Compact Smart Device will brighten underground spaces

May 04, 2021 | Vanshika Kaushik

Compact Smart Device will brighten underground spaces title banner

Solar energy harvesting is popularly used these days for the production of electricity. 


Instead of the traditional ways that involve production of energy via fossil fuels companies are diverting their resources in setting up solar panels.


American tech giants are heavily investing in electrical energy production through solar panels. Companies like Amazon,IKEA,Apple,Walmart are producing maximum electrical energy through clean mediums.


(Also check: Active Solar Energy)


There are so many disadvantages of solar energy.


The most prominent one being  using a lot of space.Solar panels require a lot of space for their setup.Solar PV panels are so huge that they cannot be set up on terraces.


A group of researchers from NTU Singapore have developed a smart device that is compact hence it uses minimum space. The ”Smart device” can harvest daylight to relay it to underground spaces reducing the dependency on traditional sources of lighting.


As companies are excavating deeper into the earth’s surface to hunt down available resources and minerals it becomes important to have a reliable source of light.


It is practically impossible to divert the sun's energy underground but this “smart device” will harvest the “sunlight” to light up underground spaces. 


Smart Device


The smart device looks like a crystal ball and it focuses on sunlight’s focal point from where the sunlight is collected at the end of a fiber cable then transported through the other end that is deployed underground where the collected sunlight is used. 


  • The acrylic ball placed at the centre acts as a solar concentrator and precisely focuses  on providing a sharp focus to the sunlight. 
  •  To ensure that maximum sunlight is offered the device uses a computer based mechanism to track the sunrays.
  • A pair of sensors that are installed in the smart device  also measures the light brightness and the collected sunlight.
  • During inconsistency small motors will automatically adjust the cable's position until the value on sensors is the same.


According to SciTech daily, Dr.Charu the lead of the research team said, ”The luminous efficacy of the low cost device proves that the device is well suited for low-level lighting applications like car parks, lifts and underground walkways in dense cities.It is also scalable .The device can be customized to a desired output optical power by replacing it with a bigger or smaller ball”.