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Publication numberUS2758452 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 14, 1956
Filing dateDec 3, 1954
Priority dateDec 3, 1954
Publication numberUS 2758452 A, US 2758452A, US-A-2758452, US2758452 A, US2758452A
InventorsWalz Walter L
Original AssigneeWhirlpool Seeger Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Frozen foods defrosting chamber
US 2758452 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 14, 1956 I w. L. WALZ 2,758,452

FROZEN FOODS DEFROSTING CHAMBER Filed Dec. 3, 1954 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 7 I n 1 I i I I I I I I I I I i l n n 1 I I l v I o 1 wi l R H illlh I 1 I 1 I I l fizf nfor' Malia)" Z: Zfla Zz Aug. 14, 1956 w, w z

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Filed Dec. 3, 1954 2,758,452 FROZEN FOODS DEFROSTING CHAMBER Walter L. Walz, Evansville, ind, assignor, by mesne assignments, to Whirlpool-Seeger Corporation, a corporation of Delaware Application December 3, 1954, Serial No. 472,962

'7 Claims. (Cl. 62-416) This invention relates to refrigerated cabinets of the household type but is more particularly directed to the provision of a chamber therein where frozen foods may be readily thawed out or defrosted.

Before frozen foods can be prepared for serving by the householder they must first be defrosted or thawed out since they are unusable in the frozen state. The defrosting thereof usually requires considerable time and frequently substantial inconvenience, particularly so when such has been inadvertently neglected prior to the time for beginning the preparation of a meal. A feature of the present invention, therefore, is directed to a simplified means for speeding up the defrosting or thawing operation by conveniently using the heat from a portion of the condenser to warm the frozen food.

The principal object. of the present invention is to provide a chamber in a household type of refrigerator cabinet where frozen foods may be warmed by theheat of the compressed gases in the refrigeration system.

Another object is to provide a chamber or compartment wherein the walls thereof are heated by a portion of the condenser circuit in a refrigerated cabinet.

A further object is to provide a food warming chamv ber in a refrigerator cabinet which is arranged with indicator means to signal completion of the warm-up or defrosting process.

A still further object is to provide in a refrigerated cabinet a food warm-up or thawing chamber having a movable auxiliary spring-loaded platform or floor therein for supporting a drawer and arranged upon loading thereof to actuate signalling means for indicating sufiicient warm up of the foodstuffs or food articles contained in the drawer.

A yet still further object is to provide an improved refrigerated cabinet having a food warm-up or defrosting chamber that is heated by a portion of the refrigerant carrying circuit forming part of the refrigeration apparatus in the cabinet.

The foregoing and other objects and features of the invention will become apparent as the disclosure is' more fully made in the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment of the invention as illustrated in I the accompanying sheets of drawings in which:

Fig. 1 is a front elevation, with door removed, of a refrigerated cabinet incorporating the proposed warmup or defrosting chamber.

Fig. 2 is a vertical sectional view of the refrigerated v 17 in register with an opening therein.

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ployed for indicating when foodstuffs should be removed from the defrosting chamber.

In the particular embodiment selected for illustrating a preferred application of the present invention a conventional household type of refrigerator cabinet is employed. A cabinet of this type, indicated generally by the reference character Eli), usually includes oppositely disposed side walls 11, top wall 12 and back wall 13, all of which are fastened in conventional manner with spaced inner and outer shell-like members having heat insulating material 14 therebetween. A lower or bottom wall 15 is spaced from the floor of the room for reasons which will presently be obvious. The side walls 11 and back wall 13 need not be insulated below the level of the bottom wall 15' since they together with a floor member 16 and front wall 17 serve to form a machinery compartment 13 located beneath the food storage compartment 119. A heat break member, such as the breaker strip Zll fashioned of suitable low-heat conducting mate rial, may be provided to span the space between the marginal edges of the inner and outer wall members and also cover the insulating material 14 as is customary in structures of this character. Likewise, although not shown in the attached drawings, it will be understood that a suitable closure member such as a hingedly mounted door will be provided to close over the front of the cabinet in accordance with conventional practices.

A motor-compressor 21 is conventionally mounted in the machinery compartment 18 and a refrigerant cooling condenser 22 may be mounted on the back wall 13, while a refrigerant evaporator 23 is mounted in conventional fashion in the food storage compartment 19. Although not shown in extensive detail in the drawings suitable refrigerant carrying conduits will be provided for operatively connecting together the various parts of the refrigeration apparatus. As best seen in the schematic plan of Figure 5 a conduit 24 joins the motor compressor 21 with an auxiliary condenser coil 25 which, in turn, is joined by conduit 26 to the condenser 22. The opposite end of said condenser is connected by conduit 27 to a capillary tube 28 which, in turn, is connected by conduit 29 to one end of the evaporator 23, and the opposite end of said evaporator is connected by conduit 30 to the motor-compressor 21 and said latter conduit may be disposed in intimate heat exchange relation with the capillary tube 28 as is frequently customary in the art.

In accordance with the more specific teachings of the present invention there is provided a defrosting chamber or warm-up compartment 31 which, preferably, is located Within a portion of the machinery compartment 18. A wall member having oppositely disposed side walls 32, bottom wall 33, and back wall 34 is fashioned to resemble a receptacle or container having an open top and front and is securely mounted, by conventional means not shown, to the lower wall 15 and to the front Wall The auxiliary condenser coil 25, which is incorporated as a portion of the condenser circuit, is wrapped in serpentine fashion around the back, side and bottom Walls of said chamber and is aflixed to said walls in any suitable well known manner that will provide good thermal contact between the walls and the coil.

A platform-like floor member 35 is resiliently mounted within said defrost or thaw-out chamber by means of a plurality of coil springs 36, with one such spring, preferably, positioned in the neighborhood of each corner of said platform member. A plurality of studs or plungers 37, one for each respective coil spring, are fixedly secured to the platform 35 and disposed so as to be inse'rtably received by said coil springs and thereby aid in maintaining said platform positioned generally in the central portion of the chamber 31. If desired one end portion of each spring may also be secured, by suitable means not shown, to the bottom wall 33 and thereby prevent horizontal displacement of the spring from its normal position.

A feeler bulb 38 is atfixed, by any conventional means for producing good thermal contact, to the bottom or outer surface of the platform 35 and, in turn, is connected by the flexible conduit 39 to a thermostatic control device indicated generally by the referencecharacter 40. Also afiixed by suitable means to the bottom of the platform 35 is a stud-like contacting or abutment member 41 which is adapted upon movement of the platform to engage a plunger 42 which actuates an electric switch mechanism 43. An electric circuit for the signalling device includes electrical conductors 44 and 45 which connect on one side to a suitable source of electrical power supply and conductor 44 is further connected to the switch 43 which is connected, by way of a conductor 46, to one side of the thermostatic control device 40, while the opposite side .of said device is connected by conductor 47 to a signalling device such as the lamp 48, and with conductor 45 further connected to the opposite side of said lamp. Although an illuminating lamp positioned at a convenient location in, the front of the circuit has been indicated as the preferred means for manifesting a signal it will be appreciated that an electric bell, a buzzer or any other comparable indicating device could just as well be used without deviating from the inventive concept hereof.

An open-top drawer-like bin 49 is fashioned to provide a front wall 50 that is somewhat larger than the longitudinal and vertical dimensions of the drawer so that it will overlap the edges of thefront wall opening of the chamber 31 when the drawer is inserted therein. In this manner the front wall 50 of said drawer may serve as a cover for the defrosting chamber opening, thus eliminating any necessity for providing an additional door or closure member therefor. A handle 51 aflixed to the front wall 50 may be provided, if desired,to facilitate the handling of said drawer. The drawer 49 is dimensionedso as to be insertable in the opening of the chamber 31 and be s'lidable and positionable on the platform or floor member 35 The springs 36 are proportioned so as tosupport the weight of the platform 35 and the drawer 49 thereon, when empty, without deflecting sulficiently to permit the plunger 42 to actuate the switch 43 thus maintaining the signalling circuit deenergized.

When it is desired to utilize the defrosting chamber or warm-up compartment 31 the food articles to be defrosted are placed in the drawer 49 which is then positioned in the chamber and on the platform 35 as indicated. The weight of the food articles being sufficient to partially overcome the reactive component of the springs 36 will cause the platform 35 to drop and bring stud 41 into engagement with plunger 42 thereby actuating the switch 43. Upon actuation of said switch the contacts thereof are closed and the electric circuit is completed therethrough. At the same time the hot refrigerant gases from the compressor 21 are passing by means of conduit 24 directly into the condenser coil 25 which, being in heat exchange relation with the walls of the chamber 31, causes heating of the said walls and subsequently the food articles contained within the drawer 49. When the articles within the drawer have attained a predetermined temperature indicative of a defrosted or thawedout condition the feeler bulb 38, being in good thermal contact with the platform 35 upon which said drawer rests, will actuate the thermostatic switch 40 to close the electric circuit between conductors 46 and 47. Upon closing of this circuit the signal lamp 48 is energized whereupon the user is visually advised that the food articles are sufficiently warmed-up or defrosted and should be removed. After removal of the food articles from the chamber the electrical connection through the signal circuit is interrupted by disengagement of switch 43 thus deenergizing the circuit and making the signalling device inoperative until the drawer is again loaded.

From the foregoing it should now be apparent that a novel defrosting chamber has been shown and described, and it is to be understood that changes may be made in the construction without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope thereof as defined in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

l. in a refrigerated cabinet having refrigeration apparatus therein operative for cooling a food storage compartment formed in the cabinet, the combination, comprising: a wall member fashioned to provide an auxiliary compartment having top, bottom, back and oppositely disposed side walls; said auxiliary compartment being fixedly disposed in the cabinet beneath the food storage compartment and having a front side thereof open; a drawer adapted to contain articles and being positionable into said auxiliary compartment; a portion of the refrigeration apparatus being disposed in intimate heat exchange relation with the wallsof said auxiliary compartment and effective for heating the contents thereof; and means including a signalling device actuable responsive to the combined effects of the weight and temperature of articles in said auxiliary compartment for indicating an increased temperature in the contents of said compartment.

2. In a refrigerated cabinet having refrigeration apparatus, including a condenser therein, operative for cooling a food storage compartment formed in the cabinet, the combination, comprising: a secondary compartment formed with imperforateitop, back, bottom and oppositely disposed side walls and a front wall having an opening therein, and having said secondary compartment fixedly disposed beneath the food storage compartment in the cabinet; drawer means adapted to contain articles and dimensioned for insertion into said secondary compartment; means including a portion of the condenser disposed in intimate thermal contact with the walls of said secondary compartment for heating articles positioned therewithin; signal means for indicating an increased temperature in the contents of said secondary compartment; and means associated with said bottom wall and operative responsive to the combined effects of the weight and temperature of articles in said drawer for actuating said signal means.

3. In a refrigerated cabinet having refrigeration apparatus, including a condenser coil therein, operative for cooling a food storage compartment formed in the cabinet, the combination, comprising: a secondary compartment formed with imperforate top, back, bottom and oppositely disposed side walls and a front wall with an opening therein and having said secondary compartment fixedly disposed beneath the food storage compartment in the cabinet; drawer means adapted to contain articles and dimensioned for slidable insertion into said secondary compartment; means including a portion of the condenser coil disposed in intimate thermal contact with the walls of said secondary compartment for heating articles positioned therewithin; means including a signalling device for indicating an increased temperature in the contents of said secondary compartment; said latter means including an electric circuit breaking switch operable by the weight of the articles. in said secondary compartment, and a thermostatic element repsonsive to the temperature within said secondary compartment which cooperate to actuate said signalling device.

4. In a refrigerated cabinet having refrigeration apparatus operative for cooling a food storage compartment formed in the cabinet, thecombination, comprising: a secondary compartment fashioned with imperforate top, back, bottom and oppositely, disposed side walls anda front wall having an opening therein; said secondary compartment being fixedly positioned within the cabinet and disposed below the food storage compartment thereof; a platform member positioned within said secondary compartment and resiliently supported on the bottom wall thereof; drawer means insertable through said front wall opening and positionable on said platform member within said secondary compartment, and adapted for containing food articles within said latter compartment; a hollow member disposed in intimate thermal association with the walls of said secondary compartment; said hollow member being operatively connected to the refrigeration apparatus and fashioned to convey the hot refrigerant gases circulating Within the refrigeration apparatus into heat exchange relation with said secondary compartment whereby food articles contained therein are heated; and means including a signalling device actuatable by the weight and temperature of food articles in the drawer for indicating an increased temperature in the food articles contained within said secondary compartment.

5. In a refrigerated cabinet having refrigeration apparatus therein operative for cooling a food storage compartment formed in the cabinet, the combination, comprising: a wall member fashioned to provide a secondary compartment having a front side thereof open; said secondary compartment being fixedly positioned within the cabinet and disposed below the food storage compartment thereof; a platform positioned within said secondary compartment; resilient means supporting said platform spaced from the floor of said secondary compartment; said resilient means being arranged to permit limited vertical movement of said platform upon loading; drawer means adapted for containing food articles within said secondary compartment and insertable through said front side opena ing and positionable on said platform; a tubular member affixed to said secondary compartment and arranged so as to be in intimate thermal contact therewith; said tubular member being operatively connected to the refrigeration apparatus and fashioned ,to conduct the hot refrigerant gases circulating within therefrigeration apparatus into heat exchange relation with said secondary compartment whereby food articles contained therewith are heated; signalling means operative-for manifesting a predetermined temperature condition within said secondary compartment; and electric switch means operative upon movement of said platform for actuating said signalling means.

6. Ina refrigerated cabinet having refrigeration apparatus therein operative for cooling a foodstorage compartment formed in the cabinet, the combination, comprising: a wall member fashioned to provide a secondary compartment having a front side thereof open; said secondary compartment being fixedly positioned within the cabinet and disposed below the food storage compartment thereof; a platform positioned within said secondary compartment; resilient means supporting said platform spaced from the floor of said secondary compartment; said resilient means being arranged to permit limited vertical movement of said platform upon loading; drawer means adapted for containing food articles within said secondary compartment and insertable through said front side opening and positionable on said platform; a tubular member aflixed to said secondary compartment and arranged so as to be in intimate thermal contact therewith; said tubular member being operatively connected to the refrigeration apparatus and fashioned to conduct the hot refrigerant gases circulating within the refrigeration apparatus into heat exchange relation with said secondary compartment whereby food articles contained therewithin are heated; electric circuit means having a signalling device therein operative for signalling a predetermined temperature condition within said secondary compartment; means controlling the actuation of said electric circuit means including, an electric switch opera ated by the movement of said platform, and a thermostatically controlled switch responsive to the temperature within said secondary compartment.

7. In a refrigerated cabinet having an operative refn'geration system, including a motor-compressor and a condenser therein, for cooling a food storage compartment formed in the cabinet, the combination, comprising: a wall member fashioned to provide a secondary compartment having a front side thereof open; said secondary compartment being fixedly positioned within the cabinet and disposed below the food storage compartment thereof; a platform positioned within said secondary compartment; resilient means supporting said platform spaced from the floor of said secondary compartment; said resilient means being arranged to permit limited vertical movement of said platform under load; drawer means adapted for containing food articles Within said secondary compartmentand insertable through said front side opening and positionable on said platform; a refrigerant carrying coil afiixed to the outer surface of said secondary compartment and arranged so as to be in good thermal contact therewith; said coil being operatively connected into the refrigeration system at a point intermediate the motor-compressor and condenser units thereof and adapted to conduct the hot refrigerant gases circulating Within the refrigeration system into heat exchange relation with said secondary compartment, whereby food articles contained therewithin are heated; electric circuit means includinga signalling device therein openative for indicating the existence of a predetermined temperature condition within said secondary compartment; and means for controlling the operation of said electric circuit means including, an electric switch oper-' ableupon movement of said platform, and a thermostatically cont-rolled switch responsive to the temperature within said secondary compartment.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Malek Feb. 24, 1953 V

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2358425 *Oct 27, 1941Sep 19, 1944John J LearyWarning signal for refrigerators and the like
US2465107 *Sep 6, 1946Mar 22, 1949Philco CorpRefrigerator, including a frozen food thawing apparatus
US2629231 *Mar 5, 1949Feb 24, 1953Malek FrankMilk chute refrigerator
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4002199 *Nov 10, 1975Jan 11, 1977General Motors CorporationRefrigerator food conditioning appliance
US4326390 *Sep 18, 1980Apr 27, 1982General Electric CompanyApparatus and method for thawing frozen food
US4385075 *Jan 25, 1982May 24, 1983General Electric CompanyMethod for thawing frozen food
US5782106 *Dec 27, 1996Jul 21, 1998Lg Electronics Inc.refrigerator having warmer compartment
EP2474241A1 *Jan 5, 2011Jul 11, 2012Electrodomesticos Taurus S.L.Apparatus and method for thawing or regenerating frozen foods
Classifications
U.S. Classification62/127, 62/264, 62/130, 62/238.1
International ClassificationF25D23/12, F25B40/00, F25B40/04, A23L3/365, F25D31/00
Cooperative ClassificationF25D23/12, A23L3/365, F25B40/04, F25D31/005
European ClassificationF25D23/12, A23L3/365, F25B40/04