Germany wants to turn autobahns into solar farms

Germany wants to turn autobahns into solar farms

The road authorities of Germany, Austria and Switzerland are funding the development of a suspended solar panel system for motorways to increase  efficiency of their operation.

Within the framework of the PV-S initiativeÜD three research centers from each country will be involved in the conceptualization and design of a pilot project on the existing route. Scientists were attracted because standard models for installing solar panels on roofs or sheds are inapplicable for such an infrastructure..   

The system must be designed with the potential for car accidents in mind and be strong and resilient enough so that road management does not have to spend thousands of euros to rebuild after every traffic collision. In addition, special mechanisms will be required to control wind, rain and snow, which will not violate the needs and standards of operation of the transport network..

Despite a number of implementation difficulties, the authorities became interested in the idea, since such a combination can bring a lot of positive results. First of all, solar canopies will protect the road surface from precipitation and overheating, increasing the service life and reducing repair costs. Installing panels above highways will not only increase the efficiency of their operation, but also save land space that is not used for solar farms..

The preliminary concept looks attractive from an economic point of view and can be easily scaled due to uniform designs. However, design will not begin until researchers have thoroughly examined all aspects and potential additional costs, determining the real benefits to the budget..

Recall that last year Germany began testing the first electric autobahn.

text: Ilya Bauer, photo: HSH

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