posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 06:03 AM
reply to post by petrus4
The real challenge with something like that will be making it so that the photovoltaics can still function as a road. From that standpoint - it might
be more cost effective and practical to construct 'sun roofs' over roadways with photovoltaic cells or paints on them, as opposed to trying to make
the road, itself, a solar panel.
Further - in some areas, the benefits would be fairly negligible. Congested roadways would be continually shaded by cars (which is why building a
'roof' over roads may be preferable, anyway).
However, photovoltaic paints on highways could be a cost-effective solution (particularly on rural highways and roadways):
Efficiencies of only 1% - but if they could get that up to 5 or even 10% - you're looking at a potentially cost-effective solution that could be
added on as a post-process to road construction (with, perhaps, the need to place some kind of resin over the top to prevent rapid wear).
Another interesting idea would be incorporating a layer of graphene supecapacitors under roadways (which could, at least in theory, be done). These
could be treated, at least in more urbanized areas, as a large power distribution bus with enormous capacitance (as in - no need for back up battery
systems unless you plan to go without power generation for a week).
Of course - that might really only be sensible in locations where space is at an absolute premium already.