CHAPMAN, Gregory (1A Alford Street, Balcatta, Western Australia 6021, AU)
BOLITHO, Glen (1 Eagle Court, High Wycombe, Western Australia 6057, AU)
REARDON, Joseph (30 Tenth Avenue, Maylands, Western Australia 6051, AU)
CHAPMAN, Gregory (1A Alford Street, Balcatta, Western Australia 6021, AU)
BOLITHO, Glen (1 Eagle Court, High Wycombe, Western Australia 6057, AU)
1. A breathing arrangement for a solar collector enclosure, the arrangement including a cap and a wall segment, wherein the wall segment includes a breathing path extending between the exterior of the enclosure and the interior of the enclosure.
2. A breathing arrangement as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the path is formed as a slot in an upper edge of the wall segment, and wherein the cap closes the open upper side of the slot.
3. A breathing arrangement as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the slot forms a meander path.
4. A breathing arrangement as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, including an external cowling on the cap shielding the external end of the breathing path.
5. A breathing arrangement as claimed in claim 4, wherein the cowling is spaced from the wall segment to provide an airway enabling the breathing path to communicate with external air.
6. A breathing arrangement as claimed in claim 5, wherein the cowling is spaced from the wall by a distance less than would permit unpressurized water to travel through the space.
7. A breathing arrangement as claimed in any one of claims 4 to 6, wherein the cowling has a lower edge having a downward incline to form a drip point.
8. A breathing arrangement as claimed in claim 7, wherein the lower edge of the cowling is chamfered so the lower edge of the outer surface of the cowling is lower than the lower edge of the inner surface.
9. A breathing arrangement substantially as herein described with reference to the accompanying drawings.
10. A solar collector enclosure including a breathing arrangement as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 9.
11. A solar collector substantially as herein described with reference to the accompanying drawings.
Field of the invention
[001 ] This invention relates to a ventilation arrangement for an enclosure.
 The invention is particularly adapted for use with enclosures exposed to atmosphere, such as solar collector panel enclosures.
Background of the invention
 Solar collector panels generally include a heat transfer fluid circuit having risers and headers enclosed in a box with a transparent lid, usually of glass or other transparent material, to permit the solar energy to impinge on the risers. One problem which can be experienced with such collectors is the formation of condensation on the inside of the glass cover.
 Accordingly, it is desirable to provide a means for reducing the occurrence of condensation on the inside of the solar collector enclosure.
Summary of the invention
 The present invention provides a solar collector assembly including a housing with ventilation means including a weather shield adapted to impede the ingress of water into the ventilation means.
 The arrangement can include a corner cap and a corner wall segment, wherein the ventilation means can be formed in a wall segment and can include a breathing path extending between the exterior of the enclosure and the interior of the enclosure.
 The path can be formed as a slot in an upper edge of the wall segment.
 The cap can close the open upper side of the slot.
 The slot can form a meander path.
 The breathing arrangement can include an external cowling shielding the external end of the breathing path.
 The cowling can be formed on the cap.
 The cowling can be spaced from the wall segment to provide an airway enabling the breathing path to communicate with external air. Brief description of the drawings
 An embodiment or embodiments of the present invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
 Figure 1 is a schematic illustration of a solar collector.
 Figure 2 is a partial section view of a solar collector having pipe risers.
 Figure 3 is a partial section view of a solar collector according to another embodiment of the invention.
 Figure 4 illustrates a novel extrusion adapted for forming the walls of a solar collector enclosure according to an embodiment of the invention.
 Figure 5 illustrates a comer assembly according to an embodiment of the invention adapted for use with the extrusion of Figure 4.
 Figure 6 is an underside view of a corner of a solar collector enclosure according to an embodiment of the invention.
 Figure 7 is a cut-away illustration of the corner of a solar collector enclosure according to an embodiment of the invention.
 Figure 8 shows detail of a meander breather path according to an embodiment of the invention.
 Figure 9 is a cut-away view of a corner of a solar collector enclosure according to an embodiment of the invention.
 The numbering convention used in the drawings is that the digits to the left of the full stop indicate the drawing number, and the digits to the right of the full stop are the element reference numbers. Where possible, the same element reference number is used in different drawings to indicate corresponding elements.
 It is understood that, unless indicated otherwise, the drawings are intended to be illustrative rather than exact representations, and are not necessarily drawn to scale. The orientation of the drawings is chosen to illustrate the features of the objects shown, and does not necessarily represent the orientation of the objects in use.
Detailed description of the embodiment or embodiments
 Illustrated in Figure 1 is a simplified illustration of a solar collector.
1.002 having an enclosure box 1.004. The box includes side walls 1.006 with a peripheral seat 1.010 for a glass cover (not shown). The glass is sealed to the box around the peripheral seat.
 The heat transfer path includes an upper and lower header 1.018,
1.016 and a plurality of riser pipes 1.014 providing a fluid path between the hollow headers. An inlet for the heat transfer fluid is provided at 1.022, and an outlet for the heated heat transfer fluid is provided at 1.020.
 Solar collectors are exposed to ambient weather conditions, and water vapour can penetrate within the enclosure and form condensation on the inside of the glass.
 Figure 2 illustrates a section of a first embodiment of a solar collector.
The wall extrusion 2.024 (described in detail in Figure 4) includes an external overhang 2.040 which can serve for use in lifting the collector by installers when installing to collector on a roof or elsewhere, and an external channel 2.025 which can be used for fixing the collector assembly to its mount or mounting structure.
 The overhang 2.040 also provides impact protection for the edge of the toughened glass cover and can shield the external portions of grommet rubber fittings to reduce weathering thereof.
 The glass cover 2.034 is seated on a peripheral seat provided by the wall extrusion 2.024 and channel and cooperating corner assemblies such as those illustrated in figure 5, and is sealed thereto.
[031 ] The risers 2.014 in this embodiment are located under and in thermal contact with an absorber plate 2.032. Thus the solar energy can pass through the glass 2.034 and impinge on the absorber plate 2.032 from whence the heat is thermally conducted to the risers 2.014 for delivery to the outlet header.
 A base panel 2.026 doses off the lower side of the enclosure. The extrusion 2.024 includes a channel 4.056 for receiving the edges of the base plate or panel 2.026, and the comer assemblies (illustrated in Figure 5) also include seats 5.087 for the corners of the base plate or panel 2.026.
 Insulation 2.028 is provided between the collector risers 2.014 and the base plate or panel 2.026.
 In Figure 3 is an alternative assembly where multiple risers are formed in a unitary manner in a plate 3.038, which is assembled in much the same way as in the preceding description except that the absorber plate 2.032 is not required as the riser plate 2.038 has an upper surface which serves the same function.
 Figure 4 illustrates the wall extrusion profile. The wall 4.048 has upper formations including:
external overhang 4.040 forming a comer cap attachment (channel A);
internal glass seat seal formations 4.042;
internal comer cap alignment 4.044 (B);
the top of channel 4.044 forms a glass seat rim 4.045;
internal corner wall attachment channel 4.046 (channel C);
internal comer wall attachment channel 4.052 (channel D);
base panel receiving channel 4.056;
base panel entrance step 4.060;
external fixing channel 4.050.
 Figure 5 illustrates a comer assembly according to an embodiment of the invention. The comer assembly includes a cap 5.070 and a wall segment 5.082. The cap and wall segment are adapted to conform to the shape of the wall extrusions and its recesses.
 The cap 5.070 includes an overhang 5.072 which forms a continuation of the extrusion overhang 4.040. In addition the cap overhang 5.072 includes a projection 5.074 which is adapted to be a close fit within the underside of the extrusion overhang 4.040. The cap 5.070 includes a second projection 5.076 which is adapted to fit under channel 4.044 of the extrusion.
 The cap also includes a glass seat 5.080 and seal formations 5.078.
The cap wall 5.079 extends downward below the glass seat and transversely thereto.
 The comer wall segment includes a pair of intersecting walls 5.084,
5.086 with projecting spigots 5.088, 5.090, 5.092, 5.094 adapted for insertions in the channels C & D of the wall extrusion. The lower spigots 5.092, 5.094 include drain channel slots.
 A sealant injection point 5.096 communicates with a sealant channel
5.098 so that sealant can be injected into the sealant channel when the comer assembly is joined to the wall extrusions. A purge point 5.100 is provided at the top of the sealant channel and the end of the purge point is located so that the end of the purge point is visible beyond the edge of the extrusion, allowing the person injecting the sealant to view the purge point to determine when the sealant channel is full. A similar sealing injection point, sealant channel and purge point are provided on corner wall 5.086.
 The base panel channel 5.087 accommodates the corner of the base panel inserted in the base panel channel 4.056 of the wall extrusion.
 The cap 5.070 and corner wall segment 5.082 can include a snap fit arrangement to attach the cap to the corner wall segment.
 Figure 6 is a partial view of the underside of the comer assembly according to an embodiment of the invention. The cap overhang 6.072 is shown interfacing with the extrusion overhang 6.040. The comer wall 6.086 interfaces with the extrusion wall 6.048. Webs such as 6.121 extend radially from the underside of the comer portion of the overhang.
 The wall 6.079 of the cap includes a cowling 6.120 at the comer. The cowling 6.120 is spaced from the comer segment wall 6.086 to provide an air pathway 6.122, referred to herein as a "snorkel airway". The ventilated distance between the comer block and the snorkel airway can be sufficiently narrow to prevent a water droplet passing due to surface tension.
 The cowling is covered from rainfall by the overhang 6.072. The cowling 6.122 is shaped with a downward curve forming a downward facing apex and the thickness of the cowling can be chamfered to be lower on the outer surface than the inner surface to encourage water to run to a "drip point".
 Figure 7 is a cutaway illustration showing details of the breathing path or snorkel airway according to an embodiment of the invention. As seen in Figure 7, the snorkel airway communicates with a meander channel 7.124 formed in the top edge of the comer wall 7.086. The meander channel has an external opening 7.123 and an internal opening 9.126 (Figure 9). The meander channel or snorkel airway accesses the interior of the solar collector enclosure beneath the glass seal formations 7.078 formed in the comer cap.
 Figure 8 is a simplified drawing illustrating the meander path 8.124 which runs from the outside of the comer wall 8.086 to the inside of the wall. The meander path 8.124 has an elongated central portion, a first bend near the exterior side of wall 8.086, and a second bend near the inner side of the wall, approximating a Z or S shape. The underside of the cap closes the top of the meander path, while the upper side of the glass seat supports the glass, so the meander path accesses the interior of the enclosure. The meander path is in communication with the snorkel airway so the enclosure can "breath" to exchange air with the exterior of the enclosure.
 Solar collectors are installed on an incline, and the meander paths can be arranged with their elongate central portions aligned with the inclined sides of the collector so the interior access point of the meander path is above the snorkel when the collector is installed.
 Figure 9 is another cutaway view showing detail of the breathing arrangement. The cap 9.070 is "cut" along the central underside webs 6.021 shown in Figure 6. The cap overhang 9.072 again interfaces with the extrusion overhang 9.040. The snorkel 9.120 is spaced from the comer wall 9.086 leaving a breathing gap or air pathway 9.122 which communicates with the external end of the meander path at 9.123. The meander path interior opening emerges at 9.126, which is located below the glass seal formations 9.078 and glass seat 9.080. The glass seat 9.080 can be slightly higher than the seal formations 9.078 to allow sealant to be injected into the seal formations.
 Sealing of the cover glass can be performed by assembly robot equipment as follows:
1. The finished collector tray is held against a datum and jigged square;
2. A "J" -shaped insert (Skirt-Trim profile) is clipped into channel 4.044 (B) of the aluminium profile;
3. A robot lays down a consistent volume and size of sealant bead around the perimeter of the collector panel at a specific location on glazing silicone seat bed 4.042;
4. The glass is picked up with manipulator and measure checked via sensors to ensure glass is within specification tolerance and the coordinate position is automatically adjusted to place glass centrally and firmly onto collector panel tray/silicone bead.
 In this specification, reference to a document, disclosure, or other publication or use is not an admission that the document, disclosure, publication or use forms part of the common general knowledge of the skilled worker in the field of this invention at the priority date of this specification, unless otherwise stated.  In this specification, terms indicating orientation or direction, such as
"up", "down", "vertical", "horizontal", "left", "right" "upright", "transverse" etc. are not intended to be absolute terms unless the context requires or indicates otherwise. These terms will normally refer to orientations shown in the drawings.
 Where ever it is used, the word "comprising" is to be understood in its
"open" sense, that is, in the sense of "including", and thus not limited to its "closed" sense, that is the sense of "consisting only of. A corresponding meaning is to be attributed to the corresponding words "comprise", "comprised" and "comprises" where they appear.
 It will be understood that the invention disclosed and defined herein extends to all alternative combinations of two or more of the individual features mentioned or evident from the text. All of these different combinations constitute various alternative aspects of the invention.
 While particular embodiments of this invention have been described, it will be evident to those skilled in the art that the present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiments and examples are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, and all modifications which would be obvious to those skilled in the art are therefore intended to be embraced therein.
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