Solar Roadways

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Wilshire

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« on: May 22, 2014, 04:56:52 pm »
I recently saw a very interesting crowdfunding campaign for Solar Roadways. The basic idea is to replace the US roads with solar panels. The surface is textured glass, which protects the solar cells, and there will also be  LED lights that will act as configurable lane dividers or other markers. Heating elements can be included as well, keep the panel just above freezing, reducing the need for road salt.

Obviously, being solar cells, they will generate their own power to fuel the lights and heating elements, and the excess power can be hooked into our aging electrical grid.

The inventors have grand claims to replace the entire power infrastructure and decentralize the grid, which to me sounds like a stretch, but IMO its at least a step in the right direction

I've linked their page below. There you can get some more info, look into the FAQ page for answers, and there is even a link to a page with actual numbers and calculations (its not a scientific publication or anything, but at least its there).
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/solar-roadways
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Madness

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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2014, 02:44:28 pm »
Just thought I'd voice my support (in principle, not monetary value). Surplus energy always makes me think of strange economic reactions.

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Wilshire

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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2014, 06:59:40 pm »
Well they raised 1.75 million+ and the host site told them they should extend their campaign for another month. I'm pretty excited that they were able to raise way more than they asked for.
As of this posting, they will continue to accept donation through June 20th.

Surplus energy always makes me think of strange economic reactions.
A paradigm shift if I ever have heard of one.

It will be interesting to see what happens. With superconducting wires it is now possible to transport electricity over vast distances with negligible losses. Might be that exporting energy will become a global phenomenon. Although, it would likely just be another mechanism wealthy countries could use to exploit under developed ones, but whatever I'm a pessimist. Either way, if electricity production significantly passes need, then companies/governments will need to find someone to sell it to. It could lead to the cleaner and cheaper energy for the world...
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Royce

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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2014, 12:30:58 pm »
Would it not be a lot more effective and much less work if everyone put solar panels on their roofs?

http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2008/03/the-ugly-side-o.html

Some criticism of solar panels worth noticing.

Wilshire

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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2014, 01:47:59 am »
Would it not be a lot more effective and much less work if everyone put solar panels on their roofs?

http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2008/03/the-ugly-side-o.html

Some criticism of solar panels worth noticing.

Not sure about more effective, since roof tops and roads don't really occupy the same place :P. But it would probably be easier. btw I'm fully aware of the issues with solar energy.

I would do it myself but I don't believe the technology is quite ready yet for personal consumption. Payoff times approach cost, among other things. I think in a few more years, say 10, efficiency will increase, production cost will decrease, and lifespan will increase. Right now it is too much of a risk for me, but hey if a big project like Solar Roadways takes off, it could streamline the industry, cut down on learning curve and research time, and make decent PVs available sooner.

Solar panels are far from a perfect solution, but I do believe if used correctly they can help cut down on pollution. Its a start.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2014, 01:57:48 am by Wilshire »
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Wilshire

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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2014, 04:17:33 pm »
They took the time to answer many questions that have been raised around the internet.
http://solarroadways.com/clearingthefreakinair.shtml

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locke

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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2014, 08:20:19 pm »
solar cell car paint seems like it would have a lot fewer potential problems.  Just invent the nano tech that lets you "paint" on solar cells onto your car. :)

Wilshire

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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2014, 08:32:03 pm »
solar cell car paint seems like it would have a lot fewer potential problems.  Just invent the nano tech that lets you "paint" on solar cells onto your car. :)
One of my professors in school about a year ago said he was working on "printable" solar panels. Basically exactly what you described, except you print out sheets of it and stick it to class. Same idea though.

I would paint my car like that in a second if I could.
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