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SUPPORT STRUCTURE FOR SOLAR MODULE

United States Patent Application

20160087575
A1
View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A solar module (2) comprising; (a) an active portion (4) and (b) a support portion (6), wherein the support portion (8) and the active portion (4) each comprise: (i) an upper surface (60), (ii) a lower surface (62), (iii) or both; wherein the upper surface (60) or the lower surface (62) of the support portion (6) includes: a plurality of reinforcement ribs (20); and wherein the solar module (2) includes one or more of the following: (A) the support portion includes an intermediate portion (6C) and an overlap support portion (6A) and the intermediate portion (6C) acts as a structural interface between the active portion (4) and the support portion (6), and the intermediate portion (6C) includes one or more gate locations (10, 12); (B) the plurality of reinforcement ribs (20) extend at an angle along the support portion (6) so that an effective modulus of the support portion (6) along a width direction is substantially equal to an effective modulus of the support portion (6) along a length direction; or (C) the active portion (4) has a length that is measured from an edge proximate to the support portion (6) to an opposing edge of the active portion (4) and an overlap support portion (6A) and intermediate portion (6C) of the support portion (6) have a length that is measured from an edge proximate to the active portion (6) to an opposing edge of the overlap support portion (6A), and the length of the overlap support portion (6A) plus the intermediate portion (6C) is substantially the same or greater than the length of the active portion (4).
Keenihan, James R. (Midland, MI), Lopez, Leonardo C. (Midland, MI), Yang, Kwanho (Midland, MI), Langmaid, Joseph A. (Caro, MI)
14/ 786,083
April 7, 2014
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT RIGHTS [0001] This invention was made at least in part with U.S. Government support under contact number DE-EE0005434 awarded by the Department of Energy. The U.S. Government has certain rights in this invention.