Solar Lock Nut

Votes: 3
Views: 581

This summary presents an innovative fastener designed to provide secure and permanent attachments in large solar farms, in order to reduce dependence on non-renewable energy sources. It enhances the structural integrity and longevity of solar panel installations by reducing potential loosening issues commonly encountered in conventional solar module mounting systems. The nut is a practical choice for the industry to support a reliable and sustainable public power supply.

Problem Statement:
To reduce dependence on non-renewable energy sources, our utility-scale solar farms will need to serve the public power grid for many years, which depends on a massive quantity of aging fasteners holding the PV modules securely. Threaded nuts and bolts tend to loosen under those environmental service conditions, and which magnify potential failure risks.

Functionality:
This new fastener design reduces potential loosening or detachment with two key features. As a part compatible with standard bolt and wrench hardware, it can be installed per construction torque specifications. Then it is designed to be crimped to a permanent and resilient bolt connection via a standard tool. To hold a resilient connection, this design is intended to plastically deform both the nut and the bolt. Both components then each have incompatible threaded sections, and together they provide high loosening resistance, ready for future duty and O&M inspections, thereby supporting a reliable public power supply.

Innovation:
The innovation of this new nut lies in its combination of critical features specifically designed to meet the unique demands of the solar industry. It incorporates multiple key elements specifically for solar service. The secure mechanical connection is achieved through crimping, ensuring a reliable and permanent attachment. The part is designed to be compatible with standard tools and bolts for ease of use. Easy visual confirmation allows for convenient inspection, promoting economical maintenance. The economical manufacturability of this part further enhances its appeal.

Feasibility:
Implementing this new nut would be highly feasible as it shares similarities in material and basic geometry with commercially available nut parts. Manufacturers and installers will find it familiar, facilitating smooth integration into existing production processes without significant modifications.

Marketability:
This new part has significant market potential, serving both new and existing solar sites by providing reliable and efficient solutions for securing solar panels. Its versatility and retrofit capabilities make it suitable for construction projects and maintenance work, appealing to solar developers, contractors, and maintenance teams seeking effective and reliable fastening solutions.

Conclusion:
This innovative part addresses the critical problem of fastener loosening in utility-scale solar farms. By combining secure mechanical crimped connections and compatibility with standard hardware, it offers a reliable and permanent attachment solution. The nut is a practical choice for the industry, with easy visual inspection and compatibility with existing processes. Overall, this nut offers a valuable solution for enhancing the reliability and longevity of solar installations.

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  • ABOUT THE ENTRANT

  • Name:
    Ted Corgan
  • Type of entry:
    individual
  • Software used for this entry:
    Solidworks
  • Patent status:
    none