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US20080302516A1 - Compressor Cooling System and Method of Use - Google Patents

Compressor Cooling System and Method of Use Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080302516A1
US20080302516A1 US12133628 US13362808A US2008302516A1 US 20080302516 A1 US20080302516 A1 US 20080302516A1 US 12133628 US12133628 US 12133628 US 13362808 A US13362808 A US 13362808A US 2008302516 A1 US2008302516 A1 US 2008302516A1
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US
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
compressor
air
cooling
system
enclosure
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.)
Abandoned
Application number
US12133628
Inventor
Steven M. Harrington
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.)
Caire Inc
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Chart SeQual Technologies Inc
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Filing date
Publication date

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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F04POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS FOR LIQUIDS OR ELASTIC FLUIDS
    • F04BPOSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS
    • F04B39/00Component parts, details, or accessories, of pumps or pumping systems, not otherwise provided for in, or of interest apart from, groups F04B25/00 - F04B37/00
    • F04B39/06Cooling; Heating; Prevention of freezing
    • F04B39/066Cooling by ventilation

Abstract

A compressor cooling system for an air compressor includes an air compressor including an external surface; an enclosure for enclosing the air compressor inside the enclosure; an air passage formed on the inside of the enclosure between the enclosure and the external surface of the air compressor; multiple holes in the enclosure; and a negative pressure source coupled to the air passage for drawing air through the multiple holes and into the enclosure for cooling the compressor.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application 60/933,674 filed Jun. 8, 2007 under 35 U.S.C. 119(e). This application is incorporated by reference herein as though set forth in full.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The field of this invention relates to systems and methods for cooling compact heat generating devices such as air compressors.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    Portable oxygen concentrators are commonly used in the home medical market to treat ambulatory patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. To make an oxygen concentrator portable, the oxygen concentrator must be as small as possible and weigh as little as possible while delivering sufficient concentrated oxygen gas flow to the ambulatory patient.
  • [0004]
    An air compressor is used in an oxygen concentrator to supply high-pressure feed air to a Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Module or concentrator. An air compressor generates heat during use and is cooled by a fan cooling system (fan mounted to a driveshaft of the compressor). The fan moves cooling air over an air compression chamber, thereby cooling that portion of the device that is heated by the compression of the air and by friction. The fan may also be used to cool a motor of the compressor. In order to prevent the noise from the compressor from escaping outside the device, the compressor may be encased in a sound-proof enclosure. The enclosure keeps compressor noise from escaping and allows for the ingress and egress of cooling air.
  • [0005]
    The fan cooling system for an air compressor has the limitation that the fan speed is generally limited to the compressor speed, and the pressure and velocity that may be generated by the fan is limited by the diameter of the fan so that small compressors may not be adequately cooled. Furthermore, if the compressor cooling fan is required to force air through a filter, or through a tortuous path for noise abatement, an auxiliary fan is required. An additional electric fan can be used, but these fans may be noisy and/or larger than the compressor.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0006]
    To solve these problems and others, an aspect of present invention involves a cooling system and method for a compact heat generating device (e.g., air compressor) that may be used in a portable device such as a portable oxygen concentrator. An enclosure surrounds the compressor for noise abatement. The enclosure has a number of holes, nozzles, or jet ducts in it located opposite the areas that require cooling. These openings cause jet impingement, which is the basis for this cooling scheme, at selective thermal hot spots. A blower sucks air from inside the enclosure and blows it through a tortuous path to a location remote from the compressor housing. The negative pressure generated by the blower provides the motive force for the air jets. The diameter, shape, and flow rate of the jets are designed to provide for turbulent flow of the cooling air jets. The cooling air jets are of non-uniform length and direction, thereby breaking up the sound waves emanating from the compressor.
  • [0007]
    A further aspect of the invention involves a compressor cooling system for an air compressor. The compressor cooling system includes an air compressor having an external surface; an enclosure for enclosing the air compressor inside the enclosure; an air passage formed on the inside of the enclosure between the enclosure and the external surface of the air compressor; multiple holes in the enclosure; and a negative pressure source coupled to the air passage for drawing air through the multiple holes and into the enclosure for cooling the compressor.
  • [0008]
    Another aspect of the invention involves a method of using a compressor cooling system. The method includes imparting a negative pressure in the air passage with the negative pressure source, drawing air through the multiple holes and into the enclosure for cooling the compressor; creating turbulent air flow in the air passage with the multiple holes, cooling the compressor and reducing compressor noise; and expelling the air flow from the compressor cooling system with the negative pressure source.
  • [0009]
    Further objects and advantages will be apparent to those skilled in the art after a review of the drawings and the detailed description of the preferred embodiments set forth below.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0010]
    FIG. 1 is a simple schematic of an embodiment of a gas separation device, which is an exemplary system/environment for the compressor cooling system.
  • [0011]
    FIG. 2 is a simple schematic of an embodiment of a compressor and an embodiment of a compressor cooling system.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0012]
    With reference to FIG. 1, a gas separation device 10 constructed in accordance with an embodiment of the invention will first be described before describing an embodiment of a compressor cooling system 100. The gas separation device 10 and the cooling system 100 will be described in conjunction with cooling a compressor; however, in alternative embodiments, the cooling system 100 may be used to cool other compact heat generating devices such as vacuum pumps, internal combustion engines, lasers, electronics, etc. The gas separation device 10 may include an air compressor 20, which may be combination compressor/vacuum generator (hereinafter “compressor”), a Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Module or concentrator 30, a measurement mechanism 40, and a flow control mechanism 50.
  • [0013]
    In a preferred embodiment, the gas separation device 10 is a portable oxygen concentrator weighing in the range of 2-20 pounds. An example portable oxygen concentrator system that comprises the gas separation device 10 is shown and described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,691,702, which is hereby incorporated by reference herein as though set forth in full. In particular, the portable oxygen concentrator system 100 and described with reference to FIGS. 1-16, and especially FIGS. 1, 2, 12, 15, and 16, may be used as the gas separation device 10.
  • [0014]
    In use, a feed fluid such as ambient air may be drawn into the compressor 20 and delivered under high pressure to the PSA Module 30. In a preferred embodiment, the compressor 20 is a combination compressor and vacuum pump/generator. The vacuum generator is preferably driven by the same motor as the compressor and is integrated with the compressor. The vacuum generator draws exhaust gas from the PSA module 30 to improve the recovery and productivity of the PSA module 30. The PSA module 30 separates a desired product fluid (e.g., oxygen) from the feed fluid (e.g., air) and expels exhaust fluid. Characteristics of the product fluid (e.g., flow/purity) may be measured by a measurement mechanism 40. Delivery of the product fluid may be controlled with the flow control mechanism 50.
  • [0015]
    With reference to FIG. 2, an embodiment of a compressor cooling system 100 for cooling the compressor 20 will be described. The compressor cooling system 100 includes a close-fitting plastic enclosure 120 that encloses the compressor 20. The space between the outside of the compressor 20 and the inside of the enclosure 120 forms an air gap/passage 125 for cooling air transfer there through.
  • [0016]
    The enclosure 120 is substantially air tight and includes multiple (i.e., more than one) holes, nozzles, or jet ducts 130 (hereinafter “holes”) that communicate with the air passage 125. There are no fluid inlets other than the holes 130, which are opposite to the portions of the compressor 20 (e.g., cylinder walls) that need cooling. The holes 130 may be of various lengths and/or diameters so that the sound waves emanating from the compressor 20 take different times to reach the outside of the enclosure 120, thereby reducing the noise emitted from the compressor 20.
  • [0017]
    The inlet of a centrifugal blower 140 is connected to the air passage 125, thereby maintaining a vacuum in the air passage 125 around the compressor 20, drawing air in through the holes 130.
  • [0018]
    The size and flow rate of the air through the holes 130 may be adjusted/varied to keep the flow though the holes 130 and into the air passage 125 turbulent so as to maximize heat transfer from the compressor 20. The holes 130 are configured so that the Reynolds number for this air flow though the holes 130 and into the air passage 125 is maintained above approximately 2000 in order to achieve turbulent flow and maximize heat transfer from the compressor 20.
  • [0019]
    A tortuous duct 150 is connected to the outlet of the centrifugal blower 140. The blower exhaust may be routed through the tortuous duct 150 in order to minimize the noise of the system.
  • [0020]
    The compressor cooling system 100 will now be described in use. During use of the compressor 20 heat is generated by the compressor 20. The centrifugal blower 140 draws air out of the air passage 125 in the enclosure and blows it through the tortuous duct 150 to a location remote from the compressor 20. The negative pressure generated by the blower 140 provides the motive force at the holes 130 (e.g., holes, nozzles, or jet ducts) for the creation of air jets onto and around opposite sides of the compressor 20 (e.g., cylinder walls) that need cooling. The diameter, shape, and configuration of the holes 130 and the flow rate through the system 100 are designed to provide for turbulent flow of cooling air jets in the passage 125. This cooling air jet impingement is the basis for cooling the compressor 20 at selective thermal hot spots. The cooling air jets are of non-uniform length and direction, thereby breaking up the sound waves emanating from the compressor 20.
  • [0021]
    The compressor cooling system 100 allows smaller compressor cooling fans or no compressor cooling fans to be provided in cooling the compressor 20. The compressor cooling system 100 also reduces the need for an auxiliary cooling fan. With a smaller compressor cooling fan, the compressor system takes up less space than in the past. The turbulent flow in the compressor cooling system 100 breaks up the sound waves emanating from the compressor 20, reducing the noise from the compressor system. Since the cooling fan only adds heat and energy to the exhaust air leaving the compressor enclosure the cooling air delivered to the compressor is cooler than it would be in the case of a fan providing positive pressure to the compressor cooling system.
  • [0022]
    The above figures may depict exemplary configurations for the invention, which is done to aid in understanding the features and functionality that can be included in the invention. The invention is not restricted to the illustrated architectures or configurations, but can be implemented using a variety of alternative architectures and configurations. Additionally, although the invention is described above in terms of various exemplary embodiments and implementations, it should be understood that the various features and functionality described in one or more of the individual embodiments with which they are described, but instead can be applied, alone or in some combination, to one or more of the other embodiments of the invention, whether or not such embodiments are described and whether or not such features are presented as being a part of a described embodiment. Thus the breadth and scope of the present invention, especially in the following claims, should not be limited by any of the above-described exemplary embodiments.
  • [0023]
    Terms and phrases used in this document, and variations thereof, unless otherwise expressly stated, should be construed as open ended as opposed to limiting. As examples of the foregoing: the term “including” should be read as mean “including, without limitation” or the like; the term “example” is used to provide exemplary instances of the item in discussion, not an exhaustive or limiting list thereof; and adjectives such as “conventional,” “traditional,” “standard,” “known” and terms of similar meaning should not be construed as limiting the item described to a given time period or to an item available as of a given time, but instead should be read to encompass conventional, traditional, normal, or standard technologies that may be available or known now or at any time in the future. Likewise, a group of items linked with the conjunction “and” should not be read as requiring that each and every one of those items be present in the grouping, but rather should be read as “and/or” unless expressly stated otherwise. Similarly, a group of items linked with the conjunction “or” should not be read as requiring mutual exclusivity among that group, but rather should also be read as “and/or” unless expressly stated otherwise. Furthermore, although item, elements or components of the disclosure may be described or claimed in the singular, the plural is contemplated to be within the scope thereof unless limitation to the singular is explicitly stated. The presence of broadening words and phrases such as “one or more,” “at least,” “but not limited to” or other like phrases in some instances shall not be read to mean that the narrower case is intended or required in instances where such broadening phrases may be absent.

Claims (12)

  1. 1. A compressor cooling system for an air compressor, comprising:
    an air compressor including an external surface;
    an enclosure for enclosing the air compressor inside the enclosure;
    an air passage formed on the inside of the enclosure between the enclosure and the external surface of the air compressor;
    multiple holes in the enclosure;
    a negative pressure source coupled to the air passage for drawing air through the multiple holes and into the enclosure for cooling the compressor.
  2. 2. The compressor cooling system of claim 1, wherein the holes include at least one of holes, nozzles, and jet ducts configured to deliver turbulent air flow into the air passage for cooling the compressor.
  3. 3. The compressor cooling system of claim 2, wherein the turbulent air flow includes a Reynolds number is above 2000.
  4. 4. The compressor cooling system of claim 1, wherein the holes are the only fluid inlets in the enclosure communicating with the air passage.
  5. 5. The compressor cooling system of claim 1, wherein the air compressor includes opposite sides and the holes are directed at the opposite sides of the compressor.
  6. 6. The compressor cooling system of claim 1, wherein the holes are configured so that sound waves emanating from the air compressor take different times to reach an outside of the enclosure, thereby reducing noise emitted from the air compressor.
  7. 7. The compressor cooling system of claim 1, wherein the negative pressure source is a centrifugal blower.
  8. 8. The compressor cooling system of claim 7, wherein the centrifugal blower includes an outlet, and the compressor cooling system further includes a tortuous duct connected to the outlet of the centrifugal blower for routing blower exhaust there through to minimize noise.
  9. 9. The compressor cooling system of claim 1, wherein the air compressor and compressor cooling system is part of a pressure swing adsorption concentrator.
  10. 10. The compressor cooling system of claim 9, wherein the pressure swing adsorption concentrator is a portable oxygen concentrator.
  11. 11. A method of using a compressor cooling system, comprising:
    providing the compressor cooling system of claim 1;
    imparting a negative pressure in the air passage with the negative pressure source, drawing air through the multiple holes and into the enclosure for cooling the compressor;
    creating turbulent air flow in the air passage with the multiple holes, cooling the compressor and reducing compressor noise;
    expelling the air flow from the compressor cooling system with the negative pressure source.
  12. 12. The method of claim 11, wherein the air compressor includes opposite sides and the holes are directed at the opposite sides of the compressor, and the method further includes creating turbulent air flow in the air passage on opposite sides of the compressor with the multiple holes.
US12133628 2007-06-08 2008-06-05 Compressor Cooling System and Method of Use Abandoned US20080302516A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US93367407 true 2007-06-08 2007-06-08
US12133628 US20080302516A1 (en) 2007-06-08 2008-06-05 Compressor Cooling System and Method of Use

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US12133628 US20080302516A1 (en) 2007-06-08 2008-06-05 Compressor Cooling System and Method of Use

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US20080302516A1 true true US20080302516A1 (en) 2008-12-11

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WO (1) WO2008154273A3 (en)

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US8821133B2 (en) * 2011-11-03 2014-09-02 Draeger Medical Systems, Inc. Transportable medical air compressor

Citations (24)

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US3305665A (en) * 1959-11-17 1967-02-21 Laing Vortex Inc Forced circulation electric heater employing cross-flow type fan
US3804942A (en) * 1971-11-16 1974-04-16 Shimizu Construction Co Ltd Air purifier
US4203302A (en) * 1978-07-14 1980-05-20 The Laitram Corporation Floor mounted air conditioner
US4302224A (en) * 1979-10-12 1981-11-24 Greene & Kellogg, Inc. Compact oxygen concentrator
US4342573A (en) * 1979-10-12 1982-08-03 Greene & Kellogg, Incorporated Compact oxygen concentrator
US4378982A (en) * 1981-08-28 1983-04-05 Greene & Kellogg, Inc. Compact oxygen concentrator
US4424686A (en) * 1981-03-09 1984-01-10 The Laitram Corporation Floor mounted air conditioner
US4511377A (en) * 1983-11-01 1985-04-16 Greene & Kellogg, Inc. Apparatus for the production of oxygen
US4826510A (en) * 1988-01-13 1989-05-02 The John Bunn Company Portable low profile DC oxygen concentrator
US4971609A (en) * 1990-02-05 1990-11-20 Pawlos Robert A Portable oxygen concentrator
US5827358A (en) * 1996-11-08 1998-10-27 Impact Mst, Incorporation Rapid cycle pressure swing adsorption oxygen concentration method and apparatus
US6346139B1 (en) * 1999-05-12 2002-02-12 Respironics, Inc. Total delivery oxygen concentration system
US6481212B2 (en) * 2000-04-19 2002-11-19 General Electric Company Combustion turbine cooling media supply system and related method
US20040213679A1 (en) * 2003-04-22 2004-10-28 R. Conrader Company Air compressor with inlet control mechanism and automatic inlet control mechanism
US20050103341A1 (en) * 2003-10-07 2005-05-19 Deane Geoffrey F. Portable gas fractionalization system
US6908503B2 (en) * 2002-04-24 2005-06-21 Airsep Corporation Reduced noise oxygen concentrator
WO2005077824A1 (en) * 2004-02-16 2005-08-25 Teijin Pharma Limited Oxygen concentrating apparatus
US20050204923A1 (en) * 2002-03-05 2005-09-22 Hitoshi Nakamura Oxygen enricher
US6949133B2 (en) * 2002-01-31 2005-09-27 Airsep Corporation Portable oxygen concentrator
US20060011065A1 (en) * 2004-07-19 2006-01-19 Hastings John M Inlet nozzle for oxygen concentrator
US20060230939A1 (en) * 2005-04-05 2006-10-19 Bliss Peter L Portable oxygen concentrator
US7156903B2 (en) * 2003-09-02 2007-01-02 Airsep Corporation Sound enclosure for portable oxygen concentrators
US20070094835A1 (en) * 2005-01-07 2007-05-03 Bissell Homecare, Inc. Extraction cleaning with air flow drying
US20070137487A1 (en) * 2005-12-20 2007-06-21 Whitley Roger D Portable medical oxygen concentrator

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JP2003246607A (en) * 2002-02-22 2003-09-02 Teijin Ltd Oxygen concentrating apparatus

Patent Citations (26)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3305665A (en) * 1959-11-17 1967-02-21 Laing Vortex Inc Forced circulation electric heater employing cross-flow type fan
US3804942A (en) * 1971-11-16 1974-04-16 Shimizu Construction Co Ltd Air purifier
US4203302A (en) * 1978-07-14 1980-05-20 The Laitram Corporation Floor mounted air conditioner
US4302224A (en) * 1979-10-12 1981-11-24 Greene & Kellogg, Inc. Compact oxygen concentrator
US4342573A (en) * 1979-10-12 1982-08-03 Greene & Kellogg, Incorporated Compact oxygen concentrator
US4424686A (en) * 1981-03-09 1984-01-10 The Laitram Corporation Floor mounted air conditioner
US4378982A (en) * 1981-08-28 1983-04-05 Greene & Kellogg, Inc. Compact oxygen concentrator
US4511377A (en) * 1983-11-01 1985-04-16 Greene & Kellogg, Inc. Apparatus for the production of oxygen
US4826510A (en) * 1988-01-13 1989-05-02 The John Bunn Company Portable low profile DC oxygen concentrator
US4971609A (en) * 1990-02-05 1990-11-20 Pawlos Robert A Portable oxygen concentrator
US5827358A (en) * 1996-11-08 1998-10-27 Impact Mst, Incorporation Rapid cycle pressure swing adsorption oxygen concentration method and apparatus
US6346139B1 (en) * 1999-05-12 2002-02-12 Respironics, Inc. Total delivery oxygen concentration system
US6481212B2 (en) * 2000-04-19 2002-11-19 General Electric Company Combustion turbine cooling media supply system and related method
US6949133B2 (en) * 2002-01-31 2005-09-27 Airsep Corporation Portable oxygen concentrator
US7179326B2 (en) * 2002-03-05 2007-02-20 Teijin Limited Oxygen concentration apparatus
US20050204923A1 (en) * 2002-03-05 2005-09-22 Hitoshi Nakamura Oxygen enricher
US6908503B2 (en) * 2002-04-24 2005-06-21 Airsep Corporation Reduced noise oxygen concentrator
US20040213679A1 (en) * 2003-04-22 2004-10-28 R. Conrader Company Air compressor with inlet control mechanism and automatic inlet control mechanism
US7156903B2 (en) * 2003-09-02 2007-01-02 Airsep Corporation Sound enclosure for portable oxygen concentrators
US20050103341A1 (en) * 2003-10-07 2005-05-19 Deane Geoffrey F. Portable gas fractionalization system
WO2005077824A1 (en) * 2004-02-16 2005-08-25 Teijin Pharma Limited Oxygen concentrating apparatus
US20070163441A1 (en) * 2004-02-16 2007-07-19 Teijin Pharma Limited Oxygen concentrating apparatus
US20060011065A1 (en) * 2004-07-19 2006-01-19 Hastings John M Inlet nozzle for oxygen concentrator
US20070094835A1 (en) * 2005-01-07 2007-05-03 Bissell Homecare, Inc. Extraction cleaning with air flow drying
US20060230939A1 (en) * 2005-04-05 2006-10-19 Bliss Peter L Portable oxygen concentrator
US20070137487A1 (en) * 2005-12-20 2007-06-21 Whitley Roger D Portable medical oxygen concentrator

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US8821133B2 (en) * 2011-11-03 2014-09-02 Draeger Medical Systems, Inc. Transportable medical air compressor

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WO2008154273A2 (en) 2008-12-18 application

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