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Case story

Adjustable mirrors make football stadiums greener

The grass is always green in football stadiums - even in those areas where the stands almost always shade from the sun. How come? Because the stadiums use energy-intensive appliances with artificial light. The Danish entrepreneurial company Second Sun wants to make the football business a little greener. Their innovative and adjustable mirrors reflect the sun's rays onto shaded areas, so that the amount of electric light required is reduced or completely eliminated.

Second Sun at Brøndby Stadium

As football became an increasingly popular sport, football stadiums also grew in size. They are now so big that the stadium construction typically casts shadows onto the pitch, which makes it difficult for the grass to grow in certain areas. But football has to be played on grass, which is why the clubs have invested in high-consumption electric light fixtures that can be driven onto the pitch to give the grass light and heat.

From the start, the people at Second Sun asked themselves why clubs did not use natural sunlight instead of artificial light. After 3-4 years, countless experiments, and several prototypes, it became clear that mirrors were the best solution for reflecting the sun's rays.


Adjustment is essential

To ensure that the mirrors reflect the sun's rays correctly and direct them towards the shady areas on the pitch, the mirrors are adjustable:

"During testing, we tried several different movement solutions. But it turned out that electric actuators were the best solution for us," says Nicolai Moustgaard, CEO of Second Sun.

That is why every single mirror is now adjusted by three LA36 IC actuators from LINAK®. One actuator draws the mirror up under the roof and folds it down again while the other two turn the mirror to the sides as well as up and down.

Actuator Second Sun

A unique solution for every stadium.

All stadiums are different and have different needs depending on size, location, climate, etc. This is why Second Sun has developed a tool for analysis and simulation.

There are a lot of things we need to take into account when exploring the possibilities of a stadium. We look at historical weather data for the specific location, examine the stadium's physical shape and orientation between north and south, and we check the size of the shaded areas. Based on this information, we can then advise on how many mirrors are required and where to place them,” says Moustgaard.

In Denmark and Northern Europe, the weather conditions mean limited sunshine part of the year. Here, the mirrors from Second Sun will be part of a solution together with the artificial lights. But in countries with a sunnier climate, the mirrors can cover every need for sunlight in a stadium. As Moustgaard says:

Our aim is to be part of the ground team's tool box at the stadium. Many areas will still need artificial light, but by using our mirrors where possible, we can help make the stadiums and their operations more sustainable”.


Several advantages

As Second Sun's solution uses solar power, it is far ahead of the energy-consuming, electric lights.

The sun's rays are a renewable energy source. Furthermore, sunlight does not cost anything, and the financial benefit of this is clearly evident to the football clubs,” says Moustgaard and adds: ”The clubs also experience time-saving benefits. It takes time and resources transporting the big, artificial lights to and from the pitch. With our solution, you only need to push a button, and the mirrors go down. We have even tailored the solution so that the mirrors are capable of automatically following the sun's path during the day and adjusting to the location of the sun according to the season."


Second Sun at Brøndby Stadium


LINAK as partner

According to Moustgaard, there are several reasons for choosing LINAK as a partner:

"Firstly, we were looking for a partner who could live up to all of our technical demands - this was no problem for LINAK. They could deliver a solution where control, maintenance, and delivery were all in order. Next, it was important for us to have a sustainable supply chain - LINAK is local to us and has a large supply network, which we can benefit from. Additionally, LINAK is a quality stamp, which we are really keen to add to our solutions."

Communication with LINAK has also been important for Moustgaard: ”We had a positive experience with LINAK right from the start, and all through the process, we felt we were listened to and taken seriously, even though we are not yet one of their biggest customers. This was really important to us.


The future looks bright

Second Sun has plenty of ideas for the future. The company is still establishing itself on the market for football stadiums, and several clubs in Europe have shown interest. But the ambitions do not stop there:

"We are constantly developing our solutions and looking at other possible applications. I believe in the potential within other sports, but also in applications within architecture and city planning. More and taller buildings create a lot of shade. Sunshine is an important, sustainable, and not least free source of energy - let's use it to the best of our ability," Moustgaard concludes.

Read more about Second Sun on the company's website, where you can also watch a video of the mirrors in action.

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