Title:
Refrigerator unit compartment including a refrigeration unit
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A refrigerator unit compartment including a refrigeration unit is provided with a seal, with the refrigerator unit compartment having an inclined surface at the back portion thereof, and wherein the refrigeration unit includes a plurality of adjustable elevating devices such that, after the refrigeration unit is pushed into the refrigerator unit compartment, the elevating devices are manually actuated in order to level the refrigeration unit in the refrigerator unit compartment and thereby cause compression of the seal disposed about the evaporator cool air exhaust opening and the evaporator inlet opening of the refrigeration unit.



Inventors:
Ip, Ming (Flushing, NY, US)
Application Number:
12/231762
Publication Date:
03/11/2010
Filing Date:
09/05/2008
Assignee:
Genesis Manufacturing (West Hempstead, NY, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
62/407, 312/408
International Classes:
A47B96/00; A47B96/02; F25D17/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
AVILES BOSQUES, ORLANDO E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HESPOS & PORCO LLP (ESSEX FELLS, NJ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A refrigerator unit compartment including a refrigeration unit comprising: the refrigerator unit compartment includes an opening for receiving the refrigeration unit, a lower support surface and an upper support surface, the lower support surface is adapted for receiving the refrigeration unit and includes an inclined surface extending upwardly adjacent and towards the back side thereof, the upper surface includes a first set of an evaporator cool air exhaust opening; a refrigeration unit having a back side, a front side, a lower side and an upper side, a plurality of adjustable elevating devices extending downwardly adjacent and towards the front side thereof, the upper side includes a second set of an evaporator inlet opening and an evaporator cool air exhaust opening; and a seal secured around a periphery of the evaporator inlet opening and the evaporator cool air exhaust opening of either the first set or the second set, whereby when the refrigeration unit is slid into the refrigerator unit compartment opening, along the lower support surface and below the upper support surface, the seal is in an uncompressed state, and after further insertion into the refrigerator unit compartment, the back side of the refrigeration unit engages the inclined surface of the refrigerator unit compartment, and thereafter the adjustable elevating devices are extended to vertically lift the front side of the refrigeration unit, causing compression of the seal so as to seal the first set of openings with the second set of openings.

2. A refrigerator unit compartment including a refrigeration unit as in claim 1, wherein the refrigerator unit compartment includes three rails on the lower support surface thereof, and three inclined surfaces formed as part of each rail, respectively.

3. A refrigerator unit compartment including a refrigeration unit as in claim 2, wherein three adjustable elevating devices are provided, with each adjustable elevating device bearing against one of the three rails of the refrigerator unit compartment.

4. A refrigerator unit compartment including a refrigeration unit as in claim 1, wherein each adjustable elevating device is a bolt which is manually adjusted.

5. A refrigerator unit compartment including a refrigeration unit as in claim 1, wherein the refrigeration unit is at an angle in the range of three degrees to five degrees when the back side of the refrigeration unit engages the inclined surface of the refrigerator unit compartment.

6. A refrigerator unit compartment including a refrigeration unit as in claim 1, wherein the seal is secured around the periphery of the first set of openings whereby, when the refrigeration unit is horizontal within the refrigerator unit compartment, the seal is compressed against the upper surface of the refrigerator unit compartment.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention generally relates to housing cabinets and refrigerator coolers and a system to secure and seal a compressor unit into a refrigerator cooler and housing cabinet.

In most industrial refrigerators, commercial refrigerators, coolers and vending machines, it is necessary to install the refrigerator compressor into the refrigerator housing cabinet during the initial assembly or during maintenance of the refrigeration unit. Since the compressor is very heavy and cumbersome, this can be a difficult task and, in many instances, the equipment can be damaged during the insertion and sealing process. In most systems, the compressor, condenser and evaporator are assembled as a single refrigeration unit to be installed in a refrigeration cabinet and thus contributes to the heavy and cumbersome nature of the assembly. In such instances, the top of the refrigerator unit and the interior of the housing cabinet could be damaged during insertion of the refrigeration unit and, more particularly, portions of the refrigeration unit and the housing cabinet can be chipped or torn during an insertion process.

2. Description of the Related Art

To overcome these problems, the prior art has generally focused on different structural arrangements. Reference is made to U.S. Pat. No. 5,711,162 to Wolanin et al. which teaches that a refrigerator compressor motor mounting pan arrangement is formed from a metal plate. The compressor motor is disposed on top of the plate, and the plate includes wheel wells such that the compressor motor can be transported along the compressor and refrigerator unit. A series of brackets holds the compressor motor in place to the plate. By this arrangement, the compressor and the motor are not completely secured within the housing, but rather the housing utilizes the brackets to hold the compressor motor in place. This arrangement does not allow for the formation of a tight seal between the whole compressor unit and the refrigerator housing.

Another known system is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,539,737 to Kerpers et al. In the latter patent, there is provided a mounting plate onto which the user places the compressor motor. The mounting plate is then installed into the housing cabinet and, after connecting the compressor motor to the compressor unit with the proper electrical circuits, the compressor motor is installed and the mounting plate is removed. In this system, however, the compressor motor is installed separately from, and attached independently to, the outer portions of the cooling device. In other words, the entire compressor unit of Kerpers et al. is not secured into the housing. Thus, it is difficult to move or reposition the cooling device without first disconnecting the coolant conduits of the compressor motor.

Another system is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,948,324 to Jin which provides for a refrigeration cooler that includes a compartment to house a refrigeration unit. The latter is inserted into the compartment and positioned so as to minimize damage to the compartment or the seal on top of the unit and to align the evaporation/air flow inlet and outlets located on the unit and in the compartment. In Jin, both the unit and the compartment include inclined surfaces that help raise the unit. The inclines raise the unit when the unit is slid into the compartment and the inclines on the back and bottom of the unit engage the bottom of the compartment and the inclines at the back and bottom of the compartment engage the front of the unit. Accordingly, the unit is raised so that the seal engages the upper surface of the compartment securing the unit. A shortcoming of this arrangement is that, as the unit is slid into the compartment and is simultaneously being moved laterally as well as being raised vertically, there is a possibility that the flexible seal could be damaged or rolled or in some manner distorted, thereby affecting the sealing capability of the unit.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a refrigerator cooler and housing cabinet with an installed, secured and properly sealed refrigerator compressor unit.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a housing cabinet and refrigerator cooler with an installed, secured and sealed refrigerator compressor unit in which the sealing of the unit is safe and easy to perform.

It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a housing cabinet and refrigerator cooler which can be readily installed, as well as removed, and without damaging or distorting the seal in the process.

Other objects and advantages will be apparent from the remaining portion of the specification.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, a refrigerator cooler with a housing cabinet includes an opening for the insertion of the refrigeration unit. The refrigeration unit has a back side, a front side, a lower side and an upper side. Furthermore, the refrigeration unit is made of metal, with the upper side of the unit including an evaporator inlet opening and evaporator cool air exhaust opening. The perimeters of the evaporator inlet opening and the evaporator cool air exhaust opening are surrounded by a neoprene seal, or a seal made of similar flexible material. The lower side of the refrigeration unit includes three adjustable elevating devices in the form of manually operable bolts which, when rotated to their extended position, result in the refrigerator unit being generally horizontal within the housing cabinet. The screws bear against the bottom surface of the housing cabinet.

The housing cabinet of the refrigeration unit has a back side, a front side, a lower side and an upper side and an opening to receive the refrigeration unit. The cabinet has an upper support surface and a lower support surface, and the housing is preferably made of metal. The upper surface of the cabinet also includes an evaporator inlet opening and an evaporator cool air exhaust opening, with these openings being aligned with the corresponding openings on the refrigeration unit so as to allow the air flow from the refrigeration unit through the openings and into the cooler.

The compartment of the cabinet at its lower support surface at its back side has two inclined surfaces that extend upwardly towards the back surface of the compartment. These inclined surfaces define horizontal resting surfaces onto which the refrigeration unit ultimately rests.

The housing compartment includes rails along the lower surface, preferably three rails. The refrigeration unit slides along the rails until the unit engages the inclined surfaces of the housing compartment, at which time the refrigeration unit is at an incline extending from the back wall of the compartment to the front of the compartment. Also, at this time, the resilient seal is aligned with the perimeters of the evaporator inlet opening and the evaporator cool air exhaust opening. Next, the adjustable elevating devices in the form of the three bolts disposed on the refrigeration unit are rotated so as to lift the front end of the refrigeration unit until it is horizontal, at which time the seals are properly seated about the perimeters of the evaporator inlet opening and the evaporator cool air exhaust opening.

During the time when the refrigeration unit is being raised at its forward end so as to be in a horizontal disposition, the seals are compressed and, because there is no lateral movement of the refrigeration unit within the refrigeration unit housing compartment, there is no likelihood of twisting or distortion of the seals as they fully seat around the two openings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the fully assembled refrigerator cooler of the subject invention;

FIG. 2 is a left side perspective view of the refrigeration unit prior to installation;

FIG. 3 is a front, top perspective view of the refrigeration unit prior to installation;

FIG. 4 is a front perspective view of the refrigerator cabinet;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the lower right portion of the refrigerator cabinet;

FIG. 6 is a left perspective view of the refrigeration unit as it enters the refrigerator cabinet;

FIG. 7 is a left side perspective view of the refrigeration unit after it has been pushed into the refrigerator cabinet; and

FIG. 8 is a left side perspective view of the refrigeration unit in its final position after the screws are tightened down and the base of the refrigeration unit is horizontal.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Turning to FIG. 1, a refrigerator cooler 10 includes a refrigeration unit 12 and a refrigerator cabinet 14. FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate the refrigeration unit 12 as including a back side 16, a front side 18, a lower side 20 and an upper side 22.

The lower side 20 includes three adjustable elevating devices 24 in the form of threaded bolts that are used for elevating the front side 18 of the refrigeration unit in order to lock the unit in place and to seal the refrigeration unit 12 to the refrigerator cabinet 14.

As illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, the upper side 22 of the refrigeration unit 12 includes an evaporator inlet opening 26 and an evaporator cool air exhaust opening 28. As shown in FIG. 1, vent 30 allows the flow of ambient air into the refrigeration unit 12 and more particularly into the interior (not shown) of the refrigeration unit.

Again referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the refrigeration unit 12 includes a shock absorber 32 and a temperature control gauge 34 to regulate the temperature of the air circulated through the refrigerator cabinet 14.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the upper side 22 of the refrigeration unit 12 includes a seal 36 secured around the perimeter of the evaporator inlet opening 26 and the evaporator cool air exhaust opening 28. The seal 36 is made of a suitable flexible material, and the seal 36 includes a dividing section 38 which separates the evaporator inlet opening 26 and the evaporator cool air exhaust opening 28 so that the air flow is not intermixed.

Turning to FIGS. 4 and 5, the refrigerator cooler 10 includes the refrigeration unit housing compartment 50 that houses the refrigeration unit 12. The compartment 50 has a back side 52, a front side 54, a left side 56, a lower side 58, a right side 60, an upper side 62, and an opening which is generally designated by the numeral 64. The refrigeration unit 12 is adapted to slide into the opening 64.

The compartment 50 has an upper support surface 66 and a lower support surface which includes inclined surfaces 68a, 68b and 68c, as more particularly illustrated in FIG. 5.

The inclines 68a, 68b and 68c include horizontal resting surfaces 70a, 70b and 70c onto which the refrigeration unit 12 will ultimately sit in the fully installed position. The incline surfaces 68a, 68b and 68c are located at the back side 52 of the compartment 50 and extend in an upward manner, towards the back side 52.

The refrigerator unit housing compartment 50 includes three parallel rails designated by the numerals 72a, 72b and 72c, with the inclines 68a, 68b and 68c being a part of the rails 72a, 72b and 72c, respectively.

FIGS. 6, 7 and 8 illustrate, in sequence, the installation of the refrigeration unit 12 into the housing compartment 52 of the refrigerator cabinet 14. As shown in FIG. 6, the refrigeration unit 12 is pushed into the housing compartment 50 by a horizontal force applied to the refrigeration unit.

In FIG. 7, after the refrigeration unit has been fully pushed into the compartment 50, the lower plate of the refrigeration unit has advanced past the inclines 68a, 68b and 68c and rests on the horizontal resting surfaces 70a, 70b and 70c. At this time, the refrigeration unit is at an angle to the horizontal, and that angle is designated in FIG. 7 by the letter “a”. Preferably, the angle “a” is in the range of 3 degrees to 5 degrees. At this time, the seal 36 is not fully seated within the compartment 50.

Next, the adjustable elevating devices 24, and more particularly the bolts 24, are tightened down against the rails 72a, 72b and 72c thereby raising the front side 54 of the refrigeration unit 12 until the refrigeration unit is disposed horizontally within the housing compartment 50 (see FIG. 8), and at that time the seal 36 is fully seated within the refrigerator cabinet 14.

By virtue of the operation of the subject invention, as the refrigeration unit 12 is pushed into the compartment 50, and after which the refrigeration unit is elevated to a horizontal position by means of the bolts 24, the seal 36 is properly seated, as contrasted to the possibility of the seal being distorted if the refrigeration unit is installed in a manner where it is simultaneously moved vertically and horizontally.

Although the subject invention has been described in detail in relation to a refrigerator cooler with a housing cabinet, it may likewise be incorporated in an industrial refrigerator, a commercial refrigerator, different types of coolers and vending machines.

Given the foregoing, variations and modifications to the invention should now be apparent to a person having ordinary skill in the art. These variations and modifications are intended to fall within the scope and spirit of the invention as defined by the following claims.