My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Optical Waveguide Lighting to save on Electricity - Sound of Music meets the Lightning Thief

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Optical Waveguide Lighting to save on Electricity - Sound of Music meets the Lightning Thief

We are of such stuff
As dreams are made on and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep

Shakespeare, The Tempest, IV, 1

With the current legal threat hanging in the air over the JPS Co (Jamaica Public Service Company) as it relates to the lack of competition in the Electricity Generation and Distribution Sector, one now has to look at options. These options must include a serious look by Jamaicans as it relates to the use of Alternative Energy devices such as Wind Turbines, Solar Water Heaters and Photovoltaic Cells (Solar Panels).

But more importantly, is Government of Jamaica intervention in the form of lowering import tariffs for such equipment into Jamaica as well as a push for Energy Efficiency in how Jamaicans use Electricity and Water. The other Government Ministries and Agencies need to follow the example of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security by empowering and rewarding workers for changing their energy usage habits which earned them JA$25,000 prize.

It saved the Ministry JA$9 million in Fiscal year 2010AD to 2011AD, an increase on savings from the previous fiscal year 2009AD to 2010AD of JA$6 million by some JA$3 million as noted in my blog article entitled “Ministry of Labour and Social Security JA$9 Million Energy Savings - Mad Money for Happy Workers”.

An initiative which the Government of Jamaica could kick start by banning the importation and use of Incandescent Bulbs in Jamaica as stated in my blog article entitledJPS CEO Damian Obiglio wants Incandescent Bulb ban - Jamaican in the Twilight Zone”. The alternative, Florescent Bulbs and LED’s as described in the article Five things you didn't know about LED lightbulbs”, published JULY 28, 2011 6:36 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech are expensive.

So are there energy saving alternatives, aside from going Wind and Solar straight off the bat and going off the grid? Indeed there are: Optical WaveGuide Lighting.

This is not a new concept, as Fiber Optics has been used in Telecommunications for decades as backhaul to interconnect Telecom Switching Exchanges, Mobile Node B and MSC (Mobile Switching Centers). Telecom Provider Verizon FiOS (Fiber Optic Services) in the US of A that terminate at Residential and business customers locations is part of the latest trending towards commercializing Fiber Optics, now brushing the 1Gbps and eyeing 1Tbps speeds as stated in my blog article entitled “Verizon, NEC and the Dawn of the Terabit Age - Audia's FlashDance and Surf's Upshone a bright spotlight on the forgotten Broadband Conduit.

Ironically, the original research that brought Fiber Optics into the light had to do with Optical Waveguides Communication, starting first with the invention of the “Optical Telegraph” by French Engineer Claude Chappe in the 1970’s and its gradual development to were it currently stands with research by Corning Glass in September 1970 perfecting less than 20 dB/km signal attenuation as stated in the article “Fiber Optics Technician’s Manual”, by Jim Hayes, et al, Delmar Thomas Publishing, 3 Colombia Circle, P.O. Box 15015, Albany, NY 12212-5015, Ch. 1 pg. 1-12, ISBN: 076681825X.

So its original use, which was simply to carry light from one place to another for the purpose of illumination still exists and is often use in most building architectural designs. But for older buildings that already have lighting in place; a simple solution may be simply to install Optical Waveguides to bring sunlight into parts of the building thereby replacing the need for electrical lighting.

But one may argue: what about overcast days and at night? This is where the energy saving part comes in. A photocell would be calibrated to detect when the sunlight dipped below a certain level of luminosity. 

At that point, it would trip a relay and turn on a very bright (daylight) battery of LED (Light Emitting Diodes), Fluorescent or even Halogen Lamps powered by your PUC (Power Utility Company). LED (Light Emitting Diode) Light Bulbs, which come with the added benefit of not attracting flying insects as stated in the article “Five things you didn't know about LED lightbulbs”, published JULY 28, 2011 6:36 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech.

Or if you are a real energy miser, possibly powered by a dedicated small scale Solar Panel or Wind Turbine or even a large scale version of Crooks Radiometer as described in my blog article entitled “Alternative Energy and the Solar Generator - Pitch Black”.

Really hate your PUC and their excessive billing? Manufacturers bring in the noise!

In buildings that are very noisy, the excessive ambient sound could also be used to generate electricity and power lighting within the building using technology based on research by graduate student Sang-Woo Kim of the Institute of Nanotechnology at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea as stated in the article “Scream at your phone to recharge it?”, MAY 9, 2011 5:09 PM PDT by John Scott Lewinski, Crave - CNET News.

This would be in effect reusing the Wasted Sound Energy to power lighting in the building as stated in my blog article entitled “Powering Gadgets by Recycling Waste Energy - Alice's Windmills in my Mind Through the Looking Glass” in the traditional Distributed Lighting System.

Excess energy from the Sound conversion process could be retransmitted as Ultrasonic Sound Waves using gear developed by University of Pennsylvania graduates Meredith Perry and Nora Dweck and their start-up uBeam to power other lighting within other parts of the building complex as stated in my blog article entitled “uBeam's Perry & Dweck Ultrasonic Power Transfer - Rafe Needleman's Hidden Village of Sound” saving the company a considerable amount of money on the use of the precious utility named electricity.

This very same gear converting Wasted Sound Energy can also be used in a Centralized Lighting System to power the large battery of LED (Light Emitting Diodes), Fluorescent or even Halogen Lamps. This would then be shunted along interconnected Optical Waveguide Pathways to continue providing lighting to the entire building in the absence of sunlight.

Much in the same way a building has Central Heating and even Centralized Air Conditioning; it can also be possible, with a little research and Optical Waveguide Engineering, to have Central Lighting as well as the Sound of Music (1965) meets the Lightning Thief (2010).

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