Solar Roads Shake Up Global Infrastructure

Half a dozen solar roads change the vision to infrastructure. The race for functional and sustainable projects continues its course, now there are ways that not only can be used to circulate with our vehicles, they can also have other functionalities, such as generating clean energy to seek balance with the environment.

New solar road projects are being planned from the United States to remote parts of China, some of them are already underway.

Different concepts an idea; launch solar roads.

From Japan, France, on the Nevers Magny-Cours circuit and a suburb of Toulouse, to Georgia in the United States, pilot projects for solar roads have been launched.

Solar Roadways.

The couple formed by Julie and Scott Brusaw have founded the brand called Solar Roadways in 2006, the idea came to Julie when trying to become aware of the environment, in this sense Scott applied his engineering knowledge and both gave a meaning to the vision to make it a reality through modular solar panels covered in tempered glass.

The proposal of the creators is that in the United States there are almost 53 thousand square kilometers of roads, parking lots, driveways, playgrounds, sidewalks or bike lanes and from which you can get a return if you put solar panels on them. his first experiment has been carried out in Idaho.

According to his calculations, his idea could “ generate about 14,085 billion kWh of electricity in a year” , if only 4 peak hours of generation are taken into account each day calculated in the northern United States, if the same proportion is taken to the south, electricity generation would increase exponentially.

Wattway in Japan, France and the United States.

For almost half a year, the initiatives of the creation of the Colas group have begun to launch their pilot projects, in Japan, France and the United States, the premise of Wattway, the product of Colas, is that in “a section of “a kilometer paved with Wattway can provide electricity to power public lighting in a city of 5,000 inhabitants.”


Since 2016 this idea has implemented its pilot projects in France, there the starting signal was given by creating the world’s first solar highway, the first kilometer of this type of road has been launched in Tourouvre-au-Perche, built with Wattway . The road consists of almost 3,000 solar panels on the pavement that are capable of generating clean energy to power the town’s public lighting.


Months after being established in France, the Wattway system arrived in the United States. 50 meters of solar highway was installed on a road near the Alabama border. The road has been part of a project presented by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation who have almost 30 kilometers of surface for testing technologies that work with renewable energies.

The project has been recognized, the road section has stood out for its premise in terms of saving lives since “it has reflective points that use color to communicate important data to drivers in real time, such as the presence of ice (with the black), thick fog, an accident ahead or erratic drivers, this with the Smart Road Dot system formed with solar-powered LED lights and backup battery, as well as autonomous functions enabled by a mesh network that acts in real time.


The participation of Wattway in Japan goes hand in hand with an American brand, the 7 / Eleven store, which has presented in the Asian country almost 60 cutting-edge technologies in the pursuit of the objective of reducing the environmental impact of energy use, improving the work environment of employees, among others. The pilot project was presented and inaugurated almost half a year ago.


China inaugurates the first solar highway

The Asian giant has also entered the race to build clean highways based on renewable energy, in this case in Jinan, the one-kilometer Chinese solar highway inaugurated in the area has been carried out by the company Qilu Transportation Development Group.

Formed by several layers, one of solar panels, the bottom insulation and on the top transparent concrete. An area of ​​5,875 square meters is covered in both lanes, as well as an emergency lane. According to the data, this system can generate one million kWh of clean energy per year.

Cycle lanes can also generate clean energy.

Such is the case of the Netherlands, a country that has a network of bicycle paths that connects almost all of its territory. The Solaroad company has installed the first in Krommenie, after a year of use the generation of 70 kWh per square meter was confirmed, enough energy for three houses, this result exceeded the expectations of its creators.

Hungary installs solar sidewalks to charge electric cars

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