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Title:
METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR RAPIDLY COOLING LIQUIDS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/132510
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A temperature-regulating apparatus which can rapidly chill a beverage by exposing it to a large surface area of the device interior which has a cooling gel embedded within its walls. The user pours their liquid into the device and monitors the projected temperature dropping until they reach an optimal temperature. Once optimal temperature is reached, the users will pour the liquid out of the device to end the cooling processes. Thus a superior liquid cooling solution is provided that can rapidly chill a beverage to an optimal temperature.

Inventors:
SIMONE, Alexander (32 Burlwood Dr, San Francisco, CA, 94127, US)
Application Number:
US2018/013218
Publication Date:
July 19, 2018
Filing Date:
January 10, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PRONTO CONCEPTS INC. (32 Burlwood Dr, San Francisco, CA, 94127, US)
International Classes:
F28D20/02; F25D3/06; F25D31/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2015179937A12015-12-03
Foreign References:
US3603106A1971-09-07
US4183226A1980-01-15
US20070144703A12007-06-28
US6571564B22003-06-03
US20160242598A12016-08-25
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SHEVLIN, Michael, R. (9330 Fletcher Drive, La Mesa, CA, 91941, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A temperature-regulating apparatus which can rapidly cool a beverage to a desired temperature T, comprising:

one or more inner portions having an outer shell and a cavity, the outer shell being formed from a conductive material configured to facilitate a heat transfer process; and

a temperature-regulating gel positioned within the cavity covering at least 50% of a cross sectional surface area, the temperature-regulating gel being configured to absorb heat from the beverage through the conductive material of the outer shell to rapidly cool the beverage within the inner portions to the desired temperature T in less than 5 minutes.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a thermometer system configured to continuously monitor a temperature of the beverage and continuously display the temperature as it cools.

3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the thermometer system is further configured to estimate a future temperature of the beverage based on a rate of change of the temperature of the beverage and estimate time required to pour the beverage from the temperature-regulating apparatus.

4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the thermometer system is further configured to provide an indication when to pour the beverage from the temperature-regulating device in order to have liquid poured at the desired temperature T.

5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein the indication can be in the form of a temperature reading on the display, a light displaying on the temperature-regulating device and/or the thermometer display, a color change of the thermometer display, or the like.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the temperature-regulating gel is selected from the group consisting of water, phase change material (PCMs), sodium chloride, propylene glycol, and the like.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a fill hole configured to allow the beverage to be poured into the apparatus and a spout configured to allow the beverage to be poured out of the apparatus.

8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the fill hole and the spout are the same.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising an exterior formed from a non-conductive material.

10. The apparatus of claim 9, further comprising a handle coupled to the exterior.

1 1. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the thermometer system includes a thermometer probe and a thermometer display.

12. A temperature-regulating apparatus which can rapidly cool a beverage to a desired temperature T, comprising:

an exterior formed from a non-conductive material;

an interior having one or more inner portions including an outer shell and a cavity, the outer shell being formed from a conductive material configured to facilitate a heat transfer process;

a fill hole configured to allow the beverage to be poured into the apparatus;

a spout configured to allow the beverage to be poured out of the apparatus;

a temperature-regulating gel positioned within the cavity covering at least 50% of a cross sectional surface area, the temperature-regulating gel being configured to rapidly cool the beverage within the inner portions to the desired temperature T in less than 5 minutes by absorbing heat from the beverage through the conductive material of the outer shell.

13. The apparatus of claim 12, further comprising a thermometer system configured to continuously monitor a temperature of the beverage and continuously display the temperature as it cools.

14. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the thermometer system is further configured to estimate a future temperature of the beverage and provide an indication to the user of when to pour the beverage from the temperature-regulating device in order to have liquid poured at the desired temperature T.

15. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the indication can be in the form of a temperature reading on the display, a light displaying on the temperature-regulating device and/or the thermometer display, a color change of the thermometer display, or the like

16. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the indication when to pour at the desired temperature T includes an estimate of a future temperature of the beverage based on a rate of change of the temperature of the beverage and the estimated time required to remove the liquid from the temperature-regulating apparatus.

17. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the temperature-regulating gel is selected from the group consisting of water, phase change material (PCMs), sodium chloride, propylene glycol, and the like.

18. A method of using a temperature-regulating apparatus to rapidly cool a beverage to a desired temperature T, comprising:

removing the temperature-regulating apparatus from a cold environment;

introducing a beverage into the temperature-regulating apparatus having:

one or more inner portions having an outer shell and a cavity, the outer shell being formed from a conductive material configured to facilitate a heat transfer process; and

a temperature-regulating gel positioned within the cavity covering at least 50% of a cross sectional surface area, the temperature-regulating gel being configured to absorb heat from the beverage through the conductive material;

cooling the beverage within the temperature-regulating apparatus to the desired temperature T in less than 5 minutes with the temperature-regulating gel; and

pouring the beverage from the temperature-regulating apparatus.

19. The method of claim 18, further comprising monitoring a temperature display until the beverage temperature reaches the desired temperature T and providing an indication when to pour the beverage from the temperature-regulating device in order to have liquid poured at the desired temperature T.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein monitoring a temperature display includes estimating a future temperature of the beverage at the time the beverage is removed from the temperature- regulating device.

Description:
METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR RAPIDLY COOLING LIQUIDS

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/444,707, filed January 10, 2017, which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

[0002] While consumers enjoy drinking certain beverages at cold temperatures, it is often challenging and time consuming to chill a beverage to a preferred temperature. Mixing ice with a beverage dilutes it. Existing rapid cooling devices on the market either take too much time, are complex to use, do not chill more than one serving at a time or are associated with other disadvantages.

SUMMARY

[0003] In one aspect, methods and apparatuses are provided to rapidly cooling a beverage to a desired temperature. In some variations, a temperature-regulating apparatus is described that can be configured to rapidly cooling a beverage. The temperature-regulating apparatus can include one or more inner portions. The one or more inner portions can include an outer shell and a cavity. The cavity can be filled with a temperature regulating gel. When liquid is introduced into a chilled temperature-regulating apparatus, heat can be transferred from the liquid into the temperature-regulating gel.

[0004] In one aspect, a user can store the temperature-regulating apparatus in a cool environment. The cool environment can cause the cooling gel to cool. In some applications the cooling gel may become frozen. When the user of the temperature-regulating apparatus pours liquid into the apparatus, the liquid will come into contact with the shell of the inner portions.

The cooling gel can be configured to absorb heat from the liquid through the shell of the inner portions, thereby reducing the temperature of the liquid and rapidly cooling the liquid to a desired temperature. In some aspects, the temperature-regulating apparatus can include a thermometer configured to detect the temperature of the liquid poured into the apparatus. A display can be provided that is in electronic communication with the thermometer and configured to display the temperature of the liquid poured inside. The thermometer can be configured to continuously monitor the temperature of the liquid so that the display continuously displays the temperature of the liquid as it changes so that the user knows when to pour the liquid out of the device. In some variations, the user may use the temperature-regulating apparatus as a serving vessel. Such use cases can include liquor or other beverages that are best served as cold as possible.

[0005] In some variations, the thermometer can be calibrated to compensate for additional temperature drop that may occur during the time period that the liquid is poured out of the temperature-regulating apparatus. A user may desire the liquid to be at, for example, temperature T. If the user is notified that the liquid is at temperature T when the liquid reaches temperature T, the temperature of the liquid, once poured from the temperature-regulating device, will be less than temperature T. The thermometer system can be configured to estimate a future temperature of the liquid at the time the liquid is removed from the temperature- regulating device. The estimation of the future temperature can be based on a rate of change of the temperature of the liquid, an estimated time required to remove the liquid from the temperature-regulating device, and/or the like. The thermometer display can provide an indication to the user of when to pour the liquid from the temperature-regulating device in order to have liquid at the desired temperature. The indication can be in the form of a temperature reading on the display, a light displaying on the temperature-regulating device and/or the thermometer display, a color change of the thermometer display, or the like.

[0006] In some variations, the thermometer display can be calibrated to turn itself on and off based on the speed at which the temperature is increasing or decreasing. It is possible that the thermometer display will turn on once the temperature decreases at a certain rate indicating that the device is in use and then turns itself back off once the device registers a certain temperature indicating that the device is no longer in use. When in use, the thermometer will be at the same temperature as the temperature regulating apparatus. Consequently, when liquid is first poured into the temperature regulating apparatus and the thermometer is turned on, it will register the temperature of the temperature regulating apparatus and not the liquid being temperature-regulated. The thermometer display can be configured to display the temperature in response to the thermometer temperature equalizing with the temperature of the liquid being temperature-regulated.

[0007] In some variations the temperature-regulating apparatus can include an aerator filter adjacent a fill hole 2 of the apparatus. In use, liquid can pass through the aerator filter while flowing in and out of the apparatus. The aerator filter can be adapted to diffuse the liquid as it passes through it thereby mixing the liquid with air. This can impart oxygen from the air into the liquid. This aeration process may be desired for preparation of certain beverages.

[0008] The temperature-regulating apparatus can include a sediment filter. The sediment filter can be configured to collect unwanted sediment that may be present in certain beverages as the liquid flows in and out of the apparatus.

[0009] The temperature-regulating apparatus can include a fill hole 2. The fill hole 2 can be configured to allow liquid to be easily poured into the apparatus.

[0010] The temperature-regulating apparatus can include a spout 1. The spout 1 can be configured to allow liquid to be easily poured out of the apparatus. In some variations, the fill hole 2 and the spout 1 can be the same device.

[0011] The temperature-regulating apparatus can include a handle 4. The handle 4 can be configured to allow the apparatus to be easily handled. The handle 4 can serve as a means to assist the process of pouring liquid either back into the vessel the liquid originated in or into a new vessel.

[0012] Some non-limiting advantages of the presently described apparatus can include a simplified solution for quickly chilling a beverage. Some beverages are enjoyed more appropriately at specific temperatures. The presently described apparatus can facilitate chilling beverages to a desired temperature with the aid of the thermometer display 5.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] FIG. 1 is a side view of an example of a temperature-regulating apparatus to rapidly cool a liquid having one or more features consistent with the present description;

[0014] FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional perspective view of the temperature-regulating apparatus shown in FIG. 1;

[0015] FIGs. 3A-3E show top down views of potential geometrical layouts of one or more internal portions of a temperature-regulating apparatus having one or more features consistent with the present description; [0016] FIGs. 4A-4E show top down views of potential geometrical layouts of one or more internal portions of a temperature-regulating apparatus having one or more features consistent with the present description;

[0017] FIGs. 5A-5C illustrate an exemplary use of a temperature-regulating apparatus having one or more features consistent with the present description;

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0018] FIG. 1 is a front view of an example of a temperature-regulating apparatus 100 designed to rapidly cool a liquid having one or more features consistent with the present description. FIG. 1 shows hidden parts of the inner portions of the temperature-regulating apparatus as dashed lines and excludes hidden portions of the inner portions.

[0019] In some variations, the temperature-regulating apparatus 100 can include a spout 1 and fill hole 2 in communication with an interior 3 surrounded by a temperature- regulating material, and an exterior 6. When liquid is poured through the fill hole 2 into the interior 3, the temperature-regulating material is configured to absorb the heat in the liquid through the interior walls and rapidly cool the liquid to a desired temperature T. The rapidly cooled liquid can then be poured out of the apparatus using the spout 1. The desired temperature T may be different for different liquids.

[0020] In some variations, the spout 1 can be removable. The spout 1 can be configured to fit into the neck of a bottle, for example, a wine bottle, to aid the pouring process. In some variations, the elements can be adhered, pressfit, overmolded, included as part of a single injection mold, or the like.

[0021] The temperature-regulating material may be a phase change material (PCM) that is designed to rabidly absorb heat from a liquid. The temperature-regulating material may be a cooling gel that consists of one or more of water, phase change material (PCMs), sodium chloride, propylene glycol, or the like.

[0022] In some variations, the temperature regulating apparatus 100 can hold up to 1 gallon of liquid and includes a stainless-steel interior 3 and a plastic exterior 6. The spacing of the interior side walls are less than 10cm and at least 50% of the cross-sectional surface area is in contact with the temperature-regulating gel to rapidly cool the liquid from 75°F to 60°F in less than 5 minutes. In some variations, the temperature regulating apparatus 100 can rapidly cool a liquid 20°F in just 30 seconds

[0023] The temperature-regulating apparatus 100 can be formed from one or more of metal, plastic, a polymer, or the like. The exterior 6 and interior 3 of the temperature-regulating apparatus can be formed of different materials. The interior 3 can be formed from a conductive material configured to facilitate the heat transfer process. Such conductive materials can include metal, plastic, or the like. The exterior 6 can be formed from a non-conductive material configured to protect the user's hand from the cold. Such non-conductive material can include, for example, plastic, silicon, ceramic, wood, or the like. In some variations, the temperature- regulating apparatus can include a handle 4. The handle 4 can be made of a non-conductive material. In some variations, the handle 4 and the exterior 6 can be contiguous. In some variations, the handle 4 and the exterior 6 can be formed separately. The handle 4 can be configured to detach from the temperature-regulating device. The handle can be stored separately to avoid becoming cold when stored in the cool environment.

[0024] The temperature-regulating apparatus can include a thermometer display 5. The thermometer display 5 can be configured to display the temperature of liquid poured into the temperature-regulating apparatus 100. A switch can be provided on the bottom of the temperature-regulating apparatus 100 that can switch the thermometer units between Fahrenheit and Celsius. A battery compartment, for storing batteries, can be disposed in the bottom of the temperature-regulating apparatus 100 allowing for a replaceable battery to provide power to the thermometer.

[0025] In some variations, the thermometer system, including a thermometer probe, a thermometer display, and/or other parts, can be removable from the temperature-regulating device. The thermometer system can be configured to be removable as a combined system, or individual elements can be removed separately. The thermometer systems, or elements thereof, can be configured to be retained in the temperature-regulating device by friction, magnets, clips, or the like. In some variations, for example, the thermometer display may be removable and the thermometer probe may be fixed in the temperature- regulating device.

[0026] The temperature-regulating apparatus 100 can take the form of any shape and the figures are not intended to be limiting. FIG. 2, FIGs. 3A-3E, and FIGs. 4A-4E show temperature-regulating gel, or the inner portions holding the temperature-regulating gel, as being shaded portions.

[0027] FIGs. 3 A-3E and FIGs. 4A-4E show top down views of potential geometrical layouts of one or more internal portions of a temperature-regulating apparatus having one or more features consistent with the present description. The shaded portions represent temperature-regulating gel and the non-shaded portions represent where the liquid could be poured into the device by the user.

[0028] In some embodiments, the interior walls 3 can be placed in parallel. The walls can be connected with additional walls on the sides and bottom. The walls can be surrounded by a coolant such as water, phase-change material, or the like. The ideal distance between the two walls can be between .25 "-2", but the proximity of the walls can be calibrated or adjusted within this range so that 75F liquid poured into the container between them can lower to 60F in 5 minutes or less. The purpose is for the liquid to be quickly cooled (75F to 60F in less than 5 minutes) and then poured out of the container to stop the cooling process.

[0029] FIGs. 3 A-3E shows wells for the liquid to be poured into the apparatus.

[0030] FIGs. 4A-4E show walls and columns placed into the apparatus for liquid to be poured around.

[0031] Walls and columns in FIG. 4A-4E can be configured to be removable from the temperature regulating apparatus or fixed within the temperature-regulating apparatus

[0032] FIG. 3A illustrates exterior walls containing cooling gel of the temperature- regulating apparatus. The cooling gel can consist of one or more of water, phase change material (PCMs), sodium chloride, propylene glycol, or the like.

[0033] FIG. 3B illustrates wells with a rectangular shape configured in parallel to each other with dividing and exterior walls containing cooling gel. The wells could span the internal width of the temperature-regulating apparatus or a portion of the width of the temperature- regulating apparatus.

[0034] FIG. 3C illustrates wells with a circular shape aligned in a hexagonal tiling with dividing and exterior walls containing cooling gel. [0035] FIG. 3D illustrates wells with a rectangular shape aligned in a rectangular array with dividing and exterior walls containing cooling gel.

[0036] FIG. 3E illustrates wells with a hexagonal shape aligned in a hexagonal tiling with dividing and exterior walls containing cooling gel.

[0037] FIG. 4A illustrates one interior wall containing cooling gel.

[0038] FIG. 4B illustrates walls with a rectangular shape containing cooling gel configured in parallel to each other. The walls could span the internal width of the temperature- regulating apparatus or a portion of the width of the temperature-regulating apparatus.

[0039] FIG. 4C illustrates columns with a circular shape aligned in a hexagonal tiling containing cooling gel within the columns.

[0040] FIG. 4D illustrates columns with a rectangular shape aligned in a rectangular array containing cooling gel within the columns.

[0041] FIG. 4E illustrates columns with a hexagonal shape aligned in a hexagonal tiling containing cooling gel within the columns.

[0042] The layout in FIG. 3 A is represented in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2. Any of these layouts can be acceptable options for constructing the temperature-regulating apparatus 100. These figures only show a geometric concept layout and can be constructed with varying dimensions and quantities of wells, walls, and/or columns. Although these concepts are shown in rectangular containers, the exterior shape of the device can be any shape that tightly fits around the walls within. Although these concepts are shown configured in specific arrays, the wells may be configured in any variety that can fit within the interior walls of the surrounding shape.

[0043] The temperature-regulating apparatus 100 can have any size, in some exemplary embodiments the exterior 6 can have a width in the range of 5cm to 45cm, a length in the range of 5cm to 45cm and a height in the range of 10cm to 45cm. The interior 3 of the temperature-regulating apparatus 100 can have a width in the range of 1 cm to 20cm, a length in the range of 1 cm to 20cm and a height in the range of 5cm to 45cm. These dimensions are exemplary only and are not intended to be limiting. In one example, the temperature-regulating apparatus 100 can be proportioned such that the contents of a bottle of wine, a soda bottle, or the like, can be cooled within it. [0044] Presently described is a method for using a temperature-regulating apparatus, such as temperature-regulating apparatus 100. In some variations, a user shall store the temperature-regulating apparatus in a cold environment, for example, a freezer, refrigerator, cellar, or the like. A user may remove the temperature-regulating apparatus from the cold environment to introduce liquid into temperature-regulating apparatus, the user can pour a liquid through the fill hole 2. With the liquid inside the temperature-regulating apparatus, the contained walls or columns, filled with cooling gel can absorb heat in the liquid to reduce the liquid to a desired temperature. A user can monitor the thermometer display 5 until the display reads the desired temperature. The user can then hold the temperature-regulating apparatus by the handle 4, and pour the liquid through the spout 1 into the original vessel or into a new vessel. If there is no handle 4, the user can hold the temperature-regulating apparatus by the exterior 6. The liquid poured from the temperature-regulating apparatus can therefore have a desired temperature or close to the desired temperature.