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Wanted solar reflection

Wanted solar reflection
October 10, 2019 Andrea Mariano

Background 

Often the issue we encounter at Pager Power is regarding the unwanted reflected sunlight from buildings or solar panels which might result in annoyance towards different types of observers. However, there has been one case where the light reflected from mirrors towards observers was intentional.

solar reflection

Rjukan mirrors[1]

The city of Rjukan

In the south of Norway, the inhabitants of Rjukan are in need of sunlight which, due to the surrounding topography, cannot reach the city directly[2]. The town of 3,000 people is located between two mountains which shade sunlight for circa six months of the year (September to March).

When the town was founded in 1913, its founder had the idea of using mirrors to provide some sunlight, however, the idea was abandoned. But in 2013 Martin Andersen, a local artist, turned it into reality. The project is composed of 3 mirrors each with a surface area of 17m2. They are located 450m above Rjukan, 742m above mean sea level (amsl). This is enough height to capture the light hidden by the Mount Gaustatoppen (1883m amsl). The reflected sunlight is projected onto the market square generating an ellipse of circa 600m2[3].

Conclusion

The town of Rjukan managed to overcome the issue of shading. Whilst this case might seem unique there are several cases where people are not receiving enough sunlight. It is more common in cities where new tall buildings can cast shadow on existing ones. 

In UK the right of receiving enough sunlight is called the “Right to light”. Pager Power has some experience in these types of assessments and can help you with issues regarding shading. 

References

[1] Rjukan, Norway, sits in an east-west valley, flanked by mountains that block the sun from September to March, Stephen O, date: 27/12/2013, accessed: 07/08/2019

[2] This Norwegian town is using giant mirrors to fight the winter blues, Linda Geddes, date: 22/02/2019, accessed: 07/08/2019

[3] How The Gigantic Mirrors Finally Bringing Winter Sun To A Norwegian Town Work, Adam Taylor, 21/10/2013, accessed: 07/08/2019

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