France Opens The World’s First Solar Road, Can This Reduce The Cost Of Power Generation?


What else have we not seen? Okay… Flying cars right? I bet you, with the way things are going in the Tech world you will soon be seeing cars fly over your head very soon.

The Tech world is currently in an extraordinary boom. New innovations crop up almost every day. Self-driving cars, A.I’s that work exactly like Tony stark’s Jarvis. Sex robots and so on. All these things still gat me asking, what else is coming out?

Then, in addition to the innovations, France officials just opened up the world’s first solar road in the region of Normandy. Which stretches to a 1-kilometre-long (0.6-mile-long) route covered in 2,880 photovoltaic panels.
The solar road by name WATTWAY, passes through the small town of Tourouvre-au-Perche and It’s expected to be used by approximately 2,000 motorists daily during a two-year test period, to see just how much electricity it can generate.
The project was financed by the French Ministry of the Environment and built by engineering firm Colas, and initial estimates of the power output suggest the Wattway will generate more than enough electricity to run all of Tourouvre-au-Perche’s street lights.

The Wattway is projected to produce 280 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy annually, with an estimated electrical output of 767 kilowatt hours (kWh) per day.

The Ministry of the Environment says that’s enough to provide public lighting for a population of 5,000, so provided the weather cooperates, Tourouvre-au-Perche’s 3,400 residents should have their nights lit up by the Sun from now on (if you know what we mean).

According to negative opinions criticizing the Project, the cost of building the Wattway which is at €5 million (about US$5.2 million) doesn’t add up, pointing out that the energy produced by the solar road costs 13 times as much as building rooftop panels.

Part of this is attributable to the Wattway’s unique construction, which has been engineered to withstand being driven over repeatedly by cars and large trucks. The panels are covered with a resin containing sheets of silicon, so they can survive heavy traffic.

From History, a similar solar panel project has existed in the Netherlands in 2014, but the Engineers could only make it durable enough to support the weight and friction of cyclists.
This project is cool and their main goal now is to only work on bringing the cost of production to fit France’s goal of installing 1,0kilometersres (621 miles) of solar-panelled roads in the next four years or so.

Whether that’s going to happen or not will depend on how well this two-year trial goes, and if the costs do come down, then it’s definitely something worth aiming for: 1,000 kilometres of solar roads would provide electricity to around 5 million people – about 8 percent of France’s population.
So, there’s a lot riding on this trial, and not just for France, but also other countries – as Colas has plans to test similar sites internationally in 2017 at around 100 locations.

The live of this project roughly depends on its result after the 2 year trail. Only after that can this project be able to spread as it’s supposed to be.


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