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Brilliant idea is realized: Hydro becomes a sponsor for the sun mirror project in Rjukan, Norway

About a hundred years ago, the founder of Hydro Sam Eyde had a brilliant idea: he wanted to direct the sunlight through mirrors up in the mountains into the narrow valley, which was dark in winter, where the new industrial location Rjukan was created. Now three large reflectors have been installed, which follow the course of the sun under computer control. Solar cells supply the electricity for the high-tech system, which implements Eyde's idea and provides Rjukan with sunlight during the dark winter months.

Hydro's Energy business and the Tinn community signed an agreement today making Hydro the main sponsor of the five million kroner project. The plant is scheduled to go into operation at the end of October and redirect the sun's rays to the market square in the center of Rjukan, so that the 3,500 inhabitants can get a little light in the winter half-year.

“Sam Eyde was often described by his contemporaries as a force of nature; whatever he did had monumental dimensions, "said Hydros CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg." We are honored to be able to contribute to the realization of one of Eyde's many brilliant ideas, which shows how visionary and purposeful our founder was.
< Br> Rjukan is often referred to as the cradle of Hydro, the location was the starting point for Eyde's industrial adventure, which was based on the use of the Rjukan waterfall to generate electricity.

"It is a historic moment that Hydro is now the main sponsor of this project, a hundred years after Sam Eyde took up the idea for the first time: Rjukan was built with new technology, and now innovative technology is the prerequisite for the sun mirrors" said Steinar Bergsland, Mayor of the municipality of Tinn, whose administrative seat is Rjukan. "We are very happy that Norsk Hydro is still contributing to innovations in Rjukan," he added.

Wanted to overturn the natural law in favor of the workers

The idea with the sun mirror would be described today as a large-scale initiative for health protection. Eyde had just turned the small farming village of Rjukan into an ultra-modern industrial location at the time, in which more than 10,000 people found work. The apartments designed by architects contained built-in sanitary facilities, there was medical care and leisure facilities for the workers.

Since it was not technically possible to transport electricity over long distances at that time, Eyde's industrial expansion plan required that the new industrial site be located near the sources for power generation, i.e. in the valley of the Rjukan waterfall. No sun came there in winter. But instead of accepting the dark winter months as natural, Eyde tried to find a way for his workers to circumvent the natural law - that was when the gigantic idea of a sun mirror came into being.

Ultimately, however, it was a more realistic alternative to build a cable car that allowed workers and residents to get up into the sunlight instead of building a sun mirror that directed the light down into the valley. The Krossobahn with the valley station Rjukan and the mountain station Gvepseborg was a gift from Norsk Hydro, it was built in 1928 by Adolf Bleichert & amp; Co. from Leipzig-Gohlis. It was the first cable car in Scandinavia.

Thanks to a local initiative and the support of the Tinn community, the idea with the sun mirror could finally be realized. Eyde would have been proud. Today Hydro is proud to be able to participate in this idea, which can really be described as brilliant. It also highlights Hydro's goal for the next hundred years in the aluminum industry. Aluminum is the metal of the future.

SPONSOR AGREEMENT: The sponsorship agreement for the Sun Mirror project in Rjukan was signed Tuesday at Hydro's corporate headquarters. On the left the mayor of the municipality of Tinn Steinar Bergsland and on the right the head of Hydro Svein Richard Brandtzæg. (Photo: Øyvind Breivik)

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This text is machine translated. To view the original German text, click on DE on the top right of this window

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