|Title of Invention||
"A COMPACT ROOF TOP AIR CONDITINING UNIT "
|Abstract||A compact roof top air conditioning unit for a vehicle, said unit having an evaporator coil located adjacent to a condenser coil. At least one cylindrical blower is mounted adjacent the evaporator coil and is arranged to provide conditioned supply air to the interior of the vehicle. An electric motor is used to turn the shaft of the blower and a condensate pump is secured to the shaft for pumping condensate generated by the evaporator coil back over the condenser coil. An electrically driven compressor is housed within the unit and is arranged so that no refrigerant lines pass outside of the unit. An inverter is also housed within the unit and provides a regulated input to the compressor and the evaporator and condenser drive motors. Reference to Fig. 1|
|Full Text||Field of the Invention
 This invention relates to a compact roof top air conditioning unit for
a vehicle and, in particular, to a rooftop unit for a bus.
Background of the Invention
 The most common approach for air conditioning the interior of a bus
is to mount the air conditioning components on the roof of the vehicle. It has been the common practice in the industry to locate the compressor for the unit in the vehicles motor compartment so that it can be driven directly from the engine. The compressor, in turn, must be connected to the air conditioning unit by means of refrigerant supply and return lines. This requires running an extensive amount of piping through the bus between the engine compartment and air conditioner.
 In addition, the evaporator coil that is contained in the rooftop unit
can also generate a good deal of condensate which must be disposed of in someway.
In many prior art rooftop air conditioning systems, the condensate produced by the evaporator coil is collected in the floor panel or pan of the unit and is drained to the exterior of the vehicle by means of drainage hoses. The drainage often times runs over the surface of the vehicle producing unwanted stains and films windows which can be hazardous. Typically, the rooftop air conditioners are relatively large units having a high profile which produces a good deal of drag even as the vehicle moves at a relatively low speed.
Summary of the Invention
 It is therefore an object of the present invention to improve air
conditioning units that are mounted upon the roof of a bus or any other similar type vehicle.
 It is a further object of the present invention to improve condensate
removal from an air conditioning unit that is mounted upon the roof of a motor vehicle.
 It is a still further object of the present invention to more efficiently
remove condensate from an air conditioning unit that is mounted upon the roof of a bus.
 Another object of the present invention is to eliminate the need for
drainage hoses for removing condensate from an air conditioner that is mounted upon the roof of a bus.
 Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a
condensate removal system that can operate effectively in a low profile rooftop air conditioner for a bus.
 These and other objects of the present invention are attained by a
compact air conditioning unit that is mounted upon the rooftop of a bus or similar type vehicle. The unit contains an electrically driven compressor and an inverter for regulating the electrical input to the electrical components contained within the unit.
The evaporator coil of the unit is mounted adjacent to the condenser coil and at least one cylindrical fan is mounted adjacent the evaporator coil upon a horizontally disposed shaft which, in turn, is rotated by an electrical motor. A circular disc is mounted upon the shaft and is enclosed within a housing. A drip pan is positioned beneath the evaporator coil and is arranged to pass the collected
condensate into the sump of the pump housing through an inlet port. The condensate in the sump is pumped by the disc into a discharge tube that is arranged to distribute the condensate over the heat exchanger surfaces of the condenser coil whereupon the condensate is evaporated.
Brief Description of the Drawings
[0011 ] For a further understanding of these and objects of the invention,
reference will be made to the following detailed description of the invention that is to be read in association with the accompanying drawing, wherein:
 FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a compact air conditioning unit
suitable for mounting up the roof of a vehicle and, in particular, the roof of a passenger bus;
 FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view of the air conditioning unit
shown in Fig. 1 with the cover removed to better illustrate the internal components of the unit;
 FIG. 3 is a side sectional view taken through the unit;
 FIG. 4 is an enlarged front perspective view illustrating the
condensate pump employed in the present rooftop unit;
 FIG. 5 is a rear side exploded view in perspective showing the
components part of the condensate pump; and
 FIG. 6 is an enlarged partial sectional view taken along lines 6-6 in
Detailed Description of the Invention
 Turning now to the drawings, there is illustrated in Fig. 1 a low
profile, compact, air conditioning unit, generally referenced 10, that is ideally well suited for mounting upon the roof 11 of a motor vehicle such as a bus. The working components of the unit are housed in a stream-lined protective cover 12 preferably fabricated of plastic. The cover contains an elongated opening 13 that extends laterally along the top of the cover. A portion of the units condenser coil 15 is located within the opening so that outside air can be drawn by the condenser fan 16 (Fig. 3) over the heat exchange surfaces of the condenser coil and then discharged to the surrounding ambient.
 Turning now to Figs. 2 and 3, the unit is illustrated with the outer
cover removed to more clearly show the component parts of the unit. The evaporator coil 17 of the unit is located directly in front of the condenser coil 15.
The heat exchanger fins of the two coils are contoured to provide a maximum amount of heat exchanger surface area within a minimum amount of available space. The coils, in turn, are set at an angle with regard to the base of the unit to minimize the overall height of the unit. As noted above, outside air is drawn over the surfaces of the condenser coil and is discharged through the back of the housing to ambient.
 A return air duct 19 is provided in the unit between the two coils. A
series of cylindrical blower wheels 20-20 are positioned in front of the evaporator coil and each blower is contained within a separate blower wheel housing 21. The blower wheels are arranged to draw return air from the passenger compartment into duct 19 and then through the evaporator coil. The conditioned supply air is then back into the passenger compartment through supply air ports 23-23. An adjustable damper 24 (Fig. 3) is located in the return air duct 19 that can be positioned to regulate the addition of outside air to the return air stream being drawn from inside the bus.
 Each blower wheel is secured to a common drive shaft 30 and the
drive shaft is rotated by an electric motor 31 that is mounted upon the side panel 33 of the air conditioning unit.
 An electrically driven compressor 35 is mounted within a bracket 36
and the bracket is secured to the previously noted side wall 33. The compressor is connected to the two heat exchanger coils of the unit by suitable refrigerant lines and the relrigerant is throttled from the high pressure side of the system via an expansion valve 34. A compressor operates in a conventional manner to bring refrigerant from the lower pressure side of the air conditioning system to the high pressure side. The compressor 35 as well as the evaporator fan motor 31 and condenser fan motor (not shown) are all powered by a regulated electrical input from an inverter 40 which is secured to the other side panel 41 of the unit. The inverter contains a series of cooling fins 42 that extend into the evaporator region for maintaining the inverter at a desired operating temperature. Although, not shown, power to the inverter is provided by a generator that is driven by the engine of the vehicle.
 As should now be evident, in this arrangement of components, there
is no need to pass refrigerant lines through the passenger compartment of the bus.
Accordingly, the chance of moisture generated by refrigerant lines within the compartment is eliminated.
 A condensate pump, generally references 50, is mounted in front of
the evaporator coil 17 in coaxial alignment with the blower wheels 20-20. As illustrated in Figs. 4-6, the pump includes a flat faced circular disc 51 that is secured to the drive shaft 30 which services the evaporator blowers. The disc is contained within a two piece housing that includes a main body section 53 and a side cover section 54. A cavity 55 is formed in the main body section of the
housing. The cavity and the cover coact to form the two vertical side walls 57 and 58 (Fig. 6) of the cavity.
 An inlet port 60 is provided in the main body section of the housing
through which condensate from the evaporator coil is permitted to enter the lower sump region 62 of the pump cavity. A drip pan 63 is located beneath the evaporator coil. The floor 64 of the pan slopes downwardly toward a trough 65 which, in turn, slopes toward the inlet port of the pump so that any condensate that is collected in the trough is directed into the sump of the pump housing. A chamber 67 is located in the upper part of the housing cavity and the chamber is tangentially aligned with the disc.
 As illustrated in Fig. 6, the flat surfaces of the disc are mounted in
close proximity with the vertical side walls of the pump housing cavity so that sufficient friction is developed by the spinning disc to pump the condensate in the sump of the housing into the upper chamber 67. A discharge tube 70 is connected into the upper chamber of the housing and. as illustrated in Fig. 2, the tube extends back around the evaporator coil and terminates in a planar end section 71 that is adjacent to the upper surface of the condenser coil. A series of discharge ports 73 are placed in the end section of the tube and are arranged to discharge condensate over the heat exchanger surfaces of the condenser coil. As a result, the condensate is evaporated and the water vapor is discharged from the unit into the surrounding ambient through the opening in the upper part of the cover.
 While the present invention has been particularly shown and
described with reference to the preferred mode as illustrated in the drawing, it will be understood by one skilled in the art that various changes in detail may be effected therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the claims.
1. A compact roof top air conditioning unit (10) for a vehicle, said unit having an
evaporator coil (17) mounted adjacent to a condenser coil (15), wherein said
at least one cylindrical blower (20) mounted upon a horizontally disposed shaft (30) for moving return air from a conditioned region inside said vehicle over the coil (17);
an electrical drive (31) motor for turning said shaft (30);
a drip pan (63) mounted beneath the evaporator coil (17), said drip pan (63) having a trough (65) for conducting condensate away from the evaporator coil (17);
a circular disc (51) secured to said shaft (30) for turning within a vertical plane;
a housing (53, 54) surrounding said disc (51), said housing having a sump (62) and an intake port (60) in a lower section thereof, said intake port (60) communicating with said trough (65) so that condensate in said trough flows into said sump (62) and is carried by said disc (51) to a higher elevation as said disc turns;
a chamber (67) tangentially aligned with said disc in the upper part of the housing wherein condensate that is carried upwardly by said disc is delivered into said chamber (67); and
a discharge tube (70) connected to said chamber (67) for passing condensate from said chamber (67) over condenser coil (15) surfaces.
2. The air conditioning unit as claimed in claim 1, wherein said trough (65) is
inclined downwardly toward said intake port (60) in the housing.
3. The air conditioning unit as claimed in claim 1, wherein said housing (53,
54) contains inner vertical side walls (57, 58) that are spaced apart a given
distance from opposed sides of said disc (51) so that the condensate inside the
sump (62) is moved by friction from the sump (62) into said chamber (67) as the
disc (51) turns.
4. The air conditioning unit as claimed in claim 1, wherein said discharge
tube (70) has a linear end section (71) that passes over the condenser coil (15),
said end section having a series of spaced apart discharge ports (73) for
distributing condensate over the surface of said condenser coil (15).
5. The air conditioner unit as claimed in claim 1, wherein said housing (53,
54) is divided vertically into two sections that comprises a body (53) section and
a side cover (54) section.
6. The air conditioning unit as claimed in claim 1, wherein said unit
comprises an electrically driven compressor (35).
7. The air conditioning unit as claimed in claim 6, that comprises an inverter
(40) for regulating the electrical input to the compressor (35) and the electric
8. A compact rooftop air conditioning unit (10) as claimed in claim, wherein
said unit comprises:
an electrical compressor (35) housed within said unit for moving refrigerant between said coils (15,17);
an inverter (40) for controlling the electrical input to said compressor (35) and said electric drive motor (31) also housed within said unit
a pump (50) secured to said shaft for pumping condensate generated by the evaporator coil (17) over the surface of the condenser coil (15).
9. The air conditioning unit as claimed in claim 8, wherein said pump (50)
comprises a flat disc (51) having opposed vertical side walls (57, 58), said disc
(51) being secured to said shaft (30) and a pump housing (53, 54) for enclosing
said disc (51).
10. The air conditioning unit as claimed in claim 9, wherein said pump
housing (53,54) contains a sump (62) in the lower section thereof and a
collection chamber (67) that is tangentially aligned with said disc contained in the
upper section of said housing.
11. The air conditioning unit as claimed in claim 10, wherein said pump
housing (53, 54) contains inner vertical walls (57, 58) that are spaced closely to
opposed side surfaces of the disc (51) wherein condensate that is collected in
the sump (62) of the housing (53, 54) is pumped into the chamber (67) as the
disc (51) is turned by the shaft (30).
12. The air conditioning unit as claimed in claim 11, that comprises a
discharge tube (70) connected to said chamber (67) for distributing condensate
from said chamber (67) over the surface of the condenser coil (15).
|Indian Patent Application Number||4830/DELNP/2005|
|PG Journal Number||18/2009|
|Date of Filing||21-Oct-2005|
|Name of Patentee||CARRIER CORPORATION|
|Applicant Address||Carrier parkway, P.O. Box 4800, syracuse, Ny 13221, USA|
|PCT International Classification Number||B60H|
|PCT International Application Number||PCT/US2004/012941|
|PCT International Filing date||2004-04-26|