Seeking fiber optics info - power transmission

In summary, the conversation revolves around the use of fiber optics for transporting solar energy. The poster is looking for information on this topic and mentions a new field called daylighting that uses solar energy for lighting. They are interested in using fiber optics for their own project and have done some research but have not found a design book. They are seeking advice on where to look for information, particularly on the web, and mention their background in mechanical engineering and limited knowledge of fiber optics. Another person in the conversation suggests looking into the use of light pipes and provides some sources for further research. Overall, the conversation is focused on the potential and limitations of using fiber optics for heat transfer through radiation.
  • #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.
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  • #2
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: [Broken]

edit: Or a source [Broken]
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #3


Thank you for your post. I am a scientist with expertise in fiber optics and power transmission. I can provide you with some information and resources to help you in your research.

Firstly, you are correct in saying that fiber optics were initially developed for transmitting signals and not for transporting bulk power. However, there have been advancements in fiber optic technology that have made it possible to use them for power transmission. This is known as power over fiber or PoF.

In terms of your specific interest in using fiber optics for daylighting and solar energy transportation, there are a few things to consider. One is the design and construction of the fiber optic cable itself. It must be able to handle the high temperatures and intense sunlight that it will be exposed to. There are specialized materials and coatings that can be used to make the cable more durable in these conditions.

Additionally, you are correct in mentioning the issue of loss and hot spots. This is a concern when using fiber optics for power transmission, as any loss of signal or energy along the cable can result in heat buildup and potential damage. Therefore, it is important to carefully design and engineer the cable to minimize losses and hot spots.

In terms of resources, I would recommend looking into publications and research papers from reputable organizations such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) or the Optical Society of America (OSA). These organizations have a wealth of information on fiber optics and power transmission.

I would also suggest reaching out to experts in the field, either through networking or attending conferences and workshops. They may be able to provide you with more specific guidance and advice for your project.

I hope this information helps. Best of luck with your research and project.

1. What is fiber optics and how does it work?

Fiber optics is a technology that uses thin strands of glass or plastic to transmit information in the form of light pulses. These strands act as channels that carry the light signals over long distances at high speeds.

2. What are the advantages of using fiber optics for power transmission?

Fiber optics offers several advantages for power transmission, including low signal loss over long distances, immunity to electromagnetic interference, and high bandwidth capacity. It is also lightweight, flexible, and more cost-effective than traditional copper wiring.

3. What is the maximum distance that fiber optics can transmit power?

The maximum distance that fiber optics can transmit power depends on various factors such as the type of fiber used, the power source, and the amount of power being transmitted. However, on average, fiber optics can transmit power up to 100 kilometers without significant signal loss.

4. How does fiber optics compare to other methods of power transmission?

Compared to other methods of power transmission, such as copper wiring and wireless transmission, fiber optics offers higher bandwidth capacity, lower signal loss, and greater immunity to interference. It is also more secure and has a longer lifespan.

5. What are some common applications of fiber optics for power transmission?

Fiber optics is commonly used for power transmission in various industries, including telecommunications, data centers, and renewable energy. It is also used in applications such as powering remote sensors, underground power distribution, and powering aircraft and ships.

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