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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 52, Iss. 27 — Sep. 20, 2013
  • pp: 6685–6695

Benefits of glass fibers in solar fiber optic lighting systems

Tarja T. Volotinen and David H. S. Lingfors  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 52, Issue 27, pp. 6685-6695 (2013)

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The transmission properties and coupling of solar light have been studied for glass core multimode fibers in order to verify their benefits for a solar fiber optic lighting system. The light transportation distance can be extended from 20 m with plastic fibers to over 100 m with the kind of glass fibers studied here. A high luminous flux, full visible spectrum, as well as an outstanding color rendering index (98) and correlated color temperature similar to the direct sun light outside have been obtained. Thus the outstanding quality of solar light transmitted through these fibers would improve the visibility of all kinds of objects compared to fluorescent and other artificial lighting. Annual relative lighting energy savings of 36% in Uppsala, Sweden, and 76% in Dubai were estimated in an office environment. The absolute savings can be doubled by using glass optical fibers, and are estimated to be in the order of 550kWh/year in Sweden and 1160kWh/year in Dubai for one system of only 0.159m2 total light collecting area. The savings are dependent on the fiber length, the daily usage time of the interior, the type of artificial lighting substituted, the system light output flux, and the available time of sunny weather at the geographic location.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(060.2290) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber materials
(060.2310) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics
(060.2400) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber properties
(220.3630) Optical design and fabrication : Lenses
(350.6050) Other areas of optics : Solar energy
(220.2945) Optical design and fabrication : Illumination design

ToC Category:
Fiber Optics and Optical Communications

Original Manuscript: May 3, 2013
Revised Manuscript: July 31, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: August 5, 2013
Published: September 13, 2013

Tarja T. Volotinen and David H. S. Lingfors, "Benefits of glass fibers in solar fiber optic lighting systems," Appl. Opt. 52, 6685-6695 (2013)

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