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Publication numberUS20040040325 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/231,717
Publication dateMar 4, 2004
Filing dateAug 30, 2002
Priority dateAug 30, 2002
Publication number10231717, 231717, US 2004/0040325 A1, US 2004/040325 A1, US 20040040325 A1, US 20040040325A1, US 2004040325 A1, US 2004040325A1, US-A1-20040040325, US-A1-2004040325, US2004/0040325A1, US2004/040325A1, US20040040325 A1, US20040040325A1, US2004040325 A1, US2004040325A1
InventorsDavid Evans
Original AssigneeDavid Evans
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Solar panel and recreational vehicle arrangement
US 20040040325 A1
Abstract
An arrangement including a recreational vehicle with living space therein, a roof and a battery; an air conditioning unit proving conditioned air to the living space; a protective shroud enclosing the air conditioning unit and a solar panel for providing energy output for charging the battery wherein the solar panel is mounted on an outer surface of the protective shroud or on the air conditioning unit.
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Claims(7)
What is claimed is:
1. An arrangement, comprising:
a recreational vehicle comprising living space therein, a roof and a battery;
an air conditioning unit proving conditioned air to said living space;
a protective shroud enclosing the air conditioning unit
wherein the protective shroud comprises an outer surface;
a solar panel for providing energy output for charging the battery;
wherein the solar panel is mounted on the outer surface of the protective shroud.
2. The arrangement of claim 1 further comprising one or more wires to couple said solar panel to said battery wherein the wires exit the solar panel and pass through the protective shroud.
3. The arrangement of claim 1, wherein the protective shroud is aerodynamically designed.
4. The arrangement of claim 3 wherein the protective shroud has at least one air vent to provide air flow to the air conditioning unit.
5. The arrangement of claim 4 wherein the solar panel is mounted on the protective shroud so as not to interfere with the at least one air vent.
6. The arrangement of claim 1 further comprising control means that prevents the solar panel from providing energy output to the battery when the recreational vehicle is in operation and allows the solar panel to provide energy output to the battery when the recreational vehicle is not in operation.
7. An arrangement, comprising:
a recreational vehicle comprising living space therein, a roof and a battery;
an air conditioning assembly proving conditioned air to said living space;
a solar panel for providing energy output for charging the battery;
wherein the solar panel is mounted on the air conditioning unit.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to an arrangement for maintaining an electrical charge level of a recreational vehicle battery and more particularly relates to an arrangement for maintaining an electrical charge level of a recreational vehicle battery through the use of a solar panel mounted on the recreational vehicle.

DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED ART

[0002] Recreational vehicles are used in a different manner than may other vehicles. Recreational vehicles may be stationary (i.e., without the engine running) for long periods of time. For example, the recreational vehicle may remain stationary for a period of time while being used on a recreational outing. As another example, the recreational vehicle may remain stationary for a period of time between recreational outings.

[0003] When a recreational vehicle is stationary (i.e., engine off), the engine is not providing electrical energy to the battery. During stationary periods, battery drain may occur. A long stationary period may lead to a drained battery condition. Therefore, it would be useful to help avoid battery drain for recreational vehicle batteries during stationary periods.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] In accordance with one aspect, the present invention provides an arrangement including a recreational vehicle with living space therein, a roof and a battery; an air conditioning unit proving conditioned air to the living space; a protective shroud enclosing the air conditioning unit and a solar panel for providing energy output for charging the battery, wherein the solar panel is mounted on an outer surface of the protective shroud. In accordance with another aspect, the present invention provides an arrangement, including a recreational vehicle with living space therein, a roof and a battery; an air conditioning assembly proving conditioned air to the living space; a solar panel for providing energy output for charging the battery, wherein the solar panel is mounted on the air conditioning unit.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0005]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a recreational vehicle with a solar panel affixed thereto in accordance with one aspect of the present invention; and

[0006]FIG. 2 is an enlarged view of a portion of the recreational vehicle of FIG. 1, which includes the solar panel.

DESCRIPTION OF EXAMPLE EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

[0007] An arrangement including a recreational vehicle 100, an air conditioning unit 180, a protective shroud 140, and a solar panel 150 is schematically shown in FIG. 1. According to the present invention, the arrangement provides for maintenance of an electrical charge level of a battery 110 of the recreational vehicle 100.

[0008] The recreational vehicle 100 is a vehicle useful in a variety of applications, including, but not limited to, providing a mobile home. The recreational vehicle 100 has an interior living space 170 (shown by the phantom arrow to indicate location therein) and a roof 105 on the top of the recreational vehicle 100. Further, the recreational vehicle 100 has at least one battery 110 for supplying electrical energy for starting the vehicle engine, powering accessory devices (such as lights), etc.

[0009] The air conditioning unit 180 provides conditioned air to the living space 170 of the recreational vehicle 100. The air conditioning unit 180 is mounted on top of the roof 105 by means known in the art.

[0010] Within the shown example, the air conditioning unit 180 is enclosed by a protective shroud 140. The protective shroud 140 encloses and protects the air conditioning unit 180. The protective shroud has an inner surface (not shown) and an outer surface 143. The inner surface faces the air conditioning unit 180. The outer surface 143 is the surface exposed to the outer environment. Further, the protective shroud 140 has one or more air vents 145 to allow air flow to the air conditioning unit 180 thereunder.

[0011] Within the shown example, the protective shroud 140 is aerodynamically designed. The aerodynamic design reduces the amount of air resistance the protective shroud 140 causes when the recreational vehicle 100 is being driven.

[0012] The solar panel 150 is provided to charge the battery 110 by converting solar radiation 130 into electrical energy. The solar panel 150 is constructed from materials and methods known in the art. Within the shown example, the solar panel 150 is mounted on the outer surface 143 of the protective shroud 140 in a manner so as to maximize exposure to solar radiation 130. Also in the shown example, the solar panel 150 is mounted on the protective shroud 140 in a location that does not interfere with or block the air vents 145.

[0013] The mounting of the solar panel 150 on top of the protective shroud 140 has certain advantages. For example, placement of the solar panel 150 on top of the protective shroud 140 may protect the solar panel 150 from being damaged. The roof 105 of the recreational vehicle 100 can be used as a location for storage. By placing the solar panel 150 on top of the protective shroud 140, the solar panel is removed from areas that may be used for storage, and thus is protected from damage. Further, placement of the solar panel 150 on top of the protective shroud 140 may offer other advantages such as providing unobstructed access to solar radiation 130, providing a location less prone to becoming muddied or dirtied, etc.

[0014] The outer surface 143 of the shroud 140 may have a recessed center portion. Within the shown example, the solar panel 150 is located within the recessed portion to further enhance aerodynamic properties and/or protection abilities of the shroud 140.

[0015] The solar panel 150 is operatively connected 160 to the battery 110. In the shown example, the operative connection 160 includes wires that extend from the solar panel 150 to interact with an electrical system 120 and wires that extend to the battery 160. The electrical system 120 provides, inter alia, voltage regulation of energy supplied to the battery. In one specific example, the wires of the operative connection 160 extend from the solar panel 150 and pass directly through the protective shroud 140 and into the electrical system 120. It is contemplated that the wires 160 may extend from the solar panel 150 and pass around the protective shroud 140 without directly passing through the same and then continue to the electrical system 120 and battery 110.

[0016] It is contemplated that the arrangement may further include a control means that prevents the solar panel 150 from charging the battery 110 when the recreational vehicle 100 is in operation and allows the solar panel 150 to charge the battery 110 when the recreational vehicle 100 is not in operation. The control means may include a switch device (not shown). The switch may be automatically regulated. In one example, the switch may sense whether the engine of the recreational vehicle 100 is operating and only allow the solar panel 150 to charge the battery 110 when the engine is not operating. In the alternative, a manually operated switch device may be within the interior of the recreational vehicle 100 in a location readily accessible to a driver. The switch may be driver-operated and be any form including, but not limited to, a toggle switch, a push button switch or an electronic switch.

[0017] The present invention is useful in maintaining the electrical charge level of the battery 110 of the recreational vehicle 100. The solar panel 150 of the present invention is especially useful for the recreational vehicle 100 in storage or non-operation conditions. Thus, the solar panel 150 can protect against excessive battery drainage when the recreational vehicle 100 is in storage or otherwise not in operation for a period of time.

[0018] For example, the air conditioning unit 180 may be provided as an air conditioning assembly (not shown). The air conditioning assembly comprises, inter alia, the air conditioning unit 180. As another example, the air conditioning assembly is provided without a protective shroud 140 and the solar panel 150 is mounted directly on the air conditioning unit 180.

[0019] From the above description of the invention, those skilled in the art will perceive improvements, changes and modifications. Such improvements, changes and modifications within the skill of the art are intended to be covered by the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8104773Oct 12, 2009Jan 31, 2012Visteon Global Technologies, Inc.Block fitting and seal structure
US8523244Dec 22, 2011Sep 3, 2013Visteon Global Technologies, Inc.Block fitting and seal structure
Classifications
U.S. Classification62/235.1
International ClassificationB60H1/00
Cooperative ClassificationB60H1/00428
European ClassificationB60H1/00J1
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 30, 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: DOMETIC CORPORATION, INDIANA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:EVANS, DAVID;REEL/FRAME:013256/0040
Effective date: 20020826