Can Noise Control Also Help Generate Electricity?

Noise barriers used along busy highways primarily serve one purpose: noise control. But what if they could also help generate some clean energy? At the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, one researcher has proposed adding a new type of solar energy system into acoustic noise barriers.

Solar-Powered Noise Barriers Quiet Traffic While Generating Electricity | EcoWatch

 solarbarriersImage Source: EcoWatch

“Since April, [researcher Michael] Debije has launched two pilot projects along the A2 highway in the Netherlands to test a new kind of solar panel he has developed. Using an innovative technology known as luminescent solar concentrators (LSC), the translucent sheets ‘bounce light internally to the edges of the panels, where it is beamed onto regular solar panels in concentrated form,’ says Fast Coexist. The year-long pilot project will help determine how well the barriers hold up in terms of power generation capabilities and with vandal-resistance and maintenance requirements.”

Would you like to see the roadside acoustic barriers put to work in this way? If successful, the technology might be initially costly to implement in many areas, but do you think it would be worth the investment? Tell us what you think in the comments.