WATTWAY – a new life for roads
May 10, 2016
This is a unique project of the COLAS company. In principle, it is a "solar road", where the solar energy is used like in standard photovoltaic panels.
It is based on exceptionally thin (approximately 7 mm) but resistant panels of polycrystalline silicone, which are able to convert solar energy into electricity. These very fragile photovoltaic cells are embedded in a multiple-layer substrate consisting of epoxies and polymers, which guarantee the elasticity of the resulting panel. This cover is sufficiently transparent for the permeation of sunlight, but it can withstand the pressure of freight transport. The 1.80 x 0.70 m panels have undergone rigorous testing, which proved the suitability for use on roads, including anti-skid properties. The lifetime of the panels should be on a level similar to a standard road.
Electric power produced in this way can be used locally, for example in public lighting and in residential areas. For example, according to calculations, 20 m2 of area covered by the Wattway panels meet power demands of one family, with the exception of heating.
The feasibility of the project is now being tested in a larger number of areas, especially in France. The panels can be installed directly on existing roads.
More at: www.wattwaybycolas.com