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United States Patent Application 20170307249
Kind Code A1
WEICHSELGARTNER; Andreas October 26, 2017

Air Conditioner with Windblocker

Abstract

The invention relates an air conditioner (10,40) comprising a casing (11, 41) for receiving an air conditioning unit, an air inlet (13) in the casing (11, 14) for introducing air to be conditioned to the air conditioning unit, an air outlet (14-17, 45) in the casing (11, 41) for discharging conditioned air from the air-conditioning unit to the vicinity of the air conditioner (10, 40), and a windblocker (A-E) arranged at a distance in front of the outlet downstream of the conditioned air flow to deflect this flow transversely to its discharge direction, characterized in that the windblocker (A-E) is adapted for positive, tool-free connection to the casing (11, 41) of the air conditioner (A-E) without need for separate fixing means.


Inventors: WEICHSELGARTNER; Andreas; (Moosthenning, DE)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

WEICHSELGARTNER; Andreas

Moosthenning

DE
Family ID: 1000002753582
Appl. No.: 15/526039
Filed: November 2, 2015
PCT Filed: November 2, 2015
PCT NO: PCT/EP2015/075387
371 Date: May 11, 2017


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: F24F 13/06 20130101; F24F 13/08 20130101; F24F 2013/0616 20130101; F24F 13/00 20130101; F24F 1/00 20130101
International Class: F24F 13/06 20060101 F24F013/06; F24F 13/08 20060101 F24F013/08; F24F 1/00 20110101 F24F001/00

Foreign Application Data

DateCodeApplication Number
Nov 14, 2014DE10 2014 016 878.6

Claims



1. An air conditioner comprising a casing for receiving an air conditioning unit, an air inlet in the casing for introducing air to be conditioned to the air conditioning unit, an air outlet in the casing for discharging conditioned air from the air-conditioning unit to the vicinity of the air conditioner, and a windblocker arranged at a distance in front of the outlet downstream of the conditioned air flow to deflect this flow transversely to its discharge direction, characterized in that the windblocker is adapted for positive, tool-free connection to the casing of the air conditioner without need for separate fixing means.

2. (canceled)

3. The air conditioner according to claim 1, wherein the windblocker engages the casing from behind at two spaced apart locations of the casing.

4. The air conditioner according to claim 12, wherein the windblocker is formed as a U-shaped member whose U-base is positioned oppositely to the air outlet, and whose two lateral U-legs have inwardly bent end portion for engaging the casing from behind at the spaced apart locations.

5. The air conditioner according to claim 4, wherein the U-shaped windblocker has a barrier to prevent conditioned air to enter into the inlet of the air conditioner.

6. The air conditioner according to claim 5, adapted to be mounted onto a chamber wall, wherein the inlet for air to be conditioned is provided at the underside of the casing pointing to the room's bottom, and wherein the outlet for conditioned air is provided at an inclined surface between the underside and the front of the casing, wherein the two U-legs of the U-shaped windblocker encompass two sides of the casing and engage the top of the casing pointing to the ceiling from behind, the U-base of the windblocker being positioned in form of the air outlet.

7. The air conditioner according to claim 6, adapted to be mounted within a cut-out in a ceiling with its casing which is formed as a ceiling cassette having a ceiling edge structure with a circumferential flange, the outlet for discharging conditioned air being provided in said structure, wherein the inlet for introducing air to be conditioned is provided inwardly of the edge structure in or near the center of the ceiling cassette, and wherein the two U-legs of the U-shaped windblocker engage the edge structure in the region of the outlet from behind.

8. The air conditioner according to claim 7, wherein the edge structure of the ceiling cassette has a rectangular, preferably a square shape, and wherein the outlet for discharging conditioned air is provided in one side of the edge structure.

9. The air conditioner according to claim 7, wherein the edge structure of the ceiling cassette has a rectangular, preferably a square shape, and wherein the outlet for discharging conditioned air is provided respectively in two opposite sides of the edge structure, and wherein each of these two outlets is associated with a U-shaped windblocker for engaging the edge structure from behind.

10. The air conditioner according to claim 9, wherein a third outlet for discharging conditioned air is formed in one of the other one of the two opposite sides of the edge structure of the ceiling panel, wherein a U-shaped windblocker is associated with this outlet, whose U-legs the edge structure from behind.

11. The air conditioner according to claim 10, wherein a fourth outlet for discharging conditioned air is formed in the other of the other one of the two opposite sides of the edge structure of the ceiling panel, wherein a fourth U-shaped windblocker is associated with this outlet, whose U-legs engage the edge structure from behind.

12. The air conditioner according to claim 7, wherein an edge portion of the windblocker facing the air inlet is formed as a flow barrier extending adjacent to the air inlet to prevent discharged conditioned air to be entered into the air inlet.

13. The air conditioner according to claim 1, wherein the windblocker is made of plastic.

14. The air conditioner according to claim 1, wherein the windblocker is formed integrally in one piece.

15. A windblocker for the air conditioner according to claim 1.

16. The air conditioner according to claim 8, wherein an edge portion of the windblocker facing the air inlet is formed as a flow barrier extending adjacent to the air inlet to prevent discharged conditioned air to be entered into the air inlet.

17. The air conditioner according to claim 9, wherein an edge portion of the windblocker facing the air inlet is formed as a flow barrier extending adjacent to the air inlet to prevent discharged conditioned air to be entered into the air inlet.

18. The air conditioner according to claim 10, wherein an edge portion of the windblocker facing the air inlet is formed as a flow barrier extending adjacent to the air inlet to prevent discharged conditioned air to be entered into the air inlet.

19. The air conditioner according to claim 11, wherein an edge portion of the windblocker facing the air inlet is formed as a flow barrier extending adjacent to the air inlet to prevent discharged conditioned air to be entered into the air inlet.
Description



[0001] The invention relates to an air conditioner having a casing for receiving an air conditioning unit, an inlet at the casing for introducing air to be conditioned into the air conditioning unit, an outlet at the casing for discharging conditioned air from the air conditioning unit in the area of air-conditioning, and having a windblocker arranged at a distance downstream of the outlet to deflect the conditioned air transversely to its discharge direction. Further, the invention relates to a windblocker of such an air conditioner.

[0002] The discharge of conditioned air out of conventional air conditioning systems can be problematic, as the relatively cool to cold conditioned air flow is perceived as uncomfortable when it meets directly on the body of people. At least under cramped conditions, as for example on board of aircrafts and motor vehicles, such a situation may even lead to health impairment. Under less cramped conditions, as for example in connection with air conditioning of offices and living rooms the direct impact of conditioned air flow onto the body from ceiling or wall-bound air conditioners results in less dramatic consequences because of the usually greater distance of the body from the air-conditioning outlet, however, as loss of comfort may well be perceived.

[0003] The air conditioner known from the US 2008/0311841 A1 of the kind defined above provides a windblocker to overcome the above-mentioned loss of comfort of air conditioning, which windblocker is arranged at a distance downstream of the outlet of the air conditioning unit thereby laterally deflecting the cold/cool air flow. By means of such windblocker a direct impingement of persons present in the air conditioned space by the conditioned air flow is avoided. The wall-based air conditioner known from this document provides for an articulation of the windblocker to the casing of the air conditioner using a relatively complex scissor mechanism allowing adjusting the distance of the windblocker from the outlet of the air conditioner. A disadvantage of this design is that air conditioners already mounted in use air conditioners may not easily be retrofitted and in any case need using additional fasteners as well tools for retrofitting this windblocker. Another disadvantage is the board-shaped configuration of this windblocker, which does not allow an optimum fluidic adaptation to the inlet/outlet configuration of the air conditioner.

[0004] An object of the present invention is to provide an air conditioner of the kind mentioned above, the windblocker of which allows an optimal fluidic adaption to the inlet/outlet configuration of the air conditioner and which also may be retrofitted without using tools and fasteners.

[0005] This object is attained by the features of claim 1. Advantageous developments of the invention are specified in the dependent claims.

[0006] In accordance with the invention the windblocker of the air conditioner is adapted for a form-fit and friction locked tool-free connection to the casing of the air conditioner. Considering the usually box-shaped design of air conditioning systems and associated peripheral portions, which are engaged behind for support members of the windblocker, the windblocker according to the invention generally has a U-shaped configuration. The U-legs of the U-shaped windblocker, whose U-base of which serve for a lateral deflection of the air-conditioned air stream have bent free ends extending in parallel to the U-base, and these bent end portions of the U-legs engaging behind suitable portions of the casing of the air conditioner for mounting of the windblocker at the air conditioner casing or casing portions.

[0007] In other words, the windblocker of the invention has the general form of a clip which can be brought into form-fit and friction lock with the casing or casing portions of the air conditioner in order to position and support the windblocker at the outlet of the air conditioning.

[0008] This configuration of the windblocker allows for retrofitting the windblocker of already mounted air conditioners or air conditioners in use without the need of applying tools or using separated fasteners.

[0009] Another essential advantage attained by the general U-shape of the windblocker of the invention relates to a fluidic optimal adaptability of this windblocker to the inlet/outlet configuration of the air conditioner by providing a flow barrier for the conditioned air flow easily attainable only by the shape of the windblocker and ensuring that the discharged conditioned air flow will not be introduced into the inlet of the air conditioner. For this purpose, it is sufficient, for example, to deep-draw the edge of the windblocker pointing to the air inlet until this deep-drawn edge blocks the passage of air to the inlet.

[0010] The U-shaped windblocker of the invention is equally suitable for use with floor, wall and ceiling attached or positioned air conditioners.

[0011] An air conditioning system for attachment to a room wall, wherein the inlet is provided for introducing air to be conditioned at the bottom of the casing adjacent to the floor of the room and the outlet for conditioned air is provided at an inclined casing surface between the bottom and the front face of the casing, having the two legs of the U-shaped windblocker engaging in accordance with a specific embodiment of the invention behind the two sides of the casing as well as the top of the casing pointing at the ceiling of the room, wherein the U-base of the windblocker is arranged to be positioned in front of the outlet for conditioned air.

[0012] An air conditioning system for attachment to the room ceiling typically has its casing formed as a ceiling cassette engaging a ceiling aperture and comprising a flange-like edge structure comprising the outlet for the conditioned air flow, the air inlet being positioned inside of the edge structure. For this air conditioning system the two legs of the U-shaped windblocker engage behind the edge structure in the region of the outlet for discharging conditioned air.

[0013] The edge structure of the ceiling cassette is usually rectangular, and the outlet for discharging conditioned air is formed in at least at one side or at all four sides of the edge structure. Each of these multiple outlets is associated with an identically formed windblocker according to the invention. In the case of four outlets, each two of the windblockers are preferably oppositely arranged and directly fixed to the edge structure of the ceiling cassette. In order to allow the four U-shaped windblockers to be arranged at the four sides of the rectangular ceiling cassette without interference at the corners caused by the legs of the U-shaped windblocker, a first pair of opposed windblockers are adapted to be directly mounted to the edge structure whereas the other pair of opposed windblockers are adapted to be mounted to the first pair of windblockers and hence indirectly to the edge structure of the ceiling cassette.

[0014] In the following the invention is explained in more detail with reference to the drawings; in which:

[0015] FIG. 1 is view of a ceiling mounted type cassette air conditioner to be installed in a ceiling seen obliquely from below arranged with two pairs of opposing identically shaped outlets for discharging conditioned air, two pairs of opposing U-shaped windblockers according to the invention are arranged at the four outlets for discharging conditioned air, a first pair of opposed windblockers are adapted to be directly mounted to the edge structure whereas the other pair of opposed windblockers are adapted to be mounted to the first pair of windblockers;

[0016] FIGS. 2a-2f are different views of the four windblockers used with the air conditioner of FIG. 1, wherein FIG. 2a is a view seen obliquely to the top of the windblocker, wherein FIG. 2b is a plan view of the bottom of the windblocker, wherein FIG. 2c are plan views of the two narrow sides of the wind blocker, wherein in which FIG. 2d is a top view of the front side of the wind blocker, wherein FIG. 2e is shows a plan view of the top of the windblocker, and wherein FIG. 2f is a plan view of the backside of the wind blocker;

[0017] FIGS. 3a-3d are various views of the ceiling mounted type cassette of the air conditioner of FIG. 1 without windblockers mounted thereto, wherein FIG. 3a corresponds to the view of FIG. 1, wherein FIG. 3b is a plan view of the underside of the ceiling cassette, and wherein FIGS. 3c and 3d are top views of two a 90-degree angle enclosing sides of the ceiling cassette arranged with a 90-degree angle;

[0018] FIGS. 4a-4d are views of the ceiling mounted type cassette according to FIGS. 3 a-3d to which two windblockers are arranged on opposite sides thereof directly mounted to the edge structure of the ceiling cassette;

[0019] FIGS. 5a-5d show the same views of the ceiling mounted type cassette as in FIGS. 4a-4d including two additional windblockers, which are mounted to the windblockers directly mounted to the edge structure of the ceiling cassette of FIGS. 4a-4d;

[0020] FIGS. 6a-6c is view of a wall mounted type cassette air conditioner of the invention for attachment to a room wall including a windblocker, which is arranged to divert the air-conditioned air stream out of the outlet in the wall-remote front lower end of the casing of the air conditioner,

[0021] FIGS. 6d-6g are different views of the windblocker of the air conditioner of FIG. 6a-6c, wherein FIG. 6d is a plan view of the underside of the windblocker, wherein FIG. 6e is a plan view of the front edge of the windblocker, wherein FIG. 6f is a view seen obliquely to the top of the windblocker, and wherein FIG. 6g is a top view of the windblocker.

[0022] FIG. 1 shows an embodiment of an air conditioner 10 which is intended to be mounted in a recessed section of a ceiling. The air-conditioner 10 comprises a casing 11 formed as a generally square ceiling cassette and including a square edge structure 12. For installing the air conditioner 10 in the ceiling it is inserted with its casing 11 into the recessed ceiling section or ceiling cut-out until the top side of the edge structure 12 comes to rest at the ceiling while maintaining a small peripheral gap. This gap may be provided by spacer elements which are formed on the top side of the edge structure 12. In this position, the casing 11 is fixed to the recessed ceiling section by means of fixing means.

[0023] On the underside, the casing 11 is provided with an air inlet 13 covered with a two-part square grid structure for introducing air into a not shown air-conditioning unit, which discharges conditioned air via four elongated outlet slots 14, 15, 16 and 17 oppositely positioned in the four sides of the square edge structure 12 as shown in FIGS. 3a and 3b. In each output slot 14-17 there is provided a flap 18-21 manually or motorized pivotably arranged to control the amount and direction of the air flow to be discharged out of the slots and if necessary to completely close the exit slot. This type of air flow control is primarily used for determining which of the four outlets is to be used for discharging conditioned air, and whether the respective air flow shall steeply directed or slightly outwardly directed to room floor. Such air flow control, however, is not suited to prevent that the discharged cool or cold air flow impinges more or less directly onto person's present thereby causing inconvenience or even colds. These detrimental effects of air can be avoided by the provision of a windblocker at the outlet slots for deflecting the air flow away from that portions of the room where persons are present as for instance described in the above discussed US 2008/0311841.

[0024] The present case, each exhaust slot 14-17, as shown in FIG. 1, is associated with its own windblocker A, B, C and D, the construction of which is adapted for the case of fitting or even retrofitting the windblocker to the air conditioner 10 without the need of additional fixing means or tools. The four windblockers A-D are identically designed and constructed as shown in FIGS. 2a-2f for the windblocker A as an example. From FIGS. 4a-4d it becomes clear that two (A and B) of the four windblockers A-D are attached directly to the edge structure 12, while the other two windblockers C and D are indirectly attached to the edge structure 12, namely via the windblockers A and B which are adapted to directly support the windblockers C and D. This kind of mounting the windblockers without the need of fixing means and tools is due to the generally U-shaped outline of each windblocker in the kind of a clip.

[0025] As shown FIGS. 2a-2d by example of the windblocker A of the four identically shaped windblockers, each windblocker is of a generally U-shaped configuration with an elongated U-base 22, whose length corresponds to the edge length of the square edge structure 12 or whose length is slightly greater than said edge length. The two U-legs ends adjacent to the U-base extend in parallel to one another, perpendicular to the U-base and are bent inwardly at their ends to run in parallel to the U-base 22 allowing them to engage behind the edge structure 12 when the windblocker A is attached to this structure. The distance between the U-base and the bent free end of its U-leg determine the vertical clearance at which the U-base is positioned at a distance from the bottom of the windblocker, as soon as the windblocker is attached to the edge structure. Said clearance corresponds or defines the unfettered, free flow path of the air-conditioned air leaving the respective exhaust slot before this air flow impinges onto the inner surface of the U-base of the windblocker causing a deflection of the exhaust airstream from the air conditioner 10 by about 90 degrees. To ensure that this air flow laterally emerges from the edge structure via the deflecting action of the windblocker without being drawn inwardly in direction of the center of the air inlet 13 of the air conditioner 10, a flow barrier is provided is provided next to the inwardly pointing edge of the windblocker mounted to the edge structure 12. In the shown embodiment such flow barrier is defined by a curved section of the U-base 22 allowing the windblocker A to be positioned with its inner edge to the edge structure 12 preventing the air stream out of the exhaust slot 14 to mix into the inlet air stream.

[0026] The windblockers A and B which are built as shown in FIGS. 2a-2f are supported in clamping engagement between the ceiling and the top of the edge structure 12 as soon as these windblockers are slid via the outer rim of the edge structure 12 to be finally directly supported by this structure as shown in FIGS. 4a and 4b to thereby cover the two outlet slots 14 and 16, the windblockers A and B are supported by means of the bent ends of the U-legs by clamping engagement between the room ceiling and the upper surface of the edge structure 12.

[0027] The other two windblockers C and D are attachable directly to the already mounted windblockers A and B (as shown in FIGS. 4a and 4b) and hence indirectly by the edge structure 12 of the air conditioner casing 11.

[0028] As shown in FIG. 2a, the outwardly facing outer edge 28 of the windblocker A in its mounted state comprises on both sides of a central edge portion 31 recesses 29 and 30 which coincide with the corresponding edges of the edge structure 12 so that the two mounted windblockers A and B with the inner edges of their opposite recesses 29 (windblocker A) and 29 `(windblocker B) define mounting edges for the further windblocker D. In other words, the windblocker D can be slid from the left in FIG. 4a onto the already mounted windblockers A and engaging behind with their free U-leg ends until their U-legs the inner edge of the recesses of windblockers A and B.

[0029] Due to the larger distance to the edge structure 12 of the windblockers C and D mounted indirectly to the edge structure in comparison with the windblockers A and B which are directly mounted to the edge structure 12 no flow barrier is attainable by the windblockers C and D as for the windblockers A and B. To nevertheless prevent mixing of exhaust air into intake air in the case of the two windblockers C and D the airflow defining flaps in the outlet slots 17 and 19 have to be used for that purpose by adjusting their position in such a kind that the exhaust air is directed to the outside.

[0030] The windblocker having the U-shaped structure for positive, tool-free connection to the casing of an air conditioner also may be used in connection with other models of air conditioners which are not adapted for mounting in the ceiling bit for mounting for example to the floor or to the wall of a room which air conditioners are characterized by a horizontal outlet flow of conditioned air. An embodiment of an air conditioning system of the wall mounted type is described in the following with reference to FIGS. 6a-6g.

[0031] The air conditioner 40 for horizontal outlet of conditioned air comprises an elongated box-shaped casing 41, which is intended to be fixed with its back side for example by means of hooks against a wall of a room and includes air-conditioning units. The inlet for air to be conditioned located on the bottom 42 of the casing 41 and is covered in a manner not shown with a grid. The outlet 45 for conditioned air is located on an inclined surface 43 of the casing 41 connecting the horizontal bottom 42 of the casing 41 with the vertically extending front surface 44 thereof. The outlet for conditioned air is slot shaped, and the respective slot extends horizontally over most of the inclined surface 43. In the slot-shaped outlet 45 a flap 46 is provided and pivotable around its longitudinal center axis for coarsely adjusting the discharge direction of the conditioned air flow.

[0032] Since the air conditioner 40 typically is mounted at a given height to the room wall and since the conditioned air is mainly discharged horizontally, as in the case of the above-described air conditioning for ceiling installation, there is the risk that persons which are present in the room are exposed to the cold or at least cool air flow, a situation which is generally perceived as quite uncomfortable. To avoid such uncomfortable situation, as shown in FIGS. 6a-6g a windblocker E is provided in accordance with the invention at the outlet for conditioned air in order to prevent direct impingement of the conditioned air flow onto the persons' bodies.

[0033] As shown in FIGS. 6a and 6f the windblocker E has a general U-shape adapted to allow mounting of the windblocker E to the casing 41 of the air conditioner 40 without using tools or fixing material. Like the windblockers A-D the windblocker E is adapted to engaging behind the casing 41 for releasably attaching the windblocker E to the casing. 11.

[0034] The windblocker E comprises a U-base 47 which extends across the entire width of the casing 41, and two U-legs 48, 49 which extend from the side edges of the U-base 47 rising obliquely and extending upwardly with their free ends 50, 51 extending bent inwardly bent in order to engage behind the top of the casing 41 for attached the windblocker E thereto. The clearance height of the windblocker E is determined by the distance between the inner sides of the inwardly bent free arm ends 50, 51 and the inside of the U-base 47 and this height is selected in such a kind that conditioned air exiting the outlet 45 will meet after a short distance the upper side of the U base, where the air flow is diverted 90 degrees, thereby directed in a direction which is out of the region where persons are present in the room. This flow path is supported by the flap 46 being swung into the upwardly pivoted position shown in FIG. 6a causing the conditioned air exiting the outlet 45 to flow by an angle in forward direction so that it impinges the complete surface of U-base for deflection purposes.

[0035] While the U-base 47 of the windblocker E in its front portion is massively made, that is not perforated in favor a complete redirection of the exhaust air stream in a horizontal airflow, the windblocker E in its rear near-wall portion region 53 is perforated by means of rectangular breakthroughs to thereby allow air to be conditioned to enter the inlet of the air conditioner without interfering with the air leaving the outlet.

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