Solaroad is a road that also works as a solar panel. The combination of these two functions is special, and makes it possible within the space we still got to road use even solar energy to capture and converting it into electrical energy, which then can be used for street lighting, traffic systems, but also households.
The government of North Holland is now planning to install solar panels on a cycle path near the town of Krommenie, near Amsterdam.
The current concept design for the solaroad cycling in January 2011 as presented consists of modules. The bike path is built of concrete elements of 1.5 to 2.5 meters with a glass surface. Under the cover of toughened glass are about 1 cm thick crystalline silicon solar cells. The way in which energy is used, the pilot with partners are developed using smart ICT applications. These help to the energy at peak times (lots of sun) and most efficient way to share the moment with no or less light.
The potential in this way to generate electricity is high, the total Dutchroad network covers approximately 137,000 km. The expected electricity out put is 50 kWh per square meter per year. An average household uses about 3,500 kWh per year of electricity.
Solaroad condition is that the minimum requirements as for regular roads and cycle paths, for example roughness and maintenance. Solaroad is still under development. The next step in this process is to create the first practical application of solaroad in the form of a cycle. This is expected in 2012.
Solaroad is an idea and initiative of TNO. At an early stage, the other consortium parties hooked: the Province of North Holland, Imtech and Ooms Avenhorn Group. Within solaroad we choose a tripartite composition of partners that market knowledge and innovation come together in government. The intention is that the product will be in the free market may become available and make an appropriate and healthy business model is developed.