Refrigeration Device With a Siphon
Kind Code:

A refrigeration device with an interior which is surrounded by a thermally insulating housing, a condensation water conduit is passed through the housing and has a siphon which is embedded in an insulation layer of the housing.

Becker, Wolfgang (Blaustein, DE)
Malisi, Michaela (Heidenheim, DE)
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BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgerate GmbH (Munchen, DE)
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Primary Examiner:
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1. 1-5. (canceled)

6. A refrigerator comprising: a housing having an interior; the housing having a thermal insulation layer; and a condensation water conduit passing through the housing; the condensation water conduit including a siphon; the siphon being embedded in the thermal insulation layer of the housing.

7. The refrigerator as claimed in claim 6, wherein the siphon is an S-shape curved pipe.

8. The refrigerator as claimed in claim 6, wherein the housing includes a vertical wall; the siphon being received in a vertical wall of the housing.

9. The refrigerator as claimed in claim 6, wherein the siphon is arranged adjacent to an outer side of the thermal insulation layer.


The present invention relates to a refrigerator with an interior which is surrounded by a thermally insulated housing, in which a condensation water conduit passed through the housing features a siphon.

A refrigerator of this type is for example described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,499,514. With this known refrigerator the condensation water conduit goes from the floor of an evaporator chamber in the interior of the device and extends directly into a machine area in the base of the device where it comes out into an evaporation tray. Within the machine area the condensation water conduit has an S-shaped bent course so that water can collect in the low-lying bend of the conduit, without flowing out into the evaporation tray. This water prevents a free exchange of air between the interior of the device and the surroundings through the condensation water conduit, but allows the brief return flow of air into the interior, for example if warm air which has penetrated into the interior when the door is open, cools down therein after the door is closed and gives rise to a vacuum.

High temperatures can occur in the machine area of a refrigerator, in particular housing temperatures of the compressor accommodated therein of 70 to 80° during operation are not a rarity. The condensation water conduit running in close proximity to the compressor in the refrigerator from U.S. Pat. No. 5,499,514 is thus subjected to high temperatures which promotes the growth of bacteria and the development of unpleasant smells. These can become a noticeable problem if, during a pressure equalization, air is drawn through the polluted water into the interior, or if during a defrosting process the contaminated water penetrates into the evaporation tray. Another disadvantage is the large amount of space required for the condensation water conduit in the machine area.

A siphon for a refrigerator is known from EP 1 128 141 B1 in which a tubular pipe stub extends through a horizontal insulation layer of the housing and comes out on an underside of the insulation layer into an inserted cup in which water can collect, so that it closes off the outlet of the pipe stub. Although this layout is more compact than that known from U.S. Pat. No. 5,499,514, here too the water standing in the cup is subjected to high temperatures and the danger of contamination.

A pressure equalization device for a freezer device is known from EP 0 848 217 B1 which comprises a pipe extending vertically through the insulation layer and a float sitting on a shoulder of the pipe. The float is to be lifted out of its position by condensation water flowing from above from an interior of the freezer, so that the condensation water can flow out past the float. Even in the case of a vacuum in the interior the float can be lifted from its seat and air can flow into the interior. This layout is definitely compact, and since it contains no standing water, the danger of contamination is small. However there is the danger of failure if the float freezes onto its seat or sticks to its seat as a result of contaminants contained in the outflowing condensation water or is prevented by such contaminants from closing tightly.

The object of the present invention is thus to create a refrigerator which guarantees a problem-free equalization of pressure between the interior and the surroundings through a simple and compact layout and the avoids the danger of contamination or of smells developing.

The object is achieved by a refrigerator with the features of claim 1. The fact that the siphon of this refrigerator is embedded into the insulation layer of the housing means that water contained within it is protected from excessive heat, so that the growth of bacteria can be kept low. In addition its embedding into the insulation layer means that the siphon is protected against incident light which also promotes the growth of bacteria. The danger of drying out and of the siphon consequently becoming ineffective is averted by the cooler placement.

The siphon could be embodied by interlocking cups and tubes, but because of the simplicity and the low height which fits well into a housing wall of the refrigerator, a siphon in the form of an S-shaped curved pipe is preferred.

The placing of the siphon in more or less close proximity to a warm outer side or a cold inner side of the insulation layer can be determined as a function of the intended operating temperature of the interior. To definitely exclude the possibility of liquid freezing in the siphon, accommodating the siphon adjacent to an outer side of the insulating layer is generally preferred.

Further features and advantages of the invention emerge from the description of exemplary embodiments given below which refer to the enclosed figures. The figures show:

FIG. 1 a perspective part view of a refrigerator housing in accordance with a first embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 2 a vertical part section through a refrigerator housing in accordance with a modified embodiment.

FIG. 1 shows a schematic perspective view of the lower half of the carcass 1 of a refrigerator. A door of the device is omitted from the figure. Walls 2, 3, 4 of the carcass are each embodied through a fixed outer skin 5 depicted as transparent in the Figure, which is assembled from metal or plastic elements, a one-piece inner skin 6 common to all walls and an insulating foam made from a foam plastic filling the space between inner and outer skin 6, 5. At the foot of the rear wall 3 a compartment 7 is cut out which is intended to accommodate a compressor, an evaporator tray and also possibly a condenser. An evaporator is accommodated in the upper area of the carcass 1 not shown. This can for example involve a coldwall evaporator which is placed in the upper area of the rear wall 3 on the inner skin 6, or a no-frost evaporator, which for example can be accommodated in a chamber below the roof of the carcass or in a horizontal dividing wall between two cooling chambers of the carcass.

Running outwards from this evaporator is a condensation water conduit 8 which extends downwards in the insulation layer of the rear wall 3 and is shown partly in the figure. Between two vertical pipe sections of the conduit 8 running downwards are inserted two opposingly curved sections 9, 10 which form a siphon. The entire conduit 8 can be bent in one piece from a metal or plastic pipe; the straight sections and the bends 9, 10 can also each be individually manufactured and plugged into each other. All sections of the condensation water conduit 8 lie in the same plane parallel to the outer and inner skin of the rear wall 3, in order to keep the depth of the siphon as small as possible and to keep the weakening of the insulation effect of the rear wall resulting from the presence of the condensation water conduit 8 small.

The condensation water conduit 8 comes out into a compartment 7, where a tray for catching and evaporating the condensation water not shown in FIG. 1 is provided.

As can be seen from the horizontal section through the walls 2, 3, 4 in FIG. 1, the condensation water conduit 8 runs in close proximity to the outer skin 5, so that it is insulated much more from the interior of the carcass 1 than from the surroundings. This ensures that water standing in the bend 9 of the condensation water conduit 8 is not frozen, even when the interior is held at a temperature well below 0° C. In the case of a refrigerator in which the interior does not reach temperatures of below 0° C., the condensation water conduit 8 could also be placed in the immediate vicinity of the inner skin 6 in order in this way to obtain a temperature of the water in the bend 9 which is as low as possible to inhibit evaporation and bacteria growth.

FIG. 2 shows a schematic section through the compartment 7 and its environment in accordance with a slightly modified embodiment of the invention. Here too the condensation water conduit 8 essentially runs in close proximity to the outer skin 5 of the rear wall 3. Only in the vicinity of its lower end does the conduit 8 deviate from its course in a plane in parallel to the outer skin 5 and extends to the front side of the carcass 1 in a horizontal end section 11 above the compartment and into it in order to come out subsequently centrally above an evaporation tray 12 in the compartment 7.

The evaporation tray 12 is mounted in close thermal contact on a compressor 13.

Instead of being routed in the rear wall 3, the condensation water conduit 8 could also be routed in one of the side walls 2, 4. This can especially be of advantage for a refrigerator, in which compressor and evaporation tray are accommodated in a base area below the carcass, and the evaporation tray is not far removed from the front side of the device.