Title:
Cool air supplying apparatus and refrigerator having the same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cool air supplying apparatus for a refrigerator is disclosed. The cool air supplying apparatus includes a freezing chamber evaporator that generates cool air supplied to a freezing chamber, a refrigerating chamber evaporator that generates cool air supplied to a refrigerating chamber, a freezing chamber cross flow fan that blows cool air generated by the freezing chamber evaporator toward the freezing chamber, a refrigerating chamber cross flow fan that blows cool air generated by the refrigerating chamber evaporator, and a driving motor that drives the freezing chamber cross flow fan and the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan. With this structure, cool air introduced in the evaporators is substantially uniform, thus enhancing heat exchanging efficiency.



Inventors:
Lee, Soo-kwan (Seoul, KR)
Bae, Jun-ho (Seoul, KR)
Kim, Chang-joon (Seoul, KR)
Application Number:
11/714236
Publication Date:
11/22/2007
Filing Date:
03/06/2007
Assignee:
LG Electronics Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F25D17/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ROGERS, LAKIYA G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KED & ASSOCIATES, LLP (Reston, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A cool air supplying apparatus for a refrigerator, comprising: a freezing chamber evaporator that generates cool air to be supplied to a freezing chamber; a refrigerating chamber evaporator that generates cool air to be supplied to a refrigerating chamber; a freezing chamber cross flow fan that blows cool air generated by the freezing chamber evaporator toward the freezing chamber; a refrigerating chamber cross flow fan that blows cool air generated by the refrigerating chamber evaporator; and at least one driving motor that drives the freezing chamber cross flow fan and the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the at least one driving motor comprises a single driving motor that simultaneously drives the freezing chamber cross flow fan and the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the at least one driving motor comprises a pair of driving motors that separately drive the freezing chamber cross flow fan and the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan, respectively.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein a width of the freezing chamber cross flow fan is equal to that of the freezing chamber evaporator.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein a width of the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan is equal to that of the refrigerating chamber evaporator.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the at least one driving motor is installed within a separation wall that separates the freezing chamber and the refrigerating chamber.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the at least one driving motor is an outer rotor type motor.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising: a guide that receives the cross flow fan; and at least one duct connected with the guide that provides cool air.

9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the at least one duct comprises a plurality of ducts installed along side corners of the respective freezing chamber or refrigerating chamber.

10. A refrigerator comprising the cool air supplying apparatus of claim 1.

11. A refrigerator, comprising: a freezing chamber; a refrigerating chamber separated by a separation wall from the freezing chamber; a freezing chamber evaporator that generates cool air to be supplied to the freezing chamber; a refrigerating chamber evaporator that generates cool air to be supplied to the refrigerating chamber; a freezing chamber cross flow fan that blows cool air generated by the freezing chamber evaporator toward the freezing chamber; a refrigerating chamber cross flow fan that blows cool air generated by the refrigerating chamber evaporator; and at least one driving motor that drives the freezing chamber cross flow fan and the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan.

12. The refrigerator of claim 11, wherein the at least one driving motor comprises a single driving motor that simultaneously drives the freezing chamber cross flow fan and the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan.

13. The refrigerator of claim 11, wherein the at least one driving motor comprises a pair of driving motors that separately drive the freezing chamber cross flow fan and the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan, respectively.

14. The refrigerator of claim 11, wherein a width of the freezing chamber cross flow fan is equal to that of the freezing chamber evaporator.

15. The refrigerator of claim 11, wherein a width of the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan is equal to that of the refrigerating chamber evaporator.

16. The refrigerator of claim 11, wherein the at least one driving motor is installed within a separation wall that separates the freezing chamber and the refrigerating chamber.

17. The refrigerator of claim 11, wherein the at least one driving motor is an outer rotor type motor.

18. The refrigerator of claim 11, further comprising: a guide that receives the cross flow fan; and duct at least one connected with the guide that provides cool air.

19. The refrigerator of claim 11, wherein the at least one duct comprises a plurality of ducts installed along side corners of the respective freezing chamber or refrigerating chamber.

Description:
The application claims priority to Korean Application No. 10-2006-0045310, filed on May 19, 2006, which is herein expressly incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

1. Field

A refrigerator and, more particularly, a cool air supplying apparatus for a refrigerator are disclosed herein.

2. Background

Reducing energy loss and increasing efficiency and capacity are important and desirable in the art of refrigerators.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The embodiments will be described in detail with reference to the following drawings in which like reference numerals refer to like elements wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a refrigerator having a cool air supplying apparatus according to an embodiment;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of a cool air supplying apparatus for a refrigerator according to an embodiment;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line III-III in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of a cool air supplying apparatus for a refrigerator according to another embodiment;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view of a cool air supplying apparatus for a refrigerator according to another embodiment; and

FIG. 6 is a sectional view of a cross flow fan according to an embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In general, a refrigerator includes a freezing chamber and a refrigerating chamber separated by a separation wall. The freezing chamber maintains a very low internal temperature to keep items stored therein, such as food, in a frozen state, and the refrigerating chamber maintains a low temperature, at which stored items, such as food, are not frozen but maintained in a fresh state.

A cool air supplying apparatus for a refrigerator according to an embodiment is shown in FIGS. 1-3. FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a refrigerator having a cool air supplying apparatus according to an embodiment. FIG. 2 is a sectional view of a cool air supplying apparatus for a refrigerator according to an embodiment. FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line III-III in FIG. 2.

As shown in FIGS. 1-3, in the refrigerator 10, a freezing chamber 20 and a refrigerating chamber 30 are separated by a separation wall 40. A cool air inlet 24 is formed at a lower portion of a freezing chamber 20, through which cool air, which has performed a cooling operation while circulating through the freezing chamber 20 and the refrigerating chamber 30, is introduced again at an increased temperature. An evaporator 23 is installed at an upper side of the cool air inlet 24 and heat-exchanges the cool air having the increased temperature. An evaporator cover 23a is installed at one side of the evaporator 23, and a fan 22 for blowing cool air having a lowered temperature is installed at an upper side of the evaporator 23. The fan 22 is driven by a motor 25 and is installed within a guide (not shown).

The motor 25 is installed at an upper side of the evaporator cover 23. An orifice 22a that directs the cool air toward the fan is formed at an upper side of the evaporator cover 23a such that the motor 25 and the fan 22 face each other across the orifice 22a. The evaporator 23 and the fan 22 are installed only in the freezing chamber 20, not in the refrigerating chamber 30.

A cool air duct 21 that provides the cool air having the lowered temperature to the freezing chamber 20 is formed at an upper side of the fan 22, and a plurality of cool air outlets 21a that provide the cool air into the interior of the freezing chamber 20 are formed in the cool air duct 21. The cool air duct 21 is installed along a rear wall (not shown) of the freezing chamber 20.

In the refrigerating chamber 30, a cool air duct 31 is installed along a rear wall (not shown) of the refrigerating chamber 30 and communicates with the cool air duct 21 of the freezing chamber 20. A plurality of cool air outlets 31a that provide cool air to the refrigerating chamber 30 are formed in the cool air duct 31 of the refrigerating chamber 30.

A process of transferring cool air to the freezing chamber 20 and the refrigerating chamber 30 in the refrigerator 10 disclosed in FIGS. 1-3 will now be described below.

When the refrigerator 10 is operated, a compressor (not shown) is operated to cool the evaporator 23. Cool air having an increased temperature, which has been introduced through the cool air inlet 24 provided at the lower portion of the evaporator 23, passes through the evaporator 23 installed within the evaporator cover 23a, and is heat-exchanged so as to be changed to cool air having a lowered temperature, which is then introduced into the fan 22 through the orifice 22a. Most of the cool air discharged by the fan 22 is supplied to the freezing chamber 20 through the cool air duct 21 installed at the freezing chamber 20 and the cool air outlets 21a.

Meanwhile, the remaining portion of the cool air is introduced into the cool air duct 31 installed in the refrigerating chamber 30 through a cool air communicating hole (not shown) and then is provided to the refrigerating chamber 30 through the cool air outlets 31a. As the air flow is repeated, the interiors of the freezing chamber 20 and the refrigerating chamber 30 are cooled.

However, in the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3, a centrifugal fan is used as the fan 22, which is generally smaller than a width of the evaporator 23, so the cool air which passes through the evaporator 23 cannot be entirely introduced into the fan 22, making heat exchanging at the evaporator 23 non-uniform and reducing the efficiency of the refrigerator 10 is degraded. In addition, when an internal temperature of one of the freezing chamber 20 and the refrigerating chamber 30 does not satisfy a pre-set temperature, the compressor or the fan is operated to lower the unsatisfied internal temperature, causing unnecessary power consumption.

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of a cool air supplying apparatus for a refrigerator according to another embodiment. FIG. 5 is a sectional view of a cool air supplying apparatus for a refrigerator according to another embodiment. FIG. 6 is a sectional view of a cross flow fan according to an exemplary embodiment. Like elements are designated with like reference numerals and repetitive descriptions have been omitted. Further, in FIGS. 4 and 5, W1 denotes a width of the freezer chamber evaporator 230, W2 denotes a width of the refrigerating chamber evaporator 330, W3 denotes a width of the cross flow fan installed in the freezing chamber 200, W4 denotes a width of the cross flow fan installed in the refrigerating chamber 300, and ω indicates a rotational direction of the cross flow fan.

As shown in FIG. 4, a cool air supplying apparatus for a refrigerator 100 according to one embodiment includes a freezing chamber evaporator 230 and a refrigerating chamber evaporator 330 installed in a freezing chamber 200 and a refrigerating chamber 300 separated by a separation wall 400 that generate cool air, respectively, a freezing chamber cross flow fan 600 and a refrigerating chamber cross flow fan 700 that blow cool air generated from the freezing chamber evaporator 230 and the refrigerating chamber evaporator 330, respectively, a driving motor 500 that simultaneously drives the freezing chamber cross flow fan 600 and the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan 700, respectively, and first and second ducts 210 and 310 that distribute cool air generated from the freezing chamber evaporator 230 and the refrigerating chamber evaporator 330 to the freezing chamber 200 and the refrigerating chamber 300, respectively.

The freezing chamber evaporator 230 and the refrigerating chamber evaporator 330 are installed within an evaporator cover 23a, shown in FIG. 3. Cool air inlets 240 and 340 are formed at a lower side of the freezing chamber evaporator 230 and the refrigerating chamber evaporator 330, respectively, and allow cool air having an increased temperature to be introduced therethrough after having circulated to cool the interior of the freezing chamber 200 or the refrigerating chamber 300. Because the freezing chamber 200 and the refrigerating chamber 300 may each need different freezing capacity or refrigerating capacity, it may be effective for a width W1 of the freezing chamber evaporator 230 and a width W2 of the refrigerating chamber evaporator 330 to be different.

The freezing chamber cross flow fan 600 may be installed at an upper side of the freezing chamber evaporator 230. The refrigerating chamber cross flow fan 700 may be installed at an upper side of the refrigerating chamber evaporator 330. The freezing chamber cross flow fan 600 and the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan 700 may be installed at an upper side in a cool air flow direction in order to allow more cool air generated from the evaporators 230 and 330 to be introduced into the ducts 210 and 310.

Because the cool air supplying apparatus of the freezing chamber 200 and the cool air supplying apparatus of the refrigerating chamber 300 have the same structure, only the cool air supplying apparatus of the freezing chamber 200 will be described in detail with reference to FIG. 6 hereinbelow.

As shown in FIG. 6, the freezing chamber cross flow fan 600 may be installed within a guide 620. A lower portion of the guide 620 may be connected with an upper portion of the freezing chamber evaporator 230. An upper portion of the guide 620 may be connected with the first duct 210.

The freezing chamber cross flow fan 600 may have the same width W3 as a width of the cool air inlet 240 or a width W1 of the freezing chamber evaporator 230. The cross flow fan 600 may include a plurality of blades 611. By forming the cross flow fan 600 such that it has the same width W3 as the width W1 of the freezing chamber evaporator 230, cool air may be introduced into the cross flow fan 600 without a flow loss and make heat exchanging at the evaporator uniform. In this manner, by blowing the cool air using the cross flow fan 600, cool air may be blown in a vertical direction (in a direction of the arrows in FIG. 6) without a flow loss of the cool air.

With reference to FIG. 4, the freezing chamber cross flow fan 600 and the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan 700 may be driven together using a single driving motor 500. A rotational shaft 510 may be mounted at a center of the driving motor 500 such that it protrudes in both directions from the driving motor 500. The freezing chamber cross flow fan 600 and the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan 700 may be connected with both end portions of the rotational shaft 510, respectively. Namely, the freezing chamber cross flow fan 600 and the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan 700 may be driven by the single common driving motor 500. Thus, costs for producing and maintaining the driving motor 500, as well as power consumption, may be reduced.

The driving motor 500 may be installed between the freezing chamber 200 and the refrigerating chamber 300. This may increase an internal capacity of the refrigerator 100 by reducing a space required for installation of the driving motor 500.

The freezing chamber 200 and the refrigerating chamber 300 may be spatially separated by a separation wall 400. Because the driving motor 500 may be installed within the separation wall 400, a wasted space, that is, a space for installing the driving motor 500 may not be necessary, and accordingly, the internal capacity of the refrigerator 100 may be increased.

If the separation wall 400 does not have a sufficient width, a height or a thickness of the driving motor 500 may be made smaller than the width of the separation wall 400. Due to this structural restriction, an outer rotor type driving motor (not shown) may be used as the driving motor 500.

An outer rotor type motor is formed such that a stator is positioned at an inner side and a rotor is positioned at an outer side of the stator, and the rotor is engaged with a rotational shaft to rotate the rotational shaft. Compared with an inner rotor type motor, the outer rotor type motor has a relatively small overall height or thickness compared with the inner rotor type motor; however, it can have a larger diameter to exert sufficient driving force. The outer rotor type motor may be used as the driving motor 500 to simultaneously drive the two cross flow fans 600 and 700 within the separation wall 400.

In another embodiment as shown in FIG. 5, a driving motor 500a that drives the freezing chamber cross flow fan 600 and a driving motor 500b that drives the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan 700, respectively, may be provided. With this structure, a loss of the cool air introduced into the freezing chamber cross flow fan 600 and into the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan 700 may be reduced, and a driving time of the freezing chamber cross flow fan 600 and the refrigerating cross flow fan 700 may be controlled to be different according to a cooling capacity required for the freezing chamber 200 or the refrigerating chamber 300. That is, only the cross flow fan of the freezing chamber 200 or the refrigerating chamber 300 may be driven while that of the freezing chamber 200 or the refrigerating chamber 300 where cool air has been sufficiently supplied would not be driven, so unnecessary power consumption may be reduced.

The cool air discharged from the freezing chamber cross flow fan 600 and the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan 700 may be introduced into the first and second ducts 210 and 310, respectively. The first and second ducts 210 and 310 may be connected with the guide 620 of the freezing chamber cross flow fan 600 and the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan 700. In addition, the first and second ducts 210 and 310 may include a plurality of cool air outlets 211 and 311, respectively.

The first and second ducts 210 and 310 may be formed to be thin, large and long, and may be installed along side corners of the freezing chamber 200 and the refrigerating chamber 300, respectively. Accordingly, not only the internal capacity of the refrigerator 100 may be increased but the cool air may be evenly supplied from both sides of the freezing chamber 200 and the refrigerating chamber 300.

A refrigerator having a cool air supplying apparatus according to embodiments disclosed herein will now be explained hereinbelow.

When a user connects a refrigerator to a power source, a compressor (not shown) is operated to cool the freezing chamber evaporator 230 and the refrigerating chamber evaporator 330. Cool air is introduced through the cool air inlets 240 and 340, respectively, formed at the lower side of the freezing chamber evaporator 230 and the refrigerating chamber evaporator 330 and performs a cooling operation. After the cooling operation, cool air having an increased temperature is heat-exchanged by the freezing chamber evaporator 230 and the refrigerating chamber evaporator 330 so as to be changed to cool air having a lowered temperature, which is then introduced to the freezing chamber cross flow fan 600 and the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan 700. The freezing chamber cross flow fan 600 and the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan 700 may be connected with both end portions of the rotational shaft 510, respectively, of the single driving motor 500 and be driven thereby.

Because widths W1 and W2 of the freezing chamber evaporator 230 and the refrigerating chamber evaporator 330 and width W3 and W4 of the cross flow fans may be the same, the cool air which has passed through the freezing chamber evaporator 230 and the refrigerating chamber evaporator 330 may be introduced to the first and second ducts 210 and 310 without a flow loss. The cool air introduced into the first and second ducts 210 and 310 may be supplied to the freezing chamber 200 or the refrigerating chamber 300 through the plurality of cool air outlets 211 and 311 formed in the first and second ducts 210 and 310 to evenly freeze or refrigerate items stored therein.

A cool air supplying apparatus for a refrigerator and the refrigerator using the same according to embodiments disclosed herein have at least the advantages discussed below.

That is, for example, because the freezing chamber cross flow fan and the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan may be driven by a single driving motor, additional driving motors are not required. Thus, the costs for manufacturing and maintaining the driving motor may be reduced and power consumption of the driving motor may be also reduced.

Also, because the driving motor may be installed within the separation wall that separates the freezing chamber and the refrigerating chamber, a space required for installation of the driving motor may be reduced, thus increasing the internal capacity of the refrigerator.

Additionally, because the flow of the cool air generated from the evaporators may become uniform using the cross flow fan and may be entirely introduced into the interior of the ducts, heat exchanging efficiency of the evaporator may be enhanced.

Embodiments disclosed herein provide a cool air supplying apparatus for a refrigerator capable of improving efficiency by making heat exchanging uniform at the evaporator.

Further, embodiments disclosed herein are capable of reducing power consumption of the refrigerator by separately providing cool air into a freezing chamber and a refrigerating chamber.

Additionally, embodiments disclosed herein provide a cool air supplying apparatus for a refrigerator capable of increasing an internal capacity of the refrigerator.

One embodiment disclosed herein provides a cool air supplying apparatus for a refrigerator which may include a freezing chamber evaporator that generates cool air supplied to a freezing chamber, a refrigerating chamber evaporator that generates cool air supplied to a refrigerating chamber, a freezing chamber cross flow fan that blows cool air generated by the freezing chamber evaporator toward the freezing chamber, a refrigerating chamber cross flow fan that blows cool air generated by the refrigerating chamber evaporator, and a driving motor that drives the freezing chamber cross flow fan and the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan. By using the cross flow fan as the blow fan, cool air generated from the evaporator may be uniformly introduced into the cross flow fan in a vertical direction, so efficiency of the cool air flow and efficiency of heat exchange between the cool air having an increased temperature being introduced into the evaporator and the evaporator can be improved.

The driving motor may simultaneously drive the freezing chamber cross flow fan and the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan, reducing costs incurred for producing and manufacturing the driving motor of the freezing chamber cross flow fan and refrigerating chamber blow fan, so the overall production cost of the refrigerator and power consumption of the driving motor may be reduced. Further, the freezing chamber cross flow fan and the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan may be separately driven by respective driving motors, so that an operation time of the freezing chamber cross flow fan and the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan may be independently controlled.

The freezing chamber cross flow fan and the freezing chamber evaporator may have the same width. Further, the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan and the refrigerating chamber evaporator may have the same width. This allows cool air generated from the respective evaporator to be introduced into the cross flow fan without loss.

The driving motor may be installed within a separation wall that separates the freezing chamber and the refrigerating chamber. That is, the separation wall may be formed between the freezing chamber and the refrigerating chamber, and by installing the driving motor within the separation wall, a space required for installing the driving motor may be reduced, and thus an internal capacity of the refrigerator may be increased.

The driving motor may be an outer rotor type motor having its rotational shaft rotated by a rotor mounted at an outer side of a stator. The outer rotor type motor may have an overall height which is less than an inner rotor type motor, so it may be easily installed within the separation wall. Also, because it has a stronger driving force compared with the inner rotor type motor, it may be suitable for driving a plurality of blow fans.

A guide for receiving the cross flow fan and a duct connected with the guide and supplying cool air may be additionally provided. A plurality of ducts may be installed at each corner of the freezing chamber and the refrigerating chamber.

Another embodiment disclosed herein provides a refrigerator which may include a freezing chamber, a refrigerating chamber separated by a separation wall from the freezing chamber, a freezing chamber evaporator that generates cool air supplied to the freezing chamber, a refrigerating chamber evaporator that generates cool air supplied to the refrigerating chamber, a freezing chamber cross flow fan that blows cool air generated by the freezing chamber evaporator toward the freezing chamber, a refrigerating chamber cross flow fan that blows cool air generated by the refrigerating chamber evaporator, and a driving motor that drives the freezing chamber cross flow fan and the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan. The freezing chamber cross flow fan and the refrigerating chamber cross flow fan may be driven together by a single driving motor, or may be separately driven by a driving motor.

Any reference in this specification to “one embodiment,” “an embodiment,” “example embodiment,” etc., means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the invention. The appearances of such phrases in various places in the specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment. Further, when a particular feature, structure, or characteristic is described in connection with any embodiment, it is submitted that it is within the purview of one skilled in the art to effect such feature, structure, or characteristic in connection with other ones of the embodiments.

Although embodiments have been described with reference to a number of illustrative embodiments thereof, it should be understood that numerous other modifications and embodiments can be devised by those skilled in the art that will fall within the spirit and scope of the principles of this disclosure. More particularly, various variations and modifications are possible in the component parts and/or arrangements of the subject combination arrangement within the scope of the disclosure, the drawings and the appended claims. In addition to variations and modifications in the component parts and/or arrangements, alternative uses will also be apparent to those skilled in the art.