US20100107703A1 - Drum-type washer/dryer - Google Patents

Drum-type washer/dryer Download PDF

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Publication number
US20100107703A1
US20100107703A1 US11/996,677 US99667706A US2010107703A1 US 20100107703 A1 US20100107703 A1 US 20100107703A1 US 99667706 A US99667706 A US 99667706A US 2010107703 A1 US2010107703 A1 US 2010107703A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
airflow duct
water tub
drum
evaporator
condenser
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
US11/996,677
Inventor
Koji Hisano
Kazuo Funaki
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.)
Toshiba Corp
Toshiba Consumer Marketing Corp
Toshiba Lifestyle Products and Services Corp
Original Assignee
Toshiba Corp
Toshiba Consumer Marketing Corp
Toshiba Lifestyle Products and Services Corp
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Filing date
Publication date
Priority to JP2005-215959 priority Critical
Priority to JP2005215959A priority patent/JP4834342B2/en
Application filed by Toshiba Corp, Toshiba Consumer Marketing Corp, Toshiba Lifestyle Products and Services Corp filed Critical Toshiba Corp
Priority to PCT/JP2006/313486 priority patent/WO2007013277A1/en
Assigned to TOSHIBA CONSUMER MARKETING CORPORATION, TOSHIBA HA PRODUCTS CO., LTD., KABUSHIKI KAISHA TOSHIBA reassignment TOSHIBA CONSUMER MARKETING CORPORATION ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: FUNAKI, KAZUO, HISANO, KOJI
Assigned to TOSHIBA HA PRODUCTS CO., LTD., KABUSHIKI KAISHA TOSHIBA, TOSHIBA CONSUMER MARKETING CORPORATION reassignment TOSHIBA HA PRODUCTS CO., LTD. CORRECTIVE ASSIGNMENT TO CORRECT THE PLEASE CHANGE THE COUNTRY FROM JAMAICA TO JAPAN FOR THE ASSIGNEE TOSHIBA HA PRODUCTS CO., LTD. PREVIOUSLY RECORDED ON REEL 020432 FRAME 0034. ASSIGNOR(S) HEREBY CONFIRMS THE KOJI HISANO KAZUO FUNAKI. Assignors: FUNAKI, KAZUO, HISANO, KOJI
Publication of US20100107703A1 publication Critical patent/US20100107703A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D06TREATMENT OF TEXTILES OR THE LIKE; LAUNDERING; FLEXIBLE MATERIALS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • D06FLAUNDERING, DRYING, IRONING, PRESSING OR FOLDING TEXTILE ARTICLES
    • D06F58/00Domestic laundry driers
    • D06F58/20General details of domestic laundry driers
    • D06F58/206Heat pump arrangements
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D06TREATMENT OF TEXTILES OR THE LIKE; LAUNDERING; FLEXIBLE MATERIALS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • D06FLAUNDERING, DRYING, IRONING, PRESSING OR FOLDING TEXTILE ARTICLES
    • D06F25/00Washing machines with receptacles, e.g. perforated, having a rotary movement, e.g. oscillatory movement, the receptacle serving both for washing and centrifugally draining and having further drying means, e.g. using hot air
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D06TREATMENT OF TEXTILES OR THE LIKE; LAUNDERING; FLEXIBLE MATERIALS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • D06FLAUNDERING, DRYING, IRONING, PRESSING OR FOLDING TEXTILE ARTICLES
    • D06F58/00Domestic laundry driers
    • D06F58/20General details of domestic laundry driers
    • D06F58/24Condensing arrangements

Abstract

A warm air inlet (10) and a warm air outlet (9) of a laterally provided cylindrical water tub (2) are separately arranged in the direction of the axis of the water tub (2). An airflow duct (32) connecting the warm air inlet (10) and the warm air outlet (9) is placed in the axis direction of the water tub (2), substantially directly below the water tub (2). A compressor (53) of a heat pump (57) having an evaporator (41) and a condenser (42) that are placed in the airflow duct (32) is placed at a position at a side of the airflow duct (32) so as to be orthogonal to the axis direction of the tub (2).

Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The present invention relates to a drum-type washer/dryer provided with a heat pump for drying laundry.
  • BACKGROUND ART
  • A washer/dryer provided with a heat pump for drying laundry is notable for its high dry capability and effective energy saving. In such a washer/dryer, the evaporator condenses and collects vapor emitted from laundry during the laundry dry operation. The compressor compresses the refrigerant, which has collected latent heat during vapor condensation, to elevate the temperature of the refrigerant. The condenser heats the air used in the dry operation with the refrigerant of elevated temperature. The use of latent heat obtained during vapor condensation as source of energy for heating the air used in the dry operation does indeed cause slight exterior heat loss (energy loss); however, most of the energy can be reused without loss. Therefore, efficient dry operation can be realized.
  • The drum-type washer/dryer having a heat pump is provided with a laterally disposed cylindrical water tub. The water tub has a warm air inlet and a warm air outlet provided in separate axial locations of the water tub. A drum is disposed inside the water tub. Also, a drive unit for rotating the drum and an airflow duct communicating the warm air outlet and the warm air inlet are provided outside the water tub. An evaporator and a condenser constituting the heat pump are disposed in the airflow duct. The evaporator and the condenser connected to the compressor placed outside the airflow duct. Further, a blower for re-circulating the air inside the water tub through the airflow duct is provided outside the airflow duct.
  • When drying laundry, the compressor of the heat pump is activated while the drum is rotated by the drive unit and the air inside the water tub is re-circulated through the airflow duct by the blower. Thus, vapor contained in the air supplied to the airflow duct from the water tub is cooled and dehumidified by heat exchange carried out by the evaporator. The dehumidified air is heated by heat exchange carried out by the condenser and subsequently supplied into the water tub as warm air. As a result, dry warm air is repeatedly supplied into the drum, whereby laundry is dried.
  • The drum-type washer/dryer provided with a heat pump described in JP 2005-52533 A has the warm air inlet and the warm air outlet of the water tub provided in separate axial locations of the water tub. As opposed to this, the airflow duct is disposed below the water tub so as to be perpendicular to the axial direction of the water tub. Further, the compressor of the heat pump is disposed below the water tub and spaced away from the airflow duct in the axial direction of the water tub by a predetermined distance.
  • DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION Problem to be Overcome by the Invention
  • In the washer/dryer described in the above publication, since the direction in which the warm air inlet and the warm air outlet are provided and the direction in which the airflow duct is disposed are perpendicular to each other, the re-circulation passageway for re-circulating the air inside the water tub needs to make a large curve especially in the range running from the water tub to the airflow duct. Consequently, the configuration of the re-circulation air passageway as a whole becomes complex. Thus, conduit resistance inside the re-circulation air passageway is increased, resulting in less amount of re-circulation flow. Consequently, heat exchange efficiency at the evaporator and the condenser of the heat pump is reduced, leading to poor dry performance.
  • Further, the space below the water tub is limited by the height of the water tub itself and the suspension supporting the water tub. Thus, in order to install the airflow duct and the compressor, which is generally tall, in the manner described in the washer/dryer of the above mentioned publication, the space below the water tub needs to be increased, which created drawback of size and weight increase of the washer/dryer as a whole.
  • Object of the present invention is to provide a drum-type washer/dryer with high dry performance and compact and light-weight overall configuration.
  • Means to Overcome the Problem
  • A drum-type washer/dryer of the present invention is characterized by a laterally disposed cylindrical water tub having a warm air inlet and a warm air outlet; a drum disposed inside the water tub; a drive unit that rotates the drum; an airflow duct communicating the warm air outlet and the warm air inlet of the water tub; a heat pump including an evaporator and a condenser disposed in the airflow duct and a compressor to which the evaporator and the condenser communicate; a blower that re-circulates air inside the water tub through the airflow duct, the warm air inlet and the warm air outlet of the water tub being provided in separate locations in an axial direction of the water tub, the airflow duct being disposed substantially immediately below the water tub and along the axial direction of the water tub, and the compressor of the heat pump being disposed perpendicular to the axial direction of the water tub and laterally of the airflow duct.
  • EFFECT OF THE INVENTION
  • According to the drum-type washer/dryer of the present invention, the re-circulation air passageway for re-circulating air in the water tub need not be curved especially in the range running from the water tub to the airflow duct but can be provided substantially linear instead. This also allows simple overall configuration of the re-circulation air passageway. Thus, there is no increase in conduit resistance inside the re-circulation air passageway, which in turn increases the amount of available re-circulation airflow, thereby improving the heat exchange efficiency at the evaporator and the condenser of the heat pump to obtain high dry performance.
  • Further, the airflow duct and the compressor of the heat pump can be installed space-efficiently in the limited space below the water tub, allowing more compact and light-weight overall configuration of the drum-type washer/dryer.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a front view illustrating one exemplary embodiment of the present invention and shows an interior configuration of a drum-type washer/dryer;
  • FIG. 2 is a broken cross-sectional side view of the drum-type washer/dryer in its entirety;
  • FIG. 3 is vertical cross-sectional side view of an airflow duct and its periphery;
  • FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the airflow duct;
  • FIG. 5 is a front view of the compressor and its periphery;
  • FIG. 6 illustrates an overall configuration of a heat pump;
  • FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the airflow duct and its periphery;
  • FIG. 8 is a broken perspective view of a filter;
  • FIG. 9 is a vertical cross-sectional front view of the airflow duct; and
  • FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a drain valve and its periphery.
  • THE BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION
  • A detailed description will be given on the present invention with reference to the accompanying drawings.
  • FIGS. 1 to 10 illustrate one exemplary embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates the overall configuration of the drum-type washer/dryer. A cylindrical water tub 2 is supported by a pair of left and right suspensions 3 (refer to FIG. 1) inside a cabinet 1 constituting the exterior housing of the drum-type washer/dryer. The water tub 2 is laterally disposed with its axis running in the longitudinal direction (left and right direction in FIG. 2) and being slightly inclined upward (inclined leftwardly upward in FIG. 2). Also, an annular water tub cover 4 having an opening 5 in its substantial center is mounted on the front end of the water tub 2. An opening 6 is provided on the front surface of the cabinet 1 for loading and unloading of laundry. The opening 5 of the water tub cover 4 communicates with the opening 6 by bellows 7. An openable/closable door is provided at the front side of the opening 6.
  • A warm air outlet 9 is provided above the upper front-end side of the water tub 2. A warm air inlet 10, on the other hand, is provided above the rear-end side of the water tub 2. In other words, the warm air outlet 9 and the warm air inlet 10 are provided on separate axial locations of the water tub 2. A drain outlet 11 is provided at the rear-end bottom of the water tub 2. A drain pipe 12 communicates with the drain outlet 11.
  • A cylindrical drum 13 is disposed inside the water tub 2. A plurality of perforations 14 are provided substantially throughout (though only a portion is illustrated in FIG. 2) the periphery (waist) of the drum 13. The perforations 14 function as water perforations as well as air perforations. Further, a warm air intake 15 composed of a plurality of small perforations is provided in the central periphery of the rear surface of drum 13. Further, a reinforcing element 16 is mounted on the back side of the drum 13 rear surface. A shaft 17 is mounted on the rear surface center of the drum 13 via the reinforcing element 16.
  • A bearing housing 18 is mounted on the rear surface center of the water tub 2. The shaft 17 is passed through the bearing housing 18 via bearings 19 and 20. Thus, as is the case with the water tub 2, the drum 13 is supported laterally with its axis running in the longitudinal direction (left and right direction in FIG. 2) and being upwardly inclined (inclined leftwardly upward in FIG. 2).
  • A stator 22 constituting a motor 21 is secured on the outer periphery of the bearing housing 18. A rotor 23 constituting the motor 21, on the other hand, is mounted on the rear end of the shaft 17. The rotor 23, in this case, opposes the stator 22 from the outside. That is, the motor 21 is a brushless DC motor of an outer-rotor type and functions as the drive unit for rotating the drum 13 about the shaft 17.
  • A warm air cover 24 having an opening 25 in its substantial center is provided in the rear surface interior of the water tub 2. The opening 25 of the warm air cover 24 is disposed so as to surround the shaft 17. The portion of the warm air cover 24 above the opening 25 covers the warm air inlet 10 so as to be in confrontation with the warm air inlet 10. Also, almost the entire portion of the warm air cover 24 has a predetermined spacing (approximately ⅓ of the spacing between the rear end surface of the drum 13 and the rear surface of the water tub 2, for example) from the rear surface of the water tub 2. Thus, space is created between the rear surface of the drum 13 and the rear surface of the water tub 2 by being divided off by the warm air cover 24. The space between the rear surface of the water tub 2 and the warm air cover 24 functions as a warm air conduit 26 communicating from the warm air inlet 10 to the opening 25 (space around the shaft 17). The opening 25 of the warm air cover 24 has a diameter sufficiently larger than the diameter of the shaft 17 so as to function as an outlet of the warm air conduit 26.
  • A plurality of large perforations 27 are provided in the reinforcing element 16, more specifically, in the peripheral portions of the shaft 17. The perforations 27 provide communication between the opening 25 of the warm air cover 24 and the warm air intake 15 of the drum 13 to constitute a warm air intake 28.
  • Also, a sealing element 29 is attached on the outer periphery of the portion of the reinforcing element 16 where the warm air intake 28 is formed. The sealing element 29 being composed of an elastic material such as synthesized rubber is in abutment with the peripheral portions of the opening 25 of the warm air cover 24 and is placed in sliding contact with the peripheral portion of the opening 25 of the warm air cover 24 by the rotation of the drum 13. Consequently, the sealing element 29 provides a seal between the drum 13 and the water tub 2, more specifically, between the warm air intake 28 and the warm air conduit 26.
  • The bottom of the cabinet 1 is constituted by the platform 30. The airflow duct 32 is disposed on the platform 30 via a plurality of anti-vibration rubbers 31. The airflow duct 32 is secured to the platform 30 by a plurality of bolts 33 penetrating each anti-vibration rubber 31 and a plurality of nuts 34 capable of screw engagement with the protruding distal ends of each bolt 33. Also, the airflow duct 32 is disposed substantially immediately below the water tub 2 and along the axial direction of the water tub 2 as shown in FIG. 2.
  • The airflow duct 32 is configured by a bottom plate 35, sidewalls 36 and 37 placed on the left and right portions of the bottom plate 35, a front wall 38 attached to the front ends of the sidewalls 36 and 37 and the front end of the bottom plate 35, a rear wall 39 attached to the rear ends of the sidewalls 36 and 37 and the rear end of the bottom plate 35, and the upper cover 40 attached on the upper ends of the sidewalls 36 and 37 and the upper end of the front wall 38 and the upper end of the rear wall 39 as shown in FIG. 4. The airflow duct 32 is formed as an air passageway in a substantially rectangular cylindrical form surrounded by the bottom wall 35, the sidewalls 36 and 37, and the front wall 38 and the rear wall 39.
  • An evaporator 41 and a condenser 42 are disposed between the front wall 38 and the rear wall 39 of the airflow duct 32. In the present exemplary embodiment, the evaporator 41 is disposed in the front wall 38 side and the condenser is formed in the rear wall 39 side.
  • The sidewall 36 constituting the left side of the airflow duct 32 is made of a single sheet of a plate-form element and externally covers the end plate 43 constituting the left end of the evaporator 41 and the endplate 44 constituting the left end of the condenser 42. The sidewall 37 constituting the right side of the airflow duct 32 comprises the end plate 45 constituting the right end of the evaporator 41, the end plate 46 constituting the right end of the condenser 42 and an auxiliary plate 47 connecting the end plate 45 and the end plate 46.
  • Thus, a portion (inlet 48 a, outlet 48 b, and the curvature 48 c) of the refrigerant pipe 48 constituting the evaporator 41 outwardly protrudes from the sidewall 37 of the airflow duct 32. Also, a portion (inlet 49 a, outlet 49 b, and the curvature 49 c) of the refrigerant pipe 49 constituting the condenser 42 outwardly protrudes from the sidewall 37 of the airflow duct 32. A plurality of curvatures 48 c of the refrigerant pipe 48 is provided between the inlet 48 a and the outlet 48 b, and the curvatures 49c of the refrigerant pipe 49 are provided between the inlet 49 a and the outlet 49 b.
  • As opposed to this, the curvatures (refer to FIG. 9) of the refrigerant pipe 48 protruding from the end plate 43 of the evaporator 41 are covered by the sidewall 36 of the airflow duct 32 so as not to outwardly protrude from the airflow duct 32. Also, the curvatures (refer to FIG. 9) of the refrigerant pipe 49 protruding from the end plate 44 of the condenser 42 is covered by the sidewall 36 of the airflow duct 32 so as not to outwardly protrude from the airflow duct 32.
  • A plurality of heat exchange fins 50 is disposed in parallel between the end plate 43 and the end plate 45 of the evaporator 41, and a plurality of straight portion (not shown) of the refrigerant pipe 48 is disposed in the plurality of heat exchange fins 50. Also, a plurality of fins 51 are disposed in parallel between the end plate 44 and the end plate 46 of the condenser 42 and a plurality of straight portion (not shown) of the refrigerant pipe 49 is disposed in the heat exchange fins 51. The straight portions of the refrigerant pipe 48 are connected by the curvature 48 c respectively and the straight portions of the refrigerant pipes 49 are connected by the curvatures 49 c respectively.
  • The bottom plate 35 of the airflow duct 32 includes a compressor placement 52 extending to the right side of the evaporator 41. The compressor 53 is disposed on the compressor placement 52 as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. Thus, the compressor 53 is disposed in a lateral direction of the airflow duct 32, the lateral direction being perpendicular to the axial direction of the water tub 2. In this case, the bottom plate 35 functions as the common bottom plate 35 of the airflow duct 32 and the compressor 53.
  • The compressor 53, as illustrated in FIG. 5, is disposed on the bottom plate 35 (compressor placement 52) via a reinforcing plate 54 made of metal such as a steel plate. Also, the compressor 53 is provided with a reservoir 56 for liquid refrigerant. FIGS. 1, 2 and 5 illustrate the compressor 53 with the noise reduction cover 55 (refer to FIG. 7) removed. The bottom plate 35 of the airflow duct 32 is made of plastic.
  • Referring to FIG. 6, the above described evaporator 41, the condenser 42, the compressor 53 and a capillary tube 59 together constitute the heat pump 57 (refrigerating cycle). The evaporator 41, the condenser 42, the compressor 53 and the capillary tube 59 of the heat pump 57 are connected cyclically by a connection pipe 58. When the compressor 53 is activated, the refrigerant is circulated in sequence from the compressor 53, the condenser 42, the capillary tube 59, and the evaporator 41.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 4, an entrance 60 is provided in the form of a rectangular opening in the front wall 38 of the airflow duct 32. Also, the exit 61 is provided in the form of a circular opening in the rear wall 39 of the airflow duct 32. The entrance 60 and the exit 61 are provided so as to oppose each other and the center of the entrance 60 and the center of the exit 61 are arranged to substantially match when viewed from the front. Also, the evaporator 41 and the condenser 42 of the heat pump 57 are disposed between the entrance 60 and the exit 61 so that their centers substantially match with the center of the entrance 60 and the center of the exit 61 when viewed from the front.
  • The upper cover 40 of the airflow duct 32 is divisible to the evaporator side upper cover 62 and the condenser side upper cover 63. The evaporator side upper cover 62 is detachably attached to the front-side (evaporator 41 side) upper end of the sidewalls 36 and 37 and the upper end of the front wall 38 of the airflow duct 32. The condenser side upper cover 63 is detachably attached to the rear-side (condenser 42 side) upper end of the sidewalls 36 and 37 and the upper end of the rear wall 39 of the airflow duct 32. Removal of the evaporator side upper cover 62 allows maintenance of evaporator 41 and removal of the condenser side upper cover 63 allows maintenance of the condenser 42.
  • AS illustrated in FIGS. 2, 3 and 7, a filter case 64 is attached to the entrance 60 of the airflow duct 32. The filter case 64 is installed so as to be aligned in a longitudinally-oriented row with the evaporator 41 and the condenser 42 of the heat pump 57 and on the upwind of the airflow duct 32.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 7, a rectangular opening 65 is provided in the front end side of the filter case 64. The rear end side of the filter case 64 is also provided with a rectangular opening (not shown). The rear-end opening is substantially of the same size as the entrance 60 of the airflow duct 32, and communicates with the entrance 60. As opposed to this, the front-end opening 65 is shorter in vertical length as compared to the rear-end opening. Also, the front-end opening 65 has higher elevation compared to the rear-end opening of the filter case 64. An upwardly protruding connection port 66 is provided in the upper front end side of the filter case 64.
  • The filter case 64 contains a filter 67. The filter 67 collects lint discharged from laundry during the dry operation, and can be moved in and out of the filter case 64 from the above-described front-end opening 65. As illustrated in FIG. 8, a plurality of filter bodies 68 having varying mesh sizes are stacked on a filter frame 69 of the filter 67. Respective mesh size of the filter bodies 68 are arranged to be coarser in the upper stack (later described upwind of the re-circulation air passageway 90) of the filter frame 69 and finer in the lower stack (downwind of the re-circulation air passageway 90).
  • As illustrated in FIG. 9, a drain receptacle 70 is provided immediately below the evaporator 41. The drain receptacle 70 is downwardly sloped toward the drainage 71 provided in the right end side. A drain reservoir 73 is provided below the drain receptacle 70 and the connection port 74 of the drain reservoir 73 is connected to the above described drainage 71 via a connection pipe 72. The drain reservoir 73 may be made of plastic for example in which case may be molded integrally with the bottom plate 35 of the airflow duct 32.
  • Also, the drain reservoir 73 in its entirety exhibits a flat container form and its bottom 73 a is downwardly sloped toward the right end side (connection port 74 side). The above described connection port 74 is provided immediately above the lowermost portion (the lowermost portion of the drain reservoir 73). On the other hand, a drain pump 75 is disposed on the platform 30 and the suction port of the drain pump 75 communicates with the proximity of the lowermost portion of the drain reservoir 73 described above. Water accumulated in the drain reservoir 73 is sucked out by the drain pump 75 from the lowermost portion of the drain reservoir 73.
  • A drain valve 76 (refer to FIG. 10) is disposed on the platform 30 and in the left side of the airflow duct 32. An inlet 76 a of the drain valve 76 is connected to the drain pipe 12 (refer to FIGS. 1 and 2) via the drain filter case 77 and waste water drained from the water tub 2 passes through the drain filter case 77 through the drain pipe 12. A drain filter (not shown) can be placed in the drain filter case 77 which drain filter collects the lint in the waste water passing through the drain filter case 77.
  • On the other hand, an outlet 76 b of the drain valve 76 is connected to the drain hose 79 via the drain joint 78. The distal end (not shown) of the drain hose 79 is guided out of the drum-type washer/dryer. A connection hose 81 is connected to the drain joint 78 via the drain valve 80. The connection hose 81 is connected to the exhaust of the above described drain pump 75. That is, the exhaust of the drain pump 75 is connected to the drain conduit extending from the water tub 2 to the drain hose 79, more specifically in the portion downstream of the drain valve 76.
  • A check valve 80 allows water flow from the connection hose 81 (drain pump 75) to the drain hose 79 but prevents water flow in the reverse direction (water flow from drain valve 76 to the connection hose 81). Thus, waste water from the water tub 2 can be prevented from reaching into the airflow duct 32 through the connection hose 81 and the drain pump 75. Also, lint that could not be collected by the drain filter can be prevented from reaching into the airflow duct 32 from the water tub 2 with waste water. Thus, clogging of airflow duct 32 (especially between the plurality of heat exchange fins 50 of the evaporator 41 and between the plurality of heat exchange fins 51 of the condenser 42) by lint uncollected by the drain filter can be prevented.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 2, 3 and 7, the lower end of a connection hose 82 in accordion shape is connected to the connection port 66 of the filter case 64. The above described water tub cover 4 is hollow substantially throughout its entire circumference to form a re-circulation flow duct 83 communicating with the warm air outlet 9. That is, the re-circulation flow duct 83 is formed by utilizing the wall of the water tub cover 4. The connection port 84 is provided in the lower portion of the re-circulation duct 83, and the upper end of the above described connection hose 82 is connected to the connection port 84. The re-circulation duct 83 may be formed by making the left half circumference and the right half circumference of the water tub cover 4 hollow.
  • On the other hand, an inlet (not shown) formed in the casing 86 of the blower 85 communicates with the exit 61 of the airflow duct 32. An impeller (not shown) rotatably driven by a (motor not shown) is contained inside the casing 86. The blower 85 sucks air from the inlet of the above described casing 86 by rotating the impeller and exhausts from the outlet 87.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 2, the outlet 87 of the casing 86 communicates with the warm air inlet 10 of the water tub 2 via the accordion connection hose 88 and the air supply duct 89. The air supply duct 89 is disposed along the circumference of the motor 21 so as to circumvent the motor 21.
  • As described above, the entrance 60 of the airflow duct 32 communicates with the warm air outlet 9 of the water tub 2 via the filter case 64, the connection hose 82 and the air re-circulation duct 83. Also, the exit 61 of the airflow duct 32 communicates with the warm air inlet 10 of the water tub 2 via the blower 85, the connection hose 88 and the air supply duct 89. Such configuration provides the re-circulation air passageway 90 that connects the warm air outlet 9 and the warm air inlet 10 of the water tub 2.
  • Next, a description will be given on the operation of the above described configuration.
  • When a standard operation course is started, the drum-type washer/dryer initially executes the wash step (wash and rinse operation). In the wash step, the drum-type washer/dryer supplies water to the water tub 2 by a water supplier not shown and subsequently activates the motor 21 to alternately rotate the drum 13 in the forward and reverse directions at low speed.
  • When the wash step is completed, the drum-type washer/dryer executes the dehydration step. In the dehydration step, the drum-type washer/dryer rotates the drum 13 in a single direction at high speed after draining the water inside the water tub 2. Thus, the laundry inside the drum 13 is centrifugally dehydrated.
  • When the dehydration step is completed, the drum-type washer/dryer executes the dry step. In the dry step, the drum-type washer/dryer rotates the drum 13 in the forward and reverse directions at low speed as well as rotating the impeller by activating the blower 85. The rotation of the impeller supplies the air inside the water tub 2 into the airflow duct 32 via the hot air outlet 9, the re-circulation duct 83, the connection hose 82, and the filter case 64.
  • At this instance, the drum-type washer/dryer activates the compressor 53 of the heat pump 57. The activation of the compressor 53 compresses the refrigerant sealed in the heat pump 57 to increase its temperature and pressure whereafter the refrigerant is flow into the condenser 42. The refrigerant of high temperature and high pressure flown into the condenser 42 is condensed in the condenser 42, at which point the refrigerant is heat exchanged with the air in the airflow duct 32. Consequently, the air inside the airflow duct 32 is heated, whereas the temperature of the refrigerant is lowered and the refrigerant is liquidated. The liquidated refrigerant is depressurized when passing through the capillary tube 59 and thereafter flown into the evaporator 41. The refrigerant flown into the evaporator 41 is evaporated in the evaporator 41 at which point heat exchange is carried out with the air in the airflow duct 32. Consequently, the air in the airflow duct 32 is cooled whereas the refrigerant which has taken heat away from the air in the airflow duct 32 is resent to the compressor 53 in such state.
  • Under such configuration, the air flown into the airflow duct 32 from the water tub 2 is cooled and dehumidified by the evaporator 41 and thereafter heated into warm air by the condenser 42. Then, the warm air is supplied into the water tub 2 from the warm air inlet 10 via the connection hose 88 and the air supply duct 89.
  • The warm air supplied into the drum 13 takes away moisture from the laundry and thereafter flown into the airflow duct 32 again from the warm air outlet 9 via the re-circulation duct 83 and the connection hose 82.
  • Thus, the laundry inside the drum 13 is dried by re-circulating air between the airflow duct 32 including the evaporator 41 and the condenser 42 and the drum 13.
  • In the dry step, the lint discharged from the laundry inside the drum 13 is carried into the filter case 64 via the re-circulation duct 83 and the connection hose 82 by air flowing out of the above described warm air outlet 9. The lint is collected in the filter case 64 by the filter 67. The collected lint is can be removed from the filter 67 by removing the filter 67 from the filter case 64 after completing the operation. Lint discharged from laundry can be collected again by putting the lint-free filter 67 back into the lint filter 64.
  • As described above, in the dry step, the evaporator 41 cools and dehumidifies the air passing through the airflow duct 32. At the same time, moisture contained in the air is condescended on the surface of the evaporator 41 and the condescended dew drips into the drain receptacle 70 located immediately below the evaporator 41. The condescended dew dripped on to the drain receptacle 70 flows down along the slope of the drain receptacle 70 and discharged into the drain reservoir 73 from the drain outlet 71 via the connection pipe 72.
  • Since the bottom 73 a of the drain reservoir 73 is sloped, the condescended dew is gradually accumulated into the drain reservoir 73 from the lowermost side of the drain reservoir 73. Then upon activation of the drain pump 75, the condescended dew accumulated in the drain reservoir 73 is effectively sucked out by the drain pump 75 from the lowermost portion of the drain reservoir 73. The condescended dew sucked by the drain pump 75 is discharged from the drum-type washer/dryer from the connection hose 81 via the drain joint 78 and the drain hose 79. When the dry step is completed, the drum-type washer/dryer completes the series of standard operation course.
  • Thus, according to the present exemplary embodiment, the warm air inlet 10 and the warm air outlet 9 are provided in separate axial locations in the axial direction of the cylindrical water tub 2 and the airflow duct 32 that communicates the warm air inlet 10 and the warm air outlet 9 is disposed substantially immediately below the water tub 2 along the axial direction of the water tub 2. Thus, re-circulation passageway 90 that re-circulates air in the water tub 2 need not be curved in great extent especially in the range running from the water tub 2 to the airflow duct 32, allowing substantially linear installation. Also, the configuration of the entire re-circulation air passageway 90 itself can be simplified as compared to the conventional configuration (the airflow duct being disposed below the water tub to be perpendicular to the axial direction of the water tub). Thus, no increase in conduit resistance is observed inside the re-circulation air passageway 90, thereby increasing the amount of re-circulation flow being obtained, consequently improving the heat exchange efficiency at the evaporator 41 and the condenser 42 of the heat pump 57 to obtain high dry performance.
  • Also, the compressor 53 of the heat pump 57 is disposed in a position laterally of the airflow duct 32 which is in a direction perpendicular to the axial direction of the water tub 2. Thus, the compressor 53 of the airflow duct 32 and the heat pump 57 can be disposed space-efficiently in a position below the water tub 2 where there is limited space to reduce the size and weight of the entire drum-type washer/dryer. Also, the compressor 53 may be disposed below the side portion of the water tub 2 and not below the lowermost portion of the water tub 2 where space is most limited, thus, no additional space need to be provided for the compressor 53.
  • Also, the entrance 60 and the exit 61 of the airflow duct 32 are provided so as to oppose each other and the evaporator 41 and the condenser 42 of the heat pump 57 are disposed between the entrance 60 and the exit 61 so that the centers of the evaporator 41 and the condenser 42 substantially match with the centers of the entrance 60 and the exit 61. Thus, air supplied from inside the water tub 2 to the airflow duct 32 may pass through the airflow duct 32 more smoothly to prevent air from leaking out of the airflow duct 32. Also, the air supplied from inside the water tub 2 to the airflow duct 32 can be flown in a substantially linear fashion to the evaporator 41 and the condenser 42 of the heat pump 57, thereby being efficiently exposed to the evaporator 41 and the condenser 42 to provide further enhanced heat exchange efficiency.
  • Also, the filter case 64 containing the filter 67 is installed in a row with the evaporator 41 and the condenser 42 of the heat pump 57, and disposed in the upwind of the airflow duct 32. Thus, air passed through the filter case 64 can be flown substantially in a linear fashion to the airflow duct 32 to prevent reduction in the amount of re-circulation air flow.
  • Further, the compressor 53 of the heat pump 57 is disposed on a bottom plate 35, being shared with the airflow duct 32, via a reinforcing plate 54. Thus, the compressor 53 and the airflow duct 32 can be handled as a single unit. Also, the placement of the compressor 53 prevents bending of the bottom plate 35 of the airflow duct 32. Hence, air can be prevented from leaking out of the airflow duct 32 by the deformation of the airflow duct 32 due to bottom plate 35 bending. Further, the reinforcing plate 54 reduces damages suffered by the airflow duct 32 even in case the drum-type washer/dryer is dropped, for example, during relocation of the drum-type washer/dryer.
  • Further, the intervention of the reinforcing plate 54 allows secure fixture of the compressor 53 on the bottom plate 35, thereby preventing the vibration imparted by the drum 13 during the operation of the drum-type washer/dryer, for example, from being transmitted to the airflow duct 32 and the compressor 53. The conduits connecting the compressor 53, condenser 42, and the evaporator 41 can also be protected from transmission of vibration, consequently increasing product lifecycle of the conduits as well as the entire heat pump 57. Further, vibration originating from the compressor 53 can be prevented from being transmitted to the cabinet 1 to suppress occurrence of vibration and noise of the drum-type washer/dryer in its entirety.
  • The drain reservoir 73 for accumulating condescended dew evaporated from the evaporator 41 is formed on the bottom plate 35 of the airflow duct 32. Thus, deformation of the airflow duct 32 can be prevented by the support provided to the bottom plate 35 of the airflow duct 32 by the drain reservoir 73.
  • The condescended dew evaporated from the evaporator 41 can be accumulated in the drain reservoir 73 below the bottom plate 35 of the airflow duct 32 to prevent the evaporator 41 and the condenser 42 from being immersed in the dew. Thus, clogging of lint in the airflow duct 32 (especially, between the heat exchange fins 50 of the evaporator 41 and between the heat exchange fins 51 of the condenser 42) can be prevented even if the condescended dew contains lint.
  • Also, the sidewall 37 of the airflow duct 32 comprises the end plate 45 of the evaporator 41, the end plate 46 of the condenser 42, and the auxiliary side plate 47 connecting the end plate 45 of the evaporator 41 and the end plate 46 of the condenser 42. Thus, the portion of the airflow duct 32 configured by the sidewall 37 can be rendered airtight to prevent air leak from the airflow duct 32.
  • Further, the sidewall 37 of the airflow duct 32 utilizes the end plate 45 of the evaporator 41 and the end plate 46 of the condenser 42. Thus, no additional elements are required for the sidewall 37 to render a low cost product. Further, by configuring the sidewall 37 by a portion (end plate 45) of the evaporator 41 and a portion (end plate 46) of the condenser 42, no space is created between the evaporator 41 and the condenser 42 and the sidewall 37, allowing efficient exposure of the air circulated in the airflow duct 32 to the evaporator 41 and the condenser 42.
  • Also, the airflow duct 32 and the compressor 53 have been disposed on the platform 30 via the anti-vibration rubber 31. Thus, the vibration originating from the drum 13 during the operation of the drum-type washer/dryer can be prevented from being transmitted to the airflow duct 32 and the compressor 53 via the cabinet 1.
  • Further, since each of the filter bodies 68 constituting the filter 67 have different mesh sizes, both large lint and small lint can be collected. In this case, the filter bodies 68 being detachably attached to the filter frame 69 allow removal of lint accumulated in the filter 67 with greater ease.
  • Yet, further, since the re-circulation flow duct 83 is formed by utilizing the wall of the water tub cover 4, no additional element is required for the re-circulation flow duct 83, thereby allowing product cost reduction.
  • Furthermore, since the bottom 73 a of the drain reservoir 73 is downwardly sloped toward the suction port of the drain pump 75, dew dripped on the drain reservoir 73 during the dry step can be sucked efficiently by the drain pump 75 to allow quick drainage.
  • The present invention is not limited to the above described embodiment example but may be modified or expanded as follows.
  • The water tub 2 and the drum 13 maybe disposed axially horizontal or inclined.
  • The present invention may be subject to various modifications and extensions without departures from the inventive concept.
  • INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY
  • As described above, the drum-type washer/dryer in accordance with the present invention obtains high dry performance as well as overall compactness and light weight, thereby useful in drum-type washer/dryer placed in limited spaces.

Claims (6)

1. A drum-type washer/dryer comprising:
a laterally disposed cylindrical water tub having a warm air inlet and a warm air outlet;
a drum disposed inside the water tub;
a drive unit that rotates the drum;
an airflow duct communicating the warm air outlet and the warm air inlet of the water tub;
a heat pump including an evaporator and a condenser disposed in the airflow duct and a compressor to which the evaporator and the condenser are connected;
a blower that re-circulates air inside the water tub through the airflow duct, and
the warm air inlet and the warm air outlet of the water tub are provided in separate locations in an axial direction of the water tub, the airflow duct being disposed substantially immediately below the water tub and along the axial direction of the water tub, and the compressor of the heat pump being disposed in a direction perpendicular to the axial direction of the water tub and laterally of the airflow duct.
2. The drum-type washer/dryer of claim 1, wherein the airflow duct includes an entrance and an exit opposing each other, and the evaporator and the condenser of the heat pump are disposed between the entrance and the exit so that centers of the evaporator and the condenser substantially match with the centers of the entrance and the exit.
3. The drum-type washer/dryer of claim 2, further comprising a filter case containing a filter that collects lint discharged from laundry, and the filter case is aligned in a row with the evaporator and the condenser of the heat pump and positioned in an upwind of the airflow duct.
4. The drum-type washer/dryer of claim 1, wherein the compressor of the heat pump is disposed on a reinforcing plate overlying a bottom plate being shared with the airflow duct.
5. The drum-type washer/dryer of claim 1, further comprising a drain reservoir that accumulates water dehumidified from air flowing through the airflow duct by the evaporator of the heat pump, and the drain reservoir is formed on the bottom plate of the airflow duct.
6. The drum-type washer/dryer of claim 1, wherein the airflow duct has a sidewall comprising an end plate of the evaporator of the heat pump, an end plate of the condenser, and an auxiliary side plate connecting the end plate of the evaporator and the end plate of the condenser.
US11/996,677 2005-07-26 2006-07-06 Drum-type washer/dryer Abandoned US20100107703A1 (en)

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JP2005-215959 2005-07-26
JP2005215959A JP4834342B2 (en) 2005-07-26 2005-07-26 Drum type washer / dryer
PCT/JP2006/313486 WO2007013277A1 (en) 2005-07-26 2006-07-06 Drum-type washer/dryer

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JP (1) JP4834342B2 (en)
KR (1) KR100996347B1 (en)
CN (1) CN101228307A (en)
DE (1) DE112006001946T5 (en)
TW (1) TWI317392B (en)
WO (1) WO2007013277A1 (en)

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Publication number Publication date
KR100996347B1 (en) 2010-11-23
WO2007013277A1 (en) 2007-02-01
JP4834342B2 (en) 2011-12-14
TWI317392B (en) 2009-11-21
JP2007029359A (en) 2007-02-08
KR20080026630A (en) 2008-03-25
DE112006001946T5 (en) 2008-05-29
CN101228307A (en) 2008-07-23
TW200712278A (en) 2007-04-01

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