Lightning of commercial buildings consume up to 21 percent of electricity consumption. As this is quite high a new technology developed in the University of Cincinnati (USA) can change this.
The new technology is called SmartLight and will be described in this paragraph.
Normally sunlight passes through a window and rooms which are further away from the window cannot be lightened with these sunrays. Therefore electronic devices have to be used. But with this technique there is a way to control the light which comes into the building and even direct it to places where it is needed.
To make this happen the window has to be covered with electro- fluidic cells. These are self-powered by integrated photovoltaic cells. The fluid cells contain a material which has the same or even better features than glass. The fluids can change their appearance with a small electric current. This is 10,000 to 100,000 times less than the power needed to lightening an incandescent light bulb (which is around 1.5V to 300 Volts). This will make the fluid to get a shape of lenses or prisms. This is all it needs to control the light coming into the building and redirect it to places where it is needed.
This technology can be applied to any building despite of its age and location.
SmartLight is very efficient and sustainable as no energy gets lost within any transformation process. The sunrays are used directly and are just redirected to places where light is needed.
In addition to that there is storage in place where excess energy can be stored and used when it is needed.
At night or cloudy days this storage facility, where the excess electricity produced by the photovoltaic cells is stored, is used to illuminate the house.
Another great advantage of this system is that any workplace can be kept at the same level of light throughout the day. As the fluid cells can respond to any change of light within second, it is possible to maintain the level of light in the room throughout the day.
But this is not all. The whole system is meant to be controlled via an app for a mobile phone. The user just sets the preferred settings and the system adjusts itself. It is even possible to use the location of the mobile to adjust the lights. For example when the person enters the room the lights switch on. Attached to this document is a picture how an app for a mobile device could look like. The original foto can be found here: http://www.uc.edu/news/NR.aspx?id=18752
It is controlled wirelessly. Therefore there is no need for any wires inside the house and walls.
With this technology it is even possible to send the light coming from the sun to a neighboring system, if the light and energy cannot be used within the current building.
The inventors of this technology, Anton Harfmann and Jason Heikenfeld, are sure that this technology can get into the market as all parts exists to make this commercial viable.
All they need is to get funding for producing a prototype on a large scale.
So if you are have company which wants to support this technology get in touch with them and the University of Cincinnati. Maybe with your help the commercial and residential houses can change in the way they use the sunlight and save a lot of energy (and money at the end).
To get an idea on what this technology can do and how it is emplied in houses visit the following website and see the the picture: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131106152441.htm