WO2011103125A2 - Mounting bracket for solar panel - Google Patents

Mounting bracket for solar panel Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2011103125A2
WO2011103125A2 PCT/US2011/024991 US2011024991W WO2011103125A2 WO 2011103125 A2 WO2011103125 A2 WO 2011103125A2 US 2011024991 W US2011024991 W US 2011024991W WO 2011103125 A2 WO2011103125 A2 WO 2011103125A2
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
solar cell
mount
bracket
arm
recited
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2011/024991
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2011103125A3 (en
Inventor
Edward J. Stull
Joshua Ponzetti
Original Assignee
Turnstyle Intellectual Property, Llc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US30484510P priority Critical
Priority to US61/304,845 priority
Application filed by Turnstyle Intellectual Property, Llc filed Critical Turnstyle Intellectual Property, Llc
Publication of WO2011103125A2 publication Critical patent/WO2011103125A2/en
Publication of WO2011103125A3 publication Critical patent/WO2011103125A3/en

Links

Classifications

    • 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
    • F24S30/00Arrangements for moving or orienting solar heat collector modules
    • F24S30/40Arrangements for moving or orienting solar heat collector modules for rotary movement
    • F24S30/48Arrangements for moving or orienting solar heat collector modules for rotary movement with three or more rotation axes or with multiple degrees of freedom
    • 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
    • H02S20/30Supporting structures being movable or adjustable, e.g. for angle adjustment
    • 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
    • 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

Abstract

A disclosed battery charging assembly includes a controller and a solar cell that generates electric power in response to exposure to sunlight. Power generated by the solar cell is provided to charge the battery such that the battery remains at a desired level of charge. The solar cell is somewhat dependent on its orientation relative to the sun. The example solar cell is mounted to the bracket that provides an infinite number of positions for the solar cell such that it may be positioned as desired. The bracket for supporting the solar cell includes first and second arms attached at one end to each other. The arms include spherical ends that are coupled to a mount attached to the solar cell and to a fixed support. The spherical ends and the pivot attachment to the arms provide an infinite number of positions of the solar cell.

Description

MOUNTING BRACKET FOR SOLAR PANEL

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/304,845 which was filed on February 16, 2010.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] This disclosure relates generally to a mounting bracket for supporting a solar panel. Moreover, this disclosure relates to an adjustable mounting bracket assembly for supporting a solar panel in a desired orientation.

[0003] Devices that are located remotely from a power source often utilize battery power to drive an electric motor. A battery can store only a limited amount of energy. Moreover, use and weather conditions can drastically change the duration in which a battery can store and discharge an adequate amount of energy. Such variance can make a battery an undesirable alternative. Accordingly, it is known to provide a solar panel to continuously charge a battery. Mounting of such solar panels is typically accomplished in a matter that exposes the solar panel to the most sunlight possible. Disadvantageously, the orientation that provides the best exposure to sunlight may not always be aesthetically pleasing, therefore further inhibiting use. Moreover current means for mounting a solar panel are often simply not adaptable to the desired placement and application.

SUMMARY

[0004] A disclosed battery charging assembly includes a controller and a solar cell that generates electric power in response to exposure to sunlight. Power generated by the solar cell is provided to charge the battery such that the battery remains at a desired level of charge. The example solar cell is mounted to a bracket that provides an infinite number of positions for the solar cell such that it may be positioned as desired.

[0005] The bracket for supporting the solar cell includes first and second arms attached at one end to each other. The arms include spherical ends that are coupled to a mount attached to the solar cell and to a fixed support. The spherical ends and the pivot attachment to the arms provide an infinite number of positions of the solar cell. [0006] These and other features disclosed herein can be best understood from the following specification and drawings, the following of which is a brief description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] Figure 1 is a schematic view of an example powered gate system including a solar panel power generation system.

[0008] Figure 2 is a cross-sectional view of an example solar panel bracket.

[0009] Figure 3 is a schematic view of the example solar panel bracket.

[0010] Figure 4 is an enlarged sectional view of a pivot connection of the solar panel bracket.

[0011] Figure 5 is an enlarged sectional view of a coupling between a mount and an example arm of the solar panel bracket.

[0012] Figure 6 is a schematic view illustrating relative movement of each part of the example solar panel bracket.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0013] Referring to Figure 1, a powered gate assembly 10 includes powered posts 12 that corresponding gates 16 that rotate about the axis 28. The gates provide an opening through a fence that ends in a fixed post 14. The powered post 12 is mounted next to, or can also be mounted to the fixed post 14. The powered posts 12 rotate to move the gates 16 between open and closed positions. Each of the powered posts 12 includes an actuator 18 that provides the motive force for opening and closing the gates 16.

[0014] The example actuators 18 comprise electric motors that receive electric energy from a battery 20. The use of the battery 20 provides for the powered posts 12 to be installed separate from a power line. Alternatively, the battery 20 can be utilized as a backup to provide gate operation in the event of a power failure. When a battery backup or battery power is used, it is desired to maintain a desired charge in the battery. To that end, the battery can be charged by the use of a solar cell 24. A solar cell can provide a desired trickle charge so that the battery is able to provide sufficient electrical energy to drive the actuator.

[0015] A disclosed battery charging assembly 30 is therefore utilized that includes a controller 22 and the solar cell 24. The solar cell 24 generates electric power in response to exposure to sunlight. Power generated by the solar cell 24 is provided to charge the battery 20 such that the battery 20 remains at a desired level of charge.

[0016] The effectiveness of the solar cell 24 is somewhat dependent on its orientation relative to the sun. The solar cell 24 is therefore positioned to optimize exposure to sunlight to maximize the generation of electrical energy. A bracket 26 provides for supporting the solar panel 24 in a desired orientation. However, gates are not oriented with relation to the sun and therefore there may not be a convenient or aesthetically pleasing mounting location. The example solar cell 24 is mounted to the bracket 24 that provides an infinite number of positions for the solar cell 24 such that it may be positioned as desired.

[0017] Referring to Figures 2-6, the example bracket 26 includes a first arm 32 and second arm 34 that are pivotally connected at a pivot point 60. The first and second arms 32, 34 include corresponding first and second pivot ends 36, 38 that are pivotally attached by way of a fastener 44. In this example the fastener 44 includes threads that engage threads 62 in the pivot end 38. The second pivot end 38 includes a clearance opening 64 through which the fastener 44 extends. The first and second arms 32, 34 can pivot relative to each other about the axis 58 to provide a desired position. Tightening of the fastener 44 forces flat parallel surface 74 of the arm 34 into contact with the flat surface 72 of the arm 34. The abutting contact of the surfaces 72 and 74 generate sufficient frictional engagement so as to maintain a desired relative position between the arms 32, and 34 about the axis 58. Accordingly, an angle between the arms 32, 34 can be set by loosening the fastener, moving the arms 32, 34 into a desired relative position followed by tightening the fastener 44.

[0018] A first spherical end 40 of the first arm 32 is attached to a first mount 46 including a mount plate 70 and a second spherical end 42 of the second arm 34 is attached to a second mount 48 including a second mount plate 66. Each of the mount plates 66, 70 included features for mounting to a fixed structure or to the solar cell 24.

[0019] The spherical ends 40, 42 are received within a concave socket 68 defined in each of the mounts 46, 48. A collar 54 is engaged to the mounts 46, 48 by way of threads 76 and holds the corresponding spherical end in abutting contact with the concave socket 68. Tightening of the collar 54 engages the collar 54 to a contact region 80 of the spherical ends 40, 42 to couple the spherical ends 40, 42 to the corresponding mount 46, 48 that hold the relative position of the arm 32, 34 relative to the mount 46, 48. The spherical ends 40, 43 are movable into an infinite amount of positions relative to the corresponding mount 46, 48. Tightening of the collar 54 generates a frictional contact between the concave socket 68 and the spherical end 40, 42 that holds the desired position. The example collar 54 includes parallel flat surfaces 78 on opposing sides to provide for use of a tool to tighten the collar 54. Other configuration of the collar 54 could be utilized to limit the amount of force that may be applied.

[0020] Referring to Figure 6 with continued reference to Figures 2-5, the example bracket 26 is movable and positionable in an infinite number of positions about the pivot axis 58 along with the roll and pitch axes 82 and 84. Each of the arms 32, 34 can be placed at an angle relative to each other about the pivot axis 58. In this example, the arms 32, 34 are straight or 180° relative to each other, but can be placed in any desired angular position.

[0021] Each of the mounts 66, 70 can be positioned in about the axis 82 and 84 to provide further positional adjustments. The example bracket 26 can therefore provide an infinite number of configurations for supporting the example solar cell 24 and thereby provides for the desired alignment of the cell 24 to maximize power generation.

[0022] Although a preferred embodiment of this invention has been disclosed, a worker of ordinary skill in this art would recognize that certain modifications would come within the scope of this invention. For that reason, the following claims should be studied to determine the true scope and content of this invention.

Claims

CLAIMS What is claimed is:
1. A bracket for supporting a solar cell, the bracket comprising:
at least one arm including a pivot end and a spherical end including a substantially ball shape disposed at an end of the at least one arm; and
at least one mount including a including a concave surface corresponding to the spherical end of the ball; and
a collar coupled to the at least one mount for holding the at least one arm in a desired orientation relative to the at least one mount when in a tightened condition.
2. The bracket as recited in claim 1, wherein the at least one arm includes two arms with each of the pivot ends secured to each other by a fastener, the two arms rotatable relative to each other about a first pivot axis.
3. The bracket as recited in claim 2, wherein one of the pivot ends comprises a clearance opening for the fastener and the other of the pivot ends comprises a plurality of threads corresponding to threads of the fastener.
4. The bracket as recited in claim 2, wherein each of the pivot ends comprises abutting flat surfaces.
5. The bracket as recited in claim 1, wherein the collar secures to the mount over the concave surface for holding the spherical end against the spherical surface.
6. The bracket as recited in claim 5, wherein the collar includes at least two flat surfaces parallel to each other.
7. The bracket as recited in claim 1, wherein each of the arm comprise a cylindrical rod.
8. A battery recharging assembly comprising:
a battery;
a solar cell generating an electric current in response to exposure to sunlight;
a controller in electrical communication with the battery and the solar cell for controlling electric current for charging the battery generated by the solar cell; and
a bracket for supporting the solar cell in a desired orientation, the bracket comprising first and second arms attached at one end to each other, with a first spherical end of the first arm coupled to a first mount attached to the solar cell and a second spherical end of the second arm coupled to a second mount securable to a fixed support.
9. The assembly as recited in claim 8, wherein the first mount and the second mount each include concave surfaces that correspond to a corresponding spherical end.
10. The assembly as recited in claim 8, including a first coupling for holding the first arm in abutting contact with the first mount and a second coupling for holding the second arm in abutting contact with the second mount, wherein each of the first and second arms are movable to any of an infinite number of positions relative to the corresponding one of the first and second mounts.
11. The assembly as recited in claim 10, wherein each of the first and second arms is positionable relative to the corresponding one of the first and second mounts about at least two axes.
12. A powered gate assembly comprising:
a gate supported for movement between an open and closed position;
an electric actuator engaged to the gate for moving the gate between the open and closed positions;
a battery for storing electric energy utilized for powering the electric actuator;
a solar cell generating an electric current in response to exposure to sunlight;
a controller in electrical communication with the battery and the solar cell for controlling electric current for charging the battery generated by the solar cell; and
a bracket for supporting the solar panel in a desired orientation, the bracket comprising first and second arms attached at one end to each other, with a first spherical end of the first arm coupled to a first mount attached to the solar cell and a second spherical end of the second arm coupled to a second mount securable to a fixed support.
13. The assembly as recited in claim 12, wherein the first mount and the second mount each include concave surfaces that correspond to a corresponding spherical end.
14. The assembly as recited in claim 12, including a first coupling for holding the first arm in abutting contact with the first mount and a second coupling for holding the second arm in abutting contact with the second mount, wherein each of the first and second arms are movable to any of an infinite number of positions relative to the corresponding one of the first and second mounts.
15. The assembly as recited in claim 12, wherein each of the first and second arms is positionable relative to the corresponding one of the first and second mounts about at least two axes.
PCT/US2011/024991 2010-02-16 2011-02-16 Mounting bracket for solar panel WO2011103125A2 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US30484510P true 2010-02-16 2010-02-16
US61/304,845 2010-02-16

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2011103125A2 true WO2011103125A2 (en) 2011-08-25
WO2011103125A3 WO2011103125A3 (en) 2011-12-29

Family

ID=44483538

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/US2011/024991 WO2011103125A2 (en) 2010-02-16 2011-02-16 Mounting bracket for solar panel

Country Status (1)

Country Link
WO (1) WO2011103125A2 (en)

Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP1122378A1 (en) * 2000-01-31 2001-08-08 Turnils AB Awning assembly and control system
US20070074753A1 (en) * 2005-09-27 2007-04-05 Karim Altali Shape memory alloy motor as incorpoated into solar tracking mechanism
US20090273481A1 (en) * 2008-01-15 2009-11-05 John Traywick Solar-Charged Power Source

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP1122378A1 (en) * 2000-01-31 2001-08-08 Turnils AB Awning assembly and control system
US20070074753A1 (en) * 2005-09-27 2007-04-05 Karim Altali Shape memory alloy motor as incorpoated into solar tracking mechanism
US20090273481A1 (en) * 2008-01-15 2009-11-05 John Traywick Solar-Charged Power Source

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
WO2011103125A3 (en) 2011-12-29

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