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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 49, Iss. 35 — Dec. 10, 2010
  • pp: 6789–6801

Natural light illumination system

Allen Jong-Woei Whang, Yi-Yung Chen, Shu-Hua Yang, Po-Hsuan Pan, Kao-Hsu Chou, Yu-Chi Lee, Zong-Yi Lee, Chi-An Chen, and Cheng-Nan Chen  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 49, Issue 35, pp. 6789-6801 (2010)

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In recent years, green energy has undergone a lot of development and has been the subject of many applications. Many research studies have focused on illumination with sunlight as a means of saving energy and creating healthy lighting. Natural light illumination systems have collecting, transmitting, and lighting elements. Today, most daylight collectors use dynamic concentrators; these include Sun tracking systems. However, this design is too expensive to be cost effective. To create a low-cost collector that can be easily installed on a large building, we have designed a static concentrator, which is prismatic and cascadable, to collect sunlight for indoor illumination. The transmission component uses a large number of optical fibers. Because optical fibers are expensive, this means that most of the cost for the system will be related to transmission. In this paper, we also use a prismatic structure to design an optical coupler for coupling n to 1. With the n-to-1 coupler, the number of optical fibers necessary can be greatly reduced. Although this new natural light illumination system can effectively guide collected sunlight and send it to the basement or to other indoor places for healthy lighting, previously there has been no way to manage the collected sunlight when lighting was not desired. To solve this problem, we have designed an optical switch and a beam splitter to control and separate the transmitted light. When replacing traditional sources, the lighting should have similar characteristics, such as intensity distribution and geometric parameters, to those of traditional artificial sources. We have designed, simulated, and optimized an illumination lightpipe with a dot pattern to redistribute the collected sunlight from the natural light illumination system such that it equals the qualities of a traditional lighting system. We also provide an active lighting module that provides lighting from the natural light illumination system or LED auxiliary sources, depending on circumstances. The system is controlled by a light detector. We used optical simulation tools to design and simulate the efficiency of the active module. Finally, we used the natural light illumination system to provide natural illumination for a traffic tunnel. This system will provide a great number of benefits for the people who use it.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(220.2740) Optical design and fabrication : Geometric optical design
(220.4830) Optical design and fabrication : Systems design
(230.1360) Optical devices : Beam splitters
(220.2945) Optical design and fabrication : Illumination design
(080.3685) Geometric optics : Lightpipes

Original Manuscript: June 18, 2010
Revised Manuscript: October 12, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: October 12, 2010
Published: December 9, 2010

Allen Jong-Woei Whang, Yi-Yung Chen, Shu-Hua Yang, Po-Hsuan Pan, Kao-Hsu Chou, Yu-Chi Lee, Zong-Yi Lee, Chi-An Chen, and Cheng-Nan Chen, "Natural light illumination system," Appl. Opt. 49, 6789-6801 (2010)

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  1. A. J. W. Whang, Y. Y. Chen, and B. Y. Wu, “Innovative design of cassegrain solar concentrator system for indoor illumination utilizing chromatic aberration to filter out ultraviolet and infrared in sunlight,” Solar Energy 83, 1115–122 (2009). [CrossRef]
  2. E. Andre and J. Schade, “Daylighting by optical fiber,” Masters thesis (Luleå University of Technology, 2002).
  3. Y. Wu, R. Jin, D. Li, W. Zhang, and C. Ma, “Experimental investigation of top lighting and side lighting solar light pipes under sunny conditions in winter in Beijing,” Proc. SPIE 7157, 1–6 (2008).
  4. Y. Wu, “Research and development of solar light pipes in China,” in 2008 International Conference on Information Management, Innovation Management and Industrial Engineering (IEEE, 2008), Vol. 3, pp. 146–149.
  5. A. J. W. Whang, C. C. Wang, and Y. Y. Chen, “Design of cascadable optical unit to compress light for light transmission used for indoor illumination,” Renew. Energy 34, 2280–2295 (2009). [CrossRef]
  6. K. L. Martin, “An overview of daylighting systems,” Sol. Energy Mater. 73, 77–82 (2002). [CrossRef]
  7. B. Bouchet and M. Fontoynont, “Day-lighting of underground spaces: design rules,” Energ. Buildings 23, 293–298 (1996). [CrossRef]
  8. A. Rosemann and H. Kaase, “Lightpipe applications for daylighting systems,” Sol. Energy Mater. 78, 772–780 (2005). [CrossRef]
  9. S. H. Yang, Y. Y. Chen, and A. J. W. Whang, “Using prismatic structure and brightness enhancement film to design cascadable unit of static solar concentrator in natural light guiding system,” Proc. SPIE 7423, 74230J (2009). [CrossRef]
  10. P. H. Pan, Y. Y. Chen, and A. J. W. Whang, “An optical coupler of natural light guiding system based on prismatic structure and microlens array,” Proc. SPIE 7423, 74230I (2009). [CrossRef]
  11. K. H. Chou, Y. Y. Chen, and A. J. W. Whang, “An optical switch of natural light guiding system based on cubic structure with Fresnel surface,” Proc. SPIE 7428, 74280O (2009). [CrossRef]
  12. Y. C. Li, Y. Y. Chen, and A. J. W. Whang, “A beam splitter of natural light guiding system based on dichroic prism for ecological illumination,” Proc. SPIE 7429, 742909 (2009). [CrossRef]
  13. Z. Y. Lee, Y. Y. Chen, and A. J. W. Whang, “Design and optimization of dot pattern in illumination lightpipe of natural light guiding system,” Proc. SPIE 7429, 74290A (2009). [CrossRef]
  14. C. A. Chen, Y. Y. Chen, and A. J. W. Whang, “An active lighting module with natural light guiding system and solid state source for indoor illumination,” Proc. SPIE 7422, 74220Z(2009). [CrossRef]
  15. C. N. Chen, Y. Y. Chen, and A. J. W. Whang, “Design and evaluation of natural light guiding system in ecological illumination of traffic tunnel,” Proc. SPIE 7423, 742300(2009). [CrossRef]

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