Welcome to Rjukan, a small town that is situated in Norway and owing to the fact that there are a number of mountains surrounding it and because the town is located at the bottom of a deep valley of Gaustatoppen Mountain, the town is under shade for 6 months in a year. The residents are left in shade from September to March due to blocking of sun thanks to the mountain. This seemingly amazing phenomenon is actually quite dangerous since sunlight is necessary for a number of purposes. Without going into details of those purposes, let’s talk about the amazing solution that has been implemented for getting a bit of sunlight to this town; huge sun mirrors.
The idea was executed in 2013 and now a market square enjoys sunlight in the town. This was achieved by making use of three heliostatic mirrors that go by the name of Solspeil. They have been installed on the side of the mountain about 450 meters above the square of the town. The mirrors can catch sunlight and direct it onto the square. The mirrors are responsible for illuminating a 600-sq.meter area. They are controlled by computers thus allowing the mirrors to be able to track sun and adjust accordingly. The mirrors move every 10 seconds and thus ensure that the residents are able to get sunlight throughout the length of the day.
The idea for using this approach was conceived about 100 years ago, however, the technology to make it happen has been achieved only recently. A gondola was designed back in 1928 instead that allowed for the transportation of town’s folks up the mountain for getting some sunlight. It is still in use today and transports people about 500 meters up the mountain.
The idea for the light mirrors was revived again in 2005 when Martin Anderson learnt about a sports stadium that was located in Arizona and was partially covered thus made use of mirrors for growing grass via redirected sunlight. A village in Italy also makes use of mirrors for reflecting sunlight into the village. Anderson raised $851,000 for ensuring that mirrors come to life. His tireless efforts helped to complete this wonderful project and gave the villagers some sunlight.