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United States Patent Application 20180224139
Kind Code A1
Watkins; Clarence August 9, 2018

EMBEDDED WINDOW VENTILATION FAN

Abstract

The invention relates to a bathroom ventilation fan which is configured to embed within the surface structure of existing and newly manufactured windows, which provides passage of warm, moist air from the interior of the bathroom to the exterior of the window surface structure.


Inventors: Watkins; Clarence; (Columbus, OH)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Watkins; Clarence

Columbus

OH

US
Family ID: 1000002551798
Appl. No.: 15/424811
Filed: February 4, 2017


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: F24F 7/013 20130101; F24F 13/15 20130101; F24F 2110/20 20180101; F24F 2221/20 20130101; F24F 11/30 20180101; F24F 2005/0067 20130101
International Class: F24F 7/013 20060101 F24F007/013; F24F 13/15 20060101 F24F013/15; F24F 11/00 20060101 F24F011/00

Claims



1. A ventilation fan configured to embed within a window surface structure separating an interior side and an exterior side, the window surface structure having a perimeter defining an entrance hole, the ventilation fan comprising: a) a fan housing having an upwind opening communicating with the interior of the window surface structure, a downwind, exterior opening communicating with the exterior of the window surface structure, an interior facing radial flange and a connection surface, the connection surface having reciprocal threading; b) a connection ring having reciprocal threading adapted to couple with the outer surface reciprocal threading of the fan housing for securing the ventilation fan to the window surface structure, wherein while the connection ring is coupled with the fan housing, the connection ring and the radial flange form a radial gap therebetween for receipt and seating of the perimeter of the hole in the window surface structure, thereby pinning the window structure surface hole perimeter between the radial flange and the connection ring within the radial gap providing a sealed fit thereof; c) a plurality of axial flow fan blades operably positioned within the fan housing; d) a rotary electric motor operably positioned within the fan housing for rotating the fan blades; and e) a source of power operably for operating the rotary electric motor.

2. The ventilation fan of claim 1, further comprising a push button power switch for powering on and off the rotary electric motor operably positioned on the interior side of the fan housing and operably connected to the source of power and the rotary electric motor.

3. The ventilation fan of claim 1, wherein the power source is a rechargeable battery.

4. The ventilation fan of claim 3, further comprising a solar cell array operably positioned on the exterior side of the ventilation fan, the solar cell array operably connected to the rechargeable battery and the motor in order to recharge the battery or directly power the motor.

5. The ventilation fan of claim 4, wherein the solar cell array is operably positioned on the exterior side of the connection ring.

6. The ventilation fan of claim 4, further comprising a plurality of horizontally aligned venting flaps operably positioned downwind of the fan blades, each venting flap is individually rotatable within the fan housing, wherein as the fan is operating, the venting flaps collectively rotate to a horizontal, open position allowing air to move through the fan housing from the interior side of the window surface structure to the exterior side of the window surface structure, wherein while the fan is not operating, the venting flap collectively rotate to a vertical position forming a barrier preventing outside air from moving upwind into the interior of the room.

7. The ventilation fan of claim 6, wherein at least one venting flap has a solar cell array positioned on the exterior side thereof.

8. The ventilation fan of claim 1, further comprising a mesh screening positioned upwind of the fan blades for preventing outside debris from moving upwind to the interior side of the window surface structure.

9. The ventilation fan of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of horizontally aligned venting flaps operably positioned downwind of the fan blades, each venting flap is individually rotatable within the fan housing, wherein as the fan is operating, the venting flaps collectively rotate to a horizontal, open position allowing air to move through the fan housing from the interior side of the window surface structure to the exterior side of the window surface structure, wherein while the fan is not operating, the venting flap collectively rotate to a vertical position forming a barrier preventing outside air from moving upwind into the interior of the room.

10. The ventilation fan of claim 9, further comprising a mesh screening positioned upwind of the fan blades for preventing outside debris from moving upwind to the interior side of the window surface structure.

11. The ventilation fan of claim 1, further comprising a controller operatively connected to the source of power and the motor to control activation and deactivation of the ventilation fan; and an interior sensor for detecting the relative humidity within the interior side of the window surface structure which is operably connected to the controller, wherein the controller is configured to compare the interior side air humidity with a predetermined set humidity level to determine whether a predetermined set of conditions has been met for activation and deactivation of the ventilation fan.

12. A ventilation fan configured to embed within a window surface structure separating an interior side and an exterior side, the window surface structure having a perimeter defining an entrance hole, the ventilation fan comprising: a) a fan housing having an upwind opening communicating with the interior side of the window surface structure, a downwind, exterior opening communicating with the exterior of the window surface structure, an interior facing radial flange and a connection surface, the connection surface having reciprocal threading; b) a connection ring having reciprocal threading adapted to couple with the fan housing outer surface reciprocal threading for securing the ventilation fan to the window surface structure, wherein while the connection ring is coupled with the fan housing, the connection ring and the radial flange form a radial gap therebetween for receipt and seating of the perimeter of the hole in the window surface structure, thereby pinning the window structure surface hole perimeter between the radial flange and the connection ring within the radial gap providing a sealed fit thereof; c) a plurality of axial flow fan blades operably positioned within the fan housing; d) a rotary electric motor operably positioned within the fan housing for rotating the fan blades; e) a power source operably connected to the rotary electric motor for providing electric power; f) a controller operatively connected to the power source and the motor to control activation and deactivation of the ventilation fan; g) an interior sensor for detecting the relative humidity within the interior side of the window surface structure which is operably connected to the controller, wherein the controller is configured to compare the interior side air humidity with a predetermined set humidity level to determine whether a predetermined set of conditions has been met for activation and deactivation of the ventilation fan; h) a mesh screening positioned upwind of the fan blades for preventing outside debris from moving upwind into the interior side of the window surface structure; i) a plurality of horizontally aligned venting flaps operably positioned downwind of the fan blades, each venting flap is individually rotatable within the fan housing, wherein as the fan is operating, the venting flaps collectively rotate to a horizontal, open position allowing air to move through the fan housing from the interior of the room to the exterior of the window, wherein while the fan is not operating, the venting flap collectively rotate to a vertical position forming a barrier preventing outside air from moving upwind into the interior of the room; and j) a push button power switch for powering on and off the rotary electric motor operably positioned on the interior side of the fan housing and operably connected to the source of power, the rotary electric motor, and the controller.

13. The ventilation fan of claim 12, wherein the power source is a rechargeable battery.

14. The ventilation fan of claim 13, wherein the power source further comprises a solar cell array operably positioned on the exterior side of the ventilation fan, the solar cell array operably connected to the battery and the motor in order to recharge the battery or directly power the motor.

15. The ventilation fan of claim 14, wherein at least one venting flap has a solar cell array positioned on the exterior side of thereof.

16. The ventilation fan of claim 12, wherein the power source is a solar cell array positioned on the exterior side of the ventilation fan.
Description



BACKGROUND

[0001] The present invention relates to ventilation fans, in particular, to an improved ventilation which is operably embedded within a window structure.

[0002] By way of background, housing structures particularly bathrooms are constructed with a ducted ventilation fan embedded within the ceiling of the bathroom. The purpose of the bathroom ventilation fan is to remove hot, moist air and odors from the bathroom space in order to maintain a dry environment which prevents the buildup of mold, bacteria and microbes which can cause uncomforting and health related issues. Typically, the ventilation fan is positioned within a housing that vacuums interior air by a plurality of fan blades to a duct which leads to the exterior of the building structure or the attic.

[0003] Often, due to poor construction and age, the ventilation fans do not work or do not operate sufficiently in order to properly maintain the moisture and the air quality within the bathroom. As such, many older home bathrooms have deteriorated due to moisture problems causing rotting of wood and facilitating the growth of mold, bacteria, and unwanted microbes. Moreover, current ventilation fans can be costly to replace and require expensive electricity to operate throughout the day. A ventilation fan may need to run several hours per day, particularly in a dwelling having many occupants.

[0004] For the foregoing reasons, there is a need for an improved bathroom ventilation fan which will remove steam and moisture more efficiently from the air, prevent the buildup of mildew and other pathogens, friendly to the environment, easy to use and doesn't require household electricity.

SUMMARY

[0005] In accordance with the invention, a ventilation fan is uniquely constructed to provide superior ventilation of hot, steamy air from a bathroom which is simple, easy to use, efficient and environmentally friendly.

[0006] In a version of the invention, the ventilation fan generally comprises: (a) a fan housing having an upwind opening communicating with the interior of the window surface structure, a downwind, exterior opening communicating with the exterior of the window surface structure, an interior facing radial flange and a connection surface, the connection surface having reciprocal threading; (b) a connection ring having reciprocal threading adapted to couple with the outer surface reciprocal threading of the fan housing for securing the ventilation fan to the window surface structure, wherein while the connection ring is coupled with the fan housing, the connection ring and the radial flange form a radial gap therebetween for receipt and seating of the perimeter of the hole in the window surface structure, thereby pinning the window structure surface hole perimeter between the radial flange and the connection ring within the radial gap providing a sealed fit thereof; (c) a plurality of axial flow fan blades operably positioned within the fan housing; (d) a rotary electric motor operably positioned within the fan housing for rotating the fan blades; and (e) a source of power operably for operating the rotary electric motor.

[0007] In a version of the invention, the ventilation fan further provides a push button power switch for powering on and off the rotary electric motor operably positioned on the interior side of the fan housing and operably connected to the source of power and the rotary electric motor.

[0008] In yet another version, the ventilation fan may further utilize a solar cell array or photovoltaic system which is operably positioned on the exterior side of the ventilation fan, the solar cell array operably connected to the rechargeable battery and the motor in order to recharge the battery or directly power the motor.

[0009] Further, in a version of the invention, the ventilation fan may include a plurality of horizontally aligned venting flaps operably positioned downwind of the fan blades. Each venting flap is individually rotatable within the fan housing, wherein as the fan is operating, the venting flaps collectively rotate to a horizontal, open position allowing air to move through the fan housing from the interior side of the window surface structure to the exterior side of the window surface structure. Thus, while the fan is not operating, the venting flap collectively rotate to a vertical position forming a barrier preventing outside air from moving upwind into the interior of the room.

[0010] The ventilation fan may further include a mesh screening positioned upwind of the fan blades for preventing outside debris from moving upwind to the interior side of the window surface structure.

[0011] In yet another optional version of the invention, a controller is operatively connected to the source of power and the motor to control activation and deactivation of the ventilation fan. Moreover, an interior sensor is provided for detecting the relative humidity within the interior side of the window surface structure which is operably connected to the controller, wherein the controller is configured to compare the interior side air humidity with a predetermined set humidity level to determine whether a predetermined set of conditions has been met for activation and deactivation of the ventilation fan.

[0012] These and other features of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with regard to the following description and accompanying figures where:

[0014] FIG. 1A is perspective view of a version of the invention shown as adapted to a window surface structure;

[0015] FIG. 1B is a perspective view of a window surface structure without the version of the ventilation fan shown in FIG. 1A;

[0016] FIG. 2 is a front elevation view of the version shown in FIG. 1;

[0017] FIG. 3 is a rear elevation view of the version shown in FIG. 1;

[0018] FIG. 4 is a front side exploded view of the version shown in FIG. 1;

[0019] FIG. 5 is a rear side exploded view of the version shown in FIG. 1;

[0020] FIG. 6 is a side elevation view of the version shown in FIG. 1;

[0021] FIG. 7 is a rear assembled view of a version having ventilation flaps; and

[0022] FIG. 8 is a block diagram of a version of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0023] Referring now to the figures wherein the showings are for purposes of illustrating a preferred version of the invention only and not for purposes of limiting the same, the present invention is bathroom ventilation fan which is configured to embed within the surface structure of existing and newly manufactured windows.

[0024] The following detailed description is of the best currently contemplated modes of carrying out exemplary versions of the invention. The description is not to be taken in the limiting sense, but is made merely for the purpose illustrating the general principles of the invention, since the scope of the invention is best defined by the appended claims.

[0025] Various inventive features are described below that can each be used independently of one another or in combination with other features.

[0026] With reference to the figures, particularly FIG. 1-FIG. 6, a description of a version of the invention will be provided and is generally designated as numeral 10. FIG. 1 is an illustrative perspective interior view of a first version of the window ventilation fan 10 embedded within a window surface structure 12. Generally, the ventilation fan 10 provides passage of warm, moist air from the interior 14 of the window surface structure 12 to the exterior 16 of the window surface structure 12--typically airflow from the interior of a bathroom to the exterior of a building structure.

[0027] As best illustrated by FIG. 4 and FIG. 5, the window ventilation fan 10 generally comprises a fan housing 18 and an exterior connection ring 20 for attaching the fan housing 18 within and to the window surface structure 12.

[0028] In further detail, the fan housing 18 generally has an upwind, interior opening 22 which communicates with the interior 14 of the window surface structure 12 or otherwise the interior of the bathroom (not shown) and a downwind, exterior opening 24 for communicating with the exterior 16 of the window surface structure 12 or otherwise the outside air. The fan housing 18 provides an air duct for allowing the flow of air through the interior side 14 to the exterior 16 of the window surface structure 12.

[0029] In the version as best illustrated by FIG. 2 and FIG. 4, a plurality of axial flow fan blades 26 are operably positioned radially about a central shaft 28 within the fan housing 18. The central shaft 28 is rotated by a rotary electric motor 30. The shaft 28 in turn provides radial movement of the fan blades 26 which operate to force airflow parallel to the shaft 28 through the window surface structure 12 from the interior side 14 to the exterior 16 via the fan housing 18. In the version, the motor 30 is housed within the shaft 28 and is operably and centrally positioned within the fan housing by a plurality of support members 32 positioned downwind of the fan blades 26.

[0030] As best illustrated by the block diagram encompassed in FIG. 8, the rotary electric motor 30 can be powered by one or more electrical sources. The electrical source may include a hard-wired connection to the building structure's electrical system or provided by a direct current source such as a reachable battery or a renewable source such as a solar cell array.

[0031] In a preferred version, the power source is a combination of an exterior or outside facing solar cell array 36 otherwise known as a photovoltaic system and rechargeable battery 34. The rechargeable battery 34 provides power to the motor 30 in the absence of direct power provided by the solar cell array 36. The solar cell array 36 is operably configured and wired to recharge the battery 34 while the ventilation fan is powered off as well as provide direct power to the motor 30 when sufficient sunlight is available to convert light into electric current. The rechargeable battery 34 can be operably positioned within the fan housing 18 upstream from the fan blades 26. As best illustrated by FIG. 5 and FIG. 7, the solar cell array 36 can be positioned on the exterior side 38 of the exterior connection ring 20 or any position near the exterior opening 24 that would be favorable to receiving sunlight.

[0032] With reference to FIG. 8, the ventilation fan 10 can be configured to be operated by an onboard controller or logic 62 as is known in the art which is operably connected to and controls operation of the electric motor 30, solar cell arrays 36, and charging of the battery 34.

[0033] In addition, at least one exterior sensor 90 positioned on the exterior 16 of the window surface structure 12 may be operatively connected to the controller or logic circuit 62 to measure environmental conditions, such as temperature, lighting, humidity, and the like. These measured environmental conditions can be utilized by the controller or logic circuit 62 in determining when to activate the motor 30 and the ventilation fan 10 and with which power source.

[0034] Similarly, at least one interior sensor 60 positioned on the interior side 14 of the window surface structure 12 may be operatively connected to the controller or logic circuit 62 to measure environmental conditions, such as temperature, lighting, humidity, and the like. These measured bathroom interior environmental conditions can be utilized by the controller or logic circuit 62 in determining when to activate the motor 30 and the ventilation fan 10. Preferably, the interior sensor 60 is a humidistat which determines the relative humidity in the bathroom which is operably connected to the controller 62. The controller or logic circuit 62 is configured to compare the interior air humidity with a predetermined set humidity level to determine whether a first predetermined set of conditions has been met for activation of the ventilation fan 10. In other words, if a preset humidity level is detected, the ventilation fan 10 is activated by the controller 62. Thereafter, if the humidity level is detected to fall below the preset value, then the ventilation fan 10 is deactivated by the controller 62. Thus, when the bathroom is filled with hot, steamy air from a shower or bath, the ventilation fan 10 automatically is powered on.

[0035] In a version, operation of the ventilation fan 10 can be manually activated and deactivated by a push button type power switch 40 integral with the interior side of the shaft 28. Thus, when desired, the user can simply power on the ventilation fan 10 by pressing the power switch 40 and oppositely, the user can power off the ventilation fan 10 by depressing the power switch 40. The push button power switch 40 is operably configured to either directly or via the controller 62 power on the motor 30 of the ventilation fan 10, thereby providing rotation to the fan blades 26 for providing airflow.

[0036] Optionally, a version of the invention further comprises a mesh screening 44 operably positioned upwind of the fan blades 26 near the interior opening 22, which provides a barrier for preventing the flow of debris through the ventilation fan 10, thereby preventing damage to the fan blades 26 and other moving parts of the ventilation fan 10.

[0037] In the illustrated version as best illustrated by FIG. 4-FIG. 6, the exterior connection ring 20 is configured to attach and couple with the downwind side of the fan housing 18 via reciprocal male and female threading. In the version, the fan housing 18 includes an interior facing radial flange 52 and a connection surface 46 having male threading 48 and the exterior connection ring 20 having reciprocal female threading 50. Thus, during placement of the ventilation fan 10 within a window surface structure 12, the fan housing 18 is positioned and fitted within a precut hole 11 with perimeter 13 in the window surface structure 12 (FIG. 1B), abutting the radial flange 52 to the interior side 14 window structure surface 12 and exposing the male threading 48 on the exterior side 16 of the window. The connection ring 20 is then secured to the connection surface, pinching the window surface structure 12 between the connection ring 20 and the radial flange 52 forming a radial gap 54 therebetween. Further, a version may include one or more rubber rings 55 for providing an air tight seal between the window surface structure 12 and the ventilation fan 10. In the version, two rubber rings 55 are positioned within the radial gap 54, one interior and the other exterior to the window surface structure 12.

[0038] Ideally, the window surface structure 12 can be made of any transparent surface types such as glass or plastic. Alternatively, the window surface structure 12 can be made of wood or other solid material which does not need to be transparent.

[0039] In a version of the invention as illustrated by FIG. 7, the ventilation fan may optionally have a plurality of horizontally aligned venting flaps 56 operably positioned downstream of the fan blades 26. Each venting flap 56 is individually longitudinally rotatable within the fan housing 18, wherein while the ventilation fan 10 is operating, the venting flaps 56 collectively rotate to a horizontal, open position allowing airflow to move through the fan housing 18 from the interior 14 to the exterior 16 of the window. When the ventilation fan 10 is powered off, the venting flaps 56 collectively rotate to a vertical position forming a barrier preventing outside air from moving upstream to the interior side 14 of the ventilation fan 10 and windows surface structure 12.

[0040] In a version as illustrated in FIG. 7, the solar cell array 36 can be operably positioned on the exterior side 58 of one or more of the venting flaps 56 in order to collect sunlight.

[0041] The ventilation fan 10 can be made in any manner and of any material chosen with sound engineering judgment. Preferably, materials will be strong, lightweight, long lasting, economic, and ergonomic.

[0042] The invention does not require that all the advantageous features and all the advantages need to be incorporated into every version of the invention.

[0043] Although preferred embodiments of the invention have been described in considerable detail, other versions and embodiments of the invention are certainly possible. Therefore, the pre-sent invention should not be limited to the described embodiments herein.

[0044] All features disclosed in this specification including any claims, abstract, and drawings may be replaced by alternative features serving the same, equivalent or similar purpose unless expressly stated otherwise.

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