Cover roads, highways and railroads with solar photovoltaic pergolas This is already an option with the strange installation in operation, as is the case with a high-speed train line in Belgium covered by the company Afinity and inaugurated in June 2011.

In other parts of the planet it is studied as solution to the maintenance of transport infrastructure without increasing taxes and as a means of producing clean energy without affecting the landscape. Mans tham is the Swedish architect and town planner who proposed and developed the solar roof project for motorways.

The Swedish architect has embodied a project applicable in all areas with many hours of sunshine per year, which consists of take advantage of highways to equip them with solar roofs that produce energy, reduce the cost of road maintenance, reduce vehicle air conditioning consumption, improve road safety and the risk of accidents and capture the CO2 generated by exhaust pipes.

Solar covers for highways1

Olivier Daniélo published a documented study of the Mans Tham project in February 2016 on the French site Techniques-Engineer, in which the benefits and savings that the solar snake assumes for roads are detailed as its author calls the coverage we commented on. Roof that acts as a noise pollution barrier for nearby inhabited areas, support for lighting and vertical signage, rainwater harvesting and many other savings derived from reducing vehicle fuel consumption in reducing the impact of wind. , rain, hail or snow.

The nuisance caused by the sun at dawn and dusk would be largely avoided, as well as the overheating of engines in areas with strong sunshine such as deserts and warmer countries. All the advantages mentioned come up against the lack of political will to undertake transcendent changes for the majority because of the pressure of the industrial sectors which would be affected in their incomes: road maintenance companies, electricity companies, construction companies of public works that are considering other alternatives such as solar panels installed on the road.

With the Swedish proposal, the state or the motorway concessionaires would transform this transport infrastructure into a new source of income whatever the tolls, which would contribute to the maintenance costs of these public works. On the Mans Tham site you can find calculations of electricity production per kilometer of motorway and its profitability.

The solution is also valid for all types of road infrastructure: roads, railroads, bridges, cycle paths, outdoor sports tracks, to which could be added vertical wind turbines on the sides which take advantage of the wind in the area and the air displaced by vehicles.

City councils and governments would convert public land from their infrastructure into profitable power generation centers, they would reduce to a minimum their expenditure for the supply of electricity and would create thousands of jobs for the maintenance of this second skin of the territory which would contribute to fight against climate change and its consequences.

Angel Fernandez Millán.