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Publication numberUS3771319 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 13, 1973
Filing dateSep 30, 1971
Priority dateSep 30, 1971
Publication numberUS 3771319 A, US 3771319A, US-A-3771319, US3771319 A, US3771319A
InventorsW Linstromberg, D Nichols
Original AssigneeWhirlpool Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Unitary drive for ice maker mechanism, defrost means and air flow means
US 3771319 A
Abstract
A refrigeration apparatus having an ice maker adapted to be operated by a drive motor. Means are further provided for permitting the drive motor to run in the manner of a clock for timing the need for defrosting the refrigeration apparatus while permitting intermittent operation of the ice maker under the control of a bin level switch. The apparatus further includes air flow means for flowing refrigerated air through the apparatus such as for freezing water in the ice maker to form ice bodies therein. The ice maker mechanism, defrost means, and air flow means are driven by a single drive member, herein comprising an electric motor.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ NOV. 13, 1973 UNITARY DRIVE FOR ICE MAKER MECHANISM, DEFROST MEANS AND AIR FLOW MEANS [75] Inventors: Duane C. Nichols; William J.

Linstromberg, both of Evansville, Ind.

[73] Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation, Benton Harbor, Mich.

[22] Filed: Sept. 30, 1971 211 Appl. No.: 185,133

[52] U.S. Cl 62/233, 62/234, 417/319 [51] Int. Cl. F25c l/04 [58] Field of Search 62/233, 234, 353,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,270,448 9/1966 Holzer 200/37 R 3,675,437 7/1972 Linstromberg 62/233 VA'FIMT "MM 6 ta/vrtdL m 11/1970 Jacobs ..62/233 5/1961 Batteiger ..62/234 Primary Examiner-William E. Wayner Assistant Examiner-William E. Tapolcai, Jr. Attorney-James S. Nettleton et a1.

[ 5 7 ABSTRACT A refrigeration apparatus having an ice maker adapted to be operated by a drive motor. Means are further provided for permitting the drive motor to run in the manner of a clock for timing the need for defrosting the refrigeration apparatus while permitting intermittent operation of the ice maker under the control of a bin level switch. The apparatus further includes air flow means for flowing refrigerated air through the apparatus such as for freezing water in the ice maker to form ice bodies therein. The ice maker mechanism, defrost means, and air flow means are driven by a single drive member, herein comprising an electric motor.

10 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures UNITARY DRIVE FOR ICE MAKER MECHANISM, DEFROST MEANS AND AIR FLOW MEANS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION l. Field of the-Invention This invention relates to refrigeration apparatus and in particular to refrigeration apparatus provided with an automatic ice maker, automatic defrost means and forced air circulation means.

2. Description of the Prior Art One improved form of refrigeration apparatus having automatic means for making and harvesting ice bodies is shown in our copendin'g application for US. Ser. No. 223,716 for a Drive Motor-Defrost Timer for Refrigerator filed Feb. 4, 1972, now issued on US. Pat. 3,718,794 and downed by the assignee hereof, said application Ser. No. 223,716 being a. continuation of abandoned application Ser. No. 46,921 filed June 17, 1970. In the structure disclosed in said application, an electrical drive motor is provided for operating both an automatic ice maker and a defrost timer control. The operation of the automatic ice maker is periodically interrupted when the ice bodies in the collecting bin.

reach a preselected full level. However, it is desirable to operate the drive motor substantially continuously, i.e., in the manner of a clock, to time the intervals between the desired defrosting operations effected by the defrost control. The operation of the drive motor may, therefore, be actually continuous, or at least continuous during the operation of the compressor so as to have a clock based on compressor running time for controlling the defrost cycle. These two different continuous timing operations are conventional in the art.

In another well known form of refrigeration apparatus in which such ice makers are provided, air flow means are provided for use in effecting a substantially frost-free operation of the apparatus. Thus, the air flow means effects a flow of all refrigerated air through the chamber in which the ice maker apparatus isdisposed to maintain the chamber at a selected refrigerated temperature as well as to effect freezing of the water to form ice bodies in the mold of the ice maker. The flow of the air through the apparatus is such that the major portion of moisture condensing in the apparatus condenses on the-evaporator as the coldest part of the system, thereby effectively maintaining the exposed parts of the refrigerator in the refrigerator and freezer chambers relatively frost-free. The evaporator, however, must be periodically defrosted to remove the collected frost and as discussed above, automatic defrost timers such as that shown in the above-identified copending application are provided to effect such defrosting.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention comprehends an improvement over the structure disclosed in our above-identified co pending application whereby the drive motor is further utilized to comprise the means for driving the air flow means. Thus, a single drive motor may be employed in the present refrigeration apparatus for effecting the periodic operation of the automatic ice maker, the timing operation of the automatic defrost control, and the driving of the air flow means such as in effecting a frostfree operation of the apparatus.

The invention further comprehends the provision of means for selectively disengaging the air flow means from the drive motor such as during a defrosting operation to avoid circulation of warm air through the refrigerated chambers. The disconnecting means may comprise a cam operated clutch, which in the illustrated embodiment comprises a magnetic clutch having axially relatively displaceable driver and driven magnetic elements.

The invention further comprehends locating the single drive motor in the path of air flow for further improved efficiency in operation of the apparatus by maintaining the motor at a relatively low temperature.

Thus, the present invention comprehends an improved low maintenance, low cost structure providing the multiplicity of refrigeration apparatus functions discussed above in a novel and simple manner.

While the illustrated invention comprehends that the additional function effected by the single electric drive motor be the air flow function, in its broadest scope, the invention contemplates the utilization of the drive motor not only for operating the automatic ice maker and defrost timer control, but further for operating further devices in the refrigeration apparatus as may be desired.

More specifically, the invention comprehends providing in a refrigeration apparatus having an ice maker mechanism, means for periodically defrosting the apparatus including a timer, and air flow means for circulating refrigerating air in the apparatus, drive means comprising a single electric drive motor, first means for connecting the motor to the mechanism for cyclically operating the mechanism to form and harvest ice bodies, second means for connecting the motor to the defrosting means for periodically defrosting the apparatus, and third means connecting the motor to the air flow means for circulating refrigerating air in the apparatus to cool the apparatus and to freeze water in the mechanism for forming the ice bodies therein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing wherein:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary side elevation of a refrigeration apparatus having an ice maker mechanism, a defrost control, and an air flow means driven by a single drive member, embodying the invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary vertical enlarged section with the structure arranged for driving the air moving means; and

FIG. 3 is a view similar to that of FIG. 2 but with the structure arranged for discontinuing operation of the air moving means.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the exemplary embodiment of the invention as disclosed in the drawing, an ice maker generally designated 10 is shown to comprise an automatic ice maker mechanism 11, a defrost timing control 12, an air flow means 13, and a drive 14 for driving each of the ice maker mechanism 11, defrosting timing control 12, and air flow means 13. Herein, drive means 14 comprises an electric motor having a stator 15 and a rotor 16. Rotor 16 is provided with drive shaft means comprising oppositely projecting shaft portions 17 and 18, as shown in FIG. 2.

The ice maker mechanism and defrost timing control 12 correspond to that shown in our US. Pat. No.

3,714,794 discussed above, the disclosure and drawing of which application is incorporated by reference herein for illustrating the specific details of the respective mechanism 11 and control 12. Such details need not be understood for purposes of understanding the present invention, however, it only being necessary to understand that the disclosed structures are operated from a single output shaft of the drive motor as disclosed in said application, in a manner identical to the operation of ice maker mechanism 11 and defrost control 12 herein with the shaft 19 of the present structure shown in FIG. 2 corresponding to the output drive shaft of the motor of said prior application.

In the present embodiment, the motor shaft portio 17 carries a thin gear 20 meshing with a wide gear 21 on shaft 19 for maintained engagement therebetween notwithstanding an axial displacement of gear 20 by an axial displacement of rotor 16 and shaft portions 17 and 18, as will be described in greater detail here following.

Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3, rotor shaft portion 17 is journalled in a suitable bearing 22 and rotor shaft portion 18 is journalled in a suitable bearing 23 for limited axial movement of the shafts therethrough. Stator carries a bracket 24 having a brake flange portion 25 disposed outwardly of bearing 23. The rotor shaft portion 18 carries a drive hub 26 carrying a magnetic drive element 27 selectively engageable with a magnetic plate 28 carried on a cup-shaped fan blade hub 29 of fan 13. The fan blade hub, in turn, carries an annular brake shoe 30 which is secured to a tubular portion 31 of the fan hub 29 by suitable means such as screws 32.

The normal operating position of the apparatus is as shown in FIG. 2 wherein the rotor 16 is disposed to the left relative to the centerline of the status 15 with the shaft portion 17 engaging a low face cam portion 33 of a gear 34. In this arrangement, the magnet 27 is magnetically locked with follower plate 28 so as to drive fan 13 with the rotor l6.'Concurrently with such driving of the fan, gear is rotated so as to operate ice maker mechanism 11 and defrost timer 12 through the output shaft 19. In this arrangement, the brake shoe 30 is spaced axially from brake flange to permit free rotation of the motor.

Thus, the apparatus 10 comprehends an improved refrigeration apparatus wherein a single drive motor 14 drives the ice maker apparatus 11, defrost timer l2, and the evaporator fan 13 in their conventional modes of operation. when defrost timer 12 times out to effect a defrost operation, it is alsodesirable to concurrently stop the fan 13 thereby to prevent flowing of relatively warm air from the defrosting evaporator to the various refrigerator chambers. To this end, the gear 34 is provided with a high face cam portion 35 which is caused to engage the shaft portion 17, as shown in FIG. 3, by a suitable rotation of gear 34 as by a gear 36 driven by defrost timer 12 to move the rotor shaft portions 17 and 18 to the right, as shown in FIG. 3, during the defrost operation. Thus, the magnetic clutch defined by magnet 27 and follower plate 28 is broken thereby to discontinue driving of fan 13. At the same time, brake shoe is urged to the right into engagement with brake flange 25 to positively stop the fan 13 during the defrost operation. Thus, the motor 14 may continue to operate while yet disengaging fan 13 during the defrost cycle.

The bearing means 23 journalling shaft portion 18 may comprise a pair of bearings including blade bearing 37 and motor bearing 38 disposed radially inwardly of an oil cup 39 for effecting lubrication of the bearings. The braking action is effected by movement of the shaft 18 axially through the bearings with the braking force being controlled by the action of the spaced magnet 27 magnetic plate 28 structure continuing to exert a force tending to pull the fan hub 29 toward the right, as seen in FIG. 3.

The motor rotor 16 is magnetically self-centering so that upon movement of gear 34 back to the position of FIG. 2, the motor shaft portions 17 and 18 will become again disposed with the magnetic clutch 27-28 operative to drive the fan 13.

As will be obvious to those skilled in the art, other forms of clutches and brakes may be employed within the broad scope of the invention. lllustratively, electromechanical or thermally responsive devices may be employed for effective braking of the fan 13 and other suitable mechanical clutches may be employed for effecting suitable operation of the fan 13.

As the thin gear 20 maintains its meshed relationship with wide gear 21 in all positions of the movement of rotor 16, the operation of shaft 19 is identical to the operation of the output shaft of the motor in our aboveidentified copending application. Resultingly, the automatic ice making and defrost timing cycles disclosed therein may be identically effected by shaft 19 in connection with the ice maker 11 and defrost timer 12 herein.

Thus, as shown in the drawing and as discussed above, the present invention comprehends an improved refrigeration apparatus. More specifically, the present invention comprehends that the drive means for an automatic ice maker and defrost control comprises a single electric drive motor having an axially movable rotor for selectively further controlling the operation of the evaporator fan when desired.

The foregoing disclosure of specific embodiments is illustrative of the broad inventive concepts comprehended by the invention.

Having described the invention, the embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. In a refrigeration apparatus having an ice maker mechanism, means for periodically defrosting the apparatus including a timing control, and air flow means for circulating refrigerating air in the apparatus, drive means comprising: a single electric drive motor; first means for connecting said motor to said mechanism for cyclically driving said mechanism to form and harvest ice bodies; second means for connecting said motor to drive said timing control of the defrosting means for periodically defrosting the apparatus; and disconnectable third means connecting said motor to said air flow means for driving said air flow means for selectively circulating refrigerating air in the apparatus.

2. The refrigeration apparatus of claim 1 including means for disconnecting said third connecting means during operation of said defrosting means.

3. The refrigeration apparatus of claim 1 wherein said drive motor is positioned to be cooled by the air flowed by air flowing means.

4. The refrigeration apparatus of claim 1 wherein means are provided responsive to operation of said defrosting means for effecting disconnection of said third connecting means for precluding operation of the air flow means during a defrost operation.

5. The refrigeration apparatus of claim 1 wherein said ice maker mechanism and defrosting means include control means disposed within housing means and said drive motor is disposed exteriorly of said housing means.

6. In a refrigeration apparatus having an ice maker mechanism, means for periodically defrosting the apparatus including a timer, and air flow means for circulating refrigerating air in the apparatus, drive means comprising: a single electric drive motor; first means for connecting said motor to said mechanism for cyclically operating said mechanism to form and harvest ice bodies; second means for connecting said motor to said defrosting means for periodically defrosting the apparatus; and third means connecting said motor to said air flow means for circulating refrigerating air in the apparatus, said third connecting means comprising disconnectable means for selectively operating said air flow means, and brake means for braking said air moving means upon disconnection of said third connecting means.

7. The refrigeration apparatus of claim 6 wherein said third connecting means comprises a first magnetic coupling element carried for rotation with said air flow means, a second coupling element connected for rotation with said drive motor, said brake means comprises a fixedly positioned first brake element, a second brake element carried for movement with said air flow means, said third connecting means further defining means for selectively positioning said elements for concurrently coupling said coupling elements and preventing brakin g of said first brake element by said second brake element, or for concurrently uncoupling said coupling elements and causing braking of said first brake element by said second brake element.

8. In a refrigeration apparatus having an ice maker mechanism, means for periodically defrosting the apparatus including a timer, and air flow means for circulating refrigerating air in the apparatus, drive means comprising: a single electric drive motor; first means for connecting said motor to said mechanism for cyclically operating said mechanism to form and harvest ice bodies; second means for connecting said motor to said defrosting means for periodically defrosting the apparatus; and third means connecting said motor to said air flow means for circulating refrigerating air in the apparatus, said drive motor being provided with oppositely projecting drive shaft means, said ice maker mechanism and defrosting means being connected by said first and second connecting means to one of said drive shaft means, and said air flow means being connected by said third connecting means to the other of said drive shaft means.

9. In a refrigeration apparatus having an ice maker mechanism, and means for periodically defrosting the apparatus including a timing control, drive means comprising: a single drive member; first means for connecting said drive member to said mechanism for cyclically driving said mechanism to form and harvest ice bodies;

second means for connecting said drive member to drive said timing control of the defrosting means for periodically defrosting the apparatus; means for conducting refrigerated air to send refrigeration apparatus and said ice maker mechanism; and disconnectable third means connecting said drive member to drive selectively rotatable means for effecting another function in the operation of the refrigeration apparatus.

10. The refrigeration apparatus drive means of claim 9 wherein said means for performing said another function comprises means for forcibly flowing the refrigerated air through said conducting means.

53 3 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,771,319 Dated November 13, 1973 inventor-(s) DUANE c. NICHOLS ET AL It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Claim 7, line 4, insert "magnetic" between "second""and "coupling" Claim 9, line 10, the word "send" should be "said" claim 9, line 13, insert "said" before "rotatable" Signed and sealed this 9th day of April 197M.

(SEAL) Attest: I

EDWARD M.P"LETGHER,JH. C MARSHALL DANN Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2983112 *Jul 5, 1956May 9, 1961Batteiger Joseph RRefrigeration apparatus
US3270448 *Mar 29, 1965Sep 6, 1966Walter HolzerApparatus comprising a timing mechanism and an intermittent switching mechanism
US3541806 *Feb 14, 1969Nov 24, 1970Gen Motors CorpControl system for refrigerator with automatic icemaker and defrosting means
US3675437 *Jun 18, 1970Jul 11, 1972Whirlpool CoWater fill shut-off control for a domestic icemaker
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4770002 *Sep 8, 1987Sep 13, 1988Thermo King CorporationTransport refrigeration system
US6204579 *Apr 29, 1999Mar 20, 2001Bitron S.P.A.Electronic switching electric motor
US6532751 *Jul 18, 2002Mar 18, 2003Whirlpool CorporationMethod of maximizing ice production in a refrigeration appliance
US6655158Aug 11, 2000Dec 2, 2003General Electric CompanySystems and methods for boosting ice rate formation in a refrigerator
US6679073Mar 14, 2003Jan 20, 2004General Electric CompanyRefrigerator and ice maker methods and apparatus
US7021066 *Mar 9, 2004Apr 4, 2006Lg Electronics Inc.Control method for refrigerator
US20050076654 *Mar 9, 2004Apr 14, 2005Lg Electronics Inc.Control method for refrigerator
EP1524482A2 *Mar 16, 2004Apr 20, 2005LG Electronics, Inc.Control method for refrigerator
EP1524482A3 *Mar 16, 2004Jun 15, 2005LG Electronics, Inc.Control method for refrigerator
Classifications
U.S. Classification62/233, 62/234, 417/319
International ClassificationF25D21/00, F25C1/24
Cooperative ClassificationF25D21/004, F25C1/24
European ClassificationF25C1/24, F25D21/00A1