Abstract

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

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