Technology

Why is the world's first solar-powered road a complete failure?

According to scientists, about 0.5% of the entire surfaceour planet is covered by roads. This rather large area is used only for car traffic, but why don't people use it for other purposes? For example, roads can be covered with solar panels that generate electricity to power streetlights. It was such an idea that several years ago came up with the representatives of the French company Colas. In 2016, the world's first solar-powered road was finally built, but now they want to demolish it. The fact is that the company made a lot of stupid mistakes.

1.6 Wattway Sunny Roadkilometers was laid in the French region of Normandy. About 3000 square meters of this path was covered with solar panels, which, according to the creators, could energize the lampposts in the city of Turuvre aux Perches. About $ 5.2 million was spent on the construction of the road, but the company ultimately failed to recoup the amount spent.

The longest solar road

At first everyone liked the road, even FrenchMinister of Energy. He liked the idea so much that one day he announced that he wanted to see solar panels on every 1,000 kilometers of all the roads in France. But, in the future it turned out that the road from solar panels does not produce as much energy as was supposed. The creators wanted him to generate 150,000 kWh of electricity per year, but by July 2019 they noticed that the road generated only 40,000 kWh. Efficiency of batteries was constantly decreasing and the fault was, roughly speaking, the stupidity of the creators.

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Why demolished the road from solar panels?

The company made a big mistake at the very beginningroad construction. It was built in the city of Caen, which is one of the most cloudy in France. According to scientists, on average, the inhabitants of this city see the sun only 44 days a year. So what kind of solar energy can we talk about if most of the time the sky is covered by a dense layer of clouds?

One of their Wattway road solar panels

Also during the construction of the road in 2016,Colas has coated the surface with resin. In her opinion, such a coating was supposed to protect the batteries from cracks during the movement of cars. Perhaps the resin really withstood the pressure of the wheels of cars, but the company did not think at all that trucks could drive along this route. In the end, most of the solar panels were cracked, so the company had to disassemble 90 meters of the road.

Solar panel cracks

On top of all this, the company forgot aboutthat over time, the road may be covered with garbage and leaves. Only after some time did they realize that dirt-covered solar panels were becoming almost useless. It is not known how much energy dirty and cracked panels could produce, but it was hardly enough to power even a couple of three lamps. Then why is such a road needed?

Read necessarily: Sunny asphalt: a path to the future or a road to nowhere?

It turns out that she simply does not need powerFrance is finally aware of this. The project has already been officially declared a failure, and soon the solar road will be demolished. Instead, an ordinary asphalt road will be laid. Meanwhile, there are sunny roads in the Netherlands and China, but their fate remains unknown. And what do you think - can sunny roads be of any use? Or are they all doomed to failure? Let's discuss this in the comments, or in our Telegram chat.