Dutch engineers are testing a series of translucent roadside barriers that not only help to quiet traffic, but also help to generate solar power. The roadside noise barriers were designed by Michael Debije who works at the Eindhoven University of Technology.
The innovative roadside barriers operate through the use of high-tech luminescent solar concentrators. These translucent sheets work by bouncing light off of the edges of the panels, where it is then beamed onto regular solar panels in an ultra-concentrated form. The revolutionary panels are designed for the Northern European environment and continue to work under gray skies. The panels are so efficient that just one kilometer of the luminescent solar concentrators can provide enough electricity to power about 50 homes.
Beyond the capacity to generate electricity, the panels also help to mute road sounds. Because the panels are entirely translucent, they are able to shield noise without disrupting the natural landscape.