China successfully tested its first photovoltaic (solar) highway based on home-grown technology in country’s eastern Shandong province.
With this, China became the second country in the world to construct a photovoltaic highway. France had introduced world’s first photovoltaic road fitted with solar panels in late 2016.
China’s photovoltaic highway is constructed using solar panels which have thin sheet of transparent concrete on top of them, protecting the surface. It has wireless charging systems for electric vehicles (EVs). The photovoltaic panels of the highway are built to transfer energy to electric vehicles passing on top of them.
The one-kilometre segment of solar-powered highway covers a surface area of 5875 sq m. The stretch has three layers viz. bottom layer which is insulator to prevent moisture from getting to photovoltaic devices in middle layer, and top layer has transparent concrete.
The tested segment of the solar highway can generate 817.2 KW of electricity and is expected to generate 1 million KW hours of electricity each year. The electricity generated will be connected to China’s national power grid.