Heliostat developed by scientists from AGH UST will brighten up dark rooms with natural daylight

How does one daylight dark offices or flats thus economising on electricity bills? The problem of shadowy rooms has just been solved by a device presented by scientists from AGH University of Science and Technology. The design called spherical heliostat will distribute natural light over all dark corners of our interiors.

Paweł Wajss of the Faculty of Energy and Fuels, as part of his doctoral research, developed a device which allows offices, flats and courtyards to be effectively brightened. The spherical heliostat, or Heliosfera – as it has been named by its creators – enables sunlight to penetrate deep into any indoor area. Inside its casing, apart from a plane mirror which reflects sunrays, the device contains a mechanism for setting the optimum orientation for the whole set-up, which is how dark kitchens and corridors can get   successfully daylighted. The design of the device has been made all the more attractive as all of its components have been contained inside a spherical casing. This solution adds to the applicability of the heliostat in public areas, where spherical shapes are becoming increasingly popular among architects.

The structure developed by AGH UST researchers solves the problem of badly laid-out indoor spaces, with small windows or overshadowed by neighbouring structures. The light from Heliosfera can be also received by photovoltaic cells, which – supported by the device – can boost the amount of energy generated by power cells and thus enhance its efficiency.

Paweł Wajss, who proposed the idea originally, stresses the fact that:

– Light reflection technology has been familiar to people for a very long time. However, so far it has been used on an industrial scale, far from the everyday life of ordinary people. The breakthrough came from the Norwegian town of Rjukan, which is where heliostats illuminated the town’s central square in the middle of the dark Norwegian winter. Our concept will deliver sunlight to houses, flats and offices – to all those places it normally does not reach, offering those who use them the benefit Rjukan residents have.