Door Operated Pump Assembly for Removing Air or Water from an Enclosed Space in a Temperature-Controlled System
Publication Date: 2004-Feb-17
The IP.com Prior Art Database
ABSTRACT A door-operated pump assembly may include a housing defining a chamber having an inlet and an outlet, a displacement member arranged to move within the chamber between first and second positions, an actuator coupled to the displacement member, and a door coupled to the actuator. The actuator may be operable to move the displacement member between the first and second positions. The door may be configured to move the displacement member between the first and second positions when the door is moved between a first door position and at least one second door position. The displacement member may be operable to inhale a substance into the chamber through the inlet and to exhale a substance from the chamber through the outlet.
Attorney Docket No. 07738.0159-00
DOOR-OPERATED PUMP ASSEMBLY
ARTHUR G. RUDICK AND DARREN SIMMONS
TITLE OF THE INVENTION
DOOR-OPERATED PUMP ASSEMBLY
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
I. Field of the Invention
 The present invention relates to an apparatus and method for removing a substance from an enclosure, and more particularly, to a door-operated pump assembly for removing air or water from an enclosed space in a temperature-controlled system.
II. Description of the Related Art
 Over the years, developments in the field of heating and air conditioning have had a profound effect on the efficiency of cooling and heating processes. Designers have continually sought to utilize the thermodynamic energy generated by various components, such as evaporators, compressors, insulation panels, and the like, to improve the cooling and/or heating process itself. By way of example, the waste heat generated by a refrigeration system can be used to evaporate the condensate generated within a refrigerated enclosure.
 In the case of top-mounted refrigeration enclosures, utilizing waste heat becomes a challenge because condensate tends to collect at the lowest point of the enclosure, while waste heat tends to be located at the highest point of the enclosure. If the condensate can be moved from the lowest point to the highest point of the enclosure, then the waste heat can be used to help evaporate the condensate. One possible solution is to use an electro-mechanically driven condensate pump actuated by a water level sensing switch located where the condensate collects at the bottom of the enclosure. When the water level switch senses that condensate has collected above a certain level, then it actuates the condensate pump to transfer condensate to the highest point of the enclosure.
 The use of electrical switches and pumps, however, is disadvantageous for a number of reasons. For instance, because such devices require a number of complex and fragile working parts, they are relatively expensive and unreliable. Since these devices also require an additional power source, they tend to reduce the efficiency of the refrigeration process itself.
 By way of further example, insulation panels are often employed in temperature-controlled enclosures to reduce heat transfer between the cooled or heated space inside the enclosure and the environment. Generally speaking, the efficiency of the temperature control process depends on how much heat is dissipated to the atmosphere. It is well recognized that insulation panel units, for example, reduce heat transfer between the outside and inside of temperature-controlled enclosures, such as vending machines, steam rooms, buildings, or other similar structures. One measure of insulating value generally used is the “U-value.” The U-value is the measure of heat in British Thermal Units (“BTUs”) passing through a unit per hour (“Hr”) - square foot (“Sq.Ft.⮮.