Title:
COLD INSULATION CONTAINER HAVING A COVER PROVIDED WITH A SEPARATED REFRIGERATING ELEMENT STORING SPACE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cold insulation container includes a heat-insulating container body and a heat-insulating cover pivotally connected to and openably closing the container body to define a closed space in the container body for storing goods therein. The cover includes a base defining an open-topped recess and a secondary lid pivotally connected to the base to openably close the recess. A plurality of vents is provided on a peripheral wall of the recess. At least one refrigerating element is disposed in the recess. Since stored goods and the refrigerating element are positioned in two separated spaces, the stored goods are isolated from contamination by condensed water from the refrigerating element.



Inventors:
Li, Mao-hsiung (Chu-Tung, TW)
Application Number:
12/145180
Publication Date:
09/17/2009
Filing Date:
06/24/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
220/254.6
International Classes:
B65D81/38; B65D51/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ALI, MOHAMMAD M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Muncy, Geissler, Olds & Lowe, P.C. (Fairfax, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A cold insulation container having a cover provided with a separated refrigerating element storing space, comprising: a heat-insulating container body; a heat-insulating cover being pivotally connected to the container body to openably close the container body, so that a closed space is defined in the container body below the cover; the cover including a base having an open-topped recess and a secondary lid pivotally connected to the base to openably close the recess; and the recess being provided at predetermined positions with a plurality of vents; and at least one refrigerating element disposed in the recess.

2. The cold insulation container as claimed in claim 1, wherein the heat-insulating container body and the heat-insulating cover are made of a material selected from the group consisting of a vacuum-insulated material and various foamed insulating materials, such as PU, PS, and EPP.

3. The cold insulation container as claimed in claim 1, wherein the recess further includes a refrigerating element tray detachably held to a bottom of the recess, and the refrigerating element tray being made of a material selected from the group of a metal material and a plastic material.

4. The cold insulation container as claimed in claim 3, wherein the vents are formed on a peripheral wall of the refrigerating element tray.

5. The cold insulation container as claimed in claim 1, wherein the refrigerating element tray has a bottom having an uneven surface or provided with a plurality elongated protrusions.

6. The cold insulation container as claimed in claim 1, wherein the refrigerating element is selected from the group consisting of a cold storage material, a phase change energy storage material, and dry ice.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a cold insulation container, and more particularly to a cold insulation container having a cover provided with a separated refrigerating element storing space.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A conventional cold insulation container is designed to temporarily store goods or foods at a low temperature. The cold insulation container is then delivered to a customer or a market with the goods or foods kept in a fresh state. In the conventional cold insulation container, cold storage means are placed atop the stored goods or foods. When it is desired to access the stored goods or foods, the cold storage means must be moved away first. It is of course inconvenient for a user to do so. In the case dry ice is used as a cold storage material for use in the cold insulation container, a dry ice tray is placed in the container above the goods or foods for holding the dry ice thereon. Similarly, to access the stored goods or foods, the dry ice tray must be inconveniently moved away first. Meanwhile, no matter the cold storage means are provided at an upper part or at one side in the container, the cold storage means must be cleaned before being frozen for next use, so as to avoid condensed water from accumulating and becoming frozen on the cold storage means. Without doing so, stored goods or foods are subject to contamination by molten condensed water from the cold storage means.

Another type of conventional cold insulation container has a cover with a secondary lid. The cover internally provides a small space for holding money, knives, notebooks, etc., which may be accessed via the secondary lid. Or, the secondary lid on the cover is only for openably closing a small opening on the cover. Goods stored in the container, such as canned beverage, can be directly accessed via the small opening without the need of opening the whole cover. However, the secondary lid for such small opening generally does not include any heat insulation design and accordingly, will adversely affect the cold insulation performance of the container.

In some cases, dry ice is placed in a coffin to achieve the purpose of temporarily lowering the temperature in the coffin. Since the coffin is not provided with any power-driven refrigerating system, a large quantity of expensive dry ice is consumed to keep the coffin at the low temperature, particularly when there is a body stored therein. The cover of the coffin must be opened each time the dry ice is positioned or replaced. This would no doubt bring confusions to the workers and the family. There is another type of coffin having an electrical refrigerating system integrated thereinto. When operating, the electrical refrigerating system will dissipate heat and produce noise. In addition, the electric refrigerating system for the coffin requires wiring to a power supply.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A primary object of the present invention is to provide a cold insulation container having a cover provided with a separated refrigerating element storing space, which is openably closed by a secondary lid on the cover for holding refrigerating elements therein, and goods requiring cold insulation are stored in another closed space in the container below the cover. With the goods and the refrigerating elements positioned in two separate spaces, the stored goods are not subject to contamination by condensed water from the refrigerating elements.

To achieve the above and other objects, the cold insulation container of the present invention includes a heat-insulating container body and a heat-insulating cover pivotally connected to and openably closing the container body to define a closed space in the container for storing goods therein. The cover includes a base defining an open-topped recess and a secondary lid pivotally connected to the base to openably close the recess. A plurality of vents is provided at the recess. The cold insulation container further includes at least one refrigerating element disposed in the recess on the cover.

In the present invention, the heat-insulating container body and the heat-insulating cover are made of a vacuum-insulated material or a foamed insulating material, such as PU, PS, EPP, etc., to maintain the closed space in the container at a required low temperature.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the recess on the cover may further include a refrigerating element tray. The refrigerating element tray is made of a metal material to help in cooling the closed space of the container. The refrigerating element tray may be otherwise made of a plastic material.

The refrigerating element tray may be integrally formed with the recess, or separately formed for detachably connecting to the recess for easy dismounting and cleaning of the tray.

In the present invention, the vents may be formed at a peripheral wall or a bottom of the refrigerating element tray. Cold air in the recess can descend via the vents to the closed space in the container body. In addition, the bottom of the refrigerating element tray has an uneven surface or is provided with a plurality of elongated protrusions to provide an increased surface area to help in heat exchange in the container.

In the present invention, the refrigerating element is a cold storage means, a phase change energy storage material, or dry ice.

The cold insulation container of the present invention is used to deliver and store goods of various storage temperature levels. For this purpose, the cold insulation container of the present invention includes a heat-insulating container body, a heat-insulating cover, at least one refrigerating element, and a mobile freezer. The heat-insulating cover is pivotally connected to and openably closed to the container body to define a closed space in the container body below the cover. The cover includes a base having an open-topped recess defined therein and a secondary lid. The secondary lid is pivotally connected to the base to openably close the recess for storing the at least one refrigerating element therein. The recess is provided on a peripheral wall thereof with a plurality of vents. The mobile freezer is used to freeze and store a plurality of refrigerating elements therein to enable convenient replacement of the refrigerating elements in the recess of the cold insulation container.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The structure and the technical means adopted by the present invention to achieve the above and other objects can be best understood by referring to the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments and the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a cold insulation container according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded sectional view of a cover for the cold insulation container of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a side view of a refrigerating element tray for the cold insulation container of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a top view of the refrigerating element tray of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a cold insulation container according to another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view of a cover for the cold insulation container of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the cold insulation container of FIG. 5; and

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a mobile freezer for the cold insulation container of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Please refer to FIG. 1 that is an exploded perspective view of a cold insulation container according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention. As shown, the cold insulation container of the present invention includes a heat-insulating container body 10 and a heat-insulating cover 20. The heat-insulating cover 20 is pivotally connected via hinges, for example, to the container body 10 to openably close an opening of the container body 10, so that the container body 10 with the cover 20 closed thereto internally defines a closed space for storing goods or foods therein under a heat insulation state. The cover 20 includes a base 21 and a secondary lid 22. The base 21 defines an open-topped recess 23 for storing a refrigerating element 24 therein. The secondary lid 22 is pivotally connected via hinges, for example, to one side of the base 21 to openably close the recess 23. The heat-insulating container body 10 and the heat-insulating cover 20 are made of a vacuum-insulated material, or a foamed insulating material, such as PU, PS, EPP, etc., or any other functionally equivalent insulating materials, so that the closed space in the container body of the present invention is thermally insulated from external environment.

Please refer to FIG. 2 that is a sectional view of the cover 20 for the container of the present invention. As shown, the recess 23 includes a refrigerating element tray 231, which is detachably connected to a bottom of the recess 23 to enable convenient dismounting of the refrigerating element tray 231 from the recess 23 for cleaning. More specifically, the recess 23 is formed along an inner periphery thereof with a shoulder portion 232, and the refrigerating element tray 231 is fixedly held to the shoulder section 232. The refrigerating element tray 231 is made of a metal material to help in heat exchange in the container body 10. Of course, the refrigerating element tray 231 may be otherwise made of a plastic material or any other functionally equivalent materials. The refrigerating element 24 is positioned on the refrigerating element tray 231. In the present invention, the refrigerating element tray 231 has a bottom 233 and a peripheral wall 236. The bottom 233 has an uneven surface or is provided with a plurality of elongated protrusions 234, as can be seen from FIG. 4, which is a top view of the refrigerating element tray 231, so that the refrigerating element tray 231 may have increased refrigerating area and reinforced structural strength. Meanwhile, the refrigerating element 24 is provided with a plurality of elongated through holes (not shown) corresponding to the elongated protrusions 234 on the bottom 233 of the refrigerating element tray 231. When the refrigerating element 24 is positioned in the refrigerating element tray 231, the elongated protrusions 234 on the bottom 233 would upward extend through the elongated through holes on the refrigerating element 24 to locate the refrigerating element 24 in place.

Please refer to FIG. 3 that is a side view of the refrigerating element tray 231. As shown, there is a plurality of vents 235 formed on the peripheral wall 236 of the refrigerating element tray 231, so that cold air in the recess 23 can pass through the vents 235 and descend into the closed space of the container body 10 below the cover 20. With the vents 235, good refrigerating effect as well as balanced internal pressure in the closed space between the container body 10 and the cover 20 may be achieved, particularly when the refrigerating element 24 is dry ice. The vents 235 may be differently located depending on actual application of the present invention. In the case the refrigerating element tray 231 and the recess 23 are integrally formed, the vents 235 may be directly provided on the peripheral wall of the recess 23.

With the above arrangements, the refrigerating element 24 is disposed in the recess 23 or the refrigerating element tray 231 to discharge cold energy into the closed space in the container body 10, so as to keep the stored goods or foods fresh. The refrigerating element 24 may be a cold storage means or dry ice.

FIGS. 5 to 7 show a cold insulation container according to another embodiment of the present invention, which may be used as a coffin. As shown, the coffin includes a heat-insulating container body 30 and a heat-insulating cover 40. The heat-insulating cover 40 is pivotally connected via hinges, for example, to the container body 30 to openably close the container body 30, so that a closed space 45 for storing a body is defined in the container body 30 below the cover 40. The cover 40 includes a base 41 and a secondary lid 42. The base 41 defines an open-topped recess 43 for storing a refrigerating element 44 therein. The secondary lid 42 is pivotally connected via hinges, for example, to one side of the base 41 to openably close the recess 43. The heat-insulating container body 30 and the heat-insulating cover 40 are made of a vacuum-insulated material, or a foamed insulating material, such as PU, PS, EPP, etc., or any other equivalent insulating materials, so that the internal space of the container of the present invention is thermally insulated from external environment.

The recess 43 includes a refrigerating element tray 431, which is detachably connected to a bottom of the recess 43 to enable convenient dismounting of the refrigerating element tray 431 from the recess 43 for cleaning. More specifically, the recess 43 is formed along an inner periphery thereof with a shoulder portion 432, and the refrigerating element tray 431 is fixedly held to the shoulder section 432. The refrigerating element tray 431 is made of a metal material to help in heat exchange in the container body 30. Of course, the refrigerating element tray 431 may be otherwise made of a plastic material. The refrigerating element 44 is positioned on the refrigerating element tray 431. In the present invention, the refrigerating element tray 431 has a bottom 433, which has an uneven surface or is provided with a plurality of elongated protrusions, so that the refrigerating element tray 431 may have increased refrigerating area and reinforced structural strength.

The refrigerating element tray 431 is provided on a peripheral wall or the bottom 433 with a plurality of vents (not shown), so that cold air in the recess 43 can pass through the vents and descend into the closed space of the container body 30 below the cover 40. As having been mentioned in the above-described preferred embodiment, the vents may be differently located depending on actual application of the present invention.

With the above arrangements, the refrigerating element 44 is disposed in the recess 43 or the refrigerating element tray 431 to discharge cold energy into the closed space in the container body 30. The refrigerating element 44 may be a cold storage means, a phase change energy storage material, or dry ice.

The cold insulation container according to the present invention is used to deliver and store goods of various temperature levels. For this purpose, the cold insulation container of the present invention includes a heat-insulating container body 10, a heat-insulating cover 20, and at least one refrigerating element 24. The heat-insulating cover 20 is pivotally connected to the container body 10 to openably close an opening of the container body 10, so that the container body 10 with the cover 20 closed thereto internally defines a closed space. The cover 20 includes a base 21 and a secondary lid 22. The base 21 defines an open-topped recess 23 for storing the at least one refrigerating element 24 therein. The secondary lid 22 is pivotally connected to one side of the base 21 to openably close the recess 23. The recess 23 is provided with a plurality of vents 235.

Alternatively, the recess 23 may further-includes a refrigerating element tray 231 detachably connected to a bottom of the recess 23 to enable convenient dismounting of the refrigerating element tray 231 from the recess 23 for cleaning. In the case the recess 23 is integrally formed, the vents 235 are provided on a peripheral wall of the recess 23. Or, in the case the recess 23 has the refrigerating element tray 231 detachably connected thereto, the vents 235 are provided on the peripheral wall of the refrigerating element tray 231.

In order to provide convenient delivery and storage of goods of various temperature levels, a mobile freezer 50 as shown in FIG. 8 is preferably provided for the cold insulation container of the present invention to enable convenient replacement of refrigerating elements 24 in the recess of the heat-insulating cover. The freezer 50 is able to freeze and store the refrigerating elements 24. After the refrigerating elements 24 in the mobile freezer 50 are frozen to store cold energy, the refrigerating elements 24 can be placed in the refrigerating element tray or the recess on the cover of the cold insulation container to keep the closed space in the container body at required temperature conditions. In brief, the mobile freezer 50 may be used to freeze and store the refrigerating elements 24 for use in various temperature ranges, so that the cold insulation container of the present invention is able to provide storage of goods at various temperature ranges.

Referring to FIG. 8, the mobile freezer 50 includes a container body 51 and a cover 52 openably closed to the container body 51. The mobile freezer 50 further includes a freezing system 53 arranged at a lower part of the container body 51 for providing cold energy into the container body 51 to freeze the refrigerating elements. Basically, the container body 51 has a wall thickness of 100 mm. The wall of the container body 51 has a heat insulating material filled therein, such as a vacuum-insulated material or a foamed insulating material, such as PU, PS, EPP, and any other functionally equivalent materials. Preferably, the freezer 50 is a horizontal-type freezer with the cover 52 upward openable, and has a freezing capacity of 150 Kcal/hr at −15° C.

According to the above arrangements, the present invention has the following advantages:

  • 1. The secondary lid and the refrigerating element tray together define a closed space between them suitable for holding either disposable cold storage material, such as dry ice, or reusable cold storage material, such as cold storage means.
  • 2. The secondary lid of the cover can be conveniently opened and closed to enable easy replacement of the cold storage material without the need of opening the whole cover. And, to retrieve the stored goods, a user may simply open the cover without the need of moving the cold storage material aside. Therefore, the cover with the secondary lid makes the cold insulation container of the present invention more convenient for use than the conventional cold insulation containers.
  • 3. The cold storage material and the stored goods are positioned in two separated spaces. The placement of the cold storage material would not expose the stored goods to external environment.
  • 4. The refrigerating elements, either held in the detachable refrigerating element tray or the fixed recess, are allowed to uniformly discharge cold energy. The refrigerating element tray functions to isolate the stored goods from contamination by the condensed water accumulated on the cold storage material to ensure good sanitation condition of the container.
  • 5. The small-size mobile freezer for the cold insulation container of the present invention is easily transportable and suitable for use by small-scale business and leasing business.

The present invention has been described with some preferred embodiments thereof and it is understood that many changes and modifications in the described embodiments can be carried out without departing from the scope and the spirit of the invention that is intended to be limited only by the appended claims.