A recent article in Business Line about its product brought back to my memory Skyshade, an interesting Hyderabad-based company.
Skyshade provides sustainable lighting solutions using the simplest route possible – by using sunlight as, well, sunlight!
You might say, “But what’s the big deal? I can open my windows and use sunlight as sunlight. Where exactly is an idea here?”
But place yourself in an industrial and office setting where using sunlight through open windows is not exactly possible because of the closed nature of these buildings. Can you still somehow use Sunlight Direct for your lighting?
Yes, says Skyshade, and its solution is an interesting Light Pipe, composed of fiber optics, that carries the light from the roof to wherever it is required. This way, the company’s solution can provide lighting to any room in a building, regardless of where that room is relative to the rooftop.
I had a brief telephone discussion a couple of weeks back with the company founder, Sekhar Nori, and in fact was planning to meet him when I was in Hyderabad a couple of days back, though that did not pan out.
Their web site can perhaps provide details in a far more engaging and detailed manner, but the following are what I see as highlights of their solution:
1. Use sunlight directly as sunlight for lighting – without any conversion. This results in much higher efficiency as energy conversion always results in some loss.
2. Solution works quite fine during the entire time sunlight is available, so that is close to 10 hours of a day.
3. Can be combined with other lighting solutions in a seamless manner to provide a sustainable and long lasting industrial lighting solution.
4. Has payback of less than 3 years.
I am sure there are riders and limitations for this technology, but hey, did you know – there’s no free lunch. And this is a fully commercialized product working many large industrial premises. So it sure works!
I do look forward to meeting Sekhar sometime soon and learn a lot more about this innovative idea. And as he appears to have installed quite a few in Chennai as well, look forward to visiting his installations too.
And now for some pics that I stole from his web site – in fact, when I looked at some of these pics the first time, especially the ones that appear like a 500 W light bulb, couldn’t believe that these were just direct sunlight-based stuff. I pretty much had to confirm that with Sekhar!
See also: an interesting emerging cleantech segment – Building Energy Analytics; Suncyclopedia, the Solar Encyclopedia
Check out: EAI Consulting for Solar Energy – Solar PV & Solar Thermal