Sustainable Design for the 21st Century

HYBRID SOLAR LIGHTING . . . Daylighting Gone High Tech!

by D. Brent Sauser

HSL 05The US Department of Energy estimates that the energy used to power lighting accounts for 24% of the overall energy demand.  Space heating comes in a distant second at 14% of the overall energy demand.  That’s a lot of energy being used for lighting interior spaces during daylight hours.  With the advancements of solar technology, a major development effort is being focused with the goal of reducing the non-renewable energy demand for lighting needs.  Please refer to the RESOURCES page to reference the several Daylighting manufacturers, as well as previous blogs that have addressed this issue.  In addition to what has been identified, my question to you is:  “What do you know about Hybrid Solar LightiHSL 04ng?”  The US Department of Energy is developing a fascinating method for harvesting the sunlight with roof-mounted parabolic mirrors and transferring the light (via fiber optic cabling) to various parts of the interior space.  This renewable light can be supplemented with various traditional light sources, if necessary. 

The US Department of Energy describes Hybrid Solar Lighting as follow: 

HSL 01“The hybrid solar lighting system uses a roof-mounted solar collector to concentrate visible sunlight into a bundle of plastic optical fibers.  The optical fibers penetrate the roof and distribute the sunlight to multiple “hybrid” luminaires within the building.  The hybrid luminaires blend the natural light with artificial light (i.e. LED lighting) to maintain a constant level of room lighting. The hybrid solar lighting technology can separate and use different HSL 02portions of sunlight for various applications.  Thus, visible light can be used directly for lighting applications while IR light can be used to produce electricity or generate heat for hot water or space heating.  Hybrid lighting can help conserve electricity in proportion to tHSL 03he amount of sunlight available.”

For more information regarding the benefits of hybrid solar lighting and track the progress of this exciting emerging technology, please CLICK HERE.   Never before has the opportunity to achieve Net Zero been so possible!

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