March 10, 2008

Solar Collecting Roadways in The Netherlands

Solar Energy is a super efficient way to heat water. Combine it with underground storage and you have a system that can cover heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. Ooms Avenhorn Holding BV, a Dutch company, is doing just that and moving it way forward with its Road Energy System (RES). Pipes in the roadway expose water to the sun's energy (think of that hot asphault on a July day) and the hot water is transferred to a storage area. During cold weather an on-demand reservoir of hot water is ready to heat buildings and keep roads above freezing.

After cooling, the water is stored in cold water storage and used to cool buildings during hot weather. A year round solar/geothermal heating/cooling system for both the road and buildings. The renewable combo greatly reduces electricity demands and the cooling/heating of the road reduces maintenance requirements (and lowers/eliminates de-icing and plowing).

And its already in use in the Netherlands. The small population of 3,000 in Avenhorn are the first to use this technology with a 200 yard stretch of road and small parking lot providing heat to a 70-unit, four story apartment building. An industrial park of some 160,000 square feet in the nearby city of Hoorn is kept warm in winter with the help of heat stored during the summer from 36,000 square feet of pavement. The runways of a Dutch air force base in the south supply heat for its hangar.

This is a great invention and a large swath of the US is in the operating lattitudes for the technology. It would be great to see Texas move on a technology like this with the amount of road construction constantly going on around the state. I am emailing this to both our federal and state senators to see if I can't at least plant the idea. I encourage you to do the same!

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Dean said...

Hell yeah man, i'll send those congresscritters an email about this too, that freakin awesome