Solar roof as big as Bremen: Is cars solution for electricity problem on our car?

Fossil fuels, coal and nuclear energy in times of energy transition in a difficult position. Renewable energies should in future secure the power supply in our

Solar roof as big as Bremen: Is cars solution for electricity problem on our car?

Fossil fuels, coal and nuclear energy in times of energy transition in a difficult position. Renewable energies should in future secure the power supply in our country.

in addition to the wind power, photovoltaic systems play a crucial role. According to the Federal statistical office, the proportion of photovoltaic (PV) in April 2020 at 17.2 percent and represented together with the wind power (24.2 percent), the largest part of the grid feed-in from renewable energies. And the International energy Agency estimates that solar could provide energy after 2060, up to one-third of global energy consumption.

there is No place for photovoltaic systems

in Order to create the need, however, it is far more than enough sun: The solar modules are needed to counter these risks. And need space. The is, however, often a lack of goods. Large-scale solar farms can be a blot in the eyes of the critics, not only the landscape, but seal up valuable floor space.

An international team of researchers now wants to have a solution to the space Problem is found: a huge solar roof, the highways spans.

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"In Germany, make up about 2.6 percent of the total areas. If you would be roofing with solar installations, could cover a significant proportion of the electricity demand in Germany,“ says Martin Heinrich, Fraunhofer-Institute for solar energy systems (ISE). Together with the scientists of the "Austrian Institute of Technology" he is working on a prototype for the motorway Canopy.

13,000 kilometres of motorway: solar Park the size of the city of Bremen could-thirds of the electricity demand in a

12.993 km of motorway, there are, according to the Federal Ministry of transport in this country. The surface of approximately 312 square kilometres - almost as much as Bremen. It equips you with complete with a solar roof, would according to the calculations of researchers in the year about 45 terawatt hours of solar energy produce. For comparison: All private households in Germany consumed, according to the Federal environmental Agency in the year 2018, about 129 terawatt hours electrical energy. The Canopies on highways theoretically could cover around a third of the annual budget needs .

"This is of course an ideal surface for photovoltaic systems," says Markus Spinnler, working at the chair for thermodynamics at the Technical University of Munich. "But a large-scale development would also be connected with enormous cost," the scientists have to bear in mind.

"The costs should of course remain in a reasonable framework," admits Henry. How high they were, indeed, could not yet say, that it would show the pilot project. Solar power/HSH So, photovoltaics could look like the Canopy for the highway.

How safe are Roofing and how durable?

"Currently we are still at the very beginning," emphasizes Henry. The prototype is to be operated in accordance with its development for a year with the scientific accompaniment of a German motorway rest stop. "We need to find out what the requirements and challenges there are. And this needs to be resolved then.“

One of the biggest challenges in the project relates to the ensuring the safety of the traffic participants . It is still unclear how the use of force to achieve, for example, in the case of an accident, the injury victim and can mountains. "Such difficulties, we know the tunnels. Escape routes must also be with a solar canopy is possible,“ says Heinrich.

the longevity of the modules plays a role. The scientists are currently working to find out how maintenance intensive, appropriate plants, and how light or heavy you are when running Motorway repair can - "for example, if high beats shooting boulders against the modules," says Heinrich.

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technology and location: How and where can the project be to implement?

so Far, it is still not clear, which module could techniques are actually used. The simplest and initially the cheapest approach would be to pre-existing sign bridges to connect with a roof of solar cells. Because these technologies already exist. "But we want to build a Tunnel," says Heinrich. Instead, modules are intended to be used, the light part by.

Nevertheless, the roofing could not, in principle, on all highways install. "Not all locations are ideal," explains Heinrich. "To exclude, I would, for example, highways that are particularly shady." Here, the scientists, not worth the attachment of the plant.

in Addition, the performance of the highway-power plants is different from those in open areas. "In the same size and at the same location of the annual yield of can be up to 20% lower ," emphasizes Henry. The reason is that In the case of a free-space PV power plant, the modules can be optimally aligned to the sun, a street canopy, however, this is not always possible.

"prospects" in FOCUS Online

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solar covering on roads: so Far, with little success, but not yet from the table

There are other ideas, such as the large areas of the highways for the generation of Electricity can be used. A concept, for example, the road surface itself with solar cells for energy production equip. This was tested in Germany already, but with mixed success.

As Germany's first solar road in the vicinity of Cologne had to fight about with a smouldering fire. Also in France, solar road showed no great successes, but they produced significantly less power than previously thought.

As "failed" would not scientist Heinrich denote this approach. It might have located to a hasty implementation that these projects have not shown any success. Possibly the wrong materials had been used. "But this is not a Problem in principle," says Heinrich. "That's what these pilot projects, in order to such errors. This approach is still on the table.“

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a Cheaper Alternative? Noise protection walls with solar cells

equip Also the idea of noise protection walls with solar cells, does not exclude the expert. On motorways and railway to the existing walls could be used for routes not only for noise protection, but also for the production of Electricity. The same is true for Noise protection walls. "Also there are projects. We look at how we can already existing walls use. The cost is in the first step, quite cheap and easy to implement. We are testing but also how we can develop new PV Module, which simultaneously absorb the sound.“

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Markus Spinnler from the technical University of Munich, also sees a great opportunity in noise protection walls with solar cells to equip. He warns, however: "You also have to be careful here, because the solar modules must be properly oriented to the sun, namely at an angle of attack of 30 degrees to the Horizontal", emphasizes the expert. Another Problem: the existing walls are often not aligned directly to the South.

solar energy is essential to solve current problem in Germany

Spinnler fear, therefore, that in the long term, more classic photovoltaic systems are keep. "Even if that is often not liked - the huge share of photovoltaics in the meantime, the current generation, thanks to the facilities on open spaces."

Heinrich believes firmly in the idea of a Solar highway. The question is, which of the three technologies will prevail. "Whether noise protection walls, road integration, or a Canopy - overall, I consider it absolutely expedient, to use the street as a surface for the production of Electricity. In common with other installations, such as on agricultural land," says Heinrich.

The solar energy is in any case indispensable in order to solve the current problem in Germany. As part of the renewable energy sources you will contribute to the generation of Electricity will no longer be around by the coal necessary in the future.

See you in the PCP you can See in the

Updated Date: 29 July 2020, 14:26

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