PATENTSCOPE will be unavailable a few hours for maintenance reason on Monday 03.02.2020 at 10:00 AM CET
Search International and National Patent Collections
Some content of this application is unavailable at the moment.
If this situation persists, please contact us atFeedback&Contact
1. (WO1997016685) BALANCED ADSORBENT REFRIGERATOR
Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

CLAIMS

1. A heat transfer apparatus which uses a heat source to generate a cooling effect, the apparatus comprising:
a first vessel having a first aperture and containing an adsorbent material having an adsorbing capacity;
a second vessel having a second aperture, the second aperture connected to the first aperture of the first vessel with a conduit, the conduit providing a fluid passage between the vessels, the vessels and the conduit forming a sealed volume capable of maintaining less than atmospheric pressure therein; and
a quantity of working substance within the sealed volume, the working substance capable of being strongly adsorbed by the adsorbing material, the quantity of working substance being not greater than the adsorbing capacity of the adsorbent material at a selected temperature and pressure of the sealed volume such that the working substance is capable of being substantially completely adsorbed by the adsorbent material.

2. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a valve positioned in the conduit and moveable between an open position with the working substance free to move between the first and second vessels and closed position with the working substance constrained from movement between the vessels

3. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 2 wherein the valve is in the closed position and substantially all the working substance is retained by the adsorbent material.

4. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 1 wherein the second vessel has a third aperture therein, further comprising a third vessel connected to the third aperture, the third vessel having an adsorbent material and an adsorbent capacity, wherein the third vessel is capable of being heated by a heat source while the first vessel is adsorbing the working substance, and the first vessel is capable of being heated by the heat source while the third vessel is adsorbing the working substance.

5. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 1 wherein the second vessel is a refrigeration element for cooling a volume surrounding the second vessel

6. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 1 wherein a portion of the working substance located in the second vessel is in a solid state and the solid state working substance sublimates to a vapor state and is substantially completely adsorbed by the adsorbent material

7. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 1 wherein the sealed unit has an internal absolute pressure of 4 mm of mercury

8 The heat transfer apparatus of claim 1 wherein the adsorbent material has a weight and the working substance has a weight that is 28 5% of the adsorbent material weight

9 The heat transfer apparatus of claim 1 , further comprising a heat source positioned proximate to the adsorbent material for heating the adsorbent material and evaporating the working substance therefrom, the heat source being controllable between an active state wherein the heat source heats the adsorbent material and an inactive state

10 The heat transfer apparatus of claim 9 wherein the heat source is positioned external to the first vessel

1 1 The heat transfer apparatus of claim 9 wherein the heat source is positioned within the first vessel

12 The heat transfer apparatus of claim 1 1 wherein the heat source is thermally coupled to the adsorbent material

13. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 1 1 wherein the heat source is bonded to the adsorbent material

14. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 9 wherein the first vessel is capable of achieving a temperature of approximately 70°F when the heat source is in its inactive state.

15. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 9 wherein the heat source is heated by solar energy.

16. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 1 wherein the adsorbent material is a zeolite.

17. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 1 wherein the working substance is water.

18. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 1 wherein the working substance is a first adsorbate, further comprising a second adsorbate, the first adsorbate being adsorbed by the adsorbent at a slower rate than a rate at which the second adsorbate is adsorbed by the adsorbent.

19. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 18 wherein the first adsorbate is water and the second adsorbate is carbon dioxide.

20. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 1 wherein the adsorbent is a first adsorbent and the working substance is a first adsorbate, further comprising a second adsorbent and a second adsorbate, the first adsorbate being adsorbed by the first adsorbent at a rate different than a rate at which the second adsorbate is adsorbed by the second adsorbent.

21. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 1 wherein the second vessel has a burst pressure limit, further comprising compressible material positioned within the second vessel, the compressible material compressible by the working substance as it changes from a liquid state to a solid state between an uncompressed volume and a smaller compressed volume, the compressible material and working substance exerting a selected pressure on the container which is less than the burst pressure limit.

22. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 1 wherein the first vessel has a vacuum aperture therethrough and an intemal pressure, further comprising a vacuum valve connected to the vacuum aperture, the vacuum valve connectable to a vacuum source and moveable between an open position with the vacuum source in fluid communication with the first vessel for reducing the internal pressure of the first vessel and a closed position with the first vessel sealed from the vacuum source

23 The heat transfer apparatus of claim 1 , further comprising a Stirling engine having an engine efficiency and operating between a hot reservoir and a cold reservoir wherein the second vessel is positioned to cool the cold reservoir, lowering a temperature at which the cold reservoir removes heat from the Stirling engine, and the first vessel is positioned to heat the hot reservoir, thereby increasing the engine efficiency relative to a Stirling engine lacking the heat transfer apparatus

24 The heat transfer apparatus of claim 1 , further comprising a thermal voltaic device having a hot side and a cold side and a voltage output wherein the second vessel is positioned to cool the cold side, and the first vessel is positioned to heat the hot side thereby increasing the voltage output relative to a voltage device lacking the heat transfer apparatus

25 The heat transfer apparatus of claim 1 , further comprising a turbine device positioned in the conduit between the first and second vessels, the turbine device having a turbine rotor capable of converting linear motion of the working substance as it is adsorbed by the adsorbent material from the second vessel to the first vessel to rotational motion and transferring energy associated with the rotational motion outside the conduit

26. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 1 wherein the first and second vessels, conduit and working substance define a first refrigeration unit, further comprising at least a second refrigeration unit, the second vessels of the refrigeration units being contained within a refrigeration chamber defining a refrigerated volume, the refrigeration units being controllable to maintain the refrigerated volume at a selected temperature.

27. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 1 wherein the first vessel has an interior area and the conduit has a perforated portion projecting into the interior area, the perforated portion having a plurality of perforations of a selected size, for passage of the working substance between the adsorbent and the conduit.

28. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 27, further comprising a mesh layer positioned between the perforated portion and the adsorbent, the mesh layer having a plurality of openings, the openings having a size that is smaller than the selected size ofthe perforations of the perforated portion of the conduit to prevent the adsorbent material from entering the perforations.

29. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a refrigerator chamber defining an interior area having a temperature, wherein the second vessel is positioned within the interior area of the refrigerator chamber, the conduit passes through an aperture in the refrigerator chamber, and the first vessel is positioned outside the interior area, the heat transfer apparatus capable of lowering the temperature of the interior area below a temperature outside the interior area.

30. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 1 wherein the second vessel is a length of tubing.

31. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 1 , further comprising a plurality of fins projecting outwardly from an exterior surface ofthe second vessel.

32. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 1 wherein the quantity of working substance is approximately equal to the adsorbing capacity ofthe adsorbent material.

33. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a heat transfer source for transferring heat between the adsorbent material and a region outside the first vessel, the heat transfer source being in thermal contact with the adsorbent material.

34. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 33 wherein the heat transfer source is a water jacket surrounding the adsorbent material.

35. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 33 wherein the heat transfer source is positioned within the first vessel.

36. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 33 wherein the heat transfer source is capable of cooling the adsorbent material.

37. The heat transfer apparatus of claim 33 wherein the heat transfer source is capable of heating the adsorbent material.

38. A vessel for containing a substance which expands when changing phase from a liquid to a solid, comprising:
a container having a burst pressure limit, and
a compressible material positioned within the container, the compressible material compressible by a frozen portion of the substance between an uncompressed volume and a smaller compressed volume, the compressible material and substance exerting a selected pressure on the container which is less than the burst pressure limit

39. The vessel of claim 38 wherein the container is a pipe and the burst pressure limit is the hoop strength ofthe pipe.

40. The vessel of claim 38 wherein the compressible material is foam.

41. The vessel of claim 38 wherein the container has container walls, the container walls being substantially rigid.

42. The vessel of claim 38 wherein the container has container walls, the container walls being flexible to permit expansion of the container when the substance expands.

43. The vessel of claim 38 wherein the container has a first wall and a second wall, the compressible material being substantially adjacent to the first wall to insulate the first wall from transfer of heat from the first wall, and spaced apart from the second wall to allow transfer of heat from the substance to the second wall

44. A method for transferring heat and a working substance between a first vessel containing an adsorbent material and a second vessel connected to the first vessel, the two vessels defining a sealed volume containing a working substance in a liquid phase, the method comprising:
allowing a portion of the working substance to vaporize by adsoφtion and transfer from the second vessel to the adsorptive material in the first vessel, thereby causing a remaining portion of the working substance to freeze, creating a frozen working substance, and
continuing to adsorb the frozen working substance by sublimation from the second vessel to the adsorptive material in the first vessel

45 The method of claim 44, further comprising continuing to adsorb the frozen working substance by sublimation from the second vessel to the adsorptive material in the first vessel until the frozen working substance is substantially completely adsorbed by the adsorbent material.

46 The method of claim 44, further comprising
heating the adsorbent to drive the working substance in a vapor state from the adsorbent to the second vessel; and
condensing the working substance from a vapor state to a liquid state in the second vessel.