Concentrated Solar – No Smoke but Mirrors ( Solar Thermal Magazine ) – It is hard to say how much you would spend or to what ends you would go to see a little sunlight if you lived in a town that receives no direct sun. This is the case for a valley town in southern Norway called Rjukan. The 3,500 residents of Rjukan live in darkness between September and March each year since the small town is surrounded by high mountains that prevent sunlight from reaching the valley floor.
Residents will receive sunlight this winter for the first time thanks to recently installed giant mirrors that will illuminate the town square, providing an oasis of light amidst darkness.
These German-made mirrors are computer controlled to follow the sun so that maximum sunlight is focused to the town square. The mirror system cost about $830,000 and the mirrors themselves and have a total surface area of roughly 538 square feet.
I guess it will remain to be seen if this helps cheer up the local population and attract some visitors to the city.
Gordon’s expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.