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Publication numberUS20050223755 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/085,515
Publication dateOct 13, 2005
Filing dateMar 22, 2005
Priority dateApr 9, 2004
Also published asCN1680654A, CN1680654B, DE602005021014D1, EP1584729A1, EP1584729B1
Publication number085515, 11085515, US 2005/0223755 A1, US 2005/223755 A1, US 20050223755 A1, US 20050223755A1, US 2005223755 A1, US 2005223755A1, US-A1-20050223755, US-A1-2005223755, US2005/0223755A1, US2005/223755A1, US20050223755 A1, US20050223755A1, US2005223755 A1, US2005223755A1
InventorsSang Hong, Si Jeon
Original AssigneeLg Electronics Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Washing machine
US 20050223755 A1
Abstract
Washing machine including a duct having opposite ends connected to a tub of the washing machine such that air in the tub passes through the duct, and is supplied to the tub again, a fan in the duct for drawing air from an inside of the tub, and discharging to the inside of the tub, a water supply device connected to the duct, for supplying cooling water to the inside of the duct to condense moisture in the air passing through the inside of the duct, a heater in the duct, for heating the air passing through the duct, and a cooling water circulating device for supplying cooling water held at a bottom of the tub after passed through the duct to an inside of the duct, again.
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Claims(30)
1. A drying device for a washing machine comprising:
a duct having opposite ends connected to a tub of the washing machine such that air in the tub passes through the duct, and is supplied to the tub again;
a fan in the duct for drawing air from an inside of the tub, and discharging to the inside of the tub;
a water supply device connected to the duct, for supplying cooling water to the inside of the duct to condense moisture in the air passing through the inside of the duct;
a heater in the duct, for heating the air passing through the duct; and
a cooling water circulating device for supplying cooling water held at a bottom of the tub after passed through the duct to an inside of the duct, again.
2. The drying device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the duct includes;
a condensing duct having one end connected to the tub for receiving the air from the inside of the tub, and one side connected to the water supply device; and
a drying duct connected to the condensing duct and the tub, for supplying dried air passed through the condensing duct to the tub, having the heater mounted therein.
3. The drying device as claimed in claim 2, wherein the fan is provided to a portion the drying duct is connected to the condensing duct.
4. The drying device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the cooling water circulating device includes;
a drain pump connected to the bottom of the tub, the drain pump having one side connected to a drain hose for draining water from the tub to an outside of the cabinet through the drain hose,
a circulating hose having one side connected to the drain hose, and the other side connected to the water supply device or the duct, and
a valve at a connection portion of the drain hose and the circulating hose, for opening/closing the drain hose, or the circulating hose.
5. The drying device as claimed in claim 4, wherein the circulating hose is extended to a position higher than a point where the circulating hose is connected to the water supply device, or the duct, and bent downward therefrom before the circulating hose is connected to the water supply device, or the duct, for preventing reverse flow of the cooling water.
6. The drying device as claimed in claim 4, wherein the cooling water circulating device further includes a plurality of fins projected from an outside circumferential surface for dissipation of heat from the cooling water.
7. The drying device as claimed in claim 4, wherein the cooling water circulating device further includes a cooling fan for blowing air to an outside circumferential surface of the circulating hose for cooling the cooling water.
8. The drying device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the cooling water circulating device includes;
a circulating pump connected to the bottom of the tub, for pumping the cooling water from the tub, and
a circulating hose having one side connected to the pump, and the other side connected to the water supply device or the duct, for guiding the cooling water from the circulating pump to the duct.
9. The drying device as claimed in claim 8, wherein the circulating hose is extended to a position higher than a point where the circulating hose is connected to the water supply device, or the duct, and bent downward therefrom before the circulating hose is connected to the water supply device, or the duct, for preventing reverse flow of the cooling water.
10. The drying device as claimed in claim 8, wherein the cooling water circulating device further includes a plurality of fins projected from an outside circumferential surface for dissipation of heat from the cooling water.
11. The drying device as claimed in claim 8, wherein the cooling water circulating device further includes a cooling fan for blowing air to an outside circumferential surface of the circulating hose for cooling the cooling water.
12. The drying device as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a temperature sensor at the bottom of the tub, for measuring a temperature of the cooling water.
13. The drying device as claimed in claim 12, wherein the cooling water is circulated, or drained according to a measurement result of the temperature sensor.
14. A washing machine comprising:
a cabinet;
a tub in the cabinet;
a duct having opposite ends connected to the tub of the washing machine, for circulating air from the tub to an outside of the tub, and removing moisture from the air in the tub;
a water supplying device connected to the duct, for supplying cooling water to the duct;
a drain device including a drain pump for draining water from an inside of the tub to an outside of the cabinet, and a drain hose connected to the drain pump, for guiding the water to the outside of the cabinet; and
a cooling water circulating device having one end connected to the water supply device, or the duct, and the other end connected to the drain hose, for supplying the cooling water from a bottom of the tub to the duct, again.
15. The washing machine as claimed in claim 14, wherein the duct includes;
a condensing duct having one end connected to the tub for receiving the air from the inside of the tub, and one side connected to the water supply device; and
a drying duct connected to the condensing duct and the tub, for supplying dried air passed through the condensing duct to the tub, having the heater mounted therein.
16. The washing machine as claimed in claim 15, wherein the fan is provided to a portion the drying duct is connected to the condensing duct.
17. The washing machine as claimed in claim 14, wherein the cooling water circulating device includes;
a circulating hose having one side connected to the drain hose, and the other side connected to the water supply device or the duct, and
a valve at a connection portion of the drain hose and the circulating hose, for opening/closing the drain hose, or the circulating hose.
18. The washing machine as claimed in claim 17, wherein the circulating hose is extended to a position higher than a point where the circulating hose is connected to the water supply device, or the duct, and bent downward therefrom before the circulating hose is connected to the water supply device, or the duct, for preventing reverse flow of the cooling water.
19. The washing machine as claimed in claim 17, wherein the cooling water circulating device further includes a plurality of fins projected from an outside circumferential surface for dissipation of heat from the cooling water.
20. The washing machine as claimed in claim 17, wherein the cooling water circulating device further includes a cooling fan for blowing air to an outside circumferential surface of the circulating hose for cooling the cooling water.
21. The washing machine as claimed in claim 17, further comprising a temperature sensor at the bottom of the tub, for measuring a temperature of the cooling water.
22. The washing machine as claimed in claim 21, wherein the cooling water is circulated, or drained according to a measurement result of the temperature sensor.
23. A washing machine comprising:
a cabinet;
a tub in the cabinet;
a duct having opposite ends connected to the tub of the washing machine, for circulating air from the tub to an outside of the tub, and removing moisture from the air in the tub;
a water supplying device connected to the duct, for supplying cooling water to the duct;
a drain device including a drain pump for draining water from an inside of the tub to an outside of the cabinet, and a drain hose connected to the drain pump, for guiding the water to the outside of the cabinet; and
a cooling water circulating device having a circulating pump connected to a bottom of the tub for pumping the cooling water, and a circulating hose having one end connected to the water supply device, or the duct, and the other end connected to the bottom of the tub, for supplying the cooling water from the bottom of the tub to the duct, again.
24. The washing machine as claimed in claim 23, wherein the duct includes;
a condensing duct having one end connected to the tub for receiving the air from the inside of the tub, and one side connected to the water supply device; and
a drying duct connected to the condensing duct and the tub, for supplying dried air passed through the condensing duct to the tub, having the heater mounted therein.
25. The washing machine as claimed in claim 24, wherein the fan is provided to a portion the drying duct is connected to the condensing duct.
26. The washing machine as claimed in claim 23, wherein the circulating hose is extended to a position higher than a point where the circulating hose is connected to the water supply device, or the duct, and bent downward therefrom before the circulating hose is connected to the water supply device, or the duct, for preventing reverse flow of the cooling water.
27. The washing machine as claimed in claim 23, wherein the cooling water circulating device further includes a plurality of fins projected from an outside circumferential surface for dissipation of heat from the cooling water.
28. The washing machine as claimed in claim 23, wherein the cooling water circulating device further includes a cooling fan for blowing air to an outside circumferential surface of the circulating hose for cooling the cooling water.
29. The washing machine as claimed in claim 23, further comprising a temperature sensor at the bottom of the tub, for measuring a temperature of the cooling water.
30. The washing machine as claimed in claim 29, wherein the cooling water is circulated, or drained according to a measurement result of the temperature sensor.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of Korean Application No. P2004-24492 filed on Apr. 9, 2004, which is hereby incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to washing machines, and more particularly, to a washing machine including a drying device for drying laundry in a washing machine.

2. Discussion of the Related Art

The washing machine, an apparatus for removing dirt from laundry by using action of detergent and water, is one of typical home appliances. The washing machine performs, not only washing, but also drying of washed laundry.

The washing machine heats air and blows the air to a tub, and discharges air from the tub to an outside of the washing machine, to dry the laundry.

Because it is required that the washing machine keeps supplying heated air to the tub, much energy is consumed for heating the air. Moreover, since the washing machine discharges the heated air from the tub to the outside of the washing machine, the washing machine wastes energy.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, the present invention is directed to a washing machine that substantially obviates one or more problems due to limitations and disadvantages of the related art.

An object of the present invention is to provide a washing machine for circulating heated air within a cabinet, for drying laundry faster.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a washing machine, in which cooling water held on a bottom of a tub is circulated, for preventing waste of the cooling water.

Additional advantages, objects, and features of the invention will be set forth in part in the description which follows and in part will become apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art upon examination of the following or may be learned from practice of the invention. The objectives and other advantages of the invention may be realized and attained by the structure particularly pointed out in the written description and claims hereof as well as the appended drawings.

To achieve these objects and other advantages and in accordance with the purpose of the invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, a drying device for a washing machine includes a duct having opposite ends connected to a tub of the washing machine such that air in the tub passes through the duct, and is supplied to the tub again, a fan in the duct for drawing air from an inside of the tub, and discharging to the inside of the tub, a water supply device connected to the duct, for supplying cooling water to the inside of the duct to condense moisture in the air passing through the inside of the duct, a heater in the duct, for heating the air passing through the duct, and a cooling water circulating device for supplying cooling water held at a bottom of the tub after passed through the duct to an inside of the duct, again.

Preferably, the duct includes a condensing duct having one end connected to the tub for receiving the air from the inside of the tub, and one side connected to the water supply device, and a drying duct connected to the condensing duct and the tub, for supplying dried air passed through the condensing duct to the tub, having the heater mounted therein.

Preferably, the fan is provided to a portion the drying duct is connected to the condensing duct.

The cooling water circulating device preferably includes a drain pump connected to the bottom of the tub, the drain pump having one side connected to a drain hose for draining water from the tub to an outside of the cabinet through the drain hose, a circulating hose having one side connected to the drain hose, and the other side connected to the water supply device or the duct, and a valve at a connection portion of the drain hose and the circulating hose, for opening/closing the drain hose, or the circulating hose.

Preferably, the circulating hose is extended to a position higher than a point where the circulating hose is connected to the water supply device, or the duct, and bent downward therefrom before the circulating hose is connected to the water supply device, or the duct, for preventing reverse flow of the cooling water.

The cooling water circulating device preferably further includes a plurality of fins projected from an outside circumferential surface for dissipation of heat from the cooling water.

The cooling water circulating device preferably further includes a cooling fan for blowing air to an outside circumferential surface of the circulating hose for cooling the cooling water.

Preferably, the cooling water circulating device includes a circulating pump connected to the bottom of the tub, for pumping the cooling water from the tub, and a circulating hose having one side connected to the pump, and the other side connected to the water supply device or the duct, for guiding the cooling water from the circulating pump to the duct.

Preferably, the circulating hose is extended to a position higher than a point where the circulating hose is connected to the water supply device, or the duct, and bent downward therefrom before the circulating hose is connected to the water supply device, or the duct, for preventing reverse flow of the cooling water.

The cooling water circulating device preferably further includes a plurality of fins projected from an outside circumferential surface for dissipation of heat from the cooling water.

The cooling water circulating device preferably further includes a cooling fan for blowing air to an outside circumferential surface of the circulating hose for cooling the cooling water.

Preferably, The drying device further includes a temperature sensor at the bottom of the tub, for measuring a temperature of the cooling water.

Preferably, the cooling water is circulated, or drained according to a measurement result of the temperature sensor.

In another aspect of the present invention, a washing machine includes a cabinet, a tub in the cabinet, a duct having opposite ends connected to the tub of the washing machine, for circulating air from the tub to an outside of the tub, and removing moisture from the air in the tub, a water supplying device connected to the duct, for supplying cooling water to the duct, a drain device including a drain pump for draining water from an inside of the tub to an outside of the cabinet, and a drain hose connected to the drain pump, for guiding the water to the outside of the cabinet, and a cooling water circulating device having one end connected to the water supply device, or the duct, and the other end connected to the drain hose, for supplying the cooling water from a bottom of the tub to the duct, again.

The duct preferably includes a condensing duct having one end connected to the tub for receiving the air from the inside of the tub, and one side connected to the water supply device, and a drying duct connected to the condensing duct and the tub, for supplying dried air passed through the condensing duct to the tub, having the heater mounted therein.

Preferably, the fan is provided to a portion the drying duct is connected to the condensing duct.

Preferably, the cooling water circulating device includes a circulating hose having one side connected to the drain hose, and the other side connected to the water supply device or the duct, and a valve at a connection portion of the drain hose and the circulating hose, for opening/closing the drain hose, or the circulating hose.

Preferably, the circulating hose is extended to a position higher than a point where the circulating hose is connected to the water supply device, or the duct, and bent downward therefrom before the circulating hose is connected to the water supply device, or the duct, for preventing reverse flow of the cooling water.

The cooling water circulating device preferably further includes a plurality of fins projected from an outside circumferential surface for dissipation of heat from the cooling water.

The cooling water circulating device preferably further includes a cooling fan for blowing air to an outside circumferential surface of the circulating hose for cooling the cooling water.

Preferably, the washing machine further includes a temperature sensor at the bottom of the tub, for measuring a temperature of the cooling water.

The cooling water is preferably circulated, or drained according to a measurement result of the temperature sensor.

In another aspect of the present invention, a washing machine includes a cabinet, a tub in the cabinet, a duct having opposite ends connected to the tub of the washing machine, for circulating air from the tub to an outside of the tub, and removing moisture from the air in the tub, a water supplying device connected to the duct, for supplying cooling water to the duct, a drain device including a drain pump for draining water from an inside of the tub to an outside of the cabinet, and a drain hose connected to the drain pump, for guiding the water to the outside of the cabinet, and a cooling water circulating device having a circulating pump connected to a bottom of the tub for pumping the cooling water, and a circulating hose having one end connected to the water supply device, or the duct, and the other end connected to the bottom of the tub, for supplying the cooling water from the bottom of the tub to the duct, again.

Preferably, the duct includes a condensing duct having one end connected to the tub for receiving the air from the inside of the tub, and one side connected to the water supply device, and a drying duct connected to the condensing duct and the tub, for supplying dried air passed through the condensing duct to the tub, having the heater mounted therein.

The fan is preferably provided to a portion the drying duct is connected to the condensing duct.

Preferably, the circulating hose is extended to a position higher than a point where the circulating hose is connected to the water supply device, or the duct, and bent downward therefrom before the circulating hose is connected to the water supply device, or the duct, for preventing reverse flow of the cooling water.

The cooling water circulating device preferably further includes a plurality of fins projected from an outside circumferential surface for dissipation of heat from the cooling water.

The cooling water circulating device preferably further includes a cooling fan for blowing air to an outside circumferential surface of the circulating hose for cooling the cooling water.

Preferably, the washing machine further includes a temperature sensor at the bottom of the tub, for measuring a temperature of the cooling water.

The cooling water is preferably circulated, or drained according to a measurement result of the temperature sensor.

It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description of the present invention are exemplary and explanatory and are intended to provide further explanation of the invention as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are included to provide a further understanding of the invention and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this application, illustrate embodiment(s) of the invention and together with the description serve to explain the principle of the invention. In the drawings;

FIG. 1 illustrates a front view of a washing machine in accordance with a first preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates a side view of a washing machine in accordance with a first preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 illustrates a side view of a washing machine in accordance with a second preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 illustrates a side view of a washing machine in accordance with a third preferred embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 5 illustrates a side view of a washing machine in accordance with a fourth preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Reference will now be made in detail to the preferred embodiments of the present invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Wherever possible, the same reference numbers will be used throughout the drawings to refer to the same or like parts.

A first embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to FIG. 1.

Referring to FIG. 1, the washing machine 1 includes a cabinet 10 forming an exterior of the washing machine 1 having a door mounted on a front thereof, a tub 20 mounted in the cabinet 10, a drum 30 rotatably mounted in the tub 20, a motor 30 for rotating the drum 30, and a drain pump 50 for draining the washing water from the tub 20.

In addition to this, for drying laundry in the tub 20, in the washing machine, there is a duct 60 having opposite ends connected to the tub 20. The duct 60 includes a drying duct 62 connected to an upper portion of a front of the tub, and a condensing duct 62 connected to a lower portion of a side of the tub.

In the duct 60, there is a fan 70 for circulating air in the tub 20, and in the condensing duct 61, there is a water supply device 80 for supplying cooling water for condensing moisture in the air in the tub 20.

The cooling water supplied to the condensing duct through the water supply device 80 is held on the bottom of the tub 20, and drained to an outside of the cabinet 10 by the drain pump 50.

However, the washing machine 1 in accordance with the first preferred embodiment of the present invention has the following problems. Since the washing machine discharges used cooling water to the outside of the cabinet 10, the washing machine always has fresh cooling water supplied thereto by the water supply device 80. Therefore, in order to condense moisture in the air inside of the tub 20, the washing machine wastes a large amount of cooling water inefficiently, resulting to waste energy and resources.

In order to solve the problems of the first preferred embodiment, the present invention suggests second, to fifth embodiments, as follows.

The second embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to FIG. 2. The washing machine 100 of the present invention includes a cabinet 110 which forms an exterior of the washing machine 100. There is a tub 120 suspended in the cabinet 110. For this, a top of the tub 120 is connected to a spring 140 secured to the cabinet 110, an underside of the tub 120 is connected to a damper 150 hinge coupled to a bottom of the cabinet 110. The spring 140 and the damper 150 not only suspend the tub 120 from the cabinet 110, but also attenuate vibration applied to the tub 120 during operation of the washing machine 100.

There is a drum 130 rotatably mounted in the tub 120. The drum 130 will be described in more detail.

The drum 130 has a plurality of pass through holes 131 in an outside circumferential surface, and a plurality of tumbling ribs 132 on an inside circumferential surface. Therefore, water supplied to the tub 120 can move between the drum 130 and the tub 120 through the pass through holes 131. The washing water in the drum 130 is lifted by the tumbling ribs 132 and falls down during rotation of the drum 130. According to this, a large amount of friction, and impact energy can be obtained at the time the laundry drops by the tumbling ribs 132.

In a front of the cabinet 110, there is an opening 111 for putting/taking the laundry into/out of the drum 130, and there is a door 112 for opening/closing the opening 111. Between the opening 111 of the cabinet 110 and the tub 120, there is a gasket 113 for preventing water and laundry held in the drum 130 and the tub 120 from leaking.

In the meantime, for supplying water to the tub 120, a water supply device 160 is provided in the cabinet 110. The water supply device 160 includes a water supply valve 161, a water supply hose 162, a detergent box 163, and a water supply bellows 164. The water supply valve opens/cuts off a flow passage of water supplied from an outside of the washing machine, the water supply hose 162 connects the water supply valve 161 and the detergent box 163. The water supply bellows 164 connects the detergent box 163 and the tub 120. If the water supply valve 161 is opened, water is supplied to the tub 120 via the water supply hose 162, the detergent box 163, and the water supply bellows 164. In this instance, the detergent stored in the detergent box 163 is supplied to the water as required.

Moreover, in order to drain water from the tub 120 to an outside of the cabinet 110, there is a draining device provided in the cabinet 110. The draining device includes a drain bellows 171, a drain pump 172, and a drain hose 173. The drain bellows 171 connects the tub 120 and the drain pump 172. The drain hose 173 has one end connected to the drain pump 172, and the other end in communication with an outside of the cabinet 110. Therefore, upon putting the drain pump 172 into operation, the water is discharged from the tub 120 to the outside of the cabinet 110 via the drain bellows 171, the drain pump 172, and the drain hose 173.

In the meantime, for rotating the drum 130, there is a motor 180 in the cabinet 110, in more detail, under the tub 120. There is a pulley 200 and a power transmission member for transmission of rotating force from the motor 180 to the drum 130. For providing the rotating force from the motor 180 to the drum 130, the pulley 200 is coupled to a shaft 133 extended toward a back side of the drum 130, and connected to the motor 180 with the power transmission member. The power transmission member is a belt 190.

For drying the laundry in the tub 120, the washing machine 100 has a drying device 300 provided thereto. The drying device 300 includes a duct 310, a fan 330, a water supply device 340, a heater 320, and a cooling water circulating device 400.

The duct 310 has opposite ends connected to the tub 120 for supplying the air from an inside of the tub 120 to the tub 120 again after air is passed through the duct 310. In more detail, the duct 310 has one end connected to an upper portion of a front of the tub 120, and the other end connected to a lower portion of a side of the tub 120. The duct 310 includes a condensing duct 311, and a drying duct 312.

The condensing duct 311 has one end connected to the tub 120, more specifically, to a lower portion of a side of the tub 120, for receiving air from the tub 120. The condensing duct 311 condenses moisture in the tub 120, and removes the moisture from the air introduced into the condensing duct 311.

The drying duct 312 has one end connected to the condensing duct 311, for receiving the air dried in the condensing duct 311. The drying duct 312 has the other end connected to the tub 120, more specifically, an upper portion of a front of the tub 120, to supply the dried air from the condensing duct 311 to the tub 120.

In the meantime, for circulating the air from the tub 120 through the duct 310, the duct 310 is provided with a fan 330. The fan draws air from the tub 120, and discharges to an inside of the tub 120. In more detail, the fan 330 draws air from the tub 120 through the condensing duct 311, and discharges to the tub 120 through the drying duct 312, again. The fan 330 is provided to a portion at which the drying duct 312 and the condensing duct 311 are connected.

The water supply device 340 is provided to one side of the duct 310, and supplies cooling water to the duct 310 for condensing moisture in the air passing through an inside of the tub 310. In more detail, the water supply device 340 is provided to an upper portion of the condensing duct 311.

In the meantime, the heater 320 is provided in the duct 310, more specifically, in the drying duct 312. The heater 320 heats the air dried in the condensing duct 311.

That is, the air in the tub 120 is drawn into the condensing duct 311 by the fan 330, and has the moisture removed therefrom in the condensing duct 311, and is introduced into the drying duct 312 via the fan 330. The air introduced into the duct 312 is heated by the heater 320, and discharged to the tub 120, again.

In the meantime, the cooling water from the water supply device 340 condenses the moisture in the air drawn into the condensing duct 311, and is held at the bottom of the tub 120 through the condensing duct 311.

In order to supply, and reuse the cooling water held at the bottom of the tub 120, the cooling water circulating device 400 is provided. The cooling water circulating device 400 supplies the cooling water from the bottom of the tub 120 to the duct 310 again, for circulating the cooling water.

The cooling water circulating device 400 may be mounted on an inside of the cabinet 110, or on an inside of case mounted on an outside of the cabinet 110.

The cooling water circulating device 400 includes a pump, a circulating hose 410, and a valve 420. The pump supplies the cooling water from the bottom of the tub 120 to the duct 310. The washing machine 100 in accordance with a first preferred embodiment of the present invention is not provided with separate pump, but the drain pump 172 is used for supplying the cooling water from the bottom of the tub 120 to the water supply device 340.

The circulating hose 410 has one end connected to the drain hose 173, and the other end connected to the water supply device 340, for guiding the cooling water from the drain pump 172 to the water supply device 340.

The valve 420 is mounted to a portion the circulating hose 410 is connected to the drain hose 173. The valve 420 opens/closes the circulating hose 410, or the drain hose 173, for supplying the cooling water to the water supply device 340, or the outside of the cabinet 110.

Moreover, in order to prevent the cooling water supplied from the water supply device 340 from flowing in a reverse direction toward the circulating hose 410, the circulating hose 410 is extended to a position higher than a point where the circulating hose 410 is connected to the water supply device 340, and bent downward therefrom before the circulating hose 410 is connected to the water supply device 340.

A third embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to FIG. 3. The washing machine 100 in accordance with a third preferred embodiment of the present invention includes a cabinet 110, a tub 120, a drum 130, and a drying device 300. The drying device 300 includes a duct 310, a fan 330, a water supply device 340, a heater 320, and a cooling water circulating device 400. The cooling water circulating device 400 includes a pump, a circulating hose 410, and a valve 420.

In description of the third embodiment of the present invention, repetitive description of parts identical to the second embodiment of the present invention will be omitted.

That is, in the third embodiment of the present invention, the circulating hose 410 has one end connected to the drain hose 173, and the other side connected to the duct 310. In more detail, the circulating hose 410 is connected to an upper portion of the condensing duct 311, for guiding the cooling water from the drain pump 172 to the duct 310.

The valve 420 is mounted to a portion the circulating hose 410 is connected to the drain hose 173. The valve 420 opens/closes the circulating hose 410, or the drain hose 173, for supplying the cooling water to the duct 310, or an outside of the cabinet 110.

Moreover, in order to prevent the cooling water supplied from the water supply device 340 from flowing in a reverse direction to the duct 310 guided by the circulating hose 410, the circulating hose 410 is extended to a position higher than a point where the circulating hose 410 is connected to the duct 310, and bent downward therefrom before the circulating hose 410 is connected to the duct 310.

In the meantime, used cooling water in the second, or third embodiment having condensed the moisture in the air at the duct 310 has a temperature higher than a temperature of the cooling water supplied to the duct 310 from the water supply device 340.

The used cooling water can not condense moisture in the air at the duct 310 even if the used cooling water is supplied to the water supply device 340 or the duct 310 by the cooling water circulating device 400.

Therefore, the washing machine of the second, or third embodiment has a plurality of fins 440 projected from an outside circumferential surface of the cooling water circulating device 400, more particularly, from an outside circumferential surface of the circulating hose 410, for increasing a heat dissipation area. In this case, the plurality of fins 440 enable efficient heat dissipation from the cooling water flowing through the circulating hose 410. Accordingly, the cooling water can be supplied to the water supply device 340 or the duct 310 at a low temperature.

For blowing air toward an outside circumferential surface of the circulating hose 410, to drop a temperature of the cooling water flowing through the circulating hose 410, a cooling fan 450 is provided.

In the meantime, there is a temperature sensor at the bottom of the tub 120, in more detail, at a predetermined position of a portion the cooling water is to be held, for measuring a temperature of the cooling water. The valve 420 is selectively opened/closed according to a temperature of the cooling water measured at the temperature sensor, for draining the cooling water to an outside of the cabinet 110, or guiding to the circulating hose 410 for circulation.

The operation of the washing machine 100 in accordance with the second, or third preferred embodiment of the present invention will be described.

Power is applied to the heater 320 in the drying duct 312, and the fan 330 is put into operation, for producing heated air. Then, the heated air is guided to the tub 120 by the drying duct 312.

The air introduced into the tub 120 heats the laundry, to vaporize moisture in the laundry, and carries the moisture into the condensing duct 311.

In this instance, the water supply device 340 supplies cooling water to the condensing duct 311, to condense the moisture in the air introduced into the condensing duct 311. Then, the cooling water is held at the bottom of the tub 120 via the condensing duct 311, together with condensed water.

Then, the drain pump 172 pumps the cooling water. In this instance, the temperature sensor at the bottom of the tub 120 or at the drain bellows 171 measures a temperature of the cooling water held at the bottom of the tub 120. If the temperature measured at the temperature sensor is higher than a predetermined temperature, the valve 420 opens the drain hose 173, and closes the circulating hose 410, for draining the cooling water out of the cabinet 110. If the temperature measured at the temperature sensor is lower than a predetermined temperature, the valve 420 opens the circulating hose 410, and closes drain hose 173, for circulating the cooling water to the water supply device 340. In this instance, the cooling water flowing through the circulating hose 410 is involved in temperature drop by the plurality of fins 440 and the cooling fan 450, and, thereafter, supplied to the water supply device 340 or the duct 310.

In the meantime, circulation of the cooling water will be described in more detail.

The cooling water is supplied to the duct 310 through the water supply device 340, and condenses moisture in the air at the duct 310. Then, the cooling water is introduced into the tub 120 from the duct 310, and held at the bottom of the tub 120.

The drain pump 172 pumps the cooling water from the bottom of the tub 120 to the drain hose 173. The circulating hose 410, having one end connected to the drain hose 173, and the other end connected to the water supply device 340, guides the cooling water to the water supply device 340, or the duct 310.

Because the circulating hose 410 is extended to a position higher than a point where the circulating hose 410 is connected to the water supply device 340, or the duct 310, and bent downward therefrom before the circulating hose 410 is connected to the water supply device 340, or the duct 310, flow of the cooling water in a reverse direction is prevented.

In the meantime, the valve 420 opens/closes the drain hose 173, or the circulating hose 410, to drain the cooling water pumped by the drain pump 172, or guide the cooling water to the duct 310.

In this instance, the plurality of fins 440 on the outside circumferential surface of the circulating hose 410 cools down a temperature of the cooling water flowing through the circulating hose 410. Moreover, the cooling fan 450 blows air toward the outside circumferential surface of the circulating hose 410 to cool down a temperature of the cooling water flowing through the circulating hose 410.

The temperature sensor is provided to a portion the cooling water is to be held, i.e., at the bottom of the tub 120 or at the drain bellows 171 for measuring a temperature of the cooling water. According to a measurement result of a cooling water temperature, the washing machine controls the valve 420 for circulating the cooling water to the duct 310 or to the water supply device 340, or drains the cooking water out of the cabinet 110.

A fourth preferred embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to FIG. 4. The washing machine 100 in accordance with a fourth preferred embodiment of the present invention includes a cabinet 110, a tub 120, a drum 130, and a drying device 300. The drying device 300 includes a duct 310, a fan 330, a water supply device 340, a heater 320, and a cooling water circulating device 400. The cooling water circulating device 400 includes a pump, and a circulating hose 410.

In description of the fourth embodiment of the present invention, repetitive description of parts identical to the second embodiment of the present invention will be omitted.

That is, in the fourth embodiment of the present invention, the pump supplies the cooling water from the bottom of the tub 120 to the duct 310. Besides the drain pump 172, the washing machine 100 in accordance with a fourth preferred embodiment of the present invention includes a circulating pump 430 separately for pumping the cooling water from the bottom of the tub 120.

The circulating pump 430 is connected to a portion where the cooling water is held i.e., the bottom of the tub 120 or the drain bellows 171, for pumping the cooling water. The circulating hose 410 has one end connected to the circulating pump 430, and the other end connected to the water supply device 340, for guiding the cooling water from the circulating pump 430 to the water supply device 340.

Moreover, in order to prevent the cooling water supplied from the water supply device 340 from flowing in a reverse direction to the circulating hose 410, the circulating hose 410 is extended to a position higher than a point where the circulating hose 410 is connected to the water supply device 340, and bent downward therefrom before the circulating hose 410 is connected to the water supply device 340.

In the meantime, for cooling down used cooling water, there are a plurality of fins 440 projected from an outside circumferential surface of the cooling water circulating device 400, more particularly, from an outside circumferential surface of the circulating hose 410, for increasing a heat dissipation area. In this case, the plurality of fins 440 enable efficient heat dissipation from the cooling water flowing through the circulating hose 410. Accordingly, the cooling water can be supplied to the water supply device 340 at a low temperature.

For blowing air toward an outside circumferential surface of the circulating hose 410, to drop a temperature of the cooling water flowing through the circulating hose 410, a cooling fan 450 is provided.

In the meantime, there is a temperature sensor at the bottom of the tub 120, in more detail, at a predetermined position of a portion at which the cooling water is to be held, for measuring a temperature of the cooling water. The circulating pump 430 is operated according to a temperature of the cooling water measured at the temperature sensor, for supplying the cooling water to the water supply device 340, or the drain pump 172 is operated for draining the cooling water to an outside of the cabinet 110.

A fifth preferred embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to FIG. 5. The washing machine 100 in accordance with a fifth preferred embodiment of the present invention includes a cabinet 110, a tub 120, a drum 130, and a drying device 300. The drying device 300 includes a duct 310, a fan 330, a water supply device 340, a heater 320, and a cooling water circulating device 400. The cooling water circulating device 400 includes a pump, and a circulating hose 410.

In description of the fifth embodiment of the present invention, repetitive description of parts identical to the second embodiment of the present invention will be omitted.

That is, in the fifth embodiment of the present invention, the pump supplies the cooling water from the bottom of the tub 120 to the duct 310. Besides the drain pump 172, the washing machine 100 in accordance with a fifth preferred embodiment of the present invention includes a circulating pump 430 separately for pumping the cooling water from the bottom of the tub 120.

The circulating pump 430 is connected to a portion where the cooling water is held, i.e., the bottom of the tub 120 or the drain bellows 171, for pumping the cooling water. The circulating hose 410 has one end connected to the circulating pump 430, and the other end connected to the duct 310. In more detail, the circulating hose 410 is connected to an upper portion of the condensing duct 311. Therefore, the circulating hose 410 guides the cooling water from the drain pump 172 to the duct 310.

Moreover, in order to prevent the cooling water supplied from the water supply device 340 from flowing in a reverse direction to the circulating hose 410, the circulating hose 410 is extended to a position higher than a point where the circulating hose 410 is connected to the duct 310, and bent downward therefrom before the circulating hose 410 is connected to the duct 310.

In the meantime, for cooling down used cooling water, there are a plurality of fins 440 projected from an outside circumferential surface of the cooling water circulating device 400, more particularly, from an outside circumferential surface of the circulating hose 410, for increasing a heat dissipation area. In this case, the plurality of fins 440 enable efficient heat dissipation from the cooling water flowing through the circulating hose 410. Accordingly, the cooling water can be supplied to the water supply device 340 at a low temperature.

For blowing air toward an outside circumferential surface of the circulating hose 410, to drop a temperature of the cooling water flowing through the circulating hose 410, a cooling fan 450 is provided.

In the meantime, there is a temperature sensor at the bottom of the tub 120, in more detail, at a predetermined position of a portion at which the cooling water is to be held, for measuring a temperature of the cooling water. The circulating pump 430 is operated according to a temperature of the cooling water measured at the temperature sensor, for supplying the cooling water to the water supply device 340, or the drain pump 172 is operated for draining the cooling water to an outside of the cabinet 110.

The operation of the washing machine 100 in accordance with the fourth, or fifth preferred embodiment of the present invention will be described.

Power is applied to the heater 320 in the drying duct 312, and the fan 330 is put into operation, for producing heated air. Then, the heated air is guided to the tub 120 by the drying duct 312.

The air introduced into the tub 120 heats the laundry, to vaporize moisture in the laundry, and carries the moisture into the condensing duct 311.

In this instance, the water supply device 340 supplies cooling water to the condensing duct 311, to condense the moisture in the air introduced into the condensing duct 311. Then, the cooling water is held at the bottom of the tub 120 via the condensing duct 311, together with condensed water.

Then, the drain pump 172 pumps the cooling water. In this instance, the temperature sensor at the bottom of the tub 120 or at the drain bellows 171 measures a temperature of the cooling water held at the bottom of the tub 120. If the temperature measured at the temperature sensor is higher than a predetermined temperature, the drain pump 172 is operated, for draining the cooling water out of the cabinet 110. If the temperature measured at the temperature sensor is lower than a predetermined temperature, the circulating pump 430 is operated, circulating the cooling water to the water supply device 340. In this instance, the cooling water flowing through the circulating hose 410 is cooled down by the plurality of fins 440 and the cooling fan 450, and, thereafter, supplied to the water supply device 340 or the duct 310.

In the meantime, circulation of the cooling water will be described in more detail.

The cooling water is supplied to the duct 310 through the water supply device 340, and condenses moisture in the air at the duct 310. Then, the cooling water is introduced into the tub 120 from the duct 310, and held at the bottom of the tub 120.

The circulating pump 430 pumps the cooling water from the bottom of the tub 120 to the circulating hose 410. Then, the circulating hose 410 guides the cooling water to the water supply device 340, or the duct 310.

In this instance, because the circulating hose 410, is extended to a position higher than a point where the circulating hose 410 is connected to the water supply device 340, or the duct 310, and bent downward therefrom before the circulating hose 410 is connected to the water supply device 340, or the duct 310, flow of the cooling water in a reverse direction is prevented.

The plurality of fins 440 on the outside circumferential surface of the circulating hose 410 cool down a temperature of the cooling water flowing through the circulating hose 410. Moreover, the cooling fan 450 blows air toward the outside circumferential surface of the circulating hose 410 to cool down a temperature of the cooling water flowing through the circulating hose 410. Moreover, the temperature sensor is provided to a portion the cooling water is to be held, i.e., at the bottom of the tub 120 or at the drain bellows 171 for measuring a temperature of the cooling water. According to a measurement result of a cooling water temperature, the circulating pump 430 is operated, to drain the cooking water out of the cabinet 110.

As has been described, the washing machine of the present invention circulates the cooling water selectively, for reusing the cooling water, to reduce an amount of the cooling water used for condensing.

The plurality of cooling fins drops a temperature of the circulating cooling water, thereby improving a condensing efficiency in the duct.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made in the present invention without departing from the spirit or scope of the inventions. Thus, it is intended that the present invention covers the modifications and variations of this invention provided they come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7520145 *Jul 18, 2005Apr 21, 2009Lg Electronics, Inc.Washing machine combined with dryer and controlling method thereof
US8511116 *Nov 28, 2008Aug 20, 2013Haier Group CorporationWashing/drying machine
US20100300154 *Nov 28, 2008Dec 2, 2010Satoshi NakamuraWashing/drying machine
US20110185511 *Aug 1, 2008Aug 4, 2011Byeong-Jo RyooClothes treating apparatus with liquid supply unit
US20110271461 *Jan 11, 2010Nov 10, 2011Young Bok SonWashing apparatus and control method thereof
Classifications
U.S. Classification68/12.14, 34/77, 68/12.02, 68/12.22, 68/20
International ClassificationD06F58/24, D06F25/00
Cooperative ClassificationD06F25/00, D06F58/24
European ClassificationD06F58/24, D06F25/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 27, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: LG ELECTRONICS INC., KOREA, REPUBLIC OF
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:HONG, SANG WOOK;JEON, SI MOON;REEL/FRAME:016606/0967
Effective date: 20050323