The assignment of Buckylab, a MSc Building Technology course, was to create an innovative sun shading. The first concept consisted out of an array of lenses, placed like conventional louvres on the façade. These lenses would focus sunlight into glass fibres, so the concentrated light can be used inside the building for lighting. But Buckylab is not an individual course, so we had to combine concepts. Another student wanted to extract heat out of the façade, also by using louvres. We combined the extraction of light and heat, and we do so by concentrating sunlight with so called parabolic reflectors.

pijl The first concept used lenses to focus sun light.


The sun shading exists out of parabolic reflectors that guide the sunlight to one focus point. At the focus point the visible light and heat are separated and transported to the inside of the building. There are to different systems that separate the visible light and heat. Both systems use optical fibre cables to transport the visible light and water tubes to transport the heat.
In the first system the light falls upon an array of small lenses that focus the light into an optical fibre cable. At the sides are two black water tubes that absorb the heat.
The second system exists out of a transparent tube were water is flowing on the inside to absorb the heat. The tube is coated with a luminescent dye that will guide the light to the end of the tube were a conical parabolic light concentrator focusses the light into an optical fibre cable.
Once the light is on the inside of the building the heat can be stored and used for heating and warm water, and the light can be used for natural lighting.

pijl Prototype of the parabolic reflector for testing purposes.


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pijl Impression of the possible application of the sun shading.


The Buckylab prototype is a group project, consisting of the following students:

Janet van de Wetering
Tom Scholten
Bob Zwanink

It was graded 10/10.

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