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Title:
SHELL AND PLATE CONDENSER, METHOD FOR CONDENSING A REFRIGERANT, AND METHOD FOR COOLING A LIQUID
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/118895
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A shell and plate condenser includes: a housing having an interior and an exterior, an air inlet and an air outlet; a shell and plate heat exchanger provided as a cassette and located within the interior of the housing, the cassette having an inside and an outside, and having a refrigerant inlet and a refrigerant outlet in communication with the cassette inside; and a fan for circulating air through the housing interior and through the cassette outside. A method for condensing a refrigerant includes feeding gaseous refrigerant to the refrigerant inlet of the cassette condenser, and recovering condensed refrigerant from the outlet of the cassette. A method for cooling a liquid includes feeding a liquid to the refrigerant inlet of the cassette, and recovering cooled liquid from the refrigerant outlet of the cassette.

Inventors:
LINGELBACH, John (3460 N. 202nd Street, Elkhorn, NE, 68022, US)
Application Number:
US2016/014582
Publication Date:
July 28, 2016
Filing Date:
January 22, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
LINGELBACH, John (3460 N. 202nd Street, Elkhorn, NE, 68022, US)
International Classes:
F25B39/04; F28D9/00; F28F3/00; F28F9/00; F28F25/06
Domestic Patent References:
WO2007055838A22007-05-18
Foreign References:
US20140165641A12014-06-19
US20130319036A12013-12-05
US20110120672A12011-05-26
US20030000688A12003-01-02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KOWALCHYK, Katherine, M. (Merchant & Gould P.C, P.O. Box 2903Minneapolis, MN, 55402-0903, US)
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Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A shell and plate condenser comprising:

(a) a housing having an interior and an exterior, an air inlet, and an air outlet;

(b) a shell and plate heat exchanger provided as a cassette and located within the interior of the housing, the cassette having an inside and an outside, and having a refrigerant inlet and a refrigerant outlet in communication with the cassette inside; and

(c) a fan for circulating air through the housing interior and through the cassette outside.

2. A shell and plate condenser according to claim 1, further comprising:

(a) a water system for circulating water through the housing interior and the cassette outside.

3. A shell and plate condenser according claim 2, wherein the water system comprises a water pump, a conduit, and a plurality of nozzles for dispensing water on the housing interior and the cassette outside. 4. A shell and plate condenser according to claim 1, further comprising:

(a) a second heat exchange medium inlet and a second heat exchange medium outlet, and a partition along a portion of the shell and plate heat exchanger for separating the second heat exchanger medium from the air passing through the housing interior and the cassette outside.

5. A method for condensing a refrigerant in the shell and plate condenser according to claim 1, the method comprising feeding gaseous refrigerant to the refrigerant inlet of the cassette and recovering condensed refrigerant from the refrigerant outlet of the cassette.

6. A method for cooling a liquid in the shell and plate condenser according to claim 1, the method comprising feeding a liquid to the refrigerant inlet of the cassette and recovering cooled liquid from the refrigerant outlet of the cassette.

7. A shell and plate condenser comprising:

(a) a housing having an interior and an exterior, an air inlet, and an air outlet;

(b) a shell and plate heat exchanger located within the interior of the housing, the shell and plate heat exchanger having an inside and an outside, and having a refrigerant inlet and a refrigerant outlet in communication with the shell and plate heat exchanger inside; and

(c) a fan for circulating air through the housing interior and through the shell and plate heat exchanger outside.

8. A shell and plate condenser according to claim 7, further comprising:

(a) a water system for circulating water through the housing interior and the shell and plate heat exchanger outside.

9. A shell and plate condenser according claim 8, wherein the water system comprises a water pump, a conduit, and a plurality of nozzles for dispensing water on the housing interior and the shell and plate heat exchanger outside.

10. A shell and plate condenser according to claim 7, further comprising: (a) a second heat exchange medium inlet and a second heat exchange medium outlet, and a partition along a portion of the shell and plate heat exchanger for separating the second heat exchanger medium from the air passing through the housing interior and the shell and plate heat exchanger outside.

11. A method for condensing a refrigerant in the shell and plate condenser according to claim 7, the method comprising feeding gaseous refrigerant to the refrigerant inlet of the cassette and recovering condensed refrigerant from the refrigerant outlet of the shell and plate heat exchanger.

12. A method for cooling a liquid in the shell and plate condenser according to claim 7, the method comprising feeding a liquid to the refrigerant inlet of the cassette and recovering cooled liquid from the refrigerant outlet of the shell and plate heat exchanger.

Description:
SHELL AND PLATE CONDENSER. METHOD FOR CONDENSING A REFRIGERANT, AND METHOD FOR COOLING A LIOUED

This application is being filed on 22 January 2016, as a PCT International patent application, and claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/107,119, filed January 23, 2015, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

Technical Field

The present disclosure relates to a shell and plate condenser that provides air cooling, evaporative cooling, or both air cooling and evaporative cooling, a method for condensing a refrigerant, and a method for cooling a liquid.

Background

Shell and plate heat exchangers generally provide enhanced performance over shell and tub heat exchangers and block-type heat exchangers. In general, a shell and plate heat exchanger includes a plate core including round or oblong chevron-type plates welded or brazed into a cassette.

Summary

A shell and plate condenser is provided according to the disclosure. The shell and plate condenser includes: a housing having an interior and an exterior, an air inlet and an air outlet; a shell and plate heat exchanger provided as a cassette and located within the interior of the housing, the cassette having an inside and an outside, and having a refrigerant inlet and a refrigerant outlet in communication with the cassette inside; and a fan for circulating air through the housing interior and through the cassette outside.

The present disclosure relates to a method for condensing a refrigerant. The method includes feeding gaseous refrigerant to the refrigerant inlet of the cassette condenser, and recovering condensed refrigerant from the outlet of the cassette. The method can include passing the refrigerant on a first side of the cassette and removing heat from the refrigerant by passing air on a second side of the cassette, or by passing air and water on a second side of the cassette. The present disclosure relates to a method for cooling a liquid. The method includes feeding a liquid to the refrigerant inlet of the cassette, and recovering cooled liquid from the refrigerant outlet of the cassette.

A shell and plate condenser is provided according to the disclosure that includes a housing having an interior and an exterior, an air inlet, and an air outlet; a shell and plate heat exchanger located within the interior of the housing, the shell and plate heat exchanger having an inside and an outside, and having a refrigerant inlet and a refrigerant outlet in communication with the shell and plate heat exchanger inside; and a fan for circulating air through the housing interior and through the shell and plate heat exchanger outside. The disclosure also relates to a method for condensing a refrigerant using the shell and plate condenser and to a method for cooling a liquid using the shell and plate condenser.

Brief Description of the Drawings

Figure 1 is an exploded view of a shell and plate condenser according to the principles of the present invention.

Figure 2 is a top view of the shell and plate condenser of Figure 1.

Figure 3 is an exploded side view of an alternative shell and plate condenser having a reclamation volume 50 according to the principles of the present invention.

Figure 4 is a perspective exploded view of the shell and plate condenser of Figure 1.

Figure 5 is perspective view of the shell and plate condenser of Figure 1.

Detailed Description

A shell and plate condenser is disclosed that can provide evaporative condensing or air condensing or both evaporative condensing and air condensing of a refrigerant, and which can be applied to relatively small or low volume condensing applications where either no heat reclaim or limited heat reclaim is desired.

Although the shell and plate condenser is characterized as a condenser, it should be understood that the shell and plate condenser can be used in heat exchange application where a material is not condensing and can be referred to as a heat exchanger.

Now referring to Figure 1-5, a shell and plate condenser is shown at reference number 10. The shell and plate condenser 10 includes a shell and plate heat exchanger 12 provided within a housing 14. A heat exchange medium, such as a high pressure refrigerant gas, is circulated on a first side of the shell and plate heat exchanger 12, and air or a combination of water and air are circulated a second side of the shell and plate heat exchanger 12 for exchanging heat. The first side can be referred as the "inside" because it contains the heat exchange medium which can be a high pressure refrigerant gas. The second side can be referred as the "outside" because it is exposed to environmental pressure. When air or a combination of water and air are circulated on the second side of the shell and plate heat exchanger 12, it should be understood that the air or the combination of water and air pass through the shell and plate heat exchanger 12 but on the side opposite the first side so that the air or the combination of water and air do not mix with the high pressure refrigerant gas. Furthermore, the air or the combination water and air are generally contained within the housing 14.

The shell and plate heat exchanger 12 includes a plurality of plates arranged generally parallel to each other and held together by a shell. The shell can take the form of, for example, a frame on each end adjacent and end plate and can include bolts or other structure holding the frames together. In general, the shell binds the plates together so they do not bow out or deform when pressure is applied to the inside of the plates. The housing 14 generally contains the shell and plate heat exchanger 12 therein and holds the shell in plate heat exchanger 12 and the fan 24 relative to each other. The housing can be provided having closed or impermeable sides or can be provided having generally open sides.

The shell and plate heat exchanger 12 includes an inlet 16 for receiving high pressure gas from a compressor, and an outlet 18 for discharging the condensed liquid after the refrigerant has been condensed. The medium that can be passed through the shell and plate heat exchanger 12 can be a refrigerant. It should be understood, however, that other mediums can be used wherein a cooling of the medium is provided as a result of passing through the inside of the shell and plate heat exchanger 12 and with or without condensing. The shell and plate heat exchanger inlet 16 and shell and plate heat exchanger outlet 18 can accept any medium that can be cooled by air cooling or by evaporative cooling. It should be noted that the location of the shell and plate heat exchanger outlet 18 can vary depending on the heat exchange medium circulated on the first side of the shell and plate heat exchanger 12. For example, in the case where the heat exchanger medium is a liquid, then the outlet 18 may be provided at a different location.

The shell and plate heat exchanger 12 can be provided as a plate pack which can also be referred to as a cassette. In general, a plate pack is a structure where the plates are welded or brazed to each other and not to a centralized pipe. In addition, a plate pack or cassette generally has relatively small spaces between plates and that helps provide the plate pack or cassette with a compact size. For convenience, the shell and plate heat exchanger can be referred to as a cassette.

A fan 24 and fan guard 26 are provided to force air across the shell and plate heat exchanger 12. The fan 24 can be any style fan such as a prop fan, a squirrel cage fan, etc., and can be located at the housing air outlet 28 where it draws the air through the shell and plate heat exchanger 12, or at the housing air inlet 30 where it pushes the air through the shell and plate heat exchanger 12. In the embodiment illustrated, the fan 24 is located at the housing air outlet 28 although it could be provided at the housing air inlet 30. The plates of the shell and plate heat exchanger 12 or the cassette can be arranged vertically so that the fan 24 forces the air along the lengths of the plates and between the plates. Described alternatively, the plates can be arranged so that they extend in a direction generally parallel to the flow of air from the fan 24. As a result of this arrangement, the air is able to more easily pass between adjacent plates.

The shell and plate condenser 10 can be operated by circulating air on the second side of the shell and plate heat exchanger 12 and inside the housing 14. Such an operation can be referred to as air cooling. The shell and plate condenser 10 can also be operated by circulating air and water on the second side of the shell and plate heat exchanger 12 and on the inside of the housing 14. Such a process can be referred to as evaporative cooling. The water for the evaporative cooling can be provided by the water pump 32 which draws water from the water sump 34 and forces the water through the water conduit 36 where it connects to a water distributor 38 having one or more nozzles 40. The nozzles 40 spray water on the shell and plate heat exchanger 12. When combined with air flow on the second side of the shell and plate heat exchanger 12, evaporative cooling can take place. Drift eliminators 42 can additionally be provided to help reduce water loss due to evaporation. It should be understood that the drift eliminators 42 are optional. Furthermore, an electrical or mechanic float can be provided for controlling the water level in the sump 34. In should also be noted that the pump 32, and/or the controls for operating the pump 32, can be located remote from the shell and plate condenser 10. One reason for this might be to provide cold weather protection. If air condensing or cooling is desired instead of evaporative condensing or cooling, the water pump 32, the water sump 34, and water conduit 36, the water distributor 38 and nozzles 40, and the drift eliminators 42 can be omitted. Alternatively, they can be provided as part of the shell and plate condenser 10 but simply not used. That is, the shell and plate condenser 10 can be used for air cooling, evaporative cooling, or a combination of air cooling and evaporative cooling.

An advantage of the shell and plate condenser is the ability to use evaporative condensing or cooling or air condensing or cooling while also have the ability to reclaim heat for other processes. For example, it is possible to isolate part of the volume of the shell and plate heat exchanger 12 and use that isolated part for reclaiming heat. In such a situation, a second medium such as water, glycol, etc., can be used to reclaim the heat.

The spaces between the shell and plates of the shell and plate heat exchanger 12 (the second side) can be segregated on the shell side to create a flow path that allow the second medium to come into thermal contact with the refrigerant or other chemical inside the shell and plate heat exchanger 12 while also providing a volume of the shell and plate heat exchanger 12 on the shell side open for air condensing or cooling or evaporative condensing or cooling.

The segregation of the shell and plate heat exchanger 12 between a first part and a second part can be accomplished by encapsulating a number of the shell and plates of the shell and plate heat exchanger 12, on the shell side, in order to provide a volume for reclaiming desired heat. As a very basic example, if the overall capacity of the condenser is 100 tons, and it is desired to reclaim 25 tons of heat, then 25% of the surface of the shell and plate heat exchanger 12 can be encapsulated to allow for the second medium to absorb heat, while the remaining 75% of the shell and plate heat exchanger 12 remains open to the air and/or water for condensing or cooling.

As shown in Figure 3, one way to accomplish this segregation to reclaim heat is to encapsulate a volume of the shell and plate heat exchanger 12 with an additional shell or partition 48 to segregate a certain number of plates or a percentage of the shell and plate heat exchanger 12 in order to pick up heat or reclaim heat for another purpose. For example, a heat reclamation volume 50 can be provided. The heat reclamation volume 50 can be connected via a heat reclamation inlet 52 and a heat reclamation outlet 54 wherein the second medium for heat reclamation can be introduced into the inlet 52 and recovered from the outlet 54. One skilled in the art would understand the percentage volume of the shell and plate heat exchanger 12 that can be partitioned for reclamation, and that can be determined based on the desired heating needs.

The partition 48 for reclamation can be accomplished by direct welding, gaskets, or other methods in order to insure separation between the volumes, and encapsulated. The partition 48 is illustrated in Figure 3 and generally isolates a portion of the shell and plate heat exchanger 12 to form the reclamation volume 50 that is separate from the rest of the shell and plate heat exchanger available for air condensing or cooling or evaporative condensing or cooling. That is, the reclamation volume 50 corresponds to the volume of the shell and plate heat exchanger 12 through which the second medium flows on the second side of the shell and plate heat exchanger 12. The remaining volume of the shell and heat exchanger 12 remains available for heat exchange by air or a combination of air and water on the second side of the shell and plate heat exchanger 12. When the reclamation volume 50 is encapsulated, air and/or water for condensing or cooling can no longer exchange heat with the reclamation volume 50 because as it is shielded by the partition 48 and only the second medium such as water or glycol can exchange heat in the reclamation volume 50.

The reclamation volume 50 can be located inside the housing 14, or may be located outside of the housing 14 depending on the preference of the engineer or the customer. The connections for the shell and plate heat exchanger inlet 16 and shell and plate heat exchanger outlet 18 continue to operate to provide cooling of the refrigerant circulating through the shell and plate heat exchanger 12.

The above specification and illustrations provide a complete description of the invention. Since many embodiments of the invention can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, the invention resides in the claims hereinafter appended.