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Title:
COOLING ELEMENT FOR COOLING TOWERS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2000/033011
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A cooling element (21) for cooling towers is disclosed. The cooling element consists of an outer rim (22). In the element, an inner rim (23) is concentrically positioned within the inside area of the outer rim. A plurality of connecting rings (24) are radially, vertically and regularly arranged between the outer rim and the inner rim. An upper rib (25) connects the inside surfaces of every pair of two adjacent connecting rings to each other at their top ends. A lower rib connects each pair of the connecting rings to an adjacent pair of the connecting rings at the bottom ends of their outside surfaces. And, a vertical rib (27) is formed on one ring of every pair of the connecting rings, and extends from the top end to the bottom end of the ring, thus connecting the upper rib to the lower rib (26). The cooling element of this invention is capable of improving heat dissipation efficiency of a cooling tower, doing away with blocking of conduits of the tower, making its installation easy, lengthening its life span, and being preferably recycled in a liquid waste treatment process.

Inventors:
Koo, Hee-man (83-3, Chungpa-dong 3-ga Yongsan-ku Seoul 140-133, KR)
Application Number:
PCT/KR1999/000467
Publication Date:
June 08, 2000
Filing Date:
August 19, 1999
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
Koo, Hee-man (83-3, Chungpa-dong 3-ga Yongsan-ku Seoul 140-133, KR)
International Classes:
F28F25/08; (IPC1-7): F28F25/08
Foreign References:
EP0038913A11981-11-04
EP0657210B11997-10-22
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Koo, Ja-duk (Koo Ja-Duk Patent & Law Firm Heung-Yong Building, 1st floor 648-26, Yoksam-dong Kangnam-ku Seoul 135-080, KR)
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Description:
COOLING ELEMENT FOR COOLING TOWERS Technical Field The present invention relates, in general, to cooling towers and, more particularly, to a cooling element for such cooling towers, capable of effectively dissipating heat from water, sprayed from a spray nozzle, to the atmosphere.

Background Art As well known to those skilled in the art, high story buildings are mostly equipped with central heating and cooling systems. Such a system selectively heats or cools the interior of the building by allowing a heating and cooling medium (hereinbelow, referred to simply as "coolant") to exchange heat with room air at indoor units while circulating through a pipe line.

Such a conventional heating and cooling system for buildings is typically provided with a cooling tower, which is installed outside a building and is exclusively used in a cooling operation of the system. That is, in a cooling operation of the system, the coolant, or warm water, returned from the indoor units is primarily cooled in the cooling tower. The primarily cooled water is, thereafter, introduced into a cooler wherein the water is finally cooled prior to being fed to the indoor units.

As shown in Fig. 1, a conventional cooling tower 10 has a cylindrical housing 1. A plurality of air inlets 2 are formed around the lower portion of the housing 1, while a reservoir 3 is defined in the bottom portion of the housing 1.

A coolant inlet conduit 4 is horizontally inserted into the interior of the housing 1 and vertically extends upwardly to the upper portion in the interior of the housing 1 along the central axis of the housing 1. On the other hand, a coolant outlet conduit 5 is connected to the reservoir 3.

A cross-shaped nozzle body 6, having a great number

of nozzles, is mounted at the upper end of the coolant inlet conduit 4 at its cross, with the nozzles densely and regularly distributed on the nozzle body 6. A cover bracket 7 is positioned above the nozzle body 6 so as to allow the sprayed coolant from the nozzle body 6 to fall downward.

To generate an air suction force within the housing 1 and thereby to forcibly suck atmospheric air into the housing 1, a motored fan 9 is mounted within the housing 1 at a position above the nozzle body 6. A rolled cooling plate 8, having regular embossments 8a on its surface, is interiorly and concentrically arranged in the middle portion of the housing 1 while surrounding the vertical portion of the coolant inlet conduit 4.

In a cooling operation of the above system, the warm coolant from the indoor units, is returned to the cooling tower 10 through the inlet conduit 4. In the cooling tower 10, the warm coolant is sprayed from the nozzle body 6 and is blocked by the cover bracket 7, thus being caused to fall down within the housing 1. When the coolant falls down from the cover bracket 7 within the housing 1, it comes into contact with the cooling plate 8 and, thereafter, flows downward along the surface of the plate 8. When the warm coolant flows down along the surface of the plate 8, the coolant dissipates heat to the air, thus being primarily cooled. On the other hand, the warm air, absorbing heat from the coolant, is discharged from the housing 1 into the atmosphere by the fan 8.

However, there are several problems in the conventional cooling tower 10 as follows.

Firstly, since a relatively thin rolled cooling plate 8 is arranged in the tower, the cooling plate 8 may be easily damaged or corroded due to repeated contact with coolant for a lengthy period of time. When the plate 8 is damaged or corroded as described above, it gives impurities, such as scales, to the coolant, thus undesirably blocking the holes of parts, such as the conduits, and forcing the owner of the cooling tower to change the existing cooling plate 8 with a new one at an

interval, for example, 4-5 years. When the holes of the parts are blocked by such impurities, the cooling tower exceedingly consumes electric power, thereby increasing the operational cost. Of course, the cooling tower in the above state only provides a low cooling efficiency or fails to perform its function.

Secondly, since the removed cooling plates 8 are typically burnt out, this causes a waste of resources and environmental pollution. That is, the burnt plates 8 produce dioxin and environmental hormones fatally harmful to the human body.

Thirdly, since the cooling plate 8 is relatively thin, that is, about 0.2 mm in thickness, the cooling plate may easily catch fire while being changed with a new one. In practice, such a removed cooling plate caught fire during a cooling plate changing operation in the Samil building of Korea in 1997, thus resulting in a roof fire.

Fourthly, since such a cooling plate 8 is mounted in the housing 1 by rolling a flat plate around the vertical portion of the inlet conduit 4 or by concentrically placing a plurality of cylinders having different diameters, it is hard for a layman to install the cooling plate within the housing of a cooling tower. Therefore, it is necessary for such a cooling plate 8 to be installed within the housing 1 by a highly skilled worker.

Disclosure of the Invention Accordingly, the present invention has been made keeping in mind the above problems occurring in the prior art, and an object of the present invention is to provide a cooling element for cooling towers, which is designed to improve heat dissipation efficiency of a cooling tower, to do away with blocking of conduits of the tower, to make its installation easy, to lengthen its life span, and to be preferably recycled in a liquid waste treatment process.

In order to accomplish the above object, an

embodiment of the present invention provides a cooling element for cooling towers, comprising; an outer rim, an inner rim concentrically positioned within the inside area of the outer rim, a plurality of connecting rings radially, vertically and regularly arranged between the outer rim and the inner rim, an upper rib connecting the inside surfaces of every pair of two adjacent connecting rings to each other at their top ends, a lower rib connecting each pair of the connecting rings to an adjacent pair of the connecting rings at bottom ends of their outside surfaces, and a vertical rib formed on one ring of the every pair of the connecting rings and extending from a top end to a bottom end of the ring, thus connecting the upper rib to the lower rib.

In another embodiment, the number of each of the upper rib, the lower rib, and the vertical rib of each pair of connecting rings is two or more.

Brief Description of the Drawings The above and other objects, features and other advantages of the present invention will be more clearly understood from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which: Fig. 1 is a perspective view, showing the interior construction of a conventional cooling tower; Fig. 2 is a circuit diagram, showing a conventional central heating and cooling system for buildings; Fig. 3 is a perspective view, showing the interior construction of a cooling tower provided with cooling elements according to this invention; Fig. 4 is a perspective view, showing a cooling element according to the first embodiment of this invention; Fig. 5 is a sectional view, showing the interior construction of the cooling tower provided with the cooling elements of this invention; Fig. 6 is a perspective view, showing a cooling element according to the second embodiment of this invention.

Best Mode for Carrying Out the Invention Fig. 2 is a circuit diagram, showing a central heating and cooling system for buildings. As shown in the drawing, the system comprises a cooler C and a boiler B, respectively having known operational cycles. A plurality of indoor units R are connected to both the cooler C and the boiler B through a pipe line. The units R individually have a motor M, a fan F, and a heat exchanging pipe P. In a heating or cooling operation of the above system, a heating and cooling medium, or a coolant, flows from the boiler B or cooler C, passes through the indoor units R, and returns to the boiler B or the cooler C.

As described above, such a heating and cooling system for buildings is typically provided with a cooling tower.

In a cooling operation of the system, the coolant, or warm water, returned from the indoor units is primarily cooled in the cooling tower 30. The primarily cooled water is, thereafter, introduced into a cooler C wherein the water is finally cooled prior to being fed to the indoor unit.

As shown in Figs. 3 and 5, a cooling tower 30 has a cylindrical housing 11. A plurality of air inlets 12 are formed around the lower portion of the housing 11. A support net 19 is horizontally positioned across the interior of the housing 11, at a position above the air inlets 12.

To temporarily store the primarily cooled coolant, a reservoir 13 is defined in the bottom portion of the housing 11. A coolant inlet conduit 14 is horizontally inserted into the interior of the housing 11 and vertically extends upwardly to the upper portion in the interior of the housing 11 along the central axis of the housing 11. On the other hand, a coolant outlet conduit 5 is connected to the reservoir 13.

A cross-shaped nozzle body 16, having a great number of nozzles, is mounted at the upper end of the coolant inlet conduit 14 at its cross, with the nozzles densely and regularly distributed on the nozzle body 16. A cover

bracket 17 is positioned above the nozzle body 16 so as to allow the sprayed coolant from the nozzle body 16 to fall downward.

A motored fan 19 is mounted within the housing 11 at a position above the nozzle body 16 in order to generate an air suction force within the housing 11 and thereby to forcibly suck atmospheric air into the housing 11.

And, a top net 18 is mounted on the top of the housing 11.

Pursuant to a feature of this invention, a plurality of cooling elements 21 are stacked within the housing 11, being supported on the support net 19.

In Fig. 4, a cooling element according to the first embodiment of this invention, is illustrated.

Each of the cooling elements 21 comprises an outer rim 22. An inner rim 23 is concentrically positioned within an inside area of the outer rim 22. A plurality of connecting rings 24 are radially, vertically and regularly arranged between the two rims 22 and 23.

An upper rib 25 connects the inside surfaces of every pair of two adjacent connecting rings 24 to each other at their top ends. On the other hand, a lower rib 25 connects each pair of the rings 24 to an adjacent pair of the rings 24 at the bottom ends of their outside surfaces.

A vertical rib 27 is formed on one ring of every pair of the connecting rings 24. That is, the vertical rib 27 extends from the top end to the bottom end of the ring, thus connecting the upper rib 25 to the lower rib 25 and accomplishing a desired structural strength of the integrated connecting rings 24.

In a brief description, the outer rim 22, the inner rim 23 and the connecting rings 24 are integrated into a single body. In addition, the connecting rings 24 are connected to each other into a single structure by a plurality of upper ribs 25, lower ribs 26 and vertical ribs 27. The above ribs 25,26 and 27 also reinforce the structure of the connecting rings 24, thus the rings 24 have a desired structural strength. As a result, each of the cooling elements 21 has an enlarged external surface

area and a reinforced structure even though it has a small size.

A cooling operation of the above system will be described in the following.

The warm coolant from the indoor units, is returned to the cooling tower 30 through the inlet conduit 14. In the cooling tower 30, the warm coolant, supplied to the tower 30 through the conduit 14, is sprayed from the nozzle body 16 and is blocked by the cover bracket 17, thus being caused to fall down to the reservoir 13 within the housing 11. When the coolant falls down from the cover bracket 17 within the housing 11, it comes into contact with the plurality of the cooling elements 21 and, thereafter, flows downward along the surfaces of the cooling elements 21. In such a case, since the exterior surface areas of the cooling elements are much larger than in the prior art cooling plate 8, the amount of water on the elements 21 is enlarged and the time interval for which the sprayed water reaches the reservoir 13 is preferably lengthened. When the warm coolant flows down along the surfaces of the elements 21, the coolant dissipates heat to the air, thus being primarily cooled.

On the other hand, the warm air, absorbing heat from the coolant, is discharged from the housing 11 into the atmosphere by the fan 19.

The primarily cooled water, stored in the reservoir 13, is fed into a cooler for a new cooling cycle.

Since the cooling elements 21 according to the first embodiment individually have an enlarged external surface area, a reinforced structure and a small size as described above, they have the following operational effect.

Basically, the cooling elements 21 may be manufactured easily in the production line of the factory.

The elements 21 are not damaged easily because their structural strength is reinforced by the ribs. Even when some of the elements 21 are damaged, there occurs no fatal drop in function of the elements 21, because a great number of elements 21 are stacked in the housing 11. And, the elements 21 are not easy to burn because

they are relatively thick, for example, they have 1 mm or more thickness.

It is easy to install the elements 21 in the cooling tower 30, since the installation of the elements 21 is accomplished by putting the elements 21 into the tower 30 with the support net 19 being positioned in the lower portion of the housing 11. Therefore, the installation of the cooling elements 21 is performed even by unskilled workers.

In addition, the cooling elements 21 may be preferably recycled in a liquid waste treatment process when they are removed from the cooling tower 30 after their life span is expired. That is, when the used-up elements 21 are dropped into a reservoir of liquid waste, such as a domestic or industrial waste water reservoir, they allow putrefactive microorganisms to stick and actively propagate on them.

As described above, the elements 21 are individually designed to have an enlarged external surface area, and so when they are dropped into a liquid waste reservoir, they allow a great amount of putrefactive microorganisms to easily stick and actively propagate on them and to actively decompose the liquid waste. Thus, the elements 21 finally improve the putrefactive effect of the microorganisms for the liquid waste.

The elements 21 have a strong structure, thus being usable for the cooling applications semi-permanently. The elements 21 are preferably recycled in a liquid waste treatment process even when they are removed from the cooling tower 30.

Fig. 6 shows a cooling element according to the second embodiment of this invention.

Each of the cooling elements 31 comprises an outer rim 32. An inner rim 33 is concentrically positioned within an inside area of the outer rim 32. A plurality of connecting rings 34 are radially, vertically and regularly arranged between the two rims 32 and 33.

Two parallel upper ribs 35 and 36 connect the inside surfaces of every pair of two adjacent connecting rings 34 to each other at their upper ends. On the other hand,

two parallel lower ribs 37 and 38 connect each pair of the rings 34 to an adjacent pair of the rings 34 at the lower ends of their outside surfaces.

Two vertical ribs 39 and 40 are formed on one ring of every pair of the connecting rings 34. That is, the two vertical ribs 39 and 40 parallelly extend from the upper end portion to the lower end portion of said ring, thus respectively connecting the two upper ribs 37 and 38 to the two lower ribs 39 and 40 and accomplishing a desired structural strength of the integrated connecting rings 34.

Different from the elements 21 of the first embodiment, each pair of connecting rings 34 of the cooling elements 31 according to this second embodiment has two upper ribs 36, two lower ribs 38, and two vertical ribs 40. Each of the elements 31 of the second embodiment thus has a further reinforced structural strength and a further enlarged external surface area in comparison with the elements 21 of the first embodiment.

As the external surface areas of the elements 31 are further extended as described above, it is possible for the elements 31 to accommodate an enlarged amount of water thereon, and so the heat dissipation effect of the elements 31 is further improved.

In addition, the elements 31 allow a greater amount of putrefactive microorganisms to easily stick and actively propagate on them due to the enlargement of the external surface areas.

Industrial Applicability As described above, the cooling element for cooling towers of this invention is capable of improving heat dissipation efficiency of a cooling tower, doing away with blocking of conduits of the tower, making its installation easy, lengthening its life span, and being preferably recycled in a liquid waste treatment process.

Although the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been disclosed for illustrative purposes, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various modifications, additions and substitutions are possible, without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention as disclosed in the accompanying claims.