SunPipes bring light to the British Antarctic Survey

Published:  08 November, 2006

SunPipes
Monodraught SunPipes have become part of the standard specification for projects of the British Antarctic Survey. This is Bird Island, which includes seven SunPipes, each 300 mm in diameter.

To maximise the use of daylight in new accommodation units and laboratory for the British Antarctic Survey at Bird Island, South Georgia, Monodraught SunPipes have been installed. The site has continuous daylight for about 10 weeks of the summer and very long days for about six months. In the winter, it is either dark or the Sun does not appear above the horizon.

Seven SunPipes, 300 mm in diameter, deliver daylight into the main corridor, main office and food store of this new building. The patented Diamond dome at roof level captures practically all available daylight, which is then evenly diffused by a translucent ceiling fixture fitting flush to the ceiling.

To ensure the polycarbonate Diamond domes could tolerate the temperature extremes, they were supplied as triple-glazed units. To minimise heat loss, the exterior is lagged with 40 mm of Rockwool insulation.

The use of SunPipes makes an important contribution to minimising the environmental footprint of this station and its consumption of fossil fuel — all of which has to be delivered by sea during the summer. The legal requirements of the Antarctic Treaty also require all components parts of each station to be removed at the end of its life.

The SunPipes are fitted with black-out ceiling diffusers to prevent artificial light being seen from outside when it is dark so as not to attract sea bird.

SunPipes have also recently been specified for a project 800 miles away. Rothera is on the north-west peninsula of the Antarctic and is the largest station. The central internal corridor of a new 30 m-long building will be lit with six SunPipes.

SunPipes have also been specified for the Halley VI research station, even though its design has yet to be finalised.



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