In the not too distant future we may be utilizing our bridges and highways as energy producers – at least that’s what visionary Italian designers Francesco Colarossi, Luisa Saracino and Giovanna Saracino foresee. They recently submitted their Solar Wind bridge design to the Italian Solar Park South design competition.
The competition asked designers to envision new ways to incorporate alternative energy and environmentally friendly solutions into the design of an elevated highway over a deep gorge between Bagnera and Scilla in Italy.
The Wind Solar hybrid design features 26 wind turbines mounted between the support pillars of the bridge’s structure and 20 km of solar roadway with embedded solar cells. The designers estimate that the solar and wind systems could provide enough electricity to power approximately 15,000 homes.
A green promenade that would extend the length of the bridge’s roadway would house solar greenhouses for growing local produce. Challenges – the vibration created by the wind turbines and the potential danger to birds and bats.
The design won second place in the competition.
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Water conservation and renewable energy such as solar energy are two issues that affect the global community; make a difference and start conserving water and switch to renewable energy today. Another way of reducing your carbon footprint is to switch to green insurance, now available in South Africa.