Skip to main content

Solar brick road: This bike path will power three homes, cost $3.7 million

The Dutch are known for a lot of things, breaking with tradition is certainly one of them. The Netherlands recently announced that it’s readying a 70-meter bike lane with built-in solar panels. SolaRoad, the consortium who came up with the project along with the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), hopes to expand the lane to 100 meters by 2016 and perhaps bring the project to other areas.

The bike lane will open on November 12 in Krommenie, which is located 25 kilometers from Amsterdam. It’s made of rectangular concrete blocks that have layers of solar panels built into them. The fragile panels are encased in 1-inch thick glass that can withstand the weight and pressure of a truck without cracking. SolaRoad says that even this small chunk of road can generate enough electricity to power three homes, even though the solar panels can’t be moved or angled toward the sun for maximum ray absorption.

Ultimately, SolaRoad hopes to embed all roads with solar panels, so as to generate enough electricity to power everything from electric cars, to homes, businesses, and and other power hungry objects. While the consortium’s vision is noble and would definitely help alleviate the world’s dependence on fossil fuels, there’s just one massive problem with the plan: It’s very expensive.

So far, the project’s cost totals in around €1.5 million and the people behind the solar bike lane think it will cost as much as €3 million when it’s done, according to the BBC. Of course, as solar panels become cheaper to produce and install in roads, the high price tag could decrease. Still, for now, solar roads remain a futuristic dream for most.

Malarie Gokey
Former Digital Trends Contributor
As DT's Mobile Editor, Malarie runs the Mobile and Wearables sections, which cover smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and…
4 simple pieces of tech that helped me run my first marathon
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar displaying pace information.

The fitness world is littered with opportunities to buy tech aimed at enhancing your physical performance. No matter your sport of choice or personal goals, there's a deep rabbit hole you can go down. It'll cost plenty of money, but the gains can be marginal -- and can honestly just be a distraction from what you should actually be focused on. Running is certainly susceptible to this.

A few months ago, I ran my first-ever marathon. It was an incredible accomplishment I had no idea I'd ever be able to reach, and it's now going to be the first of many I run in my lifetime. And despite my deep-rooted history in tech, and the endless opportunities for being baited into gearing myself up with every last product to help me get through the marathon, I went with a rather simple approach.

Read more
This bracelet helps you fall asleep faster and sleep longer
woman-in-bed-wearing-twilight-apollo-on-ankle

This content was produced in partnership with Apollo Neuroscience.
Have you been struggling to get the recommended seven hours of sleep? It's always frustrating when you get in bed at a reasonable time, then toss and turn for a hours before you actually sleep. The quality of that sleep is important too. If you're waking up multiple times during the night, you're likely not getting the quality REM cycle sleep that truly rejuvenates your body. If traditional remedies like herbal teas and noise machines just aren't helping, maybe it's time to try a modern solution. Enter the Apollo wearable.

Now we understand being a little skeptical. How can a bracelet on your wrist or ankle affect your sleep patterns? Certainly the answer to a better night's sleep can't be so simple. We considered these same things when we first heard of it. We'll dive deeper into the science behind the Apollo wearable, but suffice it to say that many people have experienced deeper, uninterrupted sleep while wearing one.
A non-conventional approach to better sleep

Read more
The 11 best Father’s Day deals that you can get for Sunday
Data from a workout showing on the screen of the Apple Watch Series 8.

Father's Day is fast approaching and there's still time to buy your beloved Dad a sweet new device to show him how much you love him. That's why we've rounded up the ten best Father's Day tech deals going on right now. There's something for most budgets here, including if you're able to spend a lot on your loved one. Read on while we take you through the highlights and remember to order fast so you don't miss out on the big day.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 -- $200, was $230

While it's the Plus version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 that features in our look at the best tablets, the standard variety is still worth checking out. Saving your Dad the need to dig out their laptop or squint at a small phone screen, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 offers a large 10.5-inch LCD display and all the useful features you would expect. 128GB of storage means plenty of room for all your Dad's favorite apps as well as games too. A long-lasting battery and fast charging save him the need for a power source too often too.

Read more