Sur l'autoroute du soleil

A team of US scientists is studying the possibilities of heat recovery from solar radiation in the asphalt on our roads and our car parks. Promising work that should help in the near future to use our road network as a source of hot water and electricity.

Edited by Rajib Mallick, professor of civil engineering and environmental scientists Worcester Polytechnic Institute are conducting a series of experiments aimed at integrating heat exchangers in asphalt for use as a solar energy collector.

With a water circulation system in their coating, our roads and parking lots would thus become sources of renewable energy, thanks to solar radiation to produce hot water and electricity after processing in a thermoelectric generator.

The asphalt will store heat from solar radiation and restore the gradually even in the absence of sunshine, continuing to produce energy at night, unlike traditional solar installations. According Malllick Rajib, the heat extraction could also help to reduce the temperature in urban areas highly exposed. He also stressed that the road surfaces are usually redone every 10 to 12 years, this cycle would allow the gradual installation of networks.

Given the considerable area that represent the external roads and parking areas, one can easily imagine the whole point of this research. The recovery of solar energy and require no use of additional land resources. Nestled under a few centimeters of asphalt, technical equipment would become invisible. This solution would then allow the production of mass into energy for reduced environmental impact, far gigantic solar farms and their solar panels to the horizon.

Source: Science Daily

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