SOLARTRAN LIGHT CHANNELING PANEL
WHAT IT DOES : Reflective channels are formed inside a thin transparent panel to redirect all incident sunlight upward.
Fig 1. Close up of a 12 mm thick panel. Fig 2. Rays traced through panel elements Fig 3. Typical production size of panel.
HOW IT IS MADE : Light channeling panel is formed from two 6 mm sheets of acrylic plastic. An array of angled laser cuts is made in each sheet forming reflecting surfaces within the acrylic. The sheets are laminated together into a single panel 12 mm thick containing channels that redirect light. Sunlight incident on the input face is reflected through the channels to the output face. Nearly all sunlight is redirected into an upwards direction. Channel panel may also be cut in a single 12 mm sheet avoiding the need for lamination.
HOW IT IS INSTALLED : Channel panel is usually installed internally in the upper part of a window above head height of a standing occupant. The lower part of the window is usually shaded by a blind or external shade to control radiant input through that part of the window. A simple and useful installation is to hang channel panels behind venetian blinds as shown in the left hand window below. See also USING CHANNEL PANEL
The Venetian blinds are set to reject sunlight through that part of the window not covered by channel panels. As channel panels redirect sunlight upward the sunlight re-directed by the panels passes through the blinds and over the ceiling providing good shading of the room and deep natural lighting.
HOW IT PERFORMS : The photographs below illustrate the performance obtained when a channel panel 200 mm high and one metre wide is hung in different windows in a room. In each case the channel panel is hung behind a conventional Venetian blind.
A B C
The left hand photograph above (A) has a panel hung in the side window. Sunlight is re-directed by the panel towards the ceiling and over the rear wall deep inside the room. This redirected sunlight is diffusely reflected from the ceiling and wall to naturally illuminate the room. In photograph (A) the venetian blind has been tilted upward to block sunlight entering below the panel from flowing directly into the room. The combination of panel and blind provides good shading and good natural lighting and a reasonable view to the outside. In the middle photograph (B) the blind in front of the panel has been tilted downward to allow sunlight below the panel to enter the room directly resulting in reflected glare from surfaces in the room. In the right hand photograph (C) the panel has been hung in the front window. This photograph, taken at a different time of day from (A) and (B), clearly illustrates the spread of re-directed sunlight across the ceiling of the room.
COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS : see Advanced Daylighting Systems in Norman Park State School
*Commercial partners in the US and Australia are sought to manufacture and market this product under license.
*U S Patent 7,070,314 and Australian Patent 2003204904 were granted in 2006. You can leave this site and download the US Patent. However, note that you cannot link back to this site from the Patent Office site. Note the number 7,070,314 and enter the number at http//patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.htm
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