Hybrid Solar Lighting


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Did you know that about 13% of all residential electricity consumption in USA comes from lighting? So, in this post, I want to shed some light on a rather new technology in decreasing power consumption, Hybrid Solar Lighting, which combines the use of solar with artificial light, allowing  interior illumination by channeling sunlight through fiber optic cable bundles to provide solar light into rooms without windows or skylights, and by supplementing this natural light with artificial LED light as required/needed. The bundles are led from exterior or rooftop optical light collectors through small openings or cable ducts and carry the light to where it is needed.

This solar lighting system simply captures light from the sun and conducts it towards a room using optical fibers. One may use rooftop collectors or large mirrored dishes to track the sun. The collectors adjust to aim the sunlight onto 127 optical fibers which are conducted into a single chord. The optical fibers are flexible and can be connected into hybrid light fixtures that are joined to diffusing rods that disperse the light. A single collector can power up to eight hybrid light fixtures covering 1,000 square feet (93 m2). The hybrid lights also use artificial lighting which is mixed with the natural sunlight beamed in down the fiber optic chord. Photosensors focus on how much light needs to be generated to add to the natural light in order to keep a room illuminated at a constant brightness. When the sun is blocked by clouds around five percent of its sunlight requirement will need to be added. Hybrid solar lighting systems should be used in rooms with direct roof access.

Now, let’s take a look at a workshop by University of MD in how to utilize hybrid solar lighting for their Glenn L. Martin Hall to minimize power demand, reduce carbon emission, and move  closer to the sustainable future, video below (the best part is that the pay back period is only 3 years, shown at the end of this video. Where can you find an investment with that kind of pay back?! Fantastic!):

~have a bright and sunny day~


gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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