A solar bike path project in The Netherlands has been active for seven months and is generating more electricity than predicted, reports the Huffington Post, which says the road is generating about 70 kWh per square meter per year – at the upper limit of expectations from laboratory testing.
SolaRoad is a road surface that acts as a solar panel, converting sunlight into electricity. The pilot road of just a hundred meters consists of concrete modules of 2.5 by 3.5 meters each. Solar cells are fitted in one traveling direction underneath a tempered glass top layer. 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 such as street lighting and traffic systems.
The three-year pilot is testing how much energy the road produces and how it functions as a traffic surface.