Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has a working sustainability program in place and which keeps adding new green products to lessen its impact on the environment. In one of the updates we receive at the zoo about what was being done to lessen its Carbon foot print, a green product caught my eye – Ciralight’s Suntracker daylighting system – The speaker introduced it as “Skylights on Steroids!”
The zoo has installed Suntracker systems in the warehouse and the before and after pictures were stunning! Check them out below:
I found it very interesting especially the difference in the lighting, and the positive impact it would make on the environment. Once I got home it was one of the first things I looked up on the web.
What is Suntracker?
Ciralight Global, Inc. headquartered in Irvine, California, aims at bringing natural solar day-lighting indoors using their patented “Intelligent skylight” concept that utilizes a GPS unit that tracks the sun and a lens and mirror design that tracks, captures and magnifies the natural light produced from the sun at a level of intensity and clarity that makes electric lighting unnecessary during daylight hours. The result is a FREE green natural light source during daylight hours, which will lower utility bills, save energy, improve customer and employee satisfaction and enhanced performance in schools, factories and businesses that use the system.
All large scale stores like Sams Club, Home Depot etc School Gyms, Indoor stadiums etc. any building that needs to have lights on throughout the day can benefit from the Suntracker. The Suntracker like the name suggests tracks and uses the Free source of energy “the Sun” – and the light sensors help to turn your electrical powered lights off during daytime hours allowing you to conserve energy, save money and meet today’s energy efficiency standards. All buildings receive some amount of daylight, however, the term ‘daylit’ refers to buildings specifically designed or retrofitted to efficiently capture and distribute daylight as their primary lighting source. Up until now, that has been a very passive technique. Today, Ciralight has the innovative technology to bring daylight into a building in the most efficient and cost effective manner possible.
How does it work?
The Suntracker has a state-of-the-art solar powered GPS rotation control system to track the sun with a single mirror that effectively reflects sunlight into the building. The light passes through a thermal barrier, through a light well and a bottom light diffuser to effectively spread the light throughout the building.
The SunTracker tracks the sun from an hour after sunrise to an hour before sunset allowing the end user to turn the lights OFF during daylight hours.
Unlike the standard skylights the Suntracker Daylighting system keeps the light even throughout the day by tracking the sun. Compared to electric lighting, it produces illumination equivalent to 800 watts of fluorescent lighting, or more than a 1,000 watt metal halide lamp. Since it does not draw any line voltage, electricity costs for lighting drop to zero during the average of 10.5 hours a day that it reflects light indoors.
The combination of lumen performance, low operating cost, long life cycle and much lower heat generation is what makes the system so energy and maintenance efficient. The system is warranted for 10 years.
I am one of those who keeps up with the sun and grey skies make me dreary, so do dark rooms; love to keep windows open and the blinds pulled up, to let the sun in. Remember how there is always a tug of war for that corner cabin with windows! Scientific evidence shows that people feel, work and learn better with daylight than with electric lighting.
The zoo website reports that the environmental impact of the warehouse skylight installation is as follows:
The environmental impacts of this one project are:
- Annual Carbon Emissions Reduction: 220,605 Lbs.
- Annual Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Emissions Reduction: 866 Lbs.
- Annual Nitrogen Oxide (NO,NO2) Reduction: 425 Lbs.
- Coal Burning Avoided: 47 Tons
- Atmospheric Mercury Contamination Avoided: 2,227 Mg
- Equivalent Acres of Forest Added: 27 Acres
- Equivalent Number of Cars Removed From the Road: 19 Cars
The essence is that Ciralight Virtually eliminates the need for electric lighting during the daylight hours. Daylighting reduces pollution and improves human output. Ciralight’s SunTracker high performance daylighting system produces up to ten times more light than a passive skylight and distributes light more evenly and over a wider area. Imagine what an impact it can make if a majority of the large store chains changed their lighting to Suntrack Daylighting systems! Green is the way to live.
Check out how it works here: Ciralight Demo
Check out a video about Suntracker from Ciralight Global