Rolling Solar starts field tests on solar road: ‘The holy grail is solar roads based on thin film solar cells’
November 18, 2020 marked an important step in the Interreg innovation project Rolling Solar. At Brightlands Chemelot Campus, the construction of a solar road section based on crystalline silicon...
Integratie of thin film PV.
Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands are internally connected by a total of 1 million kilometer of roads. This represents a huge area of built environment that can be used for renewable energy generation by integrating solar cell materials into road pavements and road furniture.
In recent years, promising demonstrators have already been realized where crystalline silicon solar cells are incorporated into bicycle paths, roads, and in a wide variety of noise barriers. However, costs of such systems are still high, not only because they have not yet developed towards the stage of standard high volume products, but also because they are based on brittle silicon solar cells. These require severe mechanical protection and much assembly. This project aims to reduce cost by using flexible and less fragile thin film solar sheets, and by more effective integration.
The Rolling Solar project aims to catalyze a lasting cross border collaboration between industry, research and stakeholders on photovoltaics, materials, manufacturing, installation, grid, and road infrastructure. This collaboration includes technology development, dissemination and validation of knowledge. Goal is to technically enable local manufacturers and building and construction companies to realize cost effective integration of long lengths of solar cell materials into public infrastructure. As a result, large scale durable electricity generation without additional land use will be enabled close to point of use. For example, PV integrated in all 35,000 km of Dutch bicycle road would generate 15 TWh of electricity per year, equivalent to a CO2 reduction in the order of 5 million tonnes per year.