US 3913348 A
Apparatus associated with a refrigeration system for constructing and testing same.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Magester Oct. 21, 1975 REFRIGEITANT SYSTEM CONNECTING 2,782,496 2/1957 Augustaukas 29/469 APPARATUS 2,828,759 4/1958 Gerhart 62/298 2,903,004 9/1959 62/298  en E R Magester, Louisville. y- 3,493,002 2/1970 Brugler 62/299  Assignee: General Electric Company,
Primary Examiner-William J. Wye  Filed: Jul 22, 1974  Appl. No.: 490,411
52 us. (:1. 62/298; 62/77; 137/74  ABSTRACT 51 1111.01. F25D 19/00  Field of Search 62/77, 298; 137/74 Apparatus assoclated Wlth a refrlgeranon system for constructing and testing same.  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures 2,702,993 3/1955 Harris 62/298 26 24 COMPAZ'SSOR 6017051495 A M4POAA TOR US. Patent 0a. 21, 1975 COMPRESSOR Sheet 1 of2 [WPORA TOR US. Patent Oct. 21, 1975 shw 2 of2 3,913,348
REFRIGERANT SYSTEM CONNECTING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION There exists a need for providing compact connecting means whereby a refrigeration system can be completely assembled during manufacturing, charged with refrigerant, tested, the high-pressure side can be separated from the low-pressure side of the system without losing the refrigerant or permitting other material to enter the system, the separated portions can be moved to a desired location, and the high-pressure side and low-pressure side of the system thereafter be reconnected without losing the refrigerant or permitting other materials to enter the system. By so providing an apparatus which will permit these functions, waste of time, labor, and materials will be avoided.
For example, in the manufacture of a household refrigerator without the apparatus of this invention, the highand low-pressure sides are installed separately in a cabinet and thereafter connected and charged. No pretesting of the system can be done. Therefore,.if leaks or faulty equipment are discovered, it is necessary to remove at least a portion of the installed equipment for repair. This represents a waste of labor, material and time relative to the system of this invention where testing can be conducted prior to installation in the refrigerator cabinet.
In order to solve some of these problems, apparatus was constructed whereby severed portions of a line charged with refrigerant could be subsequently reconnected and internal plugs removed for placing the line portions in communication with one another. Such an apparatus is shown in US. Pat. No. 3,493,002Bruglar et al.
That apparatus required relatively expensive valves and connections and was constructed to equalize the pressure between the line portions prior to destruction of the internal plugs in order to prevent plug portions from being blown to undesirable locations as the line portions were brought into communication.
It was discovered that if a housing was positioned on opposed sides of the internal plugs and the main and equalizing lines were connected through the housing, then the problems associated with the fusible plugs could be avoided. This discovery permitted the elimination of the relatively expensive equalizing valve and line connectors. In this invention, the internal plug portions are trapped in the housings in response to the decrease of refrigerant velocity during passage therethrough.
Further, it was discovered that the high and low sides of the refrigeration system could both be connected to the housing system thereby permitting complete separation of the high and low systems.
This apparatus therefore provided greater manufacturing flexibility and operational advantages over heretofore utilized connection apparatus and procedures.
The compact apparatus made installation easier and less time consuming. The high and low pressure associated apparatus of the refrigeration system could be separately tested and installed in a refrigerator cabinet. Connections were centrally located thereby providing easy leak detection and repair and avoided removal of the associated apparatus. The mass of the housing and their interconnection of the lowand high-pressure sides of the refrigeration system also functions to dampen line vibrations which are one of the major causes of leaks which develop after prolonged operation of the system.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with this invention, first and second conduit sets are in fluid communication at their outer ends with respective first and second separate chambers of first and second housings. Each conduit set has first and second conduits. The first conduit of each conduit set has first and second spaced-apart portions and a removable plug positioned in each portion of each first conduit. A sleeve is adapted to being fixedly positioned over the inner ends of the first and second portions of each first conduit. Means is provided for connecting the condenser outlet in fluid communication with the first chamber of the first conduit, the evaporator inlet in fluid communication with the first chamber of the second housing, the evaporator outlet in fluid communication with the second chamber of the second housing, and the compressor inlet in fluid communication with the second chamber of the first hous- BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view of a refrigeration system without the apparatus of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective diagrammatic view of the apparatus of this invention;
FIG. 3 is a perspective diagrammatic view in partial section of the apparatus of this invention;
FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic top view of the apparatus of this invention;
FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic side view of the apparatus of this invention; and
FIGS. 69 are diagrammatic views showing how the conduits of a conduit set are manipulated in the use of this invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION In the embodiment of FIG. 1, a refrigeration system, of a household refrigerator for example, has a compressor 10 connected to a condenser 12 which is connected to an evaporator 14 via a capillary tube or conduit. The discharge of the evaporator 14 is connected to the compressor 10 to complete the refrigeration cycle. In this known system, the capillary conduit is generally maintained in heat exchange relationship with the refrigerant passing from the evaporator 14 to the compressor 10 in order to provide improved efficiency.
In the system, the outlet line 20 of the evaporator 14 is connected to the inlet 22 of the compressor 10 and the inlet line 24 of the evaporator 14 is connected to the outlet line 26 of the condenser 12.
In the embodiment of FIG. 2, which shows the apparatus of this invention, first and second conduit sets 28, 30 are each respectively comprised of first and second conduits 32, 34 and 36, 38. Each of the conduits have outer opposed ends which are connected to first and second housings 40, 42.
Referring to FIGS. 2-5, each housing 40, 42 has respective first and second chambers 44, 46 and 48, 50 (see FIG. 3). Each housing 40, 42 has a partition 52, 54 extending thereacross for separating the associated first and second chambers 44, 46 and 48, 50. The first chamber 44 or 48 of each housing 40, 42 is in communication with the first conduit set 28 which comprises conduits 32 and 34 and the second chamber 46 or 50 of each housing 40, 42 is in communication with the second conduit set 30 which comprises conduits 36, 38.
In the installed position of the apparatus, the evaporator outlet 20 is connected to the second housing 42 in fluid communication with the second chamber 50 and the compressor inlet 22 is connected to the first housing 40 in fluid communication with the second chamber 46 for passage of refrigerant from the evaporator 14 to the compressor via the second conduit set 30. Further, the condenser outlet 26 is connected to the first housing 40 in fluid communication with the first chamber 44 and the evaporator inlet 24 is connected to the second housing 42 in fluid communication with the first chamber 48 for passage of refrigerant from the condenser 12 to the evaporator 14 via the first conduit set 28. The above connections can be by any means known in the art, for example welding or braz- Referring to FIGS. 2, 6, and 7, as shown at location A of FIG. 2 and better seen in FIGS. 6 and 7, the first conduits 32 and 36 are each formed of first and second portions 56, 58 having spaced-apart inner ends 60, 62. A removable plug 64 is positioned in each portion 56, 58 of each first conduit 32, 36 for temporarily sealing said first conduit 32, 36.
The plug can be formed of any material which will withstand the pressure exerted thereupon, will not detrimentally effect the refrigerant, and can be removed by heat, sound waves, or other means from a location spaced from said plug 64. Each plug 64 is positioned at the inner ends 60, 62 of the respective conduit portions 52, 54 in order to prevent other materials, such as air, dirt, etc., from entering the system when said portions 52, 54 are joined and the plugs 64 are removed. A plugging material that has been found to be useful in this invention is solder and which is removed by heat.
A sleeve 66 is provided which has a diameter sufficiently large for insertion of the inner ends of the first conduit portions thereinto. The sleeve 66 is adapted to being fixedly positioned over and sealed to the first conduit portions, for example by brazing or heat-cured adhesive (FIGS. 8 and 9).
The second conduit 34, 38 of each conduit set are preferably formed of steel for reasons as hereinafter more fully described.
In the following description of the operation of the apparatus of this invention, reference will be made to the first conduit set 28 as shown in FIGS. 6-9. It should be understood that the same procedure will be practiced on the second conduit set and that only a single conduit set is shown to maintain brevity and avoid confusion.
In the operation of the apparatus of this invention, referring to FIG. 6, the apparatus is installed as set forth above and the refrigerant system is charged with refrigerant and the refrigeration system is thereafter tested.
After testing, for example for leaks and efficient operation, the second conduit 34 is sealed by pinching the conduit together and thereafter severing the conduit at the seal as shown in FIG. 7. In this condition, the highand low-pressure sides of the refrigeration system are sealed, fully charged with refrigerant, and the evaporator section is separated from the compressor 10 and condenser 12. In this separated condition, they can be more easily transported and installed in a refrigerator cabinet or other structure thereby avoiding the waste of labor, time and material.
Referring to FIG. 8, when it is desirable to connect the refrigeration system for operation, a sleeve 66 is positioned over the inner ends of the first and second portions 56, 58 of the first conduit. The ends 60, 62 are forcibly abutted together to exclude air and the sleeve is positioned over and sealed to the portions 56, 58 by, for example, brazing or heat-curing adhesive.
Referring to FIG. 9, the plug 64 is thereafter removed by, for example, induction heating the plug to its melt temperature, thereby resulting in placing the first chamber back into communication without loss or contamination of the refrigerant.
Other modifications and alterations of this invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the foregoing discussion, and it should be understood that this invention is not to be unduly limited thereto.
What is claimed is:
1. In a refrigeration system having a compressor, a condenser, an evaporator, a condenser outlet, an evaporator inlet, an evaporator outlet, and a compressor inlet, the improvement comprising:
first and second conduit sets, each conduit set having first and second conduits and each conduit having outer ends, said first conduit of each set having first and second portions with each portion having an inner end;
a removable plug positioned in each portion of each first conduit;
first and second sleeves each adapted to being sealably positioned over the inner ends of the first and second portions of a respective first conduit;
first and second housings, each having first and second separate chambers and being connected to the outer ends of the conduits, said first chamber of each housing being in communication with the first conduit set and said second chamber of each housing being in communication with the second conduit set;
means for connecting the condenser outlet in fluid communication with the first chamber of the first housing;
means for connecting the evaporator inlet in fluid communication with the first chamber of the second housing;
means for connecting the evaporator outlet in fluid communication with the second chamber of the second housing; and
means for connecting the compressor inlet in fluid communication with the second chamber of the first housing.
2. Apparatus, as set forth in claim 1, wherein the removable plugs are formed of solder.
3. Apparatus, as set forth in claim 1, wherein the second conduit of each conduit set is formed of steel.