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Publication numberUS20060201209 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/284,131
Publication dateSep 14, 2006
Filing dateNov 22, 2005
Priority dateOct 22, 2004
Publication number11284131, 284131, US 2006/0201209 A1, US 2006/201209 A1, US 20060201209 A1, US 20060201209A1, US 2006201209 A1, US 2006201209A1, US-A1-20060201209, US-A1-2006201209, US2006/0201209A1, US2006/201209A1, US20060201209 A1, US20060201209A1, US2006201209 A1, US2006201209A1
InventorsDeug Lee, Hung Cho, Byung Ahn, Soung Choi, Young Kim
Original AssigneeLg Electronics, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Laundry device
US 20060201209 A1
Abstract
The present invention relates to a laundry device, and more particularly, to a new type of laundry device provided with a washing machine and a cabinet dryer as one body in which air for drying within a drum and a cabinet is circulated continuously and condensed water is generated in the circulating process for a refreshing cycle.
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Claims(12)
1. A laundry device comprising:
a washing machine only for washing the laundry;
a cabinet dryer for drying the laundry therein;
a controller provided in at least one of the washing machine and the cabinet dryer for controlling the washing machine and the cabinet dryer;
a steam generating part provided in at least one of the washing machine and the cabinet dryer for generating steam;
a steam supplying pipe for supplying steam generated by the steam generating part into the cabinet dryer;
a hot air supplying pipe provided along an inside of the cabinet dryer for supplying hot air; and
a hot air supplying part provided within the hot air supplying pipe for generating hot air by heating air.
2. The laundry device of claim 1, wherein an air inlet of the hot air supplying pipe is in communication with an outside of the cabinet dryer.
3. The laundry device of claim 1, wherein the hot air supplying part comprises a drying heater for heating air within the hot air supplying pipe.
4. The laundry device of claim 3, wherein the hot air supplying part further comprises a fan for forcibly ventilating air within the hot air supplying pipe.
5. The laundry device of claim 4, wherein the fan is provided at an air inlet side of the drying heater within the hot air supplying pipe.
6. The laundry device of claim 1, wherein the steam generating part comprises
a heat radiating part having space for storing water, and
a heating element provided within the heat radiating part for evaporating the stored water into steam.
7. The laundry device of claim 6, wherein the steam generating part further comprises
a water chamber provided separately from the heat radiating part for storing water, and
a water supplying pipe connected with the water chamber for supplying water into the heat radiating part after receiving water from the water chamber.
8. The laundry device of claim 1, wherein the steam generating part is provided only in the cabinet dryer.
9. The laundry device of claim 1, wherein the washing machine comprises a connecting pipe connected with the hot air supplying pipe for selectively receiving hot air flowing in the hot air supplying pipe.
10. The laundry device of claim 9, wherein the connecting pipe comprises an enlarged pipe part for having an enlarged pipe portion compared with the other portions.
11. The laundry device of claim 10, wherein the enlarged pipe part is provided at an air inlet of the connecting pipe.
12. The laundry device of claim 1, wherein the cabinet dryer is mounted on a top of the washing machine.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a laundry device, and more particularly, to a new type of laundry device provided with a washing machine and a cabinet dryer as one body.

2. Discussion of the Related Art

In general, laundry devices including washing machines and dryers are electric home appliances which can wash or dry cloth items, cloths and beddings (hereinafter, ‘the laundry’). A dryer of the laundry devices used in a house usually dries a small amount of the laundry.

That is, the dryer receives the laundry washed by the washing machine, and dries the laundry by supplying hot air.

However, the related art dryer has a problem that drying for a tangled portion of the laundry is not dried smoothly, because the drying cycle is in process in a state of the laundry being introduced together at one time.

There is another problem that it is impossible to keep the laundry for a long time in the related art dryer.

Thus, recently demands have been increasing accordingly for a new type of a dryer having a drying capacity thereof enlarged as well as capable of keeping the laundry for a long time. There are various kinds of combination dryers provided with tumble dryers and auxiliary cabinet dryers therewith, for example, US Laid-open Patent Application No. 2004-01943399 A1 or US Laid-open Patent Application No. 2004-0154194.

The above combination dryer allows a cabinet dryer provided on a top of a conventional dryer having a rotatory drum.

The cabinet dryer has space for the laundry and receives hot air used to dry or keep the laundry for a long time.

However, the combination dryer described above has an inconvenience that it performs only a drying cycle and keeping of the laundry, not a washing cycle.

That is, since an auxiliary washing machine should be provided for washing the laundry, a user should purchase a washing machine and a combination dryer separately. Thus, it is difficult to secure an installation space, and production cost may rise due to overlapping of some configurations.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, the present invention is directed to a laundry device 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 laundry device combining a washing machine and a cabinet dryer as one body which enables installation space secured and a production cost reduced, as well as performing a washing cycle and a drying cycle at the same time.

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 laundry device comprises a washing machine only for washing the laundry; a cabinet dryer for drying the laundry therein; a controller provided in at least one of the washing machine and the cabinet dryer for controlling the washing machine and the cabinet dryer; a steam generating part provided in at least one of the washing machine and the cabinet dryer for generating steam; a steam supplying pipe for supplying steam generated by the steam generating part into the cabinet dryer; a hot air supplying pipe provided along an inside of the cabinet dryer for guiding hot air; and a hot air supplying part provided within the hot air supplying pipe for generating hot air by heating air.

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 is a diagram schematically illustrating an exterior of a laundry device according to a first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a block diagram schematically illustrating the laundry device according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a sectional view from a side schematically illustrating an extending part of a cabinet dryer according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a block view illustrating the laundry device according to the second 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.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a laundry device according to a first embodiment of the present invention includes a washing machine 100, a cabinet dryer 200, and a controller 300.

The washing machine 100 performs only a washing cycle, and includes a drum 120 capable of rotating and agitating.

The cabinet dryer 200 according to the present invention is configured to have space for keeping the laundry for drying the laundry. The cabinet dryer 200 is mounted on a top of the washing machine 100, and preferably the cabinet dryer 200 and the washing machine 100 are provided as one body.

The cabinet dryer 200 includes a body 210, a laundry keeping space 220, an opening/closing door 230, a hot air supplying pipe 240, and a hot air supplying part 250.

The body 210 defines an exterior of the cabinet dryer 200, and is formed in a cabinet shape having a front thereof opened.

An extending part 260 may be further provided in the body 210 for extending to reach an inside of the tumble dryer 100.

The extending part 260 is employed for hanging the long laundry such as pants or coats so that the long laundries may not overlap one another. Preferably, as shown in FIG. 3, the extending part 260 extends toward one side so as not to affect rotation of the drying drum 110.

Also, the laundry keeping space 220 is provided within the body 210, and includes a plurality of racks 221 and a bar 222.

At that time, each rack 221 is detachable from the body 210, and formed for holding various kinds of the laundries thereon. The bar 222 is coupled along a front and a rear of a first side of upper space within the body 210.

The opening/closing door 230 is provided in front of the body 210 for opening/closing the opened front of the body 210.

The hot air supplying pipe 240 is an air passage for guiding high temperature hot air. An air inlet of the hot air supplying pipe 240 is formed in communication with an outside of the cabinet dryer 200 (an outside of the body) for drawing external air, and an air outlet thereof is formed in communication with an inside of the body 210.

At that time, the body 210 further includes a discharging part 211. the discharging part 211 is an opened portion for discharging humid air having dried the laundry within the laundry keeping space 220 to an outside of the body 210. The discharging part 211 is in communication with a room (an outside of the body), and an auxiliary exhausting fan (not shown) may be provided in the discharging part 211.

The hot air supplying pipe 240 is provided along upper space of the cabinet dryer 200. Alternatively, the hot air supplying pipe 240 may be provided in downside space within the body 210 or side space within the body 210.

Preferably, an enlarged pipe part 241 is further provided at the air outlet of the hot air supplying pipe 240 for having a relatively enlarged air passage.

The enlarged pipe part 241 prevents hot air flowing along the hot air supplying pipe 240 from being discharged to some particular portion within the body 210 of the cabinet dryer 200 too fast.

That is, an air passage of the hot air is enlarged at some portion, thereby reducing a speed of a hot air inflow. Thus, damage of the laundry kept within the body 210 of the cabinet dryer 200 may be prevented.

Also, the hot air supplying part 250 is provided within the hot air supplying pipe 240 for heating air within the hot air supplying pipe 240.

The hot air supplying part 250 includes a drying heater 251 for heating flowing air. Preferably, the hot air supplying part 250 further includes a fan 252 for forcibly ventilating air within the hot air supplying pipe 240.

Preferably, the fan 252 is provided at an air inlet of the drying heater 251 with respect to a direction of an air inflow within the hot air supplying pipe 240.

That is, the fan 252 forcibly draws external dry air to pass through the drying heater 251.

Alternatively, the fan 252 may be provided at an air outlet of the drying heater 251 within the hot air supplying pipe 240, but in that case, a fan motor (not shown) driving the fan 252 may be damaged by the hot heat. Therefore, it is not preferred.

On the other hand, it is preferred but not necessary to supply hot air generated by the operation of the hot air supplying part 250 to the washing machine 100, too. Hence, according to the first embodiment of the present invention, a connecting pipe 130 is further provided in the washing machine 100 for being connected with the hot air supplying pipe 240 of the cabinet dryer 200.

The hot air flowing through the hot air supplying pipe 240 may be supplied to the washing machine 100 through the connecting pipe 130.

The high temperature hot air is used so that a temperature of the washing machine 100 may be high enough to separate dirt from the laundry.

Alternatively, another enlarged part (not shown) may be provided in the connecting pipe 130, just like the enlarged pipe part 241 of the hot air supplying pipe 240.

Te controller 300 according to the present invention controls the operations of the washing machine 100 and the cabinet dryer 200.

The controller 300 may be provided in at least one of the washing machine 100 and the cabinet dryer 200, but preferably provided only in the washing machine 100 as described in the first embodiment of the present invention.

when the controller 300 is provided in both of the washing machine 100 and the cabinet dryer 200, the two controllers 300 may be connected by a data cable (not shown) for exchanging information.

The controller 300 may control the washing machine 100 and the cabinet dryer 200, or may control the washing machine 100 and the cabinet dryer 200 to communicate each other.

An operation controlling process according to the first embodiment of the present invention will be described.

First, a washing cycle is performed, once the laundry is loaded into the drum 120 of the washing machine 100.

Then, the washing cycle may be performed by a general method of rotating and agitating the drum 120, and also by the other various methods.

For example, the washing cycle is performed by using the hot air supplying part 250. According to the above method, hot air is flown within the hot supplying pipe 240 by the operating the hot air supplying part 250. Hence the hot air is supplied into the drum 120 to heighten a temperature therein. Thus, dirt may be separated from the laundry more smoothly, and the laundry may be washed by rotating/agitating the drum 120 under the condition.

Alternatively, in a washing cycle hot air may be supplied only into the washing machine 100 by closing an air passage of an air outlet into the cabinet dryer 200. Also, the hot air may be supplied into the cabinet dryer 200 by opening the air passage.

That is, the washing machine 100 performs a washing cycle, and the cabinet dryer 200 performs a drying cycle at the same time.

On the other hand, a process of drying the laundry using a laundry device according to the first embodiment of the present invention will be described.

In case of drying the damp laundry, the hot air supplying part 250 is operated after loading the damp laundry into the laundry keeping space 220 of the cabinet dryer 200.

At that time, in case of drying the long laundry such as pants and/or coats, the long laundry is hung on a portion of a bar 222 where the extending part 250 of the cabinet dryer 200 is formed.

As described before, the drying heater 251 is operated by the hot air supplying part 250 to drive the fan 252, and then air within the hot air supplying pipe 240 is changed into hot air while passing trough the drying heater 251. the hot air is supplied into the laundry keeping space 220 of the cabinet dryer 200 after passing though the fan 252.

At that time, since the enlarged pipe part 241 is formed at the air outlet of the hot air supplying pipe 240, air flowing along the hot air supplying pipe 240 passes through the enlarged pipe part 241 before being discharged into the cabinet dryer 200.

Thus, the air has its inflow speed slower as well as enlarged while passing through the enlarged pipe part 241, thereby being discharged to all portions within the laundry keeping space 220 equally.

Also, hot air supplied into the laundry keeping space 220 according to the series of the processes described above dries the laundry within the laundry keeping space 220. Hence, moisture generated in that process is added to flowing air to be discharged to a room through the discharging part 211.

Thus, only dry hot air is consistently supplied into the laundry keeping space 220. Thereby the laundry is dried smoothly within the laundry keeping space 220 of the cabinet dryer 200.

Alternatively, the above drying cycle may be performed through the washing machine 100.

Supplying hot air only into the washing machine 100 enables the drying cycle of the washing machine 100 by closing an air passage in communication with the cabinet dryer 200.

On the other hand, the laundry device according the first embodiment of the present invention may cause a problem that it is difficult to keep the laundry for a long time, because the laundry device performs only a washing cycle and a drying cycle.

Thereby, a second embodiment of the present invention suggests that a steam generating part 270 is further provided.

As shown in FIG. 4, inner space between the steam generating part 270 and the cabinet dryer 200 is connected by a steam supplying pipe 280.

The steam generating part 270 is provided in at least one of the washing machine 100 and the cabinet dryer 200.

Preferably, the steam generating part 270 is provided only in the cabinet dryer 200, because the washing machine 100 may have almost the same configurations as a conventional washing machine to prevent a production cost of the washing machine 100 from rising.

Also, the steam generating part 270 includes a heat radiating part 273 and a heating element 274.

The heat radiating part 273 is a container storing water for generating steam, and the heating element 274 is a heating element evaporating the water in the heat radiating part 273.

The heating element 274 is provided within the heat radiating part 273.

preferably, the steam generating part 270 further includes a water chamber 271 provided separately from the heat radiating part 273 for storing water, a water supplying pipe 272 connected with the water chamber 271 for supplying water into the heat radiating part 273 after receiving water from the water chamber 271. The water chamber 271 receives water from an outside, for example a water pipe.

On the other hand, steam generated by the steam generating part 270 may be supplied to the washing machine 100, too.

For that, the second embodiment of the present invention suggests that a steam supplying channel 140 is further provided.

The steam supplying channel 140 is connected with the steam supplying pipe 280 guiding a steam inflow from the steam generating part 270 into the body 210 of the cabinet dryer 200.

Regardless of any portions but preferably, a connecting portion between the steam supplying channel 140 and the washing machine 100 is connected with the connecting pipe 130 receiving hot air.

That is for minimizing a change of the structure of the washing machine 100.

A refreshing cycle of the laundry device according to the second embodiment of the present invention will be described.

First, to operate the refreshing cycle such as smoothing out wrinkles of the laundry and/or sterilizing the laundry by using the laundry device according to the second embodiment of the present invention, steam is generated by operating the steam generating part 270.

That is, the operation of the heating element 274 evaporates water supplied from the water chamber 271 through the water supplying pipe 272 into the heat radiating part 273 for generating steam.

At that time, steam generated by the steam generating part 270 is supplied into the body 210 of the cabinet dryer 200 through the steam supplying pipe 280.

Thus, the laundry within the body 210 of the cabinet dryer 200 is refreshed by the hot steam.

When performing a refreshing cycle by using the washing machine 100, steam is flown into the drum 120 of the washing machine 100 by opening the steam supplying channel 140 connected with the steam supplying pipe 280.

Therefore, the laundry device according to the first embodiment of the present invention may have an advantageous effect of performing a washing cycle and a drying cycle.

Especially, since the drying cycle using the cabinet dryer is performed during the washing cycle, the entire washing time may be reduced.

Furthermore, the laundry device according to the second embodiment of the present invention may have an advantageous effect of smoothing out wrinkles of the laundry and sterilizing the laundry, because a refreshing cycle is possible for the laundry within the cabinet dryer.

Still further, the laundry device according to each embodiment of the present invention has an advantageous effect of solving problems caused by a rise of production cost and securing an installation space, because the washing machine and the cabinet dryer are provided as one body

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 invention. 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
US8250777Nov 7, 2006Aug 28, 2012Lg Electronics Inc.Device of supplying water for laundry dryer and method for controlling the same
US20090249839 *Mar 31, 2009Oct 8, 2009Lg Electronics Inc.Laundry machine
EP2092106A1 *Nov 7, 2006Aug 26, 2009LG Electronics, Inc.Device of supplying water for laundry dryer and method for controlling the same
WO2008056836A1Nov 7, 2006May 15, 2008Chul Jin ChoiDevice of supplying water for laundry dryer and method for controlling the same
Classifications
U.S. Classification68/5.00C, 68/20, 68/12.02, 68/5.00E
International ClassificationD06F25/00
Cooperative ClassificationD06F58/10, D06F25/00
European ClassificationD06F58/10, D06F25/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 28, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: LG ELECTRONICS INC., KOREA, REPUBLIC OF
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:LEE, DEUG HEE;AHN, BYUNG HWAN;KIM, YOUNG SOO;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:017628/0951;SIGNING DATES FROM 20060206 TO 20060214