The cycle path that converts sunlight into electricity
SolaRoad is an innovation breakthrough in the field of energy. It is an unique concept that turns the sunlight on the surface of the pavement into electricity: the road network is used as an inexhaustible source of green power. SolaRoad is durable and practically applicable in many ways.
The first cycle path with solar panels is being constructed in the town of Krommenie in North Holland. The straight 100 m long stretch of cycle path consists of 2.5 to 3 m thick concrete slabs, covered with a transparent glass layer one centimetre thick. Underneath the glass there are photovoltaic solar panels.
The energy generated can be used, among other things, for street lighting and traffic lights. In addition, ordinary households and electric vehicles can also benefit from the solar routes. Following this trial, entire streets can also be covered with solar cells, which would generate 25% of all the energy required in the Netherlands.
The potential to generate power in this way is large. The total Dutch road network includes approximately 137,000 linear kilometers. The expected yield of green power is 50 kWh per square meter per year. An average household uses about 3,500 kWh per year in electricity.
SolaRoad is primarily an idea and initiative of TNO. At an early stage other Consortium members were connected too: the Province of North Holland, Imtech and Ooms Civiel.