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Solar Roadways - Working prototype and pictures!

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by PopSmith, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. PopSmith

    PopSmith Saving for a Model 3

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    I was browsing around and noticed that Solar Roadways has developed it's first prototype panel. For those that don't know about it the company is hoping to replace asphalt, which uses lots of oil to make, is expensive to maintain and repair, and only lasts ~7 years, with something made with more modern day technology.

    Basically their idea is a solar panel that can be driven on. It is heated (no more salt, sand etc. in the winter!) and contains LEDs so they don't even have to paint the road.

    The power from the solar panels can be to used power homes, and possibly entire cites or states, using the energy gathered from by the solar panel. This would greatly reduce the amount of new power plants and make power interruptions less and less frequent.

    Solar Roadways - News!

    Sorry I couldn't quite get the image thing figured out. :rolleyes:

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    Attached Files:

  2. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    I just have to think they they would get covered with grime and worn down with use. Road surfaces need a lot of maintenance and they are made of very durable materials.
     
  3. user497

    user497 Member

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    There won't be any more oil leaks once we are all driving EVs :)
     
  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Along the side of the road and over parking lots makes more sense to me.

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    http://ecotality.com/life/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/solar_panel_parking_lot.jpg/img]
    [img]http://solar.calfinder.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/parking-lot-solar.jpg
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    Might as well make some shade in a sunny place.
     
  5. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Yeah, but plenty of tire rubber (skid marks), dust, dirt, etc.
     
  6. waltoninn

    waltoninn Member

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    A very interesting idea, and I am all for it. The key will be to overcome the naysayers and disbelievers, just as Tesla has to do.

    I do agree that the durability factor has to be addressed, and from reading their website, they needed more funds to construct one from a durable sheet of special glass material.

    Interesting subject.
     
  7. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Asphalt makes a good surface for strong braking with rubber tires.
    I wouldn't want to have to make a panic stop on glass in the rain.
     
  8. PopSmith

    PopSmith Saving for a Model 3

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    If you check out their website, specifically their FAQ, they say that the "glass" they are developing actually provides as good, if not better, traction than asphalt even when it is wet. The material is also hydrophilic so it would clean itself when it does get wet.

    Rest assured problems such as traction in the rain, what happens when someone with a blow out continues to skid along the roadway for a quarter mile and other problems are probably just a drop in the bucket of tests the DOT is going to conduct on the panels before they start to replace our current roads with these.

    I do agree that it's going to take a lot of hard work to get people over the "you want me to drive on glass?!?" fear. But, as waltoninn mentioned, Tesla is working to get rid of the range anxiety "issue", as well as the "I might get electrocuted" fear, that people bring up when talking about driving a pure electric vehicle.

    To quote their FAQ on the traction issue:
    They also have a FAQ on the cleaning properties and other questions, I don't want to quote them as my post would then take up an entire page. Check out their FAQ for more info.
     
  9. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Thanks for setting me straight.
     
  10. kgb

    kgb Member

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    Solar Roads

    there is an interesting video about using road surface as a solar collector and energy distribution system. Not sure how long this link will be accurate...

    Solar Roads

    enjoy
     
  11. CarbonOne

    CarbonOne Banned

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    Very interesting! I like the idea a lot. I just don't like the look of speed racer roads.
     
  12. jeffhre

    jeffhre Member

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    That looks good. LOL for the hi tech solution for the prototyping at the end of the vid. DUCT TAPE - the more life changes...
     
  13. CarbonOne

    CarbonOne Banned

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    Perhaps instead of looking towards Government funding they should look towards the big corporations? God knows there aren't enough Mcdonalds, Pepsi, Viagra, and Coke advertisements on the highways these days :rolleyes:...
     
  14. PopSmith

    PopSmith Saving for a Model 3

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  15. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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  16. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Might be good for loops like airport shuttles and hotel/amusement parks.
     
  17. PopSmith

    PopSmith Saving for a Model 3

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    Congratulations to Solar Roadways on winning that Challenge. It looks like they are also eligible for another $100,000 "prize" and funding up to $200 million from GE next month.

    http://commerce.idaho.gov/news/2010/10/solar-roadways-wins-50000-prize-for-the-most-popular-votes-in-ges-ecomagination-challenge.aspx

    As for their "product", I think the best beginning for them is going to be parking lots as well. Most of them probably sit empty for hours with good sun exposure. Even a full lot is going to have exposed areas between parking spots and sections, these could be used to generate electricity. If they can get the panels to successfully work in a parking lot they can move up to bigger, better things from there.
     
  18. PopSmith

    PopSmith Saving for a Model 3

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    Looks like these guys won the first round of a GE "ecomagination" challenge a while ago and are in the 2nd round. The voting runs until March 15th.

    If you want to vote for them go here:
    Solar Roadway Home Application : View Idea
     
  19. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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  20. medved

    medved Member

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    #20 medved, Apr 26, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016

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