Solar panel highway experiment fails disastrously

The French media wrote about the fiasco that befell the pilot road opened three years ago in Tourouvray. At that time, the project seemed very promising: 1 km of public highway was lined with solar panels with an impact-resistant coating. They were supposed to generate about 150, 000 kWh of energy per year and provide road infrastructure with it.

The first problem of the project was an error with the location - to show that the energy of the Sun can be used everywhere, the road was laid in the north of the country, in Normandy. But there are only 44 days of sunshine a year, plus a lot of deciduous trees, and the engineers did not take into account that the foliage falling on the road blocks the access of sunlight to the panels. As a result, by 2018, the highway generated less than 80, 000 kWh of energy, and by June 2019, this figure had dropped to 40, 000 kWh.

The second mistake was that the developers did not take into account the heavy tractors used by the locals. As a result, the panels loosened and began to crumble; two years later, 10% of the road had to be changed due to the inexpediency of repairs. Damage was also caused by ordinary trucks, and such a highway was also very vulnerable to lightning strikes and precipitation. Protect panels in an area of ​​3000 sq. m was difficult and, more importantly, expensive, so no action was taken.

As of today, according to the panel manufacturer, there is no practical sense in this road. But it cannot be said that $ 5, 2 million was wasted - the failure of the experiment clearly showed that such projects are inexpedient. And instead of roads, solar panels should be installed where they are less vulnerable to various threats.