US 3572049 A
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United States Patent  lnventor Earl J. Moorman Dayton, Ohio  Appl. No. 859,781 v  Filed Sept. 22, 1969  Patented Mar. 23, 1971  Assignee General Motors Corporation Detroit, Mich.
 ELECTRICAL ASSEMBLY FOR A REFRIGERATOR 5 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.
5/1967 Gelbard Primary Examiner-William J. Wye Attorneys-William S. Pettigrew, Frederick M. Ritchie and Edward P. Barthel ABSTRACT: In the preferred form, a refrigerator cabinet is provided with a sheet metal outer shell and a plastic inner liner with polyurethane foam insulation in between. The interior of the inner liner is divided into an upper freezing compartment and a lower above freezing compartment by a sheet metal wall having a lower portion in the rear and a higher portion in the front supported by a front crossmember and the rear wall of the outer shell. Suitable insulation and an evaporator are provided above the lower portion together with a fan and fan motor at the rear which draw air through the inlets in the sheet metal wall and at the front of the upper compartment through the evaporator and discharge the air through plastic ducts in the rear wall extending to both the upper and lower compartments. A lamp socket and lamp, and a removable plastic housing surrounding the lamp are supported directly by the higher front portion of the sheet metal wall. This housing supports a centrally located door switch cooperating with the door to the lower compartment and connected in series with the lamp socket. A thermostatic refrigeration control switch is also mounted upon the housing and has a thermosensitive bulb extending to the lower rear portion of the sheet metal wall.
r PATENTE 3572.049
' SHEET 3 UF3 1 5 am I N VENTOR.
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ATTORNEY ELECTRIGAL ASSEMBLY FOR A REFRIGERATOR This invention pertains to the electrical components and the wiring of a refrigerator.
The wiring of electrical components in a refrigerator is troublesome, difficult and time consuming. Where the wiring is cast into the foam insulation of the cabinet errors in wiring cannot be readily corrected.
It is an object of this inventionto provide an economical wiring and control arrangement for a refrigerator cabinet in which the wiring is not cast into the insulation and in which the controls and associated wiring are arranged in one or more subassembly units which can be assembled and tested prior to their introduction and assembly into the cabinet.
It is another object of this invention to provide a simple economical control, wiring and support arrangement which is arranged so that it will be substantially fire safe and will substantially prevent electrically ignited fires in the refrigerator should the' refrigerator be subjected to unusually high heat.
It is another object of this invention to provide a wiring system for a foam insulated cabinet in which the wiring extends through and is removable from suitable conduits provided through the foam insulation.
Further object 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 FIG. 1 is a front view partlyin section of a frost free refrigerator embodying one form of my invention;
H6. 2 is an irregular side vertical sectional view taken along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary front view showing the electrical control and light arrangement;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary horizontal section taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary enlarged horizontal sectional view taken along the line 5-5 of F IG. 2 showing the electrical control and lighting arrangement; and
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary enlarged vertical sectional view showing the electrical control and lighting arrangement taken along the line 6-6 in FIGS. 1-5.
Referring now to the drawings and more particularly to FIGS. 1 to 3, there is illustrated a refrigerator cabinet including an outer sheet metal shell 120 having intumed front flanges 122 extending around the front opening of the shell. Within the outer shell 120 is a one-piece inner plastic liner 124 having a bottom wall provided with a front lower section 126 and a rear higher section 128 over the motor compressor 130 and the condenser 132. These are located in the machinery compartment 168 below. The inner liner and the outer shell include spaced rear walls 134 and 136. Plastic foam insulation 138 containing an insulation gas is cast between the inner liner 124 and the outer shell 120 which reinforces both the inner liner and the outer shell and increases the rigidity of the structure so that separately the inner and outer shell need not be rigid.
Within the inner liner 124, I provide an improved form of horizontally extending dividing means 140 forming an upper subcompartment 142 to be maintained at below freezing temperatures between about 0 and F. and a lower above freezing compartment 144 to be maintained at above freezing temperatures of about 36 F. The lower compartment may be provided with two or more horizontal shelves 145.
The top of the lower subcompartment 144 is provided with a sheet metal wall 22 forming the bottom of the dividing means 140. This sheet metal wall 22 includes a higher portion 148 at the front and a lower portion 450 at the rear with a slanted connecting portion 152 between the front and rear portions provided with air inlets 151 to the evaporator compartment 153 above. This wall 22 is preferably supported at the rear by screws 354 extending into the plastic supports 154 composed of glass fibers and high temperature thermoset plastic such as polyester or phenolformaldehyde resin fastened by screws 254 extending through the rear wall 136 into the supports 154. The wall is supported and fastened at the front by screws 53 threading into a transverse metal crossmernber 156 extendingbetween andsupported by the bracket 157 extending from the intumed flanges 122 of the outer shell 120. This supporting structure will not collapse and will remain structurally safe under high temperature fire test conditions. I
Resting upon the lower portion 450 is a cast foam insulation piece 158 supporting a removable cooling assembly 451 in which the drain pan 12 serves as a supporting frame and extends beneath substantially the entire cooling assembly. It is curved upwardly at the edges. Beneath the drain pan is a sealed plastic moisture impervious bag 11 containing the glass fiber insulation. Connecting to the outlet of the drain pan is a drain pipe 10 extending to the rear wall. The drain pan 12 supports a refrigerant evaporator 24 having tubing extending crosswise in serpentine fashion in a horizontal direction through cross fins 32 extending from front to rear. in this refrigerating system the capillary supply tube 19 extends through the suction line 20 to the inlet of the evaporator 24. The suction line 20 extends from the outlet of the evaporator 24 to the inlet of the motor compressor unit 130. These extend through the aperture 171 in the double grommet 172 provided in the rear walls 134 and 136 of the inner liner and outer shell.
Between the outlet of the condenser 132 and the filter drier 176 there is provided a loop of tubing 174 on the inside of the inturned flanges 122 around the door opening of the cabinet and outer shell. This loop of tubing 174 provides additional heat dissipation for the heat of the liquid leaving the condenser 132 and serves the purpose of preventing sweating or moisture on the cabinet shell adjacent the door opening. The door openings for the upper and lower subcompartments 142 and 144 are closed by an upper door 178 and a lower door 180. The filter drier 176 connects to the entrance of the capillary tube 19.
The cooling assembly 451 also includes a fan motor 13 having its drive shaft extending rearwardly and provided with a side inlet type of centrifugal fan 90. The rear wall 134 of the inner liner 124 is provided with an opening concentric with the fan and the insulation 138 is provided with a plastic discharge 74 including a central scroll section surrounding the fan and a wide upwardly extending duct portion 184 extending to an upper outlet 186 in the rear wall 134 through which the air from the fan is dispersed to the upper subcompartment 142. The downwardly extending duct portion 188 extends to a smaller outlet 190 for the discharge of air through the lower compartment 144. These ducts and outlets are so proportioned to the size and heat leaks of the subcompartments 142 and 144 so that the upper subcompartment is maintained at the desired temperature of between 0 and 10 F. and the lower subcompartment is maintained at a temperature of about 36 F. The temperature of the upper compartment 142 and the lower compartment 144 may be varied by a rotatable damper 1 89 in the duct 188. The fan 90 draws air from the upper subcompartment 142 through the inlets 191 at the front of the plastic bottom wall 193 of the compartment 142 into the evaporator compartment 153. The evaporator 24 is insulated from the compartment 142 by slab 195 of insulation located between the wall 193 and evaporator 24. Air is also drawn from the lower subcompartment 144 through the openings 151 in the wall 22 into the evaporator compartment 153 from which the combined air is drawn through the evaporator 24 and discharged by the fan 90 through the discharge duct 74 for return to the subcompartments 142 and 144.
According to my invention, there is provided on the bottom face of the upper portion 148 of the sheet metal wall 450 a lamp socket 15 provided with a lamp. The lamp socket 15 has a portion projecting through an opening in the sheet metal wall 22 above it which is held in place by a U-shaped wire member. The lamp and lamp socket 15 are provided with a plastic cover 43 provided with an opening 99 to allow illumination from the lamp to extend into the subcompartment 144 below. The sides of the cover 43 are also provided with ventilating openings 253 for free air flow to the inlets 151. The plastic cover 43 also serves as a housing and support for the thermostatic control switch 91 which is fastened by screws to the cover 43. The switch 91 is provided with a therrnosensitive capillary tube 92 extending through the cover 43 to the lower portion 450 of the wall 22 onto which it is fastened. The thermostatic control switch 91 also has an adjusting shaft 93 extending through an aperture in the cover 43 which is provided at its lower end with an adjusting knob 94, also serving as a dial cooperating with a notch or window 95 in the front wall of the cover 43 for indicating the adjusted position of the knob 94 and the adjusting shaft 93.
The front wall of the cover 43 is provided with an opening through which projects the pushbutton extension 160 which fits onto the end of the pushbutton extension 160 which fits onto the end of the pushbutton projecting from the enclosure of the pushbutton door switch 54. This extension 160 is provided with a disc 260 to prevent cleaning fluids from entering the enclosure. The extension 160 is adapted to be engaged by adjacent portions of the lower door 180. The door switch 54 is centrally located so that either a right or left hand door can be used and either will engage the pushbutton extension 160 of the pushbutton switch 54 to hold it open when the door is in the closed position. It includes a housing 154 enclosing contacts and a return spring, terminals 157, and spring pressed pushbutton 159. The pushbutton extension 160 is pressed onto the end of the pushbutton 159. The pushbutton housing 154 is provided with an annular flange 162 and a pair of resilient arms 164. The cover 43 is provided with upwardly projecting walls 166. The housing 154 is held by locating the flange 162 and the arms 164 on opposite sides of the walls 166. The pushbutton switch 54 is connected in series with the lamp socket by a suitable electrical conductor wire 215. The thermostatic switch 91 is also connected to electrical conductor wiring 291 extending along with the wires of the pushbutton switch 54 and the lamp socket 15 through the electrical insulating sleeve 173 in the right side of the double grommet 172 which provides a passage through the insulation 138 for the connecting electrical conductor wires extending to the sealed motor compressor unit 130 and the electrical supply connections in the machinery compartment 168 beneath. The cover 43 is provided with integral rearwardly extending tongues 14 extending into supporting apertures in the slanted wall portion 152 of the sheet metal top wall 22 for supporting the cover 43 at the rear. At the front, the cover 43 is fastened by screws 97 extending through the front portion 148 of the sheet metal wall 22.
By this arrangement, the lamp socket 15 and its lamp are first fastened to the sheet metal wall 22 to form a first subassembly. The pushbutton switch 54 and the thermostatic control switch 91 are inserted in place and fastened in the cover 43 to form a second subassembly after which the knob 94 is assembled to the adjusting shaft 93 and wiring is connected by plug connection to the pushbutton switch 54, the temperature responsive switch 91 and the lamp socket 15. The cover 93 is then held in place at the rear by inserting the tongues 14 through apertures in the sheet metal wall 22. The cover 43 is then fastened in front by the screws 97 to complete the joining of the first and second subassemblies. This compel completed assembly, therefore, provides an assembly of all the electrical components carried by the sheet metal wall 22 and connected by wiring with the plug connections. This assembly may be completed and tested as a separate unit prior to its introduction and assembly of the sheet metal 22 into the refrigerator cabinet. At the time of its assembly into the cabinet, the wiring is extended through the insulated bushing or tube 173 for extension to the machinery compartment and connection to the designated terminals provided for the motor controls and supply in the electrical system.
While the embodiments of the invention as herein disclosed constitute preferred forms, it is to be understood that other forms might be adopted.
1. A refrigerator including a cabinet having insulated walls enclosing a compartment, a laterally extending dividing means within said compartment dividing said compartment into upper and lower subcompartments, a door means for closing said compartments, an evaporator compartment containing an evaporator within said dividing means, discharge passage means extending from said evaporator compartment to said subcompartments,.inlet passage means extending from said upper subcompartments to said evaporating compartment, wherein the improvement comprises a control assembly comprising a housing fastened to and mounted on the bottom of said dividing means adjacent said door means, inlet passage means extending from said lower subcompartment through said housing and said dividing means to said evaporator compartment, a temperature responsive control switch mounted in said housing responsive to the temperature in said housing and said lower compartment, a door switch mounted on said housing having an operating device extending into engagement with said door means, a lamp socket and lamp mounted on the bottom of said dividing means connected in electrical series circuit with said door switch, an electrically operated refrigerating system connected to said evaporator for supplying liquid refrigerant to said evaporator and for withdrawing evaporated refrigerant from said evaporator, an electrically operated fan for circulating air from said subcompartrnents through said inlet passages and through said evaporator compartment and discharge passages, an electrical insulating bushing means extending through said insulated walls, and wiring extending through said bushing means connecting said electrically operated fan and refrigerating system in series with said temperature responsive control switch.
2. A refrigerator including a cabinet having insulated walls enclosing a compartment, a laterally extending dividing means within said compartment dividing said compartment into upper and lower subcompartments, wherein the improvement comprises a control assembly comprising a housing fastened to and mounted on the bottom of said dividing means, a temperature responsive control switch mounted in said housing responsive to the temperature in said lower compartment, said control switch having a rotatable adjusting knob and shaft for manually adjusting said temperature responsive control switch, said housing being provided with an opening cooperating with said knob to indicate the indexed position of said knob.
3. A refrigerator including a cabinet having insulated walls enclosing a compartment, a laterally extending dividing means within said compartment dividing said compartment into upper and lower subcompartments, door means for closing said subcompartments wherein the improvement comprises providing said dividing means with a bottom metal sheet, a control assembly comprising a housing fastened to and mounted on the bottom of said metal sheet adjacent said door means, a temperature responsive control switch mounted in said housing responsive to the temperature in said lower subcompartment, a door switch mounted on said housing having an operating device extending into engagement with said door means, and a lamp socket and lamp mounted on said metal sheet connected in electrical series circuit with said lamp socket and lamp.
4. A refrigerator including a cabinet having an outer shell and an inner liner enclosing a compartment, a dividing means within said inner liner dividing said compartment into subcompartments, door means for closing said subcompartrnents, wherein the improvement comprises providing said dividing means with a bottom metal sheet, a control assembly comprising a housing fastened to and mounted on the bottom of said sheet metal adjacent said door means, a temperature responsive control switch mounted in said housing responsive to the temperature in one of said subcompartments, a door switch mounted on said housing having an operating device extending into engagement with said door means, a lamp socket and lamp mounted on said metal sheet connnected in electrical series circuit with said door switch, said inner liner being of plastic having a low melting point, and support means having a higher melting point than said liner extending from said shell to said bottom metal sheet. I
5. A refrigerator including a cabinet having an outer shell and an inner liner enclosing a compartment, door means for closing said compartment, wherein the improvement comprises a control assembly including a housing mounted within said compartment adjacent said door means, a lamp socket and lamp mounted within said housing, a door switch provided with an enclosure mounted within said housing connected in electrical series circuit with said lamp socket and lamp, said.
mg UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Dated March 23, 1.971
Patent No. 3, 572,049
Inventor(S) Earl J. Moorman It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Co1umn 2, line 44, after "discharge" insert duct Column 3, lines 18 and 19, "pushbutton extension 160 which fits onto the end of the" has been repeated.
Line 65, delete "compel".
Column 4, Line 73 "sheet metal" should read metal sheet Signed and sealed this 15th day of February 1972.
EDWARD M.FLETCHER, JR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents