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Патент USA US3045456

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July 24, 1962
Filed Sept. '9, 1960
5 Sheets-Sheet 1
His Attorney
July 24, 1962
Filed Sept. 9, 1960
3 Sheets-Sheet 2
1' g. 2
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His A/fom .
July 24, 1962
Filed Sept. 9', l
20' I 1
106‘ ,l
F’g‘ 3
His After
llnited Etates 'atent @ffice
3,045,4 46
Wendell M. Thomas, Clayton, Ohio, assignor to General
Motors Corporation, Detroit, Mich, a corporation of ‘in
Filed Sept. 9, 1260, Ser. No. 54,957
3 Claims. (Cl. 62-138)
The present invention relates to refrigerating apparatus‘
Patented July 24, 1962
means comprises an adjustable arm 41 having its one end
pivotally mounted to bracket 42, welded upon cover 36,
by a pin 43. The other end of arm 41 carries a feeler
receptacle 44 (see FIGURE 2) containing a coiled tube
46 disposed thereabove (see FIGURE 3). The feeler
receptacle 44 is preferably made adjustable in any suit
able manner relative to the ?at upper surface of the lower
most freezing member 23 so as to vary the thickness of
a slab of ice formed on the top surface of this member
and more particularly to an ice block maker.
10 and, consequently, on the top surface of the other or
An object of this invention is to provide an automatic
uppermost of the members 23. Tube 46 has its end at
ice maker of the type disclosed in Patent No. 2,806,387
the coiled portion thereof sealed and has its other end
which eliminates the need for the heaters 47 and 119 and
connected to an expansible and contractable element 49
their controls as shown in said patent.
located in a suitable or conventional electric snap switch
Another object 10f this invention is to increase the
50 (see FIGURE 3). The construction and arrangement
output of the above mentioned ice maker without impair
of control or switch 50 with respect to the lower freezing
ing its operating ef?ciency.
Still another object of this invention is to reduce the
maximum motor size required for operating the refrig
erant compressor used in the ice maker.
More particularly, it is an object of this invention to
provide a control for an automatic ice maker of the
member 23 is clearly shown and fully described in the
patents hereinbefore referred to. As before stated, the
two vertically spaced apart freezing members or plates 23
form refrigerant evaporating portions of a closed refrig
erating system and each has a plurality of conduit con
nections with a refrigerant translating device of the refrig~
crating system mounted in the machine compartment 21
of hot gas to the plate evaporators and which causes ?ow
and comprising a motor-compressor unit 51 (see FIG
of Water over the plate evaporators immediately after the 25 URE 3) connected, by a conduit ‘52, with a condenser 53
ice slabs leave the freezing plates so as to prevent needless
which may be cooled in any suitable or conventional
build up of pressure in the plate evaporators.
manner. ' Condenser 53 is connected to a receiver 54 and
Further objects and advantages of the present inven
conduits 55' and 56 connect this receiver in parallel circuit
tion will be apparent from the following description, refer
relation with the refrigerant evaporating passages within
ence being had to the accompanying drawings, wherein
the two freezing plate member 23. Thermostatic expan
a preferred form of the present invention is clearly shown.
sion valves 57 and 57A are interposed in conduits 55 and
In the drawings:
56 respectively and each has a thermal bulb 53 and 58A
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of an ice block maker
connected thereto by a tube 59 and 59A respectively for
cabinet having portions thereof broken away to show the
operating the valves 57 and 57A as is conventoinal in the
location and arrangement of Various elements within the 08 El art. Bulbs 58 and 58A are secured to the'parallelly con
nected gaseous refrigerant return conduits 6t} and 61,
FIGURE 2 isan enlarged front view of the ice maker
leading to unit 51, and are thermally responsive to the
cabinet shown in FIGURE 1 partly in section and partly
temperature of these conduits. The outlets of the separate
in elevation; and
plate evaporators 23 are connected by the conduits 60
FIGURE 3 is a diagrammatic view of various elements
and 61 and a main or common conduit to the intake side
type shown in said patent which terminates the supply
of the ice block maker and showing an electrical circuit
of the compressor of the motor-compressor unit 51. A
conduit 62 extends from the top of receiver 54 and is
The present invention is an improvement over the ice
connected to a solenoid operated valve 63 having branch
block making apparatus illustrated and fully described
pipes connecting the same directly to the refrigerant ex
in the patents to J. R. Pichler, No. 2,806,357, dated Sep 45 pansion passages in the two plate evaporator members 23.
tember 17, 1957, and Marshall W. Baker, No. 2,784,563,
Valve 63 normally closes conduit oz to prevent its com
dated March 12, 1957, and assigned to the assignee of the
munication with the refrigerant passage in members 23
present application. Reference to these patents is made
during a refrigerating cycle of operation of the refrigerat
for a clear understanding of the ice block making appa
ing system.
ratus herein more or less concisely shown and described.
Means is provided for ?owing a ?lm of water over
Certain features over those shown in the Pichler and
each of the spaced apart freezing plate evaporators 23
Baker patents are herein desclosed and exempli?ed in
from a main or supply pipe containing water under pres
order to carry out the objects of the present invention.
sure. This means comprises manifolds in the form of
Referring to the drawings I show, in FIGURE 1 there
headers 66 one of which is located at. the upper end of
of, an ice making apparatus of the type capable of pro 55 each inclined member 23 and provided with small holes or
ducing small blocks of ice for table use including a cabinet
ori?ces for distributing water over the freezing plate mem
15 comprisin<I a plurality of walls 17 having any suitable
bers 23. Headers 66 have supply conduits 73 and 74 con
or conventional insulating material 16 therein forming an
nected thereto and these conduits connect with a com
insulated chamber 20 within the cabinet. Chamber 20
mon pipe 75 which communicates with a centrifugal water
is disposed over a non-insulated machine compartment 21 60 pump 76 located in the bottom of a water sump or reser
provided in the lower portion of cabinet 15.v -A plurality
voir forming receptacle 77. A motor 78 located below
receptacle 77 is employed to operate the water pump 76.
of separate unitary freezing members 23 are stationarily
mounted, preferably at an angle, in the upper portion of
A valve 81, actuated by a ?oat 82, controls the ?ow of
water through a water main or supply pipe 83, containing
chamber MP. The inclined freezing plate members 23 are
water under pressure, into the sump or reservoir 77.
disposed in spaced apart relationship one above the other
Receptacle or reservoir 77 is also provided with a siphon
and are refrigerant evaporators forming a part of a closed
pipe 36 which periodically draws water out of the recep
refrigerating system, to be hereinafter described, asso
tacle 77 to aid the apparatus in producing clear ice blocks.
ciated with cabinet 15. A metal cover 36 is spaced from
A trough 87 is located below the lower end of each of
the ?at upper surface of the lowermost member 23 and is 70 the
members 23 and these troughs each have a pipe 87A
provided with an opening 37 which receives a part of a
connected thereto and extending into the receptacle 77.
thermostatic control means. This thermostatic control
The troughs 87 receive excess water directed over the plate
members 23 and convey this water into the sump or
reservoir receptacle. A baf?e 88 is located at the lower
end of each member 23 to direct water ?owing therefrom
into the trough 87 and for preventing excessive water
splash. These baflles 08 are each hingedly mounted so
as to be swingably moved out of the path of slabs of ice
released and sliding from the members 23.
In the upper left hand portion of chamber 20 there is
mounted two inclined ice cutters, grids or dissectors 90
106 which is controlled by the solenoid 105. The switch
106 is biased to the up or solid line position when the sole
noid is deenergized. Another branch wire 131 leads from
wire 126, between switch 103 and unit 51, and is con
nected to a wire 132 which enters one side of a solenoid
in valve 63. Wire 132 extends to the water pump motor
78. A wire extends from pump mortor 78 and is con
nected to the bottom contact of switch 106 as shown in
FIGURE 3 of the drawing. The upper contact 136 of
and 90A. The dissectors 90 and 90A are disposed in 10 switch 106 is connected, by a wire 137, with the solenoid
in valve 63. The contact on arm 129 of switch 50 is
spaced apart relationship one above the other at the lower
adapted to alternately engage or disengage the contacts
_side of the freezing plate members 23 and each is adapted
134 and 136 in response to temperature conditions in the
to receive a slab of ice from the plate freezer member
feeler receptacle 44 associated with the lowermost freez
with which it is associated. Each dissector ice cutting
grid 90 and 90A comprises a frame 91 having sets of 15 ing member 23.
A wire 117 leads from the transformer 116 to the
spaced apart wires 92 and 93 extending thereacross in
solenoid 105 which controls the switch 106. The switch
opposite directions to one another. The lower portion of
106 moves to the full line position whenever the solenoid
insulated chamber 20 forms storage means for ice blocks
105 is deenergized and moves to the dotted line position
and this storage means has a partition 94 therein dividing
same into separate side by side ice block storage com 20 in response to the energization of solenoid 105. When
the switch 106 moves to its full line position, the solenoid
valve 63 is opened so as to allow the ?ow of relatively
hot refrigerant into the plate evaporators 23 so as to
guards or retainers 98 (see FIGURES l and 2) arranged
cause release of the ice slabs which have ‘been formed
as desired and which may be opened or tilted angularly 25 thereon. When the ice slab on the lower plate 23
partments or bins 95 and 96. The ice block storage means,
bins or compartments are normally closed by an insulated
vertically slidable door structure 97 and inner tiltable
automatically in response to sliding door 97 into open posi
reaches the desired thickness, the ice thickness thermo
tion to a?ord access to ice blocks in the storage means.
stat control switch arm 129 engages contact 136.
A drain pipe 99 leads from the bottom of the ice block
movement of the switch arm 129 serves to deenergize the
storage means to convey water, entering same from the
solenoid 105 and thereby initiate the removal of the
siphon 86 associated with receptacle 77 and water resulting 30 ice slabs which have formed on the evaporators 23 and
from melting ice in the storage means, out of the cabinet.
to open the circuit to the water pump motor 78. When
Also in the present disclosure I provide each bin 95
the upper and lower ice slabs have both been released,
- and 96 with a thermal bulb 101 and 101A respectively
they will strike the switches 107 and 108, respectively, so
which are connected by tubes 101B and 101C to one end
as to immediately complete a circuit to the solenoid 105
of a conduit 102. The other end of conduit 102 is con 35 via the contacts 129 and 136. Energization of the sole
nected or sealed to an expansible and contractable bellows
noid 105 moves the switch 106 into the dotted line posi
mounted in a bin thermostatic electric switch 103 of any
tion to deenergize the solenoid valve 63 and energize the
desired or conventional construction. The bulbs 101 and
water pump 78. By virtue of this circuit arrangement the
101A, tubes 101B and 101C and the bellows in switch 103
ice freezing cycle begins even before the switch contact
are charged with a volatile ?uid and then sealed to form a 40 129 returns into engagement with the switch contact 134.
temperature responsive unit for actuating switch 103.
When the switch contact 129 reengages the contact 134,
The bulbs 101 and 101A may be placed at any desired
the solenoid 105 remains energized even after the ice
height within chamber 20 to maintain a predetermined
slabs, which were ‘formerly holding the switches 107 and
supply of ice blocks in the compartments or bins 95 and
108 closed, have been cut into cubes and have dropped
96. When, however, ice blocks accumulate in either one
into the ice storage compartment so as to allow the
of the storage bins up to or above the bulb therein to
switches 107 and 108 to reopen. It has been found that
contactsame the bulb responds to the temperature of the
the ice thickness thermostat 50 requires some time to
ice and will cause switch 103 to shut down or render
warm up after the ice slabs have been released and there
the refrigerating system inoperative to produce ice on the
fore the switches 107 and 108, in effect, serve to over
freezing plate members 23.
50 ride the thermostat 50 at that point in the cycle when the
ice slabs ?rst leave the plate evaporators 23.
Electrical Circuit
The one hundred and ?fteen volt power mains indicated
at L and LA (see FIGURE 3) lead to a low voltage, say,
Assume that the ice block maker is properly connected
for example, an eleven volt, transformer 116. A branch
to a source of water supply, to a drain and its electric
wire 121 leads from wire 117 to wires 92 of the lower ice
circuit is now energized by plugging an extension cord,
cutter grid or dissector 90 and a branch wire 122 leads
leading from the cabinet, into an electric outlet. Elec
from wire 118 to wires 93 of this lower dissector, which
tric current now flows from the mains L and LA through
are connected in series with wires 92, to continuously ener
closed switch 103 to the motor-compressor unit 51 to
gize the dissector or ice severing grid 90. A branch wire
123 leads from wire 117 to wires 92 of the upper ice cutter 60 cause operation thereof. Simultaneously therewith elec
tric current ?ows from transformer 116 through wires
grid or dissector 90A and a branch wire 124 leads from
117 and 118 and branch wires 121, 122, 123 and 124
wire 118 to wires 93 of this upper dissector, which are also
to continuously energize ‘both of the ice cutters or dis
connected in series with wires 92 thereof, to continuously
sectors 90 and 90A by directing thirty to thirty-?ve watts
energize the dissector 90A. The one hundred and ?fteen
of current into the resistance wires 92 and 93 of each to
volt circuit includes a wire 126 branched from power
heat these wires. At this time electric current also ?ows
main L and leading into the bin thermostat switch 103.
through wire 128, switch 106 (which now occupies the
Another wire 127 branches from power main LA and also
dotted line position) and then to water pump motor 78.
leads into the bin switch 103. The wires 126 and 127 ex
The circuit is completed back to the power main L from
tend from switch 103 to the electric motor of the motor
motor 78 through wires 131 and 126. Water ?lls re
compressor unit 51 to cause continuous operation of this
ceptacle 77 to a predetermined level under control of
unit which is interrupted only by actuation of switch 103
?oat valve 81. Solenoid valve 63 is closed while motor
in response to a predetermined accumulation of ice blocks
78 operates. The pump 76 lifts water, from receptacle
within the storage means or bins 95 and 96. A branch
77 by way of pipe 75 and conduits 73 and 74, to each
wire 128 leads from wire 127, between switch 103 and
unit 51, and is connected to a movable arm of the switch 75 of the headers 66 of the superimposed freezing plate
members 23.
Water is'distributed in the form of a ?lm
simultaneously upon each freezing plate surface of mem
bers 23 by the outlet openings in the manifolds or head
ers 66. The compressor of unit 51 withdraws refrigerant
vapor from the expansion passages in the plate portion
of both members 23, to cause chilling of these plates,
compresses the same and forwards the compressed re
hold the switches 107 and 108 closed drop away from
these switches.
While the embodiments of the present invention as
herein disclosed, constitute preferred forms, it is to be
understood that other forms might be adopted.
What is claimed is as follows:
1. An ice making apparatus for cyclically freezing
frigerant to condenser 53 wherein it is cooled and lique
water into ice and releasing the ice comprising in com
?ed in any suitable manner such as by forced circulation
bination, a freezing plate, means for circulating a ?lm _
of air over the condenser. Refrigerant lique?ed in con 10 of Water across said plate, means for refrigerating said
plate to freeze water circulated thereacross into a layer
' denser 53 ?ows into receiver 54 where it is further cooled
of ice thereon, means for heating said. plate to loosen
and collected. Liquid refrigerant enters the conduits 55
the layer of ice therefrom whereby the ice gravitation
and 56 and flows to the expansion valves 57 and 57A.
ally slides o? the plate in the form of a slab,'a thermal
This liquid refrigerant is directed into the passages of ‘
element associated with said freezing plate and adapted
both plate members 23, by the expansion valves, where
to be directly contacted by the thickness of a layer of
it evaporates, in removing heat from the plates, and the
ice formed thereon, a switch operable by said element
evaporated or gaseous refrigerant is returned through
controlling said apparatus for initiating alternate ice freez
conduits 60 and 61, to the compressor unit 51. The
ing and ice releasing cycles thereof, and means actuated
refrigerating effect produced by members 23 causes water
from the film thereof ?owing over the plates to freeze 20 in response to a predetermined position of movement of
and accumulate thereon in the form of thin cakes or
slabs of ice. When the thickness of the cake or slab of x
ice on at least the lowermost of the freezing plates 23
reaches the feeler receptacle 44, it cools the coiled por
tion of tube 46. The temperature of tube 46 is lowered 25
to the desired point, in accordance with a predetermined
thickness of accumulated ice on lower member 23, and
a loosened ice slab with respect to said plate for over
riding said switch for initiating ice freezing even though
said switch momentarily remains in an ice releasing cycle
water into ice and releasing the ice comprising in combi
nation, a pair of freezing plates, means ‘for circulating
element 49 of switch 50 will contract and cause move
ment of switch arm 129 away from contact 134 and into
engagement with contact 136.
2. An ice making apparatus for cyclically freezing
?lms of water across said plates, means for refrigerating
said plates to freeze water circulated thereacross into a
When arm 129 disengages 30 layer of ice thereon, said last named means including
. contact 134, of switch 50, the circuit to the solenoid coil
105 is deenergized so as to deenergize the water pump
a compressor, a condenser, and means forming evapora
tor passages in said freezing plate, means including a
solenoid valve for directing hot gas from said condenser
motor 78 and energize the solenoid in valve 63. Ener
into said evaporator passages for heating said plates to
gization of the solenoid in valve 63 causes this valve to
open and hot gaseous refrigerant is now circulated from 35 loosen the ice therefrom whereby the ice gravitationally
slides off the plate in the form of a slab, a thermal ele
the receiver 54 and condenser 53, through conduit 62,
ment associated with one of said freezing plates and
valve 63 and the branch conduits leading therefrom di
adapted to be directly contacted by the thickness of a
rectly into the passages in both of the freezing plates
\ 23 and thence back to the compressor of unit 51 which
continues to operate at this time. The thermostatic con
trol or switch 50, thus, serves as a means responsive to
a predetermined thickness of ice on one of the members
23 to alternately refrigerate the freezing plates and to
layer of ice formed thereon, a switch operable by said
element controlling said apparatus and said " solenoid
valve for initiating alternate ice freezing and ice releasing
cycles thereof, and means actuated in response to ,re
lease of both of said ice slabs from said plates for over
riding said switch to terminate the ice releasing cycle.
Switch/50 also serves as a means for simul
3. An ice making apparatus for cyclically freezing
taneously stopping the ?ow of water over both freezing 45
plates 23, rendering the refrigerating means ineffective
water into ice and releasing the ice comprising in combi
and for initiating heating of the plates by rendering the
nation, a pair of freezing plates, means for circulating
heating means, hot gas lines 62, effective. Heat of the
?lms of Water across said plates, means for refrigerating
gaseous refrigerant ?owing through the passages in the
said plates to freeze water circulated thereacross into a
plate members 23 thaws and substantially simultaneously 50 layer of ice thereon, means for heating said plates to
breaks the bond between [both plates and the slabs of
loosen the ice therefrom whereby the ice gravitationally
ice previously formed thereon. The slabs of ice released
slides off the plate in the form of a slab, a thermal element
from the lower and upper plates 23 are adapted to slide
associated with one of said freezing plates and adapted
therefrom onto the inclined ice dissectors 90 and 90A
be directly contacted by the thickness of a layer of
respectively associated therewith. The sliding slabs of 55 ice‘formed thereon, a switch operable by said element
ice engage and move the ba?ies 88 about their pivotal
head them.
controlling said apparatus for initiating alternate ice
and ice releasing cycles thereof, and means actu
the slabs of ice slide off the freezing plates 23 onto the
ated in response to release of bothof said ice slabs from
dissectors 90 and 90A the one or lower slab closes the
switch 108 and the upper slab closes the switch 107. 60 said plates for overriding said switch to terminate the
mounting out of the path of movement of the ice.
As ~
~ When these two switches’ are closed and the contact arm
engages contact 136, the solenoid 105 is energized where
by the water pump operates and the solenoid valve 63 is
closed. This reduces to a minimum the interval of time
between the removal of slabs of ice from both members 65
23 and a subsequent ice slab freezing cycle. Movement
of arm 129 away from contact 136 of switch 50 to the
contact 134 will take place before the ice slabs which
ice releasing cycle.
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
Ayres ______________ __ June 29, 1954
Pichler _____________ __ Sept. 17, 1957
Rodgers _____________ __ May 3, 1960
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