Renewable Green Energy has many forms and uses and Hybrid Solar Lighting, HSL, is one of them. Hybrid Solar lighting is a new type of technology that uses the sunlight, energy from sun, to deliver natural light to buildings and thus reduce the waste of other energy sources that are used to deliver artificial lighting.The idea around the Hybrid Solar lighting technology is simple. Solar sunlight, a renewable green energy form, is collected through special sunlight collectors and it is directed to the areas that need lighting thus providing the needed light. It is reasonable to assume that when sunlight is absent there is no light to be delivered. This is where the term ‘’hybrid’’, comes into the equation. When the direct sunlight is absent then the traditional artificial lighting technologies are enabled to light up the areas of need. Thus the hybrid solar lighting systems combine the best of both worlds. They deliver the benefits of the renewable green natural lighting while at the same time they maintain the convenience and reliability of the artificially produced lighting.
Artificial lighting accounts for 25% of the energy consumed in commercial buildings. Solar lighting promises to reduce this percentage thus enabling the saving of energy consumed, resulting to a number of benefits, with the financial to be one of the most important, for the enterprises.
Hybrid Solar lighting uses a sun collector, located on the roof of the building thus called Roof Sun Collector, RSC. This roof sun collector is usually rotating so as to track the movement of the sun thus maximizing the exploitation of the sunlight. Light from the sun collector is then sent to the areas to be illuminated by the use of plastic fibers. The system is integrated to the artificially light producing system so that constant level of room lighting is maintained. During the periods the sunlight is plenty the percentage of artificial lighting used is zero or close to zero and the opposite happens when there is no direct sunlight. The sun collector removes the Infrared, IR, light from the sunlight so that no heat is delivered down to the illuminated areas, thus making the system an energy efficient system contrary to the systems that produce artificial light. The fact that Hybrid Solar lighting can separate sunlight it implies that the different portions of light can be used for different applications, IR for heating and the others for lighting.
Plastic optical fibers lose light at the length increases. This implies that the areas to be illuminated need to be close to the source. So these should be areas in the top floor of a building or use the systems in one floor buildings.
The benefits of the Hybrid Solar Lighting systems can be summarized to the following main areas:
Solar Hybrid lighting is one way that enables consumers and enterprises to exploit the renewable green energy source, the sun, and deliver natural and environment friendly light to the office and/or commercial working areas .