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Publication numberUS3759059 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 18, 1973
Filing dateDec 30, 1971
Priority dateDec 30, 1971
Also published asCA973376A, CA973376A1
Publication numberUS 3759059 A, US 3759059A, US-A-3759059, US3759059 A, US3759059A
InventorsA Kenyon
Original AssigneeSchaefer Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Refrigerated display cabinet
US 3759059 A
Abstract
A cooling arrangement for the condenser of a refrigerated display cabinet, in which there is an upper refrigerated display chamber and a lower nonrefrigerated chamber with the condenser being located in the lower chamber, the cooling arrangement involving drawing in the ambient air through the front of the cabinet well above the floor and after it is used to cool the condenser, discharging it into the toe space of the cabinet adjacent the floor. The cabinet has a sloping front panel spaced from the insulated front wall of the cabinet and the cooling air is drawn in adjacent the top of this front panel. A portion of the air, after passing over the condenser, is directed over the condensate drain passage in the rear of the cabinet.
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United States Patent 1 1 Kenyon [111 v 3,759,059 1 Sept. 18, 1973 [73] Assignee: Schaefer Corporation, Minneapolis,

Minn.

22 Filed: Dec. 30, 1971 211 Appl. No.: 214,355

3,263,745 8/1966 Henry 62/455 Primary Examiner--William J. Wye

Attorney-Frederick E. Lange et a1.

[57] ABSTRACT A cooling arrangement for the condenser of a refrigerated display cabinet, in which there is an upper refrigerated display chamber and a lower nonrefrigerated chamber with the condenser being located in the lower chamber, the cooling arrangement involving drawing in the ambient air through the front of the cabinet well above the floor and after it is used to cool the condenser, discharging it into the toe space of the cabinet adjacent the floor. The cabinet has a sloping front panel spaced from the insulated front wall of the cabinet and the cooling air is drawn in adjacent the top of this front panel. A portion of the air, after passing over the condenser, is directed over the condensate drain passage in the rear of the cabinet.

8 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures REFRIGERATED DISPLAY CABINET BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION It is common practice in the art of refrigerated display cabinets to provide an upper refrigerated display chamber and a lower nonrefrigerated chamber, the condenser being located in the lower chamber and the evaporator in heat exchange relation with the upper refrigerated chamber. In order to cool the condenser, it is quite common to provide some means for circulating air over the condenser. One common method of doing this is to bring the air in through the front of the cabinet adjacent the bottom of the cabinet and after it has been circulated over the condenser, it is discharged to the rear of the cabinet. This type of arrangement has several drawbacks. In the first place, the air is drawn in adjacent to the floor and a certain amount of dust .is picked up. This dust tends to be deposited on the compressor, the condenser'and other elements within the lower chamber. Furthermore, it is often desirable to place these cabinets directly against a wall and when this is done, there is a tendency for the outlet for the heated air to be somewhat restricted. In other instances, the display cabinet may be so placed that the back of the cabinet is facing a cashier or other employee. The continuous discharge of warm air through the back of the cabinet can result in considerable discomfort to such person exposed to the discharge. Again, if two of these cabinets are placed back to back, the discharge of the heated air is impeded.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is concerned with a refrigerated display cabinet of the type just discussed in which the air for cooling the condenser is drawn in through the front of the cabinet at a point substantially above the floor and, after being used to cool the condenser, is discharged through the front of the cabinet adjacent the floor. This arrangement has the advantage of insuring that relatively clean air is drawn into the cabinet. Furthermore, the air that is discharged adjacent the bottom front portion of the cabinet tends to blow away any dust immediately in front of the cabinet at the floor level. It is quite common in such cabinets to have a recessed portion adjacent the floor to provide a toe space. This area is easily overlooked during cleaning and tends to accumulate dust. The accumulation of this dust is materailly reduced with my arrangement.

The air inlet for the condenser cooling air is provided by an auxiliary front wall which extends upwardly from the bottom-of the cabinet and is spaced from the front of the cabinet. The air inlet is adjacent the top of this auxiliary front wall. Preferably, a panel extends across and above the space between the front wall and the top of the auxiliary wall and a substantially vertical grill is disposed between the forward portion of this panel and the upper edge of the auxiliary wall to cover the air inlet. The inner wall is preferably an insulated wall forming a wall of the upper refrigerated chamber and the outer auxiliary wall is preferably a decorative wall which extends downwardly to substantially the bottom of the cabinet.

As is quite common with such cabinets, there is preferably a transparent heat insulating, wall disposed above the front insulated wall, which transparent wall forms a part of the enclosure of the upper refrigerated chamber. The panel extending between the front wall and the outer auxiliary wall preferably extends forward from the bottom of this transparent wall. A portion of the heated air which is passed over the condenser may be diverted over a drain passage from 5 below the evaporator to make sure that no freezing of this drain passage occurs. Various other features and objects of the invention will be apparent from a consideration of the accompanying specification, claims and drawing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view of my improved refrigerated display cabinet with portions broken away to show the condenser and compressor and the fan for circulating air over the condenser and compressor; and

FIG. 2 is a transverse sectional view, somewhat schematic, showing the path of the air relative to the condenser, the compressor and other elements of the refrigerated cabinet.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the drawing, the cabinet comprises an 5 upper refrigerated compartment 11 and a lower nonrefrigerated compartment 12. The upper refrigerated compartment 11 is suitably secured within a cabinet shell 13 with its bottom insulated wall 14 supported above the base of the cabinet by any suitable means (not shown). The upper cabinet has a front insulated wall 15 and a rear insulated wall 16 terminating at its upper end in an overhanging upper wall 17 which extends forwardly sufficiently to cover an evaporator unit 18 which is suitably supported in the upper chamber 11 in heat exchange relationship with the upper chamber 11. Disposed beneath the evaporator 18 is a drip pan 19 which communicates with a condensate chamber 20 which, in turn, communicates with a condensate drain tube 21 extending downwardly and outwardly through the rear insulated wall 16 of the upper refrigerated chamber. The lower end of the drain tube 21 discharges down-wardly and is preferably so disposed that the condensate will flow into any suitable collection means (not shown).

The upper portion of the front insulated wall 15 of the refrigerated chamber 1 l slants to the rear as shown at 22 and communicating with this upper slanting portion 22 of wall 15 is a transparent front wall 23 which may be formed of a plurality of panes of glass suitably spaced and sealed with respect to each other to provide air chambers therebetween and thus reduce the heat loss therethrough. The transparent front wall 23, as is apparent from FIG. 1, forms a continuation of the upper slanting portion 22 of front wall 15 and provides a means for assisting in viewing the contents of the cabinet. The shell 13 of the cabinet is provided with an upperchamber 25 closed in the front by a panel 26 in which is located a translucentsign 27 illuminated by suitable illuminating means 28.

A center bar 29 extends between the upper chamber 25 and a bar 30 'is disposed across the upper front of the cabinet. Disposed on each side of the center bar 29 are two slidable transparent covers 31 and 32. These covers are slidably supported in the bar 29 and guides at the opposite ends of the cabinet. The details of these supports are of no importance as far as the present invention is concerned.

Located in the lower nonrefrigerated compartment 12 are various elements of the refrigeration system other than the evaporator 18. As is'usual, the refrigerationsystem comprises a compressor 31 which is shown as a sealed unit. As is customary, gaseous refrigerant is compressed by the compressor and is then passed through a condenser 32 in which the compressed gaseous refrigerant is cooled and condensed to become a liquid. The condenser, as best shown in FIG. 1, comprises a pipe which extends back and forth in a series of loops across the front of the cabinet. Air is drawn over this condenser by a blower 33 in the form of a fan operated by a motor 34. The invention of the present application is concerned with the manner in which this air is introduced into the lower compartment 12 and is discharged therefrom.

Located at the front of the cabinet is a panel 36 constituting the outer front wall of the cabinet. It will be noted that this panel 36 merges at its bottom with the front edge of the lower compartment 12 and diverges outwardly as it extends upwardly, the upper portion being spaced from the front wall of the upper refrigerated compartment. The panel 36 has side walls 37, one of which is shown in FIG. 1, which joins with the main cabinet 13 and encloses at its sides the passage formed between wall 36 and the insulated wall 15.

Disposed above the upper edge of the panel 36 is a hollow beam 38, shown in cross-section in FIG. 2. This beam includes a sloping upward wall 39 which extends forwardly and downwardly from and adjacent the edge of the glass wall 23 to a point above the upper edge of the front panel 36. The beam also has a substantially vertical front wall 40 and a substantially horizontal bottom wall 41. Disposed between the bottom of front wall 40 of the beam 38 and the top of the front panel 36 is a screen 42, as best shown in FIG. 1. This screen serves to cover the inlet for air to cool the condenser, as will be presently described.

As indicated by the arrows in FIGS. 1 and .2, the blower 33 is effective to'draw air through the screen 42 and down through the passage formed by the panel 36 and the front wall 15. The air flows across the condenser coil 32 and then across the compressor 31.

As is customary with such cabinets, there is a lower supporting base 44 for t'he cabinet which does not project outwardly completely to the front of the cabinet. The space between the front of the base member 44 and the front of the cabinet is commonly referred to as the toe space in that it provides space for the toes of the customer examining the goods in the cabinet. The base 44 has an opening 45 in the front thereof covered by a screen. It is to be understood that this opening may be either in the form of a continuous opening covered by a screen, as shown, or in the form of a series of small openings spaced longitudinally along the base. The base 44 has a hollow passage or duct communicating with the opening 45, there being a forward passage 46 beneath a base member 47 which supports the condenser 32 and the blower 33 and which forms the 'top wall of passage 46 to prevent air entering the lower compartment from passing immediately into the p'assage 46. At a point behind the blower, there is a second base member 50 which supports the compressor 31. This is spaced above the bottom to form apassageor duct 49 communicating with passage 46 and acting as a rear extension thereof. Base member 50 is slightly lower than base member 17 and its front edge is spaced from the rear edge of base member 47 to provide a restricted opening 48 to permit air that has passed over the condenser 32 to enter the passage 46. Some of the air, however, passes over the compressor 31 and enters the passage 49 extending beneath the compressor. Thus, a portion of the heated air passing over condenser 32 passes through opening 48 and out through the opening 45 in the front wall of the base 44. Other of the air passes over the compressor 31 entering the passage 49 and flows. through the passage 46 out through the opening 45. In addition, a further passage 51 is formed in the back wall 16 of the upper cabinet, this passageextending upwardly over the drain tube 21 and terminating in an opening 52. Thus, a portion of the air passing over the condenser 32 and the compressor 31 passes upwardly through passage 51, over the end of drain tube 21 and out through passage 52. Since this air is heated to a substantial extent by the condenser and compressor, it will be sufficiently warm to prevent the condensate drain tube from freezing. With the exception of the air passing through the rear passage 51, however, all of the air that is used for cooling the condenser and the compressor 31 passes out through an opening 45 in front of the cabinet. This air has sufficient velocity that any dust in the toe space tends to be blown away with the result that the toe space is kept relatively clean. Furthermore, the heat of the air passing out through this toe space is not particularly objectionable since the air issuing from this toe space tends to assume approximately room temperature before it has risen sufficiently to contact the upper portions of the body of a customer or of an employee servicing the cabinet. Furthermore, warm air contacting the feet and lower legs of a person tends to create a pleasantsensation, particularly since the temperature adjacent the floor is usually cooler than that at upper levels.

Because of the fact that the air is introduced through screen 42 which is at a relatively high level, the air introduced is relatively clean as compared with air taken in adjacent a floor. Furthermore, the chances of there being any obstruction at this level in front of the cabinet are very slight. Thus, by providing the air intake in the front of the cabinet, well above the floor, it is assumed that the air drawn in for cooling the condenser will normally be clean and relatively unobstructed. Furthermore, by discharging the air adjacent the floor and the front of the cabinet, any tendency of dust to collect at this point is minimized since it is blown away as it tends to collect. In addition, a portion of the heated air is also utilized for guarding against freezing of the condensate drain tube.

It will be seen that l have provided a refrigerated display cabinet in which provision is made for always bringing in clean air to cool the condenser and in which the heated air is-discharged at the front of the cabinet adjacent the floor to keep this area clean and to discharge it at a point where the heat of the air tends to have a pleasant effect rather than an unpleasant effect upon people close to the cabinet. While I have shown .a specific embodiment of the cabinet for purposes of illustration only, it is to be understood that the invention is to be limited solely by the scope of the appended claims.

I claim as my invention:

1. A refrigerated display cabinet having an upper re- "frigerated display chamber and a lower nonrefrigerated chamber; a refrigerating system enclosing a condenser and an evaporator; said condenser being located in said lower chamber and said evaporator in heat exchange relationship with said upper refrigerated chamber; said cabinet having an air inlet in front thereof substantially above the bottom of said cabinet, an air duct beneath said condenser adjacent the bottom of said cabinet and having a rear opening adjacent the bottom and rear of the space in which said condenser is located, and an outlet in front of the cabinet adjacent the bottom thereof and communicating with the front of said air duct; and air circulating means in said cabinet for drawing air through said air inlet, through a portion of said lower cabinet, over said condenser for cooling the same, and out through said air duct and said air outlet, so that the air for cooling the condenser is drawn in through the front of the cabinet at an area substantially above the floor and is forced outwardly through the front of the cabinet adjacent the floor.

2. The display cabinet of claim 1 in which the lower portion of the front of the cabinet has two spaced walls, the outer of which terminates at its upper edge at a level substantially above the top of the lower chamber, in which an imperforate panel extends across and above the space between the walls, in which said air inlet extends substantially vertically below said panel adjacent the upper edge of the outer of said spaced walls, and in which the space between said walls forms an air passage leading to said lower chamber and through which the air for cooling the condenser is drawn after entering said inlet.

3. The display cabinet of claim 2 in which the inner of said spaced walls is an insulated wall and extends downwardly to the bottom of said upper refrigerated chamber and the outer of which is a decorative wall which extends downwardly to substantially the bottom of said cabinet. I

4. The display cabinet of claim 3 in which a transparent wall is disposed above said insulated wall and forms part of the enclosure of said upper refrigerated chamber, said panel extending forwardly from the bottom of said transparent wall across and above said space between said walls, and in which there is a substantially vertical grill between the forward portion of said panel and the upper edge of said outer wall and covering said air inlet.

5. The display cabinet of claim 1 in which there is a recessed portion adjacent the bottom of the cabinet to provide a toe space", which recessed portion extends substantially the entire length of the cabinet and in which said air outlet opens into said toe space so that the discharge air is discharged into the toe space.

6. The display cabinet of claim 1 in which there is a drain passage extending from below said evaporator to conduct condensate from said evaporator to a point of collection for said condensate and means for conveying a portion of the air passing over said condenser in heat transfer relation with said drain passage so as to minimize the danger of freezing in said drain passage.

7. The display cabinet of claim 1 in which there is a base member spaced above the bottom of the cabinet and supporting the condenser and in which the air duct is bounded by said base member and the bottom of the cabinet.

8. The display cabinet of claim 7 in which the refrigerating system includes a compressor and in which there is a further base member spaced above the bottom of the cabinet to the rear of said previously named base member and spaced therefrom, said further base member acting to support said compressor and to form an upper wall of a rear extension of said air duct so that some of the air passing over said condenser passes between said base members forwardly through said duct and other of the air passing over the condenser also passes over the compressor and is forced forwardly through said rear extension of said air duct.

Patent Citations
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US1859840 *Dec 14, 1927May 24, 1932Metropolitan Eng CoRefrigerating machine
US2226444 *Oct 28, 1939Dec 24, 1940Hussmann Ligonier CompanyCondensing unit
US2882696 *Jun 4, 1956Apr 21, 1959Anheuser BuschDefrost system for refrigerated cabinets
US2911799 *Dec 30, 1954Nov 10, 1959Manitowoc Equipment WorksRefrigerated food display cabinet
US3229475 *Jul 5, 1963Jan 18, 1966Emhart CorpRefrigerated display case
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4602827 *Jan 31, 1984Jul 29, 1986Costan S.P.A.Island-type chest freezer with hinged cover panels
US4748821 *Oct 1, 1987Jun 7, 1988Allen BerenterMethod and apparatus for dispensing condensate
US4782666 *Nov 19, 1986Nov 8, 1988Costan S.P.A.Refrigerated case with ventilated glazed frame
US4930321 *Mar 20, 1989Jun 5, 1990Sanden CorporationRefrigerated display case with night cover
US4972682 *Jun 23, 1989Nov 27, 1990Specialty Equipment Companies, Inc.Forced air cooler
US4977754 *May 1, 1990Dec 18, 1990Specialty Equipment Companies, Inc.Next-to-be-purchased cold beverage merchandiser
US5428973 *Nov 13, 1992Jul 4, 1995Kabushiki Kaisha ToshibaRefrigerator with meandering air duct for wire and tube condenser
US6170273 *Mar 4, 1997Jan 9, 2001Nestec S.A.Interactive display unit for refrigerated foods
US6817201Apr 15, 2003Nov 16, 2004Duke Manufacturing CompanyHot/cold product merchandiser
US7107786Nov 12, 2004Sep 19, 2006Tecumseh Products CompanyApparatus for and method of venting hydrocarbon refrigerant leaks
US8820859 *Mar 5, 2013Sep 2, 2014Brian S. KimAir intake in ice cream dipping cabinet
US20040239214 *Feb 12, 2003Dec 2, 2004Lines Randy LeeFood serving bar with removable panel system and adjustable kickplate
US20060101843 *Nov 12, 2004May 18, 2006Manole Dan MApparatus for and method of venting hydrocarbon refrigerant leaks
US20060101844 *Nov 12, 2004May 18, 2006Manole Dan MHydrocarbon refrigeration system with convection channel
US20070256390 *Sep 29, 2005Nov 8, 2007Carrier CorporationTrim joint for sealing gaps between panes of flat glass
US20080078199 *Jul 26, 2005Apr 3, 2008Mehmet AtasRefrigerated Container with a Closing and/or Opening Device and Corresponding Method
US20090255286 *Oct 18, 2005Oct 15, 2009Roberto Solsona CaballerHeat recovery system which is intended for air-conditioning and to reduce the cold corridor effect
US20110113817 *Nov 17, 2010May 19, 2011Liebherr Hausgerate Lienz GmbhBase assembly element for a refrigerator and/or freezer as well as refrigerator and/or freezer
US20130255305 *Mar 28, 2012Oct 3, 2013Brian S. KimAir duct device for refrigerator
DE3513201A1 *Apr 12, 1985Oct 16, 1986Linde AgRefrigerated cabinet
WO1987003671A1 *Nov 19, 1986Jun 18, 1987Costan S.P.A.Refrigerated case with ventilated glazed frame
WO2007023194A1 *Oct 18, 2005Mar 1, 2007Frost-Trol, SaImproved heat recovery system which is intended for air-conditioning and to reduce the cold corridor effect
Classifications
U.S. Classification62/246, 62/456, 62/255, 62/455, 62/285
International ClassificationA47F3/04, F25D23/00, F25D21/14
Cooperative ClassificationF25D2323/00264, F25D23/003, F25D21/14, A47F3/0482, F25D2323/0022, F25D2323/00274
European ClassificationA47F3/04D, F25D21/14, F25D23/00B