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Publication numberUS3220205 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 30, 1965
Filing dateApr 30, 1964
Priority dateApr 30, 1964
Publication numberUS 3220205 A, US 3220205A, US-A-3220205, US3220205 A, US3220205A
InventorsBreeding James H
Original AssigneeBreeding James H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of and apparatus for making ice cubes
US 3220205 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 30, 1965 J. H. BREEDING 3,220,295



INVENTOR. JAMES H. BREEDING United States Patent 3,220,205 METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR MAKING ICE CUBES James H. Breeding 392 Sherbourne, Inkster, Mich. Filed Apr. 30, 1964, Ser. No. 363,720 8 Claims. (Cl. 6273) This invention relates to a method of and apparatus for making ice, particularly ice cubes, and is an improvement over my earlier Patent No. 2,995,017 issued August 8, 1961. While the term ice cubes will be used herein, it is to be understood that this includes ice formed in other shapes, such as cylindrical, triangular or the like, and cubed is used merely as a generic description of the final product.

A general object is the provision of a method of making ice wherein the ice is cut into cubes and deposited in a storage receptacle wherein the ice is frozen on a vertical surface and the excess water falling from the freezing surface is carried away without contact with the ice cubes, and an apparatus or machine for practicing said method.

A further object is the provision of a method of making ice including applying water to an upright evaporator plate to freeze a slab of ice thereon, cutting the slab of ice almost through while on the plate to form cubes joined at their marginal edges, and then defrosting the plate permitting the ice to drop into a receptacle below the plate. As the ice drops into the receptacle it breaks into the cubes.

Another object is the provision of an ice-making apparatus including one or more upright evaporator plates adjacent the upper edge of which are disposed water distributing means adapted to flow water in a substantially uniform sheet over the plates with the plates having tapered lower edges along which unfrozen water flows to be caught in a trough or the like for recirculation, and electrical resistance wire grid means shiftable toward the plate to cut the ice formed thereon into cubes, with defrosting means for harvesting the ice and allowing it to drop into a suitable receptacle.

Provision of an upright evaporator plate according to the disclosure of my patent above referred to results in a material saving of space while providing a machine of high ice-making capacity. The instant application discloses improvements in an ice-making method and apparatus for making ice which permit ice in cubes or other shapes to be readily manufactured.

Other objects, advantages and meritorious features will more fully appear from the following specification, claims and accompanying drawing, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation of an ice-making machine embodying my invention with a panel of the housing removed to show the ice-making mechanism;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation of a grid of resistance wires for cutting the ice into cubes; and

FIG. 3 is a schematic wiring diagram of the control circuit for the apparatus.

Referring now to the drawings, FIG. 1 shows the machine as including an enclosed housing having a lower compartment or receptacle 12 for storing ice provided with a suitable access door 14, and two upper compartments 16 and 18, the former containing the evaporator assembly 20 described herebelow and the latter housing the motors, compressor and controls.

The evaporator assembly 20 in general comprises one or more spaced vertical evaporator plates 22 tapered at their upper ends as at 24 and at their lower ends as at 26. Beneath the plates 22 there extends a water collecting means in the form of a trough 28 which communicates with a sump (not shown). A water distributing conduit "ice 30 is provided at the upper edge of each plate 22 to direct water onto the tapered surface 24 to flow over the plate 22 and be frozen thereon. Surfaces 24 and 26 are nonfreezing surfaces. Openings in conduit 30 distribute water uniformly over plate 22 so that a slab of ice is formed thereon of substantially uniform thickness.

Pivotally supported adjacent the upper edge of each freezer plate 22 is an electric grid assembly 32, a side elevation of which is shown in FIG. 2. The assembly in general includes a peripheral rigid frame 34 having two upstanding ears 36 through which a bearing rod 38 extends having its opposite ends journaled for rotation in a frame member 40 of the machine. The grid has vertical and horizontal electrically conductive resistance wires 42 and 44 respectively which are heated by the passage of current to melt the ice as hereinafter described.

Rod means 46 are coupled to the lower end of each frame 34 and project inwardly to a guide member 48 having inclined slots or grooves 50 therein within which the rods are guidably shifted. A solenoid 52 sits atop member 48 and has a generally T-shaped plunger extension 54 underlying the rods 46. Energization of the solenoid 52 raises the member 54, urging the inner ends of rods 46 upwardly to shift the grids 32 toward their respective plates 22.

Shown in FIG. 1 are water pipes 56 provided with openings arranged to direct defrosting water along the inwardly facing surfaces of the evaporator plates 22, causing the ice to drop from the plates into the receptacle 12. It will be apparent to one skilled in the art that defrosting may be accomplished in other ways, as by providing electric heating coils contacting the surfaces of the plates 22. By using ordinary tap water, the defrosting water may be allowed to drain into the trough with the water to be recirculated. As the defrosting water is cooled as it performs its defrosting function, its use as recirculated water to be frozen results in a higher thermal efficiency for the machine.

FIG. 1 also shows a second evaporator assembly 20' disposed on top of and in register with the assembly 20, and identical in structure thereto. These evaporator assemblies may be stacked one on top of the other to provide a material saving in floor or ground space for a high capacity ice-making plant. In order to avoid damage to the lower assembly 20 'due to harvested ice falling from the upper assembly 20', deflector plates 60 are provided at the upper edge of the grid assembly 32. The plates 60 may be secured as by bolts or the like to the upper horizontal member of the frame 40 (see FIG. 2) which houses the grid.

FIG. 3 shows the control circuit for the machine of FIGS. 1 and 2, and includes an off-on switch 62 and a selector switch 64 which is controlled by a thermostat 66 mounted in a convenient location a predetermined distance from plate 22 to sense the thickness of ice on the plate. There are also three electric motors shown in FIG. 3, a condenser fan motor 68, a compressor motor 70, and a sump pump motor 72. Switch LS1 is a normally closed limit switch positioned to be contacted by a part of the grid assembly 32 when the grid wires 44 and 46 have cut through the slab of ice the desired distance. SR is a stepping relay having sets of contacts SR-l and SR-2 which control the flow of current to the grid wires indicated as a resistance R in FIG. 3, solenoid 52 which shifts the grids 32, and a second solenoid 74 which operates a valve (not shown) controlling flow of tap water to pipes 56 for defrosting.

With switch 62 closed, fan motor 68 runs continuously while thermostat 66 will alternately energize line 76 or 78. During the freezing part of the cycle, switch 64 contacts lead 76, and compressor motor 70 runs, as does sump motor 72 to recirculate freezing water to conduits 30. Whenv thermostat 66 senses a determined thickness of ice, switch 64 is shifted to contact lead 78, through normally closed LS1 to stepping relay SR. Initial energization of SR closes contacts SR-l but leaves SR-Z open, so resistance grid R and solenoid 52 are energized, moving the current-carrying grid wires 42 and 44 against the ice to cut it into cubes or the like. Momentary opening of LS1 as the grid reaches its desired penetration of the ice slab shifts SR to its second position opening SR-1 to de-energize R and solenoid 52 which, being of the spring return type, shifts grid assemblies 32 to their normal position. At this second position, SR-2 are closed, energizing solenoid 74 to admit defrosting water to pipes 56. Upon retraction of the grids away from the plates 22, LS-l will again close, shifting SR to its third position, at which SR-l remain open and SR-2 remain closed. Subsequent opening of the contact between 64 and 78 will shift SR to its fourth position, ready to be shifted to its first or initial position above described by the reclosure of 64-78 connection.

The above description shows the operation of the machine to make ice in cubes or other desired uniform shapes. When the ice is formed on the plates 22, the grid wires 42 and 44 are shifted toward the plate until they cut the slab of ice almost entirely through, at which point the wires are retracted and defrosting is begun. Defrost causes the ice to fall into receptacle 12 and as the ice falls it breaks into separate cubes. In the event the ice does not all break up into separate cubes, it is an easy matter for the customer to break it prior to use.

What I claim is:

1. An ice-making apparatus comprising: a closed housing havingat the lower end thereof an ice-receiving and storage receptacle open at the top; a refrigeration system in the housing including an upright evaporator plate disposed above said receptacle upon which water is frozen and thereafter deposited in the receptacle; a water cat-ch trough disposed under the lower edge of said evaporator plate to catch water falling therefrom; a water recirculating means including a sump in water-receiving relation with said trough and a pump communicating with the sump and water discharge means coupled to the pump outlet and positioned to direct water along the upper edge of said plate to flow over the plate and form slabs of ice thereon; ice cutting means comprising a grid of resistance wires supported normally spaced from the evaporator plate and shiftable theretoward to out said slab of ice into pieces; and means for shifting said grid toward and away from said plate.

2. In an ice-making apparatus: a refrigeration system including a substantially vertically disposed evaporator plate having a non-freezing tapering surface along the lower edge thereof; a water-receiving trough below the margin of the lower edge of said plate for catching water dropping therefrom; an ice receptacle under the plate below the trough for receiving ice dropping from said plate; a grid of electrical resistance wires supported normally spaced laterally from said plate to permit the freezing of a slab of ice on the plate spaced from the grid and shiftable toward the plate into contact with said slab of ice to cut the ice into pieces; and means for shifting said grid toward and away from the plate.

3. In an ice-making apparatus: a refrigeration system including an upright evaporator plate having tapering portions at the upper and lower edges thereof respectively; means for directing water onto said tapered upper end of the plate; a trough underlying said tapered lower end of the plate to catch water falling therefrom; a recirculating water system including a sump communicating with said trough and a sump pump coupled to said means for directing water onto the plate; an ice receptacle positioned below said plate for receiving ice falling therefrom; defrosting means coupled with said refrigeration system and associated with said plate to harvest ice frozen thereon; a grid of electric resistance wires supported for movement toward and away from said plate to out said ice into pieces while on the plate; and means for shifting said grid toward and away from said plate.

4. The invention as defined in claim 3 characterized in that said defrosting system includes water dispensing means positioned to direct warm water onto the opposite side of the plate from that upon which. the ice is formed.

5. The invention as defined in claim 3 characterized in that said grid is pivotally supported adjacent its upper marginal edge for pivotal movement toward and away from said plate.

6. The invention as defined in claim 5 characterized in that the lower end of said grid is coupled to the plunger of an electric solenoid for shifting the grid upon actuation of said solenoid.

7. That method of making cubed ice comprising: circulating water over a surface of a vertically disposed evaporator plate of a refrigeration system to form a slab of ice thereon; interrupting the supply of water to said plate; cutting partially through the slab of ice while on said plate with electric resistance wires to form cubes of ice joined by thin ice portions at their marginal edges; and thence defrosting said evaporator plate and permitting the ice to fall therefrom and break into cubes in an ice receptacle belowthe plate.

8. The method as defined in claim 7 including catching water falling from the lower edge of the evaporator plate at a point above said ice receptacle and recirculating said water back onto the upper edge of the plate.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,682,155 6/1954 Ayres et a1.

2,746,262 5/ 1956 Gallo.

3,003,335 10/1961 Kattis 62352 X 3,019,612 2/1962 Jueger 62347 X 3,074,252 1/1963 Tippmann et al 62347 ROBERT A. OLEARY, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2682155 *Mar 18, 1950Jun 29, 1954Seeger Refrigerator CoIce cube making apparatus
US2746262 *Jan 11, 1954May 22, 1956Gallo Albert MIce making machine
US3003335 *Jul 22, 1960Oct 10, 1961Theodore KattisIce making machine
US3019612 *Dec 9, 1957Feb 6, 1962Carbonic Dispenser IncIce cube making machine
US3074252 *Jul 10, 1959Jan 22, 1963Chicago Stock Yards Turbo RefrIce making apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4487024 *Mar 16, 1983Dec 11, 1984Clawson Machine Company, Inc.Thermoelectric ice cube maker
US7444829 *Dec 6, 2004Nov 4, 2008Hoshizaki Denki Kabushiki KaishaAutomatic ice making machine
US7540161 *Oct 4, 2006Jun 2, 2009Mile High Equipment LlcIce making machine, method and evaporator assemblies
US20060288726 *Dec 6, 2004Dec 28, 2006Kazuhiro MoriAutomatic ice maker
US20120174601 *Jul 12, 2012Scotsman Group LlcArticulated curtains for ice making machines
U.S. Classification62/73, 62/351
International ClassificationF25C5/08, F25C1/12, F25C5/00
Cooperative ClassificationF25C5/08, F25C1/12
European ClassificationF25C1/12, F25C5/08