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Title:
RECEIVER/DRIER FOR A REFRIGERANT FLUID CIRCUIT EQUIPPING A VEHICLE, IN PARTICULAR A MOTOR VEHICLE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/106049
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention concerns a receiver/drier (6) adapted to have pass through it a refrigerant fluid (FR) of a refrigerant fluid (FR) circuit (1) for a vehicle, in particular a motor vehicle. The receiver/drier (6) comprises a closed housing (10) provided with a fluid inlet (14) for admission of the refrigerant fluid (FR) to the interior of the housing (10) and with a fluid outlet (15) for evacuation of the refrigerant fluid (FR) from the housing (10). The housing (10) accommodates at least one desiccant (16) and at least one particle filter (17a, 17b, 17c). The receiver/drier (6) is provided with a phase separation device (18) between a liquid phase and a gas phase of the refrigerant fluid (FR) admitted to the interior of the housing (10).

Inventors:
AZZOUZ, Kamel (ZA l'Agiot 8 rue Louis Lorman, CS 80517 La Verrière Le Mesnil Saint Denis Cedex, 78322, FR)
MAMMERI, Amrid (ZA l'Agiot 8 rue Louis Lorman, CS 80517 La Verrière Le Mesnil Saint Denis Cedex, 78322, FR)
Application Number:
EP2018/082898
Publication Date:
June 06, 2019
Filing Date:
November 28, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
VALEO SYSTEMES THERMIQUES (ZA l'Agiot, 8 rue Louis LormandCS 80517 La Verrière, Le Mesnil Saint Denis Cedex, 78322, FR)
International Classes:
F25B43/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO1998004875A11998-02-05
Foreign References:
US20020095948A12002-07-25
EP1795753A12007-06-13
US20130333402A12013-12-19
EP1574796A22005-09-14
US5619861A1997-04-15
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BIALKOWSKI, Adam (ZA l'Agiot, 8 rue Louis LormandCS 80517 La Verrière, Le Mesnil Saint Denis Cedex, 78322, FR)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Receiver/drier (6) adapted to have pass through it a refrigerant fluid (FR) of a refrigerant fluid (FR) circuit (1) for a vehicle, in particular a motor vehicle, the receiver/drier (6) comprising a closed housing (10) provided with a fluid inlet (14) for admission of the refrigerant fluid (FR) to the interior of the housing (10) and with a fluid outlet (15) for evacuation of the refrigerant fluid (FR) from the housing (10), the housing (10) accommodating at least one desiccant (16) and at least one particle filter (l7a, l7b, l7c), characterized in that in that the receiver/drier (6) is provided with a phase separation device (18) between a liquid phase and a gas phase of the refrigerant fluid (FR) admitted to the interior of the housing (10).

2. Receiver/drier (6) according to Claim 1, in which the phase separation device (18) is arranged as at least one ramp (19) for centrifugal circulation of the refrigerant fluid (FR) inside the housing (19).

3. Receiver/drier (6) according to either one of Claims 1 and 2, in which the phase separation device (18) is provided in the housing (10) between the fluid inlet (14) and the desiccant (16).

4. Receiver/drier (6) according to any one of Claims 2 to 3, in which the phase separation device (18) is configured as at least one helix (23) with multiple turns, each of the turns producing successively along the axis (A2) of the helix (23) a ramp (19) for centrifugal circulation of the refrigerant fluid (FR) inside the housing (10).

5. Receiver/drier (6) according to Claim 4, in which the axis (A2) of the helix (23) is centred on a longitudinal axis (Al) along which the housing (10) extends between a first end (lOa) of the housing (10) provided with the fluid inlet (14) and a bottom (20) of the receiver/drier (6) delimiting a fluid reserve (22) for the storage of a quantity of refrigerant fluid (FR) inside the housing (10).

6. Receiver/drier (6) according to either one of Claims 4 and 5, in which the helix (23) is formed by a body (26) attached to the interior of the housing (10).

7. Receiver/drier (6) according to Claim 6, in which the body (26) includes, along the axis (A2) of the helix (23), a drainage channel (25a) for the refrigerant fluid (FR) in the liquid state leading to the bottom (20) of the receiver/drier (6).

8. Receiver/drier (6) according to either one of Claims 4 and 5, in which the helix (23) is produced in the wall (11) of the housing (10).

9. Receiver/drier (6) according to any one of the preceding claims, in which at least one cap (l2a, l2b) for closing the housing (10) is provided with the fluid inlet (14) and/or the fluid outlet (15).

10. Heat exchanger for a refrigerant fluid (FR) circuit (1), characterized in that it comprises a receiver/drier (6) according to any one of the preceding claims.

11. Heat exchanger according to Claim 10 used as a condenser (3) of a refrigerant fluid (FR) circuit (1). 12. Refrigerant fluid (FR) circuit (1) of a vehicle, characterized in that it comprises a receiver/drier (6) according to any one of Claims 1 to 9 between a condenser (3) and an expansion member (4) that the refrigerant fluid (FR) circuit (1) comprises.

Description:
Receiver/drier for a refrigerant fluid circuit equipping a vehicle, in particular a motor vehicle

The field of the present invention is that of air conditioning installations equipping vehicles, in particular motor vehicles. The invention more specifically concerns refrigerant fluid receiver/ driers equipping a refrigerant fluid circuit that cooperates with an air conditioning installation of this kind.

Vehicles, in particular motor vehicles, are routinely equipped with a ventilation, heating and/or climate control installation, also called an air conditioning installation. An air conditioning installation of this kind is in particular dedicated to enhancing the comfort of the passenger compartment of the vehicle. The air conditioning installation cooperates with a closed circuit through which circulates a refrigerant fluid used by a heat exchanger that the air conditioning installation comprises for thermally treating air sent into the passenger compartment.

Successively in the direction of circulation of the refrigerant fluid through it, the refrigerant fluid circuit essentially comprises a compressor, a condenser, an expansion member and an evaporator. The refrigerant fluid in the gas phase is compressed by the compressor, transformed into the liquid phase in the condenser, expanded at low pressures by the expansion member and then transformed into the gas phase in the evaporator and routed again to the compressor.

In this context, the refrigerant fluid circuit comprises a refrigerant fluid receiver/drier disposed between the condenser and the expansion member. The receiver/drier provides a reserve of refrigerant fluid guaranteeing stable operation of the refrigerant fluid circuit over time. The receiver/drier also houses a particle filter to retain any particles captured by the refrigerant fluid during its circulation through the refrigerant fluid circuit. The receiver/ drier further houses a material that absorbs moisture contained in the refrigerant fluid, hereinafter designated the desiccant.

The receiver/drier essentially comprises a closed housing accommodating the particle filter and the desiccant. The housing is provided with a fluid inlet for admitting the refrigerant fluid to the interior of the housing and a fluid outlet for evacuating the refrigerant fluid from the housing after it has passed through the desiccant and the particle filter. However, the refrigerant fluid is potentially admitted into the expansion member in a diphasic state between a majority liquid phase and a minority gas phase.

The object of the present invention is to improve the admission of the refrigerant fluid in the liquid phase into the expansion member. It more particularly aims to obtain admission of the refrigerant fluid into the expansion member totally in the liquid phase.

To this end, the invention consists in a refrigerant fluid receiver/drier that is configured to be placed in a refrigerant fluid circuit and cooperates with an air conditioning installation of a vehicle, in particular a motor vehicle. A receiver/drier of this kind is in particular intended to be disposed between a condenser and an expansion member that the refrigerant fluid circuit comprises.

The receiver/drier of the invention is more particularly adapted to have passed through it a refrigerant fluid of a refrigerant fluid circuit for a vehicle, in particular a motor vehicle. The receiver/drier comprises a closed housing provided with a fluid inlet for the admission of the refrigerant fluid to the interior of the housing and a fluid outlet for the evacuation of the refrigerant fluid from the housing. The housing houses at least one desiccant and at least one particle filter.

In this context, the receiver/ drier of the invention is principally recognizable in that it is provided with a device for separating the refrigerant fluid admitted to the interior of the housing between a liquid phase and a gas phase. Thus according to the invention the receiver/drier is used to house a device for separation of phases of a fluid that is specifically dedicated and adapted to cause a separation of phases of the refrigerant fluid between its liquid phase and its gas phase. The refrigerant fluid evacuated out of the receiver/drier is then totally in the liquid phase for its admission into an expansion member. The receiver/drier is in particular and more particularly configured to be disposed between a condenser and the refrigerant fluid expansion member that the refrigerant fluid circuit comprises, to feed the expansion member with refrigerant fluid in the liquid phase free of moisture. However, a gas phase of the refrigerant fluid may persist despite its cooling in the condenser and be routed to the receiver/drier.

The phase separation device then enables an obstacle to be provided against evacuation out of the receiver/drier to the expansion member of a gas phase of the refrigerant fluid admitted into the receiver/drier.

In other words, the phase separation device guarantees evacuation of the refrigerant fluid out of the receiver/drier totally in the liquid phase, prior to its admission into the expansion member, even in the case of thermal conditions at the limit for the condensation of the refrigerant fluid.

The phase separation device is advantageously arranged as at least one ramp for centrifugal circulation of the refrigerant fluid inside the housing.

The ramp is configured to guide the refrigerant fluid and to increase the path that it follows inside the housing, by causing acceleration by centrifugal force of the flow of the refrigerant fluid in the liquid phase inside the housing. The effect of this is to guarantee better separation between the liquid phase and the gas phase of the refrigerant fluid, and finally evacuation of the refrigerant fluid from the receiver/drier totally in the liquid state.

The phase separation device is preferably disposed in the housing between the fluid inlet and the desiccant. The phase separation device is more specifically disposed in the housing between on the one hand the fluid inlet and on the other hand the desiccant and the particle filter.

According to the direction of circulation of the refrigerant fluid inside the receiver/drier, the desiccant and/or the particle filter are disposed inside the housing downstream of the phase separation device and upstream of a fluid tank. A fluid tank of this kind is in particular dedicated to storing a quantity of refrigerant fluid inside the housing after its passage through the phase separation device.

The desiccant is for example packaged in a cartridge housed inside the housing, in particular upstream of the fluid tank in the direction of circulation of the refrigerant fluid inside the receiver/drier. The cartridge may be equipped with at least one particle filter. At least one particle filter may also be provided downstream of the fluid tank in the direction of circulation of the refrigerant fluid inside the receiver/drier. For example, the particle filter may be provided on a dip tube connecting the refrigerant fluid tank to the fluid outlet.

According to one embodiment, the phase separation device is configured as at least one helix with multiple turns. Each of the turns produces successively along the axis of the helix a ramp for centrifugal circulation of the refrigerant fluid inside the housing. The refrigerant fluid in the liquid phase is therefore driven successively by each of the turns of the helix from the fluid inlet to the fluid reserve via at least the desiccant and even also the particle filter.

The axis of the helix is preferably centred on a longitudinal axis of the housing extending between a first end of the housing provided with the fluid inlet and a bottom of the receiver/ drier delimiting a fluid reserve for the storage of a quantity of refrigerant fluid inside the housing.

The first end of the housing and the bottom of the receiver/drier are in particular opposite longitudinal ends of the receiver/ drier along the longitudinal axis of the housing. In this context, in the operating state of the receiver/ drier, the longitudinal axis of the housing, and therefore the axis of the helix, are oriented in the direction of the gravity axis, the first end of the housing then overlying the bottom of the receiver/drier and therefore the tank for storing refrigerant fluid inside the housing.

According to one embodiment, the helix is formed by a body attached to the interior of the housing.

The body preferably includes, along the axis of the helix, a channel for draining the refrigerant fluid in the liquid state to the bottom of the receiver/drier.

The liquid phase of the refrigerant fluid can thus be driven toward the drainage channel successively by each of the turns of the helix composing its wall. The drainage channel can define only one or of a plurality of passes of the refrigerant fluid through the body.

According to one embodiment, the body is advantageously formed by rolling and drawing a metal sheet to confer on it its helix configuration. The body can therefore be obtained at lower cost and easily installed inside the housing, in particular by threading the body into the interior of the housing from one of its longitudinal ends.

According to a variant, the body can be machined at its periphery to form the helix and to form the drainage channel in a central zone of the body extending along the axis of the helix.

The body is preferably pressed against the interior face of the wall of the housing extending between its longitudinal ends. The wall of the housing then forms a member for confinement of the refrigerant fluid flowing along the turns of the helix and then forcing its evacuation to the drainage channel.

According to one embodiment, the helix is formed in the wall of the housing.

The helix is for example formed by machining the internal face of the wall of the housing. The turns composing the helix preferably discharge into a central opening of the housing that extends between the inlet mouth and at least the desiccant and/or the particle filter, or preferably even as far as the fluid reserve.

The empty space of the housing then advantageously forms a chamber for draining the refrigerant fluid in the liquid phase to the fluid reserve via the desiccant and/or the particle filter. The empty space preferably also forms a space for receiving the desiccant and/or the particle filter that extends toward the fluid reserve in line with the drainage chamber.

According to one embodiment, at least one cap of the housing is provided with the fluid inlet and/or the fluid outlet.

For example, a first cap provided at least with the fluid inlet is a cap for closing said first end of the housing. A second cap providing the fluid reserve forms the bottom of the receiver/ drier by closing a second end of the housing longitudinally opposite its first end.

The second cap can be provided with the fluid outlet. In this case, at least one particle filter is disposed between the phase separation device and the fluid reserve. Two particle filters are preferably disposed on respective opposite sides of the desiccant along the longitudinal axis of the housing.

According to a variant, the first cap is also provided with the fluid outlet, which is connected to a first end of a dip tube the second end of which discharges into the fluid reserve provided by the second cap.

In this case, the dip tube can be equipped with the particle filter, which is in particular attached to and/or integral with the second end of the dip tube.

According to one embodiment, the at least one cap is removably mounted on the housing, preferably with a seal, to allow access to the interior of the housing. Access to the interior volume of the housing is in particular provided to enable maintenance of the receiver/ drier. One such maintenance operation is in particular an operation to replace the desiccant when it is saturated with moisture and/or an operation to clean and/or replace the particle filter.

According to a variant, the receiver/drier is preferably a consumable product replaced in the event of a malfunction by another receiver/drier, such as in particular in the event of saturation of the desiccant with moisture and/or at the end of a predefined service life of the receiver/drier.

For example, the housing is sealed by being formed of a peripheral wall oriented along the longitudinal axis of the housing. The outlets to the exterior of the peripheral wall are then closed by the caps, at least one of which is sealed to and/or integral with the housing.

The peripheral wall of the housing is for example formed by rolling a metal sheet and by welding its edges along the longitudinal axis of the housing. Again , for example, the peripheral wall of the housing is formed by extrusion. Again, for example, the peripheral wall of the housing is formed by drawing a metal sheet along the longitudinal axis of the housing, either of the caps then being integrated with the peripheral wall of the housing by the shaping of the sheet.

The caps can be made of plastic material and/or metal. The caps can be manufactured by moulding and/or by machining.

The invention moreover covers a heat exchanger for a refrigerant fluid circuit, recognizable in that it comprises a receiver/drier as described in the present document. A heat exchanger of this kind can be used as a condenser in a refrigerant fluid circuit.

According to one embodiment of the heat exchanger, the receiver/drier is integral with the condenser between two passes of the refrigerant fluid through the condenser. In this case the condenser more particularly includes a path for circulation of the refrigerant fluid through it subdivided into at least two passes between which is disposed a circulation path specific to the receiver/drier. The refrigerant fluid admitted in the gas phase to the interior of the condenser circulates in a first pass to cool it, which causes a partial change of phase of the refrigerant fluid to its liquid phase.

The refrigerant fluid then circulates inside the receiver/drier prior to its second pass through the condenser, the effect of which is to direct the refrigerant fluid strictly in the liquid phase to the second pass. The second pass of the refrigerant fluid then enables completion of the cooling of the refrigerant fluid, at this time only in the liquid phase, prior to its admission to the expansion member.

This improves the performance of the condenser because of the cooling of the refrigerant fluid inside the condenser in two stages and because of its admission into the second pass in the strictly liquid state.

The invention also consists in a refrigerant fluid circuit of a vehicle, in particular a motor vehicle. The refrigerant fluid circuit of the invention is principally recognizable in that it comprises a receiver/drier according to the invention disposed between a condenser and an expansion member that the refrigerant fluid circuit comprises.

According to one embodiment, the receiver/drier is installed on a conduit of the refrigerant fluid circuit connecting an opening for evacuation of the refrigerant fluid from the condenser and a mouth for admission of the refrigerant fluid into the expansion member.

Other features, details and advantages of the invention will emerge more clearly on reading the description given hereinafter by way of illustrative example with reference to the figures of the appended drawings in which:

- Figure 1 is a diagram of a refrigerant fluid circuit illustrating the context of the invention,

- Figure 2 and Figure 3 are perspective views of a receiver/drier in accordance with a first embodiment of the invention, respectively in an exploded view and when assembled,

- Figure 4 and Figure 5 are views in axial section of a receiver/ drier in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention, respectively in an exploded view and when assembled.

It must first be noted that the figures disclose the invention in detail for the purposes of execution of the invention. Said figures and their detailed descriptions can of course if necessary serve to define the invention better.

In Figure 1, a refrigerant fluid FR circuit 1 is configured to equip a vehicle, in particular a motor vehicle. The circuit 1 is a closed circuit in which the refrigerant fluid FR circulates and is subjected to successive changes of phase between a gas phase and a liquid phase when it travels around the circuit 1. A circuit 1 of this kind is in particular used for an air conditioning installation dedicated to improving the comfort of the passenger compartment of the vehicle.

In the embodiment shown, the circuit 1 essentially comprises, successively in the direction Sl of circulation of the refrigerant fluid FR around the circuit 1, a compressor 2, a condenser 3 or gas cooler, an expansion member 4, in particular a thermostatic expansion valve, and at least one heat exchanger 5.

The heat exchanger 5 is in particular an equipment unit of the air conditioning installation configured as a heat exchanger and/or an evaporator. The heat exchanger 5 is dedicated to the heat treatment of a flow of air through it, before the flow of air is sent to the passenger compartment of the vehicle by the air conditioning installation.

A receiver/drier 6 of the refrigerant fluid FR is placed on the circuit 1 between the condenser 3 and the expansion member 4. The receiver/drier 6 provides a reserve of refrigerant fluid FR and desiccation and/or filtering of the refrigerant fluid FR circulating inside the circuit 1.

In the example shown, the receiver/drier 6 is integrated into the condenser 3 and disposed between two passes Pal, Pa2 of the refrigerant fluid FR inside the condenser 3.

A first pass Pal cools the refrigerant fluid FR before it is admitted to the interior of the receiver/drier 6. The refrigerant fluid FR then flows inside the dehydrating cylinder 6 and is then evacuated to the second pass Pa2. The refrigerant fluid FR is then cooled again as it circulates through the second pass Pa2, and is then sent to expansion member 4.

According to a variant, the receiver/drier 6 can also be placed on a pipe 7 of the circuit 1 connecting an opening 8 for evacuation of the refrigerant fluid FR out of the condenser 3 and an opening 9 for admission of the refrigerant fluid FR into the expansion member 4.

The example of a minimal architecture of the circuit 1 shown in Figure 1 is given by way of illustration and is not restricting on the scope of the invention, given the various potential architectures of the circuit 1.

In Figures 2 to 4, a receiver/drier 6 according to the invention comprises a housing 10 extending along a longitudinal axis Al. The housing 10 in particular comprises a circular wall 11 around the longitudinal axis Al. The longitudinal ends lOa, lOb of the housing 10 are open to the exterior of the housing 10 and are closed by caps l2a, l2b that are attached to and/or integral with the housing 10, for example by cementing them together.

In the situation in particular where the caps are removably attached to the housing, at least one seal l3a, l3b preferably surrounds conjointly the wall 11 of the housing 10 and at least one of the caps l2a, l2b where they are cemented together, as shown for example in Figures 3 and 4.

At least one of the caps l2a, l2b is provided with a fluid inlet 14 for the admission of the refrigerant fluid FR to the interior of the housing 10 and/or a fluid outlet 15 for the evacuation of the refrigerant fluid FR from the housing 10.

The housing 10 houses a cartridge 16 of desiccant, in other words a desiccating material having the property of absorbing moisture, and at least one particle filter 17a, 17b, 17c. The desiccant 16 makes it possible to capture moisture and the particle filter or filters 17a, 17b, 17c make(s) it possible to retain the impurities that the refrigerant fluid FR is liable to contain following its circulation through the circuit 1.

The refrigerant fluid FR admitted to the interior of the housing 10 following its at least partial passage through the condenser 3 is in the diphasic state between a mainly liquid phase and a gas phase.

In this context, the receiver/drier 6 is equipped with a phase separation device 18 between a liquid phase and a gas phase of the refrigerant fluid FR, resulting in evacuation of the refrigerant fluid FR from the housing 10 totally in the liquid phase.

In the embodiments shown, the phase separation device 18 more particularly forms at least one ramp 19 for centrifugal circulation of the refrigerant fluid FR inside the housing 10, from the fluid inlet 14 to a bottom 20 of the receiver/drier 6. The ramp or ramps 19 in particular extend(s) in the direction of the bottom 20 of the receiver/drier 6 around a longitudinal axis A1 with an inclination relative to the longitudinal axis Al. A single continuous ramp 19 can be formed in the phase separation device 18.

The ramp 19 delimits inside the housing 10 a guide channel 21 for the refrigerant fluid FR, forming a spiral for driving the refrigerant fluid FR by centrifugal force from the fluid inlet 14 to the bottom 20 of the receiver/drier 6. The fluid inlet 14 is in particular provided via a first cap l2a disposed vertically in line with the bottom 20 of the receiver/drier 6 in the operating state of the receiver/ drier 6 as shown in the figures.

The concept of vertical alignment is therefore relative to the operating state of the receiver/ drier 6, in which the longitudinal axis Al is oriented along the gravity axis so that the refrigerant fluid FR flows along the phase separation device 18 vertically in line with a fluid reserve 22 dedicated to the storage of a quantity of refrigerant fluid FR inside the receiver/ drier 6. The bottom 20 of the receiver/drier 6 is provided by a second cap l2b for closing the housing 10 that delimits at least partially the fluid reserve 22. In the embodiments shown, the ramp 19 is formed by the turns of a helix 23 arranged inside the housing 10. The helix 23 and the housing 10 are coaxial, the axis A2 of the helix 23 and the longitudinal axis Al preferably coinciding. The channel 21 is delimited between the turns of the helix 23 and the interior face 24 of the wall 11 of the housing 10.

The ramp or ramps 19 formed by the turns of the helix 23 preferably extend(s) between the fluid inlet 14 and the desiccant cartridge 16 and/or also preferably the particle filter or filters 17a, l7b, l7c in the direction S2 of circulation of the refrigerant fluid FR inside the housing 10.

An axial median opening 25a, 25b through the helix 23 enables draining of the refrigerant fluid FR in the liquid phase, which circulates successively inside the channel 21 toward the bottom 20 of the receiver/drier 6, and to be more specific toward the desiccant cartridge 16. There is therefore obtained inside the housing 10 a separation of phases of the refrigerant fluid FR between its liquid phase and its gas phase, before its evacuation from the housing 10 via the fluid outlet 15.

In the example shown in Figures 2 and 3, the housing 10 is formed by drawing a metal sheet along the longitudinal axis Al, the first cap 12a being integral with the housing 10 by being produced from the metal sheet during the drawing operation. The second cap 12b is cemented to the housing 10 by and provided with the fluid outlet 15, the first cap 12a being provided with the fluid inlet 14.

The housing 10 houses the desiccant cartridge 16 and the two particle filters l7a, 17b, which are disk shaped. The particle filters 17a, 17b are disposed on either side of the desiccant cartridge 16 along the longitudinal axis Al. The particle filters l7a, 17b are potentially housed inside the desiccant cartridge 16. The phase separation device 18 is formed of a body 26 produced from a rolled and drawn metal sheet conferring on it its helix 23 configuration. The body 26 is attached to the interior of the housing 10 by being fixed, for example cemented, in position on its wall 11 between the first cap l2a and the desiccant cartridge 16.

The turns of the helix 23 are configured as funnels encouraging the flow of the refrigerant fluid FR in the liquid phase toward the opening referred to above, the latter here taking the form of a drainage channel 25a for the refrigerant fluid FR, into which each of the turns of the helix 23 discharges. The drainage channel 25a is formed in the axial zone of the body 26 and extends along the longitudinal axis Al.

In the example shown, the fluid inlet 14 is provided by a fluid inlet tube l4a passing through the wall 11 of the housing 10 with an orientation Tl transverse to its longitudinal axis Al. As can be seen in Figure 3, the wall of the inlet tube l4a includes an opening 14b disposed near the wall 11 of the housing, which produces a fluid passage oriented along the longitudinal axis Al to guide the refrigerant fluid FR to the helix 23. The second cap l2b includes an orifice 27 for admission of the refrigerant fluid FR to the fluid reserve 22 delimited by the second cap l7b, which in the embodiment shown includes the fluid outlet 15 oriented along the longitudinal axis Al.

Thus, as shown in Figure 3, the refrigerant fluid FR is admitted to the interior of the housing 10 via the inlet tube 14a transversely to the longitudinal axis Al, and is then guided by the inlet tube 14a toward the opening 14b and therefore toward the helix 23. The refrigerant fluid FR then circulates along the helix 23 and is progressively directed in the liquid phase toward the drainage channel 25a, which discharges vertically in line with the desiccant cartridge 16.

The refrigerant fluid FR then passes through the desiccant cartridge 16 and the particle filters 17a, 17b, is then admitted into the fluid reserve 22 via the admission orifice 27 and is then evacuated from the housing 10 through the fluid outlet 15.

In the embodiment shown in Figures 4 and 5, the wall 11 of the housing 10 is formed for example by moulding or by rolling a metal sheet and closing it on itself by welding together its longitudinal edges. Each of the caps 12a, 12b is formed of attached elements that are fixed to the housing, at least one of the gaps 12a, 12b being cemented to the housing 10 and/or removably attached to the housing 10. The fluid inlet 14 is produced through the first cap l2a, for example being formed by drilling the first cap l2a. The fluid inlet 14 includes a first section l4c oriented along the longitudinal axis Al, the first section l4c being extended by a second section l4d that extends with an orientation Tl transverse to the longitudinal axis Al and discharges toward the helix 23.

The fluid outlet 15 is produced through the first cap l2a and oriented along the longitudinal axis Al. The fluid outlet 15 is connected to the fluid reserve 23 by a dip tube 28 that is preferably provided with a particle filter l7c.

The base separation device 18 is integral with the wall 11 of the housing 10, the helix 23 being formed in the material of the wall 11 of the housing 10. The helix 23 can be formed during the moulding of the housing 10 and/or by machining the wall 11 of the housing 10. Each of the channels 21 formed by the turns of the helix 23 then discharges into the opening of the housing 10 referred to above, which here produces a chamber 25b for draining the liquid phase refrigerant fluid FR to the fluid reserve 22. Downstream of the drainage chamber 25b in the direction S2 of circulation of the refrigerant fluid FR inside the housing 10, the axial opening of the housing 10 produces a space 25c to receive the desiccant cartridge 16 and extends the drainage chamber 25b toward the fluid reserve 22.

Thus as shown in Figure 5, the refrigerant fluid FR is admitted to the interior of the housing 10 along the longitudinal axis Al via the first section l4c of the fluid inlet 14, and is then directed transversely toward the helix 23. The refrigerant fluid FR then circulates along the helix 23, being progressively directed in the liquid phase toward the drainage chamber 25b which conveys the refrigerant fluid FR to the desiccant cartridge 16. The refrigerant fluid FR then passes through the desiccant cartridge 16, is then admitted into the fluid reserve 22, and is then evacuated from the housing 10 via the dip tube 28.

It is to be noted in the various examples shown that the fluid inlet 14 and/or the fluid outlet 15 can be individually oriented essentially along the longitudinal axis Al and/or transversely Tl to the longitudinal axis Al. In one example, the inlet tube l4a can be positioned tangentially to the interior phase 24 of the wall 11 of the housing 10. A disposition of this kind makes it possible to encourage the commencement of centrifugal circulation of the refrigerant fluid on entering the ramp. Generally speaking, the fluid inlet 14 and the fluid outlet 15 can be oriented in any direction relative to the longitudinal axis Al discharging toward the helix 23.

Thus the ways of connecting the receiver/drier 6 to the circuit 1 and/or to the condenser 3 can be organized freely, without affecting the separation of phases of the refrigerant fluid FR between its liquid phase and its gas phase produced by the phase separation device 18, and therefore without affecting the obtaining of evacuation from the receiver/ drier 6 of the refrigerant fluid FR completely in the liquid phase.