BRING ME SUNSHINE
A concept technology previously reported in this section has now gone from prototype to product. Parans Daylight AB (AJ 30.10.03) installed 'the first sunlight-transporting product of its kind' - a sun-collecting panel, fibre-optic cable and sunlight illuminator that lets you 'spray' sunlight indoors. It has been installed in IKEA's new Bilbao store.
In a similar development, Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the US has created a solar lighting and power system. Roof-mounted concentrators collect sunlight and separate the visible rays from infrared. The latter is converted through thermo-photovoltaic cells into electrical power, while the visible is distributed through optical fibres to hybrid lighting fixtures indoors.