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DragonStryk72
05-16-2014, 01:02 AM
So, I was screwing around on Indiegogo, when I came across this:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/solar-roadways#home


Solar Roadways is a modular paving system of solar panels that can withstand the heaviest of trucks (250,000 pounds). These Solar Road Panels can be installed on roads, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, bike paths, playgrounds... literally any surface under the sun. They pay for themselves primarily through the generation of electricity, which can power homes and businesses connected via driveways and parking lots. A nationwide system could produce more clean renewable energy than a country uses as a whole (http://solarroadways.com/numbers.shtml). They have many other features as well, including: heating elements to stay snow/ice free, LEDs to make road lines and signage, and attached Cable Corridor to store and treat stormwater and provide a "home" for power and data cables. EVs will be able to charge with energy from the sun (instead of fossil fuels) from parking lots and driveways and after a roadway system is in place, mutual induction technology will allow for charging while driving.


This shit is AWESOME!!!! These could totally redefine how our roads and power infrastructure work. With more than 18,000 sq miles of roadway in just our country (more sq. miles than in Massachusetts and New Hampshire combined), they would actually produce more power than our country uses. Yeah, let that sink in for a moment. When you then add in parking lots and such, it paints a pretty interesting picture.

Now, that's not the only benefit, but it's the most direct one:

1) Manufacturing jobs: Due to the size of the project, no one plant could ever handle the workload, which means that you would need large numbers of manufacturing jobs all about the country. In this economy? That would be almost worth it in and of itself. I know, the US actually having major manufacturing jobs...

2) EV Infrastructure: Some of the legitimate backlash against switching to electric cars has been that finding places to charge up isn't really feasible, so the cars are confined to small trips only, the basic running around that people always do. With these roadways, induction technology could actually power hybrid and electric cars straight from the road itself.

3) Power lines: No more need for above-ground or underground power lines. The roads come with a cable corridor that can safely house the lines.

4) Pays for Itself: Once implemented, the roads actually pay for themselves, producing power for Americans to use.

5) Stormwater treatement: Runoff from stromwater is one of the greater pollutants in the world, and with the cable corridors, you have a place to collect, treat, and move the run-off. So cleaner rivers and oceans without having to be dicks about it, WOOT!

6) No more ice hazards: Yeah, icy roads, gone forever to a small heater put in each hex.

7) LED displays: There are LED light in each hex, allowing for things like Speed Limits to be posted right on the road in easy view. they can also illuminate things like bike lanes, and the lane markers.

8) Sensors: Sensors in the road can tell when say, a deer or person is actually on the road, alerting drivers with enough time to easily avoid an accident by using the LED display.

There are just so many things that his tech could lead to, I'm amazed.

kcasper
05-16-2014, 01:10 PM
I have my doubts about the road heater. Widespread radiant heat is too expensive to have it running 100% of the roadway during storms. That subject has been studied by experts many times. Perhaps that the modules will be able to melt only as needed might bring the cost to realistic amounts, but I'll be skeptical until I have more data.

All in all I like the idea. A smart road can track vehicles and objects in the road and prevent accidents. The LEDs can redraw lines as needed and other technology can be installed to bring multiple revenue streams in future versions. I could easily see a version of this panel that generates energy from wind instead of solar. After all a vehicle moving 70 miles an hour pushes a lot of air against the road surface with a lot of force.

It is an crowd source fundraising campaign right now. I imagine they would appreciate a few dollars thrown their way if you feel like it.

DragonStryk72
05-16-2014, 09:03 PM
I have my doubts about the road heater. Widespread radiant heat is too expensive to have it running 100% of the roadway during storms. That subject has been studied by experts many times. Perhaps that the modules will be able to melt only as needed might bring the cost to realistic amounts, but I'll be skeptical until I have more data.

All in all I like the idea. A smart road can track vehicles and objects in the road and prevent accidents. The LEDs can redraw lines as needed and other technology can be installed to bring multiple revenue streams in future versions. I could easily see a version of this panel that generates energy from wind instead of solar. After all a vehicle moving 70 miles an hour pushes a lot of air against the road surface with a lot of force.

It is an crowd source fundraising campaign right now. I imagine they would appreciate a few dollars thrown their way if you feel like it.

Well, that depends on how you think of it. Remember that the surface only needs to be maintained at maybe 40 degrees in order to melt the ice and snow, and that each hex is its own power source as well. Then, the glass is tempered and layered, which glass is a good conductor of heat, so it'll hold the heat a lot better than the asphalt would, as well as being easier to heat up.

Already threw some money at it, lol, although it's only a drop in the bucket against what they're going for. Thankfully, it's on IndieGoGo, so even if they don't hit the goal, they'll get what they make.