An essential impact which can improve the indoor environment and save on power consumption for artificial lighting is utilization of daylight. Optical fiber daylighting technology offers a way to use direct daylight for remote spaces in a building. However, the existing paradigm based on the precise orientation of sunlight concentrator toward the Sun is very costly and difficult to install on the roof of buildings. Here, we explore an alternative approach using mirror-coated lens array and planar waveguide to develop a flat optical fiber daylighting system (optical fiber daylighting panel) with lateral displacement Sun-tracking mechanism. Sunlight collected and reflected by each mirror-coated lens in a rectangular lens array is coupled into a planar waveguide using cone prisms placed at each lens focus. This geometry yields a thin, flat profile for Sunlight concentrator. Our proposed concentrating panel can be achieved with 35 mm thickness while the concentrator’s width and length are 500 mm × 500 mm. The commercial optical simulation tool (LightToolsTM
) was used to develop the simulation models and analyze the system performance. Simulation results based on the designed system demonstrated an optical efficiency of 51.4% at a concentration ratio of 125. The system can support utilizing a lateral displacement Sun-tracking system, which allows for replacing bulky and robust conventional rotational Sun-tracking systems. This study shows a feasibility of a compact and inexpensive optical fiber daylighting system to be installed on the roof of buildings.
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