Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
REFRIGERATION APPARATUS OF COLD-STORAGE ROOMS AND ASSOCIATED COLD-STORAGE ROOM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/194608
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A refrigeration apparatus of cold-storage rooms, which comprise at least one environment (101) to be kept at a predefined temperature; the apparatus comprises at least one cooling chamber (2) provided with an upper window (3) and with a lower window (4), which can be connected to the environment (101); the chamber (2) accommodates a heat removal unit (5), which is interposed functionally between the windows (3, 4), and means (6) for the forced downward circulation of the air, for receiving the air to be cooled through the upper window (3) and for conveying the cooled air from the unit (5) toward the lower window (4) and substantially toward the floor (102) of the environment (101) to be kept at a predefined temperature.

Inventors:
BIGUZZI, Pier Luigi (VIA DEL MONTE, 641, CESENA, 47521, IT)
Application Number:
EP2017/061194
Publication Date:
November 16, 2017
Filing Date:
May 10, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
GENCOLD S.R.L. (VIA KOSSUT 95, CESENA, 47522, IT)
International Classes:
F25D13/00; F25D17/00
Foreign References:
EP1619454A12006-01-25
JPS641378U1989-01-06
JP2015203505A2015-11-16
JPS5314269U1978-02-06
JP2012107807A2012-06-07
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MODIANO, Micaela (MODIANO & PARTNERS, Via Meravigli 16, Milano, 20123, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A refrigeration apparatus of cold-storage rooms, comprising at least one environment (101) to be kept at a predefined temperature, characterized in that it comprises at least one cooling chamber (2) provided with an upper window (3) and with a lower window (4), which can be connected to the environment (101), said chamber (2) accommodating a heat removal unit (5), which is interposed functionally between said windows (3, 4), and means (6) for the forced downward circulation of the air, for receiving the air to be cooled through said upper window (3) and for conveying the cooled air from said unit (5) toward said lower window (4) and substantially toward the floor (102) of the environment (101) to be kept at a predefined temperature.

2. The refrigeration apparatus according to claim 1, characterized in that said unit (5) comprises an evaporator or a cooling battery, which is functionally associated with a condensing station (7), said station (7) being provided with at least one compressor and at least one condenser, for the execution of a refrigeration cycle, said station (7) being accommodated in a respective compartment (8), which is preferably adjacent to said chamber (2) and can be thermally insulated from the environment (101), said chamber (2) and said compartment (8) being arrangeable outside the environment (101) to be kept at a predefined temperature.

3. The refrigeration apparatus according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in that said means (6) comprise at least one main fan (9), which faces and is proximate to said heat removal unit (5) and is directed toward said lower window (4).

4. The refrigeration apparatus according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that it comprises at least one partition (10), which is arranged in said chamber (2) substantially at right angles to the flow of the air that is imposed by said means (6), so as to hinder the reverse flow of cooled air toward said upper window (3).

5. The refrigeration apparatus according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that each one of said windows (3, 4) is associated with a respective closure element, which can be activated selectively for temporary transition to a configuration for thermal insulation of said chamber (2) for the execution of periodic defrosting procedures.

6. The refrigeration apparatus according to claim 5, characterized in that said closure element comprises a door (1 1) made of thermally insulating material, preferably of the fanlight type, which is normally arranged in a configuration for the free passage of air through the respective said window (3, 4) and can be moved selectively for its temporary closure and transition to said thermal insulation configuration.

7. The refrigeration apparatus according to claim 6, characterized in that each one of said doors (1 1) is supported by a respective perimetric frame, provided with an autonomous apparatus for localized heating, which can be activated temporarily at said thermal insulation configuration to heat corresponding gaskets arranged along the perimeter of respective said windows (3, 4) and prevent their freezing.

8. The refrigeration apparatus according to one or more of claims 5 to 7, characterized in that said chamber (2) is affected by an auxiliary circulation system, which can be activated at said thermal insulation configuration and can be crossed by a warm fluid, for the heating of said chamber (2) and the execution of periodic defrosting procedures.

9. A cold-storage room, comprising at least one environment (101) to be kept at a preset temperature by means of a respective refrigeration apparatus (1), characterized in that said refrigeration apparatus (1) comprises at least one cooling chamber (2), which is connected to said environment (101) at an upper window (3) and at a lower window (4) of said chamber (2), said chamber (2) accommodating a heat removal unit (5), which is functionally interposed between said windows (3, 4), and means (6) for the forced downward circulation of the air in order to receive the air to be cooled through said upper window (3) and to convey the air cooled by said unit (5) toward said lower window (4) and substantially toward the floor (102) of said environment (101).

10. The cold-storage room according to claim 9, characterized in that said chamber (2) is arranged externally and contiguously to said environment (101).

11. A cold-storage room, characterized in that it comprises an apparatus (1) according to one or more of claims 1 to 8.

Description:
REFRIGERATION APPARATUS OF COLD-STORAGE ROOMS AND ASSOCIATED COLD-STORAGE ROOM

The present invention relates to a refrigeration apparatus of cold- storage rooms and to the associated cold-storage room.

As is known, in order to be able to utilize food products even over great distances and long after their preparation it is necessary to provide adequate measures for their preservation, keeping them at a predefined temperature level which depends on the specific type of food.

In the industrial field it is therefore very frequent to resort to cold- storage rooms that have even considerable dimensions, in which the food products are indeed stored for more or less extended periods of time: the cold-storage rooms are provided with respective refrigeration apparatuses, which are capable of maintaining inside them a controlled temperature (even significantly lower than zero).

In greater detail, as is known, each refrigeration apparatus is provided with a cooling unit, in which a refrigeration fluid boils or in which an intermediate cooling fluid circulates. The cooling unit is then connected to a condensing unit (which comprises the compressor and the condenser) or to a machine room, which, depending on the situations, comprises one or more compressors, one or more condensers and all the accessories (tanks, exchangers, pumps, valves, etc.) required to perform jointly a refrigeration cycle. The purpose is indeed to remove heat from the air at the cooling unit: the air thus cooled is then circulated in the cold-storage room in order to obtain the desired result.

Even more precisely, according to methods that are by now established, the cooling unit (of whichever chosen type) is arranged inside the cold-storage room generally proximate to the ceiling and one or more ventilation apparatuses are connected to it and are arranged so as to convey upward the cooled air, up to the ceiling, to then make it flow on said ceiling due to the Coanda effect until the opposite wall is reached, and then allow it by gravity to move progressively toward the floor, thus ultimately affecting the entire cold-storage room.

However, this constructive solution is not without drawbacks.

In order to ensure that the entire mass of products has the same conditions, it is obviously very important for the temperature to assume substantially the same value in all the points of the environment: this is highly problematic and/or expensive in terms of energy, especially in the case of large cold-storage rooms.

It is in fact been observed that the general structure outlined above is unable to ensure complete temperature uniformity in the various regions of the cold-storage rooms (and especially, indeed, in the largest ones).

By distributing a plurality of sensors appropriately in the entire environment inside the cold-storage room, not infrequently it is possible to observe temperature values that differ even by several degrees.

Therefore, at least some food products stored in the cold-storage room are subjected to environmental conditions that are different from the design conditions and/or are in any case variable over time, with obviously unwelcome consequences.

According to known methods, in order to obviate this problem higher air flow rates than would be strictly necessary to counterbalance the thermal load are used. Furthermore, during descent toward the floor, the cold air stream is contrasted by the flow of warm air that naturally tends to rise upwards: mixings between flows therefore occur which raise the average temperature of the cold air, and this requires the cooling unit a further production of cold air with respect to the production theoretically needed in order to maintain the required temperature.

Evidently, the increase in the air flow rate and/or in the production of cold air causes a greater expenditure of energy of the ventilation apparatuses. Moreover, the higher expenditure of energy increases the thermal load in any case to be subtracted inside the cold-storage room and forces to generate cold, due to mixing, at a lower temperature.

All this leads to a higher energy consumption and accordingly to an unwanted increase in management costs.

Furthermore, it is useful to note that cold-storage rooms of the known type are affected by additional drawbacks which are not easy to solve. One of them certainly lies in the difficulty in maintaining the cooling unit, since its placement at great heights and inside the cold-storage room (which also forces to keep the unit at the operating temperature, which is often significantly below zero) makes the working conditions of technicians and maintenance engineers extremely uncomfortable, exposing them moreover to tangible risks linked to the height and to the temperature and to problems of various kinds depending on the greater or smaller complexity of the intervention.

The aim of the present invention is to solve the problems described above, providing a refrigeration apparatus that ensures good temperature uniformity in a cold-storage room.

Within this aim, an object of the invention is to provide a cold-storage room the temperature value of which is as uniform as possible in all of its points.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus that can refrigerate a cold-storage room with a modest energy consumption.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus that allows practical methods for defrosting the cooling unit, i.e., for the periodic activity of melting the ice that indeed tends to form on the unit.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus that allows easy maintenance, assistance and repair activities, ensuring comfortable and safe conditions for the assigned operators in performing these activities.

Another object of the present invention is to propose an apparatus that can be prefabricated and/or sold separately, thus reducing execution times. Another object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus and a cold-storage room that ensure high reliability in operation.

Another object of the present invention is to propose an apparatus and a cold-storage room that adopt a technical and structural architecture that is alternative to those of apparatuses and cold-storage rooms of the known type.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus and a cold-storage room that can be obtained easily starting from commonly commercially available elements and materials.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus and a cold-storage room that are safe in application.

This aim and these and other objects which will become better apparent hereinafter are achieved by an apparatus according to claim 1.

This aim and the other objects are also achieved by a cold-storage room according to claim 9.

Further characteristics and advantages of the invention will become better apparent from the description of a preferred but not exclusive embodiment of the apparatus and of the cold-storage room according to the invention, illustrated by way of nonlimiting example in the accompanying drawings, wherein:

Figure 1 is a partially sectional lateral elevation view, taken along a vertical plane, of the apparatus and of the cold-storage room according to the invention;

Figure 2 is a highly enlarged- scale view of a detail of Figure 1 , showing in detail the cooling chamber of the apparatus;

Figure 3 is a plan view of the apparatus and of the cold-storage room of Figure 1.

With particular reference to the figures, the reference numeral 1 generally designates a refrigeration apparatus of cold-storage rooms 100, which comprise at least one environment 101 to be kept at a predefined temperature.

According to known methods, indeed in order to be able to maintain this temperature, the environment 101 is completely thermally insulated and delimited by masonry structures of adequate thickness.

It is useful to specify right now that the protective scope claimed herein is to be understood as extending to the refrigeration of environments 101 to be kept at any predefined temperature value, be it lower or greater than 0°C. This value can in fact be chosen freely as a function of the type or types of product to be stored and preserved in the cold-storage room 100, without thereby abandoning the protective scope claimed herein.

In this regard, it is noted that in the preferred application the cold- storage room 100 is designed to accommodate and keep at the predefined temperature food products of various types, but the protection is to be understood as extending also to different products.

Moreover, it is useful to note that preferably the invention finds application for cold-storage rooms 100 (and environments 101) of considerable height, i.e., cold-storage rooms 100 which are higher than seven meters and/or those in which the height is at least 70% of the short side: the particularities of the invention are in fact enhanced in such conditions. Likewise, the protection is to be understood as extending to cold-storage rooms 100 and environments 101 of any size (and shape).

According to the invention, the apparatus 1 comprises at least one cooling chamber 2 (also typically completely thermally insulated) which is provided with an upper window 3 and with a lower window 4.

The windows 3 and 4 (by choosing appropriately the installation site of the chamber 2 and of the apparatus 1 in general) can be arranged so as to be connected (themselves and therefore the space inside the chamber 2) to the environment 101 to be refrigerated, so as to allow the exchange of air between the latter and the chamber 2 itself.

In the pages that follow, greater details will be provided regarding the preferred arrangement of the chamber 2 with respect to the environment 101, but it is useful to specify right now that the possibility is provided to arrange the chamber 2 in any point of the environment 101 or outside it, preferably adjacent to it, as a function of the specific requirements.

It should be also noted that the possibility is provided to have two or more chambers 2 of the type described herein (and for example four, as in the accompanying figures) as a function of the specific requirements.

Furthermore, the windows 3, 4 can face directly the environment 101 (in practice, as in the accompanying figures) or be connected to the latter by means of additional connecting ducts.

The chamber 2 accommodates a heat removal unit 5 (per se chosen also of a known type), which is functionally interposed between the windows 3, 4; furthermore, the chamber 2 accommodates means 6 for the forced downward circulation of the air.

By imposing this movement to the air, it is thus possible to make the chamber 2 receive said air, still to be cooled, from the environment 101, through the upper window 3, conveying it, already cooled by the unit 5, toward the lower window 4 and then substantially toward the floor 102 of the environment 101, to be kept at the predefined temperature.

In practice, therefore, in the cold-storage room 100 the path imposed on the air is substantially opposite to the path observed in traditional solutions: the cold air first flows over the floor 102 of the environment 101 and then rises, crossing the entire extension of the cold-storage room 100, until it affects the ceiling 103 and then reenters the chamber 2 from above, through the upper window 3.

It should be noted that the possibility is not excluded that the chamber 2 might be arranged at ground height and therefore with the lower window 4 proximate to the floor 102, and likewise the possibility is provided to arrange the chamber 2 in a raised position (as in the accompanying figures) as a function of the specific requirements. In any case, the action of the means 6 is such as to propel downward the cold air in output from the chamber 2 through the lower window 4.

As can be deduced also from the accompanying figures, although different practical solutions are not excluded, in order to facilitate the desired air circulation mode and avoid or in any case reduce the risk of turbulence, adequate channels are provided in the cold-storage room 100.

More precisely, preferably the air that rises toward the ceiling 103 is conveyed in an interspace 104 that is delimited in an upper region by the ceiling 103 and in a lower region by a false ceiling 105 (for example made of metal plate or of paneling). For this purpose, appropriate slots 105a are distributed along the false ceiling 105: for example, the slots 105a can have an orientation which is perpendicular to the wall of the chamber 2 along which the windows 3, 4 are provided, as can be deduced also from Figure 3. Furthermore, as can be noted also from the figures, the false ceiling 105 is installed so as to not extend up to the wall 106 of the cold-storage room 100 that lies opposite the chamber 2: this allows to form an additional inlet 107 for the air in the interspace 104. Preferably, these channels also comprise a vertical path 108, which leads directly to the upper window 3 and is delimited internally by a partition 109 which faces and is parallel to the wall 106 that is adjacent to the chamber 2 (and also is preferably made of metal plate or of paneling).

With further reference to Figure 3, it is specified that one or more slots 105a are provided which have even different lengths. In the solution shown in Figure 2 by way of nonlimiting illustration, there are in fact two lateral slots 105a, which are extended along the entire corresponding dimension of the environment 101, between the inlet 107 and the wall 106 that is directly adjacent to the chamber 2, and a central slot 105a, which is parallel to the two preceding ones but has a more limited extension.

In Figure 1, the circulation of the air inside the cold-storage room 100 is shown schematically by arrows. In particular, the unit 5 comprises an evaporator or a cooling battery (with intermediate fluid) which is in any case functionally associated with a condensing station 7, which is provided with at least one compressor and at least one condenser, so as to be able to perform a refrigeration cycle. Therefore, while the unit 5 (the evaporator or the battery) is located inside the chamber 2, the station 7 is accommodated in a respective compartment 8, which is preferably adjacent to the chamber 2 (as in the accompanying figures) and can be thermally insulated from the environment 101.

It is specified in any case that the station 7 can also be arranged in a remote position with respect to the chamber 2 and be connected to the chamber by means of pipes of various kinds depending on the requirements of the installation.

Furthermore, both the chamber 2 and the compartment 8 can be arranged preferably externally with respect to the environment 101 to be kept at a predefined temperature.

It should be noted that this last choice (which is preferred but does not limit the application of the invention) achieves a further and important practical goal: in fact by keeping the chamber 2 outside of the cold-storage room 100 it is in fact possible to perform maintenance, control and repair activities much more easily, without forcing the operators to work at low temperatures (the ones that must be in any case ensured in the environment 101).

Furthermore, since it has been chosen to send the cold air initially toward the floor 102, the chamber 2 can be arranged proximate to the ground or in any case at a low elevation, further facilitating the work of operators and maintenance technicians and reducing or eliminating the risk of dangerous falls.

More particularly, in order to obtain the desired forced circulation, the means 6 comprise at least one main fan 9, which is arranged so as to face and be proximate to the heat removal unit 5 (and which preferably surmounts it) and is directed toward the lower window 4.

It is in any case useful to point out that the fan 9 can be arranged differently (or not be present); furthermore, although in the accompanying figures (and in the preferred embodiment) the unit 5 is arranged exactly halfway along the path imposed on the air, between the windows 3, 4, the unit 5 can be arranged differently with respect to the windows 3, 4 and for example face or be more proximate to one of them.

Usefully, the apparatus 1 comprises at least one partition 10, which is arranged in the chamber 2 substantially at right angles to the flow of air imposed by the means 6, so as to hinder the reverse flow of cooled air toward the upper window 3.

As can be noticed in Figure 2, the partition 10 (which preferably but not exclusively is horizontal) closes the channel that is otherwise present at the side (or at the sides) of the unit 5, which is arranged as shown between the windows 3, 4. In this way one is certain that all the air that is cooled by the heat removal unit 5, propelled downward by the main fan 9, exits from the chamber 2 through the lower window 4, without being able to rise toward the upper window 3, where it might mix with the air that is still warm, generating unwanted losses of efficiency.

In an embodiment of considerable practical interest, which is also proposed in the accompanying figures by way of nonlimiting example of the application of the invention, each window 3, 4 is associated with a respective closure element, which can be activated selectively (automatically or manually) in order to cause the temporary transition to a configuration for thermal insulation of the chamber 2 (with respect to the environment 101 of the cold-storage room 100) in order to allow the execution of periodic defrosting procedures.

It should in fact be noted that on the fins of the evaporator (or in any case on the unit 5) during operation it is usual to observe the forming of frost deposits (especially when the predefined temperature is lower than 0°C). The periodic procedures cited above, which require the temporary heating of the unit 5, therefore become necessary to melt the frost and restore the normal operating conditions: in this context, the possibility to thermally insulate temporarily the chamber 2 allows to perform these activities in a practical manner without the temporary temperature rise that is indeed caused in the chamber 2 being able to affect the environment 101 with obviously unwelcome consequences.

Moreover, the thermal insulation allows to require less energy for the complete heating of the chamber 2, obtaining a further containment of management costs.

More particularly, in the embodiment of the accompanying figures, each closure element comprises a door 11 which is made of thermally insulating material, preferably of the fanlight type. It is specified in any case that each door 11 can be arranged horizontally or in another manner and/or be of another type (a gate that is operated in various manners and optionally even by the air stream, a curtain made of more or less heavy fabric, which acts as a thermal insulator, etc.), without thereby abandoning the protective scope claimed herein.

Each door 11 is therefore normally arranged so as to allow the free passage of air through the respective window 3, 4 and in this arrangement it is indeed shown in the accompanying figures.

Furthermore, indeed in order to be able to achieve the thermal insulation configuration, each door 11 can be moved selectively (rotated about its own horizontal axis) for the temporary closure of the respective window 3, 4.

It is specified that the possibility is provided to actuate separately each door 11 or to move them jointly and in a mutually integral manner (thus providing a single system that simultaneously closes or opens both windows 3, 4).

Usefully, each door 11 is supported by a respective perimetric frame, which is provided with a localized autonomous heating apparatus.

The autonomous apparatus can be activated temporarily at the thermal insulation configuration so that the frame can heat the corresponding gaskets arranged along the perimeter of the respective windows 3, 4, preventing their freezing.

For example, each door 11 comprises a metallic border (the perimetric frame), to which a panel made of thermally insulating material is anchored in order to indeed close the respective window 3, 4. The border can be constituted by (or in any case comprise) respective tubes which are crossed by water or another fluid, which is heated in various manners: thus, when the door 11 closes the respective window 3, 4, and each tube is in contact with the corresponding gasket, the latter is heated in turn.

This prevents, especially during the defrosting procedures, the difference in temperature between the environment 101 and the chamber 2 from causing the sticking of the gaskets or in any case their deterioration due to freezing.

Conveniently, the chamber 2 is affected by an auxiliary circulation system, which can be activated at the thermal insulation configuration and can be crossed by a warm fluid.

In this manner, by suspending the conditions of normal operation temporarily, the auxiliary circulation system (optionally by resorting also to a secondary fan) allows to heat the chamber 2 and thus perform the periodic defrosting procedures.

The warm fluid can be ammonia or in any case the same fluid that allows the execution of the refrigeration cycle, which in the case of auxiliary circulation is drawn from the condensation circuit and is sent to the fms of the evaporator or of the battery, or in any case to the unit 5.

The warm fluid can thus first of all melt the deposits of frost on said fms and on the unit 5 : then the heat can propagate freely within the chamber 2 (which is thermally insulated by virtue of the doors 11 and therefore without affecting the environment 101) and allows in a practical and easy manner to melt any other deposit of frost inside the chamber 2.

In a different constructive solution, which is in any case within the protective scope claimed herein, the warm fluid is instead the air that is present in the compartment 8, already heated by the compressor, which can be appropriately drawn and sent to the chamber 2 by means of the auxiliary circulation system in a very efficient and economical manner (since it is not necessary to provide dedicated heat sources).

The warm fluid (usually required at temperatures comprised between +15°C and +35°C) can be produced at no energy cost or even at a negative energy cost, indeed by utilizing the heat produced with the execution of the refrigeration cycle itself, drawing it from the condensation side or from the cooling of oil and the heads of the compressor.

In any case, it is not excluded to perform the defrosting procedures in another manner, for example by electric defrosting or with water, or by resorting to different heat sources or even by connecting the chamber 2 to the outside.

Moreover, provision is made for providing additional heating devices (an electric resistor or pipes for warm fluid) also at the collection tray or tub which is usually arranged below the unit 5 and is indeed intended to receive the water that is formed progressively with defrosting (avoiding or limiting the danger of its freezing).

The present description therefore also relates to a cold-storage room 100, which comprises at least one environment 101 to be kept at a predefined temperature by means of a respective refrigeration apparatus 1.

According to the invention, the apparatus 1 of the cold-storage room 100 comprises at least one cooling chamber 2, which is connected to the environment 101 at an upper window 3 and at a lower window 4 of the chamber 2.

Furthermore, the chamber 2 accommodates a heat removal unit 5, which is functionally interposed between the windows 3, 4, and means 6 for the forced downward circulation of the air.

As already observed in the preceding pages, this allows to receive air to be cooled through (only) the upper window 3 and to then convey the cooled air, from the unit 5, toward the lower window 4 and substantially toward the floor 102 of the environment 101.

It is therefore specified that with the cold-storage room 100, which as mentioned constitutes the subject matter of the present description like the apparatus 1 , one identifies the assembly constituted (at least) by the environment 101 to be kept at the predefined temperature and by the apparatus 1 itself (which comprises at least the chamber 2). As already noted in the preceding pages, the chamber 2 can be arranged within the environment 101, but in the preferred embodiment, which offers more practical methods for interaction with the unit 5 (and simplifies the control, maintenance and repair activities), the chamber 2 is arranged externally and contiguously to the environment 101 (the chamber 2 might also be arranged in a remote position with respect to the environment 101).

Although the possibility is not excluded that the chamber 2 might rest on the ground (at the same level as the environment 101), an infrastructure that is external to the environment 101 is provided in order to have the chamber 2 at a higher level. In any case, in the preferred embodiments, in which the chamber 2 is external to the environment 101 , the chamber 2 rests against a wall 106 of the environment 101 , so that they can communicate with each other through the windows 3, 4 (and corresponding openings provided in the wall 106, of course).

It should in any case be pointed out again that although the possibility to arrange the chamber 2 at a significantly raised height (as in known solutions) is not excluded, in the preferred application the chamber 2 is installed at a reduced distance from the ground, so as to simplify the interventions of assigned workers (and exposing them to lower risks). Evidently, in the cold-storage room 100 according to the invention the apparatus 1 can also comprise one or more particularities that have already been previously highlighted.

The operation of the apparatus and of the cold-storage room according to the invention is therefore as follows.

In order to keep the environment 101 at a predefined temperature (which is lower than the temperature of the outside), one resorts to the apparatus 1, which introduces into the environment 101 air that was previously cooled by the unit 5. As shown, differently from solutions of the known type the air that had previously entered the chamber 2 through the upper window 3 is introduced in the environment 101 by directing it downward, pushing it toward such direction by virtue of respective means 6, which are directed toward the lower window 4.

By virtue of this constructive choice, the cold air stratifies due to convective motions downward until it flows over the floor 102 and in general the lower areas of the environment 101 : then, under the action of the thrust imparted by the means 6, the cold air stratifies due to convective motions and rises upward, skimming the ceiling 103 and in general affecting the highest areas of the environment 101 to then indeed descend again toward the upper window 3 and start a new cycle.

Preferably, when the air rises again, it is channeled into the interspace 104 and reenters the chamber 2 (through the upper window 4) by following the vertical path 108.

This choice allows to obtain an optimum temperature uniformity in the cold-storage room 100 (in the environment 101), moreover in a very efficient and economical manner and for any size (in particular height) of the cold-storage room 100. It should in fact be noted that when the cold air is first propelled upward and only subsequently allowed to fall downward, as in traditional solutions, during the descent path the cold air encounters in its path the warm air, which, being lighter, tends to rise. This hinders its path, requiring a greater energy expenditure; moreover, in this condition a mixing of currents occurs which heats the cold air, making the process for cooling the environment 101 less efficient (and uniform). Moreover, in known solutions the above cited collision of masses of air at different temperatures causes the forming of preferential paths for the flow of the masses of air and therefore of regions that are more unlikely to be reached by the cold air: in these regions, therefore, heat is removed with greater effort and this leads to further difficulty in maintaining the desired (and uniform) predefined temperature in the environment 101.

These drawbacks are therefore eliminated effectively by resorting to the apparatus 1 and to the cold-storage room 100 according to the invention, without having to force oversizings of the cold generation system and/or without having to consume excessive quantities of energy.

When one wishes to perform the necessary periodic defrosting activities, the apparatus 1 offers practical methods of execution: it is in fact sufficient to close the doors 11 (or other elements for closing the windows 3, 4) to thermally insulate the chamber 2 for the required time period. Said chamber can thus be heated, in any one of the manners already introduced (or in yet others) without the temperature rise being able to also affect the environment 101. Evidently, the thermal insulation (and the lack of involvement of the environment 101 when the chamber 2 is heated) is optimized when the chamber 2 is external to the environment 101.

During defrosting, as has been shown the use of a perimetric frame for the doors 11 , provided with a localized autonomous heating apparatus, achieves the further goal of avoiding the danger of the freezing and/or sticking of the gaskets arranged on the perimeter of the windows 3, 4, as instead occurs in known solutions.

Moreover, as already pointed out several times, the choice to arrange the chamber 2 outside the environment 101 allows to simplify the activities for maintenance, assistance and repair, eliminating or at least reducing the risk of falls to which workers are subject in traditional solutions.

In any case, evidently the apparatus 1 (at least the chamber 2 and optionally the compartment 8) can be prefabricated and/or sold separately (independently of the environment 101), thus reducing the execution times. The apparatus 1 can also be installed validly and used at existing environments 101.

Again with reference to the preferred but not exclusive logistic choices, it should also be noted that by arranging the compartment 8 proximate to the chamber 2 it is possible to reduce significantly the number and the length of the tubes, of the wiring and in general of the components required for the connection of the unit 5 to the assembly 7. This evidently leads to a further containment of costs, both in terms of installation and especially of operation.

Finally, it should be noted that the thermal insulation of the chamber 2 (by means of the doors 11 or other closure elements) can be performed not only to perform the defrosting procedures but also for maintenance operations or when one wishes in any case to obtain (even just temporarily) a different (higher) temperature in the chamber 2 without affecting the thermal conditions inside the environment 101.

This is evidently of unquestionable practical interest (especially when it is necessary to maintain a predefined temperature below 0°C in the environment 101).

In practice it has been found that the apparatus and the cold-storage room according to the invention achieve fully the intended aim, since by resorting to a cooling chamber that is connected to the environment to be cooled at an upper window and at a lower window, the chamber accommodating a heat removal unit and means for the forced downward circulation of the cooled air, it is possible to convey the cooled air toward the floor of the room to be kept at a predefined temperature value, ensuring high uniformity of this value. The invention thus conceived is susceptible of numerous modifications and variations, all of which are within the scope of the appended claims; all the details may further be replaced with other technically equivalent elements.

In the exemplary embodiments shown, individual characteristics, given in relation to specific examples, may actually be interchanged with other different characteristics that exist in other exemplary embodiments.

In practice, the materials used, as well as the dimensions, may be any according to the requirements and the state of the art.

The disclosures in Italian Patent Application No. 102016000048132

(UA2016A003335) from which this application claims priority are incorporated herein by reference.

Where technical features mentioned in any claim are followed by reference signs, those reference signs have been included for the sole purpose of increasing the intelligibility of the claims and accordingly such reference signs do not have any limiting effect on the interpretation of each element identified by way of example by such reference signs.