Development of Polymer Processing Techniques for Dramatic Cost Reduction of Large Core Plastic Optical Fiber, for Use with Advanced, High Intensity Discharge (HID) Distributed Accent Lighting System
75812-Incandescent and halogen accent lights remain some of the last lighting applications where no cost effective, energy efficient solution exists. Potential energy efficient lighting systems exist; for example, one high-efficiency metal halide lamp and ballast can run eight points of light in a distributed lighting system. However, these systems have product limitations due to their high cost. This project will develop technology to reduce the cost of a high intensity discharge (HID) distributed accent lighting systems. Costs will be reduced by 50%, by optimizing the fabrication of the system¿s plastic optical fiber component, reducing the cost per point below conventional halogen sources. Phase I will identify and evaluate at least three new polymer processing approaches aimed at reducing cure time. The polymer processing work will focus on polymer chain cross-linking and the elimination of the current ¿cure¿ processing technology. The best approach will be carried into a pilot scale demonstration of the technology in Phase II. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The lighting system should provide the energy efficiency of a metal halide lamp at the cost of a halogen lamp. Applications include: supermarkets, where the lack of infrared and ultraviolet radiation would permit food to stay fresh longer; clothing and jewelry stores at malls, where savings in energy usage and the costs of lamps will be significant; and office buildings where low fixture costs and an 80% savings in installation costs will be a factor. Altogether, about 0.19 quads of energy per year could be saved as this product is used in new installations and energy retrofits.
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