US20100024460A1 - Refrigerator with an ice maker - Google Patents

Refrigerator with an ice maker Download PDF

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Publication number
US20100024460A1
US20100024460A1 US12/518,667 US51866707A US2010024460A1 US 20100024460 A1 US20100024460 A1 US 20100024460A1 US 51866707 A US51866707 A US 51866707A US 2010024460 A1 US2010024460 A1 US 2010024460A1
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
ice
water
refrigeration appliance
volume
fresh water
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US12/518,667
Inventor
Adolf Feinauer
Klaus Flinner
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgaraete GmbH
Original Assignee
BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgaraete GmbH
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to DE102006061102.0 priority Critical
Priority to DE200610061102 priority patent/DE102006061102A1/en
Application filed by BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgaraete GmbH filed Critical BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgaraete GmbH
Priority to PCT/EP2007/064061 priority patent/WO2008077840A1/en
Assigned to BSH BOSCH UND SIEMENS HAUSGERAETE GMBH reassignment BSH BOSCH UND SIEMENS HAUSGERAETE GMBH ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: FEINAUER, ADOLF, FLINNER, KLAUS
Publication of US20100024460A1 publication Critical patent/US20100024460A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25CPRODUCING, WORKING OR HANDLING ICE
    • F25C5/00Working or handling ice
    • F25C5/18Storing ice
    • F25C5/182Ice bins therefor
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25DREFRIGERATORS; COLD ROOMS; ICE-BOXES; COOLING OR FREEZING APPARATUS NOT COVERED BY ANY OTHER SUBCLASS
    • F25D23/00General constructional features
    • F25D23/12Arrangements of compartments additional to cooling compartments; Combinations of refrigerators with other equipment, e.g. stove
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25CPRODUCING, WORKING OR HANDLING ICE
    • F25C2400/00Auxiliary features or devices for producing, working or handling ice
    • F25C2400/10Refrigerator units

Abstract

A refrigerator s provided that includes a cooling chamber and an ice maker arranged in the cooling chamber. The ice maker is equipped with an ice container for accommodating the prepared ice. The ice container has a water-draining surface configured for draining water from the prepared ice.

Description

  • The invention relates to a refrigeration appliance having a refrigeration zone and an ice maker disposed therein, as claimed in the preamble of claim 1.
  • It is known to arrange ice makers in the refrigeration zone of refrigeration appliances. In arrangements of this kind, on the one hand ice makers are used which are filled with water and cooled from outside, the water freezing from the outside inward and in the process ultimately producing an ice cube. In addition there are what are termed crystal ice makers, in which a plurality of refrigerating fingers are immersed in a water-filled container. By means of a refrigerant circulating inside the refrigerating fingers, the latter are cooled down to such an extent that a layer of ice grows on the refrigerating fingers immersed in the water. As soon as the layer of ice on the refrigerating fingers has attained a usable size, it is released from the refrigerating fingers. A crystal ice maker of said kind is described in DE 103 36 834 A1. Ice makers of this type are generally installed in the refrigeration compartment of a combined fridge-freezer.
  • Ice makers of said type are available in a multiplicity of embodiment variants. These include fully automatic embodiments which are connected to a fresh water line and which automatically pump the water remaining in the container on completion of ice-making into the drain water line. The advantage of said ice makers lies in their simplicity of use, in that crystal ice is produced at the touch of a button, as it were. A prerequisite of this type of embodiment, however, is that a mains water supply and drain water line are present at the site at which the refrigeration appliance is to be installed.
  • In order to be independent of the water supply, ice makers for refrigeration appliances have also been developed which are equipped with a fresh water reservoir which makes available the water required for making the ice.
  • Ice makers of said type are usually equipped with an ice tray in which the crystal ice produced is collected. The ice tray can be emptied e.g. into a glass placed thereunder. If the ice tray is located in the freezer compartment, the crystal ice produced can be kept for a practically unlimited length of time, since in this case temperatures below 0° C. prevail. However, there are also ice makers in which the ice tray is located in the refrigeration zone of the refrigeration appliance. As a result, the storage life of the crystal ice produced is limited. Here too, however, the melting process takes place only at a slow rate, since in this case temperatures are typically only a few degrees above zero, so the ice can likewise be removed at a later time.
  • What is problematic with this type of ice-maker ice collection trays which are disposed in the refrigeration zone is that the crystal ice in the ice tray becomes covered by melt water in the course of the melting process. As a result the rate at which the ice melts increases and in addition it can happen that the melt water refreezes at the surface of the crystal ice, causing unsightly surface structures to form.
  • The object underlying the invention is to equip a refrigeration appliance with an ice maker that is disposed in the refrigeration zone in such a way that the disadvantages that result due to the ice melting process are at least reduced.
  • The object is achieved according to the invention by means of a refrigeration appliance having the features of claim 1. According to the invention the container for receiving the prepared ice is designed in such a way that condensation water produced when the ice thaws can drain away. As a result the ice remains dry even during the thawing process and the remaining ice suffers no loss in quality whatsoever due to being adversely affected by the condensation water. Furthermore, the instant separation of ice and condensation water prevents water being removed as well when the ice is removed.
  • In an advantageous particularly simple embodiment, the condensation water remains in an area specially provided therefor in the ice container itself. It is therefore separated from the ice only by a support surface which drains off water. This means that no major conversion measures are necessary. In order to separate the ice from the water it is entirely sufficient, for example, to incorporate a raised floor in the ice container. While the ice sits on the raised floor, the condensation water can collect below the raised floor.
  • This embodiment variant can be realized particularly cost-effectively and simply by means of a raised floor through which the water can drain away directly. The raised floor can in this case be embodied for example as a grid, strainer or similar.
  • In a further particularly advantageous embodiment variant, said water-permeable raised floor is provided with a handle or similar which serves for removing the raised floor and thus for removing the ice. By means of a removable basket of this kind the ice can be removed particularly easily and hygienically, without the user coming into contact with the condensation water when removing the ice.
  • The area serving to receive the condensation water of the melted ice is preferably large enough to accommodate the melt water of an entire portion of prepared ice. This enables the remainder of the slowly thawing ice to be used still unaffected by the condensation water for as long as even just a small fraction of the ice remains.
  • In a further preferred embodiment variant, the condensation water collection area is dimensioned such that its collection volume is equivalent to roughly half the volume of the prepared ice. This ensures that at least a large proportion of the ice can be used unadulterated by the condensation water and that at the same time proper account is taken of the ever-paramount priority of space optimization in the refrigeration appliance. Although in this case it can no longer be guaranteed that even the last remnants of the thawing ice can still be used unaffected by melt water, the entire ice maker can in return be built significantly smaller.
  • In a preferred embodiment variant in which the ice maker does not need to be connected to a water line, but has its own fresh water reservoir, the volume of said fresh water reservoir is chosen as a reference parameter for forming the volume of the condensation water collection area. Depending on the desired space optimization in the refrigeration appliance, the condensation water collection area is therefore embodied such that its volume is in each case, corresponding to the above-described alternatives, either equivalent to the volume of the fresh water reservoir or takes up half of the same. In this case it is namely possible to convert the entire contents of the fresh water reservoir into ice and to use the ice for a long time unaffected by the condensation water, even though it is slowly melting in the refrigeration zone of the refrigeration appliance whose temperature lies above 0° C.
  • In a further advantageous embodiment variant, the support surface for the prepared ice is provided with a noise-absorbing surface. For that purpose the support surface, which can be embodied for example as a grid shelf or basket insert, can be manufactured from a material having a soft surface. Various plastic materials, for example, are suitable for this. As a result of said noise-absorbing surface the noise generated when the pieces of ice strike the support surface is largely absorbed.
  • In a further preferred embodiment variant of the invention, the support surface is provided with grooves or channels which take up the condensation water and channel it into a condensation water drain area. By this means, too, the condensation water is immediately separated from the prepared ice and can be channeled directly into a designated condensation water collection area. In particular, however, it is particularly easily possible with this embodiment variant to reroute the condensation water directly from the water drain area back to the fresh water reservoir. In this way the thawed water is available once again for further ice production.
  • This redirecting of the melted condensation water into the fresh water reservoir can, of course, just as well be used in the case of the embodiment variant in which the separation of ice and condensation water collection area is implemented by way of a water-permeable raised floor.
  • Further details and advantages of the invention will emerge from the dependent claims in conjunction with the description of an exemplary embodiment which is explained in detail with reference to the drawings, in which:
  • FIG. 1 schematically shows a refrigeration appliance with refrigerator compartment and ice maker,
  • FIG. 2 is an exploded drawing of the components of the ice maker, and
  • FIG. 3 schematically shows a section through the ice tray of an ice maker.
  • FIG. 1 shows a refrigeration appliance 1 with open door 2 and an interior space 3. The interior space 3 is subdivided into a refrigeration zone 4 and a freezer compartment 5. For clarity of illustration reasons no cover flap is shown on the freezer compartment 5. The refrigeration zone 4 is usually subdivided by means of at least one height-adjustable shelf 6. An ice maker 7 is located in the refrigeration zone 4.
  • The ice maker 7 is divided into a central module, which in this case is embodied as a technical module 8 with switching contact 11 (see also FIG. 2), an ice tray 9 and a fresh water reservoir 10. A fixing plate (not visible here) of the technical module 8 is fixedly connected to an adapter plate. Said adapter plate is mounted on the left-hand or right-hand sidewall of the refrigeration zone 4. A fixing eyelet 12 is part of the rear wall of the technical module 8 and projects into the interior space 3 of the refrigeration appliance 1 at the side which lies opposite the fixing plate of the technical module 8. The technical module 8 is fixedly connected to the rear wall of the refrigeration appliance 1 by means of said fixing eyelet 12.
  • Using a known process, crystal ice is produced in the technical module 8 of the ice maker 7 by means of a plurality of refrigerating fingers and stored in the ice tray 9. The ice tray 9 explained in more detail in FIG. 3 is located underneath the technical module 8. On the side on which its fixing plate is located, the technical module 8, embodied in the form of a narrow cuboid 13 which forms a unit with the front of the technical module 8, is longitudinally extended such that when the ice tray 9 is inserted the underside of the cuboid 13 terminates flush with said ice tray 9. On the underside of the technical module 8, in the region into which the ice tray 9 can be inserted, there are disposed a left-hand 14 and a right-hand L-shaped guide rail 15. In this arrangement one limb of the guide rail 14, 15 is fixedly connected to the underside of the technical module 8, while the other limb runs parallel to the underside of the technical module 8. When the ice tray 9 is inserted into the ice maker 7, one of its sidewalls runs flush with the sidewall of the technical module 8 which lies opposite the fixing plate of the technical module 8.
  • The ice tray 9 has the shape of a tub that is open toward the top. The ice tray 9 is guided by means of the left-hand 14 and right-hand guide rail 15 of the technical module 8 in a groove 16 in each case. This is part of the left or, as the case may be, right sidewall of the ice tray 9 and is located at the edge of the tray 17.
  • Located at the rear of the technical module 8 is the switching contact 11. Said switching contact 11 is actuated only by a correctly inserted ice tray 9. Only when the switching contact 11 has been actuated can the technical module 8 start producing crystal ice.
  • The water required for producing the crystal ice is made available in the fresh water reservoir 10. The fresh water reservoir 10 is located next to the technical module 8 on the side located opposite the fixing plate of the technical module 8. As soon as the fresh water reservoir 10 has reached its end position next to the technical module 8, the connection between the fresh water reservoir 10 and the fresh water system of the technical module 8 is established by way of a coupling (not visible here). For this purpose the technical module 8 has an upper 18 and a lower L-shaped guide rail 19 on the sidewall opposite the fixing plate. One limb of the guide rail 18, 19 is fixedly connected to the sidewall of the technical module 8, while the other limbs, which run parallel to the sidewall of the technical module 8, point in the opposite direction. To achieve the watertight coupling of the fresh water reservoir 10 to the technical module 8, a pipe socket offset by 90° can be provided, for example, which projects from the sidewall in the rear section of the technical module 8. Provided as a matching element in the rear wall of the fresh water reservoir 10 is an opening which is enclosed by an O-ring. When the fresh water reservoir 10 is inserted, the pipe socket is pressed into the opening and is sealed by means of the O-ring.
  • The grooves (not shown here) required for guiding the fresh water container 10 which engage in the upper 18 and lower guide rail 19 are part of the fresh water container 10. When the fresh water container 10 is inserted, it abuts against the technical module in the upper part and the ice tray 9 in the lower part. The fresh water container 10 has a lid 20 which can be removed for filling purposes. In the refrigeration zone it prevents soiling or contamination of the fresh water.
  • Both the ice tray 9 and the fresh water container 10 are removed and introduced from the front.
  • As can be seen in FIG. 3, the ice tray 9 is equipped with a raised floor 21. The latter is embodied as a grid-like metal basket and has two handles 22 and 23, one on either side. The raised floor 21 serves to accommodate the prepared crystal ice which, after being made in the technical module 8, is simply released and allowed to fall into the ice tray 9 located thereunder. In order to absorb the noise of the crystal ice striking the tray, the raised floor 21 is provided with a soft plastic surface. The raised floor 21 is arranged at a distance from the base 24 of the ice tray 9 in order to produce, between it and the base 24, a volume 25 in which the condensation water of the thawing ice can be collected.
  • Because the ice maker 7 is disposed in the refrigeration zone 4 of the refrigeration appliance 1 whose temperature is above 0° C., the prepared ice begins to thaw immediately after it has been produced. In order to prevent the ice lying in the condensation water and thereby becoming poorly suited for use, the support surface for the ice is embodied as a water-permeable raised floor 21 disposed at a certain height. Because of the grid on which the ice sits, the condensation water can drain away directly into the volume 25 located thereunder, with the result that the remaining ice is always kept separate from condensation water and can be removed unaffected by condensation water. Furthermore, this instant separation of melt water and crystal ice enables the melting rate of the ice to be reduced substantially. In the case of the ice tray 9 shown in FIG. 3, the volume 25 comprises half the volume of the fresh water reservoir 10. This ensures that the crystal ice remains separated from the condensation water until approx. half of the ice has thawed, provided the fresh water in the fresh water reservoir 10 is converted completely into ice. This size of the thaw volume 25 represents a good compromise. The ice is kept free of condensation water as long as there is still a relevant residual quantity of ice, without the size of the collection volume 25 of the condensation water and consequently of the ice maker 7 being designed in an unnecessarily space-consuming manner.
  • In order to make it easier to remove the crystal ice, the raised floor 21 is embodied in a basket shape and has two extractor handles 22 and 23. In any case the user can always remove the ice by means of the basket without having to reach into the condensation water, even when only a small amount of residual ice remains and the collection volume 25 for the condensation water has been exceeded.
  • LIST OF REFERENCE SIGNS
  • 1 Refrigeration appliance
  • 2 Door
  • 3 Interior space
  • 4 Refrigeration zone
  • 5 Freezer compartment
  • 6 Shelf
  • 7 Ice maker
  • 8 Technical module
  • 9 Ice tray
  • 10 Fresh water reservoir
  • 11 Switching contact
  • 12 Fixing eyelet
  • 13 Cuboid
  • 14 Left-hand guide rail
  • 15 Right-hand guide rail
  • 16 Groove
  • 17 Tray edge
  • 18 Top guide rail
  • 19 Bottom guide rail
  • 20 Lid
  • 21 Raised floor
  • 22 Handle
  • 23 Handle
  • 24 Base
  • 25 Volume

Claims (13)

1-12. (canceled)
13. A refrigeration appliance comprising:
a refrigeration zone; and
an ice maker having an ice container for receiving ice that has been prepared by the ice maker and a water-draining surface against which prepared ice can rest, the water-draining surface being operable to drain water from the area of the prepared ice.
14. The refrigeration appliance as claimed in claim 13, wherein the ice container has a condensation water collection area.
15. The refrigeration appliance as claimed in claim 14, wherein the condensation water collection area is separated from ice by the water-draining surface.
16. The refrigeration appliance as claimed in claim 13, wherein the water-draining surface is configured as a water-permeable raised floor.
17. The refrigeration appliance as claimed in claim 13, wherein the water-draining surface has an extractor handle.
18. The refrigeration appliance as claimed in claim 14, wherein the condensation water collection area has a volume substantially equal to that of the volume of the prepared ice.
19. The refrigeration appliance as claimed in claim 14, wherein the condensation water collection area has a volume substantially equal to half the volume of the prepared ice.
20. The refrigeration appliance as claimed in claim 14, wherein the ice maker has a fresh water reservoir and the volume of the condensation water collection area is substantially equal to the volume of the fresh water reservoir.
21. The refrigeration appliance as claimed in claim 14, wherein the ice maker has a fresh water reservoir and the volume of the condensation water collection area is substantially equal to half the volume of the fresh water reservoir.
22. The refrigeration appliance as claimed in claim 14, wherein the water-draining surface has a noise-absorbing surface.
23. The refrigeration appliance as claimed in claim 14, wherein the water-draining surface has water drainage channels that lead into a water drainage area.
24. The refrigeration appliance as claimed in claim 23, wherein the ice maker has a fresh water reservoir and the water drainage area is connected to the fresh water reservoir.
US12/518,667 2006-12-22 2007-12-17 Refrigerator with an ice maker Abandoned US20100024460A1 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
DE102006061102.0 2006-12-22
DE200610061102 DE102006061102A1 (en) 2006-12-22 2006-12-22 Refrigerating appliance with ice maker
PCT/EP2007/064061 WO2008077840A1 (en) 2006-12-22 2007-12-17 Refrigerator with an ice maker

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20100024460A1 true US20100024460A1 (en) 2010-02-04

Family

ID=39431664

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US12/518,667 Abandoned US20100024460A1 (en) 2006-12-22 2007-12-17 Refrigerator with an ice maker

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US (1) US20100024460A1 (en)
EP (1) EP2104816A1 (en)
DE (1) DE102006061102A1 (en)
RU (1) RU2448312C2 (en)
WO (1) WO2008077840A1 (en)

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20120192584A1 (en) * 2011-01-25 2012-08-02 Fiaschi Robert J Ice Machine For Dispensing Flavored Ice Cubes

Citations (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2527572A (en) * 1948-08-18 1950-10-31 George L Pownall Apparatus for conditioning air in mechanical refrigerators
US3667249A (en) * 1970-09-23 1972-06-06 Gen Motors Corp Refrigerator with ice maker and high humidity compartment
US4238930A (en) * 1978-12-26 1980-12-16 Whirlpool Corporation Ice maker apparatus
US5375432A (en) * 1993-12-30 1994-12-27 Whirlpool Corporation Icemaker in refrigerator compartment of refrigerator freezer
US6349556B1 (en) * 2000-12-08 2002-02-26 Hoshizaki America, Inc. Water tank for ice making machine
US20040069009A1 (en) * 2002-06-15 2004-04-15 Tedder Carl Kenneth Stackable cooler shelving system
US20060260333A1 (en) * 2005-05-18 2006-11-23 Maytag Corporation Insulated ice compartment for bottom mount refrigerator
US20070163282A1 (en) * 2006-01-13 2007-07-19 Cushman Robert L Ice-making system for refrigeration appliance

Family Cites Families (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JPS54143775A (en) 1978-04-28 1979-11-09 Hoshizaki Electric Co Ltd Apparatus for supplying pure ice and pure water
RU2161760C2 (en) * 1998-05-08 2001-01-10 Рубцов Евгений Юрьевич Ice generator
JP2001336864A (en) * 2000-05-30 2001-12-07 Mitsubishi Electric Corp Freezer/refrigerator
JP2002090015A (en) * 2000-09-20 2002-03-27 Fujitsu General Ltd Automatic ice maker of refrigerator
SE0201141D0 (en) * 2002-04-15 2002-04-15 Igloolux Ab portable Ice Maker
JP2006138505A (en) 2004-11-10 2006-06-01 Mitsubishi Electric Corp Automatic ice making machine and refrigerator-freezer comprising the same

Patent Citations (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2527572A (en) * 1948-08-18 1950-10-31 George L Pownall Apparatus for conditioning air in mechanical refrigerators
US3667249A (en) * 1970-09-23 1972-06-06 Gen Motors Corp Refrigerator with ice maker and high humidity compartment
US4238930A (en) * 1978-12-26 1980-12-16 Whirlpool Corporation Ice maker apparatus
US5375432A (en) * 1993-12-30 1994-12-27 Whirlpool Corporation Icemaker in refrigerator compartment of refrigerator freezer
US6349556B1 (en) * 2000-12-08 2002-02-26 Hoshizaki America, Inc. Water tank for ice making machine
US20040069009A1 (en) * 2002-06-15 2004-04-15 Tedder Carl Kenneth Stackable cooler shelving system
US20060260333A1 (en) * 2005-05-18 2006-11-23 Maytag Corporation Insulated ice compartment for bottom mount refrigerator
US20070163282A1 (en) * 2006-01-13 2007-07-19 Cushman Robert L Ice-making system for refrigeration appliance

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20120192584A1 (en) * 2011-01-25 2012-08-02 Fiaschi Robert J Ice Machine For Dispensing Flavored Ice Cubes

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
WO2008077840A1 (en) 2008-07-03
RU2448312C2 (en) 2012-04-20
EP2104816A1 (en) 2009-09-30
RU2009125471A (en) 2011-01-27
DE102006061102A1 (en) 2008-06-26

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AS Assignment

Owner name: BSH BOSCH UND SIEMENS HAUSGERAETE GMBH,GERMANY

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:FEINAUER, ADOLF;FLINNER, KLAUS;REEL/FRAME:022810/0861

Effective date: 20090610

STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

Free format text: ABANDONED -- FAILURE TO RESPOND TO AN OFFICE ACTION