Transportation is an important part of any economically growing country. so how solar panel roads Impact transportation?
In this article we will discuss,
As the name suggests it is a solar panel road constructed to generate electricity.
Years ago, when global warming has started and become popular people started looking for alternatives. The Idea of solar roadways comes into the picture.
India has the second-largest road network in the world, so you can imagine how much electricity can be generated, But what about the cost?
In this way, the asphalt and concrete pavements are replaced with solar panel roads so they further become smart highways.
How to construct solar panel roads?
Construction of solar panel roads is tough and professional labors are required for the laying of roads, for proper checking, and for maintenance.
Basically solar panel roads contain three main layers,
Road surface layer
It is the topmost layer, Translucent, and high strength. It is tough enough to provide traction for vehicles.
It also allows sunlight to pass through the top layer beside it contains heating systems and LED lighting.
The road surface layer should protect the beneath layer from the worst possible weather conditions and heavy loads.
The electronic layer contains photovoltaic cells that absorb solar energy from the top layer.
It also contains PCB assembly connected with the communication device for every 12 feet,,
with the help of all these sensors and circuits, we can easily control heating, lighting, and communication
This leads to a intelligent solar roadways.
while the electronics layer collects energy from the sunlight it is the base layer that transfers or distributes.
It is responsible for even distribution of loads as well as the communication signals and electrical energy.
The electronics layer should be weatherproof to protect from the adverse effects of the soil.
In this way the layers are constructed one by one with care and perfection.
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Mechanism of solar panel roads
- Here the sunlight is observed by solar cells in the solar panel and the energy of electrons increases and starts moving in the material.
- However, the electrons remain in this excited state for some time and come to the original state after releasing the energy.
- So the released energy has to be collected and transferred.
- PN junction is typically used for collecting the energy before losing from electrons.
- This PN junction consists of two regions namely p-type region and n-type region.
- when the electrons gain energy they are transferred to n-type regions from p-type and there is no Wayback for electrons to the lower state.
- So the energy in electrons remains at the higher state and this process of transfer is called a collection.
- These collected electrons can either be used for extracting energy to give a current or remained in the device and give rise to a voltage
- The electrons after giving current, re-enter the solar cell and the process begins again.
Applications of solar panel roads
- Illuminated roads: The asphalt roads have to be painted by radium to glow at night with these solar road LEDs were actually used and we can control total light patterns at night.
- Snow/ Ice management: The heaters are used in solar roads to generate heat and to melt ice during the winter season.
- Traffic management: These panels were connected by a micro-processor and communicates with each other and sends data regularly to enhance traffic management.
- Traffic lights: These are positioned at intersections, pedestrian crossings to control traffic flow. The electricity generated by solar panel roads is used for their functionality.
- Traffic signs: These are used for giving warning signs to the driver and this equipment is powered by solar roads.
Advantages of solar panel roads
- Renewable and life-span: The main advantage of solar roadway is electricity generated from a renewable source of energy and life-span is about 20 years which is more than asphalt roads i.e 7 years.
- Military and rescue assistance: sometimes it is hard to provide electricity when there are emergency situations and this can be solved by solar roads and there is no need for the extra lining.
- Roadways already in place: For solar plants, a large land area is required and this can be reduced by using the available roadways.
- Lighting up of roads: LEDs were installed below the top layer and roads are lighted up for safe night ride and aesthetic looks.
Disadvantages of solar panel roads
- Maintenance costs: For efficient working of solar panels no objects have to be on the surface and need to be checked regularly and removed. The durability of solar panels may be less and maintenance cost goes up.
- Seasonal efficiency: In India, solar panels work efficiently in the summer season and less in remaining days due to less radiation from the sun. Countries that have sunlight more than a half year are beneficial from this technology.
The need for an alternative source of energy is increasing due to the disappearing of oils.
Generally, Solar roads will provide safer driving, good traffic management, snow and ice management, and wildlife protection.
This technology will surely replace the conventional asphalt roads if it overcomes some drawbacks such as high initial and maintenance cost, weather resistance also durability.
You can also check a company’s research on solar panel roads, click here
we engineers can make better future!
Q: How solar panel roads impact transportation?
I think now you can answer this question. comment below if you have any doubts!