ADAPTIVE FULL-SPECTRUM SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS CROSS-CUTTING R&D ON ADAPTIVE FULL-SPECTRUM SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS FOR MORE EFFICIENT AND AFFORDABLE USE OF SOLAR ENERGY IN BUILDINGS AND HYBRID PHOTOBIOREACTORS Page: 6 of 30
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This RD&D project is a three year team effort to develop a hybrid solar lighting (HSL) system that
transports day light from a paraboloidal dish concentrator to a luminaire via a large core polymer fiber
optic. The luminaire can be a device to distribute sunlight into a space for the production of algae or it can
be a device that is a combination of solar lighting and fluorescent lighting for office lighting. In this
project, the sunlight is collected using a one-meter paraboloidal concentrator dish with two-axis tracking.
The secondary mirror consists of eight planar-segmented mirrors that direct the visible part of the
spectrum to eight fibers (receiver) and subsequently to eight luminaires. This results in about 8,200
lumens incident at each fiber tip. The IR spectrum is directed to a thermophotovoltaic array to produce
electricity. This report describes the technical progress from May 1, 2002 through August 1, 2003).
The goals of this project are to:
1. Determine technical feasibility of using full-spectrum solar energy systems to enhance the overall
sunlight utilization in buildings and biomass production rates of photobioreactors. This will be
accomplished by developing a benchmark prototype system.
2. Determine the commercial viability of using full-spectrum solar energy systems to enhance the
overall sunlight utilization in buildings and biomass production rates of photobioreactors. This
will be accomplished by determining those aspects that characterize performance efficiency,
reliability, durability and ultimately minimum cost potential.
3. Demonstrate the HSL technology in a building application and a photobioreactor application.
The emphasis in developing the demonstration systems will be to meet performance objectives at
During the reporting period, the project team made progress towards the completion of the TRNSYS Full-
Spectrum Solar Energy System model, the TPV array tests, the high-lumen test devices, the
collector/receiver, fiber transmission models, and portions of the photobioreactor system.
Accomplishments for this period are:
1. Experimental and analytical work was performed on the high-lumen test system. Steps are being
taken to determine the appropriate combination of filters and/or quartz pieces to protect the fiber
from overexposure to damaging IR radiation during the long-term tests.
2. Work was performed on the test system for the TPV array. A cooling circuit was built to keep the
array cooled off below the maximum operating temperature, and a cold mirror was ordered to
only transmit the IR portion of the sunlight to the TPV array, thus imitating the conditions of the
3. Updates were performed on the TRNSYS system model. Also, an EES program was written that
correctly calculates the transmission of the fiber as a function of length, wavelength and entrance
4. Modeling work was also performed on a FORTRAN model that can predict the attenuation loss
of an arbitrary fiber. Fiber configurations inside a building were investigated so that model
parameters could be developed
5. A new stainless-steel header was designed and tested for the photobioreactor. Biofilm mass
transfer rate tests were performed, and buffering solutions for the organisms were tested. A new
solar collector and fiber optic cables were installed at the pilot scale bioreactor facility and
appears to be working well.
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Wood, Byard D. & Muhs, Jeff D. ADAPTIVE FULL-SPECTRUM SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS CROSS-CUTTING R&D ON ADAPTIVE FULL-SPECTRUM SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS FOR MORE EFFICIENT AND AFFORDABLE USE OF SOLAR ENERGY IN BUILDINGS AND HYBRID PHOTOBIOREACTORS, report, January 1, 2003; United States. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc781061/m1/6/: accessed May 24, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.