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Could Solar Highways Power Our Cities?
Australia Uses Roadways to Create Electricity
Could Solar Highways be the answer to the energy
crisis? In Australia, some brilliant
minds have conceived a notion to put up solar "sound barriers" along
their highways that not only keep the noise pollution down, but also create
power for the homes that are protected from that sound.
Because solar power usually requires a lot of space, they have designed a wall, which contains solar panels, that runs parallel with the highways. The first installation was completed at the Tullamarine Calder Interchange in Australia. This sound barrier contains 500 meters of solar panels with a public display unit that shows how much energy is being produced. And since there is a residential area just on the other side of the barrier, the power doesn't have far to travel to be put to use.
It is expected that, when completed, the installation will provide 18.7 megawatts per year and will pay for itself in approximately 15 years.
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