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Solar Panels May Be Used As Sound Barriers On M40

There are many people that live in close proximity to motorways here in the UK with some that owned such homes long before that particular road system was installed. It is unfortunate that one of the downsides for such residents is the noise level caused by cars and lorries motoring along at high speeds.

Will we ever see road surfaces incorporating solar cells? – Image credit: jo.sau.

Solar photovoltaic panels may be placed along part of the M40 motorway to reduce noise levels for local residents

Well, some people will be pleased to read that the Government is investing £2 million in a design contract to come up with ways in which noise levels can be reduced and solar panels are being considered as one of the things that could be used to act as sound barriers.

Solar panels are no doubt being considered because not only could they possibly make life more pleasant for people living next to busy roads by lowering the level of noise but the energy produced by solar photovoltaic panels could also be used to help offset the costs of installing these solar panel sound barriers.

The particular stretch of road that is being looked at initially to install sound barriers is on the M40 motorway between Loudwater (junction 3) and Wheatley (junction 8).

Solar panels are just one of the six options being considered so it will be interesting to see if it is eventually decided to use them. All the different options are to be trialed over a period of time. Once a decision is finally made it is expected that preparatory work will start around late 2016 to early 2017 on constructing the sound barriers.

If the use of solar panels is decided upon then it will be interesting to see if, in due course, they are used on other stretches of road around the UK that are known for being particularly noisy for residents living close by. We will keep you up to date with progress and also let you know of any other interesting projects involving the use of solar panels.

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