WO2014048575A2 - A utility pole assembly - Google Patents

A utility pole assembly Download PDF

Info

Publication number
WO2014048575A2
WO2014048575A2 PCT/EP2013/002905 EP2013002905W WO2014048575A2 WO 2014048575 A2 WO2014048575 A2 WO 2014048575A2 EP 2013002905 W EP2013002905 W EP 2013002905W WO 2014048575 A2 WO2014048575 A2 WO 2014048575A2
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
tracking solar
pole
solar panels
tracking
solar panel
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/EP2013/002905
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2014048575A3 (en
Inventor
Tom Marren
Original Assignee
Tom Marren
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
Application filed by Tom Marren filed Critical Tom Marren
Publication of WO2014048575A2 publication Critical patent/WO2014048575A2/en
Publication of WO2014048575A3 publication Critical patent/WO2014048575A3/en

Links

Classifications

    • 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
    • F21S9/035Lighting 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 integrated within the support for the lighting unit, e.g. within or on a pole
    • 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
    • F24S25/10Arrangement of stationary mountings or supports for solar heat collector modules extending in directions away from a supporting surface
    • 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
    • F24S25/10Arrangement of stationary mountings or supports for solar heat collector modules extending in directions away from a supporting surface
    • F24S25/12Arrangement of stationary mountings or supports for solar heat collector modules extending in directions away from a supporting surface using posts in combination with upper profiles
    • 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
    • F24S30/42Arrangements for moving or orienting solar heat collector modules for rotary movement with only one rotation axis
    • F24S30/425Horizontal axis
    • 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
    • F24S30/45Arrangements for moving or orienting solar heat collector modules for rotary movement with two rotation axes
    • 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
    • F24S30/45Arrangements for moving or orienting solar heat collector modules for rotary movement with two rotation axes
    • F24S30/452Vertical primary axis
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02SGENERATION OF ELECTRIC POWER BY CONVERSION OF INFRARED RADIATION, VISIBLE LIGHT OR ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT, e.g. USING PHOTOVOLTAIC [PV] MODULES
    • H02S20/00Supporting structures for PV modules
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02SGENERATION OF ELECTRIC POWER BY CONVERSION OF INFRARED 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
    • H02S20/32Supporting structures being movable or adjustable, e.g. for angle adjustment specially adapted for solar tracking
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F21LIGHTING
    • F21YINDEXING SCHEME ASSOCIATED WITH SUBCLASSES F21K, F21L, F21S and F21V, RELATING TO THE FORM OR THE KIND OF THE LIGHT SOURCES OR OF THE COLOUR OF THE LIGHT EMITTED
    • F21Y2115/00Light-generating elements of semiconductor light sources
    • F21Y2115/10Light-emitting diodes [LED]
    • 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
    • Y02B20/00Energy efficient lighting technologies, e.g. halogen lamps or gas discharge lamps
    • Y02B20/72Energy efficient lighting technologies, e.g. halogen lamps or gas discharge lamps in street lighting
    • 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, e.g. solar towers
    • 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

Definitions

  • This invention relates to a utility pole assembly. More specifically, the present invention relates to a utility pole assembly of the type comprising a pole for supporting utility equipment thereon and a plurality of tracking solar panels mounted on the pole, the tracking solar panels being rotatable about a pair of axes, each tracking solar panel having a motor for causing tracking movement of the tracking solar panel and in which there is provided a controller for causing the motor to move the tracking solar panel.
  • a single solar panel is mounted on the pole and used to power a light on the pole or used to power electronic signage for motorists.
  • the solar panel may be tied back into the electricity grid.
  • One such device is the Single Panel Tracker (SPT) developed by Advanced Technology and Research Corporation of Columbia, Maryland, United States of America. This device provides a limited degree of tracking of the sun and is more efficient than alternative fixed-mount panels. However, this device appears to only provide tracking about a single axis and does not optimise the amount of energy that may be harvested by the solar panel. Furthermore, as the device is quasi- fixed in position, it is potentially susceptible to failure in very high winds and prone to damage with excessive snow or ice loading. One device that addresses some of these issues is that described in US Patent Application No.
  • US2011/0041834 in the name of Liao US2011/0041834 describes a two-axes solar tracker system that may be mounted on a light pole. The system described can track the sun in two axes thereby providing more efficient energy harvesting. However, the device described does not optimise the yield potential of the pole. Furthermore, the functionality of the device is relatively limited, and it does not include for provision to export the generated electricity to the electrical grid.
  • a utility pole assembly comprising a pole for supporting utility equipment thereon and a plurality of tracking solar panels mounted on the pole, the tracking solar panels being rotatable about a pair of axes, each tracking solar panel having a motor for causing tracking movement of the tracking solar panel and in which there is provided a controller for causing the motor to move the tracking solar panel, characterised in that the plurality of tracking solar panels are mounted on the pole one above the other spaced apart vertically from each other along the pole.
  • the present invention has numerous benefits including the ability to install greater power generation capacity on each pole and may provide a more compact, aesthetically pleasing device.
  • a utility pole assembly in which each of the tracking solar panels is rotatable around the pole about a first, substantially vertical axis, and each of the tracking solar panels is tiltable relative to the pole and that first, substantially vertical axis about a second, substantially horizontal axis.
  • the tracking solar panels can track the position of the sun very accurately so that the tracking solar panels are substantially perpendicular to the incident rays from the sun at all times, optimizing the efficiency of the solar panels.
  • each of the tracking solar panels is independently moveable with respect to the other tracking solar panels. This is seen as a particularly preferred embodiment of the present invention.
  • the tracking solar panels may be manoeuvred in such a manner to ensure that they do not shade other solar panels below and may also allow the panels to be moved in and out of vertical alignment when it is desirable to do so.
  • a utility pole assembly in which there are provided three tracking solar panels mounted on the pole and spaced apart vertically along the pole with respect to each other.
  • a utility pole assembly in which the tracking solar panels are mounted on the pole in an offset fashion with respect to each other, with the distance that the solar panels protrude from the pole increasing from the uppermost solar panel to the lowermost solar panel so that a lower solar panel protrudes a greater distance from the pole than a higher solar panel.
  • This is seen as a particularly preferred embodiment of the present invention as this will minimize shading sufficiently even in those circumstances when the sun is practically directly overhead. This will enable the overwhelming majority of the potential energy from the sun's rays to be harnessed.
  • a utility pole assembly in which a pair of adjacent tracking solar panels are offset by a distance from the pole of the order of at least 5% of the overall length of the solar panel.
  • a utility pole assembly in which a pair of adjacent tracking solar panels are offset by a distance from the pole of the order of 33% of the overall length of the solar panel.
  • a utility pole assembly in which at least one of the solar panels is offset circumferentially around the pole with respect to another solar panel. This is also seen as a useful way of minimizing the effects of shading and will allow the majority of the potential energy from the sun's rays ( to be captured by the device.
  • a utility pole assembly in which the solar panel is circumferentially offset by a fixed angular distance around the pole with respect to another solar panel. c In one embodiment of the invention there is provided a utility pole assembly in which the solar panel is circumferentially offset by a variable angular distance around the pole with respect to another solar panel.
  • a utility pole assembly in which the tracking solar panels are rotatable about a third, substantially horizontal axis which is substantially orthogonal to the first and second axes.
  • the solar panel may be inverted with the solar panel facing downwards towards the ground in a relatively simple manner.
  • a utility pole assembly in which the controller receives weather information and the controller is operable to cause the motor to temporarily move the tracking solar panel into a stowed configuration in response to the controller receiving adverse weather information.
  • a utility pole assembly in which the tracking solar panel is tillable to and from a position substantially parallel to the vertical axis and a position substantially perpendicular to the vertical axis.
  • a utility pole assembly in which there are provided a plurality of LEDs mounted on the panels to provide street lighting.
  • the LED lights will be more cost effective and longer lasting than existing ballast lighting solutions or other lighting solutions that may be in place on the utility pole.
  • the LED lights can over time replace existing lighting circuitry provided on the pole and therefore the unit, if retrofitted to an existing utility pole with lighting circuitry already mounted thereon, will reduce the cost of maintenance of the existing street lighting infrastructure as the existing lighting circuitry will become redundant.
  • the tracking solar panels can therefore provide dual functionality, energy capture and lighting provision.
  • a utility pole assembly in which the plurality of LEDs is powered by the mains electricity supply.
  • the utility pole assembly is provided with an inverter and the tracking solar panels are connected to the electricity grid as electricity generators.
  • the street light assemblies all effectively become electricity generators that can be used to supply electricity to nearby installations such as residential or commercial buildings. In this way, the electricity is being generated locally and there are insignificant transmission losses to consider.
  • a utility pole assembly in which the tracking solar panels are concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) panels.
  • CPV photovoltaic
  • the CPV panels are rotatably mounted to allow rotation of the tracking solar panel through approximately 180° so that the CPV panels face towards the ground.
  • the CPV panel's light concentrator is operable in reverse so that the CPV panel is operable as a light source with the CPV concentrator dispersing the light.
  • means to raise and lower the tracking solar panels on the pole By being able to raise and lower the tracking solar panel on the pole, it will be easier to install and maintain the tracking solar panel.
  • an anemometer mounted on the pole in communication with the controller.
  • Figure 1(a) is a diagrammatic representation of a utility pole assembly according to the invention.
  • Figure 1(b) is a top plan view of the utility pole assembly shown in Figure 1(a);
  • Figure 2(a) is a diagrammatic representation of the utility pole assembly with the tracking solar panels configured to catch the midday sun;
  • Figure 2(b) is a top plan view of the utility pole assembly shown in Figure 2(a);
  • Figure 3(a) is a diagrammatic representation of the utility pole assembly with the tracking solar panels configured for night time operation;
  • Figure 3(b) is a top plan view of the utility pole assembly shown in Figure 3(a);
  • FIGS. 4(a) to 4(d) are diagrammatic representations of one manner in which the tracking solar panel can be mounted on a utility pole;
  • Figure 5 is a cross sectional view showing the engagement of the outer collar on the carriage mounted on the utility pole.
  • FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic representation of a solar panel that may be used in accordance with the present invention.
  • a diagrammatic representation of a utility pole assembly indicated generally by the reference numeral 1.
  • the utility pole is a street light however it will be understood that other utility poles could be used instead and a street light has been used for illustrative purposes only.
  • the utility pole assembly 1 comprises a pole 3 for supporting a light 5 thereon.
  • the utility pole assembly further comprises a plurality of tracking solar panels 7 mounted on the pole 3 by way of collars 9.
  • the plurality of tracking solar panels 7 are mounted on the pole 3 spaced apart vertically from each other along the height of the pole 3.
  • the tracking solar panels 7 are rotatable about a pair of axes X, Y, one of which, X, is substantially vertical and coincident with the longitudinal axis of the pole 3 and the other of which, Y, is substantially horizontal and perpendicular to the vertical axis, X. Accordingly, the tracking solar panels 7 are able to track the sun along two axes, X and Y, one of which allows rotation of the tracking solar panels around the pole to match the solar azimuth angle and the other of which permits tilting of the tracking solar panel relative to the vertical axis to permit tracking of the solar elevation angle.
  • Each of the tracking solar panels 7 has a motor (not shown) for causing tracking movement of the tracking solar panel and there is provided a controller 11 for causing the motor to move the tracking solar panel 7. It is envisaged that more than one motor may be provided for causing tracking movement of the tracking solar panel.
  • an anemometer (not shown) is provided atop the pole 3 to measure wind speed and the controller 11 is in communication with the anemometer. Alternatively, the controller 11 may receive weather information from another source.
  • the utility pole assembly is provided with an inverter 13 to permit supply of electricity from each of the tracking solar panels 7 back on to the electricity grid. Cabling (not shown) is provided between each of the tracking solar panels 7 and the inverter 13. In the embodiment described herein, there is further provided a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit and grid tie accessories (not shown) provided in the pole.
  • GPS Global Positioning System
  • the controller 11 operates the motor of each tracking solar panel 7 to correctly align the tracking solar panels 7 to the appropriate solar azimuth angle and solar elevation angle so that the plane of the tracking solar panel is substantially perpendicular to the sun's incident rays.
  • the controller operates the motor periodically so that each of the panels will track the sun, keeping the planar face of the solar panel substantially orthogonal to the incident rays of the sun.
  • the controller will be able to use the GPS co-ordinates of the street lamp in conjunction with time and date data to calculate the likely position of the sun in the sky.
  • the solar panels will be more efficient at generating electricity and if desired, concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar panels can be used to good effect.
  • CPV concentrated photovoltaic
  • each of the tracking solar panels 7 is moveable independently of the others which will allow the controller to ensure that the lowermost and intermediate tracking solar panels are not shaded by a tracking solar panel located above them.
  • a likely configuration of the tracking solar panels of a street light assembly that is located close to the equator at midday when the sun is directly overhead is shown in Figures 2(a) and 2(b). It can be seen that the three tracking solar panels are appropriately circumferentially spaced about the pole at approximately 90° offset with respect to the nearest tracking solar panel. This ensures that the tracking solar panels below are not shaded.
  • angle of offset is, to a degree arbitrary, what is important is that the angle of offset is sufficient so that the panels are not shaded by either the pole or a tracking solar panel located above.
  • One or more of the panels may lag behind or lead ahead of the other panel(s).
  • a circumferential offset or deviation of the order of 30° will be sufficient to ensure that the tracking solar panels operate efficiently capturing the overwhelming majority, if not all, of the potential sun's rays.
  • the tracking solar panels 7 are each provided with at least one, but preferably several, light emitting diode (LED) lamps thereon.
  • the light emitting diode lamps are powered by the mains supply.
  • a rechargeable battery could be provided and housed within the pole or within the tracking solar panels.
  • the rechargeable battery could be recharged by the tracking solar panels during the day and the battery could be used to power the LEDs by night.
  • the LEDs will be powered by the mains supply and power from the solar panels during the day will be supplied to the mains through the inverter 13.
  • the LEDs may be on the opposite, rear face of the tracking solar panel to that normally presented to the sun's rays. This will obviate the need to tilt the tracking solar panels through 180°. However, if desired, the solar panels can be rotated through 180° if the LEDs are mounted on the same face of the tracking solar panels as the face normally presented to the sun or if CPV devices are used and it is desirable to route light backwards through the CPV and use the concentrator in reverse to disperse light across a wider area.
  • the tracking solar panels may be rotatable about a third axis, perpendicular to the first and second axes.
  • the direction of movement of the panels about this third axis is represented graphically with reference to the movement of the lowermost panel 7 by the dashed arrow C in Figure 2(a).
  • the third axis will be substantially parallel and coincident with the longitudinal axis of the tracking solar panel. This will facilitate tracking and also can facilitate rotation of the entire tracking solar panel so that the side normally facing the sun can face downwardly at night time. It will be understood that this is only one option for the 3 rd axis of rotation. There are several other alternative axes of rotation that could be used for the 3 rd axis of rotation.
  • the tracking solar panels are circumferentially offset by approximately 90° from the nearest neighbouring tracking solar panel however this offset could be 120° to evenly space the three tracking solar panels circumferentially about the pole 3 or another desired angle depending on the geometry of the tracking solar panels 7 and the direction in which it is desired to direct the light.
  • the tracking solar panels shown are rectangular shaped however it is envisaged that other shapes such as pie or wedge shapes could be put to good effect.
  • Figure 3(a) it can be seen that the three tracking solar panels and their collars have been moved upwards on the pole 3 to ensure maximum coverage area of the light from the LEDs.
  • the tracking solar panels are also moveable downwards towards the base 15 of the pole 3 to allow maintenance to the tracking solar panels and easy installation of the tracking solar panels.
  • the collars may be provided with means to releasably grip the pole or indeed a track may be provided on the pole to allow movement of the collars upwards and downwards on the pole.
  • the tracking solar panels 7 are mounted on the pole 3 in an offset fashion with respect to each other, with the distance that the solar panels 7 protrude from the pole increasing from the uppermost solar panel downwards to the lowermost solar panel. In this way, a lower solar panel protrudes a greater distance from the pole than a higher solar panel.
  • each string 101 consisted of two rows 105, 107 of cells 103 side by side across the width of the panel 7, with current in each string travelling across one row and back along the other row before entering the next string 101.
  • the consequence of shading on the efficiency of the different configurations was determined and the efficiency of the different configurations was compared.
  • three panels were mounted on the pole and vertically spaced from each other along the pole. Simulation 1 :
  • FIG. 4(a) to 4(d) inclusive there is shown one example of how a tracking solar panel may be mounted on a utility pole 3 that will allow rotation of the tracking solar panel about a pair of axes.
  • a pair of brackets 41 , 43 are mounted onto the pole 3.
  • Each bracket is provided with a pair of screw holes 45 to allow the use of screws or bolts (not shown) to mount the bracket to the pole 3.
  • Each bracket 41 , 43 is further provided with a pair of transverse channels 47, each for reception of a strap 48.
  • the strap 48 may be, but is not limited to, a jubilee clip.
  • the straps 48 can be used instead of or in addition to the screws and bolts.
  • a mounting plate 49 protrudes outwardly from the bracket 41 , 43 for engagement of a collar (not shown).
  • the brackets 41 , 43 are diametrically opposed to each other about the pole 3 however more brackets or fewer brackets could be provided if desired. Furthermore, the brackets 41, 43 will be dimensioned for secure engagement with the pole.
  • the inner facing surface of the bracket that, when in use, is in abutment with the outer facing surface of the pole 3, may be contoured to match the outer contour of the pole.
  • the inner surface of the bracket may be curved to match the outer surface profile of a substantially cylindrical pole or the inner surface of the bracket may be substantially flat to match the outer surface contour of a substantially hexagonal or similarly shaped pole.
  • a substantially annular collar indicated generally by the reference numeral 51.
  • the collar 51 comprises a two part body, each of the two parts or halves 53, 55 extend around the pole 3 and engage with the other half thereby surrounding the pole 3.
  • the two halves are bolted onto the brackets 41 , 43. If desired, the two halves may be hingedly connected to each other.
  • a tracking solar panel 7 having an arm 57 connected at one of its ends 59 to the tracking solar panel and the other end 61 is intended for indirect engagement of the collar 51 , which will be described in more detail below with reference to Figure 4(d).
  • the arm 57 is pivotally connected to the tracking solar panel 7 at its end 59 so that the tracking solar panel can pivot about the substantially horizontal pivot bar 63.
  • the tracking solar panel will be tiltable relative to the pole 3 and a first substantially vertical axis.
  • the angle of tilt of the tracking solar panel is controlled by a mesh gearing system 65 responsive to the controller.
  • the mesh gearing system comprises a moveable, following toothed gear wheel section 67 connected to the tracking solar panel and a driven toothed gear wheel 69 connected to the arm 57.
  • the driven toothed gear wheel 69 and the following toothed gear wheel section 67 are interlocked so that as the driven toothed gear wheel 69 is operated, the rotation of the driven gear wheel 69 will cause the following toothed gear wheel section 67 to move thereby causing the tracking solar panel to rotate about the horizontal pivot bar 63.
  • FIG. 4(c) there is shown a view similar to Figure 4(b) with the exception that a toothed annular track, referred to as the ring gear 71 is mounted on the exterior of the collar 51 circumferentially surrounding the carriage.
  • the ring gear 71 is fixed in position relative to the collar and is provided for engagement with a driven mesh gear wheel of a motor (not shown).
  • FIG. 4(d) there is shown a representation of a carriage 81 which encapsulates the collar 51 and the ring gear 71 and onto which the arm 57 is mounted adjacent the end 61 of the arm.
  • the carriage 81 comprises a two part carriage, 83, 85, the two parts of which surround the pole, the collar 51 and the ring gear 71.
  • the two parts of the carriage 81 are secured together. Friction reducing bearings (not shown) are provided intermediate the carriage 81 and the collar 51 so that the carriage effectively sits on the collar and is able to move relative to the collar 51 and rotate about the pole.
  • a motor 87 with a driven mesh gear wheel 89 is provided mounted adjacent the end 61 of the arm 57.
  • the driven mesh gear wheel 89 of the motor 87 interlocks with the ring gear 71 so that operation of the motor 87 will cause the entire carriage, arm and by extension the tracking solar panel to rotate about the pole 3.
  • FIG. 5 there is shown a diagrammatic cross sectional representation of the collar 51 , the ring gear 71 and the carriage 81.
  • the carriage 81 comprises friction reducing bearing including upper rollers 91 and lower rollers 93.
  • the upper rollers 91 and the lower rollers are each freely rotatable about a shaft 95.
  • the upper rollers 91 are in abutment with the bearing surface 97 of the collar 51 and the lower rollers 93 are in abutment with the bearing surface 99 of the collar 51.
  • the mesh gear wheel of the motor (not shown) engages the teeth of the ring gear 71 , the carriage will rotate around the collar and by extension the entire tracking solar panel will rotate about the pole.
  • An anemometer if provided, will be able to detect when the wind strength is such that it may cause damage to the tracking solar panels or the windage of the tracking solar panels is likely to cause damage to the pole.
  • the controller can cause each of the tracking solar panels to assume a protection configuration, similar to that shown in Figures 2(a) and 2(b), where they are positioned so that they are least likely to be damaged or cause damage.
  • the anemometer will also be able to detect wind direction in some instances in which case, the tracking solar panels could all be positioned on the leeward side of the pole in the shelter of the pole.
  • the tracking solar panels can also be tilted about one or more of their axes to minimize the likelihood of damage caused by the wind.
  • a temperature sensor may be provided to determine when there is a risk of snow or ice buildup and the controller may be responsive to the temperature sensor in much the same way that it is responsive to an anemometer.
  • a communication module so that the controller can receive weather information. This will allow the controller 11 to take protective measures if necessary but without having the monitoring equipment on every utility pole assembly.
  • both the controller 11 and the inverter have been shown internal the pole however it will be understood that one or both of these components could be external to the pole.
  • each of the controllers may be provided with a GPS unit or alternatively, the GPS co-ordinates may be programmed into the controller on initial set up so that a dedicated GPS unit on the controller is not required.
  • the tracking system to ensure that the panels are directed towards the sun may not incorporate GPS technology.
  • one alternative tracking system would be a system with light detection equipment and measurement equipment to continuously locate the sun and direct the panels accordingly.
  • the controller 11 may be provided with communication means such as a radio transceiver, a receiver and transmitter, or other transceiver/communication device for communication with a remote control centre or to allow the controller to be remotely programmed, queried, or to allow the controller to transmit data remotely. If only one way communication to the tracking solar panel's controller is required, for example to program the controller or send other instructions to the controller, a simple receiver may be provided instead of a transceiver or device with a transmitter.
  • the controller 11 could be provided with monitoring means to detect the amount of electricity generated by the tracking solar panels and this information could be transmitted to a remote control centre.
  • the controller may have equipment to monitor the tracking solar panels and their operation as well as the operation of the LEDs and even the light 5 mounted on the pole.
  • the tracking solar panels will be configured so that they may be retrofit to existing poles, but in some cases the pole will be provided as part of the installation. It is envisaged that the assembly can be placed on a variety of pole shapes and sizes.
  • a solar panel may comprise one or more modules (a module being one or more solar cells connected together, for example in the string arrangement illustrated in Figure 6).
  • a module being one or more solar cells connected together, for example in the string arrangement illustrated in Figure 6.
  • the invention has been described with a plurality of panels spaced apart from each other vertically along the pole with a single panel mounted at the end of each armature. However, it will be understood that a plurality of panels could be mounted at the end of each armature.

Landscapes

  • Engineering & Computer Science (AREA)
  • Life Sciences & Earth Sciences (AREA)
  • Sustainable Development (AREA)
  • General Engineering & Computer Science (AREA)
  • Physics & Mathematics (AREA)
  • Sustainable Energy (AREA)
  • Thermal Sciences (AREA)
  • Chemical & Material Sciences (AREA)
  • Combustion & Propulsion (AREA)
  • Mechanical Engineering (AREA)
  • Photovoltaic Devices (AREA)

Abstract

This invention relates to a utility pole assembly (1) comprising a pole (3) for supporting utility equipment (5) thereon and a plurality of tracking solar panels (7) mounted on the pole. The tracking solar panels (7) are rotatable about a pair of axes (X, Y). Each tracking solar panel (7) has a motor for causing tracking movement of the tracking solar panel and there is provided a controller (11) for causing the motor to move the tracking solar panel about its two axes to track the sun. The plurality of tracking solar panels (7) are mounted on the pole (3) spaced apart vertically from each other along the pole. Furthermore, each of the tracking solar panels (7) is independently moveable of the other tracking solar panels. In this way, the maximum yield may be obtained from the tracking solar panels and the tracking solar panels will not shade and interfere with each other. As a consequence, the energy from the sun's rays is harnessed more effectively and smaller sized solar panels may be used.

Description

"A utility pole assembly"
Introduction This invention relates to a utility pole assembly. More specifically, the present invention relates to a utility pole assembly of the type comprising a pole for supporting utility equipment thereon and a plurality of tracking solar panels mounted on the pole, the tracking solar panels being rotatable about a pair of axes, each tracking solar panel having a motor for causing tracking movement of the tracking solar panel and in which there is provided a controller for causing the motor to move the tracking solar panel.
It is known to mount tracking solar panels on utility poles. This is seen as an efficient use of space on the existing utility pole as it allows for the capture of solar power in an unobtrusive manner and obviates the need for substantial pockets of land to be put aside for use as solar farms. Furthermore, pole mounted tracking solar panels can be simpler and less expensive to install than other equivalent systems such as roof mounted solar panel installations.
Typically, a single solar panel is mounted on the pole and used to power a light on the pole or used to power electronic signage for motorists. In some cases, the solar panel may be tied back into the electricity grid. One such device is the Single Panel Tracker (SPT) developed by Advanced Technology and Research Corporation of Columbia, Maryland, United States of America. This device provides a limited degree of tracking of the sun and is more efficient than alternative fixed-mount panels. However, this device appears to only provide tracking about a single axis and does not optimise the amount of energy that may be harvested by the solar panel. Furthermore, as the device is quasi- fixed in position, it is potentially susceptible to failure in very high winds and prone to damage with excessive snow or ice loading. One device that addresses some of these issues is that described in US Patent Application No. US2011/0041834 in the name of Liao. US2011/0041834 describes a two-axes solar tracker system that may be mounted on a light pole. The system described can track the sun in two axes thereby providing more efficient energy harvesting. However, the device described does not optimise the yield potential of the pole. Furthermore, the functionality of the device is relatively limited, and it does not include for provision to export the generated electricity to the electrical grid.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a utility pole assembly having a plurality of tracking solar panels that overcomes at least some of the disadvantages of the known utility pole assemblies with tracking solar panels and that provides a useful choice to the consumer.
Statements of Invention According to the invention there is provided a utility pole assembly comprising a pole for supporting utility equipment thereon and a plurality of tracking solar panels mounted on the pole, the tracking solar panels being rotatable about a pair of axes, each tracking solar panel having a motor for causing tracking movement of the tracking solar panel and in which there is provided a controller for causing the motor to move the tracking solar panel, characterised in that the plurality of tracking solar panels are mounted on the pole one above the other spaced apart vertically from each other along the pole.
By having such a utility pole assembly, it is possible to maximize the energy capture potential (also referred to as yield potential) of the utility poles as more tracking solar panels may be mounted on the pole and these tracking solar panels will operate in a more efficient manner than many of the known solutions. By providing multiple tracking solar panels mounted spaced apart vertically on the pole, the tracking solar panels will be able to accurately track the sun with minimal shading by the pole or other solar panels. Furthermore, the present invention has numerous benefits including the ability to install greater power generation capacity on each pole and may provide a more compact, aesthetically pleasing device.
In one embodiment of the invention there is provided a utility pole assembly in which each of the tracking solar panels is rotatable around the pole about a first, substantially vertical axis, and each of the tracking solar panels is tiltable relative to the pole and that first, substantially vertical axis about a second, substantially horizontal axis. In this way, the tracking solar panels can track the position of the sun very accurately so that the tracking solar panels are substantially perpendicular to the incident rays from the sun at all times, optimizing the efficiency of the solar panels. In one embodiment of the invention there is provided a utility pole assembly in which each of the tracking solar panels is independently moveable with respect to the other tracking solar panels. This is seen as a particularly preferred embodiment of the present invention. By having independently moveable tracking solar panels, the tracking solar panels may be manoeuvred in such a manner to ensure that they do not shade other solar panels below and may also allow the panels to be moved in and out of vertical alignment when it is desirable to do so.
In one embodiment of the invention there is provided a utility pole assembly in which there are provided three tracking solar panels mounted on the pole and spaced apart vertically along the pole with respect to each other.
In one embodiment of the invention there is provided a utility pole assembly in which the tracking solar panels are mounted on the pole in an offset fashion with respect to each other, with the distance that the solar panels protrude from the pole increasing from the uppermost solar panel to the lowermost solar panel so that a lower solar panel protrudes a greater distance from the pole than a higher solar panel. This is seen as a particularly preferred embodiment of the present invention as this will minimize shading sufficiently even in those circumstances when the sun is practically directly overhead. This will enable the overwhelming majority of the potential energy from the sun's rays to be harnessed.
In one embodiment of the invention there is provided a utility pole assembly in which a pair of adjacent tracking solar panels are offset by a distance from the pole of the order of at least 5% of the overall length of the solar panel.
In one embodiment of the invention there is provided a utility pole assembly in which a pair of adjacent tracking solar panels are offset by a distance from the pole of the order of 33% of the overall length of the solar panel.
In one embodiment of the invention there is provided a utility pole assembly in which at least one of the solar panels is offset circumferentially around the pole with respect to another solar panel. This is also seen as a useful way of minimizing the effects of shading and will allow the majority of the potential energy from the sun's rays( to be captured by the device.
In one embodiment of the invention there is provided a utility pole assembly in which the solar panel is circumferentially offset by a fixed angular distance around the pole with respect to another solar panel. c In one embodiment of the invention there is provided a utility pole assembly in which the solar panel is circumferentially offset by a variable angular distance around the pole with respect to another solar panel.
In one embodiment of the invention there is provided a utility pole assembly in which the tracking solar panels are rotatable about a third, substantially horizontal axis which is substantially orthogonal to the first and second axes. By being able to rotate the tracking solar panel about a third axis, the solar panel may be inverted with the solar panel facing downwards towards the ground in a relatively simple manner.
In one embodiment of the invention there is provided a utility pole assembly in which the controller receives weather information and the controller is operable to cause the motor to temporarily move the tracking solar panel into a stowed configuration in response to the controller receiving adverse weather information. By providing weather information, it is possible to ensure that if the wind strength rises above a predetermined threshold, the controller can configure the tracking solar panels in such a manner that they will be least exposed to the elements and will be unlikely to be damaged or cause damage to the pole.
In one embodiment of the invention there is provided a utility pole assembly in which the tracking solar panel is tillable to and from a position substantially parallel to the vertical axis and a position substantially perpendicular to the vertical axis.
In one embodiment of the invention there is provided a utility pole assembly in which there are provided a plurality of LEDs mounted on the panels to provide street lighting. This is seen as a particularly preferred embodiment of the present invention as the LED lights will be more cost effective and longer lasting than existing ballast lighting solutions or other lighting solutions that may be in place on the utility pole. The LED lights can over time replace existing lighting circuitry provided on the pole and therefore the unit, if retrofitted to an existing utility pole with lighting circuitry already mounted thereon, will reduce the cost of maintenance of the existing street lighting infrastructure as the existing lighting circuitry will become redundant. The tracking solar panels can therefore provide dual functionality, energy capture and lighting provision.
In one embodiment of the invention there is provided a utility pole assembly in which the plurality of LEDs is powered by the mains electricity supply.
In one embodiment of the invention the utility pole assembly is provided with an inverter and the tracking solar panels are connected to the electricity grid as electricity generators. This is also particularly preferred as the street light assemblies all effectively become electricity generators that can be used to supply electricity to nearby installations such as residential or commercial buildings. In this way, the electricity is being generated locally and there are insignificant transmission losses to consider.
In one embodiment of the invention there is provided a utility pole assembly in which the tracking solar panels are concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) panels.
In one embodiment of the invention, the CPV panels are rotatably mounted to allow rotation of the tracking solar panel through approximately 180° so that the CPV panels face towards the ground. In one embodiment of the invention, the CPV panel's light concentrator is operable in reverse so that the CPV panel is operable as a light source with the CPV concentrator dispersing the light.
In one embodiment of the invention there is provided means to raise and lower the tracking solar panels on the pole. By being able to raise and lower the tracking solar panel on the pole, it will be easier to install and maintain the tracking solar panel.
In one embodiment of the invention there is provided an anemometer mounted on the pole in communication with the controller. By providing an anemometer, it is possible to ensure that if the wind strength rises above a predetermined threshold, the controller can configure the tracking solar panels in such a manner that they will be least exposed to the elements and will be unlikely to be damaged or cause damage to the pole. Detailed Description of the Invention
The invention will now be more clearly understood from the following description of some embodiments thereof given by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawing, in which:-
Figure 1(a) is a diagrammatic representation of a utility pole assembly according to the invention.
Figure 1(b) is a top plan view of the utility pole assembly shown in Figure 1(a);
Figure 2(a) is a diagrammatic representation of the utility pole assembly with the tracking solar panels configured to catch the midday sun;
Figure 2(b) is a top plan view of the utility pole assembly shown in Figure 2(a);
Figure 3(a) is a diagrammatic representation of the utility pole assembly with the tracking solar panels configured for night time operation;
Figure 3(b) is a top plan view of the utility pole assembly shown in Figure 3(a);
Figures 4(a) to 4(d) are diagrammatic representations of one manner in which the tracking solar panel can be mounted on a utility pole;
Figure 5 is a cross sectional view showing the engagement of the outer collar on the carriage mounted on the utility pole; and
Figure 6 is a diagrammatic representation of a solar panel that may be used in accordance with the present invention. Referring to Figures 1(a) and 1(b), there is shown a diagrammatic representation of a utility pole assembly, indicated generally by the reference numeral 1. In this instance, the utility pole is a street light however it will be understood that other utility poles could be used instead and a street light has been used for illustrative purposes only. The utility pole assembly 1 comprises a pole 3 for supporting a light 5 thereon. The utility pole assembly further comprises a plurality of tracking solar panels 7 mounted on the pole 3 by way of collars 9. The plurality of tracking solar panels 7 are mounted on the pole 3 spaced apart vertically from each other along the height of the pole 3.
The tracking solar panels 7 are rotatable about a pair of axes X, Y, one of which, X, is substantially vertical and coincident with the longitudinal axis of the pole 3 and the other of which, Y, is substantially horizontal and perpendicular to the vertical axis, X. Accordingly, the tracking solar panels 7 are able to track the sun along two axes, X and Y, one of which allows rotation of the tracking solar panels around the pole to match the solar azimuth angle and the other of which permits tilting of the tracking solar panel relative to the vertical axis to permit tracking of the solar elevation angle. The direction of movement of the panels when tilting relative to the vertical axis is represented graphically by the dashed arrow A in Figure 1(a) and the direction of movement of the panels about the pole is represented graphically by the dashed arrow B in Figure 1(b). Each of the tracking solar panels 7 has a motor (not shown) for causing tracking movement of the tracking solar panel and there is provided a controller 11 for causing the motor to move the tracking solar panel 7. It is envisaged that more than one motor may be provided for causing tracking movement of the tracking solar panel. In one embodiment, an anemometer (not shown) is provided atop the pole 3 to measure wind speed and the controller 11 is in communication with the anemometer. Alternatively, the controller 11 may receive weather information from another source. The utility pole assembly is provided with an inverter 13 to permit supply of electricity from each of the tracking solar panels 7 back on to the electricity grid. Cabling (not shown) is provided between each of the tracking solar panels 7 and the inverter 13. In the embodiment described herein, there is further provided a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit and grid tie accessories (not shown) provided in the pole. In use, the controller 11 operates the motor of each tracking solar panel 7 to correctly align the tracking solar panels 7 to the appropriate solar azimuth angle and solar elevation angle so that the plane of the tracking solar panel is substantially perpendicular to the sun's incident rays. As the sun travels across the sky, the controller operates the motor periodically so that each of the panels will track the sun, keeping the planar face of the solar panel substantially orthogonal to the incident rays of the sun. The controller will be able to use the GPS co-ordinates of the street lamp in conjunction with time and date data to calculate the likely position of the sun in the sky. As the tracking solar panel is kept substantially orthogonal to the sun's incident rays, the solar panels will be more efficient at generating electricity and if desired, concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar panels can be used to good effect.
Advantageously, each of the tracking solar panels 7 is moveable independently of the others which will allow the controller to ensure that the lowermost and intermediate tracking solar panels are not shaded by a tracking solar panel located above them. A likely configuration of the tracking solar panels of a street light assembly that is located close to the equator at midday when the sun is directly overhead is shown in Figures 2(a) and 2(b). It can be seen that the three tracking solar panels are appropriately circumferentially spaced about the pole at approximately 90° offset with respect to the nearest tracking solar panel. This ensures that the tracking solar panels below are not shaded. It will be understood that the specific angle of offset is, to a degree arbitrary, what is important is that the angle of offset is sufficient so that the panels are not shaded by either the pole or a tracking solar panel located above. One or more of the panels may lag behind or lead ahead of the other panel(s). In some cases, a circumferential offset or deviation of the order of 30° will be sufficient to ensure that the tracking solar panels operate efficiently capturing the overwhelming majority, if not all, of the potential sun's rays.
Referring to Figures 3(a) and 3(b), there is shown another configuration of the tracking solar panels. The tracking solar panels 7 are each provided with at least one, but preferably several, light emitting diode (LED) lamps thereon. The light emitting diode lamps are powered by the mains supply. Alternatively, a rechargeable battery could be provided and housed within the pole or within the tracking solar panels. The rechargeable battery could be recharged by the tracking solar panels during the day and the battery could be used to power the LEDs by night. Preferably though, the LEDs will be powered by the mains supply and power from the solar panels during the day will be supplied to the mains through the inverter 13. The LEDs may be on the opposite, rear face of the tracking solar panel to that normally presented to the sun's rays. This will obviate the need to tilt the tracking solar panels through 180°. However, if desired, the solar panels can be rotated through 180° if the LEDs are mounted on the same face of the tracking solar panels as the face normally presented to the sun or if CPV devices are used and it is desirable to route light backwards through the CPV and use the concentrator in reverse to disperse light across a wider area.
If desired, the tracking solar panels may be rotatable about a third axis, perpendicular to the first and second axes. The direction of movement of the panels about this third axis is represented graphically with reference to the movement of the lowermost panel 7 by the dashed arrow C in Figure 2(a). It is envisaged that the third axis will be substantially parallel and coincident with the longitudinal axis of the tracking solar panel. This will facilitate tracking and also can facilitate rotation of the entire tracking solar panel so that the side normally facing the sun can face downwardly at night time. It will be understood that this is only one option for the 3rd axis of rotation. There are several other alternative axes of rotation that could be used for the 3rd axis of rotation.
Again, in the implementation shown, the tracking solar panels are circumferentially offset by approximately 90° from the nearest neighbouring tracking solar panel however this offset could be 120° to evenly space the three tracking solar panels circumferentially about the pole 3 or another desired angle depending on the geometry of the tracking solar panels 7 and the direction in which it is desired to direct the light. The tracking solar panels shown are rectangular shaped however it is envisaged that other shapes such as pie or wedge shapes could be put to good effect. In the embodiment shown in Figure 3(a), it can be seen that the three tracking solar panels and their collars have been moved upwards on the pole 3 to ensure maximum coverage area of the light from the LEDs. It will be understood that the tracking solar panels, in one embodiment, are also moveable downwards towards the base 15 of the pole 3 to allow maintenance to the tracking solar panels and easy installation of the tracking solar panels. The collars may be provided with means to releasably grip the pole or indeed a track may be provided on the pole to allow movement of the collars upwards and downwards on the pole. Referring once more to Figure 1(a) and Figure 1(b), it can be seen that the tracking solar panels 7 are mounted on the pole 3 in an offset fashion with respect to each other, with the distance that the solar panels 7 protrude from the pole increasing from the uppermost solar panel downwards to the lowermost solar panel. In this way, a lower solar panel protrudes a greater distance from the pole than a higher solar panel. This is seen as a simple and effective way of maximizing the potential capture of the sun's rays by each of the solar panels mounted on the pole. The amount of offset will depend in part on the distance of the tracking solar panel assembly from the equator. The further from the equator, the less offset will required. It is envisaged that between 5% and 60% offset will be sufficient in most cases and 33% offset is a good compromise for most locations. The use of offset can obviate the need for providing a tracking solar panel that is rotatable about a third axis which will reduce the complexity of the tracking solar panels construction and reduce the maintenance cost and the possibility of failure of the tracking solar panel. Furthermore, such a construction has been modeled in some situations as being more efficient than a construction that is rotatable about a third axis.
Simulations:
Various simulations were carried out tracking the path of the sun and comparing the efficiency of different configurations of tracking solar panels. For the purposes of the simulation, PVSyst ® simulation software provided by PVSyst SA, currently having an address in Satigny, Switzerland, was used. The location of the tracking solar panels was assumed to be Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Latitude 24.9°N, Longitude 46.4Έ, altitude 755 meters). For the purposes of the simulation, solar panels such as those illustrated in Figure 6 were used. Referring to Figure 6, it can be seen that the solar panels 7 each comprise three strings 101 , each with a bypass diode (not shown). Each of the strings 101 consisted of a number of photovoltaic cells 103 connected in series. Specifically, each string 101 consisted of two rows 105, 107 of cells 103 side by side across the width of the panel 7, with current in each string travelling across one row and back along the other row before entering the next string 101. The consequence of shading on the efficiency of the different configurations was determined and the efficiency of the different configurations was compared. In all simulations, three panels were mounted on the pole and vertically spaced from each other along the pole. Simulation 1 :
In a first simulation, all three tracking solar panels were mounted at the same distance from the pole and all three tracking solar panels tracked the sun in tilt and azimuth. The degree of shading resulted in the configuration achieving 82% capture of the total potential.
Simulation 2:
In a second simulation, all three tracking solar panels were mounted at the same distance from the pole and all three tracking solar panels tracked the sun in tilt angle. Only one of the tracking solar panels (the uppermost) accurately tracked the sun in azimuth angle while the middle tracking solar panel lagged behind the top solar panel by 30° and the lowest tracking solar panel lagged behind the top solar panel by 60°. In this instance, angular shadings on the panels resulted in large losses. (Angular shading is where the shadow from one or more panels above crosses over, at least partially, more than one string of the panel below. If one cell in a string is completely shaded, then the entire string is eliminated, even though the other cells are not shaded. Thus, due to the string arrangement, angular shading can be more harmful to panel performance than so- called rectangular shading, since a smaller shadow can eliminate multiple strings.) The degree of shading resulted in the configuration achieving 73% capture of the total potential.
Simulation 3:
In a third simulation, all three tracking solar panels were mounted at the same distance from the pole and all three tracking solar panels tracked the sun in tilt angle. Only one of the tracking solar panels accurately tracked the sun in azimuth angle while the other two tracking solar panels lagged or led the first tracking solar panel. All three modules were able to rotate about a third axis so that the modules faced the sun. In this instance, the shading of the upper panel on the lower panel was rectangular in nature resulting in an impact on less of the diodes in a lower panel. This configuration achieved 89% capture of the total potential.
Simulation 4:
In a fourth simulation, all three tracking solar panels were mounted at the same distance from the pole and all three tracking solar panels tracked the sun in tilt angle. Only one of the tracking solar panels (the uppermost) accurately tracked the sun in azimuth angle while the middle tracking solar panel lagged behind the top solar panel by 30° and the lowest tracking solar panel led ahead of the top solar panel by 30°. In this instance, angular shadings on the panels resulted in large losses. The degree of shading resulted in the configuration achieving 82% capture of the total potential.
Simulation 5:
In a fifth simulation, all three tracking solar panels were mounted at the same distance from the pole and all three tracking solar panels tracked the sun in tilt angle. Only one of the tracking solar panels accurately tracked the sun in azimuth angle while the other two tracking solar panels lagged or led the first tracking solar panel by up to 90°. All three modules were able to rotate about a third axis so that the modules faced the sun. In this instance, it was always possible to find a position with no shading. This configuration achieved 100% capture of the total potential.
Simulation 6:
In a sixth simulation, all three tracking solar panels were mounted at different distances from the pole. All three tracking solar panels tracked the sun in tilt and azimuth angle. The tracking solar panels were each offset by a distance of 1/3 of the length of the solar panel from the solar panel above. The length of the panel in this description will be understood as being the dimension by which the panel protrudes outwardly from the pole. In other words, the middle solar panel protrudes outwardly from the pole by a distance equal to an additional 1/3 of the length of the solar panel compared with the top solar panel. Furthermore, the bottom solar panel protrudes outwardly from the pole by a distance equal to an additional 1/3 of the length of the solar panel compared with the middle solar panel and by an additional 2/3 of the length of the solar panel compared with the top solar panel. There was no angular offset between the panels in this simulation, i.e. all panels rotated about the pole together, retaining their angular alignment at all times. This configuration achieved 96% capture of the total potential.
Summary of Simulation results:
It can be seen from the simulation results that with an optimized tracking algorithm with all tracking solar panels tracking the sun in tilt angle, and with one of the panels tracking the sun in azimuth angle and with the other two panels leading or lagging relative to the first tracking solar panel by up to 90° rotation about the pole, and providing an extra 3rd axis for rotation of the panels, 100% of the potential power of the three tracking solar panels can be captured (this is excluding any shading from the pole itself). However, it is possible to achieve 96% potential by providing a simpler configuration in which the panels all track the sun in tilt and azimuth angle but without having the 3rd axis for rotation, and in which the panels are placed at offset distances from the pole.
Referring to Figures 4(a) to 4(d) inclusive, there is shown one example of how a tracking solar panel may be mounted on a utility pole 3 that will allow rotation of the tracking solar panel about a pair of axes. Referring first of all to Figure 4(a), a pair of brackets 41 , 43 are mounted onto the pole 3. Each bracket is provided with a pair of screw holes 45 to allow the use of screws or bolts (not shown) to mount the bracket to the pole 3. Each bracket 41 , 43 is further provided with a pair of transverse channels 47, each for reception of a strap 48. The strap 48 may be, but is not limited to, a jubilee clip. The straps 48 can be used instead of or in addition to the screws and bolts. A mounting plate 49 protrudes outwardly from the bracket 41 , 43 for engagement of a collar (not shown).
In the embodiment shown in figure 4(a), the brackets 41 , 43 are diametrically opposed to each other about the pole 3 however more brackets or fewer brackets could be provided if desired. Furthermore, the brackets 41, 43 will be dimensioned for secure engagement with the pole. If desired, the inner facing surface of the bracket that, when in use, is in abutment with the outer facing surface of the pole 3, may be contoured to match the outer contour of the pole. For example, the inner surface of the bracket may be curved to match the outer surface profile of a substantially cylindrical pole or the inner surface of the bracket may be substantially flat to match the outer surface contour of a substantially hexagonal or similarly shaped pole.
Referring specifically to Figure 4(b), there is shown a substantially annular collar, indicated generally by the reference numeral 51. The collar 51 comprises a two part body, each of the two parts or halves 53, 55 extend around the pole 3 and engage with the other half thereby surrounding the pole 3. The two halves are bolted onto the brackets 41 , 43. If desired, the two halves may be hingedly connected to each other. In Figure 4(b), there is further shown a tracking solar panel 7 having an arm 57 connected at one of its ends 59 to the tracking solar panel and the other end 61 is intended for indirect engagement of the collar 51 , which will be described in more detail below with reference to Figure 4(d). Referring still to Figure 4(b), the arm 57 is pivotally connected to the tracking solar panel 7 at its end 59 so that the tracking solar panel can pivot about the substantially horizontal pivot bar 63. In this way, the tracking solar panel will be tiltable relative to the pole 3 and a first substantially vertical axis. The angle of tilt of the tracking solar panel is controlled by a mesh gearing system 65 responsive to the controller. The mesh gearing system comprises a moveable, following toothed gear wheel section 67 connected to the tracking solar panel and a driven toothed gear wheel 69 connected to the arm 57. The driven toothed gear wheel 69 and the following toothed gear wheel section 67 are interlocked so that as the driven toothed gear wheel 69 is operated, the rotation of the driven gear wheel 69 will cause the following toothed gear wheel section 67 to move thereby causing the tracking solar panel to rotate about the horizontal pivot bar 63.
Referring to Figure 4(c), there is shown a view similar to Figure 4(b) with the exception that a toothed annular track, referred to as the ring gear 71 is mounted on the exterior of the collar 51 circumferentially surrounding the carriage. The ring gear 71 is fixed in position relative to the collar and is provided for engagement with a driven mesh gear wheel of a motor (not shown).
Referring to Figure 4(d), there is shown a representation of a carriage 81 which encapsulates the collar 51 and the ring gear 71 and onto which the arm 57 is mounted adjacent the end 61 of the arm. For reasons of clarity, only the framework of the carriage 81 is shown and the sides have been removed from the carriage to facilitate the understanding of the operation of the tracking solar panel. The carriage 81 comprises a two part carriage, 83, 85, the two parts of which surround the pole, the collar 51 and the ring gear 71. The two parts of the carriage 81 are secured together. Friction reducing bearings (not shown) are provided intermediate the carriage 81 and the collar 51 so that the carriage effectively sits on the collar and is able to move relative to the collar 51 and rotate about the pole. A motor 87 with a driven mesh gear wheel 89 is provided mounted adjacent the end 61 of the arm 57. The driven mesh gear wheel 89 of the motor 87 interlocks with the ring gear 71 so that operation of the motor 87 will cause the entire carriage, arm and by extension the tracking solar panel to rotate about the pole 3.
Referring to Figure 5, there is shown a diagrammatic cross sectional representation of the collar 51 , the ring gear 71 and the carriage 81. The carriage 81 comprises friction reducing bearing including upper rollers 91 and lower rollers 93. The upper rollers 91 and the lower rollers are each freely rotatable about a shaft 95. The upper rollers 91 are in abutment with the bearing surface 97 of the collar 51 and the lower rollers 93 are in abutment with the bearing surface 99 of the collar 51. As the mesh gear wheel of the motor (not shown) engages the teeth of the ring gear 71 , the carriage will rotate around the collar and by extension the entire tracking solar panel will rotate about the pole.
An anemometer, if provided, will be able to detect when the wind strength is such that it may cause damage to the tracking solar panels or the windage of the tracking solar panels is likely to cause damage to the pole. In these instances, the controller can cause each of the tracking solar panels to assume a protection configuration, similar to that shown in Figures 2(a) and 2(b), where they are positioned so that they are least likely to be damaged or cause damage. The anemometer will also be able to detect wind direction in some instances in which case, the tracking solar panels could all be positioned on the leeward side of the pole in the shelter of the pole. The tracking solar panels can also be tilted about one or more of their axes to minimize the likelihood of damage caused by the wind.
Various other modifications could be made to the utility pole assembly without departing from the spirit of the invention. For example, there are three tracking solar panels in the embodiments shown however more or fewer than three could be provided. In addition to the above, in the embodiments described, PV solar panels are used however CPV solar panels could be used instead if desired although these will be more expensive at present rates. It will be understood by the skilled practitioner that various different connections and attachments could be used to ensure that the tracking solar panels are able to track the sun about at least two axes. Furthermore, the electrical wiring has been removed from the drawings for clarity and the implementation of the wiring would be understood by the skilled addressee. If desired, a temperature sensor may be provided to determine when there is a risk of snow or ice buildup and the controller may be responsive to the temperature sensor in much the same way that it is responsive to an anemometer. Instead of providing a temperature sensor and/or an anemometer, it is envisaged that it may be preferable to provide a communication module so that the controller can receive weather information. This will allow the controller 11 to take protective measures if necessary but without having the monitoring equipment on every utility pole assembly. In the embodiments shown, both the controller 11 and the inverter have been shown internal the pole however it will be understood that one or both of these components could be external to the pole.
In the embodiment described, each of the controllers may be provided with a GPS unit or alternatively, the GPS co-ordinates may be programmed into the controller on initial set up so that a dedicated GPS unit on the controller is not required. As a further alternative, the tracking system to ensure that the panels are directed towards the sun may not incorporate GPS technology. Instead, there may be provided an alternative tracking system which could be incorporated that would operate without reference or need for GPS positioning. For example, one alternative tracking system would be a system with light detection equipment and measurement equipment to continuously locate the sun and direct the panels accordingly. Furthermore, there may simply be a tracking program pre-programmed into memory accessible by the controller for causing the controller to operate the motors appropriately and cause the panels to follow a predetermined path.
The controller 11 may be provided with communication means such as a radio transceiver, a receiver and transmitter, or other transceiver/communication device for communication with a remote control centre or to allow the controller to be remotely programmed, queried, or to allow the controller to transmit data remotely. If only one way communication to the tracking solar panel's controller is required, for example to program the controller or send other instructions to the controller, a simple receiver may be provided instead of a transceiver or device with a transmitter. The controller 11 could be provided with monitoring means to detect the amount of electricity generated by the tracking solar panels and this information could be transmitted to a remote control centre. The controller may have equipment to monitor the tracking solar panels and their operation as well as the operation of the LEDs and even the light 5 mounted on the pole. Preferably, the tracking solar panels will be configured so that they may be retrofit to existing poles, but in some cases the pole will be provided as part of the installation. It is envisaged that the assembly can be placed on a variety of pole shapes and sizes.
Throughout this specification, reference has been made to a solar panel. It will be understood that a solar panel may comprise one or more modules (a module being one or more solar cells connected together, for example in the string arrangement illustrated in Figure 6). Furthermore, in the specification, the invention has been described with a plurality of panels spaced apart from each other vertically along the pole with a single panel mounted at the end of each armature. However, it will be understood that a plurality of panels could be mounted at the end of each armature.
In this specification the terms "comprise, comprises, comprised and comprising" and the terms "include, includes, included and including" are all deemed interchangeable and should be afforded the widest possible interpretation.
The invention is in no way limited to the embodiments hereinbefore described but may be varied in both construction and detail within the scope of the claims.

Claims

Claims:
(1 ) A utility pole assembly (1 ) comprising a pole (3) for supporting utility equipment (5) thereon and a plurality of tracking solar panels (7) mounted on the pole, the tracking solar panels (7) being rotatable about a pair of axes (X, Y), each tracking solar panel (7) having a motor for causing tracking movement of the tracking solar panel and in which there is provided a controller (11 ) for causing the motor to move the tracking solar panel, characterised in that the plurality of tracking solar panels (7) are mounted on the pole (3) one above the other and spaced apart vertically from each other along the pole.
(2) A utility pole assembly (1 ) as claimed in claim 1 in which each of the tracking solar panels (7) is rotatable around the pole about a first, substantially vertical axis (X); and each of the tracking solar panels is tiltable relative to the pole and that first, substantially vertical axis about a second, substantially horizontal axis (Y).
(3) A utility pole assembly (1 ) as claimed in claims 1 or 2 in which each of the tracking solar panels (7) is independently moveable with respect to the other tracking solar panels.
(4) A utility pole assembly (1 ) as claimed in any preceding claim in which there are provided three tracking solar panels (7) mounted on the pole (3) and spaced apart vertically along the pole with respect to each other.
(5) A utility pole assembly (1) as claimed in any preceding claim in which the tracking solar panels (7) are mounted on the pole (3) in an offset fashion with respect to each other, with the distance that the solar panels protrude from the pole increasing from the uppermost solar panel to the lowermost solar panel so that a lower solar panel protrudes a greater distance from the pole than a higher solar panel.
(6) A utility pole assembly (1 ) as claimed in claim 5 in which a pair of adjacent tracking solar panels (7) are offset by a distance from the pole (3) of the order of at least 5% of the overall length of the solar panel. (7) A utility pole assembly (1 ) as claimed in claim 5 in which a pair of adjacent tracking solar panels
(7) are offset by a distance from the pole (3) of the order of 33% of the overall length of the solar panel.
(8) A utility pole assembly (1 ) as claimed in any preceding claim in which at least one of the tracking solar panels (7) is offset circumferentially around the pole (3) with respect to another tracking solar panel.
(9) A utility pole assembly (1 ) as claimed in claim 8 in which the tracking solar panel (7) is circumferentially offset by a fixed angular distance around the pole (3) with respect to another tracking solar panel.
(10) A utility pole assembly (1 ) as claimed in claim 8 in which the tracking solar panel (7) is circumferentially offset by a variable angular distance around the pole (3) with respect to another tracking solar panel.
(11 ) A utility pole assembly (1 ) as claimed in any preceding claim in which the tracking solar panels (7) are rotatable about a third, substantially horizontal axis (Z) which is substantially orthogonal to the first and second axes (X, Y).
(12) A utility pole assembly (1) as claimed in claim 2 in which the tracking solar panel (7) is tiltable to and from a position substantially parallel to the vertical axis (x) and a position substantially perpendicular to the vertical axis (X).
(13) A utility pole assembly (1 ) as claimed in any preceding claim in which there are provided a plurality of LEDs mounted on the panels to provide street lighting.
(14) A utility pole assembly (1 ) as claimed in claim 13 in which the plurality of LEDs are powered by the mains electricity supply.
(15) A utility pole assembly (1) as claimed in any preceding claim in which the tracking solar panels (7) are concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) panels.
(16) A utility pole assembly (1 ) as claimed in claim 15 in which the CPV panels are rotatably mounted to allow rotation of the tracking solar panel through approximately 180° so that the CPV panels face towards the ground.
(17) A utility pole assembly (1 ) as claimed in claim 16 in which a CPV panel's light concentrator is operable in reverse so that the CPV panel is operable as a light source with the CPV concentrator dispersing the light.
(18) A utility pole assembly (1 ) as claimed in any preceding claim in which the utility pole assembly is provided with an inverter and the tracking solar panels (7) are connected to the electricity grid as electricity generators.
(19) A utility pole assembly (1 ) as claimed in any preceding claim in which there is provided means to raise and lower the tracking solar panels (7) on the pole.
(20) A utility pole assembly (1 ) as claimed in any preceding claim in which the controller (11 ) receives weather information and the controller is operable to cause the motor to temporarily move the tracking solar panels (7) into a stowed configuration in response to the controller receiving adverse weather information.
PCT/EP2013/002905 2012-09-27 2013-09-27 A utility pole assembly WO2014048575A2 (en)

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB1217306.8A GB2506850A (en) 2012-09-27 2012-09-27 Street light assembly comprising solar panels
GB1217306.8 2012-09-27

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2014048575A2 true WO2014048575A2 (en) 2014-04-03
WO2014048575A3 WO2014048575A3 (en) 2014-07-24

Family

ID=47225302

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/EP2013/002905 WO2014048575A2 (en) 2012-09-27 2013-09-27 A utility pole assembly

Country Status (2)

Country Link
GB (1) GB2506850A (en)
WO (1) WO2014048575A2 (en)

Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN106936372A (en) * 2016-10-12 2017-07-07 青岛理工大学 A kind of wind light mutual complementing integral type electrification structure
EP3386099A1 (en) * 2017-03-15 2018-10-10 EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG Device with a support arrangement for a functional module and method for producing same
US11255500B1 (en) * 2021-02-24 2022-02-22 Heidi Adams Multi-functional streetlight
CN115539884A (en) * 2022-10-09 2022-12-30 江苏浦亚照明科技股份有限公司 Lamp with telescopic and expandable irradiation area function and use method

Families Citing this family (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN110242919A (en) * 2019-06-17 2019-09-17 应晓强 Solar street light
CN112664896A (en) * 2021-01-06 2021-04-16 程怡宁 Solar energy power supply formula street lamp

Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JP2007088345A (en) * 2005-09-26 2007-04-05 Hoei Denken Kk Turnable device of solar panel
KR200439474Y1 (en) * 2006-10-12 2008-04-11 이재용 Angle variable device for solar collector
USD624491S1 (en) * 2008-08-27 2010-09-28 Jialuo Jack Xuan Solar panel and tracking system for street light
KR101003854B1 (en) * 2010-05-12 2010-12-23 장기환 Street lamp with a solar cell and wind power
CN201724127U (en) * 2010-06-02 2011-01-26 诸暨市科力物位仪有限公司 Solar street lamp based on solar tracker
KR101056117B1 (en) * 2010-12-27 2011-08-10 주식회사 자연에너지 A solar light photovoltaic system
US20120227788A1 (en) * 2011-03-09 2012-09-13 Advanced Technology & Research Corp. (ATR) Low cost sun tracking pole mount for solar panels

Family Cites Families (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JP2005252163A (en) * 2004-03-08 2005-09-15 National Agriculture & Bio-Oriented Research Organization Structure and method for mounting solar panel
KR100955813B1 (en) * 2009-08-20 2010-05-06 오현우 The solar street light system with self generating
CN201731421U (en) * 2010-07-22 2011-02-02 厦门市朗星节能照明有限公司 Solar LED streetlight
CN102506374A (en) * 2011-11-08 2012-06-20 无锡爱尼达新能源科技有限公司 Wind and light complementary high pillar lamp

Patent Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JP2007088345A (en) * 2005-09-26 2007-04-05 Hoei Denken Kk Turnable device of solar panel
KR200439474Y1 (en) * 2006-10-12 2008-04-11 이재용 Angle variable device for solar collector
USD624491S1 (en) * 2008-08-27 2010-09-28 Jialuo Jack Xuan Solar panel and tracking system for street light
KR101003854B1 (en) * 2010-05-12 2010-12-23 장기환 Street lamp with a solar cell and wind power
CN201724127U (en) * 2010-06-02 2011-01-26 诸暨市科力物位仪有限公司 Solar street lamp based on solar tracker
KR101056117B1 (en) * 2010-12-27 2011-08-10 주식회사 자연에너지 A solar light photovoltaic system
US20120227788A1 (en) * 2011-03-09 2012-09-13 Advanced Technology & Research Corp. (ATR) Low cost sun tracking pole mount for solar panels

Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN106936372A (en) * 2016-10-12 2017-07-07 青岛理工大学 A kind of wind light mutual complementing integral type electrification structure
CN106936372B (en) * 2016-10-12 2018-09-04 青岛理工大学 A kind of wind light mutual complementing integral type electrification structure
EP3386099A1 (en) * 2017-03-15 2018-10-10 EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG Device with a support arrangement for a functional module and method for producing same
US11255500B1 (en) * 2021-02-24 2022-02-22 Heidi Adams Multi-functional streetlight
US20220268410A1 (en) * 2021-02-24 2022-08-25 Heidi Adams Multi-functional Streetlight
US11703198B2 (en) * 2021-02-24 2023-07-18 Heidi Adams Multi-functional streetlight
CN115539884A (en) * 2022-10-09 2022-12-30 江苏浦亚照明科技股份有限公司 Lamp with telescopic and expandable irradiation area function and use method
CN115539884B (en) * 2022-10-09 2024-02-23 江苏浦亚照明科技股份有限公司 Lamp with telescopic irradiation area expansion function and use method

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
GB201217306D0 (en) 2012-11-14
WO2014048575A3 (en) 2014-07-24
GB2506850A (en) 2014-04-16

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US11489484B2 (en) Utility pole solar energy collector system
WO2014048575A2 (en) A utility pole assembly
CN103380332B (en) Robot sunshine tracking equipment
US20170093329A1 (en) Array powered solar tracking system
US20140209146A1 (en) Solar power generating apparatus
US20110290306A1 (en) Solar array configurations
US20110056484A1 (en) Self-erecting gimbal mounted solar radiation collectors
WO2013003737A2 (en) Sun tracking solar power collection system designed for pole structures including wind turbine poles
CN103066886B (en) Self adaptation solar tracking is taken precautions against natural calamities Blast Furnace Top Gas Recovery Turbine Unit (TRT) and control method
KR101303317B1 (en) Photovoltaic power generation apparatus
CA2955629C (en) Utility pole mounted solar panels and securing brackets
AU2017374057B2 (en) Enclosure and dynamic heat dissipation method for heat source inside the enclosure and dynamic heat dissipation system inside the enclosure
Rana A study on automatic dual axis solar tracker system using 555 timer
WO2014009541A2 (en) Solar panel array
US9692352B2 (en) Solar collector and conversion array
US20220263457A1 (en) Modular, Photovoltaic Utility Pole System
WO2014180098A1 (en) Application method of tubular photovoltaic power generation component
US20210126465A1 (en) Electric vehicle (ev) charging system with down-sun wind turbine
KR101315982B1 (en) Photovoltaic power generation apparatus
BG67499B1 (en) Active tracking system for the positioning of solar panels
KR20120018850A (en) Diamond-shaped multi-directional fixed tracking methods solar cells system streetlight and the manufacturing method
US11955925B2 (en) Large-scale solar tracker installation control system
KR101327418B1 (en) Photovoltaic power generation apparatus
BG3811U1 (en) Active tracking system for positioning of solar panels
CN115808934A (en) System for obtaining energy by utilizing solar energy

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
122 Ep: pct application non-entry in european phase

Ref document number: 13802874

Country of ref document: EP

Kind code of ref document: A2