Energy Reducing, Ruggedized, Solar Lighting System

Period of Performance: 01/27/2012 - 07/31/2012


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Steven Winter Associates, Inc.
61 Washington Street
Norwalk, CT 06854
Principal Investigator


The DoD management has duly recognized the scope of the energy problem in its operations and has undertaken several initiatives on renewable and alternative energy technologies. However, there are still energy issues that need to be addressed. According to the DoD SBIR 2011.3 solicitation, more than 4,600 gallons of JP-8 fuel is used for lighting shelters in a 600-person base camp. All this energy could be saved by developing a compact, lightweight, and sufficiently ruggedized solar lighting system for military shelters. Steven Winter Associates, Inc. (SWA), an award-winning energy and sustainability small business, considers the development of a fiber-optic solar lighting technology to be a timely opportunity and believes this technology can be adopted to commercial use (artificial lighting energy costs more than $40 billion annually), if cost-effectiveness is achieved. SWA joins Energy Focus, Inc. (EFOI), a leading supplier of energy solutions such as remote-source fiber-optic lighting and LED lighting, in proposing to develop an advanced fiber-optic daylighting system that is compact, light-weight, rugged, mobile and field-deployable by transforming their prototype technology to meet the demanding needs of the military shelter application based on the team s collective experience in fiber-optic daylighting, remote-source lighting and energy efficient lighting. There are three key components in the fiber-optic daylighting system solar light concentrator, tracking system and light delivery system comprising fiber-optic cables and a hybrid light-fixture. During Phase I, SWA will design an advanced solar light collector with a two-stage concentrator, and a dual-axis, active, motorized tracking system; EFOI will design the light delivery system with an advanced hybrid light fixture. SWA proposes to utilize advanced polymer composites to develop an overall light-weight and rugged system. The team will also build and test a breadboard prototype system during Phase I to accelerate the development effort in Phase II. The overall performance and cost objective is to develop a reliable, renewable energy lighting technology for military shelters that costs less than $10/ft2 with no fuel consumption during daylit hours.