Voting resources, early voting, and poll worker information - VOTE. ... Adafruit is open and shipping.
0

World’s First Solar Bike Path Could Power Surrounding Neighborhoods #Solar Power

NewImage

Netherland’s new bike path doubles as a solar energy generator that could power the surrounding neighborhoods. via fast coexist

When cities run out of space for solar panels on rooftops, one of the next places to turn could be roads—or bike paths. In the Netherlands, one of the country’s newest bike paths doubles as a solar energy generator that could eventually help power surrounding neighborhoods.

“In the Netherlands, we have about 140,000 kilometers of roads—enough to go three times around the world, and more. It’s a huge area, more than all of the rooftops combined,” explains Sten de Wit from TNO, the research organization that helped create the new bike path.

“We already put solar panels on rooftops, and this is a process that is going faster and faster,” he says. “But if we look at the goals we have for sustainable energy production we need more area than just rooftops. If we can put panels in a road which is there anyway—then we can get that function and lots of green energy without disturbing the landscape or taking extra space.”

The World s First Solar Bike Path Keeps Bikers Safe Powers Surrounding Neighborhoods Co Exist ideas impact

TNO worked with engineers and local government to develop a paving system, called SolaRoad, that could generate power while still holding up to traffic. “If you put a normal solar panel on the road, you’d have two main issues—one would be that it’s slippery especially when wet, and two, it would probably break very quickly,” de Wit says. “Those were the two main challenges we had to solve. It also had to be transparent enough that light could reach the solar cells.”

The new bike path is a pilot, and the researchers will use it to gather all kinds of information, including how much energy this type of road can generate. “Based on what we’ve done in the lab, we think the energy gain will be between 50-70 kilowatt hours per square meter per year,” de Wit explains. A typical Dutch household could be entirely powered by about 50 square meters of roadway.

The pilot path will mostly handle bike traffic, but also the occasional car, and the researchers plan to keep developing the technology for use on regular roads (in a similar way to the U.S.-based Solar Roadways project, which claims that solar roads could power the entire United States).

They also hope to take the technology beyond the Netherlands. “The Netherlands is not the most sunny country in the world,” says de Wit. “So if we go further south, it’s very likely that this product will be at least as interesting there as it is here.”

The technology isn’t cheap—the pilot bike path cost $3.75 million dollars for a narrow stretch of only 230 feet. But as the development progresses, the cost is expected to come down. And since it generates power, it can slowly start to pay for itself.

Read more



Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 24,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers – CircuitPython.org


Maker Business — To make it through a tough business cycle, layoffs should be a last resort

Wearables — Sparkle nails

Electronics — Tactile Confusion?

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: CircuitPython 6 beta 0, Discord 25k and much more! #Python #Adafruit #CircuitPython #CircuitPythonDay @micropython @ThePSF

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Mitigating Climate Change with IoT, LoRaWAN Gardens, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode and Wonder Woman 1984 Team Up

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — New Products 9/23/2020 featuring Adafruit QT Py – SAMD21 Dev Board with STEMMA QT!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !



5 Comments

  1. Great article, however it is worth noting that the renewable industry is generally against this idea. Solar Roadways (or bike paths) cannot be angled toward the sun, are subject to wear and abrasion on the glass, are likely to be covered by dirt, dust ice and vehicles, and need to be replaced much, much faster than a standard road or bike path.

    This $3.7M project will power three households. That same $3.7M could have powered three THOUSAND households if it had been spent on rooftop solar. (though though you don’t know what a standard bike path would have cost, so lets say fifteen hundred households of rooftop solar, and a $1.8M bike path)

    vox.com and renewablesinternational.net both write that it would have been smarter to build a roof over the bike path that was angled toward the sun, and fill it with solar panels.

  2. Dave Jones talked about this last month. http://www.eevblog.com/2014/11/07/eevblog-681-more-solar-roadways-bullshit/

  3. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pro renewable energy, but this is one of the stupidest ideas I ever heard of!
    The power output is extremely bad due to the missing inclination, the soiling, the thickness and anti-slip surface of the top glass. At the same time, the whole system has very high production, installation, maintenance and repair costs.
    The amortisation of a solarpark is currently in the range of 8-10 years. But this road will never pay-off!

  4. As much as I’m familiar with energy efficient homes in the Netherlands I would love to see someone try to live on an average of 285-400W total for the whole house. It’s certainly possible, I’ve camped in the wilderness on less after all, but it’s *far* below a typical household electricity usage. Even tropical Mexico and Brazil don’t average such low energy usage per house.

  5. A quick run of the numbers finds about an 1100 yr pay-back time at the current price of electricity in the Netherlands (~$0.23/kW-hr). Even if the cost dropped by 99% (or you could find true believers willing to pay $23/kw-hr) the pay-back time is still 11 yr, and that is not counting any maintenance or replacement costs. So while the idea is nice, I seriously doubt that any "neighborhoods" will be powered in such a fashion any time in the near future.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.