Our work

Solar energy in road surfaces and crash barriers

Integrating solar panels into roads and crash barriers are solutions for the production of large-scale and invisible solar energy without the need for additional space. The idea is therefore to give as much of the existing surface area as possible, such as roofs, building façades and roads, a second function as a source of renewable energy.

As a prelude to large-scale application, road authorities are keen to gain experience in the management, maintenance and, in the future, tendering of solar panel roads. Our road network covers some 140,000 kilometres, a significant proportion of which can be equipped with this technology. One third of our road network can produce enough energy to power nine million electric cars.

Solar panels in roads

Following successful application in a cycle path, it is now the turn of roads. This has been the focus of the SolaRoad project, where the idea is to incorporate a SolaRoad surface in roads used by heavy traffic, such as buses and trucks. The further development of the SolaRoad technology that needs to be done before a follow-up pilot for heavy traffic can be undertaken is taking place within the Rolling Solar project. In this project two sections of road will incorporate solar cells, one with traditional crystalline silicon technology and the second based on thin film (CIGS).

Solar panels on the crash barrier

Together with the Province of Noord-Holland and various partners, TNO has carried out research into the safe and sustainable generation of energy by means of flexible solar foil on crash barriers. With some 7,500 kilometres of crash barriers in the Netherlands, there is potential to generate a lot of solar energy. The pilot, using flexible solar foil on a 72-metre section of dual crash barrier, was carried out along the N194 near Heerhugowaard for a year. The design is the first of its kind in the world. The one-year trial completed in 2020 shows that the pilot continued to perform well in various weather conditions. In order to be able to generate energy profitably and sustainably with an integrated system, costs need to be further reduced and components need further development.

More info about solar energy in road surfaces and crash barriers?

Contact Corry de Keizer

Contact
See also
Our work

Solar Highways: noise barrier produces energy

World first: a 400-metre long five-metre high motorway noise barrier incorporating 1,600 square metres of solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity on both sides. This gives the barrier a second... Read more
Our work

Solar cells on crash barriers: first phase of unique pilot project completed

TNO, together with the province of North Holland and various partners, has carried out research into the safe and sustainable generation of energy by means of flexible solar foil on crash barriers. With... Read more
Our work

Trial with solar panels on noise barriers along railway tracks

After successful tests with the integration of solar cells in noise barriers along the motorway, TNO will also carry out tests with barriers along railway tracks. This is being done in co-operation with... Read more
Our work

Optimal deployment of the infrastructure for generating solar energy

A large-scale rollout of solar farms requires much open space. As open space in the Netherlands is limited, and with a view to sparing agricultural land as much as possible, we are examining options to... Read more
Our work

The first solar-powered passenger car: solar cells in the bodywork

The Lightyear One, one of the world’s first solar powered cars, is expected at the end of 2021. Lightyear has teamed up with TNO to develop technology to integrate more than 800 solar cells into the roof,... Read more
Our work

Solar electricity generation in public road infrastructure

In the Interreg EMR project “Rolling Solar” seven research entities and thirteen companies collaborate on the development and demonstration of PV-integrated road elements and road infrastructure, to generate... Read more
Our work

Noise barriers and crash barriers produce solar energy

For a long time, it has been technically possible to install solar cells in noise barriers, but the cost of doing so is high while efficiency is relatively low. TNO has now succeeded in devising and building... Read more
Our work

Growing potential for solar energy on buildings and infrastructure

The area that can be used to generate solar energy in the Netherlands is large and growing. TNO is developing solar energy concepts for optimal integration into the built environment: from roofs, facades... Read more

Contact

FOLLOW TNO ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Stay up to date with our latest news, activities and vacancies

TNO.nl collects and processes data in accordance with the applicable privacy regulations for an optimal user experience and marketing practices.
This data can easily be removed from your temporary profile page at any time.
You can also view our privacy statement or cookie statement.