Joni Mitchell was wrong when she sang out against paving paradise and putting up a parking lot. Ok, maybe not. Still, we think the demonstration project just built by the folks over at Solar Roadways would get a pass from the Canadian singer-songwriter. That's because the real estate in question is covered with a textured glass surface that can, among many other things, generate low-carbon electricity, melt snow, and throw up safety warnings with its integrated LED lighting system.
What do you need to generate a lot of electricity from photoelectric solar cells? A lot of surface area. What is a lot of the surface of the United States covered in? Roads. Put those two ideas together, and the idea of turning the nation's highways into solar farms doesn't sound too odd, does it? Well, maybe it doesn't until you consider that you're talking about taking electronics – electronics that are typically somewhat delicate and rather expensive – and purposely putting them o
If Solar Roadways sounds familiar to you, it could be because we reported last year about its prototype funding from the Department of Transportation. Now, to add to the previous $100,000 from the DOT, the startup has won the GE Ecomagination Challenge, along with the $50,000 prize. The Ecomagination Challenge is voted on by the community at their website and received 74,000 votes.
The day when the roads we drive on are as smooth as glass and replace our coal-fueled power plants is officially twelve feet closer. Solar Roadways has made good use of the cash they were awarded by the Department of Energy (DOE) and completed the first prototype of a panel they would like to see supporting the nation's traffic and electrical grid. The mockup module, which doesn't include the use of custom hardened glass with embedded heating element, solar panels or capacitors, is profiled in a
Tarmac 2.0 has just taken its first baby-step. The solar road technology that promises to produce clean electricity, replace power transmission and information infrastructure, requires no plowing and lights up to provide navigational and safety information is about to go from the drawing board to prototype production. The Department of Transport has seen fit to award the project $100,000 to construct the first 12' by 12' panel.
Scott Brusaw, an Electrical engineer, has unveiled a system that could be very useful to generate electricity - using roads. In fact, roads are long strips of land that are constantly exposed to the elements and make up a significant piece of land. Because of the high visual impact of solar farms, he thinks that converting the roads to a strip-like solar farm can be a good solution.