Thieves shut China’s solar highway after just five days

Posted: January 8, 2018 by oldbrew in innovation, News

Construction of Chinese ‘solar road’

For less cost they could have put the panels at the side of the road, angled towards the sun.

Road built from solar panels targeted by gang thought to be trying to steal technology, reports the South China Morning Post.

The one-kilometre stretch of photovoltaic highway – built of solar panels which cars can drive over – opened for testing in Jinan, the capital of Shandong province on December 28.

During a routine inspection last Tuesday, staff found that it had been vandalised and a portion of it was missing, Qilu Evening News reported.

A narrow 1.8-metre panel had been removed and seven surrounding panels damaged by the thieves.

A road construction worker was quoted as saying that it appeared the theft was the work of a professional team that may have been interested in the technology used on the road.

The solar highway forms part of Jinan’s ring road system. There is a thin layer of transparent concrete on top of the panels to protect them and a layer of insulation below.

Xinhua reported earlier that the panels can generate 1 million kilowatt-hours of power a year, which is enough to meet the daily demand of about 800 households.

The solar motorway is thought to be the largest in the world after the first such road opened in a village in rural France in 2016.

Continued here.
– – –
Report: China builds Solar Highway with transparent concrete over solar panels
[includes video]

  1. Here’s a report on the French experiment you mentioned, one year after.
    They claim that it can supply the electricity for a town of 5000 inhabitants, not just the street lighting. Other problems are insulation and the noisiness when you drive over it. Oh, and it’s 17 times more expensive than a normal PV set up, but they’re hoping to reduce the cost by a factor of five and start commercial production at the beginning of 2019.

  2. JB says:

    Well, we see the French and the Chinese have more than one thing in common….

  3. oldbrew says:

    Re: ‘Other problems are insulation and the noisiness when you drive over it.’

    Noise barriers…much cheaper, more efficient, dual purpose.

  4. E.M.Smith says:

    Then there’s the problem of what happens when a wreck causes a vehicle to gouge a chunk of the roadway (think tire off rim and rim digging in at 70 MPH…) and of course there’s the simple “oil drips” from all the cars over time and the black skid marks from folks tires and…

    I’m also pretty sure that “transparent cement” is not going to be as strong, durable, nor have as good a traction as regular concrete when you have more free axis to play with.

    IMHO they would be FAR better off building it as a roof over the roadway. The roadway would be protected from rain and snow, cars would have a better surface to drive on with fewer weather problems, and construction overall ought to be cheaper since standard methods could be used.

    If worried about the support columns and accidents, remember that you can make a barrier along the edge that returns cars relatively gently to the driving lane… Most US Freeways have those now in risk areas.

  5. Bitter@twisted says:

    I’m all beat up over this.

  6. ivan says:

    I really don’t get the rational behind these ‘solar roads’.

    Their efficiency is very low to non existent, which is the same for the output, even the one in the picture oldbrew provided is going to have low output because tilt angle and orientation is not optimised before you consider the shading of traffic and dust coating.

    The only conclusion that I can draw, since they are using other people’s money to build them, is that it is only virtue signalling on a grand scale.

  7. oldbrew says:

    If they can keep the vandals away…

    The electricity will be used to run street lights, billboards, surveillance cameras, and toll collection plazas. It will also be used to heat the road surface to keep it clear of snow. Any excess will be fed back into the local utility grid.

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