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GENERATION OF ELECTRIC POWER BY CONVERSION OF INFRA-RED RADIATION, VISIBLE LIGHT OR ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT, e.g. USING PHOTOVOLTAIC [PV] MODULES (light sensitive inorganic semiconductor devices H01L 31/00; thermoelectric devices H01L 35/00; pyroelectric devices H01L 37/00; light sensitive organic semiconductor devices H01L 51/00; obtaining electrical energy from radioactive sources G21H 1/12; solar heat collectors F24J 2/00)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • Photovoltaic [PV] power plants, e.g. mobile PV generator systems
  • Combination of PV power plants with other systems for generation of electric energy
  • Supporting structures for PV modules
  • Structural details of PV modules not involving light conversion
  • Components or accessories specially adapted for PV modules, e.g. cleaning arrangements, optical components, electrical components, thermal components
  • Monitoring or testing of PV systems, e.g. load balancing or fault identification
  • Testing of PV devices
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:

Light sensitive inorganic semiconductor devices

Thermoelectric devices

Pyroelectric devices

Light sensitive organic semiconductor devices

Arrangements for obtaining electrical energy from radioactive sources

Solar heat collectors

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Space applications, e.g. power supply for satellites made of solar cell modules

Systems for regulating electric power to the maximum power available from a generator, e.g. from PV cells

Circuit arrangements or systems for supplying or distributing electric power

PV power plants; Combinations of PV energy systems with other systems for the generation of electric power
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • PV power plants
  • Hybrid diesel-PV energy systems
  • Hybrid wind-PV energy systems
  • Hybrid hydroelectric-PV energy systems
  • PV power plants comprising energy storage means integrated therein or associated therewith
  • Thermophotovoltaic systems
  • Mobile PV generators
including a supplementary source of electric power, e.g. hybrid diesel-PV energy systems (combinations with gas-turbine plants F02C 6/00)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

PV power plants combined with a supplementary source of electric energy, e.g. combined with a diesel generator or a hydroelectric power plant

References relevant to classification in this subclass/group
This subclass/group does not cover:

PV energy systems combined with gas-turbine plants

Hybrid wind-PV energy systems
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Electric power generators, where wind turbines are combined with PV modules, e.g.:

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Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Wind Motors per se

Systems characterised by their energy storage means (H02S 40/38 takes precedence)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

PV power plants including rechargeable batteries for energy storage.

References relevant to classification in this subclass/group
This subclass/group does not cover:

Energy storage means, e.g. batteries, structurally associated with PV modules, e.g. directly mounted onto the module

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Energy storage means directly associated or integrated with the PV cell

Secondary accumulators structurally combined with charging apparatus, e.g. solar battery charging system

Circuit arrangements for charging batteries with solar cells

Thermophotovoltaic systems (photovoltaic cells specially adapted for conversion or sensing of infra-red [IR] radiation H01L 31/00; thermoelectric devices H01L 35/00)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Systems formed by an infrared radiation emitting source and by a (an array of) low band-gap solar cell(s) which are specifically sensitive to the infrared spectrum emitted by the source. Generally two types of system are the most common one: one in which a special emitter (of refractory materials) is heated (e.g. by a gas flame) and emits a specially adapted infrared spectrum, the other in which the solar light is concentrated in a cavity and converted by the solar cells situated in the cavity.

This subgroup is used to classify documents covering aspects of the systems, including the specific radiators.

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Relationship between large subject matter areas

Documents featuring photovoltaic cells optimized for IR radiation spectrum are classified and found in the solar cell groups covering the cell structure or the cell materials (H01L 31/06 and subgroups).

Cells for TPV described independently from the TPV system are classified in the groups according to materials, structure, etc (H01L 31/068) since they merely refer to solar cells specifically sensitive to IR (IR forming also a part of the solar spectrum)

References relevant to classification in this subclass/group
This subclass/group does not cover:

Photovoltaic cells specially adapted for conversion or sensing of infra-red [IR] radiation

Thermoelectric devices

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Burners

Synonyms and Keywords

TPV

Thermophotovoltaic

Mobile PV generator systems
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

PV generator systems being movable or displaceable

Example:

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Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Collapsible or foldable PV modules

Supporting structures for PV modules
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Mechanical structures for supporting one or a plurality of PV modules.

Example:

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Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Other supports for positioning apparatus or articles per se

Special rules of classification within this group

Supporting structures also intended for use with solar heat collectors should also be classified in groups F24J 2/38 or F24J 2/52

Supporting structures directly fixed to the ground (H02S 20/30 takes precedence)
References relevant to classification in this subclass/group
This subclass/group does not cover:

Supporting structures being movable or adjustable, e.g. for angle adjustment

Supporting structures directly fixed to an immovable object (H02S 20/30 takes precedence)
References relevant to classification in this subclass/group
This subclass/group does not cover:

Supporting structures being movable or adjustable, e.g. for angle adjustment

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Mobile PV generators

specially adapted for motorways, e.g. integrated with sound barriers
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

PV modules specially adapted for being used and mounted on sound barriers for road or railways, e.g. using the available surfaces of said barriers to produce electrical power.

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Sound barriers per se

Special rules of classification within this subclass/group

Aspects of such PV modules specifically relating to PV applications should be classified in this subgroup, architectural aspects of the barrier walls are covered elsewhere (E01F 8/00).

specially adapted for buildings
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Supporting structure specially adapted for integrating PV modules in buildings, e.g. PV modules mounted on the façade:

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Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Roof tile elements

Building materials integrated with PV modules, e.g. façade elements

specially adapted for roof structures
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • Solar PV modules adapted for house roofs, disposed within roof tiles
  • Special structural arrangements for installations on house roofs
  • Wind protection devices (deflectors) associated with the PV supporting structures
  • Ballast devices
Roof tile elements
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Photovoltaic devices integrated to or associated with one roof tile.

Example:

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Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Roof covering by making use of tiles

Roof covering by making use of flat or curved slabs

Solar heat collectors having working fluid conveyed through collector, e.g. solar thermal tiles

Building materials integrated with PV modules, e.g. façade elements (H02S 20/25 takes precedence)
References relevant to classification in this subclass/group
This subclass/group does not cover:

Roof tile elements

specially adapted for solar tracking
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Example:

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Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Solar tracking for solar heat collectors

Direction- finders for determining the direction from which electromagnetic waves are being received

Control of position or direction

Structural details of PV modules other than those related to light conversion (semiconductor device aspects of modules of electrolytic light sensitive devices H01G 9/20, of inorganic PV modules H01L 31/00, of organic PV modules H01L 51/42)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • Frame structures
  • Collapsible or foldable PV modules
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:

Device aspects of modules of electrolytic light sensitive devices

Semiconductor device aspects of inorganic PV modules

Semiconductor device aspects of organic PV modules

Frame structures
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Frames or parts of frames specially adapted for PV modules

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Supporting structures for PV modules

Collapsible or foldable PV modules

Solar thermal collectors, including mechanical mounting aspects of solar modules, when also suitable for solar thermal collectors

Direction-findings for determining the direction from which light is being received, e.g. forming part of solar tracking systems

Collapsible or foldable PV modules
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

PV modules specially adapted for being collapsible or foldable, e.g. for jalousies, umbrellas, handbags.

Example:

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Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Mechanical arrangements of foldable PV modules in satellites

Special rules of classification within this subclass/group

If the collapsible/foldable property is due to a special frame, then the subject matter is additionally classified in H02S 30/10.

Components or accessories specially adapted for PV modules, not provided for in groups H02S 10/00-H02S 30/00
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • Cleaning arrangements in combination with PV modules, e.g. means for removing snow
  • Optical components in combination with PV modules, e.g. light-concentrating means
  • Electrical components in combination with PV modules, e.g. junction boxes, module-to-module interconnection
  • Thermal components in combination with PV modules, e.g. cooling means
Cleaning arrangements
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Cleaning windows

Cleaning in general

Means for removing snow
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Snow traps for roof coverings

Optical components
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Optical elements in general

Light-reflecting or light-concentrating means (directly associated with the PV cell or integrated with the PV cell H01L 31/054)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Example:

Photovoltaic assembly with concentration (1) and spectral splitting (6, 7) of collected light beam:

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References relevant to classification in this subclass/group
This subclass/group does not cover:

Light-reflecting or light-concentrating means directly associated with the PV cell or integrated with the PV cell

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Solar heat collectors having concentrating elements

Electrical components
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Electric line connectors; Electric current collectors

comprising DC/AC inverter means associated with the PV module itself, e.g. AC modules
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • DC/AC inverter means directly associated with the PV module, e.g. inverter on the backside of the PV module.
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Regulating electric power from a generator, e.g. from a solar module

Inverters per se

Circuit arrangements or systems for supplying or distributing electric power, e.g. circuits for connecting the PV module to the inverter

comprising specially adapted electrical connection means to be structurally associated with the PV module, e.g. junction boxes
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • Junction boxes associated with the PV module, e.g. one box per module for electrical connection, or comprising bypass diodes
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Distribution boxes; Connection or junction boxes

Terminal blocks

characterised by special electrical interconnection means between two or more PV modules, e.g. electrical module-to-module connection
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Electrical interconnection between two or more PV modules.

Example:

  • Electrical contacts 34 and 36 are used for interconnecting two PV modules:

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Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Electrodes of PV cells

Particular structures for electrical interconnecting of adjacent thin film solar cells in the module

Interconnection between solar cells inside a PV module

Conductive pastes as such

Glossary of terms
In this subclass/group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:

"Interconnection" in this case means electrical connection, not mechanical.

Thermal components (H02S 10/30 takes precedence)
References relevant to classification in this subclass/group
This subclass/group does not cover:

Thermophotovoltaic systems

Cooling means (cooling means directly associated or integrated with the PV cell H01L 31/052)
References relevant to classification in this subclass/group
This subclass/group does not cover:

Cooling means directly associated or integrated with the PV cell

Means to utilise heat energy, e.g. hybrid systems producing warm water and electricity at the same time (directly associated with the PV cell or integrated with the PV cell H01L 31/0525)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • Hybrid PV modules, producing warm water and electricity at the same time

Example:

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References relevant to classification in this subclass/group
This subclass/group does not cover:

Means to utilise heat energy directly associated with the PV cell or integrated with the PV cell

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Using solar heat per se

Monitoring or testing of PV systems, e.g. load balancing or fault identification
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Burglar, theft or intruder alarms

Testing of electric apparatus, lines, or components for short-circuits, discontinuities, leakage, or incorrect line connection

Testing of PV devices, e.g. of PV modules or single PV cells (testing of semiconductor devices during manufacturing {H01L 22/00})
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • Testing of electrical properties of PV devices in the dark state, e.g. short circuit test
  • Testing of electrical properties, e.g. I-V characteristics, of PV devices under solar simulators
References relevant to classification in this subclass/group
This subclass/group does not cover:

Testing of semiconductor devices during manufacturing

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Testing of general semiconductor devices

Testing of electrical properties of electrical power supplies

Lighting devices intended for fixed installation, e.g. solar simulators

Electroluminescent light sources

using optical means, e.g. using electroluminescence
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • Testing of optical responses e.g. electroluminescence, light reflection or light absorption, of PV devices
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Investigating or analysing materials by fluorescence or phosphorescence

Investigating or analysing materials by electroluminescence

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Last Modified: 10/11/2013