Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Solar Roadways is a Prototype & Could be a Reality Sooner Than You Think




 A tip of the electron on this one to my good friend Tom Baugh who is President of KC Constructors.  We were spending some time together Sunday night and he (being a geek like me) asked if I had looked into the concept of roads made out of solar panels.  When I confessed I hadn't researched it, he told me that I definitely needed to take a look at it.

So… tonight I did a little research and found the project on Indiegogo.com

The project is amazing, to say the least.  I'm sure that there are bugs to work out and probably some hiccups to overcome, but the overall concept seems fairly straight forward.

It appears that most of the people reading Indiegogo thought it was a good idea as well.  Last night the project had $1,875,663 USD pledged and the company had requested an initial round of $1,000,000.  That means they have reached 188% of their requested goal.  Persuasive!

I could go on & on, but read the info below (provided by the company) and watch the video and I think that you will come away as impressed by the concept as I was...

Here is what the company had to say: 

Solar Roadways is a modular paving system of solar panels that can withstand the heaviest of trucks (250,000 pounds). These Solar Road Panels can be installed on roads, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, bike paths, playgrounds... literally any surface under the sun. They pay for themselves primarily through the generation of electricity, which can power homes and businesses connected via driveways and parking lots. A nationwide system could produce more clean renewable energy than a country uses as a whole (http://solarroadways.com/numbers.shtml). They have many other features as well, including: heating elements to stay snow/ice free, LEDs to make road lines and signage, and attached Cable Corridor to store and treat stormwater and provide a "home" for power and data cables. EVs will be able to charge with energy from the sun (instead of fossil fuels) from parking lots and driveways and after a roadway system is in place, mutual induction technology will allow for charging while driving. 

Did you know: 

  • Solar Roadways has received two phases of funding from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration for research and development of a paving system that will pay for itself over its lifespan. We are about to wrap up our Phase II contract (to build a prototype parking lot) and now need to raise funding for production. 
  • Our glass surface has been tested for traction, load testing, and impact resistance testing in civil engineering laboratories around the country, and exceeded all requirements.
  • Solar Roadways is a modular system that will modernize our aging infrastructure with an intelligent system that can become the new Smart Grid. We won the Community Award of $50,000 by getting the most votes in GE's Ecomagination Challenge for "Powering the Grid" in 2010. We had the most votes again in their 2011 Ecomagination Challenge for "Powering the Home".
  • On August 21, 2013, Solar Roadways was selected by their peers as a Finalist in the World Technology Award For Energy, presented in association with TIME, Fortune, CNN, and Science.
  • Solar Roadways was chosen by Google to be one of their Moonshots in May of 2013. 
  • Solar Roadways was chosen as a finalist in the IEEE Ace Awards in 2009 and 2010.
  • Solar Roadways has given presentations around the country including: TEDx Sacramento, Google's Solve for X at Google's NYC Headquarters, NASA, Keynote Speaker for the International Parking Institute's Conference and much more...
  • Solar Roadways is tackling more than solar energy: The FHWA tasked us with addressing  the problem of stormwater. Currently, over 50% of the pollution in U.S. waterways comes from stormwater. We have created a section in our Cable Corridors for storing, treating, and moving stormwater.
  • The implementation of our concept on a grand scale could  create thousands of jobs in the U.S. and around the world. It could allow us all the ability to manufacture our way out of our current economic crisis.

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