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High-Efficiency Solar Cogeneration with Thermophotovoltaic & Fiber-Optic Daylighting

Credit: Creative Light Source, Inc.

Credit: Creative Light Source, Inc.

Lead Performer: Creative Light Source, Inc.
DOE Funding: $1,724,521 (total for SBIR Phases I and 2)
Cost Share: N/A
Project Term: 7/28/14 - 7/28/16
Funding Opportunity Announcement: 2013 - Small Business Innovation Research Phase 1 and 2

Project Objective

This solicitation targeted ‘Solar Cogeneration’ technologies to maximize energy generation & energy efficiency from the building's solar insolation resources.  Project presents a novel, low-cost approach to mitigate electricity demands by illuminating indoor spaces with actual sunlight channeled deep into the building through skinny, flexible fiber-optic cables; while simultaneously ‘cogenerating’ electricity from the sun’s IR spectrum.

The goal of the Phase Two is to complete a full working installation to illuminate several thousand square feet and generate several kilowatts of electricity, ready for beta testing and Pilot manufacturing.  All aspects of the system are produced, including, Lighting Luminary Fixtures, weatherized building-mounted solar receiver, fiber cables, IR electricity generation.  System performance will be validated by NREL for customer approval, early lifetime testing and design-for-manufacturing performed.

Project Impact

Buildings are categorically the largest energy consumer, and their #1 electricity demand is Lighting, often responsible for >40% their consumption.  Modern electric lighting technologies remain remarkably inefficient (<20%, with the remainder wasted as heat), and LED fixtures are only predicted to 30% by the end of the decade with decelerating and limited gains thereafter.  This technology eliminates electricity consumption during daylight hours, and can increase LED luminous efficacy by up to 600% (reducing the total lifetime cost to 1/4), while simultaneously cogenerating electricity from the Infrared spectrum at up to 30% efficiency.


DOE Technology Manager: Karma Sawyer
Performer: Joseph DiMasi, Creative Light Source

Learn more

Hybrid Solar Lighting: Final Technical Report and Results of Field Trial Program - Oak Ridge National Lab