Roads & Bridges
Free Energy From Road -continued
And so began development of photovoltaic panels that could convert the sun’s energy into electricity whilst permitting heavy and frequent loads under extremely harsh conditions.
Not only did the panels have to have the strength and durability to meet these exacting demands but they also had to provide a surface that was safe for high-speed traffic traverse without loss of grip between the tyres and the road surface.
In 2015, after two more years of intense work, research yielded an innovation called Wattway.
With the rapid advance in photovoltaic technology, the resulting new generation of solar collector panels are surprisingly thin (just a few millimetres thick).
There is no glass, and yet they give off an overall impression of sturdiness. Their size can be adapted to fit any kind of road around the world.
Each panel contains 15-cm wide polycrystalline silicon cells that transform solar energy into electricity. These extremely fragile photovoltaic cells are coated in a multilayer substrate composed of resins and polymers, translucent enough to allow sunlight to pass through, and yet resistant enough to withstand truck traffic.
The Wattway photovoltaic panels are just a few millimetres thick and are easily incorporated into existing as well as new roads and hard standing areas.
The surface that is in contact with vehicle tyres is treated to ensure skid-resistance equivalent to conventional asphalt mixes.
Completely watertight, the system is designed to ensure that it can cope with failure of one or more of the cells with minimal impact on the total power being generated.
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