SolaRoad Solar Bikers Lane
Dutch cycle nation the Netherlands gets it’s first solar power generating bicycle path called ‘SolaRoad’. It’s the first Dutch road surface integrated with solar cells.
Bikers can use the lane, while the solar cells are generating green energy for lightning and extra electric power.
The cycle lane in the Netherlands, is a pilot is successful and promising for thousand kilometers of lanes, paths and roads can be transformed to renewable energy power roads. It’s wonderful if we can transform roads to generators of renewable energy and create climate-neutral mobility.
SolaRoads uses tempered glass that is particularly strong and that is mounted in a concrete housing. The strength of the glass in the housing is being mechanically tested in different ways. For example, extreme traffic loads are simulated in a bench press, pressing different tyre types on the surface with great force.
Also, they have dropped steel balls and bags with marbles of different sizes and from different heights on the SolaRoad surface, in order to test the resistance to impact loads, based on internationally recognized standards..
SolaRoad produces 70 kWh/m2
Already half a year after the cycle lane was inaugurated, SolaRoad sent out a press release stating that, with 3000 kWh generated, the solar panels were outperforming the 70 kWh annual per square meter expected threshold set in the lab. In its first year, the SolaRoad produced 9,800 kWh, roughly equivalent to the annual average consumption of three Dutch households.
Another interesting development is the announcement of a cooperation with Californian road authority Caltrans and the Dutch province North-Holland to develop a second pilot project in Lebec, Kern County. Since the announcement last March, however, no details on what the project might look like have been revealed.
SolaRoad is not the only consortium in the world working on this type of project. In the US, ‘Solar FREAKIN’ Roadways‘ is working on high-tech roads that produce electricity and can, among other things, de-ice themselves. Unfortunately, their prototype in Idaho has suffered from severe technical issues, recently even requiring intervention by firefighters as smoke started to come out of an electricity box on the test site.
Another example is located in France, where a one-kilometer stretch of roadway has been covered by solar panels by construction company Colas. This “Wattway” is the start of a controversial plan to convert a staggering 1,000 kilometers of French streets into solar roads.