Roof-integratable photovolatic modules

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United States of America Patent

PATENT NO 5338369
SERIAL NO

08017520

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Abstract

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A solar module design comprises a specially-designed substrate material with interconnected solar cells and topcoat laminated to the top surface by known polymer encapsulation methods. The substrate, which may be extruded in one piece or fabricated, comprises a twin-wall profile with ribs connecting the upper and lower surface. The twin-wall shape connected with ribs results in a substrate material which is very strong, stiff, and rugged, yet lightweight; and which allows the modules to be used as the roof's finished surface, yet allows outside air to pass under the photovoltaic cells to help cool them. Also, the substrate incorporates means of interconnecting modules and fastening them to roof decking or framing members and simplified means of connecting the modules to an external electrical circuit. The features of the substrate and module design result in modules which can be very large in format, yet which are very light and rugged compared to current art. The module substrate can be produced inexpensively. Installation of the modules is rapid and simple. Installed systems using the module design feature a monolithic, smooth, unbroken surface, which helps to prevent the accumulation of debris, snow, ice, or dirt.

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Inventor(s)

Inventor Name Address # of filed Patents Total Citations
Rawlings, Lyle K 66 Snydertown Rd., Hopewell, NJ 08525 5 145

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