Norwegian Town Using Mirrors to Lighten Up Winters



In the midst of five months of darkness this coming winter, the Norwegian town of Rjukan will have one bright spot: a town square illuminated by sunlight bounced off giant mirrors placed atop the town’s neighboring mountains. Call it a mood enhancer. Or a tourist attraction. But the three mirrors, which will be carried in via helicopter, will provide an oasis of light in an otherwise bleak location at the center of the 3500-population town.Three mirrors with a total surface area of about 538 square feet will sit at an angle to redirect winter sun down into the town, lighting up over 2150 square feet of concentrated space in the town square.

A computer located in Rjukan’s main town hall office will operate the solar-powered system, which continually monitors the movement of the sun and calculates the optimal positioning of the German-made mirrors to keep the square—which the city plans to turn into a skating rink—bathed in sunlight. The project will set the Norwegians back 5 million kroner (about $835,000), but 80 percent of the funds will come privately and the system will run primariy on solar and wind power.

via PpopularMechanics