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Publication numberUS2735591 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 21, 1956
Filing dateJun 12, 1951
Publication numberUS 2735591 A, US 2735591A, US-A-2735591, US2735591 A, US2735591A
InventorsLyle E. Branchflower
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
E branchflower
US 2735591 A
Images(4)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 21, 1956 L. a BRANCHFLOWER 2,735,591

STORING AND DISPENSING ICE IN PARTICLE FORM Filed June 12, 1951 4 Sheets-Sheet l FIG, 8 INVENTOR.

o 104 BY L. E. BRANCHFLOWER I 49 7 i ATTORNEY F 21. 1956 1.. E. BRANCHFLOWER 2,735,591

STORING AND DISPENSING ICE IN PARTICLE FORM 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed June 12, 1951 R m R m C NL EF w mN A R B E L ATTORNE Feb. 21, 1956 L. E. BRANCHFLOWER 2,735,591

STORING AND DISPENSING ICE IN PARTICLE FORM Filed June 12, 1951 I 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 FIG. 5

ll 1h 77 "m MM FIG- 6 III P as FIG. 4 I 5 II} I l HHIIII. llHm imllll, IIL HHHHIH WIHHHHH' WWW UW U' J W,- 5 y u INVENTOR.

L. E. BRANCHF LOWER ATTORNEY United States Patent APPARATUS FOR STORING AND DISPENSING ICE IN PARTICLE FORM Lyle E. Branchfiower, Seattle, Wash.

Application June 12,v 1951, Serial No. 231,201

3 Claims. (Cl. 222405) This invention relates to apparatus for the production of small particles of ice, the storing of this ice in sub stantial quantities until it is desired to use the same and the dispensing of the stored ice in controlled quantities as desired.

The invention also relates to the manner in which the ice is insulated during storage and consequently the condition in which it is kept so that it will not melt sufliciently to form a relatively solid solidified mass.

In view of the fact that at certain times of the day the demand is greater than at other times and actually exceeds the capacity of the machine, these machines are operated substantially the entire day in order to provide a surplus for use at a later time. Receiving means such as bins preferably insulated are desirable for storing the ice produced and such bin sometimes are of a capacity to accommodate one hundred tons of ice. Regardless of how produced ice particles piled together have a tendency to fuse occasioned perhaps by the exclusion of air from between their contacting surfaces so that there is sufficient melting to permit freezing, and unlike coal or other granular solids ice will not flow but tend to mat together in the pile. This adherence of ice particles has been a considerable problem in the handling of the ice and solutions of this problem have been undertaken without appreciable success. Some of the attempts at solution of this problem have included hopper bottom bins and conveyors in the bottoms of the bins with agitators over them to free the ice in order that it might freely flow by gravity and be easily handled.

Ice once started in motion is comparatively easy to convey to a point of delivery provided it is not allowed to come to rest and it is desirable to initiate motion by removing the top of the pile of ice thus maintaining the top of the ice level and providing for the free exit and delivery of the ice either directly or by a conveyor.

Storage bins are of three basic types, namely, insulated non-refrigerated bins in which a portion of the ice is melted or used to maintain a temperature of 32 in the pile, the rate of ice usage or loss depending upon climatic conditions. The second type of bin is the insulated nonrefrigerated bin in which a minimum quantity of ice is used in the maintenance of a 32 temperature in the mass. The amount of ice used depending upon the efficiency of the insulation. The third type of ice bin is the insulated refrigerated bin in which refrigerating coils or diffusing units are employed to maintain the temperature within the bin at the desired value below freezing. Ice discharged into the bin must also be dry and below freezing and maintained in this condition so that the particles do not freeze or fuse together. In some instances or usages sub-cooled ice is desired at a temperature even as low as 0 F. It is this type of bin that is essential for handling such ice.

The present invention contemplates a cylindrical ice maker mounted on a cylindrical bin thereby providing an ideal compact, inexpensive ice maker, bin, and dispensing apparatus. However the dispensing equipment of the present invention is applicable to. any of they three types of bins in accordance with the preference of the user.

It is an object of the invention to provide unitary ice making, storing, anddispensing apparatus in which the ice is properly insulated for reducing or agglomeration of the particles and automatic apparatus for dispensing the stored ice in controlled quantities. as desired.

Another object of the. invention is to provide simple and relatively inexpensive as well as highly satisfactory storage and dispensing apparatus, for use with ice producing equipment of any desired character, which can be readily fabricated from economically available materials and including electrically operated dispensing mechanism which may be automatically controlled for engaging the ice and discharging the same in a highly efiicient and satisfactory manner regardless, of the quantity stored, and which dispensing or discharge mechanism will follow the level of the ice as it is removed and the level lowered until the supply is exhausted.

A further object of the invention is to provide unitary ice producing storing and dispensing apparatus in which ice is discharged as it is manufactured into an insulated storage bin containing ice moving equipment therein serving not only to maintain the, top of the ice level but to move the ice toward a dispensing opening with such equipment properly suspended and counterbalanced so that it will operate on the ice from above downwardly at all times and follow the level of the ice. as it is dispensed. with receiving and conveying mechanism and the entire apparatus operable manually or with automatic controls: as desired and with the dispensing mechanism synchronized with the leveling and conveying mechanism.

Another object of the invention is to provide a storage bin. or receptacle requiring but little floor space and with substantial height, dispensing mechanism being provided which will operate on the surface of the ice stored, as the supply is reduced, for automatically dispensing the samein measured quantities as desired.

Briefly stated the invention comprises a bin or receptacle for the storing and dispensing, of bulk material such as relatively small particles of ice, the receptacle being provided with dispensing or discharge mechanism for moving the material therefrom. The bin or receptacle is further provided with spaced and vertically aligned openings having closure members or doors. associated therewith, the material being discharged from the upper level thereof through the adjacent or uppermost opening and then progressively discharged through lower openings as the quantity of material Within the receptacle diminishes and the level thereof lowers. Automatic means is. provided for opening and closing the doors which control the discharge of material from the bin or receptacle and automatic means is also provided for raising and lowering the dispensing or discharge mechanism within the receptacle to accommodate the level of material stored therein. Preferably the dispensing or discharge mechanism is of the rotary type and includes depending members which engage the upper surface of the ice stored within the bin or receptacle and move particles of ice outwardly toward the discharge openings. There is also provided conveyor means for removing, and delivering to any desired point, material discharged from the receptacle.

Further objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

Fig. 1 is a vertical section of a combination storage bin and dispenser in combination with an ice maker;

Fig. 2, a top plan view;

Fig. 3, a section on the line 33 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 4, a side elevation view of a rotary conveyor rake or impeller;

Fig. 5, a bottom plan view of the impeller;

Fig. 6, a fragmentary detail section on the line 6-6 of Fig. 3;

Fig. 7, a view similar to Fig. l with parts in section for greater clarity and showing an ice maker, storage bin and ice dispensing mechanism constructed as a single unit; and

Fig. 8, a circuit diagram showing a control circuit for the drive motor.

With continued reference to the drawing there is shown in Fig. l, a bin or container 10 comprising a substantially cylindrical wall 11 and a bottom Wall 12. The bottom wall 12 may be secured in position by an annular angle member 13 secured to the bottom wall 12 and the cylindrical wall 11 thus supporting the bottom wall 12 in spaced relation to the surface upon which the bin 10 is supported. Although the bin 10 is shown in Fig. l as being open at the top, a closure may be provided to protect the contents thereof, if such is desirable.

Bin 10 is intended to store bulk material such as cracked or chipped ice and the walls thereof may be constructed of wood or other suitable insulating material. The ice particles or other bulk material 14 may be supplied to the bin 11) by means of a chute 15 from an ice-making machine or from any other desired supply.

f desired, suitable means may be provided for refrigerating the bin 10 in order to prevent melting of the ice contained therein, but since the invention is intended for use with a bin of this nature whether the same be refrigerated or not the bottom Wall 12 is inclined slightly in order to permit drainage of any water which may result from melting of the ice contained therein and there is likewise provided a drain pipe 16 extending upwardly through the bottom wall 12 and provided with a grille or strainer 17 to prevent passage of ice particles into the drain.

In order to remove ice or other bulk material 14 from the interior of the bin 10 there is provided a series of vertically spaced openings 18 in the cylindrical side wall 11 and these openings are normally closed by doors 19 hingedly mounted at 20 on the wall 11 for vertical swinging movement. The operating mechanism for doors 19 will be later described. The openings 18 communicate with a chute 21 formed by a trough-like member 22 disposed vertically and provided with flanges 23 for securing the same to the wall 11 of the bin 10. The chute 21 extends from adiacent the bottom of the bin 10 to a point above the uppermost opening 18 and the chute 21 is provided at the bottom thereof with inclined bottom walls 24 which form a hopper for directing the ice 14 other bulk material into a trough 25 in which is rotatably mounted a screw conveyor 26. Conveyor 26 serves to move the ice 14 or other bulk material laterally of the chute 21 and discharge the same through a conduit 27 to a place of use.

Since the ice particles 14 freeze together during storage and produce a semi-solid mass, it is necessary to provide means for breaking these particles apart and move the same outwardly toward the Wall 11 in order to dispense the particles through the opening 18 and into the chute 21. For this purpose there is provided a mechanism in the nature of a rotating power-driven rake 28 which moves downwardly in the bin 10 as the ice 14 is dispensed therefrom and the level thereof is lowered. Rotary rake 28 may conveniently comprise radially extending members 29 connected together at their inner ends to form a hub 30, members 29 being reinforced and held at substantially 90 to each other by angle bars 31 connecting the outer ends of adjacent arms.

The rake elements are formed by curved bars 32 connected to the hub and extending outwardly in a curved path to the extremities of each arm 29. These curved bars 32 are provided with downwardly extending prongs or teeth 33 which are secured to the bars 32 by welding or the like. The specific structure of the rotary rake 28 is best shown in Figs. 1, 4 and 5. The hub 30 is provided on the upper end thereof with a bearing 34 having a cypolygonal shaft 38 and thus the rotary rake 28.

v 4 lindrical portion 35 and spaced flanges 36 and 37, the purpose of which will be presently described.

The rotary rake 28 is supported for rotary and vertical movement in the bin 10 by a polygonal shaft 38 disposed centrally of the bin 10 and supported at its lower end by a step bearing 39 having a cylindrical portion 40 and a flange 41 secured to the bottom wall 12 of the bin 10 by screw-threaded fastening means or the like 42. Step bearing 39 is provided with anti-friction means in the form of a ball 43 which is received in a recess 44 in the bearing 39 and a recess 45 in the lower end of the polygonal shaft 38. This step bearing 39 thus serves to reduce friction between the lower end of the shaft 38 and the bearing and at the same time to compensate for minor misalignment of the shaft. The upper end of polygonal shaft 38 is journaled in a bearing 46 carried by cross bars 47 and 48 secured to the upper edge of side wall 11 of bin 16. Bars 47 and 48 also serve to support a drive motor 49 which through a spur gear 50 connected to the output shaft 51 thereof meshes with and drives a spur gear 52 secured to the upper end of polygonal shaft 38.

The hub 30 of rotary rake 28 is provided with a polygonal aperture complementary to the formation of the polygonal shaft 38 and, consequently, rotary rake 28 is movable vertically upon the shaft 38, but will be rotated therewith upon operation of the motor 49 to drive the shaft 38.

In order to control the vertical movement of rotary rake 38 there is provided a beam 53 which, as best shown in Figs. 1 and 3, comprises spaced outwardly facing channel members 54 and 55 secured together by spacing members 56 and tie bolts 57. Beam 53 is rotatably received on bearing 34 between the flanges 36 and 37 and thus may remain stationary during rotation of rotary rake 28.

Tie bolts 57 serve to receive flexible members or cables 58 and 59 which pass upwardly over pulleys 60 and 61 respectively, these pulleys being journaled on cross bars 62 and 63 respectively supported by the upper edges of the Wall 11 of the bin 10. Cables 58 and 59 after. passing over pulleys 6t and 61 extend in a horizontal direction and pass over a pair of pulleys 64 and downwardly to connect with a counterweight 65. counterweight 65 is connected at its lower end to a cable 66 which passes over a pulley 67 and to a motor operated winding drum 68 supported by a bracket 69 securedeither to the bin 10 or to the surface supporting the same. Limit switches 70 and 71 for engagement by the upper and lower ends of the counterweight 65 are provided and the purpose and operation of these switches will be later described.

Since the beam 53 must be restrained against rotation there has been provided an angularly extending arm 72 projecting from the channel 55, this arm being provided at its outer end with a roller B engaging in a vertically disposed track 74 secured to the inner surface of the wall 11 of the bin 10. It will thus be seen that vertical movement of the beam 53 and rotary rake 28 supported thereby will be permitted but at the same time rotation of the beam 53 will be prevented.

Assuming a quantity of ice particles 14 to be present in the bin 10 the motor 49 is energized to rotate the The teeth 33 serve to engage the ice particles and break the same apart and due to the curved configuration of the bars 32 supporting the teeth 33 the ice particles 14 will be moved outwardly toward the periphery of the wall 11 of the bin 10. Since under some conditions there might be a tendency for the teeth 33 to dig into the ice particles 14 and the radially extending members 29 to imbed themselves therein there is provided means to prevent such an occurrence in the form of shoes 75 which comprise metallic plates 76 having a portion 77 secured to each radially extending member 29 by welding or the like and as best shown in Fig. 6 having an upwardly inclined portion 78 which operates as an inclined plane and slides over the ice particlesv to raise the'rotary rake 28 in the event that the teeth 33 dig in too deeply. It is to be noted that there is a shoe 75 provided on each radially extending member 29 thus maintaining substantial alignment thereof.

Since the arrangement of the teeth 33' on the rotary rake 28 tends to move the ice particles 14 radially outwardly of the bin 10, this feature has been utilized to provide for dispensing of the ice particles through the openings 18 in the wall 11 in the bin 10. These openings 18 which, as mentioned above, are normally closed by doors 19, are progressively opened as the level of the ice particles 14 in the bin is lowered by a mechanism which includes toggle means for each door 19. This toggle means comprises an arm 79 pivoted at 80 to an ear 81 secured to the wall 22 of the chute 21, arm 79 being pivotally connected at 82 to a second arm 83 pivotally connected at 84 to an car 85 extending from each door 19. Arm 83 is provided with a laterally oifset portion 86 which serves to engage the arm 79 when the toggle is in straight position to prevent movement thereof beyond dead center and in this position the door 19 is securely held in closed position. The arms 79 and 83 are urged toward straightened position which closes the door 19 by a weight 87 which is attached to the pivot point 82.

Means is provided to progressively open the doors 19 as the level of ice 14 in the bin 10 moves downwardly and, as shown in Figs. 1 and 2, this mechanism comprises a cam shaft 88 journaled in bearings 89 mounted on brackets 90 which in turn are supported by the upper edge of side wall 11 of the bin 10 and cross bar 91 also supported by the upper edge of wall 11 of bin 10. Cam shaft 88 also carries a sprocket wheel 92 engaged by a chain 93 which is trained over a sprocket carried by shaft 94 which in turn is fixed to pulley 61. Cam shaft 88 carries a plurality of cams 95, one for each door 19, and these cams are engaged by a follower in the form of a roller 96 attached to a rocker arm 97 supported on a rock shaft 98 which is carried by bracket 90. Each rocker arm 97 is connected by a cable or other suitable flexible member 99 with the pivotal point. 82 of each toggle composed of arms 79 and 83 connected to the doors 19.

The shaft 94 carrying pulley 61 is rotated by movement of the rotary rake 28 downwardly or upwardly due to the movement of the cable 59 and the drive ratio between shaft 94 and cam shaft 88 is such that during movement of rotary rake 28 from the extreme upper position to the extreme lower position one revolution of the cam shaft 88 will take place. The contour of the cams 95 and the orientation thereof on the cam shaft 88 is such that as the rotary rake 28 moves downwardly and the ice particles 14 are dispensed through the openings the doors 19 will be progressively opened to permit dispensing of the ice particles 14 therethrough into the chute 21 and outwardly by means of the spiral conveyor 26 through the discharge conduit 27. Upon completion of the downward movement of rotary rake 28 all of the doors 19 will be opened and presumably all of the ice particles in the bin 10 will have been dispensed into the chute 28.

Upon movement of the rotary rake 28 to its uppermost position in a manner to be presently described. the cam shaft 88 will move in the opposite direction and the followers 46 attached to the rocker arms 97 will permit movement of these arms to a horizontal position and closing of all of the doors 19 under the action of weights 87 which serve to straighten the arms 79 and 83 c0mpris ing the toggle mechanism and tightly close such doors.

Since it is desirable that operation of the rotary rake 28 cease at both the upward and downward limits of travel there has been provided a control mechanism in form of the limit switches 70 and 71 and as best shown in Fig. 6 these limit switches are incorporated into a circuit in which power is supplied through conductors 108 and 101, conductor 180 leading directly to drive motor 49 and conductor 101 leading through a manually oper- '6 ated master switch 102, which in turn is connected with normally open limit switch 70 and through conductor 103 with normally open limit switch 71. Limit switch 71 is connected to the drive motor 49 through conductor 104.

In operation assuming the master switch 102 to be closed and the rotary rake 28 to be in its uppermost position the limit switch 71 is open and the limit switch 70 is closed. Energization of the motor-driven winding drum 68 to lower the rotary rake 28 and move the counterweight 65 upwardly will serve to close the limit switch 71 and energize the motor 49 which will result in rotation of the rake 28 and move particles of ice 14 in the bin 10 outwardly and dispense the same through the uppermost opening. 18- and as this operation continues the level of ice particles 14 in the bin 10 will lower and due to the operation of the cam shaft 88 and cam carried thereby the doors 19 will. progressively open as the level of ice particles 14- lowers and these particles will be dispensed into the chute 21 and downwardly to the spiral conveyor 26 to be moved outwardly through the discharge conduit 27. When the rotary rake 28 reaches its lowermost position the upper end of counterweight 65 will contact the limit switch 70 to open the same and thus de-encrgize the drive motor 49 and stop rotation of the rake 28. When the bin 18 is refilled and it is desired to dispense ice therefrom, it is only necessary to energize the motor-driven winding drum 68 to lower the rake 28 and upon closing of the switch 71 the motor 49 will be. energized to start rotation of the rake 28 and ice particles will be dispensed through the openings 18, as described above.

In the form of the invention shown in Fig. 7 there is provided a unitary ice making, storage and dispensing apparatus in which a circular ice making machine 105 is mounted on the open upper end of a cylindrical bin 186 which may be supported on any suitable foundation such as the surface of the earth or on a foundation provided by a building or the like. The bin 196 is of such capacity that it will handle the ice making output of the ice making machine during a 24 hour period and this form of the apparatus is intended for use where the 24 hour output of the ice making machine is to be utilized within such period of time usually within a very few hours.

The ice making machine 185 forms on part of this invention but comprises a cylindrical insulated outer casing or housing 107 within which is located a cylindrical shell 198 refrigerated in any desired manner. Water is sprayed or otherwise applied on the inner surface of the shell 183 and ice is frozen thereon. This ice is removed by rotary scraping or cutting blades 189 mounted on and driven from a central shaft 118. Beneath the lower edge of the shell 188 is provided a trough 111 to catch excess water flowing from the shell and to prevent entry of such water into the bin 106 positioned therebeneath. As the ice is scraped, cut or otherwise removed from the inner surface of the shell 108 it drops through the opening 112 into bin 106 and is collected therein in a pile 113. Suitable refrigerating and operating mechanism 114 is mounted on the upper end of ice making machine 185 and it is not deemed necessary to provide a detailed description of this apparatus since it forms no part of this invention as above indicated and is shown herein only for illustrative purposes.

The bin 186 is provided with an insulated wall 1.15 and adjacent the upper end thereof there may be provided an annular flange 116 which serves to mate with an annular flange 117 secured to the ice making machine 185, flanges 116 and 117 being connected by screw threaded fastening means or the like 118 which serves to fasten the ice making machine 105 to the bin 106 thus forming a compact unitary structure. The bottom 119 of the bin 106 is inclined and a drain128is provided at the lowermost point thereof to accommodate any water which might result from melting of the ice particles 113 disposed in the bin 106 much in the manner described abovein connection with the other form of the invention.

Centrally disposed within the bin 106 and extending upwardly throughout substantially the entire length thereof is a polygonal shaft 121 which is supported at its lower end on an anti-friction step bearing 122, and at its upper end in a bearing 123 mounted on a cross member 124 secured to the sides of the bin 106. Secured to the shaft 121 adjacent the upper end thereof is a bevel gear 125 which meshes with a bevel pinion 126 mounted on a shaft 127 which is journaled in a bearing 128 supported from the cross member 124, shaft 127 extending outwardly through the wall 115 of the bin 106, there being provided at this point a bearing 129 for properly supporting the shaft 127. Shaft 127 is connected through a coupling 130 with speed reduction gear box 131 which forms an integral part of a drive motor 132. Operation of the drive motor 132 serves to rotate the shaft 121 for a purpose to be later described.

Slidably mounted on the shaft 121 for rotation therewith is a rake structure 133 which is similar in construction to that described above in connection with the other form of the invention and secured to this rotary rake structure 133 is a supporting beam 134 provided with a bearing 135 which permits rotation of the rake 133 with respect thereto. Beam 134 is engaged by cables or other flexible supporting means 136 which are trained over pulleys 137 and outwardly through an aperture 138 in the wall 115 of the bin 106 and over pulleys 139 and downwardly to a counterweight 140. Connected to the lower end of counterweight 140 is a cable or other suitable flexible means 141 which is trained around a pulley 142 and engages a winding dnlm 143 supported on a bracket 144. Cables 136 and 141 may lead through guides 145 and 146 which may serve to support limit switches for controlling the operation of drive motor 132 in a manner to be later described.

The rotary rake 133 is provided with downwardly extending teeth 147 and the arrangement of these teeth is such that upon rotation of the rake 133 the ice particles 113 will be scraped from the upper surface of the mass in the bin 106 and these loosened particles moved toward the perimeter of the bin 106. Operation of the drive motor 132 to rotate the shaft 121 accomplishes this result and as the ice level in the bin 106 moves downwardly the rake 133 will likewise move downwardly since the weight of counterweight 140 may be so adjusted that the rotary rake 133 is supported by the mass of ice particles 113 in the bin and consequently as these particles are dispensed in a manner to be presently described the rake 133 will move downwardly within the bin. Upon reaching the bottom of the bin 106 the Winding drum 143 may be actuated to move the counterweight 140 downwardly thus returning the rake 133 to the upper end of the bin and the limit switches mentioned above will operate to stop the motor 132 upon the rake reaching either the uppermost or lowermost position of travel within the bin.

Since rotation of the rake 133 tends to move the loosened ice particles 113 outwardly toward the perimeter of the bin 106 means must be provided to permit dispensing of these ice particles from the bin and this dispensing means is similar in every respect to that described above in connection with the other form of the invention with the exception of the means utilized to open the closures 19 by action of the toggle link members 79 and 83. In the other form of the invention automatic means was provided for this purpose which automatic means was actuated in accordance with the level of the ice particles in the bin 196. In this form of the invention manually operated means is provided and this may take the form of cables 99 similar to the cables 99 in the previous form of the invention, these cables leading upwardly over pulleys 148 and 149 and downwardly to be secured at a point 150 convenient to an operator.

When it is desired to open closure 19 it is only necessary for an operator to grasp the appropriate cable 99 and pull the same which will break the toggle connecting that closure 19 and open the same and this procedure is progressively followed until all of the closures 19 have been opened. While the cables 99 are shown as merely connected at a point 150, obviously operating levers or other suitable means may be employed to actuate these cables in a manner most convenient to the operator. This manually operated control mechanism for the closures 19 precludes the necessity of utilizing the relatively more expensive cam controlled operating mechanism described above and may be provided for smaller installations where complete automatic operation is not necessary or desirable.

It will thus be seen that by this invention there has been provided a relatively simple inexpensively constructed apparatus which may be fabricated of readily available parts and requiring little skilled labor in the manufacture thereof. This apparatus will efficiently store a quantity of bulk material, such as ice particles, and even though these particles freeze together to form a semi-solid mass will break the same apart and dispense the particles through progressively opened apertures into a chute in which there is provided means for conveying the same through a conduit to a point of use. Likewise, control means has been provided to prevent undue operation of the dispensing means and also to prevent damage thereto in the event all of the ice or other bulk material has been removed from the bin. This apparatus permits operation of an ice-making machine continuously to store ice during periods of non-use and to dispense the same during periods of peak loads without the necessity of providing an excessive ice-making capacity which would be substantially wasted during periods of light load.

It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made in the invention without departing from the spirit and scope thereof and therefore the invention is not limited to that which is shown in the drawings and described in the specification, but only as indicated in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. Ice storage and dispensing mechanism comprising a circular storage bin for receiving and storing small particles of ice, said bin having a discharge opening in its side for the dispensing of ice therethrough; closure means for closing said opening; ice moving mechanism within said bin including a central shaft and an impellertype member non-rotatably slidable along said shaft and following the surface of the ice for leveling the ice in said bin, said impeller-type member comprising a frame, curved, ice pusher members extending outwardly from said shaft and supported by said frame; ice piercing proiections depending from said curved members; shoes supported by said frame member having an extended surface portion adapted to ride on the surface of the ice and to determine the extent of piercing of said projections in the ice; suspension means for said impellertype member supporting the said impeller-type member so that it may be raised and lowered on said shaft to follow the level of the ice in said bin; power means for rotating said shaft with said impeller-type member slidable thereon; and a chute for the reception of ice discharged from said bin.

2. Ice storage and dispensing mechanism comprising a circular storage bin for receiving and storing small particles of ice, said bin having a discharge opening in its side for the dispensing of ice therethrough; closure means for closing said opening; ice moving mechanism within said bin including a central shaft and an impellertype member non-rotatably slidable along said shaft and following the surface of the ice for leveling the ice in said bin, said impeller-type member comprising a frame, non-radial, ice pusher members extending outwardly from said shaft and supported by said frame; ice piercing projections depending from said non-radial members; shoes supported by said frame member having an extended surface portion adapted to ride on the surface of the ice and to determine the extent of piercing of said projections in the ice; suspension means for said impeller-type member supporting the said impeller-type member so that it may be raised and lowered on said shaft to follow the level of the ice in said bin; power means for rotating said shaft with said impeller-type member slidable thereon; and a chute for the reception of ice discharged from said bin.

3. Ice storage and dispensing mechanism comprising a circular storage bin for receiving and storing small particles of ice, said bin having a discharge opening in its side for the dispensing of ice therethrough; closure means for closing said opening; ice moving mechanism within said bin including a central shaft and an impellertype member non-rotatably slidable along said shaft and following the surface of the ice for leveling the ice in said bin, said impeller-type member comprising a frame,

non-radial, ice pusher members extending outwardly from said shaft and supported by said frame; ice piercing projections depending from said non-radial members; sus pension means for said impeller-type member supporting the said impeller-type member so that it may be raised and lowered on said shaft to follow the level of the ice in said bin; power means for rotating said shaft with said impeller-type member slidable thereon; and a chute for the reception of ice discharged from said bin.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 659,112 Sykes Oct. 2, 1900 1,040,237 Pearson Oct. 1, 1912 1,068,176 Scott July 22, 1913 1,550,311 Foster Aug. 18, 1925 1,740,250 Kutz et a1. Dec. 17, 1929 2,222,024 Field Nov. 19, 1940 2,500,043 Radtke Mar. 7, 1950 2,511,246 Chamberlin June 13, 1950

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Referenced by
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US6062426 *May 1, 1998May 16, 2000North Star Ice Equipment CorporationIce storage/dispensing apparatus
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US8365548 *May 28, 2009Feb 5, 2013Lg Electronics Inc.Ice dispensing technology
US20100131105 *May 28, 2009May 27, 2010Lg Electronics Inc.Ice dispensing technology
US20130098099 *Oct 24, 2011Apr 25, 2013General Electric CompanyRefrigerator appliance with ice dispenser
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Classifications
U.S. Classification222/405, 222/506, 414/313, 62/379, 222/236
International ClassificationF25C5/00
Cooperative ClassificationF25C5/007
European ClassificationF25C5/00B4