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Blazing Trails: Solar Panels Could Replace Roads


Stashed in: Ecology!, Indiegogo, Energy!, Transportation!, Innovation, Internet of Things, The Internet of Things

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After years of figuring out many ways not to make a solar panel, the Brusaws have developed a modular-panel paving system that's attracted interest from the Federal Highway Administration, General Electric, and even Google. If theirIndiegogo campaign, started this past Earth Day, receives $1 million by the end of May, the Brusaw's company, Solar Roadways, will be able to test its heavy-duty tempered-glass product in parking lots and eventually highways throughout the country. 

This is a fascinating idea: What if all our roads were generating energy?

Top Reddit comment:

A quick visit to the comments in /r/futurology where this was first posted (several threads about it) will explain why this isn't getting funding. It needs more testing in real-world conditions.

The fact is roads are dirty, very dirty, solar panels need lots of light, traffic + rubber + random crap + exhaust fumes all sit between the panels and the sun decreasing the amount of light they are receiving.

On top of that these things consume a pretty sizeable chunk of power, being entirely re-programmable (CPU power) + powering multi-coloured LED's + heating the road to melt snow!? + shadows from buildings, bridges, trees etc will lower their efficiency, especially in winter.

A better plan would simply be to put solar panels on top of more buildings, where they won't get as dirty, are owned by a mixture of companies, individuals and the state (so are decentralized) and are right on top of where the power is needed (so less waste getting the power from A to B).

Personally I wouldn't waste your money, instead go put it into savings and save up for a roof panel :).

Covered parking lots with solar panel roofs make so much sense for sunny, hot areas. 

I agree. Solar roofs in general make more sense than solar roads. 

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