The N329 between Oss and Berghem is also known as the ‘Road of the Future’. In 2013, a new futuristic gadget was installed on the road: a solar tree. A solar tree is a steel structure in the shape of a tree, including steel branches and twigs. However, this is where the comparison with a real tree stops. Instead of leaves, there are solar panels on the twigs. Hermans Techniglaz is the supplier of these custom-made solar panels.
Although the construction on the N329 is not the first solar tree in the Netherlands, it is the most beautiful one. The solar tree has a height of 12 meters and also a diameter of 12 meters. The aim of the tree is to clearly show the N329 is an energy-neutral road.
Eventually, ten of these solar trees will be installed. The goal is to make the road energy-neutral by generating energy with solar panels. “Part of that energy comes from the solar trees,” says De Hoogt. For the creation of the solar trees, 96 unique PowerGlaz BIPV solar panels were produced for a total of 12 solar trees.
The N329 will be fitted with more futuristic features, including green lights next to the road. “These will partly serve as orientation, but will also make the green wave visible. If you follow the speed of the lights, you are guaranteed a green light at the traffic lights.”