Solar Panel Bike Lane
Solar Panel Bike Lane In the center of an eight-lane highway in South Korea is a five-and-a-half-mile bike route with a solar panel on top that lights up the streets below.
But this isn’t your typical bike route. In 2014, South Korea constructed an environmentally friendly bike lane between Daejeon and Sejong, the country’s administrative capital, based on a concept to generate clean energy and provide a space for people to exercise.
Unlike most bicycle routes in South Korea, which are usually constructed next to pedestrian roads, this 13-foot-wide lane is situated in the midst of a highway. A unique aspect of the route is its roof, which is lined with solar panels, which truly sets it apart.
Installed at around 30-inch intervals, 7,502 solar panels span 3 miles of the 5.5-mile cycle route and generate an average of 2,200 MWh of environmentally friendly electricity annually, which powers several lamps and electronic displays throughout Sejong. In actuality, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in South Korea estimates that the solar panels provide enough energy to power about 600 dwellings.
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The public company that built the solar-powered bike path, Korea Western electricity Co., Ltd., is in responsible of maintaining the solar panels to preserve electricity efficiency.
According to Kim Geun-ho, a researcher from the nation’s Green Energy Institute, “solar panels in public facilities are part of a trend in clean energy,” ABC News said. “In the early stages, large tracts of farmland and hilly regions were the primary locations for solar power generating. It then spread to the rooftops of public buildings before evolving to serve as both a power source and a shelter—in this example, the roof of a cycling route.
Although the bike track with solar panels has been adopted by several other South Korean metropolitan governments, this one in Sejong is still the longest and the only one that is situated in the center of a highway.
Park Yoon-soo, who has been using the solar panel bike route for her daily commute to work for the last two years, told ABC News that it is “the fastest bike road I can take from my home in Daejeon to my workplace in Sejong.” “I have always valued the solar panel roofs because they act as a roof during inclement weather and as a good shade during intense sunlight.”