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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Experimental investigation of sunlight permeability of translucent concrete panels as a building envelope


An innovative building envelope was introduced for daylight permeability in an anidolic manner through the opaque parts of exterior façades and roofs. A prefabricated translucent concrete panel (TCP) with embedded optical fibers (OFs) was coupled with a layer outfitted with compound parabolic concentrators (CPCs). Such TCPs have been predominantly used for aesthetic purposes. Moreover, OFs and CPCs have been used in many industries, particularly for telecommunications and the concentration of solar energy, respectively. The goal of this study was to introduce a novel building-envelope construction solution that can transmit sunlight to the interior of a building. Because of the nature of the traditional building materials blocking the passage of natural light, artificial lighting was constantly required, even during daytime, which consumed a great deal of energy in the form of artificial electrical light. This proposed building envelope is a viable solution to alleviate this inefficiency. Experimental results show the effectiveness and limitations of the proposed solution discussed in this paper.

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