(19)
(11)EP 2 426 430 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
07.03.2012 Bulletin 2012/10

(21)Application number: 11250750.4

(22)Date of filing:  31.08.2011
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
F24J 2/04(2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME

(30)Priority: 01.09.2010 GB 201014499

(71)Applicant: Solar Century Holdings Limited
Waterloo London SE1 7AB (GB)

(72)Inventor:
  • Kimberley, Malcolm John
    London SE3 0PE (GB)

(74)Representative: Chapman, Paul Nicholas et al
Atkinson & Company Intellectual Property Limited 37-41 Gower Street
London WC1E 6HH
London WC1E 6HH (GB)

  


(54)A roof


(57) A roof (102) comprising: a plurality of roofing elements (103), a plurality of battens (401); a solar energy collection device (109); and a plurality of flashing elements (501). The battens (401) have the plurality of roofing elements attached thereto, and a plurality of said roofing elements (103) are edge roofing elements having edges arranged to define a line extending down the roof. The flashing elements (501) each have a first portion (504), a second portion (505) and a plurality of grooves (506) extending along lines. The first portions (504) of the flashing elements are positioned beneath a respective one of the edge roofing elements (103), and the flashing elements (501) are folded about the lines such that the second portions of the flashing elements are brought closer together. The collection device (109) is positioned alongside the edge roofing elements and over the second portions of the flashing elements.




Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION


1. Field of the Invention



[0001] The present invention relates to a roof comprising a solar energy collection device and a method of installing a solar energy collection device as part of a roof.

2. Description of the Related Art



[0002] Roofs are known which include several solar energy collection devices in combination with slates mounted on battens or sarking. An example of such a roof is disclosed in European Patent application published as EP 2 026 017 A2. The disclosed roof includes a connection element for providing a connection between a solar energy collection device and a neighbouring slate positioned at the side of the collection device. This system requires the collection devices and the slates to have corresponding dimensions and consequently the roofs to which this system may be applied is restricted.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



[0003] According to a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a roof as claimed in claim 1.

[0004] According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of installing a solar energy collection device as part of a roof as claimed in claim 8.

[0005] According to a third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a flashing element as claimed in claim 15.

[0006] According to a fourth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a roof of a building comprising: a plurality of roofing elements; a first plurality of battens attached to rafters at positions determined by a dimension of said roofing elements, and having said plurality of roofing elements attached thereto; a second set of battens attached to said rafters; and a plurality of solar energy collection devices, each said solar energy collection device being attached to one of said second set of battens, wherein said second set of battens are attached to said rafters at positions determined by a dimension of said collection devices.

[0007] In a preferred embodiment the roof further comprises: an additional batten located below the lowermost one of said second set of battens; and a hooking member attached to said additional batten, wherein a part of said collection device is restrained by said hooking member.

[0008] In a preferred embodiment a plurality of said roofing elements are edge roofing elements having edges arranged to define a line extending down said roof alongside said collection device and said roof further comprises a plurality of flashing elements, such that a respective flashing element is positioned beneath each of a plurality of said edge roofing elements and beneath said collection device. Preferably, said flashing elements are each is formed of a plastics material having a plurality of grooves extending along lines and said flashing elements are folded about said lines. Preferably each said flashing element has three grooves to allow folding. In a preferred embodiment the grooves are arranged parallel to each other and the spacing between neighbouring grooves is between 3 and 7 millimetres, so that the flashing element is useable with slates having conventional thicknesses. Preferably said flashing elements have at least one protrusion for locating against said edges of said edge roofing elements, and in an embodiment in which said at least one protrusion defines a line it is preferable for said flashing elements to have an upstanding ridge arranged substantially parallel to said line. Preferably said plastics material is suitable for outdoor roofing applications.

[0009] In a preferred embodiment said roof comprises a plurality of collection devices, each having a collection portion for converting solar energy to another form of energy and an attachment portion, and said attachment portions are attached to said second set of battens such that one of said collection devices overlaps the attachment portion of a second one of said collection devices. Preferably an uppermost portion of one of said flashing elements is positioned below a first one of said collection devices and a lowermost portion of that flashing element is positioned over an adjacent collection device.

[0010] In a preferred embodiment said flashing elements have a length that is at least as long as a length of one of said roofing elements.

[0011] In a preferred embodiment said roofing elements are slates.

[0012] In a fifth aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of installing a solar energy collection device as part of a roof that comprises a plurality of roofing elements attached to a first plurality of battens, said battens are located on rafters at positions determined by a dimension of said roofing elements, and said method comprises: obtaining a plurality of collection devices for converting solar energy to another form of energy; attaching a second set of battens to said rafters at locations determined by a dimension of said collection devices; and attaching each said collection device to one of said second set of battens.

[0013] Preferably said method further comprises attaching an additional batten below the lowermost one of said second set of battens; attaching a hooking member to said additional batten; and locating a part of one of said collection devices within said hooking member.

[0014] In a preferred embodiment said method comprises removing a plurality of said roofing elements to expose a number of said first plurality of battens, and removing a portion of each of said exposed battens.

[0015] Preferably a plurality of said roofing elements are edge roofing elements having edges arranged to define a line extending down said roof alongside said collection device and said method comprises positioning a respective flashing element beneath each of a plurality of said edge roofing elements and beneath said collection device. Preferably said method comprises positioning an uppermost portion of one of said flashing elements below a first one of said collection devices and a lowermost portion of that flashing element over an adjacent collection device.

[0016] Preferably a plurality of said roofing elements are edge roofing elements having edges arranged to define a line extending down said roof alongside said collection device and said flashing element is formed of a plastics material having a plurality of grooves extending along lines and said method comprises positioning a respective flashing element beneath each of a plurality of said edge roofing elements and beneath said collection device by folding said flashing element about said lines.

[0017] Preferably said flashing element has three grooves to allow folding.

[0018] In a preferred embodiment of the method said flashing element has a length that is at least as long as a length of one of said roofing elements.

[0019] In a preferred embodiment said method comprises obtaining a plurality of collection devices, each having a collection portion for converting solar energy to another form of energy and an attachment portion, and said method comprises attaching said attachment portions to said second set of battens such that one of said collection devices overlaps the attachment portion of a second one of said devices.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS



[0020] 

Figure 1 shows a building 101 having a roof 102 embodying the present invention;

Figure 2 shows the collection device 109 previously shown in Figure 1;

Figure 3 shows the collection device 107 along with its neighbouring collection devices 105 and 109 arranged in an overlapping manner;

Figure 4 shows the roof 102 previously shown in Figure 1 before installation of the collection devices;

Figures 5, 6 and 7 show a flashing element 501 (or soak tray) in a perspective view, a plan view and a front view respectively;

Figures 8 and 9 show enlarged views of portions of the flashing element 501, indicated respectively at 701 and 702 Figure 7;

Figures 10 and 11 respectively show a perspective view and a front view of the flashing element 501 after having been folded about its grooves 509, 510 and 511;

Figure 12 shows an enlarged partial view of a portion of the flashing element 501 indicated by circle 1101 in Figure 11;

Figure 13 shows the partial roof assembly previously shown in Figure 4 after installation of a first flashing element 501;

Figure 14 shows the partial roof assembly of Figure 13 after a further three flashing elements 501A, 501B, and 501C have been installed;

Figure 15 shows the arrangement of flashing elements between roofing elements;

Figure 16 shows a portion of the roof 102 including roofing elements 103A, 103B and 103C along with flashing elements 501, 501A and 501B;

Figure 17A shows a hooking member 1701 for restraining a front edge of a lowermost collection device in an array;

Figure 17B shows a hook 1711 for restraining the front edge of collection devices in an array;

Figure 17C shows the hook 1711 attached to a collection device 109;

Figure 18 shows the partially formed roof 102 previously shown in Figure 14, with three hooking members 1701 attached to the additional batten 406;

Figure 19 shows a first one (109) of the collection devices installed as part of the roof 102;

Figure 20 shows the roof 102, partially complete, after installation of collection elements 109, 107 and 105;

Figure 21 shows the roof 102 after installation of the second column of collection devices, comprising collection devices 108, 106 and 104;

Figure 22 shows the roof 102 after a first row 2201 of slates has been fitted across the upper edge of the array of collection devices;

Figure 23 shows the completed roof 102 after installation of the second column of collection devices, and final roofing element; and

Figure 24 shows a schematic diagram representing a portion of the roof 102, comprising the flashing elements 501 and 501A to 501H, along with collection devices 105, 107 and 109.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS


Figure 1



[0021] A building 101 having a roof 102 embodying the present invention is shown in Figure 1. In the present example, the building 101 is a house having a slate roof, and so it comprises a plurality of slates arranged and mounted using conventional techniques. It should be noted that, although the roofing elements, such as element 103, are formed of slate in the present example, in alternative roofs embodying the present invention, the roof is formed of other types of roofing elements such as fibre cement slates, artificial or reconstituted slates, plain natural slates, interlocking tiles, etc.

[0022] The roof 102 also comprises an array of, in this example six, solar energy collection devices 104, 105, 106, 107, 108 and 109 for converting solar energy to another form of energy. In this example, the collection devices 104 to 109 are photovoltaic devices.

[0023] In the present example, the collection devices 109 are arranged in two columns, each column having three collection devices. Thus the three collection devices 104, 106 and 108 form a left column, and collection devices 105, 107 and 109 form a right column. As will be described in further detail below, the collection devices in each column are arranged in an overlapping manner, and in the present example, they extend down the roof 102 by a distance that is approximately three and a half times the length of one of the roofing elements, such as roofing element 103. Thus, in accordance with the present invention, there is not a specific relationship between the length by which a collection device extends down the roof and the length by which a roofing element extends down the roof.

[0024] It may also be noted that the collection devices have a width that is slightly less than six of the roofing element widths in the present example. However, it will be understood from further reading of this specification that the system of mounting the collection devices does not restrict the width of the collection device that is used with this particular width of roofing element, or alternatively, it does not restrict the roofing element that is used with this type of collection device.

Figure 2



[0025] The collection devices 104 to 109 shown in Figure 1 are substantially identical to each other and consequently the following description of collection device 109 applies to the other collection devices.

[0026] The collection device 109 is shown in Figure 2. The collection device 109 comprises a frame 201 supporting a collection portion 202 configured to receive solar energy and convert it to electrical energy. The frame 201 includes an attachment portion 203 having a plurality, in this example four holes, 204 for receiving screws to attach the collection device 109 to battens forming part of a roof, such as roof 102.

[0027] The attachment portion 203 extends from a back edge 205 of the collection device 109 by a length indicated by arrow 206 in Figure 2. The collection portion 202 extends forward from the attachment portion by a second length indicated by arrow 207 in Figure 2. A front rail 208 extends across the width of the collection device 109 and forms its front edge 209. A plurality of slots 210, in this case six, is formed in the rail 208 on the front edge 209 to allow drainage of rainwater from the frame of the collection device.

[0028] When mounting the collection devices, such as collection device 109, to form part of a roof, the collection devices are arranged in an overlapping configuration such that a portion of a collection device adjacent to its front edge 209 resides above the attachment portion 203. In this way, the area of the roof taken up by the collection devices is made weather-tight.

[0029] The front edge 209 of the collection devices is restrained by means of a plurality of hooks or hooking members as will be described further below. Consequently, the attachment portion 203 defines three holes 220 for receiving a screw to allow a respective hook to be attached.

Figure 3



[0030] The collection device 107 is shown along with its neighbouring collection devices 105 and 109 arranged in the aforementioned overlapping manner in Figure 3. When arranged in this manner, the front edges 209 of the collection devices 105, 107 and 109 are equally spaced apart by a distance (indicated by arrow 300). This distance (300) is calculated by subtracting the distance by which the collection devices overlap (indicated by arrow 301 in Figure 3) from the overall width, indicated by arrow 302. It will be apparent that the line of attachment holes 204 for one collection device is separated from the line of attachment holes of the neighbouring collection device by the same distance. (Thus arrows 303 have the same length as arrow 300.)

[0031] In Figure 3, the attachment holes 204 of collection device 105 lay on a first line 304, the attachment holes of the second collection device 107 lay on a line 305 and the attachment holes of the third collection device 109 lay on a third line 306. As will now be understood, the distance between each of these three lines 304, 305 and 306 are spaced apart by a distance equal to the width (302) of the collection devices minus the overlapping distance (301). Consequently, when the collection devices are to be mounted as part of a roof they are mounted on battens that are equally spaced by this same distance. This is therefore a distance that is determined from the dimensions of the collection devices themselves, rather than the dimensions of the surrounding roofing elements.

Figure 4



[0032] The roof 102 previously shown in Figure 1 is shown in Figure 4 before installation of the collection devices.

[0033] As mentioned previously, the roofing elements, such as roofing element 109, are mounted on battens 401, which themselves are mounted on rafters 402 in a conventional manner. The roofing elements, such as 103, have a length, indicated by arrow 403 in Figure 4, extending down the roof. The roofing elements are arranged in rows in which their bottom edges, such as bottom edge 404 of roofing element 103A are spaced apart from the bottom edges of adjacent rows by a fixed distance. In the present case, this distance is a third of the length (403) of the roofing elements. The battens 401 to which the roofing elements are attached are also equally spaced by this same distance. Thus, the battens 401 to which the roofing elements, such as 103, are attached are spaced apart by a distance determined from the length of the roofing elements.

[0034] A region of the roof in which the collection devices are to be mounted is identified by a dotted line 400 in Figure 4. The region of the roof 102 in which the collection devices are to be mounted is left free of the battens 401. Instead of the first battens 401, a second set of battens 405, onto which the collection devices are to be mounted, have been attached to the rafters 402. This second set of battens 405 comprises of battens that have been equally spaced by the dimension determined from the collection devices as discussed above with reference to Figure 3. In the present example, the array of collection devices comprises of three rows of collection devices and consequently, the second set of battens 405 comprises a respective three battens 405A, 405B, 405C.

[0035] As may be seen in Figure 4, an additional batten 406 is also mounted to the rafters 402 alongside but spaced apart from batten 405C such that batten 406 resides below batten 405C. As will be described further below, the additional batten 406 is provided in the present embodiment to allow attachment of hooking members used to secure the bottom edge of the lowermost collection devices 108 and 109.

[0036] When the collection devices are installed as part of the roof 102, it is required that the roof as a whole is weather-tight such that rain falling on the roof 102 cannot leak down into the roof space and building below. Consequently, it is important to provide a means of preventing water leaking between the collection devices and the edges of adjacent roofing elements. As may be seen in Figure 4, the roofing elements that are arranged to be adjacent to the collection devices, down the sides of the collection devices, have edges that form a line extending down the roof. For example, roofing elements 103B, 103C, 103D, 103E, 103F, and 103G have edges that are substantially aligned to define a line extending down the roof. In order to prevent water leaking between the edges of the edge roofing elements and the adjacent collection devices, such as 107 and 109. The roof 102 also comprises flashing elements as will now be described below.

[0037] In the present example, the collection devices are fitted to the roof of a new building during the process of fitting the slates. However, it should be understood that the collection devices might also be retrofitted to an existing roof. To do this a region of the roof is identified as the region in which collection devices are to be located. Slates are removed from this region of the roof to expose the existing battens. The existing battens within this region are then cut and the appropriate sections of battens are removed. A new set of battens, spaced to receive the collection devices, are then attached to the rafters. The collection devices are then fitted, as will be described below.

Figures 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9



[0038] A flashing element, also known as a soak tray, is shown in the perspective view of Figure 5, the plan view of Figure 6 and the front view of Figure 7. Portions of the end view of Figure 7, indicated at 701 and 702 are shown in the enlarged partial front views of Figures 8 and 9 respectively.

[0039] The flashing element 501 has a generally rectangular shape having a length 502 chosen such that the flashing element is suitable for use with various lengths of roofing element up to and including the longest roofing elements available. To achieve this generalised suitability, the length of the flashing element is chosen to be slightly longer than the sum of the gauge (i.e. inter-batten spacing) and the head lap for the longest available slates. In the present embodiment the length of the flashing element is chosen to be equal to the gauge plus the head lap plus 25mm for the longest available slate.

[0040] The flashing element 501 has a plurality, in the present example 5, protrusions 503 arranged along a straight line and extending upwards from one of the flashing elements rectangular faces. The protrusions 503 are provided as a guide, or stop, to ensure correct regular placement of the flashing element during installation on a roof. The line of protrusions 503 divides the flashing element 501 into two portions 504 and 505. The first portion 504 is intended to be located between roofing elements, while the second portion 505 is generally intended to be located beneath a collection device, such as collection devices 104 to 109.

[0041] In the present embodiment, the flashing element has a set of parallel shallow grooves 506 extending parallel to the line of protrusions 503 on the first portion 504. These grooves 506 are provided as a cutting guide and allow an installer (a roofer) to easily adjust the dimensions of the flashing element on site using hand tools. Should the installer of the flashing element require the flashing element to be narrower, it may be trimmed to size by passing a knife along a selected one of the grooves 506.

[0042] In the present embodiment, the second portion 505 of the flashing element 501 is provided with a series of ridges 507 extending along the length of the flashing element parallel to the line of protrusions 503. After installation of the roof 102, it is anticipated that the upper surface shown in Figures 5 and 6 of the second portion 505 of the flashing element 501 will become wet due to rain. The ridges 507 will extend in lines down the roof and resist seepage of water between the flashing element and the collection device positioned above it, and also between the flashing element and a second flashing element located above it.

[0043] The flashing element 501 is moulded from a plastics material, being formed by injection moulding. In the present embodiment the flashing element is formed of polypropylene. However, in alternative embodiments it is formed of another plastics material suitable for outdoor roofing applications, such as polyamide 66.

[0044] The second portion 505 of the flashing element 501 also defines a plurality of grooves extending along the entire length of the flashing device 501 parallel to, and adjacent to, the line of protrusions 503. Each of the grooves defines a narrow web of material, and as the material of the flashing element has the required properties to allow flexing, the grooves allow the flashing element to be folded, or hinged, along the length of the grooves. Thus each groove defines what is known as a "live hinge" or "living hinge".

[0045] In the present embodiment, this plurality of grooves comprises three grooves; a first groove 509 on the opposite side of the flashing element to the protrusions 503, and second and third grooves 510 and 511 on the same side of the flashing element 501 as the protrusions 503. In order to be useable with slates having conventional thicknesses the grooves are arranged parallel to each other and the spacing between neighbouring grooves is between 3 and 7 millimetres.

Figures 10, 11 & 12



[0046] The flashing element 501 is shown having been folded about its live hinges, or grooves 509, 510 and 511, in the perspective view of Figure 10 and front view of Figure 11. A portion of the front view indicated by circle 1101 in Figure 11 is shown in an enlarged partial view in Figure 12.

[0047] In use, the first portion 504 is required to be arranged substantially parallel to, at least a major portion of, the second portion 505. Depending upon the particular location of the flashing element 501 in use, it may be required to be substantially flat, as previously shown in Figure 5, or have its first portion 504 and its second portion 505 lying in separate planes. Thus, the grooves 509, 510 and 511 provide a means for allowing the flashing element 501 to be reconfigured as required. In a less preferred embodiment, only two such grooves are provided, but in the present preferred embodiment a third groove is provided to allow the flashing element to be formed into desired configurations that minimise risk of water leakage and increase the aesthetic appearance of the installed roof.

Figure 13



[0048] The partial roof assembly previously shown in Figure 4 is shown again in Figure 13 after installation of a first flashing element 501. The first portion 504 of the flashing element 501 has been located directly beneath roofing element 103B and on the top of the roofing element 103A. The flashing element 501 has been positioned such that the protrusions 503 are abutting the edges of the roofing elements 103B, 103C, 103D and 103E. A lowermost edge 1301 of the flashing element 501 has been positioned such that it is substantially in line with the bottom edge 1302 of roofing element 103B. As may be seen in Figure 13, roofing element 103B is the lowermost of the roofing elements that have an edge forming a line that extends down the side of the array of collection devices.

Figures 14 & 15



[0049] The partial roof assembly of Figure 13 is shown again in Figure 14 after a further three flashing elements 501A, 501B, and 501C have been installed. It should be understood that all flashing elements of the present embodiment are substantially identical to flashing element 501.

[0050] The flashing elements are installed one above another but spaced apart by a roofing element and also with their lowermost edges spaced by the same distance as that separating the lowermost edges of the roofing elements. Thus, the flashing element 501A has a lowermost edge 1401 aligned with the lowermost edge 1402 of roofing element 103C, and similarly flashing element 501B has a lowermost edge 1403 aligned with a lowermost edge 1404 of roofing element 103D, etc. The flashing elements are located directly beneath the roofing element to which the bottom edges are aligned, for example, flashing element 501A is located directly beneath roofing element 103C, while flashing element 501B is located directly beneath 103D.

[0051] This arrangement of flashing elements between roofing elements is further illustrated in Figure 15 which shows the order in which the flashing elements and roofing elements are laid onto battens 401.

Figure 16



[0052] A portion of the roof 102 including roofing elements 103A, 103B and 103C along with flashing elements 501, 501A and 501B is shown in Figure 16. The thicknesses of the components shown in Figure 16 have been exaggerated for the purposes of clarity. In practice, the flashing elements generally have a thickness of less than 1.5 millimetres.

[0053] Figure 16 illustrates the ability of the flashing elements to be reconfigured in dependence of their location in the roof structure. Flashing element 501 is located on top of the roofing element 103A such that both the first portion 504 and a second portion 505 of the flashing element 501 lays flat against the roofing element 103A. Thus, the flashing element 501 is configured in its flat configuration previously shown in Figures 5 and 6.

[0054] In contrast, flashing element 501A has its first portion 504 lying on top of roofing element 103B while its second portion 505 rests on the second portion 505 of the first flashing element 501. This has been achieved by folding the flashing element about its grooves 509 and 510. Thus, the first portion 504 and the second portion 505 of flashing element 501A reside in planes that are spaced apart by approximately the thickness of a roofing element.

[0055] Flashing element 501B has its first portion 504 resting upon roofing element 103C while its second portion 505 rests on top of the second portion 505 of the flashing element 501A. Consequently, the first portion 504 and second portion 505 of the flashing element 501B reside in planes that are separated by approximately twice the thickness of a roofing element. This has been achieved by folding the flashing element 501B about each of its live hinges, or grooves, 509, 510 and 511.

[0056] Thus, generally, the second portions of the flashing elements are brought together by folding along the grooves 509, 510, 511 in the flashing element. However, as will be described below with reference to Figure 19, this arrangement is periodically interrupted. For example, the next flashing element 501C (not shown in Figure 16) is not folded to bring its second portion against the second portion of flashing element 501B.

Figure 17A



[0057] A hooking member 1701 for restraining the front edge of a lowermost collection device in an array is shown in Figure 17A. The hooking element comprises a metal plate formed into a hook shape at a first end 1702. A series of spaced holes 1703 are arranged along a line extending along the hooking member in an end portion 1704 adjacent to its opposite end 1705.

[0058] The hooking member 1701 is provided with a pair of opposing parallel bends 1706 and 1707 extending across its width such that the end portion 1704 resides in a plane that is parallel to, but spaced apart from, a main portion 1708 of the hooking member, which terminates in the hook-shaped end 1702. The shape of the first hooking member provided by the bends 1706 and 1707 allow the end portion 1704 to be located firmly against a batten during use while the main portion 1708 is able to extend up and over a roofing element mounted on an adjacent batten.

Figures 17B and 17C



[0059] A hook 1711 for restraining the front edge of collection devices in an array is shown in Figure 17B. The hook 1711 comprises a metal plate formed into a hook shape at a first end 1712 and defining a hole 1713 for receiving a screw at a second opposite end 1715.

[0060] The hook 1711 is used to restrain the front edge of a collection device that overlaps the top edge of a lower collection device. To achieve this, the three hooks are fitted to the frame of the lower collection device by means of a screw through the hole 1713 in the hook 1711 and through a respective one of the three predefined holes 220 (identified in Figure 2). A hook 1711 is shown attached to a collection device (109) in this way in Figure 17C.

Figure 18



[0061] The partially formed roof 102 previously shown in Figure 14 is shown again in Figure 18 with three hooking members 1701 attached to the additional batten 406. The hooking members are attached to the batten 406 by means of one or more screws each located through a respective one of the holes 1703 in the hooking member 1701. The hooking members 1701 are arranged such that hooked ends 1702 reside on a line, indicated by dashed line 1801 that extends along the line of the bottom edge 1302 of the lowermost edge tile 103B.

[0062] The positioning of the hooked ends 1702 of the hooking members 1701 is achieved by installing the additional batten 406 such that it extends along a line parallel with the line 1801 and spaced apart from the line 1801 by a distance that is determined by the distance between the hooked end 1702 of the hooking members 1701 and their fixing holes 1703.

[0063] It may be noted that the pair of bends 1706, 1707 of the hooking members 1701 allows the attachment portion 1704 of the hooking members to rest on the batten 406, while the main portion 1708 of the hooking members rests on the complete row of roofing elements 1810 that extends directly below the space 400 provided in the roof for the collection devices.

[0064] Figure 18 also shows further flashing elements 501 having been fitted to the roof 102. Consequently, each slate positioned alongside the region 400 to which the collection devices are to be fitted has a flashing element located below it.

[0065] It should be noted that the symmetry of the flashing elements 501 allows them to be used after rotation through 180 degrees. Thus, they are usable along a right hand edge 1821 of a region 400 receiving collection devices, and also usable along the left-hand edge 1822 when rotated through 180 degrees.

[0066] Flashing elements 501 are also usable to provide a weather-tight interface where a left edge of a collection device abuts a right edge of a collection device. Thus as shown in Figure 18 a column 1823 of three flashing elements 501 has been attached to the battens 405 where the two columns of collection devices will meet. It may be noted that only a single flashing element is required for each device-to-device interface and so each of the three battens 405 has a flashing element attached.

Figure 19



[0067] A first one (109) of the collection devices is shown in Figure 19 installed as part of the roof 102. The collection device 109 rests on the three hooking members 1701 such that the hooked ends 1702 are located about its front edge 209. A portion of the collection device 109 adjacent to its right edge has been positioned on top of the lowermost three flashing elements 501, 501A and 501B. However, the fourth flashing device 501C has been configured to lay on top of the collection device 109. Specifically, the flashing element 501C extends over the attachment portion 203 of collection device 109 but does not extend over the collection portion 202; if it did, this would block solar energy reaching part of the collection portion and so prevent the collection device 109 from operating correctly. As a general rule, when installing the collection devices (such as 109), the flashing elements are arranged to be below the collection devices unless, as is the case with flashing element 501C, a flashing element can be positioned above a collection device without extending over its collection portion.

[0068] When the roof 102 has been fully installed, the flashing elements extending down the sides of the collection device form a channel along which rainwater may run. Clearly, as rain falls on the roof, the quantity of water running down the channel will generally tend to increase towards the lowest end of the channel. If the build-up were allowed to go unchecked, the risk of water leaking from the channel into the roof space would be increased towards the lowest end of the channel. Thus, to avoid this build-up of water, the water within the channel is brought to a level above the collection devices by overlapping some of the flashing elements over the collection devices. (Flashing element 501C overlapping collection device 109 is an example of this arrangement.) This will be further described below with reference to Figure 22.

[0069] As previously mentioned above with respect to Figure 2, the collection device 109 is secured to the lowermost batten 405C of the second set of battens 405 by means of screws located through holes 204 in the attachment portion 203 of the collection device 109.

[0070] Three hooks 1711 are attached to the collection device 109 as previously described with respect to Figure 17C. Thus, the three hooks are ready to receive, and retain, the front edge of the next collection device (107) in the column. It may be noted that hooks 1711 are attached to all collection devices in the array except for the uppermost collection device in any column.

Figure 20



[0071] The roof 102 is shown partially complete in Figure 20 after installation of collection elements 109, 107 and 105.

[0072] Following installation of collection device 109, the collection device 107 is positioned on the roof 102 such that its front edge extends over the attachment portion of the collection device 109 and rests within the hooks 1711 fitted to collection device 109. The attachment portion 203 of collection device 107 is positioned on the second batten 405B of the second set of battens 405 and secured in place by screws as described for collection device 109.

[0073] The third collection device 105 is then positioned on the roof 102 with its front edge extending over the attachment portion of collection device 107 and located within the hooks 1711 fitted to collection device 107. The attachment portion 203 of the collection device 105 is secured to the third batten 405C of the second set of battens 405.

[0074] To complete the installation of the collection devices, a second set of hooking members (1701 of Figure 17) is attached along the lowermost batten 406. Then the second column of collection devices (108, 106 and 104) is installed, in a similar manner as for collection devices 109, 107 and 105.

Figure 21



[0075] The roof 102 is shown in Figure 21 after installation of the second column of collection devices, comprising collection devices 108, 106 and 104.

[0076] In the present embodiment, the array of collection devices has a rectangular form, being two collection devices wide and three collection devices long. However, it will be understood that where required, the above-described system of installation of collection devices allows arrays having other shapes to be installed, such as L-shaped arrays or T-shaped arrays.

Figures 22 and 23



[0077] When the collection devices (104 to 109) have been fitted, the roof is then completed by fitting slates to the battens 401. The roof is shown in Figure 22 after a first row 2201 of slates has been fitted across the upper edge of the array of collection devices.

[0078] If necessary, as is the case in the present example, this first row 2201 of slates is cut to length so that they overlap the attachment portions 203 of the uppermost collection devices 104, 105, but do not overlap the collection portion 202 of these collection devices. Furthermore, if necessary the slates 2202, 2203 adjacent the outer upper corners of the uppermost collection devices 104, 105 are shaped to avoid overlapping of the collection portion but so that the slate is able to partly extend down the side edges of these collection devices.

[0079] After fitting this first row 2201 of slates the remaining slates are fitted to the roof in a conventional manner to complete the roof 102, as shown in Figure 23.

Figure 24



[0080] A partial schematic diagram representing the roof 102 is shown in Figure 24 comprising the flashing elements 501 and 501A to 501 H, along with collection devices 105, 107 and 109. This Figure is intended to show the general flow of water down this portion of the roof during wet weather, and the various components have been spaced apart within the diagram to allow the water flows to be illustrated.

[0081] As mentioned previously, the flashing elements 501 and 501A to 501H form a channel down the side of the collection devices 105, 107 and 109 along which rainwater may run. Thus, water 2401A running down flashing element 501H falls on to flashing element 501G and then on to 501F. However, the lowermost portion of flashing element 501 F extends over the attachment portion of collection device 107. Consequently a portion 2401B of the rainwater falling from flashing element 501 F falls on to the upper surface of the collection device 107, while a second portion 2401C falls on to the flashing element 501E. i.e., it stays in the channel. The water 2401B that falls on to collection device 107 tends to run down the upper surface of a collection device 107 and on to the upper surface of the lowermost collections device 109 and then on to the roofing elements such as 103A, below.

[0082] Water falling on to flashing element 501E runs down the channel formed by the flashing element on to flashing element 501D and on to flashing element 501C, which extends over the top of the attachment portion of collection device 109. Consequently, the water is again divided into a first portion 2401D that runs from the flashing element 501C onto the upper surface of the collection device 109, and a second portion 2401 E that remains in the channel, falls onto flashing element 501B and subsequently runs down onto flashing elements 501A and 501.

[0083] Thus, the water within the channel formed by the flashing elements is periodically reduced by allowing a portion of the water (such as portions 2401 B and 2401D) to spill out across the collection devices. As a result, the volume of water running out of the bottom end of the channel is reduced.


Claims

1. A roof (102) comprising:

a plurality of roofing elements (103) including a plurality of said roofing elements which are edge roofing elements having edges arranged to define a line extending down said roof;

a plurality of battens (401) having said plurality of roofing elements attached thereto;

a solar energy collection device (109); and

a plurality of flashing elements (501) each having a first portion (504), a second portion (505) and a plurality of grooves (506) extending along lines,

wherein: said first portions (504) of said flashing elements are positioned beneath a respective one of said edge roofing elements (103) and said flashing elements (501) are folded about said lines such that said second portions of said flashing elements are brought closer together; and

said collection device is positioned alongside said edge roofing elements and over said second portions of said flashing elements.


 
2. A roof according to claim 1, wherein said flashing elements are formed of a plastics material.
 
3. A roof according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein said flashing elements each have three grooves to allow folding.
 
4. A roof according to any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein said roof comprises a plurality of collection devices (104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109), each having a collection portion (202) for converting solar energy to another form of energy and an attachment portion (203), and said attachment portions are attached to battens such that one of said collection devices overlaps the attachment portion of a second one of said collection devices.
 
5. A roof according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein an uppermost portion of one of said flashing elements is positioned below a first one of said collection devices and a lowermost portion of that flashing element is positioned over an adjacent collection device.
 
6. A roof according to any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein said flashing element has a length that is at least as long as a length of one of said roofing elements.
 
7. A roof according to any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein said roofing elements are slates.
 
8. A method of installing a solar energy collection device (109) as part of a roof (101) that comprises a plurality of roofing elements attached to a plurality of battens (401), a plurality of said roofing elements (103) being edge roofing elements having edges arranged to define a line extending down said roof, said method comprising:

obtaining a collection device (109) for converting solar energy to another form of energy;

obtaining a plurality of flashing elements (501) having a plurality of grooves extending along lines, and

positioning a respective flashing element beneath each of a plurality of said edge roofing elements and folding said flashing element about said lines such that an exposed portion of said flashing elements are brought closer together; and

positioning said collection device alongside said edge roofing elements and over said exposed portions of said flashing elements.


 
9. A method of installing a solar energy collection device according to claim 8, wherein said flashing elements are formed of a plastics material.
 
10. A method of installing a solar energy collection device according to claim 8 or claim 9, wherein said flashing elements each have three grooves to allow folding.
 
11. A method of installing a solar energy collection device according to any one of claims 8 to 10, wherein said method comprises obtaining a plurality of collection devices, each having a collection portion for converting solar energy to another form of energy and an attachment portion, and said method comprises attaching said attachment portions to battens such that one of said collection devices overlaps the attachment portion of a second one of said devices.
 
12. A method of installing a solar energy collection device according to any one of claims 8 to 11, wherein said method comprises positioning an uppermost portion of one of said flashing elements below a first one of said collection devices and a lowermost portion of that flashing element over an adjacent collection device.
 
13. A method of installing a solar energy collection device according to any one of claims 8 to 12, wherein said flashing element has a length that is at least as long as a length of one of said roofing elements.
 
14. A method of installing a solar energy collection device according to any one of claims 1 to 13, wherein said roofing elements are slates.
 
15. A flashing element (501) for use when installing a solar energy collection device as part of a roof in accordance with the method of any one of claims 8 to 14, wherein said flashing element (501) has a first portion (504), a second portion (505) and a plurality of grooves (506) extending along lines, said grooves allowing said flashing element to be folded about said lines such that said first portion (504) of said flashing element is locatable beneath a plurality of said edge roofing elements, said flashing element is foldable about said lines to reposition said second portion before positioning said collection device alongside the edge roofing elements and over said second portion of said flashing element.
 




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Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description