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Autobahn solar panels could improve German energy transition

European researchers are preparing to develop a pilot of a photovoltaic umbrella impression, which could produce about 10% of the nation’s electricity demand. 

German Autobahn is a network for high-speed highways and an interest for speed-freaked petrolheads who can drive fast. However, increasing the speed results in increased carbon dioxide emissions, exposing the country’s roads to the climate threat. 

German and Australian researchers are currently carrying out their research to determine how massive the Autobahn system (that covers about 2.6% of the whole of Germany) can be switched to help conserve the environment. 

The project that will go for three years has commenced, and it aims to determine whether those ceilings could be equipped with solar power structures that will, in turn, help in the evolution of energy in Germany. 

Theoretically, the probability is incredible. To consider all the 13,000 kilometers of Autobahn system, makers can use a 24-meter four-stand highway and photovoltaic panels of 180 watts per square meter. As a result, those PVs could produce a 56GW energy capacity, registering a considerable amount of power in Blacktop compared to that Germany had fitted last year. 

The photovoltaic ceiling can generate 47TWh of power in each year.

It is crystal clear that not all extensions if the Autobahn can be insulated. Some of its sections run through subways located below bridges or dark parts that might not be suitable for the generation of solar energy. All that needs to be done first is to examine the potential of the specified technology. 

Apart from the generation of power, the investigators are also collaborating with Foster Industrietechnik, a traffic engineering entity, to determine if the Photovoltaic ceilings can produce extraordinary quality for maintenance of roads, primarily to protect of tarmac roads. 

Too much ice, snow, or moisture may not favor the streets. So, covering the roads by placing the photovoltaic ceilings directly on top protects the power generated. 

Currently, researchers plan on developing a presentation of the ceiling on a 20-40metre extension on Autobahn, more so on the southern part of Germany. The demonstration will go for a year as it studies the production of energy, stability, wind and snow loads, and maintenance options. 

The costs of developing those PV ceilings on the Autobahn will be released later. However, sources assert that those prices could be the same or much higher than those used to install PVs in homes, whereby they used close to €330 per square meter. 

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