Half a dozen solar highways change the vision of infrastructure. The race for functional and sustainable projects continues, now the routes are presented that can not only be used to circulate with our vehicles, but can also have other functionalities, such as generating clean energy to seek balance with the environment.
Projects for new solar highways are being considered from the United States to remote parts of China, some of which are already underway.
Different concepts an idea; launch solar highways.
From Japan, France, on the Nevers Magny-Cours circuit and a suburb of Toulouse, to Georgia in the United States, solar road pilot projects have been launched.
The couple formed by Julie and Scott Brusaw has founded the brand called Solar Roadways in 2006, the idea came to Julie when trying to become aware of the environment, in this sense Scott applied his knowledge of engineering and both gave meaning to the vision to become reality through modular solar panels covered in tempered glass.
The approach of the creators is that in the United States there are almost 53 thousand square kilometers of roads, parking lots, driveways, playgrounds, sidewalks or bike lanes and from which performance can be obtained if solar panels are placed on them, for this his first experiment has been carried out in Idaho.
According to his calculations, his idea could ” generate around 14.085 billion kWh of electricity in a year” , if only 4 peak hours of generation are taken into account each day calculated in the northern United States, if the same proportion is taken to the south electricity generation would increase exponentially.
Wattway in Japan, France and the United States.
For almost half a year, the initiatives of the creation of the Colas group have begun to start their pilot projects, in Japan, France and the United States, the premise of Wattway, the product of Colas, is that in “a stretch of highway One kilometer paved with Wattway can provide electricity to power public lighting in a city of 5,000 inhabitants”.
Since 2016 this idea has implemented its pilot projects in France, there the starting signal was given by creating the first solar road in the world, the first kilometer of this type of road has been launched in Tourouvre-au-Perche, built with Wattway . The road consists of almost 3,000 solar panels on the pavement that are capable of generating clean energy to power the town’s public lighting.
Months after being implemented in France, the Wattway system reached the United States. 50 meters of solar road were installed on a road near the border with Alabama. The road has been part of a project presented by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, which has almost 30 kilometers of surface for testing technologies that work with renewable energies.
The project has achieved recognition, the section of road has been highlighted for its premise in terms of saving lives since “it has reflective points that use color to communicate important data for drivers in real time, such as the presence of ice (with the black), thick fog, accident ahead or erratic drivers, this with the Smart Road Dot system formed with solar-powered LED lights and battery backup, as well as the autonomous functions enabled by a mesh network that acts in real time.
Wattway’s participation in Japan goes hand in hand with an American brand, the 7/Eleven store, which has presented almost 60 cutting-edge technologies in the Asian country in pursuit of the goal of reducing the environmental impact of energy use, improving employee work environment, among others. The pilot project was presented and inaugurated almost half a year ago.
The Asian giant has also entered the race to build clean highways based on renewable energy, in this case in Jinan, the one-kilometer Chinese solar highway inaugurated in the area has been carried out by the company Qilu Transportation Development Group.
Formed by several layers, one of solar panels, the lower insulation and transparent concrete on top. An area of 5,875 square meters is covered in both lanes, as well as an emergency lane. According to data, this system can generate one million kWh of clean energy per year.
Bike lanes can also generate clean energy.
Such is the case of the Netherlands, a country that has a network of bicycle paths that connects almost all of its territory. The Solaroad company has installed the first one in Krommenie, after a year of use the generation of 70 kWh per square meter was confirmed, enough energy for three houses, this result exceeded the expectations of its creators.