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PLASTIC/ELASTOMER CO-INJECTED CLAMPS FOR FRAMELESS PHOTOVOLTAIC SOLAR PANELS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000242968D
Publication Date: 2015-Sep-03
Document File: 7 page(s) / 1M

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A plastic/elastomer clamp comprising a co-injected elastomer pad forms a one-piece clamp. The one-piece clamp reduces part quantity, costs, and corrosion associated with standard metal clamps. The co-injection of the elastomer pad provides a higher retention of the elastomer pad to the clamp than a traditional adhesive. The one-piece clamp reduces physical damage to a frameless photovoltaic solar panel when the one-piece clamp attaches the frameless photovoltaic solar panel to a mount.

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PLASTIC/ELASTOMER CO-INJECTED CLAMPS FOR FRAMELESS PHOTOVOLTAIC SOLAR PANELS

    This disclosure generally relates to plastic/elastomer co-injected clamps and, more particularly, plastic/elastomer co-injected clamps for frameless photovoltaic solar panels.

    In the photovoltaic solar panel industry, photovoltaic solar panels are installed at various locations, such as rooftops and poles, which are typically used for commercial energy systems, or open industrial areas, which are typically used for power plants. Each photovoltaic solar panel requires a strong support structure that is capable of supporting the weight of the photovoltaic solar panel, along with any wind resistance. When fixing the photovoltaic solar panel at these various locations, the photovoltaic solar panel is typically fixed to a mount (roof mount). Typically, a frame (usually metal) surrounds each photovoltaic solar panel. To secure each photovoltaic solar panel to the mount, either a fastening device is used to fix the frame to the mount, or the frame is directly fixed to the mount.

    In recent years, it has been a focus and of growing interest in the photovoltaic solar panel industry to reduce the weight and overall cost of each photovoltaic solar panel. As such, photovoltaic solar panels have been made without the frame. A photovoltaic solar panel made without a frame, i.e., a frameless photovoltaic solar panel, is thinner and more fragile than photovoltaic solar panels having the frame. Typically, these frameless photovoltaic solar panels comprise one or two sheets of glass, photovoltaic material, and backing material.

    The attachment of these frameless photovoltaic solar panels is often achieved by using clamps (commonly referred to as an attachment) that fix the frameless photovoltaic solar panel to the mount or other structure. Since the frameless photovoltaic solar panel does not have the


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frame, the clamps are directly connected to the frameless photovoltaic solar panel, i.e., one or more of the sheets of glass.

    Accordingly, a clamp for mounting a frameless photovoltaic solar panel to a mount or other structure without damaging or scratching the frameless photovoltaic solar panel is described below.

    With reference to the Figures, wherein like numerals indicate like parts throughout the several views, an attachment assembly 10 is shown in FIGS. 1-11. The attachment assembly 10 is used to fix a frameless photovoltaic solar panel 12 to a mount (structural mounting supports) or other structure. The frameless photovoltaic solar panel 12 may also be known as a frameless solar modules panel array, a frameless module array, a frameless glass solar panel, or a frameless array. The frameless photovoltaic solar panel 12 includes one or more sheets of glass. The attachment assembly 10 includes a clamp 14 having a first end 16 and a second end 18 for engaging the frameless photovoltaic solar panel 12. The clamp 14, and more broadly the attachment assembly 10, p...