China has successfully tested the roads with solar panels with the presence of built-in wireless charging systems for electric vehicles and other sensors for drones.
The photovoltaic highway is something of next level which incorporates technologies into roads for generating solar energy, for lighting, for improving the operation of autonomous cars, and for monitoring the condition of the road.
China achieved this feat of having first photovoltaic highway based on home-grown technology, in the country's eastern Shandong province.
China’s photovoltaic highway
The photovoltaic highway is built using solar panels which have a thin sheet of clear concrete on top of them, protecting the surface.
The solar panels were designed and constructed to transfer energy to electric vehicles passing on top of them.
The one-kilometer segment of photovoltaic highway covers up a surface area of 5,875 square meters (about 63,238 square feet).
The special section has 3-layers. The top is protective, made of transparent concrete, and its bottom is an insulator to avoid moisture from reaching to the photovoltaic devices in the middle layer.
The tested one-kilometer segment of highway can produce 817.2 KW of power and is likely to generate 1 million KW hours of electricity each year.
The electricity produced through this highway will be connected to China's national power grid.
France was the first country to launch the world's first photovoltaic highway fitted with solar panels in 2016. After France, China becomes the second country to build a photovoltaic highway.