Title:
SOLAR EQUIPMENT MOUNTING SYSTEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A solar equipment mounting system may include a solar mount cap. The solar mount cap may include a pipe having a lower side and a top end, with the lower side of the pipe having at least one hole. A plate may attach to the top end of the pipe. A mount racking bracket may attach to the plate. A top mount bracket may attach to the mount racking bracket, which may be adjustable. At least one set screw or the like may be inserted into the at least one hole in the solar mount cap to adjustably attach the solar mount cap to a conduit pipe and conduit coupling. The top mount bracket may secure a solar panel mount system rail. The solar equipment mounting system may allow for leveling and plumbing after the at least one pole has been set.



Inventors:
Maresca, Jason (Fulton, IL, US)
Application Number:
14/203087
Publication Date:
09/11/2014
Filing Date:
03/10/2014
Assignee:
MARESCA JASON
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
29/525.11
International Classes:
F24J2/52
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
WEINHOLD, INGRID M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig PLLC (Leesburg, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A solar equipment mounting system comprising: a solar mount cap comprising; a pipe having a lower side and a top end, wherein the the lower side of the pipe has at least one hole; a plate attached to the top end of the pipe; and a mount racking bracket attached to the plate.

2. The solar equipment mounting system of claim 1, further comprising at least one set screw engaged with the at least one hole in the solar mount cap.

3. The solar equipment mounting system of claim 2, wherein the three set screws engage with three holes in the solar mount cap.

4. The solar equipment mounting system of claim 3, further comprising a top mount bracket attached to the mount racking bracket of the solar mount cap, wherein the top mount bracket has at least one top mount bracket hole.

5. The solar equipment mounting system of claim 1, wherein the top mount bracket adjustably rotates around the axis of the mount racking bracket.

6. A solar equipment mounting system comprising: a solar mount cap comprising; a pipe having a lower side and a top end, wherein the the lower side of the pipe has at least one hole; a plate attached to the top end of the pipe; and a mount racking bracket attached to the plate; and a top mount bracket attached to the mount racking bracket of the solar mount cap, wherein the top mount bracket has at least one top mount bracket hole.

7. The solar equipment mounting system of claim 6, wherein the top mount bracket adjustably rotates around the axis of the mount racking bracket.

8. A method for installing solar equipment comprising: placing a solar mount cap over a rigid conduit pole and conduit coupling, wherein the solar mount cap is defined by solar mount cap comprising a pipe having a lower side and a top end, wherein the lower side of the pipe has at least one hole; a plate attached to the top end of the pipe; and a mount racking bracket attached to the plate; inserting at least one set of set screws into the at least one hole in the solar mount cap, wherein at least one jamb nut is placed between the at least one hole and the at least one set screw; adjusting the at least one set screw to plumb and level the solar mount cap; attaching a top mount bracket to the top end of the solar mount cap, wherein the top mount bracket has at least one top mount bracket hole; adjusting the angle of the top mount bracket; and securing a solar panel mount system rail within the space of the top mount bracket.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein three set screws are inserted into three holes in the solar mount cap, wherein three jamb nuts are placed between the three holes and the three set screws.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. provisional application No. 61/775,531, filed Mar. 9, 2013, the contents of which are herein incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to solar equipment and, more particularly, to a solar equipment mounting system and solar mount cap.

When installing a solar mount system it is difficult to make all the poles level and plumb. This is especially the case when installing a two pole or multiple systems that may not line up properly causing the installer time to realign or redo the systems. Current systems installers need to make sure the poles are level and plumb when they are placed in the ground or cement. If the current systems installer poles are not level, they will have to be either cut, realigned, or shim the poles. If these actions are not taken, the installer will have to settle for an inferior aligned system. Systems currently used do not have the proper clearance or set screw spacing to allow for adjustment making it difficult to set level and plumb in relation to each other.

As can be seen, there is a need for a solar equipment mounting system and adjustable solar mount cap that allows installers to quickly plumb and level one or multiple arrays of poles in line without having to reset the poles for a proper looking and performing system.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect of the present invention, a solar equipment mounting system comprises: a solar mount cap comprising; a pipe having a lower side and a top end, wherein the the lower side of the pipe has at least one hole; a plate attached to the top end of the pipe; and a mount racking bracket attached to the plate.

In another aspect of the present invention, a solar equipment mounting system comprises: a solar mount cap comprising; a pipe having a lower side and a top end, wherein the the lower side of the pipe has at least one hole; a plate attached to the top end of the pipe; and a mount racking bracket attached to the plate; and a top mount bracket attached to the mount racking bracket of the solar mount cap, wherein the top mount bracket has at least one top mount bracket hole.

In a further aspect of the present invention, a method for installing solar equipment comprises: placing a solar mount cap over a rigid conduit pole and conduit coupling, wherein the solar mount cap is defined by solar mount cap comprising a pipe having a lower side and a top end, wherein the the lower side of the pipe has at least one hole; a plate attached to the top end of the pipe; and a mount racking bracket attached to the plate; inserting at least one set of set screws into the at least one hole in the solar mount cap, wherein at least one jamb nut is placed between the at least one hole and the at least one set screw; adjusting the at least one set screw to plumb and level the solar mount cap; attaching a top mount bracket to the top end of the solar mount cap, wherein the top mount bracket has at least one top mount bracket hole; adjusting the angle of the top mount bracket; and securing a solar panel mount system rail within the space of the top mount bracket.

These and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following drawings, description and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention shown in use;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a side view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention demonstrating rotation;

FIG. 4 is a front view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is an exploded view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is an exploded view demonstrating application of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 7 is a section view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention along line 7-7 in FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The following detailed description is of the best currently contemplated modes of carrying out exemplary embodiments of the invention. The description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made merely for the purpose of illustrating the general principles of the invention, since the scope of the invention is best defined by the appended claims.

Broadly, an embodiment of the present invention provides a solar equipment mounting system that may include a solar mount cap. The solar mount cap may include a pipe having a lower side and a top end, with the lower side of the pipe having at least one hole. A plate may attach to the top end of the pipe. A mount racking bracket may attach to the plate. A top mount bracket may attach to the mount racking bracket, which may be adjustable. At least one set screw or the like may be inserted into the at least one hole in the solar mount cap to adjustably attach the solar mount cap to a conduit pipe and conduit coupling. The top mount bracket may secure a solar panel mount system rail. The solar equipment mounting system may allow for leveling and plumbing after the at least one pole has been set.

The present invention may allow for a solar equipment mounting system and adjustable solar mount cap to be used that is more flexible than what is currently available. Installers may be able to quickly level and plumb one or multiple arrays of poles after the main poles have been set.

As is illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 7, a solar equipment mounting system may include a solar mount cap 10. The solar mount cap 10 may include at least one hole 48 spaced along a lower side 40 of a pipe 42. The solar mount cap 10 may include a pipe 42 connected to a plate 44 with a mount racking bracket 46. The mount racking bracket 36 may be adjustable. The solar mount cap 10 may be placed over a rigid conduit pole 28 and a rigid conduit coupling 32 as is shown in FIGS. 1, 4 and 6. At least one set screw 18, or the like, may be inserted into the at least one hole 48 along the solar mount cap 10. At least one jamb nut 20 or the like, may be placed between the hole 48 and the set screw 18. The at least one set screw 18 may be adjusted to plumb the solar mount cap 10. A top mount bracket 12 may be attached to the top end of the solar mount cap 10. The attachment may occur through at least one pivot bolt 34 and at least one pivot bolt nut 36. The top mount bracket 12 may have at least one top mount bracket hole 38. In certain embodiments, there are three set screws 18, three jamb nuts 20, and three holes 48 in the solar mount cap 10, in order to help with the adjustment of the solar mount cap 10 and the process of leveling and plumbing.

In certain embodiments, the solar equipment mounting system may include at least one conduit pole 28 having at least one conduit coupling 32 on top of the conduit pole 28. At least one solar mount cap 10 may be placed over the at least one conduit coupling 32. Attached to the top of the at least one solar mount cap 10 may be at least one top mount bracket 12. A solar panel mount system rail 22 may be placed within the at least one top mount bracket 12. The solar panel mount system rail 22 may be secured to the at least one top mount bracket 12 by at least one fastener 24 such as at least one bolt or the like.

The conduit coupling 32 may adjust the height of the conduit pole 28. The solar mount cap 10 may be sized to allow clearance between itself and the conduit pole 28 and conduit coupling 32. The clearance allows the at least one set screw 18 to level and plumb the solar mount cap 10. Once the set screws 18 and the jamb nuts 20 are in tight, the conduit coupling 32 acts as a secondary safety so that the solar mount cap 10 cannot come off the conduit pole 28 if slippage occurs.

A method of making the solar equipment mounting system may include the following. The solar mount cap 10 may be manufactured by welding an approximately five inch pipe 42 to a plate 44 with an adjustable mount racking bracket 46. At least one hole 48 may be drilled out of the pipe 42. At least one jamb nut 20 may be welded to the pipe 42 over the at least one drilled hole 48 for the jamb nuts 20. The parts may then be hot dipped galvanized for corrosion resistance. In certain embodiments, the size of the parts may depend on the size of the standard rigid conduit pole 28 and conduit coupling 32. The components listed above may allow for the solar mount cap 10 to be properly level and plumb for the remainder of the solar racking systems.

A method of using the solar equipment mounting system may include the following. The height of a rigid conduit pole 28 may be adjusted, while the conduit pole 28 is set in footing as needed with the conduit coupling 32 positioned on top of the conduit pole 28. The solar mount cap 10 may be installed over the conduit coupling 32. The at least one set screw 18 may be used to level and plumb the solar mount cap 10. Once the at least one set screw 18 may be in place, the at least one jamb nut 20 may be tightened. This process may level a single system and may keep multiple systems on one plane, making the final product look and perform well. In certain embodiments, the solar equipment mounting system may be able to plumb and level other pole mounted structures.

In certain embodiments, the solar equipment mounting system may allow systems to be positioned at different angles for either time of year, geographical locations or the like. The top mount bracket 12 may adjustably rotate around the axis of the mount racking bracket 46 as is shown in FIG. 3. The solar equipment mounting system may allow for plumbing and leveling of the rack after the main poles have been set. The height of the conduit pole 28 may be adjusted using the conduit coupling 32. An individual may further plumb the system using the at least one set screw 18 in the solar mount cap 10. The solar mount cap 10 and mounting components may be used with a standard electrical strut for the solar rack, standard conduit for the main support poles and standard conduit for the lower support poles. The top mount bracket 12 may be adapted to accept any ground mount solar racking system. The solar mount cap 10 may be sized with enough clearance to be placed on the top of the pole over the standard coupling, which may be used to level multiple poles, with the at least one set screw 18 allowing for adjustment for level and plumb.

It should be understood, of course, that the foregoing relates to exemplary embodiments of the invention and that modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the following claims.