Via Solis

This truly is The Road Electric. But will it hold up to traffic? If you can get past the “BBC lilt” of the VO announcer in this video, you’ll find that the company named after COLd ASphalt (COLAS) has developed a thin, skid-resistant photovoltaic product that adheres to exiting road surfaces, creating a solar roadway called the “Wattway.” The following statistics are compelling, especially the data on how little of the time a road surface is actually occupied by a vehicle.

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On the Wattway website, Colas claims that “A ONE-KILOMETER STRETCH OF ROAD PAVED WITH WATTWAY CAN PROVIDE THE ELECTRICITY TO POWER PUBLIC LIGHTING IN A CITY OF 5,000 INHABITANTS.” That’s even more compelling. The principle is to use an existing human element already a part of the landscape, rather than consume farmland and natural scenery in order to harness solar energy. If the Wattway proves to be as productive and durable as Colas suggests, perhaps the Roman expression “sol invictus” (invincible sun) will take on new meaning in the age of alternative energy.





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