US20090013703A1 - Natural air enery saving temperature assist system for central air conditioning / heating system - Google Patents

Natural air enery saving temperature assist system for central air conditioning / heating system Download PDF

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US20090013703A1
US20090013703A1 US12115468 US11546808A US2009013703A1 US 20090013703 A1 US20090013703 A1 US 20090013703A1 US 12115468 US12115468 US 12115468 US 11546808 A US11546808 A US 11546808A US 2009013703 A1 US2009013703 A1 US 2009013703A1
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energy saving
user installable
system according
natural air
saving system
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US12115468
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Ronald F. Werner
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Werner Ronald F
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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24FAIR-CONDITIONING; AIR-HUMIDIFICATION; VENTILATION; USE OF AIR CURRENTS FOR SCREENING
    • F24F11/00Control or safety arrangements
    • F24F11/0001Control or safety arrangements for ventilation
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24FAIR-CONDITIONING; AIR-HUMIDIFICATION; VENTILATION; USE OF AIR CURRENTS FOR SCREENING
    • F24F5/00Air-conditioning systems or apparatus not covered by F24F1/00 or F24F3/00, e.g. using solar heat or combined with household units such as an oven or water heater
    • F24F5/0046Air-conditioning systems or apparatus not covered by F24F1/00 or F24F3/00, e.g. using solar heat or combined with household units such as an oven or water heater using natural energy, e.g. solar energy, energy from the ground
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24FAIR-CONDITIONING; AIR-HUMIDIFICATION; VENTILATION; USE OF AIR CURRENTS FOR SCREENING
    • F24F11/00Control or safety arrangements
    • F24F11/0001Control or safety arrangements for ventilation
    • F24F2011/0006Control or safety arrangements for ventilation using low temperature external supply air to assist cooling
    • 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
    • Y02BCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO BUILDINGS, e.g. HOUSING, HOUSE APPLIANCES OR RELATED END-USER APPLICATIONS
    • Y02B10/00Integration of renewable energy sources in buildings
    • Y02B10/20Solar thermal
    • 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
    • Y02BCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO BUILDINGS, e.g. HOUSING, HOUSE APPLIANCES OR RELATED END-USER APPLICATIONS
    • Y02B10/00Integration of renewable energy sources in buildings
    • Y02B10/20Solar thermal
    • Y02B10/24Air conditioning or refrigeration systems

Abstract

A house air conditioning system that operates with outside air. The air conditioning system closes the house and uses air conditioning, when the outside temperature is lower than the inside house air temperature the air conditioning system is turned off, the house or building is opened to the outside and the cooler outside air is drawn through the house using fans. In the morning, before sunrise, the fans will draw outside cool air in from the outside to cool the thermal mass of the house and then closes the house as the outside air heats to trap the cool air within the house to delay air conditioning operation and reduce the overall amount of AC runtime energy required to cool the house. This system can also operate in reverse to heat the home. The system uses multiple sensors and control mechanism to ensure optimal energy savings.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application claims the benefit of Provisional 60/958,901 filed Jul. 9, 2007 the entire contents of which is hereby expressly incorporated by reference herein.
  • DESCRIPTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • This invention relates to improvements and energy savings in HVAC. More particularly, the present HVAC system uses a combination of household air conditioning and heating with outside naturally heated and cold air to conserve energy by operating the household HVAC with house opening and fans to conserve energy. The system uses multiple sensors and control mechanism to ensure optimal energy savings.
  • 2. Background of the Invention
  • Most houses use either an air conditioning system to cool a house, or attic fan that draws air in from the outside and through the house. In many cases a home owner will operate an air conditioning system while the outside temperature is colder than the air within a house. This results in a waste of electricity. Some homeowners recognize the difference in the temperature and will manually shut off the air conditioning and open windows to cool a house with free cooler outside air. While this results in an improvement the widows are often left open after the outside temperature has heated the house before they close the windows or they let the air conditioning continue to run in the evening hours when the outside air has cooled to lower than the desired temperature. Some patents have been issued that either operate air conditioning systems, whole house fans, or systems that air condition different rooms at different times of the day. These systems require the house to be built or significantly modified to operate. Exemplary examples of house air conditioning systems are disclosed herein.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 4,676,073 issued Jun. 30, 1987 to Carl Lawrence, U.S. Pat. No. 5,902,183 issued May 11, 1999 to Melanius D'Souza and U.S. Pat. No. 4,986,469 issued Jan. 2, 1981 to James A. Sutton Jr. all disclose an air circulation system that turn on or off fans to move outside air through an enclosure. These fans use inside/outside temperature sensor or time-of-day timers to operate the fans. While these patents disclose an air circulation system that ventilates a building with outside air the systems do not work with an air conditioning system to open and close the building to achieve energy savings.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 3,946,575 issued Mar. 30, 1976 to Russell L. Barr et al and U.S. Pat. No. 4,776,385 issued Oct. 11, 1988 to Arthur C. Dean both disclose a house air conditioning system that opens and closes ducting to use outside air. These patents require the house to be pre-built with the ducts to alter where air is drawn through a building. The use of ducting further eliminates the possibility that outside air can naturally be blown through a building or house without any fans using the wind or thermal vertical movement of air.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 7,222,494 issued May 29, 2007 to Mark W. Peterson et al discloses an Adaptive Intelligent Circulation Control Methods and Systems. This system also requires a house or building to be constructed with ducting for outside air. The system has a number of sensors located both inside and outside of the house to improve the comfort within the house and reduce energy costs. The system can operate under a user defined program or in random sequence.
  • What is needed is a system that operates with a pre-constructed house and existing central HVAC system. While a user could manually open and close widows to obtain similar energy savings, but the value of the natural air energy saving system is that it automatically performs the operation without a user having to physically or mentally determine what windows and fans to operate and at what times of day and what temperatures. The system should use as a minimum of one inside and one outside temperature sensor, a house air conditioning system a fan and an actuator or servo to open and close an outside vent. The proposed application provides these functions in an expandable manner that allows a homeowner to achieve energy savings with an expandable system that can be used with an existing home.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • It is an object of the natural air energy saving system to reduce the total time that an air conditioning system needs to run to provide the same comfort all day. This is accomplished by automatically opening windows or vents and operating a fan or fans in a house or building when the outside are is cooler than the inside air. The “free” cooler outside air is drawn or blown thought the house instead of operating an air conditioner to cool the inside of the house
  • It is an object of the natural air energy saving system to allow a house air conditioner to spend less time running nonstop, and more running in cycles which provides overall better efficiency of electricity. The reduction in air conditioning usage will increase air conditioner life span since it reduces system strain. The reduction of electricity use will also reduce energy procurement costs during peak demand hours, so it will result in lower costs for all. The reduced demand for electricity will reduce energy generation impact on environment.
  • It is another object of the natural air energy saving system to include remote location activation using existing phone lines, or an internet connection that can start the natural air process while away or before location arrival of occupants. This is particularly useful when the occupants are away and a house is warming throughout the day, but the occupants want the house aired out or cooled prior to arrival.
  • It is another object of the natural air energy saving system for the system to run in three modes remote, automatic, or manual. The system can be switched off so the thermostat can operate as an ordinary programmable thermostat.
  • It is still another object of the natural air energy saving system for the system to allow natural air evacuation process can be started via setting programmable timer in the thermostat reducing the arrival temperature and reducing the time the air conditioner will need to run to achieve desired temperature.
  • It is another object of the natural air energy saving system to provide a safer indoor environment by windows and doors being able to be closed during evening and night time hours while still being able to enjoy fresh natural outside air.
  • It is another object of the natural air energy saving system to operate with any existing air conditioning/heating system that currently uses a central air thermostat. The system connects indoor and outdoor sensors with controls for fans, actuators, servos and vents using communications over pre-existing power lines and or a wireless network to simplify installation.
  • Various objects, features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments of the invention, along with the accompanying drawings in which like numerals represent like components.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 shows a house or building with the natural air energy saving system.
  • FIG. 2 shows the outside and inside temperature of a house or building using the natural air energy saving system.
  • FIG. 3 shows an illustration of user interface for the natural air energy saving system.
  • FIG. 4 shows a block diagram of some components of the natural air energy saving system.
  • FIG. 5 shows a simplified flow chart of the natural air energy saving system operating in the saving mode.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • FIG. 1 shows a house or building with the natural air energy saving system. The natural air energy saving system includes a special purpose built multi-programmable thermostat, that is shown and described in detail with FIG. 3, with interior temperature sensor, an air evacuation vent and fan that can be either hard wired or wireless relay activated by said thermostat, and an outdoor temperature sensor that can also be hardwired or wirelessly transmit temperature readings to said thermostat, the outdoor sensor must be installed in a way that it is always shaded so it does not give false readings, all windows must be closed and adequate insulation is a must for this system to work best.
  • The way the system works is the outdoor sensor sends a constant reading to the thermostat. During summer months, where cooling is more important, the thermostat will activate the Natural Air fan and vent when the outdoor temperatures are at the lowest point of the day, usually just before dawn. The activation will be within a few lowest degrees and will bring the indoor temperature to its lowest possible daily temperature. Once the thermostat senses a one degree rise in temperature from the outdoor sensor, the fan will stop and the vent will close. The indoor location and all of its contents will start the day at a much lower temperature or thermal mass, usually 30 to 40 or more degrees than the projected high for the day. This will allow the thermostat to go a lot longer into the day before turning on the air conditioner at their programmed desired temperature. It will be able to cycle longer into the day and will spend less time in a constant run resulting in less overall run time and more efficiency. In the evening hours, the thermostat will read the outdoor sensor and when it senses the outdoor temperature is below the desired programmed indoor temperature, the air conditioner will turn off and the evacuation fan and vent will activate and de-activate as needed to maintain the desired temperature through the night with natural air. When the outdoor temperature drops to its lowest point. The process will start all over again as programmed.
  • The dynamics of this system can be used in reverse order for benefits in the colder winter season. It is important to remember that the vent allows in as much air as the fan evacuates however, on production models this could be made to be adjustable depending on the size of the desired area. On larger applications, larger vents and fans could be used to achieve the same results, or multiples of vents and fans. An additional outdoor temperature sensor can be used to give the thermostat a multiple view of outside ambient temperature. More detailed description of the various components is shown and described with the figures herein.
  • FIG. 1 shows a house or building with the natural air energy saving system. From FIG. 1 the lower main vent 10, and the evacuation fan 20 blowing into the attic, the outdoor sensor 30 is hanging under one of the eaves so as to not get direct sun. The programmable natural air thermostat 40 is where one would expect a thermostat to be, near the center of the house, a second evacuation fan 50 if needed for a larger attic can be installed in a gable mount, finally, in a even larger home application, an additional evacuation fan 60 might be needed for an even larger location, larger commercial buildings will require larger equipment to achieve the same results but the desired result is the same. an automatic temperature energy maximization system that gets a location and all of its contents to a maximum opposite temperature of the expected opposite temperature, that adds up to shorter air conditioning 15 run times, in most cases, only one relay servo operated vent would be required as different sizes would be available and would best be put high enough up not to invite a break in. also a steel grate or grill could be installed to protect the opening. The air conditioner 15 is shown as a window mounted AC units but could also be a central HVAC unit.
  • FIG. 2 shows the outside and inside temperature of a house or building using the natural air energy saving system. On the abscissa the graph shows the temperature in degrees F. The ordinate shows the time of day starting at midnight. The temperature difference between is approximately 35 degrees in this graph. For simplicity the set point temperature is set to 75 degrees. In practicality the thermostat would be set to one temperature when the house is occupied and a different temperature when the house is vacant. The graph shows the outside temperature 70 in a solid line and the inside house temperature 71 in a broken line.
  • Starting at midnight the outside temperature 70 begins at about 65 degrees. Since the house set temperature is 75 degrees, the inside temperature 71 is maintained by operation of windows and or fans to maintain the temperature. Bracket 73 shows this period of time for natural ventilation of the house during this period. Because a goal is to provide use the cooler outside air while maintaining a “tolerable” inside temperature bracket 75 provides a period cool down before the sun rises and the temperature climbs. During this period of time the house vents are opened and fans pull or push the coolest outside air through the house to reduce the thermal mass of the house until the outside temperature equals the inside temperature at the intersection of brackets 75 and 74 when all the fans are turned off and all the vents are closed. For the time under bracket 74 the outside temperature 70 rises and the inside temperature 71 of the house rises until the set point temperature is reached and the house air conditioning system operates, under bracket 72. After the sun goes down the outside temperature drops until the outside temperature 70 matches the inside temperature 71 when the windows, vents and or fans are operated to maintain the temperature again as shown under bracket 73.
  • FIG. 3 shows an illustration of user interface for the natural air energy saving system. This interface is only one contemplated embodiment of the control system. This display shows the inside temperature 80 and the outside temperature 81. The time of day 83 and the day of the week 84 is shown to allow for unique programming for different days or days when occupants are present in the house. The display also shows the status of fans and vents 86 located around the house. A home owner can manually operate the fans and vents using buttons 88 knobs or similar controls. A similar set of buttons or knobs 82 allows the user to set the temperatures and or functions of the system. One portion of the display 85 indicates the operations status. The status conditions include but are not limited to off, automatic, manual and a save mode that operates without the house air conditioning system. The natural air energy saving system operates either with an existing house air conditioning and control system or as a replacement control system. When the system works with an existing HVAC the supplemental natural air energy saving controller can autonomously turn the prior existing HVAC controller on or off. An indicator 87 identifies when the system is operating the HVAC system. In one contemplated embodiment the outside temperature sensor also includes a wind direction sensor that allows the system to open windows on opposite sides of a house to allows natural prevailing wind to blow though a house without using powered fans to further reduce energy consumption.
  • FIG. 4 shows a block diagram of some components of the natural air energy saving system. This block diagram shows communications over household wiring and or with wireless data communications. Each fan or window/vent actuator or servo has its own unique electronic identifier so the system can open, close, turn on, or turn off each component. Since each device is powered by household electricity the use of AC power line communications and control is ideal for the system. AC electricity 100 comes into the house from a power grid of from solar or other sources. Each control unit uses a power converter of transformer 101 of one type or another to power the controller or control system 102. The controller 102 has a display 103, and encoder 105 and or a transmitter 104. In the preferred embodiment the encoder 105 encodes a signal onto the AC power line that is common throughout the house. The controller 102 is shown wired 107 to the existing household HVAC 106.
  • Two separate controlled devices 108 and 109 are shown in this figure. One control device 108 is shown as an actuator or servo that opens and closes a window, door, vent or other apparatus. The other control device 109 is shown as a fan. Each controlled device 108 and 109 has a unique ID that the controller 102 can identify. When a command is encoded 105 onto the power line the decoder in each controlled device 108 and 109 will decode 110 the signal and respond based upon the command to change the status of the device (fan 111 or actuator 112). This change can be viewed on this display as item 86 in FIG. 3. Optionally the commands can be transmitted wirelessly using antenna 104 and received by antennas 114. The outside temperature sensor 30 and or wind direction sensor transmits a wireless signal 104 to the controller 102.
  • FIG. 5 shows a simplified flow chart of the natural air energy saving system operating in the saving mode. This is a simplified flow chart showing the control sequence from the graph in FIG. 2 and the house is being used in a cooling mode as opposed to a heating mode. In this sequence the household HVAC is operational. Starting with question 120 that determines if the outside temperature is cooler than the inside temperature. If the outside temperature is hotter than the inside temperature then the system will use an existing air conditioning system 121 to, or the existing HVAC is operated.
  • Once the outside temperature is cooler than the inside temperature of the house the natural air energy saving system begins to operate. To provide extra savings the system will open windows and or vent at the coolest time of the day. The coolest time of the day is determined by tracking when the outside temperature intersects the inside temperature (intersection of bracket 74 and 75 in FIG. 2) and subtracting time. The system can also be programmed with the sunrise times based on zip code, time of year or similar algorithm. If the coolest time of day is present (2 house before sunrise in this example) 122 the system will open windows, vents and turn on fans 123 to cool the interior thermal mass of the house to increase cooling efficiency within the house.
  • Normally in the evening the system will operate in decision sequence 124 where the system will regulate the temperature within the house by opening and closing windows or vents and turning on 125 or off 126 fans to maintain the temperature within the house. Numerous similar options are contemplated to provide maximum cooling though the evening without regulating the temperature until sunrise. These options are impliedly included in this disclosure.
  • Thus, specific embodiments of a natural air energy saving system have been disclosed. It should be apparent, however, to those skilled in the art that many more modifications besides those described are possible without departing from the inventive concepts herein. The inventive subject matter, therefore, is not to be restricted except in the spirit of the appended claims.

Claims (20)

  1. 1. A natural air energy saving system comprising:
    a structure that is cooled or heated;
    at least one temperature sensor located within said structure and at least one temperature sensor located external from said structure;
    an existing heating or air conditioning system;
    at least one user installable fan;
    at least one user installable actuator or servo;
    a programmable control that can autonomously turn said existing heating or air condition system on or off, and
    said programmable controller can operate said at least one user installable fan and said at least one user installable actuator or service to maintain a temperature within said structure.
  2. 2. The natural air energy saving system according to claim 1 wherein said structure is a house, building or residence.
  3. 3. The natural air energy saving system according to claim 1 wherein said user installable actuator or servo opens an existing window, door or vent on said structure.
  4. 4. The natural air energy saving system according to claim 1 wherein said programmable controller further includes an encoder that sends signals over AC power lines.
  5. 5. The natural air energy saving system according to claim 4 wherein operation of said at least one user installable fan and said at least one user installable servo or actuator is controlled from a signal from said programmable controller over the existing power line that powers said at least one user installable fan and said at least one user installable servo or actuator.
  6. 6. The natural air energy saving system according to claim 1 wherein said programmable controller further includes a wireless transmitter.
  7. 7. The natural air energy saving system according to claim 6 wherein operation of said at least one user installable fan and said at least one user installable servo or actuator is controlled from a signal from said programmable controller from said wireless transmitter.
  8. 8. The natural air energy saving system according to claim 1 wherein said system can determine when the an outside temperature will change in the future and operate said at least one user installable fan and said at least one user installable servo or actuator to alter a temperature within said structure.
  9. 9. The natural air energy saving system according to claim 1 that further includes a wind direction indicator.
  10. 10. The natural air energy saving system according to claim 9 wherein said system uses said wind direction indicator to open and or close said windows, vents or doors based upon prevailing wind direction.
  11. 11. A natural air energy saving system comprising:
    a structure that is cooled or heated;
    at least one temperature sensor located within said structure and at least one temperature sensor located external from said structure;
    at least one user installable fan;
    at least one user installable actuator or servo;
    a powered air heating and or air cooling device;
    a programmable control wherein said programmable controller optimizes the use of air outside said structure with said powered air heating and or air cooling device with operation of said at least one user installable fan and said at least one user installable actuator or service to maintain a temperature within said structure.
  12. 12. The natural air energy saving system according to claim 11 wherein said structure is a house, building or residence.
  13. 13. The natural air energy saving system according to claim 11 wherein said user installable actuator or servo opens an existing window, door or vent on said structure.
  14. 14. The natural air energy saving system according to claim 11 wherein said programmable controller further includes an encoder that sends signals over AC power lines.
  15. 15. The natural air energy saving system according to claim 14 wherein operation of said at least one user installable fan and said at least one user installable servo or actuator is controlled from a signal from said programmable controller over the existing power line that powers said at least one user installable fan and said at least one user installable servo or actuator.
  16. 16. The natural air energy saving system according to claim 11 wherein said programmable controller further includes a wireless transmitter.
  17. 17. The natural air energy saving system according to claim 16 wherein operation of said at least one user installable fan and said at least one user installable servo or actuator is controlled from a signal from said programmable controller from said wireless transmitter.
  18. 18. The natural air energy saving system according to claim 11 wherein said system can determine when the an outside temperature will change in the future and operate said at least one user installable fan and said at least one user installable servo or actuator to alter a temperature within said structure.
  19. 19. The natural air energy saving system according to claim 11 that further includes a wind direction indicator.
  20. 20. The natural air energy saving system according to claim 19 wherein said system uses said wind direction indicator to open and or close said windows, vents or doors based upon prevailing wind direction.
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