Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
PORTABLE CLIMATE CONTROL SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2008/044234
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
Presented herein is a portable climate control system that enables user-adjustable air temperature manipulation and is suitable for indoor and outdoor use, comprising a portable housing; at least one fan disposed on said housing for moving an air supply through the housing; a core disposed within the housing, that contains material that enables altering at least one attribute of the air supply moving through the housing; a plurality of fins, radially disposed between the housing and the core, to support the core within the housing; and an air outlet hose, disposed on the housing, for delivering the manipulated air supply from the housing to a desired location.

Inventors:
BEN AHARON, Ofir (7 Nordeo St, Ramat Hasharon, 47269, IL)
Application Number:
IL2007/001218
Publication Date:
April 17, 2008
Filing Date:
October 09, 2007
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
BABY COMFORT LTD (127 Bialik St, Ramat Gan, 52523, IL)
BEN AHARON, Ofir (7 Nordeo St, Ramat Hasharon, 47269, IL)
International Classes:
F25D15/00
Foreign References:
US4839106A
US3259050A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
APPELFELD ZER FISHER (B.S.R Tower 1, Floor 162 Ben Gurion St, Ramat Gan, 52573, IL)
Download PDF:
Claims:

What is claimed is:

1. a portable climate control system that enables user-adjustable air temperature manipulation, said system comprising:

- a portable housing;

- at least one fan disposed on the housing for moving an air supply through said housing;

- a core disposed within the housing, that contains at least one material that enables altering at least one attribute of the air supply moving through the housing;

- a plurality of fins, radially disposed between the housing and the core, to support the core within the housing; and

an air outlet hose, disposed on the housing, for delivering the manipulated air supply from the housing to a desired location;

wherein said system is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the housing, the fan, the core, and the fins are configured to achieve turbulent air flow.

3. The system of claim 1, wherein the system is sufficiently compact and lightweight that it can be transported manually by an average adult.

4. The system of claim 1, further comprising a power supply module for powering the system components.

5. The system of claim 4, wherein the power supply module comprises rechargeable batteries.

6. The system of claim 5, wherein the batteries are portable.

7. The system of claim 4, wherein the power supply module provides solar energy.

8. The system of claim 4, wherein the power supply module provides kinetic energy.

9. The system of claim 1, further including insulating material enclosing at least a portion of the system.

10. The system of claim 1, further equipped with a carrying handle.

11. The system of claim 1, further equipped with ties for affixing the system to an object.

12. The system of claim 1, further including at least one operational mode.

13. The system of claim 12, wherein the at least one operational mode includes a heating mode, a cooling mode, a moisturizing mode, and a moist cooling mode.

14. The system of claim 1, further comprising at least one switch.

15. The system of claim 14, wherein at least one switch is used for at least one of activating the system and selecting an operational mode.

16. The system of claim 1, wherein the material contained within the core enables heating the air supply.

17. The system of claim 1, wherein the material contained within the core enables cooling the air supply.

18. The system of claim 1, wherein the material contained within the core enables the distribution of moisturizing particles to the air supply.

19. The system of claim 1, wherein the material contained within the core enables introducing an aroma to the air supply.

20. The system of claim 1, wherein the core comprises at least two chambers for containing at least two distinct materials.

21. The system of claim 20, wherein each distinct material enable altering at least one attribute of the air supply.

Description:

PORTABLE CLIMATE CONTROL SYSTEM

FIELD OF INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates generally to climate control systems, and specifically to such devices that are portable for personal use.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] During extreme temperatures such as may occur in the middle of the summer, being outdoors is uncomfortable and may even pose a health threat. For infants, as well as for the elderly and sick persons, even mild temperatures may pose a danger. Climate control units such as window air conditioners and heat pumps are useful for ameliorating the effects of the extreme outdoor temperatures by maintaining comfortable interior environments. However, such units are not designed for outdoor situations; therefore, they do offer not suitable solutions for maintaining a comfortable environment when outdoors. In addition, these units often require large amounts of energy to operate, and are too heavy, large and cumbersome to be moved easily from place to place.

[0003] Hand-held fans may offer a more practical cooling method when outdoors, where a bit of cooling is required. However, in order to be effective and to provide continued relief from the heat, the fanning must continue, an activity that is somewhat impractical as a long-term solution. Umbrellas, brimmed hats, and other shade- creating items also help reduce the discomforts and possibly the dangers of exposure to hot weather, however, these solutions oftentimes do not provide sufficient protection. Furthermore, when the weather turns chilly, fans and shade-creating items offer no warming options.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] Presented herein is a portable climate control system for providing the user with the ability to adjust the climate of his immediate surroundings. The system of the present invention furnishes the user with at least one of several operational modes, including but not limited to a heating mode, a cooling mode, a moisturizing, or humidifying, mode, and a moist cooling mode.

[0005] Embodiments of the present invention comprise a fan that pushes ambient air through a housing equipped with fins and a core, which are configured to promote the mixing of air within the housing in order that the air flowing out of the housing will achieve a desirable change in temperature.

[0006] A useful feature of the present invention is its portability; the portable climate control system is sufficiently compact and lightweight that it can be easily moved by an average adult from one location to another. Due to its compact size and lightweight and the facility with which the present system may be moved, the portable climate control system is able to provide individual climate control in a variety of venues, both exterior and interior. For example, a portable climate control system may be attached to a baby carriage or the back of a wheelchair. The portable climate control system is also equally well suited to for use, for example, in a large assembly room where individual control of the ambient air may be otherwise not available.

[0007] Accordingly, a portable climate control system of the present invention that enables user-adjustable air temperature manipulation and is suitable for outdoor use is provided, said system comprising a portable housing; at least one fan disposed on the housing for moving an air supply through the housing; a core disposed within the housing, that contains at least one material that enables altering at least one attribute of the air supply moving through the housing; a plurality of fins, radially disposed between the housing and the core, to support the core within the housing; and an air outlet hose the, disposed on the housing, for delivering the manipulated air supply from the housing to a desired location.

[0008] Additionally, the housing, the fan, the core, and the fins may be configured to achieve turbulent air.

[0009] Additionally, the portable climate control system is sufficiently compact and lightweight that it can be transported manually by an average adult.

[0010] The portable climate control system may further comprise a power supply module for powering various components of portable climate control system, such as, for example, the fan. Such a power supply module may comprise rechargeable, portable batteries or may utilize solar-powered energy or may enable the generation of kinetic energy.

[0011] The portable climate control system may further include insulating material that encloses at least a portion of the portable climate control system.

[0012] Additionally, the portable climate control system may be equipped with a carrying handle.

[0013] Additionally, the portable climate control system may be equipped with ties or other connection means for affixing a portable climate control system to another object, such as, inter alia, a baby carriage, a wheel chair, a golf cart, and a beach chair.

[0014] Additionally, the portable climate control system may include at least one operational mode including, inter alia, a heating mode, a cooling mode, an air- moisturizing mode, and a moist cooling mode.

[0015] The portable climate control system may further comprise a switch for activating the portable climate control system or selecting an operational mode or both.

[0016] Additionally, at least one the material contained within the core may enable heating the air supply or cooling the air supply or distributing moisturizing particles to the air supply or introducing an aroma to the air supply.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0017] The subject matter regarded as the invention will become more clearly understood in light of the ensuing description of embodiments herein, given by way of example and for purposes of illustrative discussion of the present invention only, with reference to the accompanying figures, wherein

Figure 1 is a perspective view of a portable climate control system according to an embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 2 is cut-away view of the embodiment of Figure 1

Figure 3 is a cross-sectional end view of the embodiment of Figure 1; and

Figure 4 is a cross-sectional view of the embodiment of Figure 1.

[0018] The figures together with the description make apparent to those skilled in the art how the invention may be embodied in practice.

[0019] It will be appreciated that for simplicity and clarity of illustration, elements shown in the figures have not necessarily been drawn to scale. For example, the dimensions of some of the elements may be exaggerated relative to other elements for clarity. Further, where considered appropriate, reference numerals may be repeated among the figures to indicate corresponding or analogous elements.

DESCRIPTION OF SOME EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

[0020] The present invention discloses a portable climate control system 10 that enables user-adjustable air temperature manipulation, which is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Additionally, the present invention is also sufficiently

compact and lightweight that it can be easily moved and transported manually by an average adult.

[0021] Due to its compact size and lightweight, embodiments of portable climate control system 10 are suitable for providing individual climate control in a variety of venues, both exterior and interior. For example, a portable climate control system 10 of the present invention may be stowed in an underneath storage area of a baby carriage, attached to the back of a wheelchair, seated in a golf cart, or placed next to a beach chair. A portable climate control system 10 according to embodiments of the present invention may also be used in interior venues such as, for example, in a large assembly room where individual control of the ambient air may otherwise not be available.

[0022] According to embodiments, portable climate control system 10 has at least one of several operational modes, including, inter alia, a heating mode, a cooling mode, a simple moisturizing mode, and a moist cooling mode. Some embodiments may offer only one of these operational modes, and some other embodiments may offer two or more of the operational modes.

[0023] It is to be understood that an embodiment is an example or implementation of the invention. The various appearances of "one embodiment," "an embodiment" or "some embodiments" do not necessarily all refer to the same embodiments.

[0024] Although various features of the invention may be described in the context of a single embodiment, the features may also be provided separately or in any suitable combination. Conversely, although the invention may be described herein in the context of separate embodiments for clarity, the invention may also be implemented in a single embodiment.

[0025] Reference in the specification to "one embodiment", "an embodiment", "some embodiments" or "other embodiments" means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiments is included in at least one embodiment, but not necessarily all embodiments, of the inventions.

[0026] It is understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein is not to be construed as limiting and is for descriptive purpose only.

[0027] The principles and uses of the teachings of the present invention may be better understood with reference to the accompanying description, figures, and examples.

[0028] It is to be understood that the details set forth herein should not be construed as limiting any applications of the invention.

[0029] Furthermore, it is to be understood that the invention can be carried out or practiced in various ways and that the invention can be implemented in embodiments other than the ones outlined in the description below.

[0030] It is to be understood that the terms "including", "comprising", "consisting" and grammatical variants thereof do not preclude the addition of one or more components, features, steps, integers or groups thereof and that the terms are not to be construed as specifying components, features, steps or integers.

[0031] The phrase "consisting essentially of", and grammatical variants thereof, when used herein, is not to be construed as excluding additional components, steps, features, integers or groups thereof but rather that the additional features, integers, steps, components or groups thereof do not materially alter the basic and novel characteristics of the claimed composition, device or method.

[0032] If the specification or claims refer to "an additional" element, that does not preclude there being more than one of the additional element.

[0033] It is to be understood that where the claims or specification refer to "a" or "an" element, such reference is not to be construed as there being only one of that element.

[0034] It is to be understood that where the specification states that a component, feature, structure, or characteristic "may", "might", "can" or "could" be included, that

particular component, feature, structure, or characteristic is not required to be included.

[0035] Where applicable, although state diagrams, flow diagrams or both may be used to describe embodiments, the invention is not limited to those diagrams or to the corresponding descriptions. For example, flow need not move through each illustrated box or state, or in exactly the same order as illustrated and described.

[0036] The term "method" refers to manners, means, techniques and procedures for accomplishing a given task including, but is not limited to those manners, means, techniques and procedures either known to, or readily developed from known manners, means, techniques and procedures by practitioners of the art to which the invention belongs.

[0037] The descriptions, examples, methods, and materials presented in the claims and the specification are not to be construed as limiting but rather as illustrative only.

[0038] Meanings of technical and scientific terms used herein are to be commonly understood as by one of ordinary skill in the art to which the invention belongs, unless otherwise defined.

[0039] The present invention can be implemented in the testing or practice with methods and materials equivalent or similar to those described herein.

[0040] The terms "bottom", "below", "top" and "above" as used herein do not necessarily indicate that a "bottom" component is below a "top" component, or that a component that is "below" is indeed "below" another component or that a component that is "above" is indeed "above" another component. As such, directions, components or both may be flipped, rotated, moved in space, placed in a diagonal orientation or position, placed horizontally or vertically, or similarly modified. Accordingly, it will be appreciated that the terms "bottom", "below", "top" and "above" may be used herein for exemplary purposes only, to illustrate the relative positioning or placement of certain components, to indicate a first and a second component or to do both.

[0041] Any publications, including patents, patent applications and articles, referenced or mentioned in this specification are herein incorporated in their entirety into the specification, to the same extent as if each individual publication was specifically and individually indicated to be incorporated herein. In addition, citation or identification of any reference in the description of some embodiments of the invention shall not be construed as an admission that such reference is available as prior art to the present invention.

[0042] Referring now in detail to the figures, where Figure 1 describes a perspective view a portable climate control system 10 according to an embodiment of the present invention, Figure 2 describes a cut-away view of the same embodiment, and Figures 3 and 4 are cross-sectional views of a portable climate control system 10, the present invention comprises a portable housing 38; at least one fan 30 disposed on housing 38 for moving an air supply through housing 38; a core 26 disposed within housing 38, for receiving material that enables altering at least one attribute of the air supply moving through housing 38; a plurality of fins 36, radially disposed between housing 38 and core 26, that support core 26 within housing 38 and also contribute to shaping the air flow; and an air outlet hose 35, disposed on housing 38, for delivering the manipulated air supply from housing 38 to a desired location.

[0043] Housing 38 is a portable case that may be constructed of any lightweight, sturdy material. The shape of housing 38 facilitates controlling and manipulating the flow of the air supply through portable climate control system 10. Housing 38 additionally protects the components contained therein.

[0044] At least one fan 30 is disposed on housing 38 for moving an air supply through housing 38, generating an air supply for portable climate control system 10 and gently moving or stirring the air. Fan 30 may be any known in the art fan that is of sufficient strength and size to draw the air supply into portable climate control system 10, move that air supply through housing 38, and enable the air supply to exit housing 38.

[0045] According to some embodiments, fan 30 may be positioned on one end of housing 38, after air inlet vent 14. According to some other embodiments, fan 30 may be situated in another location within housing 38 of portable climate control system 10. According to some embodiments, additional fans 30 may be situated in a plurality of locations within portable climate control system 10

[0046] The ambient air supply may be drawn in to portable climate control system 10 by fan 30 through an opening such as, for example, an air inlet vent 14, which may be positioned, for example, at a first end of portable climate control system 10.

[0047] A safety cover 12 may be provided to cover air inlet vent 14 and to prevent the accidental insertion of fingers and other items, thereby preventing injuries and possible damage to the internal components of portable climate control system 10.

[0048] A core 26 is disposed within housing 38, and contains material that enables altering at least one attribute or feature of the air supply moving through housing 38. Core 26 is shaped such that core 26 does not impede the flow of air through housing 38 of portable climate control system 10. For example, core 26 may be an elongate, substantially prolate shaped container.

[0049] According to some embodiments of the present invention, portable climate control system 10 changes in temperature of the ambient air supply that flows through housing 38 by means of heat transference. Therefore, according to such embodiments, the material contained within core 26 enables this transference.

[0050] For example, as the air supply passes around a core 26 that contains, for example, heated material, the heat from the material is transferred to the air supply, thereby heating the air supply. Conversely, an air supply passing around a core 26 containing cooling material is cooled.

[0051] According to some embodiments of the present invention, core 26 may be, for example, a sealed, disposable piece containing the material that enables changing the temperature the passing air supply and that is replaced periodically. According to

some other embodiments, core 26 may comprise a container for receiving the material that enables changing the temperature the passing air supply.

[0052] According to some embodiments of the present invention, core 26 comprises a single chamber for a single material. According to other embodiments, core 26 may comprise a plurality of chambers, each one able to contain a distinct or different material.

[0053] One of the materials that may be contained within core 26 enables heating the air supply. For example, according to some embodiments of the present invention, a heating element such as, for example, an electric coil or a filament, may be disposed within core 26. According to some other embodiments, other heating materials or methods may be disposed within core 26.

[0054] Another of the materials that may be contained within core 26 enables cooling the air supply. For example, core 26 of portable climate control system 10 may have cooling material that uses any known in the art method to cool the ambient air supply.

[0055] Yet another of the materials that may be contained within core 26 enables the distribution of moisturizing particles to the air supply. For example, a moisture- saturable material such as, for example, a sponge or cotton, may be placed in core 26, thus providing the user with the option of moisturizing the air. According to such embodiments, core 26 may be further equipped with an aperture that allows, for example, water or another appropriate liquid to be introduced into core 26 for maintaining the moisture level of material 26.

[0056] Still another one of the materials that may be contained within core 26 enables introducing an aroma to the air supply.

[0057] Portable climate control system 10 further comprises at least three fins 36 that are disposed substantially radially within housing 38, between housing 38 and core 26. Fins 36 function to support core 26 within housing 38. Fins 36 additionally contribute to shaping the air flow and enable the reduction of air turbulence.

According to some embodiments, fins 26 are substantially planar in shape and extend the length of housing 38.

[0058] The combined geometry of housing 38, core 26 and fins 36 effects the distribution of the air supply and the type of flow, as well as the temperature of the output air supply. Hence, according to some embodiments of the present invention, housing 38, fan 30, core 26, and fins 36 may be configured to achieve turbulent air flow, an air flow that may more effectively mix the air supply as it flows through housing 38, and which thereby more efficiently and thoroughly adjusts the outgoing air supply.

[0059] An air outlet hose 35 is provided for delivering the adjusted air supply from housing 38 of portable climate control system 10 to a location chosen by a user. Air outlet hose 35 may be disposed on or operatively connected to, for example, a second end of portable climate control system 10. Air outlet hose 35 may be constructed from sturdy, flexible material to ensure that the adjusted air is able to flow out from portable climate control system 10 to the desired location.

[0060] Some embodiments of the present invention may further comprise a power supply module 20 for powering various components of portable climate control system 10, such as, for example, fan 30.

[0061] According to some embodiments of the present invention, power supply module 20 may comprise, for example, a plurality of rechargeable, portable batteries. According to some other embodiments of the present invention, power supply module 20 may utilize solar-powered energy. According to yet other embodiments of the present invention, power supply module 20 may, for example, enable the generation of kinetic energy.

[0062] Embodiments of portable climate control system 10 may further comprise at least one switch to allow the user to activate portable climate control system 10. The same or an additional switch may be used, for example, to select between the various operational modes. For example, portable climate control system 10 may be equipped with a single switch with an "on" position, an 'off position, and at least one

operational mode position such as, for example, "heating", "cooling", and "moist cooling". Alternatively, some embodiments of portable climate control system 10 may have a first switch with an "on" and an 'off position and a second switch for selecting between various operational modes.

[0063] According to embodiments, the switch or switches may be any type of devices that provide multiple positions such as, inter alia, a selector switch or a toggle switch.

[0064] At least one switch may be operatively connected, for example, to power supply module 20 in order to, for example, activate portable climate control system 10 and operate the various components of portable climate control system 10. It is understood, however, that other means could be used in order to activate portable climate control system 10 and select between the various operational modes.

[0065] For safety reasons and in order to more effectively achieving and maintaining the desired air temperature, embodiments of portable climate control system 10 may further include insulating material. According to some such embodiments, portable climate control system 10 may be entirely enclosed in insulating material. Alternatively, only portions of portable climate control system 10, such as, for example housing 38 or core 26, may be enclosed in insulating material.

[0066] Embodiments of portable climate control system 10 may also be equipped with, for example, a carrying handle or other carrying means to facilitate transportation.

[0067] Additionally, portable climate control system 10 may further be equipped with a connection method such as, for example, ties or other means, for attaching affixing, or mounting portable climate control system 10 to another object, such as, inter alia, a baby carriage, a wheel chair, a golf cart, and a beach chair.

[0068] In order to more fully describe the present invention, the following describes a mode of use.

[0069] Portable climate control system 10 may be easily transported from one location to another, for example, from the user's home to a baby carriage. Once at the desired location, the user may then position portable climate control system 10 for use. For example, portable climate control system 10 may be attached to a baby carriage or placed in close proximity to or on a wheelchair.

[0070] Once portable climate control system 10 has been secured in place, air outlet hose 35 may be positioned such that the air supply will flow out of air outlet hose 35 to a desired location, for example, into the seating area of a baby carriage. Portable climate control system 10 may now be activated by, for example, moving a first switch from the "off position to the "on" position may activate fan 30. Upon activation, ambient air, for example, room temperature air, is pulled by fan 30 in through air inlet vent 14 and passes into housing 38 and exits through air outlet hose 35.

[0071] According to some embodiments of the present invention, a portable climate control system 10 may offer a single mode of climate adjustment. For example, portable climate control system 10 may only offer a heating mode, a cooling mode, a moisturizing mode, or a moist cooling mode. Therefore, activating portable climate control system 10 may both activate fan 30 and enable the single climate adjustment mode. Furthermore, core 26 of such embodiments may contain therein a single material.

[0072] Other embodiments of a portable climate control system 10 may offer two or more modes of climate adjustment. For example, portable climate control system 10 may offer a heating and a cooling mode, or a cooling mode and a moist cooling mode or a heating mode, a cooling mode, and a moist cooling mode. Hence, some embodiments of portable climate control system 10 may be equipped with, for example, a single selector switch that rotates, for example, from an "off" position to the various climate adjustment modes; other embodiments of portable climate control system 10 may be equipped with, for example, a first "on/off" toggle switch, which activates fan 30, and a second selector switch, which enables selecting one of the various climate adjustment modes. A core 26 of a portable climate control system 10

that offers two or more modes of climate adjustment may correspondingly have two or more chambers and each chamber may contain a distinct material and each distinct material may enable altering an attribute or feature of the air supply that is flowing through housing 38.

[0073] For example, if the switch of a portable climate control system 10 that offers several modes of climate adjustment is positioned to select the heating mode of climate adjustment, then as the ambient air passes through housing 38 and around core 26, the heat generated by the heating material contained in core 26 is transferred to the passing air supply, and fan 30 causes the now heated air supply to continue flowing through housing 38 and out through air outlet hose 35.

[0074] If, for example, the switch of said portable climate control system 10 is positioned to select the cooling mode of climate adjustment, then the cooling material contained in core 26 may, for example, enable transferring heat away for the passing air and the ambient air may be cooled, and the air supply flowing out through air outlet hose 35 is cooler than the ambient air.

[0075] In addition to heating and cooling, some embodiments of portable climate control system 10 may offer other modes of climate adjustment. For example, when a switch is positioned to a moist cooling mode of climate adjustment, material in core 26 may, in addition to cooling the air supply, enable the distribution of, for example, moisture- containing material into the ambient air. Core 26 may also contain aromatic or other types of material that may effect the air supply that flows through housing 38 of portable climate control system 10, around core 26 and out air outlet hose 35

[0076] While the invention has been described with respect to a limited number of embodiments, these should not be construed as limitations on the scope of the invention, but rather as exemplifications of some of the embodiments. Those skilled in the art will envision other possible variations, modifications, and applications that are also within the scope of the invention. Accordingly, the scope of the invention should not be limited by what has thus far been described, but by the appended claims and their legal equivalents. Therefore, it is to be understood that alternatives,

modifications, and variations of the present invention are to be construed as being within the scope and spirit of the appended claims.