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Seeking fiber optics info - power transmission

  1. Jun 4, 2008 #1
    Hi, first time poster here.

    I am a mechanical engineer, and I am looking for information on using fiber optics to transport solar energy.

    There is a new field called daylighting, that uses solar energy for lighting during daylight hours. It uses a variety of gadgets to do this, and some even use fiber optics.

    I have an idea for something I would like to work on, but need to learn more about fiber optics. I've done some googling, and looked at wikipedia, but haven't found anything like a design book for what I'm after.

    It is my understanding that fiber optics were developed for transmitting signals, and weren't really intended to move 'bulk power.' I'm looking for anything that would give me an idea of what to expect if I used say a 9 m2 reflector to concentrate sunlight onto the end of a fiber optic line. And what I could expect as it traveled a route, to include things like arcs, and lines diverging to angles even up to right turns. I imagine loss would translate to hot spots as you went.

    Basically I know nothing about fiber optics, and indeed have never been exposed to anything like this except for the usual college 2 semester physics (optics, lens, whatnot), and some radiation heat transfer.

    Can anyone tell me where to look? I'm particularly interested in things that can be found on the web. I'm willing to study and learn, but odds are a really math heavy paper that required you to know math beyond say calculus, vector analysis, linear algebra, and differential equations isn't going to help me much.

    By the way, I'd like to emphasize I'm looking to do heat transfer via radiation through a fiber optic line.

    Thanks in advance. Hopefully I will find my idea isn't a no-go from the beginning. But it would be better to know before I started.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 4, 2008 #2


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    Welcome to PF.

    It can be done, more or less. Big difference is the size of the fibers.
    I think they are sometimes referred to as light pipes, but there is a large variation in the implementation as well as what people call them.

    You could look into this: http://www.ornl.gov/sci/solar/techoverview.htm [Broken]

    edit: Or a source
    http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/LightingProducts/LightManagementSolutions/ProductInformation/LightGuide/ [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
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