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United States Patent Application 20170321947
Kind Code A1
Zvida; Itamar Josh November 9, 2017

Picnic Cooler with Internal Compartment for Cooling with Liquid Nitrogen

Abstract

A picnic cooler with a cooling mechanism based on the use of liquid nitrogen, that comprises four sides, bottom, cover, an internal compartment, an adapter. The internal compartment is integrated into one or more sides of the cooler and is made of a material that cools rapidly upon contact with the quick nitrogen. The internal compartment has one or more ventilation opening. The connector is designed to enable the attaching of an external canister of liquid nitrogen so as to enable introduction of liquid nitrogen from the canister into the internal compartment through the connector.


Inventors: Zvida; Itamar Josh; (Karmiel, IL)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Zvida; Itamar Josh

Karmiel

IL
Family ID: 1000002781760
Appl. No.: 15/525068
Filed: November 10, 2015
PCT Filed: November 10, 2015
PCT NO: PCT/IL2015/051082
371 Date: May 7, 2017


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: F25D 3/107 20130101; F25D 2700/12 20130101; F25D 2303/0831 20130101; F25D 29/003 20130101
International Class: F25D 3/10 20060101 F25D003/10; F25D 29/00 20060101 F25D029/00

Foreign Application Data

DateCodeApplication Number
Nov 12, 2014IL235670

Claims



1. A picnic cooler with a cooling mechanism based on liquid nitrogen, that comprises four sides, a bottom, a cover, and internal compartment, and an adapter; wherein the internal compartment is integrated into one or more sides of the cooler and is made of a material that becomes cold upon contact with liquid nitrogen; wherein the internal compartment has one or more ventilation openings; wherein the adapter is designed to enable the user to connect an external canister of liquid nitrogen so that liquid nitrogen may be introduced from said canister into the internal compartment through said adapter.

2. A picnic cooler with an independent cooling mechanism based on liquid nitrogen that comprises a dedicated compartment (101) for a nitrogen canister in which a nitrogen canister (102) may be installed, an electric spigot (103), a cooling means (104), an aperture for introducing nitrogen into the cooler (105), an aperture for releasing nitrogen from the cooler (106), an electric power source (107), and a command and control system (108); wherein the designated compartment is equipped with an adaptor (1010) to which the opening of the nitrogen canister is attached; wherein the aperture for releasing nitrogen from the cooler (106) is equipped with a unidirectional valve (1060); and whereby the command and control system (108) is equipped with a controller (1081) and a temperature sensor (1082).
Description



TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present invention refers to a picnic cooler with a cooling mechanism that is based on the introduction of liquid nitrogen into an internal compartment, which is integrated into the sides of the cooler.

BACKGROUND ART

[0002] The use of picnic coolers is very prevalent. It is common practice to place ice packs (plastic containers containing a frozen substance) inside coolers so as cool the interior of the cooler as well as the food that is stored in it. The problem is that ice packs only stay frozen for a limited amount of time only, and when the cooler is used outdoors, the user often wishes to keep the cooler contents chilled for longer periods of time and additional ice packs are often unavailable. The present invention offers an effective and good solution to this problem.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0003] The intention of the drawing attached to the application is not to limit the scope of the invention and its application. The drawing is intended only to illustrate the invention and it constitutes only one of its many possible implementations.

[0004] FIG. 1 depicts a cross section of the cooling apparatus (1) that includes the internal compartment (8), an adapter (9), passage (91) and a ventilation opening (92).

[0005] FIG. 2 presents a schematic cross-section of a picnic cooler (100) with a compartment designed to contain a gas canister (101), a gas canister (102), an electric spigot (103), a cooling apparatus (104) that includes piping (1040) and an upper plate (1041), an aperture through which gas is introduced into the cooler (105), an aperture (106) with a unidirectional valve (1060) through which gas is released from the cooler, an electric power source (107), and a command and control system (108) that includes a controller (1081), a temperature sensor (1082), and a display and operation panel (1083).

[0006] FIG. 3 presents a schematic description of the cooling apparatus (104), which includes piping (1040) and an upper plate (1041).

THE INVENTION

[0007] The main objective of the present invention is to provide a picnic cooler with an independent cooling mechanism that is based on the use of compressed liquid nitrogen at a very low temperature. The four sides and bottom of the cooler each include an internal compartment made of a metallic material, preferably stainless steel. Each such internal compartment has two, or more, apertures: one aperture leads from the compartment to the interior of the cooler and/or to the exterior of the cooler, and the second aperture connects to an adapter that is designed to connect to a liquid nitrogen canister, which introduces into the compartment liquid nitrogen at a very low temperature. The encounter between the liquid nitrogen and the oxygen in the air within the internal compartment and with the sides of the compartment causes rapid cooling of the compartment, to a very low temperature, and as a result to the cooling of the inner sides of the picnic cooler, the interior of the cooler, and its contents. Using liquid nitrogen for said purpose is very effective; it may be stored at a relatively low pressure, and it is neither flammable, toxic, nor explosive.

[0008] In principle, the connector, which is designed to enable the introduction of liquid nitrogen from a separate canister into the internal compartment, may be positioned in the external side of the picnic cooler or within the cooler itself, as depicted for instance in the attached drawings. Internal compartments may be located within one, two, three, or all four sides of the cooler and also in the bottom of the cooler. The figures attached to the application depict a picnic cooler with internal compartments in all four sides as well as in the bottom of the cooler. In these drawings, the connector designed to connect to the liquid nitrogen canister is located within the cooler.

[0009] The picnic cooler (1), subject of the present invention, is shaped externally like any other standard picnic cooler, and has four sides (2) (3) (4) (5), a bottom (6), and a cover (7). The cooler (1) and its standard components may be made of materials customarily used to manufacture coolers. For instance, the inner and outer sides may be made of rigid plastic with an insulating material in between, such as foam rubber and so.

[0010] The internal compartments (8), located within the walls of the cooler (1), are made of a metallic material such as stainless steel, or any other known material that cools efficiently upon contact with liquid nitrogen. To achieve higher cooling efficiency, the size of internal compartments (8) should generally match those of respective sides and bottom of the cooler. In addition, the inner side (81) of the internal compartment (8) should be closely adjacent to the respective inner side of the cooler (21) (31) (41) or (51) so as to enable efficient and rapid flow of cold from the internal compartment (8) to the interior of the picnic cooler (1), and the space between the outer side (82) of the internal compartment (8) and the respective outer side of the cooler (22) (32) (42) or (52) should be filled with standard or other insulation material so as to prevent loss of cold to the exterior. Nitrogen should flow from the internal compartment (8) into the interior of the cooler (1). In addition, the internal compartment (8) may have metal protrusions, mesh partitions, and so on, to create a more efficient cooling effect, i.e. to increase contact surface between the metal and the liquid nitrogen introduced into the internal compartment.

[0011] Shape of internal compartment (8): The internal compartment (8) may be shaped like a narrow rectangular box and should be designed to be integrated into one side of the picnic cooler. Several such internal compartments may be integrated into one or more sides of the cooler, and even into its bottom. The cooler (1) may alternatively be constructed so that the internal compartment (8) has the general shape of a box with four sides and a bottom, and is built into the picnic cooler, as depicted for instance in the drawings attached to the application.

[0012] Introduction of liquid nitrogen into the internal compartment (8): The picnic cooler is equipped with an adapter (9) to which to a canister (99), containing liquid nitrogen at a low temperature, may be attached. The adapter has a passage (91) designed to enable the introduction of liquid nitrogen from the nitrogen canister (99) into the internal compartment (8). The passage (91) may be an opening, an aperture, or even a tubule, depending on the distance between the adapter (9) and the side of the internal compartment (8), according to the specific implementation of the invention. The user can connect a nitrogen canister (99) to the adapter (9) and execute a rotation or pushing motion, according to the specific implementation of the invention, thus introducing nitrogen from the canister (99), through the adapter (91), into the internal compartment (8). The internal compartment (8) also has a ventilation opening (92) between the inner compartment (8) and the interior of the picnic cooler (1), thus enabling air and nitrogen to flow out of the internal compartment. The internal compartment may, of course, have several ventilation openings (92), which may be located in the sides and/or bottom of the cooler. When the cooler (1) is no longer sufficiently cold, the user may attach another canister of nitrogen (99) to the adapter (9), and introduce liquid nitrogen into the internal compartment (8), and so on and so forth.

[0013] FIG. 1 presents a cross-section of the picnic cooler (1) with an internal compartment (8), an adaptor (9), a passage (91) and ventilation openings (92).

[0014] The second version of the invention, subject of the present patent application, refers to a picnic cooler (100), which is depicted schematically in FIGS. 2 and 3. The cooler (100) is based on an independent and active cooling system. The cooler (100) is equipped with a designated nitrogen canister compartment (101) in which a nitrogen canister (102) may be installed, an electric spigot (103), a passive cooling apparatus (104), an aperture for introducing nitrogen into the cooler (105), an aperture for releasing nitrogen from the cooler (106), an electric power source (107), and a command and control system (108).

[0015] The designated nitrogen canister compartment (101) can be located within the cooler, as depicted for instance in the drawings attached to the application; alternatively, it may be located or in an external compartment. The compartment (101) is equipped with an adapter (1010) to which the opening of the nitrogen canister (102) is connected, enabling the user to exchange the empty, spent nitrogen canister with a new, full nitrogen canister according to need. A tubule, extending from the adapter (1010), introduces nitrogen from the canister (102) into the cooling apparatus (104). The electric spigot (103) is positioned on said tubule or on the adapter itself (1010) and is controlled by the command and control system (108).

[0016] The cooling apparatus (104) is made of a metallic material or any other suitable material and can have a variety of shapes. In addition, it can be located anywhere within the picnic cooler. The cooling apparatus (104) can, for instance, consist of a system of very thin piping (1040) and an upper metallic plate (1041) that serves also as the inner bottom of the cooler (100), as depicted for instance in the drawings attached to the application. When nitrogen flows from the canister (102) into the cooling apparatus (104) and the piping system (1040), the cooling apparatus (104) becomes cold, due, among other things, to the change in the state of matter of the nitrogen, which in turn causes the interior of the picnic cooler (100) to become colder. Nitrogen that is introduced into the cooling apparatus (104) and the piping system (1040) flows into the interior of the cooler through the aperture (105). The term "nitrogen" as used in the present patent application refers both to nitrogen gas as well as any other gas or substance that is used for cooling purposes by changing its state of matter.

[0017] The aperture for releasing nitrogen from cooler (106) enables air and gas to flow out from the interior of the cooler. Said aperture is equipped with a unidirectional valve (1016) that is activated upon reaching a preset pressure, which may be slightly higher than one atmosphere (which is the pressure of the air outside the cooler). The objective is to prevent buildup of internal pressure within the cooler, which may detrimentally affect the cooler, its cover or its contents.

[0018] The command and control system (108) includes a controller (1081) and a temperature sensor (1082) that measures the temperature within the picnic cooler. The command and control system (108) may also be equipped with a display panel (1083), which in turn may be equipped with a touchscreen or a series of buttons that are used to operate the system. The command and control system (108) controls the cooling of the cooler (100) by transmitting a command to open the electric spigot (103) for time periods that are determined according to the difference between the actual temperature within the cooler and the desired temperature. The desired temperature may be preset or it may be determined by the user using the command and control system. The controller (1081) activates the electric spigot when the desired temperature is higher than the actual temperature within the cooler. The command and control system (108) can display a variety of data, such as the temperature inside the cooler, the temperature outside the cooler, the desired temperature, the charging status of the batteries (107), the amount of nitrogen remaining in the canister (102), and so on. In addition, the cooler may be equipped with built-in speakers, which may be connected to a Bluetooth and/or USB socket and/or any socket in another structure, and enable the user to play music etc. by means of a smart phone device or any other device with similar abilities.

[0019] FIG. 2 presents a schematic cross-section of the picnic cooler (100) with a compartment that contains a gas canister (101), a gas canister (102), an electric spigot (103), a cooling device (104) that includes piping (1040) and an upper plate (1041), an aperture for introducing gas into the cooler (105), an aperture for releasing gas from the cooler (106) and a unidirectional valve (1060), an electric power source (107), and a command and control system (108) that includes a controller (1081), a temperature sensor (1082), and a display and activation panel (1083). FIG. 3 presents a schematic description of the cooling device (104) that includes piping (1040) and an upper plate (1041).

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