US20140090310A1 - Solar Roof Module for metal buildings - Google Patents

Solar Roof Module for metal buildings Download PDF

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Publication number
US20140090310A1
US20140090310A1 US13/644,101 US201213644101A US2014090310A1 US 20140090310 A1 US20140090310 A1 US 20140090310A1 US 201213644101 A US201213644101 A US 201213644101A US 2014090310 A1 US2014090310 A1 US 2014090310A1
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Prior art keywords
solar
metal
roof panel
power
module
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Abandoned
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US13/644,101
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Ralph Gregory Greene
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Ralph Gregory Greene
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Priority to US13/644,101 priority Critical patent/US20140090310A1/en
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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04DROOF COVERINGS; SKY-LIGHTS; GUTTERS; ROOF-WORKING TOOLS
    • E04D3/00Roof covering by making use of flat or curved slabs or stiff sheets
    • E04D3/35Roofing slabs or stiff sheets comprising two or more layers, e.g. for insulation
    • E04D3/351Roofing slabs or stiff sheets comprising two or more layers, e.g. for insulation at least one of the layers being composed of insulating material, e.g. fibre or foam material
    • 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
    • F24S25/33Arrangement 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 forming substantially planar assemblies, e.g. of coplanar or stacked profiles
    • 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
    • F24S25/61Fixation means, e.g. fasteners, specially adapted for supporting solar heat collector modules for fixing to the ground or to building structures
    • 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
    • F24S25/61Fixation means, e.g. fasteners, specially adapted for supporting solar heat collector modules for fixing to the ground or to building structures
    • F24S25/615Fixation means, e.g. fasteners, specially adapted for supporting solar heat collector modules for fixing to the ground or to building structures for fixing to protruding parts of buildings, e.g. to corrugations or to standing seams
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24SSOLAR HEAT COLLECTORS; SOLAR HEAT SYSTEMS
    • F24S40/00Safety or protection arrangements of solar heat collectors; Preventing malfunction of solar heat collectors
    • 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
    • H02S20/20Supporting structures directly fixed to an immovable object
    • H02S20/22Supporting structures directly fixed to an immovable object specially adapted for buildings
    • H02S20/23Supporting structures directly fixed to an immovable object specially adapted for buildings specially adapted for roof structures
    • 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
    • H02S20/20Supporting structures directly fixed to an immovable object
    • H02S20/22Supporting structures directly fixed to an immovable object specially adapted for buildings
    • H02S20/26Building materials integrated with PV modules, e.g. façade elements
    • 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
    • H02S40/00Components or accessories in combination with PV modules, not provided for in groups H02S10/00 - H02S30/00
    • H02S40/30Electrical components
    • H02S40/38Energy storage means, e.g. batteries, structurally associated with PV modules
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F21LIGHTING
    • F21SNON-PORTABLE LIGHTING DEVICES; SYSTEMS THEREOF; VEHICLE LIGHTING DEVICES SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLE EXTERIORS
    • F21S9/00Lighting devices with a built-in power supply; Systems employing lighting devices with a built-in power supply
    • F21S9/02Lighting devices with a built-in power supply; Systems employing lighting devices with a built-in power supply the power supply being a battery or accumulator
    • F21S9/022Emergency lighting devices
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F21LIGHTING
    • F21SNON-PORTABLE LIGHTING DEVICES; SYSTEMS THEREOF; VEHICLE LIGHTING DEVICES SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLE EXTERIORS
    • F21S9/00Lighting devices with a built-in power supply; Systems employing lighting devices with a built-in power supply
    • F21S9/02Lighting devices with a built-in power supply; Systems employing lighting devices with a built-in power supply the power supply being a battery or accumulator
    • F21S9/03Lighting devices with a built-in power supply; Systems employing lighting devices with a built-in power supply the power supply being a battery or accumulator rechargeable by exposure to light
    • F21S9/032Lighting devices with a built-in power supply; Systems employing lighting devices with a built-in power supply the power supply being a battery or accumulator rechargeable by exposure to light the solar unit being separate from the lighting unit
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08BSIGNALLING OR CALLING SYSTEMS; ORDER TELEGRAPHS; ALARM SYSTEMS
    • G08B19/00Alarms responsive to two or more different undesired or abnormal conditions, e.g. burglary and fire, abnormal temperature and abnormal rate of flow
    • G08B19/005Alarms responsive to two or more different undesired or abnormal conditions, e.g. burglary and fire, abnormal temperature and abnormal rate of flow combined burglary and fire alarm 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
    • 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]
    • Y02B10/12Roof systems for PV cells
    • 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
    • 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
    • Y02PCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES IN THE PRODUCTION OR PROCESSING OF GOODS
    • Y02P90/00Enabling technologies with a potential contribution to greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions mitigation
    • Y02P90/50Energy storage in industry with an added climate change mitigation effect

Abstract

The Solar Roof Module is a factory assembled Roof mounted Solar Power system that incorporates a Solar panel for generating DC Power, a battery system for power storage which is used by dedicated purpose components such as Lighting, Security and Fire Safety Alarm systems. The solar roof module is operated with advanced management and wireless control features. The solar roof module is incorporated into a Metal Roof Panel that will allow it to be simply installed onto a metal building roof during construction.

Description

    PRIORITY OF INVENTION
  • This non-provisional claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. 119 to provisional application No. 61/626,842 titled Solar roof module FOR METAL BUILDINGS, filed on Oct. 3, 2011, by Ralph Gregory Greene which is hereby incorporated by reference for any purpose.
  • The country code for filing under the Paris Convention is: U.S. 61/626,842, with Foreign Filing License Granted Date: Oct. 19, 2011
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • A common drawback to traditional and current Photovoltaic Solar Power systems is that they can be costly and difficult to install. Some large Solar Power installations require long term equipment leases or contracts.
  • In a traditional “Off-Grid” Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Panel and Battery Storage systems, the capacity of the Battery pack would be sized to incorporate a storage factor to allow for up to a 5 days of low or no power from the Sun. Solar energy from the Sun is termed “Insolation” and the number of days that a Battery pack can provide power without receiving power is referred to as “Number of days of Battery Autonomy”.
  • With traditional Off-Grid PV Solar Panel power systems, the Depth of Discharge (DOD) of a Battery system should be no more than 20-30% of capacity to obtain the best service life of the battery system.
  • The battery storage capacity of an Off-Grid system must be large when up to 5 days of Battery Autonomy and the 20-30% Depth of Discharge factors are considered. These factors make Off-Grid Battery system costs very high. The cost, size and weight of an Off-Grid Battery system can be a major drawback along with the replacement costs of the Batteries when the service life of the batteries is reached.
  • In traditional “Grid-Connected” PV Solar Power systems, the Battery Storage system is eliminated and power generated from the Solar energy and PV Solar panels is converted to AC and feed back into the mains grid thru “Net Metering” where excess power generated by the PV Solar system is fed into the mains power system thru a meter that will measure power flow from and back to the power mains grid to credit the power supplied to the mains grid to the owner of the PV Solar Power system. Some US States require a separate power meter to calculate power fed back into the grid only.
  • Connection to the Mains power grid for Grid feedback requires technical expertise, specialized equipment and may require permits from the local Utilities in some areas.
  • Mounting and installation can be a major cost and issue for installing Solar power systems onto roof tops, especially in commercial applications where the cost of a leak into the building and potential for damage to inventory or equipment could be very high.
  • Commercial buildings with metal roofs are made from thin gauge metal and are not designed to support light or even moderate loads on the high rib sections of the metal roof panels. To transfer load to the secondary structure of the metal building, the load must be attached to the pan part of the metal roof panel. The pan section of the roof panel is the low part which has bearing surface onto the secondary structural purlin.
  • When water falls onto a metal roof panel, it flows down into the pan section to the end of the roof panel. To avoid roof leaks, penetrations of the metal roof panel should be limited and never made where there is no underlying secondary support.
  • Any obstructions in the water flow path in the pan section of the roof metal panel can cause water to dam and lead to leaks. All metal building roof panels are designed to be installed with some degree of slope to drain water off of the roof panel.
  • With sloped metal roofs and solar power collection panels, it is important to be able to adjust the tilt or angle of the solar power panel to a position where sunlight will strike the panel. Buildings are not generally constructed with the angle of sunlight as a consideration and buildings with peaked roofs have two different angles. Being able to adjust the angle of solar power collector is needed for most sloped roof building applications.
  • SUMMARY
  • A principle objective of the current invention is to provide a Photovoltaic Solar panel powered Roof Module that provides a building's Lighting, Security and Fire Alarm Protection system that can be used to operate up to 24 hours per day.
  • A further objective of the current invention is to substantially reduce the power usage required for the Building's roof mounted Warehouse/manufacturing/assembly lighting.
  • Another objective of the current invention is to provide a Photovoltaic Solar Panel powered Lighting, Security and Fire Alarm Protection system with extended service life to reduce cost of maintenance and replacement parts.
  • Another important objective of the current invention is to provide a Photovoltaic Solar Powered Lighting, Security and Fire Alarm Protection system that is independently powered and can provide Lighting, Security and Fire Alarm Protection in an emergency or mains power outage.
  • A still further objective of the current invention is to provide a Photovoltaic Solar Panel powered Lighting, Security and Fire Alarm Protection system that greatly minimizes the required Battery storage capacity of the system to minimize cost, size and weight.
  • Another objective of the current invention is to provide a Photovoltaic Solar Panel powered Lighting, Security and Fire Alarm Protection system that does not require specialized installation, equipment or highly trained technicians to further reduce the cost of the installed system.
  • A further objective of the current invention is to provide a Photovoltaic Solar Panel powered Lighting, Security and Fire Alarm Protection system that has advanced lighting controls that may automatically or manually adjust to ambient lighting conditions or operate only when occupants are present to reduce lighting power consumption. The Lighting Controls may be a wireless or wired system that has adjustments for individual and grouped lights so the buildings lighting may be adjusted and managed as needed rather than a typical ON/OFF lighting switch.
  • Another objective of the current invention is to provide a Photovoltaic Solar Panel powered Lighting, Security and Fire Alarm Protection system that can be designed with a new metal building roof system to maximize the lighting efficiency and work with roof and wall natural daylight harvesting.
  • The present inventions objective is to provide a device and method to utilize Solar Powered LED internal/external lighting and other electrical components as modules with Metal Building roofs.
  • One objective of the present invention is to provide a method for attaching the Solar panel to top side of a metal roofing panel and a control box with the LED Light or other electrical device on the bottom side. By utilizing the same roof panel as on the building, there is a much less chance that the panel will develop leaks versus using a roof curb or other method to mount the external Solar panel component.
  • Additionally, by using the standard roof panel, the Solar roof module can be installed during the roofing construction in the same manner as all of the roof panels and will not require specialized installation after the building construction which adds to the cost of the system.
  • Traditionally, to attach an external component to a metal building roof; the attachment screw/bolt thru the roof panel would be made in the pan part of the roofing panel which has contact with the roofing Purlin below.
  • In the present invention, a roof panel High Rib metal support Strut will be used under the roof panels high ribs to provide an attachment point for the Solar Panel thru the high rib which will greatly reduce the chance of a leak occurring on the roofing panel.
  • Further, the High Rib metal support Strut will provide an attachment and support for the control box section of the Solar Module mounted underneath the roofing panel. The High Rib metal support Strut is sized and dimensioned for the roofing span, enviromental and component loads.
  • Another Objective of the present invention is to provide a complete Solar Powered system in the form a module that does not require any specialized wiring or technical installation which is a major drawback to current Solar systems.
  • In another form of the present invention, A Solar panel is pre-mounted to a reinforced metal building roof panel with a Control box mounted to the bottom side of the roof panel which houses the Battery (s), Control system and has a LED Light attached and wired into the control box. The bottom of the Roofing panel is pre-insulated and the complete module is ready for installation when the metal roofing panels are installed during the construction process.
  • In one preferred form, the Solar roof module is a complete and independent system that may be Turned OFF/ON and programmed to operate automatically by a wireless controller so that once the Solar roof module is installed on the roof; it may be immediately used for lighting and security during the building's construction process.
  • As a complete and independent system, the DC power from the Solar panels does not need to be converted to AC power for use with the LED Lighting systems which saves both cost and complexity of the system.
  • The size/output and type of Solar Panels, batteries, LED Light and other components may be determined by the requirements and use of the Building. The Solar roof module length may be determined by the size of the solar panels and can be made longer or shorter as required. Additionally, multiple Solar roof module units may be installed side by side or end to end and connected as needed.
  • The LED lighting for the Solar roof module system that can be used may be determined by the lighting requirements of the Building and may be specified as Low Bay, High Bay, Grid lights, tube or other types as required by the lighting needs of the building.
  • Another embodiment of the present invention is to provide a method for 24 hour use of the Lighting or other components of the Solar roof module system. A preferred method would be to utilize a controller to determine the battery power level and if the battery level becomes too low to operate the components, then a plugged in power connection would provide power to the components and/or to recharge the battery power when required. This Hybrid Plug-In system would be an optional system for the Solar roof module.
  • A preferred method for utilizing “Hybrid Plug-In Technology” for the Solar roof module system would be for the controller to determine if the batteries power is low for the next use cycle and to sense when it is night with the external light sensor and to charge the battery power when the power cost is at off peak time. With this method, the Solar roof module system may provide up to 24 hours per day of use at all times and only use Grid power if it is needed. The power cost may be lowered by utilizing OFF-Peak power for charging the battery system.
  • The Solar roof module system may also be used for other components such as Wireless Security Camera's, External lighting for the building.
  • The Solar roof module system may be utilized in the roof Peak caps of metal building as well.
  • Additionally, the Solar roof module system can be used for installation of solar water heater systems with Metal buildings.
  • DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1-A A Solar roof module unit
  • FIG. 1-B Solar roof module top view
  • FIG. 1-C A Solar roof module exploded view
  • FIG. 2 End view of Roof PV Panel support components and roof panel
  • FIG. 3 Structural components view
  • FIG. 4 Section view of roof panel and mounting bolts
  • FIG. 5 Section view of mounting bolt, sealing washer and structural washer
  • REFERENCE NUMERALS
      • 100 metal roof panel
      • 102 PV solar panel
      • 104 metal support strut
      • 106 metal frame housing
      • 108 LED low bay light
      • 110 Battery or power storage
      • 112 roof purlin
      • 114 roof skylight panel
      • 116 High bay light
      • 118 mounting and lift frame
      • 120 Solar roof module assembly—Solar roof module unit
      • 122 metal roof panel high rib
      • 124 metal roof panel section
      • 126 metal support strut head
      • 128 metal support strut tail
      • 130 low side roof panel
      • 132 high side roof panel
      • 134 purlin support brace
      • 136 control box housing side cover
      • 140 smoke sensor
      • 142 motion sensor
      • 144 mounting and sealing bolts
      • 146 insulation
      • 148 bulkhead wiring bolt
      • 150 control box housing
      • 152 battery strap
      • 154 lock washer
      • 156 mounting bolt nut
      • 158 structural spacer
    DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Manufactured Metal Buildings are designed as a system of components that are assembled on the Building's construction site to create a complete Building Structure. Each component of the Metal Building is pre-fabricated by the Metal Building manufacturer to the required dimensions, Load Bearing strengths, etc as needed for the Building specifications.
  • The pre-fabricated components allow a Metal Building to be constructed (assembled) on the Building site very quickly and economically. The pre-fabricated design allows the building to be engineered specifically for the Building's use, required Building Loads and location.
  • The Design and Construction of Metal Buildings is very well suited for use of the Solar roof module units which are also pre-fabricated and ready to install during the Metal Building's assembly.
  • Metal Building's utilize Metal Roofing panels 100 that are pre-cut to length and are designed for specific placement on the Building's roof.
  • Some Metal Building Roofing panels 100, are designed as Skylights which are made from a Translucent or Transparent material to allow Natural Daylight to light the Building's interior. The Skylight locations are determined by the Building's roofing plan. When using skylights incorporated with a metal building roof, an ambient light sensor may be used with the Lighting control to reduce or de-activate the powered lighting when ambient lighting is present.
  • In the 1st Embodiment Shown in the Figures
  • The Solar roof module unit 120 is manufactured onto a standard Metal Building Roofing panel 100, so that it can be installed onto the Metal Building's roof during the Building's construction without the need for special roofing details or techniques.
  • The Metal Building Solar roof module unit installs onto the Roof with the same roofing details as a Skylight except that the Solar roof module unit 120 is may be a single 5′ span rather than a Skylights normal 10′ length or double spans. Utilizing a standard Roof Panel as a Solar roof module component allows the Roof penetrations for the mounting and lifting frame 118 and the PV wiring to be placed on the top of the High Rib 122 so that it is not directly in the water flow path. The water flow path is in the Roof Panel Pan area 124. This allows water to flow normally over the Solar roof module Roof Panel component 100 rather than blocking the water flow as do many standard Roof Curb and other roof mounted components.
  • Further, the Roof Panel penetrations are also located under the PV Solar Panel 102 which acts as a Roof Cover to the penetrations so that Rain water does not directly fall onto the mounting and sealing bolts 144 and the bulkhead wiring bolt 148. The wires going thru the bulkhead wiring bolt can be epoxy, silicone sealed or grommet sealed into the bolt so as to be leak proof. The mounting and sealing bolts 144 may be at different lengths to hold the external PV panel and at pre-fixed or adjustable tilted angle.
  • The PV Solar Panel 102 and the metal Building Roof Panel 100 along with all of the Solar roof module unit 120 components are factory assembled in a controlled environment which is greatly advantageous versus field installing the components onto the Building roof after the building has been fully constructed. This further saves the additional labor, time and equipment that would be required to field install a system after the building has been erected.
  • The equipment and labor to erect and assemble the metal building is already on the job site and by utilizing it to install the Solar roof module unit 120 reduces the cost of the system greatly.
  • Structural Frame
  • Standard metal building roof systems have Purlins 112 that are normally spaced on 5′-0″ centers plus roof slope adjustment FIG. 3, which support the roof panels 100.
  • The Solar roof module unit 120 utilizes two Purlin Struts 104 to span from Purlin 112 to Purlin 112 to support the components above and below the Roof Panel 100 of the Solar roof module unit 120.
  • The lightweight Purlin Strut 104 can be made in several forms such as a square tube, rectangle, trapezoid, angled or an open channel, plus other standard or non-standard forms to run under the Roof Panel's 100 High Rib 122. A sealant tape can be used to provide a space between the Purlin Strut 104 and the underside of the Roof Panel 100 High Rib 122.
  • A Purlin Top Hook 126 may be incorporated into the high side end of the metal support Strut 104 to help hold and secure the Solar roof module unit to the High side Purlin during installation onto the Building roof.
  • A Purlin Base Tail 128 feature is incorporated into the low side end of the Purlin Strut 104 to allow space for the overlap of the low side roof panel and to help guide the Purlin Strut under the low side roof panel and to allow space for the Low Side panel end lap and sealant tape or a silicone gel to be used.
  • In some cases, a Purlin Support Brace may be used to brace the bottom of the High Side and Low Side Purlins 112 to the Solar roof module Purlin Struts 104 which may be in the form of a small brace angle. The Purlin Support brace may be attached to the Purlin by means of a screw or Bolt Fastener.
  • The Solar roof module unit panel may be longer than a single Purlin to Purlin span which is typically 5′ plus roof slope adjustment. The Solar roof module unit Metal Roof Panel 100 may be 2 or more standard Purlin Spans to accommodate larger PV Solar Panel 102 or Lighting systems.
  • Types of Metal Roof Panels
  • Metal Building Roofs are designed with some degree of roof slope to flow water off of the roof. Metal Building Roof Panels have different Profiles, metal thickness and designs that are based on the spans (Purlin to Purlin), loads, Roof Slope and desired fastening features.
  • Metal Building Roofs with a higher degree of slope such as the standard 1:12, 2:12 and above typically utilize metal roof panels that are attached to the Purlins with penetrating fasteners such as Screws or Rivets that pierce thru the metal roof panel. One Standard Metal Roof panel with penetrating fasteners is called the “R” panel or “PBR panel. The R and PBR metal roof panels are generally attached to each other on the side with a Side Lap Screw (stitch) or a Rivet type of fastener.
  • Metal Building roofs with lower degrees of roof slope such as ¼:12 and ½:12 generally utilize a “Standing Seam” type of metal roof panel that has concealed fasteners that do not pierce the roof panel. The Standing Seam roof panel type generally has a side to side locking system that is either a “Clip Lock” or “Mechanically Seamed” locking and sealing for the Side laps. The Standing Seam roof panel can be effective with lower roof slopes because there are no roof penetrations thru the roofing panels. The current invention can be utilized with any type of metal roofing panel configured with at least a high rib on each side.
  • In the 1st embodiment, the metal support struts 104 support and are attached to a metal frame housing 106, which incorporates and houses the batteries 110, the control box side covers 136, the LED warehouse light 108, the motion sensor 142, the smoke sensor 140 and the control box housing 150 which houses the control and operational housing and wiring for the Solar Roof Modules operation and function.
  • Operation of the Solar Roof Module
  • Power Saving Lighting and Lighting Controls
  • In one preferred embodiment, a DC LED Lighting unit 108 or 116 is incorporated with the Solar roof module unit and is used to provide the building's interior lighting. LED Lighting is up to 50-80% more power efficient than standard lighting and has a very long service life of up to 10 years or more without the need for lamp replacement or maintenance. Other types of energy efficient Lighting may be utilized by the Solar roof module system such as HID, Fluorescent, HPS, etc.
  • Occupancy Sensor Control
  • The Solar roof module unit Lighting Control system can reduce power usage by utilizing Occupancy sensors that turn on the Lighting when a person(s) is detected in a detection zone and can keep the lighting ON for a pre-set or programmed period of time after the person(s) has left the detection zone. An option for Sound Light activation may also be incorporated which can be used for security lighting as well.
  • Automatic Dimming
  • Buildings that utilize Roof and Wall Skylights to allow natural Daylight into the building during the day can greatly reduce the lighting needed from the Lighting system. The Solar roof module LED Lighting Control System utilizes Automatic Dimming when daylight or ambient light is present to reduce the Lighting output which can save power usage.
  • Solar Roof Module Power Management
  • A principle function of the Solar roof module unit is to reduce the cost of power usage for the Building's roof mounted lighting for warehouse, manufacturing and retail applications. In one embodiment; a Photovoltaic Solar Panel 102 provides power in the form of Direct Current (DC) which is stored in the Solar roof module mounted DC Battery system 110. In the same embodiment one method is to utilize one or two 12VDC batteries 110 inside the Solar roof module Control box 106 for DC power storage. Utilizing DC power for the LED Lighting can save the 10-15% power inverter conversion efficiency losses when converting to AC power.
  • The Solar roof module unit is not a traditional Off-Grid PV Solar Power system that relies only on Batteries for power storage and it is not a standard Grid-Connected PV Solar Power system that feeds back power into the mains Grid. Warehouses and Factories have mains power available to run equipment and Utilities.
  • The Solar roof module unit 120 is designed so the PV Solar Panel 102 provides power to the Solar roof module Battery system 110 for power storage to provide power for the Lighting 108, 116 and the Control Box 106 mounted electronic sensors for Security, Fire and Wireless control functions.
  • To minimize the Solar roof module Battery system 110 size, weight and cost, the Solar roof module Power Management system may utilize one or all of the novel functions listed below:
  • Solar Roof Module Power Sharing
  • In one embodiment, each Solar roof module unit has a wired cable connector that connects it to the next Solar roof module unit so that power from other connected Solar roof module units may be shared if needed. Some individual Solar roof module units may receive more power from the PV Solar Panel 102 at different locations on the building roof and may have more power available. The Lighting on individual Solar roof module units may be used more or less in some locations in the Building which may require more or less power usage. By allowing some Solar roof module units with excess power to share with some Solar roof module units that need more power will reduce the required storage capacity of the Solar roof module Batteries as a system.
  • Mains Hybrid System
  • One of the principle functions of the Solar roof module unit is to greatly reduce the power cost and usage of the Building Lighting and to greatly reduce the maintenance and replacement parts costs of the lighting system. Buildings that utilize the Solar roof module units would be generally used for Factory, warehouse and Retail space and are connected to mains power to run equipment and other utilities.
  • To greatly reduce the required Battery Storage Capacity of the Solar roof module unit battery(s), the Solar roof module Power Management system utilizes the Grid Share Cable connector which connects each Solar roof module unit to the next Solar roof module unit. The Grid Share Cable can also have a wire that is connected to the Buildings mains power for the Hybrid system or there can be a separate wire set for the Hybrid system.
  • The Solar roof module Mains-Hybrid system can reduce the required Battery Storage capacity needed for the Solar roof module unit operation from a 5 Day (minimum OFF Grid system) to a maximum of 24 hours (or longer if needed), in most cases, the number of daily Battery capacity hours for Solar roof module operation may average around 10-12 hours depending on the Building's use.
  • With Occupancy and Daylight sensors to reduce the Lighting power usage; a 12-24 hour Solar roof module Battery storage capacity may operate the Solar roof module unit for longer periods.
  • The Mains-Hybrid (SMH) system allows the Solar roof module units to draw power from the Building mains anytime power is not available from the Solar roof module Battery system 110 or the Solar roof module Grid-Share system (SGS) which allows 24 hour daily operation of the system in all cases.
  • In one embodiment, the power for the Solar roof module Lighting and Sensors may be provided by up to three separate sources:
      • 1. Power from the Photovoltaic Solar Panel 102 to the Solar roof module Battery system 110
      • 2. If power in the Solar roof module unit Battery system 110 is low, then power from the Grid Share system
      • 3. If power from the Grid-Share system is not available, then power can be provided by the Mains-Hybrid system.
  • Mains Hybrid Night Charging
  • At the end of each day, if the Solar roof module Battery system 110 is not fully charged, the Mains-Hyrid system may use mains power during the OFF-Peak period of the night when the mains power cost is lower. With this method the Solar roof module battery system 110 and Grid-Share system may start each day fully charged which also protects battery life and is charged with the lower cost electricity.
  • Battery Life Management
  • The service life of a Battery can be greatly effected by the Depth of Discharge (DOD) during use. To maximize the battery Life, it is generally recommended that the DOD is 10-30%, with 15-20% as an optimal level. The Solar roof module Power management system utilizes the 3 power sources available to the Solar roof module unit.
  • Fire Alarm Protection
  • In one embodiment, each Solar roof module 120 may be equipped with a Fire and smoke sensors.
  • A High Temperature sensor or additional sensors for specific chemicals or gas detectors may also be incorporated into the Solar roof module Control Box 106. A Flashing Alarm light and Siren may be used to indicate the Fire or Smoke Alarm. The Solar roof module Light may be activated in Alarm mode to provide light in the area of the Alarm.
  • Another major advantage of the Solar roof module unit is that the Fire Alarm sensors provide a quick response and highly zoned Alarm protection system. Typical Fire Alarm units are not always uniformly spaced in the building's interior space. One of the primary functions of the Solar roof module units 120 is to provide the lighting for the interior space of the building, in this capacity the Solar roof module units are evenly and comprehensively spaced in the building's interior. The even spacing may provide a faster alarm response with the Fire/Smoke which could save lives and property.
  • Further, the Fire Alarm sensors are powered by the Solar roof module unit batteries which can function without Mains power which is important in emergency situations when mains power may be lost.
  • In certain types of manufacturing, the Smoke or Temp Sensors may not be used because of the manufacturing process. In these cases, the Fire Alarm protection components could be turned OFF in the specific areas.
  • Emergency Lighting
  • In the event of emergency or lost power to the building, the Solar roof module unit lighting can provide emergency lighting which is a very important function of the system. The Lighting can be activated manually or automatically with individual units, in zones or with all units. Each Solar roof module unit is self powered and can operate individually to provide Lighting, Security and Fire alarm functions independently.
  • CONCLUSION
  • The solar roof module is a multi-functional system that can incorporate and utilize any type of PV solar panel for electrical power generation and can be tilted to any angle required for optimal function.
  • The power generated can be stored to any type of power storage and battery technology such as lead acid, AGM, Lithium-Ion, Nickel-zinc or any other type of battery.
  • The solar roof module can operate any type of lighting, sensors, wireless camera for security both in the building interior and for external mounted units.
  • The solar roof module can provide fire and security along with back-up and emergency lighting, fire safety and security functions along with the primary function of reducing power usage and cost savings for the building lighting.

Claims (20)

What is claimed is:
1. A metal roof panel module comprising:
a length of metal roof panel
a length of formed metal support structure positioned under one or more of the preformed metal roof panel high ribs of said metal roof panel
said metal roof panel and said formed metal support structure being joined together by a mounting and sealing means for support and directly attaching one or more solar energy collection components above said metal roof panel
2. The metal roof panel module of claim 1, wherein said solar energy collection components comprise single or multiple photovoltaic solar panels for generating electrical power.
3. The metal roof panel module of claim 2, wherein said solar energy collection components comprise single or multiple thermal energy collection devices.
4. The metal roof panel module of claim 3, wherein said mounting and sealing means is attached to a secondary metal frame for mounting the said solar energy collection components and to provide structural lifting points.
5. The metal roof panel module of claim 4, wherein said mounting and sealing means for directly attaching to metal roof panel and formed support structure comprises a mounting bolt with a compression seal.
6. The metal roof panel module of claim 5, wherein said formed metal support structure is comprised with one or more means for metal roof panel end laps and side laps.
7. The metal roof panel module of claim 6, wherein said mounting and sealing means comprises of an adjustable height device for tilting a solar energy collection component.
8. The metal roof panel module of claim 7, wherein a metal frame housing is attached below said formed metal support structure so as to be able to house and support hardware and control components.
9. The metal roof panel module of claim 8, wherein the length of the module is more than one span of the metal building secondary structure roof purlins.
10. The metal roof panel module of claim 9, wherein the said formed metal support structure is a tube, trapezoid, rectangular, cee or other structural shape.
11. A solar roof module for metal buildings comprising:
a metal roof panel structurally re-enforced with a formed metal support structure and sealed means positioned under one or more roof panel high ribs for spanning and supporting solar energy collection means for generating electrical power above the metal roof panel and supporting control hardware and components below the metal roof panel, and
a method and means for sealing, mounting and tilting the said solar energy collection component attached to the high rib portion of said metal roof panel and providing a method and means for a sealed conduit for electrical wiring thru the metal roof panel high rib section to the underside of the metal roof panel, and
a metal frame and housing attached to the formed metal support structure under the metal roof panel to house power storage means, control components, sensors, Lighting and other functional components.
12. The solar roof module of claim 11, wherein a metal lifting frame supports the solar power collection means.
13. The solar roof module of claim 12, wherein the power generated from the solar energy collection means is stored in the power storage means to provide power for Lighting, sensors, control components and hardware.
14. The solar roof module of claim 13, wherein the Lighting is an LED building interior light with sensors to control the operation of the light according to ambient light conditions, occupancy in the lighting area and control by wireless remote.
15. The solar roof module of claim 14, wherein the power storage and control means has a connection to the mains power grid to allow for operation of the Lighting, sensors, hardware and controls when electrical power from the power storage means or solar collection means is not available.
16. The solar roof module of claim 15, wherein the power storage and control means is further connected to adjacent solar roof modules to allow electrical power to be shared when available.
17. The solar roof module of claim 16, wherein the power storage and control means will utilize mains power when needed to charge the power storage means during off-peak power times to minimize power cost from the mains.
18. The solar roof module of claim 15, wherein the sensors incorporate smoke and fire detection means along with sound alarm to alert for fire detection in the area.
19. The solar roof module of claim 18, wherein when the fire sensors means detects and activates the fire sound alarm, the lighting can be flashed to indicate the area of the fire and the light flashing can be sequenced differently to indicate when occupancy or actual fire versus smoke is within the sensors zone. This function can provide fire location and personnel location information for emergency services and evacuation.
20. The solar roof module of claim 19, wherein the hardware and controls include security operations with the Lighting and occupancy sensors functions and optional wireless video and surveillance hardware and functions.
US13/644,101 2012-10-03 2012-10-03 Solar Roof Module for metal buildings Abandoned US20140090310A1 (en)

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US20140191862A1 (en) * 2013-01-09 2014-07-10 Nicole R. Haines Security apparatus and system
US10290004B1 (en) * 2017-12-02 2019-05-14 M-Fire Suppression, Inc. Supply chain management system for supplying clean fire inhibiting chemical (CFIC) totes to a network of wood-treating lumber and prefabrication panel factories and wood-framed building construction job sites
US10371185B2 (en) 2017-01-09 2019-08-06 David Lynn Magnetically-controlled connectors and methods of use
US10651786B2 (en) 2018-01-08 2020-05-12 David Lynn Panel with magnetically-controlled connectors for attachment to a support member

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US10651786B2 (en) 2018-01-08 2020-05-12 David Lynn Panel with magnetically-controlled connectors for attachment to a support member

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