US20090114378A1 - Heat exchanger and tempering container comprising a heat exchanger - Google Patents

Heat exchanger and tempering container comprising a heat exchanger Download PDF

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US20090114378A1
US20090114378A1 US11994994 US99499406A US2009114378A1 US 20090114378 A1 US20090114378 A1 US 20090114378A1 US 11994994 US11994994 US 11994994 US 99499406 A US99499406 A US 99499406A US 2009114378 A1 US2009114378 A1 US 2009114378A1
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heat exchanger
reaction
exchanger according
chamber
reaction chamber
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US11994994
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Peter Lang
Gerd Sumah
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Peter Lang
Gerd Sumah
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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25DREFRIGERATORS; COLD ROOMS; ICE-BOXES; COOLING OR FREEZING APPARATUS NOT COVERED BY ANY OTHER SUBCLASS
    • F25D5/00Devices using endothermic chemical reactions, e.g. using frigorific mixtures
    • F25D5/02Devices using endothermic chemical reactions, e.g. using frigorific mixtures portable, i.e. adapted to be carried personally
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25DREFRIGERATORS; COLD ROOMS; ICE-BOXES; COOLING OR FREEZING APPARATUS NOT COVERED BY ANY OTHER SUBCLASS
    • F25D3/00Devices using other cold materials; Devices using cold-storage bodies
    • F25D3/10Devices using other cold materials; Devices using cold-storage bodies using liquefied gases, e.g. liquid air
    • F25D3/107Devices using other cold materials; Devices using cold-storage bodies using liquefied gases, e.g. liquid air portable, i.e. adapted to be carried personally
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25DREFRIGERATORS; COLD ROOMS; ICE-BOXES; COOLING OR FREEZING APPARATUS NOT COVERED BY ANY OTHER SUBCLASS
    • F25D2331/00Details or arrangements of other cooling or freezing apparatus not provided for in other groups of this subclass
    • F25D2331/80Type of cooled receptacles
    • F25D2331/803Bottles
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25DREFRIGERATORS; COLD ROOMS; ICE-BOXES; COOLING OR FREEZING APPARATUS NOT COVERED BY ANY OTHER SUBCLASS
    • F25D2331/00Details or arrangements of other cooling or freezing apparatus not provided for in other groups of this subclass
    • F25D2331/80Type of cooled receptacles
    • F25D2331/805Cans

Abstract

A heat exchanger comprises an evacuated reaction chamber (2, 2′, 23, 33) containing at least one reaction medium and a storage chamber (25, 35) containing an activation medium which reacts with the reaction medium in such a way as to modify the temperature. The reaction chamber and the storage chamber can be brought into a communicating relationship, whereby the reaction medium and the activation medium are contacted with each other and the temperature-modifying reaction is triggered. The reaction chamber (2, 2′, 23, 33) is defined by walls made of a vacuum-tight material (3), which walls are kept at a distance from each other, at least in sections, by supporting bodies (4, 7, 10), with the supporting bodies (4, 7, 9, 10) keeping free transport paths (5, 8) for the reaction medium (11) inside the reaction chamber. The vacuum-tight material (3) forming the walls of the reaction chamber is designed as a flexible film, preferably a composite film.

Description

  • The invention relates to a heat exchanger comprising an evacuated reaction chamber containing at least one reaction medium and a storage chamber containing an activation medium which reacts with the reaction medium in such a way as to modify the temperature, wherein the reaction chamber and the storage chamber can be brought into a communicating relationship, whereby the reaction medium and the activation medium are contacted with each other and the temperature-modifying reaction is triggered, the reaction chamber being defined by walls made of a vacuum-tight material, which walls are kept at a distance from each other, at least in sections, by supporting bodies, with the supporting bodies keeping free transport paths for the reaction medium inside the reaction chamber.
  • Furthermore, the invention relates to a tempering container comprising a heat exchanger.
  • Temperature-regulating packing modules are already known which enable a consumer to bring the packing material to a predefined temperature range at a desired point in time by activating the module, whereby the packing material is either cooled (by evaporation/expansion processes or by an endothermic reaction of reagents) or heated by an exothermic reaction of reagents. An important component of these temperature-regulating packing modules is the heat exchanger which must provide for an optimum temperature transmission of the generated cold/heat to the packing material.
  • The heat exchanger should exhibit the following properties:
      • a maximum contact area with the packing material so that an extensive heat exchange with the packing material can occur in a short time;
      • a minimum volume in order to create a maximum volume for the packing material, i.e., a ratio as large as possible between the heat-exchange surface and the heat-exchange volume;
      • good heat conduction to offer as little resistance as possible to the heat exchange;
      • dimensional stability so that the enclosed volume will remain constant (important, e.g., for air-evacuated heat exchangers in which an evaporation process as well as a transport of vapour take place);
      • imperviousness (minimum permeability, maximum impermeability) in order to prevent a material exchange (gas, vapour, flavouring agents, etc. . . . ) between the heat exchanger and the environment: no leakage of internal material of the heat exchanger into the environment and no infiltration of ambient material into the heat exchanger, and, in case of vacuum systems (e.g., absorption/adsorption cooling processes), no permeation of gas molecules into the heat exchanger;
      • an adaptable shape so that the heat exchanger can be adjusted to the thermodynamic conditions and to the packaging.
  • In addition, temperature-regulating packages/modules are allowed to generate only a minor additional share of the costs of the packaging and, thus, the heat exchanger must be manufacturable in a very cheap and efficient manner.
  • From WO 2001/010738 A1, a self-cooling beverage can is known in which a cooling process is implemented based on an adsorption refrigerating machine. The self-contained system comprises two evacuated vacuum chambers. The chamber 1 consists of a complex thin-walled deep-drawn aluminium part (deep drawn twice) coated with water gel. Said chamber 1 constitutes the evaporator and the heat exchanger. The chamber 2 is filled with an absorbing/adsorbing material for water vapour. Furthermore, the chamber 2 is surrounded by a phase-changing material (Phase Change Material—PCM) as a heat sink, which, upon exposure to heat, changes from the solid into the liquid state and thereby absorbs heat without increasing its own temperature. The cooling process is activated by joining the two chambers. In doing so, the water gel evaporates from chamber 1 through the vacuum already at temperatures below 100° C. (an evaporation temperature according to the vapour-pressure curve so that evaporation is possible in a range as low as that of subfreezing ° C. temperatures) and extracts heat from the beverage surrounding the chamber 1 as a result of the evaporation process. The generated water vapour is thereby bound by the absorber/adsorber in chamber 2 and, thus, the vacuum is maintained and the evaporation and cooling process continues. At the same time, the surrounding phase change material limits the temperature of the absorber/adsorber since the latter heats up during adsorption. What is disadvantageous about this known self-cooling beverage can is the fact that the production of the aluminium cooling element deep drawn twice is time-consuming and the element is thus expensive. Since said element is located in the beverage can, it must additionally be sealed against the beverage. Furthermore, the absorber/adsorber chamber is arranged outside the can, and a vacuum-tight connection between the adsorber and the cooling element as well as a gas-tight boundary toward the environment must be produced. A similar self-cooling beverage can is also known from WO 2003/073019 A1.
  • From WO 1992/002770 A1, a vacuum-insulated, adsorbent-operated cooling device is known the cooling principle of which corresponds to that of the self-cooling beverage cans disclosed in the above-indicated documents. What is different is that, according to the disclosure of WO 1992/002770 A1, the absorbing/adsorbing body (chamber 2) is directly surrounded by the cooling element (chamber 1) and the entire module, i.e., also the absorbing/adsorbing body, floats in the packing material. This construction has the disadvantage that the geometrical design (adsorber surrounded by the cooling element) involves a lower efficiency and thus an enlargement of the module. As a result, there is less space for the packing material, which renders said cooling device relatively expensive. Furthermore, thermal cannibalizing effects reducing the cooling capacity occur, since waste heat of condensation is generated in the adsorber chamber surrounded by the evaporation chamber, which waste heat in turn causes additional evaporation in the evaporation chamber, which basically should occur exclusively due to the extraction of heat from the packing material.
  • From U.S. Pat. No. 4,736,599, a heat exchanger composed of at least two communicating chambers is known. One chamber contains a vacuum which reduces the boiling point of water also located in the chamber. A second chamber contains an adsorbent adsorbing/absorbing the vapour generated by the boiling water in the first chamber. Internal supporting bodies between the walls of the chambers prevent the walls of the chambers from collapsing while the vacuum exists in the chambers. The supporting bodies have pores and channels so that the water vapour can move between the chambers. The walls of the chambers are made of the same material as the cans in which they are housed, that is, from aluminium sheet. Because of this choice of material, only a restricted variety can be achieved with justifiable effort with regard to the shaping of the chambers. Significantly, the chambers illustrated in the exemplary embodiments are only cuboid-shaped. It is particularly difficult to manufacture chambers with large surfaces, as demonstrated by the exemplary embodiment of the cuboid. Therefore, the cooling effect is not optimal. Furthermore, the permeability is also unsatisfactory.
  • Therefore, the problem still exists of how to produce a heat exchanger which meets the initially indicated requirements and moreover is manufacturable in a cheap and efficient manner.
  • The present invention solves this problem by upgrading a generic heat exchanger by using a flexible film, preferably a composite film, as the vacuum-tight material forming the walls of the reaction chamber and by providing a tempering container comprising a heat exchanger according to the invention. Advantageous embodiments of the invention are set forth in the dependent claims. Due to this design, a freely shapeable heat exchanger is manufacturable which can be produced in a highly efficient manner in industrial manufacturing processes and thus is extremely low-priced, the production being adaptable to a large number of different shaping guidelines due to the use of the film. The film is preferably designed as a plastic film or a metal film, composite films are designed as plastic-metal film composites. A three-layered film having an outer layer of polyester, an intermediate layer of aluminium and an inner layer of polyethylene may be mentioned as an example of a composite film. Adjacent layers are in each case stuck together with a polyurethane 2-component adhesive.
  • Heat exchangers with high reliability, which can be produced in an efficient manner, are obtained if the film is sealable and/or gluable.
  • Furthermore, the heat exchanger according to the invention offers the following advantages:
      • a very large contact area with the packing material to be tempered so that an extensive heat exchange with the packing material can occur in a short time;
      • a minimum inherent volume with a low dead weight so that the result is a very large ratio between the heat-exchange surface and the heat-exchange volume;
      • good heat conduction through the thin-layered walls made of a flexible vacuum-tight material;
      • high dimensional stability so that the enclosed volume will remain constant also during the progress of the tempering processes (in particular, the heat exchanger cannot collapse on itself);
      • minimum permeability and maximum impermeability so that a material exchange (gas, vapour, flavouring agents, etc. . . . ) between the heat exchanger and its environment is prevented. It should be mentioned that gas diffusion processes taking place over extended periods of time are a characteristic of each known material and are acceptable for the present invention. However, leakage of reaction material from the interior of the heat exchanger into the environment is prevented just like an infiltration of ambient material (packing material) into the heat exchanger;
      • an adaptable shape so that the heat exchanger can be adjusted to the thermodynamic conditions and to the tempering container in which it is to be used.
  • Furthermore, it should be mentioned that the heat exchanger according to the invention can comprise one or several supporting bodies.
  • According to the invention, the supporting bodies can be implemented in several ways. In a first variant, the supporting bodies are formed from a granular material, the granular material preferably being porous. In a particularly preferred embodiment, the granules are spherical. The granules define transport paths for the reaction media between each other. In a second variant, the supporting bodies are formed from moulded articles. The transport paths are defined between and on the moulded articles, respectively, wherein, in a preferred embodiment, the moulded articles are open-pored and the pores also form transport paths for reaction media. In a third variant, the supporting bodies comprise a framework. The framework can have different straight, curved, angular, corrugated beams, distance pieces etc. It can be designed as a latticework. For an optimum temperature transmission it is furthermore suitable that some or all supporting bodies are formed from a material with good heat conduction.
  • In an advanced embodiment of the invention, the supporting bodies are constructed as storage elements for the reaction medium (e.g. in pores of the supporting elements) or are completely or partially composed of the reaction medium. There are numerous reaction media which remain dimensionally stable during their endothermic or exothermic reaction. Silica gels can be mentioned as examples.
  • If the heat exchanger according to the invention is to be used for cooling applications, it is provided that the reaction media stored in the reaction chamber of the heat exchanger comprise evaporation media and/or endothermic reactants. For heating applications, it is provided that the reaction media stored in the reaction chamber of the heat exchanger comprise exothermic reactants.
  • The reaction chamber of the heat exchanger according to the invention is connected or connectable to a storage chamber which, optionally, has been evacuated. On the one hand, the storage chamber can be directly integrated in the heat exchanger, wherein it is connected to the flexible vacuum-tight material of the heat exchanger preferably by gluing, sealing or other fastening techniques. Alternatively, the storage chamber can be designed as a separate replaceable unit which, for activating the heat exchanger, is brought into a communicating relationship with the reaction chamber thereof. For using the heat exchanger according to the invention for cooling purposes, it is provided that an adsorbing medium and optionally a heat sink such as, e.g., a phase-changing agent (PCM) are placed in the storage chamber. For using the heat exchanger according to the invention for heating purposes, the storage chamber is provided with an activation agent which, upon contact with the reactant contained in the reaction chamber, triggers an exothermic reaction, optionally with a PCM device such as, e.g., a phase-changing agent (PCM) being arranged in the reaction chamber in order to keep the temperature in the reaction chamber within a predetermined temperature range.
  • Prior to the activation of the heat exchanger, the reaction chamber is suitably separated from the storage chamber by a membrane or a valve, wherein the valve may comprise, for example, a valve sheet. For activating the heat exchanger, the membrane is cut in two by an actuator or, respectively, an actuator is used for opening the valve.
  • The heat exchanger according to the invention can easily be integrated in containers such as a beverage can, a PET plastic bottle, a cardboard composite packing or a party barrel and enables excellent tempering of the liquids stored in said containers.
  • The invention is now illustrated in further detail based on non-limiting exemplary embodiments with reference to the drawings.
  • In the drawings, FIG. 1 shows a heat exchanger according to the invention in longitudinal section,
  • FIG. 2 shows an enlarged view of a portion of the heat exchanger of FIG. 1,
  • FIG. 3 shows a sectional partial view of a further embodiment of a heat exchanger according to the invention,
  • FIGS. 4A and 4B show sectional partial views of yet another embodiment of a heat exchanger according to the invention,
  • FIGS. 6A and 6B show a first embodiment of a tempering container according to the invention in longitudinal section,
  • FIGS. 7A and 7B show a second embodiment of a tempering container according to the invention in longitudinal section,
  • FIG. 8 shows a longitudinal section through a tempering container designed as a beverage can and comprising an embedded heat exchanger,
  • FIG. 9 shows a longitudinal section through a tempering container designed as a PET plastic bottle and comprising an embedded heat exchanger,
  • FIG. 10 shows a longitudinal section through a tempering container designed as a cardboard composite packing and comprising an embedded heat exchanger, and
  • FIG. 11 shows a longitudinal section through a tempering container designed as a party barrel and comprising an embedded heat exchanger.
  • The basic structure of a heat exchanger 1 according to the invention is now explained on the basis of FIG. 1, which shows a longitudinal section through the heat exchanger 1. The heat exchanger 1 comprises a reaction chamber 2. The reaction chamber 2 is bordered by walls made of a flexible vacuum-tight material 3 which are kept at a distance from each other by supporting bodies 4, the supporting bodies defining the geometry of the cooling element 1 and keeping open transport paths 5 for the reaction media contained in the reaction chamber 2, as can be seen in FIG. 2, which shows an enlarged longitudinal section of a portion of the heat exchanger 1. In the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the supporting bodies 4 are constructed as frame elements which keep open the transport paths 5 for the reaction medium. The flexible vacuum-tight material 3 is designed, for example, as a composite film and forms a skin of the heat exchanger, which skin constitutes a contact area with the surrounding packing material. The flexible vacuum-tight material 3 seals the reaction chamber 2 against the environment, thus providing the separation between the reaction chamber 2 and the packing material. On the inner surfaces of the boundary walls of the reaction chamber 2, a reaction medium 11 is arranged (see FIG. 2). As is evident from FIG. 1, the flexible vacuum-tight material 3 is drawn downward beyond the reaction chamber 2 and forms a boundary wall 3 a of a recess 6 which can be designed as a storage chamber by closing the recess at the bottom after it has been filled with a reaction medium, an activation medium and/or an adsorbent, or into which a module can be inserted, which module includes a storage chamber, as will be illustrated in further detail below. The recess 6 is sealed against the reaction chamber by a partition wall 3 b.
  • The heat exchanger 1 according to the invention is manufactured by drawing the flexible vacuum-tight material 3 beyond the supporting bodies 4 (or by inserting the supporting bodies 4 into a configuration of the flexible vacuum-tight material 3). Subsequently, the reaction chamber 2 thus defined is evacuated and the heat exchanger 1 is sealed. The negative pressure (vacuum) in the reaction chamber 2 of the heat exchanger 1 results in external compressive forces acting upon the outer surfaces of the flexible vacuum-tight material 3 and pressing the flexible vacuum-tight material 3 firmly against the supporting bodies 4, whereby the flexible vacuum-tight material 3, in combination with the supporting bodies 4, is bound to form a rigid heat-exchanger geometry. If the heat exchanger 1 is used as a cooling module, the vacuum in the reaction chamber 2 simultaneously enables the evaporation of cooling liquid as a reactant at low temperatures.
  • A thin multilayer film (10 μm to 300 μm), which is gluable and/or sealable, respectively, is preferably selected as the flexible vacuum-tight material 3. The small wall thickness of the film ensures good heat conduction and, due to its gluability and/or sealability, respectively, high impermeability against the environment. This is important for air-evacuated heat exchangers (just as in exothermic processes within the heat exchanger during which the reactants must not get into contact with the environment and must exhibit good barrier properties). Due to the highly flexible geometrical design, the heat-exchange surfaces can be arranged in very close proximity to each other, the ratio between the surface and the volume is thus maximized. Furthermore, the distance structure according to the invention guarantees a consistently small distance between the heat-exchange surfaces.
  • Apart from the construction of the supporting bodies 4 as a framework, the invention also provides the following variants for designing a distance structure:
  • FIG. 3 shows the construction of supporting bodies as dimensionally stable moulded articles 10, which preferably are open-pored, in a section through a portion of a heat exchanger according to the invention. A reaction medium 11′ is located in the pores of the moulded article 10. These moulded articles 10 are surrounded by the flexible vacuum-tight material 3. The proportion of pores in the moulded articles 10 as well as the channels on the moulded articles and the distances between the moulded articles define the reaction chamber and the transport paths for reactants. If the heat exchanger is part of an absorption/adsorption cooling process, the material of the moulded article can in addition have good heat conduction. Furthermore, it is supposed to be able to absorb/store the cooling medium (liquid, gel, etc. . . . ) which evaporates during cooling.
  • FIGS. 4A and 4B show details of an embodiment of a heat exchanger according to the invention, wherein the supporting bodies comprise a dimensionally stable, ideally spherical granular material 7 which is inserted between the flexible vacuum-tight material 3 and keeps said material at a distance from each other, whereby the reaction chamber 2′ is defined. The space between the granules provides a transport path 8 for reactants. In addition, the granular material 7 may be porous in order to further improve the transport of the reactants. If the heat exchanger is part of an absorption/adsorption cooling process, the granular material 7 should in addition have good heat conduction. Furthermore, it is supposed to be able to absorb/store a reactant (liquid, gel, etc. . . . ), for example, in its pores. Alternatively or additionally, the granules 9 themselves may consist of the reaction medium.
  • As a result of the evacuation of the reaction chamber 2′, the granules 7, 9 are firmly pressed against each other by external compressive forces, whereby, if the flexible vacuum-tight material is configured accordingly, high degrees of freedom are possible with regard to the design of the shape of the heat exchanger. In FIG. 4B, a bulge 2 a of the reaction chamber, which leads to an increase in the surface of the heat exchanger, can be seen as an example.
  • FIGS. 5A and 5B show in perspective and cross-sectional view, respectively, an example of the free shapeability of a heat exchanger 1′ according to the invention. It must be emphasized that the shape of the heat exchanger according to the invention can be freely chosen because of the mouldable materials and can thus be adapted to every thermodynamic requirement and optimization.
  • In the following, two examples of using heat exchangers according to the invention in tempering containers are illustrated.
  • The first example of use shows the application of a heat exchanger 22 in a tempering container 20 designed as a can be to cooled, which tempering container is shown in longitudinal section in FIGS. 6A and 6B. The heat exchanger 22 is integrated in the intake space 29 of the tempering container 20 and is surrounded in the intake space 29 by a liquid as the packing material 21 to be cooled. The heat exchanger 22 functions according to the adsorption cooling principle and, for this purpose, comprises a reaction chamber 23 and a storage chamber 25 which is designed as an adsorption chamber and is separated from the reaction chamber 23 by a membrane 24 prior to activation (see FIG. 6A). The reaction chamber 23 is in a heat conducting relationship with the packing material 21 and ideally has a large surface. An evaporation liquid (a coolant: e.g., water) which extracts heat from the packing material 21 during evaporation is located in the reaction chamber 23. The storage chamber 25 is filled with an adsorber and a heat sink, e.g., a phase-changing material [PCM] or with an endothermic reactant or a material of high thermal capacity, which are not shown in the drawing.
  • During production, the two chambers 23, 25 are evacuated and subsequently separated from each other by the membrane 24. As long as the membrane 24 is intact, a continuous reaction is unable to proceed in the reaction chamber 23, since the vapour pressure generated suddenly in the reaction chamber adjusts itself according to the temperature of the packing material 21 and thus an evaporation process in the reaction chamber 23 stops by itself. Hence, there will be no further evaporation as long as the vapour sink (storage chamber 25) is not connected to the reaction chamber 23. As a result, the tempering container 20 can be stored inactively over an extended period of time and can be activated only when required.
  • The activation of the cooling process is effected, as illustrated in FIG. 6B, by cutting through the membrane 24 with the actuator 26 designed as a mandrel, whereby the reaction chamber 23 communicates with the storage chamber 25 and a transport of vapour may occur between the two chambers. The cooling process is thereby started, since the vapour generated in the reaction chamber 23 recondenses to water in the adsorber of the storage chamber 25 (the condensation releases heat which is absorbed by the heat sink), thus enabling a continuous evaporation which extracts heat from the packing material 21 and cools said material. The cooling process comes to a standstill only when either the adsorber has been saturated, the entire evaporation medium (coolant) has evaporated or the packing material 21 is unable to provide any further evaporation heat—that is, when the packing material 21 has been cooled down to the desired temperature range.
  • It should be mentioned that, in this exemplary embodiment, the storage chamber 25 is integrated in the heat exchanger 22.
  • Based on FIGS. 7A and 7B, the second example of use shows the application of a heat exchanger 32 as a heating module in a tempering container 30, wherein the heat exchanger is implemented, for example, with an exothermic reaction system. In the reaction chamber 33 of the heat exchanger 32, a reactant (e.g. CaCl2), which is not illustrated, is located, which releases reaction heat from a storage chamber 35 by being mixed with a liquid (e.g., water), i.e., which shows an exothermic reaction, thereby heating the packing material 31 in the intake space 39 of the tempering container 30. The storage chamber 35 is integrated in a separate module 40 which is connectable to the tempering container 30 in a manner so as to be replaceable. During production, the storage chamber 35 is filled with the activation liquid 37, closed by a membrane 34 and evacuated. The reaction chamber 33 is likewise evacuated in order to ensure the dimensional stability of the heat exchanger 32. The module 40 is placed onto the tempering container 30. However, as long as the membrane 34 of the storage chamber 35 and the partition wall 38 of the reaction chamber 33, respectively, are intact, there will be no blending of the two reaction substances (as illustrated in FIG. 7A). As a result, the tempering container 30 can be stored inactively over an extended period of time and can be activated only when required.
  • The activation of the heating process is effected, as shown in FIG. 7B, by cutting through the membrane 34 and the partition wall 38 by means of an actuator 36 designed as a mandrel, whereby the reaction chamber 33 is brought into a communicating relationship with the storage chamber 35 and the liquid 37 flows from the storage chamber 35 into the reaction chamber 33, where it enters into an exothermic reaction with the reactant. A continuous heating process, which heats up the packing material 31, is thereby started. By adding PCM devices (e.g. PCM) into the reaction chamber 33 of the heat exchanger 32, a temperature corresponding to the melting point of the PCM device is reached but not exceeded—various temperature ranges (depending on the PCM device used) can thus be adjusted according to the melting temperature of the PCM device in order to obtain the desired packing material temperature (depending on the application: beverage, food, medicament).
  • The heating process comes to a standstill when the liquid 37 has dissolved completely in the reactant and the quantity of heat stored in the PCM device has been delivered entirely to the packing material. According to the melting temperature of the PCM device it is ensured that the desired packing material temperature is not exceeded.
  • In FIGS. 8, 9, 10 and 11, the use of the heat exchanger 22 described above based on FIGS. 6A and 6B in a beverage can 41, a PET plastic bottle 42, a cardboard composite packing 43 and a party barrel 44, respectively, is shown, whereby it must be emphasized that these possible uses do not represent an exhaustive list.

Claims (19)

  1. 1. A heat exchanger, comprising
    an evacuated reaction chamber containing at least one reaction medium and a storage chamber containing an activation medium which reacts with the reaction medium in such a way as to modify the temperature, wherein the reaction chamber and the storage chamber can be brought into a communicating relationship, whereby the reaction medium and the activation medium are contacted with each other and the temperature-modifying reaction is triggered, the reaction chamber being defined by walls made of a vacuum-tight material, which walls are kept at a distance from each other, at least in sections, by supporting bodies, with the supporting bodies keeping free transport paths for the reaction medium inside the reaction chamber, wherein the vacuum-tight material forming the walls of the reaction chamber is a flexible film, preferably a composite film.
  2. 2. The heat exchanger according to claim 1, wherein the film is sealable and/or gluable.
  3. 3. The heat exchanger according to claim 1, wherein the reaction medium comprises evaporation media, endothermic reactants or exothermic reactants.
  4. 4. The heat exchanger according to claim 1, wherein the storage chamber contains an adsorbing medium as the activation medium and optionally a heat sink.
  5. 5. The heat exchanger according to claim 1, wherein the storage chamber contains an activation agent as the activation medium, which, upon contact with the reactant, triggers an exothermic reaction, optionally with a PCM device.
  6. 6. The heat exchanger according to claim 1, wherein supporting bodies are formed from granules which are pressed against each other due to the vacuum in the reaction chamber, the granules preferably being porous.
  7. 7. The heat exchanger according to claim 1, wherein supporting bodies are formed from moulded articles, which preferably are open-pored.
  8. 8. The heat exchanger according to claim 1, wherein supporting bodies are constructed as a framework against which the film is pressed due to the vacuum in the reaction chamber.
  9. 9. The heat exchanger according to claim 1, wherein supporting bodies are formed from a material with good heat conduction.
  10. 10. The heat exchanger according to claim 1, wherein supporting bodies are constructed as storage elements for the reaction medium or that supporting bodies are composed of the reaction medium provided as a solid body.
  11. 11. The heat exchanger according to claim 1, wherein the storage chamber is integrated in the heat exchanger, the storage chamber being kept on the heat exchanger preferably via a connection with the flexible vacuum-tight material.
  12. 12. The heat exchanger according to claim 1, wherein the storage chamber is constructed in a separate unit.
  13. 13. The heat exchanger according to claim 1, wherein the reaction chamber is separated from the storage chamber by a membrane and an optional partition wall or a valve.
  14. 14. The heat exchanger according to claim 13, further comprising at least one actuator for cutting through the membrane and the optional partition wall or for opening the valve.
  15. 15. The heat exchanger according to claim 1, wherein the storage chamber is evacuated.
  16. 16. A tempering container comprising an intake space for receiving a product to be tempered, wherein a heat exchanger according to claim 1 is connected to the intake space in a heat conducting manner.
  17. 17. The tempering container according to claim 16, wherein it is designed as a beverage can or a PET plastic bottle or a cardboard composite packing or a party barrel.
  18. 18. The heat exchanger according to claim 4, wherein the heat sink is a phase-changing agent.
  19. 19. The heat exchanger according to claim 5, wherein the PCM device is a phase-changing agent being arranged in the reaction chamber.
US11994994 2005-07-08 2006-07-05 Heat exchanger and tempering container comprising a heat exchanger Abandoned US20090114378A1 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AT11582005A AT501614A4 (en) 2005-07-08 2005-07-08 Heat exchanger and tempering with heat exchanger
ATA1158/2005 2005-07-08
PCT/AT2006/000290 WO2007006065A1 (en) 2005-07-08 2006-07-05 Heat exchanger and tempering container comprising a heat exchanger

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CN201090961Y (en) 2008-07-23 grant
WO2007006065A1 (en) 2007-01-18 application

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