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A Cool Idea To Cut Lighting Costs May 24, 2007

Posted by solarpundit in Solar News, Solar Panel Technology, Uncategorized.

Sunlight Solar hybrid solar lighting system


After reading this, I and many of my friends have stated “now why didn’t I think of that.”  Duncan Earl created a technology a few years ago that is now in the process of larger commercialization.  His company, Sunlight Direct, uses fiber optics and a roof-mounted solar collector to collect and distribute natural light inside of a building.  This technology can essentially replace much of the interior lighting of a building; as long as the sun remains shining. 


solar traker from Sunlight Solar

Duncan’s innovation is quite remarkable.  Essentially, his device consists of a solar collector that is mounted on the roof and connected to a collection of fiber optic cable.  The cable is routed to the interior of the building, and can be wired directly into existing light fixtures as well as attached to “light” switches within the room.  Sunlight that is collected in the collector goes through the fiber optic network and is used to power the “lights” within the building.  These lights can be turned on or off through the light switch.

Now there are a couple of caveats to Sunlight Direct’s products.  The first is that the system reduces the need for electric lighting, but does not eliminate it.  Fixtures will still need electric lighting to compensate for gray days, or night.  Also, running a fiber optic system into an existing building is as expensive as re-wiring it for electrical.  All in all however, I think it is a cool idea and a great approach for new construction to reduce electric usage.

Tags:  Sunlight Direct, Duncan Earl, Solar Collector, fiber optics, hybrid solar lighting



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