Longest Solar cycle path in the world opens

Last summer, the longest solar cycle path in the world was opened at De Bilt. It is a pilot project of the province of Utrecht in which the space is used twice: both for bicycles and for the generation of sustainable energy. If successful, the province wants to use solar cycle paths on a larger scale.

The SolaRoad solar cycle path consists of prefab concrete modules measuring 2.8 by 3.5 metres. These have a plastic, translucent top layer of approximately 0.5 cm thick. It is dirt-repellent and non-slip thanks to the transparent coating. Below the top layer, the silicon solar cells are placed between glass plates that protect them against mechanical stress, road salt and weather influences.

In mid-June 2021, contractor Strukton Civiel started the construction of the SolaRoad solar cycle path in Maartensdijk. SolaRoad has previously been used in the province of Noord-Holland and, based on the results, has been further developed in collaboration with TNO and Strukton Prefab Beton. The new solar cycle path supplies the network with sustainable energy and is safe, comfortable and maintenance-friendly due to the use of new insights, materials and techniques.
The province of Utrecht wants to be energy neutral by 2040. The solar cycle path is a pilot project of the province of Utrecht in collaboration with Strukton Civiel.

The first SolaRoad cycle path was constructed in 2014 as a pilot in Krommenie along the N203 mororway. In the Twente municipality of Haaksbergen, a SolaRoad cycle path has been constructed in the green business park Stepelerveld. The electricity generated there is used for public lighting and the LED screen on the business park. In Groningen, the elements have been used in a bench and electric bicycles and mobile telephones can be charged with the energy generated. The principle has also been applied across the border, such as in France.

(Innovative Materials 2021 volume 4)