Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Hybrid Solar Lighting

Fiber optics meet Mother Nature, Mother Nature I'd like to introduce you to fiber optics.

Hybrid Solar Technology is an idea long past due, basically concentrating the sun's rays into bendable, flexible tubing that can stretch the length of your home or office, adding natural light throughout.

I first reported on this in-house in late May, but have since been hoping that further technological advancements would be made. Alas, while the system is still winning awards, their only video looks about as modern as an episode of Mr. Wizard's World (RIP).

From the website:

HSL technology uses rooftop, 4-ft-wide mirrored dishes that track the sun with the help of a GPS receiver. The collector focuses the sunlight onto 127 optical fibers. The fibers, which can be thought of as flexible light pipes, are connected to hybrid light fixtures that have special diffusion rods that spread out the light in all directions. One collector powers about eight hybrid light fixtures—which can illuminate about 1,000 square feet.

So what if it's dark out, you say? The end-source of the light tubes are mounted to fixtures that also contain electric lamps so you can combine the usage with fluorescent tubes and other various lighting sources, and I'll admit that while there's a long road to haul for commercial applications, I'd take this system over track lighting any day.

You can also catch a 12 minute podcast from Marilyn Brown's Earth & Sky radio show.