METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PREVENTING MOISTURE IN A REFRIGERATOR MULLION
Publication Date: 2010-Aug-05
The IP.com Prior Art Database
The present invention relates to an LED assembly in a mullion of a refrigerator that prevents moisture accumulation in the mullion by activating the LED assembly at a reduced power level. The reduced power level is created by cycling the LED at a low percentage duty cycle. The LED assembly described herein is power efficient and has an increase life span.
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PREVENTING MOISTURE
IN A REFRIGERATOR MULLION
The present invention relates generally to a method and apparatus for preventing moisture accumulation in a refrigerator mullion, and more particularly to a light emitting diode (LED) assembly activated at a reduced power level for preventing moisture accumulation in the refrigerator mullion.
The freezer section of a refrigerator is typically maintained at temperatures below the freezing point of water. Such low temperatures in the freezer section cools the mullion by convection. Thereby, the mullion is cooler than a fresh food section of the refrigerator proximate to the mullion. Further, the fresh food compartment usually has a moisture rich environment. Moisture from the fresh food compartment diffuses into the mullion. In the mullion, the water condenses and tends to freeze into ice in various sensitive areas of the mullion, for example, in spaces between electronic circuitry and components. The ice so formed causes a displacement of the circuitry and components, forming a conductive path between otherwise insulated components and circuitry. Thereby the moisture diffusing into the mullion causes electrical reliability issues.
Typically, the mullion includes a light assembly to illuminate a product display area. The light assembly generally includes an illuminator with LEDs placed on inwardly-directed faces of the mullion. The LEDs generate heat in the LED junction and the heat generated is conducted out through a luminaire body, which is connected directly to the LED junction. Heat conduction through the luminaire body to outer surfaces provides the effect of anti-sweat heating to prevent condensation of moisture in the mullion. However, the LED assembly consumes high power.
Therefore it is desirable to have a power efficient technique that allows the LED assembly to illuminate the product display area and conducts heat outside into the mullion to prevent moisture accumulation.
The present invention discloses a power efficient method and apparatus that prevents moisture accumulation in a cold refrigerator mullion. The method utilizes an LED assembly that is activated at a reduced power level. The activation of the LED assembly at a low power level is achieved by operating the LEDs at low percentag...