Whole Town Solar Lighting


People have the luxury of moving out of the shade if they want to. Unfortunately, towns don't have that luxury. In particular, towns located in mountain valleys can get really dark when the sun dips low in the winter. This is the problem solved by residents of Viganella in Italy's alpine north. In order to combat the darkness that descends on them each winter, the city has constructed a giant rotating mirror to reflect light into the town square. Wasn't there an evil James Bond scheme that involved something like this?...The mountains are so sheer that the sun is not visible from November until January, and residents have referred to the mood as "like Siberia". The 26x16ft mirror uses a computer-controlled motor drive to track the sun throughout the day, and cost 100,000 Euro to build.
Readers may remember a similar attempt by the Russian Space program to develop a satellite-mounted mirror, which failed to open correctly in 1999. :: Viganella's Sun Mirror :: Znamya Space Mirror