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United States Patent Application 20170150827
Kind Code A1
Choueifati; Jules June 1, 2017

MODULAR TANK FOR A REFRIGERATED DISPLAY CASE

Abstract

A temperature controlled case includes a housing that defines a temperature controlled space; a cooling system in thermal communication with the temperature controlled space; and a modular tank supporting the housing and the cooling system. According to one embodiment, the modular tank includes: a body having a top surface, a drain defined by the top surface, and at least one groove defined by the top surface, wherein a groove of the at least one groove receives a component of the housing to couple the component to the modular tank.


Inventors: Choueifati; Jules; (Richmond, VA)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Hill Phoenix, Inc.

Conyers

GA

US
Assignee: Hill Phoenix, Inc.
Conyers
GA

Family ID: 1000002329286
Appl. No.: 15/363796
Filed: November 29, 2016


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62261066Nov 30, 2015

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A47F 3/043 20130101; A47F 3/06 20130101; A47F 3/0434 20130101
International Class: A47F 3/04 20060101 A47F003/04; A47F 3/06 20060101 A47F003/06

Claims



1. A temperature controlled case comprising: a housing that defines a temperature controlled space; a cooling system in thermal communication with the temperature controlled space; a first modular tank; and a second modular tank, wherein each of the first and second modular tanks are coupled to at least one component of the housing, and wherein each modular tank of the first and second modular tanks includes: a body having a top surface; and a support structure coupled to the body, wherein the support structure includes a pair of legs for supporting the body above a support surface; wherein the support structure of the first modular tank couples to the support structure of the second modular tank to couple the first modular tank to the second modular tank.

2. The temperature controlled case of claim 1, wherein the top surface of each modular tank defines a drain for collecting condensation from the cooling system.

3. The temperature controlled case of claim 1, wherein the support structure of each modular tank includes a first support structure and a second support structure, wherein the first support structure is coupled to a first end of the body and the second support structure is coupled to a second end of the body.

4. The temperature controlled case of claim 1, wherein the support structure of each modular tank includes a body that defines a cavity, wherein the coupled support structure of the first and second modular tanks substantially seals a combined cavity of each support structure.

5. The temperature controlled case of claim 4, wherein the support structure of the first modular tank is coupled to the support structure of the second modular tank via a spacer such that the support structure of the first modular tank is not directly coupled to the support structure of the second modular tank.

6. The temperature controlled case of claim 5, wherein the spacer is sized to fit within the combined cavity.

7. The temperature controlled case of claim 5, wherein the body of the spacer defines a hole, wherein the body of each of the support structures defines a hole, wherein the spacer is coupled to the body of each of the support structures via alignment of the holes and insertion of a fastener.

8. The temperature controlled case of claim 1, wherein the body of each modular tank defines at least one groove, wherein a groove of the at least one groove receives a component of the at least one component for coupling the component to the groove.

9. A temperature controlled case comprising: a housing that defines a temperature controlled space; a cooling system in thermal communication with the temperature controlled space; and a modular tank supporting the housing and the cooling system, wherein the modular tank includes: a body having a top surface; a drain defined by the top surface; and at least one groove defined by the top surface, wherein a groove of the at least one groove receives a component of the housing to couple the component to the modular tank.

10. The temperature controlled case of claim 9, wherein the modular tank includes an indicator, wherein the indicator indicates a location for a component of the cooling system.

11. The temperature controlled case of claim 10, wherein the indicator includes a protrusion extending from the top surface.

12. The temperature controlled case of claim 9, wherein the modular tank further includes a first support structure coupled to a first end of the body and a second support structure coupled to a second end of the body, wherein the first and second support structures support the body above a support surface for the temperature controlled case.

13. The temperature controlled case of claim 12, wherein each of the first and second support structures include a pair of legs that support the body above the support surface.

14. The temperature controlled case of claim 13, wherein the modular tank further includes an elevation adjustment system, wherein the elevation adjustment system adjusts a height of at least one leg in each pair of legs to adjust a height of the body relative to the support surface.

15. The temperature controlled case of claim 12, wherein at least one of the first and second support structures define a groove, wherein the groove aligns with the at least one groove defined by the top surface.

16. The temperature controlled case of claim 12, wherein each support structure includes a body, wherein the body of each support structure defines a cavity, wherein the cavity is sized to receive at least part of a spacer, and wherein the spacer is configured to couple two support structures together.

17. A temperature controlled case having a housing that defines a temperature controlled space in thermal communication with a cooling system and a modular tank for at least partially supporting the housing and the cooling system, the modular tank comprising: a body having a top surface; a drain defined by the top surface; a first groove defined by the body and positioned near a front portion of the body; a second groove defined by the body and positioned near a rear portion of the body; and a support structured attached to the body, wherein the support structure includes a body and a pair of legs, wherein the pair of legs support the body above a support for the case; wherein at least one of the first groove and the second groove receive a component of the housing to couple the component to the body.

18. The temperature controlled case of claim 17, wherein the modular tank further includes an indicator protruding from the top surface of the body, wherein the indicator provides a locating beacon for a component of the cooling system that at least one of couples to the body and rests on the top surface of the body.

19. The temperature controlled case of claim 17, wherein the support structure includes an elevation adjustment system, wherein the elevation adjustment system provides a height adjustment mechanism for at least one of the pair of legs.

20. The temperature controlled case of claim 17, wherein the support structure is of unitary construction.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/261,066 entitled "MODULAR TANK FOR A REFRIGERATED DISPLAY CASE," filed Nov. 30, 2015, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present disclosure relates to a temperature controlled case. More specifically, the present disclosure relates to a modular tank for a temperature controlled case.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Temperature controlled cases are used for the storage, preservation, and presentation of products, such as food products including perishable meat, dairy, seafood, produce, etc. To facilitate the preservation of the products, temperature controlled cases often include one or more cooling systems for maintaining a display area of the case at a desired temperature.

[0004] Temperature controlled cases (e.g., refrigerated cases, freezers, merchandisers, etc.) may be used in both commercial and residential settings. For example and in regard to a commercial setting, grocery or supermarkets typically have one or more aisles lined with temperature controlled cases. In regard to primarily commercial settings, each commercial environment is typically different (e.g., layout, size restraints, etc.). As a result, layouts and arrangements for temperature controlled cases are typically custom designed. In some instances, modifications to the cases themselves are required in order to accommodate the size and space constraints. Such modifications may be time consuming and costly. Better systems of accommodating temperature controlled cases to their environments or settings are desired.

SUMMARY

[0005] One embodiment relates to a temperature controlled case. The temperature controlled case includes a housing that defines a temperature controlled space; a cooling system in thermal communication with the temperature controlled space; a first modular tank; and a second modular tank, wherein each of the first and second modular tanks are coupled to at least one component of the housing. According to one embodiment, each modular tank of the first and second modular tanks includes: a body having a top surface, and a support structure coupled to the body, wherein the support structure includes a pair of legs for supporting the body above a support surface. In some arrangements, the support structure of the first modular tank couples to the support structure of the second modular tank to couple the first modular tank to the second modular tank.

[0006] Another embodiment relates to a temperature controlled case. The temperature controlled case a housing that defines a temperature controlled space; a cooling system in thermal communication with the temperature controlled space; and a modular tank supporting the housing and the cooling system. According to one embodiment, the modular tank includes: a body having a top surface, a drain defined by the top surface, and at least one groove defined by the top surface, wherein a groove of the at least one groove receives a component of the housing to couple the component to the modular tank.

[0007] Still another embodiment a temperature controlled case having a housing that defines a temperature controlled space in thermal communication with a cooling system and a modular tank for at least partially supporting the housing and the cooling system, the modular tank includes: a body having a top surface; a drain defined by the top surface; a first groove defined by the body and positioned near a front portion of the body; a second groove defined by the body and positioned near a rear portion of the body; and a support structured attached to the body, wherein the support structure includes a body and a pair of legs, wherein the pair of legs support the body above a support for the case. According to one embodiment, at least one of the first groove and the second groove receive a component of the housing to couple the component to the body.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a temperature controlled case with a modular tank, according to an exemplary embodiment.

[0009] FIG. 2 is a side cross-sectional view of the temperature controlled case of FIG. 1, according to an exemplary embodiment.

[0010] FIG. 3 is a top perspective of the temperature-controlled case of FIG. 1 with the cooling system and most of the housing removed to illustrate the two modular tanks coupled together, according to an exemplary embodiment.

[0011] FIG. 4 is an exploded assembly view of the two modular tanks of FIG. 3, according to an exemplary embodiment.

[0012] FIG. 5 is close-up view of Section 5-5 from FIG. 4, according to an exemplary embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0013] In the following detailed description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part thereof. In the drawings, similar symbols typically identify similar components, unless context dictates otherwise. The illustrative embodiments described in the detailed description, drawings, and claims are not meant to be limiting. Other embodiments may be utilized, and other changes may be made, without departing from the spirit or scope of the subject matter presented here.

[0014] Referring to the Figures generally, various embodiments disclosed herein relate to a modular tank for a temperature controlled case. The modular tank may interface with a support surface (e.g., a ground surface) to define a support structure for at least a portion of the temperature controlled case. For example, the modular tank may support one or more components of a cooling system, such as the cooling element, as well as one or more components of a housing for the temperature-controlled case. According to one embodiment, the modular tank includes a coupling mechanism (e.g., a groove forming a tongue and groove joint) for attaching one or more walls or panels of the housing to the tank. The modular tank may come produced in one or more standard sizes (e.g., sixty-inches long, ninety-inches long, etc.) and include an attachment device for mating, attaching, or coupling the modular tank to another modular tank. Advantageously, two or more modular tanks may be coupled together to accommodate various size and space conditions in an intended environment. Rather than producing various custom-length sections, by utilizing a limited number of modular tank sizes, the modular tank of the present disclosure may be produced in a relatively more efficient manner, reduce the number of custom components (which leads to a reduction in manufacturing costs and inventory costs), and create an ease of installation/assembly of the temperature controlled case in the intended environment.

[0015] According to one embodiment, the modular tank may also include an elevation or height adjustment system. The height adjustment system may facilitate adjustment of a height of the modular tank relative to a support surface. For example, the modular tank may include a plurality of support feet that utilize a screw to adjust their extension length from the body of the tank. As a result, not only may the modular tank be leveled with respect to the support surface but many modular tanks coupled together may be individually leveled. Such a precision control feature may increase the ease of installation of each modular tank and increase performance of the case as a whole (e.g., reduce strain that may be caused from one or more non-level yet coupled tanks). These and other features of the present disclosure are described more fully herein.

[0016] Referring now to FIG. 1, a temperature controlled display device 10 is shown, according to an exemplary embodiment. The temperature controlled display device 10, also referred to herein as a temperature controlled case, may be a refrigerator, a freezer, a refrigerated merchandiser, a refrigerated display case, or other device capable of use in a commercial, institutional, or residential setting for storing and/or displaying refrigerated or frozen objects. For example, the temperature controlled display device 10 may be a service type refrigerated display case for displaying fresh food products (e.g., meat, dairy, produce, etc.) in a supermarket or other commercial setting.

[0017] As shown in FIG. 1, two temperature controlled display devices 10 are coupled or joined together. In one embodiment, the temperature controlled spaces 12 of each case 10 are in communication. That is to say, no or an insignificant barrier separates the temperature controlled space 12 of each case 10. In another embodiment, a partition such as one or more walls of the housing of case 10 may extend between the two cases to act as a barrier between the temperature controlled space 12 of each case 10. In this configuration, the temperature controlled space 12 of each case 10 may be maintained at different temperatures. In still another embodiment, an air curtain may be provided between the temperature controlled spaces 12 of each case 10 to serve as a buffer or barrier between each space 12. All such variations are intended to fall within the scope of the present disclosure.

[0018] While FIG. 1 depicts two temperature controlled display devices 10 coupled together, the bulk of the disclosure below is directed to a temperature controlled case 10 individually. In this regard, it should be appreciated that the same or similar description may also be applied to one or more temperature controlled cases coupled together.

[0019] With the above in mind, referring now to FIG. 2, a side cross-sectional view of the temperature controlled display device 10 of FIG. 1 is shown according to an exemplary embodiment. The temperature controlled display device 10 includes a housing 11 that defines a temperature controlled space 12 (i.e., a display area). The temperature controlled space 12 has a plurality of shelves 14 for storage and display of products therein. In various embodiments, the temperature controlled display device 10 may be an open-front refrigerated display case or a closed-front display case like shown in FIG. 1. An open-front display case may use a flow of chilled air that is discharged across the open front of the case to help maintain a desired temperature within temperature controlled space 12. A closed-front display case may include one or more doors, such as a door 120, for accessing food products or other items stored within temperature controlled space 12. Both types of display cases may also include various openings within temperature controlled space 12 that are configured to route chilled air from a cooling system 100 to other portions of the respective display case (e.g., via an air mover, such as fan 106).

[0020] The temperature controlled display device 10 includes a cooling system 100 for cooling the temperature controlled space 12. The cooling system 100 includes at least one cooling element 102 (e.g. evaporator, cooling coil, fan-coil, evaporator coil, heat exchanger, etc.) and a unit 104. According to one embodiment, the unit 104 is structured as a condensing unit or parallel condensing system when the cooling system 100 is structured as a direct heat exchange system. The condensing unit may include any typical component included with condensing units in direct heat exchange systems, such as a compressor, condenser, receiver, etc. According to another embodiment, the unit 104 is structured as a chiller (e.g., heat exchanger, etc.) when the cooling system 100 is structured as a secondary coolant system. The chiller facilitates heat exchange between a primary refrigerant loop and a secondary coolant loop. The secondary coolant loop includes the cooling element 102 and any other component typically included in the secondary coolant loops of secondary coolant systems. The primary refrigerant loop includes any typical components used in primary refrigerant loops of secondary coolant systems, such as a condenser, compressor, receiver, etc. In either configuration, during a cooling mode of operation, the cooling element 102 may operate at a temperature lower than the temperature of the air within the temperature controlled space 12 to provide cooling to the temperature controlled space 12. For instance and in regard to a direct heat exchange system, during the cooling mode, the cooling element 102 may receive a liquid coolant from a condensing unit. The liquid coolant may lower the temperature of the cooling element 102 below the temperature of the air surrounding the cooling element 102 causing the cooling element 102 (e.g., the liquid coolant within cooling element 102) to absorb heat from the surrounding air. As the heat is removed from the surrounding air, the surrounding air is chilled. The chilled air may then be directed to the temperature controlled space 12 by at least one air mover or another air handling device, shown as a fan 106 in FIG. 1, in order to lower or otherwise control the temperature of the temperature controlled space 12.

[0021] As shown, the fan 106 is positioned proximate the door 120 in front of the cooling element 102. Accordingly, in use, the fan 106 pushes air through the cooling element 102 into the rear duct 20. In another embodiment, the fan 106 may be positioned proximate the rear wall 64 in back of the cooling element 102. In this configuration, the fan 106 pulls or induces an air flow through the cooling element 102 to the rear duct 20. An example configuration for an induced air flow system is depicted and described in regard to U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ titled "Refrigerated Case with an Induced Air Flow System," the entirety of which is incorporated herein by reference.

[0022] The temperature controlled display device 10 is shown to include a compartment 18 located beneath the temperature controlled space 12. In various other embodiments, the compartment 18 may be located above the temperature controlled space 12, behind the temperature controlled space 12, below the cooling system 100, or in any other position with respect to temperature controlled space 12. The compartment 18 may contain one or more components of the cooling system 100, such as the unit 104. In some embodiments, the cooling system 100 includes one or more additional components such as a separate compressor, an expansion device, a valve or other pressure-regulating device, a temperature sensor, a controller, a fan, and/or various other components commonly used in refrigeration systems, any of which may be stored within the compartment 18. As shown, the temperature controlled display device 10 may also include a box 110 for electronics (i.e., an electronics box). The electronics box 110 may be structured as a junction box for one or more electrically-driven components of the device 10. The electronics box 110 may also be structured to store one or more controllers for one or more components of the device 10. For example, the box 110 may include hardware and/or logic components for selectively activating the cooling system 100 to achieve or substantially achieve a desired temperature in the display area 12.

[0023] As also shown, the temperature-controlled display device 10 includes a housing 11 and a door 120. The door 120 is movably coupled to the housing 11. The door 120 is movable from a position furthest from the temperature controlled space 12 (i.e., a full open position) to a position that covers or substantially covers the temperature controlled space 12 (i.e., a full close position). In the full or a partial open position, a user may reach into the display area 12 to access one or more of the products stored therein.

[0024] The housing 11 includes cabinets (e.g., shells, etc.) shown as an outer cabinet 50 and an inner cabinet 60 that include one or more walls (e.g., panel, partition, barrier, etc.). The outer cabinet 50 includes a top wall 52 coupled to a rear wall 54. The inner cabinet 60 generally includes a top wall 62 coupled to a rear wall 64 that is coupled to a base wall 66. Coupling between the walls may be via any type of attachment mechanism including, but not limited to, fasteners (e.g., screws, nails, etc.), brazes, welds, press fits, snap engagements, etc. In some embodiments, the inner and outer cabinets 60 and 50 may each be of an integral or uniform construction (e.g., molded pieces). In still further embodiments, more walls, partitions, dividers, and the like may be included with at least one of the inner and outer cabinets 60 and 50. All such construction variations are intended to fall within the spirit and scope of the present disclosure.

[0025] The temperature controlled display device 10 defines a plurality of ducts (e.g., channels, pipes, conduits, etc.) for circulating chilled air. As shown and generally speaking, the outer rear wall 54 and inner rear wall 64 define or form a rear duct 20. More particularly, a divider 63 (e.g., wall, partition, panel, barrier, etc.) and the inner rear wall 64 define or form the rear duct 20. A panel 65 is situated between the divider 63 and the outer rear wall 54. In one embodiment, the panel 65 is structured as an insulation panel configured to prevent or substantially prevent warmer, ambient air from transferring heat to the cooled air in the rear duct 20. As shown, the rear duct 20 is in fluid communication with the compartment 18. The rear duct 20 is also in fluid communication with a top duct 30. The top duct 30 is defined or formed by the outer top wall 52 and the inner top wall 62. While shown as primarily rectangular in shape, it should be understood that any shape and size of the ducts may be used with the temperature controlled display device 10 of the present disclosure. Furthermore, in some embodiments, at least one of the rear and top ducts 20, 30 may include one or more openings (e.g., apertures) in communication with the display area 12. When chilled air is circulated through the ducts, a portion of the chilled air may leak out of the openings into the display area 12 for additional cooling.

[0026] With the above in mind, operation of the ducts 20 and 30 in connection with the cooling system 100 of the temperature-controlled display device 10 may be described as follows. As heat is removed from the surrounding air via the cooling element 102, the surrounding air is chilled. While the chilled air may be directed to temperature controlled space 12 by at least one air mover or another air flow device, the chilled air may also be circulated through the ducts 20 and 30 by the fan 106. Via the motive force from the fan 106, the chilled air is first directed to the rear duct 20. The rear duct 20 guides the chilled air to the top duct 30. The top duct 30 guides the chilled air to a discharger 70. The discharger 70 (e.g., diffuser) provides or discharges the chilled air to form or at least partially form an air curtain 80. At least part of the air in the air curtain 80 may be received by a receptacle, shown as a vent 72 that is in fluid communication with the compartment 18. The received air may then be pushed through the cooling element by the fan 106 and the process repeated.

[0027] As shown, a modular tank 150 provides the support structure for the temperature-controlled case 10. In this regard and in this example, the modular tank 150 includes a top surface positioned substantially within the compartment 18 to serve as the coupling structure and/or resting structure for one or more components of the case 10 (e.g., a component of the cooling system 100 such as the cooling element 102). As shown in FIGS. 1-2, the modular tank 150 serves as the base for the case 10 to support all or substantially all the structures (e.g., housing 11 portions) that extend vertically above the tank 150.

[0028] As described herein, the modular tank 150 facilitates the reception of one or more components of the housing 11 of a case to facilitate assembly of the case 10 upon the tank 150. Further, the modular tank 150 provides a joining mechanism for linking or coupling a modular tank 150 to another modular tank 150 (and so on) to vary the length of the combined tanks 150 (and, consequently, the cases 10).

[0029] In the examples depicted, the case 10 is structured as a vertically-oriented temperature controlled case with the cooling system 100 positioned in a bottom compartment 18. However, the modular tank 150 of the present disclosure may also be applicable with vertically-oriented temperature controlled cases where the cooling system 100 is positioned above the temperature controlled space; with horizontally oriented temperature controlled cases where the cooling system is positioned above or below the temperature controlled space; and/or with any other type of temperature controlled space. Accordingly, the depicted examples are not meant to be limiting.

[0030] Referring now to FIGS. 3-5, the modular tanks of FIGS. 1-2 are shown according to an exemplary embodiment. FIG. 3 depicts a first modular tank 150 coupled to a second modular tank 150, wherein the coupled modular tanks provide the base support structure for the cases 10 of FIG. 1. FIG. 4 depicts an exploded assembly view of the modular tanks of FIG. 3, and FIG. 5 depicts a close-up or enlarged view of section 5-5 from FIG. 4. Because each modular tank 150 is identical or substantially identical (e.g., the length of the tank 150 may vary) in structure and function, only one modular tank is explained herein below.

[0031] According to one embodiment, the modular tank 150 is produced in a limited number of sizes (e.g., lengths 157) and shapes. For example, the modular tank 150 may be produced in a sixty-inch length 157 and a ninety-inch length 157. These two different length tanks may be mix and matched to accommodate different environments. In another example, while the tank 150 is shown to be substantially rectangular in shape, in other embodiments, any other shape for the tank 150 may be used (e.g., a substantially square shape, or triangular, or wedge-shape, etc.).

[0032] The modular tank 150 may be constructed as a unitary component (e.g., one-piece component) or several components. In this regard, the modular tank 150 may be constructed from metal-based components (e.g., sheet metal) and/or composite based materials (e.g., plastic). The modular tank 150 may be a solid or a substantially solid component to increase rigidity and the structural support capability of the tank 150. In another embodiment, the modular tank 150 may define an inner cavity (i.e., in between top surface 154 and a bottom surface proximate the support surface for the tank), where the inner cavity may be fluidly coupled to a drainage duct or receptacle for capturing condensation. For example, the tank 150 may include a removably replaceable pan that receives condensation from drain 152 and allows personnel to empty the pan to remove the condensation. In another example, the drain 152 is fluidly coupled to a reservoir for receiving the condensation such that personnel need not or substantially need not worry about removing the accumulated condensation from the tank 150 (and compartment 18). In some embodiments, the inner cavity may also include an insulating material to substantially thermally insulate the compartment 18. All such variations are intended to fall within the scope of the present disclosure.

[0033] As shown, the modular tank 150 includes a body 151 having a top surface 154 (e.g., upper surface, major surface, etc.). When in use with the case 10, the top surface 154 is in communication with the compartment 18 and may function as a support structure for one or more components stored in the compartment 18 (e.g., cooling element 102). The top surface 154 is shown to define a gutter 155 (e.g., recess, etc.) and a drain 152, where the drain 152 is positioned in the gutter 155. The gutter 155 may be angled or otherwise structured to funnel or filter accumulated condensation (from, e.g., the cooling element 102) to the drain 152. In this regard, the drain 152 may be positioned at the relatively lowest point relative to the top surface 154 and gutter 155 (e.g., closest to a support surface such as a ground surface for the tank 150). The drain 152 may have any shape and size desired. In the example shown, the drain 152 is substantially cylindrical in shape. Similarly, the gutter 155 is shown to extend substantially a length 157 of the tank 150 and is rectangular in shape. However, in other embodiments, the gutter 155 may be excluded from the tank 150, only partially extend the length 157 of the top surface 154 and/or tank 150, and/or be of a different shape.

[0034] Furthermore, while the drain 152 and gutter 155 are positioned in a frontward position on the surface 154 (i.e., proximate the door 120 or user access region for the case 10), in other embodiments, the drain 152 and/or gutter 155 may be positioned in any location on the top surface 154. For example, in an induced air flow cooling system, the drain 152 may be positioned relatively closer to the rear of the case (i.e., proximate rear wall 64).

[0035] As mentioned above, in one embodiment, the drain 152 may be fluidly coupled to a pan of the tank 150, where the pan receives and stores accumulated condensation. Periodically, relevant personnel (e.g., an attendant of the case 10, a technician, etc.) may empty the pan. In another embodiment, the drain 152 may be fluidly coupled to a reservoir (e.g., via piping or conduit), where the reservoir receives the accumulated condensation.

[0036] In one embodiment, the top surface 154 is substantially planar in nature (i.e., predominately flat). In another embodiment and as shown, the top surface 154 is at an angle 153 relative to a horizontal plane. The angle 153 facilitates drainage of the accumulated condensation towards the intended drainage area (e.g., drain 152). The angle 153 may be of a widely configured with all such variations intended to fall within the scope of the present disclosure.

[0037] The top surface 154 is shown to include one or more indicators 156. The indicator 156 may provide an indication of an intended location of one or more components on the surface 154. In the example shown, the indicator 156 depicts the intended location of the cooling element 102. In this regard, an installer may position the cooling element 102 near the indicator(s) 156, which reduces a misplacement chance by the installer. Beneficially, such indicators may facilitate a quicker assembly of the case 10.

[0038] As shown, the indicators 156 are protrusions extending above the surface 154 (i.e., away from the support surface for the tank 150). In this regard, the indicators 156 may act as a physical stop for the component, such as cooling element 102. In another embodiment, the indicator 156 may include a coupling mechanism, such as a pinhole, for coupling the component to the surface 154. In still another embodiment, the indicator 156 may include insignia or signage indicating where one or more components should be positioned. In yet another embodiment, the indicator 156 may include any combination of insignia, a physical structure, and a coupling mechanism.

[0039] In the example shown, two indicators 156 are positioned near a rear location of the top surface 154. Such positioning may be used for the cooling system 100 of FIG. 2, where the cooling element 102 is positioned near a rear of the case 10. However, as described herein, the indicator(s) 156 may be positioned in any location to accommodate any case configuration. For example, the indicator(s) 156 may be positioned near a middle portion of the surface 154 when an induced airflow system is arranged.

[0040] The modular tank 150 is also shown to include a pair of grooves. As shown, the grooves 158, 159 (e.g., notch, recess, etc.) are also defined by the body 161 of the support structure 160 (described below). As a result, the grooves 158, 159 extend the entire or substantially the entire length 157 of the tank. In other embodiments, there may be only one groove, the groove(s) may not extend through the support structure 160, and/or be sized/shaped different from depicted.

[0041] In use, the front groove 158 of a first tank 150 aligns with a front groove 158 of another tank 150 to form a continuous or substantially continuous groove that extends the length of the joined tanks 150. The front and rear grooves 158, 159 may receive one or more panels of the housing 11. For example, a rear wall 64 of the housing 11 may be received by the rear groove 159 to couple the rear wall 64 to the tank 150. In this regard, the grooves 158, 159 may form a tongue-and-groove coupling structure with one or more panels of the housing 11. It should be understood that in other embodiments, other coupling devices or mechanisms may be used to mate or couple the housing 11 (or certain components thereof) to the tank 150. For example, other configurations may utilize one or more fasteners to securely hold a panel of the housing to the tank 150. In another example, an interference relationship may be formed or a snap-engagement utilized to couple one or more panels of the housing 11 to the tank 150.

[0042] The modular tank 150 is also shown to include a pair of support structures 160. A first support structure 160 is attached or coupled to one end of the tank 150, while a second support structure 160 is attached to a second opposite end of the tank 150 (along length 157). The two support structures 160 support the body 151 of the tank 150. In other embodiments, more than two or less than two support structures may be used with the tank 150. The support structure 150 may be a unitary component or two or more assembled or joined components. In some embodiments, the support structure 160 may be of integral or unitary construction with the body 151 while in other embodiments, the support structure 160 may couple to the body 151. The support structure 160 is shown to include a body 161 interconnected with or coupled to a pair of legs 162.

[0043] The pair of legs 162 includes a first leg 162 proximate the front of the tank 150 (e.g., front groove 158) and a second leg 162 proximate the rear of the tank 150 (i.e., rear groove 157). The legs 162 may rest on a support surface for the tank 150 and elevate the tank 150 above the support or ground surface. In other embodiments, more than two legs may be included with the support structure 160. Accordingly, in the example depicted, four legs support each body 151 of each tank 150.

[0044] When coupling or joining a first modular tank 150 with a second modular tank 150, a support structure 160 of the first modular tank 150 may align and coupled with a support structure 160 of the second modular tank. In this regard and as shown, the body 161 forms a cavity 163 that extends the width or substantially the width of the support structure 160, where the cavity 163 is in communication with each leg 162. The cavity 163 of each support structure 160 may be closed or sealed when the first support structure 160 is coupled with the second support structure 160. In this regard, each support structure 160 of a combined support structure represents one-half of the combined support structure. By forming a half of a full support structure, the support structures 160 may be produced relatively easily without or substantially without customizations for each support structure 160.

[0045] In one embodiment, the support structure 160 may couple to another support structure 160 by a mating feature included with one or both of the support structures. For example, a snap engagement may be formed between two support structures 160. In another example, one support structure may include one or more protrusions (e.g., pins) that may be received in hole(s) of the other support structure 160. In either embodiment, the coupling of two support structures 160 avoids or substantially avoids the use of additional components relative to the two support structures to join two support structures.

[0046] In another embodiment and in the example shown, two support structures 160 may be coupled together via an intermediary device, shown as a spacer 180. Advantageously, the cavity 163 may define a receptacle for the coupling device (i.e., spacer 180) to reduce space when joining two tanks together. In use, approximately half of the spacer 180 is received in the cavity 163 of one structure 160 while the other half of the spacer 180 is received in the cavity 163 of the other structure 160. Thus, the spacer 180 at least partially fills the combined cavity between two support structures 160 to reinforce the strength of the joint of the two combined support structures 160. As shown, the spacer is substantially rectangular or prism shaped. However, in other embodiments, the spacer 180 may be of any shape and size.

[0047] The spacer 180 is shown to include a body 181 that defines a pair of frontward holes 182 and rearward holes 183 (see FIG. 5) (e.g., voids, apertures, openings, etc.). In use, one of the pair of frontward holes 182 aligns with a front hole 165 of one support structure 160, while the other hole in the pair of frontward 182 aligns with a front hole 165 of the other support structure. In an analogous fashion, one of the pair rearward holes 183 aligns with a rear hole 166 of one support structure, which the other hole in the pair of rearward holes 183 aligns with a rear hole 166 of the other support structure. Fasteners (e.g., screws, pins, etc.) may then be received by each of the aligned holes. In one embodiment, one or more of the holes may be threaded to engage with a threaded fastener. Accordingly and in use, each support structure 160 may be attached to the spacer 180, where the coupling of each structure 160 to the spacer 180 then couples each tank 150 together. That is to say, one spacer 180 is coupled to two support structures 160 to join, which in turn joins to tanks 150 together.

[0048] According to one embodiment, the support structure 160 may also include an elevation adjustment system 170 (see FIG. 4). The elevation adjustment system 170 may be employed with one or both of the legs 162 of each support structure 160 of the tank 150. The elevation adjustment system 170 facilitates height or length adjustment of the leg(s) 162. Accordingly, the elevation adjustment system 170 may be used to increase a height of the legs 162 of each support structure 160 in the rear of the tank 150 (i.e., proximate rear groove 159) if the case is desired to be angled toward the front (i.e., front groove 158). More generally, the elevation adjustment system 170 may be used to adjust a height of at least one leg 162 to adjust a rear, front, or lateral height of the tank 150. In this regard, the elevation adjustment system 170 may accommodate a ground surface that is not level. Moreover, the elevation adjustment system 170 may facilitate leveling of each modular tank 150 individually and collectively in a multi-modular tank 150 assembly.

[0049] In one embodiment, the elevation adjustment system 170 includes telescoping legs 162. The telescoping legs 162 may include a shaft 171 that is slidably lockable in the support structure 160. As such, a user may push the shaft 171 via a push structure 172 out from the support structure 160 to increase the length of the leg 162 out of the support structure. A locking mechanism, such as a pin, may then be inserted into the shaft and support structure 160 to lock the leg at a desired height. In another example, the shaft 171 may threadedly engage with the support structure 160. In this instance, a user may rotate the shaft 171 (e.g., via a nut or other rotating mechanism) in a first direction to increase the extension of the leg 162 from the support structure 160. Comparatively, rotation in a second opposite direction may facilitate insertion of the leg 162 into the support structure to decrease the height. In still another example, the elevation adjustment system 170 may be powered from, for example, the electronics box 110. In this regard, the leg(s) 162 may be electrically actuable further from and closer to the support structure 160 to adjust the height of the leg(s) 162. It should be understood that the aforementioned list is not meant to be limiting as the present disclosure contemplates other and different elevation adjustment systems that may be implemented with one or more of the legs of the support structure 160 to adjust a height of the support structure relative to a ground or support surface.

[0050] It should be noted that references to "front," "rear," "upper," "top," "bottom," "base," and "lower" in this description are merely used to identify the various elements as they are oriented in the Figures. These terms are not meant to limit the element which they describe, as the various elements may be oriented differently in various temperature controlled cases.

[0051] Further, for purposes of this disclosure, the term "coupled" means the joining of two members directly or indirectly to one another. Such joining may be stationary in nature or moveable in nature and/or such joining may allow for the flow of fluids, electricity, electrical signals, or other types of signals or communication between the two members. Such joining may be achieved with the two members or the two members and any additional intermediate members being integrally formed as a single unitary body with one another or with the two members or the two members and any additional intermediate members being attached to one another. Such joining may be permanent in nature or alternatively may be removable or releasable in nature.

[0052] It is important to note that the construction and arrangement of the elements of temperature controlled case and the angled discharge diffuser provided herein are illustrative only. Although only a few exemplary embodiments of the present inventions have been described in detail in this disclosure, those skilled in the art who review this disclosure will readily appreciate that many modifications are possible in these embodiments (e.g., the structure of the diffuser, the discharge angle of the diffuser, the angle of the top and/or bottom portions of the duct that is adjacent to the diffuser, etc.) without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of the disclosure. Accordingly, all such modifications are intended to be within the scope of the disclosure.

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