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Title:
OVEN WITH SPLIT AIR RECIRCULATION VENTS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/171678
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The oven of the present disclosure includes a cooking chamber within an enclosure. The cooking chamber has a support for holding a food product, a first heating element on a top side of the support, and a second heating element on a bottom of the support. A blower moves air from an intake chamber, over the first heating element, and through a perforated plate, where it contacts and heats the food product on the support. Air is returned from the cooking chamber to the intake chamber through a plurality of separate and distinct vents in a rear wall of the cooking chamber. The first heating element, the second element, and the blower can each be controlled independently of one another. The disclosure also provides a method of operating the oven.

Inventors:
NEVERAZ, Roberto (15915 Adobe Drive, Hudson, FL, 34667, US)
WANG, Quan (2400 South 44th Street, Hangzhou Zhejiang, 2, 310052, CN)
XU, Lijun (2400 South 44th Street, Hangzhou Zhejiang, 2, 310052, CN)
Application Number:
US2015/026997
Publication Date:
October 27, 2016
Filing Date:
April 22, 2015
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MANITOWOC FOODSERVICE COMPANIES, LLC (2400 South 44th Street, Manitowoc, WI, 54220, US)
International Classes:
F24C15/32; A21B1/24; A21B1/26
Foreign References:
GB2466160B2011-09-14
US3403615A1968-10-01
US3626922A1971-12-14
GB2481553B2012-02-15
US8847133B22014-09-30
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GREELEY, Paul, D. (Ohlandt, Greeley Ruggiero & Perle, LLP,One Landmark Square, 10th Floo, Stamford CT, 06901, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

1. An oven, comprising:

an exterior enclosure;

a cooking chamber within said enclosure, wherein said cooking chamber has a top surface, a bottom surface, and a rear surface, wherein said top surface is a plate with a plurality of orifices thereon;

a support within said cooking chamber for holding a food product;

a first heating element above said support;

a second heating element below said support;

a plenum in fluid communication with said cooking chamber;

an air intake chamber; and

a blower comprising a motor, said blower in fluid communication with said plenum, said cooking chamber, and said air intake chamber, wherein said blower draws air from said air intake chamber, forces said air through said plenum, over said top heating element, and through said orifices, toward said support,

wherein said rear surface of said cooking chamber has a plurality of separate and distinct vents therein, so that said cooking chamber is in direct fluid communication with said air intake chamber, and said air passes back though each of said vents into said air intake chamber.

2. The oven of claim 1, wherein each of said vents have a shape selected from the group consisting of square, rectangular, circular, semi-circular, oval, elliptical, or trapezoidal.

3. The oven of claim 1, wherein each of said vents are trapezoidally shaped.

4. The oven of claim 1, wherein said second heating element is within said cooking chamber, adjacent to said bottom surface, and said blower is on an opposite side of said bottom surface, outside of said cooking chamber.

5. The oven of claim 1, further comprising a controller, wherein said controller has an algorithm resident thereon, wherein said algorithm controls said operation of said first heating element, said second heating element, and said blower independently of one another.

6. The oven of claim 6, further comprising a user interface on an exterior surface of said oven, wherein a user can access said algorithm through said user interface.

7. The oven of claim 1, wherein each of said first heating element and said second heating element are selected from the group consisting of electric heating elements, gas combustion heaters, ceramic tile infrared heaters, wire mesh infrared heaters, and induction heaters.

8. The oven of claim 1, wherein each of said first heating element and said second heating element are electric heating elements.

9. The oven of claim 1, further comprising a cooling circuit, the cooling circuit comprising: an intake vent on a front door of said oven,

a fan;

a deflector; and

a cooling chamber between a top wall of said enclosure and said top surface of said cooking chamber,

wherein said fan draws ambient air through said intake vent and passes it over said motor of said blower,

wherein said deflector guides said ambient air up to said cooling chamber, and wherein said cooling circuit is isolated from said cooking chamber.

10. The oven of claim 9, wherein said deflector at least partially surrounds said cooking chamber.

11. The oven of claim 9, wherein said deflector is C-shaped.

12. A method of operating an oven, the oven comprising:

a cooking chamber, wherein said cooking chamber has a top surface, a bottom surface, and a rear surface, wherein said top surface is a plate with a plurality of orifices thereon;

a support within said cooking chamber for holding a food product;

a first heating element above said support;

a second heating element below said support;

an air intake chamber; and

a blower comprising a motor, wherein said blower draws air from said air intake chamber, forces said air over said top heating element, and through said orifices, toward said support,

the method comprising the step of:

controlling parameters relating to said first heating element, said second heating element, and said blower independently of one another.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein said parameters are selected from the group consisting of a power output of said first heating element, a power output of said second heating element, a time of operation of said first heating element, a time of operation of said second heating element, a speed of said blower motor, and a time of operation of said blower motor.

14. The method of claim 12, wherein said rear surface of said cooking chamber has a plurality of separate and distinct vents therein, so that said cooking chamber is in direct fluid

communication with said air intake chamber, and said air passes back though each of said vents into said air intake chamber.

Description:
OVEN WITH SPLIT AIR RECIRCULATION VENTS

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

1. Field of the Disclosure

The present disclosure relates to batch cooking ovens. More particularly, the present disclosure relates to batch cooking ovens that have both convection and infrared cooking capability, and further include improved air circulation for improved cooking uniformity.

2. Description of the Related Art

Currently available impingement air ovens use a motor to drive air at high speeds over heating elements, where it is then directed onto a food product for cooking. Current systems suffer from uneven airflow problems. This leads to uneven heating profiles within the oven, and thus unevenly cooked food product. Some ovens also use infrared heating devices to add additional heating, but the heating capacity of infrared heaters is often not high enough to accommodate for other heating deficiencies.

The present disclosure addresses these deficiencies.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

The present disclose provides an oven that has both air impingement and infrared heating capability. The oven has a dual-or split-vent recirculation feature that provides more efficient and even heating profiles within the cooking chamber. Heated air passes through a jet plate, where it contacts the food and cooks it. After passing over the food product, the heated air is drawn back through the dual vents. This helps to ensure that there is an even air flow and heating profile within the cooking chamber.

In addition, the impingement and infrared heating devices can be controlled

independently, to provide the ability to cook a variety of food products. The power and/or duration of cooking of each of the heating devices can be adjusted. This feature enables, as one example, the appropriate heating or browning of the underside of a food product, which can be difficult in current devices.

Thus, in one embodiment, the present disclosure provides an oven, comprising an exterior enclosure, a cooking chamber within the enclosure, wherein the cooking chamber has a top surface, a bottom surface, and a rear surface, wherein the top surface is a plate with a plurality of orifices thereon, and a support within the cooking chamber for holding a food product. The oven further comprises a first heating element above the support, a second heating element below the support a plenum in fluid communication with the cooking chamber, an air intake chamber, and a blower comprising a motor. The blower is in fluid communication with the plenum, the cooking chamber, and the air intake chamber. The blower draws air from the air intake chamber, forces the air through the plenum, over the top heating element, and through the orifices, toward the support. The rear surface of the cooking chamber has a plurality of separate and distinct vents therein, so that the cooking chamber is in direct fluid communication with the air intake chamber, and the air passes back though each of the vents into the air intake chamber.

The oven may also have a controller, wherein the controller has an algorithm resident thereon. The algorithm controls the operation of the first heating element, the second heating element, and the blower independently of one another. The oven may also include a cooling circuit, the cooling circuit comprising an intake vent on a front door of the oven, a fan, a deflector plate, and a cooling chamber between a top wall of the enclosure and the top surface of the cooking chamber. The fan draws ambient air through the intake vent and passes it over the motor of the blower. The deflector guides the ambient air up to the cooling chamber, and the cooling circuit is isolated from the cooking chamber.

In another embodiment, the present disclosure provides a method of operating an oven. The oven comprises a cooking chamber, wherein the cooking chamber has a top surface, a bottom surface, and a rear surface, wherein the top surface is a plate with a plurality of orifices thereon. The oven also includes a support within the cooking chamber for holding a food product, a first heating element above the support, a second heating element below the support, an air intake chamber, and a blower comprising a motor. The blower draws air from the air intake chamber, forces the air over the top heating element, and through the orifices, toward the support. The method comprises the step of controlling parameters relating to the first heating element, the second heating element, and the blower independently of one another. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Fig. 1 is a front right perspective view of the oven of the present disclosure; Fig. 2 is a right side, sectional view of the oven of Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 is a second right side, sectional view of the oven of Fig. 1; Fig. 4 is a top sectional view of the oven of Fig. 1; Fig. 5 is a rear sectional view of the oven of Fig. 1;

Fig. 6 is a right side, transparent view of the oven of Fig. 1; Fig. 7 is a top, transparent view of the oven of Fig. 1; Fig. 8 is a rear view of the oven of Fig. 1; and

Fig. 9 is a top, right, sectional view of the oven of Fig. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DISCLOSURE

Referring to the Figures, oven 10 of the present disclosure is shown. Oven 10 comprises an exterior housing or enclosure 15, and an interior chamber 20 within said enclosure 15, where a food product is heated and cooked. Cooking chamber 20 further has a bottom surface 30, a front side 35, a left surface 40, a right surface (not shown), a top side 45 and a rear side 50. A perforated jet plate 46 is on the top side 45 of the cooking chamber 20. In the manner described in detail below, heated air is directed through perforated jet plate 46. Heating elements 22 provide a source of heat from the underside of the food product. In addition, rear surface 50 has two separate and distinct intake vents 51. Heated air that is passed over the food product is drawn back through vents 51.

Oven 10 thus provides several advantages not available in current devices. As discussed in greater detail below, the heating elements above and below the food product can be controlled independently, to allow for customized cooking time of food products. Intake vents 51 provide improved circulation of the heated air within chamber 20. The heated air that is passed through perforated jet plate 46 and over the food product within chamber 20 is drawn back through vents 51 by a suction effect. The splitting of the air flow through two separate vents 51 helps to ensure that there will be fewer if any areas in chamber 20 that are not heated. This helps to provide more even and efficient cooking. In current devices, there is only one vent at one area or location of the cooking chamber. If the heated air only has one area to vent, there may be dead zones within the cooking chamber where the heated air does not travel. Vents 51 can be perforated as shown in the Figures. Referring specifically to Figs. 3-5, oven 10 also includes a motor 31, a blower 32, a blower housing 33, a tapered plenum 34, an air intake space 36, and an impingement space 47. Motor 31 is below cooking chamber 20, within motor chamber 31a. Chamber 31a is isolated from the heated air passing through plenum 34, and separated from tapered plenum 34 and impingement space 47 by a divider or standing panel 38. Motor shaft 37 extends to blower housing 33 through a hole on standing panel 38. Blower 32 is connected to motor shaft 37 and rotates inside blower housing 33. While blower 32 is rotating, it sucks air from air intake space 36, and delivers high pressure air to plenum 34. This high-pressure and high-speed air then travels from plenum 34 upward, and turns into impingement space 47. The joint or junction between plenum taper 34 and impingement space 47 can be designed to facilitate easy travel for the high-pressure air, and to minimize pressure loss in the turning. For example, as shown in Fig. 3, this junction can be a rounded shape or corner.

In impingement space 47, air flows across a plurality of top heating elements 48 and gets heated up. High velocity air is then distributed evenly to the cooking chamber 20, from impingement space 47, and through orifices 46a of jet plate 46. When oven 10 is in operation, minimum heat is transferred to motor 31, so that the body and wiring of motor 31 can stay relatively cool. Again, motor chamber 31a can be at least partially sealed off from cooking chamber 20 and plenum 34, to minimize heat transfer into motor chamber 31a and motor 31.

As noted above, rear surface 50 also has two separate and distinct intake vents 51 therein. As used in the present disclosure, the term "separate and distinct" with respect to vents 51 means that they are not connected to one another, and have a solid plate or other material that separates them (see Fig. 9). This "separate and distinct" arrangement ensures that the heated air passing through jet plate 46 and over the food product within chamber 20 will be split when the heated air is drawn back through vents 51. This arrangement of vents 51 further helps to make sure that the heated impingement air is evenly distributed in the cooking chamber 20, and the food product is thus evenly cooked. Heated air is drawn back to air intake space 36 through vents 51 with minimum interference to the impingement air within chamber 20. The air drawn back to air intake space 36 then flows to an inlet of blower housing 33, and is recirculated as described above. In this manner, hot air is circulated continuously within oven 10.

In the shown embodiments, vents 51 are trapezoidally shaped, with a larger side on the bottom of chamber 20, and a shorter side at the top. This shape can be advantageous with a funnel-shaped plenum, as shown in Fig. 5. However, the present disclosure contemplates other shapes for vents 51, such as square, rectangular, circular, semi-circular, oval, elliptical, or others. In addition, where the Figures show two vents 51, the present disclosure contemplates two or more vents 51. For example, in one embodiment, there could be four separate vents 51, one each in the top and bottom corners of back surface 50.

As discussed above, in the bottom portion of cooking chamber 20, there are one or more bottom heating elements 22. A food product can be heated and cooked on an

appropriate support apparatus 21 (e.g., a plate). The top surface of the food product is heated and/or cooked by the heated impingement air coming through jet plate 46. The bottom surface of the food product is heated partially by air that comes from jet plate 46 and is reflected by the bottom surface 30 of chamber 20. It is also partially heated by the infrared heat radiated by bottom heating elements 22. In this way, the food product can be cooked at very quick speeds. Chamber 20 can also have one or more exhaust vents 23 therein, to exhaust heat, liquid, or grease vapor to the ambient environment.

In the shown embodiment, each of heating elements 22 and 48 are electric heating elements that provide infrared heating radiation within cooking chamber 20 and impingement space 47. Electric heaters are well suited for oven 10, because they are not adversely affected by the high speed air passing through cooking chamber 20 and impingement space 47.

However, the present disclosure contemplates that other types of heaters may be used, for example gas combustion heaters, ceramic tile infrared heaters, wire mesh infrared heaters, induction heaters, or others.

Bottom heating elements 22 and/or top heating elements 48 can be adjusted with a controller 90, that a user can access through an interface 95. User interface 95 is on an exterior surface of oven 10, and in the shown embodiment is on a front door or surface. Controller 90 is in communication with heating elements 22 and 48, and can adjust the output of each according to the heat load needed by food product cooked. Bottom heating elements 22 and top heating elements 48 can be controlled independently of one another. Controller 90 can have one or more algorithms resident thereon, and the user can access those algorithms through interface 95. The stored algorithms can control various parameters related to operation of oven 10, such as the output of each of heating elements 22 and 48, the speed of the air passing through plenum 34, and the time of cooking. For example, to toast a piece of bread, bottom heating elements 22 may work at power of 1000W, while to cook a frozen pizza bottom heating elements 22 may work at power of 3000W. In this way, infrared heating energy of different outputs and different heating density will cook different foods at satisfactory levels.

Referring specifically to Figs. 3 and 6-8, oven 10 also deploys a cooling mechanism or circuit to help cool down the critical components both inside oven 10 and on the surface of oven 10. From a bottom vent 61, fan 62 sucks in relatively cool (as compared to the heated air within chamber 20) ambient air, which in turn is directed to motor 31 in chamber 31a. This relatively cool air is deflected by a deflector 63, which at least partially surrounds the exterior of chamber 20. For example, in the shown embodiment, deflector 63 is a three-sided "U" or "C" shaped bracket that surrounds three sides of chamber 20. Deflector 63 also runs up to a top room or cooling chamber 64, which is between an exterior cover 65 of oven 10 and a top side 66 of cooking chamber 22. A portion of the cooling air flows to a front of oven 10, cooling down a front top portion 67 of the body of oven 10. The cooled air passed to the front then exits from a series of vent holes 68 at the front of oven 10. Another portion of the cooling air flows to the rear of oven 10, taking any hot air which rises up from chamber 20, through any walls or insulation, out through holes at rear 69. This is so that the rear portion 70 of the oven body gets cooled down. Fan 62 is isolated from cooking chamber 20, so as not to interfere with the airflow therein.

In the shown embodiment, oven 10 is a batch oven, meaning that it is configured to cook one food product at a time. A user opens door 12 with handle 11, places a food product within chamber 20, and closes door 12 before activating oven 10 through interface 95.

However, the present disclosure also contemplates that oven 10 could be configured for continuous cooking, such as with a conveyor. In such an embodiment, a conveyor could pass through oven 10 from side to side. Food products placed on the conveyor could be subjected to the heating methods and devices described above.

While the present disclosure has been described with reference to one or more particular embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope thereof. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the disclosure without departing from the scope thereof.

Therefore, it is intended that the disclosure not be limited to the particular embodiment(s) disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this disclosure.