China is Almost Done Building a Highway That Generates Electricity From the Sun
A new high-tech motorway that will be able to generate electricity from the sun is now being built China.
Expected to open by the end of the month, the country’s first solar highway is being constructed in Jinan, the capital of eastern China’s ShandongProvince. The project comes after the completion of another solar road built earlier in Jinan.
According to People’s Daily Online (via MailOnline), the two-lane highway stretching for two kilometers (1.2 miles) not only can generate electricity under sunlight, it will also be able to charge electric cars travelling on it. It be able to hold medium-size vans.
The road is even safe to drive on during winter as it could warm itself up, ensuring that there will be no build up of snow on its surface. To enable such technology, the innovative photovoltaic highway is being constructed with special weight-bearing solar panelsconnected to the city’s power grid so it could collect and provide electricity to citizens.
The highway, being built by state-owned firm Qilu Transportation Development Group, has three layers. The top layer, which is paved with “transparent concrete”, is reportedly as durable as asphalt concrete. The solar panels which generate power in in the middle layer while the the bottom part consists of the insulation layer which separates the photovoltaic system from the damp ground.
Qilu Transportation, which is in charge of the overall transport infrastructure of Shandong Province, completed China’s first solar road, not to be confused with highway, after 10 months of construction. Also built in Jinan, the road was fitted with 660 square meters (7,104 square feet) of photovoltaic panels which also connects to the power grid.
The world’s first solar panel road was built last December in the small Normandy village of Tourouvre-au-Perche in France. Stretching about 1 kilometer, the road is paved with 2,880 photovoltaic panels which are also connected to a local power grid.