Existing photovoltaic (PV) road systems typically consists of tiles of PV cells laminated with silicon sheet or glass. The tiles when implemented on the carriageway often have durability issues.
This TechOffer proposes encapsulating the PV elements into a proprietary plastic composite formulation to form bricks with increased durability and function.
The brick may contain a microprocessor, sensors, LED elements and RF communication chips, which will allow communication between other bricks, other road infrastructure and traffic participants through WiFi, BT and 433MHz frequencies. The energy produced can be stored locally or in a grid.
The technology allows the integration of various electronic elements into road surfaces and provides them with renewable electric power. The communication devices enable the exchange of information between the road and traffic participants as well as between the road and traffic management systems. The bricks can collect information like weather conditions and traffic intensity from the surrounding, process it and share with other information systems.
The road bricks are able to withstand pressures of more than 1000 kg/m2. Ongoing tests are being carried out in climatic chambers from -30 to +70oC, in both low and high pH conditions. The bricks have also been installed and are being tested in pedestrian areas in Nordic climates.
The technology may be implemented for smart roads. Integrated LED elements allow duplication of traffic lights and signs on road surface. Adaptive illumination may help reduce light pollution in rural areas.
One key application is in interactive pedestrian walkways and crosswalk. The smart bricks may also be used in various warning systems on the road surface conditions.
Installation of electronics or LEDs into road surface has always been sophisticated and expensive. This technology enables users to integrate various electronic elements into road surface and provides them with renewable electric power without the traditional wiring. Adaptive illumination help to reduce light pollution, whilst the duplication of traffic lights and signs on the road surface and interactive crosswalks may reduce injuries from traffic accidents.