In Norway, deep in the narrow Vestfjord valley in Telemark, surrounded by steep mountains, at the foot of the mighty Gaustatoppen mountain, lies the industrial town of Rjukan.Rjukan is home to a thriving little community which manages without the sun for almost six months of the year.
The Solspeil – sun mirror, is a spectacular project that will strengthen the identity and attraction of the Rjukan town.
Sam Eyde, the founder of the town Rjukan launched the idea in 1913 of a “Solspeil”. He saw the importance of the “sun in Rjukan” as well in the winter. He had also a need to give his workers the opportunities for sunlight in the winter. This idea is one of the few Sam Eyde did not manage to follow-through to completion.
Instead, his successors built a gondola in 1928 to transport Rjukan´s inhabitants to the winter sunshine. This gondola is called Krossobanen. It remains functional, and is an important connection between the town and the mountains, where the sun´s rays are limited to in the winter months.
Today’s technology has made an idea that was first conceived in 1913 possible: to deliver the sun to the people of Rjukan.The idea was taken up again in 2005 by Martin Andersen, an artist and resident of the town.
A computer-driven heliostat, placed at the top of steep mountain wall 400 metres over the town will capture the sun´s rays and direct them into Rjukan´s centre. The three heliostats consist of computer-driven mirrors that follow the suns movement over the horizon and will reflect its rays into Rjukan´s market square.
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