Title:
Indirect Natural Light Skylight
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A skylight is provided that provides natural sunlight to rooms and areas of a building that do not have a direct view of the sun. The skylight provides a way for interior rooms of a building, for example, to receive natural light from a skylight overhead. Such skylight construction in buildings provides natural daylight to the interior of multi-tiered buildings and the benefits of a skylight accrue to the interior rooms of the multi-tiered building. Generally, this is accomplished by reflecting exterior natural light off one or more mirrors to a skylight in an interior room.


Inventors:
Rosales Pino, Carlos Benjamin (Guayaquil, EC)
Carrion Perez, Juan Carlos (Guayaquil, EC)
Application Number:
12/769244
Publication Date:
11/03/2011
Filing Date:
04/28/2010
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/200, 52/741.1
International Classes:
E04D13/03; E04B1/00; E04B7/18
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20070044396Variable space water guard systemMarch, 2007Janesky
20050210782Stress end portion structure of prestressed concrete structure body and method of forming the stress end portionSeptember, 2005Kadotani et al.
20080313987Removable FloorDecember, 2008Ibanez et al.
20060096212Roofing structural system having dove tail joint roof decking and insulation fastening systems incorporated thereinMay, 2006Panasik
20050193639Adjustable hood system for rain guttersSeptember, 2005Knudson et al.
20060236649Architectural capital having an astragal formed thereonOctober, 2006Christensen et al.
20020095898Modular-tarp building-roof/wall shielding & systemJuly, 2002Bettencourt
20060080942Facing unit constructionApril, 2006O'neill
20040194426Flood barrierOctober, 2004Shapero
20080190059Water-permeable concrete pad and formAugust, 2008Hobbs
20030051418Prefabricated structure and method of constructionMarch, 2003Crowder
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A skylight providing indirect natural light, comprising: a first glass having an unobstructed path to a sky; a first mirror configured to receive light from the first glass and direct the received light to a second mirror; the second mirror configured to receive the light from the first mirror and direct the light to a second glass; and the second glass configured to receive the light from the first mirror and pass the light through to a room, the second glass having an obstructed path to the sky.

2. The skylight of claim 1, wherein the second glass is on the ceiling of the room.

3. The skylight of claim 1, wherein the light travels between the first mirror and the second mirror through an air shaft.

4. The skylight of claim 3, wherein the first mirror is at a 45 degree angle to the first glass and a floor of the air shaft, and the second mirror is at a 45 degree angle to the first mirror and the floor of the air shaft.

5. The skylight of claim 1, wherein the first glass is on top of a building that includes the room.

6. The skylight of claim 1, wherein the first glass is on a side of a building that includes the room.

7. The skylight of claim 1, further comprising more than two mirrors configured to reflect the light.

8. The skylight of claim 7, further comprising more than one air shaft in which the light travels between the more than two mirrors.

9. The skylight of claim 1, wherein the second glass includes two panes of glass.

10. A method for installing a skylight providing indirect natural light, comprising: positioning a first glass such that the first glass has an unobstructed path to a sky; positioning a first mirror such that the first mirror receives light from the first glass and directs the received light to a second mirror; positioning a second mirror such that the second mirror receives the light from the first mirror and directs the light to a second glass; and positioning the second glass such that the second glass has an obstructed path to the sky, receives the light from the first mirror and passes the light through to a room.

11. The method of claim 10, further comprising positioning the second glass on the ceiling of the room.

12. The method of claim 10, further comprising positioning the first mirror and second mirrors in an air shaft such that the light travels between the first mirror and the second mirror through the air shaft.

13. The method of claim 10, further comprising positioning the first mirror at a 45 degree angle to the first glass and a floor of the air shaft, and positioning the second mirror at a 45 degree angle to the first mirror and the floor of the air shaft.

14. The method of claim 10, further comprising positioning the first glass on top of a building that includes the room.

15. The method of claim 10, further comprising positioning the first glass on a side of a building that includes the room.

16. The method of claim 10, further comprising positioning more than two mirrors to reflect the light.

17. The method of claim 16, further comprising positioning more than one air shaft in which the light travels between the more than two mirrors.

18. The method of claim 10, wherein the second glass includes two panes of glass.

19. A skylight providing indirect natural light, comprising: a first glass having an unobstructed path to a sky; a mirror configured to receive light from the first glass and direct the received light to a second glass; and the second glass configured to receive the light from the mirror and pass the light through to a room, the second glass having an obstructed path to the sky.

20. The skylight of claim 19, wherein the light travels between the first glass and the mirror through an air shaft.

Description:

This generally relates to skylights and more particularly to skylights receiving natural light indirectly.

BACKGROUND

A skylight permits the substitution of daylight for electric light in buildings. A skylight also permits heat transfer from the interior of the building to the exterior. This can provide savings in lighting and cooling costs as well as increase the aesthetic appeal of a room, but conventional skylight designs have limited this savings to rooms on the top floor of a building because conventional skylights only provide a direct path of light from the outside, through a transparent structure mounted on or within the roof of a building, and into its uppermost rooms.

This drawback does not permit the same benefits to be realized in interior rooms or rooms that are not on the top floor of the building. Whereas most rooms of a structure are typically not on the top floor and do not have a way of having direct overhead sunlight, it would be advantageous to realize the benefits of a skylight anywhere in the building. Conventional systems do not permit a skylight to be in, for example, a basement. Accordingly, there is a desire for methods and systems to provide benefits of skylights to rooms without direct views of the sky.

SUMMARY

In accordance with methods and systems consistent with the present invention, a skylight is provided that provides indirect natural light, comprising a first glass having an unobstructed path to a sky, and a first mirror configured to receive light from the first glass and direct the received light to a second mirror. The skylight further comprises the second mirror configured to receive the light from the first mirror and direct the light to a second glass, and the second glass configured to receive the light from the first mirror and pass the light through to a room, the second glass having an obstructed path to the sky.

In one implementation, a method for a skylight providing indirect natural light is provided, comprising positioning a first glass such that the first glass has an unobstructed path to a sky, and positioning a first mirror such that the first mirror receives light from the first glass and directs the received light to a second mirror. The method further comprises positioning a second mirror such that the second mirror receives the light from the first mirror and directs the light to a second glass, and positioning the second glass such that the second glass has an obstructed path to the sky and receives the light from the first mirror and passes the light through to a room.

In another implementation, a skylight is provided that provides indirect natural light, comprising a first glass having an unobstructed path to a sky, and a mirror configured to receive light from the first glass and direct the received light to a second glass. The skylight further provides a second glass configured to receive the light from the mirror and pass the light through to a room, the second glass having an obstructed path to the sky.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows an elevated side view of an exemplary skylight in accordance methods and systems consistent with the present invention;

FIG. 2 depicts an elevated side view of an alternative embodiment of a skylight made in accordance methods and systems consistent with the present invention;

FIG. 3 illustrates a side view of a vertical cross section showing the additional details of the anterior end of the skylight in FIG. 1 and FIG. 5;

FIG. 4 depicts a side view of a vertical cross section showing additional details of the posterior end of the skylight in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 illustrates a side view of a vertical cross section of another alternative embodiment of a skylight in accordance methods and systems consistent with the present invention;

FIG. 6 depicts a side view of a vertical cross section of FIG. 5, showing additional details of the posterior end;

FIG. 7 illustrates a flowchart depicting steps in a method for constructing an interior skylight in accordance with methods and systems consistent with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Methods and systems in accordance with the present invention provide a skylight that provides natural sunlight to rooms and areas of a building that do not have a direct view of the sun. They provide a way for interior rooms of a building, for example, to receive natural light from a skylight overhead. Skylight construction in buildings in accordance with methods and systems consistent with the present invention provide natural daylight to the interior of the building, including multi-tiered buildings. Accordingly, an improved skylight is provided that allows the benefits of a skylight to accrue to the interior rooms of a multi-tiered building. Generally, this is accomplished by reflecting exterior light off one or more mirrors to a skylight in an interior room.

In one implementation, the mirrors are located in an air shaft and oriented at angles such that sunlight will be collected, reflected down the air shaft, and reflected through a skylight installed in the ceiling or wall of an interior room. By this general method, sunlight can shine into any space in the interior of a structure. Generally, a first glass on the roof permits natural light, e.g., sunlight, to shine on a first mirror which reflects the light through a shaft to a second mirror which reflects the light through a second glass which serves as the skylight in the interior room. In other implementations, there may be more than two mirrors for more indirect reflections.

FIG. 1 shows an exemplary skylight 1 in accordance with methods and systems consistent with the present invention. Skylight 1 includes a first sheet of glass 2, a first mirror 3, an air shaft 4, a second mirror 5 and a second sheet of glass 6. In one implementation, sheet of glass 2 is mounted at an acute angle on the exterior wall of the building such that sunlight can shine through sheet of glass 2. As shown, in one implementation, glass 2 may have two panes of glass, one positioned horizontally and another positioned at an angle. Glass 2 may also be composed of any material that allows light to pass including materials other than glass. The material used to construct air shaft 4 may vary depending on the material's refraction properties, but may be similar material to that used in air shafts of central air conditioning equipment or extractors. However, any suitable materials may be used. Mirror 3 is mounted below sheet of glass 2, in the anterior end of air shaft 4 at a 45° angle to both the floor and ceiling of air shaft 4, such that sunlight passing through sheet of glass 2 reflects off mirror 3 and moves through air shaft 4 toward its posterior end towards second mirror 5. Other angles may be used depending on the positioning of the glass 2 and mirrors 3 and 5 and the air shaft 4.

The second mirror 5 is mounted within the posterior end of air shaft 4 at a 45° angle to both the floor and ceiling of air shaft 4 such that light traveling down air shaft 4 reflects off second mirror 5. Second sheet of glass 6 is mounted within the ceiling of interior room 10, and creates a portal between air shaft 4 and interior room 10 such that the light reflected off second mirror 5 passes through second sheet of glass 6 and into interior room 10. In this way, a person in interior room 10 will receive natural daylight from a skylight overhead. In other implementations, the second sheet of glass 6 may be mounted on other areas of the interior room such as a wall.

FIG. 2 shows another exemplary embodiment wherein sheet of glass 2 is mounted within the exterior wall of the building. In this implementation, the sheet of glass 2 is mounted within the exterior wall of the building at a 90° angle to the bottom and top of air shaft 4. In this exemplary embodiment, mirror 3 is not present, and sunlight passes through sheet of glass 2 and proceeds directly down air shaft 4. Also, in this exemplary implementation, air shaft 4 may have no outcropping from the exterior wall of the building. The other components, mirror 5, second glass 6 and air shaft 4 may be positioned similarly as shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 depicts greater detail of the anterior portion of the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 1. In this figure, mirror 3 is mounted to the interior floor and ceiling of the outcropping of air shaft 4 such that mirror 3 forms a 45° angle with the floor of air shaft 4. The outcropping of air shaft 4 has length equal to its height X. In other implementations, the length and heights may vary. The air shaft 4 may have any length Y. The components glass 2, mirror 3 and air shaft 4 may be positioned similarly as shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 shows greater detail of the posterior portion of the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 1. Mirror 5 is mounted to the interior floor and ceiling of air shaft 4 such that mirror 3 forms a 45° angle with the floor of air shaft 4. Second sheet of glass 6 is mounted within the ceiling of interior room 10, at a 45° angle to second mirror 5.

FIG. 5 illustrates another exemplary embodiment wherein second sheet of glass 6 is replaced by third mirror 8 and fourth mirror 9. Third mirror 8 and fourth mirror 9 are mounted at acute angles to the ceiling of interior room 10 in place of second sheet of glass 6 such that light reflecting off second mirror 5 will then reflect off of either or both of third mirror 8 and fourth mirror 9 and into interior room 10. Third mirror 8 and fourth mirror 9 may be positioned at any suitable angle. This arrangement may diffuse light throughout the room and/or avoid direct sunlight shining down in the room.

FIG. 6 depicts greater detail of the posterior portion of the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 5 wherein third mirror 8 and fourth mirror 9 are substituted for second sheet of glass 6. In various implementations, these interior mirrors 8 and 9 may pivot or may be fixed. In one implementation, these mirrors 8 and 9 may close into the ceiling to close the skylight and block the natural light shining into the room. Alternatively, the third mirror 8 and fourth mirror 9 may be solid structures that do not reflect light and simply block light when closed. In this case, third mirror 8 and fourth mirror 9 are of length 0.5×. Third mirror 8 is mounted to the ceiling of interior room 10 such that it forms a 45° angle with the ceiling of interior room 10 and a 90° angle with both second mirror 5 and fourth mirror 9. Fourth mirror 9 is mounted such that it forms a 45° angle with the ceiling of interior room 10, is parallel to second mirror 5, and forms a 90° angle with third mirror 8.

In other implementations, the natural light may take more indirect routes than through just one or two mirrors and one or two corresponding reflections and turns. There may be any number of mirrors used at any angles to traverse any indirect path. For example, there may be four mirrors used to direct light through a more winding air shaft or any other passage through which the light may pass.

FIG. 7 illustrates a flowchart depicting steps in a method for constructing an interior skylight in accordance with methods and systems consistent with the present invention. First, a first glass 2 is installed with a direct view of the sky (step 702). As discussed, this installation of the glass 2 may be at any suitable angle and may involve more than one pane of glass. Next, a first mirror 3 is aligned and installed to angle light from the first glass 2 to a second mirror 5 (step 704). The angle of the installation of the first mirror 3 may be any suitable angle that directs light to the second mirror 5. Then, the second mirror 5 is installed to angle light from the first mirror 3 to skylight glass 6 (step 706). Similarly, the angle of the installation of the first mirror 3 may be any suitable angle that directs light to the second mirror 5. Finally, the skylight glass 6 is installed to receive light from the second mirror (step 708). The skylight glass 6 may be installed in the ceiling of an interior room 10, for example.

The foregoing description of various embodiments provides illustration and description, but is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. Modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teachings or may be acquired from practice in accordance with the present invention. It is to be understood that the invention is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.