SOLAR OPTICS: LENS GUIDED BEAMED SUNLIGHT
This is a concept which employs flat (Fresnel) optical lenses to guide sunlight deep into interior spaces. It can optically "arrest" the movement of the sun so that a predetermined fixed target area can be lit all day, as long as the sun is available. It will also deliver some light on overcast cloudy days. It is soft, even light, far brighter then artificial lighting and can require no energy to operate. It does not require great precision to apply and can be used in locations where an industiral infratructure is not available.
 
     
Solar Optics has two basic applications:
Passive Solar Optics [PSO], which has no moving parts and guides the light by lens design alone. PSA is limited in that it can "arrest" the sun's motion in one axis only, usually its daily north to south movement across the sky. Its best application is for general lighting of open and linear spaces, such as atriums and corridors.
 
Solar Optical Lighting  
       
   
 
 
 
 

Active Solar Optics [ASO], employs a heliostat, or suntaracker, coupled with a fixed lens to guide the sunlight to the target area. This system requires external (electrical) energy to power the suntracker, but has the advantage of being able to optically "arrest" the sun's motion in both axes , east and west, and north and south, simultaneously. It can be used for task lighting because it can deliver a narrow beam of light to a precise target area all day. The guidance system for the heliostat requires only a small motor and a simple guidance system which is little more than a clock set for latitude, time of year and time of day.

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Active Solar Optics also provides the opportunity to beam sunlight into lens tubes which can then distribute it linearly, much in appearance like flourescent fixtures. During cloudy and night time periods, when beamed sunlight is not available, the same distribution system can be joined with a super-bright artifical source located at the opposite end of the lighting distribution system from the sun. Such sources, like microwave lighting technology, which are much less expensive than electrical fixtures, are in delvelopment.