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Proceedings Paper

A low-cost rugged solution for solar lighting
Author(s): A. N. Bharathwaj; Balaji Srinivasan
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Paper Abstract

We have explored the use of a low-cost, rugged optical system to collect and distribute natural sunlight for daytime lighting purposes. The sunlight collection and delivery is performed using a simple lens system in combination with a plastic optical fiber bundle. Based on such a system, we have demonstrated the ability to provide diffuse lighting over a 100 sq. ft. area. The work included the optimization of the lens and the fiber bundle according to data collected on the spatial distribution of focused sunlight. A key aspect of our work is the use of mirrors which could be easily maneuvered to maintain optimum coupling of light in the fiber throughout the day. An important issue that we addressed in our work is the devising of a low cost tracking mechanism to ensure nearuniform lighting throughout a day. The tracking system is an open loop system that is based on apriori data on the sun's movement and an initial alignment procedure. We have collected such data by tracking a beam of light reflected from a stationary mirror. Our data shows that the mirror needs to be rotated at the rate of 0.25 degrees/minute to maintain a fixed position at the collection plane. We expect to achieve a scalable, modular low cost lighting solution that works in conjunction with a LED array to illuminate common areas of commercial buildings during the daytime.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 August 2009
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7423, Nonimaging Optics: Efficient Design for Illumination and Solar Concentration VI, 74230L (20 August 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.825906
Show Author Affiliations
A. N. Bharathwaj, Jerusalem College of engineering (India)
Balaji Srinivasan, Indian Institute of Technology (India)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7423:
Nonimaging Optics: Efficient Design for Illumination and Solar Concentration VI
Roland Winston; Jeffrey M. Gordon, Editor(s)

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