Local researchers are working on improving and reducing the cost of light-guiding fiber equipment for use at the 2010 World Expo.
Experts at the Underground Space Research Center at Tongji University said they could guide sunlight into underground spaces and solar energy could be stored for use at night.
Though available for a decade, the technology has not been practical because of high cost.
"We want to seize the opportunity of the Expo to promote the new technology," said Peng Fangle, vice director of the center. "The cost will be largely reduced once large-scale manufacturing is achieved."
Researchers have come up with a plan to illuminate underground space in the Expo site using natural sunlight and the Expo organizers have shown great interest, Peng said.
Apart from the new technology, traditional methods of gathering light would be used to reduce the total cost.
At present, a set of light-guiding fiber equipment costs about 40,000 yuan (US$5,846) to 60,000 yuan. Peng said a Beijing-based company had been able to produce the equipment at about 20,000 yuan, and the homegrown equipment had been used at some stadiums during the Beijing Olympic Games last year.
(Shanghai Daily March 4, 2009)