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Publication numberUS3044274 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 17, 1962
Filing dateJun 27, 1960
Priority dateJun 27, 1960
Publication numberUS 3044274 A, US 3044274A, US-A-3044274, US3044274 A, US3044274A
InventorsBurger Ralph J, Mathis Glenn W
Original AssigneeMccray Refrigerator Company In
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Refrigerated display case
US 3044274 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 1962 ca. w. MATHIS ETAL 3,

REFRIGERATED DISPLAY CASE 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed June 27, 1960 INVENTOR. GLENN.W.MATH|$ BY RALPH.J. BURGER July 17, 1962 Filed June 27, 1960 G. W. MATHIS ET AL REFRIGERATED DISPLAY CASE 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR. GLENN.W. MATHIS RALPH. J. BURGER 3,044,274 REFRIGERATED DISiLAY CASE Glenn W. Mathis and Ralph J. Burger, Kendallville, Ind.,

assignors to McCray Refrigerator Company, Inc., Kendallville, End, a corporation of Indiana Filed June 27, 1960, Ser. No. 39,147 7 Claims. (Cl. 62-256) The present invention rel-ates broadly to refrigerated display cases, and, more particularly, relates to a novel combination open-front refrigerated display and storage case for use in the self-service merchandising of refrigerated products and the like, and especially to the air circulating and distributing characteristics thereof.

The primary object of the present invention is the provision of a refrigerated case combining in a single unit a refrigerated open-front display area or compartment and a closable storage area or compartment from which the stock in the display area can be replenished, both served by a common, novel air cooling and circulating system whereby the commercial value and efliciency of the display and sales compartment and its associated storage and stocking compartment are greatly enhanced.

A further object of the invention is the provision of a. refrigerated display case of the above type having hori: zontally extending, vertically spaced shelves in the openfront display compartment upon which products to be purchased are positioned.

It is a still further object of the invention to provide a refrigerated display case of the above type in which a large, walk-in type storage compartment is located immediately rearward of an open-front display compartment, the storage and display compartments being separated by at least partially perforated door sections whereby such perforations aid in directing cool air over shelves posi tioned in the display compartment, and such door sections providing, when opened, an access to the display compartment from the storage compartment through which the shelves may be stocked from the rear.

Another object of the invention is to provide a refrigeration system in which discharge air from the open front display section is cooled prior to being circulated through the storage section, in addition to being cooled during its residence in the storage compartment, the latter cooling serving to extract heat given up by the stored merchandise.

Other objects and advantages will in part be apparent, and will in part appear hereinafter.

For a better understanding of the nature and objects of the invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description and accompanying drawings illustrating preferred embodiments thereof, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front elevation, with certain parts broken away, of a display case embodying the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view taken along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary detail view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 4 is a vertical sectional view of a slightly modified form of display case embodying thepresent invention.

Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to FIGS. 1-3, the refrigerated case therein disclosed is formed by a bottom wall 10, a back or rear wall 11, a

top wall 12, end walls 13, and a front wall 14. These' walls are all of suitable insulated construction, as is common in cases of this type.

The front wall 14 is provided with a large opening 15 therein to provide customer access into a display compartment 16, aluminum or the like trim 17 being employed for decorative purposes if desired. The display compartment 16 is defined by top and bottom panels 18 and 19 3,644,??4 Patented July 17, 19 62 "ice 2 respectively, the top panel 18 comprising an insulated section. The rear or back wall of the display compartment comprises, at least in part, a plurality of door sections 20 mounted for relative sliding movements lengthwise of the case to permit any section to be moved to provide an opening into a storage compartment 21 through which the contents of the display compartment maybe received from the rear and the merchandise in the case replenished or stocked. The door sections may lap each other to permit a sliding of one past the other, and to this end the sections may operate in guide channel members 22 and 23 at the top and bottom of the display compartment. The door sections 20 are perforated over a substantial portion of their area as indicated at 24 to provide essential air flow between the storage and display compartments when the door sections are in the normally closed position, The function and purpose of these perforated door portions will be subse quentially explained in more detail.

A plurality of vertically spaced shelves such as shown at 25, 26 and 27 are provided in the display compartment '16 and extend lengthwise therein to form the supporting means for various food products. The shelves are supported by several spaced, parallel, vertical support mem bers 28 positioned forwardly adjacent the door sections 20, and by brackets 29 fixed therein. The brackets 29 may be fixed to the support members in any suitable fashion, and, for purposes of disclosure, are shown as having prongs 30 which cooperate with slots in the vertical support members, such as shown at 31, in a manner 'well known in the art. The shelves may be either solidv provided with a light source as indicated at 35.

Located in the storage compartment 21 in that portion thereof overlying the display compartment 16, an air circulating fan 36 driven by a respective motor 37. The fan 36 is mounted 'by a bracket 38 and induces air flow from the storage. compartment 21 into a plenum chamber 39 and in the rear of such chamber to contact vw'th a set of cool ing coils 40 of a refrigerating system. The cooling coils,

which preferably extend substantially throughout the length of the display case, are disposed in'a box or frame 41 which -is open at its front to the plenum chamber 39 and at its rear to the top of an inlet flue 42. The in let fine 42 extends downwardly between the panel 18 and the channel member 22 and opens into the display compartment 16 along its length through a perforated face plate 43 in the upper rear portion thereof and an opening or aperture 43a between the panel 18 and the face plate I the display compartment. The bottom of the outletfiue 45. is formed by a partition 46, an air circulating fan 47 48 located beneath the partition 46 so that the air circuv 43.- The face plate 43 is slanted in such a direction that cool air flowing therethrough is directed substantially downward over the topmost shelf 27, while air flowing through the opening 43a moves forwardly in the compartment 16.; p A partition 44 extends upwardly from the forward edge of the panel 19 in rearwardlyspaced relation to the front wall 14 to form an outlet flue 45 in the bottom front portion thereof preferably extending the entire length of being located in a perforated recess thereof, preferably approximately in the center of the display case. The perforated recess communicates with a plenum chamber i duced by gravity.

la-ting fan induces air, warmed by contact with the merchandise in the display compartment, into and through the outlet flue 45 into the plenum chamber 48 and thence in the rear of such chamber to contact with a set of cooling coils 49 of a refrigerating system. Thecooling coils 49 are substantially coextensive with the length' of the display compartment and are disposed in a box or frame 50 which is open at its front to the plenum chamber 48 and at its rear to the storage comp'artment'21 through a 'heightis preferably such as to allow a person of average height to Walk into it conveniently. The storage compartrnent may be provided-with aplurality of foraminous or 7 solid shelves 52 affixed on the rear wall 11 'inany suitable manner and upon which foodlproducts used to restock the display compartment are supported.

An air circulating fan 53 driven by a respective motor 54 is provided at the upper rear of the storage compartment in aproximately the center thereof. The fan 53 induces' 'air in the storage compartment '21 to flow adjacent'to and in contact with another set of cooling coils SS-of a refrigerating system. "The cooling coils 55 are disposed in a conventional box orframe 56 having an opening inits bottom'in which the air circulating fan 53' is disposed, and an outlet at its forward end provided with directional vanes 57 for directing cool air flow outwardly and downwardly therefrominto the storage compartment.

- The frame 56 and the cooling coils 55 need only extend partially along the length of the. storage compartment as ings. In passing downwardly in front of or through, as

the'case may be, the shelves 26 and 25, this air additionally flows forwardly and adjacent the air cascading 'over the ends of these shelves resulting from the flow of air from the storage compartment 21 through the per- 1 forations 24 in the door sections 20. This air, cascading over the ends of the shelves 25 and 26 and warmed by contact with the food products thereon, is of relatively illustrated. In this respect, the fan 53 maybe eliminated if desired and contact of the storagecompartment air with the coils 55 made. solely dependent upon flow in- As was previously noted, the door sections 20 are perforated over a substantial portion of their area. Prefer; ably, theseperfora-tions extend'over the door sections I from a height approximately equal to the top of the uppermost shelf 27 and downwardly to approximately midway between the bottom of the display compartmentand the lower shelf 25 although they may 'extend completely thereover if desired. These perforations enable cold air in the storage compartment to how therethrough and adjacent the food products positioned upon the shelves 25 and 26 and panel 14 in a manner now to be explained. It should be understood that any type of perforated division may be employed between the. compartments, the specific disclosure ofthe sliding door sections being for purposes of illustration only. For example, doors which are hinged to pivot vertically or horizontally may be successfully utilized, as well as merely a perforated curtain which could be raised'and lowered as desired.

'. is forced outwardly from the inlet fiuetlhroughthe openor apertures in the face plate 43 and through the opening 43a, thence downwardly over the food products positioned on the topmost shelf 27 to effectively cool the same. This air then flows, partially from its own mornentum resulting from the fan '36 and partially drawn by gravity and by the action of the fan 47, downwardly over the front of the display compartment and shelves low velocity and spills over the front of the display shelves and is drawn downwardly into the bottom of the display compartment, its downward flow being induced by gravity and also by suction from the air circulating fan 47 located in the inlet fine 44.

The mass of air resulting from the combined air streams described above next flows through the outlet flue at the bottom of the display compartment and is forced by the fan 47 into the plenum chamber 48 and thence over and around the cooling coils 49 disposed in the box or frame 50. Thus the return air is cooled prior to'its entry into the storage compartment 21. After passing through the passageway 51, .a portion of the cold return air is directed upwardly in the storage compartment adjacent theperforated door sections 26 by the baffle plate 51a and the remaining portion of this cold return air flows over the bafiie plate into the lower portion of the storage compartment creating, together with the cold air flowing from contact with the cooling coils 55 in the upper rear portion of the storage compartment 21, a generally turbulent and Well mixed cold mass of air.

The turbulent mass of cold air in the storage compartment effectively extracts heat from and cools the stored food products positioned on the shelves 52, the warmer air resulting from such heat extractionraising in the storage compartment partially under the force of gravity and partially by the suction created by the fan 53 into contact with the cooling coils 5S inthe box or frame 56 and outwardly'therefrom again into the storage compartment 21. In order to create and maintain the air circulation above described and illustrated in the drawings by the arrows,

it has been found that a positive pressure must be maintained in the storage compartment which 'at least slightly exceeds that existing in the display compartment 16. This is preferably effected in the present invention by providing a fan of greater capacity in the outlet flue 44 than that fan in association wth the inlet flue 42; This is important a and is one of the features in which the present invention the food products thereon.

' effective, aiiording in essence individual cooling of each 26 and-25; If foraminous shelves are employed and not packed solidly with food products, a small portion of this air will also how downwardly through the resulting open- I cooling coils and inlet flue, are eliminated.

shelf in the display compartment. v It will be apparent that, depending upon the length of the display case, a plurality of air circulating means or fans may be employed therealong in each of the positions at the top'and bottom of the display compartment and the upper rear of the storage compartment instead of the single means illustrated to insure proper circulation of air as above described.

In FIG. 4 of the drawings, we have shown a modified form of a display casein accordance with the invention. In this embodiment, the air circulating means or fan, at the top of the display compartment 16, as well as the It has been found that the air'circulating and distributing characteristics'of the modified caseare satisfactory and provide an eificient 'and economical system. In this embodiment, a panel 58 forms thetop section of the display compartment 16. i The panel 58 is perforated at the forward and rear ends thereof as indicated at 59 to provide communication with the storage compartment 21. These perforations enable cold air to flow from the upper portion of the storage compartment into the upper portion of the display compartment, as indicated by the arrows, due to the forced draft created by the air circulating fan 47 and the positive pressure created and maintained thereby in the storage compartment.

It has been found to be essential in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4, that the door sections 2% be perforated over substantially their entire height, i.e. the perforations must extend upwardly beyond the top shelf 27. In this manner, the food or dairy products on the top shelf 27 are predominantly cooled by the air flowing through the door perforations, while the flow of air through the perforations 59 in the panel 58 is utilized chiefly to supplement the cooling effect of the air passing through the door perforations and generally aid in the maintenance of the proper temperature in the display compartment. As above noted, this air flow is caused by the positive pressure maintained in the storage compartment. Other than the differences above mentioned, the display case of FIG. 4 is substantially identical with the case illustrated in FIGS. 1-3. In this respect, although no shelves are shown supported on the rear wall of the storage compartment, provisions for such shelves can be made thereon, as well as on the side walls of the storage compartment if desired.

It should be noted that various arrangements intermediate those shown in FIGS. 1 and 4 may also be employed without detrimentally afiecting the novel air circulation system in accordance with the present invention. For example, satisfactory results may be obtained by providing cooling coils adjacent the perforations 59 in FIG. 4 without employing an auxiliary fan in association therewith such as in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, or, conversely, by employing a fan adjacent such perforations but no cooling coils in association therewith. In the latter embodiment, however, care must be taken that the fan be of a smaller capacity than the lower plenum chamber fan in order that the essential positive pressure be maintained in the storage compartment. In this connection, it is also possible to eliminate the entire auxiliary ceiling panel 58 in the embodiment shown in FIG. 4 if desired.

Satisfactory results may also be obtained, if certain desired conditions exist, with the elimination of the cooling coils in the lower plenum chamber. In this respect, acceptable temperatures can be maintained in the display compartment with such an arrangement only if the relative humidity is not excesssively high.

It will be apparent that a novel refrigerated display case has been provided in which a highly eflicient air circulating and distributing system assures effective cooling of an open front display area and storage compartment located rearwardly thereof. While the invention has been disclosed in conjunction with specific forms and disposition of the parts, it should be expressly understood that it is capable of numerous modifications and changes without departing from the purview and scope of the appended claims.

We claim:

1. In a refrigerated display case, an open-front dis play compartment, a storage compartment located substantially rearwardly of said display compartment, said display compartment having a rear wall perforate over at least a portion of its area, means including an air inlet into the upper portion of said display compartment from the upper portion of said storage compartment to provide an air curtain across the front of said display compartment, means forming an air outlet from the lower portion of said display compartment and opening into the lower portion of said storage compartment, air circulating means operatively associated with said outlet means for creating a forced draft of air from said display compartment to said storage compartment, air cooling means for maintaining cold air in said storage compartment, said air circulating means being effective to create and maintain a positive pressure in said storage compartment whereby cold air is caused to flow from said storage com partment through said perforate rear wall and thence into said display compartment, directly over goods in said display compartment. 7

2. In a refrigerated display case, an open-front display compartment, a storage compartment located substantially rearwardly of said display compartment, said display compartment having a rear wall perforate over at least a portion of its area, means including an air inlet into the upper portion of said display compartment from the upper portion of said storage compartment, means forming an air outlet from the lower portion of said display compartment and opening into the lower portion of said storage compartment, first air circulating means operatively associated with said inlet-including means for creating a forced draft of airfrom said storage comp-artment to said upper portion of said display compartment to provide an air curtain across the front of said display compartment, second air circulating means operatively associated with said outlet means for creating a forced draft of air from said display compartment tosaid storage compartment, air cooling means for maintaining cold air in said storage compartment, said second air circulating means being effective to create and maintain a positive pressure in said storage compartment whereby cold air is caused to flow from said storage compartment through said perforate rear wall and thence into said display compartment, directly over goods in said display compartment.

3. In a refrigerated display case, an open-front display compartment, a storage compartment located substantially rearwardly of said display compartment, said display compartment having a rear wall perforate over at least a portion of its area, said rearwall including means effective to provide access between said storage and display compartments, means including inlet and distributing means for enabling cold air from said storage compartment to flow downwardly into the top of said display compartment to provide an air curtain across the front of said display compartment, means in the lower portion of said display compartment for cooling and returning said air to said storage compartment, and means effective to create and maintain a positive pressure in said storage compartment whereby cold air is caused to flow from said storage compartment through said perforated rear wall and thence into said display compartment, directl over goods in said display compartment.

4. In a refrigerated display case, an open-front display compartment, a storage compartment located substantially rearwardly of said display compartment, said display compartment having a rear wall perforate over at least a portion of its area, said rear wall including means effective to provide access between the said storage and display compartments, a series of apertures extending lengthwise of said display compartment and providing an air inlet into the upper portion of said display compartment from said storage compartment, an outlet flue extending lengthwise of said display compartment and opening into said display compartment in the lower portion thereof, means forming a plenum chamber having an inlet opening into said outlet flue and an outlet opening into said storage compartment, first air cooling means in said plenum chamber between said inlet and outlet thereof, first air circulating means immediately forward of said plenum chamber for creating a forced draft of air from said display compartment to said storage compartment, and second air cooling and circulating means in said storage compartment, said first air circulating means being effective to create and maintain a positive pressure in said storage compartment whereby cold air is caused to flow from said storage compartment through saidperforate rear wall and thence into said display compartment, directly over goods in said display compartment.

5. Ina refrigerated display case, an open-front display compartmeng'a'storage compartment located substantially rearwardly of said display compartment, said display compartment having a rear wall perforate over at least a portion of its area, a'n inlet flue extending lengthwise of said display compartment and opening into said display compartment in the upper portion thereof, means forming a first plenum chamber having an inlet opening into said storage compartment and an outlet opening into said inlet flue whereby air discharged from said outlet forms an air curtain across the fiont of said display compartment, an outlet flue extending lengthwise of said display compartment and opening into said display compartment in the lower portion thereof, means forming a second plenum chamber having an inlet opening into said outlet flue and an outlet opening'into said storagecompartment, air cooling means in said first plenum chamber between said inlet and outlet thereof and in said second plenum chamber between said inlet and outlet thereof,

"aircirculatingmeans immediately forward of said first and second plenum chambers for creating a forced draft mediatelyforward said first plenum chamberwhereby a positive pressure is created and maintained in said storage compartment causing flow of cold air from said storage compartment through said perforate rear wall and thence into said display compartment, directly over goods in said display compartment.

6. A refrigerated display case according to claim 5 characterized by including a plurality of vertically spaced shelves positioned adjacent said door sections and extending forwardly into said display compartment, the perforations in said door sections extending over a vertical distance from a height approximately equal to the height of the topmost of said shelves to below the lowermost of said shelves.

7. A refrigerated display case according to claim 5 References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,448,361 Fredberg Mar. 13, 1923 2,890,573 Lamb June 16, 1957 2,923,137 Swanson Feb. 2, 1960 "2,961,845

Kennedy Nov. 29, 1960

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1448361 *Apr 1, 1922Mar 13, 1923Carl FredbergRefrigerator for meat markets and the like
US2890573 *Jul 5, 1956Jun 16, 1959Lamb Frank GUpright refrigerator showcase
US2923137 *Feb 12, 1958Feb 2, 1960Tyler Refrigeration CorpRefrigerated goods case
US2961845 *Aug 27, 1959Nov 29, 1960Tyler Refrigeration CorpRefrigerated goods case
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3501925 *Dec 26, 1967Mar 24, 1970Emhart CorpRefrigerated equipment
US3528258 *Oct 8, 1968Sep 15, 1970Emhart CorpRefrigerated display case
US4023378 *Aug 1, 1975May 17, 1977Tyler Refrigeration CorporationRefrigeration system incorporating a single air circulation means for a combination refrigerated display case and walk-in cooler
US4150550 *Nov 3, 1977Apr 24, 1979George W. LeechSelf defrosting refrigerated display case
US5097673 *Dec 3, 1990Mar 24, 1992Sanden Corp.Air-conditioned display case having a walk-in supply room therein
US6145327 *Dec 1, 1998Nov 14, 2000Navarro; Ramon M.Air curtain for open-fronted, refrigerated showcase
US6301916Nov 13, 2000Oct 16, 2001Ramon Munoz NavarroAir curtain for open-fronted, refrigerated showcase
US6360548Nov 13, 2000Mar 26, 2002Ramon Munoz NavarroOpen-fronted, refrigerated showcase with dual evaporators and dissipater pans
Classifications
U.S. Classification62/256, 62/419, 62/252
International ClassificationA47F3/04
Cooperative ClassificationA47F3/0452
European ClassificationA47F3/04B1B