to the first embodiment;

FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram illustrating another example of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner according to the first embodiment;

FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram illustrating yet another example of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner according to the first embodiment;

FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram illustrating still another example of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner according to the first embodiment;

FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram illustrating still another example of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner according to the first embodiment;

FIG. 7 is a flowchart illustrating an example of the operation of the fan apparatus according to the first embodiment;

FIG. 8 is a flowchart illustrating an example of the operation of a fan apparatus according to a second embodiment;

FIG. 9 is a flowchart illustrating an example of the operation of a fan apparatus according to a third embodiment;

FIG. 10 is a flowchart illustrating an example of the operation of a fan apparatus according to a fourth embodiment;

FIG. 11 is a flowchart illustrating an example of the operation of a fan apparatus according to a fifth embodiment;

FIG. 12 is a flowchart illustrating an example of the operation of a fan apparatus according to a sixth embodiment; and

FIG. 13 is a flowchart illustrating an example of the operation of a fan apparatus according to a seventh embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Although not depicted in the drawings, in the ceiling-suspended air conditioner disclosed in Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. 2002-364911 or Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. 2013-137150, a downward-facing air outlet is provided generally in the lower face of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner. Conventionally, the interior of a building has a double-ceiling structure in which a space for piping and wiring for the ceiling that is enclosed by the ceiling of the building and a board or the like is secured. In recent years, however, cases in which such partitioned double-ceiling structure is not provided are increasing, as described in Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. 2002-364911 and Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. 2013-137150. When the double-ceiling structure is employed, an air outlet of a ceiling-suspended air conditioner is exposed in a living space, but a space above the air outlet is inside the double-ceiling structure and is not in the living space. However, when the double-ceiling structure is not employed, the interior has skeleton-ceiling construction in which a living space extends to the ceiling of the building, leading to a situation in which a space above the air outlet of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in the living space. In such a case, the air is likely to stay in the space above the air outlet of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner. Consequently, heat emitted from the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is also likely to stay in that space.

The present inventor has diligently studied the above-described issue and arrived at the following content. Specifically, a first aspect of the present disclosure provides a fan apparatus that includes a fan and a mounting device that mounts the fan to a ceiling-suspended air conditioner at a position above an air outlet of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner.

Installing the above-described fan apparatus in the ceiling-suspended air conditioner can reduce the air staying in a space above the air outlet of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner and can thus reduce the heat (warm air) staying in that space.

A second aspect of the present disclosure provides the fan apparatus of the above-described first aspect that further includes a receiver that receives a signal from an external device and a control circuitry that controls an operation of the fan in accordance with the signal.

According to this configuration, the fan apparatus can be controlled as appropriate with the signal from the external device taken into consideration.

A third aspect of the present disclosure provides the fan apparatus of the above-described second aspect in which the receiver receives an ON/OFF signal of the operation of the fan.

According to this configuration, the fan apparatus can be controlled as appropriate in accordance with the externally supplied ON/OFF signal.

A fourth aspect of the present disclosure provides the fan apparatus of the above-described second aspect in which the receiver receives a signal regarding an ON/OFF state of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner.

According to this configuration, the fan apparatus can be controlled as appropriate in accordance with the ON/OFF state of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner.

A fifth aspect of the present disclosure provides the fan apparatus of the above-described fourth aspect in which, upon the receiver receiving a signal indicating that the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in an ON state, the control circuitry causes the fan to operate and in which, upon the receiver receiving a signal indicating that the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in an OFF state, the control circuitry causes the fan to stop operating.

There may be a case in which an airflow is not produced in a space above the air outlet of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner while the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in operation and heat stays in that space, leading to the heat concentration therein.

According to the fifth aspect, a convection current of the air is produced in a space including the aforementioned space, and the heat concentration arising as the heat stays in the aforementioned space can be reduced.

A sixth aspect of the present disclosure provides the fan apparatus of the above-described fourth aspect in which, upon the receiver receiving a signal indicating that the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in an OFF state, the control circuitry causes the fan to operate and in which, upon the receiver receiving a signal indicating that the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in an ON state, the control circuitry causes the fan to stop operating.

There may be a case in which an airflow is not produced in the space above the air outlet of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner while the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is not in operation and heat stays in that space, leading to the heat concentration therein. In particular, if another ceiling-suspended air conditioner different from the ceiling-suspended air conditioner that is not in operation is in the ON state, although the ceiling-suspended air conditioner that is in the OFF state is affected by the airflow produced by the other ceiling-suspended air conditioner that is in the ON state, the ceiling-suspended air conditioner that is in the OFF state does not produce an airflow. In that case, the heat may stay in the space above the air outlet of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner that is in the OFF state.

According to the sixth aspect, a convection current of the air is produced in a space including the aforementioned space, and the heat concentration arising as the heat stays in the aforementioned space can be reduced.

A seventh aspect of the present disclosure provides the fan apparatus of the above-described second aspect in which the receiver receives a signal regarding an operation mode executed in the ceiling-suspended air conditioner.

According to this configuration, the fan apparatus can be controlled as appropriate in accordance with the operation mode of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner.

An eighth aspect of the present disclosure provides the fan apparatus of the above-described seventh aspect in which the operation mode includes a heating mode in which the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in a heating operation and a cooling mode in which the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in a cooling operation, in which, upon the receiver receiving a signal indicating that the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in the heating mode, the control circuitry controls the operation of the fan in accordance with an ON/OFF state of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner, and in which, upon the receiver receiving a signal indicating that the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in the cooling mode, the control circuitry stops the fan to stop operating.

When the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in the heating mode, heat is emitted from the ceiling-suspended air conditioner, and the heat is likely to stay in the upper side. According to the eighth aspect, when the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is set in the heating mode, the fan apparatus is turned ON/OFF so as to operate in accordance with the ON/OFF state of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner. Meanwhile, when the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in the cooling mode, the cool air flowing into a lower space (into a region where there is a person) within the range of the set temperatures is not particularly a problematic situation. Therefore, when the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is set in the cooling mode, the fan apparatus is not put in operation regardless of the ON/OFF state of the air conditioner. Through such operation control, the fan operation is executed so as to reduce the concentration of heat when such concentration of heat in the space above the air outlet of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner becomes problematic.

A ninth aspect of the present disclosure provides the fan apparatus of the above-described seventh aspect in which the operation mode includes a first airflow volume mode and a second airflow volume mode, in which an airflow volume of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is larger than in the first airflow volume mode, are classified according to the volume of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner, in which, upon the receiver receiving a signal indicating that the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in the first airflow volume mode, the control circuitry causes the fan to operate, and in which, upon the receiver receiving a signal indicating that the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in the second airflow volume mode, the control circuitry causes the fan to stop operating.

When the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in the first airflow volume mode in which the airflow volume is small, the airflow produced by the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is small, and thus heat is likely to be concentrated in the space above the air outlet of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner. Here, according to the ninth aspect, the fan apparatus is turned on. Thus, a convection current of the air is produced in a space including the aforementioned space, and the heat concentration arising as the heat stays in the aforementioned space can be reduced. Meanwhile, when the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in the second airflow volume mode in which the airflow volume is large, the airflow produced by the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is large, and thus the heat is relatively less concentrated in the aforementioned space. Here, according to the ninth aspect, the fan apparatus is turned off. Thus, a convection current of the air can be prevented from being produced more than necessary in the building including the aforementioned space. Through such operation control, the concentration of heat in the aforementioned space can be efficiently reduced.

A tenth aspect of the present disclosure provides the fan apparatus of the above-described seventh aspect in which the operation mode includes a first airflow direction mode and a second airflow direction mode, in which an airflow of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is directed more downward than in the a first airflow direction mode, are classified according to the inclination angle in a downward direction, in which, upon the receiver receiving a signal indicating that the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in the first airflow direction mode, the control circuitry causes the fan to operate, and in which, upon the receiver receiving a signal indicating that the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in the second airflow direction mode, the control circuitry causes the fan to stop operating.

When the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in the first airflow direction mode in which the airflow of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is directed less downward, the airflow produced by the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in the upper side of the room (relatively upper side of the region where there is a person). Thus, a convection current of the air is less likely to be produced in the entire room, and the heat is likely to be concentrated in the space above the air outlet of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner. Here, according to the tenth aspect, the fan apparatus is turned on. Thus, a convection current of the air is produced in a space including the aforementioned space, and the heat concentration arising as the heat stays in the aforementioned space can be reduced. Meanwhile, when the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in the second airflow direction mode in which the airflow of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is directed more downward, the air from the ceiling-suspended air conditioner flows into a lower side of the room. Thus, a convection current of the air is more likely to be produced in the entire room, and the heat is relatively less concentrated in the aforementioned space. Here, according to the tenth aspect, the fan apparatus is turned off. Thus, a convection current of the air can be prevented from being produced more than necessary in the building including the aforementioned space. Through such operation control, the concentration of heat in the aforementioned space can be efficiently reduced.

An eleventh aspect of the present disclosure provides the fan apparatus of the above-described second aspect in which the receiver receives a signal regarding a temperature of air sucked into the ceiling-suspended air conditioner.

According to this configuration, the fan apparatus can be controlled as appropriate in accordance with the temperature of the air sucked into the ceiling-suspended air conditioner.

A twelfth aspect of the present disclosure provides the fan apparatus of the above-described second aspect in which the receiver receives a signal regarding an operating environment of the fan apparatus.

According to this configuration, the fan apparatus can be controlled as appropriate in accordance with the operating environment of the fan apparatus.

A thirteenth aspect of the present disclosure provides the fan apparatus of the twelfth aspect in which the operating environment concerns humidity, in which, upon the receiver receiving a signal indicating that the humidity is high, the control circuitry causes the fan to operate, and in which, upon the receiver receiving a signal indicating that the humidity is low, the control circuitry causes the fan to stop operating.

With respect to the operating environment of the fan apparatus, when the humidity is high, the moisture in the air tends to stay in the upper side, or in particular in the space above the air outlet of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner. Here, according to the thirteenth aspect, the fan apparatus is turned on. Thus, an airflow is produced in the aforementioned space, and condensation and molding on the ceiling can be reduced. Meanwhile, with respect to the operating environment of the fan apparatus, according to the thirteenth aspect, when the humidity is low, the fan apparatus is turned off. Thus, the fan apparatus can be prevented from being operated more than necessary. Through such operation control, the moisture staying in the aforementioned space can be efficiently reduced.

A fourteenth aspect of the present disclosure provides the fan apparatus of the above-described twelfth aspect in which the operating environment concerns an ON/OFF state of another ceiling-suspended air conditioner different from the ceiling-suspended air conditioner in which the fan apparatus is installed.

According to this configuration, the fan apparatus can be controlled as appropriate in accordance with the ON/OFF state of the other ceiling-suspended air conditioner different from the ceiling-suspended air conditioner in which the fan apparatus is installed.

A fifteenth aspect of the present disclosure provides the fan apparatus that further includes a detector that detects an operating environment of the fan apparatus and a control circuitry that controls an operation of the fan in accordance with the operating environment of the fan apparatus detected by the detector.

According to this configuration, the fan apparatus can be controlled as appropriate in accordance with the operating environment of the fan apparatus.

A sixteenth aspect of the present disclosure provides the fan apparatus of the fifteenth aspect in which the detector is provided above the air outlet of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner.

According to this configuration, the fan apparatus can be controlled as appropriate in accordance with the operating environment of the fan apparatus.

A seventeenth aspect of the present disclosure provides a ceiling-suspended air conditioning apparatus that includes a ceiling-suspended air conditioner which is an air conditioner suspended from the ceiling, and the fan of the fan apparatus set forth in any one of the above-described first to sixteenth aspects is mounted via the mounting device at a position above the air outlet of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner.

According to this configuration, the fan apparatus is installed in the ceiling-suspended air conditioner, and thus actuating the fan apparatus as appropriate can reduce the air staying in the space above the air outlet of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner and can also reduce the heat (warm air) staying in that space.

Hereinafter, embodiments will be described in detail with reference to the drawings. It is to be noted that the embodiments described hereinafter merely illustrate general or specific examples. The numerical values, the shapes, the constituent elements, the arrangement and positions of the constituent elements, the connection modes of the constituent elements, the processing steps, the order of the steps, and so forth indicated in the embodiments described hereinafter are examples. Accordingly, the present disclosure is not to be limited by these embodiments. In addition, among the constituent elements in the embodiments described hereinafter, constituent elements that are not set forth in an independent claim describing the broadest concept of the present disclosure are described as optional constituent elements.

Furthermore, the drawings are schematic diagrams and do not necessarily provide the exact depiction. In the drawings, configurations that are substantially identical are given identical reference characters, and duplicate descriptions thereof may be omitted or simplified.

First Embodiment

Apparatus Configuration

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram illustrating an example of a fan apparatus according to a first embodiment.

As illustrated in FIG. 1, a fan apparatus 100 according to the present embodiment includes a fan 1, a receiver 2, a controller 3, a fan apparatus main body 5, and a mounting device 6.

The fan 1 produces an airflow.

The receiver 2 receives a signal from an external device. The external device may, for example, be a control device that controls a plurality of ceiling-suspended air conditioners as a whole.

The controller 3 controls the operation of the fan 1. The controller 3 may be any controller that is provided with a control function, and includes an arithmetic processing unit (not illustrated) and a storage unit (not illustrated) that stores a control program. Examples of the arithmetic processing unit include a microprocessor unit (MPU) and a central processing unit (CPU). Examples of the storage unit include a memory. The controller 3 may be constituted by a single controller that carries out centralized control or may be constituted by a plurality of controllers that cooperate to carry out distributed control.

The fan apparatus main body 5 includes the fan 1, the receiver 2, the controller 3, and a housing 5A that houses the fan 1, the receiver 2, and the controller 3.

The mounting device 6 is a device for mounting the fan 1 to the ceiling-suspended air conditioner at a position above an air outlet of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner. Specific examples of the mounting device 6 include a mounting bracket.

As illustrated in FIG. 2, a ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 includes an air outlet 7 and the fan apparatus 100. The ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 suspends from a ceiling 8.

The air outlet 7 is provided in a lower face of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200. The air is blown in a downward direction from the air outlet 7.

The fan apparatus 100 is mounted to the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 via the mounting device 6. Thus, the fan 1 of the fan apparatus 100 is mounted to the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 at a position above the air outlet 7.

In the example illustrated in FIG. 2, the air circulated by the fan apparatus 100 flows in an upward direction. This flow of air produces a convection current of the air in a space including the space above the air outlet 7, and the concentration of heat in the space above the air outlet 7 is reduced. The mounting device 6 may be provided, instead of on the side face of the fan apparatus 100, on the lower face of the fan apparatus 100, depending on the structure of the fan apparatus 100.

An example of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 illustrated in FIG. 3 will be described. Unlike the example illustrated in FIG. 2, in the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 illustrated in FIG. 3, the fan apparatus 100 is mounted to the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 via a plurality of mounting devices 6. The air circulated by the fan apparatus 100 flows in an upward direction. This airflow produces a convection current of the air in a space including the space above the air outlet 7, and the concentration of heat in the space above the air outlet 7 is reduced. The plurality of mounting devices 6 can be provided on the side face of the fan apparatus 100 or on the lower face of the fan apparatus 100, depending on the weight or the structure of the fan apparatus 100.

Another example of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 illustrated in FIG. 4 will be described. Unlike the example illustrated in FIG. 2, in the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 illustrated in FIG. 4, a plurality of fan apparatuses 100 are provided. In this example, the fan apparatuses 100 are provided on respective sides of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200. The air circulated by the fan apparatuses 100 flows in an upward direction. This airflow produces a convection current of the air in a space including the space above the air outlet 7, and the concentration of heat in the space above the air outlet 7 is reduced.

Yet another example of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 illustrated in FIG. 5 will be described. Unlike the example illustrated in FIG. 2, in the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 illustrated in FIG. 5, a plurality of fan apparatuses 100 are provided. In this example, the fan apparatuses 100 are provided on respective sides of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200. The air circulated by the fan apparatuses 100 flows in an obliquely upward direction away from the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200. This airflow produces a convection current of the air in a space including the space above the air outlet 7, and the concentration of heat in the space above the air outlet 7 is reduced. Here, the air circulated by the fan apparatuses 100 may flow in a horizontal direction away from the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200.

Still another example of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 illustrated in FIG. 6 will be described. Unlike the example illustrated in FIG. 2, in the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 illustrated in FIG. 6, a plurality of fan apparatuses 100 are provided. In this example, the fan apparatuses 100 are provided on respective sides of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200. The air circulated by the fan apparatuses 100 flows in a horizontal direction toward the inner side of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200. This airflow produces a convection current of the air in a space including the space above the air outlet 7, and the concentration of heat in the space above the air outlet 7 is reduced. Here, the air circulated by the fan apparatuses 100 may flow in an obliquely upward direction toward the inner side of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200.

Operation

The operation of the fan apparatus 100 will now be described.

FIG. 7 is a flowchart illustrating an example of the operation of the fan apparatus 100 according to the first embodiment.

As illustrated in FIG. 7, the fan apparatus 100 receives a signal indicating whether the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in an ON state or in an OFF state from an external device via the receiver 2 (step S11). Then, the controller 3 determines whether the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in the ON state on the basis of the signal received by the receiver 2 (step S12). If the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in the ON state (Yes in step S12), the controller 3 causes the fan apparatus 100 to operate (step S13). If the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is in the OFF state (No in step S12), the controller 3 causes the fan apparatus 100 to stop operating (step S14).

There may be a case in which an airflow is not produced in the space above the air outlet 7 of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 while the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is in operation and heat stays in that space, leading to the heat concentration therein.

According to the above-described operation, a convection current of the air is produced in the space including the aforementioned space, and the heat concentration arising as the heat stays in the aforementioned space can be reduced.

Second Embodiment

A fan apparatus 100 according to a second embodiment will be described. The configuration of the fan apparatus 100 according to the present embodiment is similar to the configuration of the fan apparatus 100 according to the first embodiment, and thus detailed descriptions thereof will be omitted.

Operation

The operation of the fan apparatus 100 according to the present embodiment will be described.

FIG. 8 is a flowchart illustrating an example of the operation of the fan apparatus 100 according to the second embodiment.

As illustrated in FIG. 8, the fan apparatus 100 receives a signal indicating whether the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is in the ON state or in the OFF state from an external device via the receiver 2 (step S21). Then, the controller 3 determines whether the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is in the OFF state on the basis of the signal received by the receiver 2 (step S22). If the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is in the OFF state (Yes in step S22), the controller 3 causes the fan apparatus 100 to operate (step S23). If the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is in the ON state (No in step S22), the controller 3 causes the fan apparatus 100 to stop operating (step S24).

There may be a case in which an airflow is not produced in the space above the air outlet 7 of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 while the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is not in operation and heat stays in that space, leading to the heat concentration therein. In particular, if another ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 different from the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 that is in the OFF state is in the ON state, although the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 that is in the OFF state is affected by an airflow produced by the other ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 that is in the ON state, the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 that is in the OFF state does not produce an airflow. In that case, heat may stay in the space above the air outlet 7 of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 that is in the OFF state.

According to the above-described operation, a convection current of the air is produced in the space including the aforementioned space, and the heat concentration arising as the heat stays in the aforementioned space can be reduced.

Third Embodiment

A fan apparatus 100 according to a third embodiment will be described. The configuration of the fan apparatus 100 according to the present embodiment is similar to the configuration of the fan apparatus 100 according to the first embodiment, and thus detailed descriptions thereof will be omitted.

Operation

The operation of the fan apparatus 100 according to the present embodiment will be described.

FIG. 9 is a flowchart illustrating an example of the operation of the fan apparatus 100 according to the third embodiment.

As illustrated in FIG. 9, the fan apparatus 100 receives a signal regarding the operation mode of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 from an external device via the receiver 2 (step S31). In this example, the operation mode includes a heating mode in which the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is in the heating operation and a cooling mode in which the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is in the cooling operation. Then, the controller 3 determines whether the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is in the heating mode on the basis of the signal received by the receiver 2 (step S32). If the operation mode of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is the heating mode (Yes in step S32), the controller 3 causes the fan apparatus 100 to operate in accordance with the ON/OFF state of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner (step S33). Specifically, the control of the fan apparatus 100 illustrated in FIG. 7 or in FIG. 8 is carried out. If the operation mode of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is not the heating mode (No in step S32), the controller 3 determines whether the operation mode of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is the cooling mode (step S34). If the operation mode of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is the cooling mode (Yes in step S34), the controller 3 causes the fan apparatus 100 to stop operating (step S35). If the operation mode of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is not the cooling mode (No in step S34), the flow of controlling the fan apparatus 100 according to the present embodiment is terminated (END).

When the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is in the heating mode, heat is emitted from the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200, and the heat is likely to stay in the upper side. According to the above-described operation, when the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is set in the heating mode, the fan apparatus is turned ON/OFF so as to operate in accordance with the ON/OFF state of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200. Thus, the concentration of heat in the space above the air outlet 7 of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner can be reduced.

Meanwhile, when the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is in the cooling mode, the cool air flowing into a lower space (region where there is a person) within the range of the set temperatures is not particularly a problematic situation. Therefore, when the ceiling-suspended air conditioner is set in the cooling mode, the fan apparatus is not put in operation regardless of the ON/OFF state of the air conditioner. Through such operation control, the fan apparatus 100 can be prevented from operating more than necessary, and the energy consumption is reduced.

In other words, the above-described operation of the fan apparatus 100 efficiently reduces the concentration of heat in the space above the air outlet 7 of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner.

Fourth Embodiment

A fan apparatus 100 according to a fourth embodiment will be described. The configuration of the fan apparatus 100 according to the present embodiment is similar to the configuration of the fan apparatus 100 according to the first embodiment, and thus detailed descriptions thereof will be omitted.

Operation

The operation of the fan apparatus 100 according to the present embodiment will be described.

FIG. 10 is a flowchart illustrating an example of the operation of the fan apparatus 100 according to the fourth embodiment.

As illustrated in FIG. 10, the fan apparatus 100 receives a signal regarding the operation mode of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 from an external device via the receiver 2 (step S41). In this example, the operation mode includes a first airflow volume mode in which the airflow volume of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is small and a second airflow volume mode in which the airflow volume of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is large. Then, the controller 3 determines whether the operation mode of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is the first airflow volume mode on the basis of the signal received by the receiver 2 (step S42). If the operation mode of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is the first airflow volume mode (Yes in step S42), the controller 3 causes the fan apparatus 100 to operate (step S43). If the operation mode of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is not the first airflow volume mode (No in step S42), the controller 3 determines whether the operation mode of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is the second airflow volume mode (step S44). If the operation mode of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is the second airflow volume mode, the controller 3 causes the fan apparatus 100 to stop operating (step S45). If the operation mode of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is not the second airflow volume mode (No in step S44), the control flow according to the present embodiment is terminated (END).

When the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is in the first airflow volume mode in which the airflow volume is small, the airflow produced by the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is small, and thus heat is likely to be concentrated in the space above the air outlet 7 of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner. Here, according to the above-described operation, the fan apparatus 100 is turned on. Thus, a convection current of the air is produced in a space including the aforementioned space, and the heat concentration arising as the heat stays in the aforementioned space can be reduced. Meanwhile, when the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is in the second airflow volume mode in which the airflow volume is large, the airflow produced by the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is large, and thus the heat is relatively less concentrated in the aforementioned space. Here, according to the above-described operation, the fan apparatus is turned off. Thus, a convection current of the air can be prevented from being produced more than necessary in the building including the aforementioned space. Through such operation control, the concentration of heat in the aforementioned space can be efficiently reduced.

Fifth Embodiment

A fan apparatus 100 according to a fifth embodiment will be described. The configuration of the fan apparatus 100 according to the present embodiment is similar to the configuration of the fan apparatus 100 according to the first embodiment, and thus detailed descriptions thereof will be omitted.

Operation

The operation of the fan apparatus 100 according to the present embodiment will be described.

FIG. 11 is a flowchart illustrating an example of the operation of the fan apparatus 100 according to the fifth embodiment.

As illustrated in FIG. 11, the fan apparatus 100 receives a signal regarding the operation mode of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 from an external device via the receiver 2 (step S51). In this example, the operation mode includes a first airflow direction mode in which the airflow of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is directed less downward and a second airflow direction mode in which the airflow of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is directed more downward. Then, the controller 3 determines whether the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is in the first airflow direction mode on the basis of the signal received by the receiver 2 (step S52). If the operation mode of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is the first airflow direction mode (Yes in step S52), the controller 3 causes the fan apparatus 100 to operate (step S53). If the operation mode of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is not the first airflow direction mode (No in step S52), the controller 3 determines whether the operation mode of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is the second airflow direction mode (step S54). If the operation mode of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is the second airflow direction mode (Yes in step S54), the controller 3 causes the fan apparatus 100 to stop operating (step S55). If the operation mode of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is not the second airflow direction mode (No in step S54), the flow of controlling the fan apparatus 100 according to the present embodiment is terminated (END).

When the operation mode of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is the first airflow direction mode in which the airflow of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is directed less downward, the airflow produced by the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is in the upper side of the room (relatively upper side of the region where there is a person), and thus a convection current of the air is less likely to be produced in the entire room, and the heat is likely to be concentrated in the space above the air outlet 7 of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200. Here, according to the above-described operation, the fan apparatus 100 is turned on. Thus, a convection current of the air is produced in a space including the aforementioned space, and the heat concentration arising as the heat stays in the aforementioned space can be reduced. Meanwhile, when the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is in the second airflow direction mode in which the airflow of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is directed more downward, the air from the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 flows to a lower side of the room. Thus, a convection current of the air is more likely to be produced in the entire room, and the heat is relatively less concentrated in the aforementioned space. Here, according to the above-described operation, the fan apparatus is turned off. Thus, a convection current of the air can be prevented from being produced more than necessary in the building including the aforementioned space. Through such operation control, the concentration of heat in the aforementioned space can be efficiently reduced.

With respect to the airflow direction, it is not that the air always flows in the intended direction from the apparatus, and it is likely that the airflow varies depending on the structure or the like of the building. Therefore, it may be appropriate that the control method be set in accordance with the operating environment, the operating condition, or the thermal environment (i.e., a control method opposite to the above-described operation may be employed). In case for such a situation, the fan apparatus 100 may be configured such that the logic for controlling the ON/OFF of the operation can be modified.

Sixth Embodiment

A fan apparatus 100 according to a sixth embodiment will be described. The configuration of the fan apparatus 100 according to the present embodiment is similar to the configuration of the fan apparatus 100 according to the first embodiment, and thus detailed descriptions thereof will be omitted.

Operation

The operation of the fan apparatus 100 according to the present embodiment will be described.

FIG. 12 is a flowchart illustrating an example of the operation of the fan apparatus 100 according to the sixth embodiment.

As illustrated in FIG. 12, the fan apparatus 100 receives a signal regarding the temperature of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 from an external device via the receiver 2 (step S61). Then, the controller 3 determines whether the temperature of the air sucked into the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is no less than a threshold Tth on the basis of the signal received by the receiver 2 (step S62). If the temperature of the air sucked into the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is no less than the threshold Tth, the controller 3 causes the fan apparatus 100 to operate (step S63). If the temperature of the air sucked into the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is less than the threshold Tth (No in step S62), the controller 3 causes the fan apparatus 100 to stop operating (step S64).

It is speculated that, when the temperature of the air sucked into the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is high, heat is more concentrated in the space above the air outlet 7 of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200. Here, the above-described operation reduces the concentration of heat in the aforementioned space. It is also speculated that, when the temperature of the air sucked into the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is low, heat is relatively less concentrated in the aforementioned space. Here, through the above-described operation, a convection current of the air can be prevented from being produced more than necessary in the building including the aforementioned space. Through such operation control, the concentration of heat in the aforementioned space can be efficiently reduced.

In the above-described exemplary operation, the temperature near the air inlet (not illustrated) of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 may, for example, be used as the temperature of the air sucked into the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200, but the present embodiment is not limited to such an example. Any mode that enables the temperature of the air sucked into the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 to be detected may be employed.

Seventh Embodiment

A fan apparatus 100 according to a seventh embodiment will be described. The configuration of the fan apparatus 100 according to the present embodiment is similar to the configuration of the fan apparatus 100 according to the first embodiment, and thus detailed descriptions thereof will be omitted.

Operation

The operation of the fan apparatus 100 according to the present embodiment will be described.

FIG. 13 is a flowchart illustrating an example of the operation of the fan apparatus 100 according to the seventh embodiment.

As illustrated in FIG. 13, the fan apparatus 100 receives a signal regarding the operating environment of the fan apparatus 100 from an external device via the receiver 2 (step S71). In this example, the operating environment of the fan apparatus 100 concerns the humidity. Then, the controller 3 determines whether the humidity is no less than a threshold Hth on the basis of the signal regarding the humidity received by the receiver 2 (step S72). If the humidity is no less than the threshold Hth, the controller 3 causes the fan apparatus 100 to operate (step S73). If the humidity is less than the threshold Hth (No in step S72), the controller 3 causes the fan apparatus 100 to stop operating (step S74).

With respect to the operating environment of the fan apparatus 100, when the humidity is high, the moisture in the air tends to stay in the upper side, or in particular in the space above the air outlet of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner. Here, according to the above-described operation, the fan apparatus 100 is turned on. Thus, the airflow is produced in the aforementioned space, and condensation and molding on the ceiling can be reduced. Meanwhile, with respect to the operating environment of the fan apparatus 100, according to the above-described operation, when the humidity is low, the fan apparatus is turned off. Thus, the fan apparatus 100 can be prevented from being operated more than necessary. Through such operation control, the moisture staying in the aforementioned space can be efficiently reduced.

The humidity can be determined not only on the basis of the humidity within the building but also on the basis of information related to the humidity within the building, such as the humidity based on the meteorological data and the humidity outside the building. In addition, any indices that indicate the humidity of the air, including the relative humidity and the absolute humidity, can be employed.

Modifications

Although the present disclosure has been described on the basis of the above embodiments, the present disclosure is not limited to the embodiments and the modifications described above. The following modifications may also be made.

(1) The ON/OFF state of another ceiling-suspended air conditioner different from the ceiling-suspended air conditioner in which the fan apparatus is installed may be used as the operating environment of the fan apparatus 100. Thus, the fan apparatus can be controlled as appropriate in accordance with the ON/OFF state of the other ceiling-suspended air conditioner different from the ceiling-suspended air conditioner in which the fan apparatus is installed.

A specific example will now be described. For example, when a ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 adjacent to another ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 in which the fan apparatus 100 is installed is in operation in the heating mode and is producing an airflow directed in a horizontal direction, heat may stay in the space above the air outlet 7 of the ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 in which the fan apparatus 100 is installed. Here, if it is determined that the adjacent ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 is in operation in the heating mode and is producing an airflow directed in a horizontal direction on the basis of a signal regarding the operation of that ceiling-suspended air conditioner 200 received by the receiver 2, the fan apparatus 100 is caused to operate. Through such operation control, the concentration of heat in the aforementioned space can be efficiently reduced.

(2) Other device information and sensor information notified from an energy management system may be utilized. The determination on the operating condition of surrounding devices covers a broad range and is complicated. Thus, the necessity of turning on or off a given fan apparatus 100 may be determined by the energy management system, and the result of that determination may be received. In this manner, this result may be used to make a determination as to the ON/OFF control of the fan apparatus 100.

(3) A signal regarding the operating environment of the fan apparatus 100 does not need to be received by the receiver 2. For example, the fan apparatus 100 may include a detector that detects the operating environment of the fan apparatus 100, and the controller 3 may control the operation of the fan 1 on the basis of the operating environment of the fan apparatus 100 detected by the stated detector. Examples of the detector include a detector that detects the humidity, the temperature, or the like.

The present disclosure is effective as a fan apparatus and a ceiling-suspended air conditioning apparatus with improved air conditioning performance.