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Open AccessArticle

Design and Manufacture of a Novel Sunlight Guiding Panel

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National United University, Miaoli 36003, Taiwan
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Coatings 2019, 9(9), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9090562
Received: 1 August 2019 / Revised: 27 August 2019 / Accepted: 28 August 2019 / Published: 3 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design, Manufacturing and Measurement of Optical Film Coatings)
With technological advancement, energy consumption and lack of energy supply are inevitable. Approximately 20% of total energy consumption is used for artificial light in standard office buildings. To reduce energy consumption for illumination purposes, a sunlight guiding panel was used to increase the amount of sunlight available indoors. However, in most designs of a sunlight guiding panel, the panel has to be placed on the outdoor surface of a window glass. This type of design is inconvenient for assembling and cleaning. To enhance the practicality of a sunlight guiding panel, we attempted to place the sunlight guiding panel on the indoor surface of a window glass. The simulation results revealed that when the sunlight guiding panel was placed on the indoor surface of a window glass, the aspect ratio of the light-guiding structure of the sunlight guiding panel had to be increased for guiding the sunlight from outdoors so as to increase the amount of sunlight indoors. To fabricate the proposed sunlight guiding panel, UV nanoimprint lithography was applied to pattern the light-guiding structure of the sunlight guiding panel. Moreover, a mold with a high-precision light-guiding structure was used in UV nanoimprint lithography. The mold was fabricated using ultraprecision machining technology. Both analytical and experimental investigations were conducted to confirm the proposed design. The average light-guiding efficiency was 89.9% with a solar elevation angle range of 35° to 65°, and the experimental results agreed well with the simulation results. This study elucidates light-guiding efficiency when the sunlight guiding panel is placed on the indoor surface of a window glass, which can increase the usage convenience and application potential of sunlight guiding panels. View Full-Text
Keywords: sunlight guiding panel; light-guiding structure; ultra-precision machining; nanoimprint sunlight guiding panel; light-guiding structure; ultra-precision machining; nanoimprint
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hsu, W.-H.; Xie, Y.-Z. Design and Manufacture of a Novel Sunlight Guiding Panel. Coatings 2019, 9, 562.

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