The panels are called LSCs or Luminescent Solar Concentrators. They are translucent and colored. They receive the sunlight and then direct it to the side of the panels. There, the light lands on a traditional solar cell inside. The creator of the panels, Michael Debijie, says, “Thanks to their many colors, the LSC are visually very attractive, which makes them ideal for use in many different situations in the built environment.” He has carried out many tests on the panels over the years. He continues, “Further benefits are that the principle used is low cost, they can be produced in any desired, regular color, is robust and the LSCs will even work when the sky is cloudy. That means it offers tremendous potential.”
On June 18th, a one-year test began. The company in charge is Heijmans, a building company. They want to asses the ability to install these panels in noise barriers. This will not be the first solar noise barrier, but will be the first with this type of panel. This is also the first time the Netherlands has made a test this large and significant in solar power.
The complete aim is to provide understanding of how much electricity these semi-transparent panels can generate under different conditions. They need to know if they are vandal resistant, and how much maintenance the panels will require. The tests will also be held outdoors to gain the most possible sunlight, where this would not be as affectively tested in a lab.
The two noise barriers are 5 meters wide and 4.5 meters high. Besides the LSC panels, they also hold semi-transparent panels holding classic solar cells. This gives them comparison on which type of panel is better. The first kilometer produced by the LSCs proved to power 50 households.