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Thread: Upflow Condenser Deflector - Market Size Estimate Request

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    Upflow Condenser Deflector - Market Size Estimate Request

    I have obtained a US Patent for an air deflector for outdoor condensers which discharge air upward (will be issued 3/30/21, # 10962268). The diagram of it is attached. The benefit of this invention is to increase condenser efficiency when a deck is over it. Using my home deck as an example, its beams are 6-1/2 feet above the top of the condenser. In spite of this hefty clearance, the deck warms air going into the condenser by 4.5 degrees F, which decreases cooling efficiency by 5%. The 5% comes from several university research papers which investigated the effect of ambient temperature upon condenser efficiency.

    Before I try to go to the next step of prototyping and manufacturing this invention, dear HVAC Pros, I need your knowledge of your customer bases to know how big a market this is. My preliminary market research is attached. It shows the US market to be about 16,000 homes.

    What I was thinking is deck installers could install my patented device on the condenser as part of the deck contract. Or HVAC installers could recommend it to their clients and install it during their semiannual maintenance visits. I've worked on the design, and have simplified it down to five sets of parts, plus fasteners. It would be made of 10-ga. and 16-ga. painted steel. It would ship in a relatively small box. It has no moving parts, needs no utilities, and with a hand drill it just screws onto the condenser cover. There would be several size models to accommodate different diameter fans. The price to a client would be far cheaper than moving the condenser out into the open, which would cost $500-$800 assuming covenants would allow relocation.

    Like savings would be had with heat pumps in heating season.

    So, would you let me know how big a market for this invention would be? A percentage of your customer base, or your judgment, would be very helpful. I am a entrepreneur, operating on my own. I spent $850 for the patent, and would like to make it work. Those interested in participating in this business are welcome to suggest ways. Thank you, Mark Ramsay, P.E.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Moved to New Inventions forum.
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    A lot of people install lattice to prevent those beautiful condensing units from being seen, have you tested your patent with privacy lattice several feet away from the Outdoor unit? And when installers do not follow the install guide and install outdoor unit one or two sides to close to a wall. Are you mainly talking for A/C operation or also for split system Heat Pumps? How about horizontal discharge A/C and Heat Pumps, and even packaged one piece A/C or combo gas heat systems?

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    I've been doing my own version of this for decades. I do this "air direction deflectors" in basements ,roofs, kitchens,etc. Hope I'm not infringing on your patent. Good Luck

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    Reply to Bazooka Joey

    If you look at my first diagram, it shows my condenser location vis-a-vis walls and deck. I measured condenser entering air temperature at the front, meaning facing the outdoors. It would be even warmer opposite one of the walls. That is the extent of my testing. Even without the side wall there would still be unsatisfactory recirculation.

    Yes, heat pumps would realize efficiency improvement in winter mode.

    The patent does not apply to side discharge units. An HVAC engineer made a product to direct side discharge units to open air when the unit is sandwiched between walls. When he published this, it prevented patenting by others.

    The patent does not apply to window units. There are plenty of patents to improve their efficiency.

    Lattices should have an 8" space above the earth to let intake air flow with little pressure drop. That is not patentable. Of course, the condenser discharge has to be free to escape. The lattice should not extend more than a foot above the top of the unit. My invention would not help if the lattice extended upward to a deck. The invention would work if a large rectangular hole were provide to allow horizontal hot air to flow out.

    Do you have an estimate of the number of installations, or percent of your experience, that have units under decks like my figure, even without a side wall barrier? My last house and my current townhouse both had decks overtop the condensers; the owner installed the decks after house construction. I found that 9% of the townhouses in my neighborhood have decks over condensers. This usually happens when there's a walk-out basement.

    Nice two-toned car!

    Thanks,
    Mark Ramsay P.E.



    Quote Originally Posted by Bazooka Joey View Post
    A lot of people install lattice to prevent those beautiful condensing units from being seen, have you tested your patent with privacy lattice several feet away from the Outdoor unit? And when installers do not follow the install guide and install outdoor unit one or two sides to close to a wall. Are you mainly talking for A/C operation or also for split system Heat Pumps? How about horizontal discharge A/C and Heat Pumps, and even packaged one piece A/C or combo gas heat systems?

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    Terry,
    No, don't worry, past work is not an infringement. I appreciate that you ask. My invention is for outdoor upward firing heat exchangers only. If you do that in the future, then yes it would be an infringement. But good for you that you found a way to solve clients' problems!

    So how often have you remedied the situation that I show in figure 1 of my post? Is it 10% of your work, or some other percent ? How many in all, about? I realize that you have been doing it for decades, so you may not remember them all.

    I am trying to decide what sales channel would work with people like you. From whom would you buy my device? And I am thinking of selling each for $149. Reasonable?

    Thanks,
    Mark Ramsay, P.E.

    Quote Originally Posted by TechmanTerry View Post
    I've been doing my own version of this for decades. I do this "air direction deflectors" in basements ,roofs, kitchens,etc. Hope I'm not infringing on your patent. Good Luck

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    The patent does not apply to window units. There are plenty of patents to improve their efficiency.

    I wasn’t talking about window units, packaged units such as Gas Heat/AC, Heat Pumps such as

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...sN7ldHbEGKsM2v

    No I don’t have any figures, about units installed under decks, thinking I can count how many I serviced or seen on one or two hands in 45+ years in the trade, but then again maybe it’s a regional area thing? I’m just throwing all this out to you as there are different types of HVAC systems. Thinking your system may work better with a particular type than another? Those packaged units are typically larger than a small condensing unit and have a more powerful outdoor fan motor that may discharge/draw air through the coil at a different intake/rejection rate.

    So what do you call your patent,...or is that a secret.

    BTW I also have a title, but mine was in front of my name, except I don’t use it anymore as I’m a retired veteran. I did when I was in the military SMSgt ( Senior Master Sergeant )

    BTW the car is a 1939 Ford Deluxe Coupe, with a 1946 Ford V8 high performance ( speed parts ) Flathead. This September will be 51 years of ownership. Thank you for the interest in the car.
    Last edited by Bazooka Joe; 03-19-2021 at 09:39 PM.

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    Outdoor Heat Exchanger Deflector

    Bazooka,
    Now I know where you got your moniker; your military background. You must have been quite a leader to get to that rank. Reminds me of James Garner in "Tank."

    The US Patent Office will publish the patent on March 30. Title is "Outdoor Heat Exchanger Deflector." Patent number 10962268. No secret.

    Thanks for your link. The invention will work on package units. Fan power doesn't reduce efficiency loss from recirculating air.

    You find decks over condensers in dwellings with basements or 3-story townhouses.

    You're right, no need for a title after a conversation gets going. I'm not a contractor, so I thought I had to show some cred here.

    Thanks,
    Mark

  9. #9
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    Actually my profile picture/avatar/moniker is the old gum brand Bazooka Joe which I liked when I was a kid. My 1st name is Joe, but for some reason when I joined this site initially I ask for that name but was told it was already taken, even thou to this day I never seen it used, so I added the y after Joe. Who knows maybe it’s a trademark infringement?

    I’m sure you put a lot of effort and thought and research and what not to get your product this far along, may your product be a success for you.

    The only thing I was going to do years ago was install one of my Heat Pump outdoor unit in my basement and duct out partially or fully ( experiment ) the exhaust air through a nearby casement window, thinking the 50/60 degree basement air temperature would work well in heat mode. I was going to place a pan under the unit to catch any condensate that may drip off the coil. In cool mode thinking the 60+ degree basement temperature would keep the refrigerant pressures lower so the amprege draw would be lower. Possibly could even dehumidify the basement a tad, pulling air from upstairs, don’t think it would be terribly a negative pressures situation.

    They do have Heat Pump water heaters that work in a similar manner, except the exhaust is not ducted outdoors, those have a smaller BTU rating compressor thou.

    Years ago there was a manufacture that made condensing units frame out of plastic, and had a trough on the bottom that the coil sat in, it had a toilet bowl float mechanism that you hooked up a 1/4” water tubing to it. It had a small pump mechanism that pumped that water in that lower trowel up to another perforated trough above the condenser coil ( which covered the complete coil ) when a call for cooling, the miniature pump sucked the water out of the lower trough and discharged it into the upper trough ( which covered the complete coil ) the water dripped down from that perforated tray onto the coil by gravity feed, all the while the outdoor fan was running, pulling air across the water soaked condendsor coil. Thinking the fan RPM was slower than a normal fan speed on a air cooled unit. Pulled air in from the side and discharged vertical like regular units do. Thinking the frame was made of hard plastic to prevent a steel skin frame from rusting. I use to have the literature of that system. I tried researching it but could not find any info. I think it was a Florida base no name company that came up with that idea.


    As in New England a basement , ( below ground level which mine is ) needs a dehumidifier in summer months. Never got around to doing that, certainly would not be legal as those units say for outdoor use only, but that would not have stopped me. Worst case if it did not work out well enough, just place it outside where it belongs.
    Last edited by Bazooka Joe; 03-21-2021 at 04:54 PM.

  10. #10
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    Looked it for you.

    bazooka joe joined in 2008. But has never made a post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Looked it for you.

    bazooka joe joined in 2008. But has never made a post.
    Can I have it, mine would be with a capital B for Bazooka and a capital J for Joe..would not be exactly the same, as you posted, you mentioned all lower case.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazooka Joey View Post
    Can I have it, mine would be with a capital B for Bazooka and a capital J for Joe..would not be exactly the same, as you posted, you mentioned all lower case.
    I don't know if the software would handle that.

    You might want to contact the Admin, and ask him if it can be done. Since this account would need to be merged to the new account. And mods can't do that.
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  13. Likes Bazooka Joe liked this post.
  14. #13
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    Custom air-conditioning outdoor air guide air shield side air guide air-conditioning windscreen change air-to-air conditioning device

    https://www.yoycart.com/Product/21957359884/

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    ELIMA-DRAFT® MAGNETIC AIR DEFLECTOR VENT COVER FOR HVAC COMMERCIAL VENTS 24" X 24

    https://cover.airconditioneri.com/el...deflector.html

    snow rain guard over a condenser pic
    https://s3.amazonaws.com/ksr/assets/...jpg?1405954887


    extended venturi on a condenser....This homemade diffuser improves air conditioner performance. According to researchers from the Proctor Engineering Group, adding a home-made sheet-metal diffuser to the top of your air conditioner's outdoor unit will improve cooling performance, lower energy use, and reduce noise.
    Image Credit: Proctor Engineering Group
    https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com...n-extreme-heat

    in the field it was only just uninsulated metal return ductwork used as an air deflector so the heat doesnt stay under the soffits...

    snow ice shields....Marketair Provides HVAC SnowShield for Extreme Weather
    https://www.residentialproductsonlin...xtreme-weather

    and finally! pics on pinterest...of other ideas..
    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/346284658829129450/

  16. #15
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    Outdoor Heat Exchanger Deflector

    Joe,
    I have been out of town a couple of days. This is earliest I could get back to you.

    As far as putting your condenser in the basement and ducting it outside, I don't think that would change heating or cooling efficiency. Good that you didn't try it. Where cited in your basement, the conditioned air flowing into the so-called outdoor unit is conditioned by the outdoor unit itself.

    The water trough and drip method is a twist on evaporative cooling systems used in the southwest US. There, some systems spray water into circulating room air to cool it. Cooling the condenser with evaporating water will boost efficiency and capacity. But the method consumes drinking water in a state where today it has to be managed carefully (Florida).

    Thanks for your encouragement of my invention. We'll see if I can drum up enough interest in it. Just travelled back to my home town in PA and talked with a machine shop to make a prototype of it. I had them do machining for me almost 50 years ago.

    Take Care,
    Mark

    Quote Originally Posted by Bazooka Joe View Post
    Actually my profile picture/avatar/moniker is the old gum brand Bazooka Joe which I liked when I was a kid. My 1st name is Joe, but for some reason when I joined this site initially I ask for that name but was told it was already taken, even thou to this day I never seen it used, so I added the y after Joe. Who knows maybe it’s a trademark infringement?

    I’m sure you put a lot of effort and thought and research and what not to get your product this far along, may your product be a success for you.

    The only thing I was going to do years ago was install one of my Heat Pump outdoor unit in my basement and duct out partially or fully ( experiment ) the exhaust air through a nearby casement window, thinking the 50/60 degree basement air temperature would work well in heat mode. I was going to place a pan under the unit to catch any condensate that may drip off the coil. In cool mode thinking the 60+ degree basement temperature would keep the refrigerant pressures lower so the amprege draw would be lower. Possibly could even dehumidify the basement a tad, pulling air from upstairs, don’t think it would be terribly a negative pressures situation.

    They do have Heat Pump water heaters that work in a similar manner, except the exhaust is not ducted outdoors, those have a smaller BTU rating compressor thou.

    Years ago there was a manufacture that made condensing units frame out of plastic, and had a trough on the bottom that the coil sat in, it had a toilet bowl float mechanism that you hooked up a 1/4” water tubing to it. It had a small pump mechanism that pumped that water in that lower trowel up to another perforated trough above the condenser coil ( which covered the complete coil ) when a call for cooling, the miniature pump sucked the water out of the lower trough and discharged it into the upper trough ( which covered the complete coil ) the water dripped down from that perforated tray onto the coil by gravity feed, all the while the outdoor fan was running, pulling air across the water soaked condendsor coil. Thinking the fan RPM was slower than a normal fan speed on a air cooled unit. Pulled air in from the side and discharged vertical like regular units do. Thinking the frame was made of hard plastic to prevent a steel skin frame from rusting. I use to have the literature of that system. I tried researching it but could not find any info. I think it was a Florida base no name company that came up with that idea.


    As in New England a basement , ( below ground level which mine is ) needs a dehumidifier in summer months. Never got around to doing that, certainly would not be legal as those units say for outdoor use only, but that would not have stopped me. Worst case if it did not work out well enough, just place it outside where it belongs.

  17. #16
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    I would be very cautious about investing much time and money into the patented concept you asked about. The market will be fairly small, the presently available options for doing the exact same thing are plentiful, and from what I can see of your design; have a greater range of application.

    And patent defense / enforcement would be virtually impossible.

    Also: you cannot sell this unit of yours to anyone with a Trane brand unit.

    Most residential condenser fans are 20" or less in diameter. A 20" adjustable round duct 90ş elbow costs about half of your projected sales price and will do the job better - especially for heat pumps in cold climates - and can be ducted besides.

    PHM
    --------


    Quote Originally Posted by Mark21104 View Post
    I have obtained a US Patent for an air deflector for outdoor condensers which discharge air upward (will be issued 3/30/21, # 10962268). The diagram of it is attached. The benefit of this invention is to increase condenser efficiency when a deck is over it. Using my home deck as an example, its beams are 6-1/2 feet above the top of the condenser. In spite of this hefty clearance, the deck warms air going into the condenser by 4.5 degrees F, which decreases cooling efficiency by 5%. The 5% comes from several university research papers which investigated the effect of ambient temperature upon condenser efficiency.

    Before I try to go to the next step of prototyping and manufacturing this invention, dear HVAC Pros, I need your knowledge of your customer bases to know how big a market this is. My preliminary market research is attached. It shows the US market to be about 16,000 homes.

    What I was thinking is deck installers could install my patented device on the condenser as part of the deck contract. Or HVAC installers could recommend it to their clients and install it during their semiannual maintenance visits. I've worked on the design, and have simplified it down to five sets of parts, plus fasteners. It would be made of 10-ga. and 16-ga. painted steel. It would ship in a relatively small box. It has no moving parts, needs no utilities, and with a hand drill it just screws onto the condenser cover. There would be several size models to accommodate different diameter fans. The price to a client would be far cheaper than moving the condenser out into the open, which would cost $500-$800 assuming covenants would allow relocation.

    Like savings would be had with heat pumps in heating season.

    So, would you let me know how big a market for this invention would be? A percentage of your customer base, or your judgment, would be very helpful. I am a entrepreneur, operating on my own. I spent $850 for the patent, and would like to make it work. Those interested in participating in this business are welcome to suggest ways. Thank you, Mark Ramsay, P.E.
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of Thinking

  18. #17
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    Most often the fix to this is moving the condenser hanvt run into one I couldn't relocate

    Sent from my GM1915 using Tapatalk
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    Outdoor Heat Exchanger Deflector

    Poodle Head,
    Thanks for the information. Your comment of limited applicability is the observation I have been getting from calling local HVAC contractors. But in my development, 8% townhomes could use this invention. Happens when decks are installed later. There are 93 million homes in the US, so you don't need much applicability for a market. I estimated 16,000 homes for a market. I assumed 1/2% acceptance of applicable homes.

    My development will not allow relocation of the condenser. That would interfere with the development's grass cutting service.

    Thank you for sharing the pics. The patent is defensible against them. The US patent office examiner and I were careful about this when framing the claims. The patent is for upflow condenser/package units only, it deflects in one direction, and the deflectors are not enclosed. And I assigned this patent to my LLC to liability protection.

    My HVAC mechanic said that the woman of a house wouldn't tolerate the ugliness of a big ell on a unit. Yes it would be functional, something only a man could love.

    If you feel any differently after what I wrote, let me know. In any event, thank you for your research and communication.

    Mark Ramsay







    [QUOTE=Unlimited1;26020907]ELIMA-DRAFT® MAGNETIC AIR DEFLECTOR VENT COVER FOR HVAC COMMERCIAL VENTS 24" X 24

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    Thank you for your reply, Unlimited1.

    I looked at the pics. My invention is limited to deflect upflow condenser air 90 degrees to one side.

    Mark Ramsay

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    Thread Starter
    dkalasz,

    Thank you for the reply.

    Mark Ramsay

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