Light pipes

Light pipes gather incoming sunlight sometimes using a solar tracking system. The light is concentrated using lenses or mirrors and is then transmitted to building interiors by 'pipes'. The pipes can be hollow shafts or ducts with reflective internal finishes, or may use fibre optic cable technology. A special luminaire is required to provide distribution of the light within the building.

The system is heavily reliant on the availability of sunlight and for critical tasks or areas a backup artificial light source is required. Examples of the technology are to be found in the roof of the concourse at Manchester Airport, UK, and the experimental low energy house at Nottingham University (Figure 14.4).

Figure 14.3

Basic principle of the light shelf

Figure 14.3

Basic principle of the light shelf

Figure 14.4

Section through a sunpipe

Figure 14.4

Section through a sunpipe

Figure 14.5

Solar shading, Wessex Water Divisional Headquarters

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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