US20150075185A1 - Article Temperature Control System - Google Patents

Article Temperature Control System Download PDF

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Publication number
US20150075185A1
US20150075185A1 US14030915 US201314030915A US2015075185A1 US 20150075185 A1 US20150075185 A1 US 20150075185A1 US 14030915 US14030915 US 14030915 US 201314030915 A US201314030915 A US 201314030915A US 2015075185 A1 US2015075185 A1 US 2015075185A1
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Prior art keywords
article
heat exchanger
control system
temperature control
coupling
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
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US14030915
Inventor
John Sims
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TETON OUTFITTERS D/B/A KLIM AGGRESSIVE SLED WEAR LLC
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John Sims
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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
    • F25BREFRIGERATION MACHINES, PLANTS OR SYSTEMS; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT-PUMP SYSTEMS
    • F25B21/00Machines, plant, or systems, using electric or magnetic effects
    • F25B21/02Machines, plant, or systems, using electric or magnetic effects using Peltier effect; using Nernst-Ettinghausen effect
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F28HEAT EXCHANGE IN GENERAL
    • F28FDETAILS OF HEAT-EXCHANGE AND HEAT-TRANSFER APPARATUS, OF GENERAL APPLICATION
    • F28F1/00Tubular elements; Assemblies of tubular elements
    • 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
    • F25BREFRIGERATION MACHINES, PLANTS OR SYSTEMS; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT-PUMP SYSTEMS
    • F25B21/00Machines, plant, or systems, using electric or magnetic effects
    • F25B21/02Machines, plant, or systems, using electric or magnetic effects using Peltier effect; using Nernst-Ettinghausen effect
    • F25B21/04Machines, plant, or systems, using electric or magnetic effects using Peltier effect; using Nernst-Ettinghausen effect reversible
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A41WEARING APPAREL
    • A41DOUTERWEAR; PROTECTIVE GARMENTS; ACCESSORIES
    • A41D13/00Professional, industrial, or sporting protective garments, e.g. garments affording protection against blows or punches, surgeon's gowns
    • A41D13/002Professional, industrial, or sporting protective garments, e.g. garments affording protection against blows or punches, surgeon's gowns with controlled internal environment
    • A41D13/005Professional, industrial, or sporting protective garments, e.g. garments affording protection against blows or punches, surgeon's gowns with controlled internal environment with controlled temperature
    • 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
    • F25BREFRIGERATION MACHINES, PLANTS OR SYSTEMS; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT-PUMP SYSTEMS
    • F25B2321/00Details of machines, plants, or systems, using electric or magnetic effects
    • F25B2321/02Details of machines, plants, or systems, using electric or magnetic effects using Peltier effects; using Nernst-Ettinghausen effects
    • F25B2321/023Mounting details thereof
    • 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
    • F25BREFRIGERATION MACHINES, PLANTS OR SYSTEMS; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT-PUMP SYSTEMS
    • F25B2321/00Details of machines, plants, or systems, using electric or magnetic effects
    • F25B2321/02Details of machines, plants, or systems, using electric or magnetic effects using Peltier effects; using Nernst-Ettinghausen effects
    • F25B2321/025Removal of heat
    • F25B2321/0252Removal of heat by liquids or two-phase fluids

Abstract

An article temperature control system includes an article having flexible tubing through it for circulating a heat transfer fluid and an article coupling affixed to distal ends of the flexible tubing. The article coupling releasably couples to a heat exchanger having a thermoelectric cooling/heating unit having one or more TEC plates, an aluminum heat sink, a fan and a controller in electrical communication with the TEC plates, a heat exchanger coupling adapted to releasably connect to the article coupling, an outlet line fluidly connecting the thermoelectric cooling/heating unit and the heat exchanger coupling, a return line fluidly connecting the thermoelectric cooling/heating unit and the heat exchanger coupling, a fluid block in fluid communication with the outlet and return lines, the fluid block forming a housing for the TEC plates, a pump in fluid communication with at least one of the outlet and return lines, and a power supply in electrical communication with the controller and the pump.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention relates generally to heating and cooling and, more specifically, to an article temperature control system that helps to stabilize an individual's body temperature by covering the individual or part of the individual within an article, such as apparel, garments, blankets, car seats having a temperature controlled fluid channeled through tubing within said article and pressurized suits, such as civilian space suits.
  • The article temperature control system can be used to stabilize an individual's body temperature while operating climate controlled or non-climate controlled motorized vehicles, including but not limited to motorcycles, all terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, and construction equipment.
  • In addition, the present invention is also intended for many more uses, including use by fire fighters, bomb squads, military and medical applications, small aircraft pilots and EMTs, by incorporating a self-contained rechargeable battery pack. EMT's would be able to apply a hot/cold blanket onto a victim of heat stroke or hypothermia as soon as they reach them.
  • Furthermore, the present invention provides for heating, cooling or maintaining the exact temperature for humans, animals and non-living objects, such as a car seat having tubing therein in fluid communication with a cooling/heating unit capable of conditioning the car seat circulating thermal agent by transferring thermal energy either to or from the thermal agent.
  • The seat cover and cooling/heating unit can be provided as an after-market item, which may have a battery or intended to be wired into the vehicle's electrical system or may be installed at the time of vehicle manufacturer. Installed as original equipment would obviate the need for the user to refill the water block as the system will be a sealed unit that may use any appropriate fluid as the thermal agent.
  • 2. Description of the Prior Art
  • There are other temperature control systems. While these systems may be suitable for the purposes for which they were designed, they would not be as suitable for the purposes of the present invention, as hereinafter described.
  • SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION
  • A primary object of the present invention is to provide an article temperature control system that can be worn by an individual to raise or lower a user's body temperature.
  • Another object of the present invention is to provide an article temperature control system using a fluid, such as a water and/or glycol solution as a thermal agent that is continually cycled through flexible tubing sewn or otherwise incorporated into the lining of a garment, apparel and blankets.
  • Yet another object of the present invention is to provide an article temperature control system where the garment is one or more of a vest, jacket, helmet, pants, a hot/cold blanket, or other article of apparel.
  • Still yet another object of the present invention is to provide an article temperature control system further incorporating a fluid conditioning system, a cooling/heating unit capable of conditioning a circulating thermal agent by transferring thermal energy either to or from the thermal agent.
  • An additional object of the present invention is to provide an article temperature control system further incorporating tubing for moving the thermal agent between the fluid conditioning system and the article of apparel.
  • A further object of the present invention is to provide an article temperature control system further incorporating quick disconnect couplings between the cooling/heating unit and the apparel, to ensure safety. These couplings, unlike others, are designed to automatically disconnect with 10 to 15 lbs. of pressure, in the event the operator falls off the machine.
  • A yet further object of the present invention is to provide an article temperature control system having a fluid conditioning system comprising a heat exchanger, pump, power source and control module.
  • A still yet further object of the present invention is to provide an article temperature control system having a heat exchanger comprising a fluid block and TEC plates that can be used in a scuba suit where a water environment will provide a thermal exchange medium.
  • Another object of the present invention is to provide an article temperature control system wherein said heat exchanger provides an additional element in the form of a thermally conductive plate positioned between the fluid block and TEC plates.
  • Yet another object of the present invention is to provide an article temperature control system wherein said heat exchanger provides another additional element in the form of a heat sink and optional fan to expedite the thermal exchange using ambient air.
  • Still yet another object of the present invention is to provide an article temperature control system wherein said heat sink optionally provides channels within the body for passage of a thermal medium therethrough.
  • An additional object of the present invention is to provide an article temperature control system wherein said heat sink channels can be milled or tubing inserted into a mold prior to manufacturing the heat sink.
  • A further object of the present invention is to provide an article temperature control system further providing an additional means of cooling the heat sink comprising attachment of one or more CO2 canisters to the heat sink channels whereby short burst of CO2 will rapidly cool the TEC plates and heat sink, which serves the primary functions of, in operation, jump starting the cooling side and in hot weather helping to maintain cooling performance.
  • A yet further object of the present invention is to provide an article temperature control system where said fluid block is comprised of an interior container having a base with peripheral walls and an integral exterior container similarly constructed with an air space between the interior and exterior containers forming an insulator between the interior and exterior containers.
  • A still yet further object of the present invention is to provide an article temperature control system where said fluid block having a base with walls extending from said base with each of the exterior walls and exterior base providing a spout and cap with the spout extending into the interior container containing the thermal fluid so that the fluid block can be refilled regardless of the orientation or angle of the heat exchanger when attached to an object.
  • Another object of the present invention is to provide an article temperature control system wherein said fluid block is manufactured from a material selected from metal, plastic or composite material.
  • Still yet another object of the present invention is to provide an article temperature control system wherein said power source is an electrical connection with the power source of the aforementioned non-climate controlled motorized vehicle's or an electrical connection with one or more rechargeable batteries.
  • An additional object of the present invention is to provide an article temperature control system comprising sheet-like material, such as a blanket, having said flexible tubing sewn or otherwise incorporated into said sheet-like material in conduit communication with a fluid conditioning system whereby the blanket can be used for victims of hypothermia and heat stroke.
  • Another object of the present invention is to provide an article temperature control system having a self-contained rechargeable battery pack for complete mobility of users of the article temperature control system.
  • Yet another object of the present invention is to provide an article temperature control system comprising a seat cover having fluid channels therein in fluid communication with said fluid conditioning system whereby a user through a control module can select a cooler or warmer temperature for said seat cover as needed.
  • Still another object of the present invention is to provide an article temperature control system comprising a seat cover having fluid channels therein in fluid communication with a fluid conditioning system that is provided for installation in after market vehicles.
  • An additional object of the present invention is to provide an article temperature control system comprising a seat cover having fluid channels therein in fluid communication with a fluid conditioning system that is incorporated at time of original vehicle manufacture.
  • A further object of the present invention is to provide an article temperature control system within an original vehicle manufacture wherein said water block is a sealed unit having a permanent thermal agent therein.
  • Additional objects of the present invention will appear as the description proceeds.
  • The present invention overcomes the shortcomings of the prior art by providing an article temperature control system that helps to stabilize an individual's body temperature while operating non-climate controlled motorized machines, including but not limited to motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, tractors, fork lifts and other construction equipment.
  • The present invention also overcomes the shortfalls of the prior art by incorporating safety features, such as “quick disconnect couplings” that are designed to automatically break apart or disconnect with a predetermined or selectable amount of pressure to ensure that the operator isn't dragged screaming with the vehicle in the event of a grisly accident or crash, for example, from a motorcycle or snowmobile.
  • The present invention further overcomes the shortcomings of the prior art by providing an option to utilize a self-contained rechargeable battery pack that will allow the wearer to become completely mobile and independent from an outside power source.
  • The present invention further overcomes the shortcomings of the prior art by providing EMTs with the ability to apply a hot/cold blanket to victims of hypothermia or heat stroke immediately upon the EMTs arrival in the field, by means of the hot/cold blanket and the self contained battery pack.
  • The foregoing and other objects and advantages will appear from the description to follow. In the description reference is made to the accompanying drawing figures, which form a part hereof, and in which is shown by way of illustration specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. These embodiments will be described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, and it is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and that structural changes may be made without departing from the scope of the invention. In the accompanying drawings, like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout the several views.
  • The following detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense, and the scope of the present invention is best defined by the appended claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES
  • In order that the invention may be more fully understood, it will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
  • FIG. 1 is an illustrative view of applications of the temperature control system of the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 is an illustrative view of the article temperature control system of the present invention.
  • FIG. 3 is an illustration of various representative articles incorporating the article temperature control system of the present invention.
  • FIG. 4 is an illustrative view of the article temperature control system of the present invention.
  • FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the article temperature control system of the present invention.
  • FIG. 6 is a side view of a motorized vehicle incorporating the article temperature control system of the present invention.
  • FIG. 7, shown is a flow chart of a preferred embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 8 is a sectional view of the heat exchanger of the present invention.
  • FIG. 9 is a sectional view of the heat exchanger of the present invention.
  • FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the heat sink incorporating an additional cooling mechanism.
  • FIG. 11 is an illustrative view of applications of the temperature control system of the present invention.
  • FIG. 12 is an illustrative view of an additional element of the present invention.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE REFERENCED NUMERALS
  • Turning now descriptively to the drawing figures, in which similar reference characters denote similar elements throughout the several views, the figures illustrate the Article Temperature Control System of the present invention. With regard to the reference numerals used, the following numbering is used throughout the various drawing figures.
    • 10 Article Temperature Control System of the invention
    • 12 heat exchanger
    • 14 article
    • 16 flexible tubing
    • 18 couplings on 14
    • 20 jacket
    • 22 hood
    • 24 pants
    • 26 gloves
    • 28 blanket
    • 30 motorcycle
    • 32 utility vehicle
    • 34 snowmobiles
    • 36 construction equipment
    • 38 ambulance
    • 40 fire truck
    • 42 flexible tubing
    • 46 thermoelectric cooling/heating unit
    • 48 TEC plates
    • 50 heat sink
    • 52 fan
    • 54 controller
    • 56 heat exchanger coupling
    • 58 outlet line
    • 60 return line
    • 62 fluid block
    • 64 pump
    • 66 power supply
    • 68 secondary couplings
    • 70 outlet port
    • 72 return port
    • 74 handlebar of 30
    • 76 carrying case
    • 78 battery
    • 80 thermal agent
    • 82 electric line
    • 84 scuba diving unit
    • 86 fire fighting apparel
    • 88 pressurized suits
    • 90 CO2 channel
    • 92 CO2 canister
    • 94 fluid block cap
    • 96 cap grommet
    • 98 fluid block cavity
    • 100 thermal conduction plate
    • 102 heat sink tubing
    • 104 seat cover
    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • The following discussion describes in detail one embodiment of the invention (and several variations of that embodiment). This discussion should not be construed, however, as limiting the invention to those particular embodiments, practitioners skilled in the art will recognize numerous other embodiments as well. For definition of the complete scope of the invention, the reader is directed to appended claims.
  • Referring to FIG. 1, shown is an illustrative view of applications of the temperature control system of the present invention. The present invention is a temperature control system 10 that helps to stabilize an individual's body temperature by encompassing the individual or part of the individual within articles, such as apparel, having a temperature controlled fluid channeled throughout. Specific embodiments of articles and activities that may be desirous of temperature control are disclosed in the accompanying drawing figures for illustrative purposes only and are not intended as the sole applications of the temperature control system of the present invention.
  • Shown is the article temperature control system 10 of the present invention in use in a variety of garments, apparel and blanket for a variety of different purposes. Speaking generally, the article temperature control system 10 of the present invention includes a heat exchanger 12 and an article 14 fluidly connectable to the heat exchanger 12, with flexible tubing 16 running through the body of the article 14 for circulating a heat transfer fluid from the heat exchanger 12 through the article 14. Couplings 18 on the flexible tubing 16 releasably connect the heat exchanger 12 with the article 14.
  • The article temperature control system 10 provides for articles 14 that can take many forms, such as various types of garments and apparel, for example, jackets 20, hoods 22, pants 24, gloves 26, blankets 28, seat covers 104, pressurized suits 86 and scuba diving suit 84 and can be suitably employed in connection with a wide variety of vehicles and uses. For example, the article temperature control system 10 of the present invention can find great utility in use with non-climate controlled motorized vehicles such as motorcycles 30, utility vehicles 32 such as all terrain vehicles and golf carts, and snowmobiles 34, and also with construction vehicles 36 such as tractors, fork lifts and front loaders and emergency vehicles such as ambulances 38 and fire engines 40.
  • Referring to FIG. 2, shown is an illustrative view of the article temperature control system 10 of the present invention. Shown is the article temperature control system 10 of the invention having an article, illustrated as a primary garment shown as a jacket 20, having flexible tubing 42 running through the body of the jacket 20 and with an article coupling 18 on opposite ends of the tubing 42, allowing circulation of the fluid through the tubing 42 in the jacket 20. Shown is an embodiment of the article temperature control system 10 of the invention wherein the heat exchanger incorporates a thermoelectric cooling/heating unit 46 having thermoelectric cooling (TEC) plates 48, a heat sink 50, an optional fan 52 and a controller 54 in electrical communication with the TEC plates 48. The heat exchanger also includes a heat exchanger coupling 56 for connecting to the article coupling 18, an outlet line 58 fluidly connecting the thermoelectric cooling/heating unit 46 and the heat exchanger coupling 56, a return line 60 fluidly connecting the thermoelectric cooling/heating unit 46 and the heat exchanger coupling 56, a fluid block 62 in fluid communication with the outlet line 58 and the return line 60, a pump 64 in fluid communication with at least one of the outlet line 58 and return line 60, and a power supply 66 in electrical communication with the thermoelectric cooling/heating unit 46 and the pump 64.
  • In one embodiment, the power supply 66 is a 12 volt battery such as those typically found on motorized vehicles such as motorcycles, all terrain vehicles and snowmobiles. In another embodiment the system provides the user to be completely mobile by incorporating a self-contained rechargeable battery pack.
  • In addition to a primary garment, illustrated as the jacket 20, heating and cooling can be provided to one or more secondary garments, for example, the hood 22 shown in FIG. 2, which connect, directly or indirectly, to the primary garment. Preferably, the flexible tubing 16 in the primary and secondary garments connects through secondary couplings 68. Preferably, the primary garment is either pants 24 or a jacket 20, with secondary garments selected from one or more of pants 24 or jacket 20 (if not the primary garment), vest, gloves 26, hood/helmet/hat/headwear 22, socks/boots/footwear and the like. Placement of the pump 64 in the lines leading to and from the thermoelectric cooling/heating unit 46 will depend upon the particular application, with all positions finding utility. Shown is the pump 64 being inline with the return line 60. Preferably, the fluid block 62 and/or the heat sink 50 is formed of a lightweight, rigid material, for example a metal such as aluminum, and most preferably the fluid block 62 forms housing for the TEC plates 48. The fittings, particularly the heat exchanger coupling 56 and the article coupling 18 which connect the primary garment, shown as a jacket 20, to the thermoelectric cooling/heating unit 46, can be quick disconnect couplings, and further, can be designed to automatically disconnect at a predetermined or selectable force threshold, for example, from about 10 to about 15 pounds.
  • Referring to FIG. 3, shown illustrates various representative articles incorporating the article temperature control system of the present invention. Shown are articles that exemplify incorporation of the article temperature control system, such as blankets 28, gloves 26, hoods 22, pants 24 and jackets 20, each having flexible tubing 16 running through the body of the article for moving a heat transfer fluid through the article, thus performing a transfer of thermal energy between the heat transfer fluid and the wearer of the article, raising or lowering the temperature of the wearer as needed. The fluid is returned through the article couplings 18 to the conditioning unit to be heated/cooled once again.
  • In addition to a primary garment, such as the pants 24 or jacket 20, heating and cooling can be provided to one or more secondary garments, for example, gloves 26 and/or a hood 22, which connect, directly or indirectly, to the primary garment through secondary couplings 68. Preferably, the primary garment is either pants 24 or a jacket 20, with secondary garments selected from one or more of pants 24 or jacket 20 (if not the primary garment), vest, gloves 26, hood/helmet/hat/headwear 22, socks/boots/footwear and the like.
  • Referring to FIG. 4, shown is an illustrative view of the article temperature control system of the present invention. Shown is an embodiment of the article temperature control system 10 of the present invention wherein the heat exchanger includes a thermoelectric cooling/heating unit 46 having a fan 52, a fluid block 62 in fluid communication with the outlet line 58 and the return line 60, the fluid block 62 forming a housing for internal TEC plates and heat sink, and a controller 54 in electrical communication with the fan 52. The heat exchanger also includes a heat exchanger coupling 56 for connecting to the article, an outlet line 58 fluidly connecting the thermoelectric cooling/heating unit 46 and the heat exchanger coupling 56, a return line 60 fluidly connecting the thermoelectric cooling/heating unit 46 and the heat exchanger coupling 56, a pump 64 in fluid communication with at least one of the outlet line 58 and return line 60, and a power supply 66 in electrical communication with the thermoelectric cooling/heating unit 46 and the pump 64.
  • Placement of the pump 64 in the lines leading to and from the thermoelectric cooling/heating unit 46 will depend upon the particular application, with all positions finding utility. Shown is the pump 64 being inline with the return line 60. Preferably, the fluid block 62 and/or the heat sink 50 are formed of a lightweight, rigid material, for example a metal such as aluminum. The fittings, particularly the heat exchanger coupling 56 and the article coupling 18 which connect the primary garment to the heat exchanger, can be quick disconnect couplings, and further, can be designed to automatically disconnect at a predetermined or selectable force threshold, for example, from about 10 to about 15 pounds.
  • Referring to FIG. 5, shown is a sectional view of the article temperature control system of the present invention. Shown is the thermoelectric cooling/heating unit 46 having thermoelectric cooling (TEC) plates 48, a heat sink 50, a fan 52, an outlet port 70, a return port 72, and a fluid block 62 in fluid communication with the outlet and return lines through the outlet port 70 and return port 72, with the fluid block 62 forming a housing for the TEC plates 48, heat sink 50 and fan 52. Preferably, the heat sink 50 and fluid block 62 are formed of a lightweight, rigid material, such as metal, plastic and composite.
  • Referring to FIG. 6, shown is a side view of a motorized vehicle incorporating the article temperature control system of the present invention. Shown is a motorcycle 30 having a thermoelectric cooling/heating unit 46, at least one heat exchanger coupling 56 for connecting to the heated/cooled article, an outlet line 58 fluidly connecting the unit 46 to a heat exchanger coupling 56, a return line 60 fluidly connecting the unit 46 to a heat exchanger coupling 56. The system is not limited to motorcycles and may include any non-climate controlled motorized machine such as all terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, tractors and other construction equipment. Also shown is a controller 54 mounted to the handlebar 74 of the motorcycle 30 with an electric line 82 in communication with the unit 46.
  • Referring to FIG. 7, shown is a flow chart of a preferred embodiment of the present invention. The present invention is a article temperature control system 10 having a heat exchanger 12 which acts as a fluid conditioning system, and an article 14 fluidly connectable to the heat exchanger 12 and having flexible tubing 16 running through body of the article 14 for moving a heat transfer fluid between the heat exchanger 12 and through the article 14. A coupling 18 on the flexible tubing 16 releasably connects with a mating coupling 56 affixed to an outlet line 58 leading from the heat exchanger 12 and a return line 60 leading to the heat exchanger 12. An in-line fluid pump 64 is in fluid communication with at least one of the outlet line 58 and return line 60, preferably the return line 60. A controller 54 is in electrical 82 communication with the heat exchanger 12, and a power supply 66 in electrical communication with the controller 54 provides controlled power distribution through the controller 54 to the pump 64 and the heat exchanger 12.
  • In one embodiment, the power supply 66 is a 12 volt battery such as those typically found on motorized vehicles such as motorcycles, all terrain vehicles and snowmobiles. In another embodiment the system provides the user to be completely mobile by incorporating a self contained rechargeable battery pack.
  • The fittings, particularly the heat exchanger coupling 56 and the article coupling 18 which connect the garment to the heat exchanger 12, can be quick disconnect couplings, and further, can be designed to automatically disconnect at a predetermined or selectable force threshold, for example, from about 10 to about 15 pounds.
  • Referring to FIG. 8, shown is a sectional view of the heat exchanger of the present invention. Shown is an enablement of the heat exchanger 12 having a fluid block 62 comprised of an interior container having a base with peripheral walls and an integral exterior container similarly constructed with an air space 98 between the interior and exterior containers forming an insulator between the interior and exterior containers. Also shown is the water block 62 having a cover comprising a thermally conductive plate 100 that will hermetically seal the water block 62 with the TEC plates positioned over plate 100 to accelerate thermal transfer from or to the thermal agent 80. Also shown is the heat sink 50 having channel 90 within the body for passage of a thermal medium, such as CO2, that can be ejected into the channel 90 to quickly cool the heat sink 50. The channels 90 can be cast, drilled or milled with the heat sink 50 manufactured from a material selected from metal, plastic or composite material. The fluid block 62 having a base with walls extending from said base with each of the exterior walls and exterior base providing a cap 94 and grommet 96 with the spout extending into the interior container containing the thermal agent 80 so that the fluid block 62 can be refilled regardless of the orientation or angle of the heat exchanger 12 when attached to an object.
  • Referring to FIG. 9, shown is a sectional view of the heat exchanger of the present invention. Shown is an enablement of the heat exchanger 12 having a fluid block 62 comprised of an interior container having a base with peripheral walls and an integral exterior container similarly constructed with an air space 98 between the interior and exterior containers forming an insulator between the interior and exterior containers. Also shown is the water block 62 having a cover comprising a thermally conductive plate 100 that will hermetically seal the water block 62 with the TEC plates positioned over plate 100 to accelerate thermal transfer from or to the thermal agent 80. Also shown is the heat sink 50 having channel 90 within the body for passage of a thermal medium, such as CO2, that can be ejected into the channel 90 to quickly cool the heat sink 50. The channels 90 can be tubing 104 that is placed within the drilled or milled channel 90 or placed within a mold prior to casting with the heat sink 50 manufactured from a material selected from metal, plastic or composite material. The fluid block 62 having exterior walls and exterior base provides a cap 94 and grommet 96 with the spout extending into the interior container containing the thermal agent 80 so that the fluid block 62 can be refilled regardless of the orientation or angle of the heat exchanger 12 when attached to an object.
  • Referring to FIG. 10, shown is a perspective view of the heat sink incorporating an additional cooling mechanism. The present invention provides additional heat sink cooling means comprising a plurality of channels 90 within the body of heat sink 50 for passage of a thermal medium, such as CO2 92, that can be ejected into the channel 90 to quickly cool the heat sink 50 thereby jump starting the cooling function of the article temperature control system and in hot weather helping to maintain cooling performance.
  • Referring to FIG. 11, shown is a sectional view of a heat exchanger for a scuba diving suit. The article temperature control system 10 of the present invention includes an enable of a heat exchanger 12 specifically designed for a scuba diving suit 84 fluidly connectable to the heat exchanger 12, with flexible tubing 16 running through the body of the scuba suit 84 for circulating a thermal agent 80 from the heat exchanger 12 through the scuba suit 84. The fluid block 62 is comprised of an interior container having a base with peripheral walls and an integral exterior container similarly constructed with an air space 98 between the interior and exterior containers forming an insulator between the interior and exterior containers. Also shown is the water block 62 having a cover comprising a thermally conductive plate 100 that will hermetically seal the water block 62 with the TEC plates positioned over plate 100 to accelerate thermal transfer from or to the thermal agent 80. Since the scuba diving unit exchanges heat with water, there is no need for a heat exchanger having the heat sink 12 and fan 52.
  • Referring to FIG. 12, shown is an illustrative view of an additional element of the present invention. Shown is the present invention having an embodiment whereby the present invention is self contained while being portable and operable independent of machinery or external power source via its own carry case 76 and battery 78. Shown is an embodiment of the article temperature control system 10 of the present invention wherein the heat exchanger includes a thermoelectric cooling/heating unit 46 having a fan 52, a fluid block 62 in fluid communication with the outlet line 58 and the return line 60, the fluid block 62 forming a housing for internal TEC plates and heat sink, and a controller 54 in electrical communication with the fan 52. The heat exchanger also includes a heat exchanger coupling 56 for connecting to the article, an outlet line 58 fluidly connecting the thermoelectric cooling/heating unit 46 and the heat exchanger coupling 56, a return line 60 fluidly connecting the thermoelectric cooling/heating unit 46 and the heat exchanger coupling 56, a pump 64 in fluid communication with at least one of the outlet line 58 and return line 60, a pump 64 in fluid communication with at least one of the outlet line 58 and return line 60, and a battery 78 in electrical communication with the thermoelectric cooling/heating unit 46 and the pump 64.
  • Placement of the pump 64 in the lines leading to and from the thermoelectric cooling/heating unit 46 will depend upon the particular application, with all positions finding utility. Shown is the pump 64 being inline with the outlet line 58. Preferably, the fluid block 62 and/or the heat sink 50 is formed of a lightweight, rigid material, for example a metal such as aluminum. The fittings, particularly the heat exchanger coupling 56 which connects to the article to be heated/cooled, is a quick disconnect couplings, and further, can be designed to automatically disconnect at a predetermined or selectable force threshold, for example, from about 10 to about 15 pounds. A carrying case 76 surrounds and secures the various components of the invention for easy transportation and storage.
  • It will be understood that each of the elements described above, or two or more together may also find a useful application in other types of methods differing from the type described above.
  • While certain novel features of this invention have been shown and described and are pointed out in the annexed claims, it is not intended to be limited to the details above, since it will be understood that various omissions, modifications, substitutions and changes in the forms and details of the device illustrated and in its operation can be made by those skilled in the art without departing in any way from the spirit of the present invention.
  • Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention that others can, by applying current knowledge, readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features that, from the standpoint of prior art, fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic or specific aspects of this invention.

Claims (22)

    What is claimed is new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is set forth in the appended claims:
  1. 1. An article temperature control system comprising:
    a) a fluid conditioning system;
    b) an article having flexible tubing running through the article for circulating a thermal agent throughout said article;
    c) a coupling adapted to releasably connect to said article flexible tubing. and
    d) flexible tubing to fluidly connect said coupling to the fluid conditioning system.
  2. 2. The article temperature control system according to claim 1, wherein said fluid conditioning system comprises:
    a) a heat exchanger for moving thermal energy from or to a thermal agent circulating between the heat exchanger and the fluidly connect article;
    c) a heat exchanger outlet line fluidly connecting said heat exchanger and said coupling;
    d) a heat exchanger return line fluidly connecting said heat exchanger and said coupling;
    e) a pump in fluid communication with at least one of said outlet line and said return line; and
    f) a control module in electrical communication with a power source, TEC plates and pump with the control module providing for engaging and disengaging the fluid conditioning system and temperature selection.
  3. 3. The article temperature control system according to claim 2, wherein said heat exchanger comprises:
    a) a fluid block having a housing with an inlet port and an outlet port with said fluid block forming receptacle for a thermal agent; and
    b) TEC plates in electrical communication with a control module whereby said TEC plates can add thermal energy to said thermal agent and remove thermal energy from said thermal agent.
  4. 4. The article temperature control system according to claim 3, wherein said article is selected from the group of wet suit, dry suit and space suit having a plurality of thermal fluid channels within the body enabling the user to raise or lower the temperature of the thermal agent through the control module.
  5. 5. The article temperature control system according to claim 3, wherein said heat exchanger further provides a thermally conductive plate that is mounted to said fluid block providing a hermetically sealed fluid block with the TEC plates positioned over said thermally conductive plate for add thermal energy to said thermal agent and remove thermal energy from said thermal agent via said thermally conductive plate.
  6. 6. The article temperature control system according to claim 5, wherein said heat exchanger further provides a heat sink fixedly positioned over said TEC plates to facilitate thermal exchange between ambient air and said TEC plates.
  7. 7. The article temperature control system according to claim 6, wherein said heat exchanger further provides a fan mountable to said heat sink to accelerate thermal exchange between the heat sink and the ambient air.
  8. 8. The article temperature control system according to claim 7, wherein said fluid block and said heat sink are manufactured from a material selected from metal, plastic and composite material.
  9. 9. The article temperature control system according to claim 8, wherein said article is selected from the group of apparel, garments, blankets and seat covers.
  10. 10. The article temperature control system according to claim 9, wherein said article is one or more garments selected from the group of jacket, hood, pants, gloves and vest.
  11. 11. The article temperature control system according to claim 10, wherein said non-climate controlled motorized vehicle is selected from a motorcycle, a utility vehicle, an all terrain vehicle, a golf cart, a snowmobile, a construction vehicle, a tractor, a fork lift and a front loader.
  12. 12. The article temperature control system according to claim 11, wherein said coupling is a quick disconnect coupling adapted to automatically disconnect at a predetermined or selectable force threshold.
  13. 13. The article temperature control system according to claim 12, wherein predetermined force threshold is from about 10 to about 15 pounds.
  14. 14. The article temperature control system according to claim 1, wherein said heat exchanger is portably contained within a carry case.
  15. 15. The article temperature control system according to claim 14, further comprising a self-contained rechargeable battery pack.
  16. 16. The article temperature control system according to claim 1, further comprising:
    a) a coupling adapted to releasably connect said heat exchanger to distal ends of said flexible tubing;
    b) said article is a primary garment worn by a user;
    c) wherein said heat exchanger is used within a climate-controlled vehicle and non-climate controlled motorized vehicles; and
    d) a secondary garment worn by a user, said secondary garment fluidly connectable to said primary garment, said secondary garment having flexible tubing running through said secondary garment for circulating a heat transfer fluid between said primary garment and through said secondary garment.
  17. 17. The article temperature control system according to claim 16, further comprising secondary couplings adapted to connect said flexible tubing in said primary garment to said flexible tubing in said secondary garment.
  18. 18. The article temperature control system according to claim 17, wherein said primary garment is selected from pants and a jacket, and said secondary garment is selected from jacket, headwear, pants, gloves vest and footwear.
  19. 19. The article temperature control system according to claim 18, wherein said non-climate controlled motorized vehicle is selected from a motorcycle, a utility vehicle, an all terrain vehicle, a golf cart, a snowmobile, a construction vehicle, a tractor, a fork lift and a front loader.
  20. 20. An article temperature control system comprising:
    a) an article selected from a garment and a blanket having flexible tubing running through said article for circulating a thermal agent through said article, and an article coupling affixed to distal ends of said flexible tubing; and
    b) a fluid conditioning system having a fluid block with one or more TEC plates, a heat sink, a fan and a controller in electrical communication with said TEC plates, a heat exchanger coupling adapted to releasably connect to said article coupling, an outlet line fluidly connecting said fluid conditioning system and said heat exchanger coupling, a return line fluidly connecting said fluid conditioning system and said heat exchanger coupling, said fluid block in fluid communication with said outlet line and said return line, said fluid block forming a housing for said TEC plates, a pump for fluid communication with at least one of said outlet line and said return line, and a power supply in electrical communication with said controller and said pump.
  21. 21. A method of controlling an individual's body temperature comprising the steps:
    a) providing an article temperature control system having an article selected from the group of garment, blanket and seat cover with flexible tubing running through said article for circulating a thermal agent through said article, and an article coupling affixed to distal ends of said flexible tubing; and a fluid block having one or more TEC plates, heat sink, a fan and a controller in electrical communication with said TEC plates, a heat exchanger coupling adapted to releasably connect to said article coupling, an outlet line fluidly connecting said fluid block and said heat exchanger coupling, a return line fluidly connecting said fluid block and said heat exchanger coupling, said fluid block forming a housing for said TEC plates, a pump in fluid communication with at least one of said outlet line and said return line, and a power supply in electrical communication with said controller and said pump;
    b) placing said article against an individual's body;
    c) connecting said article coupling with said heat exchanger coupling; and
    d) controlling said article temperature control system with said controller.
  22. 22. The method of controlling an individual's body temperature according to claim 21, further comprising:
    a) a carry case portably containing said heat exchanger;
    b) said power supply is a self-contained rechargeable battery pack; and
    c) said article is a blanket.
US14030915 2013-09-18 2013-09-18 Article Temperature Control System Abandoned US20150075185A1 (en)

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Cited By (2)

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US20150173431A1 (en) * 2006-09-21 2015-06-25 Survitec Group Limited Conditioning garments
EP3267128A1 (en) * 2016-07-07 2018-01-10 Goodrich Corporation Electrocaloric cooling

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US5429534A (en) * 1994-03-25 1995-07-04 Cano; Mario F. Personal watercraft garment heating system
US20020162339A1 (en) * 2001-05-04 2002-11-07 Harrison Howard R. High performance thermoelectric systems
US20070039719A1 (en) * 2003-11-07 2007-02-22 Eriksen Andre S Cooling system for a computer system
US20090199571A1 (en) * 2007-12-03 2009-08-13 John Creech Body temperature control system
US20090308082A1 (en) * 2005-12-30 2009-12-17 Paul Christopher Monk Heating/Cooling System for a Motorcycle Rider

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5429534A (en) * 1994-03-25 1995-07-04 Cano; Mario F. Personal watercraft garment heating system
US20020162339A1 (en) * 2001-05-04 2002-11-07 Harrison Howard R. High performance thermoelectric systems
US20070039719A1 (en) * 2003-11-07 2007-02-22 Eriksen Andre S Cooling system for a computer system
US20090308082A1 (en) * 2005-12-30 2009-12-17 Paul Christopher Monk Heating/Cooling System for a Motorcycle Rider
US20090199571A1 (en) * 2007-12-03 2009-08-13 John Creech Body temperature control system

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20150173431A1 (en) * 2006-09-21 2015-06-25 Survitec Group Limited Conditioning garments
US9918502B2 (en) * 2006-09-21 2018-03-20 Survitec Group Limited Conditioning garments
EP3267128A1 (en) * 2016-07-07 2018-01-10 Goodrich Corporation Electrocaloric cooling

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Effective date: 20150623