(19)
(11)EP 2 971 982 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
14.08.2019 Bulletin 2019/33

(21)Application number: 14709518.6

(22)Date of filing:  27.02.2014
(51)Int. Cl.: 
F24F 1/06  (2011.01)
F24F 1/68  (2011.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2014/018832
(87)International publication number:
WO 2014/149482 (25.09.2014 Gazette  2014/39)

(54)

MODULAR COIL FOR AIR COOLED CHILLERS

MODULARE SPULE FÜR LUFTGEKÜHLTE KÜHLER

SERPENTIN MODULAIRE POUR REFROIDISSEURS REFROIDIS PAR AIR


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 15.03.2013 US 201361788516 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
20.01.2016 Bulletin 2016/03

(73)Proprietor: Carrier Corporation
Farmington, CT 06034 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • RUSSO, Jackie, S.
    Syracuse, NY 13221 (US)
  • TETU, Lee, G.
    Syracuse, NY 13221 (US)

(74)Representative: Dehns 
St. Bride's House 10 Salisbury Square
London EC4Y 8JD
London EC4Y 8JD (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-2011/099629
JP-A- 2003 279 074
WO-A2-2008/124637
JP-A- 2009 243 754
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



    [0001] The invention relates generally to air conditioning systems and, more particularly, to a modular condenser coil arrangement for a condenser of an air conditioning system.

    [0002] In a conventional air conditioning system, the condenser of the refrigeration circuit is located exterior to a building. Typically, the condenser includes a condensing coil, a fan for circulating a cooling medium over the condensing coil. The air conditioning system further includes an indoor unit having an evaporator for transferring heat energy to the indoor air to be conditioned.

    [0003] Air cooled condensers including air cooled chillers and rooftops, are often used for applications requiring large capacity cooling and heating. Because larger condenser coil surfaces are needed for the functionality of the system, the condenser generally includes a plurality of condensers units. Each of these condenser units includes a heat exchanger coil arranged generally laterally within a condenser housing such that the units may be stacked to accommodate a maximum micro-channel heat exchanger length. Multiple fans are located on top of the condenser housing for each unit.

    [0004] For instance, in lateral V-shaped coil arrangements, air enters through either side of the condenser housing, makes an abrupt 90 degree turn, passes through one of the legs of the V, turns again, and exits in an upward direction. This results in an uneven air distribution and variable face velocity across the condenser coil. Further non-uniformities and inefficiencies can be caused during single fan operation. The lateral V-shaped coil arrangement does not allow for one fan/one coil operation and fan to fan short circuiting can become a problem. The conventional condenser arrangements suffer from other inherent issues as well including issues related to water drainage and heat pump applications.

    [0005] WO 2011 099629 A1 discloses a chilling unit comprising a housing wherein a heat exchange unit provided with an air heat exchanger is mounted on the top of the housing.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION



    [0006] According to an aspect of the invention, a condenser module configured for use in a condenser is provided including a housing having a first longitudinal side that defines a first air inlet and an opposing second longitudinal side that defines a second air inlet. A
    heat exchanger assembly is positioned within the housing. The heat exchanger assembly includes at least one heat exchanger coil. A cross-section of the heat exchanger assembly is generally contact between a front side of the housing and an opposite back side of the housing. A fan assembly includes at least one fan generally aligned with a single heat exchanger coil in the heat exchanger assembly. The heat exchanger assembly includes a first heat exchanger coil and a second heat exchanger coil. The fan assembly is arranged in a draw-through configuration. The fan assembly includes a first fan generally aligned with the first heat exchanger coil and a second fan generally aligned with the second heat exchanger coil.

    [0007] According to yet another aspect of the invention, a condenser is provided including a plurality of condenser modules and a frame configured to receive the plurality of condenser modules. Each condenser module includes a housing having a first longitudinal side that defines a first air inlet and an opposing second longitudinal side that defines a second air inlet. A heat exchanger assembly is positioned within the housing. The heat exchanger assembly includes at least one heat exchanger coil. A cross-section of the heat exchanger assembly is generally constant between a front side of the housing and an opposite, back side of the housing. A fan assembly includes at least one fan generally aligned with a single heat exchanger coil in the heat exchanger assembly. The plurality of condenser modules are stacked within the frame such that at least one of the front surface and the back surface of each condenser module is arranged adjacent to either the front surface or the back surface of another condenser module.

    [0008] These and other advantages and features will become more apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the drawings.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING



    [0009] The subject matter, which is regarded as the invention, is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the claims at the conclusion of the specification. The foregoing and other features, and advantages of the invention are apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

    FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of a vapor-compression cycle of an air conditioning system;

    FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a condenser according to an embodiment of the invention;

    FIG. 3 is side view of a condenser according to an embodiment of the invention;

    FIG.4 is a front view of a condenser module according to an embodiment of the invention;

    FIG. 5 is a portion of a condenser module according to an embodiment of the invention;

    FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a condenser according to an embodiment of the invention; and

    FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a condenser according to another embodiment of the invention.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION



    [0010] Referring now to FIG. 1, a conventional vapor compression or refrigeration cycle 10 of an air conditioning system is schematically illustrated. Exemplary air conditioning systems include split, packaged, and rooftop systems, for example. A refrigerant R is configured to circulate through the vapor compression cycle 10 such that the refrigerant R absorbs heat when evaporated at a low temperature and pressure and releases heat when condensing at a higher temperature and pressure. Within this cycle 10, the refrigerant R flows in a counterclockwise direction as indicated by the arrows. The compressor 12 receives refrigerant vapor from the evaporator 18 and compresses it to a higher temperature and pressure, with the relatively hot vapor then passing to the condenser 14 where it is cooled and condensed to a liquid state by a heat exchange relationship with a cooling medium such as air or water. The liquid refrigerant R then passes from the condenser 14 to an expansion valve 16, wherein the refrigerant R is expanded to a low temperature two phase liquid/vapor state as it passes to the evaporator 18. The low pressure vapor then returns to the compressor 12 where the cycle is repeated.

    [0011] Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3, an air-cooled condenser 14, such as used in the vapor compression cycle 10 of FIG. 1, is illustrated in more detail. The condenser 14 includes one or more identical condenser modules 22 positioned within a frame 20, such as the type of frame 20 normally found on building rooftops for example. Any number of condenser modules 22 may be installed within the frame 20 to form a condenser 14 configured to meet the capacity and cooling requirements for a given application. Referring now to the exemplary condenser module 22 illustrated in FIG. 4, the condenser module 22 includes a housing or cabinet 24 configured to be received within the frame 20. Opposing longitudinal sides 26, 28 of the housing 24 each define an inlet for air to flow into the module 22. Similarly, a first end 30 of the housing 24, connected to both of the opposing longitudinal sides 26, 28, defines an outlet opening for air to exit from the condenser module 22. In one embodiment, when the condenser modules 22 are positioned within the frame 20 at least one of an opposing front surface 32 and back surface 34 of the housing 24 is arranged adjacent to either a front surface 32 or a back surface 34 of the housing 24 of another condenser module 22 (see FIG. 3) such that the plurality of condenser modules 22 are stacked generally longitudinally within the frame 20.

    [0012] Located within the housing 24 of each condenser module 22 is a heat exchanger assembly 32 arranged between the opposing longitudinal sides 26, 28. The cross-section of the heat exchanger assembly 32 is generally constant over a length of the condenser module 22, such as between the front surface 32 and the back surface 34 for example. The heat exchanger assembly 32 includes at least one heat exchanger coil 34, for example a micro-channel heat exchanger coil, through which the refrigerant R flows. The plurality of heat exchanger coils 34 of the heat exchanger assembly 32 may, but need not be, arranged generally symmetrically or equidistantly spaced from a center of the condenser module 22 between the opposing longitudinal sides 26, 28, as illustrated schematically by line C. In the illustrated, non-limiting embodiment, the heat exchanger assembly 32 includes a first heat exchanger coil 34' mounted to the first longitudinal side 26 of the housing 24 and a second, heat exchanger coil 34" mounted to the second longitudinal side 28 of the housing 24. The first heat exchanger coil 34' and the second heat exchanger coil 34" may, but need not be, substantially identical. The plurality of heat exchanger coils 34 may be arranged within the housing 24 such that the heat exchanger assembly 32 has a generally V-shaped configuration, as is known in the art. Alternative configurations of the heat exchanger assembly 32, such as the generally U-shaped configuration illustrated in FIG. 2, an A-shaped configuration, a generally horizontal configuration, or either of the configurations illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7 for example, are also within the scope of the invention. In one embodiment, the heat exchanger assembly 32 may include a multiple bank, flattened tube, finned heat exchanger having multiple tube banks arranged generally downstream from one another relative to an air flow.

    [0013] The condenser module 22 additionally includes a fan assembly 40 configured to circulate air through the housing 24 and the heat exchanger assembly 32. The air flowing through the condenser module 22 may discharge to a air duct (not shown), or alternatively, may draw in air directly from an outside source through a duct type section, i.e. sound absorbing panels for example. Depending on the characteristics of the condenser module 22, the fan assembly 40 may be positioned either downstream with respect to the heat exchanger assembly 32 (i.e. "draw through configuration") as shown in the FIGS., or upstream with respect to the heat exchanger assembly 32 (i.e. "blow through configuration").

    [0014] In one embodiment, the fan assembly 40 is mounted at the first end 30 of the housing 24 in a draw-through configuration. The fan assembly 40 generally includes at least one fan 42 configured to draw air through each of the respective heat exchanger coils 34 in the heat exchanger assembly 32. In one embodiment, the plurality of fans 42 in the fan assembly 40 substantially equals the plurality of heat exchanger coils 34 in the heat exchanger assembly 32. In addition, the at least one fan 42 configured to draw air through a respective heat exchanger coil 34 is generally vertically aligned with that coil 34. For example, in embodiments where the heat exchanger assembly 32 includes a first heat exchanger coil 34'and second heat exchanger coil 34", at least a first fan 42' is generally aligned with the first heat exchanger coil 34' and at least a second fan 42" is generally aligned with the second heat exchanger coil 34".

    [0015] In one embodiment, a divider (not shown), such as formed from a piece of sheet metal for example, extends inwardly from the first end 30 of the housing 24 along the center line C. The divider may be used to separate the condenser module 22 including the heat exchanger assembly 32 and the fan assembly 40 into a plurality of generally identical modular portions, such as a first portion 46 and a second portion 48 for example.

    [0016] Operation of the at least one fan 42 associated with the at least one heat exchanger coil 34 in either the first or second modular portion 46, 48 of the condenser module 22 causes air to flow through an adjacent air inlet and into the housing 24. As the air passes over the heat exchanger coil 34, heat transfers from the refrigerant R inside the coil 34 to the air, causing the temperature of the air to increase.

    [0017] By arranging the heat exchanger assembly 32 generally longitudinally between the opposing longitudinal sides 26, 28 of the housing 24, the number of turns in the flow path of air entering the housing 24 is reduced to a single turn. This new orientation of the heat exchanger assembly 32 also allows for better run off which reduces the likelihood of corrosion and allows for evaporative condensing. In addition, inclusion of generally modular portions 46, 48 within each condenser module 22 provides up to a significant reduction in the system losses in the module 22 as well as in the required fan power. Because the velocity of the air through the housing 24 is more uniform, the heat transfer capability of the condenser module 22 is improved.

    [0018] While the invention has been described in detail in connection with only a limited number of embodiments, it should be readily understood that the invention is not limited to such disclosed embodiments. Additionally, while various embodiments of the invention have been described, it is to be understood that aspects of the invention may include only some of the described embodiments. Accordingly, the invention is not to be seen as limited by the foregoing description, but is only limited by the scope of the appended claims.


    Claims

    1. A condenser module (22) configured for use in a condenser comprising:

    a housing (24) having a first longitudinal side (26) and a second, opposite longitudinal side (28) configured to define at least a first air inlet;

    a heat exchanger assembly (32) located within the housing, including at least one heat exchanger coil (34), wherein a cross-section of the heat exchanger assembly is generally constant between a front side of the housing and an opposite, back side of the housing, and at least one of the front surface and the back surface is configured to abut an adjacent condenser module (22); and

    a fan assembly (40) including at least one fan (42) generally aligned with a single heat exchanger coil in the heat exchanger assembly;

    wherein the heat exchanger assembly includes a first heat exchanger coil (34') and a second heat exchanger coil (34"); and

    wherein the fan assembly is arranged in a draw-through configuration;

    characterised in that the fan assembly includes a first fan (42') generally aligned with the first heat exchanger coil and a second fan (42") generally aligned with the second heat exchanger coil.


     
    2. The condenser module (22) according to claim 1, wherein at least one of the first heat exchanger coil (34') and the second heat exchanger coil (34") is a micro-channel heat exchanger coil.
     
    3. The condenser module (22) according to claim 1, wherein the first heat exchanger coil (34') is mounted to the first longitudinal sidewall (26) and the second heat exchanger coil (34") is mounted to the second longitudinal sidewall (28).
     
    4. The condenser module (22) according to claim 1, wherein the fan assembly (40) is mounted to a top surface of the housing (24).
     
    5. The condenser module (22) according to claim 1, wherein a divider is configured to separate the condenser module into a first modular portion (46) and a second modular portion (48).
     
    6. The condenser module (22) according to claim 1, wherein the heat exchanger assembly (32) includes one of a V-shaped configuration, an A-shaped configuration, a U-shaped configuration, and a substantially horizontal configuration.
     
    7. A condenser (14) comprising:

    a frame (20) configured to receive a plurality of condenser modules;

    a plurality of condenser modules (22), each constructed according to any preceding claim;

    wherein the plurality of condenser modules are stacked generally longitudinally within the frame such that at least one of the front surface and the back surface of each condenser module is arranged adjacent either the front surface or the back surface of an another condenser module.


     
    8. The condenser (14) according to claim 7, wherein the plurality of condenser modules (22) are substantially identical.
     
    9. The condenser (14) according to claim 7, wherein a divider extends along the center line between the first longitudinal side and the second longitudinal side to create a first modular portion (46) and a second modular portion (48).
     
    10. The condenser (14) according to claim 9, wherein the first modular portion (46) and the second modular portion (48) are substantially identical.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Kondensatormodul (22), das dazu konfiguriert ist, in einem Kondensator verwendet zu werden, das Folgendes umfasst:

    ein Gehäuse (24), das eine erste Längsseite (26) und eine zweite, gegenüberliegende Längsseite (28) aufweist, die dazu konfiguriert sind, mindestens einen ersten Lufteinlass zu definieren;

    eine Wärmetauscherbaugruppe (32), die sich innerhalb des Gehäuses befindet, einschließlich mindestens einer Wärmetauscherspule (34), wobei ein Querschnitt der Wärmetauscherbaugruppe im Wesentlichen konstant zwischen einer Vorderseite des Gehäuses und einer gegenüberliegenden Rückseite des Gehäuses ist und mindestens eine der Vorderfläche und der Rückfläche dazu konfiguriert ist, an ein benachbartes Kondensatormodul (22) anzustoßen; und

    eine Lüfterbaugruppe (40), einschließlich mindestens eines Lüfters (42), der im Wesentlichen mit einer einzelnen Wärmetauscherspule in der Wärmetauscherbaugruppe ausgerichtet ist;

    wobei die Wärmetauscherbaugruppe eine erste Wärmetauscherspule (34') und eine zweite Wärmetauscherspule (34") beinhaltet; und

    wobei die Lüfterbaugruppe in einer Durchzugskonfiguration angeordnet ist;

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Lüfterbaugruppe einen ersten Lüfter (42'), der im Allgemeinen mit der ersten Wärmetauscherspule ausgerichtet ist und einen zweiten Lüfter (42") beinhaltet, der im Allgemeinen mit der zweiten Wärmetauscherspule ausgerichtet ist.


     
    2. Kondensatormodul (22) nach Anspruch 1, wobei mindestens eine der ersten Wärmetauscherspule (34') und der zweiten Wärmetauscherspule (34") eine Mikrokanal-Wärmetauscherspule ist.
     
    3. Kondensatormodul (22) nach Anspruch 1, wobei die erste Wärmetauscherspule (34') an der ersten Längsseitenwand (26) montiert ist und die zweite Wärmetauscherspule (34") an der zweiten Längsseitenwand (28) montiert ist.
     
    4. Kondensatormodul (22) nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Lüfterbaugruppe (40) an einer oberen Fläche des Gehäuses (24) montiert ist.
     
    5. Kondensatormodul (22) nach Anspruch 1, wobei eine Teilervorrichtung dazu konfiguriert ist, das Kondensatormodul in einen ersten modularen Abschnitt (46) und einen zweiten modularen Abschnitt (48) zu teilen.
     
    6. Kondensatormodul (22) nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Wärmetauscherbaugruppe (32) eine von einer V-förmigen Konfiguration, einer A-förmigen Konfiguration, einer U-förmigen Konfiguration und einer im Wesentlichen horizontalen Konfiguration beinhaltet.
     
    7. Kondensator (14), der Folgendes umfasst:

    einen Rahmen (20), der dazu konfiguriert ist, eine Vielzahl von Kondensatormodulen aufzunehmen;

    eine Vielzahl von Kondensatormodulen (22), die jeweils gemäß einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche konstruiert sind;

    wobei die Vielzahl von Kondensatormodulen im Allgemeinen in Längsrichtung innerhalb des Rahmens derart gestapelt ist, dass mindestens eine der Vorderfläche und der Rückfläche jedes Kondensatormoduls benachbart zu entweder der Vorderfläche oder der Rückfläche eines anderen Kondensatormoduls angeordnet ist.


     
    8. Kondensator (14) nach Anspruch 7, wobei die Vielzahl von Kondensatormodulen (22) im Wesentlichen identisch ist.
     
    9. Kondensator (14) nach Anspruch 7, wobei sich eine Teilervorrichtung entlang der Mittellinie zwischen der ersten Längsseite und der zweiten Längsseite erstreckt, um einen ersten modularen Abschnitt (46) und einen zweiten modularen Abschnitt (48) zu erzeugen.
     
    10. Kondensator (14) nach Anspruch 9, wobei der erste modulare Abschnitt (46) und der zweite modulare Abschnitt (48) im Wesentlichen identisch sind.
     


    Revendications

    1. Module de condenseur (22) conçu pour être utilisé dans un condenseur comprenant :

    un boîtier (24) ayant un premier côté longitudinal (26) et un second côté longitudinal opposé (28) conçu pour définir au moins une première entrée d'air ;

    un ensemble échangeur de chaleur (32) situé à l'intérieur du boîtier, incluant au moins un serpentin d'échangeur de chaleur (34), dans lequel une section transversale de l'ensemble échangeur de chaleur est généralement constante entre une face avant du boîtier et une face arrière opposée du boîtier, et au moins une de la surface avant et de la surface arrière est conçue pour venir en butée contre un module de condenseur adjacent (22) ; et

    un ensemble ventilateur (40) incluant au moins un ventilateur (42) généralement aligné avec un seul serpentin d'échangeur de chaleur dans l'ensemble échangeur de chaleur ;

    dans lequel l'ensemble échangeur de chaleur inclut un premier serpentin d'échangeur de chaleur (34') et un second serpentin d'échangeur de chaleur (34") ; et

    dans lequel l'ensemble ventilateur est agencé dans une configuration d'aspiration ;

    caractérisé en ce que l'ensemble ventilateur inclut un premier ventilateur (42') généralement aligné avec le premier serpentin d'échangeur de chaleur et un second ventilateur (42") généralement aligné avec le second serpentin d'échangeur de chaleur.


     
    2. Module de condenseur (22) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel au moins un du premier serpentin d'échangeur de chaleur (34') et du second serpentin d'échangeur de chaleur (34") est un serpentin d'échangeur de chaleur à micro-canaux.
     
    3. Module de condenseur (22) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le premier serpentin d'échangeur de chaleur (34') est monté sur la première paroi latérale longitudinale (26) et le second serpentin d'échangeur de chaleur (34") est monté sur la seconde paroi latérale longitudinale (28).
     
    4. Module de condenseur (22) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'ensemble ventilateur (40) est monté sur une surface supérieure du boîtier (24).
     
    5. Module de condenseur (22) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel un diviseur est configuré pour séparer le module de condenseur en une première partie modulaire (46) et une seconde partie modulaire (48).
     
    6. Module de condenseur (22) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'ensemble échangeur de chaleur (32) inclut l'une d'une configuration en V, d'une configuration en A, d'une configuration en U et d'une configuration sensiblement horizontale.
     
    7. Condenseur (14) comprenant :

    un cadre (20) conçu pour recevoir une pluralité de modules de condenseur ;

    une pluralité de modules de condenseur (22), chacun construit selon une quelconque revendication précédente ;

    dans lequel la pluralité de modules de condenseur est empilée généralement de manière longitudinale à l'intérieur du cadre de sorte qu'au moins une de la surface avant et de la surface arrière de chaque module de condenseur est agencée de manière adjacente soit à la surface avant soit à la surface arrière d'un autre module de condenseur.


     
    8. Condenseur (14) selon la revendication 7, dans lequel la pluralité de modules de condenseur (22) est sensiblement identique.
     
    9. Condenseur (14) selon la revendication 7, dans lequel un diviseur s'étend le long de la ligne centrale entre le premier côté longitudinal et le second côté longitudinal pour créer une première partie modulaire (46) et une seconde partie modulaire (48).
     
    10. Condenseur (14) selon la revendication 9, dans lequel la première partie modulaire (46) et la seconde partie modulaire (48) sont sensiblement identiques.
     




    Drawing





















    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description