US 1992011 A
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Feb.-1l9, V1 935. J, L, KNIGHT REFRIGERATOR' CABINET.
Filed Feb. 4, 1953 Inventor- James Lul/(night,
His Attorney Patented Feb. 19, 1.935 I l i l i UNITED lSTATE-S PATENT .OFFICE REFRIGERATOR CABINET James L. Knight, Erie, mi, signor to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Application February 4, 1933, Serial No. 655,245
e clam. (crise-ss) My invention relates to refrigerator cabinets in, are suspended from the upper wall of the cabi and particularly to'devices for preventing con- 'net b elow the refrigerating unit for cooling the densation of moisture yon the outside of such air space within the cabinet. It is readily seen cabinets. I y in Fig. 2 that the mullion 13 has a greater inner Refrigerator cabinets in some cases are rethan outer surface; which increases the tendency 5 quired to be of such construction that a portion to cool the outer surface. Insulating strips 1'? of the outer surface of the cabinet is cooled on either side of the mullion both serve to conelow thedew point of the surrounding air and duct s ome heat from the outer surface. It will in consequence there is a. tendency forl moisture also be noted that there is an air space between to condense on the cabinet wall. The two-door the strips 17'and strips 18 which are on the doors. l0 i cabinet is an example of such construction for Cold air circulating in this space also conducts in it a post or mullion is provided between the heat from the mullion surface.'` While the cold doors. The mullion is insulated from the door air also cools the door surface there is sulcient surface by the door gaskets, so that there is surface to prevent eXCeSS Cooling. but the Outer l5 little flow of heat from the door and cabinet surface of the'mullion is separated along both l5 surfaces to raise the temperature of the outer sides by the cushioning stripsor gaskets 19 sesurface of the mullion. The vouter surface of curedto the doors, and little heat can ow therethe mullion is cooled more than that of the reto from the cabinet and door surfaces. 'I'he outmander of the surface of the cabinet and beside surface of the mullion will therefore be 20 low the dew point of the surrounding air by the cooled more than the outside surface ofthe recirculation of cold cabinet air in the space bemainder of the refrigerator cabinet, and in many tween the door and the mullion, by the conduccases this cooling effect is suiilcient to lower the tion of heat through the two insulated side faces temperature of the outside surface of the mullion of the mullion, which are relatively close tobelow the dew point ofthe surrounding air and gether. and by the conduction of heat from the thereby t0 cause COIrdenSatiOn 01' mOiStllle- 25 outer surface of the mullion to the inner surface Moisture formed on the mullion surface is obvithereof. ously undesirable and may in some cases prove Itis an Aobject of my invention to provide a injurious to the cabinetand its fittings. Should device for preventing reduction in the tempera.-` the formation of moisture be excessive itrmay ture of portions of the outer surfaces of refrigeralso run down and collect on the door, which may 30 ator walls to such an extent as to cause the con-V result in rotting Or other injury t0 the floordensation of moisture thereon. In accordance with my invention I provide Further objects and advantages of my inventwo tubes or containers 20 and 21 hermeticaliy tion will become apparentasthe following de- Sealed at both ends and patially filled Wil-h B- scription proceeds and the features of novelty liquid refrigerant, 0r Other Volatile liquid and 35 which characterize my invention will be pointed arranged within the mullion and cabinet walls. out with particularity in the claims annexed to Each of the tubes 20 and 21 has an upright porand forming a part of this specification. tion arranged along the entire length of the For a better understanding of my invention mullion and in contact with the inside surface of reference may be had to the accompanying the outer wall thereof, the tubes being surround- 40 drawing in which Fig. 1 shows a twodoor refriged by the insulation within the mullion, as can erator cabinet Aembodying my invention; Fig. 2 be seen in Figs. 2 and 3. The tubes are bent at shows an enlarged cross-sectional view of the right angles and the remaining portions are armullion of the cabinet shown in Fig. 1 with the ranged on the bottom of the refrigerator cabinet l5 doorsin their closed position; and Fig. 3 shows in contact with the outside metal wail of the l45 an enlarged fragmentary sectional view oi' the refrigerator. The portion of each of these tubes mullion of the cabinet shown inFig. 1. not filled with liquid refrigerant' is filled with Referring to thev drawing, in Fig. 1 I- have gaseous refrigerant, the liquid refrigerant under. shown a household refrigerator comprising a normal conditions being preferably about suflicabinet 10 having doors 11 and 12 and a central cient tovhalf fill that portion of the tubes extend- 50 mullion 13 of relatively small cross-sectional ing along the bottom of the refrigerator, thus proarea between vthe door openings. A condensing viding a Amaximum surface which facilitates and compressing refrigerating unit 14 is arvaporization. The tubes are arranged in close ranged on top of the cabinet, and two evaporators contact with the outside walls of the refrigerator 15 and 16,' having freezingcompartments therein order that heat may be readily transferred be- 55 may be placed in tween the tubes and the outside metallic walls. It will readily be understood that the major portionl of the outer surface of the refrigerator cabinet is at substantially the temperature of the surrounding air, and that the portions of the tubes 20 and 21 which contain liquid refrigerant may be arrangedin contact with any suitable part of the lmajor portion'of the outer wall of the refrigerator cabinet which is at a suiciently high temperature.
In the operation of the embodiment of my invention shown in the drawing, when the refrigerating mechanism' is in operation and the interior of the cabinet is cold, there will be a tendency for heat toiiow from the outside of the refrigerator to the cold cabinet. And, as has been pointed out above, the outer surface of the mullion will be cooled more than the remainder of the'cabinet surface. However, in Vaccordance with my invention the tubes 20 and 21 are-so arranged that there will be a transferof heat from the bottom o f the refrigerator to the outer surface of the mullion, which raises the temperature of the outer surface of the mullion sufficiently to prevent the condensation of moisture on the outside due to the lowering of the temperature of the outside walls. The cold mullion will cool the tubes 20 and 21 and condense the gas in the upper portions thereof. This gas will liquefy and run down to the lower portions of the tubes and will be replaced by gas boiled from the liquid in the lower portions of the tubes along the bottom of the refrigerator. The gas which is condensed i'n the upper portions of the tubes 20 and 21 supplies the heat necessary to maintain the outer surface of the mullion at a temperature above the dew point -ofthe surrounding air.
It will be apparent that this heat transfer device needs no attention whatsoever and will operate continuously as long as a ternperaturevdifference.prevails between the mullion and thebottom of the cabinet. 'The portions of the tubes containing the liquid refrigerant any part of the refrigerator cabinet, which `is at a higher temperature than the mullion itself, it being understood that the tubes must be arranged to permit the flow of condensed liquid refrigerant back to the main body of liquid refrigerant. c
While I have described my invention in connection with a household refrigerator of the type having a mullion between the doors, it will be apparent that it is applicable to other constructions in which it is desired to transfer heat from one part of the cabinet structure to another. I do not. therefore, desire my invention to be limited to the particular construction shown and described and I intend in the appended claims to cover all modifications thereof which `do not depart from the spirit and scope of my invention.
What I claim as new and desire to securerby Letters Patent of the United States, is:
1. A refrigerator cabinet having a major portion of the outer surface thereof at substantially the temperature of the surrounding airand havin g another portion of Said outer surface which may be cooled below the dewA point of the surrounding air by transfer of heat to 'the interior of said cabinet, and means for transferring sufficient heat from a part of said major portion of said outer surface to said other portion to maintain the temperature of said other portion above the dew point of the air surrounding said cabinet.
2. A refrigerator cabinet having a major portion of the outer surface thereof at substantially the temperature of the surrounding air and having another portion of said outer surface which may be cooled below the dew point of the surrounding air by transfer of heat to the interior of said cabinet, and means including a hermetically sealed container partially filled with a volatile liquid for transferring sufficient lheat from a part of said major portion ofthe surface of said cabinet to said other portion of said outer surface to maintain said other portion at a temperature above the dew point of lthe surrounding air.
3. A refrigerator cabinet having a maior portion of the outer surface thereof at substantially the temperature of the surrounding air; a plurality of doors for said cabinet, a mullion -having an outersurface which may be cooled below the dew point of the surrounding air by transfer of heat lto the interior .of said cabinet, and means for transferring sufficient heat'from a part of said major portion of the outer surface of saidcabi'- net to theouter surface of said mullion to maintain the temperature of the outer surface of said mullion above the dewI point of the surrounding air.
4. A refrigerator cabinet having a mullion, a hermetically sealed tube containing a volatile liquid and arranged within the walls' of said cabinet and said mullion, a portion of said tube being in contact with the'outer wall of said mullion over substantially the entire length thereof, and another portion of said tube being incontact with the outer wall of said cabinet at the bottom thereof.A
5. A refrigerator cabinet having thermally insulated walls, one portion of said walls having a relatively small outer surface area thermally insulated from the remainder of the 4outer surface of said cabinet along the major portion of the boundary of said small surface area, a hermetically sealed container partially filled with a volatile liquid, said containerhaving a part thereof arranged within said one portion of said walls and another part thereof containing liquid arranged in another portion of said cabinet, below said first part.
6.l A refrigerator cabinet having doors opening from a mullion, d means for preventing pondensation of moisture on the outer'wall of saidr mullion, said means including an elongated metal container partially filled with liquid refrigerant, one portion of said container being arranged adjacent the outer wall ofsaid mullion and another portion being arranged adjacent th'e outer wall of said 'cabinet below the portion adjacent said mullion.'I y
JAMES L. KNIGHT. 7
having va gas therein and