The first road in the world that converts sunlight into electricity opens
The SolaRoad pilot road opened earlier this month. SolaRoad is a road surface that acts as a solar panel and it is the first road in the world that converts sunlight into electricity. SolaRoad was developed by TNO, the Province of North-Holland, Ooms Civiel and Imtech Traffic & Infra.
The pilot road of just a hundred metres consists of concrete modules each of 2.5 by 3.5 metres. Solar cells are fitted in one travelling direction underneath a tempered glass top layer which is approximately 1-cm thick. There are no solar cells on the other side of the road and this is used to test various top layers. In time, the solar power from the road will be used for practical applications in street lighting, traffic systems, electric cars (which drive on the surface) and households. This first section of SolaRoad is located in Krommenie, along the provincial road N203.
For a three-year period, various measurements will be taken and tests performed to enable SolaRoad to undergo further development. The tests must answer questions such as: How does it behave in practice, How much energy does it produce and What is it like to cycle over? In the run-up to the surface being laid, the road was tested in the laboratory to ensure that it fulfilled all (safety) requirements for road surfaces.