The idea behind SolaRoad is simple: sunlight falling on the road surface is absorbed by solar cells and converted into electricity – the road surface acts as a large solar panel. The electricity generated in this way will find practical applications in street lighting.
SolaRoad is being developed as prefabricated slabs. It consists of concrete modules of 2.5 by 3.5 meters with a translucent top layer of tempered glass, which is about 1 cm thick. Underneath the glass are crystalline silicon solar cells. The top layer immediately shows an important difference from the traditional road surface. It has to be translucent for sunlight and repel dirt as much as possible. At the same time, the top layer must be skid resistant and strong enough in order to realize a safe road surface. This is one of the technical challenges of SolaRoad.
The Province of Noord-Holland, road construction company Ooms Civiel and technical service provider Dynniq form – together with TNO – the core consortium that is developing SolaRoad. The ultimate goal is the realization of the dream that large parts of the road surface in the Netherlands will act as a large solar panel. The generated electricity can be used for street lighting, traffic systems, households and electric vehicles.
Text and Pictures taken from SolaRoad website. All rights reserved