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United States Patent Application 20170130974
Kind Code A1
Mercer; Kevin ;   et al. May 11, 2017

RESIDENTIAL OUTDOOR HEAT EXCHANGER UNIT

Abstract

An outdoor coil unit of a residential heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system includes a frame and a heat exchanger assembly mounted within the frame. The heat exchanger assembly includes at least one heat exchanger coil having a first header, a second header, and a plurality of heat exchange tube segments extending between and fluidly coupling the first header and the second header. The heat exchanger assembly is formed into a shape including at least one apex. A fan assembly is mounted to the frame and includes at least one fan operable to draw air into the outdoor coil unit through the at least one heat exchanger coil and discharge the a qr outside of the outdoor coil unit.


Inventors: Mercer; Kevin; (Danville, IN) ; Amick; James; (Coatesville, IN)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Carrier Corporation

Jupiter

FL

US
Family ID: 1000002296783
Appl. No.: 15/347207
Filed: November 9, 2016


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62253034Nov 9, 2015

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: F24F 13/20 20130101; F24F 1/16 20130101
International Class: F24F 1/16 20060101 F24F001/16; F24F 13/20 20060101 F24F013/20

Claims



1. An outdoor coil unit of a residential heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, comprising: a frame; a heat exchanger assembly mounted within the frame, the heat exchanger assembly including at least one heat exchanger coil having a first header, a second header, and a plurality of heat exchange tube segments extending between and fluidly coupling the first header and the second header, the heat exchanger assembly being formed into a shape including at least one apex; and a fan assembly mounted to the frame and including at least one fan operable to draw air into the outdoor coil unit through the at least one heat exchanger coil and discharge the air outside of the outdoor coil unit.

2. The outdoor coil unit according to claim 1, wherein the heat exchanger assembly is generally V-shaped.

3. The outdoor coil unit according to claim 1, wherein the heat exchanger assembly is generally W-shaped.

4. The outdoor coil unit according to claim 1, wherein the first header and the second header are oriented generally horizontally, and the plurality of heat exchange tube segments is oriented generally vertically.

5. The outdoor coil unit according to claim 1, wherein the first header and the second header are oriented generally vertically, and the plurality of heat exchange tube segments is oriented generally horizontally.

6. The outdoor coil unit according to claim 1, wherein the heat exchanger assembly formed into a shape including at least one apex includes a first heat exchanger coil and a second heat exchanger coil fluidly coupled via an intermediate header.

7. The outdoor coil unit according to claim 1, wherein the heat exchanger assembly formed into a shape including at least one apex includes a first heat exchanger coil and a second heat exchanger coil, the first heat exchanger coil and second heat exchanger coil being fluidly separate from one another.

8. The outdoor coil unit according to claim 1, wherein the heat exchanger assembly is oriented vertically within the frame.

9. The outdoor coil unit according to claim 1, wherein the heat exchanger assembly is oriented horizontally within the frame.

10. The outdoor coil unit according to claim 1, wherein the at least one heat exchanger coil is a microchannel heat exchanger coil such that each heat exchange tube segment includes a plurality of discrete flow channels.

11. The outdoor coil unit according to claim 1, further comprising a base pan positioned within the frame, wherein an interface between the heat exchanger assembly and the base plan stabilizes a position of the heat exchanger assembly within the frame.

12. The outdoor coil unit according to claim 11, wherein the base pan includes a raceway having a contour generally complementary to a portion of the heat exchanger assembly such that when the portion of the heat exchanger is mounted therein, the heat exchanger is offset from a floor of the base pan.

13. The outdoor coil unit according to claim 11, wherein one or more openings are formed in a portion of the base pan.

14. The outdoor coil unit according to claim 13, wherein the one or more openings are positioned adjacent an area of the heat exchanger assembly where condensate accumulates.

15. The outdoor coil unit according to claim 13, wherein at least one of a size and location of the one or more openings is optimized to provide maximum drainage during a defrost cycle of the outdoor coil unit.

16. The outdoor coil unit according to claim 13, wherein the one or more openings are positioned adjacent an area of the heat exchanger assembly to provide an optimized airflow path.

17. The outdoor coil unit according to claim 1, wherein the fan assembly includes a first fan and a second fan, the first fan and the second fan being operably independent.

18. The outdoor coil unit according to claim 1, wherein a plurality of heat exchanger fins are mounted to the plurality of heat exchange tube segments and the plurality of heat exchanger fins do not extend beyond a leading edge or a trailing edge of the plurality of heat exchange tube segments.

19. The outdoor coil unit according to claim 1, wherein a plurality of heat exchanger fins are mounted to the plurality of heat exchange tube segments and the plurality of heat exchanger fins extend beyond at least one of a leading edge and a trailing edge of the plurality of heat exchange tube segments.

20. The outdoor coil unit according to claim 1, wherein the residential heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system has a capacity of less than or equal to 65,000 Btuh.

21. The outdoor coil unit according to claim 1, wherein the apex of the heat exchanger assembly includes an opening to define a flow path there between.

22. The outdoor coil unit according to claim 1, wherein at least a portion of the heat exchanger assembly is sealed with a cover such the fan assembly draws air through only an intended portion of the heat exchanger assembly.

23. An outdoor coil unit, comprising: a frame; and a heat exchanger assembly mounted within the frame, the heat exchanger assembly including a first heat exchanger coil and a second heat exchanger coil, each heat exchanger coil having a first header, a second header, and a plurality of heat exchange tube segments extending between and fluidly coupling the first header and the second header, the first heat exchanger coil and the second heat exchanger coil are angled relative to one another to such that a first end of the first heat exchanger coil and a first end of the second heat exchanger coil form an apex, the first end of the first heat exchanger coil and the first end of the second heat exchanger coil being separated from one another by a distance to allow a flow path for at least one of debris, airflow, and condensate there between; and a fan assembly including at least one fan being mounted to the frame, the fan assembly being located adjacent a second end of the first heat exchanger coil and a second end of the second heat exchanger coil.

24. An outdoor coil unit comprising: a frame; a heat exchanger assembly mounted within the frame, the heat exchanger assembly including at least one heat exchanger coil having a first header, a second header, and a plurality of heat exchange tube segments extending between and fluidly coupling the first header and the second header, the heat exchanger assembly being formed into a shape including at least one apex; a fan assembly mounted to the frame and including at least one fan operable to draw air into the outdoor coil unit through the at least one heat exchanger coil and discharge the air outside of the outdoor coil unit; and at least one cover positioned adjacent a portion of the heat exchanger assembly to seal the portion of the heat exchanger assembly against air flow there through.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/253,034, filed Nov. 9, 2015, the contents of which are incorporated by reference in their entirety herein.

BACKGROUND

[0002] This disclosure relates generally to outdoor units for air conditioners and heat pumps and, more particularly, to a heat exchanger configured for use in a residential outdoor unit.

[0003] Air cooled condensers, commonly used in residential air conditioning systems, employ a fin tube construction to transfer heat from the refrigerant to the outdoor air. As hot, high pressure refrigerant passes through the coil, heat from the compressed refrigerant is transferred through the tubes to the attached fins. An electrically powered fan is used to draw outside air across the fin heat transfer surfaces to remove heat from the refrigerant so that it will condense and partially sub-cool prior to reaching an expansion valve.

[0004] The heat exchanger coil of an outdoor unit is usually round, rectangular, or square in form, and the compressor is normally disposed within the coil. A fan and its drive motor is commonly mounted above the heat exchanger such that the fan draws outdoor air inwardly through the coil and then upwardly to be discharged into the atmosphere.

SUMMARY

[0005] According to a first embodiment, an outdoor coil unit of a residential heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system includes a frame, and a heat exchanger assembly mounted within the frame. The heat exchanger assembly includes at least one heat exchanger coil having a first header, a second header, and a plurality of heat exchange tube segments extending between and fluidly coupling the first header and the second header. The heat exchanger assembly is formed into a shape including at least one apex. A fan assembly is mounted to the frame and includes at least one fan operable to draw air into the outdoor coil unit through the at least one heat exchanger coil and discharge the air outside of the outdoor coil unit.

[0006] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments the heat exchanger assembly is generally V-shaped.

[0007] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments the heat exchanger assembly is generally W-shaped.

[0008] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments the first header and the second header are oriented generally horizontally, and the plurality of heat exchange tube segments is oriented generally vertically.

[0009] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments the first header and the second header are oriented generally vertically, and the plurality of heat exchange tube segments is oriented generally horizontally.

[0010] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments the heat exchanger assembly formed into a shape including at least one apex includes a first heat exchanger coil and a second heat exchanger coil fluidly coupled via an intermediate header.

[0011] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments the heat exchanger assembly formed into a shape including at least one apex includes a first heat exchanger coil and a second heat exchanger coil. The first heat exchanger coil and the second heat exchanger coil are fluidly separate from one another.

[0012] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments the heat exchanger assembly is oriented vertically within the frame.

[0013] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments the heat exchanger assembly is oriented horizontally within the frame.

[0014] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments the at least one heat exchanger coil is a microchannel heat exchanger coil such that each heat exchange tube segment includes a plurality of discrete flow channels.

[0015] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments a base pan is positioned within the frame. An interface between the heat exchanger assembly and the base plan stabilizes a position of the heat exchanger assembly within the frame.

[0016] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments the base pan includes a raceway having a contour generally complementary to a portion of the heat exchanger assembly such that when the portion of the heat exchanger is mounted therein, the heat exchanger is offset from a floor of the base pan.

[0017] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments one or more openings are formed in a portion of the base pan.

[0018] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments the one or more openings are positioned adjacent an area of the heat exchanger assembly where condensate accumulates.

[0019] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments at least one of a size and location of the drainage holes is optimized to provide maximum drainage during a defrost cycle of the outdoor coil unit.

[0020] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments the one or more openings are positioned adjacent an area of the heat exchanger assembly to provide an optimized airflow path.

[0021] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments the fan assembly includes a first fan and a second fan. The first fan and the second fan are operable independently.

[0022] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments a plurality of heat exchanger fins are mounted to the plurality of heat exchange tube segments. The plurality of heat exchanger fins does not extend beyond a leading edge or a trailing edge of the plurality of heat exchange tube segments.

[0023] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments a plurality of heat exchanger fins are mounted to the plurality of heat exchange tube segments and the plurality of heat exchanger fins extend beyond at least one of a leading edge and a trailing edge of the plurality of heat exchange tube segments.

[0024] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments the residential heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system has a capacity of less than or equal to 65,000 Btuh.

[0025] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments the apex of the heat exchanger assembly includes an opening to define a flow path there between.

[0026] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, in further embodiments at least a portion of the heat exchanger assembly is sealed with a cover such the fan assembly draws air through only an intended portion of the heat exchanger assembly.

[0027] According to another, an outdoor coil unit is provided including a frame and a heat exchanger assembly mounted within the frame. The heat exchanger assembly includes a first heat exchanger coil and a second heat exchanger coil. Each heat exchanger coil has a first header, a second header, and a plurality of heat exchange tube segments extending between and fluidly coupling the first header and the second header. The first heat exchanger coil and the second heat exchanger coil are angled relative to one another such that a first end of the first heat exchanger coil and a first end of the second heat exchanger coil form an apex. The first end of the first heat exchanger coil and the first end of the second heat exchanger coil are separated from one another by a distance to allow a flow path for at least one of debris, airflow, and condensate there between. A fan assembly including at least one fan is mounted to the frame. The fan assembly is located adjacent a second end of the first heat exchanger coil and a second end of the second heat exchanger coil.

[0028] According to another, an outdoor coil unit is provided including a frame and a heat exchanger heat exchanger assembly mounted within the frame. The heat exchanger assembly includes at least one heat exchanger coil having a first header, a second header, and a plurality of heat exchange tube segments extending between and fluidly coupling the first header and the second header. The heat exchanger assembly is formed into a shape including at least one apex. A fan assembly is mounted to the frame and includes at least one fan operable to draw air into the outdoor coil unit through the at least one heat exchanger coil and discharge the air outside of the outdoor coil unit. At least one cover is positioned adjacent a portion of the heat exchanger assembly to seal the portion of the heat exchanger assembly against air flow there through.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0029] The subject matter, which is regarded as the present disclosure, is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the claims at the conclusion of the specification. The foregoing and other features, and advantages of the present disclosure are apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

[0030] FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of an example of a conventional vapor compression cycle;

[0031] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an outdoor coil unit according to an embodiment;

[0032] FIG. 3 is a front view of an outdoor coil unit according to an embodiment;

[0033] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an outdoor coil unit according to an embodiment;

[0034] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a heat exchanger assembly of an outdoor coil unit according to an embodiment;

[0035] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of another heat exchanger assembly of an outdoor coil unit according to an embodiment;

[0036] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of another heat exchanger assembly of an outdoor coil unit according to an embodiment;

[0037] FIGS. 8a and 8b are cross-sectional views of a heat exchanger coil of the heat exchanger assembly according to an embodiment;

[0038] FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of a portion of the heat exchanger assembly of the outdoor coil unit according to an embodiment; and

[0039] FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view of a portion of the heat exchanger assembly of the outdoor coil unit according to another embodiment.

[0040] The detailed description explains embodiments of the present disclosure, together with advantages and features, by way of example with reference to the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0041] Referring now to FIG. 1, a conventional vapor compression or refrigeration cycle 10 of an air conditioning system is schematically illustrated. Exemplary air conditioning systems include split, packaged, and rooftop systems, for example. A refrigerant R is configured to circulate through the vapor compression cycle 10 such that the refrigerant R absorbs heat when evaporated at a low temperature and pressure and releases heat when condensed at a higher temperature and pressure. Within this cycle 10, the refrigerant R flows in a counterclockwise direction as indicated by the arrows. The compressor 12 receives refrigerant vapor from the evaporator 18 and compresses it to a higher temperature and pressure, with the relatively hot vapor then passing to the condenser 14 where it is cooled and condensed to a liquid state by a heat exchange relationship with a cooling medium such as air or water. The liquid refrigerant R then passes from the condenser 14 to an expansion valve 16, wherein the refrigerant R is expanded to a low temperature two phase liquid/vapor state as it passes to the evaporator 18. The low pressure vapor then returns to the compressor 12 where the cycle is repeated.

[0042] Referring now to FIG. 2, an outdoor coil unit 20, for example configured as an air-cooled condenser 14 of the vapor compression cycle 10 of FIG. 1, is illustrated in more detail. The outdoor coil unit 20 illustrated and described herein is intended for use in any residential HVAC system, which generally includes any system having a capacity of about 5 Tons or less (i.e. capacity less than or equal to 65,000 Btuh). The outdoor coil unit 20 includes a frame 22 and a heat exchanger assembly 24 arranged within the frame 22. In one embodiment, the heat exchanger assembly 24 is arranged completely within the frame 22. A compressor 26, fluidly coupled to the heat exchanger assembly 24 may be positioned within the interior of the outdoor coil unit 20 and is configured to pump refrigerant through a vapor compression cycle 10.

[0043] The outdoor coil unit 20 additionally includes a fan assembly 28 having at least one fan 30 configured to draw ambient air inward through the heat exchanger coils 25, and then discharge the air outward through an opening. A solid cover 32, such as formed from sheet metal for example, may be positioned about one or more portions of the frame 22 to seal between the heat exchanger assembly 24 and the fan assembly 28 to prevent air flow there through bypassing the heat exchanger assembly 24. For example, the opposing ends of the heat exchanger assembly 24 are sealed with side plates 33 in FIG. 2 such that the fan 30 draws air only through an intended portion of the heat exchanger assembly 24. As shown in FIG. 2, the fan assembly 28 is positioned at the uppermost surface (top) of the outdoor coil unit 20 such that air is discharged vertically upward there through. However, in other embodiments, the fan assembly 28 may be mounted to a side surface of the frame 22, within a vertical plane as shown in FIG. 4. When the fan assembly 28 is mounted at a side of the outdoor coil unit 20, the fan 30 is configured to draw air horizontally, such as through an opposing side 34 of the outdoor coil unit 20 for example.

[0044] As previously described, the fan assembly 28 may include one or multiple fans. Although the coil units illustrated have either one or two fans 30, embodiments including any number of fans are within the scope of the disclosure. In embodiments including a plurality of fans 30, such as shown in FIG. 2, each fan 30 of the fan assembly 28 may be independently operable. In such instances, the heat exchanger assembly 24 of the outdoor coil unit 20 may include a plurality of heat exchanger coils 25 such that each fan 30 is operatively associated with one or more of the plurality of heat exchanger coils 25. As a result, the outdoor coil unit 20 may be operated at a reduced capacity. In one embodiment, a partition plate or side plate 33, such as including a one way louver for example, may be positioned between the heat exchanger coils 25 to prevent air from being drawn through the non-operational portion of the of the heat exchanger assembly 24.

[0045] As best shown in FIG. 2, a base pan 36 may be configured to hold the heat exchanger assembly 24 in place relative to the frame 22. A raceway 37 generally complementary to a portion of the heat exchanger assembly 24, such as an apex thereof for example, may be formed in the base pan 36. When the portion of the heat exchanger assembly 24 is positioned within the raceway 37, the raceway 37 stabilizes the heat exchanger assembly 24. In addition, the portion of the heat exchanger assembly 24 positioned within the raceway 37 may be generally offset from the floor of the base pan 36. The raceway 37 may be located at any position on the base pan 36 corresponding to the heat exchanger assembly 24. In one embodiment, one or more openings 38 may be formed in a portion of the base pan 36 adjacent the heat exchanger assembly 24 to aid in drainage of condensate from the exterior surface of the heat exchanger assembly 24, or for other reasons, not limited to condensate drainage, such as airflow for example. In embodiments where the fan assembly 28 is configured to draw air vertically through the coil unit 20, the plurality of openings 38 may be located adjacent an apex, bend, or other region of the heat exchanger assembly 24 where condensate is likely to accumulate or for desirable airflow. Alternatively, in embodiments where the fan assembly 28 is configured to draw air horizontally through the coil unit 20 as in FIG. 4, the one or more openings 38 may be positioned at any location underneath the heat exchanger assembly 24. In one embodiment, at least one of a size, shape and location of the openings 38 is determined to provide optimal condensate drainage during a defrost cycle of the outdoor coil unit 20, or optimal airflow for same outdoor coil unit 20.

[0046] With reference now to FIGS. 3-7, various examples of the heat exchanger assembly 24 of the outdoor coil unit 20 are illustrated in more detail. As previously suggested, the outdoor coil unit 20 includes one or more heat exchangers coils 25. For example, the embodiment of the outdoor coil unit 20 illustrated in FIG. 3, includes one heat exchanger coil 25. Though shown having a single tube bank 27, a heat exchanger coil 25 having any number of tube banks is within the scope of the disclosure. Alternatively, the non-limiting embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 4-7 include a heat exchanger assembly 24 having a first heat exchanger coil 25a and a second heat exchanger coil 25b arranged at an angle to one another within the frame 22. In embodiments including multiple heat exchanger coils 25, although a portion of the coils may be positioned near one another, the coils 25 remain fluidly separate. In such embodiments, the adjacent portions of the heat exchanger coils 25, for example the apex formed when two heat exchanger coils 25 are arranged in a V-shaped configuration, may be separated from one another by a distance sufficient to allow debris or other particles that collect within the coil unit 20 to pass between the coils 25. In one embodiment, the distance between the first and second heat exchanger coils 25a, 25b is between about 0 and 12 inches.

[0047] FIG. 3 shows the at least one coil 25 of the heat exchanger assembly 24 includes a first manifold or header 40, a second manifold or header 42 spaced apart from the first manifold 40, and a plurality of heat exchange tubes 44 extending in a spaced parallel relationship between and fluidly connecting the first manifold 40 and the second manifold 42. In the illustrated, non-limiting embodiment of FIG. 5, the first manifold or header 40a, 40b and the second manifold or header 42a, 42b of each heat exchanger coil 25a, 25b are oriented generally vertically. By arranging the tubes 44a, 44b vertically, as shown in FIG. 5, water condensate collected on the tubes 44a, 44b is drained from the heat exchanger assembly 24. However, a heat exchanger coil 25 having another configuration, for example where the manifolds or headers 40, 42 are arranged vertically and the plurality of heat exchanger tubes 44 extend horizontally, as shown in FIG. 6, are also within the scope of the disclosure.

[0048] In the non-limiting embodiments illustrated in the FIGS., the manifolds or headers 40, 42 comprise hollow, closed end cylinders having a circular cross-section. However, manifolds or headers 40, 42 having other configurations, such as a semi-elliptical, square, rectangular, hexagonal, octagonal, or other cross-sectional shapes for example, are within the scope of the disclosure. The heat exchanger assembly 24 may be used as either a condenser 14 or an evaporator 18 in a vapor compression cycle 10, such as a heat pump system or air conditioning system for example.

[0049] In embodiments including a plurality of heat exchanger coils 25, the plurality of heat exchanger coils 25 may be fluidly coupled to or fluidly separate from one another. In embodiments where at least a portion of the plurality of heat exchanger coils 25 are fluidly coupled, the coils 25 may be coupled via an intermediate manifold or header 46, as shown in FIG. 7. Regardless of how many heat exchanger coils 25 are included, the heat exchanger assembly 24 may have any desired shape, including, but not limited to a "V", "A", "W", "C", "U", or "L" for example.

[0050] Each coil 25 of the heat exchanger assembly 24 may be configured with a single (FIG. 8a) or multi-pass flow configuration (FIG. 8b). To form a multi-pass flow configuration, at least one of the first manifold 40 and the second manifold 42 includes two or more fluidly distinct sections or chambers. In one embodiment, the fluidly distinct sections are formed by coupling separate manifolds together to form the first or second manifold 40, 42. Alternatively, a baffle or divider plate 45 known to a person of ordinary skill in the art may be arranged within at least one of the first header 40 and/or the second header 42 to define a plurality of fluidly distinct sections therein.

[0051] In one embodiment, at least one coil 25 of the heat exchanger assembly 24 is a microchannel heat exchanger. In such embodiments, each heat exchange tube 44 comprises a flattened heat exchange tube having a leading edge 50, a trailing edge 52, a first surface 54, and a second surface 56. The leading edge 50 of each heat exchanger tube 44 is upstream of its respective trailing edge 52 with respect to an airflow A through the heat exchanger assembly 24. The interior flow passage of each heat exchange tube 44 may be divided by interior walls into a plurality of discrete flow channels 58 that extend over the length of the tubes 44 from an inlet end to an outlet end and establish fluid communication between the respective first and second manifolds 40, 42. The flow channels 58 may have a circular cross-section, a rectangular cross-section, a trapezoidal cross-section, a triangular cross-section, or another non-circular cross-section. The heat exchange tubes 44 including the discrete flow channels 58 may be formed using known techniques and materials, including, but not limited to, extrusion or folding.

[0052] As known, a plurality of heat transfer fins 60 (FIGS. 9 and 10) may be disposed between and rigidly attached, e.g., by a furnace braze process, to the heat exchange tubes 44, in order to enhance external heat transfer and provide structural rigidity to the heat exchanger coil 25. The fins 60 may be configured with any of a plurality of configurations, in the illustrated, non-limiting embodiment, each fin 60 is formed from a plurality of connected strips or a single continuous strip of fin material tightly folded in a ribbon-like serpentine fashion thereby providing a plurality of closely spaced fins 62 that extend generally orthogonal to the flattened heat exchange tubes 44. In one embodiment, such as when the outdoor coil unit 20 is configured as a heat pump and as shown in FIG. 9, the fins 60 of the heat exchanger assembly 24 do not extend beyond the leading edge 50 or trailing edge 52 of the heat exchange tubes 44. Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 10, the fins 60 may extend beyond at least one of the leading edge 50 and trailing edge 52 of the heat exchange tubes 44, for example when the outdoor coil unit 20 is configured as a portion of an air conditioning system. When the fins 60 extend beyond at least one of the leading edge 50 and trailing edge 52, the fins 60 not only provide an additional heat transfer surface, but also protect the adjacent tubes 44 from damage. However, the reduced ability of these extended fins 60 to drain condensate makes them more beneficial, but not limited to use in air conditioning applications. Heat exchange between the fluid within the heat exchanger tubes 44 and the air flow A, occurs through the outside surfaces 54, 56 of the heat exchange tubes 44 collectively forming a primary heat exchange surface, and also through the heat exchange surface of the fins 60 which form a secondary heat exchange surface.

[0053] The outdoor coil unit 20 illustrated and described herein has a new configuration that is both easier to manufacture and typically lower in cost. In addition, a larger fan 30 may be used in the fan assembly 28 resulting in decreased noise and increased fan efficiency. In some embodiments, unlike conventional outdoor coil units where a heat exchanger is positioned at an exterior surface of the unit, the heat exchanger assembly 24 is located at a recessed position, wholly contained within the frame 22 of the unit 20. As a result, the additional paneling commonly used to protect one or more surfaces of the heat exchanger is no longer necessary or may be greatly reduced.

[0054] While the present disclosure has been particularly shown and described with reference to the exemplary embodiments as illustrated in the drawings, it will be recognized by those skilled in the art that various modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the present disclosure. Therefore, it is intended that the present disclosure not be limited to the particular embodiment(s) disclosed as, but that the disclosure will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.

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