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Publication numberUS3698205 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 17, 1972
Filing dateOct 7, 1971
Priority dateOct 7, 1971
Publication numberUS 3698205 A, US 3698205A, US-A-3698205, US3698205 A, US3698205A
InventorsPerez Arthur
Original AssigneeClark Equipment Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Walk-in cooler refrigerated display case combination
US 3698205 A
Abstract
This is a combined refrigerated display case and walk-in cooler or cold room with the display case having a front opening for unimpeded access to the refrigerated area and a rear opening for unimpeded access from the walk-in cooler or cold room area. Each of these access openings has a curtain of refrigerated air thereacross to prevent the ambient room temperature air and the air from the cold room entering the refrigerated case space. The case has shelves therein from which goods may be removed through the front access opening and on which food may be deposited through the rear access opening. The case also has a separate horizontal curtain of refrigerated air across the lower portion of the refrigerated space to provide two vertically adjacent zones of refrigeration within the refrigerated space. The refrigerated air forming the curtain in front of the refrigerated display space is recirculated into the cold room or walk-in cooler space after passing under the refrigerated display case.
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United States Patent Perez WALK-IN COOLER REFRIGERATED DISPLAY CASE COMBINATION [72] Inventor: Arthur Perez, Niles, Mich.

[73] Assignee: Clark Equipment Company [22] Filed: Oct. 7, 1971 211 Appl No.: 187,360

[52] US. Cl ..62/256, 62/458 [51 Int. Cl. ..A04f 3/04 [58] Field of Search ..62/255, 256

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,984,085 5/1961 Rainwater ..62/256 3,324,783 6/1967 l-lickox ..62/256 I 3,499,259 3/1970 Brennan ..62/256 3,501,925 3/1970 Brennan ..62/256 3,528,258 9/1970 Brennan ..62/256 Primary Examiner-William J. Wye Attorney-Kenneth C. Witt et a1.

[ 51 Oct. 17,1972

[ 5 7] ABSTRACT This is a combined refrigerated display case and walkin cooler or cold room with the display case having a front opening for unimpeded access to the refrigerated area and a rear opening for unimpeded access from the walk-in cooler or cold room area. Each of these access openings has a curtain of refrigerated air thereacross to prevent the ambient room temperature air and the air from the cold room entering the refrigerated case space. The case: has shelves therein from which goods may be removed through the front access opening and on which food may be deposited through the rear access opening. The case also has a separate horizontal curtain of refrigerated air across the lower portion of the refrigerated space to provide two vertically adjacent zones of refrigeration within the refrigerated space. The refrigerated air forming the curtain in front of the refrigerated display space is recirculated into the cold room or walk-in cooler space after passing under the refrigerated display case.

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INVENTOR THUR PE 2 BY ATTORNEY WALK-IN COOLER REFRIGERATED DISPLAY CASE COMBINATION BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to combined refrigerated display cases and cold rooms or walk-in coolers of the type having an opening in front for unimpeded access to the refrigerated space and an opening between the display cases and the cold room for unimpeded access therebetween. The display case in the present invention is very similar to that shown in co-pending application, Ser. No. 94,711, Fayez Ibrahim, filed Dec. 3, I970. The present invention provides unimpeded access between a refrigerated display case and a cold room or walk-in cooler. The cold room or walk-in cooler is of the type which may be used for food preparation or storage, which room may be maintained at the same or a different temperature than the food display case.

In the present invention there are two separate and distinct vertical air curtains. One of these air curtains is across the front of the refrigerated display case and permits unimpeded access to the display case for merchandising in an environment such as a supermarket or other retail establishment. The purpose of this air curtain is to prevent the ambient air from the supermarket or other merchandising environment from entering the refrigerated display case and for preventing the refrigerated air from the display case from exhausting into the supermarket or other marketing environment.

The second vertical air curtain is located between the refrigerated display case and the cold room and is such as to permit unimpeded access from the cold room to the rear of the refrigerated display case for stocking the shelves of the case from the food stock being prepared or stored in the cold room. The purpose of this air curtain is to prevent the intermingling of the air in the refrigerated display case and the cold room and thus maintain the desired temperature in both spaces. Both of these air cutains may be in parallel paths of the single air refrigeration and circulation system.

Another independent circulating system provides for a horizontal curtain ofrefrigerated air which flows across the bottom of the refrigerated display area. The refrigerated air in this circulating system is usually maintained at a lower temperature to provide a frozen food space in the refrigerated display case.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a combined walk-in cooler or cold room and refrigerated display case with an air curtain therebetween to permit unimpeded access to the refrigerated display space from the walk-in cooler.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a refrigerated display case with unimpeded access thereto from both an environment containing ambient air and an environment containing refrigerated air.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a refrigerated display case with unimpeded visual and physical access from both the front and rear thereof.

Further objects of the present invention will become apparent upon inspection of the drawings and specifications and will be pointed out in the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the drawing, a sectional view of the combined refrigerated display case: and walk-in cooler illustrating the present invention is shown.

2 is the walk-in cooler space while 4 is the refrigerated display space. The refrigerated display space 4 is isolated environmentally from the walk-in cooler or cold room space 2 by the vertical air curtain 6. The refrigerated display space 4 is isolated environmentally from the market retail area 10 by the vertical air curtain 8.

The walk-in cooler space 2 is refrigerated and may be used for food storage or preparation, for example meat cutting. The refrigerated display space 4 may contain shelves 12, 14, 16 and 18 for the display and marketing of refrigerated food stuffs. The food stuff is placed on the shelves from the storage or preparation space 2 through the air curtain 6. The customer in the space 10 picks up the food stuff from the shelves 12, 14, 16 or from 18 by reaching through the air curtain 8. The space 4 is thereby protected from air contaminates by the air curtain 6 and 8 while permitting unimpeded access from both the cold room 2 and the marketing area 10.

A horizontal curtain of refrigerated air circulating across the merchandise on the shelf 18 is independent from the two vertical air curtains 6 and 8 and the merchandise on this shelf can, therefore, be maintained at a selected lower temperature than that maintained for the merchandise stored on the shelves l2, l4 and 16. Access to the shelf 18 is through the air curtain 6 and 8 in a manner similar to access to the shelves l2, l4 and 16. It may, therefore, be seen that a refrigerated display space is provided having two zones of refrigeration with unimpeded access to both of these areas for replenishment from the cold room 2 or marketing to area 10 containing air ambient temperature.

SPECIFIC DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The cold room or walk-in cooler 2 has a rear wall 18 with an access door 19 therein for the entry of personnel and the transfer of food stuffs into the storage area. 2 has a floor 20 and an insulated cover 22. The floor 20 extends under the refrigerator display case and into the marketing area 10. The insulated roof 22 extends over and connects with the insulated upper structure 24 of the refrigerator display case. The front of the case 26 is also insulated.

The cold room or walk-in cooler 2 and the refrigerated display case have a common overhead plenum chamber 28 containing refrigeration coils 30. This plenum chamber has a fan or other air circulating device 32 for bringing the air from the walk-in cooler into the plenum chamber and exhaust ducts 34 and 36 for ejecting the air to form air curtains 6 and 8 respectively. The lower portion of the refrigerated display case has a plenum chamber 38 with an exhaust fan or other air ejecting device 40 located in the wall 42 thereof. This plenum chamber has inlet air ducts 44 and 46 through which air from air curtains 6 and 8, respectively, flows into the chamber 38. The walk-in cooler 2, the air circulation device 32, the refrigeration coils 30, plenum chamber 28, air curtains 6 and 8, plenum chamber 38 and air exhaust device 40 form an air cooling and circulating system for the walk-in cooler, the air curtains and the upper portion of the refrigerated display case containing shelves 12, 14 and 16.

The base of the refrigerated display case has a selfcontained refrigerated air system containing inlet ports 47, a plenum chamber 48, an air circulating fan 50, a second plenum chamber 52, an evaporator coil 54, a third plenum chamber 56, and directional ports 58. This self-contained refrigerated air system is independent of the circulating system described above and is normally used to maintain the food stuffs stored on the shelf 18 at a temperature below 32 F.

It may thus be seen that a self-contained unit is provided with a shelf 18 for storage, display and marketing of food stuffs, particularly meat.

OPERATION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the drawing as described above, the structure illustrated has two separate and distinct refrigerated cooling systems.

The first of these refrigerated air systems provide a means for cooling the cold room and for maintaining curtains of refrigerated air across both access openings to the case. The desired storage temperature and, therefore, the desired temperature of this air in the preferred embodiment of the invention is between 35 and 50 F. The air in this system is exhausted from the cold room 2 by the air fan 32 into the small plenum chamber 60, maintaining the air in this chamber at a pressure considerably above that air in the walk-in cooler 2. The air flows from the chamber 60, past the cooling coils 30, where it is cooled and then exhausted into plenum chamber 28 at a pressure above the atmospheric pressure of areas 2, 4 and 10. The refrigerated air flows from the plenum chamber 28 through the directional louvers 34 and 36 downward to form air curtains 6 and 8, respectively. The air in plenum chamber 38 is maintained at below the atmospheric pressure in areas 2, 4 and by exhaust fan 40 located in the wall 42. The air in curtain 6 is sucked into the plenum chamber 38 through the louvers 44 and the air from curtain 8 is likewise introduced into chamber 38 through louvers 46. The fan 40 thereafter ejects the air from the chamber 38 into the cold room of walk-in cooler 2 to start the circulation pattern over again. The two air cutains 6 and 8 thermally isolate the material on shelves 12, 14 and 16 while permitting physical access to this material from either the front or rear of the refrigerated display case. The capacities of the fan 32 and 40 are so balanced as to each move the same volume of air per unit time. The restriction of the louvers 34, 36, 44 and 46 are so balanced that together with the fan 32 and 40 they permit the same amount of air to enter 44 as exhausted from 34 and the same amount of air to enter 46 as exhaust from 36, thus maintaining the system in balance.

A secondary air cooling and circulating system may be used if it is desired to store food stuffs in the refrigerated display case at two different temperatures. The air temperature in the lower part of the refrigerated display case, including the area above the shelf 18,'would in the absence of supplemental cooling means, be substantially the same'as the temperature of the air surrounding the shelves 12, 14 and 16.

A separate and distinct refrigerated air curtain system is provided in the base of the case to prevent this area becoming a dead air space and also to permit the temperature of this area of the case to be maintained at a lower temperature than that maintained in the upper part of the case. For example, it may be desired to store frozen food on the shelf 18 and retain it in the frozen condition until removed by the customer through the access opening 8. The air in this system may also be maintained at the same temperature as that in the upper system with a minimum of interference between the air circulation of the two systems.

In the lower system, air is exhausted from the area surrounding the shelf 18 through the opening 47 in the front lip of the base 26. This air proceeds to the plenum chamber 48. The fan 50 transfers the air from the chamber 48 to the chamber 52, thus maintaining the pressure in the chamber 52 above that appearing in the chamber 48. The air from chamber 52 is then forced through the evaporator 54 to the chamber 56 extending longitudinally along the case to the rear of'the evaporator 54. The cold air in this chamber 56 then proceeds upwardly and out into the storage space along the bottom of the case through the directional louvers 58 to form a horizontal air curtain 59 across the top of the space including the shelf 18. This air curtain 59 is exhausted from the space through orifices 47 and the air circulation cycle repeats itself. Since the weight of air per unit volume varies inversely with temperature, cold air tends to settle to the bottom of an air mass. For this reason, the horizontal air curtain circulating across the top of the shelf 18 being maintained at below 32 F. maintains the material stored in this shelf in a frozen condition, while the material stored on shelves 12, 14 and 16 are maintained at a temperature above freezing. This permits the case which is the subject of the present application to be used as a combined frozen food and refrigerated food display case.

It may thus be seen that the present invention provides a refrigerated case having unimpeded access from the front thereof for the display and merchandising of food stuff and unimpeded access from the rear thereof for the replenishing of food stuffs from the refrigerated food processing or storage area.

The present invention provides a means for the efficient display, marketing and replenishing of food stuffs in a refrigerated display case while maintaining a desired atmospheric environment in the display space.

Having thus described the preferred embodiment of the present invention, it will of course be understood that various changes may be made in the form details, arrangement and proportion to the parts without departing from the scope of the invention which consists of the matter shown and described therein and set forth in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A refrigerated display case walk-in cooler combination of the type having an access opening in the front of the display case for unimpeded access to material therein and having an access opening between said refrigerated case and said walk-in cooler for unimpeded access to the material in said refrigerated display case from said walk-in cooler comprising:

single means for refrigerating said walk-in cooler and at least a portion of said refrigerated display case, means for establishing an air curtain directly across the access opening in the front of said refrigerated display case and serving to oppose a passage of ambient air through said access opening into said refrigerated display case, means for establishing an air curtain directly across the said access opening between said walk-in cooler and said refrigerated display case and serving to oppose the passage of air through said lastmentioned access opening between said walk-in cooler and said refrigerated display case, air circulating means for circulating said air past said refrigerating means across said air curtain means and through said walk-in cooler, whereby air is first refrigerated, then utilized to form air curtains isolating the space in said refrigerated display case, then circulated through said walk-in cooler before returning to the refrigerating means for re-cooling. 2. A refrigerated display case walk-in cooler combination as claimed in claim 1 including:

an upper plenum chamber capable of circulating air from said walk-in cooler to said air curtains, a lower plenum chamber capable of circulating air from said air curtains to said walk-in cooler, said upper plenum chamber maintained at a pressure greater than atmospheric pressure, and said lower plenum chamber maintained at pressure less than atmospheric pressure, whereby air circulated from said walk-in cooler through said upper plenum chamber, through said air curtains to said lower plenum chamber and returned from said lower plenum chamber to said walk-in cooler. 3. A refrigerated display case walk-in cooler combination as claimed in claim 1 in which:

said refrigerated display case contains shelves accessible through either of said air curtains. 4. A refrigerated display case walk-in cooler combination as claimed in claim 1 in which:

said refrigerated display case includes means for establishing an air curtain within said refrigerated space and directed substantially horizontal at a plane extending substantially at right angles to said access opening, said latter mentioned air curtain serves to divide said refrigerated space into separate vertically adjacent zones of refrigerated space. 5. A refrigerated display case walk-in cooler combination as claimed in claim 2 in which:

one of said plenum chambers contain air cooling means. 6. A refrigerated display case walk-in cooler combination as claimed in claim 2 in which:

said refrigerated display case includes means for establishing an air curtain within said refrigerated case and directed substantially horizontal in a plane extending substantially at right angles to said access opening, said latter mentioned air curtain serving to divide said refrigerated case into separately vertically adjacent zones of refrigerated space. 7. A refrigerated display case walk-in cooler combination as claimed i cl im 2 in which:

said refrigerated iiisp lay case contains shelves accessible through either of said aircurtains. 8. A refrigerated display case walk-in cooler combination as claimed in claim 4 in which:

the lower of the two vertically adjacent zones is maintained at a temperature lower than that of the upper of the said two vertically adjacent zones. 9. A refrigerated display case walk-in cooler combination as claimed in claim 6 in which:

the lower of the two vertically adjacent zones is maintained at a temperature lower that that of the upper of the said two vertically adjacent zones. 10. A refrigerated display case walk-in cooler combination as claimed in claim 7 in which:

the lower of the two vertically adjacent zones is maintained at a temperature lower than that of the upper of the said two vertically adjacent zones.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2984085 *Apr 15, 1960May 16, 1961Warren Company IncWalk-in cooler apparatus
US3324783 *May 19, 1965Jun 13, 1967Clark Equipment CoAir directing grid construction
US3499259 *Jan 22, 1968Mar 10, 1970Rheem Mfg CoPackaging apparatus and method
US3501925 *Dec 26, 1967Mar 24, 1970Emhart CorpRefrigerated equipment
US3528258 *Oct 8, 1968Sep 15, 1970Emhart CorpRefrigerated display case
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4023378 *Aug 1, 1975May 17, 1977Tyler Refrigeration CorporationRefrigeration system incorporating a single air circulation means for a combination refrigerated display case and walk-in cooler
US4034572 *Aug 20, 1976Jul 12, 1977Emhart Industries, Inc.Refrigerated front and rear loading dairy handling case
US4058989 *Dec 22, 1975Nov 22, 1977General Electric CompanyRefrigerator including air wall separating the freezer and fresh food portions
US4077228 *Aug 16, 1976Mar 7, 1978Emhart Industries, Inc.Refrigerated display case
US4117697 *Jan 31, 1977Oct 3, 1978Tyler Refrigeration CorporationRoll-in open-front frozen food refrigeration case
US4165620 *Apr 10, 1978Aug 28, 1979Ludwig Kiesel OhgSelf-service cooling cabinet
US4298341 *Mar 21, 1980Nov 3, 1981Nowack William CIndustrial oven having air recirculating means for minimizing heat loss
US5097673 *Dec 3, 1990Mar 24, 1992Sanden Corp.Air-conditioned display case having a walk-in supply room therein
US5317881 *Jan 18, 1991Jun 7, 1994Colbrook Equipment LimitedApparatus for displaying material under refrigerated conditions
US6578376 *Jan 31, 2002Jun 17, 2003Matt Alvin ThurmanRefrigeration apparatus and associated methods
US6615593 *Jan 31, 2002Sep 9, 2003Matt Alvin ThurmanMethods of reducing energy and maintenance costs associated with a refrigeration system
EP2801299A1 *Apr 30, 2014Nov 12, 2014Goppion S.p.A.Showcase having zones with different climatic conditions
Classifications
U.S. Classification62/256, 62/458
International ClassificationA47F3/04
Cooperative ClassificationA47F3/0452
European ClassificationA47F3/04B1B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 3, 1989ASAssignment
Owner name: AMERICAN STANDARD INC.
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:TYLER REFRIGERATION CORPORATION, A DE CORP.;REEL/FRAME:005094/0674
Effective date: 19760211
Jun 28, 1988AS06Security interest
Owner name: BANKERS TRUST COMPANY
Effective date: 19880624
Owner name: TYLER REFRIGERATION CORPORATION
Jun 28, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: BANKERS TRUST COMPANY
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:TYLER REFRIGERATION CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004905/0001
Effective date: 19880624