Patent application title: Luggage Refrigerator
Gregory Beliczynski (Brooklyn, NY, US)
IPC8 Class: AF25D2300FI
Class name: Refrigeration structural installation
Publication date: 2010-09-02
Patent application number: 20100218532
A luggage refrigerator apparatus comprises a storage cabinet for
transporting personal belongings and a means for refrigeration. After a
traveler reaches his or her destination and unpacks personal belongings
from the luggage, he or she may use the luggage to store and refrigerate
1. A luggage refrigerator apparatus comprising:a) a refrigeration means
for cooling groceries at a predetermined temperature within an attached
insulated cabinet for transporting personal belongings;b) an insulated
cabinet, comprising a plurality of insulated walls defining an interior
space, wherein one of the plurality of insulated walls includes the
refrigeration means and wherein another one of the plurality of insulated
walls includes a door for accessing the interior space of the insulated
cabinet; andc) a power connecting device connectable to a power source to
provide functioning power to the refrigeration means for cooling
2. The luggage refrigerator of claim (1) wherein the insulated cabinet has a predetermined size and shape of a suitcase.
3. The luggage refrigerator of claim (1) wherein the insulated cabinet has a predetermined size and shape of a backpack.
4. The luggage refrigerator of claim (1) wherein the insulated cabinet has a predetermined size and shape of a shoulder bag.
5. The luggage refrigerator of claim (1) wherein the insulated cabinet has a predetermined size and shape of a duffle bag.
6. The luggage refrigerator of claim (1) wherein the refrigeration means for cooling is a thermoelectric cooling system.
7. The luggage refrigerator of claim (1) wherein the refrigeration means for cooling is a vapor-compression refrigerator system.
8. The luggage refrigerator of claim (1) wherein the refrigeration means for cooling is an absorption refrigerator system.
9. The luggage refrigerator of claim (1) wherein said power connecting device is a power connection device having a power cord adapted for connection to a conventional alternating current (i.e., A.C.) power source.
10. The luggage refrigerator of claim (1) wherein said power connecting device is a power connection device having a power cord adapted for connection to a conventional direct current (i.e., D.C.) power source.
11. The luggage refrigerator of claim (1) wherein said power connecting device is a power connection device having a power cord adapted for connection to a portable battery unit.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention generally relates to portable luggage with a built-in refrigerator system.
2. Prior Art
During their travels, people often encounter lodging accommodations that do not provide a personal refrigerator system, as is the case with many hotels and motels across the United States as well as abroad. These lodgings either lack the proper space to install refrigerator systems inside their guestrooms or do not have a budget to install and maintain refrigerator systems for their guests. Being on a trip without a personal refrigerator system, especially for an extended period of time, can lead to premature food spoilage, discarding of food that requires proper refrigeration, consumption of warm beverages that are best served cold, and extra money spent on restaurant food that could have been saved by purchasing and refrigerating groceries.
While portable refrigerator systems do exist, such as U.S. Pat. No. 4,326,383 and U.S. Pat. No. 3,959,982, they are difficult to travel with because people need to carry them in addition to their personal luggage such as suitcases, bags, and other miscellaneous carry-on items. This makes day-to-day travel with a portable refrigerator system extra cumbersome and impractical.
Therefore what is needed is a way to combine the benefits of having a portable refrigerator system without the heavy burden of carrying extra baggage during travels. This is what the present invention accomplishes.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention discloses a refrigerator system that is built inside a cabinet for carrying personal belongings, preferably a rolling suitcase. The cabinet of the suitcase needs to be ample enough in size as to comfortably house the refrigerator system within the cabinet walls, while at the same time maintaining the suitcase's native function of providing adequate storage space for personal belongings.
The refrigerator system comprises a method for refrigeration, preferably a thermoelectric cooling system by the Peltier effect. In a less-preferred embodiment, a traditional compressor refrigerator system using the vapor compression cycle is used for cooling. In an even less-preferred embodiment, an absorption refrigerator system is used for cooling. The refrigerator system is capable of being powered by connecting it to either an alternating current device (A.C.) or to a direct current device (D.C.). A rechargeable battery pack may also be included to power the refrigerator system during the absence of an A.C. or D.C. power source. When connected to a power source, the refrigerator system is able to maintain food at conventional refrigeration temperatures, ranging from approximately 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit. The refrigerator system's temperature can be monitored and adjusted by an integrated temperature control system.
The walls of the suitcase cabinet are well insulated to promote the refrigerator system's operation efficiency by preventing the cooler inside air from escaping as well as protecting the suitcase from coming into contact with the warmer outside air.
With the help of the present invention, travelers can now carry with them a single piece of luggage, and after unpacking their personal belongings from it, can use it as a personal refrigerator system for storing and refrigerating their groceries.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
Referring now to the drawings in which like reference numbers represent corresponding parts throughout:
FIG. 1 is a front view of a rolling suitcase embodying the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a left side perspective view;
FIG. 3 is a rear perspective view with lid open during unpacking;
FIG. 4 is a front perspective view with lid open after unpacking; and
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 showing the storage and refrigeration of groceries.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
Illustrative embodiments of the invention are described below. In the interest of clarity, not all possible features of an actual implementation are described in this specification. It will of course be appreciated that in the development of any such actual embodiment, numerous implementation-specific decisions will be made to achieve the invention's specific goals, such as complying with the needs and preferences of the traveler.
Referring now to FIG. 1, a rolling suitcase is chosen as the preferred embodiment for the present invention. A rectangular cabinet whose walls are constructed preferably from a durable, well-insulated material such as a hard plastic or hard metal has a front lid 100 that swings open by pulling up on an attached left side handle 104. For a softer feel, the hard, outside walls of the cabinet may be covered with a softer material such as leather or fabric. Wheels 102 are attached at both left and right sides of the cabinet to assist in smoothly rolling the suitcase to its destination by pulling it along by a retractable top handle 103.
In FIG. 2, a left side perspective view shows how the two pieces comprising the top and bottom of the cabinet come together. The back of top lid 100 joins to the bottom storage compartment 101 at hinge joint 117. An A.C. power connector cable 105 terminates with prong 106 and is pulled out from and retracts inside bottom storage compartment 101 through a slit 107 when not in use. A D.C. power connector 108 is also available for use with a D.C. power adapter (not pictured) in circumstances where standard A.C. power is unavailable. A vent 109 purges the hot air from a refrigerator system 114 (which can be seen in FIG. 4).
Turning to FIG. 3 of a rear perspective view, the suitcase is laid down on the back side of storage compartment 101 during a typical unpacking process with top lid 100 swung open. Personal belongings are shown being removed from storage compartment 101 such as clothing 110 and a hat 111. The purpose of FIG. 3 is to demonstrate the first of two primary functions of the present invention, a suitcase for transporting personal belongings.
In FIG. 4, a front perspective view of the suitcase is shown after the unpacking process, with storage compartment 101 empty and ready for grocery storage. Bottom panel 112, which rests on the floor of storage compartment 101, may be a removable panel with surface preferably constructed out of a durable, easy to clean material such as plastic or stainless steel. This is so that panel 112 can be easily separated from the suitcase for cleaning after serving as a platform for grocery storage.
A refrigerator system comprising a method for refrigeration is installed inside the suitcase cabinet. In this particular embodiment, a Peltier thermoelectric cooling system 114 is installed inside the rear wall of storage compartment 101. When the refrigerator system is supplied with power by plugging power cable 105 into a power outlet 113, a cooling effect is produced outwards from 114 filling the inside of the storage compartment with cool air. On the other side of refrigerator system 114 is vent 109 (which can be seen in FIG. 2) purging the hot air byproduct out and away from the suitcase cabinet. A temperature control system 115 displays the refrigerator system's current temperature setting and is used to adjust the desired refrigeration temperature. In this particular embodiment the temperature control system is a digital device, with an LED temperature indicator and up/down buttons for setting the refrigeration temperature higher and lower located on the outside front wall of 101. In a less preferred embodiment, an analog temperature control system using a twistable knob for adjusting the refrigeration temperature may be used.
FIG. 5 shows the second primary function of the present invention, a refrigerator system for storing and refrigerating groceries. Groceries 116 such as, cheese, a sandwich, canned beverages, milk, and fruit and are conveniently refrigerated and stored inside storage compartment 101, which was previously used to transport personal belongings.
The location of the refrigerator system's components within the suitcase cabinet may vary. For example, the refrigeration system 114 can reside inside the walls of top lid 100 instead of storage compartment 101, or anywhere else inside the suitcase cabinet as long as it's capable of filling the inside of the suitcase with cool air. Likewise, temperature control system 115 can be placed anywhere on the outside or even the inside of the suitcase cabinet, as long as it remains easily accessible. In the preferred embodiment, all electronic components are located in a single half of the suitcase cabinet, which is inside or around storage compartment 101. This is advantageous because it keeps all electrical wires confined to one half of the suitcase and prevents possible damage to those wires by avoiding both; passing them through hinge joint 117 and placing them within top lid 101 which is constantly being opened and closed.
The size and shape of the cabinet may also vary depending on the traveler's storage requirements, trip duration, and destination. For example, a lone traveler on a short business trip may require a smaller sized suitcase than that of a family spending a 2-week vacation. A hiker or outdoors enthusiast may not require a suitcase, and instead would benefit from a much smaller cabinet design that could be carried hands-free, such as that of a backpack or shoulder bag.
It can be seen that the luggage refrigerator of the present invention can benefit travelers by conveniently providing them with a means for refrigerating and storing their groceries inside the same luggage used for transporting their personal belongings.
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