THE POTENTIAL OF FIBRE OPTIC DAYLIGHTING
FOR INTERIOR ILLUMINATION IN TROPICAL CLIMATE
Muhammad Arkam Bin Che Munaaim
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mohd. Rodzi Bin Ismail
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ar. Abdul Malek Bin Abdul Rahman
School of Housing, Building & Planning
Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
2. Problem Statement
3. Research Questions
4. Research Objectives
5. Literature Review
6. Research Methodology
7. Results and Analysis
8. Significant of Research
9. Limitation of Research
Maximum Demand (MD) of electricity in Peninsular Malaysia increasing from
14,245 MW in 2009, 15,072 MW in 2010 and 15,476 MW in 2011 with the
limited generation capacity cropped at 21,817 MW.
On average, an increment of more than 2% is recorded annually to balance the
increasing of electric energy demand from all sectors throughout Malaysia.
(Energy Commission, 2011)
Lighting consumption from total building energy usage is ranging between 13%
- 43% (USEIA, 2011; Yudelson, 2011; IIEJ, 2011; Griffiths, 2010; Saidur, 2009;
Waide, 2006; Chen, 2010, Crisp et al., 1988; Lam and Chan, 1995; Ramatha,
Artificial lighting is second major sources of electrical energy costs in office
buildings (Energy Commission, 2011).
1) What is the minimum, maximum and average lux level can be obtained from
a fibre optic daylighting system?
2) What is the potential of fibre optic daylighting system for tropical climate?
3) Will the fibre optic daylighting system significantly effect on internal building
relative humidity level?
4) Is there any heat introduced to inside the building by the fibre optic daylighting
5) How many savings in terms of electrical energy and environmental benefits
contributed by fibre optic daylighting system?
In order to assess the optimum approach for fibre optic daylighting strategy,
below specific objectives were outlined:
1)To examine the illumination level obtained by fibre optic daylighting system in
full scale experiment for various tropical climate conditions related to solar
2)To investigate the effects of fibre optic daylighting system in building for relative
humidity and heat parameters.
3)To evaluate the potential of saving on electricity energy and CO2 resulting
from fibre optic daylighting system in tropical climate.
Research Field Of Studies
Fibre optic photocells using model
Potential of solar lighting by using
fibre optic cable with consideration
of the basic principle and method
of light concentration.
Modelling system of transmission
concentrated solar energy via
Sansoni et al.
Internal lighting by solar collector
and fibre optic.
Han and Kim
High density daylight for interior
illumination by using fibre optic
cable with solar tracking and
Design and application of fibre
optic daylighting system.
Chen et al.
Fibre optic and solar concentrator
and test for its indoor illumination.
Reviewed on the limitation in
current daylighting in solar
concentrated devices with solar
tube and fibre optic cable.
Patrick et al.
Improving passive solar
concentrator for fibre optic
Fibre optic-based daylighting
system with uniform illumination
based on heat problem.
Wong and Yang
Remote sources lighting system to
illuminate enclosed lift lobbies
using fibre optic cables.
Research Field Of Studies Research
MethodH C T D
Hayman (1990), GB. Modeling/
Grise and Patrick
Kandilli and Ulgen
Sansoni et al. (2008).
Han and Kim (2009),
Chen et al. (2010),
Hamzah and Chen
Patrick et al. (2011),
Irfan and Seoyong
Seung et al. (2013),
Sapia (2013), Italy Computer
The FOC Daylighting components is based on the recommendation made by Stiles et al. (1998),
Andre and Schade (2002), Grise (2002), Hansen and Edmonds (2003), Ghisi and Tinker (2006),
Kandilli and Ulgen (2007), Sansoni et al. (2008), Hammam et al. (2007), Jeong et al. (2009),
Hamzah et al. (2010), Irfan and Seoyong (2012) and Seung et al. (2013) which comprises:
Receiver (Fresnel Lens) Solar receiver with sun tracking system as also selected by Ono and
Cuello (2003), Kandilli and Ulgen (2007), Sansoni et al. (2008) and Couture et al. (2011) in their
research. Fresnel lens is widely used because it gives the good performance at a low cost (Irfan and
Fibre Optic Cable (Plastic Acrylic) Using 6 x 10m plastic acrylic type of cable for transmit the light
from the receiver as it most commonly used in fibre optic lighting in terms of tolerable losses at
reasonable cost as also applied by Cariou et al (1982), Jaramillo et al. (1998 and 1999), Ciamberlini
et al. (2003) and Ono and Cuello (2003).
Diffusers (Plastic Acrylic) is chosen due to 2 materials compatibility that connecting the cables-
diffusers. However, very few research in light diffusing system for fibre optic cable daylighting where
started in 2003 by Sapia (Italy) and in 2011 by Patrick et al. (Canada).
RESULTS AND ANALYSIS
Based on the consideration on solar radiation and external lux intensity in data
analysis also been conducted by A.Zain et al. (2002a), Irfan and Seoyong (2012) for
internal-external lux comparative analysis.
Simplified comparative analysis method was implemented by A.Zain et al. (2002a),
Hein and Chirarattananon (2007) and and Mazran (2010) for heat analysis.
Meanwhile Tsoutsos et al. (2005) who investigated the environmental impact from
solar energy followed by Ghisi and Tinker (2006) when outlined the value of saving
per kWh as per concluded earlier than that by Lancashire and Fox in 1996.
Comparison of average surface
temperature for fibre optic light
diffuser during system ON and OFF
Comparison of average internal
temperature during system ON and OFF
[Left Axis: Relative Humidity, RH (%),
Right Axis: Solar Radiation (W/m2
[Left Axis: Relative Humidity, RH (%),
Right Axis: Solar Radiation (W/m2
RESULTS-Energy and CO2 Saving
351 watt is an amount of electrical energy required to
illuminate the room in achieving GBI and MS1525:2007
recommendation of minimum 300 lux based on
simulation. Estimated daily energy required,
E = 351 Watt X 8 hour
= 2,808 Watt hour.
= 2.8 kWh x 33.54 cent/kWh
= USD 0.29 / day, 8 hours of operation.
On environmental savings*, as suggested by Lancashire and
Fox (1996) and Ghisi and Tinker (2006):
*Saving from the installation per
680 gram 1,904 gram Carbon Dioxide
5.67 gram 15.88 gram Sulphur Dioxide
2.27 gram 6.36 gram Nitrogen Oxides
Above saving is obtainable by the condition of the
system is working well in suitable weather condition.
SIGNIFICANT OF RESEARCH
This research related to the encouragement on energy studies especially to meet
MS1525:2007 which focussed on the Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy-
Efficiency (EE) aspect in building design.
This research will conclude the possibility of using fibre optic cable as a light
medium mainly in light distribution strategies thus creating an opportunity for
maximizing the solar daylighting system in illuminating the interior building core
This research will provide an empirical results of fibre optic as a medium of
daylighting distribution since will cover the most basic parameters especially in
lighting level and human comfort in a building. This method also will create an
awareness among users in taking an advantage from available daylighting in
LIMITATION OF RESEARCH
Normal tropical data is collected for 17 days and perception of weather condition
is based on observation only.
Since the research is aiming on the potential of fibre optic daylighting in tropical
climate, the engineering part especially related to construction, development of the
overall system consist of the receiver, light transmission and diffusers will not be
covered in detail under this research.
The benefits of FOC daylighting system is to illuminate interior spaces where there
is no sunlight penetration is possible, research will only consider the total dark
room for test bed.
In addition, the building materials engineering related to the roof, walls, floors and
any other aspect which is not related to research objectives and research questions
above will not be elaborated in this research.
LIST OF PUBLICATION (UPDATED)
Muhammad Arkam, C.M., Karam, M.O., Ismail, M.R. and Abdul Malek, A.R. (2013). The
Potential of Fiber Optic Daylighting System In Tropical Malaysia. Indoor and Built
Environment. Accepted 2nd
March 2014. (Submitted 29th
August 2013. Scopus-ISI-
Impact Factor 1.0.
Muhammad Arkam, C.M., Karam, M.O., Ismail, M.R. and Abdul Malek, A.R. (2013). An
Empirical Study of Heat Gain Impact In Tropical Building Interiors from Fiber Optic
Daylighting System. Energy Efficiency. Under review (Submitted 18th
2013) Scopus-ISI-Impact Factor 1.0.
Muhammad Arkam, C.M., Karam, M.O., Ismail, M.R. and Abdul Malek, A.R. (2014). A
Review Study on the Application of the Fiber Optic Daylighting System in Malaysian
Buildings. Journal of Sustainable Building Technology & Urban Development.
Accepted with corrections (re-Submitted 13th
Jan 2014) Taylor and Francis.
LIST OF EXHIBITIONS
Muhammad Arkam Che Munaaim. The Potential of Light Transmission Using Fibre Optic
Cable For Interior Illumination In Malaysia. In: Ekspo Rekacipta dan Pameran Penyelidikan
UniMAP 2011. Awarded of Bronze Prize. 11th
Januari 2012. Dewan Pauh Putra, Perlis.
Muhammad Arkam Che Munaaim and Norain Ali (2012). Light Transmission Using Light Tube
For Interior Illumination In Malaysia. In: Ekspo Rekacipta dan Pameran Penyelidikan UniMAP
Januari 2012. Dewan Pauh Putra, Perlis.
Muhammad Arkam Che Munaaim and Norazlina Ismail (2012). The Potential of Light
Transmission Using Fibre Optic Cable For Interior Illumination In Malaysia. International
Engineering Invention and Innovation Exhibition (i-ENVEX) and Malaysian International Young
Inventors Olympiad (MIYIO) 2012. 26th
April 2012. 2020 Hall, Kangar, Perlis.
LIST OF PRESENTATIONS
The Institute of Engineers and Technology’s (United Kingdom)
in CEng Professional Review, Staff House, University of
Manchester, United Kingdom, 29th
Muhammad Arkam Che Munaaim (2014), in Research
Seminar Series, Faculty of Natural and Built Environment,
Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield UK, 12th
VISIT TO HBP-USM DAYLIGHTING
Below arrangements to visit was conducted during installation and data collection.
Ir. Ahmad Izdihar, PEng, GBIF. Visit to site on behalf of GBI Malaysia and Exergy Malaysia Sdn
Bhd for Proposed Prime Minister’s Office Platinum GBI Certification Potential (Innovation) on 29th
Ir. Amran Mahzan, KFM Project Sdn Bhd on behalf of PMC, PMO’s GBI Platinum Certification
Potential (Innovation) on 29th
Cypark Berhad (En Shahrul Azad), Technical Visit for explore Solar Lighting Equipment‘s
Mega Jati Consult Sdn Bhd (En Mohd Hilmi Ir. Abd Mokhti), Technical Visit for explore Solar
Lighting Equipment‘s potential, 20th
Application to Visits: Green Technology Ptd. Ltd, Hong Kong (June 2013) for Fibre Optic
Daylighting Strategy via email. Postponed due to unpublished results.
Application to Visits: Sri Lanka’s Green Energy Consultant (April 2013) for Fibre Optic
Daylighting Mock Up via email. Postponed due to unpublished results.
Application to Visits: Singapore’s Green Mark Consultant (April 2013) for Fibre Optic Daylighting
System via email. Postponed due to unpublished results.
This research was outlined about the potential of fibre optic daylighting for interior
illumination in tropical climate. To conclude the potential and restriction of the
system, sequencing experiments were conducted started with the literature survey
and designing the empirical data collection method to satisfy the research
objectives and research questions.
Based on results of analysis that explained, it is trusted that the experiments
conducted in field study achieving the comprehension in understanding and
contributed to the fullfilling the gap of knowledge of the potential of fibre optic
daylighting for interior illumination in tropical climate.