Patents Assigned to PowerLight Corporation
  • Publication number: 20080128015
    Abstract: A PV assembly comprises a support assembly and first and second PV elements mounted to the support assembly with a gap separating the PV elements. The PV elements are bifacial PV elements having upper and lower active, energy-producing PV surfaces. The gap is a light-transmitting gap. The assembly also includes a light-reflecting surface carried by the support assembly beneath the PV elements and spaced apart from the PV elements so that light passing through the gap can be reflected back onto the lower PV surface of at least one of the PV elements.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 20, 2007
    Publication date: June 5, 2008
    Applicant: PowerLight Corporation
    Inventors: Daniel S. Shugar, John Peurach, Matthew P. Campbell
  • Publication number: 20070212935
    Abstract: An electrically conductive mounting/grounding clip, for use with a PV assembly of the type having an electrically conductive frame, comprises an electrically conductive body. The body has a central portion and first and second spaced-apart arms extending generally perpendicular to the central portion. Each arm has an outer portion with each outer portion having an outer end. At least one frame surface-disrupting element is at each outer end. The central portion defines a plane with the frame surface-disrupting elements pointing towards the plane. In some examples each arm extends from the central portion at an acute angle to the plane.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 5, 2007
    Publication date: September 13, 2007
    Applicant: PowerLight Corporation
    Inventor: Carl J. Lenox
  • Publication number: 20070151594
    Abstract: A collapsible PV assembly comprises a PV module, a front support and a rear support assembly. The front and rear supports are secured to the front and rear edges of the PV module. The rear support assembly comprises a wind deflector assembly including a wind deflector which can be placed in a downwardly and outwardly extending use orientation and a storage orientation, extending along the lower surface of the PV module. In some embodiments the wind deflector assembly is pivotally connected to the PV module.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 28, 2006
    Publication date: July 5, 2007
    Applicant: PowerLight Corporation
    Inventors: Gianluigi Mascolo, Thomas Dinwoodie
  • Publication number: 20070144575
    Abstract: A supported PV assembly may include a PV module comprising a PV panel and PV module supports including module supports having a support surface supporting the module, a module registration member engaging the PV module to properly position the PV module on the module support, and a mounting element. In some embodiments the PV module registration members engage only the external surfaces of the PV modules at the corners. In some embodiments the assembly includes a wind deflector with ballast secured to a least one of the PV module supports and the wind deflector. An array of the assemblies can be secured to one another at their corners to prevent horizontal separation of the adjacent corners while permitting the PV modules to flex relative to one another so to permit the array of PV modules to follow a contour of the support surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 27, 2006
    Publication date: June 28, 2007
    Applicant: PowerLight Corporation
    Inventors: Gianluigi Mascolo, David Taggart, Jonathan Botkin, Christopher Edgett
  • Patent number: 7178295
    Abstract: A barrier, such as a PV module, is secured to a base by a support to create a shingle assembly with a venting region defined between the barrier and base for temperature regulation. The first edge of one base may be interengageable with the second edge of an adjacent base to be capable of resisting first and second disengaging forces oriented perpendicular to the edges and along planes oriented parallel to and perpendicular to the base. A deflector may be used to help reduce wind uplift forces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2007
    Assignee: PowerLight Corporation
    Inventor: Thomas L. Dinwoodie
  • Publication number: 20060266405
    Abstract: A fire resistant PV shingle assembly includes a PV assembly, including PV body, a fire shield and a connection member connecting the fire shield below the PV body, and a support and inter-engagement assembly. The support and inter-engagement assembly is mounted to the PV assembly and comprises a vertical support element, supporting the PV assembly above a support surface, an upper interlock element, positioned towards the upper PV edge, and a lower interlock element, positioned towards the lower PV edge. The upper interlock element of one PV shingle assembly is inter-engageable with the lower interlock element of an adjacent PV shingle assembly. In some embodiments the PV shingle assembly may comprise a ventilation path below the PV body. The PV body may be slidably mounted to the connection member to facilitate removal of the PV body.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 27, 2005
    Publication date: November 30, 2006
    Applicant: PowerLight Corporation, a California corporation
    Inventor: Carl Lenox
  • Publication number: 20060000178
    Abstract: A shingle system, mountable to a support surface, includes overlapping shingle assemblies. Each shingle assembly comprises a support bracket, having upper and lower ends, secured to a shingle body. The upper end has an upper support portion, extending away from the shingle body, and an upper support-surface-engaging part, engageable with a support surface so that the upper edge of the shingle body is positionable at a first distance from the support surface to create a first gap therebetween. The lower end has a lower support portion extending away from the lower surface. The support brackets create: (1) a second gap between shingle bodies of the first and second shingle assemblies, and (2) an open region beneath the first shingle assembly fluidly coupling the first and second gaps.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 18, 2004
    Publication date: January 5, 2006
    Applicant: PowerLight Corporation, a California corporation
    Inventor: Charles Almy
  • Publication number: 20050144870
    Abstract: A barrier, such as a PV module, is secured to a base by a support to create a shingle assembly with a venting region defined between the barrier and base for temperature regulation. Water resistant junctions may be formed between the bases of adjacent shingle assemblies of an array of shingle assemblies. The base may include an insulation layer underlying a water barrier. The base may also include a waterproofing element; the width and height of the barrier may be shorter than the width and height of the waterproofing element.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 2, 2005
    Publication date: July 7, 2005
    Applicant: PowerLight Corporation
    Inventor: Thomas Dinwoodie
  • Publication number: 20050126621
    Abstract: Pressure equalization between upper and lower surfaces of PV modules of an array of PV modules can be enhanced in several ways. Air gaps opening into the air volume, defined between the PV modules and the support surface, should be provided between adjacent PV modules and along the periphery of the array. The ratio of this air volume to the total area of the air gaps should be minimized. Peripheral wind deflectors should be used to minimize aerodynamic drag forces on the PV modules. The time to equalize pressure between the upper and lower surfaces of the PV modules should be maintained below, for example, 10-20 milliseconds. The displacement created by wind gusts should be limited to, for example, 2-5 millimeters or less. For inclined PV modules, rear air deflectors are advised for each PV module and side air deflectors are advised for the periphery of the array.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 19, 2004
    Publication date: June 16, 2005
    Applicant: PowerLight Corporation
    Inventors: Thomas Dinwoodie, Colleen O'Brien, David Neff, Gianluigi Mascolo
  • Publication number: 20050109384
    Abstract: A modular shade system with solar tracking panels includes a series of generally North-South oriented, spaced apart torque tubes, each torque tube having an axis, a series of panels mounted to at least some of the torque tubes to create spaced-apart rows of panels along the torque tubes, at least some of the panels being solar collector panels. The system also includes a shade structure, positioned at a selected location between selected ones of the torque tubes and above the support surface so to provide an enhanced shaded region thereunder, and a support structure. The support structure includes a first mounting assembly mounting each torque tube above the support surface for rotation about the axis of each torque tube and a second mounting assembly supporting the shade structure at the selected location. The system further comprises a tilting assembly selectively rotating each torque tube about its axis.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 9, 2004
    Publication date: May 26, 2005
    Applicant: PowerLight Corporation
    Inventors: Jefferson Shingleton, Elise Brewster, Thomas Dinwoodie, Gianluigi Mascolo
  • Patent number: 6883290
    Abstract: A barrier, such as a PV module, is secured to a base by a support to create a shingle assembly with a venting region defined between the barrier and base for temperature regulation. The bottom edges of the barriers of one row may overlap the top edges of the barriers of another row. The shingle assemblies may be mounted by first mounting the bases to an inclined surface; the barriers may be then secured to the bases using the supports to create rows of shingle assemblies defining venting regions between the barriers and the bases for temperature regulation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2005
    Assignee: PowerLight Corporation
    Inventor: Thomas L. Dinwoodie
  • Publication number: 20040261955
    Abstract: A modular shade system comprises a support structure supporting modular panels. The support structure defines a first area having a length and a width. The modular panels have upper, exposed surfaces and lower surfaces and are mounted to and supported by the support structure. The modular panels cover at least about 80% of the first area. The modular panels comprise PV panels and supplemental panels, the supplemental panels providing a feature other than shading and optionally providing shading. Protective panels may be mounted opposite the lower surfaces of the PV modules. A protective panel may so be used when the PV module is part of an installation other than a modular shade structure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 9, 2004
    Publication date: December 30, 2004
    Applicant: PowerLight Corporation
    Inventors: Jefferson G. Shingleton, Elise R. Brewster, Thomas L. Dinwoodie, Gianluigi Mascolo
  • Publication number: 20040238025
    Abstract: A tracking solar collector assembly includes Southside supports, North side supports and support structures. Each support structure has pivotal support points defining a tilt axis and has at least one solar collector mounted thereto. First support points of first and second support structures are pivotally connected to first and second Southside supports. A second support point of the first support structure is pivotally connected to first and second North side supports. A second support point of the second support structure is pivotally connected to second and third North side supports. The assembly further includes a tilting assembly causing the solar collector support structures and the solar collectors therewith to tilt in unison.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 16, 2004
    Publication date: December 2, 2004
    Applicant: PowerLight Corporation, a California Corporation
    Inventor: Jefferson G. Shingleton
  • Patent number: 6809253
    Abstract: Each PV assembly of an array of PV assemblies comprises a base, a PV module and a support assembly securing the PV module to a position overlying the upper surface of the base. Vents are formed through the base. A pressure equalization path extends from the outer surface of the PV module, past the PV module, to and through at least one of the vents, and to the lower surface of the base to help reduce wind uplift forces on the PV assembly. The PV assemblies may be interengaged, such as by interengaging the bases of adjacent PV assemblies. The base may include a main portion and a cover and the bases of adjacent PV assemblies may be interengaged by securing the covers of adjacent bases together.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2004
    Assignee: PowerLight Corporation
    Inventor: Thomas L. Dinwoodie
  • Patent number: 6809251
    Abstract: A PV assembly comprises a base, having a length L, an upwardly extending PV module, having a length H, and a downwardly extending deflector. The PV module and the deflector are preferably secured to the base so that they are placeable at shipping and inclined-use angles. The module may be connected to the base by a living hinge. The deflector may comprise an outer surface having a solar reflectivity of at least about 0.2, and more preferably of at least about 0.7, whereby solar radiation contacting the outer surface may be redirected to an adjacent PV module to increase the power output of the adjacent PV module. The inclined-use angle of the PV module may be about 2° to 15° and a ground cover ratio of H/L may be about 0.6 to about 0.8 for increased power output.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2004
    Assignee: Powerlight Corporation
    Inventor: Thomas L. Dinwoodie
  • Patent number: 6722357
    Abstract: A solar collector array is formed of multiple parallel rows of solar panels, each said row being made of one or more building blocks with an east-west oriented torsion tube defining an east-west axis for the row, an array of flat generally rectangular solar panels, and a set of panel rails and rail claims attaching the panels onto the torsion tube. A row of piers aligned on the east-west axis each have a footing that is supported in the earth, and a pier cap affixed onto a top end of the pier. The pier cap holds the torsion tube non-rotationally such that the torsion tube and panels are held at a preset elevation angle. The torsion tube may serve as a conduit for power conductors from the panels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2004
    Assignee: Powerlight Corporation
    Inventor: Jefferson Shingleton
  • Patent number: 6702370
    Abstract: A PV roof assembly (6) includes a roof (12) mountable to an electric vehicle (4), and a PV assembly (10) at the upper part of the roof. The PV assembly may be mounted to a separate roof surface (34) or the PV assembly may itself constitute all or part of the roof. The vehicle may include a secondary PV assembly (96) coupled to a display unit (92) to provide an independent indication of the intensity of solar irradiation. The roof may have mounting element recesses (68) to accommodate mounting elements (70) of the PV assembly, the mounting elements configured so as not to shade the PV panel (14). The roof may also be configured to accommodate a global positioning device (80). The roof preferably includes a peripheral gutter (88). The roof body preferably includes hand-hold recesses (90) housing hand-hold elements (42) at positions to provide a horizontal setback (92) from the lateral sides (93) of the roof body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2004
    Assignee: Powerlight Corporation
    Inventors: Daniel S. Shugar, Thomas L. Dinwoodie
  • Patent number: D510315
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2005
    Assignee: PowerLight Corporation
    Inventors: Daniel S. Shugar, Thomas L. Dinwoodie
  • Patent number: D511576
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2005
    Assignee: PowerLight Corporation
    Inventors: Jefferson G. Shingleton, Elise R. Brewster, Thomas L. Dinwoodie
  • Patent number: D516017
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2006
    Assignee: PowerLight Corporation
    Inventor: Gianluigi Mascolo