A beautiful application of technology it is to use it to bring sunlight to a place naturally deprived from it.
With a peculiar orography, Rjukan small town west of Oslo, Norway is surrounded by mountains that prevent sunlight from reaching its almost 3500 inhabitants between September and March each year. A pioneering project is installing three computerized mirrors that will direct sunlight to the town’s market square.
Powered by solar and wind energy, the heliostat mirrors are controlled by a computer program following the sun movements to provide an illuminated ellipse-shaped area of 600 square metres.
A century in the making
The town was established in the beginning of the 20th century around the industrial settlements of the Norsk Hydro Company exploiting the waterfalls in the area for power generation. The importance of sunlight was identified as early as 1913, when Sam Eyde, founder of Norsk Hydro, envisioned the idea of a mirror to direct sunlight to the settlement in the valley.
A century later, the vision has become a reality thanks to the application of modern technology. A beautiful and environmentally friendly application of modern technology to deliver the sun to those deprived of it.