Title:
FRAME FOR A PLATE-SHAPED SOLAR ELEMENT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a frame for a plate-shaped solar element. The frame includes a bottom frame element (21) with a first surface (24) and a top frame element (11) with a second surface (14). The second surface (14) is disposed opposite the first surface (24) and is at spaced from the first surface forming a gap that accommodates an edge region of the plate-shaped solar element (31). The first surface and the second surface are each self-adhesive.



Inventors:
Gassner, Thomas (Heidgraben, DE)
Schwertfeger, Michael (Hamburg, DE)
Application Number:
12/490003
Publication Date:
01/07/2010
Filing Date:
06/23/2009
Assignee:
TESA SE (HAMBURG, DE)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
29/890.033
International Classes:
B23P15/26; F24S20/30
View Patent Images:
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Foreign References:
JP2005076340A2005-03-24
Primary Examiner:
MASHRUWALA, NIKHIL P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Hildebrand, Christa (New York, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A frame for a plate-shaped solar element, comprising a bottom frame element (21) having a first surface (24) and a top frame element (11) having a second surface (14), wherein the second surface (14) is situated opposite the first surface (24) and is at a spacing from said first surface forming a gap that can accommodate the edge region of the plate-shaped solar element (31), wherein the first surface and the second surface are each self-adhesive.

2. The frame according to claim 1, wherein the first surface (24) is provided with a first adhesive strip (23) and the second surface (14) is provided with a second adhesive strip (13).

3. The frame according to claim 2, wherein the first adhesive strip (23) is a double-sided adhesive strip that has an inside adhesive layer that is in contact with the first surface (24), and an outside adhesive layer that faces the second surface (14) of the top frame element (11).

4. The frame according to claim 2, wherein the second adhesive strip (13) is a double-sided adhesive strip that has an inside adhesive layer that is in contact with the second surface (14), and an outside adhesive layer that faces the first surface (24) of a bottom frame element (21).

5. The frame according to claims 4, wherein, when the plate-shaped solar element (11) having an edge region, is inserted into the frame, the bottom side of the plate-shaped solar element (11) is in contact in the edge region, with the adhesive layer of the first adhesive strip (23) and the top side of the solar module (11) is in contact, in the edge region, with the adhesive layer of the second adhesive strip (13).

6. The frame according to claim 4, wherein the bottom frame element (21) includes an abutment edge (27) for the plate-shaped solar element, said abutment edge extending from the first surface (24) in the direction of the second surface (14) and outwardly defining the gap that is realized between the first surface (24) and the second surface (14).

7. The frame according to claim 4, wherein the bottom frame element (21) includes a recess (26) disposed on the outside of the frame and orthogonally relative to the first surface (24), and the top frame element (11) has a portion (15) that is suitable for being introduced into the recess (26) obtaining a positive-locking and/or friction-locking connection, wherein the portion (15) is realized orthogonally relative to the second surface (14) of the top frame element (11) and extends from said second surface in the direction of the bottom frame element (21).

8. The frame according to claim 7, wherein the bottom frame element (21) is made up of part elements, wherein the part elements are profiled elements that are interconnected by means of connecting elements.

9. The frame according to claim 7, wherein the top frame element (11) is made up of part elements (11a, 11b, 11c, 11d), wherein the part elements (11a, 11b, 11c, 11d) are profiled elements that are interconnected by means of connecting elements.

10. The frame according to claim 8, wherein the part elements each have hollow spaces (16, 25) into which the connecting elements are inserted.

11. The frame according to claim 9, wherein between the bottom frame element (21) and the top frame element (11) there is a drainage channel, wherein the bottom side of the drainage channel is formed by a groove, which is disposed in a region of the first surface (24) of the bottom frame element (21) that is not self-adhesive and is at a spacing from the self-adhesive finish in the direction of the outside edge of the frame.

12. The frame according to claim 11, wherein drainage bores are disposed in the bottom frame element (21) and/or in the top frame element (11).

13. A method for producing a solar module, comprising the steps of initially, placing a bottom side of a plate-shaped solar element having an edge region, onto the a surface of a bottom frame element, providing by means of an adhesive strip) an adhesive connection between a bottom frame element and a solar element, and subsequently, placing a top frame element in such a manner onto a top side of in an edge region of the plate-shaped solar element, that by means of the second adhesive strip an adhesive connection is realized between the second surface of the top frame element and the plate-shaped solar element.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

(1) Field of the Invention

The invention relates to a frame for a plate-shaped solar element and to the use of such a frame for producing a solar module.

Solar modules consist of a frame that surrounds the solar element, which, as a rule, comprises a plurality of solar cells arranged in one plane and embedded in a plastics material foil. The plastics material foil, as a rule, is covered by a glass plate and has a lamination on the rear side that is conventionally also produced from plastics material. The solar element, which is occasionally also referred to as a frameless solar module or laminate, is surrounded by a frame, which has the effect of strengthening the solar element, protects the solar element, in particular the glass panel, during transport and makes it possible for solar elements to be secured to buildings and structures. The framed solar element, as a rule, is referred to as the solar module.

(2) Description of Related Art

According to the state of the art one-piece frames are generally used. Such a frame is pressed laterally onto the outside edges of the solar element and the edges of the solar module are then stuck down manually. This method of operation is inefficient.

Also known are two-piece frames, which include a bottom frame element, onto which the solar element is placed. The actual frame is obtained by a top frame element being pressed into the bottom frame element obtaining a friction-locking or positive-locking connection, a gap being realized between the bottom and the top frame element, into which the edge region of the solar element is inserted.

DE 202 09 218 U1 discloses a two-piece frame for a frameless solar module, said frame including a bottom frame element with a surface onto which the solar module is placed. In addition, a slot is provided in the bottom frame element, a portion of a top angular frame element being inserted into said slot, thereby obtaining a positive-locking and/or friction-locking connection between the two frame elements. Before the solar module is placed into the frame, the edge region of the solar module is enveloped in a resilient material, for example a seal, which after the assembly is positioned between the frame and the solar module. The production of such a frame and the application of the seal, however, are time-consuming and costly.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is the object of the invention to eliminate the disadvantages of the state of the art. In particular, it aims to provide a frame for accommodating a plate-shaped solar element which makes a more efficient and more economic framing of solar elements possible.

This object is achieved through the features of claims 1 and 13. Expedient developments of the invention are produced from the features of claims 2 to 12 and 14.

A frame for a plate-shaped solar element is provided according to the invention, said frame comprising a bottom frame element with a first surface and preferably a top frame element with a second surface, wherein the second surface is situated opposite the first surface and is at a spacing from said first surface forming a gap that can accommodate the edge region of the plate-shaped solar element, wherein the first surface and the second surface are each self-adhesive. Preferably, in this case, the first surface is provided with a first adhesive strip and the second surface is provided with a second adhesive strip. The frame can also comprise just a bottom frame element with a second surface, in which case a top frame element can be omitted.

The first and the second adhesive strip are expediently double-sided adhesive strips, preferably double-sided foam adhesive strips. In this case, the double-sided adhesive strip on the first surface (first double-sided adhesive strip) has an inside adhesive layer that is in contact with the first surface, whilst the outside adhesive layer faces the second surface of the top frame element. The double-sided adhesive strip on the second surface (second double-sided adhesive strip) also has an inside adhesive layer that is in contact with the second surface, whilst the outside adhesive layer faces the first surface of the bottom frame element.

The first and the second frame element can be produced from the same or different materials. According to a preferred specific embodiment, the bottom and the top frame element are produced from a weather-resistant material, such as, for example, aluminium or other suitable materials.

The term solar element refers here to the laminate that surrounds the solar cells. The solar element is frameless. The term solar module refers here to the framed solar element, i.e. the solar element that has been inserted into the frame.

The two-piece frame according to the invention makes it possible, on account of the finish on the two surfaces that are in contact with the edge region of the plate-shaped solar element, to dispense with a seal on the one hand and with manual sticking down on the other. This means that there are no time-consuming, expensive, unwieldy sticking down processes directly on the solar module at all and this simplifies the mounting of the solar element into a frame in a considerable manner. The two adhesive strips assume, in addition to the sealing of the solar module against the effects of the weather, the function of the connection between top and bottom frame element, the adhesive friction locking being generated by the solar element. In addition, the two frame elements can be additionally interconnected through an optional positive-locking and/or friction-locking connection. The assembly procedure is simplified by the frame according to the invention such that, along with the currently conventional assembly in production halls, even assembly on site is now also conceivable. In this case, initially the bottom frame element is fixedly assembled at the point of destination and then the solar element and the top frame element are assembled as described below.

The two frame elements are provided with the adhesive strip during their production, the surface of the first and of the second adhesive strip that do not come into contact with the first or respectively the second surface, each being provided with a covering. These coverings are only removed when the solar module is mounted.

To produce the solar module, first the covering is removed from the adhesive layer that is situated on the first surface of the bottom frame element. Then the bottom side of the plate-shaped solar element is placed, in its edge region, onto the adhesive layer that is situated on the first surface of the bottom frame element, an adhesive connection thereby being realized between the bottom frame element and the solar element. Then the top frame element is mounted onto the plate-shaped solar element in such a manner that the adhesive layer, which is situated on the second surface of the top frame element and from which the covering had previously been removed, comes into contact with the top side of the plate-shaped solar element in its edge region. This means that an adhesive connection is realized between the top frame element and the solar element.

Once the plate-shaped solar element is inserted into the frame, the bottom side of the plate-shaped solar element is in contact, in its edge region, with the adhesive layer of the first adhesive strip and the top side of the solar module is in contact, in its edge region, with the adhesive layer of the second adhesive strip.

The bottom frame element preferably includes an abutment edge for the plate-shaped solar element, said abutment edge extending from the first surface in the direction of the second surface and outwardly defining the gap that is realized between the first surface and the second surface. The abutment edge makes it possible to position the solar element on the second surface in a precise manner.

In addition, the bottom frame element can include a recess that is realized on the outside of the frame and orthogonally relative to the first surface, and the top frame element can have a portion that can be introduced into the recess obtaining a positive-locking and/or friction-locking connection, wherein the portion is realized orthogonally relative to the second surface of the top frame element and extends from said second surface in the direction of the bottom frame element. A smooth outside edge of the frame is obtained in this manner.

In an expedient manner, both the bottom frame element and the top frame element are each made up of part elements, wherein the part elements are interconnected by means of connecting elements. The plate-shaped solar element is typically rectangular such that the bottom and the top frame element are each made up of four part elements, adjacent part elements of the respective frame element being positioned at right angles one to another. The part elements are preferably profiled elements that have profiled hollow spaces. Connecting elements, for example commercially available corner joints that can be inserted in a positive-locking manner into the profiled hollow spaces, are provided for connecting adjacent part elements. The contour of the first surface of the bottom frame element and the contour of the second surface of the top frame element consequently correspond to the edge region of the solar element. The profiled elements are preferably pre-manufactured profiled elements that have been mitred and cut to predetermined lengths, which means that assembling the frame is very simple. In addition, all the necessary bores, such, for example, as are necessary for mounting a solar module on buildings and structures, are already admitted into the two frame elements. The mounting of the self-adhesive finish, in particular the two adhesive strips, can be effected in an automated procedure.

Between the bottom frame element and the top frame element there can be a drainage channel to drain off water. The bottom side of the drainage channel is preferably formed by a groove, which is realized in a region of the first surface of the bottom frame element that is not covered by the first double-sided adhesive strip and is at a spacing from the same in the direction of the outside edge of the frame. The drainage channel has two essential functions: on the one hand, to compensate for various expansions of the components in the event of fluctuating temperatures and, on the other hand, where necessary, to drain off any penetrating moisture. In addition, drainage bores can be realized in the bottom frame element and/or in the top frame element.

The use of the frame according to the invention for producing a solar module is also provided according to the invention. The solar module is assembled as follows: Once the bottom frame element has been assembled from the part elements, the covering of the first adhesive strip is removed and the solar element is placed from above onto the first surface. The correct, reproducible positioning is preferably effected by means of the abutment edge, which ensures that the solar element is not stuck down to the bottom frame element in the wrong position. The pre-assembled top frame element is then pushed from above onto the bottom frame with the solar element. In this case too, the covering of the second adhesive strip had also been removed first of all.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING(S)

The invention is described in more detail below by way of drawings, in which:

FIG. 1a is a sectional representation of a part element of the top frame element in accordance with a first specific embodiment of the frame according to the invention;

FIG. 1b is a sectional representation of a part element of the bottom frame element in accordance with the first specific embodiment of the frame according to the invention;

FIG. 1c is a sectional representation of the bottom and of the top frame element in accordance with the first specific embodiment together with the solar element after the assembly forming the solar module;

FIG. 2a is a sectional representation of a part element of the top frame element in accordance with a second specific embodiment of the frame according to the invention;

FIG. 2b is a sectional representation of a part element of the bottom frame element in accordance with the second specific embodiment of the frame according to the invention;

FIG. 2c is a sectional representation of the bottom and of the top frame element in accordance with the second specific embodiment together with the solar element after the assembly forming the solar module;

FIG. 3a is a sectional representation of a part element of the top frame element in accordance with a third specific embodiment of the frame according to the invention;

FIG. 3b is a sectional representation of a part element of the bottom frame element in accordance with the third specific embodiment of the frame according to the invention;

FIG. 3c is a sectional representation of the bottom and of the top frame element in accordance with the third specific embodiment together with the solar element after the assembly forming the solar module;

FIG. 4a is a sectional representation of a part element of the top frame element in accordance with a fourth specific embodiment of the frame according to the invention;

FIG. 4b is a sectional representation of a part element of the bottom frame element in accordance with the fourth specific embodiment of the frame according to the invention;

FIG. 4c is a sectional representation of the bottom and of the top frame element in accordance with the fourth specific embodiment together with the solar element after the assembly forming the solar module; and

FIG. 5 is a top view of the solar module.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1a shows the top frame element 11 of a first specific embodiment of the frame according to the invention. The top frame element 11 has an angular cross-section, the second surface 14, which is provided with an adhesive strip 3, being realized on the bottom side of the first portion 12. The second portion 15, which abuts against an end face of the first portion 12, is realized orthogonally relative to the first portion 12. When the frame has been assembled, the second portion 15 rests on the outside 22 of the bottom frame element 21.

The bottom frame element 21 (FIG. 1b) has a first surface 24, which is provided with an adhesive strip 23. The top frame element 21 also includes a hollow space 25, into which corner joints (not shown) can be inserted in a positive-locking manner in order to interconnect several bottom frame elements 21.

FIG. 1c shows the frame mounted on the plate-shaped solar element 31. It is clear that the bottom side of the solar element 31 rests, in its edge region, on the adhesive strip 23 that is situated on the first surface 24 of the bottom frame element 21, the bottom side of the solar module 31 thereby being stuck to the bottom frame element 21. The top frame element 11 is stuck, in its edge region, to the top side of the solar module 31 by means of the adhesive strip 13 that is situated on the second surface 14, such that the second portion 15 of the top frame element 11 abuts against the outside 22 of the bottom frame element 21.

FIGS. 2a to 2c show a second specific embodiment of the frame according to the invention, which is extensively similar to the first specific embodiment. Additionally, there is a recess 26 provided in the upper region of the outside 22 of the bottom frame element 21 that abuts against the first surface 24. The recess 26 is dimensioned such that it can accommodate the second portion 15 of the top frame element 11. A stepless outside edge of the frame is obtained in this manner. The remaining references have the same meaning as in FIGS. 1a to 1c. By the bottom frame element 21 having the recess 26 realized on the outside of the frame and orthogonally relative to the first surface 24, a positive-locking and/or friction-locking connection is created. This friction-locking connection can also be obtained by means of a snap-type or locking-type connection, for example, if, in place of the recess 26 on the frame element 21, a groove is realized, in which a bead-like section on the portion 15 engages, locks or snaps, the portion preferably having to be developed in a resilient-elastic manner.

With the third specific embodiment of the frame according to the invention, shown in FIGS. 3a to 3c, in addition to the features of the second specific embodiment (see FIGS. 2a to 2c), a web 27 is provided on the bottom frame element 21, said web extending from the first surface 24 of the bottom frame element 21 in the direction of the second surface 14 and outwardly defining the gap that is realized between the first surface 24 and the second surface 14. The web 27 forms an abutment edge for the plate-shaped solar element 31. The outside of the web 27 and the outside 22 of the bottom frame element 21 are situated in the region of the recess 26 preferably in one plane. The remaining references have the same meaning as in FIGS. 2a to 2c.

FIGS. 4a to 4c show a fourth specific embodiment of the frame according to the invention, where both the bottom frame element 21 (as in the first three specific embodiments represented) and the top frame element 11 are realized as hollow profiles. This makes it possible to connect a plurality of top frame elements 11 by means of positive-locking corner joints (not shown) that are inserted into the hollow spaces 16 of the top frame element 11. The hollow space 16 is obtained by a web 17 being realized extending parallel to the second portion 15 and at a spacing from the second portion 15 in the direction of the second surface 14. The web 17, which is shorter than the second portion 15, begins on the bottom side of the first portion 12 and opens out in another web 18, which extends parallel to the first portion 18, but is shorter than said first portion. The additional web 18 begins on the inside of the portion 15 and ends in the web 17.

Deviating from the first three specific embodiments represented, the recess 26 of the bottom frame element 21 is dimensioned such that it only accommodates that part of the second portion 15 that is situated below the bottom side of the web 18. The bottom frame element 21 also has a recess 29, which is defined downwards by a surface 24′ that is realized on the side of the web 27 that is remote from the first surface 24. Surface 24 and surface 24′ are preferably situated in one plane. The extension of the surface 24 from the web 27 in the direction of the outside of the frame in this case corresponds to the length of the web 18 of the top frame element 11. The length of the web 17 of the top frame element is smaller than or equal to the length of the web 27, such that the recess 29 is filled out by the edges of the top frame element that define the opening 18. The web 27 must not contact the surface of the web 14. The clearance established by the air gap 40 is defined by the length of the portion 15, it also being possible for an air gap to be realized between the webs 28′ and 17′ (FIG. 4c). The outsides of the web 27 are aligned relative to inside wall 28 of the bottom frame element. A drainage channel can be realized in the region A. Drainage bores can be provided in the region B. The remaining references have the same meaning as in FIGS. 3a to 3c.

FIG. 5 shows a top view of a solar module that shows a frame according to the invention. It is clear that the top frame element is made up of four part elements 11a, 11b, 11c, 11d. The bottom frame element is also made up of four part elements (not shown).