TNO has completed a year-long pilot with flexible solar foil on highway crash barriers. This project, “Modular e-cover for smart highways” (Mesh), aimed to get insight into the optimal configuration and the performance of the entire setup. TNO deemed the performance sufficient to scale up the technology for commercial applications in a follow-up project. Mesh was performed in collaboration with the province of North Holland, Solliance Solar Research, Heijmans, Femtogrid and Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.
The researchers applied flexible solar foil on 72 meters of crash barriers. The performance was measured by the energy yield, robustness and sensitivity to pollution and moisture. The yield was about 1200 kWh per year, lower than the expected 1800 kWh. No defects or moisture damage was found. The primary functionality of the crash barrier remained intact.