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Solar modules as road coverings

Roads become power stations and produce electricity

In America and Europe, engineers are working to equip roads with solar cells, which can even roll trucks.

This could provide enough energy for electric cars and replace some of the traditional power plants. In the US, just a start-up has been the first place equipped with walk-in solar panels.

The start-up Solar Roadways is quite modest with a thing that could become quite big.

The American young company now moved the first solar modules on a path in the small town of Sandpoint, Idaho.

They are, as the developer’s promise, so resistant that even trucks can roll over it without destroying it.

However, the first panels are not on a street, but in a public place, so they are not subjected to too much stress.

Fitted with light-emitting diodes To make the modules stand out, Solar Roadways has garnished them with light-emitting diodes that consume only a small bit of the generated electricity.

The rest supplies the pump of a fountain and the LED lighting of a public toilet with electricity.

In winter, when the sun is less intense and less electricity is produced, there is still less left for the utilization.

After all, some of the electricity generated goes to integrated heating elements, which keep the solar modules free of snow.

In Idaho, the winters are hard and snowy. Positive side effect: Electricity generating roads would never be risky.

Power station on the bike path In the Netherlands you are already a bit further. Near Amsterdam, a cycle track has been in operation for two years, which is paved with solar cells over a distance of 70 m.

It produces up to 10,000 kWh per year. This is sufficient for the annual demand of almost three German average households.

If 42,000 of the 140,000 road kilometers in the Netherlands were prepared in such a way, there would be enough electricity to switch completely to electric cars.1000 kilometers of solar road in France France is still more energetic.

Colar, a subsidiary of French builder Bouygues, specializing in transport infrastructure, plans to cover a 1000 kilometer road with solar modules by 2020. 20 m2 of the Wattway system would produce about 4000 kWh of electricity per year.

The first 15 m are already installed near Marseille. The entire road would generate electricity for five million people, according to Colas.

However, he would have to be stored somewhere.

For this purpose, the public electricity network could be used if it would be so flexible that other power stations could fill electricity gaps, at night.

Otherwise expensive batteries would be necessary. How German engineers put the risk of slipping In Germany, RWTH Aachen engineers are working on the development of solar roads.

The modules should be 5 mm thick and be equipped with small knobs on the surface in order to give the car tire the necessary support.

Together with Solmove from Inning am Ammersee and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, the Aachen-based solar power plants are developing such solar roads.

Electricity from the road can “replace all nuclear power stations in perspective,” says the Solmove homepage.

 

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