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United States Patent Application 20170138630
Kind Code A1
YAGI; Ryosuke ;   et al. May 18, 2017

HEAT EXCHANGER AND VENTILATOR

Abstract

A heat exchanger according to an embodiment includes an air supply path through which supply air supplied to a target space from the outside of the target space passes; an exhaust path through which exhaust air discharged from the target space to the outside of the target space passes; a partition member that divides the air supply path and the exhaust path and performs heat exchange between the supply air and the exhaust air; a separation member that adsorbs moisture in the air or discharges the adsorbed moisture to the air; and a decompression path that is provided at the air supply path side, is divided from the air supply path by the separation member, and is connected to a decompression pump.


Inventors: YAGI; Ryosuke; (Yokohama, JP) ; SUENAGA; Seiichi; (Yokohama, JP) ; HARADA; Koichi; (Tokyo, JP) ; SAITO; Hitomi; (Kawaguchi, JP)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

KABUSHIKI KAISHA TOSHIBA

Minato-ku

JP
Assignee: KABUSHIKI KAISHA TOSHIBA
Minato-ku
JP

Family ID: 1000002183204
Appl. No.: 15/261621
Filed: September 9, 2016


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: F24F 3/147 20130101; F24F 12/006 20130101; F24F 2006/146 20130101; F24F 2003/1435 20130101
International Class: F24F 12/00 20060101 F24F012/00; F24F 3/147 20060101 F24F003/147

Foreign Application Data

DateCodeApplication Number
Nov 17, 2015JP2015-225096

Claims



1. A heat exchanger comprising: an air supply path through which supply air supplied to a target space from outside of the target space passes; an exhaust path through which exhaust air discharged from the target space to the outside of the target space passes; a partition member that divides the air supply path and the exhaust path and performs heat exchange between the supply air and the exhaust air; a separation member arranged at an air supply path side that adsorbs moisture in air or discharges adsorbed moisture to the air; and a decompression path provided at the air supply path side, divided from the air supply path by the separation member, and connected to a decompression pump.

2. The heat exchanger according to claim 1, wherein the separation member is provided as a spacer that maintains a space between the partition member and one of the air supply path and the exhaust path.

3. The heat exchanger according to claim 1, wherein the separation member includes, a material having deliquescence, and a porous member or a porous membrane.

4. The heat exchanger according to claim 1, wherein the separation member have a convex part, and the decompression path is formed between the separation member and the partition member.

5. The heat exchanger according to claim 1, wherein the separation member is of a cylindrical shape, and the decompression path is formed within the separation member.

6. A heat exchanger comprising: an air supply path through which supply air supplied to a target space from outside of the target space passes; an exhaust path through which exhaust air discharged from the target space to the outside of the target space passes; a partition member that divides the air supply path and the exhaust path and performs heat exchange between the supply air and the exhaust air; a separation member arranged at an exhaust path side that adsorbs moisture in air or discharges adsorbed moisture to the air; and a decompression path provided at the exhaust path side, divided from the exhaust path by the separation member, and connected to a decompression pump.

7. The heat exchanger according to claim 6, wherein the separation member is provided as a spacer that maintains a space between the partition member and one of the air supply path and the exhaust path.

8. The heat exchanger according to claim 6, wherein the separation member includes, a material having deliquescence, and a porous member or a porous membrane.

9. The heat exchanger according to claim 6, wherein the separation member have a convex part, and the decompression path is formed between the separation member and the partition member.

10. The heat exchanger according to claim 6, wherein the separation member is of a cylindrical shape, and the decompression path is formed within the separation member.

11. The heat exchanger according to claim 6, further comprising a humidifier that mixes moisture discharged to the decompression path with air flowing through the air supply path and supplies the moisture to the target space.

12. A heat exchanger comprising: an air supply path through which supply air supplied to a target space from outside of the target space passes; an exhaust path through which exhaust air discharged from the target space to the outside of the target space passes; a partition member that divides the air supply path and the exhaust path and performs heat exchange between the supply air and the exhaust air; a separation member arranged at an air supply path side that adsorbs moisture in air or discharges adsorbed moisture to the air; and a decompression path provided between the partition member and the separation member, divided from the air supply path by the separation member, and connected to a decompression pump, wherein the air supply path, the exhaust path, and the decompression path each have a different air flow-in surface and air exhaust surface.

13. A ventilator comprising the heat exchanger according to claim 1.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application is based upon and claims the benefit of priority from prior Japanese Patent Application No. 2015-225096, filed Nov. 17, 2015, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD

[0002] Embodiments described herein relate generally to a heat exchanger and a ventilator.

BACKGROUND

[0003] With the popularization of decreasing power consumption for air conditioning in living spaces such as in homes or offices, it has been attempted to decrease the power necessary for ventilation by performing heat exchange between supplied air and exhaust air in a ventilator that supplies outside air and discharges carbon dioxide or VOC from indoor air.

[0004] Driving an air conditioner necessarily consumes power, and this is a problem to solve in terms of decreasing power consumption for air conditioning in living spaces such as homes or offices. In addition, an air conditioner controls both temperature and humidity in accordance with the degree of cooling, and it would be difficult to independently control temperature and humidity.

[0005] The object of the present invention is to provide a heat exchanger that is capable of decreasing power consumption required for controlling temperature and humidity in a target space while increasing comfort of living spaces, and a ventilator including such a heat exchanger.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] FIG. 1 illustrates a configuration of a ventilator 100 according to the first embodiment.

[0007] FIG. 2 illustrates the detailed structure of a gas separator 115.

[0008] FIG. 3 illustrates the detailed arrangement of a partition member 112 and a first spacer 113.

[0009] FIG. 4 illustrates a cylindrical spacer.

[0010] FIG. 5 illustrates a configuration of a ventilator 200 according to the second embodiment.

[0011] FIG. 6 illustrates a configuration of a ventilator 300 according to the third embodiment.

[0012] FIG. 7 illustrates the detailed structure of a heat exchanger 301.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0013] According to the embodiments, a heat exchanger according to an embodiment includes an air supply path through which supply air supplied to a target space from the outside of the target space passes; an exhaust path through which exhaust air discharged from the target space to the outside of the target space passes; a partition member that divides the air supply path and the exhaust path and performs heat exchange between supplied air and exhaust air; a separation member that adsorbs moisture in the air or discharges the adsorbed moisture to the air; and a decompression path that is provided at the air supply path side, is divided from the air supply path by the separation member, and is connected to a decompression pump.

[0014] Hereinafter, embodiments will be described with reference to the drawings. In the following embodiments, the same elements will be assigned the same reference symbols, and redundant explanations will be omitted as appropriate.

First Embodiment

[0015] FIG. 1 illustrates a configuration of a ventilator 100 according to the first embodiment. The ventilator 100 includes a heat exchanger 101; a first air blower (air supplier) 102 that blows outside air to the heat exchanger 101 side and supplies the air to a target space; a second blower (air exhauster) 103 that blows air within the target space to the heat exchanger 101 side and discharges the air to the outside; a decompression pump 104 that decompresses a decompression path 116 of the heat exchanger 101 described below; and lines (pipes) L.sub.O, L.sub.R, L.sub.S, L.sub.E, and L.sub.P that connect each unit and realizes a fluid-like connection.

[0016] The heat exchanger 101 has unit elements stacked in series, each unit element including an air supply path 110 through which air from the first blower 102 passes, an exhaust path 111 through which air from the second blower 103 passes, a partition member 112 that fluidly divides the air supply path 110 and the exhaust path 111, a first spacer 113 that maintains a configuration of the air supply path 110, and a second spacer 114 that maintains a configuration of the exhaust path 111. The partition member 112 performs temperature exchange between air flowing through the air supply path 110 and air flowing through the exhaust path 111, and is formed of a metallic plate such as stainless steel or iron. The first spacer 113 is formed of a gas separator 115 (separation member) and a decompression path 116. The gas separator 115 is a porous member or a porous membrane which adsorbs moisture (water-steam) contained in the air within the air supply path 110 and discharges the adsorbed water to the decompression path 116 at a predetermined ratio.

[0017] The first blower 102 and the air supply path 110 are connected by a line L.sub.O, and the air supply path 110 and the target space are connected by a line L.sub.S. The second blower 103 and the exhaust path 111 are connected by a line L.sub.R, and the exhaust path 111 and outside of the target space are connected by a line L.sub.E.

[0018] FIG. 2 illustrates the detailed structure of a gas separator 115. The gas separator 115 which is a part of the first spacer 113 is formed of an adsorption layer 120, and a porous base member 121. The adsorption layer 120 has a function of adsorbing moisture in the air, and may be formed of a material having deliquescence such as Nafion, polyurethane, lithium chloride, calcium chloride, zeolite, and silica gel. The porous base member 121 functions as a supporting member of the adsorption layer 120, and maintains a strength level required for maintaining the configurations of the air supply path 110 and the decompression path 116. The porous base member 121 may be formed of a porous metal having a metallic base such as stainless steel, nickel, aluminum, and titanium, porous carbon, or porous alumina. When a metal is used for the porous base member 121, an opening may be foamed by etching. The decompression path 116 is formed inside of the porous base member 121, and is connected to the decompression pump 104 (see FIG. 1).

[0019] FIG. 3 illustrates the detailed arrangement of the partition member 112 and the first spacer 113. The partition member 112 and the first spacer 113 are bonded by a seal 130. The cross-sectional view of the central portion of the first spacer 113, taken along line A-A' shows an inverted V-shaped pattern formed by consecutive convex parts. The top of convex parts is in contact with the partition member 112. On the other hand, the cross-sectional view of the edge of the first spacer 113, taken along line B-B' shows convex parts that are not in contact with the partition member 112. In this area, the space of the decompression path 116 is fluidly communicated with a manifold 131. The manifold 131 communicates between unit elements, and merges at an external manifold 132 and connected to the decompression pump 104 by a line L.sub.P (see FIG. 1).

[0020] Next, the operation of the ventilator 100 will be explained (see FIG. 1). The first blower 102 is operated to supply air outside of the target space to the air supply path 110 through the line L.sub.O. The air supplied to the air supply path 110 flows into the target space through the line L.sub.S. The second blower 103 is operated to supply air inside of the target space to the exhaust path 111 through the line L.sub.R. The air supplied to the exhaust path 111 is discharged outside of the target space through the line L.sub.E. Once the decompression pump 104 is operated to decrease the pressure of the decompression path 116, a pressure difference is generated between the air supply path 110 and the decompression path 116 through the first spacer 113. Water adsorbed to the gas separator 115 from the air flowing through the air supply path 110 from the outside of the target space moves from the air supply path 110 to the decompression path 116 due to a water-steam concentration difference generated by the pressure difference. The water moved to the decompression path 116 is sent to the decompression pump 104 while being fluidly separated from the air supply path 110 and the exhaust path 111, and is eliminated from the decompression path 116. The above series of operations is repeated to continuously eliminate moisture from the air supplied to the air supply path 110 from the outside of the target space. In addition, the air flowing through the air supply path 110 and the air flowing through the exhaust path 111 are temperature-exchanged through the partition member 112. The air from which moisture has been removed and temperature exchange has been performed is sent from the outside of the target space to the target space through the line L.sub.S. That means that air which is adjusted in temperature and humidity is provided to the inside of a room.

[0021] According to the present embodiment, both of temperature (sensible heat) exchange and humidity control can be performed within the heat exchanger 100. In this case, the humidity can be controlled independently from the temperature by driving the decompression pump 104. Thus, there is no need for placing a heat pump or a dehumidifier outside the target space to control the humidity, and this decreases equipment space. In the case where the temperature is to be maintained while the humidity is to be decreased, if a heat pump which dehumidifies air by condensation is adopted, it is necessary to cool air flowing from the outside of the target space to decrease the humidity of the target space, or to heat the cooled air again to control the humidity. This may increase power consumption and decrease conformity. On the other hand, the present embodiment adopts consecutive processing to control the humidity of the air flowing from the outside of the target space by moisture adsorption and separation by the gas separator 115. This accomplishes independent humidity control by only the heat exchanger 100 installed in the ventilator without providing a heat pump. Since the pressure in the decompression path 116 is decreased, the gas separator 115 requires a level of strength. The strength can be utilized for maintaining spaces between unit elements, and this helps downsizing the heat exchanger 100 and the ventilator.

[0022] The shape of the spacer 113 is not limited to the inverted V-shape pattern as indicated above, but may be a cylindrical pattern.

[0023] FIG. 4 illustrates a cylindrical spacer. In FIG. 4, the gas separator 115 and the decompression path 116 forming the spacer 113 have a cylindrical shape. In this case, a contact area of the gas separator 115 with the air flowing through the air supply path 110 can be increased, and accordingly the amount of dehumidification can be increased. In addition, a contact area of the partition member 112 with the air flowing through the air supply path 110 can be increased, and accordingly, the amount of heat exchange between the air flowing through the air supply path 110 and the air flowing through the exhaust path 111 can be increased.

Second Embodiment

[0024] FIG. 5 illustrates the configuration of a ventilator 200 according to the second embodiment. The ventilator 200 includes a heat exchanger 201; a first air blower (air supplier) 102 that blows air outside of the target space to the heat exchanger 201 side and supplies the air to a target space; a second blower (air exhauster) 103 that blows air within the target space to the heat exchanger 201 side and discharges the air to the outside; a decompression pump 104 that decompresses a decompression path 152 of the heat exchanger 201 described below; and lines (pipes) L.sub.O, L.sub.R, L.sub.S, L.sub.E, and L.sub.P that connect each unit and realizes fluid-like connection.

[0025] The heat exchanger 201 has unit elements stacked in series, each unit element including an air supply path 110 through which air from the first blower 102 passes, an exhaust path 111 through which air from the second blower 103 passes, a partition member 112 that fluidly divides the air supply path 110 and the exhaust path 111, a first spacer 155 that maintains a configuration of the air supply path 110, and a second spacer 150 that maintains a configuration of the exhaust path 111. The partition member 112 performs temperature exchange between air flowing through the air supply path 110 and air flowing through the exhaust path 111, and is formed of a metallic plate such as stainless steel or iron. The first interval maintaining member 150 is formed of a gas separator 151 and a decompression path 152.

[0026] The decompression path 152 of each unit element is assembled at an external manifold 133 and connected to the decompression pump 104 by a line L.sub.h. A humidifier 160 is connected to a downstream of a decompression pump.

[0027] The humidifier 160 has a function of supplying water sent from the decompression pump to air of the line L.sub.S. A commercial atomizer or a gas-liquid separation membrane may be adopted for the humidifier 160.

[0028] The first blower 102 and the air supply path 110 are connected by a line L.sub.O, and the air supply path 110 and the target space are connected by a line L.sub.S. The second blower 103 and the exhaust path 111 are connected by a line L.sub.R, and the exhaust path 111 and the outside of the target space are connected by a line L.sub.E.

[0029] Next, the operation of the ventilator 200 will be explained. The first blower 102 is operated to supply air outside of the target space to the air supply path 110 through the line L.sub.O. The air supplied to the air supply path 110 flows into the target space through the line L.sub.S. The second blower 103 is operated to supply air inside of the target space to the exhaust path 111 through the line L.sub.R. The air supplied to the exhaust path 111 is discharged outside of the target space through the line L.sub.E. Once the decompression pump 104 is operated to decrease the pressure of the decompression path 152, a pressure difference is generated between the air supply path 111 and the decompression path 152 through the second spacer 150. Water adsorbed to the gas separator 151 from the air flowing through the exhaust path 111 from the outside of the target space moves from the exhaust path 111 to the decompression path 152 due to a water-steam concentration difference generated by the pressure difference. The water moved to the decompression path 152 is sent to the decompression pump 104 while being fluidly separated from the air supply path 110 and the exhaust path 111, is mixed with air flowing through the air supply path at the humidifier 160, and is supplied to the target space. The above series of operations is repeated to retrieve water included in the exhaust path and to moisturize air outside of the target space to be supplied to the air supply path 110.

[0030] In addition, the air flowing through the air supply path 110 and the air flowing through the exhaust path 111 are temperature-exchanged through the partition member 112. In this embodiment, water in the air discharged from the exhaust path 111 can be utilized to moisturize air to be supplied from the air supply path 110. When the temperature and the humidity of outside of the target space are lower than those in the target space especially in the winter time, there is a phenomenon that the temperature and the humidity in the target space are decreased due to ventilation. According to the present embodiment, the decrease of power consumption required for temperature and humidity control within the target space and an improvement of conformity of living spaces can be accomplished by exchanging air flowing through the air supply path 110 to control the temperature and the humidity that may be decreased by ventilation.

Third Embodiment

[0031] FIG. 6 illustrates the configuration of a ventilator 300 according to the third embodiment. The ventilator 300 includes a heat exchanger 301; a first air blower (air supplier) 102 that blows outside air to the heat exchanger 301 side and supplies the air to a target space; a second blower (air exhauster) 103 that blows air within the target space to the heat exchanger 101 side and discharges the air to the outside; a decompression pump 104 that decompresses a decompression path 116 of the heat exchanger 101 described below; and lines (pipes) L.sub.O, L.sub.R, L.sub.S, L.sub.E, and L.sub.P that connect each portion and realizes a fluid-like connection.

[0032] The heat exchanger 301 has a hexagonal shape formed by planes (D-D') of an air supply path 110 through which air from the first blower 102 passes, planes (E-E') of an exhaust path 111 through which air from the second blower 103 passes, and planes (F-F') of a decompression path 116 connected to the decompression pump 104 and having a pressure lower than that of surfaces of the air supply path 110 and the exhaust path 111.

[0033] FIG. 7 illustrates the detailed structure of the heat exchanger 301. The heat exchanger 301 has unit elements stacked in series, each unit element including the air supply path 110, the exhaust path 111, a spacer 170 that maintains configurations of the air supply path 110 and the exhaust path 111, and a partition layer 173 that fluidly divides the air supply path 110 and the exhaust path 111.

[0034] The spacer 170 is formed of a gas separator 115 and a porous decompression path 171.

[0035] The gas separator 115 is a porous member or a porous membrane which adsorbs moisture (water-steam) included in the air within the air supply path 110, and discharges the adsorbed water to the porous decompression path 171 at a predetermined ratio. The porous decompression path 171 is a porous member having pores fluidly communicating the gas separator 115 and the decompression pump 104, and is arranged in contact with the gas separator 115. In addition, the spacer 170 projects convex-shaped projections toward the air supply path 110 and the exhaust path 111 to maintain the configuration of each path. The porous decompression path 171 may be formed of a porous metal having a metallic base such as stainless steel, nickel, aluminum, and titanium. The partition layer 173 has a function of fluidly separating air at the exhaust path side from the porous decompression path 171, and is formed by applying or impregnating Teflon (registered trademark), silicon, fluorine, or a resin having low air permeability on a surface of the porous metal.

[0036] Next, the operation of the ventilator 300 will be explained (see FIGS. 6 and 7). The first blower 102 is operated to supply air outside of the target space to the air supply path 110 through the line L.sub.O. The air supplied to the air supply path 110 flows into the target space through the line L.sub.S. The second blower 103 is operated to supply air inside of the target space to the exhaust path 111 through the line L.sub.R. The air supplied to the exhaust path 111 is discharged outside of the target space through the line L.sub.E. Once the decompression pump 104 is operated to decrease the pressure of the porous decompression path 171, a pressure difference occurs between the air supply path 110 and the porous decompression path 171 through the spacer 170. Water adsorbed to the gas separator 115 from the air flowing through the air supply path 110 from the outside of the target space moves from the air supply path 110 to the porous decompression path 171 due to a water-steam concentration difference generated by the pressure difference. The water moved to the porous decompression path 171 is sent to the decompression pump 104 while being fluidly separated from the air supply path 110 and the exhaust path 111, and is eliminated from the decompression path 116. The above series of operations is repeated to continuously eliminate moisture from the air supplied to the air supply path 110 from the outside of the target space. In addition, the air flowing through the air supply path 110 and the air flowing through the exhaust path 111 are temperature-exchanged through the porous decompression path 171. The air from which moisture has been removed and temperature exchange has been performed is sent from the outside of the target space to the target space through the line L.sub.S. That means that air which is adjusted in temperature and humidity is provided to the inside of a room.

[0037] In the present embodiment, the air flow-in surface and the air exhaust surface are different in three flow paths: the air supply path 110; the exhaust path 111; and the porous decompression path 171. Accordingly, there is no need to provide a manifold communicating the porous decompression path 171 and the decompression pump 104 through the unit element; thus, the heat exchanger can be downsized and simplified. In addition, the convex projections of the spacer 170 toward the air supply path 110 increases a contact area of the gas separator 115 with air flowing through the air supply path, and this improves humidity processing and temperature control efficiency.

[0038] While certain embodiments have been described, these embodiments have been presented by way of example only, and are not intended to limit the scope of the inventions. Indeed, the novel embodiments described herein may be embodied in a variety of other forms; furthermore, various omissions, substitutions and changes in the form of the embodiments described herein may be made without departing from the spirit of the inventions. The accompanying claims and their equivalents are intended to cover such forms or modifications as would fall within the scope and spirit of the inventions.

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