Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3116614 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 7, 1964
Filing dateJul 9, 1962
Priority dateJul 9, 1962
Publication numberUS 3116614 A, US 3116614A, US-A-3116614, US3116614 A, US3116614A
InventorsRalph E King
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Forced air cooled household refrigerator including removable unitary refrigerating means
US 3116614 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 7, 1964 Y R. E. KING 3,116,614

FORCED AIR cOOLEO HOUSEHOLD REFRIGERATOR INCLUDING I REMOVAELE UNITARY REERIGERAIING MEANS Filed July 9, .1962 5 Sheets-Sheet l H \S ATTORNEY Jan. 7, 1964 116,614

R. E. KING 3 FORCED AIR COOLED HOUSEHOLD REFRIGERATOR INCLUDING REMOVABLE UNITARY REFRIGERATING MEANS Filed July 9, 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. RALP H E. K1N@ H \s AYTQRNEY Jan. 7, 1964 R. E. KING 3,1165514 FORCED AIR COOLED HOUSEHOLD REFRIGERATOR INCLUDING REMovABLE UNITARY REFRIGERATING MEANS Filed July 9, 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 H lo INVENTOR.

y 'BY RALPH E. KMU@ F'\G.S ma@ H Ls ATTO RNEZY Jan. 7, 1964 KING R. E. FORCED AIR COOLED HOUSEHOLD REFRIGERATOR INCLUDING Filed July 9, 1962 REMOVABLE UNITARY REFRIGERATING MEANS 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 FIC-5.7

INVENTOR.

RALPH E. Kme

www

H \s ATTORNEY Jan. 7, 1964 R. E. KING 3,115,614

FORCED AIR COOLED HOUSEHOLD REFRIGERATOR INCLUDING REMOVABLE UNITARY REFRIGERATING MEANS Filed July 9, 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR. RALPH a. Kme

H ATTORNEY United States Patent O 3,116,614 FRCED AER ClLlEl) HlJSll-EULD REFRIGERA- 'llltlll HNCLUDING REMUVABLE UNlTAlflY RE- FlllGlEllA'lllNG MEANS E. King, Louisville, Ky., assigner to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Filed duly 9, 1962, Ser. No. 2%,204 S Claims. tCl. 62--283) The present invention relates to a household refrigerator including one or more storage compartments cooled by air circulated over an evaporator positioned outside the compartment or compartments and is particularly concerned mth a refrigerator of this type including a removable unitary refrigerating means for cooling and conditioning the circulated air.

There are presently available a number of different types of household refrigerators in which one or more storage compartments operating at either above or below freezing temperatures are maintained at these temperatures by air circulated from the storage compartments over an evaporator positioned outside or separate from these compartment or compartments. Such an evaporator requires periodic removal of the frost collecting thereon in order to operate at its maximum eiciency. For this purpose, means have been provided for periodic and automatic removal of the frost by warming the evaporator to defrost temperatures either electrically or by means of hot compressed refrigerant. ln order to dispose of the defrost water the evaporator has normally been positioned in the cabinet above the condensing unit so that this water can flow by gravity into heat exchange with a condensing unit in order that automatic evaporation of the defrost water can be obtained by the heat from the condensing unit. As a result, the presently available forced air cooled household refrigerators have included refrigerating systems in which the evaporator is permanently built into the cabinet structure above the condensing unit.

For ease of serviciruT or replacement, it is desirable that the various components of the refrigerating system be readily accessible and preferably removable as a unit. Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a household refrigerator including an improved mea s for forced air cooling of the storage compartment or compartments thereof so constructed as to permit the positioning of the condensing unit and the evaporator unit components as a removable refrigerating apparatus in sidc-byside relationship at the bottom of the refrigerator cabinet.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved forced air cooled household refrigerator includlng a removable refrigerating means of simple and compact construction including an evaporator unit which does not require frequent defrosting to maintain maximum efciency of operation.

A further obpect of the invention is to provide a forced air cooled household refrigerator including a condensing unit compartment and an evaporator compartment in the lower portion thereof and a removable unitary refrigerating apparatus including a condensing unit and an evaporator unit respectively positioned Within the condensing and evaporator compartments.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a household refrigerator including a fresh food storage compartment, a freezer compartment and a separate evaporator compartment and a defrostable evaporator unit of simple and compact construction for cooling and conditioning the air stream supplied to the respective compartments.

Further objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description and llbl Patented dan. 7, i964 the features of novelty which characterize the invention will be pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming part of this specification.

ln accordance with the present invention, there is provided a household refrigerator including one or more storage compartments and an insulated evaporator cornp t'nent separate from these storage compartments. The evaporator compartment and a condensing unit cornpartment are disposed in side-by-side relationship across the bottom of the refrigerator cabinet thereby leaving all of the remaining upper portion of the cabinet for storage volume. The top wall of the evaporator compartment forms at least part of the bottom wall of a storage compartment and includes at least one passage for the supply or return of air from that compartment.

There is also provided a unitary removable refrigerating apparatus including a condensing unit and an evaporator unit mounted on a common frame work. The condensing unit compartment and the evaporator compartment have access openings on the same side of the cabinet, preferably on either the rear or front sides, whereby the unit components of the refrigerating apparatus can be removed from or inserted into their respective compartments. The evaporator' unit includes a defrostable evaporator, preferably of the finned coil type, a drip or defrost water collecting pan, a fan for circulating air over the evaporator and an insulating closure member for closing the access opening to the evaporator; all connected in a unitary structure and adapted to be at least partially supported within the evaporator compartment by me drip pan resting on the bottom wall of that compartment. The evaporator is disposed horizontally or vertically across the evaporator compartment in spaced relationship with the opposed walls thereof and includes partitioning means having its lower edge in engagement with the drip pan for dividing the evaporator into a frost collecting portion and a cooling portion. This partition is also arranged to divide the evaporator compartment into a frost collecting chamber and a cooling chamber in order that the air returning to the evaporator from the fresh food compartment can have most of its moisture content removed by the frost collecting portion of the evaporator before being circulated over the cooling portion thereof. To this end, a single air supply passage has its inlet communicating with the cooling chamber of the evaporator compartment while the air return passage from any above freezing storage compartment has its outlet end in the frost collecting chamber of the evaporator compartment in a position such that the fresh food return air flowing into the evaporator compartment will pass over the frost collecting or frost intercepting portion of the evaporator at a suitable frost depositing flow rate before entering the cooling chamber.

For a better understanding of the invention, reference may be had to the accompanying drawing in which:

FlGURE 1 is a front elevation, with the closure members removed, of a household refrigerator including one embodiment of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a sectional View taken generally along line Z 2L of FIGURE l;

FlGUlE 3 is a sectional view taken generally along line 3 3 of FGURE l;

FlGURE 4 is a plan View of a portion of the removable refrigerating apparatus of the first invention, with certain elements thereof being omitted for clarity;

FlGURE 5 is a front elevation, with closure members removed, of a refrigerator cabinet including a second embodiment of the present invention;

FIGURE 6 is a vertical sectional view taken along line 6-6 of FIGURE 5;

FEGURE 7 is a partial vertical sectional View taken generally along line '7 7 of FlGURE 5;

generally FGURE 8 is a horizontal sectional View taken generally along the line 8 8 of FGURE 5; and

FGURE 9 is a sectional view of a portion of the refrigerator cabinet of FIGURE 5 taken generally along line 9 9 of FiGURE 6.

Referring to FIGURE l of the drawing, there is shown one embodiment of the present invention in the form of a refrigerator cabinet including insulated walls defining a fresh food storage compartment l and a freezer compartment 2 positioned one above the other in the upper portion of the cabinet and an evaporator compartment 3 and a condensing unit compartment 4 arranged in sideby-side relationship along the bottom of the cabinet. For clarity, the closure members for closing the access openings to the storage compartments ll and 2 such as the closure member 5 shown in FGURE 3 of the drawing have been omitted from FIGURE l.

For cooling the compartments l and 2 there is provided a removable unitary refrigerating apparatus or system generally indicated by the numeral 6 in FEGURE 2 of the drawing and comprising an evaporator unit 7 and a condensing unit 8 respectively adapted to be normally positioned within the compartments 3 and Il.

In the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FG- URES 1-4 of the drawing, the refrigcrating apparatus or unit is designed to be assembled in or removed from the cabinet through the back wall of the cabinet and accordingly the evaporator compartment 3 is provided with an access opening 9 in the back wall of the cabinet while the condensing unit compartment 4 is provided with a similar access opening l).

The removable refrigerating apparatus comprises a supporting frame or structure including a pair of side members lll and cross members 14 and 15 forming an open framework adapted to be slidably supported on a pair of guides 12 on the opposite sides of the condensing unit compartment 4 and in turn to support a compressor lo, a condenser 17, and a fan 18 which is arranged to pass a cooling stream of air from the front of the cabinet over the condenser 17, the compressor 16 and out through the rear wall of the cabinet which in the subject embodiment of the invention is also the access opening to the condensing unit compartment. The usual controls such as the defrost timing means, valves, electrical control equipment and the like normally forming part of an automatic defrost refrigerating system and housed outside of the refrigerated compartments or in other words at ambient temperatures are also supported on the framework provided within the condensing compartment 4.

The evaporator unit is connected to that portion of the framework supporting the condensing unit by a metal strap l@ extending from the condensing unit support in front of the insulating portion .i8 dividing the condensing unit and evaporator compartments and below the access opening to the evaporator compartment. Employing a single support means of this type which provides some iiexibility, the evaporator unit, which will now be described, is free to tilt upwardly or downwardly within limits to facilitate insertion thereof into the evaporator compartment 3 as the condensing unit is inserted into the compartment 4.

The evaporator unit comprises an insulating plug or closure member 2@ fastened directly to the strap i9 and designed to close the access opening 9 to the evaporator compartment 3. This plug 2d is relatively thick and filled with insulating material for leat insulating purposes. When the evaporator unit is positioned within the evaporator compartment 3, the edges of the plug may be fastened to the portions of the cabinet surrounding the access opening 9 by means of screws 22. Mounted directly on the inner face of the plug 2@ are an evaporator 23 which is preferably of the lin tube type and a drip pan Z/l positioned below the evaporator for collecting the defrost water during defrosting of the evaporator. The drip pan is adapted to rest on the bottom wall of the evaporator compartment. ln the embodiment of the invention illustrated in *EGURES 1 4, the evaporator extends vertically within the compartment 3 in spaced relationship with the opposite side walls 2.5 and 26 thereof. For controlling the flow of air through the evaporator compartment and to attain certain objectives of the present invention, one portion of the evaporator indicated by the numeral ZS, which functions primarily as a cooling portion, is separated from the remaining portion 2? of the evaporator by means of a U-shaped partition of horizontal U- shaped cross section and having its bottom edge in contact with the d ip pan 24 and its top edges in substantially sealing engagement with the top wall of the evaporator compartment. Rubber seals or gasltets 3l provided on the upper edges of thc partition and also on the side edges 32 thereof which are in engagement with one of the side walls 25 of the evaporator compartment aid in sealing the spaces between the partition and the adjacent surfaces of the vent compartment. This partition 30 also divides the evaporator compartment into a first or frost collecting chamber 3d containing the frost collecting evaporator portion 29 and a second or cooling chamber 35 containing the cooling portion Z3. A fan positioned in an opening provided in the base portion 37 of the partition serves to withdraw incoming air through the compartment 34 and direct it over the cooling portion Z3 of the evaporator in the cooling chamber.

While for purposes of clarity, suitable defrost means has been omitted from the drawing, it `will be understood that the evaporator 23 also includes means for electrically or by means of hot refrigerant gas w rming the temperature of the evaporator to an above freezing point so that periodically the frost collected thereon and particularly on the portion 29 can be removef. Preferably the tins provided on the portion 2.9 are more widely spaced or omitted so that a substantial amount of frost can collect on this portion of the evaporator without substantially restricting air flow therethrough.

Preferably the frost collecting portion 29 of the evaporator is positioned adjacent the insulated cap or plug 28 and the drain pan 2a is designed so that the bottom wall slopes towards the plug whereby defrost water collected on the pan, most of which will come from the frost collecting portion 29 of the evaporator, will ilow towards the front of the pan from which it is drained through a drain 39. [is illustrated in FGURE 4, this drain passes through the plug 2li and across the front of the removable unit and then into the condensing unit for discharge of defrost water into a drain pan d@ forming part of the condensing unit and supported below the condenser l? in a position such that the water collected therein will be warmed and evaporated by the heat of the condenser.

A fan 36 forming partof the evaporat r unit forms the solo means for circulating cooling air from the evaporator compartment through the various storage compartments. in the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG- l-4 of the drawing all of the cooling air from the evaporator compartment is introduced into the freezer compart nent 2 through a passage 42 provided the insulated wall forming the top of e evaporator compartment and the bottom of the freezer compartment.

Most of the air supplied to the freezer compartment, after circulating around the contents thereof returns to the evaporator compartment through a freezer air return passage 43 provided in the same insulated wall. The outlet from this passage i3 opens into the evaporator compartment at a point between the frost collecting portion 29 of the evaporator and the fan 36. Thus the air from tac freezer compartment circulates only over the cooling portion 23 of the evaporator.

For the purpose of supplying cooled air to the fresh food or above freezing compartment tere is provided a passage in the insulated wall dividing the f eezer and fresh food compartments. The size of the passage relative to the passage 43 is such that the desired amounn,

for example about of the total air entering the freezer compartment through the passage 42 flows into the fresh food compartment il. ln other words, the return passage d3 from the freezer compartment is somewhat smaller than the supply passage l2 with the result that there is a small pressure build up in the freezer compartment which causes the excess air to flow through the pasinto the fresh food compartment. After circulating through the fresh food compartment this air is returned through a duct i5 having an inlet in one wall of the fresh food compartment and its outlet i7 in the evaporator compartment on the opposite side of the frost collecting portion of the evaporator 29 from the fan 36. By this arrangement, all of the moisture laden air returning from the fresh food compartment passes through the frost collecting portion 29 of the evaporator so that the moisture is condensed thereon in the form f frost before the fresh food return air becomes mingled with the return air from the freezer compartment on the suction or upstream side of the fan for passing over the cooling portion 23 of the evaporator.

For the removal of the maximum amount of moisture contained in the fresh food return air without requiring frequent defrosting, it is essential that the frost collecting portion have a substantial frost capacity and that the air pass through the frost collecting evaporator section at a relatively low rate or velocity. This is accomplished by first designing the frost collecting section with only a few widely spaced fins or no fins to prevent frost collecting thereon from substantially obstructing the flow of air through this evaporator portion and then by arranging the inlets for return air streams to the evaporator compartment so that only the fresh food return air passes through the frost collecting evaporator portion. In other Words, by mingling the fresh food and freezer return air streams only after the fresh food return air stream has passed through the frost collecting evaporator section, the air flow through that section is kept low and at a moisture removing velocity even though the air flow rate and velocity through the cooling section of the evaporator is relatively high. For example, it has been found that for a combination refrigerator requiring a total air flow rate of about 5G cfm through the cooling section of the evaporator of which about S cfm. flows through the fresh food compartment for the cooling thereof, the frost collecting section of the evaporator should be about one-half the size of the cooling section. By this construction, the total cross sections of their air low paths through the sections are such that the velocity of air flowing through the frost collecting evaporator section is about one-third the velocity of the air flowing through the cooling section.

ln the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FlG- URES 5-9 of the drawing, the same reference numerals have been used to indicate the same or similar parts. In this embodiment, the removable refrigerating unit is adapted to be mounted through access openings provided in the front of the cabinet and these access openings like the opening provided in the condenser compartment of the embodiment illustrated in FlGURE l are covered by a suitable kick plate Sti provided with louvers (not shown) for permitting passage of air into and through the condensing unit compartment.

Since in this embodiment the refrigerating apparatus is adapted to be front mounted in the refrigerator cabinet, the access opening 53 for the condensing compartment l and the access opening 5ft! for the evaporator compartment 3 are at the front of the cabinet while the rear side of the condensing compartment has an opening 55 for the discharge of cooling air from the condensing unit compartment upwardly behind the refrigerator cabinet.

The evaporator unit contained in the evaporator compartment 3 comprises a closure member Ztl secured to the frame supporting ref igerating apparatus and an evaporator Se adapted to be horizontally arranged in the evaporator compartment in spaced relationship with the 4.1.. ttl@ v6 top and bottom walls 5S and 59 thereof. A drip pan e@ also forming part of the integral evaporator unit is arranged below the evaporator 56 and, as is shown in FIG- URES 6 and 9, the bottom of the pan slopes forwardly and towards the side adjacent the condensing unit cornpartment so that defrost water collecting in the pan can be drained by the shortest path outwardly through the drain 6tlg and into ambient temperature conditions for ultimate discharge into a drain pan (not shown) positioned below the condenser i7.

The evaporator is divided by means of a partition 61 extending vertically from the pan 6d into a frost collecting portion 62 and a cooling portion o3. This partition el extends longitudinally of the evaporator and the full length of the evaporator compartment 3 and is spaced from the top wall Sli of the evaporator compartment. A fan 64 mounted on the rear end of the evaporator unit on the cooling portion side of the partition 6l and between the rear edge of the evaporator and the rear wall 67 of the evaporator chamber is provided for drawing cooled air from beneath the cooling portion Se of the evaporator and discharging it upwardly and into the freezer compartment through an air supply duct 68 provided in the insulated partition 69 dividing the freezer and evaporator compartments.

The complete air ilow system for cooling the contents of the compartments l and 2 also comprises a plurality of freezer air return passages 7@ positioned in the insulated wall e9 immediately above the cooling section 56 0f the evaporator so that air returning from the freezer compartment flows directly through only the cooling portion 56 of the evaporator structure.

Like the first embodiment of the invention, the air return passages from the freezer compartment provide a slight restriction to the flow of return air so that a slight pressure is built up in the freezer compartment 2. The excess cooled air flows through a fresh food air supply passage 7l. having its inlet 72 in the upper portion of the freezer compartment and its outlet 73 adjacent the top of the fresh food compartment 1. The air supplied to the fresh food compartment l circulates through that compartment and is returned to the evaporator compartment through a return passage 74 having its inlet 7e in the lower portion of the fresh food compartment l and its outlet 76 in the rear wall 67 of the evaporator compartment in a position such that air returning from the fresh food compartment to the evaporator compartment flows directly through the frost collecting section 62 of the evaporator so that the moisture contained in that air is deposited on this section of the evaporator in the form of frost. The air then flows upwardly over the partition el where it becomes mingled with the freezer return air and passes downwardly through the cooling section 63 of the evaporator and to the fan 64.

As has previously been indicated the removable refrigerating apparatus contains all of the equipment required for automatic operation of the refrigerator during both the refrigerating and defrost cycles. Those components of the electrical control system normally positioned outside the refrigerated compartments are mounted on the condensing unit for operation within the condensing compartment. Certain components thereof designed to sense refrigerated air temperatures or evaporator temperatures are mounted on the evaporator unit. For example, the sensing bulb 79 (FIGURE 2) forming part of the control for starting and stopping compressor lo to maintain the desired temperatures in the compartments is preferably mounted in the path of the fresh food return air either upstream from the frost collecting portion of the evaporator or downstream as illustrated in FIGURE 2. Like the drain tubes .i9 and oil, the connection between the sensing bulb 79 and the switch operated thereby as well as the refrigerant lines connecting the condensing and evaporating units are supported on the front ofthe supporting frame in front of partition 18.

From the foregoing description, it will also be obvious that the present invention provides a removable self-contained refrigerating system which without significant modification can be employed for refrigerating refrigerators of different sizes and different storage compartment arrangements. For example, it can be used in either two-temperature refrigerators as described or in refrigerators including a single compartment operating at either below or above freezing temperatures. With slight modification of the air passages, it may also be used for cooling the compartments of two-temperature refrigerators in which the lower temperature or freezer compartment is above or to one side of the high temperature or fresh food compartment. In each application, all of the air supplied from the evaporator is proportioned between the freezer compartment and the fresh food compartment. The major portion of the air is returned from the freezer compartment into initial contact with the cooling section of the evaporator while the smaller portion of the air returned from the fresh food compartment is first passed through the frost collecting section of the evaporator before mingling with the freezer return air.

While there have been shown and described certain embodiments of the present invention it is to be understood that the invention is not limited thereto and is intended by the appended claims to cover all such changes and modifications as come within the spirit and scope of the invention.

What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. A household refrigerator comprising a cabinet including freezer and fresh food compartments in the upper portion thereof separated by an insulated partition and a condensing unit compartment and an insulated evaporator compartment in side-by-side position in the lower portion of said cabinet and separated by an insulated wall,

said condensing unit and evaporator compartments having access openings adjacent one another on the same side of said cabinet,

a unitary removable refrigerating apparatus including a condensing unit in said condensing unit compartment and an evaporator unit in said evaporator compartrnent,

said condensing unit including a compressor, a condenser and a defrost water evaporator pan,

said evaporator unit including an insulating plug for closing the access opening to said evaporator compartment and an evaporator, a drain pan and fan means supported on said plug with said drain pan resting on the bottom wall of said evaporator compartment when said unit is in said compartment,

a supporting frame for said units including means forming a substantially rigid support for said condensing unit and including a cross member extending across the access opening to said condensing unit compartment when said condensing unit is positioned in that compartment,

said cross member having an extension extending across said side of said cabinet below said access opening to said evaporator compartment,

said insulating plug being supported on said extension,

said cross member extension being sufficiently flexible to permit relative vertical tilting movement of said evaporator unit relative to said condensing unit whereby said evaporator unit will rest on the bottom wall of said evaporator compartment when said condensing unit is supported in said condensing compartment,

said drip pan having a bottom Wall sloping towards the plug, refrigerant conduit means connecting said compressor, condenser, and evaporator, a defrost water drain tube connecting said drip pan with the defrost water evaporating pan, said conduit means and said tube extending along said extension in front Cit of said insulated wall dividing said condensing unit and evaporator compartments,

said evaporator unit including a partition dividing said evaporator into a frost collecting portion and a cooling portion, said partition being in substantial sealing engagement with said drip pan,

a plurality of air passages for conducting refrigerated air drawn by said evaporator unit fan means over said evaporator to said freezer and fresh wood cornpartments including a first air passage for conducting air from the cooling portion of said evaporator into said freezer compartment, a second air passage for returning air from said freezer compartment to said evaporator compartment and having an outlet directing the returned air onto said cooling portion of said evaporator, a third air passage for conducting a. portion of the air in said freezer compartment from said freezer compartment to said fresh food compartment, and a fourth passage connecting the fresh food compartment with the evaporator compartment for returning air to the evaporator compartment from said fresh food compartment and having an outlet directing said air initially over the defrost portion of said evaporator.

2. A household refrigerator comprising a cabinet including a freezer and fresh food compartments in the upper portion thereof separated by an insulated partition and a condensing unit compartment and an insulated evaporator compartment in side-by-side position in the lower portion of said cabinet and separated by an insulated wall,

said condensing unit and evaporator compartments having access openings adjacent one another on the same side of said cabinet,

a unitary removable refrigerating apparatus including a condensing unit in said condensing unit compartment and an evaporator unit in said evaporator compartment,

said condensing unit including a compressor, a condenser and a defrost water evaporator pan,

said evaporator unit including an insulating plug for closing the access opening to said evaporator com-- partrnent and an evaporator, a drain pan and fan means supported on said plug with said drain pan resting on the bottom wall of said evaporator compartment when said unit is in said compartment,

a supporting frame for said units, including means forming a substantially rigid support for said condensing unit and including a cross member extending across the access opening to said condensing unit compartment when said condensing unit is positioned in that compartment,

said cross member having an extension extending across said side of said cabinet below said access opening to said evaporator compartment,

said insulating plug being supported on said extension,

said cross member extension being sucicntly flexible to permit relative vertical tilting movement of said evaporator unit relative to said condensing unit whereby said evaporator unit will rest on the bottom wall of said evaporator compartment when said condensing unit is supported in said condensing compartment,

said drip pan having a bottom wall sloping towards the plug, refrigerant conduit means connecting said compressor, condenser, and evaporator, a defrost water drain tube connecting said drip pan with the defrost water or evaporating pan, said conduit means and said tube extending along said extension in front of said insulated wall dividing said condensing unit and evaporator compartments,

said evaporator unit including a partition dividing said evaporator into a frost collecting portion and a cooling portion, said partition being in substantial sealing engagement with said drip pan,

a plurality of air passages for conducting refrigerated air drawn by said evaporator unit fan means over said evaporator to said freezer and fresh food compartments including a rst air passage for conducting 10 the upper portion thereof and an evaporator compartment in the lower portion thereof,

said evaporator compartment including insulated side, top, bottom and rear walls and having an access air from the cooling portion of said evaporator into opening at one end thereof,

said freezer compartment, a second air passage for a removable evaporator unit in said evaporator cornreturning air from said freezer compartment to said partment,

evaporator compartment and having an outlet directsaid unit including a closnre member for said access ing the returned air onto said cooling portion of opening, a defrostable evaporator, a drip pan and said evaporator, a third air passage for conducting a fan means integrally connected to form a unitary portion of the air in said freezer compartment from structure,

said freezer compartment to said fresh food conisaid drip pan being adapted to be supported on the partment, the air flow capacity of said second and insulated bottom wall of said evaporator compartthird passages being such that the desired proportion ment,

of air entering said freezer compartment through a vertical partition of generally U-shaped horizontal said iirst passage is conducted to the fresh food comcross section having the arms thereof extending across partment and the remaining air is returned to said the evaporator with the ends thereof in contact with evaporator compartment through said second pasone side wall of said evaporator compartment and sage, and a fourth passage connecting the fresh food the base portion of said partition in spaced relationcompartment with the evaporator compartment for ship with the outer side wall of said evaporator comreturning air to the evaporator compartment from partment when said unit is in said evaporator comsaid fresh food compartment and having an outlet directing said air initially over the defrost portion of said evaporator,

and means carried by said evaporator unit and responsive to the temperature of the air returning from said fresh food compartment for controlling the operation of said compressor.

3. A household refrigerator including a freezer cornpartment and a fresh food storage compartment in the upper portion thereof, insulated walls defining an evaporator compartment in the lower portion of said cabinet having an access opening on one side of said cabinet, and a condensing unit compartment to one side of said evaporator compartment and having an access opening in the same side of said cabinet and a Ventilating opening at the opposite end thereof,

an evaporator unit in said evaporator compartment,

an air supply passage having an inlet in one wall of said evaporator compartment for supplying refrigerated air to said freezer compartment, an air return passage for returning air from said fresh food compartment and having its outlet in an insulated wall of said evaporator compartment removed from the inlet to said first passage,

a removable refrigerating system including a condensing unit and said evaporator unit and a frame connecting said units,

said frame including a substantially rigid portion for supporting said condensing unit and a somewhat ileX- ible portion connected to said rigid portion for supporting said evaporator whereby said evaporator unit can move slightly relative to said condensing unit for alignment of said units in their respective comg partments when said refrigerating system is placed in 5 said cabinet,

said evaporator unit including an evaporator and fan means for passing air over said evaporator and into said air supply passage,

said evaporator including a partition dividing said evaporator into a frost collecting portion and a cooling portion,

said frost collecting portion being positioned to be initially contacted by air returning to said evaporator compartment from said return air passage,

said partition being adapted to permit air iiow from said frost collecting portion of said evaporator to said cooling portion after said air has passed through said frost collecting portion,

and a freezer compartment air return passage opening into said evaporator compartment on the discharge side of the fron-collecting portion of the evaporator.

4. A household refrigerator including a cabinet having a freezer compartment and a fresh food compartment in 75 partrnent,

said partition having its bottom edge in contact with said drip pan and dividing said evaporator and said evaporator compartment into a cooling portion and chamber at the rear of said evaporator compartment and a frost collecting portion and chamber at the front of said evaporator compartment,

said partition having an opening in the base thereof,

means for supporting said fan means in said opening for the passage of air through said opening from said frost coliecting chamber into said cooling chamber,

an air supply passage having its inlet end communicating with said cooling chamber and its outlet end with said freezer compartment,

a rst air return passage connecting said freezer compartaient with the frost collecting chamber between the frost collecting portion of said evaporator and said fan means,

and a second air return means connecting said fresh food compartment with said frost collecting chamber on the opposite side of said frost collecting portion of said evaporator from said fan means,

said fan means maintaining said cooling chamber and the adjacent space below said drip pan at a higher pressure than said frost collecting chamber to prevent the collection of frost beneath said pan.

5. -A household refrigerator including a cabinet having a freezer compartment land a fresh food compartment in the upper portion thereof and an evaporator compartment in the lower portion thereof,

said evaporator compartment including insulated side, top, bottom and rear `walls and having an access opening at one errd thereof,

a removable evaporator unit in said evaporator compartrnent,

said unit including a closure member 4for said access opening, a defrostable evaporator, `a drip pan and fan means integrally connected to yform a unitary strncture,

said drip pan having a bottom sloping toward said closure member and being adapted to be supported on the insulated bottom Wall of -sai'd evaporator compartment,

a vertical partition having an arm thereof extending laoross the evaporator with the end thereof in contact with one side wall of said evaporator compartment and a base portion in spaced relationship 'with the other side wall of said evaporator compartment when said unit is in said evaponator compartment,

said partition having its bottom edge in contact with said drip pan and dividing said evaporator and said evaporator compartment into 1a frost collecting portion and chamber at the access opening end of said evaporator compartment 'and a cooling portion and chamber at the other end thereof,

said partition base portion having an opening therein,

and means for supporting said fan means in said opening for the passage of air through said opening from said frost collecting chamber into said cooling charnber,

an air supply passage having its inlet end communicating with said cooling chamber and its outlet end with said freezer compartment,

a first air return passage connecting said freezer cornpartment with the frost collecting chamber between the frost collecting portion of said evaporator and said fan means,

and a second air return means connecting said fresh food compartment with said frost collecting chamber on the opposite side of said frost collecting portion of said evaporator from said fan means.

6. A household refrigerator comprising a freezer compartment and a fresh food compartment in the upper portion thereof and an insulated evaporator compartment and a condensing unit compartment in the lower portion thereof,

said evaporator compartment having an access opening at one end thereof,

a removable evaporator unit adapted to be inserted through said access opening, said unit including an insulating plug for closing said .access opening and an evaporator and drain pan mounted on said plug and supported thereby,

said drain pan being adapted to rest on the bottom wall of said evaporator compartment,

a partition dividing said evaporator into `a frost collecting portion and a cooling portion and having its bottom edge in contact with said `drain pan and its upper edge spaced from the top wall of said evaporator compartment,

an air supply passage having its inlet in the top wall of said evaporator compartment on the same side of said partition `as said evaporator cooling portion for supplying air from said cooling portion to said freezer compartment, fan means in front of said inlet including a shroud and a fan for drawing air over said evaporator 'and directing it into said passage, means for sealing the space between said shroud and the area of said evaporator compartment wall surrounding said inlet, an air return passage from said fresh food compartment opening into said evaporator compartment on the same side of said partition as said frost collecting evaponator portion for directing the return air over said frost collecting portion, a second air return passage from said freezer compartment for directing air directly into Contact with said cooling portion of said evaporator, and a passage connecting said freezer compartment with said fresh food compartment for conducting a portion of the cooled air introduced into said freezer compartment into said fresh food compartment.

7. A household refrigerator comprising a freezer compartment and a fresh food compartment in the upper portion thereof and an insulated evaporator compartment and a condensing unit compartment in the lower portion thereof,

said evaporator compartment including -a bottom wall and an access opening at one end thereof, a removable evaporator unit adapted to be inserted through said access opening, said unit including `an insulating plug for closing said access opening and an evaporator and drain pan mounted on said plug and supported thereby, said drain pan being adapted to rest on the bottom wall of said evaporator compartment,

a partition dividing said evaporator into a frost collecting portion and a cooling portion,

said partition having its bottom edge in Contact with said drain pan rand its upper edge spaced from the top `wall of said evaporator compartment and dividing said compartment into a frost collecting chamber and a cooling chamber,

an air supply passage having its inlet communicating with said cooling chamber for supplying air to said freezer compartment,

fan means carried by said unit and including a shroud and a fan for passing air over said evaporator and into said passage, means for sealing the space between said shroud and the tarea of said cooling chamber wall surrounding said inlet,

an Iair return passage from said fresh food compartment opening into said frost collecting chamber for directing the return air over frost collecting portion of said evaporator,

a second air return passage from said freezer compartment having an outlet in said frost collecting chamber for directing air directly into Contact with said cooling portion of said evaporator,

and a passage connecting said freezer compartment with said fresh food compartment for conducting a portion of the cooled air introduced into said freezer compartment into said fresh food compartment.

8. A household refrigerator including a cabinet having a freezer compartment and a fresh food compartment in the upper portion thereof and an evaporator compartment in the lower portion thereof,

Isaid evaporator compartment including insulated side, top, bottom and rear walls and having an access opening at one end thereof, a removable evaporator unit in said evaporator compartment,

said unit including a closure member for said access opening, `a defrostable evaporator, a drip pan and fran means integrally connected to form a unitary structure,

said drip pan having a bottom wall sloping toward said closure member and being adapted to be supported on the insulated bottom wall of said evaporator compartment,

a vertical partition of generally U-shaped horizontal cross `section having the arms thereof extending across the evaporator with the ends thereof in contact with one side wall of said evaporator compartment and the base portion of said partition in spaced relationship with the other side wall of said evaporator compartment,

said partition dividing said evaporator and said evaporator compartment into a frost collecting portion and chamber adjacent said closure member and a cooling portion and chamber at the other end thereof, said partition having 1an opening in the base portion thereof,

an air passage for directing return air from said fresh food compartment through said frost collecting portion, said fan means being mounted in said opening of said base portion for the passage of air through said opening from said frost collecting chamber into said cooling chamber, whereby said cooling chamber is at a higher pressure than said frost collecting chamber to prevent the flow of moist air from said :air passage into said cooling chamber without passing through said frost collecting portion.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES lATENTS

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2929229 *Feb 26, 1958Mar 22, 1960C V Hill & Company IncEvaporator-blower unit for refrigerated equipment
US3005321 *Aug 25, 1959Oct 24, 1961Philco CorpMultiple temperature refrigerator
US3048024 *Jul 6, 1959Aug 7, 1962Gen Motors CorpRefrigerating apparatus
US3050955 *Dec 19, 1960Aug 28, 1962Gen ElectricMulti-temperature refrigerator
US3063253 *Apr 11, 1960Nov 13, 1962Hussmann Refrigerator CoLow temperature refrigerated case
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3212285 *May 4, 1964Oct 19, 1965American Motors CorpRefrigerating apparatus-single evaporator
US4095440 *Mar 7, 1977Jun 20, 1978Caterpillar Tractor Co.Air blower mounting assembly
US4490990 *Dec 29, 1983Jan 1, 1985General Electric CompanyHigh-side refrigeration system assembly adapted to be mounted in a refrigerator machinery compartment
US4490991 *Dec 29, 1983Jan 1, 1985General Electric CompanyHigh-side refrigeration system assembly adapted to be mounted in a refrigerator machinery compartment
US4509335 *Jun 25, 1984Apr 9, 1985General Electric CompanyPre-assembled cooling and air circulating module for a household refrigerator
US5199273 *Sep 28, 1990Apr 6, 1993The Manitowoc Company, Inc.Reach-in cooler with interchangeable refrigerator and freezer systems
US5284023 *May 27, 1993Feb 8, 1994The Manitowoc Company, Inc.Reach-in cooler with window
US5901884 *Dec 6, 1996May 11, 1999Imi Cornelius Inc.Beverage dispenser
US9028084 *Oct 11, 2011May 12, 2015Lg Innotek Co., Ltd.Refrigerator with ultraviolet light emitting diode
US9417001May 18, 2012Aug 16, 2016Whirlpool CorporationTop cooling module for a refrigerator
US9528736May 18, 2012Dec 27, 2016Whirlpool CorporationIce delivery method for modular cooling system
US20060277939 *Mar 18, 2004Dec 14, 2006Beks Petrue MRefrigerated display and dispensing assembly
US20120085116 *Oct 11, 2011Apr 12, 2012Lg Innotek Co., Ltd.Refrigerator with ultraviolet light emitting diode
EP0778240A1 *Dec 4, 1996Jun 11, 1997IMI Cornelius Inc.Electro-mechanical refrigeration system
Classifications
U.S. Classification62/283, 62/302, 62/291, 62/415, 62/450, 62/426
International ClassificationF25D19/02, F25D17/06
Cooperative ClassificationF25D2317/0664, F25D17/065, F25D2317/0661, F25D2400/04, F25D19/02, F25D2317/0651
European ClassificationF25D17/06A1, F25D19/02