Seoul’s North Riverside Road will be turned into a solar farm to generate enough power for 670 households, the city said recently.
The City picked out some 30 locations around the capital to build solar panel power generation facilities starting with North Riverside Road, Jayang Elevated Highway and Acha Mountain Grand Bridge to install solar panels to make electricity.
The city said it will kick off the project under the “2022 City of the Sun” program to build solar panels along the road targeted to be completed next year. The City surveyed the North Riverside Road and its peripheries last month in cooperation with the Seoul Energy Corp. It’s a fresh project for the city, but some said it would be below expectations in the areas of costs and utilization.
The city plans to install the solar panels in six locations along the road, including the Jayang Elevated Road which passes north of the Jamsil Grand Bridge in Seoul and the Acha Mountain Grand Bridge passing through the Kwangjin District and the Guri City in Gyeonggi Province.
They will install solar panels along 800 meters of the Jayang Elevated Road measuring some 2 km in length and 1 meter in width on Acha Mountain Grand Bridge connecting Kwangjin District. They will either cover the pavement with the solar panels so that the cars can drive on them or install them along the side of the road.
The city chose some 30 locations around the capital for solar panels, including the two locations in northern Seoul and a “green area” in Seo Binggo, also in Seoul. If the solar panels are successfully built in all the areas mentioned, they would equal some 16,000 sq. meters, which is equal to the size to two soccer fields. If a one-meter-wide solar panel0 was set up in one line, it would be some 16.3 km long. They also have other candidate locations, including Hanul Park and Riverside North roads.
If all the solar panels are installed as planned, they will produce some 1,045 kw of power. The city will study the results before expanding it to the other areas of the capital. But first they have to answer to rising criticism over the initiative.
The Netherlands made headlines last year when it built the world's first solar road - an energy-harvesting bike path paved with glass-coated solar panels. Now, six months into the trial, engineers say the system is working even better than expected, with the 70-metre test bike path generating 3,000 kWh, or enough electricity to power a small household for a year.
"If we translate this to an annual yield, we expect more than the 70kwh per square metre per year," Sten de Wit, spokesman for SolaRoad, the group behind the project, said Tarek Bazley. Just imagine the potential if cities covered all of their roads, he said.
It’s this kind of thinking that got the internet hyped-up over Solar Roadways last year over a crowd-funded project that aimed to power the entire U.S. with solar-covered roads. However, the Netherlands became the first country to put the idea into practice, at least for one city, with their installation in Krommenie, a town north of Amsterdam.
The engineers spent five years creating the system. "If one panel is broken or is in a shadow, it will only switch off that PV panel," said Jan-Hendrik Kremer, Renewable Energy Systems consultant at technology company Imtech. More than 150,000 cyclists rode over the solar panels during the trial, and so far they’ve only noticed one fault - a small section of a coating, which provided grip to the surface, has become delaminated due to temperature fluctuations. The team at SolaRoad is now working to improve this coating.