Rjukan is situated deep in the narrow Vestfjord Valley in Telemark. Due to the high mountains surrounding the valley, among them The Gaustadtoppen Mountain at 1,883 meters above sea level, there is no sunlight six months of the year (from September to March).
This winter, the darkness will finally come to an end. The dark town has gone to desperate measures and installed three giant mirrors, of a total size of 50 square meters, to reflect the sun. The five million NOK invention will bring sunshine to an area of up to 600 square meters.
The idea of a sun mirror was conceived in 1913 by Sam Eyde, who wanted to give his workers the opportunity to experience the sunlight during the winter. Eyde's successors built a gondola up to the mountain so that Rjukan's inhabitants had a chance to get some sun, but it would take a hundred years before the sun mirror was completed.
Today's technology has made it possible to realise Eyde's original idea. A computer-driven heliostat, placed at the top of a steep mountain wall 400 meters over the town, will capture the sunrays and direct them down to the centre of Rjukan.
The sun mirrors will be launched on 31 October, exactly 100 years after the idea was first presented in the local newspaper.
Invitation for the press, see this PDF.
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After years of winter darkness, the 100-year-old idea of a sun-tracking mirror finally brings the sunshine back to the small Norwegian town of Rjukan.
Norwegian town finally gets to see the sun
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