US 9,810,472 B2
Synchronous temperature rate control for refrigeration with reduced energy consumption
Alberto Regio Gomes, St. Joseph, MI (US); Stephen L. Keres, Watervliet, MI (US); Steven J. Kuehl, Stevensville, MI (US); Andrew D. Litch, St. Joseph, MI (US); Peter J. Richmond, Berrien Springs, MI (US); and Guolian Wu, St. Joseph, MI (US)
Assigned to Whirlpool Corporation, Benton Harbor, MI (US)
Filed by WHIRLPOOL CORPORATION, Benton Harbor, MI (US)
Filed on Sep. 10, 2015, as Appl. No. 14/849,663.
Application 14/849,663 is a division of application No. 13/476,435, filed on May 21, 2012, granted, now 9,140,478.
Prior Publication US 2016/0003513 A1, Jan. 7, 2016
Int. Cl. F25D 17/06 (2006.01); F25D 11/02 (2006.01); F25D 29/00 (2006.01); F25B 5/02 (2006.01)
CPC F25D 11/02 (2013.01) [F25D 11/022 (2013.01); F25D 17/065 (2013.01); F25D 29/00 (2013.01); F25B 5/02 (2013.01); F25B 2600/02 (2013.01); F25B 2600/2511 (2013.01); F25D 2600/00 (2013.01); F25D 2600/06 (2013.01); F25D 2700/121 (2013.01); F25D 2700/122 (2013.01)] 9 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. A method of operating a refrigerator appliance having a refrigeration compartment, a freezer compartment, a condenser, a compressor and an evaporator in thermal communication with the refrigeration and freezer compartments, comprising the steps:
providing a valve system to direct or restrict flow of a refrigerant into the evaporator through one or both of a primary and a secondary refrigerant pressure reduction device arranged upstream from the evaporator;
providing an evaporator fan in fluidic communication with the evaporator and a damper, wherein the damper is configured to selectively allow either flow of cool air directed by the evaporator fan to the refrigeration compartment, or to the freezer compartment;
measuring a refrigeration compartment temperature in the refrigeration compartment as a function of time;
measuring a freezer compartment temperature in the freezer compartment as a function of time;
providing a freezer compartment and a refrigeration compartment set point temperature;
providing a freezer compartment upper and lower threshold temperature respectively above and below the freezer compartment temperature set point;
providing a refrigeration compartment upper and lower threshold temperature respectively above and below the freezer compartment temperature set point; and
synchronizing cycles of cooling the freezer and refrigeration compartments to temperatures approximately equal to their respective compartment set point temperatures, wherein the cycles of cooling the compartments are alternated by operation of one or more of the compressor, the evaporator fan, the valve system and the damper,
wherein a step of reducing the temperature in the freezer and refrigeration compartments comprises reducing the temperature in the refrigeration compartment during the cycles of cooling the freezer and refrigeration compartments at substantially the same time as the temperature in the freezer compartment reaches the freezer compartment lower threshold temperature, and reducing the temperature in the freezer compartment during the cycles of cooling the freezer and refrigeration compartments at substantially the same time as the temperature in the freezer compartment reaches the freezer compartment upper threshold temperature by operation of one or more of the compressor, the evaporator fan, the valve system and the damper, and
further wherein the step of reducing the temperature in the freezer and refrigeration compartments further comprises controlling a rate of cooling in the freezer compartment such that the temperature in the freezer compartment during the cycles of cooling the freezer and refrigeration compartments reaches the freezer compartment lower threshold temperature at substantially the same time as the temperature in the refrigeration compartment reaches the refrigeration compartment upper threshold temperature by operation of one or more of the compressor, the evaporator fan, the valve system and the damper.