How can we use the sun to light our homes?

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Offline thedoc

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How can we use the sun to light our homes?
« on: 30/04/2014 02:30:01 »
As we build at higher densities, architects are having to think more creatively about how to make the maximum use of natural daylight.
Read a transcript of the interview by clicking here
or [chapter podcast=1000679 track=14.04.29/Naked_Scientists_Show_14.04.29_1002241.mp3] Listen to it now[/chapter] or [download as MP3]
« Last Edit: 30/04/2014 02:30:01 by _system »

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Offline FunkyWorm

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Re: How can we use the sun to light our homes?
« Reply #1 on: 30/04/2014 13:13:06 »
I worked in a building in the early 90s that had solar-collectors on the roof which fed down via fibre-optic cable to emitters in the ceilings of offices that didn't have exterior windows. It meant you had sunlight in every room.
I once got up on a chair to investigate the 1m sq. "lighting" unit in the ceiling and the best I could see behind the polycarbonate cover was a large Fresnel lens that has the fibre cables terminated behind it. They didn't produce as much light as two mid-length fluorescent tubes but for the most part you didn't need to turn on the lights and it gave a very pleasant feel; the spectrum of the sun being what people like the best. You also got a better feel for the passage of the day and what the weather was like. I'm surprised I haven't seen it in more buildings.

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Offline Ryan Mercer

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Re: How can we use the sun to light our homes?
« Reply #2 on: 05/05/2014 14:23:08 »
I like what they do in developing/'3rd world' nations.... pop bottles and water.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-build-a-SOLAR-BOTTLE-BULB/  is an instructable on making them

A traveling man, F&AM
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Offline CliffordK

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Re: How can we use the sun to light our homes?
« Reply #3 on: 05/05/2014 16:06:37 »
Nice soda bottles. 

I've been meaning to install some light tubes and skylights in my house.  Windows are nice.  Of course, there is always a tradeoff between windows and insulation.