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Condenser

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Condenser


A condenser includes first and second header tanks provided at one end thereof such that the latter is located on the outer side of the former. First heat exchange tubes forming a first heat exchange path provided in a condensation part are connected to the first header tank. Second heat exchange tubes forming a second heat exchange path provided in a super-cooling part are connected to the second header tank. The first header tank has one communication section which communicates with the second header tank through a communication part and to which all the heat exchange tubes forming the first heat exchange path are connected. The communication part is provided at a height below the uppermost heat exchange tube among all the heat exchange tubes connected to the communication section. The upper end of the first header tank is located above the lower end of the second header tank.

Browse recent Keihin Thermal Technology Corporation patents - Oyama-shi, JP
Inventors: Kouta Arino, Kazumi Tokizaki, Tatsuya Hanafusa
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120305228 - Class: 165173 (USPTO) - 12/06/12 - Class 165 
Heat Exchange > Side-by-side Tubular Structures Or Tube Sections >With Manifold Type Header Or Header Plate

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120305228, Condenser.

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BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a condenser suitable for use in, for example, a car air conditioner mounted on an automobile.

Herein and in the appended claims, the upper side, lower side, left-hand side, and right-hand side of FIGS. 1 and 2 will be referred to as “upper,” “lower,” “left,” and “right,” respectively.

A condenser for a car air conditioner is known (see Japanese Patent Application Laid-Open (kokai) No. 2001-33121). The known condenser has a condensation part and a super-cooling part provided such that the former is located above the latter. The condenser includes a plurality of heat exchange tubes disposed in parallel such that their length direction coincides with the left-right direction and they are spaced apart from one another in the vertical direction; fins each disposed between adjacent heat exchange tubes; and header tanks which are disposed such that their length direction coincides with the vertical direction and to which left and right end portions of the heat exchange tubes are connected, respectively. All the heat exchange tubes have the same length. One heat exchange path formed by a plurality of heat exchange tubes successively arranged in the vertical direction is provided in each of the condensation part and the super-cooling part. The heat exchange path provided in the condensation part serves as a refrigerant condensation path for condensing refrigerant, and the heat exchange path provided in the super-cooling part serves as a refrigerant super-cooling path for super-cooling the refrigerant. The two header tanks, to which all the heat exchange tubes are connected, are provided at the left and right ends of the condenser such that one header tank is provided at each of the left and right ends of the condenser. The interior of each of the two header tanks is divided into upper and lower header sections by a partition provided at a vertical position between the refrigerant condensation path and the refrigerant super-cooling path. Left and right end portions of the heat exchange tubes of the refrigerant condensation path are connected to the upper header sections of the two header tanks, and left and right end portions of the heat exchange tubes of the refrigerant super-cooling path are connected to the lower header sections of the two header tanks. A refrigerant inlet is provided at the upper header section of one header tank, and a refrigerant outlet is provided at the lower header section of the header tank. A liquid receiver which separates gas and liquid from each other and stores the liquid is joined to the other header tank, and a refrigerant communication is established between the interior of the liquid receiver and the interiors of the upper and lower header sections of the other header tank. In operation, refrigerant flows into the liquid receiver from the upper header section of the other header tank, and the gas and liquid portions of the refrigerant are separated from each other in the liquid receiver. After that, the liquid portion; i.e., liquid-predominant mixed phase refrigerant, flows into the lower header section of the other header tank.

However, in the condenser disclosed in the above-mentioned publication, all the heat exchange tubes have the same length; the interior of each of the two header tanks is divided into upper and lower header sections by a partition provided at a vertical position between the refrigerant condensation path and the refrigerant super-cooling path; the left and right end portions of the heat exchange tubes of the refrigerant condensation path are connected to the upper header sections of the two header tanks; and the left and right end portions of the heat exchange tubes of the refrigerant super-cooling path are connected to the lower header sections of the two header tanks. Thus, the condensation part and the super-cooling part have the same length as measured in the left-right direction. Therefore, in the case where the dimensions of the condenser, including the liquid receiver, as measured in the vertical direction and the left-right direction are fixed to certain dimensions, the areas of the heat exchange portions of the condensation part and the super-cooling part become insufficient, and further improvement of the refrigerant condensation efficiency and the refrigerant super-cooling efficiency cannot be attained.

In view of the above, the present applicant has proposed a condenser for a car air conditioner which can further improve the refrigerant condensation efficiency and the refrigerant super-cooling efficiency (see the pamphlet of WO2010/047320). The proposed condenser has a condensation part and a super-cooling part provided such that the former is located above the latter. The condenser includes a plurality of heat exchange tubes disposed in parallel such that their length direction coincides with the left-right direction and they are spaced apart from one another in the vertical direction; and header tanks which are disposed such that their length direction coincides with the vertical direction and to which left and right end portions of the heat exchange tubes are connected, respectively. Three heat exchange paths each formed by a plurality of heat exchange tubes successively arranged in the vertical direction are provided such that the heat exchange paths are juxtaposed in the vertical direction. The condensation part has a first tube group composed of two heat exchange paths each serving as a refrigerant condensation path. The super-cooling part has a second tube group located below the first tube group and composed of a single heat exchange path serving as a refrigerant super-cooling path. A first header tank and a second header tank are provided at one of the left and right ends of the condenser, and a third header tank is provided at the other of the left and right ends of the condenser. The heat exchange tubes of the refrigerant condensation paths, excluding the refrigerant condensation path located furthest downstream with respect to the refrigerant flow direction, are connected to the first header tank. The heat exchange tubes of the refrigerant condensation path located furthest downstream with respect to the refrigerant flow direction and the heat exchange tubes of the refrigerant super-cooling path are connected to the second header tank. All the heat exchange tubes are connected to the third header tank. The second header tank is disposed on the outer side of the first header tank with respect to the left-right direction, and the upper end of the second header tank is located above the lower end of the first header tank. The second header thank has a function of separating gas and liquid from each other and storing the liquid.

According to the condenser disclosed in the pamphlet, the portions of the heat exchange tubes connected to the second header tank, the portions being located on the side toward the second header tank, have projection portions which project outward in the left and right direction in relation to the ends of the heat exchange tubes connected to the first header, the ends being located on the side toward the first header tank, and fins are disposed between adjacent projection portions. Thus, a heat exchange section is formed by the projection portions of the exchange tubes connected to the second header tank and the fins disposed between adjacent projection portions. Accordingly, the area of the heat exchange section increases as compared with the heat exchanger disclosed in the publication, and refrigerant condensation efficiency and refrigerant super-cooling efficiency are improved.

Incidentally, a condenser is generally required to have a wide stable range which appears when refrigerant is charged into the condenser and in which a constant degree of super cooling is attained such that the condenser has a super-cooling characteristic which is more stable against load fluctuation and/or leakage of refrigerant. Therefore, even the condenser which is disclosed in the pamphlet and which has improved refrigerant condensation efficiency and refrigerant super-cooling efficiency as compared with the heat exchanger disclosed in the publication is required to increase the width of the stable range in which a constant degree of super cooling is attained.

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

In view of the above-described circumstances, an object of the present invention is to provide a condenser which can increase the width of the stable range while securing its performance to the greatest degree.

To achieve the above object, the present invention comprises the following modes.

1) A condenser which has a condensation part and a super-cooling part provided such that the condensation part is located above the super-cooling part and which comprises a plurality of heat exchange tubes disposed in parallel such that their length direction coincides with a left-right direction and they are spaced apart from one another in a vertical direction; and header tanks which are disposed such that their length direction coincides with the vertical direction and to which left and right end portions of the heat exchange tubes are connected, each of the condensation part and the super-cooling part including at least one heat exchange path formed by a plurality of heat exchange tubes successively arranged in the vertical direction, the condenser configured such that all refrigerant having flowed through the heat exchange tubes of the condensation part flows into the heat exchange tubes of the super-cooling part,

wherein a first header tank to which all the heat exchange tubes of the condensation part are connected and a second header tank to which all the heat exchange tubes of the super-cooling part are connected are provided at one of left and right ends of the condenser; the first header tank has one communication section which communicates with the second header tank through a communication part and to which all the heat exchange tubes forming one heat exchange path are connected; the communication part is provided at a height below the uppermost heat exchange tube among all the heat exchange tubes connected to the communication section; the second header tank is disposed on the outer side of the first header tank with respect to the left-right direction; an upper end of the second header tank is located above a lower end of the first header tank; the second header tank has a function of separating gas and liquid from each other and storing the separated liquid; and all the refrigerant having passed through the heat exchange tubes of the condensation part flows into the communication section of the first header tank and flows into the second header tank through the communication part.

2) A condenser according to par. 1), wherein the condensation part has one heat exchange path; the first header tank has one communication section to which all the heat exchange tubes forming the heat exchange path of the condensation part are connected; and the communication part establishes a refrigerant communication between the second header tank and a portion of the communication section of the first header tank, the portion extending downward from an approximate center of the communication section with respect to the vertical direction.

3) A condenser according to par. 1), wherein the condensation part has two or more heat exchange paths; the condenser is configured such that refrigerant flows from a heat exchange path at one end with respect to the vertical direction toward a heat exchange path at the other end with respect to the vertical direction; the first header tank has one communication section to which all the heat exchange tubes forming a furthest downstream heat exchange path of the condensation part are connected; and the communication part establishes a refrigerant communication between the second header tank and a portion of the communication section of the first header tank, the portion extending downward from an approximate center of the communication section with respect to the vertical direction.

According to a condenser according to pars. 1) to 3), a first header tank to which all the heat exchange tubes of the condensation part are connected and a second header tank to which all the heat exchange tubes of the super-cooling part are connected are provided at one of left and right ends of the condenser; the first header tank has one communication section which communicates with the second header tank through a communication part and to which all the heat exchange tubes forming one heat exchange path are connected; the communication part is provided at a height below the uppermost heat exchange tube among all the heat exchange tubes connected to the communication section; the second header tank is disposed on the outer side of the first header tank with respect to the left-right direction; an upper end of the second header tank is located above a lower end of the first header tank; the second header tank has a function of separating gas and liquid from each other and storing the separated liquid; and all the refrigerant having passed through the heat exchange tubes of the condensation part flows into the communication section of the first header tank and flows into the second header tank through the communication part. Thus, when refrigerant within the communication section of the first header tank reaches the communication part during charging thereof, the refrigerant flows into the second header tank through the communication part and then flows into the heat exchange tubes of the refrigerant super-cooling path. Therefore, as compared with the case where the refrigerant within the communication section flows into the second header tank after reaching the uppermost heat exchange tube among all the heat exchange tubes connected to the communication section, the interiors of the heat exchange tubes forming the refrigerant super-cooling path can be filled with liquid-phase refrigerant at an early stage. Therefore, the width of a stable range within which a constant degree of super cooling is attained; i.e., the width of a range regarding the refrigerant charge amount within which a constant degree of super cooling is attained, increases. As a result, a super-cooling characteristic which is more stable against load fluctuation and/or leakage of refrigerant can be attained, and the performance of a car air conditioner using this condenser can be maintained for a long period of time.

Also, since the length of the heat exchange tubes of all the heat exchange paths of the super-cooling part becomes greater than the length of the heat exchange tubes of all the heat exchange paths of the condensation part, as compared with the condenser disclosed in the above-mentioned publication, the area of the heat exchange section increases, and the refrigerant super-cooling efficiency increases.

In the case where the first header tank to which all the heat exchange tubes of the condensation part are connected and the second header tank to which all the heat exchange tubes of the super-cooling part are connected are provided at one of the left and right ends as in the condenser of par. 1), if a refrigerant communication is not established between the first header tank and the second header tank via the communication part, it is impossible to separate gas and liquid in the second header tank and fill the interiors of the heat exchange tubes of the super-cooling part with the obtained liquid-predominant mixed phase refrigerant as in the condenser described in the above-mentioned pamphlet. However, even in such a case, if communication is established between the first header tank and the second header tank via the communication part, it becomes possible to separate gas and liquid in the second header tank and fill the interiors of the heat exchange tubes of the super-cooling part with the obtained liquid-predominant mixed phase refrigerant.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view specifically showing the overall structure of a first embodiment of a condenser according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a front view schematically showing the condenser of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken along line A-A of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view showing a main portion of the condenser of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a view corresponding to FIG. 3 and showing a first modification of a communication part;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing a communication member of the communication part of FIG. 5.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120305228 A1
Publish Date
12/06/2012
Document #
13480948
File Date
05/25/2012
USPTO Class
165173
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
28F9/02
Drawings
11



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