Observing the world of renewable energy and sustainable living



Driving over hardened glass with solar cells beneath. In the Netherlands in 2013 this will become reality, at least for a test setup of 100 meter bicycle lane. The cycle path is constructed of concrete elements measuring 1.5 by 2.5 metres and contains a safety glass top layer, made rough on purpose for safe driving. Beneath this one cm thick hardened glass layer lie crystal silicon solar cells. Expected yearly yield: 50 kwh per m2. An average household of 3500 kwh/year would require 70 m2. Btw, the Netherlands has 137,000 km asphalt road and 15,000 km bicycle paths and many new planned. With an estimated/gambled average width of 5 m, that would be 685,000,000 m2 or almost 10 million households. The Netherlands has 7.5 households. In money terms the road element shown could yield 200 kwh per year or 40 euro per year against 2013 Dutch electricity prices or 1000 euro during a life span of 25 years. Oh, and the solar panel comes with a road. The idea originated from TNO. The beauty of the idea is that in extremely densely populated countries like the Netherlands (448/km2) no extra scarce space is needed to set up an alternative energy base. The entire roadsystem as one big PV solar collector.

[] – SolaRoad combines road and solar cells (english)




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