US20160298859A1 - Heat reclamation apparatus and method - Google Patents

Heat reclamation apparatus and method Download PDF

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Publication number
US20160298859A1
US20160298859A1 US15/093,349 US201615093349A US2016298859A1 US 20160298859 A1 US20160298859 A1 US 20160298859A1 US 201615093349 A US201615093349 A US 201615093349A US 2016298859 A1 US2016298859 A1 US 2016298859A1
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heat
kitchen
extractor
fluid
chute
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US15/093,349
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Michael J. Horvath
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Green Heat Corp
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Green Heat Corp
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Assigned to Green Heat Corporation reassignment Green Heat Corporation ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: HORVATH, MICHAEL J.
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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24CDOMESTIC STOVES OR RANGES ; DETAILS OF DOMESTIC STOVES OR RANGES, OF GENERAL APPLICATION
    • F24C15/00Details
    • F24C15/32Arrangements of ducts for hot gases, e.g. in or around baking ovens
    • F24C15/322Arrangements of ducts for hot gases, e.g. in or around baking ovens with forced circulation
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24CDOMESTIC STOVES OR RANGES ; DETAILS OF DOMESTIC STOVES OR RANGES, OF GENERAL APPLICATION
    • F24C15/00Details
    • F24C15/20Removing cooking fumes
    • F24C15/2042Devices for removing cooking fumes structurally associated with a cooking range
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24CDOMESTIC STOVES OR RANGES ; DETAILS OF DOMESTIC STOVES OR RANGES, OF GENERAL APPLICATION
    • F24C15/00Details
    • F24C15/34Elements and arrangements for heat storage or insulation

Abstract

A kitchen heat reclamation apparatus includes a heat producing kitchen apparatus, and a chute positioned near a portion of the heat producing kitchen apparatus that produces heated air. An air handler moves at least a portion of the heated air produced by the heat producing kitchen apparatus along a heated air path that passes through the chute. A heat extractor is associated with the chute. The heat extractor removes heat from the air before exhausting the air to the atmosphere. The heat removed by the heat extractor can be used in other areas of a building or can be used to generate electricity.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/178,299, filed Apr. 7, 2015, and entitled “GREEN HYBRID WATER HEATING SYSTEM,” the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference in its entirety.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • Various embodiments described herein relate to an apparatus and a method of heat extraction. More specifically, to an apparatus and method for reclaiming a portion of the heat otherwise considered waste heat and exhausted from a commercial grill, oven, fryer or any appliance that produces waste heat.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Energy costs have risen the years. Along with this rise in costs, there has been a constant drive to save energy in various parts of the world. In addition, producing energy generally produces carbon which is thought to contribute to global warming. Saving energy is also a way to reduce carbon emissions. Simply put, using less energy means reduced carbon footprint for the user.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention reclaims the waste heat, before it is exhausted into the atmosphere. In one embodiment, waste heat is reclaimed from a commercial grill, oven, fryer, or any appliance that gives off waste heat in a food service establishment. The reclaimed heat can be used to heat a portion of a building, such as the food service establishment in the cooler months of the year. The reclaimed heat can be used to generate electricity. In one embodiment, the electricity generated is used to drive a pump which in turn compresses a refrigerant as part of a refrigeration cycle. The refrigeration apparatus can be associated with an air conditioner for a building, in one embodiment, or with a cooler, which is common in kitchens in another embodiment.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The embodiments will be readily understood by the following detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals designate like structural elements, and in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic view of a kitchen heat reclamation apparatus, according to an example embodiment.
  • FIG. 2 is a schematic view of a kitchen heat reclamation apparatus, according to another example embodiment.
  • FIG. 3A is a top schematic view of a heat extractor used in the kitchen heat reclamation apparatus, according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 3B is a partially cut away side view of a heat extractor used in the kitchen heat reclamation apparatus, according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 4A is a schematic view of another kitchen heat reclamation apparatus that includes an overheat exhaust port, according to an example embodiment.
  • FIG. 4B is a cutaway schematic side view of a baffle in the chute in the open position which allows the heated gas, such as heated exhaust fumes, to pass through the chute, according to an example embodiment.
  • FIG. 4C is a cutaway schematic side view of a baffle in the chute in the closed position which directs the heated gas out the overheat exhaust port and bypassing the chute, according to an example embodiment.
  • FIG. 5 is a schematic view of an aquastat within the heat extractor which produces an overheat exhaust port enable signal in response to the temperature of the fluid within the heat extractor being above a threshold temperature, according to an example embodiment.
  • FIG. 6 shows a schematic view of a building heating system that includes the heat reclamation apparatus, according to an example embodiment.
  • FIG. 7 is a schematic view of system for increasing the efficiency of a heating system in a kitchen or restaurant or other building, according to an example embodiment.
  • FIG. 8 is a schematic view of a kitchen heat reclamation apparatus, according to yet another example embodiment.
  • FIG. 9 shows a hood, heat extractor, and thermoelectric generator that can be placed on a heat producing kitchen apparatus to form a heat reclamation apparatus, according to an example embodiment.
  • FIG. 10 is a flow diagram of a method for reclaiming heat or recycling heat from a heat producing kitchen appliance, according to an example embodiment.
  • FIG. 11 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the invention as attached to a commercial griddle, according to an example embodiment.
  • FIG. 12 is a close up perspective view of a mounting plate having a plurality of thermal extraction and thermoelectric generation (TEG), according to an example embodiment.
  • FIG. 13 shows another embodiment of a heat reclamation system, according to an example embodiment.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • In the following paper, numerous specific details are set forth to provide a thorough understanding of the concepts underlying the described embodiments. It will be apparent, however, to one skilled in the art that the described embodiments may be practiced without some or all of these specific details. In other instances, well known process steps have not been described in detail in order to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the underlying concepts.
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic view of a kitchen heat reclamation apparatus 100, according to an example embodiment. The kitchen heat reclamation apparatus 100 includes a heat producing kitchen apparatus 110, and a chute 120 positioned near a portion of the heat producing kitchen apparatus 110 that produces heated air. As shown in FIG. 1, the kitchen heat reclamation apparatus includes a kitchen grill with a grill surface 112. There are flames 111 below the grill surface 112. Heated air moves along a heated air path 130 that passes through the chute 120. The heated air path 130 includes an entrance near a front portion of the grill surface 112. A heat extractor 300 is associated with the chute 120. The heat extractor 300, as shown, is within the chute 120. The heat extractor 300 removes heat from the air in the heated air path 130 before exhausting the air to the atmosphere. A kitchen hood can be provided to exhaust the air to the atmosphere. It should be noted that the heat producing kitchen apparatus 110 shown and described herein is a kitchen grill. This is by way of example. It should be understood that the heat producing kitchen apparatus 110 could be any of a number of various kitchen devices. For example, the heat producing kitchen apparatus 110 could be a fryer or an oven or another heat producing kitchen apparatus. The system shown and described herein could be adapted to work on these other devices.
  • FIG. 2 is a schematic view of a kitchen heat reclamation apparatus 200, according to another example embodiment. Most of the components of the kitchen heat reclamation apparatus 200 are similar or the same. For the sake of clarity, the elements that are the same will not be described again. Rather, the differences between apparatus 100 and apparatus 200 will be described. In one embodiment, the kitchen heat reclamation apparatus 200 includes an air handler 210. The air handler 210 is positioned at the entrance to the chute 120 and forces air through the chute 120. The air handler 210 pulls air over the flames 112. The entrance of the air handler 210 is near the rear portion of the grill. The air handler 210 produces a low pressure spot so that air is pulled from a point at the front of the grill surface 112, and over the flames where it is heated, and into the air handler 210. The air handler 210 can be any type of air handler, such as a centrifugal or radial fan, axial or propeller fan, a mixed flow fan, a cross flow fan, or the like. The air handler 210 can also be placed at different spots along the heated air path 130 and is not limited to the position shown in FIG. 2. The air handler 210 forces air along the path. In the absence of an air handler 210, convection moves the air along the heated air path 130.
  • In another embodiment, the air handler is absent. The hot exhaust air rises from the grill, fryer, or oven top or other apparatus that produces heated air from which heat can be reclaimed. In this embodiment, heated air moves along a heated air path 130 that passes through the chute 120. The heated air path 130 includes an entrance near a front portion of the grill surface 112. A heat extractor 300 is associated with the chute 120. The heat extractor 300, as shown, is within the chute 120. The heat extractor 300 removes heat from the air in the heated air path 130 before exhausting the air to the atmosphere. The heated air in this embodiment is not forced through the path but is moved by convection.
  • FIG. 3A is a top schematic view of a heat extractor 300 used in the kitchen heat reclamation apparatus, according to an embodiment of the invention. FIG. 3B is a side schematic view of a heat extractor 300 used in the kitchen heat reclamation apparatus 100 or 200, according to an embodiment of the invention. The heat extractor 300 includes a fluid flow path 320. The fluid flow path 320 is depicted by tubing 322 that carries the fluid. The tubing 322 is shown in a serpentine pattern in FIGS. 3A and 3B. The tubing 322 is made from a thermally conductive material such as copper. The material of the tubing is also selected for corrosion resistance and other qualities. Attached to a portion of the exterior surface of the tubing 322 are fins 330. The heated air heats the fins 330. The fluid 324 associated with the fluid flow path 320 is generally cooler than the heated air 130 and heated fins 330. The fins 330 thermally conduct heat from the fins 330 to the tubing 322. The tubing is also made of thermally conductive material and this in turns conducts heat to the fluid associated with the fluid flow path 320. Any type of fluid 324 can be associated with the fluid flow path 320. Water is used in this example. Water has a high specific heat. In other words, water has one of the highest heat capacity for a unit of mass of material. Water is also commonly used in many other heat transfer systems. Water is also readily available when a system leaks and make up fluid is required to bring the system back to full.
  • The fluid flow path 320 includes an inlet 326 and an outlet 328. The tubing in a serpentine pattern is between the inlet 326 and the outlet 328. In the embodiment shown, the fluid flow path is formed from straight lengths of tubing 322. The fins 330 are attached or otherwise thermally coupled to the exterior surface of the straight lengths of tubing 322. U-shaped sections of tubing 323 are used to attach the outlet end of one straight length of tubing to an inlet end of another straight length of tubing. In some embodiments, the straight lengths of tubing 322 include turbulators. A turbulator is a device inserted into the tubes of firetube boilers, shell & tube heat exchangers, heat extractors, and other types of heat transfer equipment that helps to increase heat transfer efficiency. The turbulator is the device that turns a laminar flow of fluid in a tube or length of tubing 322 into a turbulent flow. Turbulent flow is desired on parts of heat extractors 300 or heat exchangers since more heat can be transferred to fluids undergoing turbulent flow as compared to laminar flow. As the heat transfer fluid 324 continues to flow through the heat extractor 300, it continues to warm. The heated air associated with the heated air path 130 cools. In other words, the end effect is that the heated air associated with the heated air path 130 cools as it passes through the heat extractor 300, and the fluid 324 flowing through the tubing 322, 323 warms between the time the fluid 324 enters the inlet 326 and exits the heat extractor 300 at the outlet 328.
  • Put another way, a heat transfer fluid 324, such as water, is moved through the fluid flow path 320 in the heat extractor 300. Heat from the heated air associated with the heated air path 130 (shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3B) is transferred to the heat transfer fluid 324. The heat transfer fluid 324 is input to the heat extractor 300 at a first temperature and output from the heat extractor 300 at a second temperature higher than the first temperature. The increased temperature indicates the retention of heat in the fluid.
  • In one embodiment, the kitchen heat reclamation apparatus and specifically the heat extractor 300 includes an extractor pump 340 for moving the heat transfer fluid 324 through the heat extractor 300. The extractor pump 340 can be used to vary the speed of the fluid 324 as it moves along the fluid path 320 to vary the amount of heat removed from the heated air by the heat extractor 300. If more fluid is moved along the fluid path 320, additional heat can be removed by the extractor 300. Speeding the movement of the fluid 324 could be in response to the fluid having too high a temperature for the fluid 324 in the tubing 322 of the extractor 300 when compared to a threshold temperature. Of course, the speed at which fluid flows along the fluid flow path 320 has limits. The fluid 324 must flow fast enough to take away sufficient heat to avoid overheating. In some instances, the fluid flow must be fast enough to produce turbulent flow of the heat transfer fluid 324. The fluid flow also must be at sufficiently low speeds so as not to produce high pressure in the tubing 322 associated with the fluid flow path 320. Of course, excessive pressure could produce leaks or failure of the tubes or pipes which would be a failure in the heat extractor 300. In one embodiment, sliver solder is used to connect and attach various high pressure tubes and pipes. Silver solder is capable of withstanding higher pressure than other solders. Thus, in the embodiment using silver solder, the system is more resistant to leaks occurring at the connection points in the heat extractor 300.
  • Of course, there are times when the fluid 324 can overheat. This may be for any number of reasons. FIG. 4A is a schematic view of another kitchen heat reclamation apparatus 400 that includes an overheat exhaust port 410, according to an example embodiment. FIG. 4B is a cutaway schematic side view of a baffle 420 in the chute 430 in the open position which allows the heated gas, such as the exhaust fumes, to pass through the chute 430 according to an example embodiment. When in this position, the heated gas flows past the heat extractor 300 positioned within the chute 430. The heat extractor 300 and heat extraction fluid flowing through the heat extractor, interact as discussed above. This occurs when the fluid in the flow path 320 is not overheated or is within an acceptable range which is safe for operation. In other words, the fluid is below a threshold temperature.
  • Should the fluid 324 of the flow path 320 overheat, the baffle 420 closes. FIG. 4C is a cutaway schematic side view of the baffle 420 in the chute 430 in the closed position, according to an example embodiment. When the baffle 430 is in the closed position, the flow path of the heated air is redirected away from the heat extractor 300. More precisely, it should be noted that most of the heated air will be redirected away from the heat extractor 300. The baffle 430, when closed, directs the heated gas out the overheat exhaust port 410 to bypass the portion of the chute 430 that includes the heat extractor 300. The heated air passes through the overheat exhaust port 410 and then to the atmosphere, such as through an exhaust hood, according to the example embodiment.
  • FIG. 5 is a schematic view of an aquastat 500 within the heat extractor 300 which produces an overheat exhaust port enable signal 510 in response to the temperature of the fluid within the heat extractor 300 being above a threshold temperature, according to an example embodiment. The kitchen heat reclamation apparatus also includes an aquastat 500 for measuring a temperature of the fluid in flow path 320 of the extractor 300. The aquastat 500 measures a temperature of the fluid in flow path of the extractor 300. The aquastat produces a signal 510. The baffle 420 of the kitchen reclamation apparatus 400 is controlled by a controller 510. In response to the signal 510 indicating that the temperature of the fluid at the aquastat 500 is above a threshold temperature, the controller 510 moves one or more baffles 420 to redirect the flow of heated air away from the extractor 300 to prevent overheating of the fluid 324 or further overheating within the extractor 300. Of course, the controller 510 can be used to partially close the baffle 420 to allow a partial amount of heated air to travel through the chute 430 and to the heat extractor 300 and another partial amount away from the heat extractor 430. In still another embodiment, the controller may include a closed loop control to adjust the baffle or baffles 420 to maintain the temperature of the heated fluid at a selected level or within a selected range of temperatures. In other words, the baffle 420 can be partially opened, or can be opened variable amounts. In addition, the aquastat 500 is shown in a position near the outlet 328 of the heat extractor 300. Of course, the aquastat 500 can be placed anywhere along the fluid flow path 320 within the heat extractor 300.
  • FIG. 6 shows a schematic view of a building heating system that includes the heat reclamation apparatus, according to an example embodiment. The kitchen heat reclamation apparatus can also include a second fluid flow path 610 in fluid communication with the fluid flow path 320 in the heat extractor. The second fluid flow path 610 delivers heated fluid 324 to a plenum 630 where heat from the heated fluid 324 is placed or transferred to a source of cooler air to produce warm air. The plenum 630 has ducts 632 attached thereto. Warm air from the plenum 630 is delivered to locations away from the plenum via the ducts 632. For example, a building can have a forced air system that includes ducts 632 and a plenum 630. The air ducts 632 are in fluid communication with the plenum 630. The air ducts 632, in some embodiments, terminate at one or more heat registers in a building. The kitchen heat reclamation apparatus, in one embodiment, includes a heat exchanger 641 having a coil 640 positioned in the plenum 630. The second fluid flow path and heated fluid within the second fluid path flows through the coil 640 of the heat exchanger 641 in the plenum 630. Cool air is passed over the coil 640 and warmed or heated. Heat is transferred from the heated water or fluid 324 to the cooled air through the coil 640 of the heat exchanger 641. The extractor 300 and the heat exchanger 641 form a heat relocation device which takes heat from the extractor 300 and to the heat exchanger 641 located in the plenum 630 of a building heating system.
  • FIG. 7 is a schematic view of system 700 for increasing the efficiency of a heating system in a kitchen or restaurant or other building, according to an example embodiment. This particular embodiment includes the elements of FIG. 6 and adds a tank of water which is used as the coolant at the heat extractor 300 and is used to carry heat to the plenum 630 of a building heating system. The tank of water or other fluid moderates the swings in temperature of the fluid received from the heat extractor 300. In this particular embodiment, the heated heat transfer fluid 324, such as water or glycol, from the heat extractor 300 is output to a tank 710. Heated water from the tank 710 is supplied to a water heater 720. The heated water is at a higher temperature than water from an original source, such as a well or the like. Typically, water from a well or other source is around 50 degrees F. Heated water is used as the source. The water is further heated in the water heater 720 and output to a steam heat or hot water heat apparatus which delivers heated water or steam to radiators around a building. Heat from the heated water or steam is delivered from the steam or water to the living spaces within the building. The water or steam cools. Steam will also condense to cooled water. The cooled water is delivered back to the tank where it is drawn from and input to the heat extractor 300, warmed or heated and delivered back to the tank 710. The heat of the water is elevated by the heat extractor making the steam or water heat system more efficient as less fuel or electricity is needed to heat the water in the steam or heated water system.
  • FIG. 8 is a schematic view of a kitchen heat reclamation apparatus 800, according to yet another example embodiment. The kitchen heat reclamation apparatus 800 includes an electrical generator 810 associated with the heated air path 130. In one embodiment, the electrical generator 810 associated with the heated air path 130 includes a thermal electric generator. The heated air path passes through a chute 820 having an inclined surface 822. The inclined surface 822 can be near the entrance of the chute 820 where the hot air associated with the air path is at the highest temperature. The thermoelectric generator 810 is attached to the inclined surface 822 which is on the exterior of the chute 820. The chute 820 is made of metal and so is thermally conductive. Heated air or hot gas strikes the inclined surface 822 in the heated air pathway and a portion of the heat passes through the chute 820 and contacts the inclined surface 822. This heats the inclined surface 822 which is thermally conductive. Heat passing through or thermally conducted by the inclined surface is thermally conducted to the thermoelectric generator 820. A thermoelectric generator 820, or TEG (also called a Seebeck generator) is a solid state device that converts heat (temperature differences) directly into electrical energy through a phenomenon called the Seebeck effect (a form of thermoelectric effect). Thermoelectric generators function like heat engines, but are less bulky and have no moving parts. The thermoelectric generator 820, when one side is heated, produces electricity. The opposite side of the thermoelectric generator 820 is cooled when placed under physical pressure.
  • The kitchen heat reclamation apparatus 800, in some embodiments, also includes a heat extractor 840. The heat extractor 840 is located in the chute 820. In this embodiment, the inclined surface 822 and the thermoelectric generator 810 can be used to remove a first amount of heat. The heat extractor 840 can be used to extract a second amount of heat. The kitchen heat reclamation apparatus 800, in still other embodiments, has at least a first baffle 850 and a second baffle 852 and an overheat exhaust port 854. An aquastat in the heat extractor can be used to close the first baffle and prevent or substantially lessen an amount of heated air on the heated air path from reaching the heat extractor 840. The thermoelectric generator 810 can also overheat and the second baffle 852 can be used to prevent or substantially lessen the amount of heated air that contacts the inclined surface 822. One or both of the baffles 850,852 can be in the closed position, open position, or in a partially closed position. Heated air can be exhausted through the exhaust port 854 when both the first baffle 850 and the second baffle 852 are closed. A baffle controller 860 receives signals from the thermoelectric generator 810 and the heat extractor 840 and controls the opening and closing of the first baffle 850 and the second baffle 852.
  • The electricity produced by the thermoelectric generator 810 can be used for any number of purposes. The electricity can be used to power or partially power other appliances in the kitchen or in the building having the kitchen. One possible use is for powering or partially powering a compressor 870 for a refrigeration cycle for a walk-in refrigerator, an air conditioner, other refrigerator, or the like.
  • The first baffle 850 redirects the heated air produced by the heat producing kitchen apparatus 800 to a position away from the extractor 840 when the temperature of fluid flowing through the extractor 840 is above a threshold temperature. There may also be times when it is desirable to slow or halt heat flow to the thermoelectric generator 810. The second baffle 852 redirects a portion of the heated air produced by the heat producing kitchen apparatus to a position away from the thermoelectric generator 810. The redirected hot air is exhausted to atmosphere, such as through an exhaust hood.
  • FIG. 9 shows a retrofit device 900 that includes a chute 910, heat extractor 920, and thermoelectric generator 930 that can be placed on a heat producing kitchen apparatus to form a heat reclamation apparatus, according to an example embodiment. The retrofit device, in some embodiments, will include an air handler to move air along a hot air path formed. The retrodevice 900 can also include a first baffle and a second baffle, such as those shown in FIG. 8. The retrofit device 900 attaches to a heat producing kitchen apparatus using an adapter 950. The adapter 950 can be custom made for a particular heat producing kitchen apparatus or in other embodiments, the adapter 950 can be universal or can be made for one or more popular models of heat producing kitchen apparatus. It should also be noted that the chute that includes the inclined surface is shown at the retrofit device 900 and that a straight chute could also be the retrofit device 900. The shuttle controller and sensors needed to determine the temperature of the heat extractor and the thermoelectric generator can also be provided. In some embodiments, the chute 910 also includes a shelf 912. In this way, the surface below the shelf 912 of the chute can serve as a backsplash for the heat producing device.
  • A kitchen heat reclamation apparatus 100 includes a heat producing kitchen apparatus 110, and a chute 120 positioned near a portion of the heat producing kitchen apparatus 110 that produces heated air. As shown in FIG. 1, there are flames 111 below a grill surface 112. An air handler moves at least a portion of the heated air produced by the heat producing kitchen apparatus along a heated air path that passes through the chute. A heat extractor is associated with the chute. The heat extractor removes heat from the air before exhausting the air to the atmosphere. The heat extractor includes a fluid flow path. A heat transfer fluid is moved through the fluid flow path in the heat extractor. Heat from the heated air is transferred to the heat transfer fluid. The heat transfer fluid input to the heat extractor at a first temperature and output from the heat extractor at a second temperature higher than the first temperature, which indicates the retention of heat in the fluid. In one embodiment, the kitchen heat reclamation apparatus includes an extractor pump for moving the heat transfer fluid through the heat extractor. The extractor pump can be used to vary the speed of the fluid as it moves along the fluid path to vary the amount of heat removed from the heated air by the heat extractor. If more fluid is moved along the fluid path, additional heat can be removed by the extractor. Speeding the movement of the fluid could be in response to the fluid having too high a temperature when compared to a threshold temperature
  • FIG. 10 is a flow diagram of a method 1000 for reclaiming heat or recycling heat from a heat producing kitchen appliance, according to an example embodiment. The method 1000 includes directing an air flow over a heat producing portion of the heat producing kitchen appliance to a thermal extraction device 1010, moving a fluid through the thermal extraction device to transfer the heat from the air to the fluid 1012, moving the fluid to another location where the heat is extracted 1014, and exhausting the air which has had heat removed therefrom to the atmosphere 1016.
  • FIG. 11 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the invention as attached to a commercial griddle. FIG. 12 is a close up perspective view of a mounting plate having a plurality of thermal extraction and thermoelectric generation (TEG), according to an example embodiment. Now referring to both FIGS. 11 and 12, this example embodiment will be further detailed. An assembly for extracting electrical energy from exhaust gas 1100 includes a Z-shaped plate 1101. In one example embodiment, the Z-shaped plate is formed of 3/16″stainless steel with a 45 degree angle towards the 90 degree exhaust port. In one particular example, the Z-shaped plate is 24″ wide by 18″ high. Of course, dimensions will vary to adapt the system to reclamation of energy from various devices and appliances. The system 1100 also includes an extruded fin extracting plate 1120. The extruded fin extracting plate 1120 is used as the backing plate for the bottom of the mounting plate. The apparatus 1100 also includes a water jacket 1130. In one example embodiment, the water jacket 1130 is an aluminum, cooling water jacket having three compartments. The water jacket 1130 is fluidly coupled to a water tank 1132. Water from the water tank is circulated through the water jacket 1130. The water cools when returned to the water tank 1132. In another embodiment, a cooling fan is used to cool the water. In still another embodiment, hot water could be passed through a radiator and a cooling fan could be directed at the radiator to cool the water. The system 1100 also includes a plurality of TEGS 1200 that are attached to a carrier or mounting plate 1206. The mounting plate or carrier 1206 is mounted on the z-shaped plate 1101 (hot side) and the water jacket 1130 is mounted onto the carrier or mounting plate 1206 that includes the TEG's 1200. The water jacket 1130 is the cool side for the TEGs 1200. The TEGS 1200 are sandwiched between the water jacket 1130 and the z-plate to create the heating/cooling differential. The system 1100 also includes a 2.5 gpm/DC pump 1134 and small radiator w/DC fan 1136. The water tank 1132, in one example embodiment, holds 4 gallons of water to run through the pump and cooling jacket 1130. As shown in FIG. 12, there are twelve TEG's for approximately 122 square inches of surface area. The TEGs 1200 produce electricity. The amount of TEG's needed will vary depending on the temperature and size of the appliance they are attached to. The system 1100 also includes a battery, batteries or a battery bank 1220 and an inverter 1230. The electrical output from the TEGs 1200 is input to the battery, batteries or a battery bank 1220. In one example, the battery, batteries or a battery bank actually includes two 12 volt, deep cell marine batteries. The system also includes an inverter 1230. The inverter 1230 converts direct current output by the battery, batteries or a battery bank 1220 from DC power to AC power.
  • FIG. 13 shows another embodiment of a heat reclamation system 1400, according to an example embodiment. In this particular embodiment, the heat reclamation system 1400 is located within a housing 1410 which can be mounted to a wall. An appliance 1450 which produces heat, is placed on rollers. In this way, the appliance can be moved more easily when it is desired to clean beneath the appliance 1450. The appliance is connected to a fuel source or a source of electrical energy by a flexible attachment 1452. In this way, the appliance can be moved without having to disconnect the appliance 1450 from various utilities. Movement is depicted in FIG. 13 by the dotted or hidden line position of the appliance away from the wall.
  • Advantageously, the system 1100 will provide up to 30 volts of electricity per twelve TEGs to feed into the electric grid of the establishment. The amount of TEG's needed will vary depending on the temperature and size of the appliance they are attached to.
  • The system 1100 reclaims the waste heat, before it is exhausted into the atmosphere, from but not limited to, a standard commercial grill, oven, fryer, or any appliance that gives off waste heat in a food service or other establishment, and transfers the reclaimed heat to electricity which is stored in a battery, batteries or a battery bank. The electricity runs from the battery, batteries or battery bank through a regulator to an inverter and into the power grid of the establishment, substantially lowering the cost of electricity in the establishment. In another embodiment, the electricity is produced at one or more TEGs. Electrical energy produced at the TEGs is then passed through a regulator, to a battery to an inverter and then to lights or the electrical grid. In still another embodiment, electrical energy produced by the TEGs could be input to a smart inverter and then to either a battery or to the electrical grid.
  • Experimental Results
  • A study was conducted of the kitchen heat reclamation apparatus by the University of Minnesota. The results of the testing are as follows:
  • The kitchen heat reclamation apparatus is a novel device designed to supplement or plumb into a hydronic heating system while also functioning as a kitchen grill. Conceivably, during periods of low use (or high use periods), a portion of the heat energy stored in the grill can be transferred to a hydronic heating system for heating domestic water, heat for the building or both. The novel concept of this design is that grease laden heated air cannot enter into or onto the heat exchanger surfaces. Combustion air for firing the grill enters from beneath and in front of the grill surface. Any excess combustion heated air is then drawn through a heat extractor thereby transferring its heat to a distributed water stream circulating through the system. Any excess, grease laden air from above the grill is not allowed to enter into the heat extractor surfaces which could easily foul the system. The heat extractor, located upright and at the rear of the grill, is encased in aluminum shrouding and is specially designed to take excess combustion air from beneath the grill rather than from the grease laden air migrating above the grill which flows into an exhaust hood system.
  • 4.0 Methods
  • A kitchen heat reclamation apparatus was delivered to the NRRI in a configuration where a portion of the copper piping network was housed beneath the grill surface just adjacent to the burner flame front. This network beneath the grill then transitioned into a heat exchanger apparatus positioned upright and at the rear of the grill. The heat exchanger was an OEM unit that is typical of a unit heater used to heat buildings with hot water. This configuration would be tested as a benchmark for its ability to raise the temperature of a known mass flow of water. The net temperature rise of water flowing through the kitchen heat reclamation apparatus at a steady-state condition was used as means to test and monitor its performance while striving to maintain a constant grill temperature. The procedure for conducting a test was to turn on the burner to the grill, start the flow of water, and allow it to reach a steady-state operating condition while maintaining a constant grill temperature. The consumption of propane, the temperature at 4 quadrants on the grill, inlet and outlet water temperature, air temperature exiting heat exchanger and water flow rate measurements were taken at 5 minute intervals. The raw data for the initial benchmark testing was recorded. Following the initial benchmark testing, the project team removed the copper piping from beneath the grill. This was done to simplify the installation protocol and OEM manufacturing techniques where all of the heat exchanger surfaces could be positioned at the back of the grill as opposed to an intricate piping network running adjacent with burners housed beneath the grill. The configurations that were tested by the project team are listed in Table 1.
  • TABLE 1
    Description of GreenHeat Recycler Grill Configuration.
    Grill Configuration Description
    Benchmark Tested as received with copper piping beneath
    and heat exchanger in
    Configuration 3 Copper piping removed from beneath with heat
    exchanger in back
    Configuration 3a Replication of Configuration 3
    Configuration 3b Sealed grill edges with fiberglass and added 3
    inch stack to heat exchanger
  • 5.0 Results:
  • TABLE 2
    Performance comparison of three configurations
    of the GreenHeat Recycler Grill
    Net Temp Average Steady- Calculated
    Rise of Grill state heat heat rate Ratio
    Water Temper- rate2, to water, of
    Grill Stream 1 ature, Btu/hr Btu/hr3 Y/X
    Configuration (° F.) (° F.) (X) (Y) *100
    Benchmark 20° F. 501° F. 30,729 13,926 45.3
    Configuration 3 10° F. 558° F. 17,514 6,630 37.8
    Configuration 3a 8.1° F.  543° F. 11,243 5,342 47.5
    Configuration 3b 11.4° F. 609° F. 22,703 7,576 33.3
    1 temperature rise taken with constant water flow
    2based on wt. loss of propane usage
    3calculated as: (mass flow rate of water)*(heat capacity of water)*Delta T
  • The foregoing description, for purposes of explanation, used specific nomenclature to provide a thorough understanding of the invention. However, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that the specific details are not required in order to practice the invention. Thus, the foregoing descriptions of specific embodiments of the present invention are presented for purposes of illustration and description. They are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed. It will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art that many modifications and variations are possible in view of the above teachings.
  • The embodiments were chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical applications, to thereby enable others skilled in the art to best utilize the invention and various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. It is intended that the scope of the invention be defined by the following claims and their equivalents.
  • While the embodiments have been described in terms of several particular embodiments, there are alterations, permutations, and equivalents, which fall within the scope of these general concepts. It should also be noted that there are many alternative ways of implementing the methods and apparatuses of the present embodiments. It is therefore intended that the following appended claims be interpreted as including all such alterations, permutations, and equivalents as fall within the true spirit and scope of the described embodiments.

Claims (21)

What is claimed:
1. A kitchen heat reclamation apparatus comprising:
a heat producing kitchen apparatus;
a chute positioned near a portion of the heat producing kitchen apparatus that produces heated air;
an air handler for moving at least a portion of the heated air produced by the heat producing kitchen apparatus along a heated air path that passes through the chute; and
a heat extractor positioned in the chute, the heat extractor removing heat from the air before exhausting the air to the atmosphere.
2. The kitchen heat reclamation apparatus of claim 1 wherein the heat extractor includes a fluid flow path therein, the apparatus further including a heat transfer fluid movable through the fluid flow path in the heat extractor, the heat transfer fluid input to the heat extractor at a first temperature and output from the heat extractor at a second temperature higher than the first temperature.
3. The kitchen heat reclamation apparatus of claim 1 further comprising an extractor pump for moving the heat transfer fluid through the heat extractor.
4. The kitchen heat reclamation apparatus of claim 3 wherein the extractor pump can be used to vary the speed of the fluid to vary the amount of heat removed from the heated air by the heat extractor.
5. The kitchen heat reclamation apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a second fluid flow path in fluid communication with the fluid flow path in the heat extractor, the second fluid flow path delivering fluid to a plenum from where heat is delivered to a building.
6. The kitchen heat reclamation apparatus of claim 5 further comprising a coil positioned in the plenum, the second fluid flow path flowing through the coil in the plenum.
7. The kitchen heat reclamation apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a second fluid flow path in fluid communication with the fluid flow path in the heat extractor, the second fluid flow path delivering fluid to a tank for regulating the heat of the heated fluid, wherein heat from where tank is delivered to an element needing heat.
8. The kitchen heat reclamation apparatus of claim 2 further comprising an aquastat for measuring a temperature of the fluid in flow path of the extractor.
9. The kitchen heat reclamation apparatus of claim 2 further comprising:
an aquastat for measuring a temperature of the fluid in flow path of the extractor; and
a baffle that redirects the heated air produced by the heat producing kitchen apparatus to a position outside the chute in response to the aquastat reading a temperature higher than a threshold temperature.
10. The kitchen heat reclamation apparatus of claim 1 further comprising an electrical generator associated with the heated air path.
11. The kitchen heat reclamation apparatus of claim 1 wherein the electrical generator associated with the heated air path includes a thermal electric generator.
12. The kitchen heat reclamation apparatus of claim 1 further comprising
an inclined surface associated with the chute; and
a thermo electric generator attached to the inclined surface, the inclined surface in the heated air pathway, the inclined surface made of a thermally conductive material that transfers heat from the heated air, through the inclined surface, and to the thermo electric generator.
13. The kitchen heat reclamation apparatus of claim 2 further comprising:
an aquastat for measuring a temperature of the fluid in flow path of the extractor;
a first baffle that redirects the heated air produced by the heat producing kitchen apparatus to a position away from the extractor when the temperature of fluid flow is above a threshold temperature;
an inclined surface associated with the chute; and
a thermo electric generator attached to the inclined surface, the inclined surface in the heated air pathway, the inclined surface made of a thermally conductive material that transfers heat from the heated air, through the inclined surface, and to the thermo electric generator; and
a second baffle that redirects the heated air produced by the heat producing kitchen apparatus to a position away from the thermo electric generator.
14. Apparatus for recycling heat from a heat producing kitchen apparatus comprising:
a chute;
an air handler for moving heated air along a heated air path that passes through the chute;
a heat extractor associated with the chute, the heat extractor positioned to remove heat from the heated air path; and
mounting hardware for mounting the chute, air handler and heat extractor to a heat producing kitchen apparatus.
15. The apparatus for recycling heat from a heat producing kitchen apparatus of claim 14 wherein the mounting hardware includes a mounting bracket.
16. The apparatus for recycling heat from a heat producing kitchen apparatus of claim 14 wherein the chute is made of a material that could be used for a back splash of a heat producing kitchen apparatus.
17. The apparatus for recycling heat from a heat producing kitchen apparatus of claim 14 wherein the chute is made of a material that could be used for a back splash of a heat producing kitchen apparatus, the chute further comprising a shelf attached to the chute at a position above the heat producing kitchen apparatus.
18. The apparatus for recycling heat from a heat producing kitchen apparatus of claim 14 wherein the heat extractor includes a fluid flow path through the heat extractor, the fluid flow path including:
a fluid input; and
a fluid output.
19. The apparatus for recycling heat from a heat producing kitchen apparatus of claim 18 further including an aquastat for measuring the temperature of the fluid along the fluid flow path through the heat extractor.
20. The apparatus for recycling heat from a heat producing kitchen apparatus of claim 14 wherein the chute includes an inclined surface, the apparatus further comprising a thermal electric generator thermally coupled to the inclined surface.
21. A method of reclaiming heat or recycling heat from a heat producing kitchen appliance comprising:
directing an air flow over a heat producing portion of the heat producing kitchen appliance to a thermal extraction device; and
moving a fluid through the thermal extraction device to transfer the heat from the air to the fluid;
moving the fluid to another location where the heat is extracted; and
exhausting the air which has had heat removed therefrom to the atmosphere.
US15/093,349 2015-04-07 2016-04-07 Heat reclamation apparatus and method Abandoned US20160298859A1 (en)

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Owner name: GREEN HEAT CORPORATION, MINNESOTA

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HORVATH, MICHAEL J.;REEL/FRAME:038939/0823

Effective date: 20160407

STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

Free format text: ABANDONED -- FAILURE TO RESPOND TO AN OFFICE ACTION