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"Solar Roadways Awarded DOT Contract to Pave Roads with Solar Cells"

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posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 11:58 AM
The Link

A few weeks back I posted a thread on this, developing, technology and at the time would have never guessed that its implementation was so close at hand.

In a first step toward turning highways into energy-generating solar panels, the Sagle, Idaho-based startup Solar Roadways has recently received a $100,000 grant from the US Department of Transportation (DOT). The company will use the money to build a prototype of its Solar Road Panel, made from solar cells and glass, that is meant to replace petroleum-based asphalt on roads and in parking lots.

Interesting, and very very cool. So although this is the first real-world test of this technology it is regardless a huge step forward for this technology and for the world of solar power and alternative energy sources collectivly.

The 12- x 12-foot panels, which each cost $6,900, are designed to be embedded into roads. When shined upon, each panel generates an estimated 7.6 kilowatt hours of power each day. If this electricity could be pumped into the grid, the company predicts that a four-lane, one-mile stretch of road with panels could generate enough power for 500 homes.

Although it would be expensive, covering the entire US interstate highway system with the panels could theoretically fulfill the country's total energy needs. The company estimates that this would take 5 billion panels, but could "produce three times more power than we've ever used as a nation - almost enough to power the entire world."

Wow. What a dream! I really look forward to seeing how this technology performs and its impacts on our current energy paradigm. I have to say that in recent months the advances being made in the realm of alternative energy has been huge. I really feel like we have come to a tipping point where these 'alternatives' are going to become main-stream.


posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 12:21 PM
reply to post by Animal

Great find. I hope it works out. If they could get Nanosolar on board with this they can make it even cheaper and easier to roll out. In addition, the roadbeds would be more durable.

posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 12:56 PM
I hope this takes off, because it sounds like a superb idea for energy.

While I was thinking about it though, could we potentially use them to transmit wireless electricity with an electric car receiving power from them? My understanding on current wireless electricity technology is poor, but it sounded like a good idea to me if its possible, especially if they're predicting so much extra power produced from doing so.

posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 01:00 PM

Originally posted by Zieg7410
While I was thinking about it though, could we potentially use them to transmit wireless electricity with an electric car receiving power from them?

This is a really cool idea!

It wouldn't even have to wireless.

Maybe you have seen the electric buses that have a rod that sticks off the top of the bus and touches an electric line to power the bus.

Well you could just invert this and the electric cars could touch the street and take in energy that way.

Cool stuff all around though!

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