Translucent solar panels are , but why not also use them to accomplish other goals? Like, say, .
That's the current goal of a practical test being run along the A2 highway, which is located near the city of Den Bosch in the Netherlands. The panels, dubbed "luminescent solar concentrators" (LSCs) and developed by Eindhoven University of Technology researcher Michael Debije, even come in a lovely variety of colors.
On each end of the translucent panel, there's a traditional solar cell waiting to collect the sunlight gathered. These LSCs are then integrated into noise barriers for an acronym of their own: SONOBs, short for Solar Noise Barriers. When all is said and done, it's a fairly cheap contraption that generates power in what the Dutch team terms a "visually attractive way."
The concept render above showcases what it might look like if the idea were applied at scale. The current test only features two of the noise barriers, which measure 4.5 meters high by 5 meters wide and feature some of the traditional solar cells as well. Even so, the current thought is that a single kilometer of the barriers could produce enough energy to power 50 households.