Patent application title: LOW ENERGY CONSUMPTION CLIMATE CONTROL SYSTEM
Paolo Plini (Velletri, IT)
IPC8 Class: AF24F314FI
236 44 C
Class name: Automatic temperature and humidity regulation humidity control humidity and temperature control
Publication date: 2010-04-29
Patent application number: 20100102137
Patent application title: LOW ENERGY CONSUMPTION CLIMATE CONTROL SYSTEM
SQUIRE, SANDERS & DEMPSEY L.L.P.
Origin: VIENNA, VA US
IPC8 Class: AF24F314FI
236 44 C
Patent application number: 20100102137
In a climate control system for buildings, a number of renewable energy
sources (photovoltaic and/or eolic, geothermal and the like) are utilised
to obtain a flux of constant temperature fluid to be circulated into
radiating pipes placed in continuous spaces or gaps defined in the
perimetral walls and floors of said buildings. A desired variable flux of
air is made to circulate in said spaces or gaps, to be heated or coiled
by said radiating pipes. One said flux of air reaches the desired
temperature, its circulation is stopped, to obtain a thermal insulating
layer of air, in thermal equilibrium with the rooms to be air
6. Climate control system for a building, said system comprising:a building structure including at least one perimetral wall and at least one floor, said perimetral wall and floor each having a plurality of parallel, space-apart continuous panels, with gaps being defined between the panels;a first system configured to generate and accumulate electricity from renewable sources;a second system for capturing fluids at a temperature within a preferred range, said second system comprising a geothermic system;a third system configured to circulate air-flow in a variable capacity manner;a fourth system configured to monitor and control temperature and humidity of air-flow being circulated by said third system,wherein the at least one perimetral wall further comprises an external wall and an internal wall defining a gap therebetween, with the gap being divided into at least first, second, and third gaps by the plurality of spaced-apart continuous panels, with a first panel comprising a thermal insulating material, and a second panel comprising a breathable metallic sheet, with a side of the breathable metallic sheet facing the internal wall including an impermeable metal sheet reflective to thermal fluxes, and wherein, in a radiating gap of the first, second, and third gaps created below the at least one floor by the thermally insulating material, a radiating pipe is disposed, with the pipe configured to carry fluid flowing from the second system, and wherein the air-flow from the third system flows through the radiating gap.
7. A system according to claim 6, wherein said fourth system comprises a centralized remote control system, said centralized remote control system monitoring and regulating the air-flow going through the radiating gap.
8. A system according to claim 7, wherein said centralized remote control system treats and the dehumidifies the airflow.
9. A system according to claim 6, wherein the second panel is integral with the first panel.
10. A system according to claim 6, wherein the second panel is detached from the first panel.
11. A system according to claim 6, wherein at least two of the first, second, and third gaps are interconnected.
12. A system to according to claim 6, wherein the second system comprises a plurality of radiating pipes circulating the fluid.
13. A method of climate control in a building, said method comprising:circulating treated air through gaps between internal and external walls in a building;controlling a temperature of said air by controlling fluid carried in radiator pipes within at least one of said gaps;monitoring and controlling temperature and humidity of said air by controlling temperature of the fluid circulating in the radiator pipes,wherein at least one gap is defined between the internal wall and external wall, with the gap being divided into at least first, second, and third gaps by a plurality of spaced-apart continuous panels, with a first panel comprising a thermal insulating material, a second panel comprising a breathable metallic sheet, with a side of the breathable metallic sheet facing the internal wall including an impermeable metal sheet reflective to thermal fluxes, and wherein, in a radiating gap of the first, second, and third gaps, created below a floor by the thermally insulating material, the radiating pipe is disposed.
This invention refers to a low energy consumption climate control
system, more specifically it refers to a climate control system suitable
for both home and industrial applications: the system allows easy control
of indoors environmental conditions, substantially cutting down energy
consumption whilst maintaining a light and relatively simple construction
Ways of improving climate control and healthiness in homes and work places have always been sought. However, efforts to resolve the issue of low energy consumption climate control and to produce zero-emission dwellings have only been made in the last few years, often encouraged by proposals and specific regulations coming from important research institutes. This lead to the definition of "zero energy buildings" to indicate buildings having a thermal dissipation lower than 20 KW m2/year for heating and cooling. On that matter, in Italy, the autonomous province of Bozen (Bolzano) has suggested the following classification for buildings: (i) CasaClima Oro, with a thermal demand/consumption below 10 KW m2/year; (ii) CasaClima A, with a thermal demand/consumption below 30 KW m2/year; (iii) CasaClima B, with an energy demand/consumption below 50 KW m2/year.
Similarly enterprises and individual inventors are striving to identify materials and project concepts aimed at significantly reducing buildings' energy consumption, also tying in to the rising energy crisis, to the necessity to improve environmental conditions and to comply with international rules and regulations.
As a matter of fact, most of such attempts at finding a solution to the energy consumption problem rely on known building techniques, such as high width walls, and/or on improving thermally insulating materials such as beehive-hollow bricks expanded materials and so on. This lead has been followed by, for instance, the recent Italian Fiscal Legislation.
Other methods rely on renewable energy sources, such as thermal and photovoltaic solar panels, wind power, geothermal power plants and so forth.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,293,120 is, for example, modelled after this trend and claims an air-conditioning system for a home utilising geothermal power, including a geothermal power storage system, with energy being transferred to an air-flow, which is directed through a layer of gravel underneath the building in order to create a "reserve" of thermal energy, and finally means to convey air at a controlled temperature and humidity from said layer of gravel to the inside of the building. Apparently such a system is only suited to be used in smaller size buildings such as a detached house and furthermore it does not include specific systems to limit thermal dissipation other than high width walls and/or thermally insulating materials.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,220,339 utilises solar collector to create a warm fluid; different zones and/or orientations of the collector, each with its own system of fluid circulation, make it possible to obtain fluids at different temperatures, which are utilised in thermal accumulators placed one around the other, with decreasing temperatures from the centre to the outer limit in order to minimise heat loss. A system of heat exchangers makes it possible to obtain water, or other suitable fluid, at a desired temperature, to be channelled towards a system of pipes buried within the walls and/or floors of the building to allow climate control. Again, high width walls and thick thermally insulating panels are used.
U.S. Pat. No. 7,028,685 describes an air conditioning system for buildings where a solar collector sends heated fluid to a thermal accumulator where an air-flow is directed and subsequently redirected to the various rooms to be air-conditioned and then released in the atmosphere.
The incoming air-flow runs through a pipe that is coaxial to another pipe carrying air that is previously heated in the thermal accumulator. This system of pipes to convey air is placed in a gap within the outer wall of the building, such wall being made of a load bearing central structure having thick thermally insulating panels facing both towards the inside as well as the outside.
Similar concepts to the ones mentioned above are illustrated for example in U.S. Pat. No. 4,375,831, in the Japanese patent application JP2005164160 and JP2006010098 and in the French patent application 2,884,300.
Summing up, it seems that new air-conditioning technologies being proposed are fundamentally based on simple methods of heat accumulation and thermal insulation whilst leaving heating and cooling methods unchanged and basically consisting of systems that direct air-flows to various rooms through specific apertures in the walls and/or ceilings and floors, or that direct a fluid at a desired temperature through pipes buried in the walls or in the floors.
On the contrary, the invention presented herewith, aims to utilise a particular structure for the floors and perimetral walls of the building to be air-conditioned such walls and floors being made of light materials.
Thermal insulation is based on thermally insulating materials as much as on exploiting the air's ultra-low thermal conductivity.
As will be seen further on, in the description of enclosed drawings, invention present refers to a climate control system for buildings, both residential and industrial, having perimetral walls and floors, including a first system to generate and accumulate electricity from renewable sources, a second geothermic system. Said perimetral walls and floors composed of a plurality of parallel spaced-apart continuous panels, void spaces or gaps defined between different panels, air-flow circulation in at least some of said gaps, a fourth system for monitoring and controlling temperature and humidity of said air-flow. In the perimetral walls, generally comprising an outer wall (for example, a solid brick wall) and an inner wall (for example, a hollow brick wall), said outer and inner walls being spaced-apart, a space or gap there between is further divided into at least three spaces or gaps (parallel to said inner and outer walls) by the least continuous heat-insulating panels. The gap towards the outer wall, of lesser width than the others, contains a further thin panel in the form of a metallic, breathable sheet reflective to thermal fluxes, that may be coated by a said heat-insulating panels, said further panel being detached from the external wall. A side of the other heat-insulating panel facing directly towards the internal wall is coated by a continuous metallic, non-breathable sheet reflective to thermal fluxes.
A gap underneath the floor is insulated from the ceiling below by a horizontal panel made of a thermally insulating material and also coated with a non-breathable metal sheet on the side facing the floor. A number of radiating pipes is placed within this gap beneath the floor and in the smaller gap towards the external wall, in said pipes a fluid, at a desired temperature and coming from the aforementioned geothermic system, circulated.
Within the above gaps properly treated and dehumidified air is circulated at a desired temperature.
The air-flow within said gaps is monitored and regulated by a centralised remote control system.
Said metallic sheets are placed on thermally insulated panels situated in the gaps within the side walls and underneath the floor, they can either be integral to said panels or detached; in the latter case it is possible to utilise, as will be shown further on, a well known principle in thermal exchange physics to further lower heat dissipation outside the building utilising present invention.
Through specific passages build into, for example, the reinforced concrete structure of the building as in the case of the invention described herewith, it is possible to interlink the inner gaps and the ceilings of the entire building so as to harmonise the physical characteristics of the air-flow being circulated within these gaps. On the other hand it is also possible to separate the gaps in between floors to allow independent management of the climate control system, for instance in separate apartments.
The working principle of the climate control system as indicated in the invention described herewith is based on the active utilisation, so to speak, in an absolutely innovative way, of the gaps within the side walls and the floor.
Indeed, the fluid of geothermal origin circulated by said radiating pipes within the gaps exchanges heat with the air here in contained as much by convection as, and above all, by radiation bringing it to the desired temperature.
In turn the air exchanges heat with the walls facing inwards and with the floors, and these exchange heat with the room to be air-conditioned. Specific sensors constantly monitor certain parameters (such as temperature, humidity, etc.) of the air within said gaps and in the air-conditioned rooms, regulating the flow of the fluid within the radiating pipes as well as the air-flow within the gaps according to the measured data. Air, moving at a very slow pace within the gaps or being kept still constantly provides a highly insulating layer, furthermore at a temperature which is very close to that of the air-conditioned room indoors, thus considerably reducing heat dissipation towards the outside. Both the thermally insulating panels placed within the various gaps and the metallic reflective sheets contribute to this purpose.
Still on the subject of lowering thermal dissipation, it is interesting to note that the various panels and metal sheets placed in the gaps have another positive effect with regards to radiating heat transfer. Let us consider for example the gaps in the side walls: the attached drawings table shows how in between the radiating pipe and the vertical thermally insulating panelling there is a continuous metallic sheet, which can be detached from said panelling; in this case, the thermal exchange occurring by radiation between pipes and insulating panels is automatically reduced by 50% following a well known thermal exchange physics principle.
The same effect can have the other metallic sheet placed in proximity of the external wall. It is clear how the heat-flow dissipated by radiation from the gap containing the radiating pipe system to the outside, is automatically reduced by 75% merely from the use of the metallic sheets placed within. This outcome is consolidated by the effect of the insulating panels that strongly limit exchange by conduction. Finally, the very slow air circulation within the gaps reduces heat loss by convection to very low levels.
The invention in question will now be described in more detail in relation to a form of application, detailed as an example and thus not limitative, described in relation to the attached drawing table in which FIG. 1 represents a lateral section in elevation of part of a building unit according to the invention in question.
In the diagram, hollow spacer elements (20), metallic sheets (19) made of aluminum for example, hollow flat tiles (18), a sub-layer (15) and a finishing layer (14) are placed above a base element (1) to create a floor; between this and the floor level (1) thanks to the spacer elements (20) a gap (16) is created, where thermally insulating horizontal panels (17), coated by a thin metallic sheet (9), are placed. Radiating pipes (11) run through the spacer elements (20) and the gap (16), circulating a fluid of geothermal origin. The metallic sheets 9 and 19 are laid continuously to provide a continuous impermeable and reflective surface, for example with regards to vapour.
A side wall (2) is built orthogonally to the floor (1) and comprises first external wall (3) of normal bricks bound by thermally insulating mortar (4). A second inner wall (5) is built at an appropriate distance from said first external wall (3); a continuous thermally insulating panel (10) is placed in the space or gap existing between said first and secondary wall, thus dividing said space in two secondary spaces 12 and 13.
The inwards facing side of the outside wall 3, coated with an insulating layer 21, is separated from the central gap 13 by a continuous panelling constituted by a metallic sheet, also separated from the thermally insulating element 10. This constitutes the outermost gap 23. Radiating pipes (11) coming from the gap (16) between floor and ceiling, after having passed through the spacer elements (20), run through gap 12. A continuous panelling (9) constituted by metallic sheet is also placed within gap 12, preferably but not necessarily detached from panelling 10. Another continuous panelling (8), constituted by metallic sheet and including an insulating layer (21), is placed in the other gap (13) and detached both from the thermally insulating element (10) and from the inwards-facing side of the wall (3).
Panelling 8 is preferably made of breathable metallic sheet, or metallic sponge, allowing amongst other things, a certain amount of vapour transpiration to and from the outside. Finishing elements such as plasterwork (6) and baseboard (7) complete the construction as usual.
In order to avoid unnecessary complication of the attached diagram as well as of this description, certain additional elements integral to the correct operation of the invention are not included in FIG. 1. Such elements shall now be briefly described, also in their functioning relation to the invention.
A first system including photovoltaic panels and/or wind-driven power generators, or the like, is utilised to generate electricity, which is then appropriately stored in accumulators; these power mechanical and heat pumps in a second system, for instance a geothermal one where appropriate fluids are extracted, treated and moved, channelling them through the above-mentioned radiating pipes system 11. The accumulators also power a series of fans that channel air to a filtration and dehumidification plant, then within at least two of the gaps described in relation to the attached FIG. 1, in order to form a layer of air at a desired temperature within said gaps, thus allowing air-conditioning in the adjacent rooms.
Additionally, a monitoring system keeps a series of parameters (such as temperature, humidity and flow) in check, throughout the gaps and the adjacent rooms; the monitoring system also provides management of the flow and temperature of the fluids inside the radiating pipes and of the flow and humidity of the air within the gaps, so as to keep air-conditioning throughout the building within the desired range.
Although the invention described above refers to a conventional construction type, it can also be adapted to prefabricated buildings, without modifying the concepts of the actual invention. However, it is interesting to note how the specifications used so far in classifying new housing units (for example the above-mentioned classification in use in the province of Bozen) even though using a consumption value expressed in KW m2/year, actually refer to the actual consumption of fossil fuels, such as diesel fuel expressed in 1 m2/year. After the above description it can be appreciated how the housing units built after the invention described herewith, utilise exclusively renewable energy sources (solar, wind-power, geothermal), therefore they are truly zero-emission units. This way it is possible to achieve cancellation of harmful emissions (CO2, NOx, HC particles), obtaining a system that does not consume, but rather utilises energy in a more economical fashion.
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