US20090095284A1 - Solar Module System With Support Structure - Google Patents

Solar Module System With Support Structure Download PDF

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US20090095284A1
US20090095284A1 US12280325 US28032507A US2009095284A1 US 20090095284 A1 US20090095284 A1 US 20090095284A1 US 12280325 US12280325 US 12280325 US 28032507 A US28032507 A US 28032507A US 2009095284 A1 US2009095284 A1 US 2009095284A1
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profile
support
solar module
connecting
profiles
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US12280325
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Fritz Klotz
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Fritz Klotz
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02SGENERATION OF ELECTRIC POWER BY CONVERSION OF INFRA-RED RADIATION, VISIBLE LIGHT OR ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT, E.G. USING PHOTOVOLTAIC [PV] MODULES
    • H02S20/00Supporting structures for PV modules
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24SSOLAR HEAT COLLECTORS; SOLAR HEAT SYSTEMS
    • F24S10/00Solar heat collectors using working fluids
    • F24S10/70Solar heat collectors using working fluids the working fluids being conveyed through tubular absorbing conduits
    • F24S10/75Solar heat collectors using working fluids the working fluids being conveyed through tubular absorbing conduits with enlarged surfaces, e.g. with protrusions or corrugations
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24SSOLAR HEAT COLLECTORS; SOLAR HEAT SYSTEMS
    • F24S23/00Arrangements for concentrating solar-rays for solar heat collectors
    • F24S23/70Arrangements for concentrating solar-rays for solar heat collectors with reflectors
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24SSOLAR HEAT COLLECTORS; SOLAR HEAT SYSTEMS
    • F24S23/00Arrangements for concentrating solar-rays for solar heat collectors
    • F24S23/70Arrangements for concentrating solar-rays for solar heat collectors with reflectors
    • F24S23/74Arrangements for concentrating solar-rays for solar heat collectors with reflectors with trough-shaped or cylindro-parabolic reflective surfaces
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24SSOLAR HEAT COLLECTORS; SOLAR HEAT SYSTEMS
    • F24S23/00Arrangements for concentrating solar-rays for solar heat collectors
    • F24S23/70Arrangements for concentrating solar-rays for solar heat collectors with reflectors
    • F24S23/77Arrangements for concentrating solar-rays for solar heat collectors with reflectors with flat reflective plates
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24SSOLAR HEAT COLLECTORS; SOLAR HEAT SYSTEMS
    • F24S25/00Arrangement of stationary mountings or supports for solar heat collector modules
    • F24S25/30Arrangement of stationary mountings or supports for solar heat collector modules using elongate rigid mounting elements extending substantially along the supporting surface, e.g. for covering buildings with solar heat collectors
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L31/00Semiconductor devices sensitive to infra-red radiation, light, electromagnetic radiation of shorter wavelength or corpuscular radiation and adapted either for the conversion of the energy of such radiation into electrical energy or for the control of electrical energy by such radiation; Processes or apparatus peculiar to the manufacture or treatment thereof or of parts thereof; Details thereof
    • H01L31/04Semiconductor devices sensitive to infra-red radiation, light, electromagnetic radiation of shorter wavelength or corpuscular radiation and adapted either for the conversion of the energy of such radiation into electrical energy or for the control of electrical energy by such radiation; Processes or apparatus peculiar to the manufacture or treatment thereof or of parts thereof; Details thereof adapted as photovoltaic [PV] conversion devices
    • H01L31/054Optical elements directly associated or integrated with the PV cell, e.g. light-reflecting means or light-concentrating means
    • H01L31/0547Optical elements directly associated or integrated with the PV cell, e.g. light-reflecting means or light-concentrating means comprising light concentrating means of the reflecting type, e.g. parabolic mirrors, concentrators using total internal reflection
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24SSOLAR HEAT COLLECTORS; SOLAR HEAT SYSTEMS
    • F24S20/00Solar heat collectors specially adapted for particular uses or environments
    • F24S2020/10Solar modules layout; Modular arrangements
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24SSOLAR HEAT COLLECTORS; SOLAR HEAT SYSTEMS
    • F24S23/00Arrangements for concentrating solar-rays for solar heat collectors
    • F24S23/70Arrangements for concentrating solar-rays for solar heat collectors with reflectors
    • F24S2023/83Other shapes
    • F24S2023/832Other shapes curved
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24SSOLAR HEAT COLLECTORS; SOLAR HEAT SYSTEMS
    • F24S23/00Arrangements for concentrating solar-rays for solar heat collectors
    • F24S23/70Arrangements for concentrating solar-rays for solar heat collectors with reflectors
    • F24S2023/87Reflectors layout
    • F24S2023/872Assemblies of spaced reflective elements on common support, e.g. Fresnel reflectors
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24SSOLAR HEAT COLLECTORS; SOLAR HEAT SYSTEMS
    • F24S25/00Arrangement of stationary mountings or supports for solar heat collector modules
    • F24S25/60Fixation means, e.g. fasteners, specially adapted for supporting solar heat collector modules
    • F24S2025/6004Fixation means, e.g. fasteners, specially adapted for supporting solar heat collector modules by clipping, e.g. by using snap connectors
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24SSOLAR HEAT COLLECTORS; SOLAR HEAT SYSTEMS
    • F24S25/00Arrangement of stationary mountings or supports for solar heat collector modules
    • F24S2025/80Special profiles
    • F24S2025/801Special profiles having hollow parts with closed cross-section
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24SSOLAR HEAT COLLECTORS; SOLAR HEAT SYSTEMS
    • F24S25/00Arrangement of stationary mountings or supports for solar heat collector modules
    • F24S2025/80Special profiles
    • F24S2025/806Special profiles having curved portions
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02BCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO BUILDINGS, e.g. HOUSING, HOUSE APPLIANCES OR RELATED END-USER APPLICATIONS
    • Y02B10/00Integration of renewable energy sources in buildings
    • Y02B10/10Photovoltaic [PV]
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02BCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO BUILDINGS, e.g. HOUSING, HOUSE APPLIANCES OR RELATED END-USER APPLICATIONS
    • Y02B10/00Integration of renewable energy sources in buildings
    • Y02B10/20Solar thermal
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02BCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO BUILDINGS, e.g. HOUSING, HOUSE APPLIANCES OR RELATED END-USER APPLICATIONS
    • Y02B10/00Integration of renewable energy sources in buildings
    • Y02B10/70Hybrid systems
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02EREDUCTION OF GREENHOUSE GAS [GHG] EMISSIONS, RELATED TO ENERGY GENERATION, TRANSMISSION OR DISTRIBUTION
    • Y02E10/00Energy generation through renewable energy sources
    • Y02E10/40Solar thermal energy
    • Y02E10/44Heat exchange systems
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02EREDUCTION OF GREENHOUSE GAS [GHG] EMISSIONS, RELATED TO ENERGY GENERATION, TRANSMISSION OR DISTRIBUTION
    • Y02E10/00Energy generation through renewable energy sources
    • Y02E10/40Solar thermal energy
    • Y02E10/45Trough concentrators
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02EREDUCTION OF GREENHOUSE GAS [GHG] EMISSIONS, RELATED TO ENERGY GENERATION, TRANSMISSION OR DISTRIBUTION
    • Y02E10/00Energy generation through renewable energy sources
    • Y02E10/40Solar thermal energy
    • Y02E10/47Mountings or tracking
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02EREDUCTION OF GREENHOUSE GAS [GHG] EMISSIONS, RELATED TO ENERGY GENERATION, TRANSMISSION OR DISTRIBUTION
    • Y02E10/00Energy generation through renewable energy sources
    • Y02E10/50Photovoltaic [PV] energy
    • Y02E10/52PV systems with concentrators

Abstract

A solar module system having a self-supporting structure and at least one solar module element or reflector element which can be arranged on the support structure is provided. A support structure includes at least one self-supporting rib longitudinal profile and/or hollow longitudinal profile as a support profile with a solar module functional area and/or a reflector functional area. The support profile has a plug-in profile on the longitudinal side for attachment of a further support profile, a connecting profile or of a terminating profile at the side, and/or having a heat dissipation structure which is thermally conductively connected to its solar module functional area and/or its reflector functional area.

Description

    BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention relates to a solar module system having a support structure and at least one solar module element or reflector element which can be arranged on the support structure. Solar module systems such as these are used as photovoltaic systems and thermal solar collector systems in widely different embodiments. For simplicity, in the present case, the expression solar module covers both photovoltaic modules and thermal solar collector modules.
  • German Patent Publication No. DE 100 41 271 A1 discloses a roof cover or wall cladding composed of self-supporting sheet-metal panels, to the outside of which a photovoltaic module that is protected by an outer covering layer composed of a translucent plastic is applied. A system with controlled heat dissipation and/or heat supply is arranged underneath of, and maintained in thermally conductive contact with the sheet-metal panels. The photovoltaic module may be applied to the respective sheet-metal panel as a flexible composite film over the entire area. Similar photovoltaic module laminates for mounting flat on a support layer by pressing or adhesive bonding, or in a self-adhesive embodiment, are described respectively in PCT International Application Publication No. WO 01/67523 A1 and U.S. Pat. No. 6,553,729 B1.
  • British Patent Publication No. GB 2 340 993 A describes a photovoltaic structure in which a module mount is formed comprising a lower, flat steel plate, a steel plate arranged at a distance from it with the interposition of an insulating material and profiled in a corrugated shape forming a duct, and an upper flat steel plate placed thereon, and a photovoltaic flat module applied to the upper steel plate. The hollow ducts which are formed between the profiled steel plate forming the duct and the upper steel plate act as cooling ducts.
  • As is known, apart from non-concentrating flat-module systems, concentrating solar module systems are also in commercial use, for example of the so-called V-trough type. This is disclosed in U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2003/0201007 A1. A parabolic concentrator type is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,344,496, the Conference Proceedings Articles by C. K. Weatherby et al., “Further Development and Field Test Results of Two Low-Material-Cost Parabolic-Trough PV Concentrators”, 2nd World Conference and Exhibition on Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conversion, Jul. 6 to 10, 1998, Vienna, Austria, page 2189 and F. Dobon et. al., and “Controlled Atmosphere PV Concentrator (CAC)”, 17th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, Oct. 22 to 26, 2001, Munich, Germany, page 668.
  • German Patent Publication No. DE 20 2004 005 198 U1 discloses a solar module system in which solar modules are mounted directly on a mounting rack composed of metal with a heat dissipation profile on the rear face.
  • The present invention provides a solar module system of the type mentioned above that can be produced with comparatively little manufacturing effort and is also suitable for relatively large major power station installations, in the open air, and for building integration on roofs and facades.
  • In the solar module system of the present invention, the support structure contains at least one self-supporting rib longitudinal profile and/or hollow longitudinal profile as a support profile with a solar module functional area and/or reflector functional area. Support profiles such as these can be produced with comparatively little effort and offer a self-supporting capability for the support structure, thus reducing the complexity for the required substructures. The expression “self-supporting” in this case means, as a relevant person skilled in the art in this field would be aware, a configuration of the support profile which is chosen such that the support profile supports itself, including the support loads to be calculated in during operation, resulting from, for example, wind and snow loads, with the element or elements fitted thereto over a certain span width of up to several meters in the present applications of solar module systems, for example of between 2 m and 10 m, without any need to provide a close-mesh substructure, to be precise. As a consequence, the self-supporting support profile and the self-supporting support structure do not require any substructure longitudinal supports and, for the lengths which are typically used in this application, generally require only one central or two end supports. The two end supports can be drawn in somewhat, i.e., they run with a short separation, which is very much less than the support profile length, from the respective support profile end.
  • Specifically, the support profile according to the invention has a plug-in profile on the longitudinal side in order to attach a further support profile or a connecting profile or a terminating profile, and/or has a heat dissipation structure. The first of these allows a plurality of solar module-support profile and/or reflector-supporting profile to be joined together at the side to produce relatively large support areas. Depending on the system design, the support profiles may be plugged directly to one another or may be plugged onto an intermediate connecting profile. The terminating profile can be used to achieve a respectively desired side edge termination. In embodiments with the heat dissipation structure provided on the support profile, the heat dissipation structure contributes to the cooling required for the solar module functional area and/or the reflector functional area.
  • Plugging individual support profiles together at the side in order to achieve relatively large area support structures is useful not only for non-concentrating flat module systems but also, for example, for concentrator systems of the so-called V-trough type. In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, the connecting profile is in the form of a hollow-chamber longitudinal profile with a reflector functional area on the front face, i.e., the relevant area itself acts as a reflector or acts as a reflector contact surface, to which a separate reflector element can be fitted, for example in the form of a reflector sheet, thus resulting in a reflective V-trough wall.
  • Furthermore, the invention can also advantageously be used, for example, for systems of the parabolic concentrator type. In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, the respective support profile has a parabolic reflector functional area, which is associated with a solar module element arranged or formed on a front face of a connecting profile or terminating profile which is attached to the support profile at the side. This results in the radiation being reflected at the side from the reflector of the support profile forward onto the solar module element arranged there, in a concentrating form. For example, the solar module element may be formed integrally on the connecting or terminating profile, or may be attached to it. Depending on the application, this may be, for example, a conventional thermal solar collector tube or a suitably designed photovoltaic element.
  • In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, one or more hollow chambers is or are formed on the support profile and/or on the connecting profile. Additionally or alternatively, the plug connection of the plug-in profile and/or the terminating profile are/is in the form of a hollow chamber or chambers, which can contribute to the support structure being more robust. Furthermore, if required, the hollow chambers can be used to pass through a liquid or gaseous cooling medium, for better cooling or, if necessary, for heating the system. The hollow chambers can be a line/cable ducts.
  • In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, the connection of the connecting profile to the support profile is designed to be thermally conductive so that, if required, the connecting profile can also act as a heat dissipation body.
  • In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, the plug-in profile on the longitudinal side is designed such that a respective support profile can be fitted between two stationary connecting profiles and can be removed. Accordingly, each of the support profiles can be removed individually from an assembled solar module system without having to remove adjacent connecting or support profiles for this purpose, thus making it very simple to replace one support profile.
  • In accordance with an aspect of the present invention, pairs of terminating profiles are provided, by means of which prefabricated units provided with terminating profiles at the sides can be connected to one another in a rainproof manner to form relatively large units, by the terminating profiles being designed such that two mutually adjacent terminating profiles in each case engage in one another, in a rainproof manner, in the form of an overlapping roof-tile connection or labyrinth seal.
  • In accordance with an aspect of the present invention which is advantageous from the manufacturing point of view, the support profiles are in the form of extruded profiles, strand-drawn profiles or roll-formed profiles.
  • In accordance with an aspect of the present invention, the plug-in profile and/or the connecting profile are/is designed to connect two support profiles with an aligned useful face, forming a continuous solar module/reflector useful surface. This makes it possible to produce solar module and/or reflector useful surfaces which are extended in the width direction over a plurality of support profiles, without any significant lateral interruption and without steps.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Advantageous embodiments of the invention will be described in the following text and are illustrated in the drawings, in which:
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a cross section through a support profile with a module contact surface on the front face and with a thermally conductive rib structure on the rear face,
  • FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate cross-sectional views of variants of the support profile shown in FIG. 1,
  • FIG. 4 illustrates a cross section through a support profile variant with a side plug-in profile for direct coupling on further support profiles,
  • FIGS. 5 and 6 respectively illustrate cross sections through one terminating profile for side termination of the support profile shown in FIG. 4,
  • FIG. 7 illustrates a cross section through the support profile shown in FIG. 4, with terminating profiles as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 plugged on,
  • FIG. 8 illustrates a cross section through a support structure with three support profiles coupled to one another, as shown in FIG. 4, and with side terminating profiles as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6,
  • FIG. 9 illustrates a cross section through a variant of the support profile from FIG. 4 with a greater profile depth in the plug-in profile area,
  • FIGS. 10 and 11 respectively illustrate a cross section of one terminating profile for the side plug-in profiles of the support profile shown in FIG. 9,
  • FIG. 12 illustrates a cross section through the support profile shown in FIG. 9, with plugged-on terminating profiles as shown in FIGS. 10 and 11,
  • FIG. 13 illustrates a cross section through a support structure comprising four support profiles as shown in FIG. 9 plugged onto one another, and the side terminating profiles as shown in FIGS. 10 and 11,
  • FIGS. 14 and 14A each illustrate a cross sectional view of a further variant of the support profile shown in FIG. 4, respectively without and with hollow chambers and with an individually fitted solar module, with FIG. 14 showing an associated terminating profile on the left, and an associated connecting profile on the right, in the form of an exploded view,
  • FIGS. 15 and 15A each illustrate a cross-sectional view through a part of a support structure with support profiles as shown in FIG. 14 plugged onto one another, and, respectively, a variant with a hollow chamber on the rear face,
  • FIGS. 16 to 23 illustrate cross-sections through modified embodiments of the connecting profile shown in FIG. 14, with different reinforcing profile shapes and profile depths,
  • FIG. 24 illustrates a cross-sectional view through two support profiles, as shown in FIG. 14, which have been plugged together by means of the connecting profile shown in FIG. 22,
  • FIG. 25 illustrates a cross section through a solar module support profile for a photovoltaic system of the V-trough concentrator type,
  • FIG. 26 illustrates a cross section through a connecting profile with a reflector functional area for coupling support profiles as shown in FIG. 25 to one another,
  • FIG. 27 illustrates a cross section through a detail of a support structure for a photovoltaic system of the V-trough concentrator type with the support profiles as shown in FIG. 25 and the connecting profiles as shown in FIG. 26,
  • FIGS. 28 and 28A each illustrate a cross section through a variant of the support profile shown in FIG. 25 for a further photovoltaic system of the V-trough concentrator type, respectively without and with hollow chambers,
  • FIG. 29 illustrates a cross section through a connecting profile for the support profile shown in FIG. 28,
  • FIG. 30 illustrates a cross-sectional view corresponding to FIG. 27 for the system variant with the support profiles as shown in FIG. 28 and the connecting profiles as shown in FIG. 29,
  • FIG. 31 illustrates a plan view of a photovoltaic system of the V-trough concentrator type based on the system variant shown in FIG. 30 with five solar module support profiles which are plugged to one another via the connecting profiles with a reflector function,
  • FIG. 32 illustrates a cross-sectional view along the line I-I in FIG. 31,
  • FIGS. 33 and 34 respectively illustrate cross sections through in each case one of two pairs of terminating profiles, which are designed for rainproof connection,
  • FIG. 35 illustrates a cross section through a rainproof connection produced by the two terminating profiles shown in FIGS. 33 and 34,
  • FIG. 36 illustrates a cross section through two adjacent support profiles of the type shown in FIG. 9, which are joined to one another at the side in a rainproof manner by two pairs of terminating profiles similar to those shown in FIGS. 33 and 34,
  • FIG. 37 illustrates a cross section through a support profile with parabolic reflector areas,
  • FIG. 38 illustrates a cross section through a connecting profile with a solar module element integrally formed on the front face, and
  • FIG. 39 illustrates a cross section through a detail of a support structure for a solar module system of the parabolic concentrator type with the support profiles shown in FIG. 37 and the connecting profiles shown in FIG. 38.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Various exemplary embodiments of the invention will be explained in more detail in the following text with reference to the drawings, and identical or functionally equivalent components are provided with the same reference symbol in each of the drawings, for the sake of clarity.
  • FIGS. 1 to 3 illustrate support profiles which are suitable, for example, for photovoltaic systems integrated in shade laminate installations. On the front face, a support profile 1 as shown in FIG. 1 has a module contact surface 2 on which a conventional photovoltaic module (not illustrated) can be mounted. On the rear face, the support profile 1 has a heat dissipation structure, directly opposite the module contact surface 2, in the form of longitudinally running thermally conductive ribs 3 which are each provided with grooves or are profiled in the form of corrugated lines in order to increase the surface area on their side surfaces. On the longitudinal side, the support profile 1 is terminated by edge profiling 4, which has an opening 5 for the introduction of self-tapping screws. When the support profile 1 is used as a shade laminate with an integrated photovoltaic function, these screws can attach the end area of the support profile 1, to, for example, a moving laminate holder.
  • A support profile 6 illustrated in FIG. 2 is similar to the support profile 1 illustrated in FIG. 1 with the exception of a modified side edge profiling 4 a, as shown, which is likewise provided with openings 5 a for the introduction of self-tapping screws. A support profile variant 7 illustrated in FIG. 3 is similar to the support profile 1 illustrated in FIG. 1 with the exception of modified side edge profiling 4 b, as shown, and hollow-duct profiling 8, which is provided laterally centrally and has an associated hollow duct 8 a. The laterally central hollow-duct profiling 8 contributes to increased longitudinal stiffness of the support profile 7, and the hollow duct 8 a can optionally be used, for example, for electrical lines or a cooling flow medium to pass through it.
  • The support profiles 1, 6, 7 illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 3 can be produced by low-cost large-scale production methods such as extrusion, strand drawing or roll forming from a thermally conductive material such as aluminum, magnesium, stainless steel, galvanized steel, thermally conductive plastic, etc. The thermally conductive rib structure 3, which is integrated in the longitudinal support profile directly opposite the module contact surface 2, in conjunction with the choice of a suitably thermally conductive material for the support profile allows effective heat dissipation from the solar module fitted thereto, during operation of the photovoltaic system.
  • FIGS. 4 to 8 illustrate a system variant that allows a modular support structure design of various widths, by plugging a plurality of support profiles together at the side. FIG. 4 illustrates a single support profile 9 of this system variant, which is similar to that shown in FIG. 1 with the exception that edge profiling 4 c is provided on the longitudinal side and ends on the outside in plug-in profiles 10 a, 10 b which fit one another. The plug-in profiles 10 a, 10 b are designed such that one plug-in profile on one support profile can be plugged to the other plug-in profile of a further support profile, which is to be plugged onto it at the side, forming a flush upper surface. For this purpose, in this example, the plug-in profiles 10 a, 10 b each have two flexible latching tongues that project outwards at a distance from one another, with the first plug-in profiles, the left-hand plug-in profiles 10 a in FIG. 4, being provided as shown with an end latching tab, and with the other plug-in profiles, the right-hand plug-in profiles 10 b in FIG. 4, being provided with a latching groove corresponding to this. Apart from this, the edge profiling 4 c on the longitudinal side once again has openings 5 c for the introduction of self-tapping screws.
  • FIGS. 5 and 6 respectively illustrate a terminating profile 11, 12, by means of which the respective plug-in profile 10 a, 10 b on the longitudinal side of the support profile 9 as shown in FIG. 4 can be terminated when it is not intended to plug any other support profile thereto. Accordingly, the terminating profiles 11, 12 have the cross-sectional shapes shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, with the terminating profile 11 in FIG. 5 being used for plugging to the plug-in profile 10 a (shown on the left in FIG. 4) of the support profile 9, and for this purpose having latching tongues whose configuration corresponds to that of the plug-in profile 10 b (shown on the right in FIG. 4) of the support profile 9. The terminating profile 12 in FIG. 6 analogously has latching tongues, corresponding to the configuration of the left-hand plug-in profile 10 a in FIG. 4, for plugging to the plug-in profile 10 b shown on the right in FIG. 4.
  • FIG. 7 illustrates, in the form of a cross section, a completely plugged-together support structure with a single support profile 9 as shown in FIG. 4 and terminating profiles 11, 12 plugged onto the longitudinal sides, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 respectively. As can be seen from FIG. 7 in conjunction with FIGS. 5 and 6, one terminating profile 11 has a projecting step 13 on the front face, and the other terminating profile 12 has a projecting latching tongue 14 which, when the support structure is completely plugged together, in each case form a side boundary for the module contact area 2 produced on the front face by the support profile 9.
  • FIG. 8 illustrates a support structure using this system variant and comprising three plugged-together support profiles 9 as shown in FIG. 4 and the side terminating profiles 11, 12 shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, respectively. As can be seen from FIG. 8, the support profiles 9 merge on the side plug-connecting areas such that they are flush and aligned with one another on the front faces, by means of the configuration mentioned above of the interacting plug-in profiles 10 a, 10 b. This provides a broader flat module contact surface 2 which is bounded at the side only by the edge steps 13, 14 of the terminating profiles 11, 12 and is in general available as a solar module useful area. In the plug-connecting area, the interacting plug-in profiles 10 a, 10 b, as can likewise be seen in FIG. 8, form a hollow-chamber structure 15 which contributes to the longitudinal stiffness of the plugged-together support structure. The hollow ducts 15 formed by the plug connections can also be used as required for carrying lines or for carrying a coolant.
  • FIGS. 9 to 13 illustrate a modification of the system variant shown in FIGS. 4 to 8, which differs from that variant by having deeper hollow ducts in the plug connecting area, providing greater longitudinal stiffness. Accordingly, a support profile 16 (as shown in the form of a cross section in FIG. 9) is provided with deeper side plug-in profiles 10 c, 10 d, i.e., the modified side plug-in profiles 10 c, 10 d extend rearward to a greater depth than those in the system variant in FIGS. 4 to 8, and accordingly there is a correspondingly greater distance between their two latching tongues which project outwards. In a similar manner, FIGS. 10 and 11 show modified terminating profiles 11 a, 12 a for plugging, by latching and forming side terminations, onto the plug-in profiles 10 c, 10 d respectively shown on the left and right in FIG. 9. FIG. 12 shows the support profile from FIG. 9 with the terminating profiles 11 a, 12 a plugged on.
  • FIG. 13 illustrates a cross section through a support structure comprising four support profiles 16 (as shown in FIG. 9) plugged onto one another, and the terminating profiles 11 a, 12 a plugged on at the sides. As can be seen from FIG. 13, the interacting plug-in profiles 10 c, 10 d form hollow-duct structures 15 a of correspondingly great depth and with a correspondingly large cross section, and therefore contribute to achieving high strength and in particular longitudinal stiffness of the plugged-together support structure. Stiffening hollow ducts 15 b are also formed there by plugging on the terminating profiles 11 a, 12 a. The stiffening hollow-duct structures 15 a, 15 b can optionally be used, for example, to carry electrical lines or a cooling fluid. A useful area which is continuous in a flush and aligned form over the entire width is produced on the front face.
  • While the exemplary embodiments shown in FIGS. 8 and 13 show support structures in which the support profiles 9, 16 are typically plugged together before fitting a solar module, in order to produce a correspondingly broad module contact surface 2 on which the solar module is then fitted, FIGS. 14 and 15 show a system variant. In FIGS. 14 and 15, individual support profiles, fitted with solar modules in advance, are plugged together using connecting profiles to form relatively large, (i.e., broader) units. For this purpose, this sides with a respective plug-in profile 20 of the same shape, such that the respective plug-in profile 20 of the connecting profile 19 can be latched to the corresponding plug-in profile 10 e on the support profile 17, by plugging them together. FIG. 15 shows two support profiles 17 which have been plugged together in this way using the intermediate connecting profile 19, and which each have a solar module 18 fitted to them.
  • A suitably designed terminating profile 21, as is illustrated in the form of a cross section in FIG. 14 but not yet plugged in, once again ensures a closed side termination for the support profile 17. The terminating profile 21 is provided on one side with a plug-in profile which is suitable for this purpose, that is with the plug-in profile 20 as provided on both sides of the connecting profile 19.
  • As can also be seen from FIG. 15, the described process of plugging this support structure together results in the formation of longitudinally stiffening hollow-chamber structures 22 both in the area of the respective connecting profile 19 and in the edge termination area on the longitudinal side. The hollow ducts formed in this way can optionally be used for a second purpose, for example for carrying electrical lines or a cooling fluid.
  • FIG. 15A shows a variant of the support profile from FIG. 15 in which the support profile is closed by a rear-face profile wall 17 a, thus forming a hollow chamber 17 b which extends over the entire support profile width. A liquid or gaseous heating or cooling medium can be passed through hollow chamber 17 b via support profile openings 17 c at the end, and in which the thermally conductive rib structure is also located, thus allowing the support profile 17 to be heated or cooled very effectively. Furthermore, in this case as well, the hollow chamber 17 b that is formed provides mechanical robustness and/or can be used for carrying lines. In another embodiment, instead of the profile rear wall, a separate wall, for example a membrane, can also be fitted to the profile rear face in order to form a hollow chamber.
  • System variants with solar modules mounted on the support profiles in advance, as illustrated in the present case using the example of the system variant in FIGS. 14, 14A and 15 are also particularly suitable for do-it-yourself construction applications since the support profiles that have already been fitted with the solar modules can be offered or marketed individually, and can be plugged together as required to form larger, finally complete units.
  • FIGS. 16 to 23 show advantageous variants relating to the cross-sectional configuration for the connecting profile 19 of the system variant in FIGS. 14, 14A, 15 and 15A. Instead of the central web of the connecting profile 19 in FIGS. 14 and 15, a connecting profile 19A as shown in FIG. 16 has a rectangular hollow profile which is open on the rear face and provides additional longitudinal stiffening, with plug-in profiles 20 projecting from its corner areas. In comparison to the connecting profile 19 shown in FIGS. 14, 14A, 15 and 15A, a connecting profile 19 b as shown in FIG. 17 has an additional rearward opening profile with an opening 23 for introduction of a self-tapping holding screw (not illustrated). A connecting profile 19 c as shown in FIG. 18 combines the formation of a holding screw opening 23 such as this with a rectangular profile 24, which is adjacent thereto at the rear, is open at the rear and has a longitudinal stiffening effect. A connecting profile 19 d as shown in FIG. 19 corresponds to the connecting profile 19 shown in FIGS. 14, 14A, 15 and 15A with an additional rear rectangular profile 25, which is open at the rear.
  • The connecting profile variants shown in FIGS. 20 to 23 are suitable for situations in which more longitudinal stiffness is required, and for this purpose they have hollow profiles that are correspondingly deeper at the rear. A connecting profile 19 e as shown in FIG. 20 is therefore similar to the connecting profile 19 c shown in FIG. 18, with a rectangular profile 24 a drawn deeper on the rear face and with an additional holding screw opening 23 a on a connecting web 26. A connecting profile 19 f as shown in FIG. 21 corresponds to that shown in FIG. 20, but with two openings 23 b being provided, instead of the opening 23 a in the center of the web, adjacent to the two corner areas of the intermediate web 26. A connecting profile 19 g as shown in FIG. 22 is similar to that shown in FIG. 21, but is considerably broader than it and is provided with additional rear-face profiling 27 on the rear face. A connecting profile 19 h as shown in FIG. 23 is modified from that shown in FIG. 22 in that the longitudinally stiffening hollow-chamber profile part has a triangular cross section rather than a rectangular cross section. It is self-evident that the connecting profile shapes shown in FIGS. 16 to 23 can be chosen depending on the desired stiffness characteristics of the plugged-together support structure.
  • By way of example and as a representative of the use of the other connecting profile variants, FIG. 24 shows two support profiles 17 as shown in FIG. 14 with solar modules 18 fitted thereto, which are plugged onto the broad, rearward longitudinally stiffening hollow-chamber profile using the connecting profile 19 g shown in FIG. 22.
  • While exemplary embodiments of non-concentrating photovoltaic systems have been described so far, FIGS. 25 to 27 illustrate a photovoltaic system of the V-trough concentrator type. FIG. 25 shows a cross section through a support profile 28 used for this purpose, which is similar to the support profiles explained above with a front-face module contact surface 2 and thermally conductive rib structure 3 integrally formed directly on the rear face, with module boundary stops 29 being formed on the support profile 28 itself in this example, in order to bound the module contact surface 2 at the side. A plurality of these support profiles 28 can be plugged together with the interposition of a respective connecting profile 30, a cross section of which is illustrated in FIG. 26, in order to form larger units. For this purpose, the connecting profile 30 has a longitudinal groove 31 a, 31 b on each of its two sides, in which the plug-in profile or edge area on the longitudinal side of each of the support profiles 28 can be held. This can be seen in FIG. 27, which illustrates a support profile 28 and the two adjacent connecting profiles 30 of a corresponding V-trough concentrator system.
  • As can be seen from FIGS. 26 and 27, the connecting profiles 30 in this exemplary embodiment extend forward with a triangular cross section from the height of their support profile holding grooves 31 a, 31 b, thus providing reflector functional areas 32 for the V-trough concentrator type. In other words, the connecting profiles 30 have a triangular cross section and form V-trough reflector functional areas 32 in order to inject radiation 33 incident thereon in a concentrating form onto a respective solar module 34 that is fitted to the module contact surface 2 of the support profile 28. This results in a concentration factor that depends on the ratio of the projection area of the reflective V-trough surfaces 32 to the active area of the solar modules 34, with the concentration factor in the illustrated example being approximately two. Depending on the system configuration, the front triangular surfaces 32 of the connecting profiles 30 are intrinsically designed themselves to be reflective, or they are fitted with a planar reflector element, for example a suitable reflector sheet.
  • In the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 25 to 27, the respective support profile 28 can be removed with the solar module 34 fitted (when required) even with the V-trough concentrator system in the completely assembled state, without having to remove the rest of the structure to do so. For this purpose, the support profile 28 is held in the assembled state, such that it can be moved slightly laterally, in the corresponding holding grooves 31 a, 31 b of the adjacent connecting profiles 30, being held firmly by a latching connection in the in-use position, as shown in FIG. 27, in the assembled state. The latching connection includes a flexible latching tongue 35 which projects outward and is integrally formed on a longitudinal side of the support profile 28, and a latching tab 36, which interacts therewith forming a catch, on the connecting profile 30. The latching tongue 35 can be released from its position latched behind the latching tab 36 by pushing the latching tongue 35 down. After this the support profile 28 can be moved to the right in FIG. 27 as far as the end stop of the associated holding groove 31 a so that it moves out of the other holding groove 31 b and can be removed to the rear, (i.e., downward in FIG. 27) during which process the connecting profiles 30 may remain stationary.
  • FIGS. 28 to 32 illustrate a variant of the V-trough concentrator type illustrated in FIGS. 25 to 27, in which support profiles 37 are used whose cross-sectional shape are similar to that in the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 14 and 15. FIG. 28 shows the relevant support profile 37, which is respectively provided along its two longitudinal sides with one corresponding plug-in profile 10 f, that has latching tongues with latching tabs at the ends. As a variant of the support profile 37 shown in FIG. 14, FIG. 28A shows a support profile 37A with additional hollow ducts 8 c, which provide mechanical robustness and can also be used as cooling ducts or cable ducts. FIG. 29 shows a cross section through an associated connecting profile 38, which is similar that shown in FIG. 26, and in particular has the V-trough reflector functional areas 32. The connecting profile 38 in FIG. 29 differs from the connecting profile 30 in FIG. 26 in that, instead of the support profile holding grooves 31 a, 31 b on both longitudinal sides, it is provided with a plug-in profile 20 a which fits the plug-in profile 10 f of the support profile 37, in a similar manner to the plug-in profile 20 of the connecting profile 19 in the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 14 and 15. FIG. 30 illustrates a support profile 37 in its in-use state with a solar module 34 fitted and with connecting profiles 38 plugged on by latching on the sides. Apart from this, this system variant, as can be seen, corresponds to that of the V-trough concentrator system illustrated in FIGS. 25 to 27.
  • FIGS. 31 and 32 respectively illustrate a plan view and a cross-sectional view of a complete system unit of the V-trough concentrator type corresponding to the example in FIGS. 28 to 30 with five support profiles 37 located alongside one another, and with the connecting profiles 38 which are respectively adjacent at the side and provide the V-trough reflector surfaces. Four solar modules 34 of a conventional type are arranged successively in the longitudinal direction along each support profile 37, and in particular solar modules of a laminated type with a transparent front sheet can be used for this purpose.
  • As explained above with reference to various exemplary embodiments, connecting profiles can be used to join a plurality of support profiles to one another to form a broader unit. In certain cases, for example for some roof installations, it may be advantageous for the support profiles and the connecting profiles not to have to be plugged together only once they are in the installation location. On the other hand, this may be impracticable when excessively large units must be prepared and transported to the installation and assembly location. In situations such as this, it is possible to provide for only a certain number of support profiles to be plugged together using the connecting profiles to form units of a specific size which can still be handled. These units can then be transported to the final installation location where they can be connected to one another at the sides to form the final, relatively large unit.
  • FIGS. 33 to 36 show one advantageous solution for this application using suitably designed terminating profiles. Specifically, FIGS. 33 and 34 each respectively illustrate one of two terminating profiles 21 a, 21 b, which are associated in pairs, representing modifications of the terminating profile 21 shown in FIG. 14. Like the latter, these have a plug-in profile 20′ allowing them to be plugged at the side, as a termination on the longitudinal side, to a corresponding support profile (not illustrated). On the terminating side facing away from the plug-in profile 20′ the terminating profiles 21 a, 21 b have been modified from the terminating profile 21 shown in FIG. 14 by being provided there with connecting flanges 210, 211, which have U-shaped cross sections in opposite senses, and whose design is chosen such that the terminating profiles 21 a, 21 b can be joined to one another at the sides in a rainproof manner, by the flanges 210, 211 overlapping and engaging in one another in the form of a roof tile assembly or a labyrinth seal, as is illustrated in FIG. 35.
  • In this way, two units which have been prefabricated using appropriate support and connecting profiles and have been terminated on the sides by the terminating profiles 21 a, 21 b can be transported to the final installation location and can be joined together there in a rainproof manner by connecting their terminating profiles 21 a, 21 b such that they engage in one another, as shown in FIG. 35. The rainproof connection via the flanges 210, 211 of the terminating profiles 21 a, 21 b is preferably produced leaving a certain gap S in order to compensate for any manufacturing tolerances, and in particular to act as an expansion joint to absorb temperature-dependent expansion of the support structure.
  • FIG. 36 illustrates the rainproof connection via suitably designed terminating profiles using the example of a support structure formed using the support profiles illustrated in FIG. 9. Accordingly, FIG. 36 illustrates a representative detail with two support profiles 16 a, 16 b, each representing an outer support profile of two preassembled units, which apart from this are not shown in any more detail for the sake of clarity. The support profiles can be arranged using a plurality of support profiles with interposed connecting profiles in the form shown in FIG. 13. For rainproof connection of these two preassembled units, the two illustrated support profiles 16 a, 16 b are provided on their facing longitudinal sides with plugged-on pairs of terminating profiles 112, 111. The plug-in profile design corresponds to the connecting profiles in FIGS. 10 and 11 and which have suitable U-shaped connecting flanges 111 a, 112 a on their terminating side, which overlap and engage in one another in a rainproof manner as in the example in FIG. 35. This allows the preassembled units to be connected to one another at the sides such that they are rainproof in a very simple manner, to form larger units at the final installation location. Once again, this connection is also advantageously provided with a certain gap S in order to provide an expansion joint.
  • The support structure according to the invention allows relatively long lengths to be produced, depending on the system configuration, without any additional lateral supports, for example without any problems between about 2 m and about 10 m and in particular between about 4 m and about 6 m long. In applications in which a plurality of units that plugged together from one or more support profiles and may have connecting profiles between them are also intended to be arranged in a row in the longitudinal direction, for example for installation of systems on roofs with long fascias, suitable lateral supports can be used as end connecting elements and are in the form of weather-resistant shingles. In this case the lateral supports can also be used for end attachment of the support profiles and, if appropriate, of the connecting profiles, and if required can be manufactured like them, for example as extruded profiles.
  • In exemplary applications which make use of the connecting profiles, it is preferable to produce not only the support profiles but also the connecting profiles from highly thermally conductive material, and also for the connection of the support profiles to the connecting profiles to be designed to be thermally conductive. This results in both the support profiles and the connecting profiles acting as effective cooling areas. By way of example, this is advantageous in the embodiments of the V-trough type illustrated in FIGS. 26 to 32 since the connecting profiles 30, 38 there form relatively large-area or large-volume profile bodies, which provide correspondingly large heat dissipation areas and high heat absorption capacities in addition to the surface areas of the support profiles and their heat dissipation structure.
  • FIGS. 37 to 39 illustrate a system variant of the parabolic concentrator type comprising support profiles 60 joined to one another by plugging them in at the sides, corresponding to FIG. 37 and connecting profiles 61 corresponding to FIG. 38. In particular, each support profile 60, as is illustrated in detail in FIG. 37, is in the form of a hollow-duct profile that is symmetrical about the longitudinal center and has two reflector functional areas in the form of parabolic reflectors 62 a, 62 b and plug-in profiles 63 on the longitudinal sides, with the shape of the plug-in profiles 63 corresponding to that of the plug-in profiles 10 e of the support profile 17 shown in FIG. 14. The connecting profile 61 (illustrated in the form of a cross section in FIG. 38) has plug-in profiles 64 on both sides which correspond to the plug-in profile 63 of the support profile 60, and to this extent is similar to the connecting profile 19 shown in FIG. 14. Furthermore, a tubular profiled part 65 is integrally formed on the front face of the profiled base body, to which the plug-in profiles 64 are fitted, of the connecting profile 61, and acts as a solar module functional area or solar module element.
  • FIG. 39 shows a detail of the system design which has been plugged together using the support profile 60 illustrated in FIG. 37 and the connecting profile 61 illustrated in FIG. 38, in which any desired number of support profiles 60 are plugged together on the longitudinal side, with the interposition of the connecting profiles 61. To this extent, reference can be made to the above statements relating, for example, to the system shown in FIG. 15, and the variants derived from it. Each of the reflector surfaces 62 a, 62 b which are provided on the front face of the support profiles 60 reflects radiation that is incident on its front face in a concentrated form in the direction of the respective solar module element 65 which is adjacent at the side, projects on the front face of the connecting profile 61 and is therefore located at the focal point of the relevant reflector 62 a, 62 b. As can be seen from FIG. 39, two adjacent reflectors 62 a, 62 b which are associated with two adjacent support profiles 60 in each case act on the same solar module element 65 between them. The reflectors 62 a, 62 b may be formed by the relevant support profile surface itself or may be applied to this surface, for example as a reflector sheet or by coating.
  • Depending on the application, the solar module element 65 may be a thermal solar collector element or a photovoltaic element. In the former case, the solar module element 65 is, for example, in the form of thermal solar collector tubes of a conventional type per se, in which a heat carrier medium (which can be heated by the concentrated incident radiation) is carried in the interior of the tubes. In the latter case, the solar module element may, for example, be in the form of a monolithic photovoltaic module body or a photovoltaic sheet element or a photovoltaic coating applied to a suitably shaped mount which may have the illustrated tubular shape or, in alternative exemplary embodiments, any other desired shape, as well.
  • In the illustrated example, the solar module element 65 forms an integral component of the connecting profile 61, so that they can be manufactured jointly as a single profiled body, with the solar module element 65 being connected to the connecting profile base body via a web 66. If the connecting profile 61 is produced from thermally conductive material, the web 66 at the same time forms a thermally conductive connection from the solar module element 65 to the connecting profile base body, and thus to the support structure of the plugged-together system as shown in FIG. 39. In alternative embodiments, the solar module element is manufactured as a separate component, separately from the connecting profile, and is attached to it or to other structural parts of the support structure of the overall system. By way of example, the attachment to the respective connecting profile may be made as required using a thermally conductive or thermally insulating connection, in order to thermally couple the solar module element to the rest of the support structure in the desired manner, or to keep them thermally decoupled.
  • As will be clear from the illustrated exemplary embodiments and those explained above, the invention provides a combined support and cooling profile which can be produced comparatively easily, is designed to be self-supporting as a rib longitudinal profile and/or hollow longitudinal profile, and includes an integrally formed heat dissipation structure which is thermally conductively connected to a module holding surface and/or a reflector functional area, as in the case of the illustrated V-trough and parabolic concentrator types, so that heat can be effectively dissipated from there. The reduction that this allows to be achieved in the operating temperature of solar modules that have been fitted allows a greater energy yield. This applies both to photovoltaic cells composed of crystalline silicon and to thin-film solar cells on a sheet, sheet metal or membrane mount. The support profiles can be produced very easily and at low cost, for example by extrusion, strand drawing or roll forming from thermally conductive material, such as aluminum, magnesium, stainless steel, galvanized steel or a thermally conductive plastic material. The support structure concept according to the invention allows a very high level of prefabrication and parallel assembly for corresponding photovoltaic systems. It is self-evident that the invention can be used in the same way for thermal solar collector systems.
  • The support structure concept according to the invention is suitable for large-scale integrated photovoltaic systems in large power stations in the same way as in the open air and for building integration. Roof or facade elements including shadow laminate installations can be installed without a complex substructure, with relatively little installation effort, for example as a building skin. A high degree of modularity of such a facade and roof systems is achieved, which can be oriented primarily to the physical constraints, such as the facade grid, storey height etc.
  • Self-supporting photovoltaic module units of a relatively low weight can be produced with high robustness and in particular with longitudinal stiffness particularly advantageously by a combination of support profiles composed of aluminum, which for example are manufactured as strand-drawn elements, with photovoltaic sheet laminates, in which case embodiments both of the flat module type and of the concentrated V-trough type as well as of the concentrating parabolic linear concentrator type are possible, as explained above. The concentrator types are preferably suitable for installations with readjustment facility. The systems of the flat module type are suitable not only for rigid outdoor installations but also for outdoor installations with readjustment, and for building integration on facades and on roofs.
  • The invention provides a support structure which can be produced easily and has a combined support/cooling profile, with comparatively high torsional and bending stiffness and a long minimum support width. The support/cooling profile carries out the entire support function for the solar module elements and/or reflector elements that are fitted and are attached thereto, for example, by suitable clamped joints, joining techniques and/or adhesive joints. At the same time, the support profile acts as a heat sink.
  • If required, the support profiles are connected at the end, for example via integrated screw ducts and/or on slot ducts in the form of a drawn-in attachment, to suitable, conventional lateral supports, to form larger support units. In the variants with side plug-in profiles, the support profiles are plugged together directly or with connecting profiles between them in each case to form larger support units as required, in order to accommodate more and/or larger solar modules and/or reflector elements. Depending on the type, the support profiles are first connected to form a closed contact surface, to which the solar modules or reflector elements are then applied. This allows a very high coverage degree. Alternatively, the individual support profiles first have the solar modules and/or reflector elements applied to them, and they are then connected to form relatively large functional areas, based on the building-block method. An analogous procedure may, of course, also be adopted with support profile groups composed of a plurality of connected support profiles.
  • The solar modules are preferably provided with transparent front sheets instead of front glasses, which has advantages in terms of the thermal expansion coefficient, weight, risk of fracture and format restriction and they are connected with a good thermal contact to the support profile located underneath, for example by direct lamination on or indirectly by adhesive bonding or clamping on of prelaminated units, for example photovoltaic laminates without glass.
  • When flat module units are statically integrated into the building skin, the support profiles which are provided with side plug-in profiles may, for example, be preassembled to form relatively large support units matched to the building grid system, and are then provided with a photovoltaic sheet composite as a solar module by lamination, adhesive bonding etc. In the case of systems with readjustment, the support units are mounted on appropriate lateral supports such that they can rotate. In corresponding embodiments, a plurality of support units are combined via suitable coupling elements, such as tie rods and compression rods, to form relatively large system units, and are readjusted to follow the incident light, using a common drive. For example, ten or more rotating units in each case with a solar module area of about 7.5 m2 may be connected to form a subsystem on a stand. Installations such as these on stands can be installed both outdoors as well as on flat roofs and inclined roofs. For systems with readjustment, it is possible to use solar module units according to the invention both of the flat module type and of the concentrating V-trough type, as well as of the concentrating parabolic trough type.
  • In a further advantageous embodiment with a stand, the support profiles are assembled for solar readjustment to form large table units and are connected via drawn-in lateral supports to a central rotation apparatus with a vertical rotation axis. In this arrangement, which is particularly suitable for outdoor use, rotation units or subsystems with a solar module area of more than 100 m2 can be produced. In a further optimized stand form, the inclination angle of the rotating tables can also be swiveled, thus allowing two-axis readjustment for the time of day.
  • As discussed above, the implementation according to the invention of the support profiles as self-supporting rib longitudinal profiles and/or hollow longitudinal profiles is adequate to support the support structures constructed in this way in the end face areas, and there is no absolute necessity for further lateral bracing between the end holder or mounting of the support structures constructed in this way. This is because the support profiles have adequate self-supporting longitudinal stiffness with a comparatively low natural weight, by virtue of their rib-profile and/or hollow-profile structure.

Claims (20)

  1. 1. A solar module system comprising:
    a self-supporting support structure; and
    at least one solar module element or reflector element arranged on the support structure, wherein
    the support structure includes at least one self-supporting hollow longitudinal profile as a support profile with a solar module functional area or a reflector functional area, the support profile having a plug-in profile on the longitudinal side for attachment of a further support profile, a connecting profile, or a terminating profile at the side, or having a heat dissipation structure which is thermally conductively coupled to its solar module functional area or its reflector functional area, or
    the support structure includes at least one self-supporting rib longitudinal profile as a support profile with a solar module functional area or a reflector functional area, the support profile having a plug-in profile on the longitudinal side for attachment of a further support profile or of a connecting profile or of a terminating profile at the side.
  2. 2. The solar module system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the solar module system is of a V-trough concentrator type and the connecting profile has a hollow-chamber longitudinal profile that has at least one profile side surface which acts as a reflector functional area to provide a reflective V-trough wall surface.
  3. 3. The solar module system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the solar module system is of a parabolic concentrator type, in which the support profile has a parabolic reflector functional area, that is associated with a solar module element that is arranged or formed on a front face of a connecting profile or terminating profile that is attached to the support profile at the side.
  4. 4. The solar module system as claimed in claim 1, wherein
    one or more hollow chambers are formed on the support profile or on the connecting profile or
    the plug connection of the plug-in profile on the longitudinal side or the terminating profile has a shape for forming a hollow chamber or chambers.
  5. 5. The solar module system as claimed in claim 1 wherein the connecting profile is attached to the support profile at the side of using a thermally conductive connection.
  6. 6. The solar module system as claimed in claim 1 wherein the plug-in profile has a form into which a respective support profile is fitted by latching between two stationary connecting profiles and can be removed by unlatching it.
  7. 7. The solar module system as claimed in claim 1 wherein pairs of terminating profiles are provided for engaging in one another in a rainproof manner.
  8. 8. The solar module system as claimed in claim 1 wherein the support profile, the connecting profile or the terminating profile has an extruded, strand-drawn or roll-formed profile.
  9. 9. The solar module system as claimed in claim 1 wherein the support profile, the connecting profile, or the terminating profile comprise an aluminum, magnesium, stainless steel, a galvanized steel or thermally conductive plastic material.
  10. 10. The solar module system as claimed in claim 1 wherein the plug-in profile or the connecting profile is arranged to connect two support profiles with an aligned useful face to form a continuous solar module useful surface/reflector useful surface.
  11. 11. The solar module system as claimed in claim 2, wherein one or more hollow chambers are formed on the support profile or on the connecting profile or
    the plug connection of the plug-in profile on the longitudinal side or the terminating profile has a shape for forming a hollow chamber or chambers.
  12. 12. The solar module system as claimed in claim 3, wherein one or more hollow chambers are formed on the support profile or on the connecting profile or
    the plug connection of the plug-in profile on the longitudinal side or the terminating profile has a shape for forming a hollow chamber or chambers.
  13. 13. The solar module system as claimed in claim 2, wherein the connecting profile is attached to the support profile at the side using a thermally conductive connection.
  14. 14. The solar module system as claimed in claim 3, wherein the connecting profile is attached to the support profile at the side using a thermally conductive connection.
  15. 15. The solar module system as claimed in claim 4, wherein the connecting profile is attached to the support profile at the side using a thermally conductive connection.
  16. 16. The solar module system as claimed in claim 2, wherein the plug-in profile has a form into which a respective support profile is fitted by latching between two stationary connecting profiles and can be removed by unlatching it.
  17. 17. The solar module system as claimed in claim 3, wherein the plug-in profile has a form into which a respective support profile is fitted by latching between two stationary connecting profiles and can be removed by unlatching it.
  18. 18. The solar module system as claimed in claim 4, wherein the plug-in profile has a form into which a respective support profile is fitted by latching between two stationary connecting profiles and can be removed by unlatching it.
  19. 19. The solar module system as claimed in claim 5, wherein the plug-in profile has a form into which a respective support profile is fitted by latching between two stationary connecting profiles and can be removed by unlatching it.
  20. 20. The solar module system as claimed in claim 2, wherein pairs of terminating profiles are provided for engaging in one another in a rainproof manner.
US12280325 2006-02-23 2007-02-22 Solar Module System With Support Structure Abandoned US20090095284A1 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
DE200610009412 DE102006009412A1 (en) 2006-02-23 2006-02-23 Solar modular system has self-supporting support structure, support profile with lateral inserted profile for laterally adding an additional support profile or connecting profile or terminal profile and heat dissipation structure
DE102006009412.3 2006-02-23
PCT/EP2007/001524 WO2007096157A3 (en) 2006-02-23 2007-02-22 Solar module system with support structure

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