Kenniscentrum Techniek

Outdoor performance of Infra integrated PV


The Netherlands is aiming for the roll-out of more solar PV. However like many densely populated countries, the country is running into issues of lack of space. Opportunities around infrastructural works like highways provide space without compromising the landscape. Examples of this double use are already developed and demonstrated, like for instance sound barriers and solar roads. New is the combination of solar PV with traffic barriers. This has a big potential since the Dutch main road network had 7.500 km of guiderail and the construction to put PV on is already there. In the MESH (Modular E cover for Solar Highways) project a consortium of knowledge institutes, a province and companies developed a prototype and tested it in a pilot. The consortium consists of TNO, Solliance (in which TNO is a partner, a high-end research institute for flexible thin film solar cells such as CIGS and Perovskite), Heijmans Infra (focusing mainly on the construction, improvement and maintenance of road infrastructure, including guiderails), DC Current (applying innovations with regard to power optimizers for the linear PV application), the Province of Noord-Holland (which acts as a leading customer) and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) as a knowledge institution that links education and research. In this project the theme Sustainable Energy Systems of AUAS is involved with both lecturers and student groups. In the project, Solliance investigated and developed the flexible thin film PV technology to be applied with a focus on shape and reliability. TNO and Heijmans developed a modular casing concept and a fastening system that allows quick installation on site. DC Current worked on the DC management with regard to voltage, electrical safety and minimizing failure in case of collision. At the end of the project, the partners in the consortium have validated knowledge about how to integrate PV into the guiderail and can start with the scaling up of the technology for commercial applications. In order to meet the various requirements for traffic safety on the one hand and generating electricity on the other hand, the Systems Engineering methodology was leading during the project. In the project we first built a small, but full scale prototype and invited safety experts to evaluate the design. With this feedback we made a redesign for the pilot. This pilot is placed on the highway as safety barrier and tested for a year. In a presentation at EU PVSEC18 [1] K.Sewalt reported on the design phase. This time we want to present the results of our test phase and give answers on our research questions.<br/>

Reference Heller, R., & Sewalt, K. (2020). Outdoor performance of Infra integrated PV. Poster session presented at 37th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition.
Published by  Kenniscentrum Techniek 10 September 2020

Publication date

Sep 2020


Karl Sewalt


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