Patent application title: "J" Bolt Roof Hardware Mounting System
Michael Leonard Mathiowetz (Minntonka, MN, US)
IPC8 Class: AE04D1318FI
Class name: Static structures (e.g., buildings) combined with a sunlight activated device (e.g., passive solar or photoelectric)
Publication date: 2011-11-17
Patent application number: 20110277401
A "J" Bolt Roof Hardware Mounting stanchion for elevating and supporting
objects such as wind turbines and solar panels upon a roof where high
load and wind sheer are present. This invention presents a new method of
capturing the roof rafter with a bolt shaped in the form of a "J" rather
than running the risk of damaging a rafter with a lag bolt. A hole is
drilled along side of the roof rafter and the "J" bolt is slipped through
the hole and hooked around the bottom of the rafter. The Roof Plate is
slid down the shaft of the "J" bolt to the roof deck and then the nut on
the shaft of the "J" bolt is tightened to secure the "J" bolt and base
plate in place. The stanchions and vibration dampener are installed and
the system is ready for use.
1. A "j" bolt roof hardware mounting system for: mounting roof hardware
and hardware systems generally related to solar and wind energy systems
where high load and wind sheer are present, comprising: 1.1 A steel
formed part with custom threading "j" bolt, for capturing the roof
rafter; 1.2 a machined steel roof plate, for adding resistance or
compression to secure the "j" bolt to the rafter, rigidly connected to
said "J" Bolt; 1.3 a drilled and counter bored hole placement holes, for
securing the roof plate in place to ease in the operation of tightening
the bolt to that secures the "j" bolt in place, rigidly connected to said
Roof Plate; 1.4 a none rusting wood screw base plate mounting screws, for
holding the bass plate in place until the bolt is tightened, rigidly
connected to said placement holes; 1.5 a steel lock washer, for aide in
securing the roof plate in place, rigidly connected to said Roof Plate;
1.6 a steel nut, for securing the roof plate and "j" bolt to the rafter
by creating an adequate amount of pressure to hold them in place, rigidly
connected to said washer; 1.7 a machined steel part bottom stanchion, for
raising the stanchion to a level above the roof flashing, rigidly
connected to said nut; 1.8 a galvanized roof flashing with rubber boot
standard 2'' roof flashing, for roof flashing to prevent moisture
penetration into the mounting system, firmly connected to said bottom
stanchion; 1.9 a milled out cavity, for making sure that the bottom
stanchion sits flat on the base plate, structurally connected to said
bottom stanchion; 1.10 a high density machined rubber vibration dampener
(1), for preventing vibration and low frequency noise from reaching the
rafter, rigidly connected to said bottom stanchion; 1.11 a second high
density machined rubber vibration dampener (2), for preventing vibration
and low frequency noise from reaching the rafter, rigidly connected to
said vibration dampener (1); 1.12 a machined steel part top stanchion,
for raising the stanchion to its maximum height off the roof, rigidly
connected to said vibration dampener (2); 1.13 a steel lock washer,
washer (2), for aide in securing the mounting bracket for either the wind
turbine mounts, solar panel mounting rack or any other apparatus that
requires a high load mounting system, rigidly connected to said top
stanchion; and 1.14 a steel machined nut, nut (2), for securing the
mounting bracket for either the wind turbine mounts, solar panel mounting
rack or any other apparatus that requires a high load mounting system,
rigidly connected to said washer (2).
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention relates to a roof hardware mounting system and, more particularly, to a system that captures the existing roof structure increasing its load capabilities without degrading the structures integrity.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention relates to the alternative renewable energy industry and specifically to the method of mounting and securing renewable generation, both wind and solar to the roof tops of residential homes, small businesses and agricultural structures. The mounting equipment provides a method for securing the installation directly to the underside of the roofing rafters comprising the structural integrity of the roof system. The method of attachment will provide for the necessary structural strength to support the applied loads resulting from the attachment of a wind turbine and/or series of solar panels.
 Roof tops are a common, out of the way location to place mechanical systems, air conditioners, swap coolers, electrical equipment and other appliances such as satellite dishes or cellular antennas. So the roof top becomes a logical place to also locate the installation of renewable wind and solar generation systems.
 Unlike other roof mounted appliances wind turbines and to a lesser degree, solar panels, pose a problem with the sheer and compression loads that must be supported by the roof structure. A roof mounted wind turbine, of either the vertical or horizontal type, creates stress loads that a surface mounting system approach would not support.
 The invention offers a way to distribute these stress loads created by the wind turbines and solar panels over a larger area of the roof through a structural attachment of the mounting system to the roof structure as opposed to surface mount attachment as is done for other roof top appliances.
 The invention's approach to attachment causes no material or structure reduction of the load bearing rafter system either by cutting, drilling of holes or any type of through bolting. The rafter system and all of its supporting members must remain intact in order to achieve the load characteristic needed to support both the compression and tension forces that will be present with the roof mounted wind turbine and or solar panel systems.
 Furthermore, the invention offers a non-evasive method for installation. It does not require the installer to have access to the inside of the home or business. This benefits the home and business owner by eliminating any disruption of daily efforts or contending with cleanup during and after installation all of which results in a less complex and lower cost of installation.
 The Invention additionally provides for a method of vibration and harmonic dampening that occurs from the rotation of the wind turbine. The turbines themselves have very limited audible noise while operating. But, with their connection to the roof structure, there is a need to dampen vibration that occurs from the telegraphing of the vibration through the roof structure, like the head of a drum amplifies sound. Without dampening the vibration would be telegraphed into the house or small business.
 There are numerous companies manufacturing roof hardware mounting systems. Most, use some sort of bolt on standoff approach, some are very invasive and use a pole mounted through the attic space. Here is a sampling of some of the more popular systems being used:
 1. Fast Jack attachment system from Professional Solar Products Inc. provides a quick and strong installation solution. The patented design (U.S. Pat. No. 6,360,491) places the bolt directly under the stanchion post where it provides the most support. This feature allows standard roof flashing to lay flat on the roof deck. The removable post allows flashing to be slipped over the base without damaging surrounding composition shingles. The Fast Jack is an engineered and flash-able roof stanchion designed for optimum strength while using a single lag bolt.
 2. Unirac Solarmount PV Module Mounting System works very similar to the Fast Jack System. Whereas the Fast Jack systems uses a single lag bolt the Unirac system uses two or more lag bolts.
 3. Quick Mount PV is an all-in-one waterproof flashing and mount designed to anchor photovoltaic tracking systems and small wind turbines to a new or existing roof. The flashing includes an attached standoff block and stainless steel hardware to attach the system to the roof. No roof cutting is required and again similar to the Fast Jack system is attached with a single lag bolt.
 4. Sun Earth, another recommends the use of 1'' pipe nipples and floor flanges as the roof mounting system. The bottom flange can be directly lag bolted into the rafter and the upper flange serves the same purpose as the mounting foot to anchor photovoltaic racking systems and small wind turbines to a new or existing roof. This system is anchored to the roof system with two or more lag bolts.
 5. Windterra uses a "U" shaped channel attached to the roof rafters with lag bolts. The channel spans over several rafters giving it a larger area of distribution of forces.
 6. Southwest Windpower uses a pole that you mount through the roof and bolt directly to the roof structure in the attic space. There system uses a special mounting puck that acts as vibration dampers. However, the system does nothing to stop or prevent noise.
 There are other less prominent companies like SunMaxx, Iron Ridge, Solar Roof and Wind Power Industries manufacturing attachment systems, but all are using a similar surface mounted approach to basic attachment.
 There is a need in the industry for a more efficient attachment system that complies with both local and state building codes which will support the load requirements of roof mounted wind turbines and/or solar panels.
 Current attachment systems require multiple mechanical fasteners such as lag bolts, screws or nails for each attachment point to the roof structure. There is a high probability that one or more of these mechanical fasteners will drill at an angle other than perpendicular to the roof rafter. The severity of the angle and the trajectory of the fastener's penetration into the rafter could cause the rafter to split; there by reducing the structural integrity of the rafter itself and mounting system. Even a perfectly centered fastener applied to the center of the rafter can split the rafter with no visible way of determining this from on top of the roof. This leaves the installation subject to premature failure under loaded conditions.
 For many years, solar mounting systems used a threaded pipe nipple that screwed into a mounting plate commonly called a "floor flange" in the trade. The threaded floor flange has been commercially available as a standard plumbing item for many years. (U.S. Pat. No. 5,603,187) issued to Merrin et al, is typical of the prior art. The Merrin design, as well as all similar prior art, have a common design limitation. They all require that multiple bolts be installed offset from the threaded vertical support flange or stanchion. Also, because of the floor flange design, it would not permit industry standard flashing to install flat on the roof; primarily due to the base flashing circumference interfering with the height of the floor flange. A mounting system based upon the Merrin patent, while appropriate for roof mounting of heavy objects such as air conditioners, is not practical for use with solar panels or satellite dishes and definitely not with the load and force that are acting on wind turbines. The Merrin design precludes direct (bolted) attachment to the roof rafter by each of the mounting holes present on the base plate; primarily due to the width of the rafter in relation to the spacing of the mounting holes.
 Further, Merrin views rafter attachment as a limitation and therefore teaches away from using rafters for structural support. Therefore, Merrin teaches attachment to the roof decking which generally consists of only plywood or composite sheeting; either of which do not provide the strength of a bolt mounted to a rafter in an uplift condition.
 Most of the systems that are currently on the market were designed for the application of mounting solar panels. The systems that have been designed for wind turbines have been built off of the products that have been used for the solar panel industry. There is nothing on the current market that completely addresses the needs of the wind turbine industry.
 Most of the systems on the market do a great job of not being invasive to install. However, none of the current systems will handle the long term stress and loading requirements of wind turbine sheer loads. At best, the current systems will handle 2500 LB. of force, a mere forth of what is needed for a 1 kW wind turbine.
 All of the current systems rely on lag bolts for installation. Lag bolts in wood will never handle the 10,000 Lb's of force from wind shear loading during extreme weather or hurricane conditions. Furthermore, none of the systems that are currently on the market have any vibration and harmonic dampening. None of the systems have been tested for earthquakes or high Wind sheer loads. None of the systems have been submitted to the Department of Energy or the American Wind Energy Association for approval in the new small wind category.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 In accordance with the present invention, there is provided A "J" Bolt Roof Hardware Mounting System for elevating and supporting objects such as wind turbines and solar panels upon a roof where high load and wind shear are present. This invention presents a new method of capturing the roof rafter with a bolt shaped in the form of a "J" rather than running the risk of damaging a rafter with a lag bolt. A 1'' hole is drilled along side of the roof rafter and the "J" bolt is slipped through the hole and hooked around the bottom of the rafter. The roof plate is slid down the shaft of the "J" bolt to the roof deck and then the nut on the shaft of the "J" bolt is tightened to secure the "J" bolt and base plate in place. Next the flashing can be slipped over the shaft of the "J" bolt and set in place. At this point, the flashing is in place and the shaft of the "J" bolt is protruding about 7'' above the roof deck. Now the vertical stanchion consisting of a 3'' long by 2'' diameter spacer with the bottom machined out to fit over the nut on the base plate, two 1/2'' by 2'' diameter high density rubber vibration dampers and a 2'' long by 2'' diameter top spacer can be slid over the "J" bolt shaft. There is now 1'' of exposed "J" bolt shaft ready for mounting hardware for either a wind turbine, solar panel rack or any other device or equipment that requires a mount that will support high loads and wind shear.
 It would be advantageous to provide a mounting system that does not degrade the structural integrity of the rafter system. With the "J" bolt mounting system no holes are drilled in the rafter system leaving them completely intact.
 It would also be advantageous to provide a mounting system that could comply with all building codes and be earthquake rated. The "J" bolt mounting system is the only system that exceeds all requirements for earthquake rating.
 It would further be advantageous to provide a mounting system that can withstand wind loads in access of 100 miles per hour and be hurricane rated. The "J" bolt mounting system is the only system that exceeds all requirements for hurricane rating.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 A complete understanding of the present invention may be obtained by reference to the accompanying drawings, when considered in conjunction with the subsequent, detailed description, in which:
 FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a complete "j" bolt roof hardware mounting stanchion. The nut on top would hold either the wind turbine or solar panel mounting system;
 FIG. 2 is an exploded view of a "j" bolt roof hardware mounting system. Showing the hidden parts that cannot be seen in the perspective view;
 FIG. 3 is a detail view of a "j" bolt roof hardware mounting stanchion. Showing how the "j" bolt captures the rafter; and
 FIG. 4 is a section view of a "j" bolt roof hardware mounting system. Showing the milled out cavity on the bottom stanchion.
 For purposes of clarity and brevity, like elements and components will bear the same designations and numbering throughout the Figures.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
 Before explaining the disclosed embodiment of the present invention in detail it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of the particular arrangement shown since the invention is capable of other embodiments. Also, the terminology used herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation.
 FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a complete "J" Bolt 10 roof hardware mounting stanchion. Two or more of these stanchions make up the "J" Bolt 10 Roof Hardware Mounting System. The system is built around the "J" Bolt 10, an 18'' (inch) long part way treaded bolt made from galvanized steel, aluminum, stainless steel or any other material that is deemed capable of withstanding the stress of the apparatus. With a 23/4'' (inch) bend at the bottom in a direction of 90 degrees and a second bend of 90 degrees to the first bend retuning 1'' (inch), thus forming a bolt resembling a "J" with a 13/4'' (inch) flat bottom and a 1'' (inch) return up on the short side and a 14'' (inch) return on the long side. The long side of the bolt is threaded down the shaft from the top of the bolt to a distance of 10'' (inch). The "J" Bolt 10 will have a diameter of 5/8'' (inch). A 1'' (inch) hole is drilled along side of the roof rafter 21 and the "J" Bolt 10 fitted though the hole and hook to the bottom of the roof rafter 21. Then the Roof Plate 11, A 5/16'' (inch) thick plate made from galvanized steel, aluminum, stainless steel or any other material that is deemed capable of withstanding the stress of the apparatus 5'' (inch) in diameter with an 11/16'' (inch) through hole in the dead center of the plate. Furthermore, two placement holes 12 of 3/16'' (inch) holes with 5/16'' (inch) counter bores to a depth of 1/8'' (inch). These holes are to be placed 3/4'' (inch) off center 3'' (inch) center too center apart. This Roof Plate 11 is slid over the shaft of the "J" Bolt 10 down until it is firmly set on the roof deck 22. The placement holes 12 are aligned parallel to the rafters and two 21/2 galvanized or stainless steel base plate mounting screws 25 are set into the placement holes 12, the "J" Bolt 10 is slid so it is perpendicular to the rafter 21 and tight up to the rafter 21. When the "J" Bolt 10 is in place, the two screws are tightened down, thus holding the Roof Plate 11 from moving while tightening the nut 14 on the "J" Bolt 10. The lock washer 13 is then slid down the "J" Bolt 10 shaft and the nut 14 is then treaded down the "J" Bolt 10 and firmly tightened to lock the "J" Bolt 10 and Roof Plate 11 securely together.
 At this point the "J" Bolt 10 and Roof Plate 11 have securely captured the roof rafter 21. The bottom stanchion 15, a 2'' (inch) cylinder 3'' (inch) tall made of galvanized steel, Aluminum, stainless steel or any other material that is deemed capable of withstanding the stress of the apparatus. With an 11/16'' (inch) hole drilled dead center through the length of the cylinder. At the bottom of the cylinder there is a 13/8'' (inch) hole to a depth of 3/4'' (inch) milled dead center, creating a space that will cover the nut 14 and lock washer 13. Thus allowing the remaining bottom of the cylinder to rest solidly on the Roof Base resulting in hiding the nut 14 and washer 13 from view and weather. This can now be slid down the "J" Bolt 10 shaft and the standard 2'' roof flashing 26 can be installed over the "J" Bolt 10, Roof Plate 11 and bottom stanchion 15.
 The "J" Bolt 10 stanchion is now ready for the installation of the vibration dampeners. The Vibration Dampers are tuned vibration absorbers for narrowband low frequency damping made from high density rubber. Commonly called "Tuned Dampers," these devices selectively eliminate a fundamental structural table mode and its entire harmonics. Multiple tuned dampers can be selected to eliminate multiple modes along with the resulting mode harmonics. Small groves are milled on one side of the vibration dampeners to reduce the service contact area when vibration dampener (1) 16 and vibration dampener (2) 17 are placed together, further enhancing the noise and frequency dampening. Vibration dampener (1) 16 is slid over the "J" Bolt 10 shaft with the machined grove side up and rest on top of the bottom stanchion 15, vibration dampener (2) 17 is slid over the "J" Bolt 10 shaft with the machined side down and rest on top of vibration dampener (1) 16. The two vibration dampeners are orientated with the machine side's perpendicular to each other.
 The "J" Bolt 10 stanchion is now ready for its top stanchion 18. The top stanchion 18 is a 2'' (inch) cylinder 2'' (inch) tall made of galvanized steel, Aluminum, stainless steel or any other material that is deemed capable of withstanding the stress of the apparatus. With an 11/16'' (inch) hole drilled dead center through the length of the cylinder. The top stanchion 18 is slid over the "J" Bolt 10 and rest on top of the vibration dampener (2) 17
 There is now 1'' of exposed "J" Bolt 10 shaft ready for mounting hardware for either a wind turbine, solar panel rack or any other device or equipment that requires amount that will support high loads and wind shear with harmonic and vibration dampening. To install any required hardware or mounting system to the "J" Bolt 10 stanchion just slide the bracket, bar or any other mounting hardware over the shaft of the "J" Bolt 10 and lock in place with the lock washer (2) 19 and the nut (2) 20.
 FIG. 2 is an exploded view of a "J" Bolt 10 roof hardware mounting stanchion. Showing the hidden parts that cannot be seen in the FIG. 1 perspective view. FIG. 2 includes all the embodiments of the present invention describe in FIG. 1 clearly showing the lock washer 13 and nut 14 described above.
 FIG. 3 is a detail view of a "J" Bolt 10 roof hardware mounting stanchion. Showing how the "J" Bolt 10 captures the rafter 21. FIG. 3 includes all the embodiments of the present invention describe in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 clearly showing the method in which the "J" Bolt 10 with the Roof Plate 11 in place capture the rafter 21 and roof deck 22. It is the embodiment of this capture method that gives the "J" Bolt 10 stanchion and when two or more "J" Bolt 10 stanchion are mounted together the "J" Bolt 10 Mounting System it's superior strength over prior art.
 FIG. 4 is a section view of a "J" Bolt 10 roof hardware mounting stanchion. Showing the milled out cavity 24 on the bottom stanchion 15. FIG. 4 includes all the embodiments of the present invention describe in FIG. 1, FIG. 2 and FIG. 3 clearly showing the size and placement of the milled out cavity 24. The milled out cavity 24 allows for the bottom stanchion 15 to sit securely on the Roof Plate 11 by the removal of material clearing the space for the lock washer 13 and nut 14, clearly leaving good contact of the Roof Plate 11 and bottom stanchion 15.
 Since other modifications and changes varied to fit particular operating requirements and environments will be apparent to those skilled in the art, the invention is not considered limited to the example chosen for purposes of disclosure, and covers all changes and modifications which do not constitute departures from the true spirit and scope of this invention.
 Having thus described the invention, what is desired to be protected by Letters Patent is presented in the subsequently appended claims.
Patent applications in class With a sunlight activated device (e.g., passive solar or photoelectric)
Patent applications in all subclasses With a sunlight activated device (e.g., passive solar or photoelectric)