Title:
Refrigerating appliance provided with inside lighting and a fan
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An interconnected structural unit containing an illuminant and a fan, which can be mounted at the inside top of a refrigerating appliance. The interconnected structural unit includes two components which can be fixed in various positions in relation to each other inside of the appliance.



Inventors:
Pastor, Vicente Azcona (Falces, ES)
Becke, Christoph (Grosskarolinenfeld, DE)
Janssen, Hans-reinhart (Giengen, DE)
Raab, Alfred (Huttlingen, DE)
Application Number:
10/546644
Publication Date:
08/03/2006
Filing Date:
03/17/2004
Assignee:
BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgerate GmbH (Carl-Wery-Strasse 34, Munich, DE)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
62/419, 62/440
International Classes:
F25D23/00; F25D11/00; F25D17/06; F25D27/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
JONES, MELVIN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BSH Home Appliances Corporation (100 Bosch Boulevard, NEW BERN, NC, 28562, US)
Claims:
1. 1-15. (canceled)

16. A refrigerating appliance with an interior enclosed by a heat-insulating housing, comprising: an illuminant and a fan arranged in the interior; an interconnected structural unit; and said illuminant and said fan mounted in said interconnected structural unit in said interior.

17. The refrigerating appliance according to claim 16, including said interconnected structural unit is arranged under the ceiling of said interior.

18. The refrigerating appliance according to claim 16, including said interconnected structural unit including a housing part, said illuminant and said fan housed in said housing part.

19. The refrigerating appliance according to claim 16, including said interconnected structural unit including at least two mutually engaging housing parts, a first one of said housing parts houses said illuminant and a second one of said housing parts houses said fan.

20. The refrigerating appliance according to claim 19, including said two housing parts engage mutually telescopically.

21. The refrigerating appliance according to claim 19, including said first housing part including a basic component attached to a wall of said interior, said component including said illuminant and including a hood covering said basic component and said illuminant, said hood attached to said basic component.

22. The refrigerating appliance according to claim 21, including said hood including a section and said basic component including a flush area, said flush area protruding into said section define with said hood a gap, said second housing part engaging in said gap.

23. The refrigerating appliance according to claim 21, including said hood including an edge spaced away from said wall by a ventilation gap.

24. The refrigerating appliance according to claim 21, including a cap, said cap rotatably held in an opening of said hood, said cap including a bayonet coupling element which cooperates with a complementary bayonet coupling element of said basic component.

25. The refrigerating appliance according to claim 24, including at least one screw shaft formed in said basic component, said screw shaft serves to take up a screw for fastening said basic component on said inner wall, said cap including an opening aligned with said screw shaft in the coupled state of said bayonet coupling elements.

26. The refrigerating appliance according to claim 19, including said first and said second housing parts are coherent in terms of fluid technics.

27. The refrigerating appliance according to claim 26, including said second housing part delimits a flow channel for fan air, said flow channel extends from said first housing part to a blow-out zone formed adjoining the rear wall of said interior.

28. The refrigerating appliance according to claim 22, including said area of said basic component protruding into sid section formed to allow air to permeate.

29. The refrigerating appliance according to claim 28, including said area of said basic component protruding into said section includes a plurality of salts.

30. The refrigerating appliance according to claim 29, including the ends of said slats facing said hood are unconnected.

Description:

The present invention relates to a refrigerating appliance with an interior enclosed by a heat-insulating housing, in which an illuminant for lighting the interior and a fan are arranged. The purpose of such a fan in a no-frost refrigerating appliance can be to effect air exchange between a storage area of the interior and a chamber separated from the storage area by a partition, in which an evaporator is arranged. However, in a refrigerating appliance with a non-divided interior, in which the evaporator is arranged in the interior itself or between an inner wall and an insulating material layer surrounding the latter, for cooling the interior, such a fan can be useful to promote circulation of air along the surface of the evaporator or respectively the area of the inner wall cooled by the latter and so effect cooling.

Such a fan requires a power supply, whereof the wires must be guided in through the heat-insulating housing and must be carefully sealed in the inner wall in order to prevent insulating material from entering the interior during assembly of the refrigerating appliance.

Likewise, a power supply, which causes the same problems, is necessary for interior lighting of the refrigerating appliance, which is generally mounted on the inner wall of the housing.

The fan is generally mounted on the ceiling or the rear wall of the interior, and the lighting on a side wall. Both protrude into the interior and thus impair the available storage room. It is not possible to embed them into the wall, since this would result in a locally thin insulating layer and thus poor insulation.

An object of the invention is to provide a refrigerating appliance with optimised usability of the interior.

A further object is to provide a refrigerating appliance, which can be mounted easily and economically.

While according to the present invention the illuminant and the fan are mounted in an interconnected structural unit in the interior, the number of the projections protruding into the interior is reduced to one, improving the usefulness of the interior. Also, there is no need to provide separate apertures through the inner wall for the power supply of the fan and of the illuminant. The supply lines for both can be guided through a single bore of the inner wall and inside the structural unit in each case can be fed to an illuminant or respectively a fan motor. This eliminates a bore in the inner wall, and the wiring arrangement from the bore to a control circuit arranged outside of the interior is simplified.

The interconnected structural unit is preferably arranged under the ceiling of the interior, so that the air current created by the fan can flow over the evaporator or the wall cooled by the latter to its full height.

The interconnected structural unit can comprise a housing part, in which the illuminant and the fan are accommodated. Such a housing part can be fully premounted outside the refrigerating appliance and then be built in with few hand grips.

Alternatively the interconnected structural unit can comprise at least two mutually engaging housing parts, whereof a first houses the illuminant and a second houses the fan. Such a two-part structure makes it easier to adapt the structural unit to different forms of the interior. Such different forms can result from manufacturing tolerances, or they can be specifically different dimensions of the interiors of different refrigerating appliance models. In the latter case in particular is can be necessary to adapt the structural unit to very different dimensions of the interior; in this case is preferred that the two housing parts telescopic engage in one another.

For the first housing part a multi-part structure is preferred, with a basic component attached to a wall of the interior, preferably the ceiling, which component bears the illuminant, and with a hood covering over the basic component and the illuminant, attached to the basic component.

The engagement between the two housing parts is made preferably by the second housing part engaging in a section of the hood. In this case it is advantageous that an area of the basic component protruding into this section, and flush with the hood, delimits along with the hood a gap, in which the second housing part engages. In this way the first housing part is also extensively closed when the second is not present, and it can also be incorporated identically in a refrigerating appliance, in which no fan is provided and where the second housing part accordingly is missing.

For drawing off heat from the illuminant the hood preferably has an edge spaced away from the wall by a ventilation gap.

The basic component and the hood are preferably connected in that in an opening of the hood a cap is swivel-mounted, which bears a bayonet coupling element, in turn cooperating with a complementary bayonet coupling element of the basic component.

The basic component is preferably screwed to the wall of the interior. A screw shaft formed for this purpose in the basic component is preferably arranged such that, when the bayonet coupling elements are joined, it lies flush with an opening of the cap.

This makes it possible to fully premount the first housing part outside the refrigerating appliance, including illuminant and hood, and to screw it in this state in the refrigerating appliance.

To ensure effective cooling of the illuminant the first and the second housing part are preferably formed coherently in terms of fluid technics, so that operating the fan also runs an air current in the first housing part. For this purpose the second housing part in particular can delimit a flow channel for fan air, which extends from the first housing part to a blow-out zone adjoining the rear wall of the interior.

The abovementioned area of the basic component protruding into the section of the hood should be formed to allow air to permeate, in particular in the form of a plurality of slats protruding into the section.

In order to guarantee easy forming of the basic component by injection moulding, ends of the slats facing the hood are preferably left unjoined.

Further features and advantages of the invention will emerge from the following description of an embodiment with respect to the attached figures, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective plan view of a combined lighting and fan structural unit for incorporating in a refrigerating appliance;

FIG. 2 shows a partial section through the refrigerating appliance and the inbuilt structural unit in a first, long stretched out configuration;

FIG. 3 shows a further partial section with the same structural unit, this time in a second, shortened configuration;

FIG. 4 is a view of the structural unit in the long stretched out configuration from below;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the hood of the structural unit;

FIG. 6 is an exploded illustration of the first housing part, which shows the hood and a part of the basic component;

FIG. 7 is an exploded illustration of the second housing part and the fan components it houses; and

FIG. 8 is an enlarged view of an assembling clamp of FIG. 7.

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a combined lighting and fan structural unit, which is provided for mounting under the ceiling of the interior of a refrigerating appliance. The structural unit comprises a first housing part 1, and a second housing part 2, which are not joined to one another, but each is attached separately to the ceiling of the interior of the refrigerating appliance. Part of the first housing part 1 is a basic component 3, which is provided for direct attaching to the ceiling. In the figure the view is from behind into an approximately T-shaped hollow raised section 4 of the basic component 3. In a core zone of the raised section 4 two screw shafts 5 are formed, which are provided to take up a screw (not illustrated) from behind, with which the basic component 3 is firmly screwed onto the ceiling. Situated between the two screw shafts 5 is a bayonet coupling element 6, the purpose of which, in a manner yet to be explained in greater detail, is to fasten a hood 7 which covers the basic component 3.

Extending through two oblique flanks 8 of the raised section 4 in each case is a screw mounting 9, which holds an incandescent lamp 10 or another suitable illuminant. The outside of the flank 8 averted from the observer can be provided with a metallic reflector in the form of a thin sheet or an adhered film, to improve the light radiation and to protect the flank 8 from overheating by the incandescent lamp 10.

FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of the hood 7 obliquely from the front and from below, in the perspective in which it is also visible when built into a refrigerating appliance. The hood has an approximately prism-shaped front section 11, in which the incandescent lamps 10 are housed, and a flat semi-cylindrical rear section 12. Formed on the underside of the rear section 12 is a row of ventilating slots 13.

Protruding trunnions 14 on the upper edge of the hood prevent the hood 7 from lying closely on the ceiling of the interior of the refrigerating appliance. On the one hand additional ventilating slots are formed between the edge of the hood and the ceiling, and on the other hand the distance between hood and ceiling ensures that minimal differences in form between both, attributable to tolerances in manufacturing of the refrigerator interior container, are not visible to an observer.

A rotatable cap 15 is added in a central opening of the hood 7. On its outside the cap 15 has a flat round handling knob 16 with a roughened edge, which makes it easy for a user to rotate the cap 15.

FIG. 6 shows, again in a perspective obliquely from above, a front area of the basic component 3 and the hood 7 in the separated state. Evident on the inside of the rotatable cap 15 are protruding detent hooks 17, engaging behind the edge of the hood 7, which keep the cap 15 rotational in the opening of the hood 7. In the middle of the cap 15 a bayonet coupling element 18 protrudes. When the cap 15 is first rotated the bayonet coupling element 18 can be inserted into the complementary bayonet coupling element 6 of the basic component 3, and when the cap 15 is rotated into a second position it can be locked onto the basic component 3.

FIGS. 5, 6 in each case show the cap 15 in its locked orientation. In this orientation two openings 19 of the cap 15 align with the screw shafts 5 of the basic component. This makes it possible to fully premount the first housing part 1 prior to its being built into the refrigerating appliance, and to mount the basic component on the ceiling of the interior of a refrigerating appliance by means of screws introduced through the openings 19 in the shafts 5, without having to detach the hood 7 again.

In a rearwards area of the hood 7 a large-surface section 20 is formed. In the mounted state of the hood, slats 21, which are formed protruding vertically downwards on the basic component 3, engage in this section 20. The slats 21 are connected only by their upper end to the basic component 3; their lower ends are unconnected, so that the basic component 3 can be injection-moulded together with the slats 21 using simple mould tools.

The slats 21 fill out the section 20, but not to its full width and height. When basic component 3 and hood 7 are joined together this results on the rear side of the first housing part 1 in a gap with an approximately C-shaped cross-section along the edges of the section, in which the second housing part 2 correspondingly formed to this cross-section can be guided and can be shifted within certain limits in its longitudinal direction.

FIG. 1 shows the second housing part 2 with a front edge placed directly in front of the C-shaped gap 22 limited by the section 20 and the slats 21. The second housing part 2 has L-shaped side walls 24, whereof the outer edges are in each case formed to adapt positively in their upper horizontal area on the ceiling and in their rear vertical area on the rear wall of the interior of the refrigerator. Going away from a horizontal ceiling 25 connecting the side walls 24 are obliquely oriented screw shafts 26, which serve to fasten the housing part 2 on the ceiling of the inner container. In a front area the housing part 2 forms a hollow channel of flat rectangular cross-section, which can be inserted to a variable depth into the gap 22 of the first housing part. In a rear area the housing part 2 is expanded downwards to accommodate a fan with an electromotor 27 and an impeller 28 driven by the electromotor 27. When the fan is operating it generates an air current, which sucks air out of the first housing part 1 and expels it through slots 29 of the second housing part 2 adjacent to the rear wall of the interior to thus generate an air flow along the rear wall of the interior cooled by an evaporator.

The inner structure of the second housing part is explained in greater detail by means of FIGS. 7 and 8. FIG. 7 shows, viewed obliquely from above and behind, an exploded partial view of the second housing part 2 and inbuilt components. Two parallel holding axes 30 are formed on an inner wall of the housing part 2. They are provided to hold an assembling clamp 31 shown enlarged in FIG. 8. The assembling clamp 31 formed in one part from a synthetic material has four opposite flanks 32 to 35 arranged in pairs interconnected via rounded corners. Formed on even outer sides of the flanks 33,35 in each case is a detent wedge 36, which, whenever the assembling clamp 31 is guided in between the holding axes 30, engages in one of its windows 37 and thus locks in the assembling clamps 31 on the housing part 2.

A recess 38 open to the top is formed in opposite long flanks 32,34 in each case. An inlet area of the recess 38 is limited by two arms 39 running towards one another from top to bottom, which are connected to the rest of the flank 32,34 only by narrow legs in the level of their upper edge 40, and as a result can be flexibly deflected. In a lower area of the recess 38 a semicircular-shaped rounding 41 is formed. Its diameter is such that it positively receives a shaft lug of the electromotor 27, which is pressed in from above into the assembling clamp 31. The arms 39 deflected out when the motor is pressed into the assembling clamp 31 return to their relieved position shown in FIG. 8, as soon as the shaft lug has passed them, and thus hinder the motor 27 from escaping upwards from the assembling clamp 31. In this way the shaft of the motor 27 is securely fixed independently of its exact housing dimensions. Only the diameter of the shaft lug of the motor 27 must be adapted within certain tolerances to the dimensions of the recess 38.

To prevent the arms 39 deflecting in the direction of the axis of the motor 27, through which the motor could be freed from the assembling clamp 31, the upper edge 40 of the flanks 32, 34 is reinforced by ribs protruding in the direction of the axis of the motor. Corresponding ribs 23 are also formed under the recess 38 on the flanks 32, 34.

And to prevent the motor 27 from rotating about its own axis, the assembling clamp 31 is fitted with two flexible arms 42, which project upwards from the flanks 33, 35 parallel to the axis of the motor 27. A rubber ring 43 is latched behind a widened tip of the arms 42 in each case. In the relieved state the rubber rings 43 are circular. The widening at the tips of the arms 42 is such that the rubber rings 43 are held back by them in their relieved position, but that, when they are pressed flat on the arms 42, come free from the projections and can be drawn up without resistance and replaced by rings with another wall thickness.

When the electromotor 27 is placed in the assembling clamp 31, the surfaces of the rubber rings 43 facing each other touch the lateral flanks of a stator packet 44 of the motor. Due to the elasticity of the arms and the rubber rings 43 it is easily possible to anchor motors in the assembling clamp 31, which differ in the width of their stator packet by several millimetres. Even greater tolerances in dimensions can be absorbed by corresponding exchange of the rubber rings 43.

The expenditure of labour for assembling the electromotor 27 in the housing part 2 is minimal: it suffices to lock the motor in the recesses 38 of the assembling clamp 31 and to lack the assembling clamps 31 in the holding axes 30 of the housing part 2.

When the fan is mounted another panel 45 is hung on snap-lock lugs 46,47 of the housing part 2. The panel 45 has a circular central window 48, whereof the diameter corresponds to that of the impeller 28. It prevents air blown by the fan against the rear wall of the refrigerating appliance inside the housing part 2 from flowing past the impeller 28 forwards again, thus improving the efficiency of the fan.

FIGS. 2 and 3 show two cuts through the two housing parts 1,2 and their inbuilt components, mounted under the ceiling 49 of the inner container of a refrigerator appliance. FIG. 2 shows an exploded configuration, in which the front area of the second housing part 2 penetrates only slightly into the first housing part 1. In the area near the door the ceiling 49 has an inclined section 50 with a step 51. The position of the first housing part 1 is fixed by contact by the trunnions 14 of the hood 7 with the step 51. The upper edge 52 of the hood facing the inclined section 50 7 is parallel to the inclined section 50, and between both is located a ventilation gap 53.

FIG. 3 shows the two housing parts in an assembled configuration, in which the second housing part 2 engages far into the first housing part 1. The trunnions 14 are pushed back by the step 51 of the ceiling 49, resulting in a very large air inlet gap. Since the two housing parts 1,2 can be moved gradually and telescopically towards one another, the cross-section of the ventilation gap can be adapted flexibly as required.

The particular usage of telescopic displaceability of the housing parts 1,2 however is that they can be used in different assembled configurations for incorporating in refrigerating appliances with different depths of the interior without adaptation.