In the USA, Route 66 becomes intelligent and photovoltaic

In the USA, Route 66 becomes intelligent and photovoltaic


The testing of a new generation of paving that can withstand the traffic of cars and heavy vehicles, and that is able to produce electricity, has begun.

The Department of Transportation of Missouri, in collaboration with Idaho-based firm Modot, decided to pave the famous highway with innovative multifunction hexagonal panels. Each “tile”, under the strong coverage bulletproof glass, integrates both a 48-Watt photovoltaic module, LED lights, and a heating system to prevent snow or ice in winter.

Moreover, the road hexagons can talk to each other and with a station able to monitor, at any time, a complete set of parameters. By the end of the year, a first portion of the Route 66 should be completed: in this first phase, as a precaution, it was decided to operate only on sidewalks.

The approach of Wattway Parisian, built by the National Institute of Solar Energy (INES) in collaboration with Colas, a company specializing in transportation infrastructure, is different. The French approach keeps the original substrate and sticks on it some slip sheets, resistant, adaptable to any road and including photovoltaic cells of polycrystalline silicon. Laterally, a container is connected which incorporates the electrical safety components.