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Publication numberUS3206943 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 21, 1965
Filing dateFeb 9, 1962
Priority dateFeb 9, 1962
Publication numberUS 3206943 A, US 3206943A, US-A-3206943, US3206943 A, US3206943A
InventorsGeorge I Johnson, Virgil C Rice
Original AssigneeBorg Warner
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Refrigerator having a movable refrigeration unit therein
US 3206943 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 21, 1965 v. 0. RICE ETAL REFRIGERATOR HAVING A MOVABLE REFRIGERATION UNIT THEREIN Filed Feb. 9, 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 N N L WE Q Q ml:

Sept. 21, 1965 v. c. RICE ETAL 3,206,943

REFRIGERATOR HAVING A MOVABLE REFRIGERATION 1mm THEREIN Filed Feb. 9, 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 frzuerziors yz'r gc'l Cflz'c'e and Georyeffi ns'on @"g/vM/Q.

p 21, 1965 v. c. RICE ETAL 3,206,943

REFRIGERATOR HAVING A MOVABLE REFRIGERATION UNIT THEREIN 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Feb. 9, 1962 [7102721 0715 Virgil 6315 202 and George I 0 715cm Sept 21, 1965 v. 0. RICE ETAL 3,206,943

REFRIGERATOR HAVING A MOVABLE REFRIGERATION UNIT THEREIN 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Feb. 9, 1962 ffiverzi'arts Ira-7 a a. Fine and 660792 f. kfoknfion f zwm M United States Patent 3,206,943 REFRIGERATOR HAVING A MOVABLE REFRIGERATIUN UNIT THEREIN Virgil C. Rice, South Bend, Ind, and George 1. Johnson,

Fort Smith, Ark., assignors to Borg-Warner Corporation, Chicago, Ill., a corporation of Illinois Filed Feb. 9, 1962, Ser. No. 172,151 Claims. (Cl. 62-3tl2) This invention relates to a refrigerator and more particularly to a refrigerator having a refrigeration apparatue readily detachable and removable as a unit from the refrigerator.

Known types of refrigerators are provided with refrigeration apparatus secured within the refrigerator cabinet in a manner not readily detachable therefrom, but requiring piece-meal detachment and removability of the various component parts, such as the compressor motor, etc. Under these circumstances, the refrigeration apparatus with the cabinet and also servicing of the apparatus is a tedious and time consuming operation. It is, therefore, highly desirable to provide a refrigerator having refrigeration apparatus which could be readily assembled with, and detached from, the refrigerator cabinet as a unit.

It is a primary object of this invention to provide a refrigerator of relatively simple and economical construction and which is readily adapted for partial assembly and disassembly to facilitate production and thereafter servicing maintenance thereof.

A more specific object of this invention is to provide a refrigerator having refrigeration unit, in the form of refrigeration apparatus, readily assembled with and detachable from, the cabinet of the refrigerator.

Another object of this invention is to provide a refrigerator having a detachable refrigeration unit including a disconnectable flue system for circulating refrigerated air between the unit and a food compartment or compartments of the refrigerator.

With these and other objects in view, the present invention contemplates an exemplary embodiment in a refrigerator having one or more food refrigeration com partments, and including a refrigeration apparatus compartment wherein the refrigerating apparatus is mounted on rails in the apparatus compartment and can be assembled with or detached, as a unit, with the food compartment or compartments by flues or passages in the cabinet of the refrigerator. The flues are adapted to be aligned and positioned in sealed relationship with openings in a cold air passage in the refrigerating unit when the unit is slidably positioned on the rails within the unit compartment. A fan may be provided for circulating cold air passage of the unit through the flues and food compartment or compartments in the cabinet for providing cooling air to lower the temperature therein.

Other objects, advantages and novel aspects of the invention will become apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front view of the refrigerator showing the food compartments, the refrigeration apparatus or unit, and interconnecting passages.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the refrigerator showing the refrigeration unit substantially removed from the refrigerator.

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 1 showing the position of the flues with respect to the elements of the refrigeration unit.

FIG. 4 is a partial sectional view taken along line 44 of FIG. 3 showing the path of the air through the refrigeration unit and into and from the cabinet flues.

FIG. 5 is a partial sectional view along line 55 of FIG. 4 showing the refrigeration unit in position and supported on rails in the refrigerator cabinet.

FIG. 6 is an end view of one of the supporting rails.

FIG. 7 is an enlarged partial sectional view of the aligned cold air passage of the unit and flue of the refrigeration cabinet.

FIG. 8 is a partial sectional view taken along line 55 of FIG. 4 showing the refrigeration unit apparatus partially removed from the refrigerator with the cold air passages of the refrigerator cabinet and refrigeration unit disconnected.

FIG. 9 is a partial sectional view of a refrigerator illustrating a second embodiment of the invention and showing inclined complementary mating flue openings of the refrigerator cabinet and the refrigeration unit.

FIG. 10 is a partial sectional view of a refrigerator illustrating a third embodiment of the invention showing the telescoping complementary mating flue openings of the refrigerator cabinet and the refrigeration unit.

FIG. 11 is a partial side view of a refrigerator illustrating that the food compartment can be in the central portion of the refrigerator cabinet and the refrigeration apparatus can be in the upper portion of the refrigerator cabinet.

Referring to the drawings, there is illustrated a refrigerator (FIGS. 1 and 2) generally designated by the numeral 10. The refrigerator includes a cabinet 11 provided with food-freezing and cooling compartments 12 and 13 having openings in the front 14 of the cabinet 11. A compartment 15, housing refrigeration apparatus, is provided in the bottom of the refrigerator cabinet 11 and also has an opening in the front 14 of the cabinet 11. The unit compartment 15 is of a size sufficient to house refrigeration apparatus generally designated by the numeral 16. Each of the compartments 12, 13, and 15 may be sealed by individual door means of any well known variety such as generally indicated by the numeral 17 (FIG. 2).

A vertical cold air inlet flue 20 is provided in the rear wall 21 of the refrigerator cabinet 11 and has an opening 22 in the top portion thereof which opens into the freezer compartment 12. The base of the cold air flue 20 opens into a horizontal flue 24 (FIGS. 1, 3, and 4). The horizontal flue 24 provides a 90 change in direction (FIG. 3) and opens into a short flue 25. The short flue 25 has an opening 26 (FIG. 3) in a recess 27 formed in an upper surface 28 of the compartment 15. The recess 27 is also provided with an apertured gasket 29.

An upper vertical return air flue (FIGS. 1 and 2) is provided in the rear wall 21 of the refrigerator cabinet 11 and has openings 36 and 37 which open into the compartments 12 and 13 respectively. A lower vertical return air flue 35a is also provided in the rear wall 21 of the refrigerator cabinet 11 and has an opening 23 in the compartment 13. The base of the lower air flue 35a opens into a horizontal flue 38 (FIGS. 1, 3, and 4). The horizontal flue 38 provides a 90 change in direction (FIG. 3) and opens into a short flue 39. The short flue 39 has an opening 40 (FIG. 3) in a recess 41 formed in the upper unit compartment surface 28. The recess 41 is also provided with an apertured gasket 42.

The refrigeration apparatus 16 (FIG. 4) is in the form of a unitary assembly and includes a main support-ing frame 45, a refrigerating flue 46, an evaporator 47 positioned in the flue and supported on the frame 45 by a bracket 47a, a condenser 48 supported on the frame by brackets 48a, a compressor 43 supported by brackets 43a, and a fan 49 driven by a motor 49a supported by brackets 49b. The refrigerating flue 46 includes a hot air inlet passage 50 and a cold air outlet passage 51 .52 and 29 to form a continuous sealed passage through the flue 20', the freezer compartment 12, the flue 35, the

"refrigeration compartment 13, the flue 35a and the unit flue 46. The evaporator 47, positioned in the flue 46 and is provided with coils 56. The coils 56 are adapted to absorb heat and. thereby cool air passing therearound 'in the flue 46. The fan 49, driven by the motor 49a,

is positioned adjacent the evaporator 47 in the flue 46 and is adapted to force air past the coils 56 and through the continuous sealed passage and compartments 12 and 13 as indicated by the arrows (FIGS. 1-5).

Rollers-60 are provided (FIG. 6) on the rear portion of each side 61 of the unit 16. The rollers 60 are each rotatably mounted on a pin 62 which is secured to a 'bracket 63 which in turn is secured to the unit frame '45. unit compartment 15 and are adapted to respectively A rail 64 is secured to each side wall 65 of the engage and support the rollers 60 to support the rear portion of the unit 16. An upwardly extending inclined "ramp 66 is provided on each rail 64 on the rear portion thereof and is provided with a surface 67 adapted to respectively engage the rollers 60 to urge the refrigeration unit 16 upwardly when the unit 16 is moved to the extreme rear of the unit compartment 15.

The rails 64 are each provided with a stop 68 adjacent the end of each surface 67 for engaging the rollers 60 to determine the rearmost position of the refrigeration unit 16 on the rails 64. The unit is provided with downwardly extending brackets 69 on each side 61 thereof. The brackets each have an aperture 70 (FIG. 8) adjacent the forward end thereof and each rail has a "threaded aperture 71 adjacent the front portions thereof. A screw 72 is inserted through the aperture 70 and is threadably secured in the respective adjacent aligned threaded aperture 711to secure the unit 16 in a horizontal position and the front of the unit 16 in a raised position (FIG.

A second embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIG. 9 and utilizes a refrigeration unit, generally designated by the numeral 76 which is similar to the refrigeration 16 previously described. However, the refrigeration unit 76 is provided with a modified raised lip portion 77 around each of the respective openings 52 and 53 of the hot air inlet pasage 50 and the cold air outlet passage 51 respectively. For purposes of clarity, and inasmuch as the lip 77 around the inlet opening 52 and around the outlet opening 53 are substantially identical, the second embodiment is illustrated (FIG. 9) with reference to only one of the lips 77 and the associated structures; namely, the lip portion 77 adjacent the passage 39.

The raised lip portions 77 are slightly tapered from a high front portion 78 to a low rear portion 79. The short cold air flue 25 and a short hot air flue 39 in the cabinet 11 each open downwardly through a tapered opening 80 into the unit compartment 15. The openings 80' are each provided with an encircling gasket 81 and are tapered from a high front portion 82 to a low rear portion 83. The opening 80 is thereby adapted for complementary sealing engagement with the raised lip portions 77 of the modified unit 76 when the unit 76 is in the rearmost position (FIG. 9).

It should be noted that a pair of rails 84 (FIG. 9) similar to rails 64 (FIGS. 5 and 8), are provided for supporting the unit 76 by virtue of the rollers 60 as previously described. However, it should be further noted that in the present second modification of the invention, the rails 84 are not provided with the ramp 66 and, instead, are provided with a single straight rail surface 85 for supporting the rollers 60. The unit 76 may be wholly or artially removed or inserted (FIG. 9) in the unit compartment by moving the unit 76 to the left or to the right (FIG. 9) along the rails 84.

Inasmuch as the raised lip portions 77 are tapered downwardly from front to rear or from left to rightand, inasmuch as the flue openings 80 are likewise tapered downwardly from left to right, the low rear portion 79 of each of the raised lips 77 are enough lower than the left or frontmost' high portion 82 of the vertical flues and a, so that the unit 76 may be completely inserted to the right on the rails 84 without obstruction. When the unit 76 is thus completely inserted in the compartment 15, the raised lip openings 77 are in respective alignment with the openings 26 and of the short flues 25 and 39.

The raised positions 77 of the hot and cold air flues and 51 may be placed in respective sealed engagement with the vertical flues 39 and 25 respectively by pivoting the unit 76 clockwise (FIG. 9) about the supporting rollers 60. The unit 76 is held in this engaged position 'by the screw 72 which is inserted through the aperture 71' in the projection 69 of the unit 76 and which is threadably mounted in the threaded aperture of the rail 84 in the identical manner previously described in regard to the positioning of the unit 16. When the unit 76 is thus positioned with each of the lip openings 77 in respective sealing engagement with the tapered openings of the flues 20 and 35a, a continuous sealed passage is provided through the flue 20, the freezer compartment 12,. the flue 35, the refrigeration compartment 13, the

flue 35a and the unit flue 46.

A third embodiment, of the invention is illustrated in FIG. 10 and utilizes a refrigeration unit generally designated by the numeral 86 which is similar to the refrigeration units 16 and 76 previously described. However,

the refrigeration unit 86 is provided with a modified.

raised lip portion 87 adjacent three sides of each of the respective openings 52 and 53 of the hot air inlet passage 50 and the cold air inlet passage 51, respectively.

For purposes of clarity, and inasmuch as the respective lips 87 around the inlet opening 52 and around the outlet opening 53 are substantially identical, the third embodiment is illustrated .(FIG. 9) with reference to only one of the lips 87 and the associated structures; namely, the lip portion 87 adjacent the passage 39.

The raised lip portions 87 open upwardly and to the rear or to the right (FIG. 10) and are adapted to telescope within respective downwardly extending lip portions 88 formed on each of the openings 26 and 40 of the short cold air flue 25 and hot air flue 39 respectively. These downwardly extending lip portions 88 open .downwardly and forwardly or to the left (FIG. 10) to telescopically receive the respective upwardly extending unit lip portions 87. As a result, a continuous seal passage- 'is provided through the flue 20, the freezer compartment 12,.the flue 35, the refrigeration compartment 13, the

flue 35a and the unit flue 46. In this third embodiment, the modified unit 86 may be rolled straight into the unit compartment 15, with the rollers, 60 supported on the straight rails 84, and may be positioned within the compartment 15 against the stop 68 by the screw 72 as previously described.

It should be noted (FIG. 11) that the inter-relationship of the freezing refrigeration and unit compartments need -may be inverted or rearranged. For example, the refrigeration compartment 13 may be located in the top of the cabinet 11 as represented by the compartment 13a, FIG. 11. Likewise, the freezing compartment 12 may be positioned in the center of the cabinet 11 as illustrated by the compartment 12a. Under these circumstances, the vertical flues 20, 35 and 35a could be rearranged and otherwise adapted to provide the appropriate cooling for this or other similar compartment arrangements.

It is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the specific constructions and arrangements shown and described, except only insofar as the claims may be so limited, as it will be understood to those skilled in the art that changes may be made without departing from the principles of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A refrigerator comprising a cabinet having a refrigeration compartment and a refrigeration unit compartment formed therein, said cabinet compartments having vertically spaced front openings to provide access to said compartments, said cabinet having flues therein opening into the refrigeration compartment and the unit compartment for interconnecting the compartments, a refrigeration unit having a refrigerating flue extending therethrough with openings adapted to be respectively aligned with the flue openings in the refrigeration unit compartment, a pair of rails secured to said cabinet on opposite sides of the unit compartment and engaging said unit on insertion of said unit through the front opening in said unit compartment, said rails being provided with means to slidably support said unit for positioning said unit on said rails wtih the flue openings in aligned position and for elevating said unit to telescope said flues to complete a circulatory air path through the flues and the refrigerator compartment, cooling means in the unit flue adapted for lowering the temperature of air passing through the unit flue, and means for forcing the air through the circulatory path.

2. A refrigerator comprising a cabinet having a refrigeration compartment and a refrigeration unit compartment formed therein, said cabinet having flues for interconnecting the compartments, said flues extending upwardly into the refrigeration compartment from the lower openings communicating with the unit compartment, rails mounted substantially horizontally on said cabinet on opposite side walls of the unit compartment, a refrigeration unit having a flue formed therethrough with the openings adapted to be respectively aligned with the lower openings of the cabinet flues, said unit being adapted to reduce the temperature of the air in the unit flue, a pair of rollers rotatably mounted on the rear portion of each side of the unit in respective rolling engagement with the rails for pivotally and slidably supporting the unit on said rails, an upwardly extending ramp surface formed on each of said rails for engaging the respective rollers to position the unit with the flue openings thereof in substantial alignment with the cabinet flue openings and with the rear portion of the unit in an elevated position immediately adjacent the upper surface of the unit compartment to elevate said unit to telescope said flues, said unit being adapted to seal the aligned flues when the front portion of said unit is pivoted upwardly about the positioned rollers on said ramps to a predetermined raised position, and means for retaining the front portion of said unit in the raised position.

3. A refrigerator comprising a cabinet, said cabinet having a refrigeration compartment and a refrigeration unit compartment formed therein, said cabinet having a cold air inlet flue opening into the refrigeration compartment at one end thereof and opening downwardly through the top of the unit compartment at the other end thereof, said cabinet having a hot air exhaust flue opening into the refrigeration compartment at one end thereof and opening downwardly through the top of the unit compartment at the other end thereof, rails mounted substantially horizontally on said cabinet on opposite side walls of the unit compartment, a refrigeration unit having a flue formed therethrough with a hot and a cold air opening at the respective ends thereof adapted to be aligned with the lower openings of the cold air inlet opening and hot air exhaust cabinet openings respectively, said unit being adapted to reduce the temperature of the air in the unit flue, a pair of rollers rotatably mounted on the rear portion of each side of the unit in respective rolling engagement with the rails for pivotally and slidably supporting the unit on said rails, an upwardly extending surface formed on the rear of each of said rails for engaging the respective rollers to position the unit with the inlet and outlet and the unit flue in substantial alignment with the inlet and exhaust openings of the compartment flue and with the rear portion of the unit in an elevated position immediately adjacent the upper surface of the unit compartment, said unit being adapted to seal the aligned openings when the front portion of said unit is pivoted upwardly about the positioned rollers on said upwardly extendings surfaces to a predetermined up position, and means for retaining the front portion of said unit in the up position.

4. A refrigerator comprising a cabinet having a refrigeration compartment and a refrigeration unit compartment formed therein, said cabinet having flues therein with ends opening into the refrigeration compartment and opening into the unit compartment, said fiues having recesses formed therein at said ends opening into said unit compartment, a gasket positioned in each of the recesses, a refrigeration unit having a refrigerator flue extending therethrough with openings adapted to be respectively aligned with the flue openings in the refrigeration unit compartment, raised portions on said unit surrounding the refrigerating flue openings and respectively complementary with the cabinet flue recesses for engaging the respective gaskets to complete a sealed circulatory air path through the flues and the refrigerator compartment when said unit is positioned in the unit compartment, rails mounted substantially horizontally on said cabinet on opposite side walls of the unit compartment, said unit being adapted to reduce the temperature of the air in the unit flue, a pair of rollers rotatably mounted on the rear portion of each side of the unit in respective rolling engagement with the rails for pivotally and slidably supporting the unit on said rails, an upwardly extending surface formed on each of said rails for engaging the respective rollers to position the unit with the flue openings thereof in substantial alignment with the cabinet flue openings and with the rear portion of the unit in an elevated position immediately adjacent the upper surface of the unit compartment, said unit being adapted to seal the aligned openings when the front portion of said unit is pivoted upwardly about the positioned rollers on said upwardly extending surfaces to a predetermined up position, and means for retaining the front portion of said unit in the up position.

5. A refrigerator comprising a cabinet having a refrigeration compartment, a freezing compartment and a refrigeration unit compartment formed therein, said cabinet having a first flue therein opening into the refrigeration compartment and the unit compartment, said cabinet having a second flue therein opening into the refrigeration compartment and the freezing compartment, said cabinet having a third flue formed therein opening into the freezing compartment and the unit compartment, a refrigeration unit having a refrigerating flue extending therethrough with openings adapted to be respectively aligned with the flue openings in the refrigeration unit compartment, said unit having surfaces adjacent the flue openings which are complementary with the adjacent surfaces of the unit compartment flue openings to provide a sealed circulatory air path through the flues and the refrigerator compartment when said unit is positioned in the unit compartment, said unit being adapted to reduce the temperature of the air in the unit flue, a pair of rollers 7 rotatably mounted on the rear portion of each side of the unit in respective rolling engagement with the rails for pivotally and slidably supporting the unit on said rails, an upwardly extending surface formed on each of 'said rails for engaging the respective rollers to position the unit with the flue openings thereof in substantial alignment with the cabinet flue openings and with the rear portion of the unit in an elevated position immediately adjacent the upper surface of the unit compartment, said unit being adapted to seal the aligned openings when the front portion of said unit is pivoted upwardly about the positioned rollers on said upwardly extending surfaces to a predetermined raised position, and means for 8 retaining the front portion of said unit in the raised position.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS ROBERT A. OLEARY, Primary Examiner.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification62/302, 62/456, 62/448
International ClassificationF25D19/00, F25D19/02, F25D17/06
Cooperative ClassificationF25D2317/0661, F25D2317/067, F25D17/065, F25D2400/04, F25D19/00, F25D19/02
European ClassificationF25D17/06A1, F25D19/02, F25D19/00