US 3796063 A
A portable, lightweight, power-driven ice cube making device that is particularly adapted for being operatively associated with an insulated chest for cooling the interior thereof, as well as being mounted within the confines of a wall or closet to supply ice cubes to a movable container to which a user has access.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ Mar. 12, 1974 United States Patent Wulke et al.
3,605,431 9/l97l Carson 62/457 X 3 665,728 5/1972 Stoller....................t......... 62 57 X ICE CUBE MAKING DEVICE  Inventors: William L. Wulke, 1313 N.
Primary Examiner-William E. Wayner Attorney, Agent, or Firm-William C. Babcock  Filed:
ABSTRACT A portable, lightweight, power-driven ice cnbe making 52 U.S. 62/340, 62/457 51 Im. F2s 1/04 devlce that pamcularly adapted for bemg Opera tively associated with an insulated chest for cooling the interior thereof, as well as being mounted within  Field of Search..................l....
i the confines of a wall or closet to supply ice cubes to a movable container to which a user has access.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,357,200 Connors......................... 62/353X 1 Claim, 10 Drawing Figures ICE CUBE MAKING DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION -l. Field ofthe Invention:
Device for making ice cubes.
2. Description of the Prior Art:
Ice cubemaking devices are normally included as an integral part of a conventional domestic refrigerator. However, such refrigerators are normally heavy and I of the invention; and
bulky, are not portable, and normally remain in a fixed position.
In camping, picnics and the like, a need has arisen for a lightweight portable ice cube maker that is particularly adapted for use in refrigerating the interiors of insulated, perishable food-containing chests, as well as a portable ice cube maker that may be removably positioned on a counter or table, or partially concealed in a portion of a wall or closet.
The primary purpose in devising the present invention is to supply a portable, power-driven ice cube maker that may be used to satisfy the above-described need. u
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION making mold and expansion coils are so spaced relativeto the housing enclosed elements and water reservoir that the ice cube making mold and expansion coil may be removably disposed within the confines of an insulated perishablefood-containing chest, but with the balance of the ice cube maker assembly remaining on the exterior thereof.
The ice cube makingassembly may also used when removably placed on a table or counter, or permanently included as an integral part of an insulated perishable food-containing chest. Also, the ice cube making assembly may be incorporated in a wall or closet if desired, which is particularly convenient in motel or hotel rooms.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective .view of the ice cube making assembly removably and operatively associated with an insulated perishable food-containing chest; 7
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary longitudinal cross-sectional view of the assembly and chest shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an end elevational view of the device shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view of a portion of the ice cube making assembly shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a first alternate form of the invention that is portable and may be removably disposed on the top of a counter, table or the like;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a second alternate form of the invention in which the ice cube making as- FIG. 10 is a combined side elevational and vertical cross-sectional view of the third alternate form of the invention.
- DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The first form of the invention A, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 4, includes a portable ice cube making assembly B that may be operated either by electric power or gas. The assembly B is particularly adapted for use in cooling the interior of an insulated chest C having an open top 10 that is normally closed by a cover D. The chest is defined by a bottom 12 that has a pair of end walls 14 and side walls 16 projecting upwardly therefrom, which end walls and side walls cooperate to define the open top 10.
Assembly B includes a lightweight housing 18 that is illustrated in the drawings as being of rectangular shape. The housing 18 is defined by sheet material and includes a bottom 20, a pair of side walls 22 and a pair of end walls 24. The side walls 22and end walls 24 support a rectangular water reservoir 26 on the upper edge portionsthereof. Reservoir 26 is provided with a water inlet opening 28 that may be engaged by watercontaining bottle 30.
Situated within the confines of the housing 18, below reservoir 26, is an electrically operated compressor 32 that is adapted to compress a gaseous refrigerant to the extent that when the gaseous refrigerant flows into a condenser 34 it will be liquified. Cooling of the condenser is by a motor driven fan E that is actuated from the same source of electricity energy used in energizing the compressor 32.
The liquid refrigerant in the condenser flows therefrom through a conduit 36 to an expansion valve 38.
The refrigerant, afterflowing through the expansion valve 38, expands to the gaseous state and cools evaporator coils 40 that form a part of a conventional ice cube making device 42. The refrigerant, after expanding in the evaporator coils 40, returns to the suction sid of the compressor 32 through a conduit 44. The ice cube making mechanism 42 is conventional and may be of the structure shown and described in the M. F. Connors US. Pat. No. 3,226,944, issued Jan. 4, I966.
The housing 18 has a downturned L-shaped web 46 projecting outwardly therefrom, as may best be seen in FIG. 2. The web 46 has a U-shaped support 48 secured in a depending position therefrom, which support has the ice cube making mechanismmounted on the upper interior confines thereof. Support 48 is of narrower width than the interior of the chest C, and serves to support an ice cube-receiving container 50. I
The web 46, in addition to supporting the support 48, also serves as a mounting for the conduit 36 that supplies refrigerant-to the evaporator coil 40, and the conduit 44 that returns the refrigerant from the coil 40 to compressor 32. Web 46 also serves as a support for a conduit 54 that leads from reservoir'26' to the ice cube making mechanism 42. Water flows by gravity through conduit 54 to ice cube making mechanism 42. The web 46 and conduits supported thereon are sufficiently thin that when they extend across the top of a chest end wall 24, as shown in FIG. 2, the cover D can still be placed in a position to seal the open top of the chest C. If necessary, the cover D may be recessed to accomodate the web 46 and permit the abovementioned positioning of the cover D on the chest C. Although the refrigeration of the coils 40 has been described as achieved by operation of the electrically actuated compressor, the assembly B may also have the evaporator coils 40 cooled by the use of gas supplied from a container 56 that is preferably situated in housing 18. Control of gas from container 56 is by use of a manually operated valve 58. The means for providing alternate cooling of the evaporator coils 40 by the use of either gas or electric power is not shown in detail, as such is conventional, and now is included in refrigeration units now marketed for use in trailers and other mobile units.
From the above description it will be apparent that the assembly is portable, compact, light in weight and is removably associatable with the chest C to cool the interior thereof. The chest C may be formed from any desired insulating material, but chests formed from foamed plastic material have been found to be quite satisfactory. Electricity to energize the compressor 32 may be from any desired source, and the electrical connections that extend to this source are not shown in the drawings.
A first alternate form of the invention is shown in FIG. 5 that is similar in structureto the form above described, and differs therefrom in that the housing 18' and chest C' are joined together as an integral unit to permit the same to be removably placed on a desires horizontal surface (not shown) such as the top of a counter or table. The chest C in the first alternate form has hinges 57 that permit cover D to be pivoted to an upwardly extending position whereby ice cubes 52 may be removed from the chest.
I In FIGS. 6 to 8 a second alternate form of the invention is shown in which achest C is provided that has a recess 59 formed in a lower end portion thereof by a vertical wall 60 and horizontal wall 61 that extend between bottom and end wall 14''. A U-shaped, rigid assembly 62 is secured to wall 60 by bolts 63 or other fastening means andsupports the refrigerating equipment previously described within the interior thereof. The components of the refrigerating equipment are designated on the drawings by the numerals previously used for this purpose, but with double primes being added thereto. In the second alternate form of the invention the ice cube making mechanism 42" is situated in the portion of chest C" above horizontal wall 61,
' and the container 50" resting on the upper surface of wall 61. The assembly 62 includes a spring-loaded, pivotally supported door 64 to permit access to the components of the refrigeration equipment. A vertical grill 66 is secured to the top of wall 60 within the confines of chest C" to permit air that has been refrigerated by contact with the ice cubes 52" to cool the entire interior of the chest C". i i
A third alternate form of the invention is shown in FIGS. 9 and 10 in which the refrigerating components previously described are concealed within the confines of a wall 68, and the ice cube making mechanism 42" being disposed exteriorly of the wall 68 within the confines of a housing 70 that is supported from the wall.
Housing 70 includes a pivotally supported door that may be swung outwardly to permit ice cubes to be removed from container 50".
1. In combination with a generally rectangular chest having an open top and a cover that removably engages the latter, said chest and cover formed from a heat insulating material, a portable device for forming ice cubes in the interior of said chest to refrigerate the latter, said device including:
a. a rigid housing that may be disposed adjacent said chest; Y
b. a downturned L-shaped bracket supported from said housing and including a substantially horizontal portion disposed between said chest and cover and a substantially vertical portion situated inside said chest; 7
c. a U-shaped support of less width than that of the interior of said chest secured to said vertical portion of said bracket and positioned within the confines of said chest;
e. ice cube making means so mounted on said support that includes after being made drop by gravity into said receptacle, said ice cube making means including an evaporator coil;
f. a reservior for water supported from said housing;
g. a compressor, power means for driving said compressor and a condenser situated in said housing;
h. first conduit means extending from said reservior across said horizontal portion of said bracket to said ice cube making means to supply the latter with water;
'. second conduit means connecting said compressor, condenser and evaporator coil of said ice cube making means; with a portion of said second conduit means extending across said horizontal portion of said bracket; and
j. a quantity of refrigerant that is intermittently compressed and expanded in said compressor, condenser and evaporator coil to form said water delivered to said ice cube making means into ice cubes to cool the interior of said chest after said ice cubes drop into said receptacle.
a receptacle mounted on said support for receiving