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Wed January 26 2022

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Pilot solar-panel road opens in Netherlands

27 Oct 14 A pilot section of road that converts sunlight into electricity has opened to the public in the Netherlands.

The SolaRoad has a surface that acts as a solar panel and was developed by TNO, the province of North-Holland, Imtech Traffic&Infra and Ooms Civiel, which is part of Strukton Civiel.

The 100m pilot road consists of concrete modules each of 2.5 by 3.5 metres and will be used by cyclists. 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.

For a three-year period, various measurements will be taken and tests performed to enable SolaRoad to undergo further development. The tests will look at how it behaves in practice, how much energy is produced and what it is like to cycle over.

In the run-up to the surface being laid, the road was tested in the laboratory to ensure that it fulfils all safety requirements for road surfaces.

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