... [Wattway] has designed rugged solar panels, capable of [withstanding] the weight of an 18-wheeler truck.... They’re constructing 100 outdoor test sites and plan to commercialize the technology in early 2018.
As solar costs plummet, panels are being increasingly integrated into everyday materials. Last month Tesla Motors Inc. [unveiled] roof shingles that double as solar panels. Other companies are integrating photovoltaics into building facades. Wattway joins groups including Sweden’s Scania and Solar Roadways in the U.S. seeking to integrate panels onto pavement.
A kilometer-sized testing site began construction last month in the French village of Tourouvre in Normandy. The 2,800 square meters of solar panels are expected to generate 280 kilowatts at peak, with the installation generating enough to power all the public lighting in a town of 5,000 for a year, according to the company.
For now, the cost of the materials makes only demonstration projects sensible. A square meter of the solar road currently costs 2,000 ($2,126) and 2,500 euros. That includes monitoring, data collection and installation costs. Wattway says it can make the price competitive with traditional solar farms by 2020.
The next two sites will be in Calgary in Canada and in the U.S. state of Georgia.
For more information go to http://www.wattwaybycolas.com.
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by Anna Hirtenstein http://twitter.com/ahirtens
November 23, 2016