Kind Code:

A refrigerator includes an ice maker arranged in an interior compartment, and an illuminant integrated into a housing of the ice maker that illuminates a part of the interior compartment above the ice maker.

Lu, Songtao (Chuzhou, CN)
Ricket, Matthew (New Bern, NC, US)
Rupp, Alexander (Chuzhou, CN)
Yang, Zhong (Anhui, CN)
Zhang, Lisheng (Chuzhou, CN)
Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
International Classes:
F25D27/00; F25C5/18
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Foreign References:
Primary Examiner:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BSH Home Appliances Corporation (NEW BERN, NC, US)
1. A refrigerator comprising: an ice maker arranged in an interior compartment; and an illuminant integrated into a housing of the ice maker that illuminates a part of the interior compartment above the ice maker.

2. The refrigerator of claim 1, further comprising a vertical light channel on the housing and wherein the illuminant is arranged on the light channel in order to radiate upward and downward.

3. The refrigerator of claim 1, wherein the ice maker comprises an ice reservoir and the illuminant is adjacent to the ice reservoir.

4. The refrigerator of claim 3, wherein an exterior of a wall surrounding an ice supply includes a cutout that accommodates the illuminant.

5. The refrigerator of claim 4, wherein the cutout comprises a reflector.

6. The refrigerator of claim 1, wherein the illuminant comprises two illuminants symmetrically positioned on opposite sides of the housing of the ice maker.

7. The refrigerator of claim 1, wherein the illuminant comprises light-emitting diodes.

8. The refrigerator of claim 7, wherein the light-emitting diodes are on an upper side and on a lower side of the housing of the ice maker.



The present invention relates to a refrigeration appliance, in particular a domestic refrigeration appliance with an integrated automatic ice maker.

Refrigeration appliances of this type generally have a niche in a door, in which a container can be set and a passage running through the wall of the niche, through which passage pieces of ice can be dispensed out of the ice maker into the container without a door having to be opened Since the niche is to be arranged at a height which can be reached comfortably by a user and the ice maker has to reach inside the refrigeration appliance up to the passage in order to be able to dispense ice, it generally forms a block in the interior compartment, which divides the interior compartment into an upper and a lower subarea. If internal illumination is arranged in the upper subarea, the ice maker casts shadows over the lower subarea. This problem is particularly serious in the case of refrigeration appliances with a narrow interior compartment, the width of which is essentially completely filled by the ice maker. Narrow interior compartments of this type appear in particular in the case of freezer parts in side-by-side combination refrigeration appliances.

The attachment of two lamps, one for the upper and one for the lower subarea, is unsatisfactory, since this significantly complicates the assembly of the refrigeration appliance. There is thus a need for a refrigeration appliance comprising an ice maker arranged in the interior compartment thereof, with which the interior compartment can be illuminated satisfactorily both above and also below the ice maker in a manner which is simple and requires minimal assembly effort.


An objective is achieved in a refrigeration appliance comprising an ice maker arranged in an interior compartment by an illuminant, which illuminates a part of the interior compartment disposed above the icemaker, being integrated into the housing of the icemaker. There is therefore no need to assemble the illuminant and/or an housing into the interior compartment itself and to route an electrical supply of the illuminant through the housing walls of the refrigeration appliance. At the same time, electrical supply lines in the ice maker can be used to supply the illuminant, and/or a string of lines supplying the icemaker which is routed through the housing can be augmented by the lines needed to operate the illuminant with minimal additional costs and without increasing the assembly outlay.

According to a preferred embodiment, a vertical light channel is embodied on the housing and the illuminant is arranged on the light channel in order to radiate upward and downward.

The space required to accommodate the illuminant can be provided in the simplest of cases in the direct vicinity of the ice reservoir.

A cut-out accommodating the illuminant is preferably formed on an exterior of the ice reservoir.

This cut-out can be formed as a reflector in order to improve the light efficiency.

To achieve a symmetrical illumination of the subareas on the one hand but however to avoid central attachment of the illuminant, which could impair the function of the ice maker, on the other hand, two illuminants are preferably arranged in a mirror-symmetrical fashion in respect of each other on opposite sides of the housing of the ice maker.

It may also be expedient to provide light-emitting diodes as illuminants, since the space requirement thereof is very minimal and they can therefore be inserted relatively easily into different points in the ice maker housing.

In particular, light-emitting diodes for radiating upward and downward can be arranged both on the upper side and also on the lower side of the ice maker.


Further features and advantages of the invention result from the following description of exemplary embodiments with reference to the appended figures, in which;

FIG. 1 shows a schematic section through a refrigeration appliance comprising an automatic ice maker;

FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of the ice maker;

FIG. 3 shows a section through the ice maker according to a first embodiment, and

FIG. 4 shows a section through the ice maker according to a second embodiment.


FIG. 1 shows a schematic section through a refrigeration appliance comprising an integrated automatic ice maker 3. A niche 2 is formed in a manner known per se in a door 1 of the refrigeration appliance, in which niche a container to be filled can be positioned. The refrigeration appliance is as tall as or taller than a person, the niche 2 should however, in order to enable user-friendly operation, not be arranged above the chest height of a user. To be able to fill a container (not shown) which is positioned in the niche 2 with pieces of ice from the ice maker 3 through a passage 4 formed in the wall of the niche 2, the icemaker 3 is to be positioned directly above the niche 2 and extend in the depth direction to beyond the niche 2. The ice maker 3 thus subdivides the interior compartment of the refrigerator into an upper subarea 5 and a lower subarea 6.

The ice maker 3 includes a tray 7, which can be pivoted about an axis which runs at right angles to the sectional plane in FIG. 1 and a plurality of hollow molds which can be filled with water in order to generate ice. A distributor for filling the hollow molds is identified with 8, an electronic control circuit and a motor for driving the pivoting movement of the tray 7 are accommodated in an upper housing part 9 of the ice maker 3. A lower housing part 10 of the icemaker 3 essentially accommodates an ice reservoir 11 and, separated herefrom by a wall 12, a motor 13 for driving a feed helix 14 extending through the ice reservoir 11 and a crusher 15 arranged directly above the passage 4.

If pieces of ice develop in the cavities of the tray 7, the control circuit switches on an electrical heater in the tray 7, in order to thaw out the surface of the pieces of ice and to render them moveable and the motor pivots the tray 7 so that the pieces of ice fall out of the hollow molds or are pressed out over a stationary branch of the distributor 8 which extends across a hollow mold and slide into the reservoir 11 above the sloping upper side of the wall 12.

FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of the ice maker 3. The tray 7 with the hollow molds formed therein and the distributor 8 with its branches as well as a part of the ice reservoir 11 is apparent. The ice reservoir 11 is largely hidden inside the essentially square lower housing part 10. A triangular arm 16 protrudes approximately centrally upward from the side walls 15 of the housing part 10 in each instance. A cover plate 17 seals the upper side of the housing part 10 in front of the arms 16. The cover plate 17 consists of an opaque plastic. Two transparent plastic windows 18 which are adjacent to their lateral edges in each instance are inserted into slits in the cover plate 17.

A vertical shield plate 19 rises above a rear edge of the cover plate 17. It allows the cover plate 17 to be used to accommodate refrigerated goods by preventing them from protruding beyond the rear edge of the cover plate 17 and hindering the operational movement of the tray 7. The shield plate 19 is held in a pivotable fashion on the upper ends of the arms 16 and can be folded up in order to enable access to the tray.

The side walls 15 of the lower housing part 10 are connected along their lower edges by means of a transparent base plate 20.

FIG. 3 shows a section through the upper housing part 10 of the ice maker 3 along a plane lying in front of the shield plate 19. The ice reservoir 11 is accommodated in a dish 21, in which cutouts 22 on lower lateral corners are in each instance formed in an approximately quarter-cylindrical shape. These cutouts 22 receive the glass tube comprising two bulbs 23, the threads of which are anchored to holders in a vertical region of the wall 12 surrounding the motor 13. On the one hand the bulbs 23 radiate directly downward through the transparent base plate 20 and therefore illuminate the subarea 6. Light radiated toward the dish 21 is also largely reflected downward toward the inner surfaces of the cutouts 22. One part of the light radiated upward passes through vertical channels 24, which extend in each instance between the side walls 15 of the housing part 10 and those of the dish 21 and reach the window 17, and form an upper termination in the channels 24. The undersides of the windows can be structured so as refract or scatter the light which passes through the upper subarea 5 toward the center of the subarea 5 respectively.

According to a second embodiment of the invention, FIG. 4 shows a section which is similar to FIG. 3 through the housing part 10. The housing parts of the ice maker are the same as in the embodiment in FIG. 3, however the bulbs 23 are omitted so that their holders 25 are visible in the wall 12 and a printed circuit board 27 equipped on its lower side with light-emitting diodes 26 extends instead across essentially the whole width of the housing part 10 between the base of the dish 21 and the base plate 20 in order to illuminate the lower subarea 6 and narrow, elongated printed circuit boards 28 with upwardly directed light-emitting diodes 26 are arranged below the windows 17 in order to illuminate the upper subarea 5.

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