Solar Roads: Are they a thing of the future?
Well, the future of Solar Roads is upon us. France has opened the world’s first Solar Highway on 22 December 2016. The highway stretches for 1 km or 0.6 miles through the village of Tourouvre au Perche in Normandy. The highway spreads approximately 2800 sq. m. or 30,138 sq. ft. in area. covered with 2800 Photovoltaic Panels. A silicon-based resin is used to create a protective layer that cover these panels. This allows them to withstand wear and tear from the passing by of vehicles.
A large Anglo-French construction company, Colas, is responsible for building this highway. They also estimate annual production of 280MWh. Colas plans to monitor the fluctuations in the immediate production as well as the total production since the day of installation using an information panel. Estimated electrical output may reach up to 767 KWh/ day with peaks up to 1500 KWh/day during summer.
Jean-Charles Broizat, Wattway Director of this project said: “We are still on an experimental phase. Building a trial site of this scale is a real opportunity for our innovation. This trial site has enabled us to improve our photovoltaic panels installing process as well as their manufacturing, in order to keep on optimizing our innovation.”
Company Name: Wattways by Colas