US 3008301 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
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Nov. 14, 1961 E. A. BAILLIF ETAL HYDRAULIC ICE MAKERS 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Original Filed Sept. 13. 1956 @gil/CP2 www United States Patent M 3,008,301 HYDRAULC ICE MAKERS Ernest A. Baillf, Evansville, Ind., and Robert W. Fink,
Benton Harbor, Mich., assignors to Whirlpool Corporation, a corporation of Delaware Continuation of application Ser. No. 609,758, Sept. 13, 1956. This application Nov. 24, 1958, Ser. No. 777,171
Claims. (Cl. 62-135) The present invention relates to hydraulic ice makers, and is particularly concerned with ice makers in which ice is formed in an ice mold and subsequently ejected from the mold by the hydraulic pressure of the water in the water supply system.
This application is a continuation of our copending application Serial No. 609,758, tiled September 13, 1956, and now abandoned.
One of the objects of the invention is the provision of an improved fully automatic ice maker which is adapted to provide and replenish a supply of uniform bodies of ice automatically, and in which the ice is maintained in a dry condition in an ice bin, where it is deposited by the present ice maker.
Another object of the invention is the provision of an improved ice maker which is simple in construction, which has a minimum number of parts, and which may be installed in any household refrigerator, and when connected to the water main utilizes the water pressure to discharge the ice from the ice mold periodically.
Another object of the invention is the provision of such a hydraulic ice maker in which provision is made to relieve the pressure that is built up in the mold by the water as it freezes.
Another object of the invention is the provision of an improved ice maker of the class described in which the mold is never opened directly to the water main at any time during the cycle, and in which the mold can never receive more than a measured amount of water, after which the water is shut olf.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description from the accompanying drawings, in which similar characters of reference indicate similar parts throughout the several views.
Referring to the drawings, of which there are three sheets,
FiG. l is a diagrammatic view of the apparatus required for the hydraulic ice maker;
FIG. 2 is a wiring diagram of the hydraulic ice maker;
FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional View taken through an installation of the hydraulic ice maker in a household refrigerator;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary side elevational view in partial section on the plane of line 4-4 of FIG. 3. y
Referring to FIG. 1, the apparatus required for the present hydraulic ice maker preferably includes an ice mold comprising -a metal tube of suitable size and shape, having a cylindrical bore 11 which is open at its upper end 12, iandwhich is closed at its lower end, where it is provided with an insulating housing 13 of low thermo-conductivity, into which a thermostat plug 14 is threaded.
The plug 14 has an aperture for passing a capillary tube 15 leading to a thermostat bulb 16 located in the housing 13 and subject to the inuence of the water temperature, andan intermittent heater 17 which is located in the housing 13. The capillary tube 15 extends to the usual thermostatic switch of the bellows type which is indicated diagrammatically at 18 in FIG. 2.
There is a water inlet at 19 to Ithe bottom of the tube 10, preferably at one side, which communicates by means Y of a water pipe 20 to the three-Way water valve 21. The
3,008,301 PatentedV Nov.. 14, 1961 water valve 21 is actuated by a solenoid 22 (FIG. 2) and has its housing connected tothe outlet pipe 20, to an inlet pipe 23, which leads to the water main, and has a combined inlet and outlet at 24 connected to the accumulator pipe 25.
The valve member 26 has two positions, as indicated diagrammatically in FIG. l, the first position connecting the water main to the accumulator port 24, while the second position disconnects and closes the water main and places the port 24 in communication with the water inlet pipe 20 to the mold.
The accumulator 2'7 is for receiving and dischanging a predetermined amount of water under pressure, and it comprises a closed cylindrical housing 2.8 communicating with accumulator pipe 25 at its upper end 29.
Accumulator housing 28 has la cylindrical bore 30 within which is mounted a piston 31 having a cup shaped formation 32 for seating one end of the coil spring 33, the other end of which engages the bottom 34 of the housmg.
The piston 31 has a cup shaped leather member 35 facing upwardly, and the space 36 is `operi to water from the accumulator pipe 25. Piston 31 may also have an 0-ring in a groove. p
A by-pass pipe 37 extends from the water inlet pipe 20 Ato the accumulator pipe 25 and has a one-way valve 38 permitting the leakage of Water backward toward the accumulator to relieve pressure built up by the water as it freezes in the mold.
39 indicates a housing for a solenoid coil 40 which urges a metal plunger y41toward the right for the purpose of breaking olf an ice formation protruding from the mold 10 at a proper time in the cycle.
42 indicates a mercury switch mounted upon a leaf spring 43 which permits the yswitch to be connected when it depends in the position shown in FIG. l, but the mercury switch 42 may be opened by a body of ice protruding from `the bore 11 of mold l0, and lifting the right end of the mercury switch 42 in FIG. l until its contacts are opened -by the globule 44 of mercury, after the body of ice has protruded suicient'ly from the mold.
The plunger is urged to the left in FIG. l by a spring 45 'which need only be strong enough to return the plunger to a position i-n which it is withdrawn from the ice column.
Referring to FIG. 2, this is -a wiring dagram in which 46 and 47 indicate the line conductors of the 110 volt A.C. light supply.
The installation includes a water line heater 4S which may be continuously connected by conductors 49 and 50 across the line to prevent the freezing of the Iwater line, including also the accumulator.
The thermostatic switch 18 comprises a movable arm connected by conductor 51 to the line Iat 46. The movable arm 18 of the .thermostat is adapted to make con-tact with the cold contact 52 or to break such contact 'when it moves toward the warm position 53.
The cold contact 52 is connected to conductor 54, which leads to the knocker solenoid 55 that is connected to the yline 47 through a bin switch 56. The bin switch has a feeler arm 57, which may be lifted by any suitable means, breaking the circuit at the bin switch contact 59 when there is a sufficient supply of the ice bodies in the bin.
The conductor 60 between Ithe knocker solenoid 55 and bin switch 56 may be connected to the mercury switch contacts, diagrammatically indicated as a movable arm 61 and a fixed contact 62 in the down pos-itio-n.
The mercury switch 42 (FIG. 3) is mounted on a l pivoted arm 63 having an actuating head 64 of sufficient weight to lift the mercury switch and close the contacts when there is no ice stick lifting the head 64.
A spring 65 may urge the mercuryV switch to the down position of the head 64 in Which the contacts are closed. The mercury switch has'its contact 62 leading to the water valve solenoid 22, Which'is connected by conductor 65 to the cold contact 52 of the thermostat. The mercury switch contact 62 is also connected by conductor 66 to a mold heater 67, which is connected by conductor 63 and conductor 65 to the thermostat cold contact 52.
f The intermittent heater 17 is connected by conductor 69 to the line at 47, Vby conductor 70 it is connected to the thermostat cold contact 52.
When the mold bottom is sufficiently Warm, the thermostat switch 18 moves to the Warm position contact 53, opening the electric circuit hot aline 46 to the knocker solenoid 55, the water valve solenoid 22, the mold heater 6'7, and intermittent heater 17.
When the thermostat switch 18 lmoves to the cold position, engaging contact 52, all of these electrical elements 55, 22, 67 and 17 are on closed circuit to the line 46. This closes the intermittent circuit 17, but leaves the knocker soienoid 55 subject to the control of the bin switch, while the Water valve solenoid 22 and mold heater 67 are subject to control of .the bin switch 56 and also ofthe mercury switch 42.
When the bin switch is open, the mechanism does not operate except that the intermittent heater 17 is turned on yby the thermostat 13, when heat is required to keep the water from freezing in the bottom of the mold.
Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, 71'1 indicates a household refrigerator, the cabinet of which includes an outer shell 72 and an inner liner 73 separated by insulation 74. The cabinet includes the usual door for closing its door opening and the usual motor compressor, oondenser, capillary restrictor, freezing evaporator, and tubing for connecting these elements for cyclic operation responsive to a cold control which keeps the temperature in the freezing compartment 75 Well below the freezing temperature.
The present ice maker mechanism is preferably installed in the freezing compartment 75, except for the Water piping and accumulator, which may extend down into the food storage compartment '76 that is maintained at a temperature above 32 degrees F.
The freezing compartment 75 is formed by the walls of la freezing evaporator 77 which may be provided with sinuous coils of evaporator tubing 78 on the bottom, top, sides vand rear of the evaporator 77 for maintaining a below-freezing temperature in the freezing compartment 75. t
Additional insulation 79 may surround the evaporator 77 which is separated from the lfood storage compart ment 76 by an insulating partition 80. The system includes additional evaporator tubing V81 in the form of a helical coil 82 surrounding the ice mold 10 and having its outlet at 83 leading to the :freezing ooils 78 of the `freezer evaporator without restriction.
The course of the refrigerant may be Yfirst to the ice maker coils 82 and thereafter to the freezer compartment coils 78, and thereafter to the coils for coohn-g the food storage compartment 7 6.
The ice maker evaporator coils 82 may be surrounded by a multiplicity of helical turns of mold heater coils 67, some of which may also be located -at 67a inside the evaporator coils 82 and about the mold 10. 'Ihe leads from the mold heater are indicated at 66 and 68 in FiG. 3.
The knocker solenoid 55 is .shown lat the top of FIG.Y
A curved shield 86 is located above the ice maker bore 11, and its downwardly directed surface 87 deflects the ice sticks into the bin 58.
in FIG. 3 the capillary 15 from the thermostatic switch 18 has a helical portion 16a wrapped around the lower tube S3 of the mold, which is of insulating material, and there are alternate turns, indicated at 89, comprising helical heater wires which 'form the intermittent heater 417 The operation of the foregoing deviceis as follows: Assuming a preceding cycle has been'terminated at the time the ice is ejected from the -top of the bore 11, the mercury switch actuating member will then be up, and the mercury switch will be open, but the :bin switch will be closed because the bin is not lled with ice sticks.
The assembly, including the capillary buib of the thermostat 1S, is cooled by lthe evaporator coils 82 of the ice maker, and this moves the thermostat to the cold position, closing the contacts at 52. This closes the knocker circuit through the knocker solenoid 55, and the plunger -41 is drawn toward the left in FIG. 3 with sufficient force to break off the ice stick 85, which is driven against the deflector surface 87 and dropped into the ice bin 58.
The intermittent heater circuit 17 is closed, keeping the water from freezing in the lower part of the mold. The stick 85, having been removed, the mercury switch moves to the down position in which its contacts are closed, and this closes the Water valve circuit 22 which turns the three-way water valve from position number one to the position number two, providing communication between the mold bottom 16 and the accumulator pipe 25.
In position number one, Water passes into the accumulator 27 due to the pressure in the mains, and drives the piston 31 down to the lower end of the accumulator in FIG. l, compressing the spring 33 until the accumulator contains a measured amount of water in the space 36 above the piston 31.
At the same time the mold heater circuit is closed and the port is opened between the accumulator and the mold inthe second position of the water valve, permitting the spring 33 to force Water into the mold from the bottom of the mold.
Y is generated to open the thermostat switch 18 at contact 52. The ice protruding from the top of the mold 10 vis automatically dried by freezing action of the surrounding atmosphere until it is removed at the beginning of the cycle. This atmosphere is cooled lby the main refrigerant coils 73. The water within the mold bore 11 is frozen by refrigerant in the coil 82 surrounding the mold 10.
If the bin switch is open, only the intermittent heater circuit will be closed and cycled by the thermostat to maintain a safe temperature in the lower part of the mold.
It will thus be observed that the mold is never in direct open communication with the water main at any time during the cycle, and only a measured amount of Water is provided for each cycle.
The pressure exerted by the spring 33 in discharging water from the accumulator into the mold is substantially the same as that in the water main.
The device will continue to make ice sticks automatically until the bin is iilled, when only the intermittent heater will be connected, as required by the thermostat,
but the water line heater will be connected at all times.
While the invention herein described is a preferred embodiment, it is not intended to limit the invention to the specilic form and arrangement shown, it being contemplated that various changes may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set out in the appended claims.
1. A hydraulic ice maker, comprising: a mold open at one end for containing water to be frozen into ice; means for freezing the water therein; heating means as sociated with the mold for partially thawing and releasing the ice from the mold; electrically1 controlled pressure means for applying evicting pressure to said ice in the mold to project a portion of the ice from said open end; electrically controlled movable means adjacent to but spaced from said open end for severing said projecting portion; a first electrical circuit including said movable means; a first switch in said circuit; means for closing said irst switch by a predetermined low temperature in said mold for closing said circuit and activating the movable means to sever said ice portion; a second electrical circuit including said heating means, said pressure means and said first switch; a second switch in said second circuit normally closed but arranged to be opened by said projecting ice portion, the closing of the rst and second switches thereby causing operation of the heating means, pressure means and movable means, the opening of the second switch thereby stopping operation of the heating means and pressure means to permit the water in the mold to be frozen regardless of the position of the rst switch.
2. A hydraulic ice maker, comprising: a mold open at one end and having an opposite end for containing water to be frozen into ice; iirst means for freezing the Water therein; rst heating means associated with the mold for partially thawing and releasing the ice from the mold; electrically controlled water pressure means for supplying water under pressure to said mold and to project a portion of ice through said open end from the mold; electrically controlled movable means adjacent to but spaced from said open end for severing said projecting portion; thermostatically controlled second heating means at said opposite end for maintaining the water at the said opposite end in a liquid state; a first electrical circuit including said first heating means and said water pressure means; a second electrical circuit including said second heating means; a third electrical circuit including said movable means; a thermally activated lirst switch in said iirst, second and third circuits; and a seco-nd switch in said first circuit normally closed but arranged to be opened by said ice portion after projecting a predetermined distance from the mold, the closing of said first switch operating said second heating means and movable means to sever said ice portion thereby closing the second switch, and the closing of the second switch in conjunction with the closed iirst switch operating said iirst heating means and the water pressure means to provide additional water to said mold and to project a subsequent portion of said ice from the open end of the mold.
3. A hydraulic ice maker, comprising: a mold open at one end for containing water to be frozen into ice; means for freezing the water therein; heating means associated with the mold for partially throwing and releasing the ice from the mold; force applying means operating on said ice to project a portion thereof from the mold subsequent to said release; electrically controlled movable means adjacent to but spaced from said open end for severing said projecting portion; an electrical circuit including said movable means; and a thermostatically operated switch in said circuit operable at a predetermined low temperature in said maker to, first, operate said movable means and, subsequently, sever said projecting portion.
4. A hydraulic ice maker comprising a unit for a refrigerator, said unit having a tube forming an ice mold open at one end and connected to a water pipe at the opposite end, an intermittent heater around said tube at said opposite end to prevent water freezing in said opposite end when said intermittent heater is energized, freezer means about said one end of the tube for cooling said tube and forming an ice body therein, a source of water under pressure connected to said water pipe, a twoway water valve interposed between said water pipe and said source, a water measuring device with a resiliently urged member, said device being Connected to said valve and adapted to receive water in one position of the valve and to discharge water into the mold in a second position, a solenoid electrically energizable to move said water valve from said one position to said second posi. tion, the valve being urged to said one position when de-energized, a one-way check valve by-passing the solenoid actuated valve and interposed in the pipe from the mold to the measuring device to relieve pressure in the mold caused by freezing of the water, a mold heater for melting the ice in the mold, said mold heater extending about said mold, and the ice being forced out of the mold by water pressure when the bond between the ice and the mold is diminished by action of the mold heater, a mercury switch located to be tilted and opened from a lowered closed position by the ice colunm emerging from the mold, said mercury switch when thusly opened oA ening a circuit through said water valve solenoid for thusly permitting return of said water valve to said first position and opening an electrical circuit to said mold heater, a circuit through a helical solenoid having a magnetic ice breaker plunger located to strike the ice column and to break the ice olf above the mold upon energizing said ice breaker solenoid circuit, a bin to receive said broken ice, a bin switch in said water valve circuit, in said mold heater circuit and in said ice breaker solenoid circuit normally closed when ice in said bin is beneath a predetermined maximum level to permit energization of said water valve solenoid, mold heater and ice breaker i solenoid circuit only when said bin switch is normally closed, aesource of electric power, and a thermally responsive switch which when closed simultaneously energizes the ice breaker solenoid and intermittent lower heater, and said water valve solenoid and mold heater only when said mercury switch is closed for harvesting pieces of ice when said bin switch is closed and when the intermittent heater permits the water in the lower part of the mold to attain a predetermined colder temperature closing said thermally responsive switch, the thermally responsive switch being opened upon a warmer temperature of a new measured amount of water in the lower part of the mold.
5. A hydraulic ice maker according to claim 4, including a normally closed bin switch opened by a predetermined amount of ice in said bin, the bin switch being connected to said power source and to the ice breaker solenoid, water valve solenoid, and mold heater to cut them off the circuit and cut off operation of the ice maker when the bin is full.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 948,131 13u11l Feb. 1, 1910 2,133,521 Wussow Oct. 18, 1938 2,422,772 Bohn June 24, 1947 2,595,588 Lee May 6, 1952 2,602,304 Randell July 8, 1952 2,621,050 Campbell Dec. 9, 1952 2,639,594 l/Vatt May 26, 1953 FOREIGN PATENTS 929,255 Germany June 23, 1955 I v .-..I..
ESTON G., JOHNSON Attesting Officer UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATION OF CORRECTION Patent No, 3OO8Y3O1 November 14X7 1961 Ernest A. Baillif et aL,
It is hereby certified that error appears in the above numbered patent requiring correction and that the said Letters Patent should read as corrected below.
Column 55q line 64 for "throwing" read thawingl Signed and sealed this 24th day of April l962 (SEAL) a Attest:
DAVID L., LADD Commissioner of Patents