Semi-Permanent Photovoltaic Folding Racking System for Intermittent Grid Power Regions


Invention Description

Research at Arizona State University has led to a new semi-permanent photovoltaic racking system that can hold six modules in fixed pre-sized slots, with uniform and adjustable array tilt from 1 to 40 degrees. The foldable design (60-70 lbs. empty weight) emphasizes versatility and convenience, allowing easy transport, removal, and deployment.

Mounting options include onto ground, in shallow standing water, or atop roofs. In roof mounting, a semi-permanent pin-and-anchor system is used, featuring adjustable pins that slide into base anchors. This permits the modules to be quickly removed without need to detach the anchors themselves. As a result, this innovation is particularly suitable for regions frequented by severe storms or communities lacking high-level support for solar array installation.

In its conventional embodiment, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) 300-340W solar modules can be slid into place; however, an alternate design specifically for flexible photovoltaic modules features a bobbin/roller deployment scheme, allowing the module to be quickly unrolled and anchored into place.

Potential Applications

• Semi-permanent solar array racks

Benefits and Advantages

• Foldable and simple to transport

• Rapid deploy and takedown

• Can be mounted on roof, ground, or even low-standing water

• Suitable for temporary or permanent installation

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Maxx Patterson

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