|Title of Invention||
IMPROVEMENTS IN WATER SPREADING IN EVAPORATIVE COOLERS
|Abstract||A water spreader arrangement for use in an evaporative air cooler in which the spreader includes an inlet (28) leading to generally vertical projections (38) disposed over several levels. The projections (34, 37, 38) are adapted to divide a single stream of water entering the inlet (28) into many outlet streams, all of which have a predetermined ratio of flow rates. The outlet streams can be fed to an evaporative pad of an evaporative cooler. In a preferred form, the outlet streams have substantially the same flow rate. Preferably, a cooler incorporating this water spreader arrangement would include several spreaders around the upper periphery of the evaporative pads.|
IMPROVEMENTS IN WATER SPREADING IN EVAPORATIVE COOLERS
FIELD OF INVENTION
This invention relates to the method of water spreading to the evaporative pads in fixed or moveable evaporative coolers.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART
One form of evaporative air cooler consists of a cabinet having four or more sides at least one of which contains an absorptive pad In which is contained a fibrous absorption material, a water sump, a pump, a water distribution system for wetting the absorportion pad, and a fan and motor assembly for drawing air through the wetted absorbent material contained in the pad. The successful operation of such an evaporative cooler relies on water being distributed to the absorptive pads in sufficient quantities and In a consistently uniform manner along the pads. The cooler must have all parts of the absorptive paid constantly wet to perform satisfactorily.
One of the practical difficulties encountered in this type of coder is the uniformity of water distribution, and the tendency of water distribution systems to clog with foreign material.
The method of water distribution varies considerably. One such existing system pumps the water to a conduit under the cabinet ifd with a plurality of holes, which in turn distribute the water Into a second distributor, generally (n the form of a trough, at the top of the
filter pad frame. The holes in the distributor are relatively small and are frequently blocked. Uniformity of water distribution is poor due to the small holes required and variations In flow to the holes from out of level installation.
In other systems the pump is connected via a conduit or conduits to a water distributor or distributors, which distribute water to a spreader bar or bars with a plurality of open channels, mounted close to the underside of the cooler lid. Such a system Is described In Australian Patent N 0.56612/80. These systems are less prone to blockages and can tolerate a much greater degree of out of level installation before the uniformity of water distribution Is affected. However, since the distribution system is under the lid, blockages are not easily seen and cleaning generally requires dismantling of the system.
It is well known that In the event of blockage of the apertures In the water distribution conduit Or the channels of a spreadOer bar, the efficiency of the air conditioner Is severely Impaired. One of the main practical difficulties encountered with this type of air conditioner has been attributed to the non-uniform distribution of water through the fibrous absorbent material of the pad. Excessive water in parts of the pad can result in water pulling off the filter pads and entering the fan. A deficiency of water In another part of the pad will result In reduced water evaporation and the entry of hot air directly Into the cooler thereby diluting air th&t has been fully cooled by the pads and reducing the codling capacity of the cooler.
The object of the present invention is to provide an improved water distribution system, which ameliorates the restrictions and deficiencies of the currently available systems.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
This present invention provides a water spreader arrangement for use in an evaporative cooler, said spreader including an iniet leading to a plurality of generally vertical projections disposed over a plurality of levels, said projections being adapted to divide a single stream of water entering said inlet into plurality of outlet streams having a predetermined ratio of flow rates therebetween and wherein said outlet streams can be fed to an evaporative pad of the evaporative cooler.
In a preferred form, the outlet streams have substantially the same flow rate. Preferably, a cooler incorporating the present Invention includes a plurality of spreaders around the upper periphery of the evaporative pads.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The present invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, In which;-
Figure 1 is an isometric view of an evaporative air conditioner assembly;
Figure 2 is an exploded view of the evaporative air conditioner of Rg l;
Figure 3a is an isometric view of a spreader module of one embodiment of the present Invention;
Figure 3b is a front elevation view of the spreader module of Fig 3a; and
Figure 4 is a magnified view of one side of the cooler of Fig 2 showing the position of multiple water spreaders of the embodiment.
DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENT
The entry of water to the water distribution system is included In our concurrent Australian Provisional Patent application PQ 0807, entitled "Improvements In Water Entry to the Water Distribution for Evaporative Coolers" The mechanism described therein provides for single or multi-point entry, at the corner or comers of the cooler, of water to the distribution system. Water
deiivered to the entry point of the distribution system is delivered Into channels In direct proportion of the Individual channels to the sum of the channel widths. Once the water enters a channel, It can only be delivered, undiminished in volume, to the spreader system, since no water can leave the channel, nor additional water enter It Figure 1 shows an outline of an evaporative cooler, and figure 2 shows this mechanism schematically.
Figure 3 Illustrates the operation of an embodiment of the water spreaders, which Is described in detail below. Figure 4 illustrates how a multiple number of water spreaders can be arranged to produce a uniform spread of water over an extended length, as shown for the entire periphery of an evaporative cooler.
The embodiment of Figure 3 achieves a uniform spreading of water. Water enters the spreader block 29 from the water distribution channels 26 as described in our concurrent Australian Provisional Patent application PQ0807 through a generally vertical well 28, which ensures that the water impinges on the first projection on the spreader block 31 in a generally horizontal direction. Upon flowing to the first projection on the spreader block 31, water Is divided Into two ' streams of approximately equal flow rates, flowing down the water channels 32. The first projection on the spreader block 31 has been found to require an extended height, as Illustrated, to ensure that the
water stream is divided around said projection, and not over the projection. Flow through channels 32 Is restrained by the generally vertical edges 33 which ensure that the water flow direction is generally vertical as It flows onto the second lire of projections 34. Each of the projections 34 divides the water stream flowing to it Into a further two water streams of approximately equal flow rate. The water streams flowing to the outer end erf projections 34 are restrained to flow in a generally vertical direction by the generally vertical edges 35, The water streams flowing to the inner edges of projections 34, illustrated as 36 in the drawings, impinge on each other, forcing the resultant flow to be generally vertical.
This patterns of flow are repeated on each successive row of the projections, shown as 37 and 38 in the drawings. It will be apparent to those skilled In the art that other embodiments can be made which spread water to a wider or narrower width by simply changing the number of layers or rows of projections.
When ~ the "multiple water streams flow past the last raw of projections,1 there exists a" plurality of water streams, alt of approximately-equal flow-rate or alternatively of unequal flow rates as determined by the layout, dimensions and positioning of the projections. These water streams are uniformly distriburbed around the periphery of the cooler, where they can then be delivered to the absorptive pad of the evaporative cooler providing a uniform and consistent distribution of water to all parts of the absorptive pad.
A further enhancement of the embodiment includes the projections 40 at the centrelines of the water streams leaving the last row of projections 38. Testing has established that the Inclusion of these projections ensures that the water steams are delivered directly to the absorptive pad, thereby reducing the tendency for water to cling to the lower surface of the water spreader and shift the stream horizontally form the required delivery point Experimentation has shown that these projections 40 must be at least 4 mm high and 5 mm long along the direction of water flow to be effective in preventing horizontal movement of the water. This effect is further enhanced by scalloping 41 of the edges between the projections 40. The scalloping 41 has been discovered to prevent horizontal movement of water for projections 40 erf a lesser dimension that the said 4mm high and 5 mm long.
The water spreader starts with a single stream of water and progressively subdivides the stream until them are many smal! flow rate streams. Since each division of the stream is approximately equaf, and since there is some re-mixing of streams in the lower levels of projections, it will be apparent that the flow rates of each of the resultant streams will be approximately equal It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that should an application for water spreading require non-equal stream flow rates, that an embodiment of this invention could readily be devised-to achieve any desired range of differing stream flows,
This embodiment divides water streams In open, readily accessible channels between and around the projections of relatively large width. Foreign material in the water of a size up to the channel width Is readily passed through the channels and does not become trapped ami block the channel. Particles In the water flow larger than the channel width are readily displaced over the projections and are therefore allowed to pass easily through the spreader without clogging it This embodiment therefore provides a means of uniformly distributing water with high resistance to clogging form foreign materials in the water.
Ail parts of the water spreader are on the outer surface of the components of which they form part. The removal of the side panel of the evaporative cooler will fully expose all parts of the water spreader. Should any clogging occur, the water spreader is readily exposed and cleared without dismantling or removals of components form the evaporative cooler.
The entry point of water to the first projection of the spreader delivers the water Into a well 28, thereby slowing the water down and ensuring that water Impinges generally horizontally onto the rear of the vertical projection. Any out of level of the cooler has only a minute effect on the direction of Impingement of the stream onto the first
projectlon and hence only a minute effect on the splitting of the stream. Any out of level of the cooler has a similarly small effect on the splitting of streams on all other projections in the matrix. The embodiment Is therefore very tolerant to out of level settings of the cooler, such out of level resulting in very small variations In the resulting flow streams.
Another problem frequently encountered with water spreader mechanisms Is the dependence on accuracy of spreading with changes In the surface tension characteristic of the spreader surfaces. Dramatic differences In accuracy of water distribution have been experienced between water spreader which are new and have an oily film on the surface* and those which have been in service for some time and have an easily wettabfe surface. This embodiment does not rely on surface wettabilfty for the division of water streams. The variation in flow between the resultant water streams Is almost entirely independent of the surface wettability of the materials used to make the water spreader.
In this embodiment* the cabinet top panel* which can Include the water distribution system and water spreading system the subject of this application, can be manufactured from a single part, although this Is not necessary for Its operation* When manufactured from a single part, it can be injection moulded from plastic material,
however, any other suitable preferably non corrodibie material could be used.
Whi!"* t"hA ms*hiv *%f nmtarMAne An H-JO airfare* nf *h are arranged on a generally vertical surface, the system of progressively dividing water streams described herein applies equally well if the said surface has a shallower decline between the water entry point and delivery point of the multiple streams, For example, It may be desirable to have a relatively shallow decline of the surface containing the projections In order to extend the distance and number of layers of the projections thereby allowing a greater length of periphery and number of the multiple water streams. It will be appreciated by these skilled In the art that many combinations of slopes, distances and number of layers of projections are possible without departing from the concept of the invention.
The present invention, when used in conjunction with that of our concurrent Australian Provisional Patent application PQ 0807 for a water distribution entry system, can provide a water distribution system for an evaporative air cooler with uniformity of water distributions, resistance to out of level installation, resistance to clogging, and the least number of component parts for its operation. The cooler thereby has higher maintainable efficiency and lower maintenance than that of prior art units.
1. A water spreader arrangement for an evaporative cooler,
said arrangement comprising -
a water entry point upstream of a substantfalfy vertical first projection projecting from a substantially horizontal surface, such that said projection divides a water stream into two parts having a predetermined ratio of flow rates therebetween,
a plurality of further projections arranged on a substantially horizontal level or levels downstream of said horizontal surface, and wherein each further projection divides each part water stream impinging thereon into two further parts having a predetermined ratio of flow rates therebetween.
2. A water spreader arrangement as claimed In claim 1,
wherein said water entry point comprises as well upstream
of said first projection such that the velocity of the water
stream contacting said first projection Is generally horizontal.
3. A water spreader arrangement as claimed in claim I or 2,
wherein each said substantially horizontal declines level from
the said substantially horizontal surface.
4. A water spreader arrangement as claimed In any one of the
preceding claims, wherein an additional projection Is
positioned approximately symmetrically of each part water
stream at the most downstream position of the
arrangement, and further wherein each additional projection
is higher than 4mm and wider than 5mm.
5. A water spreader arrangement as claimed in any one of the
preceding claims, wherein each predetermined ratio of flow
rates Is 1:1.
6. A water spreader system incorporating a plurality of water
spreader arrangement as claimed In any one of the
preceding claims, wherein said arrangements are located in
the top surface of an evaporative cooler fid.
7. A water spreader system incorporating a plurality of water
spreader arrangements as claimed In any one of claims 1-4,
wherein the system Is formed as a single piece.
8. A method of spreading water In an evaporative cooler, comprising feeding a water stream to a water spreader arrangement whereby said water Is divided into a plurality of partial streams at a plurality of levels from a first level having one vertical projection for dividing the stream into two partial streams as the stream Impinges on the one projection, and wherein the two partial streams are further divided by further projections at the plurality of levels downstream of the first level.
9* A method as claimed in claim 8, wherein the water spreader arrangement is as claimed in any one of claims 1-4.
10. A method as claimed in claim 8 or 9 comprising a plurality of
said water spreader arrangements.
A water spreader arrangement for use in an evaporative air cooler in which the spreader includes an inlet (28) leading to generally vertical projections (38) disposed over several levels. The projections (34, 37, 38) are adapted to divide a single stream of water entering the inlet (28) into many outlet streams, all of which have a predetermined ratio of flow rates. The outlet streams can be fed to an evaporative pad of an evaporative cooler. In a preferred form, the outlet streams have substantially the same flow rate. Preferably, a cooler incorporating this water spreader arrangement would include several spreaders around the upper periphery of the evaporative pads.
|Indian Patent Application Number||IN/PCT/2001/00368/KOL|
|PG Journal Number||08/2007|
|Date of Filing||29-Mar-2001|
|Name of Patentee||F F SEELEY NOMINEES PTY. LTD.|
|Applicant Address||AUSTRALIA, 1-11 ROTHESAY AVENUE, ST. MARYS, S.A. 5042|
|PCT International Classification Number||F 24F 6/04|
|PCT International Application Number||PCT/AU99/00866|
|PCT International Filing date||1999-10-07|