US20020017108A1 - Portable marine air conditioner and dehumidifier - Google Patents

Portable marine air conditioner and dehumidifier Download PDF

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US20020017108A1
US20020017108A1 US09968133 US96813301A US2002017108A1 US 20020017108 A1 US20020017108 A1 US 20020017108A1 US 09968133 US09968133 US 09968133 US 96813301 A US96813301 A US 96813301A US 2002017108 A1 US2002017108 A1 US 2002017108A1
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water
exchanger
device
body
intake
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Frank Schooley
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Schooley Frank W.
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B63SHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; RELATED EQUIPMENT
    • B63JAUXILIARIES ON VESSELS
    • B63J2/00Arrangements of ventilation, heating, cooling, or air-conditioning
    • B63J2/02Ventilation; Air-conditioning
    • B63J2/04Ventilation; Air-conditioning of living spaces
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T70/00Maritime or waterways transport
    • Y02T70/70Technologies for a more efficient operation of the waterborne vessel not otherwise provided for
    • Y02T70/72Related to heating, ventilation, air conditioning, or refrigeration systems

Abstract

An air cooling and humidifying device using water from a body of water includes an air to water heat exchanger for transferring heat from air surrounding the exchanger to water contained in the exchanger. A water transmitting hose is communicably connected to the exchanger. The hose includes an intake portion submersible in the body of water for transmitting water from a location beneath the surface of the body of water wherein the water temperature is below the ambient air temperature and introducing the water through the exchanger. The hose also includes an exhaust portion for discharging water from the exchanger into the body of water. The pump is operably connected to the intake portion for moving water through the intake portion, the exchanger and the exhaust portion. An air circulating device directs ambient air through the exchanger such that the ambient air is cooled by water in the exchanger.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application is a continuation in part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/451,980 filed Nov. 30, 1999.[0001]
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates to a device for cooling and dehumidifying air using cool water directly from natural bodies of water. More particularly, this invention relates to a system for cooling and dehumidifying air onboard marine vessels. [0002]
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • There are literally millions of boats in the United States, both power and sail that have sleeping accommodations aboard. But sleeping aboard a stuffy vessel, closed up due to rain or insect attack is uninviting at best. There are also millions of boats with cabins that remain closed for extended periods of time, growing mildew in the enclosed, humid space. [0003]
  • Marine air conditioners and dehumidifiers are common on larger boats such as those about 32 feet and longer. Due to their complexity, such conventional systems are heavy and expensive. Smaller vessels cannot afford the space, weight or high cost of the conventional technology in air conditioning units. Conventional air conditioners and dehumidifiers also require substantial amounts of 110 VAC power to operate. Although the field of marine air conditioners is a mature art, and the efficiency of most commercial units is indisputable, the cost and complexity associated with this technology are very high. [0004]
  • Marine air conditioners and dehumidifiers of the conventional type generally have an evaporator coil, condenser coil and compressor containing a refrigerant, commonly Freon™, or another compressible gas. The condenser coil can either be cooled using ambient air as is the case with window or hatch mounted units (Machen, U.S. Pat. No. 4,967,569) or water-cooled (Dodge, U.S. Pat. No. 5,848,536). Water-cooled units generally use water drawn from just under the vessel through a common thru-hull fitting. This water is usually filtered aboard and then circulated through the condenser to cool the Freon™ and returned to the surrounding water through another thru-hull fitting. The condensers on these units are by convention and necessity small and consequently need a large volume of cooling water running through them. Due to the amount of water, these units can't normally be left on for long periods, as the filters tend to clog with waterborne debris. These large volumes of filtered water tend to use substantial energy to pump. The 110 or 220 volt alternating current (VAC) from the unit powers the pumps on conventional marine air conditioners. The combination of seawater and high electrical potential can damage the underwater gear of a vessel due to current leakage. This high electrical potential also has caused deaths by electrocution. [0005]
  • Compressors are somewhat electrically inefficient and create waste heat, adding to the cooling load of the AC system. Even the most efficient of these machines use a great amount of electrical power. Compressors are somewhat noisy and often located in engine rooms and other locations with difficult access. Controlling this noise is therefore often a problem. [0006]
  • The compressor and fans on conventional marine air conditioning and dehumidifying units use 110 or 220 VAC power. This power is only available from a dock or, in the case of larger vessels, from a generator. To use these systems away from the dock the vessel must have an electric generator. Generators add weight, expense and complexity to the vessel. They also have the potential to add fuel, oil and exhaust to the environment. Moreover, generators and their related fuel, exhaust, electrical and cooling systems require space for installation. In addition to the installation, generators need space around them to allow access for maintenance. Many vessels do not have sufficient room for a generator to provide power to the AC unit. Generators are also somewhat noisy. A generator running all night has spoiled many a quiet anchorage. [0007]
  • There are prior art coolers and dehumidifiers such as (Rojas, U.S. Pat. No. 3,910,062; Liu, U.S. Pat. No. 3,961,496; Ku, U.S. Pat. No. 3,961,496 and Bibi, U.S. Pat. No. 4,841,742) that use ice or ice water or cold packs. These cold sources are normally previously frozen with existing (compressor driven) refrigeration technology. This approach has limited utility as the ice or cold pack cools only as long as the ice lasts. Replacement ice is heavy to transport and may not be readily available. [0008]
  • There also exists prior art regarding cooling with well water and tap water (Caron, U.S. Pat. No. 5,606,865). Caron's cooler uses tap water and a 110-volt fan to cool a room. Fresh water is quickly becoming a precious natural resource. Tap water is not normally cold on vessels and certainly not normally available in quantities to be wasted for cooling. [0009]
  • Presnell, U.S. Pat. No. 6,026,653 discloses a marine air conditioner wherein chilled water is pumped through a heat exchanger so that the air in the enclosed cabin of a boat may be cooled. This device requires the use of an insulated compartment for storing a chilled liquid and frozen material such as ice. This ice must be periodically replenished. As a result, the air conditioning system has limited effectiveness and efficiency. Unless the vessel has the capacity to store a large amount of ice or other frozen material, the air conditioning system can function properly for only a fairly short time. Transporting and replenishing the frozen material can be inconvenient and expensive. The shipboard pump employed by Presnell also consumes a considerable amount of energy, which is costly and inefficient. [0010]
  • Boating presently has a need for a simple and easy to use cooler and dehumidifier that uses very little electric power. As described above, conventional systems are relatively inconvenient, costly and energy inefficient particularly for smaller vessels. [0011]
  • Prior art exists for ocean thermal energy conversion or OTEC. Worldwide, 80% of the earth's seawater has a temperature of 40° F. or less. The thermocline, generally defined as the boundary between relatively warm, mixed surface water and cold deep-seawater is well documented. Water temperature layers are generally defined as follows: [0012]
  • surface mixed layer which is warm and uniform in temperature [0013]
  • (0 to ≈100 m depths) [0014]
  • thermocline where temperature decrease is largest [0015]
  • (100 m to ≈1000 m depths [0016]
  • deep sea where temperature is cold and fairly uniform [0017]
  • (1000 m to 5000 m, depths) [0018]
  • There is an established lab at Keahole Point, the Natural Energy Lab of Hawaii that is working on research using OTEC. This program uses very cold deep-seawater for various purposes including power generation. The power is generated using the differences in temperature of deep-seawater and warm surface water. They are also researching crop farming, fish farming and air conditioning using OTEC. The air conditioning systems are using close-loop fresh water to seawater heat exchangers and even some seawater to air heat exchangers to cool spaces. This very cold water is pumped from the deep ocean, typically from a depth of 2,000′ or more, far below what is known as the surface mixed water layer. These systems, although practical for a large, land-based operation, typically require large amounts of energy to pump the water to the surface for use. These systems also need pipelines 2000′ deep or more to reach the very cold water source and are not practical for use with surface, marine vessels. [0019]
  • Nilsson, U.S. Pat. No. 4,600,049 discloses the use of seawater to cool the engine and related components of a ship. A plurality of large shipboard impeller pumps [0020] 2, 3, 4 and 5, which are operated by control equipment 32, deliver the seawater to heat exchangers 1. Although this system has been used to cool engine components, it has not been employed for marine air conditioning purposes. The Nilsson system would likely be unduly complicated and inefficient for such purposes.
  • It is not generally known, but several feet below the surface of most relatively calm bodies of water there is an abundant source of cool water. During many years spent captaining vessels, I always dove down to check the set of the anchor. It was always a surprise to encounter cool water at about ten feet below the surface. Even in warm water bodies with surface water temperatures in the 80° to 90° F. range, a few feet down there is almost always a boundary between the warm surface water and the much colder water near the bottom. This was almost always true even in the hottest of tropical anchorages. Vessels use anchorages and harbors because they are relatively calm. The calm surface minimizes water mixing and allows the naturally cool water layer below the warm surface layer to remain relatively undisturbed. Depending on circumstances, temperatures below about 80° F. are cool enough to be useful as a coolant in an air conditioning system in a hot cabin if the energy cost is low. In the tropics, relatively undisturbed water over 10 feet down is sometimes cooler than 70° F., a very useful temperature for cooling purposes. In northern latitudes, the sea, lake and river water is almost always much colder than 70° F. at these easily reached depths. The present invention takes advantage of this useful and inexhaustible resource (i.e. the cool subsurface water). [0021]
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide for an improved marine air conditioning and dehumidifying system that is extremely convenient and economical to use and which provides for greatly improved and very effective cooling and dehumidifying of the cabin and other enclosed areas of a marine vessel. [0022]
  • It is a further object of this invention to provide an air conditioning and dehumidifying system that is extremely energy efficient and which does not consume large amounts of electricity or require the handling and storage of ice or other frozen material. [0023]
  • It is a further object of this invention to provide an air conditioning and dehumidifying system that is effective for all types of marine vessels but is particularly effective for use on relatively small, modestly powered boats and sailboats. [0024]
  • It is a further object of this invention to provide a marine air conditioning and dehumidifying system that is especially convenient and effective for use on extended voyages, and which may be used effectively in various climates and geographic locations. [0025]
  • It is a further object of this invention to provide a marine air conditioning and dehumidifying system that employs a relatively simple and easy to use construction and which significantly reduces the complexity, expense and mechanical problems that often accompany conventional systems. [0026]
  • It is a further object of this invention to provide an air conditioning and dehumidifying system that may be used in various environments and locations which are close to a body of water. [0027]
  • It is a further object of this invention to provide a marine air conditioner and dehumidifier that requires a low voltage so that energy is conserved and the risk of electrocution is reduced. [0028]
  • It is a further object of this invention to provide a marine air conditioner and dehumidifier that is environmentally safe. [0029]
  • It is a further object of this invention to provide a marine air conditioner and dehumidifier that is readily adjustable so that the user can conveniently access cool subsurface water from various selected depths to achieve optimal cooling of the ambient air. [0030]
  • It is a further object of this invention to provide a marine air conditioner and dehumidifier that is conveniently portable and easy to use and store. [0031]
  • This invention results from a realization that a simple, portable and yet highly effective and energy efficient marine air conditioner and dehumidifier may be achieved by pumping naturally cool subsurface water from an ocean; sea or lake through an air to water heat exchanger and directing ambient air over the heat exchanger so that the air is cooled. This invention results from a further realization that the operation of this system is improved significantly in effectiveness and efficiency by operably connecting the pump to an intake conduit and suspending the pump by the intake conduit such that the pump and intake conduit are submerged beneath the body of water being tapped. This particular structure provides a number of advantages. Submerging the pump (typically exteriorly of the marine vessel or other environment to be cooled) helps prime the pump and keeps it cool during the pumping operation. Utilizing an intake hose or other form of adjustable length conduit that is submerged exteriorly of the vessel permits the user to conveniently access cool subsurface water and various selected depths. I have also realized that operation of the pump is facilitated further by discharging the water from the heat exchanger through an exhaust conduit that is also submerged in the water and positioned such that the movement of water through the system is assisted by a siphon-like effect. This uses less power, reduces the force required to lift water into the heat exchanger, facilitates pumping and reduces stress upon the pump so the pump life is extended and a more efficient operation is exhibited. [0032]
  • This invention features an air-cooling device using water from a body of water. The device includes an air to water heat exchanger for transferring heat from air surrounding the exchanger to water contained in the exchanger. A water transmitting hose is communicably connected to an inlet and outlet of the exchanger. The hose includes an intake portion submersible in the body of water for transmitting water from a location beneath the surface of the body of water wherein the water temperature is below the ambient air temperature and introducing that water through the heat exchanger. The hose further includes an exhaust portion for discharging water from the heat exchanger into the body of water. A pump is operably connected to the intake portion of the hose. The pump may be optionally suspendable by the intake portion and submersible in the body of water for moving water through the intake portion, the exchanger and the exhaust portion. An air-circulating device directs ambient air through the exchanger such that the ambient air is cooled by water in the exchanger. The device may also be used to dehumidify the ambient air. [0033]
  • In a preferred embodiment, the air-cooling device is used to cool the cabin of a marine vessel or a similar environment. In such cases, the pump is preferably submersible in the body of water exteriorly of the vessel and below the hull. Preferably, the intake portion of the device is submersible to a depth of not greater than 30 feet. The exhaust portion may also be submersible in the body of water and positioned therein such that operation of the pump creates a siphon-like effect to assist the movement of water through the intake and exhaust portions and through the heat exchanger. [0034]
  • The air-circulating device may include a fan. The intake and exhaust hose portions may include respective hose segments. The intake portion preferably transmits water from a location approximately 5 feet below the hull of the vessel. The intake hose may comprise separate interconnected hose segments, which aid in adjusting the intake depth. A drain may be connected to the heat exchanger for collecting condensed water from the exchanger. A strainer may be connected to a distal part of the intake portion for filtering debris from entering the intake portion. [0035]
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • Other objects, features and advantages will occur from the following description of a preferred embodiment and the accompanying drawings, in which: [0036]
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective, partly exploded view of the air conditioner and dehumidifier of this invention; [0037]
  • FIG. 2 is an elevational, party schematic view of the air conditioner and dehumidifier being used to cool a sailboat; and [0038]
  • FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 illustrating the use of the apparatus of this invention to cool a powerboat.[0039]
  • There is shown in FIG. 1 a portable air conditioner and dehumidifier I according to this invention. Apparatus [0040] 1 is particularly designed to cool the cabin or other area of a marine vessel. It should be understood, however, that the apparatus may also be employed to cool other environments such as a cabin, tent, RV, boat house, etc. located proximate a body of water. As used herein, “body of water” is intended to refer to all types of natural bodies of water including oceans, seas, rivers, bays, lakes, etc.
  • Apparatus [0041] 1 includes an air to water heat exchanger 6. Heat exchanger 6 generally features a conventional air-to-water heat exchanger construction. Preferably, this device includes pure copper tubes, which provide for extremely efficient heat exchange. Heat exchanger 6 may also feature aluminum fins, which are hot-dipped for corrosion resistance and for enhancing heat transfer. The heat exchanger may be provided with a protective zinc anode. It should be understood, however, that this invention is intended to include virtually any manner of air-to-water heat exchanger that is capable of transferring heat from the ambient air to water contained in the tubes of the heat exchanger.
  • A water-transmitting conduit [0042] 7 is communicably connected to heat exchanger 6. Conduit 7 includes an intake portion 14 and an exhaust portion 12. Intake portion 14 particularly includes a pair of hose distinct segments 3 and 5, which are interconnected by a pump 4. The operation of the pump is described more fully below. Exhaust portion 12 likewise includes an elongated, generally tubular hose. Various types of hoses, tubes and pipes may be employed in the conduit of apparatus 1. As used herein “hose” is intended to comprise all types of flexible and rigid conductors including but not limited to various tubes, pipes, etc. Preferably each hose and hose segment is composed of a high quality urethane or similar material. Such material has excellent thermo-retention properties and is resistant to mildew formation, abrasion and kinking. Vinyl and other materials may also be employed for the hoses. Hose segment 5 is communicably attached to a tubular inlet 16 of heat exchanger 6. Exhaust hose 12 is similarly connected to a tubular outlet 18 of the heat exchanger. Hose segments 3 and 5 comprise suction hoses respectively connected to the inlet and outlet ports of pump 4. More particularly, the suction hoses are joined communicably to the pump by unbreakable polycarbonate quick-disconnect devices (not shown). These devices are conventional and various other means may be used to secure the hose segments to the pump within the scope of this invention.
  • A strainer [0043] 2 is attached to a distal end portion of hose segment 3. Preferably this strainer is composed of nylon with glass weights inside. Various alternative strainers may also be employed for apparatus 1. The strainer should be connected to hose segment 3 in such a way that debris is filtered and prevented from entering the hose when apparatus 1 is operated in the manner described below. The glass weights (not shown) are utilized to dislodge underwater growth that collects within the filter. Between uses, strainer 2 may be disconnected from hose 3 and shaken vigorously. The weights loosen and dislodge the debris from inside the filter. The filter may then be rinsed and reattached to the hose for further use.
  • Pump [0044] 4 typically comprises a battery-operated suction pump that is electrically connected to a standard 12-volt DC battery (not shown). Once again, a variety of known pumps may be employed within the scope of this invention. For example, pump 4 may feature a brushless DC motor with an estimated life of approximately 100,000 hours. The pump may include a magnetically driven impeller that does not require a shaft seal. This conserves power and reduces the possibility of water leaking into the motor housing. Preferably, an efficient device having a capacity of pumping about 1.5 gallons of water per minute is employed. Operating on the 12-volt battery, such a pump utilizes less then two amps of electricity at 12 VDC. As a result, highly energy efficient performance is achieved.
  • Heat exchanger [0045] 6 is mounted in a case or housing 10. The case 10 or such other enclosure as is used for the apparatus should be constructed of a rugged plastic or similar material that provides long durable use. A pair of fans 8 (or an alternative air moving device) are also mounted in case 10 facing and juxtaposed adjacent to heat exchanger 6. The fans preferably employ brushless motors to provide for extended service life. They may also feature a conformal coating on their circuit boards to resist corrosion. The fan rotor may include two fully sealed ball bearings. Preferably, each fan employs a two-speed operation and uses a second winding in the motor to drive the fan at the lower speed. This structure is used instead of a heat-generating resistor in order to save power when operating at the slow speed. It should be understood that a wide variety of alternative cases, housings and enclosures may be utilized for mounting fans 8 in proximity with heat exchanger 6. Alternative numbers and types of fans may also be employed within the scope of this invention. Blowers and other air moving devices may also be used.
  • Electric power supplied to fans [0046] 8 through a switch 11 and a connected electric cord (not shown) from a separate power source (not shown). In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the power cord can be wound around the handle of case 10 for storage. In other versions of this invention, the power cord may be secured within a compartment of an alternative case or housing. The cord may be stored in any acceptable manner such that it may be neatly and conveniently stored between uses.
  • Apparatus [0047] 1 is deployed on a marine vessel (or alternatively in some other location proximate a body of water) in the manner shown in FIGS. 1-3. In FIG. 2, the vessel being cooled comprises a sailboat S. In FIG. 3, the subject environment is a powerboat P. Apparatus 1 is set up by placing storage case 10 and juxtaposed heat exchanger 6 and fans 8 on a generally level surface in the cabin or other location to be cooled. The pump and fans are electrically connected to a 12-volt DC power supply through appropriate wiring (not shown). The intake and exhaust conduits are then communicably secured to heat exchanger 6 and introduced into the body of water. In particular, as shown in FIG. 1, intake hose segments 3 and 5 and interconnected pump 4 are submerged in body of water W. Exhaust hose 12 is similarly submerged in the body of water. As a result, pump 4 is effectively suspended by conduit 14 and, as best shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, submerged exteriorly of the marine vessel. In alternative embodiments, the pump may be mounted on board the vessel or otherwise above the surface of water W.
  • In operation, apparatus [0048] 10 is electrically actuated to start pump 4 and fans 8. Water is drawn toward and sucked into intake conduit 14 as indicated by arrows 20. The water passes through strainer 2 filtering seaweed and other debris from the water. The collected and strained water is then pumped upwardly through hose segments 3 and 5 and into heat exchanger 6. Therein the cool seawater passes through the tubing of the heat exchanger. Fans 8 operate to move air through the heat exchanger and specifically across the fins and tubing thereof. As the air is moved across heat exchanger 6, it is naturally cooled by the cooler subsurface water passing through the heat exchanger. This cools and dehumidifies the flowing ambient air so that the cabin or other relevant environment is cooled. In addition, water vapor tends to condense on heat exchanger 6 thereby dehumidifying the cooled air. Condensation is collected through a drain 9 and directed to a sink, bilge, container or other suitable location (not shown). Heat from the cooled and dehumidified air is transferred into the seawater within the heat exchanger. This water returns to the body of water W through discharge outlet 18 and exhaust hose 12. See discharge arrows 22.
  • The intake end of hose [0049] 3 is submerged to a depth at which the water temperature is below the ambient air temperature. At least in temperate and tropical climates, this is typically below the lowest part of the hull of a vessel on which the air conditioner is mounted. Various devices are known for measuring the water temperature at selected depths. These devices may be used before as the apparatus is deployed in order to determine the appropriate depth for that location. The intake end of hose 3 carrying strainer 2 is typically positioned at a depth of about 3 feet-30 feet. Positioning the opening of the intake hose about 5 feet below the lowermost point of the hull is beneficial for obtaining cool subsurface water. Lowering the distal end of the intake hose segment 3 to an overall depth of 10 feet-30 feet is also particularly preferred. At this depth, the water W below the surface is usually cool enough to provide effective heat exchange and cooling. At greater depths, the effort required to pump the water becomes greater and pumping efficiency is less. It should be understood, however, that water may be collected from depths somewhat shallower than 10′. The intake hose should be lowered into the water such that the strainer is close to but does not touch the bottom. This reduces the possibility that the strainer will become excessively fouled or clogged with material on the bottom. Using a strainer helps to prevent clogging of the pump, conduits and heat exchanger. This is particularly important because of the relatively compact size of these components. Absence of a strainer would make those components quite susceptible to clogging.
  • It is helpful, but not critical for pump [0050] 4 to be submerged in the water W exteriorly of the vessel. This achieves a number of significant advantages. In particular, the pump is conveniently primed for operation by the surrounding body of water. Additionally, as pump 4 operates, the ambient water keeps it cool and helps it to run more efficiently. This significantly increases the service life of the pump. The pump may be positioned at various depths beneath the surface of water W thereby assisting in setting intake depth.
  • It is also quite important that exhaust hose [0051] 12 remain submerged below the surface in body of water W during the operation of apparatus 1. The outlet end of the hose is positioned in the water to achieve a siphon-like effect. As pump 4 operates, water is transmitted relatively effortlessly through the system and returned to its source (body of water W). The movement of water through the intake and exhaust hoses and the heat exchanger is facilitated considerably by the siphon-like effect. By the same token, the effort the pump is required to exert to move the water through the system is reduced considerably. Effectively, the only resistance to water flow is the frictional resistance offered by the hoses. Without this siphon-like effect, the pump would be required to work very hard drawing water from below the surface and raising it to the heat exchanger. The pump would have to lift all of the water used by the device against gravity. Using the siphon-like effect, the pump has only to overcome the friction of the hoses, moving water more efficiently through the device. The submerged positioning of the intake and exhaust hoses provides for an extremely energy efficient operation and prolonged pump life. Maintenance and replacement costs are reduced greatly.
  • Deploying the intake hose portion exteriorly of the vessel allows optimally cool subsurface water to be conveniently accessed at various selected depths. It is convenient for the user to adjust the depth to which the intake hose is submerged, for example, by selectively raising or lowering the hose over the side of the vessel. It should also be understood that various numbers and lengths of hose segments may be employed. For example, as shown in FIG. 2, a pair of interconnected hose segments [0052] 26 and 28 may be attached to and depend from pump 4, which is itself connected to and suspended by upper hose segment 5. The individual hose segments may have assorted lengths within the scope of this invention. They may be interconnected by various known means of connection. The strainer may be attached directly to the suspended and submerged pump. Alternatively, various lengths and numbers of intake hose segments may be attached below the pump so that water may be collected from selected depths. In this manner, the boater may conveniently adjust the depth of the intake hose portion at a particular mooring or anchoring site to collect water having a desirable temperature for cooling the air. The hoses described herein are particularly convenient to use on small vessels. As previously situated, in most cases the intake hose is submersible to at least a depth beneath the hull of the vessel. Conventional pumps fixed in the hull with their suction attached to a thru-hull fitting and without suction hoses outside the hull do not provide the depth adjustment of the present invention and are not within the scope of this invention.
  • When cooling is no longer required or the vessel is changing location, the intake and exhaust hoses, as well as pump [0053] 4 are retrieved by simply pulling these items back into the vessel. The components are stored quickly and conveniently.
  • Apparatus [0054] 1 is extremely energy efficient. It operates on less than 2 amps current at 12-volts DC. Because low voltage and current are used, the apparatus presents little or no risk of an electrical hazard or explosion. The system requires much less power than is required by conventional air conditioning systems. The apparatus may be run by the standard battery of the marine vessel and can operate for extended periods of time without unreasonably draining the battery. The system does not require an expensive generator or fossil fuels. As previously described, operation of the pump is facilitated considerably because the pump and the conduits are deployed and arranged to take advantage of the siphon-like effect. The submerged pump is also cooled naturally by the surrounding body of water. Moreover, unlike conventional air conditioning systems, which include heat producing compressors, apparatus 10 does not generate waste heat as it simply transfers the heat from the ambient air to the naturally cool water.
  • Apparatus [0055] 1 is very lightweight, compact and portable. It may be transported from a boat to another remote location such as a cabin, camping tent, motor home or cabin proximate a body of water. The air conditioner/dehumidifier provides similar advantages for cooling and dehumidifying such locations. Unlike certain devices of the prior art, apparatus 1 does not require the purchase, transport, storage or handling of ice or other frozen materials. As a result, the apparatus is extremely effective for use on extended voyages and trips. Inconvenience and expense are reduced considerably. Complex equipment such as compressors, condensers, expansion valves, etc. are eliminated. The system is extremely lightweight and easy to assemble and disassemble. Very few moving parts (only the fan and pump) are employed.
  • Apparatus [0056] 10 is also very environmentally friendly. It does not require the use of Freon™ or other cooling gases. As previously stated, it does not require the use of fossil fuels such as gasoline or oil. Minimal electricity is consumed. The apparatus also operates very quietly and will not interfere with fishing, sleeping or other activities.
  • From the foregoing it may be seen that the apparatus of this invention provides for cooling and dehumidifying air using cool water directly from natural bodies of water. While this detailed description has set forth particularly preferred embodiments of the apparatus of this invention, numerous modifications and variations of the structure of this invention, all within the scope of the invention, will readily occur to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, it is understood that this description is illustrative only of the principles of the invention and is not limitative thereof. [0057]
  • Although specific features of the invention are shown in some of the drawings and not others, this is for convenience only, as each feature may be combined with any and all of the other features in accordance with this invention. [0058]

Claims (26)

    Other embodiments will occur to those skilled in the art and are within the following claims:
  1. 1. An air cooling and dehumidifying device using water from a body of water, said device comprising:
    an air-to-water heat exchanger, said exchanger for transferring heat from air surrounding said exchanger to water contained in said exchanger;
    a water transmitting hose communicably connected to said exchanger, said hose including an intake hose portion submersible in the body of water for transmitting water from a location wherein the water temperature is below the ambient air temperature and introducing the water through said exchanger, and an exhaust hose portion for discharging water from said exchanger into the body of water;
    a pump operably connected to said intake hose portion for moving water through said intake portion, said exchanger and said exhaust portion; and
    an air circulating device for directing ambient air through said exchanger such that the ambient air is cooled by water in the exchanger.
  2. 2. The device in claim 1 in which said air moving device comprises a fan.
  3. 3. The device of claim 1 in which said intake portion transmits water from a location approximately 10 feet below the surface of the body of water.
  4. 4. The device of claim 1 in which said pump is suspendable by said intake hose portion and submersible in the body of water.
  5. 5. The device of claim 1 further including a drain connected to said exchanger for collecting condensed water from said exchanger.
  6. 6. The device of claim 1 further including a strainer connected to a distal part of said intake portion for filtering debris from entering said intake hose portion.
  7. 7. The device of claim 1 in which said intake hose portion is submersible to a depth of not greater than 30 feet in the body of water.
  8. 8. The device of claim 1 in which said exhaust hose portion is submersible in the body of water and positionable therein such that resistance to the movement of water through said hose and said exchanger from said intake hose portion to said exhaust hose portion is reduced and pumping of such water is facilitated.
  9. 9. A marine vessel cabin air cooling device using water from a body of water below the vessel, said device comprising:
    an air-to-water heat exchanger, said exchanger for transferring heat from air surrounding said exchanger to water contained in said exchanger;
    a water transmitting conduit communicably connected to said exchanger, said conduit including an intake hose portion submersible in the body of water exteriorly of the vessel for transmitting water from a location wherein the water temperature is below the ambient air temperature and introducing the water through said exchanger, and an exhaust hose portion for discharging water from said exchanger into the body of water;
    a pump operably connected to said intake hose portion for moving water through said intake hose portion, said exchanger and said exhaust hose portion; and
    an air circulating device for directing ambient air through said exchanger such that the ambient air is cooled by water in the exchanger.
  10. 10. The device in claim 9 in which said air moving device comprises a fan.
  11. 11. The device of claim 9 in which said intake hose portion is submersible to a depth below the lowest part of the hull of the vessel.
  12. 12. The device of claim 9 in which said pump is suspendable by said intake hose portion and submersible in the body of water exteriorly of the vessel.
  13. 13. The device of claim 9 further including a drain connected to said exchanger for collecting condensed water from said exchanger.
  14. 14. The device of claim 9 further including a strainer connected to a distal part of said intake hose portion for restricting debris from entering said intake portion.
  15. 15. The device of claim 9 in which said intake hose portion is submersible to a depth of not greater than 30 feet in the body of water.
  16. 16. The device of claim 9 in which said exhaust hose portion is submersible in the body of water and positioned therein such that resistance to the movement of water through said hose and said exchanger from said intake hose portion to said exhaust hose portion is reduced and pumping of such water is facilitated.
  17. 17. A method for cooling air using water from a body of water, said method comprising:
    operably connecting a pump to an intake hose;
    submerging said intake hose in the body of water to a selected location below the surface of the body of water wherein the water temperature is below the ambient air temperature;
    operating said pump to collect water;
    directing the water through said intake hose to an air-to-water heat exchanger wherein heat from the air is transferred to the water;
    directing ambient air through said heat exchanger to cool the ambient air; and
    discharging the water from the heat exchanger through an exhaust hose after ambient air has been cooled by the water.
  18. 18. The method of claim 17 in which said intake hose portion is submerged to a depth and the water is pumped from a location below the lowest part of the hull of the vessel.
  19. 19. The method of claim 17 in which said pump is submerged to a depth not greater than 30 feet in the body of water.
  20. 20. The method of claim 17 in which said exhaust portion is positioned in the body of water such that resistance to the movement of water through said hose and said exchanger from said intake hose portion to said exhaust hose portion is reduced and pumping of such water is facilitated.
  21. 21. The device of claim 1 in which said intake hose portion includes a pair of distinct hose segments interconnected by said pump.
  22. 22. The device of claim 9 in which said intake hose portion includes a pair of distinct hose segments interconnected by said pump.
  23. 23. The device of claim 1 in which said intake hose portion includes a plurality of distinct hose segments that are releasably interconnectable to one another.
  24. 24. The device of claim 9 in which said intake hose portion includes a plurality of distinct hose segments that are releasably interconnectable to one another.
  25. 25. The device of claim 1 in which said intake hose portion is adjustably submersible to a selected one of a plurality of depths in the body of water.
  26. 26. The device of claim 9 in which said intake hose portion is adjustably submersible to a selected one of a plurality of depths in the body of water.
US09968133 1999-11-30 2001-10-01 Portable marine air conditioner and dehumidifier Abandoned US20020017108A1 (en)

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US09968133 US20020017108A1 (en) 1999-11-30 2001-10-01 Portable marine air conditioner and dehumidifier

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Cited By (21)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20040007005A1 (en) * 2002-07-09 2004-01-15 Brunner John R. Air conditioning system for marine applications
US20060179871A1 (en) * 2004-01-16 2006-08-17 Harold Wagner Universal direct current brushless air conditioning system
US20070151262A1 (en) * 2004-01-31 2007-07-05 Bailey Richard J Water production system for making potable water
US20080229765A1 (en) * 2005-07-19 2008-09-25 Hartwig Kuenzel Device and Method for Cooling and Dehumidifying Room Air
US20100095694A1 (en) * 2008-02-22 2010-04-22 Fb Design S.R.L. Power Unit for Air Conditioning Systems Installed on Boats
US20100126192A1 (en) * 2008-11-25 2010-05-27 Sanfanandre Al Spot cooling system for open boats
KR100980796B1 (en) 2003-01-31 2010-09-10 엔테라 리미티드 Electrochromic display device
US7886548B1 (en) * 2009-10-06 2011-02-15 Graves Daniel A Attachable, portable cooling system
DE102010024696A1 (en) * 2010-06-23 2011-12-29 Thomas Hanschke Method for controlled supply of cooling water for e.g. pisciculture application, involves controlling heat quantity extracted from waste heat flow over temperature of cooling water that is fed into surface water cooling circuit
US20120080164A1 (en) * 2010-10-01 2012-04-05 Lockheed Martin Corporation Heat-Exchange Apparatus with Pontoon-based Fluid Distribution System
ES2383639A1 (en) * 2008-04-17 2012-06-25 Miguel Ángel Toledo García System obtaining water-cooled condensation deep seawater
US20130146437A1 (en) * 2011-11-23 2013-06-13 Lockheed Martin Corporation Dehumidifier system and method
WO2014092618A1 (en) * 2012-12-13 2014-06-19 Polarprod Ab Air conditioning device for a boat
US8881544B2 (en) 2008-02-22 2014-11-11 Fb Design S.R.L. Auxiliary power unit for on board conditioning systems of power boats
US9032732B1 (en) * 2011-01-11 2015-05-19 David H. Cowden High efficiency OTEC service station
US20160002894A1 (en) * 2014-07-03 2016-01-07 Yokogawa Electric Corporation Method of taking water and water intake system
US20160097566A1 (en) * 2014-10-01 2016-04-07 Hitachi, Ltd. Cooling system using deep seawater
US20160129983A1 (en) * 2013-06-10 2016-05-12 Marcello GIAMPICCOLO Multi-service pedestal
US9464847B2 (en) 2011-02-04 2016-10-11 Lockheed Martin Corporation Shell-and-tube heat exchangers with foam heat transfer units
US9513059B2 (en) 2011-02-04 2016-12-06 Lockheed Martin Corporation Radial-flow heat exchanger with foam heat exchange fins
US9951997B2 (en) 2011-02-04 2018-04-24 Lockheed Martin Corporation Staged graphite foam heat exchangers

Cited By (29)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6701733B2 (en) * 2002-07-09 2004-03-09 John R. Brunner Air conditioning system for marine applications
US20040007005A1 (en) * 2002-07-09 2004-01-15 Brunner John R. Air conditioning system for marine applications
KR100980796B1 (en) 2003-01-31 2010-09-10 엔테라 리미티드 Electrochromic display device
US20060179871A1 (en) * 2004-01-16 2006-08-17 Harold Wagner Universal direct current brushless air conditioning system
US7310966B2 (en) * 2004-01-16 2007-12-25 Harold Wagner Universal direct current brushless air conditioning system
US20070151262A1 (en) * 2004-01-31 2007-07-05 Bailey Richard J Water production system for making potable water
US7726138B2 (en) * 2004-01-31 2010-06-01 Richard J. Bailey, Jr. Water production system for making potable water
WO2006127171A2 (en) * 2005-05-25 2006-11-30 Harold Wagner Universal direct current brushless air conditioning system
WO2006127171A3 (en) * 2005-05-25 2007-11-08 Harold Wagner Universal direct current brushless air conditioning system
US20080229765A1 (en) * 2005-07-19 2008-09-25 Hartwig Kuenzel Device and Method for Cooling and Dehumidifying Room Air
US8899055B2 (en) * 2005-07-19 2014-12-02 Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Zur Foerderung Der Angewandten Forschung E.V. Device and method for cooling and dehumidifying room air
US8881544B2 (en) 2008-02-22 2014-11-11 Fb Design S.R.L. Auxiliary power unit for on board conditioning systems of power boats
US20100095694A1 (en) * 2008-02-22 2010-04-22 Fb Design S.R.L. Power Unit for Air Conditioning Systems Installed on Boats
US8256239B2 (en) * 2008-02-22 2012-09-04 Fb Design S.R.L. Power unit for air conditioning systems installed on boats
ES2383639A1 (en) * 2008-04-17 2012-06-25 Miguel Ángel Toledo García System obtaining water-cooled condensation deep seawater
US20100126192A1 (en) * 2008-11-25 2010-05-27 Sanfanandre Al Spot cooling system for open boats
US7886548B1 (en) * 2009-10-06 2011-02-15 Graves Daniel A Attachable, portable cooling system
DE102010024696A1 (en) * 2010-06-23 2011-12-29 Thomas Hanschke Method for controlled supply of cooling water for e.g. pisciculture application, involves controlling heat quantity extracted from waste heat flow over temperature of cooling water that is fed into surface water cooling circuit
US8776538B2 (en) * 2010-10-01 2014-07-15 Lockheed Martin Corporation Heat-exchange apparatus with pontoon-based fluid distribution system
US20120080164A1 (en) * 2010-10-01 2012-04-05 Lockheed Martin Corporation Heat-Exchange Apparatus with Pontoon-based Fluid Distribution System
US9032732B1 (en) * 2011-01-11 2015-05-19 David H. Cowden High efficiency OTEC service station
US9464847B2 (en) 2011-02-04 2016-10-11 Lockheed Martin Corporation Shell-and-tube heat exchangers with foam heat transfer units
US9513059B2 (en) 2011-02-04 2016-12-06 Lockheed Martin Corporation Radial-flow heat exchanger with foam heat exchange fins
US9951997B2 (en) 2011-02-04 2018-04-24 Lockheed Martin Corporation Staged graphite foam heat exchangers
US20130146437A1 (en) * 2011-11-23 2013-06-13 Lockheed Martin Corporation Dehumidifier system and method
WO2014092618A1 (en) * 2012-12-13 2014-06-19 Polarprod Ab Air conditioning device for a boat
US20160129983A1 (en) * 2013-06-10 2016-05-12 Marcello GIAMPICCOLO Multi-service pedestal
US20160002894A1 (en) * 2014-07-03 2016-01-07 Yokogawa Electric Corporation Method of taking water and water intake system
US20160097566A1 (en) * 2014-10-01 2016-04-07 Hitachi, Ltd. Cooling system using deep seawater

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