A Dutch project that integrates solar panels into a bike commuter path has officially opened in the town of Krommenie, just outside of Amsterdam.
The bike path, dubbed ‘SolaRoad’, is made up of rows of crystalline silicon solar cells, encased within concrete and covered with a translucent layer of heavy-duty glass.
An additional rough translucent plastic coating ensures cyclists don't slip, while a slight tilt in the path helps the rain wash off dirt, keeping the surface clean and open to maximum sunlight exposure.
Installed on a short 70-metre stretch, the path is a test strip for the project and currently generates enough electricity to power one or two households.
Engineering company TNO are planning to extend the path to 100 metres by 2016 and have ambitions to see up to 20 percent of the Netherlands’ 140,000km of road adapted into SolaRoads.