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Part of its ‘Road to Tomorrow Initiative,’ Missouri’s Department of Transportation is teaming with Solar Roadways, an Idaho-based startup (seriously, what’s going on in Idaho?) to cover an undetermined length of Historic Route 66 with road-ready solar panels. “We expect them to be in place, I’m hoping, by the end of this year, maybe before snow flies,” initiative leader Tom Blair recently told the Kansas City Star. Blair also told The Star that the bulk of its efforts will be crowdfunded. After receiving a $100,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration to build a prototype, and a pair of $750,000 research grants from the US Department of Transportation, the group has raised more than $2 million of its own to complete the project through a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. Solar Roadways’ panels are tempered safety glass that are as strong as they are efficient. In addition to harnessing energy from the sun, they also come with LED lighting to effectively replace road lines and signage. While obviously more expensive to install upfront, the panels do have the benefit of being completely modular, which would allow for quick and cheap repairs by just swapping out the broken panels rather than re-paving entire stretches of road. Missouri isn’t the first to experiment with solar roads, but if previous tests are any indication, there’s every reason to be optimistic about the future of the technology.
originally posted by: BO XIAN
a reply to: lostbook
I understand this will likely have some significant challenges on the way to solid effective durable refinement of the concept.
However, I think a lot of the carping is just that--contrarian carping.
At least these folks launched out and pushed their dream to this stage. More power to them.
The Netherlands experiment is producing more power than thought. Good.
And, I like the flexibility of the signage for differing conditions.
I hope they succeed in a big way.
Glass is an amazing substance. We shall see how it functions as a roadway. But in a lot of ways, being modular, it may well be better than asphalt and/or concrete.
imho, it is well worth a try.
Good on them for bringing it to this stage.
THAT'S TONS MORE than all the politicos and drone bureaucrats in D.C. have accomplished in a very long time.
Solar Roadways is a modular paving system comprised of glass solar panels that have already been tested for load, traction and impact resistance (and can withstand the heaviest of trucks - 250,000 pounds).
originally posted by: Zaphod58
originally posted by: Bedlam
A solar cell bank you run trucks over will have issues that will not be apparent at first try.
There's a reason paved roads have those nasty grooves worn into them in the right lane.
Durability and maintenance free life: Concrete roads have a long service life of forty years, whereas asphalt roads last for ten years. More over, during this service life concrete road do not require frequent repair or patching work like asphalt roads.
Vehicles consume less fuel: A vehicle, when run over a concrete road, consumes 15-20% less fuel than that on asphalt roads. This is because of the fact that a concrete road does not get deflected under the wheels of loaded trucks.
Resistant to automobile fuel spillage and extreme weather: Unlike asphalt roads, concrete roads do not get damaged by the leaking oils from the vehicles or by the extreme weather conditions like excess rain or extreme heat.
Greener process: Asphalt (bitumen) produces lots of highly polluting gases at the time of melting it for paving. Also, less fuel consumption by the vehicle running on a concrete road means less pollution.
Saving of natural resources: Asphalt (bitumen) is produced from imported petroleum, the reserve of which is becoming reduced drastically. On the other hand, concrete (cement) is produced from abundantly
his is more than enough to support a transport truck or even a fleet of military tanks according to Scott Brusaw. The glass is also shatter and fire proof. They have the same traction as asphalt which allows for proper time to stop, even
any surface that’s under the sun that can be walked on, can utilize these solar panels. These panels have the potential to be anything from roads, to sidewalks, playgrounds, bike paths, driveways, highways, race tracks, tarmacs, parking lots, patios, etc… The couple has even made a prototype parking lot which is officially working.