Summer 1996

Professor Shaw

I:   Write five (5) or six (6) claims-at least one in independent method form-distinguishing over patent to Murray (1741726).
Industrialized nations of the world are experiencing a significant growth in the requirements for cooling in connection with process industries, air conditioning, and the like. Large water-cooled heat exchangers are often not permitted because of heat pollution of water supplies. Evaporative cooling towers consume prohibitive amounts of water. Dry cooling towers have become more prevalent. In a dry cooling tower heat is exchanged between a heated liquid, for example, and air, the liquid being in tubes and physically separated from the cooling air. Such towers solve the water problem, but are much more expensive than an evaporative cooling system because of the large expanse of cooling surface needed. The present heat exchanger has performance and water consumption similar to a dry system but complexity and costs that approach an evaporative system.

The system labeled 101 in Figs. 1 and 2 (on p. 3) includes a matrix in the form of a multidisc rotor or matrix 1 consisting of discs 10, 11, 12, 13, and so forth. The lower portions of the discs are immersed in water 2 at one temperature and the upper
portions (about 40 percent) of the discs 10 ... are in contact with a moving gas 3 at another temperature in a chamber 7. The rotor 1 (or other matrix) is rotated by an electric motor 4 to achieve periodic contact, as alternate conditions, first with the water 2 and then with the air 3 to exchange heat between the two fluids.

In the absence of some provision to prevent water from wetting the surfaces of the discs, adherence would occur with evaporation. To prevent that, a second liquid layer 5, which can be a light nondetergent mineral oil (e.g., Rubrex 100 marketed by Mobil), is floated as a thin layer on the water to coat preferentially the surface of the matrix 1. The oil is skimmed, filtered at 9 and a pump 9A returns it to the surface to the layer 5 of the first liquid 2. Vanes 14 at the exhaust end of the chamber 7 remove oil from the outgoing air. Instead of using oil, one can coat the rotor or other matrix with Teflon or the like in a layer that is thin enough to allow heat transfer between the two fluids, e.g., water and air, and the rotor or other matrix. A matrix with other than discs can be employed. A fan 8 moves the air. A container 6 holds the water 2.

The system serves well to exchange heat between a liquid at one temperature and a gas at another temperature while nevertheless minimizing evaporation of the liquid into the gas, the matrix in operating apparatus being in contact with the liquid and then with the gas; hence, the matrix is continually moved from contact with one fluid to contact with the other fluid.

II. Write brief comments on the following in the context of a Rejection of Claims Under:

1. 35 USC 102;

2. 35 USC 103;

3. 35 USC 112 (First paragraph and Second paragraph).

III. You have received a requirement for restriction between Group A claims 1-7 and 9 and Group B claims 8 and 10-12. In a brief, general way, what is required of you to make a complete response?




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