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UBC Physicists' Bright Idea Gets Clean Energy Funding


July 23, 2008

An illumination system designed by UBC physicists that saves energy by directing daylight into the core of office buildings has received $2 million in funding from BC's Innovative Clean Energy initiative.

The Solar Canopy System uses precisely aligned mirrors to reflect direct sunlight into a hybrid prism light guide--invented by UBC physicist Lorne Whitehead--which then guides and spreads light within the building.

The new funding will allow the UBC Structured Surface Physics Lab to take the technology on the road, demonstrating its feasibility in different types of buildings, geographical locations, and in both new construction and retrofits.

Office lighting is a major user of electrical lighting. The system not only saves energy (and as a result cuts green house gas emissions) but provides natural lighting to areas typically lit by less appealing fluorescents.

3M, BC Hydro, Ledalite Philips, and Busby Perkins and Will are also among the project's sponsors.

More information on the project:

More on the BC Innovative Clean Energy Fund:

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