|Title of Invention||
"AN AIR CONDITIONING MODULE FOR BUS ROOFTOP"
|Abstract||A module is provided for attachment to the roof of a bus and includes all of necessary components for conditioning the return air from the passenger compartment and delivering conditioned air thereto. A plurality of modules can be stacked in various relationships to collectively provide the total capacity required by the bus. Each module includes an evaporator section, a condenser section and a power section including a compressor and an inverter. The evaporator sections have a return air compartment that extends a substantial distance across the roof of the bus such that a single design can meet the needs of various return air duct installations of various types of buses. A centrifugal fan with its axis oriented either vertically or horizontally is situated so as to receive the flow of return air and blow it through the coil to be conditioned. Provision is made for the selective mixing of return air with fresh air, with the mixture then being passed by the evaporator blower through the evaporator coil and into the supply air ducts. FIGURE 2|
|Full Text||Field of the Invention
This invention relates to an air conditioning module for a bus rooftop. Cross Reference to Related Applications
This application is related to the following pending applications being concurrently filed herewith and assigned to the assignee of the present invention:
Background of the invention
This invention relates generally to air conditioning systems and, more particularly, to an air conditioning system for the rooftop of a bus.
 The most common approach for air conditioning a bus is to locate the
air conditioning components on the rooftop thereof. Inasmuch as power is available from the engine that drives the bus, it has become common practice to locate the air conditioning compressor near the drive engine such that the drive engine is drivingly connected to the compressor, with the compressor then being fluidly interconnected to the air conditioning system on a rooftop of a bus. This, of course, requires rather extensive piping between the engine compartment and the air conditioning unit, thereby increasing installation and maintenance costs.
 Another problem with such existing systems is that the speed that the
compressor is driven is dependent on the speed in which the drive engine is running.
Thus, when the drive engine is idling in a parking lot, for example, the compressor
is running at a relatively slow speed which may not be sufficient to provide the
desired degree of air conditioning. It is therefore generally necessary to oversize the
compressor in order to obtain the performance needed under these conditions.
 Others problems associated with such a motor driven compressor
system is that the open drive compressor needs a shaft seal and a mechanical clutch,
both of which are subject to maintenance problems. Further, since DC power is
available on a bus, DC motors have been used for the air conditioning .system. In
general, DC motors are not as reliable as AC motors since they have brushes that
wear out, and brushless motors are relatively expensive.
 In addition to the problems discussed hereinabove, it is recognized,
that because the wide variety of bus types and application requirements, it has been
necessary to provide many different types and variations of air conditioning systems
in order to meet these different requirements and vehicle interfaces. As a result, the
manufacturing and installation costs, and sustaining engineering resources that are
necessary in order to properly maintain and service these units, are relatively high.
 Traditionally, the condenser coils and fans have been located near the
centerline of the bus rooftop, whereas the evaporator coils and fans are closer to the lateral sides of the rooftop. Further, the evaporator fans are of the draw- through type wherein the evaporator fans are placed downstream of the coils and act to draw the conditioned air from the coils. This provides a uniform velocity distribution at the coil but leads to undesirable high jet flow leaving the fan and subsequently
pushing into the bus ducting system. Also, because of the need to have the fan
outboard of the coil, it has been necessary to place the coil more toward the center of
the bus than might be otherwise desired.
 It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an
improved bus rooftop air conditioning system.
 Another object of the present invention is the provision for a bus air
conditioning system which is effective at all engine operating speeds of the bus,
while at the same time does not require an oversized compressor.
 Yet another object of the present invention is the provision for
reducing the manufacturing, installation, and maintenance costs of a bus air
 Still another object of the present invention is the provision in an
evaporator section of a bus rooftop air conditioning system for locating the
evaporator coil more toward the lateral edges of the bus.
 Yet another object of the present invention is the provision for a bus
rooftop air conditioning system which is economical to manufacture and effective in
 These objects and other features and advantages become more readily
apparent upon reference to the following descriptions when taken in conjunction
with the appended drawings.
Summary of the Invention
 Briefly, in accordance with one aspect of the invention, an air
conditioning module is assembled with its condenser coil, evaporator coil and
respective blowers located within the module and so situated that a standard module
can accommodate various installation interfaces with different types and locations of
return air and supply air ducts on a bus.
 In accordance with another aspect of the invention, each of a plurality
of modules are installed in a centered relationship with respect to a longitudinal
centerline of the bus and extend transversely across the width of the bus. The
number and length of modules is dependent of the total air conditioning capacity requirement of the bus.
 By yet another aspect of the invention, each of the modules include
all the necessary components with electrical power being provided to the electrical
components by an inverter/controller that is powered by an engine driven generator.
 By another aspect of the invention, the evaporator blower is placed
inboard of the evaporator coils and acts to blow air from the return air duct through the coils to be cooled.
 By still another aspect of the invention the evaporator section of the
module has a return air plenum that spans a substantial width of the bus to thereby
accommodate various sizes and types of return air interface requirements.
 By yet another aspect of the invention the evaporator section of each
module has two different vertical levels to accommodate the respective incoming
flows of return air and replenishing fresh air, and includes a mixer for selectively
varying the amount of each which passes to the fan and then to the evaporator coil.
 In the drawings as hereinafter described, a preferred embodiment is
depicted; however various other modifications and alternate constructions can be made thereto without departing from the true sprit and scope of the invention.
Brief Description of the Drawings
 FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a module as installed on the rooftop of
a bus in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention.
 FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a module with the top cover removed.
 FIG. 3 is a schematic illustration of the electrical and refrigerant
circuits within the module in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the
 FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of the condenser section of the
 FIG. 5 is a front elevational view one embodiment of the evaporator
section of the module.
 FIGS. 6-8 are front elevational views of the evaporator section as
applied to different types of bus rooftops.
 FIG. 9 is a top view of an alternate evaporator section.
 FIG. 10 is a sectional view thereof as seen along lines 10-10 of Fig. 9.
 FIG. 11 is a sectional view thereof as seen along lines 11-11 of Fig. 9.
 FIG. 12 is a top view of yet another embodiment of an evaporator
 FIG. 13 is a sectional view thereof as seen along lines 13-13 of Fig.
 FIG. 14 is a sectional view as seen along lines 14-14 of Fig. 12.
Description of the Preferred Embodiment
 The inventive module is shown generally at 10 in Fig. 1 as applied to
the rooftop 11 of a bus in accordance with the present invention. Electrical power is provided to the module 10 by way of line 12, which in turn receives its power from a generator 13 driven by the bus engine 14 as shown.
 The module 10 interfaces with openings in the bus top so that fans
within the module 10 cause the return air from the passenger compartment to flow upward into the module 10 where it is conditioned, and the conditioned air to then flow downwardly into supply air ducts that carry the conditioned air to the passenger compartment. The various structures and the manner in which they interface with the bus rooftop 11 will more fully described hereinafter.
 In Fig. 2, the module 10 is shown with its cover removed to include a
frame 16 with an evaporator section 17 attached to one end thereof and a condenser section 18 attached to the other end thereof. Adjacent the condenser section 18 is a power section 19 which includes a compressor 21 and an inverter/controller 22. The manner in which they provided motive power to the refrigerant circuit and electrical power to the electrical components of the module 10 will be more fully described hereinafter.
 The evaporator section 17 comprises a pair of identical units in
abutting end-to-end relationship with each unit including an evaporator blower 23
with is evaporator blower motor 24, and an evaporator coil 26. Briefly, the
evaporator blower 23 draws in return air from the passenger compartment of the bus,
and fresh air from outside and passes a mixture of the two through the evaporator
coil 26 to be conditioned, after which it flows back to the passenger compartment by
way of the supply air ducts. This will be more fully described hereinafter.
 Within the condenser section 18, there is provided a condenser fan 27
driven by an electric motor, and a pair of condenser coils 28 and 29. Briefly, the condenser fan draws air upwardly to create a vacuum below, which in turn causes fresh air to be drawn through the condenser coils 28 and 29 to condense the refrigerant flowing through the coils 28 and 29. The resulting warm air is then discharged upwardly to the atmosphere by the fan 27.
 Referring now to Fig. 3, the module 10 is shown with its electrical
connection by way of line 12 to the generator 13 and driving motor 14. The inverter/controller 22 receives AC power from the generator, or alternator, and, in turn provides discretely controlled AC power to the evaporator blower motor 24, the drive motor 31 of the condenser fan 27 and the drive motor 32 of the compressor 21. A plurality of control sensors, shown generally at 33 provide feedback to the inverter/controller 22 as necessary for it to control the AC power being delivered to the various drive motors.
 As will be seen, the refrigeration circuit is a closed circuit through
which the refrigerant flows from the compressor 21 to the condenser 29, an expansion valve 34, the evaporator 26 and finally back to the compressor 21. This is accomplished in a conventional manner.
 It will be seen that the module 10 is self-contained with all of the
necessary components, with the only input thereto being the electrical power by way of the electrical line 12. Other modules, indicated as numbers 2-6 are identically configured and are powered and controlled in the same manner.
 Returning now to the condenser section 18 as shown in Fig. 4, the
flow of air as caused by the condenser fan 27 is shown by the arrows. Fresh air is
drawn in through the fresh air intake openings 36 and 37, passes through the
respective condenser coils 28 and 29 and then flow upwardly through the condenser
fan 27 and the condenser outlet air opening 38 as shown.
 Within the evaporator section 17 as shown in Fig. 5, the relatively
warm return air flows upwardly from a return air opening (not shown) communicating with the passenger compartment and enters a return air plenum 39 of the evaporator section 17 as shown by the arrows. The evaporator blower 23 causes the return air to flow upwardly to its inlet at the top, and at the same time, fresh air may be brought in by way of a fresh air flap in a manner to be described hereinafter. A mixture of the two airflow streams is thus admitted at the intake of the evaporator blower 23 and caused to flow downwardly and outwardly as indicated by the arrows to the evaporator coils 26. After passing through the evaporator coil 26 it is then caused by a curved cowling 41 to flow downwardly to a supply air duct leading to the passenger compartment. Thus, while the module is operating, there is a constant circuitous flow of return air out of the passenger compartment and of conditioned air back into the passenger compartment. The amount of return air that is discharged to the outside, and also the amount of fresh air that is brought into the circuit from the outside is controlled by the selective movement of the fresh air flaps as will be described hereinafter.
 There are shown in Figs. 6-8, installations of the module 10 with
various types of buses and associated return air and supply air openings. In Fig. 6, for example, a wide bus installation is shown wherein the existing ductwork within the bus includes supply air ducts 43 and 44 near the lateral sides of the bus, and return air openings 46 and 47 that are closer to the centerline of the bus, but are substantially spaced apart. Here it will be seen that the return air openings 46 and 47 communicate directly with the return air plenum 39 of the module 10, but at a position at near the outer end thereof.
 In Fig. 7, which shows a narrow bus installation, again the supply air
ducts 48 and 49 are near the transverse sides of the bus. But the return air openings 51 and 52 are abutting each other at the centerline of the bus. Again, the return air openings 51 and 52 fluidly communicate with the return air plenum 39, but at the other end thereof.
[00451 Finally, in Fig. 8 there is shown a curved top bus wherein the supply
air ducts 53 and 54 are again near the transverse sides of the bus, but the return air openings 56 and 57 are in intermediate positions, relatively close to the centerline but substantially spaced apart. Again, the return air openings 56 and 57 fluidly communicate with the return air plenum 39, but at a position intermediate the two ends thereof.
 It will thus be seen that the same identical module is so constructed
and designed that it can accommodate any of these various installation requirements
without modification of the module itself. That is, the conditioned air discharge
opening 40 is sufficiently large and the transverse direction to accommodate the
various supply air duct orientations, and, more importantly, the return air plenum 39
is relatively large in the transverse direction so as to accommodate each of the
various types of return air opening configuration as shown.
 Referring now to Figs. 9-11, an alternate evaporator section is shown
at 61 to include a pair of identical units 62 and 63 in back-to-back relationship with respect to the centerline of the bus. Centrifugal fans 64 and 66 driven by respective motors 67 and 68 are located near the centerline of the bus, and with their axis oriented vertically.
 As will be seen, the fans 64 and 66 are surrounded by respective
scrolls 69 and 71 having relatively short diffusers 72 and 73 leading to the evaporator coils 74 and 76, respectively.
 As will be seen in Fig. 10, the fans 64 and 66 are raised so as to
provide for the return air plenums 77 and 78, respectively, therebelow. It should be noted that the longitudinal length L1 (i.e., the distance the plenum 39 extends laterally across the half-width of the bus) of the plenum 39 is substantial as
compared with the width of the return air duct (see Figs. 6-8) and also as compared with the total lateral length of the unit L2. The present design has a dimension of L1 = 595mm. The dimension L2 will vary depending on the particular installation. In this regard, the dimension x represents the lateral length of the unit structure between the return air plenum and the supply air discharge opening. This dimension will vary from a minimum of 130 mm to a maximum of 230mm. The lateral dimension of the supply air discharge opening will also vary from a minimum of 60 mm to a maximum of about 120 mm. Accordingly, the lateral length L2 will vary from 785mm to 945mm. The ration of L1/L2 will therefore be in the range of 0.629 to 0.758mm. The feature of this relatively large ratio is important in allowing the use of the identical units for various rooftop installation requirements as discussed hereinabove.
 In comparing the lateral length of the return air plenum with the
lateral width of the return air opening it will be seen that the lateral length L| is substantially greater than the width w. Typically the width w of the return air opening is around 120-450mm. Considering then the ration of the two, the length of 595 mm is on the order of 1.322 to 1.983 times that of the width w of the return air opening.
 Finally, comparing the length L1 to the half-width of a bus, a typical
bus is about 2150 mm wide, such that the ration of the unit length L1to a half-width of a typical bus is about 0.553. Thus, it can be said that the length L1 is about half of the half width of a bus.
 With the two level approach, i.e., with the return air plenums 77 and
78 being at one level, and with the fans 64 and 66 being at a higher level, the return
air is drawn into the return air plenums 77 and 78 and then enters the fans 64 and 66
by way of inlets 79 and 81, respectively. The air then remains at the second level
and is blown radially outwardly toward the coils 74 and 76, respectively.
 The centrifugal fans 64 and 66 are relatively shallow in the vertical
direction but relatively large in diameter. The drive motors 67 and 68 are shown in positions above the fans but may be positioned below the fans. The fan rotors may
have backward curved, radial or forward curved blades. Located outboard the
evaporator coils 74 and 76, are the pressure plenums 82 and 83 as partially defined
by curved cowlings 84 and 86, respectively. Downstream of the pressure plenums
82 and 83 are the supply air discharge openings 87 and 88, respectively.
 Referring now to Fig. 11, the return air is shown by the arrows at the
right. On each side of the fan, a fresh air opening with an associated flap is provided
to introduce fresh ambient air into the return air plenum 78 to be mixed with the
return air prior to its entering into the fan 66. The fresh air openings are shown by
numerals 89 and 91, whereas the flaps are indicated at 92 and 93, respectively. It
will be recognized that the openings 89 and 91 are relatively small compared with
the return air opening into the plenum 78. Accordingly, this design is intended to
allow for a fractional quantity of fresh air to be drawn in and mixed with the return
air passing through the fan. There is thus a blockage of a small quantity of return air
flow when the flaps 92 and 93 are open, but even when fully opened, the flaps 92
and 93 do not provide for a large blockage of return air flow.
[00SS] In operation, the return air flows into the plenum 78 with a fraction of
fresh air being introduced into the openings 89 and 91 as desired. The mixture of air then passes through the fan 66 and is caused to flow outwardly through the scrolls 69 and 71 and the diffusers 72 and 73, respectively. After passing through the evaporator coils 74 and 76, the conditioned air flows into the pressure plenums 82 and 83, respectively and then through the supply air discharge openings 87 and 88 to be discharged to the passenger compartment.
 Unlike a draw-through fan system of the prior art, wherein the cooled
air comes off the fans as a high velocity jet flow blasting into the bus supply air ducts, the present design provides for low velocity, but high pressure flow in the pressure plenums 82 and 83. The openings, 87 and 88 can be, and preferably are, larger than the conventional openings for a draw-through fan in order to take advantage of the low velocity flow and lower losses. This may preferably take the form of rather narrow but relatively long slots through which the air is discharged.
 Referring now to Figs. 12-14, an alterative embodiment of the
evaporator section is shown to include a similar blow through arrangement, but with the fans having their axes disposed in the horizontal plane as shown. The respective scrolls are shown at 99 and 101, and the diffusers at 102 and 103. The placement of the evaporator coils 74 and 76 are identical as in the previous embodiment, and the structure and function of the pressure plenums 82 and 83 are identical as previously described.
 Because of the height limitations of the evaporator units, the diameter
of the fans 94 and 96 are necessarily smaller than those for the fans with a vertical axes orientation. Thus, a forward curved blower wheel is desirable, and, as will be seen, they are of the double inlet type wherein air can enter from both ends of the fan. The diffusers 102 and 103 are relatively long as compared with their described diffusers for use with the vertical axes fans.
 Again, return air plenums 104 and 106 are provided at a lower level
of the units, and the fans 94 and 96 are provided at a second level for receiving the air and then blowing it outwardly to the coils 74 and 76. Like the earlier described design, the return air plenums 104 and 106 are longitudinally extensive-and have substantially the same relative dimensions as described hereinabove with respect to the vertical axes fans.
 Referring now to Fig. 14, the flow of return air is shown by the
arrows at the right as flowing in to enter each end of the fan 96 as driven by the motor 98. In order to facilitate the introduction of fresh air to be mixed with the flow of return air, a fresh air opening 107 and associated flap 108 is provided in the one side as shown. The position of the flap 108 is selectively adjustable so as to bring fresh air into the system as desired. In a manner similar as described hereinabove, as the flap 108 is moved toward the fully opened position, it both uncovers the fresh air opening 107 and increasingly tends to decrease the flow of return air coming into the system. However, even when it is in the fully opened position, there is a relatively small percentage of the return air flow that is blocked.
 In operation, the return air and fresh air come into the lower return air
plenum 106, after which a mixture of the two flows upwardly into the two inlet openings on either side of the fan 96. The fan 96 then blows the air out from the scroll 101 and the diffuser 103 to the evaporator coil 76 where it is cooled, after which the air enters the pressure plenum 83 and is discharged, at a relatively high pressure and low velocity, to the supply air duct which carries it to the passenger compartment.
 While the present invention has been particularly shown and
described with reference to the preferred mode as illustrated in the drawings, it will be understood by one skilled in the art that various changes in detail may be effected therein without departing from the sprit and scope of the invention as defined by the claims.
1. An air conditioning module (10) for a bus rooftop (11) of the type having at least one
return air opening (46,47) for conducting the flow of return air from the passenger
compartment, and at least one supply air opening (43, 44) for conducting the flow of
conditioned air to the passenger compartment, comprising: a condenser section (18)
having at least one condenser coil (28, 29) and a condenser fan (27) for causing ambient
air to flow therethrough; an evaporator section (17) having at least one evaporator coil
(26) and at least one evaporator fan (23) for causing return air to flow serially from said
return air opening (46, 47), through an evaporator fan (23), through an evaporator coil
(26), and to at least one supply air opening (43, 44); a return air plenum (39) disposed in
a lower portion of said evaporator section and adapted to receive a flow of return air from
the return air opening (46, 47), said return air plenum (39) fluidly communicating with
said evaporator fan (23), and at least one fresh air opening (89, 91) which fluidly
communicates fresh air into said return air plenum; characterized in that:
said at least one fresh air opening (89, 91) has an associated flap (92, 93) for selectively controlling the volume of fresh air that flows through said fresh air inlet opening, said flap being so located and operable that it simultaneously changes the respective airflow paths of the incoming fresh air and return air to reduce the volume of airflow from said return air opening as the volume of fresh airflow is increased.
2. An air conditioning module as claimed in claim 1, wherein said evaporator fan is located directly above said return air plenum.
3. An air conditioning module as claimed in claim 1, wherein said evaporator fan is of the centrifugal type.
4. An air conditioner module as claimed in claim 3, wherein said fan has a vertically oriented axis.
5. An air conditioning module as claimed in claim 4, wherein said centrifugal fan has an inlet facing downwardly and adjacent to said return air plenum.
6. An air conditioning module as claimed in claim 3 comprises a scroll and a diffuser disposed between the evaporator fan and evaporator coil.
7. An air conditioning module as claimed in claim 3, wherein said centrifugal fan has a horizontally oriented axis.
8. An air conditioning module as claimed in claim 7, wherein said centrifugal fan has an inlet on each end thereof.
9. An air conditioning module as claimed in claim 7, wherein said centrifugal fan has a forward curved blower wheel.
10. An air conditioning module as claimed in claim 4, wherein said fan is of the backward curved type.
11. An air conditioning module as claimed in claim 5, wherein a drive motor is located above said fan and operably connected thereto.
12. An air conditioning module as claimed in claim 1, wherein said at least one fresh air inlet opening comprises a pair of fresh air inlet openings located on opposite sides of said fan, with each having an associated flap.
13. An air conditioning module as claimed in claim 1, wherein said at least one fresh air opening comprising an associated flap for selectively varying the volume of flow through said at least one fresh air opening, said flap so being located and operable that it simultaneously changes the respective airflow paths of the incoming fresh air and return air to reduce the volume of airflow from said return air opening as the volume of fresh airflow is increased.
|Indian Patent Application Number||5048/DELNP/2005|
|PG Journal Number||25/2009|
|Date of Filing||03-Nov-2005|
|Name of Patentee||CARRIER CORPORATION|
|Applicant Address||ONE CARRIER PLACE, FARMINGTON, CONNECTICUT 06034-4015, U.S.A.|
|PCT International Classification Number||B60H 1/00|
|PCT International Application Number||PCT/US2004/012816|
|PCT International Filing date||2004-04-26|