WO2007003877A2 - Cooling receptacle - Google Patents

Cooling receptacle Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2007003877A2
WO2007003877A2 PCT/GB2006/002251 GB2006002251W WO2007003877A2 WO 2007003877 A2 WO2007003877 A2 WO 2007003877A2 GB 2006002251 W GB2006002251 W GB 2006002251W WO 2007003877 A2 WO2007003877 A2 WO 2007003877A2
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
cavity
compartment
receptacle
provided
receptacle according
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/GB2006/002251
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2007003877A3 (en
Inventor
Gareth Thomas
Original Assignee
Dry Ice Limited
Priority date (The priority date 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 date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to GB0513384A priority Critical patent/GB0513384D0/en
Priority to GB0513384.8 priority
Application filed by Dry Ice Limited filed Critical Dry Ice Limited
Publication of WO2007003877A2 publication Critical patent/WO2007003877A2/en
Publication of WO2007003877A3 publication Critical patent/WO2007003877A3/en

Links

Classifications

    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25DREFRIGERATORS; COLD ROOMS; ICE-BOXES; COOLING OR FREEZING APPARATUS NOT COVERED BY ANY OTHER SUBCLASS
    • F25D31/00Other cooling or freezing apparatus
    • F25D31/005Combined cooling and heating devices
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25DREFRIGERATORS; COLD ROOMS; ICE-BOXES; COOLING OR FREEZING APPARATUS NOT COVERED BY ANY OTHER SUBCLASS
    • F25D3/00Devices using other cold materials; Devices using cold-storage bodies
    • F25D3/12Devices using other cold materials; Devices using cold-storage bodies using solidified gases, e.g. carbon-dioxide snow
    • F25D3/14Devices using other cold materials; Devices using cold-storage bodies using solidified gases, e.g. carbon-dioxide snow portable, i.e. adapted to be carried personally
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25DREFRIGERATORS; COLD ROOMS; ICE-BOXES; COOLING OR FREEZING APPARATUS NOT COVERED BY ANY OTHER SUBCLASS
    • F25D2303/00Details of devices using other cold materials; Details of devices using cold-storage bodies
    • F25D2303/08Devices using cold storage material, i.e. ice or other freezable liquid
    • F25D2303/082Devices using cold storage material, i.e. ice or other freezable liquid disposed in a cold storage element not forming part of a container for products to be cooled, e.g. ice pack or gel accumulator
    • F25D2303/0821Devices using cold storage material, i.e. ice or other freezable liquid disposed in a cold storage element not forming part of a container for products to be cooled, e.g. ice pack or gel accumulator the element placed in a compartment which can be opened without the need of opening the container itself
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25DREFRIGERATORS; COLD ROOMS; ICE-BOXES; COOLING OR FREEZING APPARATUS NOT COVERED BY ANY OTHER SUBCLASS
    • F25D2303/00Details of devices using other cold materials; Details of devices using cold-storage bodies
    • F25D2303/08Devices using cold storage material, i.e. ice or other freezable liquid
    • F25D2303/084Position of the cold storage material in relationship to a product to be cooled
    • F25D2303/0844Position of the cold storage material in relationship to a product to be cooled above the product
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25DREFRIGERATORS; COLD ROOMS; ICE-BOXES; COOLING OR FREEZING APPARATUS NOT COVERED BY ANY OTHER SUBCLASS
    • F25D2325/00Charging, supporting or discharging the articles to be cooled, not provided for in other groups of this subclass
    • F25D2325/023Shelves made of wires
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25DREFRIGERATORS; COLD ROOMS; ICE-BOXES; COOLING OR FREEZING APPARATUS NOT COVERED BY ANY OTHER SUBCLASS
    • F25D2331/00Details or arrangements of other cooling or freezing apparatus not provided for in other groups of this subclass
    • F25D2331/80Type of cooled receptacles
    • F25D2331/804Boxes

Abstract

A cooling receptacle (2) is provided. The cooling receptacle includes a plurality of walls forming a housing which defines at least one cavity (16) therein for the location of one or more items to be cooled. Closure means (8) are provided in, between and/or forming one or more of said plurality of walls to allow access to the at least one cavity. At least one compartment (24) is provided in the cavity (16) for the location of a cooling medium (104). Access to the at least one compartment (24) is separate to and/or independent to access of the at least one cavity (16).

Description

Cooling Receptacle

The present invention relates to a receptacle, and particularly to a receptacle for the containment of a cooling medium therein.

It is known to provide a cooling medium in or associated with a container to allow one or more articles being transported in the container to be refrigerated or kept cool. However, a problem with placing a cooling medium, such as ice or dry ice, directly in a container in contact with a surface of an article is that the temperature distribution adjacent this surface and the remaining surfaces of the articles is uneven. Thus, for example, a part of the article in contact with or adjacent the cooling medium is likely to be maintained at a lower temperature than a part of the article or another article further away from the cooling medium. This can cause damage to the articles and/or can result in inconsistency in the refrigeration of the articles such that a supplier cannot guarantee the quality of all the articles being supplied to an end user. A user may come into direct contact with the cooling medium when placing and/or removing articles from the container which may cause injury to a user, such as in the case of a user contacting dry ice. A further problem 'is that if the cooling medium is in the form of frozen water, as the cooling medium increases in temperature, typically as a result of heat exchange between the cooling medium and the warmer local environment, the cooling medium will produce fluid or residue which may damage the articles.

In order to overcome the abovementioned problems, it is known to provide a removable partition which separates the cooling medium from the articles being chilled, such as the dividing partition disclosed in JP2003237856. However, there is nothing preventing the cooling medium, which is dry ice in the example given, from falling between the sides of the container and the partition, thereby still directly contacting the articles being chilled. There is also no secondary insulation for the dry ice to preserve it for any length of time other than the container in which the one or more articles are located. (It is to be noted that dry ice cannot exist at temperatures above -78.60C, therefore a warm adjacent environment will significantly reduce the preservation time of the dry ice.) In addition, in order to remove the articles from the container, the dry ice needs to be collected, typically manually by some scooping means, before the articles can be accessed. This is time consuming and increases the risk of injury to a user as a result of directly contacting the dry ice.

A further proposed solution to the abovementioned problems is the provision of a specially designed container for the containment of articles to be chilled, as disclosed in EPl 387135. A compartment is integrally formed in the container for the containment of the cooling medium, the compartment being separate to the interior cavity of the container so as to reduce the likelihood of direct contact of liquefied gas or other cooling medium with the articles in the container, thereby reducing the likelihood of damage to the articles. Access to the compartment is via the same opening as access to the main cavity of the container. As such, a user may still come into contact with the dry ice if they accidentally brush past the same in the compartment when placing items in the container or removing items therefrom. Furthermore, there may be spillage of the cooling medium into the container interior when the compartment is being filled or emptied which may still damage articles located in the container, and manual handling may be required to remove the spilled cooling medium from the container interior. Furthermore, the container in EP 1387135 is solely for the purposes of "throttled" CO2 snow is not for use with solid CO2- The compartment in the container will not provide refrigeration for more than a few hours as CO2 snow has only a fraction of the cooling potential of dry ice (due to its density) and there are no insulation means or control means for controlling cooling rate of the environment surrounding the compartment.

It is therefore an aim of the present invention to provide an improved cooling receptacle which overcomes the abovementioned problems.

According to a first aspect of the present invention there is provided a cooling receptacle, said cooling receptacle including a plurality of walls forming a housing which defines at least one cavity therein for the location of one or more items to be cooled, and closure means provided in, between and/or forming one or more of said plurality of walls to allow access to said at least one cavity, said cooling receptacle further including at least one compartment in said cavity for the location of a cooling medium and wherein access to said at least one compartment is separate to and/or independent to access of the at least one cavity.

Thus, the cooling medium can be inserted and/or removed from the cooling receptacle without requiring direct access to the cavity, thereby limiting exposure of one or more items located in the cavity to a user or , ambient conditions . Alternatively, or in addition, one or more items can be located in and/or removed from the cavity without a user having to come into contact with the cooling medium. The cooling receptacle of the present invention is therefore far safer and provides an improved chilling effect compared to prior art devices.

In one embodiment the at least one compartment is substantially enclosed with respect to the at least one cavity. Preferably one or more apertures are provided between the at least one compartment and the at least one cavity to allow the flow of chilled or cold air from the compartment to the cavity. The size of the apertures are such so as to allow the flow of cold air from the compartment direct to the cavity whilst preventing, or at least restricting, the cooling medium from passing into the cavity and/ or one or more items in the cavity from coming into contact with the cooling medium. Thus, the apertures allow controlled sublimation of the cooling medium when the cooling medium is in the form of dry ice. This is contrast to prior art devices which work by thermal transfer across a barrier or partition.

Preferably the apertures are defined in meshing provided between one or more walls of the compartment and the receptacle cavity.

The one or more apertures are preferably provided adjacent one or more peripheral edges of the compartment. The remaining section or sections of the one or more compartment walls are preferably substantially continuous in form to separate the compartment from the receptacle cavity.

The compartment is typically provided with opening means to allow access to the compartment. The compartment opening means are preferably provided on or defined in an exterior wall of the cooling receptacle. The closure means of the cavity are also provided on an exterior wall of the cooling receptacle. The closure means and opening means are typically provided a spaced distance apart on the receptacle. The opening means of the compartment can be provided in the same or different wall of the cooling receptacle to the closure means of the cavity.

Preferably one or more of the walls of the cooling receptacle (i.e. cavity and/or compartment) are insulated. The walls can be substantially flexible or rigid in form.

In one embodiment the insulated walls of the cavity and/or compartment include at least an outer layer, an inner layer and insulating material provided therebetween.

The walls of the receptacle can be formed from any suitable material. The walls of the compartment are typically formed from material of sufficient strength to withstand temperatures of -8O0C whilst remaining pliable. The walls are also typically waterproof or water resistant.

The receptacle typically includes handle means to allow the same to be easily carried and/or manipulated.

Preferably support means are provided for location in the cavity of the receptacle. The support means provide one or more surfaces for supporting one or more items to be cooled within the cavity. Thus, the support means can be in the form of one or more trays, shelf units, drawers, frames and/or the like. The support means are preferably removably located in the cavity but can be fixed therein if required.

The support means can be provided with a recess portion defined therein, the recess portion being located adjacent the at least one compartment so that the support means does not obstruct or interfere with the compartment or cooling medium contained therein. The recess portion contains at least a part of the compartment when fitted. In addition, the recess portion ensures items located in the bag are provided a pre-determined space from the cooling medium.

Preferably attachment means are provided in the cavity and/or in association with the support means to allow the support means to be attached to one or more of the interior walls of the receptacle defining the cavity. The attachment means can include one or more ties, clips, hook and loops (VELCRO) , buckles, inter-engaging members, and/or the like.

The closure means and/or opening means of the receptacle can include any or any combination of one or more lids, zips, hook and loops (VELCRO) , clips, ties, buckles, inter-engaging members, flaps and/or the like.

The cooling medium is preferably dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) but could be any other suitable cooling medium, such as ice, gel and/or the like.

The present invention has the advantage that the compartment can be fitted with the cooling medium at a location remote from use of the receptacle and, thereafter, there is no risk that a user and/or one or more items for location in the receptacle will come into contact with the cooling medium.

According to a second aspect of the present invention there is provided a receptacle, said receptacle including a plurality of walls forming a housing which defines at least one cavity therein for the location of one or more items, and closure means provided in, between and/or forming one or more of said plurality of walls to allow access to said at least one cavity, said receptacle further including at least one compartment in said cavity for the location of a temperature controlling medium and wherein access to said at least one compartment is separate to and/or independent to access of the at least one cavity.

Preferably the temperature controlling medium can be a medium for heating and/or cooling one or more items located in said receptacle.

Embodiments of the present invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying figures, wherein:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of a cooling receptacle according to an embodiment of the present invention with support means for location in the receptacle and the closure means inr an open position;

Figure 2 is an enlarged view of the compartment wall provided between the compartment and the cavity of the receptacle in figure 1 ;

Figure 3 is a perspective view of the cooling receptacle in figure 1 with the closure means in a closed position;

Figure 4 is a perspective view of a cooling receptacle according to a further embodiment of the present invention in a closed position; and

Figure 5 is a perspective view of the receptacle in figure 4 in an open position.

Referring to figures 1 -3, there is illustrated a cooling receptacle in the form of a cool bag 2. The cool bag 2 has a base wall 4, top wall 6, end walls 8, 10 and side walls 12, 14. The walls define an interior cavity 16 therebetween. End wall 8 includes the closure means for bag 2 and can be pivoted about line 18 between an open position, as shown in figure 1 , and a closed position, as shown in figure 3. A zip 20 is provided around the peripheral edge of end wall 8 and the remaining edges of the walls adjacent end wall 8. Zip levers 22 are provided to allow the zips to be moved between open and closed positions.

With end wall 8 in a closed position, cavity 16 is an enclosed space suitable for the storage of one or more items therein. With end wall 8 in an open position, one or more items can be located in and removed via the opening.

A compartment 24 is provided in bag 2 for the location of cooling medium in the form of dry ice. Opening means in the form of a zip 26 are defined on top wall 6 to allow access to the interior of compartment 24. Thus, access to the dry ice compartment can be made independently of and separate to access to cavity 16 of the receptacle. This prevents the one or more items contained in the bag from coming into contact with the dry ice and also prevents a user reaching into the cavity of the bag from coming into contact with the dry ice.

It will be appreciated by persons skilled in the art that the compartment for the cooling medium can be provided on any suitable wall of the bag but to increase the flow of cool air in the bag the compartment is typically provided on a top wall of the bag.

The interior wall 28 of compartment 24 separating the compartment from the cavity of the bag has mesh portions 30 provided around the peripheral edges 32 thereof. The central portion 34 of wall 28 is typically substantially continuous in form. Continuous wall material 36 also separated mesh portions 30 around the peripheral edge.

The mesh portions 30 provide a plurality of apertures to allow the flow of cool air from the dry ice in compartment 24 to the cavity of bag 2. The size of the apertures in the mesh are sufficiently small so as to prevent dry ice from passing from compartment 24 into cavity 16 but large enough to allow sufficient flow of air therethrough to allow cooling of the cavity 16 and its contents .

The walls of bag 2 and wall portion 34 of compartment 24 are typically insulated in form. Any suitable insulation material or construction can be provided. In the illustrated example, the walls include an outer layer, an inner layer and insulation material intermediate thereof.

Support means in the form of a frame 38 can be removably located in cavity 16, as shown by arrow 40. Frame 38 includes a plurality of frame members 42 defining a lower shelf 44 and a middle shelf 46. The shelves allow the one or more items located thereon in use of the bag to be located at predetermined distances away from the dry ice in compartment 24. A recess portion 48 is defined on top of frame 38 between upwardly extending protrusions 50. The recess portion typically corresponds to the location of compartment 24, thereby preventing the depth of the compartment from hindering location or removal of frame 38 and preventing the dry ice in compartment 24 from contacting any items on shelves 44, 46.

Attachment means in the form of hook & loop strips 52 are provided on the interior surface of the walls to allow detachable engagement of frame 38 in bag 2. Any suitable size or shape frame can be inserted into the bag as required. The bag can be any suitable size, shape and design. In one example, the height of the bag is greater than the width to allow the bag to be located in an airline trolley to allow cooling of one or more items during a flight.

A handle 54 can be provided on top wall 6 to allow the bag to be easily transported and lifted.

A further embodiment of a cool bag 102 according to the present invention is illustrated in figures 4 and 5. The same reference numerals are used to represent the same features as in figures 1 -3.

The cool bag in figures 1 -3 is suitable for chilling- articles, typically below + 80C. However, in order to maintain articles at a lower temperature, a plurality of compartments are needed in the bag. Thus, a further compartment 104 is provided. As with compartment 24, the opening means of the compartment, which in this example is zip 106, is provided on an external surface of the bag and specifically on external surface of front wall 8.

In this example, compartment 104 is substantially enclosed from cavity 16 of bag 102. This is to prevent any contact of a user with the contents of the compartment, particularly since the location of the compartment adjacent front wall 8 increases the likelihood of a user contacting at least the external surface of the compartment.

The compartment 104 is typically movable (i.e. pivotably movable in this example) relative to end wall 8 about join 108 since it is formed from substantially flexible material. This allows compartment 104 to be located on the base 4 of bag 102, adjacent end wall 8 and/or located over one or more items placed in cavity 16.

The interior wall 28 of compartment 24 can be the same or similar to the wall in the embodiment shown in figures 1 -3. Alternatively, if cooler temperatures in the bag are required, a greater number of apertures or mesh can be provided on this wall. Thus, in one example, a substantial part of wall 28 is formed from a mesh material. If cooler temperatures are required no or reduced insulation material can be provided in the material forming compartment 104 and/or interior walls of compartment 24. Reinforcing means, such as strips of suitably strong material can be provided across the mesh to increase the strength of the same.

The bag can be orientated in any suitable orientation and the walls in which the openings are provided can be adjusted as required.

It will be appreciated that compartment 104 can be used instead of compartment 24 and/or one or more further compartments could be provided.

The present invention has the advantage that it allows the temperature of a locality, and preferably a confined space into which the receptacle is placed, to be controlled. The receptacle works by efficiently controlling the "cold energy" released from the cooling medium, thereby maintaining the temperature of the locality within pre-defined limits thus making the , present invention ideal for refrigerating products during transportation of the same. The design of the receptacle allows cold air flow therefrom for an extended period of time, typically for about 16 hours. The design is inexpensive to manufacture and quick and easy to use, thereby offering advantages over prior art devices. The present invention is suitable for use in cooling food products, medical products, in storage or shipping container and/or the like.

The combination of providing insulation adjacent at least one surface of the receptacle, together with at least one perforated surface of the receptacle adjacent an interior cavity of a larger container, allows the present invention to be used to regulate the temperature in a given space for an extended period of time when compared to prior art devices . The insulation means/material provided in the receptacle or from which one or more walls of the receptacle are formed reduces sublimation of dry ice for example. With the receptacle of the present invention filled with dry ice, the temperature of the local environment is cooled until such time that all the dry ice has sublimed

Claims

Claims
1. A cooling receptacle, said cooling receptacle including a plurality of walls forming a housing which defines at least one cavity therein for the location of one or more items to be cooled, and closure means provided in, between and/or forming one or more of said plurality of walls to allow access to said at least one cavity, said cooling receptacle further including at least one compartment in said cavity for the location of a cooling medium and wherein access to said at least one compartment is separate to and/or independent to access of the at least one cavity.
2. A receptacle according to claim 1 wherein the compartment is substantially enclosed with respect to the at least one cavity.
3. A receptacle according to claim 1 wherein one or more apertures are provided between the at least one compartment and the at least one cavity.
4. A receptacle according to claim 3 wherein the dimensions of said apertures are such so as to allow the flow of cold air from the compartment direct to the cavity whilst preventing, or at least restricting, the cooling medium from passing into the cavity and/or one or more items in the cavity from coming into contact with the cooling medium.
5. A receptacle according to claim 3 wherein the one or more apertures are defined in meshing provided betwee-n one or more walls of the compartment and the receptacle cavity.
6. A receptacle according to claim 3 wherein the apertures are provided adjacent one or more peripheral edges of the compartment, with the remaining section or sections of the one or more compartment walls being substantially- continuous in form.
7. A receptacle according to claim 1 wherein the at least one compartment is provided with opening means to allow access to said compartment and the opening means are a spaced distance apart from the closure means of said cavity.
8. A receptacle according to claim 1 wherein one or more walls of the cavity and/or at least one compartment are insulated.
9. A receptacle according to claim 8 wherein the one or more insulated walls include at least an outer layer, an inner layer and insulating material provided therebetween.
10. A receptacle according to claim 1 wherein handle means are provided.
11. A receptacle according to claim 1 wherein support means are provided in the cavity for supporting one or more items within the cavity.
12. A receptacle according to claim 11 wherein the support means are in the form of one or more trays, shelf units, drawers or frames.
13. A receptacle according to claim 11 wherein a recess portion is defined in the support means for the location of at least part of the compartment therein.
14. A receptacle according to claim 1 or 11 wherein attachment means are provided in the cavity and/or in association with the support means to allow the support means to be attached to one or more of the interior walls of the receptacle.
15. A receptacle according to claim 14 wherein the attachment means includes one or more ties. Clips, hook and loops, buckles and/or inter-engaging members.
16. A receptacle according to claims 1 or 7 wherein the closure means and/or opening means include any or any combination of one or more lids, zips, hook and loops, clips, ties, buckles, inter-engaging members and/or flaps .
17. A receptacle according to claim 1 wherein the cooling medium is dry ice.
18. A receptacle according to claim 1 wherein the at least one compartment is movably mounted with respect to at least one wall of said receptacle.
19. A receptacle, said receptacle including a plurality of walls forming a housing which defines at least one cavity therein for the location of one or more items, and closure means provided in, between and/or forming one or more of said plurality of walls to allow access to said at least one cavity, said receptacle further including at least one compartment in said cavity for the location of a temperature controlling medium and wherein access to said at least one compartment is separate to • and/or independent to access of the at least one cavity.
20. A receptacle according to claim 19 wherein the temperature controlling medium provides heat or cold to the cavity.
PCT/GB2006/002251 2005-06-30 2006-06-20 Cooling receptacle WO2007003877A2 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB0513384A GB0513384D0 (en) 2005-06-30 2005-06-30 Cooling receptacle
GB0513384.8 2005-06-30

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2007003877A2 true WO2007003877A2 (en) 2007-01-11
WO2007003877A3 WO2007003877A3 (en) 2007-03-08

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WO (1) WO2007003877A2 (en)

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