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Norwegian Town Using Sun-Tracking Mirrors To Light Up Dark Winter Days

samzenpus posted about 9 months ago | from the light-up-my-life dept.

Earth 143

oritonic1 writes "During their long, cold winters, the Norwegian town of Rjukan doesn't enjoy much by way of daylight—so the town (population 3,386), installed three giant sun-tracking mirrors to shine a steady light over a 2000 square foot circle of the town square. From Popular Mechanics: 'Call it a mood enhancer. Or a tourist attraction. But the 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 similar idea exists in the Italian village of Viganella, which has used brushed steel to reflect light since 2006.'"

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143 comments

It didn't work out well (2, Informative)

Chrisq (894406) | about 9 months ago | (#44378957)

It didn't work out well in Lord Parker's 'Oliday [wikia.com].

Re:It didn't work out well (-1, Redundant)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 9 months ago | (#44379423)

I just don't get it! So in winter this town is in almost perpetual night? So what the fuck are these mirrors going to reflect moonlight???

Re:It didn't work out well (5, Informative)

necro81 (917438) | about 9 months ago | (#44379623)

I just don't get it! So in winter this town is in almost perpetual night? So what the fuck are these mirrors going to reflect moonlight???

Switch to decaf and chill out. The town is not in perpetual night. At about 60 degrees north latitude, that's impossible. However, because it is situated in a deep valley that runs east-west [google.com], it is in the shadow of the surrounding mountains for five months out of the year.

(This I was able to find out with about 30 seconds' research - about as long as it took for you to dismiss these people as idiots and write your short-sighted post.)

Re:It didn't work out well (2, Funny)

LurkingSince1999 (2698703) | about 9 months ago | (#44379847)

The city planners should have thought about this before deciding to put the town there. Now they're having to use public money to fix their short-sightedness!

Re:It didn't work out well (1)

stfvon007 (632997) | about 9 months ago | (#44380467)

The city planners choose the location because the mountains made it a good defensible location in the middle ages. The town has been there for a long time.

Re:It didn't work out well (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380787)

The city planners should have thought about this before deciding to put the town there. Now they're having to use public money to fix their short-sightedness!

Oh the horror! Using public money for public good! You'd almost think they formed a government and collected taxes to serve the people.

Your tea has steeped way too long son.

Re:It didn't work out well (1, Insightful)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 9 months ago | (#44380037)

Precisely. It'd be much easier to just destroy the mountain than this silly idea. I think Russia has some pretty big nukes.

Re:It didn't work out well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380411)

I just don't get it!

As a wise friend of mine is rather fond of saying, "Google it up, you ignorant bastard."

I am glad I don't have to do this... (3, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | about 9 months ago | (#44378959)

...I live along the equator where our days and nights ar "equal" throughout the year.

Trouble is that most Europeans I have met on my travels think it's hot hot hot at the equator, which isn't the case. In fact, their summers, which are responsible for some deaths among the elderly and young ones, are way hotter than the hottest day at home.

When I say this, they won't believe it until I remind them that we are at a higher elevation which is cooler...just like the clouds.

Re:I am glad I don't have to do this... (4, Insightful)

Pascal Sartoretti (454385) | about 9 months ago | (#44379007)

...I live along the equator where our days and nights ar "equal" throughout the year.

I am glad to live in a place (Central Europe) where there are seasons, and not the same thing all over the year.

Re:I am glad I don't have to do this... (4, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 9 months ago | (#44379171)

I am glad to live in a place (Central Europe) where there are seasons, and not the same thing all over the year.

As someone who spent the first 20 years of his life in an area without significant seasonal changes and the next 20 years in areas with major seasonal changes I can definitely say that seasons are vastly overrated.

Having near perfect weather every day is about the least horrible curse I can think of.

Re:I am glad I don't have to do this... (3, Insightful)

Arrepiadd (688829) | about 9 months ago | (#44379257)

As someone who spent the first 20 years of his life in an area without significant seasonal changes and the next 20 years in areas with major seasonal changes I can definitely say that seasons are vastly overrated.

Having near perfect weather every day is about the least horrible curse I can think of.

Except that being next to equator does not guarantee "near perfect weather". Plenty of friends from places close to equator just say "back home we carried an umbrella every day even if it only rained once a week, because when it did it was pouring really hard.

And to further counter your example, the more artistic oriented among those friends, even after years of being in a place with significant seasonal changes really appreciate contrast of green summer bursting with activity and people vs the white winter of cold and quiet. Different people for different things, I guess.

Re:I am glad I don't have to do this... (3, Interesting)

jittles (1613415) | about 9 months ago | (#44380003)

As someone who spent the first 20 years of his life in an area without significant seasonal changes and the next 20 years in areas with major seasonal changes I can definitely say that seasons are vastly overrated.

Having near perfect weather every day is about the least horrible curse I can think of.

Except that being next to equator does not guarantee "near perfect weather". Plenty of friends from places close to equator just say "back home we carried an umbrella every day even if it only rained once a week, because when it did it was pouring really hard.

Huh. I didn't know people in tropical areas bothered with umbrellas. I lived about 10 degrees north of the equator for a year. Yeah it rained like hell, and an umbrella was useless. Either the rain would come in sideways, or come in so hard and so fast you had to worry more about the water coming up than the water going down. I've seen rocks about half the size of a bowling ball being carried down the gutters along with lawn chairs and everything else you can imagine during an especially strong rain. But contrary to popular belief, most tropical areas do have two seasons: the wet season and the dry season. Where I lived, it rained almost every day for hours on end during the wet season. During the dry season, it may rain for 10 minutes each day, or may not rain for several days.

Re:I am glad I don't have to do this... (3, Informative)

txibi (1691198) | about 9 months ago | (#44379465)

Having near perfect weather every day is about the least horrible curse I can think of.

It depends on what you understand by nearly perfect weather. The nearly perfect weather to practice ski is not the same one that you need for swimming in the sea... For this I like having seasons on where I live and being able to practice different sports depending on the season.

Re:I am glad I don't have to do this... (4, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 9 months ago | (#44379555)

Consistancy is key.

Here in the southern UK, it snows sometimes. Not a lot. Maybe for a week, no more, and only every two years - often we go a winter with no snow at all, or just a very light dusting.

When it does snow, everything stops. Roads are impassible, schools close, almost total shutdown of the country. Why? Because we don't keep an army of ploughs and gritters and a big stockpile of salt around for something that happens so rarely and is over so quickly.

Likewise with very hot summers. The crushing heat can reach thirty celcius. In somewhere like the southern US they'd laugh at that - but in those places, everyone is used to it, with buildings made to stay cool and every home fitted with air-con. We melt for about a week a year, so we just endure - the awkwardness is over too soon to justify building houses that stay cool (And thus cost a lot more to heat in winter) or installing expensive aircon systems.

Re:I am glad I don't have to do this... (4, Informative)

dj245 (732906) | about 9 months ago | (#44379871)

We melt for about a week a year, so we just endure - the awkwardness is over too soon to justify building houses that stay cool (And thus cost a lot more to heat in winter) .....

Buildings that stay cool in summer and are warm in winter are not mutually exclusive. Presenting them as conflicting design goals is silly considering that these design goals are often complementary.

Re:I am glad I don't have to do this... (3, Insightful)

jbengt (874751) | about 9 months ago | (#44380035)

The crushing heat can reach thirty celcius. In somewhere like the southern US they'd laugh at that

30C (86F) is stifling heat? We laugh at that in the Northern US. True, it would be a little uncomfortable indoors without A/C or at least good ventilation, but you would have to start talking at least 35C or maybe 40C before making US southerners uncomfortable outside. (OK, you'd have to talk 95F to 104F, since they would mostly just look at you funny and wonder what planet you're from if you talk Celsius.)

Re:I am glad I don't have to do this... (3, Interesting)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 9 months ago | (#44380729)

Here in Finland, official "hot" figure for weather is at 27C. And yes, when it's 27C, it's exhausting hot.

On the other hand, -27C is nice weather to go out and ski/skate. And most buildings do not have A/C because there's no real reason to - the season during which you would need it lasts days if it ever comes at all.

Re:I am glad I don't have to do this... (5, Funny)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about 9 months ago | (#44379181)

As someone living in Ireland, I can tell you the lack of seasons isn't restricted to the equatorial areas.

Re:I am glad I don't have to do this... (2)

DrXym (126579) | about 9 months ago | (#44379259)

Well Ireland did have a summer for once this year although it's pissing it down at this moment.

Re:I am glad I don't have to do this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44379577)

Sorry that was me :)

Re:I am glad I don't have to do this... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44379543)

As someone living in my parents basement, I can tell you the lack of seasons isn't restricted to the equatorial areas.

Re:I am glad I don't have to do this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44379189)

Yeah. With two options:

1) The season of storm but mostly rain, the season of freezing rock-solid but mostly snow, the season of a bit sun but mostly rain, and the season of sweating like a pig and thunderstorms. (Eastern-European model.)
2) The season of storm but mostly rain, the season of more rain but mostly rain, the season of annoyingly light rain but mostly rain, and the season of rain with the occasional -bow. (British model.)

Re:I am glad I don't have to do this... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44379323)

I am glad I am not a foreigner, too. No one likes foreigners!

Re:I am glad I don't have to do this... (-1, Offtopic)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 9 months ago | (#44379435)

Any ideas on why we are reading about Norwegians tracking the sun when the following article now sits on the third page of the submissions Firehose?

"NSA Still Funded to Spy On US Phone Records,Vote Fails
Submitted by turp182 on Wednesday July 24, 2013 @03:58PM
turp182 writes
"The Amash Amendment (#100) to HR 2397 (DOD appropriations bill) failed to pass the House of Representatives (this link will change tomorrow, it is the current day activity of the House) at 6:54PM EST today, meaning it will not be added to the appropriations bill. The amendment would have specifically defunded the bulk collection of American phone records.

Roll call may not be available until tomorrow.

Subjective: Let freedom be reigned."
Read the 3 comments"

One of the comments has the vote tally for each House Member.

Re:I am glad I don't have to do this... (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#44380345)

Any ideas on why we are reading about Norwegians tracking the sun when the following article now sits on the third page of the submissions Firehose?

"NSA Still Funded to Spy On US Phone Records,Vote Fails

Yes, there are several things tied into that. You read and post on stories on the main page, not stories in the submission queue. Even if that story was on the front page, I would still be reading and posting in this story because it interests me as it does the other people reading and posting in this story. Not every story has to be about the NSA. You also seem to overlook the fact that many Europeans and citizens of other countries would have limited interest in votes for purely domestic American policy as that vote was. There had already been a story on the vote two days ago [slashdot.org] when it could still have influence. The information in the story you refer to was incomplete, as I recall, and the vote was over so the story couldn't influence events anyway. The defense bill is on its way to the Senate. There will have to be a separate bill and lobbying performed to get the amendment passed on its own merits as a bill.

Based on your UID I know you aren't new here, so you know how things work. Could there be another reason why this baffles you?

Oh, that's right, you think the staff are NSA plants [slashdot.org], and me as well [slashdot.org], as you make clear repeatedly [slashdot.org] (just 1 more of many for demonstration and brevity).

I hope you get a grip at some point. Now, can we get back to this interesting story with no further outbursts from you about the NSA or "forum breakers" and forum spies? Please?

Re:I am glad I don't have to do this... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380529)

Any ideas on why we are reading about Norwegians tracking the sun when the following article now sits on the third page of the submissions Firehose?

Because fuck you, that's why. You don't have the right to insist on what others should find interesting.

Re:I am glad I don't have to do this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44379015)

that's wrong in so many different ways...
http://www.yr.no/observasjonar/statistikk.html 20c and extremely seldom >25c.. if that's "way hotter than the hottest day at home".. well...

Re:I am glad I don't have to do this... (0)

Prokur (2445102) | about 9 months ago | (#44379065)

apparently you live in Bogota or another Latin city, where you face many other troubles regarding deaths among the elderly and young ones.

Re:I am glad I don't have to do this... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44379113)

Rjukan isn't all that far to the North, but it's located in a deep valley, with mountains on every side. When the sun gets low in the Winter, the town is in constant shade.

Re:I am glad I don't have to do this... (2)

dkf (304284) | about 9 months ago | (#44379549)

Rjukan isn't all that far to the North

While it's not that far north for Norway (where it's in the south of the country), it's still nearly 60N. In any reasonable terms, that's still a long way north; you have to go pretty much to the Antarctic peninsula to get an equivalent distance south. Heck, the axial diameter that far north is only half that of the equator...

Re:I am glad I don't have to do this... (3, Informative)

geirlk (171706) | about 9 months ago | (#44380663)

Don't forget to factor in the warmth of the Gulf stream. It is what makes Norway liveable, even though we're so far north.

Re:I am glad I don't have to do this... (1)

h3st (945000) | about 9 months ago | (#44380293)

The problem with Rjukan isn't so much the seasons as the fact that it's in the bottom of a steep valley. So part of the day the sun is shining on one mountainside, then a short period where sunshine reaches the town, and then the other mountainside gets sun. Having a similar town near the equator could be better or worse, depending on the axis of the valley.

Table this discussion (1)

gsgriffin (1195771) | about 9 months ago | (#44380651)

until Climate Change is finished. Then we can talk about where is a nice place to live or not. My area promises to be much nicer in the future with less seasonal change than now. I'm looking forward to change.

So this is like.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44378981)

The exact opposite or Mr. Burns?

Re:So this is like.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44378993)

Excellant observation Smithers

Re:So this is like.. (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 9 months ago | (#44379039)

Shall I release the hounds sir?

Re:So this is like.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44379105)

Are you gonna release the hounds, or the bees, or the hounds with bees in their mouths so everytime they bark at you they shoot bees at you? Go ahead, do your worst.

Metric (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44379001)

What makes a circle of a diameter of about 15.5 meters.

Re:Metric (1)

Inda (580031) | about 9 months ago | (#44379049)

I don't know AC, what makes a circle of a diameter of about 15.5 meters?

They're retangular, by the way.

538 square feet = 50 square metres

2150 square feet = 199.7 square metres (lets call it 200)

Metric bitch.

Re:Metric (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44379107)

From the article: "the light will create a 2,000-square-foot circle on the town square which is usually in shadow".

A 2,000-square-foot circle == a circle of a diameter of about 15.5 meters.

You try to correct a poster which is correct, and then add computations which he/she had likely already done.

Re:Metric (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 9 months ago | (#44379185)

Since this is Norway we can likely assume it is/was 200 and 50 m^2.

But since people in the US THINK DIFFERENT! (That one got to hurt!)

Sam Kinison said it kinda first; but here's mine (0)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about 9 months ago | (#44379013)

"It occurred to me that you wouldn't live near perpetual darkness, if you people would MOVE WHERE THE SUN SHINE IS!!!"

Re:Sam Kinison said it kinda first; but here's min (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 9 months ago | (#44379053)

"It occurred to me that you wouldn't live near perpetual darkness, if you people would MOVE WHERE THE SUN SHINE IS!!!"

But its nice to go out in the daylight at 11:00 pm in summer.

Re:Sam Kinison said it kinda first; but here's min (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44379129)

"It occurred to me that you wouldn't live near perpetual darkness, if you people would MOVE WHERE THE SUN SHINE IS!!!"

But its nice to go out in the daylight at 11:00 pm in summer.

...and besides, perpetual /darkness/ is a bit inaccurate. You do get daylight in Rjukan even in winter, but the town itself is too far down the valley to catch any direct sunlight. All-winter shade would be more accurate.

Re:Sam Kinison said it kinda first; but here's min (5, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#44379267)

Some people might think it a curse. To them it is home.

Re:Sam Kinison said it kinda first; but here's min (1)

Tore S B (711705) | about 9 months ago | (#44379309)

Because when the town was originally built, the topography was ideal for hydroelectric power generation.

Since this was a good while before the social democrats and organized labour gained any real power, keeping the workers in literal (and not just figurative) darkness was not considered an issue.

(The higher classes were literally so, and did not live in the shade.)

Metric please ! (3, Funny)

Pascal Sartoretti (454385) | about 9 months ago | (#44379025)

... a 2000 square foot circle of the town square ... ... about 538 square feet ... up over 2150 square fee

This is slashdot science ?

Besides, the slashdot summary is ambigous : it mentions a population of 3,386, but in which unit ? Number of legs ?

Re:Metric please ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44379081)

... a 2000 square foot circle of the town square ... ... about 538 square feet ... up over 2150 square fee

This is slashdot science ?

Obviously Norwegians don't use metric units.

Re:Metric please ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44379115)

Obviously Norwegians don't use metric units.

We do, in fact. Must be a USian article.

Re:Metric please ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44379493)

...which means the submitter has made the effort to convert to IU's, yet couldn't simply copy MU's.

Please could Slashdot have a rule to always use MU's (even if they're in brackets)? Can we do that? IU's don't mean much to many of us who are used to the global standard.

Re:Metric please ! (1)

h3st (945000) | about 9 months ago | (#44380321)

at first I thought IU meant "International Units", like SI units (International System units) and MU meant Medieval Units ... I'm not sure your abbreviations are very good.

Re:Metric please ! (1)

Kidbro (80868) | about 9 months ago | (#44379597)

While I agree that it's a stupid unit, ft2 to m2 conversion is really easy. Divide by ten, and you have a good approximate. Lean towards rounding down, if unsure.
1 square meter is 10.7639 square feet.

Re:Metric please ! (2, Insightful)

PPalmgren (1009823) | about 9 months ago | (#44379615)

A scientist or engineer that can't handle common unit conversions is an unemployed scientist or engineer.

The article is from a US website intended for a US audience, and uses US measurements. I don't expect a news aggregator to do extra work because you're lazy.

Why not a balloon (1)

art6217 (757847) | about 9 months ago | (#44379027)

Why not a ballon, of the size of a giant hat, make of a tinfoil? If would need to be tilted somewhat, and turn itself towards the sun -- easy in the case of a ballon. Would not it be much cheaper? Of course, tinfoil does not have the directionality of a glass mirror, but make the hat big enough and it would not be a problem, and even be a feature -- the more ambient light would not decrease the iris size so much, and thus a human would perceive the lighted area as even more bright.

Re:Why not a balloon (2)

Sique (173459) | about 9 months ago | (#44379125)

Because a balloon would not direct much of the light into the town, but basicly everywhere. Sun light is (nearly) parallel, and to reflect it into a town, you need a plane reflector. Only a small part of the balloon's surface would reflect the light into the desired direction.

Re:Why not a balloon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44379145)

Is not "a shape of a hat" suggesting a flat bottom?

Re:Why not a balloon (1)

Sique (173459) | about 9 months ago | (#44379159)

I wonder how a) to stabilize such a design in the air and b) what happens if the wind goes.

Re:Why not a balloon (1)

art6217 (757847) | about 9 months ago | (#44379177)

a) to stabilize such a design in the air and

I guess that simply moving around/rotating around the vertical axis might be quite enough.

b) what happens if the wind goes

Fun! It would be mostly for fun anyway.

Re:Why not a balloon (1)

art6217 (757847) | about 9 months ago | (#44379193)

moving around

e.g. with a special, light harness, tied to three distant points on the surface.

Re:Why not a balloon (1)

art6217 (757847) | about 9 months ago | (#44379393)

It had to be "the shape of a hat" -- i. e. with a flat mirroring surface on the bottom side, and with a gas container on the top side.

Look on bright side Norwayians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44379041)

u got the long cold summers . but at least you can build house out of ice .

Re:Look on bright side Norwayians (4, Funny)

Tore S B (711705) | about 9 months ago | (#44379345)

Don't say that - we love the Norwegian summer. I think most people feel it's the best day of the whole dang year!

(for those who might not have picked up on it: this is largely a joke.)

Couldn't the same setup be used (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | about 9 months ago | (#44379221)

Couldn't the same setup be used to make steam that could make electric? I think i seen an article of something simuler. Cant remember where/when. Couldn't magnifying glasses do the same also focus light to create steam?

Re:Couldn't the same setup be used (1)

geirlk (171706) | about 9 months ago | (#44380861)

Probably they could, yes, but would provide low return on investment. And since Rjukan was more or less built to size to man the hydro electric dam that feeds the entire area and earlier also powered Vemork factory, that would seem a bit superfluous. Besides you'd need a lot more mirrors than that.

all that to light a 40x50 space? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 9 months ago | (#44379273)

They make electric 'day' lights you know. Ever been to a sports arena? If they can light an entire football pitch, why not just do this the old fashioned, non-expensive, non-boondogle way? Buy some floodlights and be done with it.

Re:all that to light a 40x50 space? (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 9 months ago | (#44379301)

Tourism's an important part of the local economy, so this could end up a decent gimmick from that perspective. Giant sun-tracking mirrors sounds like a more interesting tourist attraction than stadium-style floodlights.

Re:all that to light a 40x50 space? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 9 months ago | (#44379757)

I never really understood why small towns did this stuff in the name of "tourism". Yeah, nobody wanted to visit your town before, but you built a big sun reflector, or a statue of some famous dude, and now you think it's a tourist destination. You know what kinds of things are actually tourist attractions? Disney world, The Grand Canyon, The CN Tower, and other stuff like that. Why would you go to some valley town where they have to reflect the sun so you can get sunlight when you can travel an equal distance and go to the seaside where you don't have to worry about reflecting the sunlight.

Re:all that to light a 40x50 space? (2)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about 9 months ago | (#44380061)

What part of "Tourism's an important part of the local economy" was so difficult to understand?

That being the case, people are already visiting the town. In fact, if you could have been bothered to just search some info about this particular town, you'd know that the tourists visited that area for a few centuries, actually before the town even existed, because of the beautiful nature. Besides, the town belongs to the Telemark community, and Telemark basically stands for winter sports.

Re:all that to light a 40x50 space? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44379625)

It's Norway. 98% of their power is hydroelectric so they don't really need to reduce energy consumption for economic/environmental reasons. They are also in the top 5 of highest oil production per capita so they pretty much have more money than they know what to do with.
Without energy and economy being limiting factors it just becomes a matter of life quality.

They don't care about the light, they want some fancy natural sunlight and this option was easier than removing the mountain.

Re:all that to light a 40x50 space? (4, Insightful)

necro81 (917438) | about 9 months ago | (#44379691)

why not just do this the old fashioned, non-expensive, non-boondogle way

The article states that the project cost is only about $850k, mostly provided by private donations. The tracking motors will be solar-powered. So, for a modest outlay of capital today, they get ample, high-quality, non-polluting light for next to nothing for the life of the system. Any idea what a stadium lighting system costs? How about the cost of electricity and replacement bulbs to keep it operating for 8-16 hours a day, five months out of the year, for decades? Mirrors on a heliostat is not a boondogle, it's proven technology. And, in this case, probably cheaper than the alternative.

Fun facts about Rjukan... (4, Interesting)

Tore S B (711705) | about 9 months ago | (#44379275)

Rjukan is also the site of the museum of industrial labour, which is located in Vemork. In addition to being a very early heavy water plant which was sabotaged by the Resistance during the second world war to hinder the Nazi nuclear bomb project, it also currently hosts an exhibit of what is probably the world's only remaining Univac 1108 mainframe.

better and cheaper solution (1)

Max_W (812974) | about 9 months ago | (#44379333)

Several stationary mirrors-walls with different angles, using pieces of broken mirrors placed into the cement. Sort of mirror mosaic.

Could be built by inhabitants themselves. No need for a million dollars or electricity.

Re:better and cheaper solution (1)

jittles (1613415) | about 9 months ago | (#44380071)

Several stationary mirrors-walls with different angles, using pieces of broken mirrors placed into the cement. Sort of mirror mosaic.

This may not work though, depending on how much snowfall they get. Mirrors that track the sun could be designed to dump snow, and since they track the sun are more likely to have any snow covering the mirrors melt. I haven't looked at the weather specifics of this town, but there are advantages to moving mirrors. Now if snow were to build up under the mirrors, they would not be able to move anyway, so there are plenty of issues to worry about.

Shi7!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44379351)

Operating systems Asshpoles, as they themselves to be a FUCKING USELESS

Sounds cool...but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44379415)

Quick, somebody sue! Did they do an environmental study of the mirror location? A study of birds flying through the light? A study of the effect on plants and insects in the destination area? Did they confirm no endangered species are there?

Come on we can get this stopped, or at least held up in court for 10 years and quadruple the costs. Then they will at least think twice before doing it again!

ooooooooooo >:-(

Mountains are the problem *and* the solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44379455)

Here's the location on google map : https://maps.google.com/maps?q=59.878637,+8.594049&hl=en&ll=59.878795,8.594055&spn=0.009131,0.02959&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=60.116586,121.201172&t=h&z=16

Look at the mountains on both side of the main street with street view, one is blocking the sun in winter and the other is certainly where the mirrors will be.

Seen this happen before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44379611)

There was some small town in the mountains that basically got no direct sunlight for such a long period of time.
So they got together and placed some mirrors on the mountain nearby and suddenly the sun existed for many.

I still wonder if it wouldn't be better to do this plus a huge bal above the village specifically created to turn in to a huge artificial sun.
Combined with some pipes, it could also be used for solar power or heating from some of the excess light and the general heating caused by the imperfect reflective material.
And then over time, you could add another mirror, and another, until the mountainside had a bunch of mirrors reflecting light in to this big ball in the sky.
And with a big enough village, you could likely erect many light towers. Overall it would be more ideal than just directly reflecting it over a large area, more so if you do use the power generated for lighting too.

Awesome. (2)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 9 months ago | (#44379621)

Now we could hack into the controller and reprogram it to direct the sun to a single point and voila! Instant death ray. Might help with the tourist problem.

Re:Awesome. (1)

bgarcia (33222) | about 9 months ago | (#44379965)

Now we could hack into the controller and reprogram it to direct the sun to a single point and voila! Instant death ray. Might help with the tourist problem.

How would that help attract more touri...

Ooooooooh.

What's the equivalent in watts? (2, Interesting)

hawguy (1600213) | about 9 months ago | (#44379677)

How does this mirror compare to installing full spectrum lamps to light up the same 2000 sq ft area? Lights could provide extended "days" during the winter months, and could be solar powered from the same mountaintop that houses the mirrors when the sun is out.

Re:What's the equivalent in watts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380703)

Given that the PV panels are only ~14% efficient (at best)... if the mirror surface is 84% reflective, that's still 6x better than the PV.
Further, the sun only shines for ~5hrs on a good day in the winter months so you'd need a substantially larger array of panels to drive the lamps and additional battery storage to offer extended lighting... I suspect that the PV option, while on the surface attractive, would be much more expensive when you factored in the panels, inverters, wiring, batteries and lamps

BTW - no idea why you got the troll mod

Al

Viganella??? (1)

asylumx (881307) | about 9 months ago | (#44380633)

Really, a town named Viganella with mirrors all over the place? These jokes write themselves!
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