US 3364695 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 23, 1968 O v, SAUNDERS ETAL 3,364,695
REFRIGERATOR CABINET Filed May 20, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Fig. 3
N VE/V TORS Orson 1 Saunders Paul E. Kronenberger Phil 6.
7' heir Afforney Jan. 23, 1968 Filed May 20, 1966 o. v. SAUNDERS ETAL 3,364,695
REFRIGEEATOR CABINET 2 Sheets$heet 2 722w Affamey United States Patent 3,364,695 REFRIGERATOR CABINET Orson V. Saunders, Paul E. Kronenherger, and Philip G.
Teets, Dayton, Ohio, assignors to General Motors Corporation, Detroit, Mich, a corporation of Delaware Filed May 20, 1966, Ser. No. 551,613 4 Claims. (Cl. 62-382) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLGSURE In the preferred form, a refrigerator cabinet has a stepped laterally extending insulating partition wall having a higher portion located on one side of the cabinet and a lower portion on the opposite side separating the upper and lower compartments of the cabinet which are maintained at above and below freezing temperatures, respectively. The cabinet is provided with a counter top extending as a substantial continuation of the higher portion of said partition wall over the front of two drawers having insulated drawer fronts located side by side on opposite sides of the upwardly extending portion of said partition wall with the one drawer being located in and subject to the above reezing temperature of the upper compartment while the other drawer is located in and subject to the below freezing temperature of the lower compartment. An ice maker is provided above the drawer in the lower compartment.
This invention pertains to refrigerator cabinets which are conveniently arranged to provide a plurality of accessible refrigerated compartments maintained at different temperatures.
There is a demand for refrigerators having increased resemblance and harmony with other kitchen storage facilities and appliances. There is also a demand for a refrigerator with a counter top convenience for rearranging food stored in the refrigerator.
It is an object of this invention to provide a simple arrangement of a refrigerator in which a drawer for frozen storage and a drawer for unfrozen storage can be placed side by side and each be a part of the respective frozen and unfrozen storage compartments.
It is another object of this invention to provide a simple arrangement of a refrigerator in which a counter top is provided for assistance in rearranging the food in the compartments and in which the lower compartment extends up to the counter top, while the upper compartment extends below the counter top.
These and other objects are attained in the forms shown in the drawings in which a refrigerator has a cabinet provided with a recessed counter top at approximately work table height. The cabinet is divided substantially horizontally by an insulated step type partition wall in which the higher part on one side is substantially at the level of the counter top while the lower part on the opposite side extends substantially below the counted top. This partition wall has a vertical insulated portion separating the side by side drawer spaces extending beneath the counter top containing a set of drawers having insulated drawer fronts. The drawer space on the side of the partition wall having the lower portion receives a high humidity covered storage drawer which forms a part of the above freezing upper compartment extending to the top of the cabinet. The drawer space on the opposite side beneath the upper portion has a transversely positioned belt type ice maker which ejects frozen cubes or pieces into a rear removable receptacle provided as a part of a drawer behind an insulated drawer front located in the top of the lower below freezing compartment. This drawer is provided with a ice second removable receptacle for frozen products located beneath the counter top in front of the first mentioned removable receptacle.
The portion of the upper compartment immediately above the upper portion and the counter top is recessed and has its own set of doors. The upper portion of the upper compartment overhangs the intermediate portion and the rear portion of the counter top and has its own set of double doors. The evaporator is located behind a partition at the rear of the lower compartment. Above it is a propeller type fan within a shroud having flared forwardly and outwardly curved upper and lower portions. A rectangular baffle extends in front of the propeller fan and forces the air to flow upwardly and downwardly over the flaring portions into the below freezing compartment. One curved portion of the shroud extending radiall from the propeller is provided with an aperture connected with a duct extending through the rear wall to the upper portion of the upper compartment. A second duct extends from the lower portion of the upper compartment to the bottom of the space behind the partition wall beneath the evaporator. The partition wall beneath the evaporator is provided with louvers for flow of air from the lower compartment through the evaporator.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description, reference being had to the accompanying drawings wherein preferred embodiments of the present invention are clearly shown.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a refrigerator embodying one form of our invention;
FIGURE 2 is a front view of the cabinet shown in FIGURE 1 with the doors and drawers removed to show the interior;
FIGURE 3 is a vertical sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of FIGURE 2; and
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along the line 44 of FIGURE 2.
Referring now to the drawings, there is shown a refrigerator cabinet 20 having a straight rear wall 22, a step shaped bottom wall 24, a straight top wall 26 and a stepped generally horizontal partition wall 28 dividing the interior of the cabinet into an upper above freezing compartment 36 and a lower below freezing compartment 32. This horizontal partition wall 28 has a higher portion 34, the front of which coincides with the counter top 35 and extends rearwardly therefrom slightly above the counter top 36. This higher portion 34 forms the top of the right side of the below freezing compartment 32. The horizontal partition wall 28 has a vertical portion 38 connecting its higher portion 34 with its lower portion 40 extending substantially below the higher portion 34 and substantially in alignment with the drawer jamb 42 extending across the upper portion of the below freezing compartment 32. The drawer space above the lower partition wall portion 40 is provided with a drawer having a removable receptacle 44 removably mounted upon the drawer frame 46 which is attached to the insulated door front 48 located on the right side of the wall portion 33 above the lower portion 40. The removable receptacle 44 is provided with a slidable lid 50 having an aperture which books on to a book 52 upon the upper diagonal portion 54 of a partition wall 56. When the door front 48 is pulled out, the receptacle 44 will be pulled out with it so as to make the contents of the receptacle 44 conveniently accessible at the front of the drawer when it is pulled out beyond the counter top 36. The drawer 46 preferably includes a pair of side rails upon which the receptacle .4 is suspended which are connected to the insulated door front 48 and slidably supported within the 3 cabinet. The lid 50 normally restricts the circulation through the receptacle 44 and thereby maintains a high humidity therein without any special provisions other than the circulation of the cold air around it.
On the left side of the vertical portion 38 there is provided a drawer 54 including an insulated drawer front 56 and side rails 58 supporting a rear ice receiving receptacle 60 and a removable front frozen storage receptacle 62. Between the removable rear receptacle 60 and the higher portion 34 there is provided a transversely oriented horizontal belt type ice maker 64 for freezing liquid in the pockets of the belt and ejecting the pieces of frozen liquid over the rear receptacle 38 for convenient storage. Either of these removable receptacles 60 or 62 can be readily removed for transferring frozen products from it to a place where they may be used. A generally vertical partition wall 68 is located at the rear of the compartment 32 in front of the generally rectangular fin and tube type refrigerant evaporator 66 which is inclined with the top forwardly and the bottom rearwardly so that its lower rear edge rests against the inner face of the rear wall 22 while the front upper face extends against the upper portion of the partition wall 68. The partition wall 68 has an upper portion 70 which is inclined rearwardly. The vertical partition wall 68 is provided with two sets of louvered entrance openings 72 by which air is admitted from the compartment 32 into the chamber 86 located below the evaporator 66.
For circulating air in the compartment, there is provided above the evaporator 66 an inclined generally rectangular shroud '74 which is inclined similarly to the upper portion 70. This shroud 74 has a center inlet opening 76 receiving an inclined propeller fan 73 driven by an inclined electric motor 81. The shroud 74 curls outwardly and forwardly from the inlet 76. Across the front of the fan 78 there is provided a rectangular bafi'le 80 which is inclined similarly to the shroud 74 and extends from one of the perpendicular sides of the shroud 74 to the other side to provide separate forward facing upper and lower outlets to distribute the output of the fan 80 into the compartment 32. This fan 78 is driven by an electric motor 81. The air from the upper compartment 30 flows through the inlet 83 and downwardly through the duct 82 in the rear wall 22 and through the outlet 84 into the space 86 behind the partition wall 56 beneath the inclined evaporrator 66. Air also fiows from the compartment 32 through the louvers '72 into the space 86. This air fiows upwardly through the evaporator 66 to the inlet opening 76 surrounding the fan 78. The fan 78 then discharges the air upwardly and downwardly above and below the upper and lower edges of the bafiie 80 back into the compartment 32. This air also flows over and under the top of the belt type ice maker 64 thereby assisting in more quickly cooling the liquid in the compartments of the belt so that a higher output of frozen liquid can be arranged. The compartment 32 beneath the drawers 6t) and 62 is provided with a removable basket 88 and beneath the basket 88 is a receptacle 90 forming a part of a drawer connected to the insulated drawer front 92 which extends beneath both drawer fronts 48 and 56. The air flowing out of the shroud 74 beneath the baffle 80 flows around the storage drawers 60, 62, 88 and 90 and thence through the remaining portion of the compartment 32 to the louvers 72.
The drawers 56, 48 and 92 cooperate with the stepped partition wall 28 as well as the mullion 94 to seal the front lower portion of the cabinet. The shrould 74 above the propeller type fan 78 is provided with a radial discharge outlet 96 located radially relative to the fan 78 which receives the air thereon radially by the propeller 78 for flow to the bottom of the duct 98. This duct 98 extends up and within the insulated rear wall 22. At an intermediate point, the duct 98 preferably is provided with a throttling valve 121 controlled by the thermostatic element 123 responsive to the temperature of the air in the compartment 30. The valve 121 controls the flow of air to maintain the compartment 30 at the desired temperature. The upper portion of the duct 98 discharges through the outlet 125 into the upper portion of the compartment 30. The compartment 30 above the counter top 36 is provided with a pair of insulated doors 127 and 129 extending up to the overhanging wall 131 which extends over the rear portion of the counter top 36 so that the doors 127 and 129 may be set back far enough to provide sufiicient working space on the upper surface of the counter top 36. The rear of the overhanging portion 131 is provided with a gasket seal 133 for the upper edges of the doors 127 and 129. The bottom of the doors 127 and 129 in closing engage the shoulder 128 at the rear of the counter top 36. The space in the lower portion of the upper compartment 30 behind the doors 127 and 129 may be used for bottle storage and tall articles.
At the level of the overhanging wall 131 there is provided a lower shelf 135 and spaced above it, several additional horizontal shelves 137. The upper portion of the compartment 30 above the overhanging wall 131 and the shelf 135 is provided with a second pair of doors 139 and 141. The counter top 36 is especially convenient for placing articles thereon during rearranging articles on the upper shelves 135 and 137 as well as rearranging the articles in the drawers and receptacles beneath it. It may be also used to place articles thereon prior to placing them in their proper place. The rear of the bottom wall 24 is raised to provide sufiicient space for the sealed motor compressor unit 143 and the condenser 145 which draw evaporated refrigerant from the evaporator 66 and return a liquefied refrigerant to it. The evaporator 66 is maintained normally at a relatively cold temperature such as about l2 F. This keeps the air in the compartment 32 sufliciently cold to maintain frozen the contents therein and to freeze liquid in the ice maker 64. The counter top 36 may be provided at the same height as other counter space within the cabinet and styled to harmonize with other storage cabinets and appliances thereon.
The fan motor 81 and the sealed motor compressor unit 143 may be controlled by a system such as is shown in FIGURE 3 of Patent 3,000,186 issued Sept. 19, 1961.
While the embodiments of the present invention as herein disclosed, constitute preferred forms it is to be understood that other forms might be adopted.
What is claimed is as follows:
1. A refrigerator including a cabinet having insulating means enclosing an upper compartment and a lower compartment, a stepped laterally extending insulating partition wall having a higher portion located on one side of the cabinet and a lower portion on the oposite side thereof separating said upper and lower compartments, means for cooling said upper and lower compartments to different temperatures, said partition wall having an in sulated upwardly extending portion extending between said higher and lower portions, drawers having insulated drawer fronts located side by side on opposite sides of said upwardly extending portion with one drawer being located above said lower portion in said upper compartment and being subject to the temperature prevailing in said upper compartment and another drawer being located beneath said upper portion in said lower compartment and being subject to the temperature prevailing in said lower compartment.
2. A refrigerator as defined in claim 1 in which a counter top is provided above the front portion of said lower compartment extending as a substantial continuation of said higher portion and at substantially the same elevation as said higher portion of said partition wall.
3. A refrigerator as defined in claim 1 in which a counter top is provided over said drawers and said drawer 5 fronts above the front portion of said lower compartment extending as a substantial continuation of said higher portion and extending at substantially the same elevation as said higher portion of said partition wall,
4. A refrigerator as defined in claim 1 in which a liquid freezing device is located beneath said higher portion at one side of said upwardly extending portion and above said another drawer in said lower compartment, said liquid freezing device and said another drawer being References Cited UNETED STATES PATENTS Earle 62-382 Earle 62382 Muffiy 62447 X Jung 62382 Jung et al 62382 Elfving 62-382 located in and cooled as a part of said lower compartment. 10 LLOYD L, KING, Primar Examiner.