EP2504269A1 - A system for rapid contact cooling of a collapsible beverage container in a beverage dispensing system - Google Patents

A system for rapid contact cooling of a collapsible beverage container in a beverage dispensing system

Info

Publication number
EP2504269A1
EP2504269A1 EP10787719A EP10787719A EP2504269A1 EP 2504269 A1 EP2504269 A1 EP 2504269A1 EP 10787719 A EP10787719 A EP 10787719A EP 10787719 A EP10787719 A EP 10787719A EP 2504269 A1 EP2504269 A1 EP 2504269A1
Authority
EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
beverage
beverage container
cooling
container
tapping
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Granted
Application number
EP10787719A
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Other versions
EP2504269B1 (en
Inventor
Jan Nørager RASMUSSEN
Steen Vesborg
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Carlsberg Breweries AS
Original Assignee
Carlsberg Breweries AS
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to EP09176771 priority Critical
Application filed by Carlsberg Breweries AS filed Critical Carlsberg Breweries AS
Priority to EP10787719.3A priority patent/EP2504269B1/en
Priority to PCT/EP2010/068016 priority patent/WO2011061343A1/en
Publication of EP2504269A1 publication Critical patent/EP2504269A1/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of EP2504269B1 publication Critical patent/EP2504269B1/en
Active legal-status Critical Current
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

Links

Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B67OPENING, CLOSING OR CLEANING BOTTLES, JARS OR SIMILAR CONTAINERS; LIQUID HANDLING
    • B67DDISPENSING, DELIVERING OR TRANSFERRING LIQUIDS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B67D3/00Apparatus or devices for controlling flow of liquids under gravity from storage containers for dispensing purposes
    • B67D3/0009Apparatus or devices for controlling flow of liquids under gravity from storage containers for dispensing purposes provided with cooling arrangements
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B67OPENING, CLOSING OR CLEANING BOTTLES, JARS OR SIMILAR CONTAINERS; LIQUID HANDLING
    • B67DDISPENSING, DELIVERING OR TRANSFERRING LIQUIDS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B67D1/00Apparatus or devices for dispensing beverages on draught
    • B67D1/0003Apparatus or devices for dispensing beverages on draught the beverage being a single liquid
    • B67D1/0004Apparatus or devices for dispensing beverages on draught the beverage being a single liquid the beverage being stored in a container, e.g. bottle, cartridge, bag-in-box, bowl
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B67OPENING, CLOSING OR CLEANING BOTTLES, JARS OR SIMILAR CONTAINERS; LIQUID HANDLING
    • B67DDISPENSING, DELIVERING OR TRANSFERRING LIQUIDS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B67D1/00Apparatus or devices for dispensing beverages on draught
    • B67D1/04Apparatus utilising compressed air or other gas acting directly or indirectly on beverages in storage containers
    • B67D1/0462Squeezing collapsible or flexible beverage containers, e.g. bag-in-box containers
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B67OPENING, CLOSING OR CLEANING BOTTLES, JARS OR SIMILAR CONTAINERS; LIQUID HANDLING
    • B67DDISPENSING, DELIVERING OR TRANSFERRING LIQUIDS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B67D1/00Apparatus or devices for dispensing beverages on draught
    • B67D1/08Details
    • B67D1/0857Cooling arrangements
    • B67D1/0858Cooling arrangements using compression systems
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B67OPENING, CLOSING OR CLEANING BOTTLES, JARS OR SIMILAR CONTAINERS; LIQUID HANDLING
    • B67DDISPENSING, DELIVERING OR TRANSFERRING LIQUIDS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B67D1/00Apparatus or devices for dispensing beverages on draught
    • B67D1/08Details
    • B67D1/0857Cooling arrangements
    • B67D1/0869Cooling arrangements using solid state elements, e.g. Peltier cells
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B67OPENING, CLOSING OR CLEANING BOTTLES, JARS OR SIMILAR CONTAINERS; LIQUID HANDLING
    • B67DDISPENSING, DELIVERING OR TRANSFERRING LIQUIDS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B67D1/00Apparatus or devices for dispensing beverages on draught
    • B67D1/08Details
    • B67D1/0889Supports
    • B67D1/0891Supports for the beverage container
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B67OPENING, CLOSING OR CLEANING BOTTLES, JARS OR SIMILAR CONTAINERS; LIQUID HANDLING
    • B67DDISPENSING, DELIVERING OR TRANSFERRING LIQUIDS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B67D3/00Apparatus or devices for controlling flow of liquids under gravity from storage containers for dispensing purposes
    • B67D3/0029Apparatus or devices for controlling flow of liquids under gravity from storage containers for dispensing purposes provided with holders for bottles or similar containers
    • B67D3/0032Apparatus or devices for controlling flow of liquids under gravity from storage containers for dispensing purposes provided with holders for bottles or similar containers the bottle or container being held upside down and provided with a closure, e.g. a cap, adapted to cooperate with a feed tube
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B67OPENING, CLOSING OR CLEANING BOTTLES, JARS OR SIMILAR CONTAINERS; LIQUID HANDLING
    • B67DDISPENSING, DELIVERING OR TRANSFERRING LIQUIDS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B67D3/00Apparatus or devices for controlling flow of liquids under gravity from storage containers for dispensing purposes
    • B67D3/0029Apparatus or devices for controlling flow of liquids under gravity from storage containers for dispensing purposes provided with holders for bottles or similar containers
    • B67D3/0035Apparatus or devices for controlling flow of liquids under gravity from storage containers for dispensing purposes provided with holders for bottles or similar containers the bottle or container being held upside down and not provided with a closure, e.g. a bottle screwed onto a base of a dispenser
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B67OPENING, CLOSING OR CLEANING BOTTLES, JARS OR SIMILAR CONTAINERS; LIQUID HANDLING
    • B67DDISPENSING, DELIVERING OR TRANSFERRING LIQUIDS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B67D3/00Apparatus or devices for controlling flow of liquids under gravity from storage containers for dispensing purposes
    • B67D3/0058Details
    • B67D3/008Supports
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B67OPENING, CLOSING OR CLEANING BOTTLES, JARS OR SIMILAR CONTAINERS; LIQUID HANDLING
    • B67DDISPENSING, DELIVERING OR TRANSFERRING LIQUIDS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B67D1/00Apparatus or devices for dispensing beverages on draught
    • B67D1/08Details
    • B67D1/0801Details of beverage containers, e.g. casks, kegs
    • B67D2001/0827Bags in box
    • B67D2001/0828Bags in box in pressurised housing
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B67OPENING, CLOSING OR CLEANING BOTTLES, JARS OR SIMILAR CONTAINERS; LIQUID HANDLING
    • B67DDISPENSING, DELIVERING OR TRANSFERRING LIQUIDS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B67D2210/00Indexing scheme relating to aspects and details of apparatus or devices for dispensing beverages on draught or for controlling flow of liquids under gravity from storage containers for dispensing purposes
    • B67D2210/00028Constructional details

Abstract

Beverage dispensing system (10) for use with a collapsible beverage container (28) containing beverage. The beverage container defines in a non- collapsed state a top wall having a container outlet (38), an opposite bottom wall (42) and a cylindrical wall (44) connecting the top and bottom walls and comprises a housing defining an inner space (32) adapted to receive the beverage container. The beverage dispensing system further comprises a cooling element located within the inner space and comprising a contact cooling surface. The contact cooling surface has a curvature corresponding to the curvature of the beverage container (46) which juxtaposing and contacting at least 10% of the cylindrical wall, the bottom wall and/or the top wall of the beverage container when the beverage container is received in a non- collapsed state within the inner space.

Description

A SYSTEM FOR RAPID CONTACT COOLING OF A COLLAPSIBLE BEVERAGE CONTAINER IN A BEVERAGE DISPENSING SYSTEM

The present invention relates to a beverage dispensing system for rapid contact cooling of a beverage container and a corresponding method of rapid contact cooling of a beverage container by using a beverage dispensing system..

Beverage dispensing systems are used in many establishments to provide beverages such as draught beer. Such beverage dispensing systems are mostly used for professional establishments such as in bars or restaurants, however, increasingly also for private users such as in private homes In many beverage dispensing systems such as e.g. the DraughtMaster™ produced by the applicant company, the beverage is typically provided in a plastic or metallic beverage container or keg The beverage container is typically positioned upright, i.e. the container outlet is facing upwardly, and the beverage is drawn from the beverage container through an ascending pipe. The beverage is usually expelled from the beverage container to a tapping head by a pressure fluid, typically compressed gas. To avoid direct contact between the pressure fluid and the beverage, a collapsible beverage container may be used. The use of collapsible beverage containers usually including pre-carbonated beverage is well-known in the art of beverage dispensing. When using a collapsible beverage container, the pressure fluid acts on the outside of the beverage container, decreases the volume of the beverage container and thereby forces the beverage out of the beverage container The upright position in connection with an ascending pipe will not constitute any problem in connection with rigid containers, however, when using collapsible beverage containers there may be a risk that the beverage container may collapse into the ascending pipe during dispensing If the beverage container collapses into the ascending pipe, the ascending pipe may break or jam during dispensing and as a result leave residual beverage inside the beverage container. Such residual beverage constitutes a loss, since the beverage container must then be disposed and replaced. Further, the walls of the beverage container may rupture when rammed by the ascending pipe. Such rupture may cause leakage of beverage into the beverage dispensing system, escape of pressure fluid and occasionally explosion Thus, ascending pipes in connection with collapsible beverage containers constitute a problem.

The problem in connection with ascending pipes may be solved by dispensing the beverage having the beverage container arranged in an upside down position, i.e. having the container outlet facing downwards. By positioning the beverage container in an upside down position in the beverage dispensing system, the ascending pipe may be excluded Thereby the risk of leaving any residual beverage in the beverage container is eliminated since the beverage container may collapse completely without blocking the container outlet

Collapsible beverage containers used for the beverage dispensing purpose are typically blow- moulded in one piece from a pre-form The shape of the mould largely determines the shape of the beverage container. Typically, the shape of the beverage container is cylindrical and any edges are typically rounded, e g to form a substantially circular cross section.. Such containers have been described in e.g. WO2004/099060, filed by the applicant company and disclosing a method for dispensing a beverage from a collapsible container by using an increased pressure.

Most of the beverages intended to be dispensed by using a beverage dispensing system as described above are to be served cold. Examples of such beverages include beers, soft drinks and colas. The flavour of such beverage is significantly influenced by the temperature of the beverage. As an example, many kinds of beer develop the most enjoyable taste when served at a temperature around 7°C. Additionally, many beverages, including most beers, must be stored in a cold environment to remain fresh for longer time periods extending e.g. one day, at least when the container has been opened and some air has been allowed to enter the container For instance, beer will spoil very quickly when stored in room temperature, but may possibly be stored for more than 50 days in case it is stored at around 7°C

In professional as well as private beverage dispensing systems, including the previously mentioned DraughtMaster™ system, the beverage container is therefore stored in a compartment which is pressurized and chilled for the beverage to remain fresh and carbonated for an extended period of time, such as at least 50 days. Beverage dispensing systems including a cooling chamber are known in the prior art WO2007/019853, filed by the applicant company, discloses an assembly for dispensing beverage, the assembly including a pressurized and cooled chamber. The cooling effect is enhanced by means of ventilators, which cause an additional cooling effect by forced convention WO02/30807 discloses a juice dispenser having a thermoelectric device. By using a chilled compartment as described above, the beverage container and the beverage therein are kept within an air volume which is constantly kept at a proper low temperature., The beverage dispensing system may include a thermostat to account for external temperature variations to keep the temperature low and constant inside the compartment and in the beverage In WO 2006/103566, the dispensing line is cooled by a separate cooling system for achieving a cooling of the beverage which is about to be dispensed The drawback with such system is the possibility of insufficient cooling in case beverage is dispensed by a high flow rate

As air will promote bacteria! growth in most beverages, the above-mentioned beverage containers are substantially airtight When using the above-mentioned beverage containers to store pasteurized beverages, there is typically no need to store the beverage container in a cold environment before exposing it to air when opening the beverage container Consequently, such beverage containers are provided to the customer at room temperature and must be cooled from room temperature to proper dispensing temperature of about 7°C

The problem in connection with providing the beverage container at room temperature is that once the beverage container is empty and a new beverage container should be installed, the new beverage container, having room temperature, must be cooled down to about 7°C before beverage dispensing can be resumed Most gases, such as air, are typically regarded as thermal insulators and have significantly worse heat transfer capabilities in comparison with most liquids and solids such as e g metals. Beverage includes mostly water which has a large heat capacity. Therefore it may take up to 24 hours for the beverage stored in a beverage container, which is originally stored at room temperature, to be cooled down to the optimal dispensing temperature of 7°C, Forced convection, e.g. by the use of a ventilator, may decrease the time needed somewhat,, Therefore, an empty beverage dispensing system may be useless for as long as 24 hours, which it takes for the beverage in the new beverage container to reach proper dispensing temperatures. in many of the larger professional beverage dispensing establishments, this problem may be solved by having separate cold storage rooms, where the beverage containers may be stored at near dispensing temperature. However, such cold storage rooms do consume much energy, and space therein is generally considered as costly, so it would be an advantage if the comparably large beverage containers could be stored outside of the cold storage room until installed in the beverage dispensing system. For establishments lacking a cold storage room, multiple beverage dispensing systems may be set up in parallel, so that when one beverage dispensing is operating, the others may be in the process of cooling the beverage down This is not particularly convenient and is also a very expensive solution. Private users seldom have a cold storage room or the possibility of running parallel beverage dispensing systems and therefore typically need to interrupt beverage dispensing when the container is empty Further, any spontaneously organized social event or party will be inhibited by the long cooling time for the beverage provided in the beverage container There is therefore a need for technologies for rapid cooling of beverage stored in a beverage dispensing system .

In the past, professional as well as private users have achieved cheap and efficient rapid cooling of beverage containers by storing the beverage containers in a bucket containing liquid water and ice. Since water and ice, being liquid and solid, respectively, have a higher thermal conductivity than air being a gas, the beverage container will chill faster than in case e.g. a refrigerator, employing a cold compartment, was used . The direct contact between the solid or liquid cold surface and the beverage container will enable a much faster heat transfer than possible through air This cooling principle is known as contact cooling. Some beverage dispensing systems make use of ice and water for cooling beverage, such as the systems described in US 21 16622 and US 2009/0044561. The drawbacks of using ice for cooling inside a beverage dispensing system are that when the ice is molten, the temperature will increase, and, the melting of ice generates large quantities of liquid water which has to be disposed of.

It is thus an object of the present invention to provide technologies for rapid cooling of a beverage container without any of the above-mentioned drawbacks . The above need and the above object together with numerous other needs and objects, which wiil be evident from the below detailed description, are according to a first aspect of the present invention obtained by a beverage dispensing system for use with a collapsible beverage container containing beverage, the beverage container defining in a non-collapsed state a top wail having a container outlet, an opposite bottom wall and a cylindrical wall connecting the top and bottom walls, the beverage dispensing system comprising:

a housing defining an inner space extending between an openable ltd and an end wail located remotely from the openable lid, the inner space being adapted to receive the beverage container,

a tapping device including a tapping handle for operating a tapping valve, the tapping device communicating with the inner space for receiving a tapping line extending from the container outlet of the beverage container to the tapping valve,

a pressurization device for pressurizing the inner space to a pressure above the ambient pressure outside the inner space for causing beverage to be expelled from the beverage container towards the container outlet when the tapping valve is operated by the tapping handle, and a cooling element located within the inner space and comprising a contact cooling surface having a curvature corresponding to the curvature of the cylindrical wall, the bottom wall and/or the top wall of the beverage container, the contact cooling surface juxtaposing and contacting at least 10%, preferably 20% or more such as 50%, 70%, 90% or even 100%, of the cylindrical wall, the bottom wall and/or the top wall of the beverage container when the beverage container is received in a non-collapsed state within the inner space. it has been surprisingly found out by the applicant company that having a cooling element with a contact cooling surface juxtaposing and contacting at least 10% of the container surface will significantly improve the cooling efficiency and reduce the time required to cool down the beverage inside the beverage container compared to convective cooling via air only When convectively cooling a beverage container by air as generally known in the prior art, the cooling effect is achieved by the natural convection within the airspace between the cooling devices located in the inner space and the walls of the beverage container The cooling efficiency depends on the heat transfer, also referred to as heat current, between the beverage and the cooling element. The heat current from the beverage in the beverage container to the cooling element may be calculated according to the formula below:

I.

Where H is the heat current, k is the thermal conductivity, A is the contact area between the beverage and the contact cooling surface, TH is the temperature of the beverage, Tc is the temperature of the cooling element, and L is the distance between the cooling element and the beverage The thermal conductivity is a material parameter which will be different for the different materials along the cooling current, i.e. for the cooling element, the beverage container walls and the beverage itself.. It is therefore advisable to use materials having a high thermal conductivity, especially for the contact cooling surface and the cooling element which may be made of a material having a high thermal conductivity. Due to the very low thermal conductivity of air, convective cooling by air is a very slow process, and it may take 24 hours or more to cool a beverage container of normal size and the beverage contained therein down to a suitable dispensing temperature. The contact cooling surface contacting at least 10% of the beverage container wili achieve conductive cooiing directly between the cooling element and the beverage container. Conductive cooling has a much higher cooling efficiency than the convective air cooling

The distance between the cooling element and the beverage should be kept as small as possible, preferably by making the walls of the beverage container as thin as possible.. There is, however, a limit of how thin the walls of the beverage container can be made while still maintaining structural stability of the beverage container. The temperature of the cooling element should be as low as possible, since the heat current is also dependent on the temperature difference between the beverage and the cooling element.. However, care should be taken to avoid the formation of ice crystals within the beverage.. Ice crystals within the beverage may deteriorate the taste of the beverage, and may clog the container outlet, tapping line and/or tapping device, possibly preventing further beverage dispensing- There is thus a lower limit of the temperature of the cooling element of about 0°C or possibly a few degrees centigrade below 0°C depending on the alcohol content of the beverage, Since the amount of heat energy drawn from the beverage, i.e. the heat current from the beverage, is directly proportional to the contact area between the beverage and the cooling element and taking into account that most of the other parameters therein are more or less fixed, it is important to have a large contact cooling surface between the cooling element and the beverage container The contact cooiing surface should therefore be shaped to adapt to the curvature of the wails of beverage container for achieving as large contact area as possible The contact cooling surface is preferably contacting the cylindrical wall of the beverage container, however, it may also contact the bottom wall and/or the top wail, except the part of the top wall which is containing the container outlet. It is also contemplated that the cooling element and the contact cooling surface may be split into several cooling elements having several contact cooling surfaces to better fit the walls of beverage container

The beverage container should be of the collapsible type, implying that the walls of the beverage container should be relatively thin and made of a collapsible material . When the beverage container is filled with beverage, it assumes a non-collapsed state. Typically, the beverage container does contain ten liters of beverage in its non-collapsed state, however, sizes between 5 liters and 70 liters are equally feasible. The beverage container may be made of metal having a high thermal conductivity, however, plastics or similar poiymertc material are preferably used due to the flexibility and due to environmental concerns, since such material may be easily disposed of by combusting. It should be noted that since the walls of the beverage container are thin, thus, the thermal conductivity of the material chosen for the beverage container does not have a very large impact on the heat current, and thereby on the cooling efficiency.

The collapsible beverage containers typically are blow-molded from plastic pre~forms and subsequently filled by beverage. The containers generated by such blow-moiding process have a bottom, a top and a cylindrical wall there between . The bottom may be shaped like a circular disc for allowing the beverage container to stand upright without any additional support. Preferably, the bottom has a smooth transition to the cylindrical wail, which typically extends by a substantially constant diameter from the bottom of the beverage container to the top of the beverage container The top wall of the beverage container is preferably convex shaped and contain a centrally located flange including the container outlet, which should be sealed immediately after the beverage container is filled by beverage The tapping valve may either be a part of the dispensing line, a part of the tapping device, or a separate part.

The beverage container is positioned inside the inner space of the housing of the beverage dispensing system by opening the operable lid and sliding the beverage container through the thereby established opening. When the openab!e lid has been closed, the inner space may be pressurized by using the pressurization device.. The tapping line is connected between the tapping valve and the container outlet. By operating the tapping handle, beverage is expelled from the beverage container by the pressure inside the inner space The beverage flows from the beverage container via the tapping line and the tapping valve through the beverage outlet of the tapping valve to the outside of the beverage dispensing system while the beverage container is collapsing

Any contact cooling surface not contacting the beverage container wall may be considered a waste, since the cooling efficiency through the air is limited as discussed above,, It is an advantage of the presently preferred embodiment that the beverage container is contacting a large portion of the contact cooling surface.

According to a further embodiment of the system according to the first aspect of the present invention, during dispensing of beverage from the beverage container, the contact cooling surface remains contacting at least 10%, preferably 20% or more such as 50% or even 100%, of the cylindrical wall, the bottom wall and/or the top wall of the beverage container until at least 30%, preferably 50% or more such as 70% or even 90%, of the beverage contained in the beverage container has been dispensed. When the beverage container is compressed and begins to collapse, it may occur that the contact cooling surface looses contact with the walls of the beverage container, consequently causing a significant loss of cooling efficiency. Due to the gravitational forces acting on the beverage, the compression of the beverage container will begin at an elevated location and proceed downwardly, unless the movement of the beverage container is restricted Therefore, advantageously, the contact cooling surface is located below the beverage container for the beverage container to collapse towards the contact cooling surface by gravitational force and pressure force. Alternatively, the cooling element and/or the beverage container may be spring mounted for causing an attraction force between the beverage container and the contact cooling surface for allowing the contact to be maintained even when the beverage container has collapsed to a significant degree. It should further be noted that a low position of the contact cooling surface decreases the probability that an air bubble resulting from the head space of the beverage container will be located adjacent the contact cooiing surface Such air bubble will significantly worsen the cooling efficiency.

According to a further embodiment of the system according to the first aspect of the present invention, the contact cooling surface of the beverage dispensing system is capable of reducing the average temperature of ten liters of beverage initially having room temperature and being stored in the beverage container, by at least 10°C, preferably by at least 15°C, within a time period of no more than three hours, preferably no more than two hours, more preferably no more than one hour. The applicant company has performed laboratory test confirming that the preferred embodiment according to the first aspect of the invention is capable of cooling ten liters of beverage from a storage temperature of 22°C down to the preferred dispensing temperature of e.g. 7°C in less than 3 hours.

According to a further embodiment of the system according to the first aspect of the present invention, the time required for cooling the beverage stored in the non-collapsed beverage container from room temperature to dispensing temperature is reduced to at least 1/3, preferably to at least 1/4, of the time required for cooling the beverage stored in the non-collapsed beverage container from room temperature to dispensing temperature when the contact cooling surface is contacting 0% of the beverage container. The applicant has found out that a significantly shorter time is required for cooling the beverage contained in the beverage container down to proper dispensing temperature by using contact cooling instead of convective air cooling.

According to a further embodiment of the system according to the first aspect of the present invention, the contact cooling surface extending in a longitudinal direction defined by the direction between the openable lid and the end and in a transversal direction defining an arc corresponding to the curvature of the cylindrical wall of the beverage container, the arc having an angle of between 90° and 180°, preferably between 120° and 160°. Preferably, the beverage container is resting in a cradle constituting the cooling element to allow a very large contact cooling surface to be formed partly encircling the cylindrical wall of the beverage container, while still allowing the beverage container to be easily removed According to a further embodiment of the system according to the first aspect of the present invention, the beverage container is pressed towards the contact cooiing surface by means of e.g a spring or an inflatable cushion, or alternatively by the contact cooling surface having a slightly smaller radius than the beverage container. By spring mounting the cooling element and/or the beverage container for causing an attraction force between the beverage container and the contact cooling surface, the cooling efficiency may be improved since the beverage container is then pressed against the cooling surface By pressing the contact cooling surface and the beverage container together, the contact area between them may increase since small air bubbles otherwise occurring between the contact cooling surface and the beverage container are eliminated. It is obvious that the spring mounting may be substituted by other similar means, such as an air cushion or the like Further, the contact cooling surface may have a slightly smaller radius than the beverage container, such that the beverage container is slightly squeezed and thereby an increased contact area is achieved.

According to a further embodiment of the system according to the first aspect of the present invention, when the beverage container is received within the inner space, the cylindrical wall of the beverage container is supporting substantially the full weight of the beverage container.. The weight of the beverage container is preferably supported in its entirety by the contact cooling surface for allowing the beverage container to be pressed against the contact cooling surface Such pressure force may even out any differences between the contact cooling surface and the beverage container wall and may eliminate any air pockets which may exist there between.

According to a further embodiment of the system according to the first aspect of the present invention, the openable lid is located above or aligned horizontally with the end To allow a simple and gravity-assisted insertion of the beverage container into the inner space, the openable lid is preferably located above or aligned horizontally with the end .

According to a further embodiment of the system according to the first aspect of the present invention, the bottom wall of the beverage container is located at the openable lid and the top wall is located at the end wall when the beverage container is received within the inner space, the inner space comprising a connector located near the end and communicating with the container outlet. To avoid the use of an ascending pipe, the container outlet is preferably located away from the openable lid and near the end.

According to a further embodiment of the system according to the first aspect of the present invention, the longitudinal direction of the contact cooling surface defines a slope in relation to the horizontal plane of between 5° and 85°, preferably between 10° and 80°, more preferably between 20° and 70°, such as 25°, 30°, 35°, 40°, 45°, 50°, 55°, 60° and 65° Preferably, the contact cooling surface defines a slope to allow the contact cooling surface to define a large area and at the same time allow the contact cooling surface to be positioned low and at the same time allow the beverage outlet to be positioned low According to a further embodiment of the system according to the first aspect of the present invention, the housing further comprises a front wall, the front wall being pivotal!y operable between an open position in which the inner space is accessible from the outside and a closed position in which the inner space is non-accessible from the outside, the tapping device being optionally accommodated on the front wall. The pivotable front wall allows a simple installation of the dispensing Sine.,

According to a further embodiment of the system according to the first aspect of the present invention, the beverage dispensing system further comprises a separate tapping rod located outside of, preferably in front of or beside, the housing, the tapping rod accommodating the tapping device Alternatively, a separate tapping rod may be used. Since the present embodiment does not require any cooling in the tapping rod, the tapping rod can be made very thin. According to a further embodiment of the system according to the first aspect of the present invention, the cooling element comprises a Peltier element, or alternatively the cooling element is connected to a cooling device via cooling pipes, the cooling device comprising a compressor, cooling fluid and a heat sink, the heat sink being located outside of the inner space A Peltier element allows a high cooling efficiency while still permitting the cooling element to be comparably small, A Peltier element dispenses with the requirement of using any cooling fluid or the like. For achieving a higher cooling efficiency, the cooling element may be connected to a cooling device including cooling fluid, heat sink and compressor

According to a further embodiment of the system according to the first aspect of the present invention, the tapping tine and the tapping valve are fixedly connected and delivered together with the beverage container, the tapping line and the tapping valve being installed and subsequently replaced together with the beverage container The tapping line may be delivered together with the beverage container to ensure regular change of tapping line and to simplify the installation procedure. Alternatively, the tapping line may be provided separately, allowing a very quick installation of the beverage container by using the same tapping line a plurality of times..

According to a further embodiment of the system according to the first aspect of the present invention, the tapping line and tapping valve are forming parts of the beverage dispensing system, the container outlet comprising a pierceable membrane, the connector or alternatively the tapping line comprising a piercing element for piercing the pierceable membrane upon receipt of the beverage container within the inner space.. The beverage container is preferably sealed by a pierceable membrane, which is pierced upon installation of the beverage container into the inner space, The above need and the above object together with numerous other needs and objects, which will be evident from the below detailed description, are according to a first aspect of the present invention obtained by a method of cooling a beverage stored in a collapsible beverage container, preferably by using a beverage dispensing system according to the first aspect of the present invention, the beverage container defining in a non-collapsed state a top wall having a container outlet, an opposite bottom wall and a cylindrical wall connecting the top and bottom wa!ls, the method comprising providing a beverage dispensing system comprising:

a housing defining an inner space extending between an openable lid and an end located remote from the openable lid, the inner space being adapted to receive the beverage container,

a pressurization device for pressurizing the inner space to a pressure above the ambient pressure outside the inner space,

a tapping device including a tapping handle for operating a tapping valve, the tapping device communicating with the inner space,

a tapping line, and

a cooling element located within the inner space and comprising a contact cooling surface having a curvature corresponding to the curvature of the cylindrical wall, the bottom wail and/or the top wall of the beverage container,

and performing the steps of:

accommodating the beverage container within the inner space with the contact cooling surface juxtaposing and contacting at least 10%, preferably 20% or more such as 50%, 70%, 90% or even 100%, of the cylindrical wall, the bottom wall and/or the top wall of the beverage container, connecting the tapping line from the container outlet of the beverage container to the tapping device

pressurizing the inner space to a pressure above the ambient pressure outside the inner space by using the pressurization device, and

causing beverage to be expelled from the beverage container towards the container outlet when the tapping valve is operated by the tapping handle. It is contemplated that the method according to the second aspect of the present invention may comprise any of the features of the system according to the first aspect of the present invention

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS.

Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a beverage dispensing system according to the present invention

Fig 2 is a partially sectional perspective view of a beverage dispensing system according to the present invention

Figs 3a-3c are illustrations of various embodiments of a cooling element according to the present invention. Figs 4a - 4f are a series of illustrations showing the installation of a new beverage container into a beverage dispensing system according to the present invention.

Figs 5a-5c are a series of illustrations showing an embodiment of the ergonomic installation of a beverage container according to the present invention.

Figs 6a-6c are a series of illustrations showing an embodiment of the ergonomic installation of a beverage container contained within a package.

Figs 7a-7b are a series of illustrations showing the installation and subsequent tapping of a beverage container in a beverage dispensing system according to the present invention.

Figs 8a-8b are a series of illustrations showing a beverage dispensing system with a separate tapping rod according to the present invention

Figs 9a-9b are a series of illustrations showing a beverage dispensing system having a supplementary cooling lid in addition to a cooling element

Figs tOa-IOb are a series of illustrations showing a beverage dispensing system according to a further embodiment of the present invention.

Figs 11a-1 1b are a series of iilustrations showing a beverage dispensing system according to yet a further embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS.

Fig. 1 shows a beverage dispensing system 10 according to the present invention.. The beverage dispensing system 10 comprises a base plate 12, preferably located on a fiat, horizontal surface A housing part 14 extends upwardly from the rear part of the base plate 12. The front part of the base plate 12 forms a drip tray 20, The housing part 14 is extending towards the front part of the base plate 12, above the drip tray 20, in an angle of app 45°. A lid 16 is located at the top of the housing part 14 opposite the base plate 12 The front part of the housing part 14, which is facing the drip tray 20 of the base plate 12, defines a front housing part 18. The front housing part 18 extends above the drip tray 20 which is located at the front part of the base plate 12, The front housing part 18 further comprises a tapping head 22 located near the lid 16, The tapping head 22 comprises a tapping handle 24 extending from the upper part of the tapping head and a beverage outlet 26 located opposite the tapping handle 24 and facing towards the drip tray 20 of the base plate 1 . The tapping head 22 further comprises a tapping valve (not shown). The tapping valve (not shown) is connected to the tapping handle 24 and the beverage outlet 26, The tapping handle 24 is normally oriented in a vertical position constituting a non-beverage dispensing position where the tapping valve (not shown) is closed. When a user desires to tap beverage, the tapping handle 24 is temporarily swung towards a horizontal position constituting a beverage dispensing position where the tapping valve (not shown) is open, causing the beverage to flow out of the beverage outlet 26

Fig 2 shows a partially sectional perspective view of the beverage dispensing system 10 of Fig 1. From the present view it can be seen that an inner space 32 is defined within the housing part 14, the lid 16, the front housing part 18 and the base piate 12 A filled beverage container 28 is accommodated within the inner space 32, The beverage container 28 has a volume of about ten litres and fills a large portion of the inner space 32. The beverage container 28 rests on a cooling element 30 located within the inner space 32. The cooling element 30 is connected to a combined cooling pressurisation device 34 by a cooling pipe 36 The beverage container 28 comprises a connecting flange 38 which is oriented towards the base plate 12 when the beverage container 28 is installed into the inner space 32. A tapping line 40 extends between the connecting flange 38 and the tapping valve (not shown) located within the tapping head 22. The combined cooling and pressurisation device 34 provides cooling to the cooling element 30 as well as pressurisation to the inner space 32. The combined cooling and pressurisation device 34 may optionally cool the inner space 32, however, the inner space 32 may be cooled by the cooling element 30 as well. It is further possible to employ a separate cooling device and a separate pressurization device in place of the combined cooling and pressurization device 34. Fig, 3a shows a first embodiment of a cooling element 30' according to the present invention The beverage container 28 defines a beverage container bottom 42 located opposite the connecting flange 38 The beverage container 28 further defines a cylindrical container wall 44 connecting the beverage container bottom 42 and the connecting flange 38. The cooling element 30' defines a contact cooling surface 46 having a curvature corresponding to the cylindrical container wall 44 of the beverage container 28 and adapted to receive the cylindrical container wall 44 by a tight fit of a section of the cylindrical container wall 44. The cooling element 30 is preferably made of a metal such as aluminium or any similar material having a high thermal conductivity The cooling element 30' according to the present embodiment comprises a Peltier element which is electrically connected to a combined cooling and pressurisation device 34' via electrical wires 36. The combined cooling and pressurisation device 34' provides electrical current to the Peltier element for causing a cooling effect.

Fig 3b shows a further embodiment of a cooling element 30" according to the present invention The cooling element 30" has a shape corresponding to the cooling element 30' of Fig . 3a, however, instead of a Peltier element, the cooling element 30" comprises a cooling inlet 48. The combined cooling and pressurisation device 34" comprises a cooling pipe 36" which is inserted into the cooling inlet 48 of the cooling element 30" for supplying a coolant to the cooling element 30". The combined cooling and pressurisation device 34 consequently comprise a compressor (not shown) for cooling the coolant.

Fig . 3c shows a further embodiment of a cooling element 30"' The cooling element 30"' of Fig 3c is similar to the cooling element 30" of Fig. 3b, however, instead of a cooling inlet 48, the cooling pipe 36" is fixedly connected to the cooling element 30 and forms a mesh or web inside the cooling element 30 for achieving an optimal distribution of coolant throughout the contact cooling surface 46 of the cooling element 30"' Fig 4a shows a side view of the beverage dispensing system 10 It can be seen that the housing part 14 is extending upwardly from the base piate 12 and further extending above the drip tray 20 and defining an angle relative to the base plate 12 of about 45°.

Fig 4b shows a side view of the beverage dispensing system 10 when the front housing part 18 has been lowered towards the base piate 12. Normally, when the beverage dispensing system 10 is operational, the front housing part 18 defines an upright position along with the housing part 12 When a new beverage container {not shown here) is about to be installed into the beverage dispensing system 10, the front housing part 18 may be pivoted towards the base plate 12 into a substantially horizontal position as shown by the arrow When the front housing part 18 has been pivoted, the tapping head 22 is located adjacent the base plate 12.

Fig 4c shows a side view of the beverage dispensing system 10 after the front housing 18 has been pivoted towards a horizontal position,. By pivoting the front housing part 18 towards the base plate 12, the removal of the lid 16 is thereafter allowed . The lid 16 is mounted by means of a bayonet mount and to remove the lid 16 it is rotated about ¾ of a turn and lifted outwardly The lid 16 defines an interior top cavity 50 which is facing towards the housing part 14.. Fig 4d shows a side view of the beverage dispensing system 10 when a new beverage container 28 is inserted into the housing part 14. When the lid 16 has been removed, access is provided to the inner space (not shown here). The beverage container 28 should be inserted having the connecting flange 38 facing towards the base p!ate 12 and the beverage container 28 defining an angle of about 45° in relation to the base plate 12.

Fig 4e shows a side view of the beverage dispensing system 10 when the beverage container 28 has been inserted into the inner space (not shown here) When the beverage container is installed into the inner space inside the housing part 14, the Hd 16 may be reconnected to the housing part 14 and the front housing part 18 may be pivoted towards its upright position . The beverage container bottom 42 is then accommodated inside the top cavity 50 of the lid 16.

Fig, 4f shows a side view of the beverage dispensing system 10 when in use. By placing a beverage glass 52 onto the drip tray 20 of the base plate 12 and swinging the tapping handle 24 from the substantially vertical position constituting the non-beverage dispensing position in a direction away from the lid 16 and towards a substantially horizontal position constituting a beverage dispensing position, beverage will flow out of the beverage outlet 26 and into the beverage glass 52.

Fig,, 5a shows the beverage dispensing system 10 including a housing part 14 without the lid 16. As previously discussed, the housing part 14 is extending towards the front part of the base plate 12, above the drip tray 20, in an angie of ap 45° Presently, the front housing part 18 has been lowered into its substantially horizontal position and is defining an optional support block 56. The beverage container 28 has been removed from its package 54 and positioned tilted about 45° in relation to the horizontal plane in a stable first installation position The beverage container 28 comprises a beverage container bottom 42 which is convex so that the beverage container 28 may be easily pivoted into the first installation position . In the present embodiment, the beverage container bottom 42 is resting against the support block 56 and against the front housing part 18, however, in an alternative embodiment, the beverage container bottom 42 may be resting against the front housing part 18, the base plate 12 or any substantially horizontal plane, depending on the dimensions of the beverage container and the beverage dispensing system 10 Using a support block 56 may be advantageous since it will prevent slippage of the beverage container bottom 42

The housing part 14 comprises an upwardly oriented rim 62 through which the inner space 32 of the housing part 14 is accessible. The rim 62 comprises a contact surface 60, which is oriented towards the drip tray 20 The beverage container 28 further comprises a beverage container top 58 which is rounded and comprises centrally located connecting flange 38. The connecting flange 38 comprises a container outlet for the beverage stored in the beverage container 28 The beverage container top 58 and the connecting flange 38 are resting against the contact surface 60 of the rim 62 of the housing part 14. The contact surface 60 is shaped having a curvature to provide a stable positioning of the beverage container 28 and prevent movement of the beverage container 28 both in the direction towards the housing part 14 and in the sideward directions.

The beverage container 28 is of the collapsible type and may have a volume of typically around ten litres for allowing about 20 servings of the beverage before needing to install a new beverage container 28.. Typical height of the beverage container 28 for the beverage dispensing system 10 is between 0 25m and 0 5m, preferably 0.35m .

Fig . 5b shows the beverage dispensing system 10 during ergonomic installation of the beverage container 28 By lifting the beverage container bottom 42, the beverage container 28 may be pivoted in a rotational motion around the contact surface 60 to an elevated position Preferably the user, being either a private user or a professional beverage dispensing operator such as a bartender or barmaid, performs the Sifting Alternatively, when using large and heavy beverage containers, a lifting device such as a crane may be used to lift the beverage container bottom 42 of the beverage container 28 in order to avoid personal injuries. Yet alternatively, if the beverage container 28 is positioned contacting a properly shaped support block 56 of the front housing part 18, the beverage container bottom 42 may be pivoted by simply pivoting the front housing part 18 up towards its vertical orientation. During the pivoting operation, the contact surface 60 remains in contact with the beverage container top 58. The contact surface 60 simplifies the rotational movement of the beverage container 50 The curvature of the contact surface 60 and the corresponding curvature of the beverage container top 58 and the connecting flange 38 of the beverage container 28 prevent any sideward movement of the beverage container 28. The connecting flange 38 is used to grasp the contact surface 60 of the rim 62 at a higher angle along the contact surface 60 to avoid slipping of the beverage container 50

When the beverage container bottom 42 is further elevated and the beverage container 28 is further pivoted, the contact surface 60 of the rim 62 wiii be supporting most of the weight of the beverage container 28. The beverage container 28 then primarily rests on the beverage container top 58 and occasionally against the connecting flange 38 if needed for the pivoting stability. Accordingly, the beverage container top 58 and the connecting flange 54 must be made rigid enough to support the weight applied upon them. Preferably, the two above-mentioned parts may be reinforced to avoid any risk of breakage, such as by using a double or dual layered container. A double layered container has an inner collapsible beverage container which is protected by an outer rigid container. Having such a double-layered beverage container will in some embodiments make the lid 16 unnecessary, since the pressurized fluid is then kept in the space between the outer container and the inner beverage bag.

A breakage of the connecting flange 38 or the beverage container top 58 at the intermediate position shown in Fig 5b may lead to an uncontrolled drop of the beverage container 28 towards the ground resulting in possible damage of equipment or personal injury to the user Favourably, the beverage dispensing system 10 includes a piercing element 64 at the end of the tapping line 40, The tapping Sine 40 and the piercing element 64 are fixated inside the housing remote from the rim 62, and may be replaced when needed . The container outlet at the connecting flange 38 of the beverage container 28 comprises a corresponding pierceable membrane (not shown). Alternatively, the beverage container 28 may be delivered having a tapping line 40 and a tapping valve (not shown) already connected to the container outlet at the connecting flange 38

Fig 5c shows the beverage dispensing system 10 when the beverage container 28 is installed into the inner space 32. By continuing the rotational movement of the beverage container 28 and if required providing a horizontal trans!atory force onto the beverage container 28 in a direction towards the rim 62, the rounded beverage container top 58 will commence a sliding motion on the contact surface 60 of the rim 62 and slide into the inner space 32 The user should for safety reasons avoid any contact with the rim 62 of the beverage dispensing system, the beverage container top 58 and the connecting flange 38 when the beverage container 28 is about to slide in direction towards the inner space 32, since it may result in possible injuries to the user

It should be noted that the beverage container 28 must not be in perfect registration with the rim 62 of the beverage dispensing system It is sufficient if the connecting flange 54 is in registration with the rim 62, since the positioning of the beverage container 28 will be corrected after the sliding motion has started and the beverage container 28 will continue by its own motion into the inner space 32 of the beverage dispensing system 10 The beverage container 28 is directed by the curvature of the contact surface 60 and as the beverage container 28 enters the inner space 32, the beverage container 28 is guided by the rim 62 and the beverage container top 58 of the beverage container 50 for a correct positioning Thus, the beverage container 28 may enter the inner space 32 being slightly out of registration . The inner wails of the housing part 14 defining the inner space 32 and the contact cooling surface 46 will orient the beverage container 28 such that the connecting flange 54 is positioned in front of the piercing element 64

Inside the inner space 32, the beverage container 28 slides on a concave surface 46'. The concave surface 46' should have a concave shape having a curvature corresponding to the curvature of the cylindrical container wall 44. The concave surface 46' is preferably identical with the previously described concave contact cooling surface 46, however, in some embodiments a separate contact cooling surface 46' may be used, or the contact cooling surface may be a part of the inner wails of the housing part 14. Upon reaching the resting position at the bottom end of the inner space 32, remote from the rim 62, the connecting flange 38 of the beverage container 28 is connected fluid-tightiy to the piercing element 64 of the tapping line 40 inside the inner space 32 The beverage container 28 wiii protrude slightly outside the inner space 32 After the beverage container 28 has reached its resting position, the lid 16 may be replaced and locked pressure-tightly onto the rim 62 of the beverage dispensing system 10 Thereby the installation procedure is concluded, and after the inner space 32 has been pressurized, the beverage may be dispensed from the beverage dispensing system 10 by swinging the tapping handle 24,

In order to prevent that the beverage container 28 is deteriorated by impact to the beverage container 28 at the time the beverage container 28 reaches its resting position at the bottom end of the inner space 32, a shock absorber may be provided inside the inner space 32, such as a foamed plastic pad or a natural or synthetic rubber pad, serving to prevent the beverage container 28 from being deteriorated or even broken or smashed.. When the beverage container 28 is emptied, the inner space 32 is depressurized, and the lid 16 is removed This allows the beverage container 28 to be removed and replaced. The beverage container 28 will typically be completely collapsed and will therefore be easy to remove and dispose.

Fig 6a shows an alternative embodiment of the ergonomic handling according to the present invention, where the beverage container 28 remains located within the package 54 during a part of the installation procedure. The package 54 has a package bottom 54', an openable package top 54" and four parallel sidewalls which have not been assigned reference numerals but which are connecting the package bottom 54' and the package top 54" The package top 54" comprises flaps 54"' which serve to seal and close off the package 54 during storage and transportation. The beverage dispensing system 10 shown in fig 6a comprises a housing part 14 having a rim 62' being similar to the previous embodiments shown above. The rim 62' differs from the above described rims in that the contact surface 60' of the rim 62' is defining a plane outer contact surface as distinct from the rounded contact surface of the previous embodiment of the dispensing unit shown in figs 5a-5c. The contact surface 60' corresponds to the package top 54", The package 54 may thus be positioned in a pivoted orientation where the package top 54" is resting against the contact surface 60' The package bottom 54' remains contacting the front housing part 18 or alternatively the base plate 12 Fig 6b shows the alternative embodiment of the ergonomic handling according to the present invention when the package bottom 54' has been elevated and the package 54 including the beverage container 28 has been pivoted around the contact surface 60'. The beverage container 28 may slide from inside the package 54 towards the rim 62' and further into the inner space 32 of the housing part 14 while the package 54 remains in its elevated position as shown in Fig 6a

Fig 6c shows the alternative embodiment of the ergonomic handling according to the present invention when the beverage container 28 has been installed After the beverage container 28 has reached its final position, the package 54 may be disposed and the lid 16 may be replaced. Fig 7a shows the installation of the beverage container 28 into the beverage dispensing system 10. In a first step the beverage container 28 is introduced through the rim 62 into the inner space 32 and the connecting flange 38 connects to the piercing element (not shown). In a second step the lid 16 is attached to the housing part 14 while the beverage container 28 is resting on the contact cooling surface 46 of the cooling element 30 In a third step, the front housing part 18 is pivoted back to the vertical orientation, thereby enabling beverage dispensing operations

Fig 7b shows the dispensing of beverage by swinging the tapping handie 24 of the beverage dispensing system 10 When the beverage container 28 has been installed into the beverage dispensing system 10 and the inner space 32 has been pressurized, the beverage dispensing system 10 is ready for use. By swinging the tapping handle 24 from a substantially vertical orientation constituting the non-beverage dispensing position, towards a substantially horizontal orientation constituting the beverage dispensing position, the tapping valve (not shown) inside the tapping head 22 will open and beverage will be expelled from the beverage container 28, via the dispensing line 40, the dispensing valve and through the beverage outlet 26. The beverage is preferably collected in a beer glass 52 positioned below the beverage outlet 26.

The beverage container 28 is blow-moulded of flexible polymeric materiai, typically plastics such as PET or PP. The present beverage container 28 has a height of about 0 35m, and a diameter being about the same as the height. As the beverage is being expelled from the beverage container 28, the pressure in the inner space 32 drives the beverage outwardly and at the same time compressing the beverage container into a collapsing state as shown.. The figure is showing the beverage container in a state where about 50% of the beverage volume has been dispensed . The beverage container 42 will collapse from an elevated position of the beverage container bottom 42 or cylindrical wall 44 and downwardly in the direction towards the connecting flange 38.. It should be noted that the beverage surface will always be substantially horizontal due to the influence of the gravity, and the beverage container 28 will form itself to match the beverage surface. Due to local differences in the materia! strength of the beverage container, a slightly uneven surface may form as the beverage container 28 is compressed, as indicated in the figure. The applicant company has found out that by positioning the outlet at the connecting flange 38 below the rest of the beverage container 28, the gravitational force will aid in the expelling of the beverage, and an ascending pipe may be omitted. Further, to allow the contact cooling surface 46 to contact the cylindrical container wall 44 even when a substantial amount of beverage has already been dispensed, the contact cooling surface 46 should be located as low as possible as well. In the present embodiment, the contact cooling surface 48 constitutes a slope having an angle of about 45° relative to the horizontal plane for allowing at least 50% of the beverage volume to be dispensed without the cylindrical container wall 44 losing any contact with the contact cooling surface 46 and at the same time allowing dispensing even of the last portion of beverage, since the container outlet and connecting flange 38 are located in a low position. It is further contemplated that the cooling element 30 and the contact cooling surface 46 may be slightly inwardly bent to extend inwardly at the beverage container top 58 for contacting a portion of the beverage container top 58 in the vicinity of the transition between the beverage container top 58 and the cylindrical container wall 44 for allowing a larger contact cooling surface 48 and act as an appropriate stop quoin when the beverage container 28 is sliding into the housing part 14. The cooling element 30 should, however, not form a constriction preventing the connecting flange 38 to pass, thus, the size of the connecting flange 38 effectively sets the limit for the inward extension of the cooling element 30.

Fig. 8a shows a side sectional view of a further embodiment of a beverage dispensing system 10'. By comparison with the previous embodiment, the beverage dispensing system 10' lacks the front housing part including the tapping head and instead features a separate tapping rod 66 including a tapping head 22', a tapping handle 24' and a beverage outlet 26. The tapping head 22' is located at the top of the tapping rod 66. The separate tapping rod 66 is extending upwardly from the base plate 12 in front of the housing part 14' A dip tray 20' is located below the beverage outlet 26' The figure shows the installation of a new beverage container 28 into the housing part 14 and the subsequent positioning of the lid 16 onto the housing part 14.

Fig. 8b shows a side sectional view of the beverage dispensing system 10' when assembled and ready for beverage dispensing By operating the tapping handle 24' of the tapping rod 66, beverage will flow out of the beverage outlet 26'. It is contemplated that the tapping rod 66 may be located on a separate base plate a certain distance from the housing part 14, e.g the tapping rod 66 may be placed on a bar counter, while the housing part 14 is located below the bar counter

Fig 9a shows a side sectional view of yet a further embodiment of a beverage dispensing system 10". The beverage dispensing system 0" comprises a lid 16' including an auxiliary cooling element 68 which has a shape adapted to fit tightly to the beverage container bottom 42 and thus provide additional cooling to the beverage container 28..

Fig. 9b shows a side sectional view of the beverage dispensing system 10" when assembled and ready for beverage dispensing.. The auxiliary cooling element 68 is pressing tightly against the beverage container bottom 42 thereby providing an additional contact cooling surface 70. It is contemplated that for some embodiments, it may be sufficient to only use the auxiliary cooling element 68, thereby dispensing with the cooling element 30. Fig 10a shows a side sectional view of a beverage dispensing system 10'" constituting an alternative embodiment to the previously presented beverage dispensing system 10 with which the beverage dispensing system 10' shares the most features.. As in the previously described embodiments, the housing part 14"' of the beverage dispensing system 10"' forms a bend, however, presently having an angle of about 90°. The cooling element 30 located within the inner space 32"' of the housing part 14 is oriented substantially horizontally, i.e. parallel with the base piate 12"', and forming a concave contact cooling surface 46"'

Fig, 10b shows a side sectional view of the beverage dispensing system 10"' when assembled and ready for beverage dispensing. The beverage container 28 should preferably be fitted with an ascending pipe for secure dispensing of the whole beverage volume. The advantage of the present embodiment is that the cylindrical container wall 44 will maintain substantial contact with the contact cooling surface 46"' until the beverage is completely expelled from the beverage container 28. The inner space is fitted with an optional air cushion 72 for pressing the beverage out of the beverage container 28 and for achieving a larger contact pressure between the cylindrical container wall 44 and the contact cooling surface 46"'. It is contemplated that such air cushion may be fitted to other embodiments, such as the embodiment of fig 7, for the same purpose.

Fig 1 a shows a side sectional view of a beverage dispensing system 10"' constituting an alternative embodiment to the previously presented beverage dispensing system 10 with which the beverage dispensing system 10' shares the most features. Contrary to the previously described embodiments, the housing part 14"" of the beverage dispensing system 10"' forms a straight upstanding housing part 14"". The cooling element is omitted, however, an auxiliary cooling element 68"" is located in the lid 16"". Fig 11 b shows a side sectional view of the beverage dispensing system 10"" when assembled and ready for beverage dispensing The cooling element 60, which is located in the lid 16"", is then oriented substantially horizontally, i.e. parallel with the base plate 12"', and forming a concave contact cooling surface 70"" in contact with the beverage container bottom 42- The advantage of the present embodiment is that the connecting flange 38 of the beverage container 28 is located low. The cooling element 60 may optionally be spring- loaded towards the beverage container bottom 42.

The beverages used in connection with the embodiments according to the present invention may be either carbonated or non-carbonated, and the beverage containers may have an ascending pipe or the ascending pipe may be omitted. However, in the presently preferred embodiment, the beverage is carbonated and the ascending pipe is omitted.

The beverage container may possibly have a slightly elliptical form when accommodated in the inner space due to the weight of the beverage and the flexibility of the beverage container, and when the inner space is pressurized, the beverage container may change its shape slightiy and form a slightly more spherical shape.

It is obvious to a person skilled in the art that numerous alternative embodiments according to the present invention exist

LIST OF PARTS WITH REFERENCE TO THE FIGURES

10 beverage dispensing system

12 base plate

14. housing part

16 lid

18. front housing part

20 drip tray

22, tapping head

24, tapping handle

26, beverage outlet

28, collapsible beverage container

30., cooling element

32. inner space

34 combined cooling and pressurisation

36 cooling conduit

38. connecting flange (beverage outlet)

40 tapping line

42 beverage container bottom

44 cylindrical container wail

46, contact cooling surface

48, cooling inlet

50 top cavity

52 beverage glass

54 package

56 support block

58 beverage container top

60 contact surface

62. rim

64. piercing element

66. tapping rod

68. auxiliary cooling element

70. additional contact cooling surface

72. air cushion

Claims

1. A beverage dispensing system for use with a collapsible beverage container containing beverage, said beverage container defining in a non-collapsed state a top wall having a container outlet, an opposite bottom wail and a cylindrical wall connecting said top and bottom walls, said beverage dispensing system comprising:
a housing defining an inner space extending between an openable lid and an end wall located remotely from said openable lid, said inner space being adapted to receive said beverage container,
a tapping device including a tapping handle for operating a tapping valve, said tapping device communicating with said inner space for receiving a tapping line extending from said container outlet of said beverage container to said tapping valve,
a pressurization device for pressurizing said inner space to a pressure above the ambient pressure outside said inner space for causing beverage to be expelled from said beverage container towards said container outlet when said tapping valve is operated by said tapping handle, and
a cooling element located within said inner space and comprising a contact cooling surface having a curvature corresponding to the curvature of said cylindrical wall, said bottom wall and/or said top wall of said beverage container, said contact cooling surface juxtaposing and contacting at least 10%, preferably 20% or more such as 50%, 70%, 90% or even 100%, of said cylindrical wall, said bottom wall and/or said top wall of said beverage container when said beverage container is received in a non-collapsed state within said inner space, said contact cooling surface extending in a longitudinal direction defined by the direction between said openable lid and said end and in a transversal direction defining an arc corresponding to the curvature of said cylindrical wall of said beverage container, said arc having an angle of between 90° and 180°, preferably between 120° and 160°, said longitudinal direction of said contact cooling surface defines a slope in relation to the horizontal plane of between 5° and 85°, preferably between 10° and 80°, more preferably between 20° and 70°, such as 25°, 30°, 35°, 40°, 45°, 50°, 55°, 60° and 65°.
2. The beverage dispensing system according to claim 1 , wherein during dispensing of beverage from said beverage container, said contact cooling surface remains contacting at least 10%, preferably 20% or more such as 50%, 70%, 90% or even 100%, of said cylindrical wall, said bottom wall and/or said top wall of said beverage container until at least 30%, preferably 50% or more such as 70% or even 90%, of said beverage contained in said beverage container has been dispensed
3. The beverage dispensing system according to any of the preceding claims, wherein said contact cooling surface of said beverage dispensing system is capable of reducing the average temperature of ten liters of beverage initially having room temperature and being stored in said beverage container, by at least 10°C, preferably by at ieast 15°C, within a time period of no more than three hours, preferably no more than two hours, more preferably no more than one hour.
4.. The beverage dispensing system according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the time required for cooling the beverage stored in said non-coilapsed beverage container from room temperature to dispensing temperature is reduced to at Ieast 1/3, preferably to at ieast 1/4, of the time required for cool the beverage stored in said non- collapsed beverage container from room temperature to dispensing temperature when said contact cooling surface is contacting 0% of said beverage container
5. The beverage dispensing system according to any of the preceding claims, wherein said beverage container is pressed towards said contact cooling surface by means of e g a spring or an inflatable cushion or alternatively by said contact cooiing surface having a slightly smaller radius than said beverage container.
6.. The beverage dispensing system according to any of the preceding claims, wherein said beverage container is pressed towards said contact cooling surface by means of e.g. a spring or an inflatable cushion or alternatively by said contact cooling surface having a slightly smaller radius than said beverage container.
7. The beverage dispensing system according to any of the previous claims, wherein said openable lid being located above or aligned horizontally with said end
8. The beverage dispensing system according to any of the preceding claims, wherein said housing further comprises a front wall, said front wall being pivotaily operable between an open position, in which said inner space is accessible from the outside, and a closed position, in which said inner space is non-accessible from the outside, said tapping device being optionally accommodated on said front wall.
9. The beverage dispensing system according to any of the previous claims, wherein said beverage dispensing system further comprises a separate tapping rod located outside of, preferably in front of or beside, said housing, said tapping rod accommodating said tapping device
10. The beverage dispensing system according to any of the preceding claims, wherein said coo!ing element comprises a Peltier element, or alternatively said cooling element is connected to a cooling device via cooling pipes, said cooling device comprising a compressor, cooling fluid and a heat sink, said heat sink being located outside of said inner space. 11 The beverage dispensing system according to any of the preceding claims, wherein said tapping line and said tapping valve are fixedly connected and delivered together with said beverage container, said tapping line and said tapping valve being installed and subsequently replaced together with said beverage container
12 The beverage dispensing system according to any of the claims 1- 10, wherein said tapping line and tapping valve are forming parts of the beverage dispensing system, said container outlet comprising a pierceable membrane, said connector or alternatively said tapping line comprising a piercing element for piercing said pierceable membrane upon receipt of said beverage container within said inner space
13 A method of cooling a beverage stored in a collapsible beverage container, preferably by using a beverage dispensing system according to any of the claims 1- 12, said beverage container defining in a non-collapsed state a top wall having a container outlet, an opposite bottom wall and a cylindrical wall connecting said top and bottom walls, said method comprising providing a beverage dispensing system comprising:
a housing defining an inner space extending between an openable lid and an end located remote from said openable lid, said inner space being adapted to receive said beverage container,
a pressurization device for pressurizing said inner space to a pressure above the ambient pressure outside said inner space,
a tapping device including a tapping handle for operating a tapping valve, said tapping device communicating with said inner space,
a tapping line, and
a cooling element located within said inner space and comprising a contact cooling surface having a curvature corresponding to the curvature of said cylindrical wall, said bottom wall and/or said top wall of said beverage container,
and performing the steps of:
accommodating said beverage container within said inner space with said contact cooling surface juxtaposing and contacting at least 10%, preferably 20% or more such as 50%, 70%, 90% or even 100%, of said cylindrical wall, said bottom wall and/or said top wall of said beverage container,
connecting said tapping line from said container outlet of said beverage container to said tapping device
pressurizing said inner space to a pressure above the ambient pressure outside said inner space by using said pressurization device, and
causing beverage to be expelled from said beverage container towards said container outlet when said tapping valve is operated by said tapping handle,
EP10787719.3A 2009-11-23 2010-11-23 A system for rapid contact cooling of a collapsible beverage container in a beverage dispensing system Active EP2504269B1 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
EP09176771 2009-11-23
EP10787719.3A EP2504269B1 (en) 2009-11-23 2010-11-23 A system for rapid contact cooling of a collapsible beverage container in a beverage dispensing system
PCT/EP2010/068016 WO2011061343A1 (en) 2009-11-23 2010-11-23 A system for rapid contact cooling of a collapsible beverage container in a beverage dispensing system

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
EP10787719.3A EP2504269B1 (en) 2009-11-23 2010-11-23 A system for rapid contact cooling of a collapsible beverage container in a beverage dispensing system
PL10787719T PL2504269T3 (en) 2009-11-23 2010-11-23 A system for rapid contact cooling of a collapsible beverage container in a beverage dispensing system

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
EP2504269A1 true EP2504269A1 (en) 2012-10-03
EP2504269B1 EP2504269B1 (en) 2014-06-04

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EP10787719.3A Active EP2504269B1 (en) 2009-11-23 2010-11-23 A system for rapid contact cooling of a collapsible beverage container in a beverage dispensing system

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CN (1) CN102666362B (en)
DK (1) DK2504269T3 (en)
EA (1) EA022684B1 (en)
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WO (1) WO2011061343A1 (en)

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WO2011061343A1 (en) 2011-05-26
EA201290362A1 (en) 2013-01-30
PL2504269T3 (en) 2014-11-28
DK2504269T3 (en) 2014-09-15
EA022684B1 (en) 2016-02-29
CN102666362B (en) 2015-03-11
EP2504269B1 (en) 2014-06-04
CN102666362A (en) 2012-09-12

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