This guy, Scott Brusaw, and his wife Julie, came up with a totally “out of the box” excellent idea…Solar panel roads! And it’s in the works…!…see recent (7/18/2011) press release below.
From the Solar Roadways web site: …we started batting around the idea of replacing asphalt and concrete surfaces with solar panels that could be driven upon. We thought of the “black box” on airplanes: …Suppose we made a section of road out of a similar durable material and housed solar cells to collect energy…which could pay for the cost of the panel…creating a road that would pay for itself over time. …What if we added LEDs to “paint” the road lines from beneath, lighting up the road for safer night-time driving? …What if we added a heating element in the surface …to prevent snow/ice accumulation in northern climates? The ideas and possibilities just continued to roll in and the Solar Roadway Project was born.
What an outrageous…excellent… idea…why not? Their long-range concept…is to cover all concrete and asphalt surfaces that are exposed to the sun with Solar Road Panels.
A few weeks ago we wrote about the aging…insufficient…vulnerable… Smart Grid (not to mention huge portions of the USA infrastructure)…well Scott and Julie’s site addresses this issue relative to their idea in a very intelligent and succinct way here.
Scott’s site if full of solid information and education…what you would expect (and need) from an engineer, but it’s a lot for the casual reader…you…me…us. So we’ll highlight some of the stunning conclusions, to pique your interest.
In the Numbers Page of his site is the conservative calculation that these panels could produce 13,961 Billion Kilowatt-hours of power. How much is that?…According to the Energy Information Administration, the United States (all 50) used 3,741 Billion Kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2009 (EIA Electricity Overview, 1949-2009). It’s easy to see that the Solar Roadways could produce over three times the electricity that we currently use in the entire United States…wow.
Breaking News: July 18, 2011 – After successful completion of a Phase I SBIR (Small Business Innovative Research) contract, Solar Roadways Inc…. announced today that it has been awarded a follow-up $750,000 Phase II SBIR contract by the Federal Highway Administration.
Go to Scotts web site, Solar Roadways, and bookmark it, read at your leisure, and get on-board a great idea that is do-able…enough so that the Fed. Gov. is supporting it…in this economy.
Caution…many blogs and articles on this and similar subjects draw comments from those paid by the carbon (oil and coal) community…or “stupid radio” listeners… deriding all eco-energy efforts. As one reads Scott’s site info fully, one can see the research is valid, solid and workable. Why should our gov’t support similar efforts…to any degree? Well, think…who built Hoover Dam…who built the Panama Canal…who built the Interstate Highway System…these are social programs that made us the leader of the free world. Lets not stop building and improving now, because of the poorly educated with an agenda. A green-tech…earth friendly…business viable…approach is our best…and perhaps last…hope.
Casualmere® eco-clothing of Bamboo really likes this idea.
Here is Scott’s video link. ENJOY!
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