Solar panels built into roads


Produced by a Dutch research firm, the
Solaroad comprises solar panels being installed directly onto roads and cycle
lanes, using the extra space for the production of energy.

The idea is that a centimetre thick layer of
crystalline silicon solar cells is laid on top of the concrete road surface, in
turn covered by a layer of toughened glass. The energy potential amounts to
50kWh/m2 pa, which can then be used to power street lighting,
traffic systems and households.

The developers, TNO, working with the
Province of North Holland, consulting firm Ooms Averhorn Group and technology
firm Intech, are starting with a small-scale pilot program in the town of
Krommenie, outside of Amsterdam. Scheduled for installation next year, the
first Solaroad will provide the basis for further improvements prior to rolling
out the system to other locations.

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