Solar Hybrid Lighting Tested In California

by Justin Thomas •

A handful of buildings in California are beginning to try a new kind of indoor lighting: sunlight without windows. It’s called hybrid solar lighting, and it is being marketed by a company called Sunlight Direct. During the day, sunlight is captured and channeled into lighting fixtures, then at night, the fluorescent bulb takes over. On the roof, sunlight is captured …


Solar Building Automatically Shades Itself From The Sun

by Justin Thomas •

The Devonshire Building is a solar building, that automatically opens and closes banks of shades on it’s south facing fa├žade. The intelligent system tracks the amount of sunlight entering the windows, and takes into account the time of day and season. The key architectural aim was to design a building that would incorporate as much natural daylight as physically possible. …


A Spherical Solar Cell From Japan: The Sphelar

by Justin Thomas •

A Kyoto-based company, Kyosemi, has created a spherical solar cell design. The “Sphelar” is a matrix of tiny, spherical-shaped solar cells, about 1mm in diameter. The spheres are designed to absorb sunlight at any angle, and therefore do not require motorization for tracking the sun. Because of their geometry, Sphelar cells even optimize the use of reflected and indirect light, …

Metaefficient: Trombe Walls

by Justin Thomas •

Incorporating a Trombe Wall into a house is one of the most efficient ways to capture the heat of the sun. They work in the mildest to the most severe of climates. Basically, sunlight strikes the wall through a window, and the Trombe Wall heats up, causing warm air to flow into a room.