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1. (WO2018001505) REFRIGERATOR WITH IMPROVED PRESERVATION OF VEGETABLES AND FRUITS
Document

Description

Title of Invention 0001   0002   0003   0004   0005   0006   0007   0008   0009   0010   0011   0012   0013   0014   0015   0016   0017   0018   0019   0020   0021   0022   0023   0024   0025   0026   0027   0028   0029   0030   0031   0032   0033   0034   0035   0036   0037   0038   0039   0040   0041   0042   0043   0044   0045   0046   0047   0048   0049   0050   0051   0052   0053   0054   0055   0056  

Claims

0001   0002   0003   0004   0005   0006   0007   0008   0009   0010   0011   0012   0013   0014   0015  

Drawings

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Description

Title of Invention : REFRIGERATOR WITH IMPROVED PRESERVATION OF VEGETABLES AND FRUITS

[0001]
The present invention relates to a refrigerator, in particular to refrigerator which uses the illumination technology for extending the shelf life of the vegetables and the fruits.
[0002]
Refrigerators using the illumination technology for preserving the freshness and the nutrition of foods are commonly known in the art. Such a refrigerator generally comprises a compartment for storing and refrigerating the vegetables and the fruits; an illuminating unit which comprises one or more light sources that are adapted to illuminate the compartment with light for extending the shelf life of the vegetables and the fruits stored in the compartment; and a control unit for controlling the illuminating unit.
[0003]
US2008066475 (A1) discloses a refrigerator which uses the illumination technology for food preservation.
[0004]
A problem with the above prior art refrigerator is that the vegetables and the fruits stored therein cannot be suffiently treated with the appropriate light, and thus the freshness and the nutrition thereof cannot be satisfactorily preserved.
[0005]
An objective of the present invention is to provide a refrigerator which solves the problems of the prior art in a cost-effective way and which enables an improved preservation of the vegetables and the fruits stored inside the compartment.
[0006]
This objective has been achieved by the refrigerator as defined in claim 1. Further achievements have been attained by the subject-matters respectively defined in the dependent claims.
[0007]
In the refrigerator of the present invention, the illuminating unit further comprises: one or more diverging lenses which are arranged to spread the light of the illuminating unit into the compartment.
[0008]
A major advantageous effect of the present invention is that the vegetables and the fruits which are stored inside the compartment can be homogenously treated with the appropriate colored light by virtue of the diverging lenses, and thus the freshness and the nutrition of the vegetables and the fruits can be more effectively and uniformly preserved throughout the entire compartment. Another major advantageous effect of the present invention is that the shelf life of the vegetables and the fruits stored inside the compartment can be more efficiently extended by virtue of the diverging lenses. In particular, the intensity of the illumination can be comparatively reduced, and thus the energy efficiency of the refrigerator can be further improved. In addition, the number of light sources can be comparatively decreased, and thus the production costs can be reduced both in terms of labor and material. Another major advantageous effect of the present invention is that any glaring illumination inside the compartment can be prevented by virtue of the diverging lenses, and thus the user can be confronted with a calmer illumination. Thereby, the user satisfaction can be further increased.
[0009]
In an embodiment, one or more diverging lenses spread the light from the illuminating unit into the drawer. This embodiment is particularly advantageous as the light can be homogeneously distributed inside the drawer, and thus the freshness and the nutrition of the vegetables and the fruits can be more effectively and uniformly preserved throughout the entire drawer.
[0010]
In another embodiment, one or more light sources of the illuminating unit are disposed above the drawer and below the shelf over the drawer. This embodiment is particularly advantageous as the light sources can be easily concealed from the user.
[0011]
In another embodiment, one or more light sources of the illuminating unit are attached to the underside of the shelf. This embodiment is particularly advantageous as the light sources can be easily assembled into the compartment.
[0012]
In another embodiment, one or more electric sockets for respectively receiving the light sources are disposed onto the wall of the compartment. This embodiment is particularly advantageous as the light sources can be easily removed from the compartment.
[0013]
In another embodiment, the drawer can be closed/opened through a cover. In a version of this embodiment, the cover closes/opens the drawer from above. This embodiment is particularly advantageous as the vegetables and the fruits can be kept fresh inside the drawer.
[0014]
In another embodiment, one or more diverging lenses are disposed onto the cover and project the light downwards into the drawer. This embodiment is particularly advantageous as the space inside the drawer can be effectively treated with the appropriate colored light.
[0015]
In another embodiment, the light sources of the illuminating unit emit white light. In alternative versions of this embodiment, one or more diverging lenses having different colors spread the colored light into the compartment. Herein the colors of the diverging lenses are determined in accordance with the kind of the vegetable and fruit to be preserved in the compartment. The colors of the diverging lenses may comprise, for instance, red, blue, green and yellow. These embodiments are particularly advantageous as the need for the light sources with different colors has been obviated, and thus the production and assembly costs can be reduced both in labor and material.
[0016]
In other alternative embodiments, the drawer is separated through one or more separators into two or more drawer sections which are respectively associated with the different colors of the diverging lenses. These embodiments are particularly advantageous as the vegetables can be sorted into the respective drawer section, and effectively treated with a particular colored light.
[0017]
In another embodiment, the drawer comprises three side by side drawer sections which are each treated with a different colored light from the diverging lenses. In a version of this embodiment, two diverging lenses with respectively two different colors, for example red and blue, are used for spreading the light having the different colors into the first and the third drawer sections respectively, whereas the second drawer section in the middle is treated with the light having the combined color, for example magenta that results from the light diverging from the two diverging lenses. In this version of the embodiment, the separators of the second drawer section in the middle are at least partly transparent or translucent so as to allow passage of the different colored lights from the two diverging lenses. In an alternative version of this embodiment, three diverging lenses with respectively three different colors, for example red, green and blue are used for spreading the light having the three different colors into the first to the third drawer sections respectively. In this version of the embodiment, the separators of the second drawer section in the middle are opaque. These embodiments are particularly advantageous as the vegetables and fruits inside the three drawer sections can be effectively treated with the appropriate colored light.
[0018]
In another embodiment, the diverging lenses with the first to third colors respectively on the first to third drawer sections are each centered. This embodiment is particularly advantageous as the vegetables and fruits inside the drawer sections can be homogeneously treated with the appropriate colored light.
[0019]
In another embodiment, the drawer sections are provided with indications which respectively indicate the kind of the vegetables/fruits which are to be best stored therein for an effective treatment with the appropriate colored light. This embodiment is particularly advantageous as the user can easily select the correct drawer section when sorting the vegetables and the fruits.
[0020]
In another embodiment, the control unit is adapted to activate the illuminating unit for a predetermined duration which preferably ranges between 8 to 16 hours per day. This embodiment is particularly advantageous as the vegetables and the fruits inside the compartment can be energy efficiently preserved.
[0021]
Additional features and additional advantageous effects of the refrigerator of the present invention will become more apparent with the detailed description of the embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
[0022]
Figure 1 – is a schematic partial front view of a refrigerator according to an embodiment of the present invention, wherein the illuminating unit has been omitted;
[0023]
Figure 2 – is a schematic partial bottom view of the sockets and the light sources (white LEDs) of the illuminating unit below the shelf in the refrigerator of Fig. 1;
Figure 3 – is a schematic partial top view of the diverging lenses in the cover of the drawer in the refrigerator of Fig. 1;
[0024]
Figure 4 – is a schematic partial front view of a refrigerator according to another embodiment of the present invention, wherein the illuminating unit has been omitted;
[0025]
Figure 5 – is a schematic partial bottom view of the sockets and the light sources (white LEDs) of the illuminating unit below the shelf in the refrigerator of Fig. 4;
Figure 6 – is a schematic partial top view of the diverging lenses in the cover of the drawer in the refrigerator of Fig. 4;
[0026]
Figure 7 – is a schematic sectional view of a diverging lens used in the refrigerator according to an embodiment of the present invention.
[0027]
The reference signs appearing on the drawings relate to the following technical features.
  1. Refrigerator
  2. Compartment
  3. Illuminating unit
  4. Light source
  5. Diverging lens
  6. Drawer
  7. Shelf
  8. Electric socket
  9. Wall
  10. Cover
  11. Separator
  12. Drawer section
  13. Indication
[0028]
W: White light
[0029]
R: Red light
[0030]
G: Green light
[0031]
B: Blue light
[0032]
Y: Yellow light
[0033]
M: Magenta Light
[0034]
The refrigerator (1) comprises: a compartment (2) for storing and refrigerating vegetables and fruits; an illuminating unit (3) which comprises one or more light sources (4) that are adapted to illuminate the compartment (2) with light for extending the shelf life of the vegetables and the fruits stored in the compartment (2); and a control unit for controlling the illuminating unit (3) (Fig. 1 and Fig. 2; Fig. 4 and Fig. 5).
[0035]
In the refrigerator (1) of the present invention, the illuminating unit (3) further comprises: one or more diverging lenses (5) which are arranged to spread the light of the illuminating unit (3) into the compartment (2) (Fig. 1 and Fig. 4).
[0036]
In an embodiment, the refrigerator (1) further comprises: a drawer (6) for storing the vegetables and the fruits (Fig. 1 and Fig. 4). In this embodiment, the drawer (6) is disposed into the compartment (2) (Fig. 1 and Fig 4). In this embodiment, one or more light sources (4) of the illuminating unit (3) are adapted to illuminate the interior of the drawer (6) with light for extending the shelf life of the vegetables and the fruits stored in the drawer (6) (Fig. 2 and Fig. 5). In this embodiment, one or more diverging lenses (5) are arranged to spread the light from the illuminating unit (3) into the drawer (6) (Fig. 1 and Fig. 4).
[0037]
In another embodiment, the refrigerator (1) further comprises: a shelf (7) for supporting the articles to be refrigerated (Fig. 1 and Fig. 4). In this embodiment, the shelf (7) is disposed into the compartment (2) above the drawer (6) (Fig. 1 and Fig. 4). In this embodiment, one or more light sources (4) of the illuminating unit (3) are disposed above the drawer (6) and below the shelf (7) (Fig. 2 and Fig. 5).
[0038]
In another embodiment, one or more light sources (4) of the illuminating unit (3) are attached to the underside of the shelf (7) (Fig. 2 and Fig. 5).
[0039]
In another embodiment, the refrigerator (1) further comprises: one or more electric sockets (8) for receiving the light sources (4) respectively (Fig. 2 and Fig. 5). In this embodiment, the electric sockets (8) are disposed onto the wall (9) in the rear of the compartment (2) (Fig. 2 and Fig. 5).
[0040]
In another embodiment, the refrigerator (1) further comprises: a cover (10) for closing/opening the drawer (6) (Fig. 1 and Fig. 4).
[0041]
In another embodiment, one or more diverging lenses (5) are disposed onto the cover (10) (Fig. 3 and Fig. 6). In this embodiment, the cover (10) is further adapted for closing/opening the drawer (6) from above (Fig. 1 and Fig. 4).
[0042]
In another embodiment, the diverging lenses (5) are integrally formed with the cover (10).
[0043]
In another embodiment, the light sources (4) of the illuminating unit (3) are adapted to emit white light (W) (Fig. 2 and Fig. 5). In this embodiment, one or more diverging lenses (5) of the illuminating unit (3) have different colors (R,G,B,Y) and are arranged to spread the colored light into the compartment (2) (Fig. 1 and Fig. 4).
[0044]
In another embodiment, the refrigerator (1) further comprises: one or more separators (11) for separating the drawer (6) into two or more drawer sections (12) which are respectively associated with the diverging lenses (5) having the different colors (R,G,B,Y) (Fig. 1 and Fig. 4). In this embodiment, two or more diverging lenses (5) with the different colors (R,G,B,Y) are arranged to spread the colored lights into the drawer sections (12) respectively.
[0045]
In another embodiment, the drawer (6) comprises three drawer sections (12) (Fig.1 and Fig. 4). In this embodiment, one diverging lens (5) with a first color (R) is disposed onto the cover (10) above the first drawer section (12) so as to spread the light with first color (R) into the first drawer section (12) (Fig.1). In this embodiment, another diverging lens (5) with a second color (B) is disposed onto the cover (10) above the third drawer section (12) so as to spread the light with second color (B) into the third drawer section (12) (Fig.1). Herein, the first color (R) is different from the second color (B).
[0046]
In another embodiment, the diverging lenses (5) with the first color (R) and the second color (B) are arranged to spread the light with the first color (R) and the light with the second color (B) also into the second drawer section (12) between the first drawer section (12) and the third drawer section (12) so as to treat the vegetable and fruits therein with the light having the combined color (M) (Fig. 1). In this embodiment, the separators (11) of the second drawer section (12) are at least partly translucent or transparent.
[0047]
In another embodiment, another diverging lens (5) with a third color (G) is disposed onto the cover (10) above the second drawer section (12) as to spread the light with third color (G) into the second drawer section (12) (Fig. 4). Herein, the third color (G) is different from the first color (R) and second color (B). In this embodiment, the separators (11) of the second drawer section (12) are opaque (Fig. 4).
[0048]
In another embodiment, the diverging lenses (5) with the first to third colors (R,G,B) respectively on the first to third drawer sections (12) are each centered (Fig. 4).
[0049]
In another embodiment, the refrigerator (1) further comprises one or more indications (13) which are indicative of the kind of the fruits and the vegetables which are to be stored in the respective drawer section (12) (Fig. 1 and Fig. 4). In this embodiment, each indication (13) is disposed onto the respective drawer section (12) that is adapted for treatment with the associated colored light (Fig. 1 and Fig. 4).
[0050]
In another embodiment, one or more light sources (4) each comprises one or more light emitting diodes (4) (Fig. 2 and Fig. 5).
[0051]
In another embodiment, the illuminating unit (3) is activated between 8 to 16 hours per day.
[0052]
In another embodiment, the divergence angle of the diverging lens (5) is not less than 60 degrees.
[0053]
In another embodiment, the drawer (6) is placed on the bottom of the refrigerator (1) (Fig. 1 and Fig.4).
[0054]
In another embodiment, the three drawer sections (12) of the drawer (6) have equal dimensions (Fig. 1 and Fig. 4).
[0055]
In another embodiment, the diverging lens (5) is biconcave. Herein x denotes the optical axis (Fig. 7).
[0056]
A major advantageous effect of the present invention is that the vegetables and the fruits which are stored inside the compartment (2) can be homogenously treated with the appropriate colored light by virtue of the diverging lenses (5), and thus the freshness and the nutrition of the vegetables and the fruits can be more effectively and uniformly preserved throughout the entire compartment (2). Another major advantageous effect of the present invention is that the shelf life of the vegetables and the fruits stored inside the compartment (2) can be more efficiently extended by virtue of the diverging lenses (5). In particular, the intensity of the illumination can be comparatively reduced, and thus the energy efficiency of the refrigerator (1) can be further improved. In addition, the number of light sources (4) can be comparatively decreased, and thus the production costs can be reduced both in terms of labor and material. Another major advantageous effect of the present invention is that any glaring illumination inside the compartment (2) can be prevented by virtue of the diverging lenses (5), and thus the user can be confronted with a calmer illumination. Thereby, the user satisfaction can be further increased. Other advantageous effects of the present invention can be taken from the above described embodiments.

Claims

[Claim 0001]
A refrigerator (1) comprising: a compartment (2) for storing and refrigerating vegetables and fruits; an illuminating unit (3) which comprises one or more light sources (4) that are adapted to illuminate the compartment (2) with light for extending the shelf life of the vegetables and the fruits stored in the compartment (2); and a control unit for controlling the illuminating unit (3), characterized in that the illuminating unit (3) further comprises: one or more diverging lenses (5) which are arranged to spread the light of the illuminating unit (3) into the compartment (2).
[Claim 0002]
The refrigerator (1) according to claim 1, characterized by further comprising: a drawer (6) for storing the vegetables and the fruits, wherein the drawer (6) is disposed into the compartment (2), and wherein one or more light sources (4) of the illuminating unit (3) are adapted to illuminate the interior of the drawer (6) with light for extending the shelf life of the vegetables and the fruits stored in the drawer (6), and wherein one or more diverging lenses (5) are arranged to spread the light from the illuminating unit (3) into the drawer (6).
[Claim 0003]
The refrigerator (1) according to claim 2, characterized by further comprising: a shelf (7) for supporting the articles to be refrigerated, wherein the shelf (7) is disposed into the compartment (2) above the drawer (6), and wherein one or more light sources (4) of the illuminating unit (3) are disposed above the drawer (6) and below the shelf (7).
[Claim 0004]
The refrigerator (1) according to claim 3, characterized in that one or more light sources (4) of the illuminating unit (3) are attached to the underside of the shelf (7).
[Claim 0005]
The refrigerator (1) according to any one of claims 1 to 4, characterized by further comprising: one or more electric sockets (8) for receiving the light sources (4) respectively, wherein the electric sockets (8) are disposed onto the wall (9) of the compartment (2).
[Claim 0006]
The refrigerator (1) according to any one of claims 1 to 5, where dependent on claim 2, characterized by further comprising: a cover (10) for closing/opening the drawer (6).
[Claim 0007]
The refrigerator (1) according to claim 6, characterized in that one or more diverging lenses (5) are disposed onto the cover (10), wherein the cover (10) is further adapted for closing/opening the drawer (6) from above.
[Claim 0008]
The refrigerator (1) according to any one of claims 1 to 7, characterized in that the light sources (4) of the illuminating unit (3) are adapted to emit white light; and one or more diverging lenses (5) of the illuminating unit (3) have different colors, and are arranged to spread the colored light into the compartment (2).
[Claim 0009]
The refrigerator (1) according to claim 8, where dependent on claim 2, characterized by further comprising: one or more separators (11) for separating the drawer (6) into two or more drawer sections (12) which are respectively associated with the diverging lenses (5) having the different colors, wherein two or more diverging lenses (5) with the different colors are arranged to spread the colored lights into the drawer sections (12) respectively.
[Claim 0010]
The refrigerator (1) according to claim 9, characterized in that the drawer (6) comprises three drawer sections (12), wherein one diverging lens (5) with a first color (R) is disposed onto the cover (10) above the first drawer section (12) so as to spread the light with first color (R) into the first drawer section (12); and another diverging lens (5) with a second color (B) is disposed onto the cover (10) above the third drawer section (12) so as to spread the light with second color (B) into the third drawer section (12), wherein the first color (R) is different from the second color (B).
[Claim 0011]
The refrigerator (1) according to claim 10, characterized in that the diverging lenses (5) with the first color (R) and the second color (B) are arranged to spread the light with the first color (R) and the light with the second color (B) also into the second drawer section (12) between the first drawer section (12) and the third drawer section (12) so as to treat the vegetable and fruits therein with the light having the combined color (M), wherein the separators (11) enclosing the second drawer section (12) are at least partly translucent or transparent.
[Claim 0012]
The refrigerator (1) according to claim 10, characterized in that another diverging lens (5) with a third color (G) is disposed onto the cover (10) above the second drawer section (12) as to spread the light with third color (G) into the second drawer section (12), wherein the third color (G) is different from the first color (R) and second color (B), and wherein the separators (11) enclosing the second drawer section (12) are opaque.
[Claim 0013]
The refrigerator (1) according to claim 12, characterized in that the diverging lenses (5) with the first to third colors (R,G,B) respectively on the first to third drawer sections (12) are each centered.
[Claim 0014]
The refrigerator (1) according to any one of claims 9 to 13, characterized by further comprising one or more indications (13) which are indicative of the kind of the fruits and the vegetables which are to be stored in the respective drawer section (12), wherein each indication (13) is disposed onto the respective drawer section (12) that is adapted for treatment with the associated colored light.
[Claim 0015]
The refrigerator (1) according to any one of claims 1 to 14, characterized in that one or more light sources (4) each comprises one or more light emitting diodes (4).

Drawings

[ Fig. 1, 2, 3]

[ Fig. 4, 5, 6]

[ Fig. 7]