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solar powered fiber-optic lighting

massive scale fiber-optic round the world cables to provide lighting
  (+7, -3)
(+7, -3)
  [vote for,

The earth is rigged up with massive solar collection points all around it by participating countries. The solar collection points are connected via fiber optic cables to each other and also provide switching. Homes and other places that require light are also connected into the grid. What happens is as the earth rotates the solar collecting points that are in daylight capture the light and transfer it via the F/O cables to the collection points that are currently in night and then onto the houses and such. as day becomes night the switchover from collection to distribution happens. I imagine that the system would grow and be like the internet using automatic routing so that in the case of cloudy days at one collection point light is automatically routed from a different collection point.
farker, Jul 31 2004

Joseph Swan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Swan
Inventor of the incandescent light bulb [suctionpad, Oct 04 2004]

Fiber optic glut http://www.usatoday...global-crossing.htm
[bungston, Dec 14 2004]

Shameless Promo Solar_20Lighting
[FlyingToaster, Mar 05 2009]

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       But if you used some Chinese light, for example, wouldn't you start feeling dark again half an hour later?
Ander, Jul 31 2004

       And what about the attenuation losses in the fibres? If you look end-on through a sheet of glass it is opaque. Similarly if you have a very long run of fibre-optic cable it will appear to be opaque. That's not to mention launching losses. (-)
suctionpad, Jul 31 2004

       [farker]though it is a baked idea, still i would give (+) because you have extended it to such a large scale & only such big dreams can inspire revolutionary developments. i am sorry for not being able to post a link but you can search for an excellent downloadable pdf file by key words "ID RL5#49 Creating Sunlight Rooms in Non-Daylit Spaces". Please inform if you are not able to download the file.
vedarshi, Aug 01 2004

       Interesting idea. Assuming you could get over the scale/transmission issue, you would also need floating concentration points to handle the expanse of the Pacific. How about only having 2 concentration points, one at each pole, as these are in constant sunlight for about 6 months in a year?
lcllam2, Aug 01 2004

       Well OK what about a TV type monitor on the ceiling of each room and TV cameras around the world taking pictures of the sun.... No good either ehh?
tasman, Aug 02 2004

       When they too thick to be called fiber they're then called image conduit.
bristolz, Aug 02 2004

       [tasman] - lol   

       [pmboy] - with your thinking is it worth doing anything? the light that you can buy for a dollar... what if edison thought to himself, I can buy a candle for a few cents its not worth my effort to invent this rather convienient form of lighting that almost everyone in the world will use. So I say its not a dumb idea.... its just a big idea that you haven't realised the full potential of.
farker, Aug 02 2004

       Maybe it's Let's Not Invent Anything New day or something.
bristolz, Aug 02 2004

       On a point of pedantry [farker], Edison DID NOT INVENT THE LIGHT BULB. It was invented by Joseph Swan (English scientist) about 10 years prior to Edison's claim. There was a rather large court case that Edison lost. Edison did improve the manufacturing of the bulbs, and was the first to produce them commercially.
suctionpad, Aug 02 2004

       Orbiting mirrors that focus light on the sub-polar gyre (or anywhere else, for that matter)?
dpsyplc, Aug 02 2004

       Actually, Swan's claim was only 1 year prior to Edison's.
bristolz, Aug 02 2004

       Interesting, but wrong on physics & economics. BTW: The moon is acting as a such a mirror. Do you propose we try to build another moon to get more moonlight? :)
sophocles, Aug 02 2004

       Swan was working on light bulbs from the 1860's, it was the patent that was only 1 year before. See [link]
suctionpad, Aug 03 2004

       [PMB] -- "When Edison or whoever conceived the light bulb it is because it had major advantages compare to the gas lamp or candle"   

       I don't think that was the case, when edison rigged up the first new york street to be lit by electric bulbs I am sure it was not because of the advantages electricity and the bulb gave it, in comparison in todays world with the introduction of electric and hybrid cars, there is no advantage now but give it a few years....   

       The whole point of my idea is that it is not easily done but once it was setup and in place it would provide light for free, well whoever set it up would have to charge I suppose but there would be no non-renewable resources used to produce the light   

       -- "Your approach does not represent an improvment over current technology, so naturally it will not be adapted or adopted."   

       Oh well, if it was such a good idea I guess I wouldn't have been discussing it in here ;-)
farker, Aug 03 2004

       Claim == patent
bristolz, Aug 03 2004

       Actually this technique could be useful in lighting houses. Instead of skylights, you can use a network of fiber optics to light the interior of homes. You can even put some on your tree to collect some sunlight that would otherwise be blocked by it.
xkuntay, Mar 05 2009

       //Actually this technique//
FlyingToaster, Mar 05 2009

       Actually, Swan's light-bulb had a very low resistance, which meant that it required massive amount of current to flow through it, and was extremely dangerous to use (fire hazard, produced toxic fumes if it broke). Edison's approach of a high-resistance light-bulb, was much safer, and therefore was a major breakthrough. Of course the bulbs we use today, use a tungsten filament that was developed by GE years later.
imho, Mar 07 2009

       Well, folks - let's do some FO studies, shall we? I think that is your limiting factor. Single mode fibers: excellent for data transmission at high Hz at a single wavelength (or VERY narrow band) - with amplification needed every so often (like every few hundred Km's...). Multimode - the only option for solar 'broad-spectrum' wavelengths - losses of 99% per 100 meters (YES- METERS), which is based upon plastic fibers now used for this sort of thing (laser lighting effects, lighting your glass block walls, etc.)... Unfortunately, we'll not see this one put into practical use until we get some really phenomenal breakthrough in FO - equivalent to the 'room temperature' superconductors firms are working on... Time for this one to nap for a bit...   

       And with that - storage is the issue - not generation! That's another topic and I don't mean batteries!
afrisque09, Aug 26 2009

       The limiting factor is etendue (French for geometric extent) It is a measure of the disorder in light, and can only increase, never decrease (through any passive optical system). Kinda like entropy. It is roughly the product of cross-section area and divergence angle. Sunlight has a divergence angle of about 0.27 degrees, optical fiber for telecom has a effective core diameter of ~ 10 microns and an acceptance angle of about 20 degrees... so I get that you could concentrate ~ 1 mm^2 of sunlight into a single telecom fiber i.e fuck-all. (-)
afinehowdoyoudo, Aug 26 2009


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