The possible future of our nation’s roadways has received seed funding via crowdfunding. The technology is called Solar Roadways and it received a little over 2 million dollars in funding on IndieGoGo last year. Just imagine covering all roads in the country with thick glass hexagons that are solar powered and contain heat elements and LEDs for lighting among other things. That’s the concept behind solar roadways.
Scott and Julie Brusaw are the husband and wife team behind the concept. They have spent the better part of the last decade developing the modular hexagon panels that would make up solar-powered roads. These panels offer some amazing benefits.
First, because they are self-powered, no external energy is required. Besides keeping the roadways clear of snow, they would provide illumination and display graphics. These graphics could be standard dotted line dividers and other traffic guidance indicators and they could also be changed as traffic conditions change. Just imagine moving the lane dividing lines to accommodate higher traffic volumes during rush hour or when accidents occur.
Not only do solar roadway panels power themselves, theoretically energy could be exported from the panels. If you have enough panels, you could make an awful lot of power. Some estimates project a complete elimination of current and future electrical power plants if enough solar roadways were constructed.
The solar roadways team has been working on prototypes for years now and it seems they have reached the point where they could go into production with their Phase II panels. While it’s an undeniably cool idea, the solar roadways concept still has a lot of details to be fleshed out. Covering even a small part of the road infrastructure in the US would be a huge, ultra-expensive affair. Almost incomprehensible, in fact, but that is how the future occurs, it’s created by wild-eyed visionaries that aren’t afraid to dream of crazy future technologies – like solar roadways.
Information Source: http://www.sheboyganchryslercenter.com/solar-roadways