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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
A SOLAR ARRAY ASSEMBLY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/089545
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A solar assembly (20) including a plurality of solar arrays (21). The arrays (21 ) are arranged in sets so as to provide a panel (23). The panel (23) includes frame members (25) that are supported beams. Panel (23) is angularly movable about a generally horizontal axis (29).

Inventors:
LEE PETER (AU)
RAYWARD-SMITH WILL (AU)
WEST MICHAEL (AU)
READ MICHAEL (AU)
Application Number:
PCT/AU2014/001093
Publication Date:
June 25, 2015
Filing Date:
December 04, 2014
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
LAING O ROURKE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD (AU)
International Classes:
H02J7/00; H01L31/042
Foreign References:
US20090165841A12009-07-02
US5969501A1999-10-19
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SPRUSON & FERGUSON (Sydney, New South Wales 2001, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

1 . A solar array assembly, the assembly including;

at least two solar panels including a first panel and a second panel, the panels being attached for movement relative to each other between an operative position at which both panels are to be exposed to sunlight, and a folded position at which the second panel at least partly overlays the first panel: and

a frame to support the panels.

2. The solar array assembly of claim 1 , wherein the panel in moving from the operative position to the folded position moves angularly about a generally horizontal axis.

3. The solar array assembly of claim 1 or 2, wherein each panel has a rear surface provided by a protective member, with the second panel in the folded position providing an upwardly facing protective member.

4. The solar array assembly of claim 1 , 2 or 3, wherein the support is a folded frame.

5. The sola array assembly of any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the frame includes a sub- frames supporting the first panel, and a plurality of telescopieally and foidable legs that at least partly support the second panel.

6. The solar array assembly of claim 5, wherein the sub-frames and legs are foidable against the panels to provide the assembly with a transport configuration.

7. The solar array assembly of any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein i the folded confi guration the panels are co-extensive.

8. A solar array assembly including;

at least one solar panel;

a frame attached to the panel and via which the panel is supported;

a support having an upper portion attached to the frame to support the frame, and therefore the panel; and wherein the support is attached to the frame to provide for angular movement of the panel about a generally horizontal axis between a forward position at which the support is adjacent the panel, and an operative position at which the support extends away from the panel.

9. The solar array assembly of claim 8, further including the array includes a motor operable to cause said angular movement.

10. The solar array assembly of claim 8 or 9, wherein the solar panel has an edge peripheral portion, with the frame attached to the end peripheral portion.

1 1. The solar array assembly of claim 8, 9 or 10, wherein the support is at least on e elongated member that is to be generally vertically oriented when the assembly is in an operative position.

12. A solar array assembly including;

a mainframe to be mounted on a base;

a sub-frame mounted on the base for angular movement between an operative position and a transport position, wit the sub-frame extending upwardly from the mainframe when in the operative position;

at least one solar panel supported on the sub-frame so as to be movable therewith so that the panel is moved between the operative and transport positions with the sub-frame, and wherein

the panel and sub-frame, when in the transport position, are located relative to the mainframe to provide for stacking of the assembly with like assemblies, with each assembly mainframe being supported on the mainframe immediately below.

13. The solar array assembly of claim 12, wherein each mainframe is of a. rectangular or square configuration so as to surround a space within which the sub-frame and panel are located.

14. The solar arra assembly of claim 12 or 33, wherein the sub-frame i s pivotaliy attached to the mainframe so as to be angularly movable about a generally horizontal axis.

15. The solar array assembly of claim 12, 13 or 14, wherein the assembly includes stay that extends between the sub-frame and mainframe to maintain the sub-frame in the operative position.

16. The solar array assembly of any one of claims 12 to 15, wherein the assembly includes said base, said base being a generally upwardly extending member, with the mainframe attached to an upper portion of the member, with the mainframe extending from the base in a generally horizontal direction so as to be oriented substantially horizontally.

Description:
A SOLAR ARRAY ASSEMBLY

FIELD

[0001] The present invention relates to solar array assemblies and more particularly hut not exclusively to solar array assemblies deployable in remote locations and sites that may be temporary in nature.

BACKGROUND

[0002] In remote areas diesei powered generators are typically used to provide electricity. The fuel is expensive as considerable cost is involved in transportation of the fuel to the generators.

[0003] Accordingly, a disadvantage of diesei powered generators used in remote locations is that they are costly to run.

[0004] . A traditional solar farm is constructed on-site from separated photovoltaic panels, wires, frames and structural support. This traditional approach reduces the ability of the solar farm to be re-deployed from one site to another.

[0005] This traditional approach, which is labour intensive, reduces the viability of solar in remote locations, where labour rates are high.

OBJECT

[0006] It is the object of the present invention to overcome or substantially ameliorate at least one of the above disadvantages. SUMMARY

[0007] There is disclosed herein a solar array assembly, the assembly including:

at least two solar panels including a first panel and a. second panel, the panels being attached for movement relative to each other between an operative positio at which both panels are to be exposed to sunlight, and a folded position at which the second panel at least partly overlays the first panel; and

a frame to support the panels.

[0008] Preferably, the panel in moving from the operative position to the folded, position moves angularly about a generally horizontal axis.

[0009] Preferably, each panel has a rear surface provided by a protective member, with the second panel in the folded position providing an upwardly facing protective member.

[0010] Preferably, the support is a folded frame.

[001 J ] Preferably, the frame includes a sub-frames supporting the first panel, and a plurality of telescopic-ally and foldable legs that at least partly support the second panel.

[0012] Preferably, the sub-frames and legs are foldable against the panels to provide the assembly with a transport configuration.

[001 3] Preferably, in the folded configuration the panels are co-extensive.

[0014] There is further disclosed herein a solar array assembly including;

at least one solar panel;

a frame attached to the panel and via which the panel is supported;

a support hav ing an upper portion attached to the frame to support the frame, and therefore the panel: and wherein

the support is attached to the frame to provide for angular movement of the panel about a generally horizontal axis between a forward position at which the support is adjacent the panel, and an operative position at which the support extends away from the panel.

[0015] Preferably, the array includes a motor operable to cause said angular movement. [0016] Preferably, the solar panel has an edge peripheral portion, with the frame attached to the end peripheral portion.

[0017] Preferably, the support is at least one elongated member that is to be generally vertically oriented when the assembly is in an operative position.

[00 i 8] There is further disclosed herein a solar array assembly including:

a mainframe to be mounted on a base;

a sub-frame mounted on the base for angular movement between an operative position and a transport position, with the sub-frame extending upwardly from the mainframe when in the operative position;

at least one solar panel, supported on the sub-frame so as to be movable therewith so that the panel is moved between the operative and transport positions with the sub-frame, and wherein

the panel and sub-frame, when in the transport position, are located relative to the mainframe to provide for stacking of the assembly with like assemblies, with each assembly mainframe being supported on the mainframe immediately below.

[0019] Preferably, each mainframe is of a rectangular or square configuration so as to surround a space within. which the sub- frame and panel are located.

[0020] Preferably, the sub-frame is pivotaily attached to the mainframe so as to be angularly movable about a generally horizontal axis.

[0021] Preferably, the assembly includes stay that extends between the sub-frame and mainframe to maintain the sub-frame in the operative position.

[0022] Preferably, the assembly includes said base, said base being a generally upwardly extending member, with the mainframe attached to an upper portion of the member, with the mainframe extending from the base in a generally horizontal direction so as to be oriented substantially horizontally. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0023] Pfeferred forms of the present, inventio will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:

[0024] Figure I is a schematic isometric view of a solar array assembly;

[0025] Figure 2 is a schematic side elevation of the assembly of Figure 1 in a partly constructed configuration;

[0026] Figure 3 is a schematic side elevation of the assembly of Figure 1;

[0027] Figure 4 is a schematic side elevation of the assembly of Figure 1 in a part folded configuration;

[0028] Figure 5 is a schematic end elevation of the assembly of Figure 1 in a folded configuration;

[0029] Figure 6 is a schematic rear isometric view of the assembly of Figure 1 ;

[0030] Figure 7 is a schematic isometric view of a further solar array assembly;

[0031] Figure 8 is a front elevation of the assembly of Figure 7;

[0032] Figure 9 is a schematic end elevation of the assembly of Figure 8;

[0033] Figure 10 is a schematic sectioned side elevation of portion of the assembly as shown in Figure 8 sectioned along the line 10-10;

[0034] Figure 1 1 is a schematic sectioned side elevation of portion of the assembly of Figure 8 sectioned along the line .1 1 -11;

[0035] Figure 12 is a schematic side elevation of a mainframe and a sub-frame of a solar array assembly; [0036] Figure 13 is a schematic sectioned side elevation of a base to support the assembly of Figure 12:

[0037] Figure 14 is a schematic isometric view of the base of Figure 13; and [0038] Figure 15 is a schematic isometric view of the assembly of Figure 12. DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0039] In the accompanying drawings. Figures 1 to 6 schematically depicts a solar array assembly 10. The assembly 10 includes a plurality of solar arrays 1 1, each array 1 1 including a plurality of solar cells. The solar arrays 1 1 axe arranged in two sets so as to provide a first panel 12 and a second panel 13. The arrays 1 1 are arranged in series side by side, with this

embodiment having six arrays 1 1 for each panel 12, 13. Each array 11 is provided with a rear sheet 14 that may be formed of plastics or metal but provides a barrier to protect the arrays I I.

[0040] The pane! 13 is pivotall attached to the panel 12 for angular movement about a generally horizontal axis J 5 between an operative position (as shown in Figure 1 ) in which the panels 12 and 13 are arranged so that the solar cells are exposed to sunlight, and a folded configuration as best seen in Figures 4 and 5. In this embodiment, the movement between the operative and folded configurations is by pivoting movement. However other movements are contemplated such as sliding and linear movement.

[0041] The panels 12 and 13 are mounted on a support 16.

[0042] In this embodiment the support 16 is a sub-frame 17 and a plurality of foklable legs 18.

[0043] The sub-frame 17 basicall supports the panel 12 and includes a plurality of legs 1 between which there extends brace members 5 ! . If required at least some of the legs 18 may be telescopic. The brace members 51 being discormectable to provide for pivoting movement of the legs 19 from a generally upright position as shown in Figure , and a folded configuration as shown in Figure 5. [0044] The legs 18 may also he telescopic legs, and joined by brace members 51. By removal of the brace members 51 , the legs 18 are contracted and then pivoted so as to abut the adjacent panel 13. I the folded configuration the legs 19 abut the adjacent panel 12.

[0045] Fi xed to adjacent edge extremities of the panels 12 and 13 are pivot brackets 50 that couple the panels 12 and 13 to provide for the angular movement between the panels 12 and 13.

[0046] In Figures 7 to 1 1 of the accompanying drawings there is schematically depicted a solar array assembly 20. The assembly 20 includes a plurality of solar arrays 21 , each solar array 21 including a plurality of solar cells. The solar arrays 21 are arranged in five sets so as to provide a panel 23 that is square or rectangular in configuration. More particularly the arrays 21 are arranged in a linear row and are supported by a frame 22. The frame 22 engages the edge peripheral surfaces of the arrays 21 so as to support the panel 23.

[0047] The frame 22 includes a plurality of first edge frame members 24, that provide a channel 41, fixed to the edge portions of die arrays 21 , with fame members 25 engaging the upper and lower members 24 so as to secure the arrays 21 together to form the panel 23. The frame 22 also has transverse members 26 fixed to an extending between the upper and lower members 26. The arrays 21 project into the channels 41.

[0048] Fi xed to the members 26 are supports 27 by means of pins 28. The pins 28 pro v ided for angular movement of the panel 23 about a generally horizontal axis 29.

[0049] Preferably the supports 27 are beams 30 that are generally vertically oriented when the assembly 20 is in use,

[0050] The supports 27 are angularly movable about the axis 29 between an operative position as shown in Figure 9, and a folded position at which the supports 27 abut the panels 23. In this folded configuration the assemblies 20 are best adapted for transport.

[0051] Preferably there is attached to one or more of the members 26 a flange 31 having a plurality of teeth 32. The teeth 32 provide a pier 33 that is meshingly engaged with a pinion gear 34 having teeth 35. The pinion gear 34 is driven by means of a motor and gear box assembly 36. Operatively associated with the assembly 346 would be a computer that controls the inclination of the panel 23 to best suit the position of the sun relative to the panel 23. [0052] As best seen in Figure .11 , the members 25 have a first longitudinally extending compartment (slot) 37 within which the members 24 are located, with a further compartment (slot) 38 being provided to receive wires/cables 39. The compartment 38 would have an access opening covered by an elongated cover 40.

[0053] The panel 23 i s elongated in the direction of the axis 29.

[0054] In the folded configuration as shown in Figure 5, the embodiment of Figure 5 provides the advantage of ease of handling, stacking and storage. For examp le, the assembly 10 can be handled by a forklift and/or crane.

[0055] A further advantage of the above described preferred embodiment of Figures 1 to 6 is that in the folded configuration the sheet members 14 protects the more delicate solar arrays 11. That is, the sheet members 14 face outwardly with the solar arrays ! 1 located therebetween. In the folded configuration the panel 13 covers the panel 1.2 and they are co-extensive.

[0056] A still further advantage of the above described preferred embodiment is that should an extreme weather condition be expected, the panel 13 can be folded over the panel 12 as shown in Figure 4. to again protect the solar arrays 1 1.

[0057] Still a further advantage of the above described preferred embodiment results from ease of transport. The assembly 10 is well suited for temporary remote work sites. In particular the assembly 10 could supplement electrical energy provided by diesel powered generators, thereby reducing the need for diesel fuel and therefore reducing the cost of providing electric power. This advantage also applies to the embodiment of Figures 7 to 11.

[0058] In Figures 12 and 15 there is schematically depicted solar array assembly 50. The assembly 50 includes a mainframe 1 that is square or rectangular in configuration so as to have a pair of longitudinally extending mainframe members 52 that are generally paral lel,

co-extensi ve but transversely spaced. Extending between the longitudinal members 52 are transverse mainframe members 53.

[0059] The mainframe members 52 and 53 provide a plurality of spaces (chambers) 54. [0060] The frame members 53 are also generally parallel, co-extensive but transversely spaced. Preferably the members 52 and 53 are of a channel transverse cross-section.

[0061] Mounted on the mainframe 52 is a plurality of sub-frames 55. Each sub-frame 55 is angularly movable about a generally horizontal axis 56 between an operative position (as shown in Figures 12 and 15 ) and a transport position with the sub-frames 55 when located in the spaces 54.

[0062] Supported on each sub-frame 55 is a solar panel 57. Accordingly, the assembly 50 has a plurality of panels 57, with each of the panels 57 being angularly movable with its respective sub-frame 55.

[0063] In the operative position, the sub-frames 55, and associated panels 57, are inclined to the horizontal by an acute angle 58, with each of the panels 57, and their associated sub-frame 55, extending upwardl from the mainframe 51 ,

[0064] Preferably, the mainframe 51 is longitudinally horizontally extending, and is essentially horizontally oriented.

[0065] Provided with each sub-frame 55 has at least one stay , with each of the stays 59 being pivOtally attached to the mainframe 51 so as to be angularly movable between a generally upright position maintaining the associated sub-frame 55 in the operative position, and a folded position at which the stays are located in the spaces 54.

[0066] Each of the sub-frames 55 includes a pair of longitudinally extending "L" members 60 that have support flanges 1 upon which the solar panels 57 rest.

[0067] The pivot assembly 62 couple the sub-frames 55 to the mainframe 51 for their angular movement about the generally horizontal axis 56.

[0068] Each of the stays 5 is angularly movable about a respective axis 63, with the axis 63 being generally parallel to the axis 56. [0069] When in the transport position, the sub-frames 55 and panels 57 are located in the space 54, so that when the assembly 50 is stacked with like assemblies 50, the assemblies 50 are supported on the mainframes 51. That is, each assembly 50 is supported by its mainframe 51. resting on the main frame 51 below.

[0070] In Figures 13 and 14 there is schematically depicted a base 70. i n use of the solar array assembl 50, the assemblies 50 would be supported on a plurality of the bases 70, the bases 70 being located at spaced locations so that the mainframe 51 can extend between adjacent bases 70.

[0071] In this preferred form, each base 70 includes a "pile" 71 that is embedded in a supporting surface such as a ground surface. The pile 71 is of a tubular configuration and is provided at its upper end with a flange 72. Fixed to the flange 72 is a mainframe support 73 that includes a flange 74 fixed to the flange 72 by threaded fasteners (not depicted). In one example the "pile ' ' 71 may be a serewpile.

[0072] The support 73 includes a pair of generally parallel transversely spaced and co-extensive beams 75 joined by cross beams??. The beams 77are generall parallel, transversely spaced and eo-extensive. The beams 77 are supported by the flanges 72 and 74, with a post 76 attaching the beams 77 to the flang 74.

[0073] The beams 75 and 76 provide a means of fixing the mainframes 51 to the "pile" 71.

[0074] The base 70 also includes brackets 79 that, eo-extensive with die beams 79 to retain the members 52 in position.

[0075] As best seen in Figure 14, each base 70 is located between a pair of adjacent assemblies 50, with the members 52 fixed to beams 75.

[0076] One advantage of the above described preferred embodiment is that depending on the local weather conditions, the number of bases 50 can be selected to suit the local area. For example, in a cyclone region A site, the number of bases 50 between adjacent mainframes 51 would be less than the number of bases 70 required for a cyclone region D. [0077] An advantage of the above described preferred embodiment is that the solar panels 57 are located in. the spaces 54 so as to be protected when in the transport position.

[0078] A further advantage of the above described preferred embodiment is that the solar array assemblies 50 may be stacked for transport, with each mainframe 76 supported on the mainframe 76 immediately below. This minimised the risk that the panels 57 are damaged during transport and assembly.