Research is underway at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) that could lead to entirely new, highly energy-efficient ways of lighting buildings using the power of sunlight. In addition to providing light, the hybrid lighting system will convert sunlight to electricity much more efficiently than conventional solar technologies using thermo-photovoltaic cells. In commercial buildings today, lighting consumes more electric energy than any other building end-use. It accounts for more than a third of all electricity consumed for commercial use in the United States. Typically, less than 25% of that energy actually produces light; the rest generates heat that increases the need for air-conditioning. ORNL is developing a system to reduce the energy required for lighting and the air-conditioning loads associated with it, while generating power for other uses.
The system uses roof-mounted concentrators to collect and separate the visible and infrared portions of sunlight. The visible portion is distributed through large-diameter optical fibers to hybrid luminaires. (Hybrid luminaires are lighting fixtures that contain both electric lamps and fiber optics for direct sunlight distribution.) When sunlight is plentiful, the fiber optics in the luminaries, provide all or most of the light needed in an area. Unlike conventional electric lamps, they produce little heat. During times of little or no sunlight, sensor-controlled electric lamps will operate to maintain the
desired illumination level.
A second use of the hybrid lighting collector system is to provide sunlight for enhanced practical photosynthesis carbon dioxide mitigation. In this project the hybrid lighting collector system is
being used to provide sunlight to a lab-scale photobioreactor for growing algae that is being used for CO2 mitigation. The end goal of this project is to provide a photobioreactor that can be used to mitigate CO2 in fossil fuel fire power plants.
This paper will discuss the development and operating
experience to date of two hybrid lighting solar collectors installed at ORNL and at Ohio University. The first hybrid lighting collector system was tested at ORNL and then installed at Ohio University in June of 2002. A second collector of the same design was installed at ORNL in September of 2002. The Ohio University collector system has been running continually since its installation while the ORNL unit has been operated in a research mode on most sunny days. They have operated with very little human interaction and this paper will summarize the development, operating experience, collection efficiency, as well as providing information on additional data being collected as part of the system operation.
Fluorescence from phosphor coatings is the basis of an established technique for measuring temperature in a wide variety of turbine and combustion engine applications. Example surfaces include blades, vanes, combustors, intake valves, pistons, and rotors. Many situations that are remote and noncontact require the high intensity of a laser to illuminate the phosphor, especially if the surface is moving. Thermometric resolutions of 0.1 C are obtainable, and some laboratory versions of these systems have been calibrated against NIST standards to even higher precision. To improve the measurement signal-to-noise ratio, synchronous detection timing has been used to repeatedly interrogate the same blade in a high speed rotating turbine. High spatial resolution can be obtained by tightly focusing the interrogation beam in measurements of static surfaces, and by precise differential timing of the laser pulses on rotating surfaces. We report here the use of blue light emitting diodes (LEDs) as an illumination source for producing useable fluorescence from phosphors for temperature measurements. An LED can excite most of the same phosphors used to cover the temperature range from 8 to 1400 C. The advantages of using LEDs are obvious in terms of size, power requirements, space requirements and cost. There can also be advantages associated with very long operating lifetimes, wide range of available colors, and their broader emission bandwidths as compared to laser diodes. Temperature may be inferred either from phase or time-decay determinations.
A proposed space-based test of gravitational theory requires unique performance for thermometry and ranging instrumentation. The experiment involves a cylindrical test chamber in which two free-floating spherical test bodies are located. The test bodies are spheres which move relative to each other. The direction and rate of motion depend on the relative masses and orbit parameters mediated by the force of gravity. The experiment will determine Newton's gravitational constant, G; its time dependence, as well as investigate the equivalence principle, the inverse square law, and post- Einsteinian effects. The absolute value of the temperature at which the experiment is performed is not critical and may range anywhere from approximately 70 to 100 K. However, the experimental design calls for a temperature uniformity of approximately 0.001 K throughout the test volume. This is necessary in order to prevent radiation pressure gradients from perturbing the test masses. Consequently, a method is needed for verifying and establishing this test condition. The presentation is an assessment of the utility of phosphor-based thermometry for this application and a description of feasibility experiments. Phosphor thermometry is well suited for resolving minute temperature differences. The first tests in our lab have indicated the feasibility of achieving this desired temperature resolution.
Manufacturing and other industrial processes often require monitoring and control of temperature. Thermometry based on fluorescence properties of surface-bonded phosphors offers a number of advantages over traditional methods. The method is non-contact, remote, and independent of surface optical properties such as emissivity. Only a thin layer, less than 50 microns thick, is required of fluorescent materials that are temperature-active and chemically stable up to temperatures in excess of 1600 C. Phosphor thermometry has been developed from these high temperature extremes all the way down to cryogenic temperatures within liquid helium dewars. The fluorescence effects are stable in time, not subject to drift and need for repeated recalibration. Measurement techniques often involve use of optical fibers and other components that allow access into confined geometries and environments with high vibration, electromagnetic fields, or other extreme conditions. Uses include thermal management of cutting or shaping tools, monitoring of furnace and combustor walls or internal components, assembly components in automated lines, sheet metal surface thermometry, measurement of rotating components in motors, generators, turbine engines, and similar systems, fiber temperature measurement in textile fiber spinning, etc. Fluorescence measurement yields absolute temperatures, not dependent on references, and can have accuracies of less than 1 K, with precisions well below 0.1 K, providing opportunity for ultra high precision process control, life testing, and quality control.
Remote cryogenic temperature measurements can be made by inducing fluorescence in phosphors with temperature-dependent emissions and measuring the emission lifetimes. The thermographic phosphor technique can be used for making precision, noncontact, cryogenic-temperature measurements in electrically hostile environments, such as high dc electric or magnetic fields. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is interested in using these thermographic phosphors for mapping hot spots on cryogenic tank walls. Europium-doped lanthanum oxysulfide (La2O2S:Eu) and magnesium fluorogermanate doped with manganese (Mg4FGeO6:Mn) are suitable for low-temperature surface thermometry. Several emission lines, excited by a 337-nm ultraviolet laser, provide fluorescence lifetimes having logarithmic dependence with temperature from 4 to above 125 K. A calibration curve for both La2O2S:Eu and Mg4FGeO6:Mn is presented, as well as emission spectra taken at room temperature and 11 K.
A proposed multiplexed fiber-optic sensor system capable of analyzing a composite material during its curing cycle and over its service lifetime is presented. The sensor is composed of two independent sensing schemes that will ultimately be multiplexed onto a specialized singlemode/multimode optical fiber. The first sensing scheme is a fiber-optic viscosity and temperature sensor used for composite cure analyses. This sensor is based on (1) the laser-induced viscositydependent fluorescence phenomena observed in epoxy-based composite materials and (2) the temperature-dependent decay-time fluorescence phenomena observed in thermographic phosphors. The second sensor is based on a low-finesse, single-mode fiber-optic Fabry-Perot interferometer and is used as a strain/vibration sensor for lifetime nondestructive evaluations on composites. Exp erimental results have determined that these sensor concepts are feasible alternatives to cureanalysis monitors and conventional strain-analysis techniques.