Cables and Mirrors: Parans Optic Cables Transform Sunlight without Electricity
Daylight is an important source of well-being for the occupants of a building, as well as a great way to reduce energy usage. In densely populated areas, the sun is easily blocked by surrounding buildings which forces architects and engineers to turn to other resources for natural lighting. Skylights can be used to increase natural light, but they only work for the top floor of a building. So what about the rest of the lower floor dwellers? Are they destined to spend the work week under harsh fluorescent lighting?
Carpenter Norris Consulting of New York, recently installed heliostats on a residential tower in Battery Park with this issue in mind. A heliostat is a sun-tracking mirror that mechanically follows the sun to reflect light into a shaded area. A large, high-quality, roof-mounted circular tracking mirror is connected to a secondary mirror or mirrors, and then directed inside a building with the use of optical cables to allow the sun to shine where it is normally not possible. The technology isn’t particularly new, but with the recent boom in interest in sustainability as well as developments in CNC cutting processes, costs have come down enough to make heliostats a viable option.
Parans is a daylighting company that is working to bring this technology out of the custom-built arena and make it more accessible. Parans manufacturers a series of complex hybrid lighting systems which combine mirrors and natural light, with integral fluorescent lamps to take over on cloudy days. The quality of light has a variation that is not possible in manufactured lighting, which makes it healthier for the occupants as well as the environment. I could go on and on about benefits and uses of a system that can provide natural light to isolated spaces, but just think of museums, hospitals and art galleries.
Do you know some of the benefits of natural light? List a few and share your knowledge!
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