SolaRoad combines road and solar cells

The road network is one huge solar panel and source of green energy. Within the SolaRoad innovation programme, initiator TNO is working on a unique road concept that converts sunlight into electricity. TNO collaborates with Ooms Avenhorn Groep, Imtech and the province of Noord-Holland. Combined with electric vehicles, a great leap forward can be made towards sustainable mobility.

The potential to generate electricity in this way is considerable - the Dutch road network comprises some 137,000 kilometres and the anticipated annual electricity generation lies around 50 kWh per square metre. An average household uses about 3,500 kWh of electricity per year.

Module

The current conceptual design for the SolaRoad cycle path consists of modules. The cycle path is constructed of concrete elements measuring 1.5 by 2.5 metres and contains a glass top layer. Beneath this one cm thick hardened glass layer lie crystal silicon solar cells. In consultation with the partners, the pilot will determine how the energy will be used and how smart ICT applications can enable the energy produced in peak periods (a lot of sun) to be distributed as efficiently as possible for the periods of little or no light.

Development process

It goes without saying that SolaRoad must comply with the minimum criteria, such as stiffness and maintenance, for normal roads and cycle paths. SolaRoad is still in the process of development and there is much to be learned during this process. To this end we are implementing a pilot application in Noord-Holland, knowledge development projects for specific components and component testing in both the lab and the field. The programme includes knowledge and product development of SolaRoad in terms of engineering, material selection, energy distribution, (social) business model and user criteria (safety, comfort). The next step is to realise the first practical application of SolaRoad in the form of a cycle path. We are linking knowledge and product development in realising this field test.

Partners en contact

SolaRoad is TNO idea and initiative quickly signed up to by consortium parnters Ooms Avenhorn Groep, Imtech and the province of Noord-Holland. By opting for a tripartite composition of partners within SolaRoad, this collaboration of market, knowledge and government conjoins to produce innovation. The aim is for the product to be commercially available within a couple of years. If you would like to participate in this project, please contact Gerritjan Valk: +31(0)88 866 73 01. For technical details, please contact Stan Klerks:+31 (0)88 866 35 16.

Contact

Drs. G.J.E. (Gerritjan) Valk
+31 88 866 73 01
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