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Title:
BOILER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/182534
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A boiler to generate steam and/or to heat water comprises a container (12) provided with at least a feed aperture (14) to introduce water inside it. The boiler comprises a heating element (18) associated with the container (12), and a water discharge aperture (22) connected to a discharge pipe (26).

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Inventors:
DE' LONGHI, Giuseppe (Vicolo Rovero1, TREVISO, 31100, IT)
LORENZON, Antonio (Via dei Carabinieri 23, FONTANELLE, 31043, IT)
Application Number:
EP2017/059310
Publication Date:
October 26, 2017
Filing Date:
April 19, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DE' LONGHI APPLIANCES S.R.L. CON UNICO SOCIO (Via L. Seitz 47, TREVISO, 31100, IT)
International Classes:
F24H1/00; B01D46/00; F22B37/48; F24H9/02
Foreign References:
US5345704A1994-09-13
US6427637B12002-08-06
DE102010062939A12012-05-16
US20150068170A12015-03-12
DE10109251C12002-08-08
EP0711862A11996-05-15
US20150068170A12015-03-12
US5345704A1994-09-13
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PETRAZ, Gilberto Luigi et al. (GLP SRL, Viale Europa Unita 171, UDINE, 33100, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Boiler to generate steam and/or to heat water, comprising a container (12) provided with at least a feed aperture (14) to introduce water inside it, said boiler comprising a heating element (18) associated with said container (12), wherein said boiler comprises a water discharge aperture (22) connected to a discharge pipe (26), characterized in that said discharge pipe (26) is disposed in the lower part of a lateral wall (13) of the container (12) and is protruding toward the outside with respect to said lateral wall (13), the boiler also comprising a collection cap (30), associated during use with said discharge pipe (26), said collection cap (30) being disposed during use completely external to and protruding from said container (12), said collection cap (30) being provided internally with a cavity (38) configured to house and retain the limescale inside it.

2. Boiler as in claim 1, characterized in that said cavity (38) extends continuously with said discharge aperture (22) and said discharge pipe (26).

3. Boiler as in claim 1 or 2, characterized in that said cavity (38) has an internal volume suitable to contain at least 7 ml of fluid.

4. Boiler as in claim 1 or 2, characterized in that said cavity (38) has an internal volume suitable to contain at least 10 ml of fluid.

5. Boiler as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that there are limescale retaining elements (40) inside said cavity (38), such as pads, metal meshes or suchlike, with the function of catalyzing and/or improving the accumulation of limescale inside the collection cap (30).

6. Boiler as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that said container (12) and/or said discharge pipe (26) are conformed so that said collection cap (30) is inclined downward.

7. Boiler as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that said collection cap (30) and said discharge pipe (26) are provided with respective threaded portions (28, 34) to allow a reciprocal releasable coupling by screwing.

8. Cap to collect limescale, associable with a discharge pipe (26) connected to a discharge aperture (22) of a container ( 12) for the water of a boiler to generate steam and/or to heat water, said discharge pipe (26) being disposed protruding toward the outside with respect to a lateral wall (13) of said container (12), said collection cap, during use, being disposed completely external to and protruding from said container (12) and being provided internally with a cavity (38) configured to house and retain the limescale inside it.

9. Cap as in claim 8, characterized in that said cavity (38) has an internal volume suitable to contain at least 10 ml of fluid.

10. Cap as in claim 8 or 9, characterized in that there are limescale retaining elements (40) inside said cavity (38), such as pads, metal meshes or suchlike, with the function of catalyzing and/or improving the accumulation of limescale.

Description:
"BOILER"

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention concerns a boiler to generate steam and/or to heat water, usable in domestic appliances and professional machines such as, for example, ironing or cleaning apparatuses, coffee machines, steamers for cooking food, steam ovens and suchlike.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Boilers used to selectively generate steam and/or to heat water in domestic appliances and professional machines normally comprise a metal container, hermetically closed, provided with at least an entrance aperture to introduce water inside it, and with an exit aperture, to discharge the water from the container.

According to some embodiments, at least in the case of boilers associated with ironing or cleaning apparatuses, the boiler also comprises an aperture for the steam to exit.

A heating element is normally associated with the metal container, generally an electric resistance or plate, selectively activated to generate the desired quantity of steam and/or to take the water to the desired temperature.

Boilers normally also comprise one or more detection devices to detect the temperature and/or pressure inside the metal container, so as to monitor them, both to verify that they reach the desired value and also to prevent them from exceeding determinate threshold values which can damage the metal container and the boiler itself.

It is known that, when the boiler is used and due to heating the water, formations of limescale are generated inside the metal container, consisting of calcium carbonate and/or other minerals such as magnesium, potassium, silicon, etc., normally dissolved in the water.

These formations of limescale deposit and form incrustations of increasing thickness on the internal walls of the metal container.

One problem that these formations of limescale can cause is that, when the limescale deposits in correspondence with the heating element, or on the wall that cooperates with the heating element, it reduces its heating effect. The incorrect transmission of heat by the heating element to the water inside the container can therefore entail a waste of energy, requiring higher consumption to heat the water correctly.

Furthermore, since the devices to detect the temperature and/or pressure are generally installed outside the metal container, the detection is influenced by the presence of limescale deposited inside, in correspondence with the external portion where they are positioned.

Indeed, the minerals that the incrustations of limescale consist of are heat insulating, and therefore they can delay or distort the detection of the temperature and/or pressure inside the metal container.

An incorrect, or delayed, detection of the temperature and/or pressure can lead to the safety threshold values being exceeded, and hence can damage the boiler.

Furthermore, if the limescale remains in suspension, it could come out of the container through the possible steam exit, occluding the hydraulic circuit through which the steam exits, and/or the devices that regulate it.

Document US 2015/0068170 describes an iron comprising a compartment for containing the steam, integrated in the iron, connected to two lateral channels to deliver the steam. The connection is obtained through a steam passage pipe, which has a cavity and a removal hole communicating with the outside of the iron, closed by a cap. The cap is normally inserted completely inside the cavity, that is, inside the iron. The inclination of the passage pipe does not promote the accumulation of limescale, since in the position of use of the iron, the inclination faces upward.

Document US 5,345,704 describes an iron comprising a compartment for containing the steam, integrated in the iron, connected to a decalcification aperture. The decalcification aperture is provided with a removable collector disposed inside the iron. The limescale is collected inside the removable collector when the iron is positioned on its heel rest, that is, in a vertical position.

One purpose of the present invention is to provide a boiler to generate steam and/or to heat water that allows to limit the formation of limescale inside the metal container.

Another purpose is to provide a " boiler that allows to remove, simply and quickly, the limescale that has formed inside the metal container. Another purpose is to provide a boiler to generate steam and/or to heat water that is simple and economical but at the same time is reliable and long-lasting.

Another purpose is to provide a boiler that allows to prevent waste of energy for heating the water inside it.

The Applicant has devised, tested and embodied the present invention to overcome the shortcomings of the state of the art and to obtain these and other purposes and advantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is set forth and characterized in the independent claims, while the dependent claims describe other characteristics of the invention or variants to the main inventive idea.

In accordance with the above purposes, a boiler to generate steam and/or to heat water comprises a container able to contain water, provided with a feed aperture to introduce water inside it, and a discharge aperture to remove water and possible limescale from the container.

According to some embodiments, the boiler also comprises a steam exit aperture, associated with emission devices to regulate the exit of the steam.

A discharge pipe can also be associated with the metal container, connected and disposed protruding toward the outside with respect to a lateral wall of the metal container in correspondence with the discharge aperture, to facilitate the exit of the water.

The discharge pipe is disposed in the lower half of the lateral wall of the metal container and, in a preferential but non-restrictive solution, it is at least slightly inclined downward, to facilitate the discharge operations of the water.

According to one aspect of the present invention, a collection cap is associated with the discharge pipe during use, configured to collect the limescale present in the water inside the metal container.

Thanks to this configuration, no flow of water or steam passes through the collection cap during functioning, when the collection cap is closed and the boiler is functioning. Moreover, thanks to the position and configuration of the discharge pipe, the collection cap is constantly wet by water, thus promoting the accumulation of limescale.

According to another aspect of the present invention, the collection cap is disposed, during use, protruding and completely outside with respect to the container and has inside it a cavity suitable to house and retain the limescale.

According to other embodiments, limescale retaining elements can be provided inside the cavity such as pads, metal meshes or suchlike.

The present invention also concerns a collection cap, associated, during use, with a metal container of a boiler, and provided with an internal cavity suitable to collect and retain limescale.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other characteristics of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of some embodiments, given as a non-restrictive example with reference to the attached drawings wherein:

- fig. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a boiler to generate steam in accordance with embodiments described here;

- fig. 2 is a partial view in section of fig. 1 in accordance with embodiments described here.

To facilitate comprehension, the same reference numbers have been used, where possible, to identify identical common elements in the drawings. It is understood that elements and characteristics of one embodiment can conveniently be incorporated into other embodiments without further clarifications.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SOME EMBODIMENTS

Embodiments described here with reference to figs. 1-2 concern a boiler 10 to generate steam and/or for heating water, usable in domestic appliances and professional machines such as, for example, ironing or cleaning apparatuses, coffee machines, steamers for cooking food, steam ovens and suchlike.

The boiler 10 comprises a metal container 12 able to contain the water to be transformed into steam, hermetically closed and provided with a feed aperture 14 to introduce the water inside it.

According to some embodiments, the container 12 can comprise a first shell 12a and a second shell 12b, coupled and hermetically sealed with each other along the respective peripheral edges, so as to resist the pressure generated inside the container 12.

The container 12 is also provided with a discharge aperture 22 to discharge the water and/or possible limescale present in the container 12. According to possible solutions, the discharge aperture 22 is disposed in cooperation with the bottom of the container 12, or in proximity to it, so as to facilitate the operations to discharge the water and to empty the container 12.

According to some embodiments, the container 12 can also be provided with a steam exit aperture connected to devices to emit and regulate the steam 16.

The boiler 10 also comprises a heating element 18 associated with the container 12, selectively activated to heat the water inside it. The heating element 18 can be an electric resistance or plate, positioned outside the container 12, in contact with the bottom or inside it, in direct contact with the water to be heated. According to some embodiments, the boiler 10 can also comprise one or more detection devices 20 configured to detect the temperature and/or pressure inside the container 12, disposed on an external surface 24 of the container 12.

According to one aspect of the present invention, a discharge pipe 26 is also provided, connected to the discharge aperture 22 and disposed protruding toward the outside with respect to a lateral wall 13 of the container 12.

The discharge pipe 26 is provided in the lower part, advantageously in the lower half, on the height of the lateral wall 13, and is advantageously inclined downward, with the container 12 located in a horizontal position, to promote the discharge of the water from the container 12.

According to some embodiments, the discharge pipe 26 is connected to the container 12 by screwing, providing a mating thread, suitable for reciprocal coupling, on the respective contact surfaces of the discharge aperture 22 and the discharge pipe 26.

According to variant embodiments, the discharge pipe 26 is connected to the container 12 by welding, so as to make the two parts solid with each other.

According to one aspect of the present invention, the boiler comprises a collection cap 30, associated during use with the discharge pipe 26 and configured to close the discharge pipe 26 and collect the limescale from the water present inside the container 12.

Thanks to the low position of the discharge pipe 26 on the lateral wall 13 of the container 12, and to its slightly downward inclined disposition, the collection cap 30 is constantly wet by the water inside the container 12, which promotes the accumulation inside it of limescale. According to some embodiments, the collection cap 30 and the discharge pipe 26 are provided with respective threaded portions 34, 28 to allow a reciprocal coupling that can be released by screwing.

According to another aspect of the present invention, the collection cap 30, during use, is disposed completely protruding and external with respect to the container 12, and inside it has a cavity 38, suitable to house and retain the limescale.

According to possible implementations, the cavity 38 is cylindrical in shape, or has a polygonal section, defined by one or more lateral walls 38a and a bottom wall 38b.

The cavity 38 extends continuously with the discharge aperture 22 and the discharge pipe 26, and can receive the liquid present in the container 12.

According to possible embodiments, the cavity 38 has an internal volume suitable to contain at least 5 ml of fluid.

According to other variant embodiments, the cavity 38 has an internal volume suitable to contain at least 7 ml of fluid.

According to possible embodiments, the cavity 38 has an internal volume suitable to contain at least 10 ml of fluid. In this way, the maintenance operations on the boiler 10, in particular those to remove the limescale, can be performed less frequently, while still guaranteeing that the boiler 10 functions efficiently.

According to some embodiments, the collection cap 30 comprises a collection body 32, in which the cavity 38 is made.

According to possible solutions, the collection body 32 comprises the threaded portion 34, mating with the threaded portion 28 provided on the external surface of the discharge pipe 26.

According to possible solutions, the collection body 32 can be made of metal material, or heat-resistant plastic material, that is, which does not tend to deform at the temperatures that can be reached by the container 12 or by the water and/or steam inside it.

According to some embodiments, the collection cap 30 also comprises a grip 36, solid with the collection body 32 and conformed to facilitate gripping by the user to screw/unscrew the collection cap 30 with respect to the discharge pipe 26. According to possible solutions, the grip 36 can have, on an external surface, protrusions and/or protuberances that function as friction elements and thus facilitate gripping by a user.

According to other embodiments, inside the cavity 38 there can be elements to retain the limescale 40, such as for example pads, metal meshes or suchlike, with the function of catalyzing and/or improving the accumulation of limescale inside the collection cap 30.

When the boiler 10 is functioning, especially when water is introduced into the container 12, the level of the water inside it fluctuates. Such fluctuations promote the deposit of limescale inside the cavity 38 of the collection cap 30.

According to some embodiments, the collection cap 30 can be removed simply and quickly by a user to discharge the water from the container 12, simply by unscrewing it from the discharge pipe 26. Its configuration also allows to display the level of limescale present therein, and to eliminate it easily, emptying the cavity 38.

According to other variant embodiments, the container 12 and/or the discharge pipe 26 can be conformed so that the collection cap 30 has a downward inclination.

In this way the deposit of the limescale inside the cavity 38 can be further promoted, thanks to the force of gravity.

According to some embodiments, between the discharge pipe 26 and the collection cap 30 a sealing element 42 is provided, configured to guarantee the hydraulic seal between them, preventing possible leakages of water to the outside.

It is clear that modifications and/or additions of parts may be made to the boiler 10 as described heretofore, without departing from the field and scope of the present invention.

It is also clear that, although the present invention has been described with reference to some specific examples, a person of skill in the art shall certainly be able to achieve many other equivalent forms of boiler 10, having the characteristics as set forth in the claims and hence all coming within the field of protection defined thereby.