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Title:
HEAT EXCHANGE APPARATUS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/227373
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present application provides a heat exchange device, which includes: a fluid passage; and two or more heat exchangers, each heat exchanger having a thermal connection with the fluid passage and having an input pipeline and an output pipeline respectively, wherein each input pipeline and each output pipeline are configured to be selectively communicated and closed, and wherein each input pipeline is connected to all other input pipelines through input branch pipe(s), and each output pipeline is connected to all other output pipelines through output branch pipe(s); each input branch pipe and each output branch pipe are configured to be selectively communicated and closed. The heat exchange device of the present application has the advantages such as simple in structure, easy for manufacturing, and convenience in use. The efficiency of heat exchange can be effectively improved, and additional operating modes are provided, thereby improving the user experience.

Inventors:
SHEN GUANGYU (CN)
WANG JINXIANG (CN)
LI KEQIAO (CN)
LI SHEN (CN)
WANG TINGTING (CN)
Application Number:
US2020/031622
Publication Date:
November 12, 2020
Filing Date:
May 06, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
CARRIER CORP (US)
International Classes:
F28D1/02; F24F3/08; F25B39/00; F25B49/02; F28D1/04; F28F27/00; F28F27/02
Foreign References:
DE102011114885A12013-04-11
US5799728A1998-09-01
GB2555738A2018-05-09
US20150129161A12015-05-14
US20030131611A12003-07-17
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FOX, David A. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A heat exchange device characterized in that it comprises:

a fluid passage;

two or more heat exchangers, each heat exchanger having a thermal connection with the fluid passage and having an input pipeline and an output pipeline respectively;

wherein each input pipeline is connected to all other input pipelines through one or more input branch pipes, and each output pipeline is connected to all other output pipelines through one or more output branch pipes; and

wherein each of the input pipelines, the output pipelines, the input branch pipes and the output branch pipes is configured to be selectively communicated or closed.

2. The heat exchange device according to claim 1, wherein each of the input pipelines, the output pipelines, the input branch pipes and the output branch pipes is provided with a valve respectively, and each input branch pipe or output branch pipe is connected to each input pipeline or output pipeline between the valve on each input pipeline or output pipeline and the heat exchanger, respectively.

3. The heat exchange device according to claim 2, wherein the heat exchange device comprises:

a first heat exchanger, which establishes a thermal connection with the fluid passage, and has a first input pipeline and a first output pipeline;

a second heat exchanger, which establishes a thermal connection with the fluid passage, and has a second input pipeline and a second output pipeline;

wherein the first input branch pipe is connected between the first input pipeline and the second input pipeline, and the first output branch pipe is connected between the first output pipeline and the second output pipeline.

4. The heat exchange device according to claim 3, wherein the first input pipeline and the first output pipeline are respectively provided with a first valve and a second valve, the second input pipeline and the second output pipeline are respectively provided with a third valve and a fourth valve, and the first input branch pipe and the first output branch pipe are respectively provided with a fifth valve and a sixth valve;

wherein the first input branch pipe is connected to the first input pipeline between the first heat exchanger and the first valve, and the first input branch pipe is connected to the second input pipeline between the second heat exchanger and the third valve; and wherein the first output branch pipe is connected to the first output pipeline between the first heat exchanger and the second valve, and the first output branch pipe is connected to the second output pipeline between the second heat exchanger and the fourth valve.

5. The heat exchange device according to claim 3, wherein the heat exchange device further comprises a humidifier, and fluid communication is established between the humidifier and the fluid passage.

6. The heat exchange device according to claim 4, wherein the first input pipeline and the first output pipeline are connected to a first working fluid supply source having a first temperature, and the second input pipeline and the second output pipeline are connected to a second working fluid supply source having a second temperature, and wherein the first temperature is lower than the second temperature.

7. The heat exchange device according to claim 6, wherein the heat exchange device has a first mode in which the third valve and the fourth valve are closed, and the first valve, the second valve, the fifth valve and the sixth valve are opened so that a working fluid having the first temperature passes through the first heat exchanger and the second heat exchanger.

8. The heat exchange device according to claim 6, wherein the heat exchange device has a second mode in which the first valve and the second valve are closed, and the third valve, the fourth valve, the fifth valve and the sixth valve are opened so that a working fluid having the second temperature passes through the first heat exchanger and the second heat exchanger.

9. The heat exchange device according to claim 6, wherein the heat exchange device has a third mode in which the fifth valve and the sixth valve are closed, and the first valve, the second valve, the third valve and the fourth valve are opened so that a working fluid having the first temperature passes through the first heat exchanger, and a working fluid having the second temperature passes through the second heat exchanger.

10. The heat exchange device according to any one of claims 1 to 9, wherein the fluid passage is configured to convey air.

Description:
HEAT EXCHANGE APPARATUS

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of CN Application No. 2G1910375084.X, filed on May 7, 2019, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present application relates to the field of heat exchange of fluids. More specifically, the present application relates to a heat exchange device, which aims to improve adjustment efficiency and provide additional modes of heat exchange.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems or air conditioning systems are often provided with fan coils as heat exchange devices. A typical four-pipe fan coil device includes at least two heat exchangers, which are connected to a higher-temperature fluid supply source and a lower-temperature fluid supply source respectively, so as to heat or cool the air flowing through the fan coils as needed. In atypical four-pipe fan coil structure, valves are disposed on the flow path of each heat exchanger. The valves may be selectively opened or closed to allow fluid in the heat exchangers to participate in heating or cooling.

[0003] However, individual heat exchangers in existing fan coils are separately attached to the fluid supply sources, so the fan coils can only be used for heating or cooling alone. In addition, during cooling or heating, the fluid in the heat exchanger whose flow path is closed will reduce the efficiency of cooling or heating.

[0004] Therefore, there is an ongoing need in the art for an improved heat exchange device, and it is desirable that new solution can provide improved operating efficiency and operating options to the users.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] An object of one aspect of the present application is to provide a heat exchange device, which aims to improve heat exchange efficiency and provide additional operating options for users.

[0006] The object of the present application is achieved by the following technical solutions: a heat exchange device, which includes:

a fluid passage;

two or more heat exchangers, each heat exchanger having a thermal connection with the fluid passage and having an input pipeline and an output pipeline respectively; and

wherein each input pipeline is connected to all other input pipelines through input branch pipe(s), and each output pipeline is connected to all other output pipelines through output branch pipe(s); and wherein each of the input pipelines, the output pipelines, the input branch pipes and the output branch pipes is configured to be selectively communicated and closed.

[0007] In the above heat exchange device, optionally, each of the input pipelines, the output pipelines, the input branch pipes and the output branch pipes is provided with a valve respectively, and each input branch pipe or output branch pipe is connected to each input pipeline or output pipeline between the valve on each input pipeline or output pipeline and the heat exchanger, respectively.

[0008] Optionally, the heat exchange device includes:

a first heat exchanger, which establishes a thermal connection with the fluid passage, and has a first input pipeline and a first output pipeline;

a second heat exchanger, which establishes a thermal connection with the fluid passage, and has a second input pipeline and a second output pipeline;

wherein the first input branch pipe is connected between the first input pipeline and the second input pipeline, and the first output branch pipe is connected between the first output pipeline and the second output pipeline.

[0009] In the above heat exchange device, optionally, the first input pipeline and the first output pipeline are respectively provided with a first valve and a second valve, the second input pipeline and the second output pipeline are respectively provided with a third valve and a fourth valve, and the first input branch pipe and the first output branch pipe are respectively provided with a fifth valve and a sixth valve;

wherein the first input branch pipe is connected to the first input pipeline between the first heat exchanger and the first valve, and the first input branch pipe is connected to the second input pipeline between the second heat exchanger and the third valve; and

wherein the first output branch pipe is connected to the first output pipeline between the first heat exchanger and the second valve, and the first output branch pipe is connected to the second output pipeline between the second heat exchanger and the fourth valve. [0010] In the above heat exchange device, optionally, the heat exchange device further includes a humidifier, and fluid communication is established between the humidifier and the fluid passage.

[0011] In the above heat exchange device, optionally, the first input pipeline and the first output pipeline are connected to a first working fluid supply source having a first temperature, and the second input pipeline and the second output pipeline are connected to a second working fluid supply source having a second temperature, wherein the first temperature is lower than the second temperature.

[0012] In the above heat exchange device, optionally, the heat exchange device has a first mode in which the third valve and the fourth valve are closed, and the first valve, the second valve, the fifth valve and the sixth valve are opened so that a working fluid having the first temperature passes through the first heat exchanger and the second heat exchanger.

[0013] In the above heat exchange device, optionally, the heat exchange device has a second mode in which the first valve and the second valve are closed, and the third valve, the fourth valve, the fifth valve and the sixth valve are opened so that a working fluid having the second temperature passes through the first heat exchanger and the second heat exchanger.

[0014] In the above heat exchange device, optionally, the heat exchange device has a third mode in which the fifth valve and the sixth valve are closed, and the first valve, the second valve, the third valve and the fourth valve are opened so that a working fluid having the first temperature passes through the first heat exchanger, and a working fluid having the second temperature passes through the second heat exchanger.

[0015] In the above heat exchange device, optionally, the fluid passage is configured to convey air.

[0016] The heat exchange device of the present application has the advantages of simple in structure, easy for manufacturing, and convenience in use. By applying the heat exchange device of the present application, the efficiency of heat exchange can be effectively improved, and additional operating modes are provided, thereby improving the user experience.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0017] The present application will be described below in further detail with reference to the accompanying drawings and preferred embodiments, but those skilled in the art will appreciate that these drawings are drawn only for the purpose of explaining the preferred embodiments and should not be construed as limiting the scope of the present application. In addition, unless specifically stated, the drawings are only intended to conceptually represent the composition or construction of the described objects and may contain exaggerated illustration, and the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale.

[0018] FIG. 1 is a schematic structural view of one embodiment of a heat exchange device of the present application.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENT(S) OF THE INVENTION

[0019] Hereinafter, preferred embodiments of the present application will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that these descriptions are merely illustrative and exemplary, and should not be construed as limiting the scope of protection of the present application.

[0020] Firstly, it should be noted that the terms such as top, bottom, upward, downward, and so on mentioned herein are defined with respect to the directions in various drawings, they are relative concepts, and therefore can be changed according to different positions and different states of use. Accordingly, these or other terms should not be interpreted as restrictive terms.

[0021] In addition, it should also be noted that for any single technical feature described or implied in the embodiments herein, or any single technical feature shown or implied in the drawings, it is still possible to combine these technical features (or their equivalents) so as to obtain other embodiments of the present application that are not directly mentioned herein.

[0022] It should be noted that in different drawings, identical or substantially identical components are denoted by the same reference signs.

[0023] The present application proposes a heat exchange device, which includes a fluid passage, two or more heat exchangers having thermal connections with the fluid passage, input pipelines and output pipelines extending from the heat exchangers, output branch pipes connected between the output pipelines, and input branch pipes connected between the input pipelines. Each of the input pipelines, the output pipelines, the input branch pipes and the output branch pipes is provided with a switched-on or off valve device or a throttling device respectively, and each input branch pipe and each output branch pipe are connected to each input pipeline and output pipeline between the heat exchanger and the switched-on or off valve device or throttling device on each input pipeline and each output pipeline. [0024] Specifically, the fluid passage is configured to convey a heat exchange medium, such as air or the like. In an embodiment of the present application, the heat exchange device includes a fan coil for an air conditioning device, and therefore, there is flowing air in the fluid passage. The air may be driven by any suitable fan or by a pressure difference generated by the air conditioning device.

[0025] The heat exchanger may be any suitable heat exchanger or heat exchange device in an air conditioning device. In an embodiment of the present application, the heat exchanger includes a finned coil, a plate heat exchanger, or the like. There is also a flow of working fluid inside the heat exchanger, and a thermal connection is established between the heat exchanger and the fluid passage, so that the working fluid inside the heat exchanger can perform heat exchange with the heat exchange medium in the fluid passage, thereby transferring heat. For example, the heat exchanger may be disposed in the fluid passage, and the heat exchange medium in the fluid passage may flow through an outer surface of the heat exchanger.

[0026] The heat exchange device of the present application may include two or more heat exchangers, each of which is provided with an input pipeline and an output pipeline respectively, and the input pipeline and the output pipeline are respectively provided with a switched-on or off valve device or a throttling device so that the input pipeline and the output pipeline can be selectively communicated or closed. Each input pipeline is selectively connected to or disconnected from all other input pipelines through one or more input branch pipes, and each output pipeline is also selectively connected to or disconnected from all other output pipelines through one or more output branch pipes. Therefore, each input branch pipe and each output branch pipe are also provided with a switched-on or off valve device or a throttling device respectively so that both the input branch pipes and the output branch pipes can be selectively communicated or closed.

[0027] In the heat exchange device according to the present application, when there are N heat exchangers, the heat exchange device will include N input pipelines and N output pipelines, Nx(N-l)/2 input branch pipes and Nx(N-l)/2 output branch pipes. Therefore, a total of 2*N+Nx(N-l) switched-on or off valve devices or throttling devices are provided on all pipelines.

[0028] The structure and working principle of a heat exchange device having two heat exchangers will be described in detail below with reference to the embodiment in the accompanying drawing. It can be easily understood that the structure and working principle of the embodiment shown below can be easily generalized to the embodiment with N heat exchangers.

[0029] FIG. 1 is a schematic structural view of one embodiment of a heat exchange device of the present application. The heat exchange device 100 includes: a fluid passage 101 configured to provide a flow of a heat exchange medium; a first heat exchanger 110 which establishes a thermal connection with the fluid passage 101 and has a first input pipeline 111 and a first output pipeline 112; and a second heat exchanger 120 which establishes a thermal connection with the fluid passage 101 and has a second input pipeline 121 and a second output pipeline 122; wherein a first input branch pipe 131 is connected between the first input pipeline 111 and the second input pipeline 121, and a first output branch pipe 132 is connected between the first output pipeline 112 and the second output pipeline 122.

[0030] As shown in the figure, the first input pipeline 111 and the first output pipeline 112 are respectively provided with a first valve 141 and a second valve 142, the second input pipeline 121 and the second output pipeline 122 are respectively provided with a third valve 143 and a fourth valve 144, and the first input branch pipe 131 and the first output branch pipe 132 are respectively provided with a fifth valve 145 and a sixth valve 146. The first input branch pipe 131 is connected to the first input pipeline 111 between the first heat exchanger 110 and the first valve 141, and the first input branch pipe 131 is connected to the second input pipeline 121 between the second heat exchanger 120 and the third valve 143. The first output branch pipe 132 is connected to the first output pipeline 112 between the first heat exchanger 110 and the second valve 142, and the first output branch pipe 132 is connected to the second output pipeline 122 between the second heat exchanger 120 and the fourth valve 144.

[0031] For the sake of clarity, the contour of the fluid passage 101 is drawn in dashed lines. In fact, the fluid passage may be a continuous sealed passage, and there may be various ways to establish thermal connections between the periphery of the fluid passage 101 and each heat exchanger. For example, a part of the heat exchangers may extend into the fluid passage 101, or a part of the heat exchangers directly contacts the periphery of the fluid passage 101, and the contacting part is made of a heat conductive material.

[0032] In an embodiment of the present application, the heat exchange device 100 further includes a humidifier 150, and fluid communication is established between the humidifier 150 and the fluid passage 101. The humidifier 150 may selectively perform humidifying operation on the heat exchange medium (such as air) within the fluid passage 101; in particular, the humidifier 150 is used in a dry season of winter. Similarly, other components for adjusting physical properties of the heat exchange medium may also be provided.

[0033] The first input pipeline 111, the first output pipeline 112, the second input pipeline 121, and the second output pipeline 122 may be arranged on the same side or both sides, and the figure only illustrates the case where they are arranged on both sides.

[0034] In an embodiment of the present application, the first valve 141, the second valve 142, the third valve 143, the fourth valve 144, the fifth valve 145, and the sixth valve 146 are switched-on or off valve devices. Each valve may be selectively opened or closed. In addition, other types of throttling devices may be used, such as electronic expansion valves and so on.

[0035] The first input pipeline 111 and the first output pipeline 112 are connected to a first working fluid supply source (not shown) having a first temperature, and the second input pipeline 121 and the second output pipeline 122 are connected to a second working fluid supply source (not shown) having a second temperature, wherein the first temperature is lower than the second temperature. In an embodiment of the present application, both the first and second working fluids are water.

[0036] Different working modes of the heat exchange device according to the present application will be described below with reference to the illustrated embodiment.

[0037] The heat exchange device 100 has a first mode in which the third valve 143 and the fourth valve 144 are closed, and the first valve 141, the second valve 142, the fifth valve 145 and the sixth valve 146 are opened. A part of the working fluid having the first temperature enters the first heat exchanger 110 from the first input pipeline 111, and another part of the working fluid reaches the second input pipeline 121 through the first input branch pipe 131 and enters the second heat exchanger 120, thereby forming a fluid flow path structure in which the first heat exchanger 110 and the second heat exchanger 120 are connected in parallel. In the first heat exchanger 110 and the second heat exchanger 120, the working fluid having the first temperature exchanges heat with the heat exchange medium in the fluid passage 101. Then, a part of the working fluid exits through the first output pipeline 112, and another part of the working fluid passes through the second output pipeline 122 and the second output branch pipe 132, finally returns to the first output pipeline 112, and merges with a part of the working fluid.

[0038] Since the working fluid has a relatively lower first temperature, the first mode is also referred to as a cooling mode. The first mode is typically configured to cool the air within the fluid passage 101, so as to obtain cold air and produce a cooling effect. In contrast, the conventional heat exchange device can only use a single heat exchanger for implementing cooling operation, whereas the heat exchange device according to the present application can use all heat exchangers for implementing cooling operation. Therefore, the heat exchange device according to the present application has improved cooling efficiency.

[0039] The heat exchange device 100 also has a second mode in which the first valve 141 and the second valve 142 are closed, and the third valve 143, the fourth valve 144, the fifth valve 145 and the sixth valve 146 are opened. A part of the working fluid having the second temperature enters the second heat exchanger 120 from the second input pipeline 121, and another part of the working fluid reaches the first input pipeline 111 through the first input branch pipe 131 and enters the first heat exchanger 110, thus forming a fluid flow path structure in which the first heat exchanger 110 and the second heat exchanger 120 are connected in parallel. In the first heat exchanger 110 and the second heat exchanger 120, the working fluid having the second temperature exchanges heat with the heat exchange medium in the fluid passage 101. Then, a part of the working fluid exits through the second output pipeline 122, and another part of the working fluid passes through the first output pipeline 112 and the second output branch pipe 132, finally returns to the second output pipeline 122, and merges with a part of the working fluid.

[0040] Since the working fluid has a relatively higher second temperature, the second mode is also referred to as a heating mode. The second mode is typically configured to heat the air within the fluid passage 101, so as to obtain hot air and produce a heating effect. In contrast, the conventional heat exchange device can only use a single heat exchanger for implementing heating operation, whereas the heat exchange device according to the present application can use all heat exchangers for implementing heating operation. Therefore, the heat exchange device according to the present application has improved heating efficiency.

[0041] The heat exchange device 100 also has a third mode in which the fifth valve 145 and the sixth valve 146 are closed, and the first valve 141, the second valve 142, the third valve 143 and the fourth valve 144 are opened so that the working fluid having the first temperature enters the first heat exchanger 110 through the first input pipeline 111 and exits from the first output pipeline 112. At the same time, the working fluid having the second temperature enters the second heat exchanger 120 through the second input pipeline 121 and exits from the second output pipeline 122.

[0042] In the third mode, the first heat exchanger 110 and the second heat exchanger 120 have working fluids of different temperatures respectively, so the air in the fluid passage 101 undergoes the effect of being cooled and then heated. The third mode is also referred to as a re-heating mode, and its effect is to increase the temperature of the final output air, thereby improving user comfort in the cooling mode; especially in summer when the humidity is high, the indoor humidity must be removed by cooling, which inevitably lowers the indoor temperature to be below a comfortable value. In this case, the cooled air in the fluid passage 101 needs to be heated. In contrast, conventional heat exchange devices cannot provide the re-heating mode. Therefore, the heat exchange device according to the present application provides more operating modes for users to choose, thereby improving the user experience.

[0043] In addition, the heat exchange device according to the present application can also be operated in the same mode as a conventional heat exchange device. For example, the first valve 141 and the second valve 142 may be opened, and all other valves may be closed, so that the heat exchange device uses the working fluid in the first heat exchanger 110 alone to perform a temperature adjustment operation. As another example, the third valve 143 and the fourth valve 144 may be opened, and all other valves may be closed, so that the heat exchange device uses the working fluid in the second heat exchanger 120 alone to perform the temperature adjustment operation.

[0044] Although the embodiment with two heat exchangers is applied above to describe the working modes of the heat exchange device according to the present application, it is easy to understand that in a heat exchange device having N heat exchangers, each of heat exchangers may be connected to working fluid supply sources having different temperatures. By properly switching on or off the throttling devices or valves, modes such as cooling, heating, or re-heating may be implemented, or a desired temperature adjustment operation may be performed. For example, when it is desired to adjust the temperature by using the working fluid in a certain input pipeline, the valves on the input branch pipes of the input pipeline, which lead to other input pipelines, may be opened, and the valves on all other input branch pipes may be closed. At the same time, the valves on the output branch pipes of the output pipeline on the heat exchanger where the input pipeline is located, which lead to other output pipelines, are opened, and the valves on all other output branch pipes are closed; by doing so, all the heat exchangers can be utilized to utilize the working fluid in a certain input pipeline for implementing the temperature adjustment operation.

[0045] The heat exchange device according to the present application may be used in any device or scenario where heat exchange is required. In an embodiment of the present application, the heat exchange device is incorporated in a fan coil of an air conditioning system. In another embodiment, the heat exchange device is incorporated in a fan coil and may be used in other systems.

[0046] The present application has been disclosed herein with reference to the accompanying drawings, and those skilled in the art are also enabled to implement the present application, including manufacturing and using any device or system, selecting suitable materials, and using any combined method. The scope of the present application is defined by the claimed technical solutions, and contains other examples that can be conceived by those skilled in the art. Such other examples should be considered as falling within the scope of protection determined by the technical solutions claimed in the present application, as long as such other examples include structural elements that are not different from the literal language of the claimed technical solutions, or such other examples include equivalent structural elements that are not substantively different from the literal language of the claimed technical solutions.