What sets Wattway apart from its competitors?
Wattway présente un double avantage concurrentiel :
- Wattway is applied directly on the existing roadway, without having to redesign the road structure. There is no need to destroy or rebuild infrastructure, which has a positive impact on the overall cost of the renewable energy Wattway produces;
- Wattway panels are sturdier than their competitors. Tests have shown that they can bear one million truck tire passes without damage.
Are Wattway panels all-weather?
Wattway panels are rainproof thanks to the fact that the silicon cells are encapsulated and the junction box which provides the connection between the panels complies with IP66 sealing effectiveness standards.
The panels have even passed the snowplow test with flying colors. Operators do, however, need to operate the machines with a bit more care on Wattway panels than on conventional pavement.
I am a private individual. Can I install Wattway at home? Can I do it myself?
In the medium-term, within the next two to three years, it will be possible to install Wattway panels on private roads and driveways.
Given the technical issues involved in the connection process, the panels need to be installed by an authorized technician.
Can Wattway be installed on any type of road? Are there any constraints (roadway condition, tight curves, etc.)?
Wattway can be installed on any road with asphalt pavement that is recent, with no cracks, ruts, deformation, or asbestos. The road must comply with stipulated technical and commercial specifications.
What is the minimum/maximum surface area for one order?
Today, Colas is already taking orders for sections ranging from 10 m2 to 50 m2
How long is production time?
Wattway panels are still currently being manufactured at the INES FabLab, so production times are quite long. Industrial-scale manufacturing is scheduled for launch in 2016, which should significantly speed up the process.
How long does it take to install?
For now, Wattway panels are installed by hand. We are currently designing a mechanical process to optimize application times.
How long does a Wattway panel last?
A Wattway panel lasts as long as conventional pavement, meaning at least 10 years depending on the traffic, which speeds up wear. If the section is not heavily trafficked – a stadium parking lot for example – then Wattway panels can last roughly 20 years.
When and where will we be able to see the first Wattway roads?
At the beginning of 2016, we will start selling Wattway panels for sections ranging from 10 m² to 50 m².
As of 2017, Wattway will be included in the Colas product line.
What other technologies could be integrated into the panels?
Other technologies can be added into Wattway panels because a road that produces electricity is a connected road.
For example, integrated sensors can provide us with real time information on traffic conditions, help us manage traffic dynamically and allow the road to self-diagnose potential maintenance issues. It could also be possible to charge electric vehicles using induction.
By making roads intelligent and able to communicate, Wattway offers a multitude of opportunities for development, in line with our partners’ needs.
What is the price per m2?
Wattway’s price per m2 is to be seen in light of the production cost of electricity. Photovoltaic energy is measured in watt-peak, which takes into account sunlight conditions. Today, depending on the technology used and the support on which the panels are installed, prices fluctuate between 2 to 8 euros/watt-peak. The cost with Wattway is estimated at 6 euros/watt-peak.
Furthermore, it is interesting to note that Wattway can turn an existing surface into a money-maker by providing an additional use, which has a positive impact on the final price. With Wattway, there is no need to rent or purchase farmland to install solar panels, nor do you need to redo your entire roof to produce photovoltaic electricity!
How efficient is Wattway compared to a conventional solar panel?
Wattway panels have a 15% yield, compared to 18-19% for conventional photovoltaic panels.
Are Wattway panels recyclable? How will they be processed at the end of their service life?
Wattway can be recycled in two separate streams:
- electrical wiring can be recycled in existing streams,
- the other components, 5% of which is recycled glass, can be recycled in conventional construction material recycling streams.
What is Wattway’s energy impact?
Wattway is still in a preindustrial stage, so it is difficult to assess its carbon footprint. However, we can foresee a favorable carbon assessment due to the fact that its weight per KW is lower than conventional panels and that it uses recycled glass.