Dutch to start tests with ‘solar panel covered road’
In the province of Utrecht (Netherlands) at the village of Kockengen, Dutch construction company BAM has started to lay out a stretch of 30 metres of solar panels on the N401 provincial road where traffic can simply drive over. Rather modest compared to Jinan, capital of China’s Shandong Province were a 1-km section solar expressway was opened in 2017, but it’s a start.
When the solar panel mats from Wattway will be installed by the end of next week, BAM and the province of Utrecht will measure how much electricity the panels can deliver and how much extra noise traffic makes when driving over it.
In China the solar panels are laid beneath part of a ring road surrounding Jinan. The road surface is made of a transparent, weight-bearing material that allows sunlight to penetrate. The panels, covering 5.875 square meters, can generate 1 gigawatt of power in a year, enough to meet the everyday demand of around 800 households.
To avoid noise nuisance the test section in the Netherlands is located away from houses. “We know it produces slightly more noise than a regular asphalt road surface, but less than cement clinkers”, says project leader Ad van ‘t Zelfde from BAM Infra.
On the same road another experiment from green technology company Plant-E (Wageningen) is set up with roadside plants providing energy for the measuring instrument collecting data on traffic on the road.