Title:
Apparatus for mounting a solar panel or other article to a roof or other structure
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus for mounting an article to a roof includes a base plate, threaded stud, lag bolts, spacer, and flashing. The base plate includes bolt holes to accommodate the lag bolts to secure the base plate to the roof. The threaded stud is secured to and extends vertically from the base plate. The spacer is inserted over the stud so that the stud passes through an aperture in the spacer, and is secured by a nut. The spacer acts as a lift for mounting an article up off the roof, thereby permitting drainage. The spacer includes a recess to accommodate the head of a lag bolt. The wrap-around flashing is captured between the base plate and spacer, creating a water free environment underneath the assembled unit. The flashing slides up underneath the roofing shingles to prevent water from penetrating the structure, and includes a lip to accommodate the base plate, and a detent to accommodate the bolt heads beneath it.



Inventors:
Thompson, Daniel S. (San Rafael, CA, US)
Mullins, Monty (Rohnert Park, CA, US)
Proctor, Richard I. (San Rafael, CA, US)
Zhang, Zhan (Windsor, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/326271
Publication Date:
07/20/2006
Filing Date:
01/04/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04D13/18
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20060156656AGGREGATE LOG AND METHOD OF BUILDING CONSTRUCTIONJuly, 2006Robinson
20030177715Enclosing systemSeptember, 2003Dunson et al.
20040244309Modular construction systemDecember, 2004Raue
20050284054Method and apparatus for construction of an archDecember, 2005Bass
20070039272Roof beamsFebruary, 2007Richardson
20090307990SYSTEM FOR DIVIDING OFF AREAS OF A ROOMDecember, 2009Muehlebach
20060191231Masonry blocks and method of making masonry blocks having overlapping facesAugust, 2006Ness et al.
20130047525Protective Enclosure for a WellheadFebruary, 2013Stanton
20080178541Door jamb components, subassemblies, and assembliesJuly, 2008Kerscher et al.
20060248812Methods for constructing a building and resulting buildingNovember, 2006Pruitt et al.
20050086901Device for laying brick constructsApril, 2005Chisholm



Primary Examiner:
DEMUREN, BABAJIDE A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Stainbrook & Stainbrook, LLP (Santa Rosa, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed as invention is:

1. An apparatus for mounting an article to a roof, said apparatus comprising: a base plate, said base plate including at least one bolt hole; at least one lag bolt to secure said base plate to the roof; a threaded stud secured to and extending vertically from said base plate; a spacer including an aperture for passage of said threaded stud; and flashing captured between said base plate and said spacer to prevent water from penetrating the roof.

2. The apparatus for mounting an article to a roof of claim one wherein said spacer includes a recess to accommodate the head of a lag bolt.

3. The apparatus for mounting an article to a roof of claim one wherein said flashing includes a lip to accommodate said base plate.

4. The apparatus for mounting an article to a roof of claim one wherein said flashing includes a detent to accommodate a bolt head.

5. The apparatus for mounting an article to a roof of claim one wherein said bolt hole is keyhole-shaped to enable adjustment of said base plate during installation.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims the benefit of the filing date of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 60/641,198, filed 04 Jan. 2005.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

REFERENCE TO A MICROFICHE APPENDIX

Not applicable.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates generally to construction materials and mounting hardware, and more particularly to an improved apparatus for mounting a solar panel or other article to a roof or other structure.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND DISCUSSION OF RELATED ART

Installing a solar panel or other article to the roof of a building can be problematic. For example, simply bolting the article to the building's roof trusses may create an entry point for precipitation. In addition, securing the article too close to the roof may obstruct proper drainage and create a water dam, thereby increasing the likelihood of leakage and premature roof deterioration.

The foregoing discussion reflects the current state of the art of which the present inventors are aware. Reference to, and discussion of, this information is intended to aid in discharging Applicant's acknowledged duty of candor in disclosing information that may be relevant to the examination of claims to the-present invention. However, it is respectfully submitted that none of the known prior art discloses, teaches, suggests, shows, or otherwise renders obvious, either singly or when considered in combination, the invention described and claimed herein.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The apparatus for mounting a solar panel or other article to a roof or other structure of the present invention includes a base plate, threaded stud, lag bolts, spacer, and flashing. The base plate includes bolt holes to accommodate the lag bolts to secure the base plate to the roof. The threaded stud is secured to and extends vertically from the base plate. The spacer is inserted over the stud so that the stud passes through an aperture in the spacer, and is secured by a nut. The spacer acts as a lift for mounting an article up off the roof, thereby permitting drainage below the article and preserving the roof. The spacer preferably includes a recess to accommodate the head of a lag bolt beneath it when installed. The wrap-around flashing component is captured between the base plate and spacer, creating a water free environment underneath the assembled unit. The flashing slides up underneath the roofing shingles (if any) to prevent water from penetrating the structure, and includes a lip to accommodate the base plate, and a detent to accommodate the bolt heads beneath it.

The inventive apparatus thus provides a roof and/or structure mounting system that is self-contained and incorporates positive waterproofing features designed to weather the most difficult environments. The inventive apparatus may be used to mount solar photovoltaic panels, solar water panels, AC units, TV antennas, satellites, guide wire supports, or other articles to roofs and/or other structures.

The apparatus also thus provides a waterproof method of mounting objects to roofs and/or structures with a low profile aspect, minimum installation space, and minimal labor and materials. In addition, the pre-fabricated wrap-around flashing component of the apparatus integrates the mounting system along with waterproofing. Positive waterproofing is accomplished by mechanical attachment only, requiring no exterior sealants, and provides a lifetime UV resistant surface.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved mounting apparatus.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a new and improved apparatus to mount solar panels to a roof or other structure.

A further object or feature of the present invention is a new and improved waterproof mounting apparatus for solar panels and other articles.

An even further object of the present invention is to provide a novel roof mount that spaces the article from the roof.

Other novel features which are characteristic of the invention, as to organization and method of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof will be better understood from the following description considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which preferred embodiments of the invention are illustrated by way of example. It is to be expressly understood, however, that the drawings are for illustration and description only and are not intended as a definition of the limits of the invention. The various features of novelty which characterize the invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming part of this disclosure. The invention resides not in any one of these features taken alone, but rather in the particular combination of all of its structures for the functions specified.

There has thus been broadly outlined the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are, of course, additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will form additional subject matter of the claims appended hereto. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception upon which this disclosure is based readily may be utilized as a basis for the designing of other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

Further, the purpose of the Abstract is to enable the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the public generally, and especially the scientists, engineers and practitioners in the art who are not familiar with patent or legal terms or phraseology, to determine quickly from a cursory inspection the nature and essence of the technical disclosure of the application. The Abstract is neither intended to define the invention of this application, which is measured by the claims, nor is it intended to be limiting as to the scope of the invention in any way.

Certain terminology and derivations thereof may be used in the following description for convenience in reference only, and will not be limiting. For example, words such as “upward,” “downward,” “left,” and “right” would refer to directions in the drawings to which reference is made unless otherwise stated. Similarly, words such as “inward” and “outward” would refer to directions toward and away from, respectively, the geometric center of a device or area and designated parts thereof. References in the singular tense include the plural, and vice versa, unless otherwise noted.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be better understood and objects other than those set forth above will become apparent when consideration is given to the following detailed description thereof. Such description makes reference to the annexed drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the base plate, threaded stud, lag bolt, and spacer components of an apparatus for mounting a solar panel or other article to a roof or other structure of this invention; and

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the wrap-around flashing component of the apparatus being captured between the base plate and spacer, with the threaded stud extending through the aperture of the spacer for securing by a nut.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, wherein like reference numerals refer to like components in the respective views, there is illustrated therein a new and improved apparatus for mounting a solar panel or other article to a roof or other structure, generally denominated 8 herein.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the base plate 10, threaded stud 11, lag bolts 14, and spacer 12 components of the apparatus 8, shown adjacent roof truss or other structure 15. Base plate 10 is preferably constructed of stainless steel or similar material, and may measure 1.63 inches wide×5.1 inches long. Base plate 10 includes bolt holes 10a, 10b to accommodate lag bolts 14. Bolt hole 10b may be keyhole-shaped to enable adjustment of the base plate during installation. Stud 11 is preferably a ⅜″ stud also made of stainless steel or similar material, and is preferably fitted and welded into base plate 10.

Spacer 12 is preferably constructed of aluminum or similar material, and may measure 1.63 inches wide×2.18 inches long×1.40 inches high. Spacer 12 is inserted over stud 11 so that the stud passes through aperture 12a. The spacer 12 acts as a lift for mounting an article up off the roof or structure, thereby permitting drainage below the article and preserving the roof. Spacer 12 preferably includes a recess 12b to accommodate the head of a lag bolt 14 when installed.

Lag bolts 14 secure the base plate to the roof or structure. The apparatus preferably utilizes at least two lag bolts per base plate, and are preloaded during installation to ensure that the base plate secures to the roof or other structure both tight and flat.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the wrap-around flashing component 13 of the apparatus being captured between the base plate 10 and spacer 12, with the threaded stud 11 extending through the aperture 12a of the spacer 12 for securing by a nut 11a. Spacer 12 secures the wrap-around flashing 13 (constructed of metal or similar material) in place and to the base plate 10 and stud 11, creating a water free environment underneath the assembled unit. Flashing 13 slides up underneath the roofing shingles (if any) to prevent water from penetrating the structure. The flashing 13 preferably includes a lip 13a to accommodate the base plate 10, and a raised area or detent 13b to accommodate the bolt heads beneath it. The flashing may be colored, coated, or otherwise modified to match the appearance of the surrounding roof shingles.

An article such as a solar panel (not shown) may be supported by and secured to the spacer and/or stud by various means well known in the art.

The above disclosure is sufficient to enable one of ordinary skill in the art to practice the invention, and provides the best mode of practicing the invention presently contemplated by the inventor. While there is provided herein a full and complete disclosure of the preferred embodiments of this invention, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction, dimensional relationships, and operation shown and described. Various modifications, alternative constructions, changes and equivalents will readily occur to those skilled in the art and may be employed, as suitable, without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention. Such changes might involve alternative materials, components, structural arrangements, sizes, shapes, forms, functions, operational features or the like.

Therefore, the above description and illustrations should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention, which is defined by the appended claims.