US 2161321 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 6, 1939. H. F. sMlTH 2,161,321
REFRIGERATING APPARATUS Filed March 29, 1935 4 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR. HARRY F SM T/-/ ATTORNEYS June 6, 1939. H. F. SMITH 2,161,321
REFRIGERATING APPARATUSv Filed March 29, 1955 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. HARRY /1` Ov/TH ATTORNEYS Jun 6, 1939. H.F $M|TH 2,161,321
REFRIGERATIING APPARATUS Filed March 29, 1935 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 .u l. i
ATTORN E YS June 6, 1939 H. F. SMITH REFRIGERATING APPARATUS Filed March 29, 1935 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR /ZHM S51/rh. BY
Patented June 6, 1939 PATENT OFFICE REFRIGERATIN G APPARATUS Harry F. Smith. Dayton, Ohio. assigner to General Motors Corporation, Dayton, Ohio, a corporation of Delaware ,Application March 29, 1935, Serial No. 13,713
This invention relates to refrigerating apparatus and particularly to an apparatus of this character by which the freezing of water into ice blocks may be carried on automatically.
More speciiically,'it is an object of this invention to provide a mechanism which will automatically fill an ice mold with water, freeze the water into ice and remove the ice from the mold repeatedly and without the assistance or attendance of the user.
It is the general practice, particularly in refrigerators for household use to accomplish the freezing of ice by providing one or more icc trays or molds which may befllled with water by the user and placed in a compartment maintained at a temperature below the freezing point of water. When one or more blocks of ice is needed, the tray is removed from the freezing compartment and the necessary ice removed therefrom manually. The many inconveniences attendant upon this type of apparatus are well known and need not be enumerated here. According to the present invention, these difficulties are eliminated by the provision of an automatic ice block producing mechanism which freezes a quantity of water in a mold, removes the ice from the mold and automatically refills the mold for the next freezing of ice therein, the frozen ice blocks being delivered to a storage basket maintained at a temperature below freezing where the ice may be removed readily as needed.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description, reference being had to the accompanying drawings wherein a preferred form of the'present invention is clearly shown.
In the drawings:
Fig. 1 is a diagrammatic view of a refrigerating apparatus embodying the present invention;
K Fig. 2 is a cross section on line 2 2 of Fig. 3 of the 'automatic ice producing mechanism illustrated in Fig l;
Fig. 3 is a cross section on line 3--3 of Fig. 2;
Fig. 4 is a fragmentary view corresponding to the upper portion of Fig. 2 showing the parts in another position; l
Fig. 5 is a fragmentary view corresponding to the upper portion of Fig.,3 showing the parts in the position illustrated in Fig. 4.
Fig', 6 is a diagrammatic view disclosing the ice releasing mechanism of the present invention in neutral position .and associated with the mold, shown in dotted lines; and
Fig. 7 is a diagrammatic view similar to Fig. 6
disclosing the ice releasing mechanism in an operated position for releasing ice from the mold. Referring now to Fig. 1. there is illustrated diagrammatically a refrigerating apparatus comprising a cabinet i0 having a food storage compartment l2. Within the cabinet lo there 1s mounted a cooling unit i4 including an ice block producing mechanism later to be described.
Within the cooling unit i4, there is provided an evaporator forming part of an absorption re- 10 frigerating apparatus of well known construction. 'Ihe absorption system also includes a generatorabsorber I6 adapted to be heated at times by a burner i8 and to be cooled at other times by a cooling coil 20. A condenser 22 is providedinl5 cooling unit and ice block forming mechanism I4 25 comprises an outer metal casing 26 within which is mounted an evaporator. The evaporator illustrated comprises a tubular header 28 having a liquid refrigerant inlet and `gaseous refrigerant outlet connection 30 which communicates with the condenser 22. Depending from the header 28 at the rear end thereof, is a tube 32'which extends to the bottom of the cooling unit. Near the bottom of the tube 32 a pair of conduits 34 and 3 36 .communicate therewith and are bent into serpentine form to lie along the bottom and up the side portions of the walls of the cooling unit. The conduits 34 and 36 terminate inside the header 28 near the top thereof as shown at 38. 40
A conduit 40 is provided inside the header 28 and extends downwardly to a point adjacent the bottom of the tube 32 for the purpose of emptying the liquid refrigerant in the evaporator when necessary for service operations. The tube 40 terminates in a normally closed, valved, connection 42 near the front of the cooling unit. The serpentine portions of the conduits 34 and 36 are imbedded in a quantity of hold-over material 44 which has the properties of high heat conductivity and high specic heat. The major portion of the header 28, however, is imbedded in a quantity of insulating material 46 having the property of low heat conductivity. A sheet metal inner liner 48 forms a storage compartment 50 which is maintained below the freezing point of water for the storage of ice blocks. If desired, a
second compartment 52 may be provided for the f freezing of ice blocks or desserts in the more con-g.'
ventional manner by the use of the tray 64.
Intermediate the compartment 60 andA the header 28, there is provided a compartment 68 vwithin which is located the ice freezing mechanism of the present invention. v This comprises a pair of ice molds 68 extending longitudinally of the header 28 and secured thereto in intimate heat exchange contact therewith. Each of the molds 58 comprises a longitudinally extending vertical wall 60, a horizontal bottom wall 62 and a sloping side wall 64 together with suitable front and rear end walls 66 to form a water tight ice mold having an open top. Intermediate the end walls 66, there are provided dividing partitions 68 which have a portion thereof cut away to below the normal water level maintained in the ice mold so that the blocks of ice formed between the partitions 66 and 68 will be connected together by a small bridge of ice extending over the partitions 68.
In order to provide for repeated fillings of the ice molds automatically, there is mounted at one side of the cooling unit I4 and out of direct heat exchange relation thereto a water reservoir 10 lwithin which water is maintained at a level to which it is desired to fill the ice molds. In the apparatus illustrated, the level of the water in the reservoir 10 is maintained by an inverted water bottle 12 providing a suitable barometric or other suitable water feed of well known construction. The reservoir 10 is in communication with the ice molds 58 through a conduit 14 which is unobstructed except when ice is formed at the end thereof adjacent the ice molds 58. 'I'he conduit 14 may, if desired or necessary, be insulated in the vicinity of the evaporator to prevent the cooling effect produced thereby from freezing water in this conduit.
In order to remove ice blocks formed in the molds 58 and to deposit them in the basket 16 provided at the storage chamber 50, an ejector mechanism is provided for each of the ice molds 58. This comprises a plurality of ejector members 18 pivoted at 80 to extensions 82 at both ends of the ice molds 58. The ejector 12 may be formed of sheet metal which is so bent as` to extend over the end walls 66 and down into the ice molds 58 adjacent the end walls 66 and the central vertical wall 60. The ends of the ejectors 18 which extend into the ice molds 58 are provided with pads 84 formed integrally therewith and which normally lie snugly against the vertical wall 60. The front and rear ejectors 16 for each of the ice molds 58 are connected together by a strip member 86 having upturned portions 88 at both ends thereof.
The ejectors 16 are actuated by means of a bellows 90 which is rigidly mounted on an adjustable stirrup 92 within a tubular recess 94 formed in the header 28. The bellows 90 is filled with a suitable volatile liquid in o rder to make it responsive to changes in temperature of its environment. The movable end of the bellows 90 carries a plunger 96 which engages a lever 98 pivoted at and having at its opposite end a portion |02 bearing against a bell crank lever |04 pivoted at |06. The bell crank |04 is connected to each of the forward ejector members 18 by means of a pair of links |08.
In operation, the cooling unit |4 is intermittently cooled and heated by the absorption refrigerating system having its evaporator incorporated therein. During the cooling or absorbing portion of the cycle, the refrigerant vaporizing in the conduits 84, 36 and in the header 28 withdraws heat from the metallic casing 26 and from the chambers 50, 52, and 66, thus maintaining the food compartment I2 and the ice storage and dessert freezing compartments at the proper temperatures. Heat is also withdrawn from the ice molds 58 by the refrigerant vaporizing Within the header 28. Assuming the water bottle 12 to be filled, the mo1ds'58 will likewise be filled with water to the level maintained in the reservoir 10. During the normal continuation of the cooling cycle, the water in the molds 58 is frozen into ice blocks. As soon as the heating or generating portion of the cycle commences, heat is applied to the cooling unit, due to the warm liquid refrigerant entering the'same from the condenser 22. The hold-over material 44 tends to prevent any substantial increase in temperature in thc compartments i2, 50 and 52. 'Ihe insulating material 46, however, permits a sharp rise in the temperature of the header 28, ice molds 58, and the associated mechanism. The volatile liquid in the bellows 90, therefore, expands and tends to push the lever 98 to the left in Fig.'3. As long as the ice blocks are bonded to the ice molds 58, substantially no movement of the plunger 96 is possible. However, when sufficient heat has been conducted to themolds 58 to free the ice blocks from the molds, the pressure exerted by the bellows 90 quickly moves the lever 98 to the left, causing the bell crank |04 to rotate in a clockwise direction lifting ejector members 18 to the position illustrated in Fig. 4. In moving to this position, the pads 84 carried with them the ice blocks ||0 which then drop by gravity into the basket 16 for storage. It will be noted that ice formed in each mold 58 is in the shape of a long block which is nearly severed at each place where a partition 68 was positioned. The small bridge of ice connecting the several portions of the long block is strong enough to permit removal of the long block from the mold as one piece but may be easily broken manually Whenever a small piece of ice is required from`the basket 16. Upon removal of the ice blocks H0, the molds 58 will automatically 'be filled from the reservoir 10 up to the level maintained in that reservoir. As soon as the heating or generating cycle is terminated and the cooling or absorbing cycle is again started, the temperature of the bellows 90 rapidly drops, permitting the ejectors to return to the position illustrated in Fig. 2. At this time, the water in the ice molds 58 is still unfrozen so that the ejectors may move readily through the water to their positions at the bottom corners of the molds 58. Preferably, the size of the 'water bottle 12 is so proportioned with respect to the size of the basket 16 that a single filling of the bottle will produce enough ice to fill the basket 16. Thus, it is possible for the user to i'lll the bottle 12 and without further attention be assured of the manufacture of sufficient ice blocks to ll the basket 16. Likewise, as soon as the basket 16 is thus filled, the production of ice blocks is automatically terminated, inasmuch as the supply of water to fill the molds 58 is thereby exhausted.
Thus, the present invention provides for the automatic manufacture of a plurality of ice blocks by repeatedly freezing water in a set of molds without attention from the user other than that necessary to provide a supply of\water to be frozen. It will be understood, of course, that other well yknown' means may be provided for maintaining a constant level of water supply, fcrexample, the reservoir may be connected to a ysuitable source of water under pressure, for" example, the city water mains and may be provided` with suitable level controlling means such as a float valve or overow device for in` suring the constant maintenance of a proper water level in the reservoir 10. It will be noted, however, that provision of an unlimitedwater supply for the reservoir 10 makes itnecessary to remove ice blocks from the basket whenever the same becomes iilled in order to avoid intere ference with the normal operation of the ejecting mechanism.
vWhile the .invention has been illustrated in connection with an intermittent absorption type of refrigerating apparatus, it will be understood that its advantages are not limited to the incorporation vthereof vtvith'any particular type'of refrl'gerating apparatus and that other refrigerating systemsl may bev used with the invention ling medium within the compartment I2. yWise, while the invention has been illustratedand v be used'for other congealing operations-and that lwherever the terms water and ice are used in the specication and in the appended claims, it
, scope of the'claims which follow. 4,5 ,v
so long as provisionis made for interrupting the cooling cycle and for the application of lheat to the ice molds either from the refrigerating system'- itself, 'from an external source or iromvthe-l heat-applied to the cooling unit by. the circluiltf described in connection with its use for freezing water' into ice, it will be understoodthat it may willbe understood that the terms are to be construed broadly to include other comparable materials in which a changeoi state from the liquid to the solid may 4be induced by the vwithdrawal of heat therefrom.
While the form of embodiment of. the present invention as herein disclosed constitutes a pre-v ferred form, it is to be .understood that other forms might be adopted. all coming withinvthev What is claimedis asfollowsz.- Y
V1. .Reirigerating appa'ratus comprising in combination a stationarilyA mounted cooling, unit, means for alternately cooling `and heating said unit, an ice mold in thermal contact with said cooling unit, and means movable'relati've to said cooling unit automatically in response to the application of heat to said unit for ejecting icel from said mold. l I.
l2. R.e. =,frige'rating` apparatus comprising in combination 'a stationarily. mounted -coolingunit, v A
vmoved from said'mold, the water insaid water summeansbdnuothwm* duction of ice that when a quantity of ice suilicient to illl .said storing means has been produced the water in said supply means will be exhausted.
4. Refrigerating apparatus comprising in combination a stationarily mounted cooling unit, means for intermittently cooling said unit. an ice mold in thermal contact with said cooling unit, and means movable relative to said cooling unit automatically between cooling periods thereof for ejecting ice from said mold.
5. Refrigerating apparatus comprising in combination a cooling unit, an ice mold, means for filling said mold with water to be frozen, and means movable relative to both` said cooling vunit and said mold for removing ice from said mold, said last named means being actuated automatically in response to the application of heat to .said cooling unit.
6. Refrigerating apparatus comprising in combination anice mold, stationary means for cooltemperature rise at said cooling means for causing sucientrelativeI movement between said stationary cooling means and said member to remove the ice block from the mold. V
8'. Rei'rigerating apparatus comprising in combination, a cooling element, means for circulating a cooling medium to and from said element to cause same to produce a refrigerating eiect, an ice mold carried by said cooling element in intimate heat exchange relation therewith, ice
ejecting means normally positioned in said mold and movable relative thereto and to said cooling element for removing ice from the mold, means for actuating said ice ejecting means, said last named means v including a thermostat, responsive to a 'change in temperaturen! the refrigerating eilect produced by said cooling element.
9. Refrigerating apparatus comprising Iin combination, a cooling member, means for circulating acooling medium to and from said cooling 4member to cause same to produce a refrigerating eect, an ice mold member in intimate heat exchange relation with said cooling member, said members being rigidly, secured together to prevent movement thereof relative to one another, ice releasing means associated with said mold member, said ice releasing means includingl an ice ejecting portion normally disposed in the mold member and an actuating portion extending outwardly of said mold member, means for moving said'outwardly extending portion of said ice releasing means to cause movement of said ice ejecting portion thereof relative to said. mold member, and said last named means being operable automatically in response to conditions of said refrigerating apparatus for liberating ice from said mold member.
f BARRY P. SMITH.