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US 20020092869A1
(19) United States
(12) Patent Application Publication (10) Pub. No.: US 2002/0092869 A1
Tiemann et al.
(54) ROTARY DOSER VALVE
(43) Pub. Date:
(22) Filed:
(76) Inventors: Jerome Johnson Tiemann,
Jul. 18, 2002
Jan. 16, 2001
Publication Classi?cation
Schenectady, NY (US); Andrew Philip
Shapiro, Schenectady, NY (US);
Walter Whipple, III, Amsterdam, NY
(51)
(52)
Int. Cl.7 ................................................... .. G01F 11/04
US. Cl. ................... .. 222/249; 222/334; 137/625.46
(US); Richard DeVos, Goshen, KY
(Us)
Correspondence Address:
(57)
ABSTRACT
GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY
CRD PATENT DOCKET ROOM 4A59
P O BOX 8
A rotary doser valve includes a stator With a plurality of
ports therein Which cooperates With a rotor having a plural
BUILDING K 1 SALAMONE
SCHENECTADY, NY 12301 (US)
ity of channels therein. The rotor is rotatable against the
stator in ?rst and second positions Which alternately channel
Water to and from a doser for re?lling an icernaker in a
(21) Appl. No.:
09/759,504
preferred use.
Patent Application Publication
Jul. 18, 2002 Sheet 1 0f 7
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Patent Application Publication
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Patent Application Publication
F603
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Patent Application Publication
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Patent Application Publication
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US 2002/0092869 A1
ROTARY DOSER VALVE
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED
APPLICATION
[0001] The present invention is related to the Icemaker
Dose Dispenser disclosed in US. patent application Ser. No.
09/664,123, ?led Sep. 18, 2000, pending.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
[0002] The present invention relates generally to refrig
erators, and, more speci?cally, to Water valves therein.
[0003] Arefrigerator includes a refrigeration compartment
in Which food is stored beloW room temperature but above
freezing, and a freezer compartment in Which froZen food is
stored beloW freezing temperature.
[0004] The freeZer commonly includes an automatic ice
maker Which is periodically supplied With Water to ?ll an
icetray therein for forming ice cubes. And, it is common to
also include an accessible dispenser in the freeZer door for
[0013] FIG. 5 is a plan vieW of the back side of a valve
stator illustrated in FIG. 2 and taken along line 5-5;
[0014] FIG. 6 is a plan vieW of the front side of the valve
stator illustrated in FIG. 2 and taken along line 6-6;
[0015] FIG. 7 is plan vieW of the back side of a valve rotor
illustrated in FIG. 2 and taken along line 7-7;
[0016] FIG. 8 is a superimposed plan vieW of the valve
rotor of FIG. 2 disposed in abutting contact atop the valve
stator aligning respective channels and ports therein for
dispensing Water in a corresponding rotor position;
[0017] FIG. 9 is a plan vieW, like FIG. 8, With the rotor
repositioned to an off position blocking Water ?oW through
the valve;
[0018] FIG. 10 is a plan vieW, like FIG. 8, With the rotor
repositioned for aligning the channels and ports to direct
Water to one side of the doser While returning Water from the
opposite side thereof; and
[0019]
FIG. 11 is a plan vieW, like FIG. 8, With the rotor
dispensing ice cubes on demand, as Well as dispensing cold
repositioned to align the channels and ports for directing
Water.
Water to the second side of the doser While returning Water
[0005]
The refrigerator is connected to a common Water
supply tube and requires a suitable valve for periodically
re?lling the icetray, and a second valve for dispensing Water
When desired. The icemaker valve is typically operated
using a timer to suitably re?ll the icetray. HoWever, due to
variation in Water pressure in the Water supply, timed
operation of the icemaker valve may result in variation in ice
cube siZe.
[0006] In the cross referenced application a speci?cally
con?gured spool valve is used in combination With a tWo
compartment doser having a movable septum therein for
alternately supplying doses of Water to the icemaker.
[0007] Accordingly, it is desired to provide an improved
doser valve for use in the icemaker.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
[0008] A rotary doser valve includes a stator With a
plurality of ports therein Which stator cooperates With a rotor
having a plurality of channels therein. The rotor is rotatable
against the stator in ?rst and second positions Which alter
nately channel Water to and from a doser for re?lling an
icemaker.
from the opposite ?rst side thereof.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
INVENTION
[0020] Illustrated in FIG. 1 is a refrigerator 10 Which may
have any conventional con?guration. A side-by-side model
is illustrated With a refrigerator compartment and door on
the right side, and a freeZer compartment and door on the left
side. The refrigerator includes a conventional refrigeration
system therein Which maintains food placed in the refrig
erator compartment beloW room temperature but above
freeZing temperature, While maintaining froZen food placed
in the freeZer compartment at temperature beloW freeZing.
[0021] Disposed inside the freeZer compartment is an
icemaker 12 Which may have any conventional con?gura
tion including an icetray 14 having multiple compartments
therein in Which Water may be froZen into corresponding ice
cubes.
[0022]
The refrigerator is joined to any suitable Water
supply 16, such as a Water inlet pipe or tube, for channeling
Water 18 to a ?rst noZZle 20 in the icemaker for ?lling the
icetray, and to a second noZZle or dispenser 22 in an access
compartment in the freeZer door for selectively receiving
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
[0009]
FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of an exem
plary refrigerator having an icemaker provided With Water
from a rotary doser valve in accordance With an exemplary
embodiment of the present invention;
[0010]
FIG. 2 is a partly sectional axial vieW of the rotary
doser valve illustrated in FIG. 1 in accordance With an
exemplary embodiment;
[0011] FIG. 3 is a plan vieW of the back end of a
distributor disk mounted in the housing illustrated in FIG. 2
and taken along line 3-3;
Water When desired.
[0023] In accordance With the present invention, a rotary
doser valve 24 is suitably mounted inside the refrigerator
and is con?gured for both channeling Water to the icemaker
12 as Well as to the Water dispenser 22 When required. In the
preferred embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, the rotary valve
24 is speci?cally con?gured for cooperating With an integral
doser 26 Which accurately controls the individual doses of
Water supplied to the icemaker for accurately ?lling the
icetray 14 irrespective of the Water pressure supplied to the
refrigerator.
[0012] FIG. 4 is a plan vieW of the front side of the
distributor disk illustrated in FIG. 2 and taken along line
[0024] The doser 26 is a metering device having ?rst and
second chambers 26a,b separated by a movable septum 26c,
in the exemplary form of a ?exible diaphragm suitably
4-4;
mounted in the tWo half-cases of the doser. Each chamber
Jul. 18, 2002
US 2002/0092869 A1
has a corresponding access port Which permits the Water to
and suitably spaced apart from each other. The four channels
be channeled alternately in and out therethrough.
50-56 cooperate With the seven ports 36-48 to control the
[0025] In operation, Water is delivered through the ?rst
access port into the ?rst chamber 26a Which displaces the
septum 26c against the inner surface of the second chamber
26b to completely ?ll both chambers With Water. Then in an
alternating cycle, Water is delivered through the second
access port into the second chamber Which displaces the
septum into the ?rst chamber and discharges the Water on the
opposite side of the septum through the corresponding ?rst
access port.
[0026] The individual Water doses A and B represent one
full volume each of the doser and are alternately delivered
to the icetray 14 for accurately ?lling the compartments
therein in any suitable number of cycles of the reciprocating
septum 26c. In this Way, the number of cycles of Water doses
metered by the doser 26 accurately determines the amount of
Water delivered to the icetray 14 irrespective of the operating
pressure of the Water supplied to the refrigerator.
[0027] The rotary valve 24 is illustrated schematically in
FIG. 1, and in a an another embodiment in FIG. 2 that
includes a stationary valve stator 28 cooperating With a
rotary valve rotor 30 for alternately supplying Water to the
tWo chambers of the doser 26 and correspondingly directing
the discharge Water therefrom to the icemaker. The stator 28
is suitably ?xedly mounted in a housing 32 of the valve
path of Water through the valve depending upon the speci?c
rotary position of the rotor relative to the stator.
[0033]
As shoWn in FIG. 2, means in the preferred form
of a stepper motor 58 are suitably mounted inside the
housing for selectively rotating the rotor to various rotary
positions thereof relative to the stationary stator 28. The
motor 58 includes a driven rotary spindle 60 suitably joined
to the center of the front side of rotor 30 for rotation thereof.
For example, the spindle 60 may have a square or rectan
gular end mounted in a complementary square or rectangular
socket formed in the center of the front side of the rotor.
[0034] A plastic shim or bridge 62, is typically plastic is
mounted betWeen the motor 58 and the front side of the rotor
30 and betWeen Which is positioned a compression spring
64, typically an annular Wave type.
[0035] The various components of the valve illustrated in
FIG. 2 may be assembled in turn inside the housing 32,
axially stacked together, and then retained therein by mount
ing the cover of the housing thereto. The compression spring
64 provides a compression force for pressing the rotor 30 in
sealing abutment against the stator 28 for maintaining a tight
sealing ?t therebetWeen.
[0036] In another embodiment, both the rotor 30 and stator
28 are formed of a suitable ceramic material having smooth,
Which includes a removable cover for permitting assembly
of the various components of the valve therein.
betWeen the rotor and stator irrespective of the relative
[0028] In the preferred embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2,
rotary position therebetWeen.
both the stator 28 and rotor 30 are in the form of relatively
[0037] Illustrated in FIGS. 8-11 are four positions of the
rotor 30, shoWn in part in phantom, relative to the stator 28
upon Which it is seated.
small disks having smooth, ?at mating surfaces coaxially
abutting each other to form a ?uid-sealed ?t therebetWeen.
A distributor 34 in the form of a larger disk has a smooth ?at
front surface mating With a correspondingly smooth ?at
mating back surface of the stator 28 in coaxial abutment
thereWith for forming another ?uid-sealed ?t thereWith.
[0029] In this Way, the rotor 30 is disposed on the front
side of the stator 28, and the distributor 34 is disposed on the
back side of the stator and provides a larger area for
connecting the valve to the various ?oW circuits in the
refrigerator as described in further detail hereinbeloW.
[0030] The back and front sides of the distributor 34 are
illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4. The back and front sides of the
stator 28 are illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6. And, the back side
of the rotor 30 is illustrated in FIG. 7, all in an embodiment
speci?cally con?gured for the disk form of the rotor and
stator. In alternate embodiments, the rotor and stator may be
cylindrical or conical in a manner analogous With the disk
form thereof for selectively channeling the Water through
various ?oW circuits de?ned therebetWeen.
[0031] More speci?cally, the stator 28 illustrated in FIGS.
5 and 6 includes ?rst and second inlet ports 36,38; ?rst and
second outlet ports 40,42; ?rst and second doser ports 44,46;
and a bypass port 48 extending axially through the disk
stator and spaced laterally or radially apart from each other
in the preferred embodiment.
[0032] As shoWn in FIG. 7, the rotor 30 includes a
sWitching channel 50, a bridging channel 52, a diversion
channel 54, and a linking channel 56 in the form of grooves
or troughs formed in the ?at back surface of the disk rotor
?at, abutting mating surfaces forming an effective Water seal
[0038] The four rotor positions correspond With alter
nately ?lling each of the tWo doser chambers illustrated in
FIG. 1 for supplying the icemaker With Water; or supplying
Water to the dispenser 22; or in an off position blocking all
Water ?oW through the valve.
[0039] The distributor 34 illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3 is
provided to cooperate With the relatively small valve rotor
and stator for conveniently distributing the Water to the
various components in corresponding Water circuits. As
shoWn in FIG. 3, the distributor 34 includes a plurality of
distributor ports identi?ed by the suf?x (a) disposed in How
communication With respective ones of the stator ports
36-48 in a one-to-one correspondence thereWith.
[0040] The seven distributor ports 36a-48a have an iden
tical pattern to those of the stator ports and are respectively
aligned thereWith. The distributor also includes a plurality of
distributor channels designated by the suffix (b) formed as
grooves or troughs in the back side of the distributor Which
extend radially outWardly Where space permits from respec
tive ones of the distributor ports 38a-48a. The inlet port 36a
of the distributor is centrally located and does not use the
corresponding distributor channel, although in an alternate
embodiment such a channel may be used therefor.
[0041] A ?at rubber gasket 66 as shoWn in FIG. 2 is
disposed betWeen the back side of the distributor in Which
the channels are formed and a corresponding ?at surface of
the housing 24 to seal the distributor ports and channels
against Water leakage. Aplurality of conduits or tubes 68 are
Jul. 18, 2002
US 2002/0092869 A1
joined to the housing With suitable ?uid tight ?ttings in How
doser ?rst chamber 26a or the second chamber 26b, While
communication With respective ones of the distributor ports
the correspondingly opposite doser chamber is joined in a
How circuit to the icemaker 12 for discharging each dose of
Water from the doser 26. The stepper motor provides accu
rate rotary position of the rotor and may be used for
oscillating or reciprocating the rotor 30 back and forth
betWeen the tWo adjacent rotor positions A, B to accurately
38a-48a through corresponding portions of the gasket, and
preferably at the radially outer ends of the corresponding
distributor channels. In this Way, the corresponding stator
ports 36-48 are connected in corresponding Water circuits to
the icemaker 14, Water supply 16, dispenser 22, doser 26,
and an optional Water ?lter 70.
[0042] The rotary valve illustrated in FIG. 2 is preferably
?ll the icetray With Water from the doser With one or more
cycles thereof as desired.
con?gured With all seven stator and distributor ports for
effecting various interrelated Water circuits to the doser 26,
icemaker 12, and dispenser 22 in a multi-function rotary
valve. HoWever, all these functions need not be introduced
into the same valve but may be separated therefrom in
alternate embodiments.
[0048] In addition to controlling operation of the doser 26,
the rotary valve 24 may be additionally used for controlling
operation of the dispenser 22. FIG. 8 illustrates the rotor 30
[0043]
dispenser 22.
[0049] Correspondingly, the linking channel 56 is intro
The fundamental or basic operation and con?gu
ration of the rotary valve 24 illustrated in FIG. 1 is to
alternately supply Water to the tWo chambers of the doser 26
and delivering the Water discharged therefrom by the mov
ing septum to the icemaker. FIG. 10 illustrates a ?rst rotor
position A corresponding With supplying Water to the doser
?rst chamber 26a for providing a corresponding dose of
Water pumped by the septum back through the valve to the
icemaker 12. In the ?rst rotor position, the sWitching channel
50 is joined in How communication betWeen the ?rst inlet
port 36 and the ?rst doser port 44, While simultaneously the
bridging channel 52 is joined in How communication
betWeen the second doser port 46 and the ?rst outlet port 40.
[0044] Although Water could be directly supplied from the
Water supply to the ?rst inlet 36, the ?lter 70 is preferably
connected With the rotary valve for providing ?ltered Water
to the ?rst inlet port 36 While isolating the ?lter When the
valve is off. As shoWn in FIGS. 2 and 3, the second inlet
port 38 is introduced in the stator for direct connection to the
Water supply 16 through the corresponding circuit in the
distributor for ?rst receiving the Water therefrom, and coop
erates With the bypass port 48 Which channels the inlet Water
through the distributor to the external ?lter 70 connected
thereto Which returns ?ltered Water to the ?rst inlet port 36
for use in the icemaker and dispenser.
[0045] When the valve is off, Water How to the ?lter is
interrupted. When the valve is in the dispense or doser
positions, Water freely ?oWs through the ?lter to the dis
penser or doser and icemaker. In either case, the ?lter is not
subject to full line pressure of the Water and may have a
loW-pressure ?lter housing to reduce cost.
[0046] The diversion channel 54 illustrated in FIGS. 7
and 10 is correspondingly introduced into the rotor 30 for
cooperating With the second inlet port 38 and bypass port 48.
The diversion channel 54 is suitably laterally spaced from
the sWitching channel 50 and is disposed in How commu
nication betWeen the second inlet port 38 and the bypass port
48 in the ?rst rotor position A illustrated in FIG. 10, as Well
as in the second rotor position B illustrated in FIG. 11.
in a third rotor position D Wherein the same sWitching
channel 50 is repositioned to join in How communication the
?rst inlet port 36 and the second outlet port 42 Which in turn
are connected through the corresponding tube 68 to the
duced into the rotor and spaced circumferentially betWeen
the diversion channel 54 and the sWitching channel 50 for
simultaneously joining in How communication the second
inlet port 38 and the bypass port 48 in the third rotor
position. In this Way, Water is carried through the linking
channel 56 to the ?lter and then back to the sWitching
channel 50 for providing ?ltered Water directly to the
dispenser 22.
[0050]
FIG. 9 illustrates a fourth rotor position Which
blocks or turns off the Water at the second inlet port 38. In
the off rotor position, the diversion channel 54 and the
linking channel 56 are spaced circumferentially apart from
each other, and are circumferentially offset from the second
inlet port 38 and bypass port 48 so that the corresponding
portion of the ?at back surface of the rotor 30 blocks the
second inlet port 38 and correspondingly blocks Water ?oW
into the bypass port 48.
[0051] The multiple ?oW circuits of the rotary valve are
created by the preferred position and orientation of the stator
ports illustrated in FIG. 6 and the rotor channels cooperating
thereWith in a relatively small mating surface area. The ?rst
inlet port 36 is typically disposed in the center of the stator
disk 28, and provides an axially straight ?oWpath through
the cooperating distributor and valve housing to the corre
sponding tube joined to the ?lter. The ?rst and second doser
ports 44,46 are spaced radially outWardly from the center
inlet port 36 and circumferentially spaced apart from each
other at a suitable obtuse angle therebetWeen.
[0052] The ?rst inlet port 38 and bypass port 48 are
typically aligned radially in turn With the center inlet port 36.
[0053] The ?rst and second doser ports 44,46, and the ?rst
and second outlet ports 40,42 are typically circumferentially
aligned together at a common radius from the center of the
port 46, While simultaneously joining the bridging channel
stator. The ?rst outlet port 40 is disposed circumferentially
betWeen the ?rst and second doser ports 44,46. The second
outlet port 42 is spaced circumferentially from the tWo doser
ports 44,46 and circumferentially betWeen the second doser
port 46 and the second inlet port 38. And, the ?rst doser port
44, ?rst outlet port 40, second doser port 46, second outlet
port 42, and second inlet port 38 are disposed in turn
circumferentially around the stator 28 in the exemplary
52 in How communication betWeen the ?rst doser port 44
and the ?rst outlet port 40. In this Way, the ?ltered Water
supplied to the ?rst inlet port 36 is channeled either to the
[0054] The rotor 30 illustrated in FIG. 7 is correspond
ingly con?gured to cooperate With the pattern of stator ports
[0047] In the second rotor position B, the rotor 30 is
rotated to join the sWitching channel 50 in How communi
cation betWeen the ?rst inlet port 36 and the second doser
counterclockWise direction illustrated in FIG. 6.
Jul. 18, 2002
US 2002/0092869 A1
illustrated in FIG. 6. The switching channel 50 typically has
tWo radial legs extending radially outwardly from a center
apex thereof corresponding With the ?rst inlet port 36 of the
stator, With the legs being spaced apart at an obtuse angle
suitably larger than the obtuse angle betWeen the ?rst and
second doser ports 44,46 illustrated in FIG. 6. In this Way,
the sWitching channel 50 may be rotated betWeen the tWo
rotor positions A,B illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 11 to join the
center inlet 36 With either one, but not both, of the ?rst and
second doser ports 44,46.
[0055]
The bridging channel 52 illustrated in FIG. 7 is
typically arcuate, With a common radius from the center of
the rotor 30, and is siZed in circumferential length to bridge
the second outlet port 40, illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 11,
With either, but not both, the ?rst doser port 44 or the second
doser port 46 in the corresponding rotor positions.
[0056] In this Way the tWo channels 50,52 and the four
ports 36,40,44,46 may be interconnected in alignment or
registration in tWo independent and reversing Water circuits
to and from the corresponding chambers of the doser 26 for
[0061]
From the off position of FIG. 9, the rotor 30 may
be rotated clockWise in turn to the ?rst and second rotor
positions A,B of FIGS. 10 and 11 for reversing the Water
circuits to and from the doser 26 to the icemaker 12. The
rotor 30 may be reciprocated repeatedly betWeen the tWo
positions A,B to provide metered doses of Water to the
icemaker Without passing through the off or dispense posi
tions of the rotor.
[0062] The dispense position of the rotor is preferably on
the opposite side of the off position and ensures uncoupling
of the icemaker ?lling function from the Water dispensing
function. The center off position of the rotor disconnects all
Water circuits doWnstream of the inlet port 38 and prevents
leakage in any of those circuits in the event of damage or
malfunction therein. In such an event, the corresponding
tubes may be removed from the corresponding components
for repair or replacement of any of those tubes or compo
nents Without otherWise interrupting Water How to the valve.
[0063] Although the ?lter 70 has been incorporated in a
dedicated circuit With the rotary valve 24, it may be intro
channeling Water from the center inlet 36 to the common
duced at any other suitable location as desired or may be
outlet 40 joined to the icemaker 12.
removed entirely, Which can correspondingly simplify the
design of the rotary valve and the number of ports and
channels required therein.
[0057] Since the stator ports 38,48 illustrated in FIG. 6 are
radially aligned, both the diversion channel 54 and the
linking channel 56 extend radially outWardly from the center
of the rotor 30 to cover those tWo ports When aligned
thereWith. The linking channel 56 as illustrated in FIG. 8
extends radially in length to join in How communication the
tWo ports 38,48 in the dispense rotor position, Without
affecting operation of the valve in other positions of the
rotor. As shoWn in FIGS. 9-11, the linking channel 56 is
radially aligned With one of the legs of the sWitching channel
50 diametrically opposite from the center inlet port 36 and
is inoperative in all positions of the rotor other than the
dispense position.
[0058] The diversion channel 54 illustrated in FIGS. 10
and 11 extends in radial length to cover both ports 38,48 and
extends in circumferential Width to cover those tWo ports
betWeen both positions A,B of the rotor during operation of
[0064] The rotary valve illustrated in FIG. 2 may be
manufactured in a relatively small siZe for controlling opera
tion of the icemaker and dispenser in one convenient device.
The stepper motor 58 is suitably joined into the control
circuit of the refrigerator and is operated When desired for
precisely rotating the rotor to any one of its various rotor
positions for re?lling the icemaker or dispensing Water.
[0065] If desired, the front side of the rotor 30 may include
a diametrically extending rib for limiting rotary motion of
the rotor upon engaging a cooperating ball loosely trapped
in a recess in the bridge 62. This limit position may be used
to self-calibrate the stepper motor during each cycle of
operation for maintaining accurate registration of the rotor
and stator at the several different rotor positions of opera
tion.
the doser 26. The diversion channel 54 typically extends
radially outWardly from the center apex of the sWitching
channel 50 at the junction of the tWo legs thereof diametri
cally oppositely from the bridging channel 52. In this Way,
the diversion channel 54 is operable only in the tWo rotor
[0066]
positions A,B While being inoperable in the other positions
the appended claims all such modi?cations as fall Within the
true spirit and scope of the invention.
of the rotor including dispense and off as illustrated in FIGS.
8 and 9.
[0059]
In another embodiment illustrated in FIG. 7, the
bridging channel 52 is disposed circumferentially betWeen
the tWo legs of the sWitching channel 50 circumferentially in
turn With the diversion channel 54 and the linking channel
56 around the rotor 30 in the counterclockWise direction. In
this Way, the rotor 30 may be rotated in turn or sequence
clockWise in FIGS. 8-11 betWeen the ?rst, second, third, and
fourth rotor positions thereof. The rotor off position illus
While there have been described herein What are
considered to be preferred and exemplary embodiments of
the present invention, other modi?cations of the invention
shall be apparent to those skilled in the art from the
teachings herein, and it is, therefore, desired to be secured in
[0067] Accordingly, What is desired to be secured by
Letters Patent of the United States is the invention as de?ned
and differentiated in the folloWing claims in Which We claim:
1. A rotary doser valve comprising:
a stator having a ?rst inlet port, a ?rst outlet port, a ?rst
doser port, and a second doser port;
trated in FIG. 9 is a relative center position With the rotor 30
blocking the inlet port 38 and preventing entry of Water
through the valve.
a rotor having a sWitching channel and a bridging channel,
[0060]
said rotor being rotatable against said stator in a ?rst rotor
From the off position of FIG. 9, the rotor 30 may
and disposed in sliding abutment With said stator;
be rotated counterclockWise in FIG. 8 to the dispense rotor
position joining said sWitching channel in How com
position D for providing Water to the dispenser 22.
munication betWeen said ?rst inlet port and said ?rst
Jul. 18, 2002
US 2002/0092869 A1
doser port, and joining said bridging channel in How
said rotor is further rotatable to a third rotor position
communication between said second doser port and
said ?rst outlet port; and
joining said sWitching channel in How communication
said rotor being also rotatable to a second rotor position
joining said sWitching channel in How communication
betWeen said ?rst inlet port and said second doser port,
and joining said bridging channel in How communica
tion betWeen said ?rst doser port and said ?rst outlet
port.
2. A valve according to claim 1 Wherein:
said stator comprises a disk having said ports eXtending
axially therethrough; and
said rotor comprises a disk coaXially abutting said stator
disk, and having said channels formed as surface
grooves therein.
3. A valve according to claim 2 Wherein;
said ?rst inlet port is disposed in a center of said stator
disk, and said ?rst and second doser ports are spaced
betWeen said ?rst inlet port and said second outlet port.
13. Avalve according to claim 12 Wherein said sWitching
channel has tWo radial legs extending radially outWardly
from said ?rst inlet port With an obtuse angle therebetWeen.
14. A valve according to claim 13 Wherein said rotor
further includes a linking channel spaced circumferentially
betWeen said diversion channel and said sWitching channel
for joining said second inlet port and bypass port in How
communication in said third rotor position.
15. A valve according to claim 14 Wherein said second
inlet port and bypass port are radially aligned, and said
linking channel eXtends radially.
16. A valve according to claim 15 Wherein said diversion
channel and said linking channel are spaced circumferen
tially apart, and are circumferentially offset from said second
inlet port and bypass port in a fourth rotor position to block
?oW therebetWeen.
17. A rotary doser valve for supplying Water to an
radially outWardly therefrom and circumferentially
spaced apart; and
icemaker and Water dispenser in a refrigerator, comprising:
said ?rst outlet port is disposed circumferentially betWeen
a stator ?Xedly mounted in a housing, and including ?rst
and second inlet ports, ?rst and second outlet ports, ?rst
said ?rst and second doser ports.
4. A valve according to claim 3 further comprising a
distributor coaXially abutting said stator oppositely to said
rotor, and including a plurality of distributor ports disposed
in How communication With respective ones of said stator
ports.
5. A valve according to claim 4 Wherein said distributor
further comprises a plurality of distributor channels eXtend
ing radially outWardly from respective ones of said distribu
tor ports.
6. A valve according to claim 3 further comprising a
motor having a spindle joined to said rotor for selectively
rotating said rotor betWeen said ?rst and second rotor
positions.
7. A valve according to claim 6 further comprising a
spring disposed betWeen said motor and said rotor for
pressing said rotor in sealing abutment against said stator.
8. A valve according to claim 7 Wherein both said stator
and rotor are ceramic With ?at abutting surfaces at Which
said channels and ports thereof are disposed.
9. Avalve according to claim 3 further comprising a doser
having ?rst and second chambers separated by a movable
septum, With said ?rst chamber being disposed in How
communication With said ?rst doser port, and said second
chamber being disposed in How communication With said
second doser port.
10. A valve according to claim 3 Wherein;
said stator further comprises a second inlet port and a
bypass port; and
said rotor further includes a diversion channel spaced
from said sWitching channel, and disposed in How
communication betWeen said second inlet port and said
bypass port in both said ?rst and second rotor positions.
11. A valve according to claim 10 further comprising a
?lter disposed in How communication betWeen said bypass
port and said ?rst inlet port.
12. A valve according to claim 3 Wherein:
said stator further includes a second outlet port spaced
circumferentially from said doser ports; and
and second doser ports, and a bypass port spaced apart
from each other;
a rotor coaXially adjoining said stator in said housing, and
including a sWitching channel, bridging channel, diver
sion channel, and linking channel spaced apart from
each other;
a doser having ?rst and second chambers separated by a
movable septum, With said ?rst chamber being dis
posed in How communication With said ?rst doser port,
and said second chamber being disposed in How com
munication With said second doser port;
a ?lter disposed in How communication betWeen said
bypass port and said ?rst inlet port; and
means for rotating said rotor betWeen:
a ?rst rotor position joining said sWitching channel in
How communication betWeen said ?rst inlet port and
said ?rst doser port, and joining said bridging chan
nel in How communication betWeen said second
doser port and said ?rst outlet port for channeling
Water to said icemaker;
a second rotor position joining said sWitching channel
in How communication betWeen said ?rst inlet port
and said second doser port, and joining said bridging
channel in How communication betWeen said ?rst
doser port and said ?rst outlet port for channeling
Water to said icemaker;
a third rotor position joining said linking channel in
How communication With said second inlet port and
said bypass port, and joining said sWitching channel
in How communication betWeen said ?rst inlet port
and said second outlet port for channeling Water to
said dispenser; and
a fourth rotor position circumferentially offsetting said
linking channel and diversion channel on opposite
sides of said second inlet port and said bypass port to
block ?oW therebetWeen.
Jul. 18, 2002
US 2002/0092869 A1
18. A valve according to claim 17 wherein said rotating
means comprise a stepper motor having a spindle joined to
said rotor for selectively rotating said rotor betWeen said
?rst, second, third, and fourth positions.
19. Avalve according to claim 18 Wherein:
said ?rst and second doser ports and said ?rst and second
outlet ports are circumferentially aligned together at a
common radius;
said ?rst outlet port is disposed circumferentially betWeen
said ?rst and second doser ports;
said second outlet port is disposed circumferentially
betWeen said ?rst inlet port and said second doser port;
and
said bridging channel is arcuate and siZed in length to
bridge said second outlet port With either said ?rst
doser port in said ?rst rotor position or said second
doser port in said second rotor position.
20. Avalve according to claim 19 Wherein:
said stator comprises a disk having said ports eXtending
axially therethrough;
said rotor comprises a disk coaXially abutting one side of
said stator disk, and having said channels formed as
surface grooves therein; and further comprising:
a disk distributor disposed in said housing on an opposite
side of said stator, and coaXially abutting said stator
oppositely to said rotor, and including a plurality of
distributor ports disposed in How communication With
respective ones of said stator ports.
21. A valve according to claim 20 Wherein:
said distributor further comprises a plurality of distributor
a gasket disposed betWeen said distributor and housing to
seal said distributor channels; and
a plurality of tubes joined to said housing in How com
munication With respective ones of said distributor
ports for connecting said stator ports to said doser,
?lter, icemaker, and dispenser, respectively.
22. A valve according to claim 21 Wherein:
said ?rst inlet port is disposed in a center of said stator
disk radially inWardly of said ?rst and second doser
ports;
said second inlet port and bypass port are radially aligned
With said ?rst inlet port;
said sWitching channel includes tWo legs eXtending radi
ally outWardly from said ?rst inlet port With an obtuse
angle therebetWeen;
said linking channel is radially aligned With one of said
sWitching channel legs; and
said diversion channel eXtends radially outWardly from an
apeX of said sWitching channel at the junction of said
tWo legs thereof.
23. A valve according to claim 22 Wherein:
said ?rst doser port, ?rst outlet port, second doser port,
second outlet port, and second inlet port are disposed in
turn circumferentially around said stator; and
said bridging channel is disposed circumferentially
betWeen said sWitching channel legs and circumferen
tially in turn With said diversion channel and linking
channel around said rotor for sequential registration
thereof upon rotating said rotor in turn betWeen said
?rst, second, third, and fourth rotor positions.
channels eXtending radially outWardly from respective
ones of said distributor ports; and further comprising:
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