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Ice cream machine having an auxiliary evaporator tank

Imported: 24 Feb '17 | Published: 06 Jan '04

Harold F. Ross

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

An ice cream machine for cooling liquid ice cream into frozen ice cream includes an evaporator having a cylindrical cooling tank and an auxiliary tank. The auxiliary tank ensures that the cylindrical cooling tank is flooded with liquid refrigerant during normal operation. The flooding of the cylindrical cooling tank provides more efficient and even cooling in an interior cooling chamber. The more efficient cooling allows the ice cream machine to utilize a smaller compressor, thereby reducing the cost and energy consumption of the ice cream machine. The auxiliary tank can be a coil of tubing or a cylindrical container positioned above the cylindrical cooling tank.

Description

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will hereafter be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals denote like elements, and:

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram illustrating an ice cream machine in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a more detailed side view schematic diagram of the cylindrical cooling tank and auxiliary tank illustrated in FIG. 1,

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the cylindrical cooing tank illustrated in FIG. 2 at line

3

3 and;

FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram illustrating an ice cream machine in accordance with another exemplary embodiment of the present invention, wherein a length of tubing is utilized as the auxiliary tank.

Claims

1. An ice cream machine, comprising:

2. The ice cream machine of claim 1 wherein the evaporator reservoir is a length of copper tubing significantly longer than a distance from the compressor to the evaporator reservoir.

3. The ice cream machine of claim 1 wherein the evaporator reservoir is a tank.

4. The ice cream machine of claim 3 wherein the tank has a volume at least 0.33 times a volume of an evaporator chamber of the cylindrical evaporator.

5. The ice cream machine of claim 1 wherein liquid ice cream is provided to the ice cream input and frozen ice cream is provided by the ice cream output.

6. The ice cream machine of claim 1 wherein the evaporator reservoir is two-thirds filled with the liquid.

7. A cooling system for cooling a foodstuff, the cooling a system comprising:

8. The cooling system of claim 7 wherein the auxiliary evaporator means is a length of copper tubing significantly longer than a distance from the compressor to the evaporator.

9. The cooling system of claim 8 wherein the copper tubing is wound in a coil above the evaporator.

10. The cooling system of claim 7 wherein the auxiliary evaporator means is a cylindrical tank.

11. The cooling system of claim 10 wherein the tank has a a volume at least 0.33 times a volume of the cooling chamber.

12. The cooling system of claim 7 wherein the foodstuff is frozen in the evaporator.

13. The cooling system of claim 7 wherein the auxiliary evaporator means is two-thirds filled with the liquid refrigerant.

14. The cooling system of claim 12 wherein to foodstuff is ice cream.

15. The cooling system of claim 12 wherein the foodstuff is yogurt.

16. An improved ice cream freezing machine including a tubular evaporator having a refrigerant input at a bottom side of the evaporator, and a a refrigerant output at a top side of the evaporator, the tubular evaporator having an interior surface defining an interior cooling chamber, and an exterior surface, the interior surface and the exterior surface defining an evaporator chamber having a volume, the cooling chamber having an ice cream input and an ice cream output, a compressor having a compressor input and a compressor output, and a condenser having a condenser input coupled to the a compressor output and a condenser output coupled to the refrigerant input, the improvement comprising: an evaporator reservoir having a reservoir input coupled to the refrigerant output, and a reservoir output coupled to the compressor input, the refrigerant including a liquid in the tubular evaporator, the refrigerant accumulating as a vapor in the evaporator reservoir, thereby providing superior cooling in the cooling chamber.

17. The improved ice cream freezing machine of claim 16 wherein the tubular evaporator reservoir is a length of tubing substantially longer than the distance between the evaporator and the compressor.

18. The improved ice cream freezing machine of claim 17 wherein the tubing is coiled.

19. The improved ice cream freezing machine of claim 16 wherein a the refrigerant contains FREON™.

20. The improved ice cream freezing machine of claim 16 wherein the evaporator reservoir is a cylindrical tank.

21. A method of making ice cream in an ice cream machine, the ice cream machine including: an evaporator having a refrigerant input, and a refrigerant output, the evaporator including an interior surface defining a cooling chamber, the cooling chamber having an ice cream input and an ice cream output, the evaporator having an outside surface, the outside surface and the inside surface defining an evaporator chamber, the refrigerant input and the refrigerant output being in fluid communication with the evaporator chamber, the ice cream machine also including:

22. The method of claim 21 wherein the evaporator reservoir is a length of copper tubing significantly longer than a distance from a compressor to the evaporator reservoir.

23. The method of claim 21 wherein the evaporator reservoir is a tank.

24. The method of claim 23 wherein the tank has a volume at least one third a volume of the evaporator chamber.

25. The method of claim 21 further comprising providing frozen ice cream at the ice cream output.

26. The method of claim 21 wherein the evaporator reservoir is two thirds filled with liquid refrigerant.