(19)
(11)EP 3 118 535 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
13.05.2020 Bulletin 2020/20

(21)Application number: 15751287.2

(22)Date of filing:  10.02.2015
(51)Int. Cl.: 
F24F 13/22  (2006.01)
F24F 13/32  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2015/053682
(87)International publication number:
WO 2015/125673 (27.08.2015 Gazette  2015/34)

(54)

AIR CONDITIONER

KLIMAANLAGE

CLIMATISEUR


(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: 18.02.2014 JP 2014028677

(43)Date of publication of application:
18.01.2017 Bulletin 2017/03

(73)Proprietor: Toshiba Carrier Corporation
Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa 212-8585 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • YOSHITAKE, Nobusato
    Fuji-shi Shizuoka 416-8521 (JP)
  • GAJINA, Kenji
    Fuji-shi Shizuoka 416-8521 (JP)

(74)Representative: Gramm, Lins & Partner Patent- und Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB 
Theodor-Heuss-Straße 1
38122 Braunschweig
38122 Braunschweig (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 2 199 701
GB-A- 2 314 924
JP-A- 2002 349 892
JP-A- 2003 336 893
JP-A- 2009 115 360
EP-A2- 2 023 049
JP-A- 2000 320 888
JP-A- 2003 336 893
JP-A- 2008 151 497
JP-U- S5 760 023
  
      
    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

    Technical Field



    [0001] Embodiments described herein relate generally to a ceiling-embedded air conditioner comprising a drain pan which receives drain water produced in a heat exchanger.

    Background Art



    [0002] A ceiling-embedded air conditioner comprises a main body installed in a ceiling. The main body incorporates a blower and a heat exchanger and comprises an intake port at its lower edge. The intake port is covered with a rectangular decorative panel. The decorative panel is exposed to the inside of a room through the ceiling and comprises a plurality of discharge ports.

    [0003] When the blower is driven, the blower draws air from the room into the main body through the intake port. After the blower draws the air into the main body, the heat exchanger exchanges heat between the air and a refrigerant while the air passes through the heat exchanger. The heat-exchanged air is then discharged as cool air or warm air into the room through the discharge ports.

    [0004] In an ordinary air conditioner, an intake grille is provided in the center of the decorative panel. The intake grille has a square shape with four sides and is opposed to the intake port of the main body. Further, the discharge ports of the decorative panel are long thin openings which extend along the respective sides of the intake grille.

    Citation List


    Patent Literature



    [0005] 

    Patent Literature 1: JP 4122396 B

    Patent Literature 2: JP 2000-320888 A

    Patent Literature 3: EP 2 023 049 A2

    Patent Literature 4: GB 2 314 924 A
    Patent Literature 2, 3 and 4 relate to air-conditioners showing all the features of the preamble of claim 1 without the features that a drain pan comprises a drain outlet and a drain cap is attached to the drain outlet.

    Patent Literature 5: EP 2 199 701 A1
    Patent Literature 5 discloses an air-conditioner according to the preamble of claim 1.

    Patent Literature 6: JP 2003-336893 A
    Patent Literature 6 discloses an air-conditioner showing all the features of the preamble of claim 1 but the features of a drain pan comprising a drain outlet and a drain cap attached to the drain outlet. Patent Literature 6 further discloses a drain sheet coating a surface of a thermal insulating member of the drain pan, which has attachment portions for fixing an electric component box to the drain pan.


    Summary of Invention


    Technical Problem



    [0006] In a conventional air conditioner, a drain pan is provided under the heat exchanger. The drain pan is an element which receives drain water produced in association with the heat exchange operation of the heat exchanger and includes a recess in which the lower edge of the heat exchanger is fitted. The drain pan is composed of a thermal insulating member formed of a foamed plastics material such as a foamed polystyrene material and a resin sheet member coating the surface of the thermal insulating member.

    [0007] Further, the drain pan comprises a plurality of communication ports which communicate with the discharge ports. The communication port has a long thin shape conforming to the shape of the discharge port and is located on the periphery of the recess. The peripheral wall of the drain pan which defines the communication port is composed of the thermal insulating member and the resin sheet member, and the resin sheet member is exposed to the communication port.

    [0008] Since the communication port of the drain pan is located in the upper stream of the discharge port, the area of the opening of the communication port has a great effect on the ventilation resistance to the air discharged into the room and the air-discharge performance of the air conditioner. Therefore, there is demand for a ceiling-embedded air conditioner which can improve the air-discharge performance by increasing the area of the opening of the communication port of the drain pan and decreasing the ventilation resistance to the air discharged into the room through the discharge port.

    Solution to Problem



    [0009] According to the invention, there is provided an air conditioner according to claim 1.

    Brief Description of Drawings



    [0010] 

    FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a ceiling-embedded air conditioner.

    FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the air conditioner in which a decorative panel is detached from the main body.

    FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the ceiling-embedded air conditioner.

    FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a drain pan which receives drain water.

    FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the air conditioner showing the positional relationships among a heat exchanger, a communication port of the drain pan and a discharge port of the decorative panel.

    FIG. 6 is a sectional view of the air conditioner showing the positional relationship between a holder of the decorative panel and an engagement portion of the drain pan.

    FIG. 7A is a sectional diagram showing a state where the holder of the decorative panel is unhooked from the engagement portion of the drain pan.

    FIG. 7B is a sectional diagram showing a state where the holder of the decorative panel is hooked on the engagement portion of the drain pan.

    FIG. 8 is a bottom plan view of the air conditioner in which the decorative panel is detached from the main body.

    FIG. 9A is a perspective diagram showing a state where the drain pan is attached to a casing of the main body with a fixture.

    FIG. 9B is a perspective diagram showing a state where the fixture is rotated away from the drain pan.

    FIG. 10 is a sectional view of the air conditioner showing a state where a boss of the drain pan is fitted to the fixture.

    FIG. 11A is a perspective diagram showing an attachment structure for attaching a bell mouth to the drain pan.

    FIG. 11B is another perspective diagram showing the attachment structure for attaching the bell mouth to the drain pan.

    FIG. 12 is a sectional view of the air conditioner showing a state where a drain cap is attached to a drain outlet of the drain pan.

    FIG. 13 is a perspective diagram showing a state where the drain outlet of the drain pan is closed with the drain cap.


    Best Mode for Carrying Out the Invention



    [0011] Embodiments of the present invention will be described below with reference to the accompanying drawings.

    [0012] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a ceiling-embedded air conditioner, FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the air conditioner where a decorative panel is detached from the main body, and FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the ceiling-embedded air conditioner.

    [0013] As shown in FIGS. 1 to 3, an air conditioner 1 mainly comprises a main body 1a installed in a ceiling and a decorative panel 2 attached to the lower edge of the main body 1a. The main body 1a is installed through an opening a formed in a ceiling board C and is hung from a beam of the ceiling via a plurality of hanging bolts (not shown).

    [0014] The main body 1a comprises a sheet-metal casing 3. The casing 3 is a downward-opening box-like element and has a top panel 3a and side surfaces 3b formed through metal sheet processing. The side surfaces 3b of the casing 3 include four corners, and the metal hangers T are fixed to the respective corners. The metal hangers T are connected to the lower edges of the hanging bolts and project horizontally from the side surfaces 3b. Further, the inner periphery of the casing 3 is covered with a thermal insulating member 4 such as a foamed polystyrene member. Therefore, the main body 1a has a heat insulating structure.

    [0015] A blower 5 is provided in about the center of the main body 1a. In the embodiment, a centrifugal fan which draws air axially and then discharges the air circumferentially is used as the blower 5. Since the upper edge of the blower 5 is covered with the top panel 3a of the casing 3a, the lower edge of the blower 5 is the intake side.

    [0016] A heat exchanger 6 is provided around the discharge side of the blower 5. The heat exchanger 6 has a substantially rectangular frame shape and surrounds the blower 5. A drain pan 7 is provided along the lower portion of the heat exchanger 6. The drain pan 7 receives drain water produced by the heat exchange operation of the heat exchanger 6 when the air conditioner 1 is operated in a cooling mode. The drain water collected in the drain pan 7 is drained out of the air conditioner 1 by a drain pump 49 shown in FIG. 12.

    [0017] A circular installation hole 7c is formed in the center of the drain pan 7. A bell mouth 8 is installed in the installation hole 7c of the drain pan 7. The bell mouth 8 constitutes an intake port 10 opposed to the intake side of the blower 5.

    [0018] As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the drain pan 7 is located at the lower edge of the downward-opening casing 3. The outer periphery of the drain pan 7 is fitted in the thermal insulating member 4 which covers the inner periphery of the casing 3.

    [0019] The decorative panel 2 covers the lower edge of the casing 3 from the room side. The decorative panel 2 is formed of, for example, a synthetic resin member and is attractively designed. The decorative panel 2 is exposed to the room thorough the lower surface of the ceiling board C and is closing a gap between the outer periphery of the main body 1a and the opening a of the ceiling board C.

    [0020] As shown in FIG. 1, the decorative panel 2 comprises an intake grille 11 and a panel main body 12. The intake grille 11 is provided in about the center of the decorative panel 2. The intake grille 11 has a square shape and is, for example, detachably supported on the casing 3 via a vertically movable mechanism or a rotatable mechanism.

    [0021] The intake grille 11 comprises a periphery in a rectangular frame shape and a grille part 11a surrounded by the periphery. The periphery is defined by four sides, and the four sides are long thin plates having a predetermined width. The grille part 11a is located in the center of the intake grille 11. The grille part 11a is opposed to the intake port 10. A filter (not shown) is detachably supported on the backside of the grille part 11a.

    [0022] As shown in FIG. 1, the panel main body 12 of the decorative panel 2 is in a rectangular frame shape with four sides and is connected to the casing 3. The panel main body 12 continuously surrounds the periphery of the intake grille 11.

    [0023] Further, the panel main body 12 comprises four discharge ports 13. The discharge ports 13 are elements which discharge the air heat-exchanged in the heat exchanger 6 in four directions and are provided in the four sides of the panel main body 12. The discharge ports 13 are long thin openings extending respectively along the periphery of the intake grille 11. More specifically, the discharge port 13 has a first dimension L1 in the longitudinal direction of the discharge port 13 and a second dimension L2 in the lateral direction of the discharge port 13, and the second dimension L2 is much less than the first dimension L1.

    [0024] As shown in FIG. 5, the discharge port 13 comprises an inner sidewall 13a and an outer sidewall 13b. The inner sidewall 13a constitutes the inner side surface of the discharge port 13 extending along the longitudinal direction of the discharge port 13. Similarly, the outer sidewall 13b constitutes the.inner side surface of the discharge port 13 extending along the longitudinal direction of the discharge port 13. As extending downward, the inner sidewall 13a and the outer sidewall 13b incline toward the outer periphery of the panel main body 12.

    [0025] In the four discharge ports 13 of the panel main body 12, flaps 14 are provided, respectively. The flap 14 is an element which changes the direction of air discharged from the discharge port 13 into the room, and is rotatably supported on the panel main body 12. The flap 14 has a long thin flat plate shape conforming to the shape of the opening of the discharge port 13 and has such a size as to be neatly fitted in the discharge port 13.

    [0026] When the air conditioner 1 is not in operation, the flaps 14 completely close the discharge ports 13. Therefore, the inside of the main body 1a will not be exposed to the outside through the discharge ports 13, and thus the excellent appearance of the air conditioner 1 can be maintained.

    [0027] When the air conditioner 1 starts operation, the flaps 14 rotate at a desired angle inside the discharge ports 13 and the discharge ports 13 become open. At the same time, the blower 5 is driven to draw air from the room into the main body 1a through the intake grille 11.

    [0028] After the blower 5 draws air into the main body 1a, the heat exchanger 6 exchange heat between the air and the refrigerant while the air passes through the heat exchanger 6. The heat-exchanged air is then guided from the discharge ports 13 to the flaps 14 and discharged into the room to cool or warm the room.

    [0029] Next, the structure of the drain pan 7 will be described.

    [0030] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the drain pan, FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the air conditioner showing the positional relationships among the heat exchanger, the drain pan, and the discharge port of the decorative panel. The drain pan 7 is composed of a thermal insulating member 7a and a synthetic resin member 7b coating the surface of the thermal insulating member 7a. The thermal insulating member 7a is an element defining the shape of the drain pan 7 and is formed of, for example, a foamed plastics material such as a foamed polystyrene material. The synthetic resin member 7b is, for example, a resin sheet member having a thickness of about 5 mm. The resin sheet member has some degree of rigidity and is significantly thinner than the thermal insulating member 7a.

    [0031] As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the drain pan 7 has a rectangular frame shape corresponding to the shape of the heat exchanger 6, and comprises four peripheral edges surrounding the installation hole 7c in which the bell mouth 8 is installed. In the peripheral edges of the drain pan 7, there are a recess 15 in which the lower edge of the heat exchanger 6 is fitted and four notches 16 to which the air having passed thorough the heat exchanger 6 is guided.

    [0032] The recess 15 has an inner sidewall 15a, an outer sidewall 15b and a bottom wall 15c, and is formed continuously along the periphery of the drain pan 7. As most clearly shown in FIG. 5, the inner sidewall 15a and the bottom wall 15c of the recess 15 are composed of the thermal insulating member 7a and the synthetic resin member 7b. In the portion corresponding to the outer sidewall 15b of the recess 15, the thermal insulating member 7a is removed. Therefore, the outer sidewall 15b is composed of the sheet-like synthetic resin member 7b having some degree of rigidity.

    [0033] The notches 16 of the drain pan 7 are formed outside of the recess 15 in a long thin shape extending along the respective peripheral edges of the drain pan 7. The notches 16 are separated from the recess 15 by the outer sidewall 15b of the recess 15. In other words, the sheet-like outer sidewall 15b stands between the recess 15 and the notches 16.

    [0034] Further, each notch 16 has a pair of end walls 16a and 16b separated from each other along the longitudinal direction of the notch 16. The end walls 16a and 16b extend along the lateral direction of the notch 16 and project from both ends of the longitudinal outer sidewall 15b toward the thermal insulating member 4 covering the inner periphery of the casing 3. As in the case of the inner sidewall 15a and the bottom wall 15c of the recess 15, the end walls 16a and 16b are composed of the thermal insulating member 7a and the synthetic resin member 7b.

    [0035] As described above, the outer periphery of the drain pan 7 is fitted in the thermal insulating member 4 which covers the inner periphery of the casing 3. Therefore, the notches 16 of the drain pan 7 constitute communication ports 17 in conjunction with the thermal insulating member 4. The communication port 17 has an opening in about the same shape as that of the discharge port 13 of the intake grille 11 and communicates with the discharge port 13.

    [0036] As a result, the air having passed through the heat exchanger 6 is, as indicated by the arrow in FIG. 5, guided into the discharge port 13 of the decorative panel 2 from between the heat exchanger 6 and the thermal insulating member 4 of the main body 1a through the communication port 17.

    [0037] According to the present embodiment, except for the outer sidewall 15b at the boundary with the discharge port 13, the recess 15 of the drain pan 7 is composed of the thermal insulating member 7a and the sheet-like synthetic resin member 7b coating the surface of the thermal insulating member 7a. Therefore, the insulating efficiency of the recess 15 is maintained.

    [0038] More specifically, the recess 15 of the drain pan 7 receives drain water produced in the heat exchanger 6 when the air conditioner 1 is in operation. Since the insulating efficiency is maintained in the recess 15 as described above, even if cold drain water is collected in the recess 15 of the drain pan 7, condensation will not occur on the outer periphery of the drain pan 7.

    [0039] On the other hand, in a conventional air conditioner, a drain pan is composed of a foamed polystyrene thermal insulating member and a sheet-like thermal insulating member coating with the thermal insulating member. Further, the outer sidewall of the drain pan at the boundary with notches defining communication ports also mainly comprises the thermal insulating member. In addition, there is no difference in the external dimensions of the drain pan to be fitted in a thermal insulating member of a casing, the position of a recess in which the lower edge of a heat exchanger is fitted, and the dimensions of the recess, from the present embodiment.

    [0040] As a result, because the outer sidewall comprises the thermal insulating member, the thickness of the outer sidewall of the drain pan at the boundary between the recess and the communication port inevitably increases, and thus the lateral dimension of the communication port is restricted. Further, since both ends of the respective communication ports extend up to the four corners of the decorative panel, it is impossible to increase the longitudinal dimension of the communication ports any more. Similarly, since the outer periphery of the drain pan is fitted in the casing, the lateral dimension of the communication port is restricted by the casing.

    [0041] Therefore, in the conventional air conditioner, the longitudinal and lateral dimensions of the communication port of the drain pan are restricted, and thus the area of the opening of the communication port has already reached its limit. Consequently, the amount of air to be actually discharged from the discharge port to the room will be reduced by the ventilation resistance produced against the heat-exchanged air passing through the communication port.

    [0042] In the present embodiment, the recess 15 of the drain pan 7 which receives drain water produced in the heat exchanger 6 has the inner sidewall 15a, the outer sidewall 15b and the bottom wall 15c. Therefore, as long as at least the inner sidewall 15a and the bottom wall 15c comprise the thermal insulating member 7a coated with the sheet-like synthetic resin member 7b, the insulating efficiency of the drain pan 7 will be maintained.

    [0043] In the present embodiment, the thermal insulating member 7a in the portion corresponding to the outer sidewall 15b of the recess 15 is removed, and the outer sidewall 15b is composed of the sheet-like synthetic resin member 7b. Therefore, the thickness of the outer sidewall 15b at the boundary between the recess 15 and the communication port 17 can be reduced as much as possible, and thus the lateral dimension of the communication port 17 can be increased.

    [0044] Consequently, it becomes possible to increase the area of the opening of the communication port 17 and the area of the opening of the discharge port 13 and to reduce the ventilation resistance to the air heat-exchanged in the heat exchanger 6 and thereby increase the amount of air discharged from the discharge port 13 to the room.

    [0045] In the present embodiment, the drain pan 7 fitted in the lower edge of the casing 3 comprises a pair of engagement portions 20 which temporarily fixes the decorative panel 2 to the casing 3 when the air conditioner 1 is assembled.

    [0046] FIG. 6 is a sectional view of the air conditioner showing the positional relationship between a holder of the decorative panel and the engagement portion of the drain pan, FIG. 7A is a sectional diagram showing a state where the holder of the decorative panel is unhooked from the engagement portion of the drain pan, FIG. 7B is a perspective diagram showing a state where the holder of the decorative panel is hooked on the engagement portion of the drain pan, and FIG. 8 is a bottom plan view of the air conditioner in which the decorative panel is detached from the main body.

    [0047] As shown in FIG. 8, the pair of the engagement portions 20 is opposed to each other via the intake port 10 as the air conditioner 1 is viewed from the direction of the decorative panel 2. Each engagement portion 20 is integrally formed with the synthetic resin member 7b which constitutes the drain pan 7.

    [0048] As shown in FIGS. 6, 7A and 7B, each engagement portion 20 comprises a recess 21 and a bridge 22. The recess 21 comprises a pair of sidewalls 21a and 21b. The sidewalls 21a and 21b are opposed to each other with a gap therebetween along the longitudinal direction of the peripheral edge of the drain pan 7. The bridge 22 bridges between the sidewalls 21a and 21b along the longitudinal direction of the peripheral edge of the drain pan 7.

    [0049] A pair of holders 25 (only one of which is shown) is attached to the panel main body 12 of the decorative panel 2. The holder 25 is, for example, a thin metal plate. As shown in FIGS. 7A and 7B, the holder 25 comprises a base portion 25a fixed to the upper surface of the panel main body 12 with a fastening member such as a screw, and an extension portion 25b formed at one end of the base portion 25a where the base portion 25a is bent upward at a right angle. At the upper end of the extension portion 25b, a pair of claw portions 25c where the extension portion 25b is bent in an arc-like manner is formed.

    [0050] In installing the decorative panel 2 in the main body 1a, the holders 25 are attached to two positions of the upper surface of the panel main body 12 of the decorative panel 2 in advance. The two positions of the upper surface of the panel main body 12 are the positions corresponding to the pair of engagement portions 20 provided in the drain pan 7. The decorative panel 2 provided with the holders 25 is then installed in a predetermined position of the main body 1a such that the decorative panel 2 covers the lower edge of the casing 3 from the room side via the drain pan 7 fitted in the casing 3.

    [0051] At this time, the extension portion 25b of the holder 25 projecting from the upper surface of the decorative panel 2 is inserted into the recess 21 of the drain pan 7, and the claw portions 25c of the holder 25 are hooked on the bridge 22. In this way, the decorative panel 2 is temporarily fixed to the main body 1a.

    [0052] In a conventional air conditioner, to temporarily fix a decorative panel to the main body, a metal member on which a holder attached to the decorative panel is hooked is formed in a drain pan by insert molding. Therefore, a metal member to be inserted is required separately, and this leads to an increase in the cost of the drain pan as well as an increase in the manufacturing time of the drain pan.

    [0053] In the present embodiment, the decorative panel 2 is temporarily fixed to the main body 1a mostly when the decorative panel 2 is attached to the main body 1 or the decorative panel 2 is removed from the main body 1a, and thus the decorative panel 2 is not always in a temporarily fixed state. Therefore, even if an element on which the claw portions 25c of the holder 25 are hooked is not formed of a metal member by insert molding, there is no problem in the strength of the element.

    [0054] In the present embodiment, the engagement portion 20 on which the claw portions 25c of the holder 25 are hooked is formed integrally with the sheet-like synthetic resin member 7b which constitutes the drain pan 7. Therefore, it is no longer necessary to form a metal member by insert molding, and thus it is possible to reduce the cost of the drain pan 7.

    [0055] The outer periphery of the drain pan 7 is fitted in the lower edge of the casing 3. Therefore, it is preferable that the drain pan 7 should be easily detachable from the casing 3 or easily attachable to the casing 3 to improve the service performance of the maintenance and inspection work of the air conditioner 1.

    [0056] In the present embodiment, the drain pan 7 is detachably supported on the casing 3 via a pair of metal fixtures 30 shown in FIG. 8. The pair of fixtures 30 is attached diagonally to the side surfaces 3b of the casing 3.

    [0057] FIG. 9A is a perspective diagram showing a state where the drain pan 7 is attached to the casing 3 with the fixture 30, and FIG. 9B is a perspective diagram showing a state where the fixture 30 is rotated away from the drain pan 7. As shown in FIGS. 9A and 9B, each fixture 30 is attached to a metal support 31 fixed to the side surface 3b of the casing 3 via a screw 32. The screw 32 is an example of a fastening member.

    [0058] More specifically, the metal support 31 comprises a flat-plate receiving portion 31a. The receiving portion 31a projects from the side surface 3b of the casing 3 horizontally at the periphery of the casing 3. In a part of the receiving portion 31a, a screw hole 31b into which the screw 32 is driven is formed.

    [0059] On the other hand, each fixture 30 comprises a first surface 30a, a second surface 30b, and an intermediate portion 30c. The first surface 30a closely contacts the lower surface of the receiving portion 31a of the metal support 31 and extends horizontally. The second surface 30b closely contacts the lower edge of the casing 3 and the lower surface of the drain pan 7 and extends horizontally in a direction opposite to that of the first surface 30a. The intermediate portion 30c connects the first surface 30a and the second surface 30b and extends vertically to face the side surface 3b of the casing 3. Further, a long hole 33 overlapping the screw hole 31b is formed in the first surface 30a.

    [0060] To hold the drain pan 7 fitted in the lower edge of the casing 3 to the casing 3, as shown in FIGS. 9A and 10, the intermediate portion 30c of the fixture 30 is rotated to face the side surface 3b of the casing 3. Further, the first surface 30a of the fixture 30 is brought into contact with the lower surface of the receiving portion 31a of the metal support 31, and the second surface 30b is brought into contact with the lower edge of the casing 3 and the lower surface of the drain pan 7. In this state, the screw 32 is driven into the screw hole 31b via the long hole 31.

    [0061] In this way, the drain pan 7 is securely held to the lower edge of the casing 3 such that the drain pan 7 will not fall from the casing 3.

    [0062] When it is necessary to detach the drain pan 7 from the casing 3 to perform maintenance and inspection of the air conditioner 1, the screw 32 is loosened and the fixture 30 is released. More specifically, it is possible, by loosening the screw 32, to rotate the fixture 30 away from the casing 3 and the drain pan 7 as shown in FIG. 9B. In the rotation of the fixture 30, the screw 32 serves as the rotation axis.

    [0063] In the rotation of the fixture 30, if the first surface 30a and the intermediate portion 30c of the fixture 30 are blocked with the side surface 3b of the casing 3 and the rotation of the fixture 30 is thereby limited, the screw 32 is slid along the long hole 33. In other words, the positional relationship between the screw 32 and the long hole 33 is changed.

    [0064] As a result, the fixture 30 is detached from the casing 3 and the drain pan 7 while being held on the metal support 31 with the screw 32. In this way, both the casing 3 and the drain pan 7 change from a fixed state to a free state, and the drain pan 7 can be detached from the lower edge of the casing 3.

    [0065] When the maintenance and inspection of the air conditioner 1 is complete, the drain pan 7 is fitted in the lower edge of the casing 3. Then, the fixture 30 is rotated about the screw 32, and the second surface 30b of the fixture 30 is brought into contact with the lower edge of the casing 3 and the lower surface of the drain pan 7. That is, the fixture 30 is returned from the posture of FIG. 9B to the posture of FIG. 9A, and the screw 32 is tightened.

    [0066] According to the present embodiment, it is possible to rotate the fixture 30 away from the drain pan 7 simply by loosening the screw 32 without detaching the screw 32. Further, it is possible to fix the fixture 30 to the predetermined position simply by tightening the screw 32 after bringing the second surface 30b of the fixture 30 into contact with the lower edge of the casing 3 and the lower surface of the drain pan 7.

    [0067] Therefore, it is no longer necessary to detach the fixture 30 from the casing 3 and attach the fixture 30 to the casing 3, and thus it is possible to improve the service performance of the maintenance and inspection work of the air conditioner 1.

    [0068] In the present embodiment, even though the sheet-metal casing 3 does not have a great rigidity, the weights of the heat exchanger 6 and the drain pan 7 are put on the casing 3. Further, as shown in FIG. 8, the casing 3 comprises the metal hangers T for hanging the main body 1a on the corresponding positions above the fixtures 30.

    [0069] Therefore, the casing 3 may be deformed by the weights of the heat exchanger 6 and the drain pan 7 put on the casing 3. If the casing 3 is deformed and the positions of the hangers T are shifted accordingly, the hanging bolts extending from the beam of the ceiling cannot be connected to the hangers T. Therefore, the present embodiment adopts a structure which can prevent such deformation of the casing 3.

    [0070] More specifically, FIG. 10 is a sectional view of the air conditioner 1 showing the positional relationship between the drain pan 7 and the fixture 30. As shown in FIG. 10, a boss 35 is formed integrally with a part of the synthetic resin member 7b coating the thermal insulating member 7a of the drain pan 7. The boss 35 projects downward from the bottom wall 15c of the recess 15 and penetrates the thermal insulating member 7a. An end 35a of the boss 35 slightly projects from the lower surface of the drain pan 7. In the example of FIG. 10, the boss 35 is a hollow boss, but the boss 35 has such a structure for manufacturing reasons and this structure does not have any advantage in achieving the technical effect of the boss 35.

    [0071] Further, the fixture 30 comprises an engagement hole 36 which is formed in the second surface 30b. The engagement hole 36 engages with the end 35a of the boss 35 when the second surface 30b of the fixture 30 is brought into contact with the lower surface of the drain pan 7. As a result, the end 35a of the boss 35 engages with the engagement hole 36 of the fixture 30.

    [0072] Since the fixture 30 is fixed to the metal support 31 of the casing 3 with the screw 32, it is possible, by engaging the end 35a of the boss 35 with the engagement hole 36 of the fixture 30, to accurately determine the positional relationship between the drain pan 7 and the casing 3 and the positional relationship between the drain pan 7 and the fixture 30.

    [0073] Consequently, it is possible to prevent positional shifts of the casing 3 and the hangers T caused by the weights of the drain pan 7 and the heat exchanger 6. In other words, it is possible to improve the service performance of the detachment or attachment work of the drain pan 7 from or to the main body 1a without degrading the service performance of the installation work of the air conditioner 1 or the detachment work of the decorative panel 2 from the main body 1a.

    [0074] In a conventional air conditioner, a bell mouth, which forms an intake port of the main body, is fixed to a plurality of bosses provided in a synthetic resin member constituting a drain pan with screws. In a ceiling-embedded air conditioner, since an intake port has a large diameter, a bell mouth will inevitably be large. Therefore, a large number of bosses and screws are required to support the large, heavy bell mouth, and much time and effort is required to fix the bell mouth to the drain pan.

    [0075] To solve this problem, the present embodiment adopts a structure for easily fixing the bell mouth 8 to the drain pan 7. FIGS. 11A and 11B are perspective diagrams each showing an attachment structure for attaching the bell mouth 8 to the drain pan 7 upside down. The bell mouth 8 is fitted in the installation hole 7c of the drain pan 7 from below.

    [0076] As shown in FIGS. 11A and 11B, a plurality of notches 41 are provided in the thermal insulating member 7a constituting the drain pan 7. The notches 41 are open to the installation hole 7c and are formed separately from each other along the circumference of the installation hole 7c.

    [0077] Further, a plurality of engagement claws 42 are formed in the synthetic resin member 7b covering the upper surface of the thermal insulating member 7a. The engagement claw 42 is inserted in the notch 41. The end of the engagement claw 42 projects below the drain pan 7 through the notch 41. At the end of the engagement claw 42, a claw portion 42a projecting inward along the diameter direction of the installation hole 7c is formed. The claw portion 42a is hooked on the circumference of the bell mouth 8.

    [0078] If the drain pan 7 in the upside-down state shown in FIGS. 11A and 11B is turned upside up, the claw portion 42a of the engagement claw 42 changes to the state of holding the circumference of the bell mouth 8 from below, and the bell mouth 8 is supported in the installation hole 7c of the drain pan 7.

    [0079] Therefore, it is possible, by using the engagement claws 42 together with screws in the structure for attaching the bell mouth 8 to the drain pan 7, to reduce the number of the screws and the number of the screw support bosses. Consequently, it is possible to make fixing the bell mouth 8 to the drain pan 7 less troublesome.

    [0080] In a conventional air conditioner, the drain pan has a drain outlet. The drain outlet is located directly below a drain pump which actively drains water collected in the drain pan. Further, the drain outlet is closed with a detachable drain cap. The drain cap is attached to the drain pan such that the circumference of the drain cap is secured to the drain pan with a large number of screws. In the maintenance of the drain pump, it is necessary to open the drain outlet by detaching the drain cap from the drain pan.

    [0081] As shown in FIGS. 4 and 12, the drain pan 7 comprises a drain outlet 48 opening in the recess 15. The drain outlet 48 is located directly below the drain pump 49 and is closed with a detachable drain cap 50. FIG. 12 is a sectional diagram showing a state where the drain cap 50 is attached to the drain outlet 48 of the drain pan 7, and FIG. 13 is a perspective diagram showing a state where the drain outlet 48 of the drain pan 7 is closed with the drain cap 50.

    [0082] As shown in FIG. 13, a fixing claw 51 and a pair of tongue-like members 52a and 52b are integrally formed with the outer circumference of the drain cap 50. The fixing claw 51 and the tongue-like members 52a and 52b are arranged separately from each other along the circumference of the drain cap 50.

    [0083] As shown in FIG. 12, the fixing claw 51 projects upward from the outer circumference of the drain cap 50. At the upper end of the fixing claw 51, a claw portion 51a where the fixing claw 51 is bent in an arc-like manner is formed. The tongue-like members 52a and 52b project horizontally from the outer circumference of the drain cap 50. Each of the tongue-like members 52a and 52b has a slit (not shown) which opens in the outer periphery in a semicircular shape.

    [0084] As shown in FIG. 12, a first boss 54 and a pair of second bosses 55 (only one of which is shown) are integrally formed with the synthetic resin member 7b coating the thermal insulating member 7a of the drain pan 7. The first boss 54 and the second bosses 55 project downward from the synthetic resin member 7b and penetrate the thermal insulating member 7a, respectively.

    [0085] An end 54a of the first boss 54 is exposed to the lower surface of the drain pan 7 in the position corresponding to the fixing claw 51 of the drain cap 50. The claw portion 51a of the fixing claw 51 is detachably hooked on the end 54a of the first boss portion 54.

    [0086] At an end 55a of each of the second bosses 55, a screw hole 56 is formed. The ends 55a of the second bosses 55 are exposed to the lower surface of the drain pan 7 in the positions corresponding to the slits of the tongue-like members 52a and 52b. The tongue-like members 52a and 52b are fixed to the second bosses 55 with screws 57. The screws 57 are driven into the screw holes 56 of the second bosses 55 through the slits of the tongue-like members 52a and 52b.

    [0087] In the present embodiment, the drain cap 50 is detachably fixed to the drain pan 7 with one fixing claw 51 and two screws 57. Therefore, as compared to the conventional structure for fixing the drain cap 50 to the drain pan 7 with numerous screws, the number of the screw portions can be reduced. Consequently, it is possible to improve the service performance of the attachment or detachment work of the drain cap 50 to or from the drain pan 7.

    [0088] In the present embodiment, it is preferable that the second bosses 55 should project downward from a position close to the upper surface of the drain pan 7 where the drain water is less likely to be collected. In such a structure, when the ends 55a of the second bosses 55 are fixed to the tongues 52a and 52b of the drain cap 50 with the screws 57, the cold energy of the drain water will be less likely to be transferred to the screws 57 via the second bosses 55, and thus condensation on the heads of the screws 57 can be prevented.

    [0089] While certain embodiments have been described, these embodiments have been presented by way of example only, and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention.

    Reference Signs List



    [0090] 1: Air conditioner, 1a: Main body, 2: Decorative panel, 7: Drain pan, 7a: Thermal insulating member, 7b: Synthetic resin member, 13: Discharge port, 15: Recess, 15b: Outer sidewall, and 17: Communication port.


    Claims

    1. An air conditioner comprising:

    a main body (1a) incorporating a heat exchanger (6) and installed in a ceiling;

    a decorative panel (2) attached to a lower edge of the main body (1a), exposed to a room through the ceiling, and including a discharge port (13) discharging air heat-exchanged in the heat exchanger (6) to the room; and

    a drain pan (7) including a thermal insulating member (7a) and a synthetic resin member (7b) coating the thermal insulating member (7a) and comprising a drain outlet (48), wherein

    the drain pan (7) comprises a recess (15) for receiving drain water produced in the heat exchanger (6), a communication port (17) provided on a periphery of the recess (15) and communicating with the discharge port (13) of the decorative panel (2), a wall (15b) standing between the periphery of the recess (15) and the communication port (17), the thermal insulating member is removed in the wall, and the wall is composed of the synthetic resin member (7b), and a drain cap (50) attached to the drain outlet (48),
    characterized in that

    the drain cap (50) comprises a claw (51) and a tongue-like member (52, 52b) projecting from a periphery of the drain cap (50),

    the synthetic resin member (7b) is a rigid sheet member and is thinner than the thermal insulating member (7a),

    the synthetic resin member (7b) constituting the drain pan (7) comprises a first boss (54) and a second boss (55) penetrating the thermal insulating member (7a), the claw (51) of the drain cap (50) is detachably engaged with an end (54a) of the first boss (54), and the tongue-like member (52a, 52b) of the drain cap (59) is fixed to the second boss (55) with a screw (57).


     
    2. The air conditioner of Claim 1, characterized in that the main body (1a) comprises a metal casing (3) and a thermal insulating member (4) covering an inner periphery of the casing (3), the drain pan (7) is fitted in the thermal insulating member (4) of the main body (1a), and the thermal insulating member (4) of the main body (1a) faces the wall (15b) of the drain pan (7).
     
    3. The air conditioner of Claim 2, characterized in that the thermal insulating member (4) of the main body (1a) constitutes the communication port (17) in conjunction with the wall (15b) of the drain pan (7).
     
    4. The air conditioner of Claim 1, characterized in that the decorative panel (2) comprises a holder (25) temporarily fixing the decorative panel (2) to the main body (1a), and an engagement portion (20) on which the holder (25) is detachably hooked is integrally formed with the synthetic resin member (7b) constituting the drain pan (7).
     
    5. The air conditioner of Claim 4, characterized in that the engagement portion (20) of the drain pan (7) comprises a recess (21) which an end of the holder (25) is inserted into and which includes a pair of sidewalls (21a, 21b) opposed to each other, and a bridge (22) which bridges between the sidewalls (21a, 21b) of the recess (21) and which the end of the holder (25) is detachably hooked on.
     
    6. The air conditioner of Claim 2, characterized by further comprising a fixture (30) fixing the drain pan (7) to the casing (3), wherein
    the fixture (30) comprises a first surface (30a) fixed to the main body (1a) with a screw (32) and a second surface (30b) supporting the drain pan (7) from below, and when the screw (32) is loosened, the fixture (30) is rotatable such that the second surface (30b) moves away from the drain pan (7) .
     
    7. The air conditioner of Claim 6, characterized in that the synthetic resin member (7b) constituting the drain pan (7) comprises a boss (35) penetrating the thermal insulating member (7a) and projecting from a lower surface of the drain pan (7), and the second surface (30b) of the fixture (30) comprises an engagement hole (36) engaged with the boss (35) when the drain pan (7) is supported from below.
     
    8. The air conditioner of Claim 7, characterized in that the casing (3) comprises a metal hanger (T) for hanging the main body (1a), and the hanger (T) is located above the fixture (30).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Klimaanlage mit

    einem Hauptkörper (1a), der einen Wärmetauscher (6) enthält und in einer Decke installiert ist;

    einer Dekorplatte (2), die an einer Unterkante des Hauptkörpers (1a) befestigt ist, die durch die Decke einem Raum ausgesetzt ist, und eine Austrittsöffnung (13) umfasst, die die im Wärmetauscher (6) ausgetauschte Luft in den Raum abführt; und

    einer Ablaufwanne (7), die ein wärmeisolierendes Element (7a) und ein Kunstharzelement (7b) enthält, welches das wärmeisolierende Element (7a) beschichtet und einen Ablauföffnung (48) aufweist, wobei

    die Ablaufwanne (7) eine Aussparung (15) zur Aufnahme von in dem Wärmetauscher (6) erzeugtem Ablaufwasser, eine Verbindungsöffnung (17), die an einem Umfang der Aussparung (15) angeordnet ist und mit der Auslassöffnung (13) der Dekorplatte (2) in Verbindung steht, und eine Wand (15b), die zwischen dem Umfang der Aussparung (15) und der Verbindungsöffnung (17) steht, aufweist, wobei das wärmeisolierende Element in der Wand entfernt ist, und die Wand aus dem Kunstharzelement (7b) und einer an der Ablauföffnung (48) befestigten Ablaufkappe (50) besteht, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass

    die Ablaufkappe (50) eine Klaue (51) und ein zungenartiges Element (52, 52b) aufweist, das von einem Umfang der Ablaufkappe (50) hervorsteht,

    das Kunstharzelement (7b) ein starres Plattenelement und dünner als das wärmeisolierende Element (7a) ist,

    das die Ablaufwanne (7) bildende Kunstharzelement (7b) einen ersten Vorsprung (54) und einen zweiten Vorsprung (55) aufweist, der das wärmeisolierende Element (7a) durchdringt, die Klaue (51) der Ablaufkappe (50) lösbar mit einem Ende (54a) des ersten Vorsprungs (54) in Eingriff steht und das zungenartige Element (52a, 52b) der Ablaufkappe (59) mit einer Schraube (57) an dem zweiten Vorsprung (55) befestigt ist.


     
    2. Klimaanlage nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Hauptkörper (1a) ein Metallgehäuse (3) und ein wärmeisolierendes Element (4) umfasst, das einen inneren Umfang des Gehäuses (3) abdeckt, die Ablaufwanne (7) in das wärmeisolierende Element (4) des Hauptkörpers (1a) eingepasst ist und das wärmeisolierende Element (4) des Hauptkörpers (1a) der Wand (15b) der Ablaufwanne (7) zugewandt ist.
     
    3. Klimaanlage nach Anspruch 2, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das wärmeisolierende Element (4) des Hauptkörpers (1a) die Verbindungsöffnung (17) in Verbindung mit der Wand (15b) der Ablaufwanne (7) bildet.
     
    4. Klimaanlage nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Dekorplatte (2) einen Halter (25) umfasst, der die Dekorplatte (2) vorübergehend am Hauptkörper (1a) befestigt, und dass ein Eingriffsabschnitt (20), an dem der Halter (25) lösbar eingehakt ist, einstückig mit dem Kunstharzelement (7b) ausgebildet ist, das die Auffangwanne (7) bildet.
     
    5. Klimaanlage nach Anspruch 4, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Eingriffsabschnitt (20) der Ablaufwanne (7) eine Aussparung (21) aufweist, in die ein Ende des Halters (25) eingesetzt ist und die ein Paar einander gegenüberliegender Seitenwände (21a, 21b) aufweist, und eine Brücke (22) aufweist, die die Seitenwände (21a, 21b) der Aussparung (21) überbrückt und an der das Ende des Halters (25) abnehmbar eingehakt ist.
     
    6. Klimaanlage nach Anspruch 2, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass diese eine Halterung (30) aufweist, die die Ablaufwanne (7) am Gehäuse (3) befestigt, wobei die Halterung (30) eine erste Fläche (30a), die mit einer Schraube (32) am Hauptkörper (1a) befestigt ist, und eine zweite Fläche (30b) aufweist, die die Ablaufwanne (7) von unten stützt, und wenn die Schraube (32) gelöst wird, die Halterung (30) drehbar ist, so dass sich die zweite Fläche (30b) von der Ablaufwanne (7) wegbewegt.
     
    7. Klimaanlage nach Anspruch 6, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das Kunstharzelement (7b), das die Ablaufwanne (7) bildet, einen Vorsprung (35) aufweist, der das wärmeisolierende Element (7a) durchdringt und von einer unteren Fläche der Ablaufwanne (7) hervorsteht, und die zweite Fläche (30b) der Halterung (30) ein Eingriffsloch (36) aufweist, das mit dem Vorsprung (35) in Eingriff steht, wenn die Ablaufwanne (7) von unten abgestützt ist.
     
    8. Klimaanlage nach Anspruch 7, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das Gehäuse (3) eine Aufhängung (T) aus Metall zum Aufhängen des Hauptkörpers (1a) aufweist und die Aufhängung (T) über der Halterung (30) angeordnet ist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Climatiseur comprenant :

    un corps principal (1a) incorporant un échangeur de chaleur (6) et installé dans un plafond ;

    un panneau décoratif (2) fixé à un bord inférieur du corps principal (1a), exposé à une pièce à travers le plafond, et incluant un orifice de décharge (13) déchargeant de l'air soumis à un échange de chaleur dans l'échangeur de chaleur (6) dans la pièce ; et

    un bac de vidange (7) incluant un élément d'isolation thermique (7a) et un élément de résine synthétique (7b) revêtant l'élément d'isolation thermique (7a) et comprenant une sortie de vidange (48), dans lequel

    le bac de vidange (7) comprend un creux (15) pour recevoir de l'eau de vidange produite dans l'échangeur de chaleur (6), un orifice de communication (17) fourni sur une périphérie du creux (15) et communiquant avec l'orifice de décharge (13) du panneau décoratif (2), une paroi (15b) debout entre la périphérie du creux (15) et l'orifice de communication (17), l'élément d'isolation thermique est prélevé dans la paroi, et la paroi est composée de l'élément de résine synthétique (7b), et un bouchon de vidange (50) fixé à la sortie de vidange (48),

    caractérisé en ce que

    le bouchon de vidange (50) comprend une griffe (51) et un élément en forme de languette (52, 52b) faisant saillie à partir d'une périphérie du bouchon de vidange (50),

    l'élément de résine synthétique (7b) est un élément de feuille rigide et est plus mince que l'élément d'isolation thermique (7a),

    l'élément de résine synthétique (7b) constituant le bac de vidange (7) comprend une première protubérance (54) et une seconde protubérance (55) pénétrant dans l'élément d'isolation thermique (7a), la griffe (51) du bouchon de vidange (50) est engagée de manière détachable avec une extrémité (54a) de la première protubérance (54), et l'élément en forme de languette (52a, 52b) du bouchon de vidange (59) est fixé à la seconde protubérance (55) avec une vis (57).


     
    2. Climatiseur selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que le corps principal (1a) comprend un boîtier en métal (3) et un élément d'isolation thermique (4) recouvrant une périphérie interne du boîtier (3), le bac de vidange (7) est ajusté dans l'élément d'isolation thermique (4) du corps principal (1a), et l'élément d'isolation thermique (4) du corps principal (1a) fait face à la paroi (15b) du bac de vidange (7).
     
    3. Climatiseur selon la revendication 2, caractérisé en ce que l'élément d'isolation thermique (4) du corps principal (1a) constitue l'orifice de communication (17) en association avec la paroi (15b) du bac de vidange (7).
     
    4. Climatiseur selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que le panneau décoratif (2) comprend un support (25) fixant temporairement le panneau décoratif (2) au corps principal (1a), et une portion d'engagement (20) sur laquelle le support (25) est agrafé de manière détachable est intégralement formée avec l'élément de résine synthétique (7b) constituant le bac de vidange (7).
     
    5. Climatiseur selon la revendication 4, caractérisé en ce que la portion d'engagement (20) du bac de vidange (7) comprend un creux (21) dans lequel une extrémité du support (25) est insérée et qui inclut une paire de parois latérales (21a, 21b) opposées l'une à l'autre, et un pont (22) qui réalise un pont entre les parois latérales (21a, 21b) du creux (21) et sur lequel l'extrémité du support (25) est agrafée de manière détachable.
     
    6. Climatiseur selon la revendication 2, caractérisé en ce qu'il comprend de plus une fixation (30) fixant le bac de vidange (7) au boîtier (3), dans lequel
    la fixation (30) comprend une première surface (30a) fixée au corps principal (1a) avec une vis (32) et une seconde surface (30b) supportant le bac de vidange (7) à partir du dessous, et lorsque la vis (32) est relâchée, la fixation (30) peut tourner de sorte que la seconde surface (30b) s'éloigne du bac de vidange (7).
     
    7. Climatiseur selon la revendication 6, caractérisé en ce que l'élément de résine synthétique (7b) constituant le bac de vidange (7) comprend une protubérance (35) pénétrant dans l'élément d'isolation thermique (7a) et faisant saillie à partir d'une surface inférieure du bac de vidange (7), et la seconde surface (30b) de la fixation (30) comprend un orifice d'engagement (36) engagé avec la protubérance (35) lorsque le bac de vidange (7) est supporté à partir du dessous.
     
    8. Climatiseur selon la revendication 7, caractérisé en ce que le boîtier (3) comprend un crochet en métal (T) pour suspendre le corps principal (1a), et le crochet (T) est disposé au-dessus de la fixation (30).
     




    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