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Air Liquide : "Distribution Device Comprising a Distributor with Polygonal Channels and Contacting Assembly Comprising Such a Distribution Device" in Patent...

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10/05/2017 | 07:15pm CEST

"Distribution Device Comprising a Distributor with Polygonal Channels and Contacting Assembly Comprising Such a Distribution Device" in Patent Application Approval Process (USPTO 20170266583)

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- A patent application by the inventors CRAYSSAC, Frederic (Velizy, FR); DAVIDIAN, Benoit (Saint Maur des Fosses, FR); LIX, Clement (Versailles, FR); SAULNIER, Bernard (La Garenne Colombes, FR); WATTIAU, Mikael (Palaiseau, FR), filed on August 20, 2015, was made available online on September 28, 2017, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application is assigned to L'Air Liquide, Societe Anonyme Pour I'Etude et I'Exploitation des Procedes Georges Claude.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "US2007194471A1 describes an assembly for putting a liquid into contact with a gas, comprising a lining formed by vertical wires which extend along the entire length of the contacting assembly. The contacting assembly according to US2007194471A1 also comprises a liquid distributor which is situated above the vertical wires. The liquid distributor according to US2007194471A1 comprises parallel and vertical combs, to which adapters are coupled. The combs are immersed in channels where the liquid is located, and the adapters guide the liquid collected from the channels to the vertical wires.

"However, a distributor according to the prior art distributes the liquid heterogeneously, which reduces the performance of the contacting assembly, since this heterogeneous distribution gives rise firstly to areas where there is little liquid or excess liquid, thus decreasing the efficiency of the contacting assembly, and secondly to an accumulation of liquid between vertical wires, which promotes choking between the vertical wires. In fact, the liquid flows partly to the side of the adapters without having been controlled, since the distribution of the adapters is not specific. In addition, the overflow of the liquid is not necessarily homogenous. Moreover, a distributor according to the prior art distributes a relatively small flow of liquid, since the adapters are very widely spaced."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The objective of the present invention is in particular to solve the aforementioned problems entirely or partly by providing a distribution device which makes it possible to distribute the liquid spatially very regularly on the linear elements of the contacting assembly.

"For this purpose, certain embodiments of the invention are related to a distribution device for distribution of a liquid on a plurality of substantially vertical linear elements, and belonging to an assembly for putting liquid into contact with at least one gas, the distribution device including at least: a receptacle comprising lateral walls and a base which are configured to receive a volume of liquid to be distributed, the base having a plurality of perforations configured for the flow of liquid; a distributor which is arranged below the receptacle when the distribution device is in the service position, the distributor having a plurality of distribution ducts which are configured to channel liquid flowing from the perforations by gravity, each distribution duct having a transverse cross-section with a polygonal form; and connection units which are configured to permit mechanical connection between the distributor and the linear elements, the connection units extending below the distribution ducts, the connection units being configured to connect the distribution ducts flow-wise to the linear elements when the distribution device is integrated in the contacting assembly.

"Thus, a distribution device of this type makes it possible to distribute the liquid in the contacting assembly spatially very regularly. In fact, in service, the liquid flows along the entire length of the ridges of the distribution ducts with polygonal cross-sections. Thus, the liquid does not flow, or flows only slightly, in the center of the distribution ducts. At the output from the distribution ducts, the liquid is distributed on the peripheral surface of each connection unit, and thus of each linear element belonging to the contacting assembly. In other words, the ridges of the distribution ducts with polygonal cross-sections guide the liquid towards the connection units, and from there to the linear elements.

"The connection units make it possible to modulate the assembly of the linear elements independently from one another in the contacting assembly. Thus, a modular assembly of this type facilitates the construction of the contacting assembly.

"The flow of the liquid in the distribution device, in particular through each perforation, is caused essentially by gravity, and optionally by the surface tension forces.

"In the present application, the terms 'underneath', 'below', 'above', 'bottom', 'top', 'lower' and 'upper' refer to the altitude of a component relative to the altitude of another component, the altitudes being measured in the ascending vertical direction when the distribution device is in the service position.

"In the present application, the term 'linear element' designates in particular any element which extends globally according to a straight line. A linear element can have any form in transverse cross-section relative to the longitudinal direction. A linear element has transverse dimensions which are negligible in relation to its length; in other words, the linear element is thin and narrow. For example, a linear element can be formed by a wire, a bundle of wires, a cable, a band, a strip, a chain or another form. In the present application, the term 'descending' refers to the field of terrestrial gravity.

"A substantially vertical linear element forms an angle of between -80.degree. and 80.degree. with a vertical direction when the contacting assembly is in the service position.

"According to a variant of the invention, the base of the receptacle is formed by at least one perforated plate placed close to the bottom of the lateral walls. Advantageously, the perforated plate has a flat lower face and a flat upper face. Thus, a plate of this type is simple to produce and assemble to the lateral walls of the receptacle. For example, the pierced plate can be formed by a metal grid.

"As an alternative to a pierced plate, the base can be formed by a plate which is porous to the liquid. The porous plate can be formed by a sintered material, for example a metal material such as a stainless steel. For example, the porous plate can be formed by a metal foam.

"Advantageously, the base of the receptacle has a relatively small thickness. However, the base of the receptacle can have a relatively large thickness. In other words, the base is thin, i.e. its thickness is slight in comparison with its length and/or its width.

"According to a variant of the invention, the receptacle is globally in the form of a rectangular parallelepiped. Thus, a receptacle of this type is simple to produce and assemble in a contacting assembly.

"According to an embodiment of the invention, the polygon which defines the transverse cross-section in the form of a polygon has a number of sides of less than 16, and preferably of less than 10. Advantageously, the polygon which defines the transverse cross-section in the form of polygon has a number of sides of less than 8, and preferably of less than 6. The smaller the number of sides, the smaller the angle between two sides. The effects of accumulation of liquid on a dihedron (corner) depend on the angle of this dihedron.

"Thus, a polygon of this type concentrates the flows of liquid efficiently along the ridges of each transverse cross-section.

"According to a variant of the invention, each distribution duct has a transverse cross-section substantially in the form of a rectangle, for example in the form of a square. As an alternative to this variant, each distribution duct can have a transverse cross-section substantially in the form of a triangle. Thus, a transverse cross-section of this type makes it possible to optimize the compactness of the distribution ducts. In fact, the distribution ducts can be placed in the form of a rectangular matrix.

"According to an embodiment of the invention, the distribution ducts are substantially parallel to one another and to a longitudinal direction which is designed to be vertical when the distribution device is in the service position.

"Thus, parallel and vertical distribution ducts of this type make it possible to minimize the losses of load in the flows of liquid.

"According to an embodiment of the invention, each distribution duct is configured to be connected flow-wise to at least one perforation.

"Thus, the perforations can fulfil a function of pre-distribution of the liquid between the distribution ducts, which makes it possible to increase the regularity of the spatial distribution of the liquid (isotropy).

"According to an embodiment of the invention, each distribution duct has transverse dimensions, measured perpendicularly to the longitudinal direction, of between 0.5 mm and 20 mm, and each distribution duct has a length, measured parallel to the distribution direction, of between 1 mm and 100 mm.

"Thus, transverse dimensions and lengths of this type allow the distribution device to supply with liquid linear elements which are very close to one another, which makes it possible to increase the performance of the contacting assembly.

"According to an embodiment of the invention, each distribution duct is globally in the form of a prism.

"Thus, a form of this type in the shape of the prism permits a vertical flow of the liquid, and therefore makes it possible to minimize the losses of load.

"As an alternative or as a complement to the preceding embodiment, each distribution duct is globally in the form of a polyhedron converging towards the bottom of the respective distribution duct, for example a form of a truncated pyramid.

"According to an embodiment of the invention, for at least one group of distribution ducts, each perforation is arranged opposite a respective distribution duct, when the distribution device is in the service position.

"Thus, a perforation arrangement of this type makes possible a direct flow from the perforations in the distribution ducts, which minimizes the losses of load in the flow of liquid.

"According to a variant of the invention, for all the distribution ducts, each perforation is arranged opposite a respective distribution duct when the distribution device is in the service position.

"According to an embodiment of the invention, for at least one group of distribution ducts, each perforation is offset relative to each of the closest distribution ducts.

"Thus, these offsettings between perforations and distribution ducts make it possible to increase the regularity of the pre-distribution of liquid put into effect by the perforations towards the distribution ducts. In fact, the liquid obtained from each perforation will fall onto an area of intersection between distribution ducts, and thus corners or ridges of the ducts which are very well wetted. Then, the liquid will flow equally well towards each nearby distribution duct. An area of intersection of this type can be formed by a flat surface or by a hollow which the liquid will fill regularly before exiting from it in an isotropic manner by overflow.

"According to a variant of the invention, for all the distribution ducts, each perforation is offset relative to each of the closest distribution ducts.

"According to an embodiment of the invention, each connection unit is arranged opposite a respective area of intersection situated between at least two respective distribution ducts.

"In other words, each connection unit is arranged at an intersection between adjacent distribution ducts.

"Thus, the connection units leave completely free the outputting section of each distribution duct, which makes it possible to minimize the losses of load whilst maximizing the regularity of the spatial distribution of the liquid.

"According to an embodiment of the invention, the connection units comprise a plurality of connection pins, each connection pin having a peripheral surface which is connected flow-wise to said at least two respective distribution ducts.

"Thus, connection pins of this type permit securing of the linear elements to the distribution device, whilst ensuring the regular passage of the liquid from the distribution ducts to the linear elements.

"According to an embodiment of the invention, each peripheral surface comprises at least one lower portion globally in the form of a cylinder, for example with a circular base, extending substantially parallel to said at least two respective distribution ducts.

"Thus, a cylindrical lower portion of this type makes it possible to generate few losses of load in the flow of liquid.

"According to an embodiment of the invention, each peripheral surface comprises an upper portion which has a divergent form, for example frusto-conical, which diverges towards the bottom of the respective connection pin.

"Because of this divergent form, a plurality of adjacent connection pins form a narrowing on the passage of the liquid obtained from the distribution ducts. Thus, a divergent form of this type makes it possible to maximize the wetting of each connection pin by the liquid.

"According to a variant of the invention, the distribution ducts and/or the connection units are derived from an additive method, for example from three-dimensional printing.

"According to an embodiment of the invention, each respective peripheral surface is totally in the form of a cylinder, for example with a circular base, the cylinder preferably being substantially tangent to respective walls belonging to said at least two respective distribution ducts.

"Thus, a totally cylindrical form of this type minimizes the energy necessary for the liquid in order to cover the entire peripheral surface, which increases the regularity of the spatial distribution of the liquid (isotropy). In the case when the cylinder is tangent to distribution ducts, the liquid virtually does not change direction, and flows substantially vertically, which minimizes the losses of load.

"According to an embodiment of the invention, each connection pin has transverse dimensions, measured perpendicularly to the longitudinal direction, of between 1 mm and 20 mm, and each connection pin has a length, measured parallel to the longitudinal direction, of between 1 mm and 100 mm.

"Thus, transverse dimensions of this type and lengths of this type allow the distribution device to supply liquid to linear elements which are very close to one another, thus making it possible to increase the performance of the contacting assembly.

"According to an embodiment of the invention, each connection pin has a receptacle which is configured to secure, for example by resilient snapping in or in the manner of a Morse taper, a respective connection joining piece which belongs to the contacting assembly, and supports at least one of said linear elements.

"Thus, a receptacle of this type permits rapid and mechanically strong connection of each connection joining piece on the distribution device.

"As an alternative to the preceding embodiment, some or all of the connection pins have a positioning receptacle configured to position a respective connecting joining piece which belongs to the contacting assembly, and supports at least one of said linear elements. Positioning receptacles of this type are used only to position the linear elements, without securing them. The contacting assembly can thus comprise securing units in order to secure the linear elements relative to the connection elements or to the distributor.

"In addition, the present invention relates to an elementary component which is designed to form a distributor constituting a distribution device, each elementary component comprising a plurality of wings which are joined in a central region of the elementary component; each wing ending, opposite the central region, in a joining face which is configured to be attached, in a manner sealed against the liquid, to a corresponding joining face defined by a wing belonging to an adjacent elementary component. The wings are placed such as to form the distributor by attaching a plurality of elementary components according to their joining faces.

"According to a variant, the elementary component comprises at least three wings. For example, the elementary component comprises six wings, which makes it possible to define triangular distribution ducts, after having attached a plurality of elementary components such as to form the distributor.

"Thus, in a distribution device according to an embodiment of the invention, the distributor can comprise a plurality of these elementary components which are assembled such as to form the distribution ducts.

"According to a variant, the wings are regularly distributed around the central region, in order to define a symmetrical polygonal cross-section for each distribution duct. According to a variant, the wings have the same length.

"Alternatively, the wings can have different lengths and/or the wings can be distributed irregularly around the central region.

"According to a variant, the distributor comprises a plurality of elementary components with geometries which are different from one another. Thus, the distributor can have distribution ducts with different geometries.

"According to one embodiment, a plurality of distribution ducts, for example all of them, each have lateral notches which are configured to narrow the passage, and thus the outputting cross-section, on the course of the liquid between the linear elements.

"In addition, certain embodiments of the present invention are for a contacting assembly which is configured to put at least one liquid into contact with at least one gas, for example for exchanges of heat and/or material between liquid and gas, the contacting assembly including at least:

"i) a liquid inlet;

"ii) a gas inlet; and

"iii) linear elements which are substantially parallel to one another, such as to extend according to a longitudinal direction which is vertical when the contacting assembly is in the service position;

"the contacting assembly being characterized in that it additionally comprises at least one distribution device according to the invention.

"The linear elements are disjointed, since each linear element extends globally according to a straight line, and since the linear elements are substantially parallel to one another. Thus, the linear elements can define together a contact surface between liquid and gas which is very large, and in all cases larger than the contact surface which the plates would define, for the same size of the contacting assembly.

"Thus, a contacting assembly of this type makes it possible to put a liquid and gas into contact with a very high-performance because of the great regularity of the spatial distribution of the liquid on the linear elements by the distribution device. When a contacting assembly of this type is in service, the linear elements can induce an efficient transfer of mass, with lateral sealing obtained since the linear elements are disjointed, as the distribution ducts and the connection units are separated from one another.

"According to a variant, the linear elements comprise wires.

"According to a variant the linear elements comprise solid linear elements, i.e. which are not hollow.

"The aforementioned embodiments and variants can be taken in isolation or in any technically permissible combination."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: CRAYSSAC, Frederic; DAVIDIAN, Benoit; LIX, Clement; SAULNIER, Bernard; WATTIAU, Mikael. Distribution Device Comprising a Distributor with Polygonal Channels and Contacting Assembly Comprising Such a Distribution Device. Filed August 20, 2015 and posted September 28, 2017. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220170266583%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20170266583&RS=DN/20170266583

Keywords for this news article include: L'Air Liquide Societe Anonyme Pour I'Etude et I'Exploitation des Procedes Georges Claude.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2017, NewsRx LLC

(c) 2017 NewsRx LLC, source Government & Education Newsletters

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