In theory, it seems silly to pay for light bulbs and electricity when natural sunlight is free, and now this eco-fantasy is becoming a real possibility. Developed by EcoNation and installed on the roof, Lightcatcher is a sun-tracking solar dome that uses a mirror and technology-based system to generate green energy, bring light indoors, and mitigate temperature fluctuations.
The sensors and motorized mirror and lenses harvest sunlight, reducing energy costs and environmental impact eight times more than solar panels, according to EcoNation. The company also claims that Lightcatcher can provide sufficient light for up to ten hours per day, using only 1-3% of roof surface area.
The basic principal of Lightcatcher is actually quite simple. The mirror, integrated within the polycarbonate dome, looks for the optimum light spot, working around clouds if need be. The light is captured, reflected, filtered, amplified in a light shaft, and then filtered throughout the interior space. A solar panel alleviates the need for electricity. Lightcatcher also utilizes UV and heat filtering, letting sunlight in without raising the temperature.
EcoNation was a finalist in the 2014 Zayed Future Energy Prize for their design of Lightcatcher. They assert that their product can save up to 70% annually on lighting energy costs. The integrated motor technology provides a daily reading of energy savings, which the company uses to invoice customers. Presently, the technology is only available for industrial, public or commercial buildings with a roof surface area of at least 5,000 square meters, but EcoNation also offers group packages for businesses with smaller roofs.
To learn more about Lightcatcher, watch the video below or visit EcoNation’s website.
Images © EcoNation