Images via SolaRoad

100m of Dutch solar road generates enough electricity to power a house

11 May 2015 | By Joe Quirke 1 Comment

The Netherlands announced the world’s first road that converts sunlight into electricity in November last year

Six months into the trial, the 100m “Solaroad” in the town of Krommenie, North Holland, has been found to generate 3,000kWh a year, enough to power a one-person household or propel an electric scooter 2.5 times around the Earth. 

The energy yield of SolaRoad is higher than expected. Sten de Wit, a spokesman for the company, said: “We expect more than the 70kWh per square metre 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.”

More than 150,000 cyclists rode over the section of road during the trail and only one fault was found: a section of coating that provides grip became delaminated owing to temperature fluctuations. SolaRoad is working to improve this aspect of the design. 

The road surface consists of concrete modules measuring 2.5m by 3.5m, with solar cells embedded in half the width. 

Work on developing the concept has been under way since 2009. The team behind it comes from the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, the Province of North Holland, construction firm Ooms Civiel, and Imtech Traffic.

The idea of paving roads with tough solar panels has gained some traction in the US, where a husband-and-wife team of inventors crowdsourced $2.2m to commercialise their concept

Images via SolaRoad