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United States Patent Application 20170370659
Kind Code A1
SHINGU; Wahei ;   et al. December 28, 2017

AIR-CONDITIONING APPARATUS AND METHOD OF MANUFACTURING AIR-CONDITIONING APPARATUS

Abstract

An air-conditioning apparatus includes: a compressor, a first heat exchanger, an expansion unit and a second heat exchanger that are connected, by a pipe, in a refrigerant circuit through which refrigerant flows, wherein the first heat exchanger includes: a radiator fin, multiple tubes extending through the radiator fin and through which the refrigerant flows, and a side plate provided at end portions of the multiple tubes, and having multiple holes formed thereon, through which the multiple tubes are extended, wherein, on the side plate, between the holes corresponding to the multiple tubes to be connected, a marking corresponding to a type of a connection member that connects the multiple tubes is provided.


Inventors: SHINGU; Wahei; (Tokyo, JP) ; YASUDA; Takaaki; (Tokyo, JP) ; YAMADA; Kiyoshi; (Tokyo, JP)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CORPORATION

Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

JP
Assignee: MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CORPORATION
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
JP

Family ID: 1000002882101
Appl. No.: 15/543802
Filed: March 23, 2016
PCT Filed: March 23, 2016
PCT NO: PCT/JP2016/059083
371 Date: July 14, 2017


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: F28F 9/26 20130101; F24F 13/00 20130101; F28F 9/0265 20130101
International Class: F28F 9/26 20060101 F28F009/26; F28F 9/02 20060101 F28F009/02; F24F 13/00 20060101 F24F013/00

Foreign Application Data

DateCodeApplication Number
Apr 27, 2015JP2015-090360

Claims



1. An air-conditioning apparatus comprising: a compressor, a first heat exchanger, an expansion unit and a second heat exchanger connected, by a pipe, in a refrigerant circuit through which refrigerant flows, the first heat exchanger including a radiator fin, a plurality of tubes extending through the radiator fin and through which the refrigerant flows, and a side plate provided at end portions of the plurality of tubes, and having a plurality of holes formed thereon, through which the plurality of tubes are extended, on the side plate, between the holes corresponding to the plurality of tubes to be connected, a marking corresponding to a type of a connection member connecting the plurality of tubes being provided.

2. The air-conditioning apparatus of claim 1, wherein the plurality of tubes include a hairpin tube, and the plurality of tubes and the connection member are integrally formed.

3. The air-conditioning apparatus of claim 1, wherein, as the connection member, a U-bent tube having a U shape is employed.

4. The air-conditioning apparatus of claim 1, wherein, as the connection member, a three-way bent tube having a T shape is employed.

5. The air-conditioning apparatus of claim 1, wherein, as the connection member, a bulge three-way tube having a non-T shape is employed, and a marking indicating an attachment direction of the connection member is provided on the side plate.

6. The air-conditioning apparatus of claim 1, wherein, on the side plate, the marking is provided by a marking jig.

7. The air-conditioning apparatus of claim 1, wherein, on the side plate, the marking is provided by a writing material.

8. The air-conditioning apparatus of claim 1, wherein, on the side plate, the marking is provided by a sticker.

9. (canceled)

10. A method of manufacturing an air-conditioning apparatus including a compressor, a first heat exchanger, an expansion unit and a second heat exchanger connected, by a pipe, in a refrigerant circuit through which refrigerant flows, the first heat exchanger including a radiator fin, a plurality of tubes extending through the radiator fin and through which the refrigerant flows, and a side plate provided at end portions of the plurality of tubes, the method comprising: forming a plurality of holes, through which the plurality of tubes are inserted, on the side plate; and providing, on the side plate, between the holes corresponding to the plurality of tubes to be connected, a marking corresponding to a type of a connection member connecting the plurality of tubes.
Description



TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present invention relates to an air-conditioning apparatus including a heat exchanger provided with side plates and a method of manufacturing the air-conditioning apparatus.

BACKGROUND ART

[0002] A heat exchanger employed in an air-conditioning apparatus is configured with, for example, a radiator fin, a tube and a side plate. There are provided multiple radiator fins and tubes, and the multiple tubes are inserted into the multiple radiator fins. The side plate is provided at end portions of the tubes, and the side plate has multiple holes formed thereon through which the multiple tubes are inserted. In the heat exchanger, connection members that connect the multiple tubes are provided on the side plate. As the connection member, for example, a U-bent tube, a three-way bent tube, a bulge three-way tube and other tubes can be provided. Moreover, when the tube is a hairpin tube, the tube and the connection member are integrally formed.

[0003] The connection member provided to such a heat exchanger has various kinds of connection patterns (path patterns) that are complex. Therefore, a drawing on which a path pattern is provided is separately prepared. Then, a worker who manufactures the heat exchanger attaches parts to assemble the heat exchanger while alternately comparing the heat exchanger and the drawing providing the path pattern. When the number of parts related to the path pattern is large, it exceeds 100 per a single heat exchanger. Moreover, the parts include several types in some cases. Consequently, there is a possibility that the working hours are increased and a failure caused by an attachment mistake occurs.

[0004] Moreover, as described above, the parts related to the path pattern are mainly four types: the hairpin tube; the U-bent tube; the three-way bent tube; and the bulge three-way tube. In these connection members, there is no limitation to functions, an outer shape, attachment number and place, and so forth. Therefore, there is a possibility of increase in working hours due to inadequate confirmation of attachment places and inadequate confirmation of the connection member itself, and occurrence of failure caused by attachment mistake due to inadequate confirmation of attachment places and inadequate confirmation of the connection member itself.

[0005] Note that, when these connection members are attached by brazing, it is difficult to detach the members that have been attached once. Therefore, when an attachment mistake occurs, the whole heat exchanger including the radiator fins and the side plates has to be discarded.

[0006] Here, in Patent Literature 1, there is disclosed a method of manufacturing a heat exchanger including multiple bent tubes. In Patent Literature 1, a heat exchanger is manufactured by attaching multiple bent tubes in advance to a support material having holes for inserting the bent tubes formed thereon, and fitting the support material to a tube inserted into a plate fin. In this manner, Patent Literature 1 employs the support material to eliminate the confirmation of attachment places of the bent tubes, thereby, intends to improve workability in assembly of the heat exchanger.

CITATION LIST

Patent Literature

[0007] Patent Literature 1: Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. 2009-68805

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

Technical Problem

[0008] However, since the heat exchanger disclosed in Patent Literature 1 requires the support material, manufacturing costs are increased. Moreover, in Patent Literature 1, attachment of bent tubes only is disclosed, and attachment workability when there are multiple connection members is not at all considered.

[0009] The present invention has been made in view of the above circumstances, and provides an air-conditioning apparatus and a method of manufacturing the air-conditioning apparatus that reduce manufacturing costs and improve attachment workability even when there are multiple connection members.

Solution to Problem

[0010] An air-conditioning apparatus of an embodiment of the present invention includes: a compressor, a first heat exchanger, an expansion unit and a second heat exchanger that are connected, by a pipe, in a refrigerant circuit through which refrigerant flows, wherein the first heat exchanger includes: a radiator fin, a plurality of tubes extending through the radiator fin and through which the refrigerant flows, and a side plate provided at end portions of the tubes, and having a plurality of holes formed thereon through which the tubes are extended, wherein, on the side plate, between the holes corresponding to the tubes to be connected, a marking corresponding to a type of a connection member that connects the tubes is provided.

Advantageous Effects of Invention

[0011] According to the present invention, on the side plate, between the holes corresponding to the multiple tubes to be connected, markings corresponding to the types of the connection members that connect the multiple tubes is provided. Therefore, positioning is performed with ease without any support material. Consequently, the manufacturing costs is reduced. Moreover, the markings are different by respective types of the connection members, and thereby the connection member to be attached is recognized with ease. Therefore, the attachment workability is improved even when there are multiple connection members.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0012] FIG. 1 is a circuit diagram showing an air-conditioning apparatus 1 according to Embodiment 1 of the present invention.

[0013] FIG. 2A is a side view showing a first heat exchanger 4 in Embodiment 1 of the present invention.

[0014] FIG. 2B is a front view showing the first heat exchanger 4 in Embodiment 1 of the present invention.

[0015] FIG. 3 is a front view showing a side plate 13 of the first heat exchanger 4 in Embodiment 1 of the present invention.

[0016] FIG. 4 is a diagram showing types of markings 15 in Embodiment 1 of the present invention.

[0017] FIG. 5 is a flowchart showing a method of manufacturing the air-conditioning apparatus 1 according to Embodiment 1 of the present invention.

[0018] FIG. 6 is a front view showing the side plate 13 of the first heat exchanger 4 in Embodiment 1 of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0019] Hereinafter, an embodiment of an air-conditioning apparatus 1 and a method of manufacturing the air-conditioning apparatus 1 according to the present invention will be described with reference to drawings. Note that the embodiment to be described below does not limit the present invention. Moreover, including FIG. 1, relations between sizes of respective components in the following drawings are different from those in actuality in some cases.

Embodiment 1

[0020] FIG. 1 is a circuit diagram showing an air-conditioning apparatus 1 according to Embodiment 1 of the present invention. The air-conditioning apparatus 1 will be described based on FIG. 1. As shown in FIG. 1, the air-conditioning apparatus 1 includes a refrigerant circuit 2. In the refrigerant circuit 2, a compressor 3, a first heat exchanger 4, an expansion unit 5 and a second heat exchanger 6 are connected by a pipe 7 to allow a flow of refrigerant.

[0021] The compressor 3 compresses the refrigerant. The first heat exchanger 4 is provided, for example, outdoor, and exchanges heat between outdoor air and the refrigerant. The first heat exchanger 4 is provided with an inflow header 4a on an inflow side of the refrigerant, and the inflow header 4a distributes the refrigerant discharged from the compressor 3 to each of tubes 12 of the first heat exchanger 4. Moreover, the first heat exchanger 4 is provided with a first outflow header 4b on an outflow side of the refrigerant, and the first outflow header 4b collects the refrigerant flowing out of each tube 12 to allow the refrigerant to flow out to the expansion unit 5.

[0022] The expansion unit 5 expands the refrigerant and reduces the pressure of the refrigerant. The second heat exchanger 6 is provided, for example, indoor, and exchanges heat between indoor air and the refrigerant. The second heat exchanger 6 is provided with a distributor 6a on an inflow side of the refrigerant, and the distributor 6a distributes the refrigerant flowing out of the expansion unit 5 to each of tubes 12 of the second heat exchanger 6. Moreover, the second heat exchanger 6 is provided with a second outflow header 6b on an outflow side of the refrigerant, and the second outflow header 6b collects the refrigerant flowing out of each tube 12 to allow the refrigerant to flow out to the compressor 3.

[0023] FIG. 2A is a side view showing the first heat exchanger 4 in Embodiment 1 of the present invention, and FIG. 2B is a front view showing the first heat exchanger 4 in Embodiment 1 of the present invention. Next, the first heat exchanger 4 will be described. As shown in FIG. 2A and FIG. 2B, the first heat exchanger 4 includes a radiator fin 11, multiple tubes 12 and side plates 13. For example, multiple radiator fins 11 are provided and the multiple radiator fins 11 are disposed at intervals mutually. The outdoor air flows through the multiple radiator fins 11.

[0024] The multiple tubes 12 are inserted through the radiator fins 11 and allows the refrigerant to flow therethrough.

[0025] The side plate 13 is provided at end portions of the tubes 12, and has multiple holes 13a formed thereon through which the multiple tubes 12 are inserted. The side plates 13 are provided, for example, at both end portions of the tubes 12 to sandwich the radiator fins 11. An upper end portion and a lower end portion of the side plate 13 are bent 90 degrees in the direction opposite to the radiator fins 11.

[0026] FIG. 3 is a front view showing the side plate 13 of the first heat exchanger 4 in Embodiment 1 of the present invention. Next, the side plate 13 of the first heat exchanger 4 will be described. As shown in FIG. 3, on the side plate 13, between the holes 13a corresponding to the multiple tubes 12 to be connected, markings 15 corresponding to the types of the connection members 14 that connect the multiple tubes 12 are provided.

[0027] As the connection member 14, for example, a U-bent tube 14A in a U shape, a three-way bent tube 14b in a T shape, a bulge three-way tube 14c in a non-T shape, and other tubes can be provided. Moreover, in Embodiment 1, the tube 12 is a hairpin tube, and the tube 12 and the connection member 14 are integrally formed.

[0028] FIG. 4 is a diagram showing types of the markings 15 in Embodiment 1 of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 4, in the case of the hairpin tube, the marking 15 is a single straight line. In the case of the U-bent tube 14A, the marking 15 is two parallel straight lines. In the case of the three-way bent tube 14b, the marking 15 is two straight lines that are orthogonally crossed. In the case of the bulge three-way tube 14c, the marking 15 is two straight lines that are crossed non-orthogonally, and an attachment direction is also indicated. Note that the sizes of the markings 15 are appropriately determined.

[0029] In Embodiment 1, the markings 15 are provided by a marking jig, and the marking jig is made of metal. On the marking jig, a shape corresponding to the type of the marking 15 is formed. Note that the marking 15 may be provided by a writing material, or may be provided by a sticker. Further, the marking 15 may be provided to cover the multiple holes 13a.

[0030] FIG. 5 is a flowchart showing a method of manufacturing the air-conditioning apparatus 1 according to Embodiment 1 of the present invention. Next, the method of manufacturing the air-conditioning apparatus 1 will be described. First, on the side plate 13, the multiple holes 13a, through which the multiple tubes 12 are inserted, are formed. Specifically, on a metal plate in a flat-plate shape to serve as the side plate 13 of the first heat exchanger 4, the multiple holes 13a are formed by, for example, burring processing (step ST1).

[0031] Next, on the side plate 13, the markings 15 corresponding to the type of the connection member 14 that connects the multiple tubes 12 are provided between the holes 13a corresponding to the multiple tubes 12 to be connected. Specifically, between the multiple holes 13a, the markings 15 are inscribed by a marking jig (step ST2). Then, the upper end portion and the lower end portion of the metal plate are bent 90 degrees. Accordingly, the side plate 13 of the first heat exchanger 4 is manufactured (step ST3). Thereafter, the first heat exchanger 4 is manufactured by employing the side plates 13, and the air-conditioning apparatus 1 is manufactured by incorporating the first heat exchanger 4 thereinto.

[0032] Next, an operation state of the air-conditioning apparatus 1 according to Embodiment 1 will be described. The compressor 3 sucks the refrigerant and compresses the refrigerant to discharge the refrigerant in a gas state of high temperature and high pressure. The discharged refrigerant flows into the first heat exchanger 4, and the first heat exchanger 4 condenses the refrigerant by heat exchange with the outdoor air. The condensed refrigerant flows into the expansion unit 5, and the expansion unit 5 expands the condensed refrigerant and reduces the pressure thereof. Then, the refrigerant reduced in pressure flows into the second heat exchanger 6, and the second heat exchanger 6 evaporates the refrigerant by heat exchange with the indoor air. At this time, the indoor air is cooled, and thereby cooling of the indoor space is performed. Then, the refrigerant evaporated and brought into a gas state of high temperature and low pressure is sucked by the compressor 3.

[0033] The air-conditioning apparatus 1 according to Embodiment 1 is used in performing the cooling operation in this manner; however, the air-conditioning apparatus 1 may be configured to make it possible to perform, not only the cooling operation, but also the heating operation by providing a flow switching unit in the refrigerant circuit 2.

[0034] FIG. 6 is a front view showing the side plate 13 of the first heat exchanger 4 in Embodiment 1 of the present invention. Next, action of the air-conditioning apparatus 1 according to Embodiment 1 will be described. In FIG. 6, solid-line arrows indicate attachment positions of the connection members 14 that are attached to the side plate 13 on one end portion of the first heat exchanger 4 and flow directions of the refrigerant. Further, in FIG. 6, broken lines indicate attachment positions of the connection members 14 that are attached to the side plate 13 on the other end portion of the first heat exchanger 4. In this manner, in the first heat exchanger 4, since the connection members 14 attached to the side plates 13 on both end portions are different, different markings 15 are provided to the side plate 13 on each of the both end portions.

[0035] As shown in FIG. 6, each connection member 14 is attached in accordance with the types of the markings 15. For example, at the portion where the marking 15 of two parallel straight lines is provided, the U-bent tube 14A is attached. Meanwhile, at the portion where the marking 15 of two straight lines that are orthogonally crossed is provided, the three-way bent tube 14b is attached. Further, on the broken line, although the marking 15 is not shown, the hairpin tube (the tube 12) is attached. Then, the refrigerant flowing in from the inflow header 4a flows through the hairpin tube (the tube 12), the U-bent tube 14A, the hairpin tube (the tube 12), and the three-way bent tube 14b in this order.

[0036] One of the refrigerant branched at the three-way bent tube 14b flows through the hairpin tube (the tube 12), the U-bent tube 14A, the hairpin tube (the tube 12), the U-bent tube 14A and the hairpin tube (the tube 12) in this order, and flows out to the first outflow header 4b. Meanwhile, the other one of the refrigerant branched at the three-way bent tube 14b flows through the hairpin tube (the tube 12), the U-bent tube 14A, the hairpin tube (the tube 12), the U-bent tube 14A and the hairpin tube (the tube 12) in this order, and flows out to the first outflow header 4b.

[0037] As described above, on the side plate 13, between the holes 13a corresponding to the multiple tubes 12 to be connected, markings 15 corresponding to the types of the connection members 14 that connect the multiple tubes 12 are provided. Therefore, positioning is performed with ease without any support material. Consequently, the manufacturing costs are reduced. Further, the markings 15 are different by respective types of the connection members 14, and thereby the connection members 14 to be attached are recognized with ease. Therefore, the attachment workability is improved even when there are multiple connection members 14.

[0038] Moreover, this configuration reduces time for attaching the connection members 14 to the first heat exchanger 4. Moreover, since the attachment workability is improved, quality of the first heat exchanger 4 is improved. Further, even when the connection member 14 is attached by brazing, since occurrence of attachment mistake is suppressed, the risk of discarding the whole first heat exchanger 4 including the radiator fins 11 and the side plates 13 is reduced. This contributes to energy saving.

[0039] Note that, in Embodiment 1, the markings 15 are provided on the side plates 13 of the first heat exchanger 4, however, the markings 15 may be provided on the side plates 13 of the second heat exchanger 6. In this case, the refrigerant flowing in from the expansion unit 5 flows through the hairpin tube, the U-bent tube 14A, the three-way bent tube 14b and others, to flow out to the second outflow header 6b. Further, in Embodiment 1, the markings 15 are provided on the side plates 13 of the first heat exchanger 4, however, the markings 15 may be provided on the side plates 13 of the second heat exchanger 6.

[0040] Further, the tube 12 is a hairpin tube, and the tube 12 and the connection member 14 are integrally formed. This configuration improves attachment workability of the hairpin tube.

[0041] Even further, as the connection member 14, the U-bent tube 14A in the U shape is used. This configuration improves attachment workability of the U-bent tube 14A.

[0042] Still further, as the connection member 14, the three-way bent tube 14b in the T shape is used. This configuration improves attachment workability of the three-way bent tube 14b.

[0043] Then, as the connection member 14, the bulge three-way tube 14c in a non-T shape is used, and the marking 15 indicating the attachment direction of the connection member 14 is provided on the side plate 13. This configuration improves attachment workability of the bulge three-way tube 14c, and the attachment direction thereof is recognized with ease.

[0044] Further, on the side plate 13, the markings 15 are provided by the marking jigs. This improves workability in providing the markings 15.

[0045] Even further, on the side plate 13, the markings 15 are provided by the writing material. This improves workability in providing the markings 15.

[0046] Still further, on the side plate 13, the markings 15 are provided by the stickers. This improves workability in providing the markings 15.

[0047] Then, on the side plate 13, the marking 15 is provided to cover the multiple holes 13a. This improves workability in providing the marking 15.

[0048] Moreover, in a method of manufacturing an air-conditioning apparatus 1 having a refrigerant circuit 2 through which refrigerant flows, the refrigerant circuit 2 including a compressor 3, a first heat exchanger 4, an expansion unit 5 and a second heat exchanger 6 that are connected by a pipe 7, the first heat exchanger 4 including a radiator fin 11, multiple tubes 12 that are inserted through the radiator fin 11 and allows the refrigerant to flow therethrough, and a side plate 13 that is provided at end portions of the multiple tubes 12, the method includes: a step of forming multiple holes 13a, through which the multiple tubes 12 are inserted, on the side plate 13; and a step of providing, on the side plate 13, between the holes 13a corresponding to the multiple tubes 12 to be connected, a marking 15 corresponding to a type of a connection member 14 connecting the multiple tubes 12. Therefore, positioning is performed with ease without any support material. Consequently, manufacturing costs are reduced. Moreover, the markings 15 are different by respective types of the connection members 14, and thereby the connection members 14 to be attached are recognized with ease. Therefore, the attachment workability is improved even when there are multiple connection members 14.

REFERENCE SIGNS LIST

[0049] 1 air-conditioning apparatus [0050] 2 refrigerant circuit [0051] 3 compressor [0052] 4 first heat exchanger [0053] 4a inflow header [0054] 4b first outflow header 5 expansion unit [0055] 6 second heat exchanger [0056] 6a distributor [0057] 6b second outflow header [0058] 7 pipe [0059] 11 radiator fin [0060] 12 tube [0061] 13 side plate [0062] 13a hole [0063] 14 connection member [0064] 14a U-bent tube [0065] 14b three-way bent tube [0066] 14c bulge three-way tube [0067] 15 marking

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