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Solar Roadways. Solar panels on the roads


Solar Roadways. Solar panels on the roads02-06-2014 19:22
Madison
☆☆☆☆☆
(22)
I guess some of you have seen it. This startup has now crowdfunded nearly 2 million USD.

http://www.solarroadways.com/

Here is the video - a bit too action-packed for my taste, but still you get the idea:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlTA3rnpgzU

What do you think? Is this a revolutionary invention or just overrated?

I have some reservations...
- Many roads don't have that much sun hitting them, so isn't it a waste of solar panels to place them there instead of on the roofs?
- What will happen with all the dirt from cars and particles that will settle on the panels? Will they very quickly be ineffective?
- How is the durability compared to plain old asphalt? How much maintainance is needed?
03-06-2014 00:24
LabRat
☆☆☆☆☆
(4)
Compelling ideas dont always qualify for practicality in the real world.

Problem #1: If sunlight alone cant keep roadways warm enough to stop ice from forming in the winter, how could the 18% electricity conversion during daylight hours allow roadways to be ice free without being a net energy drain?

Problem #2: Let's find the most demanding building surface in civil engineering today - the roadway - to put our delicate solar panels on? Why not just put them alongside the roadways or better yet.... on buildings where we put them now. I cant even begin to list the harsh requirements for roadway building that these things would have to perform well without failure... this is a critical piece of our national infrastructure, let's make it trouble free as possible, please!

This is psychology, people get negative feelings from seeing a lot of roadway surface instead of nature. Why not turn that smile upside down and make it a solar roadway!! Now you can feel good about roads again. I have an invention, how about we make take chocolate brownies and remake them into organic vegetarian "nutrition" bars so we can all feel good about eating them.... oh, never mind.

The only thing this is good for is rich people living mc mansions sending out a green signal to the other rich folks on the block with their very own solar driveway. They will park their Cadillac ELR on it.
Edited on 03-06-2014 00:25
20-06-2014 19:32
tarstarkus
☆☆☆☆☆
(2)
Not that it really should have needed it, but YT user thunderf00t (Dr. Phil Mason, I think he has a PHD in Chemistry) has done multiple videos showing how this is an idiotic idea. When I first heard the idea, I was shocked at how stupid it was and how they managed to raise $2m. It's the only project I have heard of that is more idiotic than corn ethanol.

TT
07-08-2014 09:28
HollyM
☆☆☆☆☆
(5)
LabRat wrote:
Compelling ideas dont always qualify for practicality in the real world.


Great points. If you want to expand past on top of buildings, maybe look for opportunities like covering every parking lot - it'll produce energy and keep the cars cooler at the same time, saving even more energy when we use less A/C.
16-12-2015 21:07
Madison
☆☆☆☆☆
(22)
The project is still running and receives new funding: https://www.facebook.com/solarroadways/. I'm still skeptic, but interesting to follow.
16-12-2015 21:13
Tim the plumber
★★★★☆
(1295)
Anybody who has put their own money into this crap should be highly embarassed.

FFS!!! Roads are things that have heavy trucks thundering down them. When a freeway/motorway is built the surface is made of iron slag from the waste of steel works because it's very hard. Very hard wearing.

The maintenance teams come back in 10 years to find that the top 4 inches has gone away.

If solar power was cost effective it would be on every roof. That's a place away from heavy things hitting it at 60mph.

Edited on 16-12-2015 21:13
17-12-2015 01:39
Surface Detail
★★★★☆
(1673)
Tim the plumber wrote:
Anybody who has put their own money into this crap should be highly embarassed.

FFS!!! Roads are things that have heavy trucks thundering down them. When a freeway/motorway is built the surface is made of iron slag from the waste of steel works because it's very hard. Very hard wearing.

The maintenance teams come back in 10 years to find that the top 4 inches has gone away.

If solar power was cost effective it would be on every roof. That's a place away from heavy things hitting it at 60mph.

Agreed - it's an utterly ludicrous idea. Frankly, I'm astonished that so many people are daft enough to put money into it. Solar panels belong on roofs.
10-08-2016 16:08
tracy18
☆☆☆☆☆
(5)
It is a very interesting idea...environment friendly. But I wonder how much of sunlight would be required to charge these panels? And how will it function when sun hides behind heavy cloud cover for 2-3days?
10-08-2016 22:02
Into the NightProfile picture★★★★★
(9573)
There seems to be this ignorance of the cost of solar panels, as well as why roadways are built of the materials they are built out of.

The primary purpose of a building material for a roadway is roadbed stability and traction.

To get traction out of solar panels, they have to be covered with something that does what asphalt and concrete does, but is transparent. No such practical material exists right now.

Cost. Solar panels are expensive. Far more expensive than asphalt or concrete.

They will not pay for their cost by the power they produce.

There is a LONG way to go before this technology can pay for its own freight.




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