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Publication numberUS3350899 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 7, 1967
Filing dateMay 12, 1965
Priority dateMay 12, 1965
Publication numberUS 3350899 A, US 3350899A, US-A-3350899, US3350899 A, US3350899A
InventorsGary D Jones, Jr Howard D F True, Guillerno J Vanegas
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Household refrigerator
US 3350899 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 7, 1967 G. 0. JONES ET AL 3,350,899 HOUSEHOLD REFRIGERATOR Filed May 12, 1965 3,3 gs l e INVENTORS GARY D. To was OU\L.L.ERMO I VANEGAS 8 HOWARD D. RTRUE JR.

T HEHZ ATTORNEY United States Patent Ofiice 3,356,899 Patented Nov. 7, 1967 3,350,899 HGUSEHOLD REFRIGERATOR Gary D. Jones and Guillcrno I. Vanegas, Louisville, and Howard B. F. True, 51x, Fern Creek, Ky., assignors to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Filed May 12, 1965, Ser. No. 455,230 8 Claims. (Ci. 62-414) ment the refrigerated air supplied thereto. It is also de sirable to provide within the freezer compartment means for storing one or more freezing trays separate from the remaining compartment storage volume.

The present invention has as its principal object the provision of a household refrigerator including, within the freezer compartment thereof, a freezer tray storage volume wherein the trays are subjected to the refrigerated air entering the compartment and which also provides means for distributing the refrigerated air to all portions of the compartment.

Further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent as the following description proceeds and the features of novelty which characterize the inyention will be pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this specification.

In accordance with the illustrated embodiment of the present invention there is provided a refrigerator including a plurality of walls defining a freezer compartment having an access opening at the front thereof, an evaporator chamber including an evaporator separate from the freezer compartment and means connecting the chamber and compartment in such a way that air circulated through the evaporator chamber is withdrawn from the front of the freezer compartment adjacent the access opening and the air cooled by the evaporator is discharged into the freezer compartment through an inlet adjacent the point of intersection of the rear and bottom walls of that compartment. For the dual purpose of storing one or more freezing trays and for distributing the refrigerated air to various portions of the freezer compartment, there is provided a tunnel shaped member positioned within the freezer compartment sothat the rear end of the tunnel member, overlies the air inlet to the compartment. Spaced openings in the side walls of the tunnel serves as means for directing air from the tunnel outwardly toward the opposite side walls of the freezer compartment while. additional openings in the top wall of the tunnel adjacent the forward end thereof are designed to direct some ofthe refrigerated air upwardly and rearwardly within the compartment. Water deflector-ice tray stop means integral with the top of the tunnel prevents ice trays from blocking the air inlet and prevents any water spilled from the rear end of a tray from flowing into the air inlet and air deflector means within the tunnel deflect the air passing through the tunnel into engagement with the freezing trays.

For a better understanding reference may be had to "the accompanying drawing in which:

FIGURE 1 is a vertical sectional view of a portion of "a refrigerator embodying the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a front view of the portion of the refrigerator illustrated in FIGURE 1 with ice tray housing door removed; and

FIGURE 3 is a perspective view of the tunnel member forming part of the present invention.

With reference to the drawing, there is shown a refrigerator comprising insulated walls defining an upper freezer compartment 1 intended to operate at a temperature below freezing and a lower fresh food compartment 2 adapted to operate at an above freezing temperature. The two compartments are separated by a horizontal insulating partition 3. The access opening to each of the compartments is closed by means of an insulated door, the door 4 closing the access opening to the freezer compartment 1. The two compartments are maintained at their desired operating temperatures by circulating air from the two compartments over an evaporator 5 contained within a chamber 6 formed within the insulated partition 3. It is to be understood that condensed refrigerant is supplied to the evaporator 5 from a condensing unit (not shown) generally housed within a machinery compartment in the lower portion of the cabinet.

Air circulating means including a fan generally indicated by the numeral 7 and suitable air passages connecting the two compartments with the evaporator chamber 6 are provided for circulating air from the two compartments over the evaporator 5 and returning refrigerated or cooled air to the compartments. Air from the freezer compartment 1 enters the front end of the evaporator chamber 6 through a horizontally extending louvered passage 8 in the front portion of the partition 3 and after passing over the evaporator 5, is returned by the fan '7 to the freezer compartment through an inlet passage 9 adjacent the intersection of the rear wall 10 and the bottom wall 11 of the freezer compartment. Similar passages in the lower portion of the partition 3 interconnect the fresh food compartment and the evaporator chamber 6.

9 and to normally house or store one or more freezing trays 15. This tunnel member, preferably composed of plastic material, comprises a top Wall 16 which is solid over substantially its entire area except for a louvered air passage 17 at the front end thereof including a plurality of louvers 18. Opposed side walls 19 and 20 support the tunnel on the bottom wall 11 of the freezer compartment to which the tunnel is removably latched by means of a plurality of tabs 21 extending through slots 22 in the wall 11. Each of the side walls 19' and 20 include a plurality of vertical openings 23 separated by projecting ribs 24 and the sides 19 and 20 are preferably sloped so that due to the slope and the ribs 24, articles stored on either side of the tunnel 14 cannot completely block the air flow through the passages 23. The front of the tunnel 14 is open to provide access to the interior thereof and this access opening is closed by means of a lift-up door 25 pivotally secured along its upper edge to the tunnel member 14. The door 25 is solid so that substantially no air flows from the tunnel through the front end thereof.

The louvered openings on the sides and the front portion of the top of the tunnel member 14 provides means for distributing the refrigerated air introduced into the freezer compartment through the passage 9 throughout the freezer compartment 1. The openings 23 on the opposite sides of the tunnel member direct the air flowing from the tunnel towards the opposed side walls 27 and 28 of the freezer compartment 1 While the louvers 18 in the opening at the front top portion of the tunnel are sloped rearwardly to direct the air flowing therefrom upwardly and rearwardly away from the access opening to the freezer compartment. Thus the refrigerated air is dis tributed toward both sides of the freezer compartment and also towards the top thereof while all of the air withdrawn from the compartment 1 for circulation through the evaporator chamber 6 is conducted through the passage 8 in the forward end of the partition 3.

By means of the tunnel 14, the freezing trays normally stored within the tunnel are subjected to the cooling effect of the refrigerated air from the evaporator chamber 6 before that air passes outwardly through the various openings in the tunnel into the freezer compartment. In order to properly position the trays 15 within the housing and to prevent the trays from being accidentally moved over the air inlet 9, means to prevent spillage of water from freezing trays into the area of the passage 9 is provided in the form of an ice tray stop and water baflie 31 supported on and in spaced relationship with the tunnel top wall 16 adjacent to and overlying the sloping portion of the bottom wall 11 so as to stop the freezing trays and also assure deflection of any water spilling over the rear end of the tray 15 onto the sloping portion 30 from which it will flow onto the freezer compartment bottom wall 11.

As the water baflle 31 is spaced from the lower surface of the tunnel top wall 16 most of the air from the passage 9 flows through the space 33 between the baflie 31 and the top wall 16 and along the top wall 16 into the louvered openings on the side walls and front portion of the top wall. In order to deflect some of this air downwardly into better heat exchange relationship with the contents of the freezing trays 15, there are provided a plurality of air deflectors 35 and 36 depending from the top wall 16. As the refrigerated air engages these deflectors, it is deflected downwardly towards the contents of the freezing trays 15 before it flows over these trays and out of the tunnel member through the various openings therein.

While there has been shown and described a specific embodiment of the present invention it Will be understood that it is not limited thereto and it is intended by the appended claims to cover all such changes and modifications as come within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

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

1. A refrigerator comprising top, rear and bottom and opposed side walls defining a freezer compartment having an access opening at the front thereof,

an evaporator chamber separate from said compartment and including an evaporator,

air circulating means for circulating air from said compartment through said evaporator chamber comprising:

a first air passage connecting the front portion of said compartment to said chamber,

a econd air passage connecting said chamber to said compartment and having its outlet adjacent the inter section of the rear and bottom walls of said compartment,

a tunnel member defining an enclosure for at least one freezing tray and including a top wall and opposed slanting side walls supported on said bottom wall of said compartment in spaced relation with the side walls of said compartment with a portion of said tunnel positioned to receive the air from said second air passage,

said compartment bottom wall including a sloping stop portion within said tunnel forwardly from the outlet from said second passage for preventing movelment of the freezing tray over said second passage outlet,

said tunnel member including a plurality of openings spaced along the side walls thereof and in the front portion of the top wall thereof for respectively directing air from said tunnel outwardly towards said compartment side walls and upwardly and rearwardly away from said compartment access opening and toward said compartment top wall.

2. A refrigerator comprising top, rear and bottom and opposed side walls defining a freezer compartment having an access opening at the front thereof,

an evaporator chamber separate from said compartment and including an evaporator,

air circulating means for circulating air from said compartment through said evaporator comprising:

a first air passage connecting said compartment to said chamber,

a second air passage connecting said chamber to said compartment and having its outlet end adjacent the intersection of said rear and bottom walls,

a tunnel member including a top and opposed side walls supported on said bottom wall of said compartment with the rear end of said tunnel in communication with said second air passage,

said tunnel member defining an enclosure for at least one freezing tray,

said tunnel member including a plurality of louvered openings spaced along the side walls thereof and in the front portion of the top wall thereof for respectively directing air from said tunnel outwardly towards said compartment side walls and upwardly and rearwardly away from said compartment access opening and toward said compartment top wall,

said compartment bottom wall including a sloping stop portion within said tunnel forwardly from the outlet from said second passage for preventing movement of a freezing tray over said second passage outlet,

and a water baffle within said tunnel supported on and in spaced relationship with said tunnel top wall ahead of said stop portion for directing any water spilled from the rear end of a freezing tray onto said stop portion and preventing such water from entering said second air passage.

3. A refrigerator comprising top, rear and bottom and opposed side walls defining a freezer compartment having an access opening at the front thereof,

an evaporator chamber separate from said compartment and including an evaporator,

air circulating means for circulating air from said compartment through said evaporator comprising:

a first air passage connecting the front portion of said compartment to said chamber,

a second air passage connecting said chamber to said compartment and having its outlet end adjacent the intersection of said rear and bottom Walls,

a tunnel member including a top wall and opposed slanting side walls supported on said bottom wall of said compartment in spaced relation with the side walls of said compartment with the rear end of said tunnel adjacent said rear Wall of said compartment for receiving the air from said second air passage,

said tunnel member defining an enclosure for at least one freezing tray,

said tunnel member having an access opening at the front end thereof and a pivoted solid door for closing said access opening to said tunnel,

said tunnel member including a plurality of louvered openings spaced along the side walls thereof and in the front portion of the top wall thereof for respectively directing air from said tunnel outwardly towards said compartment side walls and upwardly and rearwardly away from said compartment access opening and toward said compartment top wall,

a water baffle within said tunnel supported on and in spaced relationship with said tunnel top wall for directing any water spilled from the inner end of a freezing tray onto said stop portion and preventing such water from entering said second air passage,

and a plurality of spaced air deflectors extending transversely of said tunnel top wall downwardly in spaced relationship with said tray for deflecting air flowing along said tunnel top wall downwardly into heat eX- change relationship with said tray.

4. A refrigerator comprising top, rear, bottom and opposed side walls defining a freezer compartment having an access opening at the front thereof,

an evaporator chamber separate from said compartment and including an evaporator,

air circulating means for circulating air from said compartment through said evaporator chamber comprising:

a first air passage connecting said compartment to said chamber and having an inlet adjacent the front of said compartment,

a second air passage for conducting cooled air from said chamber to said compartment and having an outlet adjacent the rear portion of said compartment,

a tunnel member in said freezer compartment positioned to receive the cooled air from said second air passage outlet and adapted to contain a freezing tray,

said tunnel member including a plurality of openings spaced along at least one of the walls thereof for distributing air from said tunnel throughout said compartment.

5. A refrigerator comprising top, rear and bottom and opposed side walls defining a freezer compartment having an access opening at the front thereof,

an evaporator chamber below the bottom w ll a 1 arate from said compartment and including an evaporator,

air circulating means for circulating air from said compartment through said evaporator comprising:

a first air passage connecting said compartment to said chamber,

a second air passage connecting said chamber to said compartment and having its outlet end adjacent the intersection of said rear and bottom walls,

a tunnel member supported on the bottom wall of said compartment with the rear end of said tunnel in communication with said second air passage and the side and top walls thereof respectively in spaced relation with the side and top walls of said compartment,

said tunnel member having an access opening at the front end thereof and a door for closing said opening, said tunnel defining an enclosure for at least one freezing tray,

6 said tunnel member including a plurality of openings in at least the side walls thereof for distributing air from said tunnel to various portions of said compartment. 6. A refrigerator comprising top, rear and bottom and opposed side walls defining a freezer compartment having an access opening at the front thereof,

an evaporator chamber below the bottom wall of and separate from said compartment and including an evaporator,

air circulating means for circulating air from said compartment through said evaporator chamber comprising:

a first air passage connecting said compartment to said chamber,

a second air passage for supplying cooled air from said chamber to said compartment,

a tunnel member defining an enclosure for at least one freezing tray and including a top wall and opposed slanting side walls supported on said bottom wall of said compartment in spaced relation with the side walls of said compartment with. a rear portion of said tunnel positioned to receive the cooled air from said second air passage,

said tunnel having an access opening at the front thereof and a door for closing said access opening,

said tunnel member including a plurality of openings spaced along the side walls thereof and in the front portion of the top wall thereof for respectively directing air from said tunnel outwardly towards said compartment side walls and upwardly and rearwardly away from said compartment access opening and toward said compartment top wall.

7. The refrigerator of claim 4 in which said tunnel member has an access opening at the front end thereof and a door for closing said opening.

8. The refrigerator of claim 4 in which at least some of said openings in said tunnel member are in the front portion of the top wall thereof.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,561,277 7/1951 Hill 62-344 3,046,754 7/ l962 Knifiin 62-135 3,126,714 3/1964 Zuercher 62-l37 WILLIAM J. WYE, Primary Examiner.

ROBERT A. OLEARY, Examiner.

W. E. WAYNER, Assistant Examiner,

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2561277 *Aug 2, 1948Jul 17, 1951Calumet And Hecla Cons CopperIce tray supporting assembly for refrigerators
US3046754 *Oct 20, 1960Jul 31, 1962Gen Motors CorpIce maker control system
US3126714 *May 10, 1962Mar 31, 1964 zuercher
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US6955056 *Apr 1, 2004Oct 18, 2005Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Refrigerator and control method thereof
US7076967 *Feb 3, 2004Jul 18, 2006Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator with icemaker
US7222498Apr 13, 2006May 29, 2007Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator with icemaker
US7337620May 27, 2005Mar 4, 2008Whirlpool CorporationInsulated ice compartment for bottom mount refrigerator
US7392665Apr 24, 2007Jul 1, 2008Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator with icemaker
US7428820Feb 13, 2008Sep 30, 2008Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator
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US7458229Jul 13, 2007Dec 2, 2008Maytag CorporationRefrigerator with intermediate temperature icemaking compartment
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US8405002 *Dec 19, 2008Mar 26, 2013The Trustees Of Dartmouth CollegePulse electrothermal mold release icemaker with safety baffles for refrigerator
US8601830Apr 23, 2010Dec 10, 2013Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator with icemaker
US8627679Jan 6, 2011Jan 14, 2014Whirlpool CorporationIce making and dispensing system
US8707728Jan 20, 2011Apr 29, 2014Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator with icemaker
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US20090235682 *Dec 19, 2008Sep 24, 2009The Trustees Of Dartmouth CollegePulse Electrothermal Mold Release Icemaker With Safety Baffles For Refrigerator
Classifications
U.S. Classification62/414, 62/419, 62/441, 62/340
International ClassificationF25D17/06
Cooperative ClassificationF25C2400/10, F25D17/065, F25D2400/04, F25C2500/06, F25D2317/061
European ClassificationF25D17/06A1