Forget the yellow brick road. Hopefully in the near future the most awesome paths will be paved with solar panels.
According to Science Alert, a bike path of solar panels is proving so successful in the Netherlands that the company behind it is positive it can translate into bigger and better projects soon.
Six months into the experiment, SolaRoad states on its site that the experiment has surpassed expectations.
“We did not expect a yield as high as this so quickly,” says Sten de Wit, spokesman of SolaRoad, on the company’s site. “The bike road opened half a year ago and already generated over 3,000 kwh. This can provide a single-person household with electricity for a year, or power an electric scooter to drive of 2.5 times around the world.
“If we translate this to an annual yield, we expect more than the 70 kwh per square meter per year, which we predicted as an upper limit in the laboratory stage. We can therefore conclude that it was a successful first half year.”
The Netherlands was the first to install the solar road, a bike path between suburbs in Amsterdam that serves about 2,000 cyclists per day. They plan to extend it to 100 meters by 2016. In addition to the Netherlands’ extension, the company has also inked a deal to build a similar path in California.
The Dutch bike path is proving quite durable, too. The solar panels are installed between glass, silicon rubber and concrete, and the engineers say they can withstand up to 12 tons without sustaining any damage and should last about 20 years.
An American company, Solar Roadways, has similar plans to pave our roads with solar panels, Science Alert also reported: “There are around 30,000 square kilometers of roads in the U.S., so if their plan is successful, the energy-generating potential is huge — in fact, if every paved surface was covered with their solar panels, they would produce more energy than the U.S. consumes.” You can watch a great video about their plan here.
Watch the video on how SolaRoad works below: