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THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: These Solar Roads Could Power The Entire Country

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 29 May 2014, 19:43:25

Solar-roadway backers set crowdfunding record

You've probably heard that people love an underdog, but one couple's Indiegogo campaign to fund the manufacture of "solar roadways" seems to prove that longshot lovers are even willing to throw their money at an insanely ambitious idea, just because.

Scott and Julie Brusaw have been working for years to create smart solar panels that, when covered by special tempered glass, can actually replace roadways and parking lots. In addition to collecting solar energy, solar roadways also sport LED lighting, heating elements, inductive charging capability for electric vehicles while driving, and even some stormwater management abilities.

It's such a compelling idea that so far over 36,000 people have backed the project on Indiegogo, with total contributions of over $1.5 million as of this writing on Thursday. That surpasses the previous Indiegogo record for most individual contributions to a single campaign that was held by Mathew Inman's effort to raise money for a Nikola Tesla museum, which 33,000 people contributed to.


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Re: These Solar Roads Could Power The Entire Country

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 29 May 2014, 20:41:23

Yeah, we didn't go to the moon either. It was too hard.
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Re: These Solar Roads Could Power The Entire Country

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 29 May 2014, 23:45:57

Graeme, yes we went to the moon. This solar highway crowd sourcing is just a scam. Just because you wish it could be so does not make it possible. Just because there are a bunch of other folks who are also gullible does not make it true.

What IS true is that there is a sucker born every minute.

Sorry.

In fact this kind of thing really pisses me off. It is like a gambling addict who thinks if he keeps doubling down he will eventually win the jackpot. Good idea, except the house rules don't allow it.

The only energy we save is the energy we don't use. Thinking that we can our way out if this mess is a false hope.

For gods sake, just think about the mass of material that would need to be created to achieve the goal IF it were even remotely possible. Do we even have the physical resources to do such a thing? And what pollution would we create in the manufacturing process? IF it were possible.

Sorry, I'm afraid that there is no free lunch, no perpetual motion machine, and no nice way out of the box canyon we have built for ourselves.

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Re: These Solar Roads Could Power The Entire Country

Unread postby Graeme » Fri 30 May 2014, 20:25:55

Newfie, You may well be right on this one because paving all roads in US with solar panels is not viable financially. However, there may be a specific application for these panels we haven't thought of yet or paving could work in restricted areas like downtown. In any case, you are not the only with critical views. Here is someone offering "real solutions".

Freshly Minted: Solar Roadways Will Almost Definitely Not Happen

No shortage of solutions

Infrastructure tech companies don’t often get buzzy coverage from The Verge or Business Insider. But there are plenty of startups in this field that don’t just have cool products and clicky campaigns, but real business models.

At Urban Future Lab alone, there are startups like:

Smarter Grid Solutions — a startup that’s taking on the aforementioned issue of introducing power sources like solar and wind in older power grids.
HEVO Power — a company that makes wireless electric car charging for shipping and cargo fleets.
Enertiv — a startup that builds sensors and software to help monitor power usage coming from your breaker box, down to each light bulb and AC unit.

These are startups that know the strife of trying to affect real change in the infrastructure world, where the powers that be are reluctant to partner with tech startups.

“If you’re a city buying streetlights, you want them to last 40 years,” Mr. Kotch said. “If you’re dealing with a venture backed startup, you have no idea that they’re going to be around that long.”

But these companies are finally starting to gain traction. Smarter Grid is working with Con Edison on the New York City grid, and HEVO Power just landed a contract to pilot their wireless car batteries for Frito Lay’s trucking fleet. These are real solutions — not to mention, great solutions to solar energy that are cheaper and more efficient than putting panels in road tiles.


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I just discovered where solar roads will start. It's far from over.

Solar Roadways Spark Public's Imagination, But Cost Could Be Barrier

The idea is to replace all roads — starting with private driveways and parking lots — with the solar, heating and LED panels sandwiched between layers of ultra-thick glass.The initial $1 million would go toward hiring a team of engineers to expand the project.


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Re: These Solar Roads Could Power The Entire Country

Unread postby Graeme » Sat 31 May 2014, 00:53:34

So roads downtown are never going to be repaired. I think NOT.

And as for driveways and car parks, lets see what the engineers come with. Don't think it is as simple as you convey. If I see what they plan to do, I will post on this.
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Re: These Solar Roads Could Power The Entire Country

Unread postby Graeme » Sat 31 May 2014, 02:26:47

You are nothing more than a cheeky, arrogant anarchist.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sat 31 May 2014, 08:50:15

How many of hese solar road threads is Graeme going to start anyhow? This one goes back several years and has pretty much the same repeated arguments in it as the one he started a couple weeks ago!

If you want to mandate solar panals be installed somewhere the highway median would be a much better choice than the road surface. Extremely reduced wear and tear, ability to preform maintainence without disrupting traffic. Thousands of miles of rural highway where the median is not only not used productively but has to be mowed or otherwise maintained by the highway department. I once calculated that in Ohio you could plant the rural medians to alfalfa and produce enough hay for not just the Ohio livestock, but for neighboring Pennsylvania farms as well.
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Re: These Solar Roads Could Power The Entire Country

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 31 May 2014, 09:02:43

To add a real life data point, I have 380 watts of solar on the stern arch, pointed South as we are docked, and a wind generator. We have 4 golf cart batteries as our house bank. That keeps the boats refrigerator in power, almost. All lights on the boat are LED and don't even register on the ammeter.

Living on the boat we keep track of power, and water, usage. The same two people use a huge amount, by comparison, when living in or 600 sq foot apartment.

The way to reduce our carbon footprint is to use less carbon first. That is the low hanging fruit. Yet that is largely ignored.
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Re: These Solar Roads Could Power The Entire Country

Unread postby Graeme » Sat 31 May 2014, 19:18:22

Mods, this thread should be merged with the solar roads thread. Right?
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 31 May 2014, 22:00:06

Merged upon request.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sun 01 Jun 2014, 20:13:44

Graeme, I have looked a several things you have posted about this idea but I can't figure out what it would actually cost me to install a set of these things on my driveway and how much power they would provide if I did so.

If you could provide a cost benefit breakdown I would appreciate it. TIA.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby ralfy » Sun 01 Jun 2014, 20:48:54

Also, how much oil, fresh water, and other resources will be needed to produce components for the infrastructure and vehicles.
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