“Let There Be Glare” - Pager Power
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“Let There Be Glare”

“Let There Be Glare”
March 22, 2024 Jacob Cunningham

Here at Pager Power, we deal extensively in reflections of sunlight on solar panels and the façades of buildings, and are particularly concerned with the negative impact these glint and glare reflections can cause upon road and railway safety, residential amenity and aviation activity. However, one small village in north Italy has done away with these concerns, and have purposely induced glare in their mountainous home.

The Viganella Mirror

In the Italian Alps lies a small village called Viganella with a population of only 163 inhabitants [1], Viganella is at the base of a very tall, very steep and quite narrow valley which runs east-west. Due to this unique geographical location, Viganella experiences a scenario that only places in the Artic Circle ordinarily experience; the village receives no direct sunlight for 83 days of the year during the winter months.

The residents of Viganella decided they had had enough of the sunless winters, and in 2006 commissioned and built a huge 40m2 mirror [2] placed halfway up the north valley face, shown in Figure 1 below. Angled just right to illuminate the village church and square, the mirror is equipped with a motor to track the sun as it travels across the sky throughout the day and the winter months. When the sun makes its direct appearance come spring, the mirror is covered up.

viganella glare

Figure 1: View from the mirror to the village of Viganella.

The mirror has been a resounding success, and the village can now bask in the sunshine all year round, weather permitting of course. The glare is not strong enough to develop a tan, but it does keep the local residents happier and healthier, and has also encouraged the idea in other dark areas of the world, as the town of Rjukan, Norway, erected their mirror, which is over twice the size of the Viganella mirror, in 2013.

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Pager Power undertakes technical assessments for developers of renewable energy projects and tall buildings worldwide. For more information about what we do, please get in touch.


[1] The Towns and Villages of Italy. (Online) Available: https://italia.indettaglio.it/eng/piemonte/viganella.html [Accessed 20 March 2024].

[2] Giacomo Raffaelli, “The Itallian Town That Built Its Own Sun”, VICE.
(Online) Available: https://www.vice.com/en/article/epnvzn/viganella-italy-fake-manmade-sun [Accessed 20 March 2024].

Figure 1: Amateur photography of the Italian commune, Viganella (2005) from Wikkicommons. Last accessed on 22nd March 2024. Available at: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Viganella.jpg



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