US 3226944 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 4, 1966 M. F. CONNORS PORTABLE ICE MAKER 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Sept. 28, 1964 Jan. 4, 1966 F. CONNORS PORTABLE ICE MAKER 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Sept. 28, 1964 United States Patent ,2 94 PURTABLE ICE MAKER Myles F. C0m1ors,New Sufiolk Ave, R0. Box 1227, Mattituck, N .Y. Filed'Sept. as, 1964, se No. 399,474 8 Claims. (Cl. 62--233) This invention relates to a portable refrigerating apparatus and more particularly to an apparatus for rapid freezing simultaneously a plurality of small amounts of water to produce ice shapes of size suitable for beverage and other purposes.
it is an object of this invention to provide an electrical apparatus that is portable by one person and that may be placed on a table or counter in a kitchen.
It is another object to provide a self contained unit that will automatically make cube type ice and discharge the ice in a storage drawer.
It is another object to provide an apparatus wherein the body portion is made of heat insulating matter of the resilient rubber type.
It is a further object to provide an apparatus wherein the insulation thereof also functions as a seal for liquid water.
It is another object to provide an apparatus having a rotatable finned cube maker which also makes a tight liquid seal against the insulation of the body.
These and other objects of this invention will become apparent upon reading the descriptive disclosure of an illustrative embodiment shown in the accompanying drawing and in which;
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the ice maker showing a top cover where water is introduced and showing a side drawer for withdrawing the ice prepared in the appara- HIS 1 16. 2 is a section view taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 1 and showing the water chamber and the manner of drop ping the water into the freezing finned chamber and showing further storage drawer containing prepared ice cubes,
FIG. 3 is a section view taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 1 and showing the water chamber and the method of feeding water therefrom into several finned compartments of the freezing chamber and showing a knurled hand knob for turning the finned rotatable element for discharging the prepared ice into a storage drawer, said drawing further showing a conventional Freon electrical freezer unit disposed in the rear of the device, and
FIG. 4 is a wiring diagram of a fully automated apparatus which automatically makes ice cubes until the weight of a drawer full of ice cubes turns 'off an electrical switch to stop the ice making.
In this invention, the term ice cube is used as in the trade to signify discrete pieces of ice suitable for use in beverage glasses whether or not in cube form.
Turning to the drawing and FIG. 3 in particular, a rectangular cabinet 10 is made from suitable resilient rubber, preferably of the foam rubber type, which rubber may be natural plantation rubber or any of the many synthetic rubbers or rubber like products. The cabinet 10 is preferably an integral molded unit having a chamber 11 in the rear to receive a conventional compact Freon type electrical refrigeration unit 12 shown as a block unit for purposes of simplicity. The cabinet 10 is also provided with a front top water chamber 13 to re ceive water and with a front intermediate freezing chamber 14 below said water chamber and with a front bottom storage chamber 15 for receiving the prepared ice cubes 16.
The storage chamber 15 is provided with a suitable drawer 17 having a handle 18 for easy removal of the drawer of ice cubes. The storage chamber 15 is preferably provided with a pair of spaced-apart rails 10X upon which the drawer 17 is slidingly disposed.
The rearmost Wall 19 of the cabinet 10 is provided with a plurality of suitable vent apertures 2f) to effect cooling of the coils of the refrigeration unit 12.
The bottom wall of the water chamber is provided with a serrated or saw teeth configuration and a suitably small tubular opening 21 connects each apex of the serrated wall with the freezing chamber 14, thereby permitting gravitational flow of water from its reservoir 13 to the freezing chamber 14. The top of the water chamber 13 is provided with a suitable lid 22 having an air vent hole 23 and a handle 24.
FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 illustrate a manually operated apparatus for manual discharge of ice cubes into the drawer. As shown in the drawing FIG. 2 the top of the freezing chamber 14 is a semi-cylindrical Wall containing the spaced-apart openings 21 from the bottom serrated wall of the water chamber.
The freezing chamber 14 is provided with a unitary metal finned rotary freezer element 25 preferably made of cast aluminum or the like. The freezer element 25 is provided with a pair of diametrically opposed Wedges 25 each running the full length of freezer. The wedges 26 are integral with a plurality of semi-circular partition walls 27 suitably disposed on each side of said wedges 26. Both of the end walls 28 of the freezer element 25 are circular and are provided with suitably curved outwardly disposed flanges 29 about their periphery so as to effect a suitable pressure tight sliding water seal engagement to a corresponding co-acting wall portion 3t? of the cabinet 10.
The freezer 25 is provided with a longitudinal borehole 31 of suitable diameter communicating at each end with boreholes of larger diameter adapted to receive a suitable, preferably plastic bearing 32.
Each opening 21 from the reservoir chamber 13 leads to the center of a compartment formed by a pair of adjacent freezer walls 27 so that water drops by gravity into the respective freezer compartment. To permit displacement of the air in the various compartments a vent line 33 connects each freezer compartment to the atmos phere in the water chamber 13.
The cold refrigerant is piped through refrigerant conduit 35 disposed within borehole 31 and back through conduit 36 to the refrigeration unit 12.
In operating this apparatus, the wedges are disposed in their horizontal position and water is permitted to trickle through openings 21 into the respective ice making compartments of the freezer 25.
No water falls into the storage chamber because of the liquid tight seal made between the relatively wide curved surface of the solid edge wall 25X and the resilient rubber contacting it and because the flanges 30 also produce a liquid tight seal.
After the ice is frozen the freezer element 25 is manually rotated degrees by means of a rotatable knurled knob 40 and axle 41 and gear 42 which transfers the ro tational force to a gear element '43 disposed in the freezer element 25 and over the front bearing 32. Any ice in the small water feed tube openings 21 is easily broken away from the ice in the respective compartment by rotation of the freezer element 25 and the ice therein.
Turning the freezer element 25 through an angle of 180 degrees, disposes the ice over the drawer 1'7 and positions the formerly empty compartments beneath the respective openings 21 causing the relatively warm water to trickle into these compartments, preferably with interruption of the flow of refrigerant in conduit 35, thus relatively warming up the opposing metal wedges 26 for a suitable time interval to permit the formed ice cubes to drop by gravity whereupon the wedges 26 becoming increasingly colder and eventually effect freezing of water in the compartments because of the longitudinal metal contact between the conduit and the borehole 31 of said freezer.
Additionally stop collars may be secured to the refrigerant tube to keep the bearings 32 in place. Other refinements may be added to the cabinet such as footings 46 if desired.
Preferably the volume of water in chamber 13 produces just sufficient ice to fill the drawer 17.
In effect in this invention the water meters itself into the compartments filling them brimfull and thus there is a continuous communication between the water chamber and the freezer chamber.
Accordingly, no water valves are used in this invention. Moreover, in this invention the refrigerant tube functions also as an axle for the freezer element. Also the wedge element 26 divides the freezer into opposing like compartments to produce semi-cylindrical cubes or discs.
In the hand operation of this embodiment the time for the water to be transformed into ice would be known, so that the operator would know when to rotate the knob 40.
It should be noted also that the irregular shape of the ice cubes of this invention produces point to point contact between them and thus avoids the flat surface contact that causes cubes to stick together. This invention avoids frost formation and thus the need to defrost.
As shown in FIG. 4, the unit may be fully automated.
In the preparation of the fully automated embodiment of this invention, conventional switches, motors, relays, lights, timers, etc., are employed.
Turning to FIG. 4, the electrical wiring diagram shows a power line source having a power line 59 and a ground line 51. The current first goes to stop switch 52 which is spring loaded to be normally closed.
The current then proceeds to a conventional weight switch 53 which is adapted to be mounted under the ice receiving drawer 17, and which is opened only when the weight of the ice in the drawer exceeds a predetermined weight indicating a drawer full of ice cubes. Switch 54 arranged in series with 53 is a conventional drawer switch which is closed only upon full insertion of the ice drawer into the cabinet 10.
Both switches 53 and 54 cause light 68 to light up when the drawer weight is above a preset valve or if the drawer is removed from the machine.
Next, the current proceeds to a conventional start switch 55 which is spring loaded in a normally open position. Closing this switch permits the current to flow to solenoid coil 56 which operates switch 57 holding it closed to permit electricity to reach a conventional timer motor 58 which controls the automatic cycle of the equipment.
The timer motor causes switch 60 to close for a specific period of time during which the refrigerant system causes ice to form in the freezing spaces 14. Simultaneously a pilot light 62 indicates this phase of operation. After cubes are formed, switch 60 is opened by the timer 58 and simultaneously switch 63 is actuated by said timer causing the motor 64 driving shaft 41 to rotate the freezer element Concurrently a heater coil 66 disposed around and inside the bore hole of the freezer element 25 causes the quick release of the frozen cubes from said freezer element. A light 67 indicates this operation.
Switch 59, also under the control of the timer 58 shuts off the unit after a preset number of cycles, to prevent the unit from running indefinitely.
This invention has been illustrated by a plurality of embodiments but it is not limited thereto since it is of generic scope. Thus the openings 21 may be round or slots. The cabinet may be made of flexible rubber or from synthetic foam type rubber or plastic. Clearly, all these obvious variations falling within the skill of the art also fall within the ambit of this invention.
1. A portable refrigeration apparatus for making ice cubes comprising a cabinet of resilient rubbery material having a heat insulating property and to effect a water tight seal when in pressure contact with another element, said cabinet having a top water reservoir chamber and a plurality of suitably located openings of small cross sectional area in the bottom wall of said water chamber, an intermediate freezer chamber having a semi-circular dome disposed directly beneath said water chamber with said dome containing the openings from said bottom wall of said water chamber, and a bottom ice receiving chamber disposed directly below said freezer chamber; a finned longitudinal compartmented rotatable freezer element disposed in water tight relationship in said freezer chamber with the respective compartments communicating with respective openings of said reservoir bottom wall; refrigeration means disposed in said freezer element for cooling it; and means for rotating the freezer element a predetermined angle of 180 degrees to empty the ice therefrom.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 comprising a rotatable element having a central borehole and a pair of diametrically disposed wedge shaped elements having curved edges in water tight relationship with the cabinet freezer chamber wall.
3. The apparatus in claim 2 comprising a refrigerant tube disposed in the borehole of said rotatable element.
4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein the compartment walls are a plurality of semi-circular thin fins disposed in parallel spaced-apart relationship on each side of said wedge shaped elements, the edges of said fins engaging respectively the dome of said freezer in liquid tight relationship.
5. The apparatus of claim 4 comprising a rear chamber, and a conventional refrigeration unit disposed in said chamber.
6. The apparatus of claim 1 comprising drawer means disposed in said ice receiving chamber.
7. The apparatus of claim 1 comprising means for fully automating the ice making cycle.
8. The apparatus of claim 7 comprising switch means to operate a relay coil; a relay coil to operate a timer motor; a timer motor to time out a predetermined timed sequence of ice making operations and switch means connected to said timer motor for turning off the ice making operation when the drawer is full of ice.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS Re. 18,685 12/1932 Hull 62344 2,319,523 5/1943 Trigg 6274 2,569,113 8/1951 Munshower 62344 X ROBERT A. OLEARY, Primary Examiner.