POL has taken part in the recent Horizon 202 EU-funded project called “BrightWall” to create a translucent concrete wall that allows in natural lighting, without the associated loss of heat. POL provided consultancy on the optical design, optical materials selection and lightguide manufacturing aspects of the project.
The new material – named ‘BrightWall’, after the project – has such good insulation properties that it can help a building retain twice as much energy as a standard concrete panel and up to five times more than glass walls and windows. It also reduces the need for electric lighting and air conditioning. This makes it the ideal building solution and could help the EU to meet its targets of cutting electricity use and achieving a 20% increase in energy efficiency by 2020.
The BrightWall material is a concrete sandwich panel, comprising of two layers of reinforced concrete, with insulation in between. This sandwich construction provides the wall with its strength, load-bearing qualities and ability to withstand extensive fire testing. But it’s the innovative little tubes — light guides — that give the new wall its high energy-saving potential.
BrightWall project coordinator Johannes Portielje Rauff Greisen explains that these ‘light guides’ were a key project achievement. A light guide is a tube made of optical fibres. It works like a mirror tunnel; it transmits and reflects light that shines onto the opening of the tube. “The project team passed 5 000 light guides through all three sections of the first BrightWall to produce a facade that is fully insulating and that allows controlled daylight to pass through into the building,” says Greisen. When placed within the concrete, the light guides transfer so much daylight into a room that the total window area needed is significantly reduced. The light guides and a slight modification of the concrete casting process have enabled researchers to create a building material that is really a wall and a window all in one.
The latest computer optical design and ray trace programs with optomechanical innovation are used to take full advantage of plastics materials. Complex optical surfaces combined with integral low cost assembly features.
SLA (Stereolithography), SLS (Selective Laser Sintering), Clear SLA, SLA to Vacuum Casting, Direct Machining and Tooling options.
Proven optical quality toolmakers are chosen and assisted by mould flow analysis to optimize the tool. Our specialist toolmakers are skilled in optical surface generation and polishing.
Our moulders are trained in the art of optical moulding. Mould flow process analysis and thorough F.M.E.A. is controlled by the Project Manager to ensure quality and quantity.
Our integrated approach to design enables optical components to become part of the total solution, including how they interface with the other non-optical components.
Plastics optical components can be coated in poly-siloxane and acrylate based resin blends to impart more robust properties.
Polymer Optics Limited
The Hall, Priory Hill, Rugby Road, Wolston, Coventry CV8 3FZ
+44 (0)2476 937394
Polymer Optics “Modular LED Optics”® design, based on a patented hexagonal format, allows maximum packing density and assembly flexibility for a wide range of applications.
We have also developed specialist optics for the latest range of high power UV LEDs emerging onto the market. These are made from high quality optical silicone to give excellent UV transmission with no long term degradation. See POL’s Silicone Optics page for further details.
We design and supply a comprehensive range of high quality, standard products for use with most world-leading LED devices
Hybrid Reflector design uses a central lens to collect and collimate the on-axis light from the LED.
Our expertise in efficient light control in Lightguide assemblies, enables a lower number of LEDs to achieve the maximum performance.
Free-Form optics are a relatively recent development which offer a step change in the way wide areas are illuminated by LEDs.
Our "engineering with light" approach allows us to provide product solutions for all applications across the whole spectrum from Visible to Infrared.
Developed tooling techniques enable us to produce precision optical surfaces with optical apertures of less than 1mm in diameter, required for miniature camera lens applications.
Our design approach, using light scattering pattern techniques, have enabled us to provide high efficiency display illuminations with very compact space envelopes, which use the minimum of light sources and electrical power consumption.
Our experience in designing and developing ophthalmic products, enables us to provide precision, impact resistant, eye protection optics for applications such as: fire protection, motor cycle visors, industrial PPE and military systems.
Polymer Optics have designed and manufactured a range of optics for street lighting, to meet both the ME and S class regimes of EN13201-2 in Europe and the requirements of IESNA RP-8-00 in the USA.
Emergency Lighting and Visual Alarm Devices are applications where light from an LED has to be efficiently distributed over a wide area. POL’s free form optics technology is particularly suited for applications which require wide area illumination.
POL can now provide advanced optical product design and rapid manufacture in the latest silicone resins to gain design and cost advantages in our customers’ applications.
Our patented prismatic colour mixing optic was introduced to enable good colour mixing, for narrow beam angle systems, using three discrete LED sources.
Brand named “GloWorm®”, the novel lightguide technology enables the light projected from a simple lightguide to be redirected and shaped