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INTRODUCTION


enhance crystalline solar cell efficiency. Order levels reflect the recognition that lasers are an indispensable tool to enhance cell efficiency above 20 per cent for mono-crystalline and 18 per cent for multi-crystalline cells and modules.


Solid-state lighting (SSL) Solid-state lighting is now a mature technology that is rapidly climbing in share among the different commercial lighting technologies. Currently, LEDs can reach a luminous efficacy of 276 lumens per watt (lm/W), and are predicted to reach 280 to 330 lm/W in the short term. However, the fact that SSL is approaching its theoretical ceiling on efficacy makes it necessary for research to focus on the rational use of energy through dedicated intelligent light engines governed by smart spaces, cities and societies.


‘The fact that SSL can be easily governed and integrated with ICT systems opens up promising lighting applications that can impact our society and our economy,’ says EPIC member Josep Carreras from IREC, the Catalonia Institute for Energy Research. There is a real need for new SSL proofs of concept that strongly overlap with ICT. ‘Intelligent lighting systems can benefit the EU economy at large,’ adds Wim Hertog from IREC. Intelligent lighting management requires a holistic view of different photonic technologies that were initially conceived as being not related to lighting. Such important systems


include: l Luminaires addressable in a network configuration;


l Programmed lighting scenes and spectra for different activities;


l Presence-dependent activation/ deactivation of lighting by motion detectors;


PHOTONICS FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY 2013 7


l Daylight-dependent regulation of lighting level;


l Illuminance/colour sensors on


luminaires; l Illuminance/colour sensors in


the room; and l Illuminance/colour outdoor sensors.


An inherent saving potential of 44 per cent could be achieved


by using a combination of these electronic and photonic elements. As the luminous efficacy of a


source approaches its theoretical limit, and the incremental benefits of research in new materials prove not to pay off, its leading role is going to fade away in the years to come in favour of a more holistic approach


FEATURE


of lighting, which includes a combination of electronic and photonic technologies to provide intelligence and interactivity over smart spaces, cities and societies. This implies great business opportunities but also exciting times ahead, as a revolution in lighting is silently but surely beginning to illuminate. l


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