New Roadside Noise Barriers Generate Electricity on Cloudy Days

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Old Generation Noise Barriers:

Roadside_Noise_Barriers_4_150725Courtesy:  Jarba/Wikimedia Common

For the last 40 years we’ve driven past Roadside Noise Barriers constructed out of cinder block, concrete, steel or wood.  They did the job but were unattractive and didn’t have any other functionality.

We generated a couple of Value Curves for these dinosaurs:

Roadside_Noise_Barriers_VC3_150725Turn the clock forward to 2015 and Roadside Noise Barriers are going through a transformation:


Courtesy:  Eindhoven University of Technology

Charlie Sorrel, a freelance writer, wrote an article in Co.Exist (Fast Company) highlighting the work of Michael Debije and his team at Eindhoven University of Technology.  They have installed a new Roadside Barrier in Holland using Luminescent Solar Concentrators (LSR).  These LSRs are inexpensive, lightweight, translucent and come in many colors.

Here’s an artist impression of the barrier in the day and at night showing how beautiful they are.


Courtesy:  Eindhoven University of Technology

The picture shows very little cloud but one of the key features of LSR technology is it captures solar power even on cloudy days – one kilometer of barrier generates enough electricity to power 50 homes.

Value Curves comparing these new noise barriers with the old designs are shown below:


What do you think?  We’d love to hear your thoughts and critique of the Value Curves.

  1. Have we captured all the Elements of Performance (EoPs)?
  2. What EoPs should be added?
  3. Have we rank ordered the EoPs correctly?
  4. Do the Value Curves reflect the differences in value delivered between the old and new technologies?

Other Applications for LSR Technology?:

We do not know how cost competitive LSR panels are with glass and other construction materials but as production volumes increase, is it possible that windows and architectural panels will be made out of these materials in the future?  It’s a most intriguing question.

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Learn more from Charlie Sorrel’s article.


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