Title:
Refrigerator with cooling chamber-connecting drain pipe
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A refrigerator that prevents air from flowing between two storage chambers through drain pipes draining defrosted water is provided. The refrigerator includes a main body including a first cooling chamber generating cool air supplied to a first storage chamber, and a second cooling chamber generating cool air supplied to a second storage chamber; a first drain pipe draining water collected from the first cooling chamber to a water collecting basin provided at an outside of the first and second cooling chambers; and a second drain pipe draining water collected from the second cooling chamber to the water collecting basin. The first drain pipe includes an insertion portion, which is inserted into the second drain pipe and is extended to the water collecting basin.



Inventors:
Jang, Eui Sung (Busan, KR)
Lee, Yong Eun (Busan, KR)
Application Number:
11/819135
Publication Date:
04/03/2008
Filing Date:
06/25/2007
Assignee:
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD. (Suwon-si, KR)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F25D21/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DUKE, EMMANUEL E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STAAS & HALSEY LLP (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A refrigerator, comprising: a main body including a first cooling chamber generating cool air supplied to a first storage chamber and a second cooling chamber generating cool air supplied to a second storage chamber; a first drain pipe draining water collected from the first cooling chamber to a water collecting basin provided at an outside of the first and second cooling chambers; and a second drain pipe draining water collected from the second cooling chamber to the water collecting basin, wherein the first drain pipe includes an insertion portion inserted into the second drain pipe and extended to the water collecting basin.

2. The refrigerator according to claim 1, wherein a drain channel draining the water from the second cooling chamber to the water collecting basin is formed between the outer surface of the insertion portion and the inner surface of the second drain pipe.

3. The refrigerator according to claim 2, wherein the first and second cooling chambers are divided from each other such that the first cooling chamber is located at an upper portion of the main body, and wherein the first drain pipe further includes an extension portion, which is extended upwardly from the insertion portion and is in communication with the first cooling chamber, and the drain channel is in communication with to the second cooling chamber.

4. The refrigerator according to claim 2, wherein the first and second drain pipes are integrated into one body.

5. The refrigerator according to claim 4, wherein connecting parts connecting the first and second drain pipes are provided in the drain channel.

6. The refrigerator according to claim 1, wherein the water collecting basin is a machinery chamber located at a lower portion of the main body, and the refrigerator further comprises an evaporating dish to collect and to store water drained through the first and second drain pipes installed in the machinery chamber.

7. A refrigerator, comprising: a first evaporator cooling a first storage chamber; a second evaporator installed below the first evaporator cooling a second storage chamber located under the first storage chamber; a first water tray disposed below the first evaporator; a second water tray disposed below the second evaporator; a first drain pipe having an end connected to the first water tray and extending downwardly; and a second drain pipe having an end connected to the second water tray and extending downwardly, wherein the first drain pipe includes an insertion portion inserted into the second drain pipe and extended.

8. The refrigerator according to claim 7, wherein the first and second drain pipes are integrated into one body.

9. A refrigerator, comprising: a first evaporator cooling a first storage chamber; a second evaporator installed below the first evaporator cooling a second storage chamber located under the first storage chamber; a first water tray disposed below the first evaporator; a second water tray disposed below the second evaporator; and a drain pipe draining water collected by the first and second water trays, wherein the drain pipe includes a first drain channel having one end connected to the first water tray and another end extending downwardly, and a second drain channel having one end connected to the second water tray and another end extending downwardly independently of the first drain channel.

10. The refrigerator according to claim 9, wherein the drain pipe further includes a diaphragm extended vertically to divide the first and second drain channels from each other.

11. A drainage system used within a refrigerator having a first cooling chamber and a second cooling chamber, comprising: a first water tray provided within the first cooling chamber to collect water created in the first cooling chamber; a second water tray provided within the second cooling chamber to collect water created in the second cooling chamber; a water collecting basin provided beneath the first and second cooling chambers; and a drain pipe extending from the first water tray through the second water tray to the water collecting basin, the drain pipe draining water collected by the first and second water trays to the water collecting basin.

12. The drainage system according to claim 11, wherein the drain pipe comprises a first drain pipe part having an end connected to the first water tray and a second drain pipe part having an end connected to the second water tray, the first drain pipe part being extended through the second water tray, into the second drain pipe part and to the water collecting basin.

13. The drainage system according to claim 11, wherein the drain pipe comprises a first drain pipe part having an end connected to the first water tray and a second drain pipe part having an end connected to the second water tray, the first and second drain pipe parts being integrated into an integral pipe unit.

14. The drainage system according to claim 13, the integral pipe unit further comprising connecting parts connecting an outer surface of the first drain pipe part and an inner surface of the second drain pipe part to integrate the first and second drain pipe parts.

15. The drainage system according to claim 13, wherein the integral pipe unit includes a first drain channel extending through the first drain pipe part and the second drain pipe part, and a second drain channel extending through the second drain pipe part.

16. The drainage system according to claim 15, wherein the first drain channel includes an upper channel and a lower channel, the lower channel being arranged in parallel relation with the second drain channel and being divided by a diaphragm.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of Korean Patent Application No. 2006-0095721, filed Sep. 29, 2006, in the Korean Intellectual Property Office, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a refrigerator, and more particularly, to a refrigerator that prevents odors generated from a storage chamber from being transferred to another storage chamber.

2. Description of the Related Art

Generally, refrigerators are apparatuses, in which cool air generated by a refrigerating cycle is supplied to storage chambers, thus storing various foods in a fresh state for a long time.

FIG. 1 is a longitudinal sectional view of a conventional refrigerator. As shown in FIG. 1, the conventional refrigerator includes a main body 1 having upper and lower independent storage chambers 1a and 1b, which are divided by a diaphragm, doors 2 respectively opening and closing the storage chambers 1a and 1b, and two evaporators 4a and 4b installed in cooling chambers 3a and 3b provided in the rear of the storage chambers 1a and 1b to generate cool air respectively supplied to the storage chambers 1a and 1b.

Water trays 5a and 5b to collect defrosted water dropped from the evaporators 4a and 4b are respectively installed below the evaporators 4a and 4b. Drain pipes 6a and 6b to drain the collected defrosted water are respectively connected to the water trays 5a and 5b. One end of the first drain pipe 6a is connected to the first water tray 5a, and the other end of the first drain pipe 6a is extended to the second water tray 5b. One end of the second drain pipe 6b is connected to the second water tray 5b, and the other end of the second drain pipe 6b is extended to a machinery chamber 7 installed at the lower portion of the main body 1.

Accordingly, the defrosted water dropped from the upper evaporator 4a is collected in the first water tray 5a, guided to the second water tray 5b through the first drain pipe 6a, and drained to the machinery chamber 7 through the second drain pipe 6b. Further, the defrosted water dropped from the lower evaporator 4b is collected in the second water tray 5b, and is drained to the machinery chamber 7 through the second drain pipe 6b.

However, since the upper cooling chamber 3a and the lower cooling chamber 3b are communicating with each other by the first drain pipe 6a, the conventional refrigerator is disadvantageous in that air flows between the two storage chambers 1a and 1b through the first drain pipe 6a, and thus odors generated from one storage chamber are transferred to the other storage chamber. That is, when the two storage chambers 1a and 1b are independently operated, there is a difference of pressure between the two storage chambers 1a and 1b. Then, odors are transferred from the storage chamber having a relatively higher pressure to the storage chamber having a relatively lower pressure through the first drain pipe 6a connecting the two cooling chambers 3a and 3b. Further, odors are transferred by pressure generated when a user opens and closes the doors 2.

When odors are transferred between the two storage chambers 1a and 1b, as described above, a user may feel uncomfortable from the smell when the user opens and closes the doors 2. Further, when the odor of a specific food permeates other foods, the tastes of the foods may be spoiled.

SUMMARY

Therefore, one aspect of the invention is to provide a refrigerator that prevents air from flowing between two storage chambers through drain pipes for draining defrosted water.

Additional aspects and/or advantages of the invention will be set forth in part in the description which follows and, in part, will be apparent from the description, or may be learned by practice of the invention.

The foregoing and/or other aspects of the present invention are achieved by providing a refrigerator including a main body including a first cooling chamber generating cool air supplied to a first storage chamber, and a second cooling chamber generating cool air supplied to a second storage chamber; a first drain pipe draining water collected from the first cooling chamber to a water collecting basin provided at an outside of the first and second cooling chambers; and a second drain pipe draining water collected from the second cooling chamber to the water collecting basin, where the first drain pipe includes an insertion portion inserted into the second drain pipe and extended to the water collecting basin.

A drain channel draining the water from the second cooling chamber is formed between the outer surface of the insertion portion and the inner surface of the second drain pipe.

The first and second cooling chambers are divided from each other such that the first cooling chamber is located at an upper portion of the main body, the first drain pipe further including an extension portion, which is extended upwardly from the insertion portion and is in communication with the first cooling chamber, and the drain channel is in communication with the second cooling chamber.

The first and second drain pipes are integrated into one body, and connecting parts connecting the first and second drain pipes are provided in the drain channel.

The water collecting basin is a machinery chamber located at a lower portion of the main body, and an evaporating dish to collect and to store water drained through the first and second drain pipes is installed in the machinery chamber.

The foregoing and/or other aspects of the present invention are achieved by providing a refrigerator including a first evaporator cooling a first storage chamber; a second evaporator installed below the first evaporator cooling a second storage chamber located under the first storage chamber; a first water tray disposed below the first evaporator; a second water tray disposed below the second evaporator; a first drain pipe having an end connected to the first water tray and extending downwardly; and a second drain pipe having an end connected to the second water tray and extending downwardly, where the first drain pipe includes an insertion portion inserted into the second drain pipe and extended.

The first and second drain pipes may be integrated into one body.

The foregoing and/or other aspects of the present invention are achieved by providing a refrigerator including a first evaporator cooling a first storage chamber; a second evaporator installed below the first evaporator cooling a second storage chamber located under the first storage chamber; a first water tray disposed below the first evaporator; a second water tray disposed below the second evaporator; and a drain pipe draining water collected by the first and second water trays, where the drain pipe includes a first drain channel having one end connected to the first water tray and another end extending downwardly, and a second drain channel having one end connected to the second water tray and another end extending downwardly independently of the first drain channel.

The drain pipe further includes a diaphragm extended vertically dividing the first and second drain channels from each other.

The foregoing and/or other aspects of the present invention are achieved by providing a drainage system used within a refrigerator having a first cooling chamber and a second cooling chamber. The drainage system includes a first water tray provided within the first cooling chamber to collect water created in the first cooling chamber; a second water tray provided within the second cooling chamber to collect water created in the second cooling chamber; a water collecting basin provided beneath the first and second cooling chambers; and a drain pipe extending from the first water tray through the second water tray to the water collecting basin, the drain pipe draining water collected by the first and second water trays to the water collecting basin.

The drain pipe may include a first drain pipe part having an end connected to the first water tray and a second drain pipe part having an end connected to the second water tray, the first drain pipe part being extended through the second water tray, into the second drain pipe part and to the water collecting basin.

The drain pipe may include a first drain pipe part having an end connected to the first water tray and a second drain pipe part having an end connected to the second water tray, the first and second drain pipe parts being integrated into an integral pipe unit. The integral pipe unit may further include connecting parts connecting an outer surface of the first drain pipe part and an inner surface of the second drain pipe part to integrate the first and second drain pipe parts.

The integral pipe unit may include a first drain channel extending through the first drain pipe part and the second drain pipe part, and a second drain channel extending through the second drain pipe part. The first drain channel may include an upper channel and a lower channel, the lower channel being arranged in parallel relation with the second drain channel and being divided by a diaphragm.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and/or other aspects and advantages of the invention will become apparent and more readily appreciated from the following description of the embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a longitudinal sectional view of a conventional refrigerator;

FIG. 2 is a longitudinal sectional view of a refrigerator in accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged view of the portion ‘A’ of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view illustrating first and second drain pipes, which are integrated into one body, of a refrigerator in accordance with a second embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 5 is a perspective view illustrating first and second drain pipes, which are integrated into one body, of a refrigerator in accordance with a third embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

Reference will now be made in detail to the embodiments of the present invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to like elements throughout. The embodiments are described below to explain the present invention by referring to the annexed drawings.

FIG. 2 is a longitudinal sectional view of a refrigerator in accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention, and FIG. 3 is an enlarged view of the portion ‘A’ of FIG. 2.

As shown in FIG. 2, the refrigerator of the first embodiment includes a main body 10, which has a storage chamber 20 to store foods, a cooling chamber 30 to generate cool air supplied to the storage chamber 20, and a machinery chamber 40, in which various parts forming a refrigerating cycle are installed.

The main body 10 includes an external casing 11 forming the external appearance of the main body 10, and an internal casing 12 spaced from the external casing 11 at a designated interval, the external 11 and internal 12 casings forming the storage chamber 20 therein. The space between the external casing 11 and the internal casing 12 is filled with an insulating material 13, which is formed by foaming. The insulating material 13 serves to prevent cool air from escaping.

The storage chamber 20 is divided into two spaces, one above the other, i.e., two storage chambers 21 and 22, by a diaphragm 14. The storage chamber 21, which is located at the upper portion of the storage chamber 20, is referred to as a first storage chamber, and the storage chamber 22, which is located at the lower portion of the storage chamber 20, is referred to as a second storage chamber. Doors 21a and 22a to open and close the first and second storage chambers 21 and 22 are respectively connected to the front portions of the first and second storage chambers 21 and 22.

The cooling chamber 30 is divided into a first cooling chamber 31 provided in the rear of the first storage chamber 21 to generate cool air supplied to the first storage chamber 21, and a second cooling chamber 32 provided in the rear of the second storage chamber 22 to generate cool air supplied to the second storage chamber 22. Evaporators 33 and 34, which cool surrounding air through heat exchange with a refrigerant, and circulation fans 35 and 36, which circulate the air cooled by the evaporators 33 and 34, are respectively installed in the cooling chambers 31 and 32.

The machinery chamber 40 is located at the lower portion of the main body 10. A compressor 42 to compress a refrigerant in a low-temperature and low-pressure gaseous state into a high-temperature and high-pressure state, a condenser (not shown) to condense the refrigerant, which is compressed by the compressor 42, through heat exchange with surrounding air, and a cooling fan (not shown) to cool the compressor 42 and the condenser are installed in the machinery chamber 40.

The machinery chamber 40 serves as a water collecting basin to collect defrosted water drained from the first and second cooling chambers 31 and 32. For this reason, an evaporating dish 41 to store water discharged through a first drain pipe 50 and a second drain pipe 60 is installed in the machinery chamber 40. The water collected by the evaporating dish 41 is evaporated by heat emitted from the compressor 42 and the condenser.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, a first water tray 37 to collect defrosted water generated during a process to defrost the evaporator (hereinafter, referred to as ‘a first evaporator’) 33 installed in the first cooling chamber 31 is installed below the first evaporator 33, and the first drain pipe 50 to drain the water collected by the first water tray 37 to the evaporating dish 41 provided in the machinery chamber 41 is connected to the first water tray 37. A drainage hole 37a is formed through the first water tray 37, and one end of the first drain pipe 50 is connected to the drainage hole 37a.

Further, a second water tray 38 to collect defrosted water dropped from the evaporator (hereinafter, referred to as ‘a second evaporator’) 34 installed in the second cooling chamber 32 is installed below the second evaporator 34, and the second drain pipe 60 to drain the water collected by the second water tray 38 to the evaporating dish 41 is connected to the second water tray 38.

The first and second drain pipes 50 and 60 are downwardly extended to the machinery chamber 40 located at the lower portion of the main body 10. Particularly, the first drain pipe 50 connected to the first water tray 37 is extended to the second cooling chamber 32 under the first cooling chamber 31, and is inserted into the second drain pipe 60 communicating with the second cooling chamber 32. That is, the first drain pipe 50 includes an insertion portion 51, which is downwardly extended and inserted into the second drain pipe 60, and an extension portion 52, which connects the first water tray 37 and the insertion portion 51 of the first drain pipe 50. As described above, if the first drain pipe 50 is extended to be inserted into the second drain pipe 60, it is possible to simplify the installation structures of the first and second drain pipes 50 and 60 as well as to prevent odors from being transferred between the first and second storage chambers 21 and 22 due to an air flow between the first and second storage chambers 21 and 22 through the first or second drain pipe 50 or 60.

As shown in FIG. 3, a drain channel 61 to guide the water collected by the second water tray 38 to the machinery chamber 40 is formed between the outer surface of the insertion portion 51 of the first drain pipe 50 and the inner surface of the second drain pipe 60. One end of the drain channel 61 is connected to a drainage hole 38a formed through the second water tray 38.

Hereinafter, with reference to FIGS. 2 and 3, the operation of the refrigerator of the first embodiment will be described.

Cool air is generated in the first and second cooling chambers 31 and 32 by the first and second evaporators 33 and 34. During the above cool air generating process, the surfaces of the first and second evaporators 33 and 34 are frosted over. When the surfaces of the first and second evaporators 33 and 34 are frosted, the heat exchanging efficiency of the first and second evaporators 33 and 34 is lowered. Accordingly, a defrosting process is performed in a constant cycle.

Defrosted water generated during the defrosting process of the first evaporator 33 is collected by the first water tray 37 installed below the first evaporator 33, and the collected defrosted water is drained to the evaporating dish 41 of the machinery chamber 40 through the first drain pipe 50. In the same manner, defrosted water generated during the defrosting process of the second evaporator 34 is collected by the second water tray 38, and the collected defrosted water is drained to the evaporating dish 41 through the drain channel 61 formed between the insertion portion 51 of the first drain pipe 50 and the second drain pipe 60. In the first embodiment, since the first drain pipe 50 and the second drain pipe 60 are independently communicating with the external space (i.e., the machinery chamber 40), an air flow between the first and second storage chambers 21 and 22 through the first and second drain pipes 50 and 60 does not occur. Further, since the first drain pipe 50 and the second drain pipe 60 are extended together such that the first drain pipe 50 is inserted into the second drain pipe 60, the installation structures of the first and second drain pipes 50 and 60 are simplified.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view illustrating first and second drain pipes, which are integrated into one body, of a refrigerator in accordance with a second embodiment. As shown in FIG. 4, a first drain pipe 71 and a second drain pipe 72 are integrated into one integral pipe unit 70. The integral pipe unit 70 of FIG. 4 includes connecting parts 74 formed in a second embodiment of the drain channel 73. The connecting parts 74 connect the outer surface of the first drain pipe 71 and the inner surface of the second drain pipe 72 to integrate the first and second drain pipes 71 and 72. When the two drain pipes 71 and 72 are integrated into one integral pipe unit 70, as described above, the drain pipes 71 and 72 are easily assembled into the integral pipe unit 70.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view illustrating first and second drain pipes, which are integrated into one body, of a refrigerator in accordance with a third embodiment. As shown in FIG. 5, an integral drain pipe unit 80 includes a first drain channel 81, one end of which is connected to the first water tray (water tray 37 shown in FIG. 2), and a second drain channel 82, one end of which is connected to the second water tray (water tray 38 shown in FIG. 2). The first drain channel 81 includes a lower channel 81a arranged parallel with the second drain channel 82 and extended downwardly, and an upper channel 81b extended upwardly from the lower channel 81a to the first water tray 37. The lower channel 81a and the second drain channel 82, which are arranged in parallel, are divided by a diaphragm 83, which is vertically extended. The second drain channel 82 is extended independently of the first drain channel 81 by the diaphragm 83. The integral drain pipe unit 80 of the second embodiment has a simple structure, compared to the drain pipe 70 of FIG. 4, thus reducing production costs.

As apparent from the above description, the present invention provides a refrigerator, in which installation structures of drain pipes are improved so that air cannot flow between storage chambers through drain pipes, thus preventing odors from being transferred between the storage chambers.

Further, two drain pipes are integrated into one pipe unit, thus reducing production costs of parts of the refrigerator and improving the efficiency of assembling the parts.

Although embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, it would be appreciated by those skilled in the art that changes may be made in these embodiments without departing from the principles and spirit of the invention, the scope of which is defined in the claims and their equivalents.