What is the price per m2?
Wattway's price per m2 is to be seen in light of the production cost of electricity.
Photovoltaic energy is measured in watt-peak, which takes into account sunlight conditions.
Today, depending on the technology used and the support on which the panels are installed, prices fluctuate between 2 to 8 euros/watt-peak.
The cost with Wattway is estimated at 6 euros/watt-peak.
Furthermore, it is interesting to note that Wattway can turn an existing surface into a money-maker by providing an additional use, which has a positive impact on the final price.
With Wattway, there is no need to rent or purchase farmland to install solar panels, nor do you need to redo your entire roof to produce photovoltaic electricity!
How efficient is Wattway compared to a conventional solar panel?
Wattway panels have a 15% yield, compared to 18-19% for conventional photovoltaic panels.
So... More expensive (per watt) than conventional solar panels, with ~20% lesser yield.
Which would probably decrease by at least 30% per panel, as that is about the area of the panel that would get most tires tracking over it.
Which brings us down to ~10% yield.
While the cost stays in the upper 25%, meaning it's 3 times more expensive than the cheapest panels out there. Per watt.
Combine that with the (optimistic) reduction in yield due to dirt, and they are ~5-6 times more expensive.
Now... considering this article's claim that "4m of solarised road is enough to supply one household's electricity needs, apart from heating, and one kilometre will light a settlement with 5,000 inhabitants"...
And similar claims regarding similar but FAR MORE realistic project in Amsterdam and the claims of "enough energy to power three households" per 100 meters, later readjusted a bit to "provide a single-person household with electricity for a year" for about half a year of work, per 70 meters or road installed (which comes out to not quite but almost 3 homes per 100 meters)...
Those 4 meters of road per household seem to be calculated based on roads some 4-5 lanes wide.
Granted, not the same tech as that Dutch bike lane but that's how wide those bike lanes would have be to to provide that same amount of power.
Which is not the issue of lack of such roads... but that's a lot of potential potholes.
Which does not really sound realistic for regular roads, considering Wattway's "fresh asphalt with no deformations or ruts" policy.
How long does a Wattway panel last?
A Wattway panel lasts as long as conventional pavement, meaning at least 10 years depending on the traffic, which speeds up wear.
If the section is not heavily trafficked - a stadium parking lot for example - then Wattway panels can last roughly 20 years.
Are Wattway panels all-weather?
Wattway panels are rainproof thanks to the fact that the silicon cells are encapsulated and the junction box which provides the connection between the panels complies with IP66 sealing effectiveness standards.
The panels have even passed the snowplow test with flying colors.
Operators do, however, need to operate the machines with a bit more care on Wattway panels than on conventional pavement.
Can Wattway be installed on any type of road? Are there any constraints (roadway condition, tight curves, etc.)?
Wattway can be installed on any road with asphalt pavement that is recent, with no cracks, ruts, deformation, or asbestos.
The road must comply with stipulated technical and commercial specifications.
Wattway across France sounds not very well thought through nor very realistic in comparison to that Dutch project.
Though, I'm not disregarding it completely. It sounds like something that could become useful and economic at very large volumes, a few years down the road.
Or something that would be great for driveways.