Patent application title: Module Arrangement Consisting of Solar Modules
Wadim Salzer (Bielefeld, DE)
SCHUECO International KG
IPC8 Class: AF24J252FI
Class name: Stoves and furnaces solar heat collector collector housing
Publication date: 2012-07-12
Patent application number: 20120174913
A module arrangement includes at least one or more double module
arrangements, each consisting of two solar modules oriented at an angle
to one another. The edges of each double module arrangement facing away
from each other are not interconnected via a support unit.
18. A module arrangement, comprising: at least one or more double module arrangements, each arrangement comprising two respective solar modules oriented at an angle to one another; wherein edges of each double module arrangement, which edges face away from one another, are not connected with one another via a support strut.
19. The module arrangement according to claim 18, wherein: adjacent double module arrangements are connected with each other via at least one or more coupling devices, which coupling devices comprise anti-slip devices that are configurable to rest on a base and not fixed to the base with any fasteners apart from an optional adhesive layer; at least two bottom edges of two adjacent double module arrangements are arranged on or fixed to each anti-slip device so that mutually adjacent adjoining double module arrangements are connected with each other in a region of the mutually adjacent bottom edges.
20. The module arrangement according to claim 18, wherein two respective solar modules of the at least one double module arrangement are coupled with each other only in a region of mutually facing upper edges.
21. The module arrangement according to claim 18, wherein the two respective solar modules of each double module arrangement are coupled with each other via one or several connectors.
22. The module arrangement according to claim 19, wherein the anti-slip device is at least one of: (a) arranged to be roughened on one side, and (b) provided with a friction-increasing coating.
23. The module arrangement according to claim 19, wherein the anti-slip devices are coupled via at least one further connector with one or several further double module arrangements.
24. The module arrangement according to claim 19, wherein the anti-slip devices are arranged such that a distance between bottom edges of adjacent double module arrangements is 50 to 500 mm, so that an intermediate space between mutually adjacent double module arrangements is accessible.
25. The module arrangement according to claim 24, wherein the distance is approximately 300 mm.
26. The module arrangement according to claim 19, wherein the anti-slip devices function to transfer a load of the double module arrangements to the base.
27. The module arrangement according to claim 19, wherein the anti-slip devices have a standing area on the base which is greater than 200 mm×200 mm.
28. The module arrangement according to claim 27, wherein the standing area is greater than 400 mm×300 mm.
29. The module arrangement according to claim 21, further comprising: one or several profiles arranged beneath the solar modules, said profiles having one or several chambers which are arranged for accommodating the connectors.
30. The module arrangement according to claim 21, wherein the one connector is arranged in an angular manner for connecting the two solar modules of a double module arrangement and comprises two legs, which enclose an angle α which lies between 95.degree. and 175.degree..
31. The module arrangement according to claim 23, wherein the anti-slip devices are provided with protruding pins on which legs of the further connectors are placed with respective boreholes.
32. The module arrangement according to claim 29, wherein the profile comprises areas on which the solar module is supported.
33. The module arrangement according to claim 29, wherein the profile comprises at least one open hollow chamber into which the connector or further connectors are insertable.
34. The module arrangement according to claim 23, wherein for fixing the bottom edges of the solar modules, the further connector comprises a support leg for support on the anti-slip device and at least one oblique leg which is angular thereto for fixing to the solar module.
35. The module arrangement according to claim 19, wherein the anti-slip device comprises a bottom sheet forming a base in a mounted position, which bottom sheet comprises one or several reinforcing beads and/or beveled edges.
36. The module arrangement according to claim 35, wherein the bottom sheet is arranged such that at least one tension rod is arranged on the same, and wherein pins for connecting the anti-slip device with the connector for the bottom edges of the solar modules are arranged on the tension rod.
37. A module arrangement, comprising: at least one or more double module arrangements each comprising two respective solar modules oriented at an angle with respect to one another; adjacent double module arrangements being connected with each other via anti-slip devices operatively configured to rest on a base and not be fixed to the base with any fasteners; wherein at least two edges of two adjacent double module arrangements being arranged on or fixed to a respective anti-slip device so that mutually adjacent adjoining double module arrangements are connected with one another in a region of mutually adjacent bottom edges.
38. The module arrangement according to claim 37, wherein the two respective solar modules of each double module arrangement are coupled with one another only in a region of mutually facing upper edges of the two respective solar modules.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
 This application contains subject matter related to U.S. application Ser. No. ______, entitled "Module Arrangement Consisting of Solar Modules," filed on even date herewith.
BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The invention relates to an arrangement consisting of solar modules on surfaces, especially roofs.
 Generic module arrangements are known from DE 100 47 400 C2 and from DE 20 2008 007 549 U1. These documents respectively disclose solar module arrangements which are arranged by means of mounting devices in a so-called folding arrangement on a roof, such that they form a zigzag arrangement in a side view. This kind of zigzag arrangement allows covering a roof area completely or nearly completely with solar modules, thereby optimizing power generation especially when the folding or zigzag arrangement is aligned in an east-west direction.
 The disadvantageous aspect in the two aforementioned constructions and generally in the state of the art, with DE 10 2007 000 697 A1, DE 295 03 315 U1 and DE 199 34 059 A1 being additionally mentioned with respect to the technological background, is the high input of material with respect to the mounting devices and the substructure. In particular, the known mounting devices have a relatively large number of parts and components.
 Against this background, it is the object of the invention on the basis of the generic state of the art to simplify the generic arrangement with respect to its substructure and with respect to the mounting device.
 This object is achieved by a module arrangement, comprising at least one or more double module arrangements, each arrangement having two respective solar modules which are aligned at an angle with respect to each other; wherein the edges of each double module arrangement, which face away from one another, are not connected with one another via a support strut.
 In accordance with the present invention, the expensive support profiles which are required according to the state of the art can be omitted, especially the bottom support profiles and cross members, or also the base struts. This leads to reductions in the costs and simplified mounting.
 The invention also provides the following subject matter as a further development which can also be regarded as an independent invention: a modular arrangement, in which adjacent double module arrangements are connected with one another via at least one or several coupling devices which comprise anti-slip devices that rest on a base and are not fixed there with fasteners, with at least two edges of two adjacent double module arrangements being arranged on or fixed to each anti-slip device, preferably four of the edges.
 The term "solar modules" is not to be limiting and includes a large variety of solar elements which form a kind of a pre-mounted module and which are used for generating power in the form of electricity and heat. The type of mounting (arrangement) in accordance with the invention is suitable both for photovoltaic modules and also thermal collectors, and can preferably be arranged on flat roofs or slanted roofs, but also on free surfaces. Further advantages are the aerodynamic arrangement of the solar modules, so that weightings or anchorages can be avoided.
 Furthermore, it is additionally provided according to an especially advantageous variant of the invention that double module arrangements which are adjacent to one another and which in interaction then form a kind of zigzag arrangement are connected with each other via coupling devices.
 In accordance with the mentioned especially preferred variant of the invention, these coupling devices form anti-slip devices, i.e. they counteract sliding on a base. They rest on a base preferably without any fastening means and are preferably arranged in such a way that they have a relatively high static friction on the base. Loading weights are therefore usually not required.
 At least two edges of two adjacent double module arrangements are arranged on or fixed to each anti-slip device, preferably four of the edges, so that double module arrangements which are adjacent to one another and adjoin one another are connected with each other in the region of the mutually adjacent bottom edges via the coupling devices or elements which are arranged as anti-slip devices. Simple mounting of the solar modules is enabled in this way and a stable and secure installation is realized.
 Anti-slip devices for installing solar modules on flat bases are known, e.g., from DE 10 2007 000 697 A1. It was not recognized in DE 10 2007 000 697, however, that it is possible in a simple way to use such as anti-slip devices directly for coupling adjacent double solar module arrangements. As a result, an aerodynamically closed and substantially "closed" surface area can be created which allows omitting weights and the like for weighting the solar module arrangements. The problem of erecting double solar module arrangements can also be avoided, which arrangements are usually relatively large and heavy because the specification only discloses solar module arrangements with a solar module which is aligned in one compass direction.
 It is also appropriate and especially simple from a constructional standpoint if the anti-slip devices are coupled via at least one further connector with one or several double module arrangements.
 It is further especially advantageous if the anti-slip devices also assume the function of load transfer of the double module arrangements to the base.
 Anti-slip devices are arranged in an especially preferred manner in such a way that the distance between the bottom edges of adjacent double module arrangements is 50 to 500 mm, preferably 300 mm, which again simplifies maintenance.
 Preferably, the anti-slip devices are further arranged in such a way that the intermediate space between mutually adjacent double module arrangements is accessible.
 In accordance with a further preferred variant, at least one profile is arranged beneath the solar module, especially beneath the glass-glass thin-film laminate modules, which profile comprises one or several chambers which are configured for accommodating the connectors.
 A number of advantages of the invention mentioned below. A mounting arrangement is provided which, in the preferred configuration, makes do without any additional ballast or fixing to the base. The mounting arrangement is especially also suitable for unframed solar elements (laminate, preferably thin-film laminates made from double safety glass). A separate substructure which is fastened to the building is not necessary because the module carries and supports itself. Wind guide plates can also be omitted. And, an arrangement with a very high surface share of solar elements is provided, which is characterized by controlled unblocked discharge of water, good accessibility to the maintenance access, and simple and secure laying of cables in the maintenance access.
 The employed anti-slip devices for maintaining the distances between the rows can be regarded as an especially advantageous further development of the invention and also as a separate invention. The anti-slip device is used as a pressure element and also for absorbing horizontal shearing forces by wind for example and for connecting at least two bottom solar element edges.
 The anti-slip device is preferably arranged as a support plate for load transfer.
 The connecting angles preferably consist of stainless steel and are clamped into profile grooves, which are profile grooves preferably of a profile of solar modules arranged as laminates with a profile which is known as the so-called backrail (unframed elements).
 A tension element such as a traction rope can preferably be provided between the profiles or between the connectors for absorbing the pressure forces.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 The invention will be explained below in closer detail by reference to an embodiment shown in the drawings, wherein:
 FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of an arrangement of solar modules on a flat roof formed by a mounting arrangement in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
 FIG. 2 shows a side view of a number of solar modules;
 FIGS. 3 and 4, respectively, show a side view of a multi-row solar module arrangement and a top view of said solar module arrangement;
 FIG. 5 shows a sectional view of a profile;
 FIG. 6 shows a sectional view of a connector;
 FIG. 7 shows a sectional view of a further connector;
 FIGS. 8A, 8B show a side view and a perspective view, respectively, of an anti-slip device;
 FIG. 9 shows a perspective view of a further anti-slip device;
 FIGS. 10a, 10b show a front view and a side view of a double-row solar module arrangement;
 FIGS. 11a, 11b show a side view of a connector and a top view of said connector, respectively;
 FIGS. 12a, 12b show a side view of a further connector and a top view of said connector, respectively; and
 FIG. 13 shows a view of a traction cable.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 shows an exemplary module arrangement in accordance with the invention which comprises at least two (as in FIG. 2) or a plurality of solar modules 1.
 In order to simplify the discussion, FIGS. 2 and 3 are provided with a Cartesian coordinate system. The coordinates X and Y respectively describe the coordinates of the base or erection area for the solar modules which is assumed to be flat in this case, and the supplementary coordinate Z indicates the coordinate which is perpendicular thereto. In the case of a flat roof or another flat base, the X and the Y coordinates correspond to this area, whereas the Z coordinate respectively indicates the vertical coordinate. This alignment explains the following terms such as "at the top" or "at the bottom", which shall not be understood to be limiting however, since the invention is also suitable for slanted base areas such as a slanted roof for example.
 Notice must be taken that although the term "solar module" will be used consistently below, it shall be understood to include modules of various kinds such as solar cell modules or thermal modules.
 The solar modules 1 of FIG. 1 preferably have a relatively flat rectangular basic shape. Two of the solar modules 1 are connected with each other by means of connectors 6, 7 which are shown by way of example in FIGS. 6 and 7 in such a way that respectively two of the solar modules rest on each other in pairs in the region of one of their outside edges 3 and enclose an angle α which is preferably but not mandatorily larger than 90°.
 Preferably, a plurality of such double module arrangements will be arranged one after the other in one row (direction X). It is further possible to also arrange several of these rows of double modules next to one another (direction Y) on a base such as a roof in order to cover a roof area or the like as desired with solar modules, especially also over the entire area.
 The designation of a zigzag arrangement or folding arrangement is obtained from this kind of arrangement.
 The substructure has been simplified considerably as compared with the state of the art.
 The double module arrangements are respectively connected with each other on the mutually facing edges 2 which are the vertical upper ones in the installation position in the mounting arrangement in accordance with the invention, but not in the region of the bottom edges 3 which face away from one another.
 Instead, a connection is realized by the base itself in the mounted position. An additional connection to the base in the region of the bottom edges which face away from one another is not provided for or omitted within a double module arrangement.
 As compared with the state of the art as known from DE 20 2008 007 549 U1, a double module arrangement with a considerably simplified configuration is created because it is possible to omit the intermediate supports and profiles which are provided there and which connect the bottom edges of the double profile arrangement which face away from one another. Preferably, no additional support strut is provided between the connectors 6, 7 and the bottom edges 3.
 Mutually adjacent and mutually adjoining double module arrangements are further also connected with each other in the region of the mutually adjacent edges 3 (which are the bottom ones in this case) via coupling devices or elements. These coupling elements preferably realize a spaced connection of the bottom edges 3 of adjacent double module arrangements in such a way that good accessibility to the double module arrangements is ensured for mounting purposes or maintenance work.
 Preferably, the distance between the bottom edges 3 of the adjacent double module arrangements is 50 to 500 mm, preferably 300 mm. The distance of the bottom edges 3 is preferably predetermined by one or several coupling devices.
 It is advantageous and has a stabilizing effect on the construction if the anti-slip device is arranged to be roughened on one side or is provided with a friction-increasing coating.
 Preferred embodiments of these coupling elements will be explained below in closer detail.
 In an especially preferred embodiment, the coupling elements or devices form integral or multipart anti-slip devices 4 (see especially FIGS. 8 and 9).
 The anti-slip devices 4 are preferably not arranged for realizing an anti-slip device for the double module arrangements, but also assume the function of load transfer to the base.
 At least two edges 3 of two adjacent double module arrangements are preferably arranged on or fixed to each anti-slip device 4, preferably four of the edges 3, so that four of these solar modules can be mounted or are mounted accordingly per anti-slip device.
 FIG. 2 shows a row of double module arrangements in a side view, with the solar modules 1 as described in connection with FIG. 1 being arranged at an angle with respect to each other. The upper edges 2 are kept at a small distance. The profiles 5, preferably aluminum profiles which preferably comprise chambers used for accommodating the connectors or other fasteners, are disposed beneath the solar elements 1 (in this case a glass-glass thin-film laminate).
 A connector 6 is inserted at the upper edges 2 into the recesses of two adjacent solar modules 1. The connector 6 (see FIG. 6) is preferably arranged as an integral angle piece (e.g., one-piece) and comprises two legs 11, 12 which enclose an angle α (see reference 13).
 In the preferred case this angle α is 160°. As a result, the solar elements 1 have an oblique inclination or alignment of 10° in relation to a flat base, e.g. a horizontally aligned one.
 The bottom edges 3 of adjacent double module arrangements are also aligned to face one another in a larger collector field. A connector 7 is also inserted into the profile 5 at the bottom ends for mounting purposes. The connector 7 is thus fixed to the profile 5 and therefore to the solar module. It is possible to screw the profile 5 and the connector 7 together. On the side facing away from the edge 3 or the profile 5, the connector 7 is connected with one of the anti-slip devices 4.
 The anti-slip device of FIG. 8 is an especially preferred embodiment. Embodiments of the invention are also possible in which the bottom edges 3 of the solar elements 1 are connected directly with one another.
 The preferred anti-slip devices 4 absorb pressure forces which are applied by the individual module rows as a result of the 10° arrangement. The pressure forces cancel each other out in general.
 The anti-slip devices 4 are preferably provided with protruding pins 8 (see FIG. 2), preferably threaded pins, on which the connectors 7 are placed with respective boreholes for easier mounting. It is then merely necessary to tightly clamp the connectors 7 using a nut screwed on the threaded pins 8, on the anti-slip devices.
 The anti-slip devices 4 further preferably form a so-called maintenance access between adjacent double module arrangements, which considerably simplifies maintenance of the module arrangement as already mentioned above.
 FIG. 2 illustrates that no further profile mounting support systems, no further cross beams within the double module arrangements, no support struts or the like as described in the state of the art are required.
 The zigzag arrangement is formed in an especially preferred way merely by the anti-slip device 4 between adjacent double module arrangements, a connector 7 between the anti-slip device 4 and the double module arrangement, a profile 5 on which the solar module is arranged, a connector 6 between the upper edges, and profiles 5 of adjacent solar modules of a double module arrangement. There can be further adjoining connectors 7, anti-slip devices 4, etc.
 A tension element can be arranged especially at the ends of larger module fields for absorbing the pressure forces between the profiles 5 or between the connectors 7. The tension element (not shown here) can be a tension cable or a tension rod. As a result, the entire module field is freely installable without any fastening to the base or without weights. The aerodynamic arrangement further prevents wind forces from attacking beneath the surfaces, so that lifting off is not possible.
 FIGS. 3 and 4 symbolically show a module field again, which can be expanded and enlarged at will. FIG. 3 shows the sequence of fastening which is important for this application and which consists of the anti-slip device, connector, profile with solar module, connector, anti-slip device, etc.
 There are no connecting or supporting components beneath the solar elements. Draining is easily possible, as is also access to the modules.
 FIG. 5 shows an enlarged sectional view of the profile 5, which includes areas 9, on which the solar modules 1 (not shown here) can rest and can, optionally, be tightly glued.
 The profile 5 further comprises an open hollow chamber 10 in which the connector or other mounting elements can be arranged.
 The profile 5 is an especially advantageous option as a holding element for the solar modules. It is alternatively possible to fix the connectors directly to a module frame (if provided) or any other part of the module, or to couple the same in special fixing holes or the like for example.
 FIG. 6 shows a sectional view of a connector 6 which connects the two solar modules of a double module arrangement with each other in the region of the mutually facing upper edges 2.
 The connector 6 comprises at least the two legs 11 and 12 which are aligned at an angle with respect to each other. Preferably, the angle α which is enclosed by the legs 11, 12 is between 100° and 175°, preferably 160°.
 Furthermore, the connector 6 preferably has through-holes such as threaded bores on the legs 11, 12, which through-holes are provided for simple clamping of the connector 6 by means of screws in the profile 5.
 FIG. 7 shows a double bent connector 7 which is configured for fixing the bottom edges 3 of the solar modules 1. The connector 7 comprises a support leg 7a, a vertically aligned vertical leg 7b, and a further oblique leg 7c for fixing to the solar modules, which oblique leg is aligned in this case at an angle β of 90°+(180°-α)/2=180°-α/2. The connector 7 preferably further also comprises boreholes which are configured for connection with the profile 5 or with the anti-slip device 4.
 FIGS. 8A and 8B show an anti-slip device 4 which is substantially used as a connecting element between the bottom edges 3 of the mutually facing edges 3 of adjacent double module arrangements.
 The distance of the connection is chosen to be relatively large at 300 mm, which leads to the advantage that a maintenance access is formed between the double module arrangements. The maintenance access is not mandatory, but is advantageously provided for laying the power cables.
 FIG. 8A shows a first anti-slip device 4 in a side view, with the anti-slip device consisting in this case of a bottom sheet 15 on which at least one pressure rod 16 is arranged. Pins 17, preferably threaded pins, are disposed on the pressure rod 16 which can also be designated as a spacer rod. The pins 17 are for connecting the anti-slip device with the connector 7 for the bottom edges 3 of the solar modules 1.
 FIG. 9 also shows an anti-slip device 4', which is arranged without pressure rods for cost reasons. In order to provide the sheet 15' with additional stability, especially pressure stability, the sheet 15' is beveled at the edges. Additional beads or stiffened portions of the sheet are further advantageous additions. In addition to the pins 17, the anti-slip device 4' comprises oblong holes 18 in the lateral beveled parts, which oblong holes are used for fastening cable clips and the like.
 The anti-slip device 4 can principally be provided on its bottom side 19, therefore on its side facing the roof, with a special configuration, preferably a roughened portion or a coating for increasing friction.
 It can be arranged as an adhesive surface, a gummed area, or with strips such as EPDM strips or arranged in another manner such that slippage of the elements on the base is prevented.
 This is suitable since it is recognized that wind forces acting on the module field only have a relatively low lifting effect but a relatively large sliding effect, i.e. lower forces in the vertical direction and larger forces in the horizontal direction. The anti-slip devices are therefore suitable for absorbing the respective wind loads without any additional weighting and without any fastening to the roof or base area. The standing area is large enough (preferably it is more than 200 mm×200 mm, especially more than 400 mm×300 mm) so that the weight forces are well distributed. Preferably, the anti-slip devices 4 will merely rest on a base and are not fixed there with fasteners. This type of modular arrangement is especially cost-effective, easy to mount and still especially secure.
 This is shown particularly well in FIG. 10, which shows a front view (y-direction) in FIG. 10a and a side view (x-direction) in FIG. 10b of a double-row solar module arrangement. The arrangement is provided in such a way that lifting off by wind is prevented in a simple and secure manner.
 FIGS. 11a, 11b show a side view of a further embodiment of a connector 6 and a top view of the connector 6 with the two legs 11, 12 and the angle α, which in this case is 160°. The legs 11, 12 are used for insertion into their respective chambers of the profiles 5. In order to limit the insertion path of the connector 6 into these chambers, at least one projection 20 is arranged on the connector 6. It is especially advantageous when the projection 20 is arranged centrally between the two ends of the legs 11, 12 which face away from one another. A precise distance between the solar modules is achieved in this manner, which distance corresponds to the width of the at least one projection 20 or the distance between two projections for example. FIG. 11 further shows the mentioned threaded bores (reference numeral 21) for the additional fixing of the connector 6 in the profile 5 by screws.
 FIGS. 12a, 12b show a side view of a further connector 7 and a top view of the connector 7. This connector is also provided with a projection (reference numeral 22) which delimits the insertion path of the respective leg 7c into the chamber 10 of the profile 5, so that a defined seat of the solar module or a defined seat of the connector 7 on the solar module is easily ensured in this region of the solar module, which is the bottom one in the mounted state. FIG. 11 also shows threaded bores (reference numeral 23) and an oblong hole 24, provided once for additionally fixing the connector 7 in the profile by screws and once for insertion on pins on the anti-slip devices 4.
 FIG. 13 finally shows a view of the tension element as already mentioned above in the form of a tension cable 25 with the fixing elements on ends facing away from one another for absorbing the tensile forces between the profiles 5 or between the connectors 7.
LIST OF REFERENCE NUMERALS
 1 Solar module (element)  2 Upper edge  3 Bottom edge  4 Anti-slip device  5 Profile  6 Connector  7 Connector with legs 7a, b, c  8 Pin  9 Area  10 Groove  11 Leg  12 Leg  13 Angle  14 Bore  15 Sheet  16 Pressure rod  17 Pin  18 Oblong hole  19 Bottom side  20 Projection  21 Threaded bores  22 Projection  23 Threaded bore  24 Oblong hole  25 Tension cable  26 Fastening elements
Patent applications by Wadim Salzer, Bielefeld DE
Patent applications by SCHUECO International KG
Patent applications in class Collector housing
Patent applications in all subclasses Collector housing