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Research Papers

Analytical Prediction of Tubular Light-Pipe Performance Under Arbitrary Sky Conditions

[+] Author and Article Information
Jaromír Petržala

Department of Building Physics,
Institute of Construction and Architecture,
Slovak Academy of Sciences,
Bratislava 84503, Slovakia
e-mail: usarjape@savba.sk

Ladislav Kómar

Department of Building Physics,
Institute of Construction and Architecture,
Slovak Academy of Sciences,
Bratislava 84503, Slovakia
e-mail: usarlako@savba.sk

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Solar Energy Engineering: Including Wind Energy and Building Energy Conservation. Manuscript received October 3, 2018; final manuscript received April 15, 2019; published online May 8, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Ming Qu.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 141(5), 051012 (May 08, 2019) (5 pages) Paper No: SOL-18-1460; doi: 10.1115/1.4043614 History: Received October 03, 2018; Accepted April 16, 2019

The tubular light guides are devices allowing deliverance of solar light into deep interior rooms, offices, or underground spaces. Due to considerable costs of such systems, the reasonable assessment of their lighting performance is desirable. To predict accurately their efficiency, precise numerical computations have to be performed. Such computations may be strongly time consuming, mainly when mass calculations are required as it is in case of the so-called climate-based daylight modeling. This paper presents an analytical solution to the optical efficiency of cylindrical straight pipes that is applicable over a wide range of pipe’s parameters and under arbitrary sky luminance conditions. The proposed method gives results in good agreement with ray-tracing numerical simulations—the mean absolute percentage errors are less than 3%—but unlike them, the calculations are much faster. Therefore, it appears to be convenient for daylight modeling, which takes into account utilization of tubular light guide systems in buildings.

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References

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

The optical efficiencies of vertical cylindrical pipes with different aspect ratios (ARs) and internal reflectance ρ during a year in Bratislava. The efficiencies are computed numerically using ray-tracing method (solid lines) and analytically (dash-dotted lines). (a) ρ=0.94 and (b) ρ=0.98.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

The optical efficiencies of vertical cylindrical pipes with different aspect ratios (ARs) and internal reflectance ρ during a year in Rome. The efficiencies are computed numerically using ray-tracing method (solid lines) and analytically (dash-dotted lines). (a) ρ=0.94 and (b) ρ=0.98.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

The optical efficiencies of vertical cylindrical pipes with different aspect ratios (ARs) and internal reflectance ρ during a year in Boulder. The efficiencies are computed numerically using ray-tracing method (solid lines) and analytically (dash-dotted lines). (a) ρ=0.94 and (b) ρ=0.98.

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