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Número de publicaciónUS20100212659 A1
Tipo de publicaciónSolicitud
Número de solicitudUS 12/390,801
Fecha de publicación26 Ago 2010
Fecha de presentación23 Feb 2009
Fecha de prioridad23 Feb 2009
Número de publicación12390801, 390801, US 2010/0212659 A1, US 2010/212659 A1, US 20100212659 A1, US 20100212659A1, US 2010212659 A1, US 2010212659A1, US-A1-20100212659, US-A1-2010212659, US2010/0212659A1, US2010/212659A1, US20100212659 A1, US20100212659A1, US2010212659 A1, US2010212659A1
InventoresJeffrey Paul Carpoff
Cesionario originalPure Power Distribution, LLC, West Coast Green Power, Inc.
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Trailer With Solar Panels
US 20100212659 A1
Resumen
A trailer comprising a floor and a rigid frame coupled to the floor. The trailer also includes first and second solar panels configured to rotate from stored positions to deployed positions. Planar surfaces of the first and second solar panels are substantially orthogonal to the floor in the stored positions and disposed at angles relative to the floor in the deployed positions. The trailer also includes fasteners configured to fasten the first and second solar panels to the vertical supports of the rigid frame when the second solar panels are in the stored positions and configured to fasten the first and second solar panels to angled supports of the rigid frame when the solar panels are in the deployed positions.
Imágenes(8)
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Reclamaciones(15)
1. A trailer comprising:
a floor;
a rigid frame coupled to the floor comprising:
a first vertical support substantially orthogonal to the floor;
a second vertical support taller than the first vertical support and substantially orthogonal to the floor;
a first angled support coupled to a top end of the first vertical support and a top end of the second vertical support;
a third vertical support substantially orthogonal to the floor and substantially the same height as the first vertical support; and
a fourth vertical support substantially orthogonal to the floor and substantially the same height as the second vertical support;
a second angled support coupled to a top end of the third vertical support and a top end of the fourth vertical support;
a first solar panel configured to rotate from a stored position to a deployed position, the first solar panel comprising:
a first photovoltaic panel;
a first rigid solar panel frame coupled to the first photovoltaic panel; and
a first horizontal beam disposed along the length of the first photovoltaic panel, the first horizontal beam rotatably coupled to a top portion of the first vertical support and a top portion of the third vertical support;
first and second fasteners configured to fasten the first solar panel to the first and third vertical supports when the first solar panel is in the stored position and configured to fasten the first solar panel to the first and second angled supports when the first solar panel is in the deployed position,
wherein a planar surface of the first photovoltaic panel is substantially orthogonal to the floor in the stored position and the planar surface of the first photovoltaic panel is disposed at a first angle relative to the floor in the deployed position;
a second solar panel configured to rotate from a stored position to a deployed position, the second solar panel comprising:
a second photovoltaic panel;
a second rigid solar panel frame coupled to the second photovoltaic panel; and
a second horizontal beam disposed along the length of the second photovoltaic panel, the second horizontal beam rotatably coupled to a top portion of the second vertical support and a top portion of the fourth vertical support; and
third and fourth fasteners configured to fasten the second solar panel to the second and fourth vertical supports when the second solar panel is in the stored position and configured to fasten the second solar panel to the first and second angled supports when the second solar panel is in the deployed position,
wherein a planar surface of the second photovoltaic panel is substantially orthogonal to the floor in the stored position and the planar surface of the second photovoltaic panel is disposed at a second angle relative to the floor in the deployed position.
2. The trailer of claim 1, wherein:
the first and second fasteners comprise a first and second locking pin, respectively; and
the third and fourth fasteners comprise a third and fourth locking pin, respectively.
3. The trailer of claim 2, further comprising:
a first mounting bracket coupled to the first angled support for receiving the first and third locking pins; and
a second mounting bracket coupled to the second angled support for receiving the second and fourth locking pins.
4. The trailer of claim 3, wherein the first solar panel comprises first and second locking pin receptacles configured to receive the first and second locking pins; and
the second solar panel comprises third and fourth locking pin receptacles configured to receive the third and fourth locking pins.
5. The trailer of claim 1, wherein:
the planar surface of the first photovoltaic panel faces the interior of a volume defined by the rigid frame when in the stored position and the first solar panel is configured to rotate approximately 135 degrees from the stored position to the deployed position; and
the planar surface of the second photovoltaic panel faces the interior of the volume defined by the rigid frame when in the stored position and the second solar panel is configured to rotate approximately 45 degrees from the stored position to the deployed position.
6. The trailer of claim 1, wherein the rigid frame further comprises:
a first horizontal support beam coupled between the first vertical support and the second vertical support;
a second horizontal support beam coupled between the third vertical support and the fourth vertical support;
a third horizontal support coupled between the first vertical support and the third vertical support; and
a fourth horizontal support coupled between the second vertical support and the fourth vertical support.
7. The trailer of claim 1, wherein the first angle is substantially equal to the second angle.
8. The trailer of claim 7, wherein the first angle is approximately 30 degrees.
9. The trailer of claim 1, further comprising at least one battery coupled to the first photovoltaic panel or the second photovoltaic panel.
10. The trailer of claim 9, further comprising AC power delivery circuitry coupled to the at least one battery configured to convert electrical power from the battery to AC electrical power.
11. The trailer of claim 10, wherein the AC power delivery circuitry comprises an inverter.
12. The trailer of claim 1, wherein the rigid frame further comprises a fifth vertical support substantially orthogonal to the floor and substantially the same height as the first vertical support and a sixth vertical support substantially orthogonal to the floor and substantially the same height as the second vertical support; and wherein the trailer further comprises:
a third solar panel configured to rotate from a stored position to a deployed position, the third solar panel comprising:
a third photovoltaic panel;
a third rigid solar panel frame coupled to the third photovoltaic panel; and
a third horizontal beam disposed along the length of the third photovoltaic panel, the third horizontal beam rotatably coupled to a top portion of the third vertical support and a top portion of the fifth vertical support;
a third angled support coupled a top end of the fifth vertical support and a top end of the second sixth support;
fifth and sixth fasteners configured to fasten the third solar panel to the third and fifth vertical supports when the third solar panel is in the stored position and configured to fasten the third solar panel to the second and third angled supports when the third solar panel is in the deployed position,
wherein a planar surface of the third photovoltaic panel is substantially orthogonal to the floor in the stored position and the planar surface of the third photovoltaic panel is disposed at a third angle relative to the floor in the deployed position;
a fourth solar panel configured to rotate from a stored position to a deployed position, the fourth solar panel comprising:
a fourth photovoltaic panel;
a fourth rigid solar panel frame coupled to the fourth photovoltaic panel;
a fourth horizontal beam disposed along the length of the fourth photovoltaic panel, the fourth horizontal beam rotatably coupled to a top portion of the fourth vertical support and a top portion of the sixth vertical support; and
seventh and eighth fasteners configured to fasten the fourth solar panel to the fourth and sixth vertical supports when the fourth solar panel is in the stored position and configured to fasten the fourth solar panel to the second and third angled supports when the fourth solar panel is in the deployed position,
wherein a planar surface of the fourth photovoltaic panel is substantially orthogonal to the floor in the stored position and the planar surface of the fourth photovoltaic panel is disposed at a fourth angle relative to the floor in the deployed position.
13. The trailer of claim 12, wherein:
the fifth and sixth fasteners comprise a fifth and sixth locking pin, respectively; and
the seventh and eighth fasteners comprise a seventh and eighth locking pin, respectively.
14. The trailer of claim 13, wherein:
the planar surface of the third photovoltaic panel faces the interior of a volume defined by the rigid frame when in the stored position and the third solar panel is configured to rotate approximately 135 degrees from the stored position to the deployed position; and
the planar surface of the fourth photovoltaic panel faces the interior of the volume defined by the rigid frame when in the stored position and the fourth solar panel is configured to rotate approximately 45 degrees from the stored position to the deployed position.
15. The trailer of claim 1, further comprising:
a ninth fastener configured to fasten the first solar panel to the third horizontal support; and
a tenth fastener configured to fasten the second solar panel to the fourth horizontal support.
Descripción
    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    The present invention relates to power supply trailers with solar panels.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    Much of the electrical power used today is supplied through one or more electrical grids that deliver electrical power from a power source (such as a coal-burning power plant) to consumers of the electrical power. However, there are many locations where electrical energy is needed but that do not have access to an electrical grid. For example, a construction crew might require electrical power, but the construction location might not yet be properly connected to an electrical grid. Producers of movies and TV shows can require electrical power to operate cameras, sound recording equipment, etc., while shooting “on location” at a location remote from an electrical grid. Disaster relief workers can require power in locations where natural disasters have damaged the electrical grid. The military also conducts operations in locations that do not have access to an electrical grid.
  • [0003]
    Power supply trailers have been adapted to supply electrical power to such locations. The power supply trailers can be hitched to a car, truck, or other vehicle, and towed to the off-grid location. Many locations where power supply trailers are beneficial are also locations that are difficult to reach, for example not accessible by road, or only accessible by a poor quality road. Thus, power supply trailers should be rugged, durable, and compact.
  • [0004]
    Many power supply trailers include hydrocarbon fuel burning generators, for example generators that burn diesel fuel. The cost to generate power using a power supply trailer with a fuel burning regulator can increase significantly during periods of rising fuel prices. Moreover, fuel burning generators can produce pollution. Federal, state, and local regulations may limit the use of such fuel burning generators, or the emissions they produce. Power supply trailers with fuel burning generators can also generate unwanted noise and fumes.
  • [0005]
    The present invention solves these and other problems.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0006]
    According to an aspect of the disclosure, a trailer includes a floor and a rigid frame coupled to the floor. The rigid frame includes a first vertical support substantially orthogonal to the floor, a second vertical support taller than the first vertical support and substantially orthogonal to the floor, a first angled support coupled to a top end of the first vertical support and a top end of the second vertical support, a third vertical support substantially orthogonal to the floor and substantially the same height as the first vertical support, a fourth vertical support substantially orthogonal to the floor and substantially the same height as the second vertical support, and a second angled support coupled to a top end of the third vertical support and a top end of the fourth vertical support. The trailer also includes a first solar panel configured to rotate from a stored position to a deployed position. The first solar panel includes a first photovoltaic panel, a first rigid solar panel frame coupled to the first photovoltaic panel, and a first horizontal beam disposed along the length of the first photovoltaic panel, the first horizontal beam rotatably coupled to a top portion of the first vertical support and a top portion of the third vertical support. The trailer also includes first and second fasteners configured to fasten the first solar panel to the first and third vertical supports when the first solar panel is in the stored position and configured to fasten the first solar panel to the first and second angled supports when the first solar panel is in the deployed position. A planar surface of the first photovoltaic panel is substantially orthogonal to the floor in the stored position and the planar surface of the first photovoltaic panel is disposed at a first angle relative to the floor in the deployed position. The trailer also includes a second solar panel configured to rotate from a stored position to a deployed position. The second solar panel includes a second photovoltaic panel, a second rigid solar panel frame coupled to the second photovoltaic panel, a second horizontal beam disposed along the length of the second photovoltaic panel, the second horizontal beam rotatably coupled to a top portion of the second vertical support and a top portion of the fourth vertical support. The trailer also includes third and fourth fasteners configured to fasten the second solar panel to the second and fourth vertical supports when the second solar panel is in the stored position and configured to fasten the second solar panel to the first and second angled supports when the second solar panel is in the deployed position. A planar surface of the second photovoltaic panel is substantially orthogonal to the floor in the stored position and the planar surface of the second photovoltaic panel is disposed at a second angle relative to the floor in the deployed position.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0007]
    The foregoing and other advantages of the invention will become apparent upon reading the following detailed description and upon reference to the drawings. The same reference numerals and/or other reference designations employed throughout the ensuing drawings are used to identify identical components, except as provided otherwise.
  • [0008]
    FIG. 1 is an exploded view of a power supply trailer that includes some of the elements used in aspects of the present disclosure;
  • [0009]
    FIG. 2 is front view of a power supply trailer with solar panels in a stored position that includes some of the elements used in aspects of the present disclosure;
  • [0010]
    FIGS. 2A through 2C are close-up views of locking pin configurations that includes some of the elements used in aspects of the present disclosure;
  • [0011]
    FIG. 3 is a rear view of a power supply trailer with solar panels in a deployed position power supply trailer that includes some of the elements used in aspects of the present disclosure;
  • [0012]
    FIG. 3A is a close-up view of a locking pin configuration that includes some of the elements used in aspects of the present disclosure;
  • [0013]
    FIG. 3B is a side view of the locking pin configuration of FIG. 3A that includes some of the elements used in aspects of the present disclosure;
  • [0014]
    FIG. 4 is a side view of a power supply trailer with solar panels in a stored position that includes some of the elements used in aspects of the present disclosure;
  • [0015]
    FIG. 5 is a side view of a power supply trailer with solar panels in a deployed position power supply trailer that includes some of the elements used in aspects of the present disclosure;
  • [0016]
    FIG. 6 is an exploded view of a power supply trailer that includes some of the elements used in aspects of the present disclosure; and
  • [0017]
    FIG. 7 is a block diagram of a circuit that includes some of the elements used in aspects of the present disclosure.
  • [0018]
    While the invention is susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments have been shown by way of example in the drawings and will be described in detail herein. It should be understood, however, that the invention is not intended to be limited to the particular forms disclosed. Rather, the invention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0019]
    Although the invention will be described in connection with certain aspects and/or embodiments, it will be understood that the invention is not limited to those particular aspects and/or embodiments. On the contrary, the invention is intended to cover all alternatives, modifications, and equivalent arrangements as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 1 shows an exploded view of a power supply trailer 100. The power supply trailer includes a rigid (e.g., steel) floor 110. Wheel assemblies 112 are attached to the floor 110 and allow the trailer 100 to roll. In the example shown, two wheel assemblies 112 are shown, each including two wheels. However, other wheel configurations (e.g., four wheel assemblies with one wheel each, two wheel assemblies with one wheel each, etc.) are possible. The trailer 100 also includes a trailer hitch assembly 114 that can be attached to a car, truck, or other vehicle with a mating trailer hitch. The floor 110 optionally can include equipment wells 116 that can house batteries, electronics, and other equipment. A storage compartment 118 can also be attached to the trailer hitch assembly 114.
  • [0021]
    The trailer 100 also includes a rigid frame 119. The components of the rigid frame 119 can be constructed of a strong, rigid material, such as steel, and can be fastened together (e.g., by rivets, bolts, etc.), welded together, or fabricated as a single assembly or multiple sub-assemblies.
  • [0022]
    The rigid frame 119 includes four vertical supports 120, 122, 134, 136. The vertical supports 120, 122 are attached to the floor 110 of the trailer 100 substantially orthogonal to the floor 110 at the left front and right front corners of the floor 110, respectively. The vertical supports 134, 136 can be attached to the floor 110 of the trailer 100 at the left rear and right rear corners of the floor 110, respectively. The vertical supports 120, 122, 134, 136 can also be attached to the floor 110 at locations offset from the corners of the floor 110. The vertical supports 120, 134 are substantially the same height. The vertical supports 122, 136 are substantially the same height. The vertical supports 122, 136 are taller than the vertical supports 120, 134. For example the vertical supports 122, 136 can be twice as tall as the vertical supports 120, 134.
  • [0023]
    The rigid frame 119 can also include front horizontal supports 124, 126 and rear horizontal supports 138, 140. The front horizontal support 124 can be connected to the vertical supports 120, 122 at or near the bottom ends of those vertical supports, or can be formed as a single assembly with those vertical supports. The rear horizontal support 138 similarly can be attached to the vertical supports 134, 136. A side of the front horizontal support 124 can optionally be attached to the floor 110, and a side of the rear horizontal support 138 can optionally be attached to the floor 110. The front horizontal support 126 can be attached between the vertical supports 120, 122, for example at or near the top end of the vertical support 120 and a midpoint of the vertical support 122. The rear horizontal support 140 similarly can be attached to the vertical supports 134, 136. The rigid frame 119 can also include angled supports 128, 142. The angled support 128 can be attached to the vertical supports 120, 122 at or near the top ends of those vertical supports, or formed as part of an assembly with those vertical supports. The angled support 142 similarly can be attached to the vertical supports 134, 136. Each angled support 128, 142 can include a bracket 129, 143 for attaching locking pins to the solar panels. The mounting brackets 129, 143 each have two locking pin guide holes for insertion of locking pins.
  • [0024]
    The rigid frame 119 can also include side horizontal supports 158, 156, 162, 164. The side horizontal support 158 can be connected to the vertical supports 120, 134 at or near the bottom ends of those vertical supports. The side horizontal support 164 similarly can be attached to the vertical supports 122, 136. A side of the side horizontal support 158 can optionally be attached to the floor 110, and a side of the side horizontal support 164 can optionally be attached to the floor 110. The side horizontal support 156 can be attached between the vertical supports 120, 134, for example at or near the top ends of those vertical supports. The side horizontal support 164 can be attached to the vertical supports 122, 136, for example at the respective ends of those vertical supports. Additional vertical supports 160 can be attached between side horizontal supports 156, 158 to provide additional strength. Likewise, additional vertical supports 166 can be attached between side horizontal supports 162, 164.
  • [0025]
    The trailer 100 can also include one or more solar panels 148, 150. The solar panels 148, 150 each include a rigid solar panel frame structure 154, 178 e.g., a steel frame, a photovoltaic panel 180, 182 attached to the solar panel frame structure 154, 178 and a horizontal beam 152, 184 attached to the solar panel frame structure 154 opposite the photovoltaic panel 180, 182, running along the horizontal length of the solar panel 148, 150. For example, the horizontal beam 152, 184 can run along the center of the solar panel 148, 150. The photovoltaic panels 180, 182 each have a planar surface configured to collect energy from the sun. The solar panels 148 include locking pin receptacles 190, 192, 194, 196 attached to the solar panel frames 154, 178 for receiving locking pins.
  • [0026]
    FIG. 2 shows a front view of the power supply trailer 100. The power supply trailer 100 includes the solar panels 148, 150. The horizontal beam 152 of the solar panel 148 rotatably connects to the vertical supports 120, 134 at or near the top ends of those supports. The horizontal beam 184 of the solar panel 150 rotatably connects to the vertical supports 122, 136 at or near the top ends of those supports. The solar panels 148, 150 are shown in a stored position. For example, the solar panels 148, 150 are shown in a vertical configuration. Locking pins 214, 216 (and 310, 312 shown in FIG. 3) secure the solar panels 148, 150 to the rigid frame 119. For example, the rigid frame can include a locking pin guide hole at or near the intersection of the vertical support 120 and the front horizontal support 124 for locking pin 216, a locking pin guide hole on the vertical support 122 above the front horizontal support 126 for locking pin 214, a locking pin guide hole at or near the intersection of the vertical supports 134 and the rear horizontal support 138 for the locking pin 310 and a locking pin guide hole on the vertical support 136 above the front horizontal support 140 for locking pin 312. A locking pin can be inserted through each guide hole and into corresponding holes in the solar panels 148, 150 to secure the solar panels in place. Mating pins can be inserted through holes in the locking pins to keep the locking pins from moving out of position as the trailer 100 is moved or jostled. The vertical supports 160 and 166 (shown in FIG. 1) can add additional support and stability to the solar panels 148, 150 when they are in the stored position. Optionally, the solar panels 148, 150 can be further secured to the rigid frame 119 by locking pins inserted through locking pin guides 191, 195 coupled to the solar panel frames 154, 178 and into locking pin receptacles 193, 197 coupled to the horizontal support 158, 162.
  • [0027]
    FIG. 2A-B show close-up views of the configurations of the locking pins 214, 216 when the solar panels 150, 148 are in the stored positions. A locking pin guide hole 220 is shown coupled to the vertical support 122 a short distance above the horizontal support 126. The locking pin 214 can be inserted through the locking pin guide hole 220 and into the locking pin receptacle 196 of the solar panel 150. A locking pin guide hole 222 is coupled to the vertical support 120 a short distance above the horizontal support 124. The locking pin 216 can be inserted through the locking pin guide hole 222 and into the locking pin receptacle 192 of the solar panel 148. The locking pins 310, 312 similarly engage the locking pin receptacles 190, 194 of the solar panels 148, 150 through locking pin guides (not shown). FIG. 2C shows a close up view of the configuration of a locking pin 224 inserted through the locking pin guide 191 of the solar panel frame 154 and engaging the locking pin receptacle 193 of the horizontal support 158. A locking pin (not shown) engages similarly, through the locking pin guide 195 of the solar panel frame 178, with the locking pin receptacle 197 of the horizontal support 162.
  • [0028]
    It can be seen that the solar panels 148, 150, when in the stored positions, are compactly stored in a position substantially orthogonal to the floor 110 and contained substantially within the rigid frame 119. The portions of the solar panels 148, 150 extending beyond their respective horizontal beams 152 extend beyond the top of the rigid frame 119. However, no portion of the solar panels 148, 150 extend beyond the sides of the rigid frame 119. The planar surfaces of the solar panels 148, 150 face toward the center of the rigid frame 119. This ensures that the most sensitive surfaces of the solar panels 148, 150 do not face outward, where they would more likely be exposed to debris as the trailer is being pulled.
  • [0029]
    FIG. 3 shows a rear view of the power supply trailer 100. The solar panels 148, 150 are shown in a deployed position. The solar panel 148 is shown rotated approximately 135 degrees from the stored position on an axis defined by the horizontal beam 152 of the solar panel 148, and positioned at approximately a 45 degree angle relative to the floor 110. The solar panel 150 is shown rotated approximately 45 degrees from the stored position on an axis defined by the horizontal beam 184, and positioned at approximately a 45 degree angle relative to the floor 110. Other angles can be used as well. For example, the relative heights of the vertical supports 120, 122, 134, 136 can be chosen such that the solar panel 148 is rotated 120 degrees from the stored position to the deployed position and the solar panel 150 is rotated 30 degrees from the stored position to the deployed position. The solar panels 148, 150 are secured to the rigid frame 119 at the mounting brackets 129, 143 with locking pins 310, 312 (and 214, 216 shown on FIG. 2) to form a substantially continuous surface comprising the two solar panels 148, 150.
  • [0030]
    FIG. 3A shows a close-up view of a configurations of the locking pins 310, 312 when the solar panels 150, 148 are in the deployed positions. Locking pin guide holes 314, 316 are shown coupled to the mounting bracket 143, which is coupled to the angled support 128. As shown in FIG. 3B, the locking pin 310 can be inserted through the locking pin guide hole 314 and into the locking pin receptacle 190 of the solar panel 148. A retaining pin 320 can be inserted into a hole in the locking pin to ensure that the locking pin does not fall out. Alternatively, the locking pin guide hole 314 and the locking pin receptacle 190 can be disposed at an angle to reduce the likelihood of the locking pin 310 falling out. Returning to FIG. 3A, the locking pin 312 can be inserted through the locking pin guide hole 316 and into the locking pin receptacle 194 of the solar panel 150. The locking pins 216, 214 similarly engage the locking pin receptacles 192, 196 of the solar panels 148, 150 through locking pin guides (not shown).
  • [0031]
    As can be seen, the solar panels 148, 150 can quickly and easily be moved from the stored positions to the deployed positions by disengaging the locking pins 214, 216, 310, 312 from the rigid frame 119, rotating the solar panel 150 approximately 45 degrees, rotating the solar panel 148 approximately 135 degrees, and engaging the locking pins 214, 216, 310, 312 to the mounting brackets 129, 143. In the deployed position, the planar surfaces of the solar panels 148, 150 face outward, and are positioned at an angle relative to the floor 110. Because the solar panels 148, 150 are connected to the mounting brackets 129, 143 with the locking pins 214, 216, 310, 312, the solar panels 148, 150 form a substantially continuous surface to collect solar energy. Advantageously, the solar panels can be deployed in just a few minutes by a single person.
  • [0032]
    FIG. 4 shows a side view of the power supply trailer 100 with the solar panels 148, 150 in the stored positions. As can be seen, the solar panels 148, 150 are positioned substantially orthogonal to the floor 110. The solar panel 148 can rest against vertical supports 160 for additional support. Again, it can be seen that the solar panels 148, 150 are compactly stored substantially within the rigid frame 119 when in the stored positions. No portion of the solar panels 148, 150 extend beyond the front or back of the rigid frame 219. FIG. 4 also shows that the equipment wells (e.g., 116) can extend below the floor 110 for additional storage space. It can also be seen that the trailer hitch assembly 114 can extend to, and be connected to, the wheel assemblies 112. FIG. 5 shows a side view of the power supply trailer 100 with the solar panels 148, 150 in the deployed positions. As can be seen, the solar panels 148, 150 form a substantially continuous surface for receiving solar energy.
  • [0033]
    FIG. 6 shows an exploded view of a power supply trailer 600 configured for four solar panels. The power supply trailer 600 includes a floor 610 and a rigid frame 612. The rigid frame 612 includes six vertical supports 614, 616, 618, 620, 622, 624 substantially orthoganal to the floor 610. The vertical supports 614, 616 are attached to the floor 610 of the trailer 600 at or near the left front and right front corners of the floor 610, respectively. The vertical supports 618, 620 are attached to the floor 610 at or near the left center and right center locations of the floor 610, respectively. The vertical supports 622, 624 can be attached to the floor 610 at or near the left rear and right rear corners of the floor 610, respectively. The vertical supports 614, 618, 622 are substantially the same height. The vertical supports 616, 620, 624 are substantially the same height. The vertical supports 616, 620, 624 are taller than the vertical supports 614, 618, 622, for example twice as tall. The rigid frame 612 can also include additional horizontal and vertical supports, similar to those described for FIG. 1.
  • [0034]
    The trailer 600 can also include four solar panel 625, 626, 628, 629. The solar panels 625, 626, 628, 629 include rigid solar panel frame structures 630, 631, 632, 633, photovoltaic panels 634, 635, 636, 637 attached to the solar panel frame structures 630, 631, 632, 633, and horizontal beams 638, 639, 640, 641. Similar to that described for FIGS. 1-5, the horizontal beam 640 of the solar panel 628 rotatably connects to the vertical supports 614, 618 at or near the top ends of those supports; the horizontal beam 638 of the solar panel 625 rotatably connects to the vertical supports 618, 622 at or near the top ends of those supports; the horizontal beam 641 of the solar panel 629 rotatably connects to the vertical supports 616, 620 at or near the top ends of those supports; and the horizontal beam 639 of the solar panel 626 rotatably connects to the vertical supports 620, 624 at or near the top ends of those supports. Thus, the configuration is similar to that described for FIGS. 1-5, with solar panel pairs instead of larger solar panels. Similar to solar panels 148 and 150 of FIGS. 2-6, the solar panel pairs rotate from stored positions to deployed positions. In the stored positions, the solar panels 625, 626, 628, 629 are stored substantially orthogonal to the floor 610, with planar surfaces facing toward the center of the rigid frame 612, and secured to the rigid frame with locking pins engaged in locking pin receptacles 650, 652, 654, 656, 658, 660, 662, 664. The rigid frame 612 also includes angled supports 666, 668, 670 and mounting brackets 672, 674, 676 coupled to the angled supports 66, 668, 670, respectively. In the deployed positions, the solar panels 625, 626, 628, 629 are secured to the mounting brackets 672, 674, 676 with the locking pins, and form a substantially continuous surface at an angle (e.g., 45 degrees) with respect to the floor 610. Note that the mounting bracket 674 is configured to receive four locking pins.
  • [0035]
    Additional solar panels can be added by adding additional vertical supports, angled supports, and locking pin brackets to support and lock into place the additional solar panels. The number of solar panels can be chosen based on the amount of electrical power desired and the permissible weight of the trailer.
  • [0036]
    As shown in FIG. 7, the power supply trailers of FIGS. 1-6 include circuitry 700 for receiving electrical power from the solar panels and converting and delivering that power to batteries and/or a load. A collection of solar panels 710, 712, 714, 716 is connected to a power system photovoltaic (PSPV) combiner 718 for consolidating the electrical signals from the solar panels. Four solar panels are shown here; however, a person of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that more or fewer solar panels can be used. For example, if a power supply trailer includes two solar panels, two solar panels would be connected as part of the circuit. The solar panels 710, 712, 714, 716 can also be connected to a ground rod 720, which can be inserted into the ground. The circuit includes an electrical panel 722, 724, 726, 728 associated with each solar panel 710, 712, 714, 716, and coupled to the PSPV combiner 718. Each electrical panel 722, 724, 726, 728 can be coupled to a battery bank 730, which stores electrical power from the solar panels 710, 712, 714, 716. The battery bank 730 can include a single battery or multiple batteries connected in series (e.g., eight 6V batteries connected in series to form a 48V battery bank) or in parallel. The electrical panels 722, 724, 726, 728 can also be coupled to a generator or utility 732 to deliver electrical power from the solar panels 710, 712, 714, 716.
  • [0037]
    FIG. 7 shows individual circuit blocks for the electrical panel 722. The electrical panels 724, 726, and 728 include similar circuitry. The PSPV combiner 718 is coupled to a solar charge controller 740. The solar charge controller 740 is also coupled to connector circuitry 736, which is connected to the battery bank 730. The GFP 734 is also coupled to the connector circuitry 736. The connector circuitry 736 is also coupled to an inverter/charger 738. The inverter/charger 738 is coupled to an AC distribution block 742. The inverter/charger 738 is coupled to the battery bank 730 through connector 736 and through an inverter breaker 744. The inverter breaker 744 provides protection to the electrical panel 722. The AC distribution block 742 is coupled to the load 732 to deliver AC electrical power from the inverter 738 to the load. Various components can also be connected to lightning arrestor circuitry (not shown) to provide protection from lightning.
  • [0038]
    The solar charge controller 740 controls the connector circuitry 736 to deliver electrical power among the solar panel 710, the battery bank 730, and the inverter/charger 738. For example, if the load is demanding AC electrical power, the solar charge controller 740 controls the connector circuitry 736 to deliver an appropriate amount of power from the battery bank 730 to the inverter 738, and ultimately to the load 732. Power from the solar panel 710 can be routed to the battery bank 730 through the connector circuitry 736 to recharge the batteries. The solar charge controller 740 can also cause the connector circuitry 736 to route electrical power from the solar panel 710 to the inverter/charger 738, and ultimately to the load 732. The solar charge controller 740, as well as similar solar charge controllers from the electrical panels 724, 726, and 728 can be coupled to a hub 746. The hub 746 coordinates the controllers to ensure that together the electrical panels 722, 724, 726, 728 deliver an appropriate amount of power to the load and the battery bank 730.
  • [0039]
    The electrical circuitry can be housed in the equipment wells 116 (shown in FIGS. 1 and 5). Larger components, such as inverter/chargers, can be housed in dedicated equipment wells.
  • [0040]
    Any of the foregoing implementations can include solar panels that can be rotated manually about an axis vertically oriented relative to earth with a freedom of movement of 360 degrees or less. The rigid frame is modified to include a frame mounted on the floor of the trailer to a rotating disc structure, which can be releasably locked (e.g., via removable pins) in various angular positions about the vertical axis. In addition, the angle of the solar panels relative to earth in their deployed position can be adjusted upwards or downwards and releasably locked (e.g., via removable pins) in intermediate positions between horizontal (relative to earth) and fully upright (in the stored position). In this manner, the horizontal and vertical positions of the solar panels can be manually adjusted as the sun moves across the sky during the day to track the moving sun for optimal reception of solar energy on the photovoltaic cells of the solar panels. Some implementations can include a combination of solar panels fixed to a rigid frame and other solar panels rotatably adjustable, while other implementations include the rotating solar panels.
  • [0041]
    Any of the foregoing implementations can also include solar reflectors to reflect and focus sunlight onto the solar panels. The use of reflectors can increase the amount of power generated by the solar panels by increasing the amount of sunlight absorbed by the solar panels. The reflectors can be mounted to the rigid frame and positioned to reflect sunlight in the direction of the solar panels. The reflectors can also be attached to the solar panel frames and positioned to reflect sunlight onto the solar panels as shown in FIG. 3 (320, 322). The reflectors can be fixed or movably attached. Additionally, the reflectors can include substantially planar surfaces or surfaces of other shapes, such as parabolic surfaces.
  • [0042]
    What has been shown is that a solar power supply trailer can be provided that includes solar panels that can be quickly repositioned from stored positions to deployed positions. The solar power supply trailer is rugged and configured to protect the solar panels when in the stored position. Yet the trailer can be light weight, allowing for the maximization of the number of batteries that can be stowed. Integrated equipment wells can house and protect electrical circuitry needed to convert and distribute electrical power generated by the solar panels.
  • [0043]
    While particular aspects, embodiments, and applications of the present invention have been illustrated and described, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the precise construction and compositions disclosed herein and that various modifications, changes, and variations may be apparent from the foregoing descriptions without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.
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Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.126/627
Clasificación internacionalF24J2/46
Clasificación cooperativaH02S30/20, F24J2/541, Y02E10/47, F24J2/5233
Clasificación europeaF24J2/54B4, F24J2/52A8C, H01L31/045
Eventos legales
FechaCódigoEventoDescripción
23 Feb 2009ASAssignment
Owner name: PURE POWER DISTRIBUTION LLC, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CARPOFF, JEFFREY PAUL;REEL/FRAME:022297/0373
Effective date: 20090214
Owner name: WEST COAST GREEN POWER, INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CARPOFF, JEFFREY PAUL;REEL/FRAME:022297/0373
Effective date: 20090214