The world’s first solar road is generating more electricity than expected engineers have confirmed, just six months after initial launch.
Dutch engineers built the project November last year as part of a three-year pilot. The 70 metre track between the Dutch suburbs of Krommenie and Wormerveer has embedded solar panels that transmit energy into either the national power grid and power streetlights.
Engineers have confirmed that in the first six months of the three year pilot, the road has generated more than 3,000kwh, enough to sustain a house for a full year.
The first of its kind anywhere in the world, the project has provided inspiration for similar initiatives. In the US, engineers are in the development phase of a similar project Solar Roadways.
Sten de Wit, spokesperson for SolaRoad said, “We did not expect a yield as high as this so quickly. If we translate this to an annual yield, we expect more than the 70kwh per square meter per year. We predicted [this] as an upper limit in the laboratory stage. We can therefore conclude that it was a successful first half year”.
Engineers are hoping to complete further trials and expand on the current project. The glass used in the current prototype is only capable of holding bicycles, but they are hoping to design panels that could support the weight of buses and larger vehicles.
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