Colas, a French company presented last month Wattway, a photovoltaic cells covert that withstand the rigours of cars and trucks. This could be used, in a given place, for example in town, some road surfaces to produce some electricity, for local use.
With its new project of “solar road” baptized Wattway, the company specialized in road maintenance and infrastructures Colas, a subsidiary of French Bouygues, aspires to produce some electricity thanks to photovoltaic cells installed on the road and capable of resisting the passage of the biggest trucks. The paving stone Wattway is directly put and stuck on the road, without works of civil engineering. The project is similar to that of Solar Roadways, to the United States.
With some millimeters of thick, these paving stones include photovoltaic cells of 15 centimeters aside constituting a very fine silicon polycristallin sheet. They ” are coated in a substratum multisleep made up of resins and polymer, translucent enough to allow to pass the sunlight and rather resistant to support the traffic of heavy trucks.
A source of energy that can be used for a town or a community
The adhesion of paving stones to the wheels of vehicles is equivalent to that of coated traditional long-distance truck drivers and they do not require particular maintenance , the wind and the rotation of vehicles dusting them. Their marketing has been already launched for experimental sites from 20 m2 to 100 m2. Eventually, the group plans to sell its product based on the solar energy around 6 euros by watt-crest
In urban areas, this technology will bring ” a renewable energy as closely as possible to the places where the consumption of electricity is the highest and where the demand is constantly growing “, the company says. In some isolated regions, where the low population density makes the costs of connecting to the electricity network prohibitive, the solar road ” will allow to create local and long-lasting infrastructures of power production, in short circuit “.
A contribution for the street lighting?
Wattway could allow, in particular, to feed the street lighting, the neon signs, the streetcars as well houses or offices. According to Colas, 20 m2 of the road Wattway are enough to supply a homewith electricity (except(off) heating).
The idea of ” solar road ” is already experimented in the Netherlands, where the first solar cycle track to the world, built on 70 m in the North of Amsterdam thanks to several concrete modules of 2,5 meters on 3,5 meters covered with solar panels, was launched in 2014.