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Title:
MULTIFUNCTIONAL MODULAR COVERING
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/077640
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Covering for a construction comprising at least two modular panels (10, 110) each comprising a base body (14) structurally connected with respect to each other, wherein at least one modular panel (10) contains, integrated in its base body (14), means to capture solar energy (16, 18) and an accumulation unit (22) provided with at least a tank (30) for hot water connectable to a user hydraulic circuit, and at least another modular panel (110) contains integrated in its base body (14) a conditioning device (90) configured to cool or heat a room.

Inventors:
DAMO, Mario (Viale Europa 17, MOTTA DI LIVENZA, 31045, IT)
Application Number:
IT2018/050200
Publication Date:
April 25, 2019
Filing Date:
October 18, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MAS ROOF S.R.L. (Via Padova 5, ODERZO, 31046, IT)
International Classes:
E04D3/35; E04C2/52; F24S20/67
Domestic Patent References:
WO2010150086A22010-12-29
Foreign References:
US20130276868A12013-10-24
FR3047548A12017-08-11
CN101092841A2007-12-26
US20130333310A12013-12-19
US20120152320A12012-06-21
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PETRAZ, Davide Luigi et al. (GLP SRL, Viale Europa Unita 171, UDINE, 33100, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Modular covering for a construction (12), comprising at least two modular panels (10, 1 10) each comprising a base body (14) structurally connected with respect to each other, characterized in that at least one modular panel (10) contains integrated in its base body (14) means to capture solar energy (16, 18) and an accumulation unit (22) provided with at least a tank (30) for hot water connectable to a user hydraulic circuit, and at least one other modular panel (110) contains integrated in its base body (14) a conditioning device (90) configured to cool or heat a room, wherein said accumulation unit (22) and said conditioning device (90) are connected to each other by means of respective hydraulic and/or aeraulic circuits (19, 38, 94, 95, 98, 99) to define at least one of either a plant intended for the production of hot water (86), a plant intended for heating, or a plant intended to air condition a room (88).

2. Covering as in claim 1, characterized in that said means to capture solar energy comprise at least one of either a thermal solar panel (16) or a photovoltaic panel (18). 3. Covering as in claim 1 or 2, characterized in that said conditioning device (90) comprises at least one of either a solar cooling device (92) or a heat pump (96).

4. Modular covering as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that said accumulation unit (22) comprises at least one heat transfer circuit (38) inside which a heat-carrying fluid flows, fluidically connected to and cooperating with a heat exchange circuit (19) of a thermal solar panel (16), wherein said heat transfer circuit (38) is fluidically separate from said tank (30).

5. Modular covering as in claim 4, characterized in that at least part of said at least one heat transfer circuit (38) is made in a single body with said at least one tank (30) and is located internally, or externally, to the tank (30) itself.

6. Modular covering as in claim 4, characterized in that at least part of said at least one heat transfer circuit (38) is internally or externally coupled with said at least one tank (30).

7. Modular covering as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that said tank (30) comprises a plurality of modular sub-tanks (30a) connected in sequence to each other. 8. Modular covering as in claim 7, characterized in that said base body (14) comprises a filling material (46) that at least partly surrounds said sub-tanks (30a) and said heat transfer circuit (38), said filling material (46) being configured to thermally insulate and join said sub-tanks (30a) and said heat transfer circuit (38) defining an accumulation unit (22) in a single body.

9. Modular covering as in any claim from 2 to 8, characterized in that at least part of a cooling/heating circuit of said conditioning device (90) is connected to the heat transfer circuit (38) of said accumulation unit (22).

10. Modular covering as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that said accumulation unit (22) comprises at least one auxiliary electric resistance (44) disposed inside said tank (30) and configured to heat the water contained therein.

11. Modular covering as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that said base body (14) of said modular panels (10, 110) consists of section bar elements (50) joined to each other to define a containing and support structure in the form of a frame having a geometric shape able to couple with other modular panels (10, 110) in any side whatsoever, said section bar elements (50) being provided, on the side facing toward the outside, with connection seatings (52) suitable to cooperate with connection means (54, 56) to connect one modular panel (10, 1 10) to other modular panels and with through holes (43) suitable to allow the passage of said hydraulic and/or aeraulic circuits (19, 38, 94, 95, 98, 99) from one to the other of said modular panels (10, 110).

12. Modular covering as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that said connection seatings (52) are defined by shaped hollows (59) and by at least one shaped protrusion (57), the whole being suitable to couple respectively with ridges (60) and a mating seating (58) present on said connection insert (54) or on an attachment device (56) which can be inserted axially in a longitudinal direction.

13. Modular panel suitable to make a covering (11) for a construction (12), comprising a base body (14) suitable to define a substantially airtight containing and support structure, characterized in that said base body (14) is provided laterally with connection seatings (52) to connect said modular panel to other modular panels by connection means (54, 56), and with through holes (43) configured to allow the passage of hydraulic and/or aeraulic circuits (19, 38, 94, 95, 98, 99) from and toward an adjacent modular panel, and in that said modular panel contains, integrated in said base body (14), means to capture solar energy (16, 18) and an accumulation unit (22) for the hot water provided with at least a tank (30) connectable to a user hydraulic circuit, or a conditioning device (90).

14. Modular panel as in claim 13, characterized in that it comprises a metal sheet (49) that closes said base body (14) at the lower part, wherein said metal sheet (49) is configured to act as a ceiling or wall for the rooms or a building or for a construction and can be personalized as a function of requirements, in both aesthetic and functional terms, being suitable to allow the application of lighting devices and/or heating, cooling devices and/or air exchange devices for the rooms.

Description:
MULTIFUNCTIONAL MODULAR COVERING

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention concerns a covering for a construction, for example suitable for the construction of roofs, or vertical or sub-vertical walls, at least partly outside the construction.

In particular, the present invention is preferably applied in the production of a covering for a construction in a context of maximum possible use of clean, alternative and renewable energy.

The present invention concerns, in particular, a covering or a wall of a construction, of a modular type, consisting of a plurality of panels functionally connected to one another, which, in its complete extension, integrates inside it an energy plant for the production and storage of domestic hot water and/or for heating user devices.

In particular at least one modular panel is able to integrate, inside its peripheral profile, suitable means to capture and/or convert solar energy or means for air conditioning.

The present invention therefore also concerns a plurality of panels of a modular type, suitable to be connected to one another and intended to obtain hot water and/or for heating and/or producing electric energy.

The present invention also provides a plurality of panels for environmental conditioning, since said panels are associated with a source of hot water, and said source can consist of panels intended to obtain hot water, or from another source.

The panels can be combined to generate a normally flat structure, but also arched, also intended for functions of covering a construction.

By construction we mean a private or public building, for example a swimming pool, an office, a library, a gymnasium, a warehouse, a lean-to, a garage, a greenhouse, or other, and by covering we mean the material of a roof and/or a wall, or the combination with a panel and/or a wall.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

There is a well-known need to use alternative and/or renewable energy sources, to integrate or replace traditional sources of energy production. This requirement is influenced by the ever-increasing attention paid to reducing the atmospheric pollution caused by the use of traditional sources, as well as to make their exploitation less intensive, and finally for economic reasons.

In this context, solutions are known that provide to install, on the coverings of buildings, additional structures, such as, for example, cells, or thermal or photovoltaic solar panels, able to exploit the energy of the sun to generate, respectively, thermal or electric energy.

Solar thermal panels are mainly used in plants for the production of hot water, so that normally they have a storage tank suitable to contain the heated water.

Tanks used for domestic user devices, for example, but not only, are generally built to contain a quantity of water comprised between about 300 and about 500 liters and are therefore particularly bulky. If they are installed in proximity to the solar panels, outside the building, they create an unattractive appearance, while if they are installed inside the building itself, they occupy spaces that could be otherwise exploited.

The trend is increasingly spreading, especially in new buildings, to provide both solar thermal plants for the production of domestic hot water, and photovoltaic plants for the production of electric energy. These plants can be associated with internal user devices and/or systems to condition the building itself, to cool or heat the rooms, so as to create so-called "trigeneration" systems.

The solutions proposed by the state of the art for trigeneration generally provide to use heat pumps as a conditioning system, combined with the photovoltaic plant.

Heat pumps are generally installed with a first part inside the building, and a second part outside the building, which can disfigure the building itself, as well as create problems in installation and maintenance.

A different and less known proposal is to use so-called solar cooling, that is, a machine able to cool the building by taking energy from a thermal source, exploiting the evaporation of a mixture by means of suitable pumps.

Solar cooling technology can be combined with a solar panel plant to use hot water, which is not used during the summer, indeed becoming a problem because the water tends to boil, with consequent safety problems.

"Solar cooling" systems comprise an absorption or adsorption refrigerator, and a cooler, and are generally installed outside the buildings to be conditioned.

It should also be kept in mind that, when building a construction, a panel is generally constructed, that is, a roof, or one or more walls. In the case of roofs, or walls, they normally consist of covering elements, such as tiles, bricks, panels, slabs, or suchlike. The covering elements need to be associated with load-bearing structures on which the solar and/or photovoltaic panels are then installed, as well as the possible components of the conditioning and hot water systems.

Furthermore, depending on the positioning of the solar and/or photovoltaic panels, and/or the air conditioning systems associated with them, it is necessary to make more or less complex hydraulic and/or electric circuits to connect them to each other and to the user devices.

Modular panels are also known which contain inside them means to receive and store solar energy, for example described in documents WO-A-2010/150086, US-A- 2013/333310 and US-A-2012/152320.

WO-A-2010/150086 describes a modular panel for making roofs or walls of a building, which comprises inside it means to capture and irradiate energy. This modular panel provides to use solar energy to generate electric energy, and possibly to store the thermal energy by heating a heat-carrying fluid inside a circuit disposed on the side of the panel facing toward the inside of the building. However, this panel does not allow to heat the water of a user device directly; it also provides a configuration comprising two shells coupled with one another which define a compartment to accumulate the heat- carrying fluid between them, and which are not practical to install and mount and not easily adaptable to different shapes and sizes.

Document US-A-2013/333310 describes a modular structure such as a roof or a wall comprising a plurality of modular panels each provided with a shell and a filling material coupled with each other to define at least one compartment for a heat-carrying fluid and/or for fluid and electric connections.

Document US-A-2012/152320 concerns a panel provided with a base frame configured to support a photovoltaic panel and a solar thermal panel coupled with the photovoltaic panel.

However, these panels too need additional structures for connection with possible conditioning systems.

One disadvantage of the solutions in the state of the art therefore consists in the great bulk of the additional structures, also entailing a certain complexity and difficulty in integrating them with the part of the covering already present, or to be constructed, and maintenance problems.

Another disadvantage of panels and coverings in the state of the art generally consists in the lack of structural and functional connection between the lining elements of the coverings and the solar and/or photovoltaic panels and/or the conditioning systems with which they are associated, which entails considerable costs.

Another disadvantage is that complex hydraulic and electric circuits are needed to connect the various components of the conditioning and/or hot water production systems.

One purpose of the present invention is to provide a covering of the modular type, which integrates inside it at least one of either an energy plant for the production of domestic hot water, a heating plant, or an air conditioning plant.

One purpose of the present invention is to provide a modular covering, itself suitable to form roofs and/or walls, able to be functionally specialized, for example integrating in it means for the extensive exploitation of alternative and renewable energy.

Another purpose of the present invention is to provide a modular covering which has a simplified configuration and finished in itself, and is such as to facilitate assembly, disassembly and maintenance operations both of the covering itself and also of the plants integrated in it.

Another purpose of the present invention is to provide a modular panel that can be used both to produce thermal solar and/or photovoltaic energy plants, and also plants that comprise, or also comprise, conditioning systems, obtaining systems suitable both for heating and also for cooling a room, and to obtain hot water and/or electric energy.

Furthermore, one purpose of the present invention is to provide a modular panel which can be easily produced with different sizes and shapes using the same components, even if adapted.

Another purpose of the present invention is to provide a modular panel and a corresponding covering consisting of a plurality of said panels, which can be self- supporting, that is, it does not require substantial support structures, at the same time obtaining a reduction in the time and costs of construction, as well as ensuring great structural strength and resistance to loads.

Another purpose of the present invention is to optimize operations and interventions on the electric, fluidic and possibly other equipment (optic fibers, pipes for alarm systems, etc.), reducing time and costs and facilitating access of maintenance personnel to the zones of intervention.

Another purpose is to be able to produce modular panels that meet the most varied installation requirements.

The Applicant has devised, tested and embodied the present invention to overcome the shortcomings of the state of the art and to obtain these and other purposes and advantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is set forth and characterized in the independent claims, while the dependent claims describe other characteristics of the invention or variants to the main inventive idea.

In accordance with the above purposes, a modular covering according to the invention, whether functioning as a roof, or integration of a roof, or a wall, or integration of a wall, comprises at least two modular panels each comprising a base body structurally connected with each other.

According to one aspect of the present invention, at least one modular panel contains integrated in its base body means to capture solar energy and an accumulation unit provided with at least a tank for hot water connectable to a user hydraulic circuit, and at least one other modular panel contains integrated in its base body a conditioning device configured to cool or heat a room.

According to some embodiments, the accumulation unit and the conditioning device are connected to each other by means of respective hydraulic and/or aeraulic circuits to define at least one of either a plant intended for the production of hot water, a plant intended for heating, or a plant intended to air condition a room.

According to some embodiments, the means to capture solar energy comprise at least one of either a thermal solar panel or a photovoltaic panel.

According to possible variants, the modular panel is a hybrid panel, comprising both the thermal solar panel and also the photovoltaic panel, thus offering increased versatility during use depending on requirements.

According to some embodiments, the conditioning device comprises at least one of either a solar cooling device or a heat pump. The conditioning device, in cooperation with the accumulation device and the tank for the water thus allows to use solar energy both to heat the domestic water of the user device and also to heat and cool an internal room of the construction.

According to some embodiments, the accumulation unit is associated with at least one heat transfer circuit inside which a heat-carrying fluid flows suitable to heat the water inside the tank.

The heat transfer circuit, according to a first variant, is connected to the heat exchange circuit of the thermal solar panel.

According to another variant at least part of the heat transfer circuit is connected to a heating/cooling circuit of the conditioning device, on the one hand functioning as a cooling system of the conditioning device itself and on the other hand heating the tank.

According to another variant, the at least one heat transfer circuit is located in contact with the at least one tank and is fluidically separated from it.

According to a variant, the tank consists of a plurality of modular sub-tanks connected in sequence to each other. This configuration confers other aspects of modularity on the modular panel, making it possible to modify the shape and size thereof according to requirements. Moreover, in this way it is possible to size the capacity of the tank, or of the singular sub-tanks, depending on the water requirements or on the size and/or shape of the modular panel.

According to some embodiments, each sub-tank is associated with at least one channel of the heat transfer circuit.

According to some embodiments, each modular panel is associated with the adjoining modular panel, also through connection means, to create a stable surface.

According to a variant, the connection means operate with bayonet coupling, or same-shape coupling or snap-in coupling.

According to another variant, between two adjoining modular panels there are sealing means against bad weather.

According to another variant, the modular covering comprises a plurality of panels which constitute an autonomous plant intended, according to its conformation, for the production and delivery of hot water to the user devices, or for the production and delivery of hot and/or cold air to a desired room, or for the production and delivery of cold and/or hot water to a desired room.

Embodiments described here also concern a modular panel which has means to standardize it according to the desired geometric shape chosen from rectangle, square, triangle, hexagon, or other polygon, and is advantageously able to be assembled to form continuous surfaces.

The modular panel has inside it means consistent with the specialization of its operating function. This functional specialization can be intended to obtain hot water, to heat rooms, for air conditioning, or integrated plants, for example intended to obtain hot water, heating and/or conditioning.

The modular panel according to the invention comprises a base body which, in its general form, consists of components that make the sides, cooperating with components which connect at least part of the sides together, and cooperates with components which connect the adjacent modular panels with each other, that is, the modular panels themselves to the place where they are installed.

The modular panel also comprises covering means that are possibly functionally specialized, for example to capture and/or convert solar energy, and possible lower closing means.

According to some embodiments, the modular panel contains, integrated inside the base body, means to capture and/or convert solar energy and at least one accumulation unit comprising at least one tank suitable to contain the water to be heated, provided with at least one delivery pipe and at least one return pipe to the circuit of the user device.

According to a variant, the means to capture and/or convert solar energy are protected by a suitable glass panel.

According to another variant, the modular panel comprises at least part of the components of an air-conditioning apparatus.

According to some embodiments, the modular panels have at least partly thermal insulation means.

According to another variant, the modular panel has at least part of the hydraulic and/or electric circuitry for the purposes of the plant of which the modular panel is part. According to another embodiment, the modular panel is closed in the lower part of the base body by a metal sheet, which can be personalized as a function of requirements, in both aesthetic and functional terms. The metal sheet can therefore act as a visible ceiling or wall, for a construction, possibly associated with an insulating material. The modular panel can therefore carry out both a function of protection against atmospheric agents and also as thermal and acoustic insulation

According to some embodiments, on the bottom metal plate, positioned visible in the interior rooms of, for example, a building, lighting devices can be applied, or possibly heating devices, cooling or air exchange devices, such as nozzles or suchlike. The bottom plate also allows access to the components of the modular panel from inside the building, facilitating possible maintenance or replacement thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other characteristics of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of some embodiments, given as a non-restrictive example with reference to the attached drawings wherein:

- fig. 1 is a three-dimensional view, schematized, of a building comprising a plurality of coverings made with the present invention;

- fig. 2 is a lateral view, partly in section, of a standardized modular panel with a rectangular shape according to some embodiments described here;

- fig. 3 is a three-dimensional view of a tank of a modular panel according to variant embodiments described here;

- fig. 4 is a view from above of a tank partly sectioned along the line IV-IV in fig. 2;

- fig. 5 is a partial three-dimensional view of a modular panel according to variant embodiments described here;

- fig. 6 is a partial three-dimensional view of a modular panel according to other variant embodiments described here;

- fig. 7 is a three-dimensional view of the hydraulic connections between two modular panels according to the invention;

- fig. 8 is a three-dimensional view of a detail of hydraulic connections inside a modular panel according to the invention;

- fig. 9 is a three-dimensional view of the joining zone between two modular panels according to the invention;

- fig. 10 is a lateral view of a panel according to the invention coupled with an attachment element;

- fig. 11 is a three-dimensional view of the joining zone between two adjacent panels;

- fig. 12 is a schematic view of a plurality of modular panels making on one side a covering and on another side a complete plant to heat water and condition a room with solar cooling;

- fig. 13 is an exploded schematic view of a plurality of modular panels making on one side a covering and on another side a complete plant to heat water and condition a room with a heat pump.

To facilitate comprehension, the same reference numbers have been used, where possible, to identify identical common elements in the drawings. It is understood that elements and characteristics of one embodiment can conveniently be incorporated into other embodiments without further clarifications.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SOME EMBODIMENTS

With reference to fig. 1, a plurality of coverings 11 of a construction 12 are shown which, in this case, can be a house, an industrial or commercial building, a school, a sports building, a lean-to, a garage, or suchlike, each comprising a plurality of modular panels 10 according to the invention, disposed adjacent to each other, to form on one side a self-supporting structure, and on the other a plant, for example provided for the production of hot water, for heating, for environmental conditioning, plus possible generation of electric energy.

According to some embodiments, a covering 11 according to the invention comprises at least two modular panels 10, 1 10, of which at least one modular panel 10 provided with means 16, 18, 22 suitable to supply hot water to a user device and at least another modular panel 110 provided with a conditioning device 90 configured to cool or heat a room, which will be described in more detail hereafter.

According to some embodiments, the covering 11 can be, for example, of the planar or curved type, providing the modular panels 10, 110 in one case disposed on the same lying plane, and in the other case disposed angled one with respect to the other according to a defined radius of curvature.

The covering 11 can be a roof, or an external wall of the construction 12.

In the examples the modular panels 10, 110 have a rectangular shape in plan, but other shapes are not excluded.

In accordance with embodiments described with reference to the attached drawings, each modular panel 10, 110 comprises a base body 14 configured to confer on the modular panel 10, 110 the desired geometric shape and sizes, as well as self-supporting characteristics, and is suitable to support loads and stresses.

The base body 14, according to other embodiments, possibly associated with suitable gaskets, can confer a watertight seal on the modular panel 10, 110.

According to some embodiments, at least one modular panel 10 comprises at the upper part means to capture solar energy 16, 18 associated with the base body 14.

According to some embodiments, the means to capture solar energy can be protected by a glass panel 20. According to some embodiments, the means to capture solar energy comprise at least one of either a thermal solar panel 16 suitable to absorb heat, or a photovoltaic panel 18 suitable to absorb solar energy and generate electric energy.

According to some embodiments of the present invention, the thermal solar panel 16 comprises a capturing surface 17 closely cooperating with a heat exchange circuit 19 in which a heat-carrying fluid flows and is heated.

According to some embodiments, the thermal solar panel 16 can comprise a plurality of capturing elements 23, each provided with an upper surface 23a defining a portion of the capturing surface 17, and a tubular pipe 23b, defining a portion of the heat exchange circuit 19.

The tubular pipes 23b can be connected to each other in correspondence with their respective ends, so as to create a single heat exchange circuit 19 defining a path for the heat-carrying fluid between an entrance 19a and an exit 19b.

In accordance with preferred embodiments, the modular panel 10 comprises both the solar thermal panel 16 and the photovoltaic panel 18, thus forming a hybrid modular panel 10 suitable to produce both hot water and electric energy.

According to some embodiments, inside the base body 14, the modular panel 10 has at least part of the necessary electric and hydraulic circuitry, respectively associated with the solar thermal panel 16 and/or with the photovoltaic panel 18, with the respective entrances and exits from and to the user device, as will be described below.

According to one aspect of the present invention, the modular panel 10, in the embodiments shown in figs. 2-3, also comprises an accumulation unit 22 for the water inside the base body 14, provided with a delivery 25 and a return 26.

According to some embodiments, the accumulation unit 22 comprises at least one tank 30 suitable to contain the water to be heated, provided with at least two connections 31 for the hydraulic connection.

According to some embodiments, the accumulation unit 22 comprises a plurality of sub-tanks 30a, connected together by means of connection pipes 37, which can be advantageously removed, associated with the connections 31.

According to some embodiments, for example shown in figs. 2 and 3, each sub-tank 30a has a tubular containing body 33, defining a containing compartment for the water, hydraulically closed at the ends by suitable closing elements 34, on which the connections 31 are provided. According to some embodiments, for example, four sub-tanks 30a can be provided, each provided with two connections 31 on each closing element 34, connected, in this specific case, in series, by means of the connection pipes 37.

According to some embodiments, the number of sub-tanks 30a can be, for example, two, three, four, five, or more, depending on their size and the overall size of the modular panel 10.

By way of example only, the tank 30 can be configured to contain a quantity of water comprised between about 50 and about 200 liters.

When there is a plurality of sub-tanks 30a, each of them can be configured to contain between about 20 and 50 liters depending on the shape and/or the size of the modular panel 10 and/or the water requirements of the user device.

According to other embodiments, the accumulation unit 22 comprises at least one heat transfer circuit 38 inside which a heat-carrying fluid can flow, suitable to heat the water inside the accumulation unit 22. The heat transfer circuit 38 cooperates with the tank 30 to heat the water inside, but is fluidically separated from it/them.

According to some embodiments, in the external periphery of the containing body 33 there are one or more tubular pipes 39 which constitute the heat transfer circuit 38.

According to some solutions, the tubular pipes 39, during use, can be connected in series, or in parallel, by connection pipes 40.

Preferably, the tubular pipes 39 are connected with the connection pipes 40 in such a way as to form a heat transfer circuit 38 between an entrance 41 and an exit 42 for each accumulation unit 22, to obtain a better distribution of the heat-carrying fluid and therefore a better heat transfer to the water to be heated.

According to a first variant, the tubular pipes 39 can be integrated into the containing body 33.

According to another variant, the tubular pipes 39 can be applied on a wall of the containing body 33.

According to another variant, the tubular pipes 39 can be obtained in the internal part of the containing body 33. In this case, for example, the closing elements 34 can be provided with suitable connections.

According to some embodiments, the exit 42 of the heat transfer circuit 38 of a first modular panel 10 can be connected by means of a connection pipe 40 to the entrance 41 of the heat transfer circuit 38 of a second modular panel 10 adjacent to the first one. According to some embodiments, the heat transfer circuit 38 of the accumulation unit 22 is connected to, and cooperates with, the heat exchange circuit 19 to transfer the heat received from the capturing surface 17 of the solar thermal panel 16 to the water present in each tank 24.

In particular, the exit 19b of the heat exchange circuit 19 can be connected to the entrance 41 of the heat transfer circuit 38, for example by means of a connection pipe 47 connected by respective hydraulic connections 32.

According to possible variant embodiments, the heat transfer circuit 38 can be connected to a possible conditioning device 90 and function as a cooling system thereof. According to some solutions, the connection pipes 40, which connect the pipes 39, 23b of the heat transfer circuit 38 with each other, and of the heat exchange circuit 19, and/or the connection pipes 47 between the latter in a modular panel 10, are all positioned advantageously in spaces inside the base body 14.

This makes the modular panel 10 particularly compact and homogeneous, easy to transport and install, allowing to reduce the time required for assembly/disassembly.

Each modular panel 10, 110 also has holes 43 made laterally in the base body 14, of a shape and size suitable to allow the passage of respective connection pipes 37, 40 to connect respective tanks 30, and heat exchange circuits 19 and heat transfer circuits 38 with those of adjacent modular panels 10, 110 and/or with the conditioning device 90. Advantageously, the connection pipes 37, 40 between the sub-tanks 30a, the tanks 30, and the circuits 19, 38, can be of the modular type, providing straight segments and possible curved joining segments, which can be joined on each occasion in a suitable way to adapt to the position of the holes 43 and of the entrances/exits to be connected. The combination of the holes 43 on the base body 14 of the modular panels 10, 110 and the modularity of the various components of the hydraulic and/or aeraulic circuits 19, 38, 30 and of the connection pipes 37, 40, 47, makes the modular covering 11 extremely versatile, allowing the possibility of connecting on each occasion the various elements of the hydraulic circuits 19, 38, 30, both inside the single modular panel 10, 110, and also between adjacent modular panels 10, 110, according to the functions that are to be performed.

For example, the heat exchange circuit 19, heat transfer circuit 38 and tanks 30 of respective adjacent modular panels 10, 1 10 can be connected to each other in series to make respectively a common heat exchange circuit 119, a common heat transfer circuit 138, and a water heating circuit 130 that can be connected both to each other and also to the conditioning device 90, to define the hot water production plant 86 and the conditioning plant 88.

Fig. 7 shows by way of example the connections between the heat exchange circuits 19 and between the tanks 30 of two adjacent modular panels 10. Similar holes 43 can be provided in the base bodies 14 to connect the heat transfer circuits 38 of the two modular panels 10, 110 to each other.

According to other embodiments, it can be provided that at least one heating element 44 configured to heat the water inside is inserted in the tank 30, or at least one of the sub-tanks 30a.

According to some embodiments, the heating element 44 can be inserted into the tank 30, 30a in correspondence with at least one connection 31 provided on the closing element 34, not affected by a connection pipe 37.

The heating element 44 can be, for example, a resistance, inserted inside a bush 45 disposed in the containing body 33.

In this way, it is possible to supply a heat supplement to the water to be heated in the event that the energy contribution from the solar thermal panel 16 and/or the conditioning device 90 is not sufficient.

According to other embodiments, the accumulation unit 22 can comprise a filling material 46 which at least partly surrounds the tank/s 30 and/or tubular pipe/s 39 of the heat transfer circuit 38 to guarantee thermal insulation.

According to some embodiments, the filling material 46 is configured to thermally insulate and join the tank 30 and/or the sub-tanks 30a and/or the heat transfer circuit 38, so as to obtain overall an accumulation unit 22 defined and independent of other components, which can be installed in the base body 14 of the modular panel 10.

According to some embodiments, the filling material 46 can be an insulating foam, which can be foamed around the tank 30 and the tubular pipes 39 in a mold before the accumulation unit 22 is installed in the modular panel 10.

According to other embodiments, in the lower part of the accumulation unit 22 a metal sheet 49 can be provided, which can possibly be incorporated in the filling material 46, which guarantees the correct positioning of the accumulation unit 22 in the base body 14.

In accordance with other embodiments, the modular panel 10, 1 10 can comprise one or more insulation elements 48, disposed between the base body 14 and the accumulation unit 22 and/or between the base body 14 and the solar thermal panel 16 and/or the conditioning device 90.

The function of the insulation elements 48 is to thermally insulate the internal environment from the external environment of the modular panel 10, 110. They can also perform the thermal insulation function for the construction 12 with which the modular panel 10, 110 is associated.

According to other embodiments, the metal sheet 49 of the accumulation unit 22 can also be closed with other sections of sheet and/or insulation which can be inserted below it in such a way that they can be removed during the wiring of the circuits, or for the maintenance thereof.

According to some embodiments, the sheet 49 acts as a closure of the base body 14 and can function, during use, as a ceiling or exposed wall for a room of a building or construction. The sheet 49 can be customized according to requirements both in aesthetic terms, such as for example color, surface finish, or installation of lighting devices, and also in functional terms, for example by providing to apply heating/cooling or air recirculation devices for the premises.

According to variant embodiments, the modular panel 10 comprises the conditioning device 90 integrated inside the base body 14.

According to some embodiments, the conditioning device 90 can treat a liquid heat- carrying fluid (for example water), or gaseous (for example air) to provide heating and/or cooling to a room or to a designated place.

According to these embodiments, holes and/or through apertures are provided on the base body 14, provided with suitable connections, to allow the connection of the conditioning device 90 with the common heat exchange circuit 119 and/or with the common heat transfer circuit 138, and for the possible connections with the outside and/or with the user devices, so as to have in any case a compact and homogeneous modular panel 110.

According to the embodiments shown by way of example in fig. 12, the conditioning device 90 can comprise a solar cooling device 92, provided with an absorption/adsorption refrigerator and a dry cooler unit (not shown), integrated inside the base body 14 of the conditioning panel 110. The dry cooler can comprise a heat exchange element, and a fan to circulate the air. The solar cooling device 92 can be used to cool the water by taking energy from a thermal source, or a hot hydraulic circuit 94, exploiting the evaporation of the heat- carrying fluid by means of a vacuum pump.

According to some embodiments, the hot hydraulic circuit 94 comprises the heat exchange circuits 19 and the heat transfer circuits 38. By means of a three-way valve 93, the heat-carrying fluid heated by the heat exchange circuits 19 circulating in the hot hydraulic circuit 94 is conveyed toward the solar cooling device 92 to operate the refrigerator, or is made to circulate again toward the heat exchange circuits 19.

The heat-carrying fluid cooled by the heat exchanger is made to circulate in the cold hydraulic circuit 95 and directed to a conditioning circuit 150 to cool the user devices.

According to a variant embodiment, for example shown in fig. 13, the conditioning device 90 can comprise a heat pump 96.

According to possible solutions, the heat pump 96 can be the air- water type, or air-air type. In both cases the heat pump 96 can be provided with two air exits 97 to which respective air pipes, not shown and communicating with the outside, can be connected, in order to aspirate and expel the air necessary for the functioning of the heat pump 96.

In the case of an air-water heat pump 96, it can be provided with two hydraulic connections 98 for connection to the common heat transfer circuit 138, and two hydraulic connections 99 for connection to the conditioning circuit 150.

According to a variant which provides to use an air-water heat pump 96, it can comprise two hydraulic connections 98 connected to the common heat transfer circuit 138, and two air pipes, respectively delivery 101 and suction 102, defining the conditioning circuit 150, which together define the plant for the production of hot water 86 and the conditioning plant 88. In this case, the user device is cooled by means of the air pipes 101, 102, which respectively introduce the conditioned air into an internal space and take the air to be conditioned from it.

According to some embodiments, the base body 14 comprises a plurality of section bar elements 50 joined to each other to define a frame-shaped containing and support structure.

According to some embodiments, not shown, the section bar elements 50 are joined together by connection members, for example comprising structural corner pieces associated with at least one, or with each corner of the frame, and attached to the section bar elements 50 by attachment members, for example removable, such as self-threading screws, pins, screws, or suchlike.

According to some embodiments, the section bar elements 50 are provided in such a way as to allow to assemble each modular panel 10, 110 easily and quickly to one or more other modular panels 10, 110 to obtain a covering 11, and possibly also to separate them from each other.

According to some embodiments, the section bar elements 50 are provided, on the side that faces toward the outside of the modular panel 10 during use, with connection seatings 52 suitable to be associated with connection inserts 54 to connect two modular panels 10, 110 to each other, and/or with attachment devices 56 which allow to connect the modular panels 10, 110 to a construction 12.

According to some embodiments, two connection seatings 52 can be provided on each side of the base body 14, for example positioned above and below the holes 43 for the passage of the connection pipes 37, 40.

Figs. 9 and 10 show by way of example a connection between two modular panels 10 and a connection between a modular panel 10 and a support structure of a construction 12, respectively.

According to some embodiments, the connection seatings 52 and the connection inserts 54 have respective mating hollows and ridges, which allow the connection inserts 54 to slide in a longitudinal direction with respect to the respective connection seatings 52, but prevent reciprocal movement in a transverse direction.

According to another variant, each modular panel 10 can cooperate with a neighboring modular panel 10, also through the connection inserts 54, to create a stable surface.

For example, according to embodiments described with reference to fig. 9, the connection seatings 52 can be provided, on the side facing toward the outside, with a shaped protrusion 57 suitable to be inserted into a mating seating 58 made in the connection insert 54, and with shaped hollows 59 suitable to house respective ridges 60 of the connection insert 54 having a shape mating with them.

According to other embodiments, the attachment devices 56 can comprise upper attachment elements 56a, suitable to be associated with an upper connection seating 52 of the section bar element 50, and lower attachment elements 56b suitable to be associated with a lower connection seating 52.

The upper attachment elements 56a can be provided with a mating seating 58 and with ridges 60 suitable to couple respectively with the shaped protrusion 57 and the shaped hollows 59 of the connection seating 52.

According to other embodiments, the upper attachment elements 56a can be connected, for example, to load-bearing bridges associated with the construction 12 by means of pins, not shown, inserted through an attachment hole 61.

According to other embodiments, the upper attachment elements 56a can also cooperate with drawn elements 62 which are inserted into an upper projection of the upper attachment element 56a, on which lateral coverings 64 can be positioned.

According to some embodiments, the lateral coverings 64 can be inserted with their lower edge 64a into a suitable attachment seating 65 provided in correspondence with the lower portion of the section bar element 50.

According to possible solutions, the lower attachment elements 56b allow to attach the lateral coverings 64 to the modular panel 10. The lower attachment elements 56b can comprise, for example, a threaded bar 66, for example made of insulating material to prevent thermal bridges, and a spacer element 67.

The threaded bar 66 can be screwed onto nuts, inserted in the connection seating 52 of the section bar element 50; the spacer element 67 can be inserted on it, and finally it can be made to correspond to appropriate holes made on the lateral covering 64 and clamped in position by means of suitable attachment elements to hold the lateral coverings 64 in position.

According to other embodiments, the base body 14, on the upper part of the frame, is provided with a housing portion 68 which, together with a corresponding housing portion 68 of another modular panel 10, or an attachment device 56, 62, define between them a housing compartment 70, in which gasket members 72 can be inserted.

The gasket members 72 can comprise a first sealing body 74, having a shape mating with the housing compartment 68, provided with hollows and protrusions suitable to anchor in corresponding protrusions and hollows of the housing compartment 68.

The first sealing body 74 can advantageously be made of rubber or plastic material, so as to be able to deform and assume the shape suitable to close the housing compartment 68 defining a first hermetic seal for the covering 11.

According to some embodiments, the first sealing body 74 can be made of polyvinylchloride (PVC), which can also function as a heat insulator with the exterior.

According to other embodiments, the gasket members 72 can comprise a second sealing body 76, T-shaped, suitable to be positioned with the horizontal segment of the T on the upper edges of the two adjacent modular panels 10, for example on the photovoltaic panel 18 or on the glass panel 20 and to couple by means of the vertical stem with the first sealing body 74.

The segment of the T presses on the photovoltaic panel 18 or on the glass panel 20, deforming and thus creating a second seal against possible infiltrations.

According to other embodiments, a closing element 78 is also provided, in the form of a shaped cap, provided on its lateral edge with recesses 79 disposed separated from each other, each suitable to house a horizontal segment of a respective second sealing body 76.

The closing element 78 can be provided with a through hole 80 through which a screw or other suitable attachment member 81 can be inserted.

According to some embodiments, in the join zone between two or more modular panels 10, 110, a box-like element 82 can be inserted, provided inside with a thread, to which the attachment element 81 can be screwed in order to clamp in position the closing element and the gasket members 72.

Embodiments described here also concern a covering 1 1 comprising a plurality of modular panels 10, 110 according to the invention.

According to some embodiments, the covering 11 comprises a plurality of modular panels 10 provided with an accumulation unit 22, and at least one modular panel 110 in which a conditioning device 90 is integrated. According to some embodiments, the covering 1 1 according to the invention integrates inside it at least one of either a plant for the production of hot water 86, a heating plant, or a plant 88 for conditioning a room, as well as a possible electric energy generating plant.

According to some embodiments, for example described with reference to fig. 12, the covering 11 according to the invention comprises a plurality of modular panels 10, 1 10 joined together by means of the connection inserts 54.

According to some embodiments, the covering 11 comprises a plurality of modular panels 10 provided with a solar thermal panel 16 and an accumulation unit 22, so as to define a plant to obtain hot water 86.

According to other embodiments, the covering 1 1 can also comprise at least one modular panel 210 provided with an additional solar thermal panel 16.

Figs. 12 and 13 show, by way of example, respective coverings 1 1 consisting of five modular panels 10, 110, 210, which are mechanically joined to each other by respective connection inserts 54 associated with the respective base bodies 14, and functionally cooperate with each other to define respectively a plant for the production of hot water 86 and a conditioning plant 88.

In particular, in the embodiment shown in fig. 12, in which there is a modular panel 110 provided with a solar cooling device 92, the plant for the production of hot water 86 comprises the accumulation units 22, with the respective heat transfer circuits 38, and the heat exchange circuits 19.

In particular, the tanks 30 of the accumulation units 22 of a first and a second modular panel 10 are connected to one another to define a closed circuit for the water to be heated between the hydraulic delivery circuit 27 and the hydraulic return circuit 28 from/to the user devices.

According to other embodiments, the heat transfer circuits 38 of the accumulation units 22 of the adjacent modular panels 10 are also connected to each other to define a common heat transfer circuit 138.

Moreover, the heat exchange circuits 19 of each modular panel 10, 110 are connected to those of the respective adjacent modular panels 10, 110, to define a single and continuous circuit connected on one side to the common heat transfer circuit 138 and on the other to the conditioning device 90.

According to some embodiments, at least part of a cooling/heating circuit of the conditioning device 90 can be connected to the heat transfer circuit 38 of the accumulation unit 22.

The conditioning system 88 comprises the conditioning device 90 and possible hydraulic and electric circuits connected thereto.

According to other embodiments, for example shown in fig. 13, in which the conditioning device 90 comprises a heat pump 96, and which can be combined with the previous embodiments, it can be provided that at least some modular panels 10 are provided with a photovoltaic panel 18, together with the corresponding electric circuitry suitable to transform the solar energy into electric energy and supply it to user devices. In this case, it can be provided to use at least part of the electric energy supplied by the photovoltaic panel 18 to power the respective conditioning devices 90.

In this way, the covering 11 thus made is a structure in which the plants for the production of hot water 86 and the conditioning plant 88 are autonomous, except for delivery and return to/from the user devices.

It is clear that modifications and/or additions of parts can be made to the modular panel 10, 110 and the covering 11 as described heretofore, without departing from the field and scope of the present invention.

It is also clear that, although the present invention has been described with reference to some specific examples, a person of skill in the art shall certainly be able to achieve many other equivalent forms of modular panel 10, 110 and covering 11, having the characteristics as set forth in the claims and hence all coming within the field of protection defined thereby.