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Are Solar Panels Going To Be Used As Sound Barriers?

Solar panels do seem to have a variety of uses and have been built into a number of different products such as mobile phones, headphones that are attached to mobile sound systems, cars, motorbikes and ambulances to provide an additional power source. In recent months we have covered many of these new innovations and like to keep our readers up to date with interesting topics.

Are we going to see solar panel sound barriers on some of our major road networks?
(image credit: Sean MacEntee)

We have heard that solar panels may be going to be utilised to provide soundproofing on a Wiltshire road that is particularly noisy as well as also being used to generate power. Swindon Borough Council are looking to set up a working party to look at the possibility of putting in solar panels along the A419 dual carriageway close to Swindon.

Although this would be the first occasion that such a scheme was installed in the UK it has been used in Italy, Austria and Germany. Hopefully, the generated electricity would cover the cost of installing these solar panel barriers that may cost in the region of £1 million per mile.

At the present time, there are already normal noise barriers situated in certain sections of the busy A419. This long stretch of road connects the M5 at junction 11a with the M4 at junction 15.

Apparently, the above has the support of both the Highways Agency and transport ministers. It is hoped that, if it is felt to be a feasible proposition, that the work could be concluded in no more than two years. The working party is expected to provide an update for the council at some point in September. It is felt that there are many businesses around Swindon who the electricity could be sold to.

Potentially, this sounds like a very interesting scheme and we will continue to keep you up to date with any developments.

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