In July, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) approved the world's first Lowline underground park, which will replace an abandoned underground terminal in the Manhattan area. It is assumed that exotic plants from all over the world will be collected here, and the interior lighting will be provided by a special movable system of mirrors, which will “relay” sunlight from the surface.
The authors of the unique project are James Ramsey and Dan Barash. The system of mirrors developed by them will accurately follow the movement of the sun, collecting and concentrating its energy for subsequent transmission. The main elements of the system will be 100 parabolic "plates". The accumulated solar energy will be 30 times higher than the level of light that pedestrians face on the street every day.
The sun's rays will be directed between the mirrors located inside the protective tubes to prevent dust from entering the lenses. The transmission system is somewhat reminiscent of zigzag fluorescent lamps. The light is then redirected to distributors - optical diffusers made of anodized aluminum panels. They will illuminate the plants in the park.
Demonstration of technology at Lowline Lab
Thanks to the mirror system, the engineers were able to achieve the full light spectrum with an efficiency of around 70%. The remaining 30% is absorbed during transmission. If you compare these figures with LEDs powered by solar panels with an efficiency of 7%, the difference is obvious.
Investments in the project will amount to $ 60 million, including funds for the modernization of the abandoned underground terminal and the installation of special lighting equipment.