Since solar panels take up a lot of space, municipalities are looking for a place where they won’t get in their way: in the road surface. Next year’s trial will begin in North Holland and North Brabant.
By using solar panels, you can generate energy in a climate-friendly way. They do not emit greenhouse gases and make us less dependent on fossil fuels. In short, it brings a lot of advantages. However, there are also drawbacks, such as the space they occupy. If you want to generate solar energy, you must have room for it. This is the reason why the provinces of Nord-Holland and Nord-Brabant want to build so-called “solar cycle paths”.
Experiment – Experiment
First of all, two existing bike paths will be fitted with solar panels: a bike path along the N232 in Vijfhuizen (Northern Netherlands) and one along the N285 in Wagenberg in Brabant. It will be about 400 meters long and generate enough electricity each year to provide power for twenty families. By building solar cells into the road surface, cyclists can simply use them, while electricity is generated under their wheels.
This is not the first time that this experiment has been conducted in the Netherlands. For example, a solar cycle path has already been built in 2014 in curve (Northern Holland), and in Martinsdijk (Utrecht) Solar panels have been installed on the road surface since last year. With a height of 330 meters, it is the tallest in the world until the new tracks are built.
These projects just got what it takes Cash† It is much cheaper to build solar panels on the roof, because they do not have to carry the weight of people and bicycles. Moreover, solar cells in cycle paths are quickly damaged by traffic, which in turn is at the expense of the amount of energy they can generate. And even if they are not damaged, they provide less energy than regular solar cells. Because the panels on the road surface cannot rotate with the sun, they generate up to 30 percent less electricity.
So the provinces have a lot to achieve. The new cycle tracks will be monitored for five years, after which it must be shown how well the technology is working, how much maintenance is required, and whether costs can be reduced over time. That trial could begin in 2023.
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