US 3747361 A
A control arrangement for operating a fast chill fan in the refrigerator space. The switch controlling the fan may be manually set to one position for a selected time period to energize the fan independently of the operation of the main cooling system of the refrigerator-freezer, and in the alternate position to which the switch returns upon the expiration of the selected time period a thermostatic switch responsive to refrigerator space temperature connects the fast chill fan for operation concurrently with the refrigerant compressor when the refrigerator space demands cooling.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 1 Harbour 1451 July 24,1973
1 i CONTROL ARRANGEMENT FOR REFRIGERATOR-FREEZER HAVING FAST CHILL FEATURE  inventor: Philip F. Harbour, Columbus, Ohio  Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corporation,
' Pittsburgh, Pa.
 Filed: Oct. 5, 1971  Appl. No.: 186,617
10/1963 l-iemdon 62/180 H1964 Devery 62/180 Primary Examiner-Meyer Perlin AttorneyF. H. Henson and E. C. Arenz  ABSTRACT A control arrangement for operating a fast chill fan in the refrigerator space. The switch controlling the fan may be manually set to one position for a selected time period to energize the fan independently of the operation of the main cooling system of the refrigeratorfreezer, and in the alternate position to which the switch returns upon the expiration of the selected time period a thermostatic switch responsive to refrigerator space temperature connects the fast chill fan for operation concurrently with the refrigerant compressor when the refrigerator space demands cooling.
5 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures CONTROL ARRANGEMENT FOR REFRIGERATOR-FREEZER HAVING FAST CHILL FEATURE CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION McLean US. Patent application Ser. No. 22,499, filed Mar. 25, I970, now US. Pat. No. 3,659,429, is re lated in the sense that it shows a basic system upon which my application is considered to be an improvement.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention pertains to the art of control arrangements for refrigerator-freezers having a fast chill arrangement in the refrigerator space.
2. Description of the Prior Art The above-identified McLean application and the commercial devices embodying his invention are considered to be the closest prior art of which I am aware. Additionally, while U.S. Pat. No. 3,090,209 discloses a refrigerator-freezer in which a fan is provided in both the freezer and refrigerator compartment, the fan in the refrigerator compartment is incapable of operation independently of the fan and cooling system in the freezer compartment.
In the McLean arrangement, a thermostatically controlled damper is provided for the inlet passage connecting the refrigerator space with the cooling passage on the freezer side. This damper is responsive to the temperature in the refrigerator space. The fast chill fan in the McLean arrangement operates wholly independently of the operation of the main cooling system and is simply adapted to be set fora selected time period of operation.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with my invention, the fast chill fan may be operated for a selected time period independently of the operation of the main coolingsystem, but is also adapted to be energized in accordance with the energization of the main cooling system when the fan switch is in a position other than a time operation position, and when a thermostatic switch connected to the fast chill fan through the fan switch in its alternate position calls for cooling in the refrigerator space.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a side-by-side refrigerator-freezer to which my invention is applicable, this view showing the door for the refrigerator compartment omitted and theauxiliary door at the front of the fast chill space in its closed position;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of the upper portion of the refrigerator compartment with the auxiliary door raised and in retracted position underlying the top wall of the refrigerator compartment;
FIG. 3 is a front elevational view of a partly diagrammatic character for illustrating one example of the general relationship of the main parts of the system in the refrigerator-freezer;
FIG. 4 is a horizontal section, also in part of diagrammatic character, corresponding to one taken along the line IV-IV of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 5 is a simplified schematic of one example of an electric circuit embodying the control arrangement of my invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF ONE EMBODIMENT Reference should be had to the noted McLean application for a relatively fuller explanation of the concept of a refrigerator-freezer provided with a fast chill feature. The following explanation will thus be limited to a degree at least in the description of the general environment in which the control arrangement is utilized.
The side-by-side refrigerator-freezer shown in FIG. 1 includes a freezer side 2 and a refrigerator side 4 in a common cabinet. The fast chill space 6 is located at the upper end of the refrigerator compartment 8 and auxiliary door 10 is adapted to be moved to its position in FIG. 1 to close the front of the fast chill space 6 when the fast chill operation is to be carried out. The door is a retractable to a position which it underlies the top wall 7 of the refrigerator compartment (as shown in FIG. 2)
when the fast chill operation is not being carried out and the upper part of the compartment is to be used simply for general purpose refrigerated storage.
As may be seen in FIG. 2, an auxiliary fan housing 12 is provided in the upper left rear corner of the refrigerator compartment 8. The housing may also be used to mount the thermostatic control switch 13 (FIG. 4) and its adjusting knob 14. The sensing element which con trols the operation of switch 13 is properly located to reflect the general temperature of the refrigerator compartment 8. A timer panel 16 is shown mounted on the left wall of the fast chill space 6 and carries a timer switch knob 18. The timer, while not shown, may conveniently be of the simple mechanical wind-up type, for example. The timer panel may also conveniently carry a list of food items which typically may require fast chilling, and the particular time period suggested for accomplishing the chilling of each kind of food article. An ordinary open-work refrigerator shelf 20 is provided at the generally lower boundary of the fast chill space to support articles to be fast chilled, and to support general articles when the fast chill operation is not being carried out.
Turning now to FIGS. 3 and 4, the general arrangement of parts in the illustrated refrigerator-freezer, and the general air flow system, will now be described. A vertically-disposed panel 22 forming the rear liner wall of the freezer compartment 24 is spaced forwardly from the insulated rear wall 26 of the cabinets sufficiently to accommodate the thickness of the refrigerator evaporator 28 and the main fan means 30, and to form the vertically-extending main cooling passage at the rear of the freezer compartment. The air flow through this passage is in an upward direction with the air being admitted to the open lower end 34 from the lower portion of the freezer space. The openings 36 at the upper end of the panel 22 permit most of the air forced up the passage to be discharged into the freezer compartment 24. A minor portion of the air flowing at the upper end of the passage passes through the inlet passage 38 extending through the common insulated wall 40, separating the freezer compartment 24 from the refrigerator compartment 8, to the interior of the auxiliary fan housing 12. A baffle 42 of the general shape shown in FIG. 4 is provided to restrict the direct access of the air from the cooling passage 32 to the inlet passage 38 when the freezer fan 30 is operating, while imposing a minimal additional resistance to air flow through the inlet passage when the'fast chill fan operates. The form of the baffle may be that of a quadrant of a circle, with top, bottom and arcual walls, and of a height equal to the inlet passage height. The thermostatic control 44 for the main cooling system, usually called a unit control, is located in a housing in the upper right hand corner of the freezer compartment 24. This control is also adjustable by means of knob 46 and functions in the usual way in response to variations in freezer compartment temperature. The return of air from the lower part of the refrigerator compartment 8 to the lower part of the freezer compartment 24 is through the passage 47 (FIG. 3) in the lower portion of the common wall 40.
Fast chill fan 48 (FIG. 4) driven by motor 50 is located in the auxiliary fan housing 12. This fan may be a simple propeller type fan in a fan ring 52 which also defines the opening through which the air is discharged when the fan is operating. Inclined louvers 54 at the discharge opening direct the air partly downwardly. A number of openings 56 are provided in the bottom face of the auxiliary fan housing 12, or in some other location of the housing, to place the interior of the housing in relatively open communication with the space in the refrigerator compartment 8.
Some of the considerations that bear upon the relationships between the volumes of air flow through the various passages are detailed more fully in the noted McLean application. It will suffice for present purposes to note that when the main cooling system is operating, that is the compressor is providing refrigerant to the evaporator 28 and the freezer fan 30 is operating, then an operating chill fan 48 will cause substantially more rapid cooling in the refrigerator compartment than if the fan 48 is not operating. When the main cooling system is not operating, an operating chill fan will draw some of the relatively cold air from the cooling passage 32 and accordingly tend to depress the temperature in the refrigerator compartment 8, even though most of the air circulated by the chill fan will be air taken from the refrigerator compartment.
Referring now to the FIG. schematic of the control arrangement, the opposite sides of the electrical supply line are designated 58 and 60. The timer switch 62 is manually operated by knob 18 (FIGS. 24) to the illustrated dash line position whenever the timer switch knob is turned to select any given period of time during which the fan 48 is to run. At the expiration of the time, the switch 62 opens automatically from the first contact 64 and closes to alternate contact 66. Contact 64 is connected as shown to the one side 58 of the line, while the common terminal of the switch 62 is connected by line 68 to the motor 50 which has its other side connected to supply line 60.
The alternate contact 66 of the timer switch is connected by line 70 to contact 72 of the thermostatic switch 13. The thermostatic switch 13 operates in response to temperature variations in the refrigerator compartment 8. So long as the compartment temperature is lower than the temperature at which the switch is set, the switch 13 will be open. When the compartment demands cooling by virtue of the refrigerator compartment being higher than the set temperature of the switch 13, it will close. Line 74 connects the thermostatic switch 13 to one contact 76 of the defrost control 78. The other contact 80 of the double pole defrost control switch is connected by line 82 to the defrost heaters 84. The common terminal of defrost control switch 78 is connected by a line to one side of the unit control switch 44. The compressor 88 has one side connected by line 90 to defrost control switch contact 76 and its other side to line 60. The main cooling fan 30 motor is in parallel with the compressor 88.
The main cooling system and its components operate in conventional fashion. The compressor 88 is energized to provide refrigerant to the evaporator, and the freezer fan 30 is energized, when the unit control switch 44 closes in response to a demand for cooling in the freezer compartment 24. This assumes that the system is not in a defrost mode, in which case the defrost control switch 78 would be in a position completing the circuit through contact to the defrost heaters.
In accordance with the control arrangement of the invention, when the main cooling system is operating, the fast chill fan 48 will be operated if the fast chill timer switch 62 is in its alternate contact 66 position, and if the refrigerator compartment temperature is demanding cooling so that the thermostatic switch 13 is closed to contact 72. If the refrigerator compartment 8 temperature is below the set temperature of the thermostatic switch 13, the fast chill fan will not be operated unless the fast chill timer switch had been manually closed to contact 64 to carry out a fast chill operation. It will be appreciated that if a fast chill operation is desired, it is desired irrespective of whether the refrigerator compartment temperature is or is not at its set temperature. If a fast chill operation is not being conducted, so that the switch 62 is in its alternate position engaging contact 66, then the fast chill fan will operate only if the refrigerator compartment temperature is higher than its set temperature. Accordingly, it will be appreciated that the fast chill fan not only serves its principal purpose of fast chilling, but also serves to more rapidly bring the refrigerator compartment temperature down to the set point whenever the main cooling system is operating. Thus the fact chill fan may be energized either through a direct circuit including the switch 62 in its contact 64 position, or through an alternate circuit which includes the thermostatic switch 13, the defrost switch 78, and the unit control switch 44.
1. A refrigerator-freezer having a cooling system for recirculating chilled air principally through the freezer space, and having a fast chill fan for circulating air in the refrigerator space and drawing in part upon said chilled air, a control arrangement including:
manually settable timing means for controlling energization of said fan for selected time periods irrespective of operation of said cooling system; and means for operating said fan, except when said fan is operating in one of said selected time periods, concurrently with operation of said cooling system only when said refrigerator space demands cooling.
2. In a refrigerator-freezer according to claim 1 wherein:
said manually settable timing means includes a first switch having one position for energizing said fast chill fan for said selected time periods, and an alternate position to which said switch returns upon the expiration of said selected time periods; and said fan operating means includes thermostatic switch means responsive to refrigerator space temperatures and having a closed position in response to a refrigerator space temperature in excess of the set temperature for connecting said fast chill fan for energization through said first switch in said alternate position. 3. In a refrigerator-freezer of the character including a main cooling system comprising a compressor, and an evaporator and freezer fan in a cooling passage in the freezer side, and in which a fast chill fan is located in the refrigerator space in limited communication with said cooling passage to draw at least part of the air from the cooling passage when said fast chill fan is operating, a control arrangement comprising:
timing means including a first switch for said fast chill fan having one position to which his manually set for selected time periods for energizing said chill fan independently of the operation of said main cooling system, and an alternate position to which said first switch returns upon the expiration of said selected time periods; and
a thermostatic switch for connecting said fast chill fan through said first switch in said alternate position for energization concurrently with said compressor when said refrigerator space demands coolmg.
4. In a refrigerator-freezer according to claim 3 ineluding:
a first circuit including said first switch in said first position for energizing said fast chill fan independently;
a second circuit, in parallel with said first circuit, in-
cluding said first switch in said alternate position in series with said thermostatic switch and the control for the main cooling system for operating said fast chill fan in accordance with both a demand for operation of said main cooling system and a tempera ture in the refrigerator space calling for cooling in said refrigerator space.
5. In a refrigerator-freezer including a main cooling system comprising a compressor, and an evaporator and freezer fan in a cooling passage for the freezer space, and in which a fast chill fan is located in the refrigerator space in limited communication with said cooling passage to draw at least part of its air from the cooling passage when said fast chill fan is operating, a control arrangement comprising:
timing means including a first switch for said fast chill fan having one position to which it is manually set for energizing for a selected time period said chill fan independently of the operation of said main cooling system, and an alternate position to which said first switch returns upon the expiration of said selected time period; and
a thermostatic switch responsive to the demand for cooling said refrigerator space to operate to one position connecting said chill fan through said first switch in said alternate position for operation concurrently with said compressor, and responsive to a satisfied demand to disconnect said chill fan to preclude such concurrent operation of said chill fan.