Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Solar Roadways

I saw a link the other day on Facebook about solar roadways.  After viewing the video and reading more information about it I was fascinated by the idea.  "The concept is verging on utopian: By replacing the USA’s concrete and asphalt roads with solar panels, we could produce three times more electricity than we consume, instantly solving just about every energy problem we have (geopolitical stuff, reliance on fossil fuels, CO2 production, etc."

Can you imagine?  They even have it so that electric cars could be continually charged by the road itself.  And imagine the jobs this would create.  I was just blown away by the whole idea.  

Then reality hits and you know that the cost is probably going to be the downfall.  Not to mention the special interest folks who are making money from fossil fuels that would make sure they don't lose their money maker. 

The thing is this is quickly moving from a concept to a reality, at least the solar panels themselves.  Right now there is a parking lot covered in the panels...the prototype I suppose.  They have raised 1.4 million to help move forward with the fine tuning of the design.

Realizing that the country's infrastructure is crumbling and will have to be addressed it is exciting to think outside the box in order to resolve many of our current problems.  

If you have the time it is worth taking a look.


Olga Hebert said...

That is a really interesting idea. The roads around here are in really bad shape. I wonder how solar raods would work when they become snow covered and need to be plowed.

oklhdan said...

Another article said that they could generate heat and melt any snow or ice. The runoff water would be treated and re-directed where needed. In addition sidewalks and roads would be utilized year round by pedestrians because they were heated.

Deb said...

I am all on board with this one. I think first adopters will be large business parking lots, driveways and sidewalks. Next will be inner city streets and sidewalks because they can clear themselves of snow and water, power the street lights and all the road markings, creating temporary diversion lanes around accidents or construction, even during power outages.

A parking lot could generate electric power for a business, and its signs, these in a condo parking lot could generate all the electricity the building needs, increase security and (in our climate) relieve us of a $20,000 a year bill for plowing snow (and not doing a very good job of it either!)

The power lines and drainage go underground beside the panels, so no more electrical lines downed by ice or wind storms.

No potholes to repair. If a panel malfunction the panels around it report it, and a new one can be plugged in.

I'm sure adoption will be a slow process but we need to save the oil we have to produce the jillions of products we use oil in, rather than using it to produce heat and light. These panels are made with recycled material, and producing and installing them on an industrial scale would create thousands of jobs here at home. Win win...

Can you tell when I like an idea? LOL I jump up and down a lot. :D

oklhdan said...

I'm with you Deb. I think it is exciting and if they can get the cost down maybe it will become a reality.

Arkansas Patti said...

I hope I live long enough to see this brilliant idea in action as I sit in my car that is driving itself. Interesting times ahead. Better take my vitamins.

oklhdan said...

I hope I live long enough too Patti!