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THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Sun 01 Jun 2014, 21:13:43

These are very important questions. Let's just wait and see what the promoters do with the money they have raised. The people they hire ought to devise a pathway forward. It's not my job to do this but I will report on any findings when published.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby MD » Mon 02 Jun 2014, 06:26:52

Yeah, "solar road" is a one thread topic, for now.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 04 Jun 2014, 20:28:25

It’s official: Everybody loves the idea of roads that generate solar power

Last month, we asked whether solar roads could generate enough energy to serve some of the nation’s power needs.

With tens of thousands of miles of solar-power generating roads, parking lots, sidewalks and other open spaces–without needing to clear space in untouched, natural areas–it seems like an ideal, if expensive solution.

It’s one that’s caught the public’s imagination though. The company proposing the idea, Solar Roadways, has smashed its Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign target of $1 million.

In fact, it’s now at $1.9 million committed, and its deadline has been extended to June 20.

Now it’s important to note: Widespread public support in no ways guarantees success.

But the couple behind Solar Roadways, Scott and Julie Brusaw, have clearly struck a chord with their backers.

They’ve also developed a product that, at the prototype stage, answers a whole lot of difficult questions that startup companies aren’t always prepared to answer.



Again, proper solar roads are a long way off. Replacing every single mile of U.S. highway with solar panels could be a hundred years away, and there are still many hurdles to overcome.


venturebeat

Are solar panel road surfaces the path to the future?

Note that all these proposed uses of a solar roadway are also ways for such a project to generate revenues. Figuring out ways to make a solar roadway project economically feasible will be a huge challenge, says Gregory Wilson, director of the National Center for Photovoltaics at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which is part of the US Department of Energy.

While the Brusaws are using some proven technologies, such as silicon solar cells and LED lighting, they need to design them to work well together and under weather and road conditions that pose different challenges to conventional solar panel installation (on a rooftop or in the field) or LED traffic signals and street lighting.

A novel technology often costs more, at least initially, until it's made in enough volume to reduce manufacturing expenses. Its price should also come down when there is enough demand to help recoup the initial research and development cost.

Then there is the expense of maintaining a solar roadway. It will require monitoring to make sure each panel is producing the expected amount of solar electricity. Repairing or replacing the components, if not each panel, will have to be easy to minimise the extent of roadway closures.

Keeping a solar roadway clear of dirt and debris and out of shade, all of which lower electricity generation, will also be crucial in making the project financially attractive, Wilson said. The Solar Roadway project is attempting to address many of these operational and maintenance issues.



The Brusaws wants to start making and selling their rugged solar panels before the end of the year. The city of Sandpoint, where the couple live, is set to become the first customer by installing the solar panels at a visitor centre parking lot.


theguardian
Last edited by Graeme on Wed 04 Jun 2014, 21:42:43, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 04 Jun 2014, 21:22:14

pstarr wrote:
. . . there are still many hurdles to overcome.

The hurdle is the impossibility of the stupidity. It appears that the folks crowd-sourcing this project live in an alternative universe where tire chains, studs, snowplows, and 80,000 lb. freight liners don't exist.

Sure solar roads would be fine in OZ where Dorothy dances on red slippers, the scarecrow pirouettes on straw pads, and the cowardly lion mostly sulks along at hypospace paws, but here on Planet Earth . . . Nope.


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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 04 Jun 2014, 21:44:47

Pstarr, Sorry, commercial operation has started. Sandpoint is the first customer (see link above).
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby manicthrasher » Thu 05 Jun 2014, 01:10:54

Graeme, I wish you were a financier for my ventures. It seems if something is commercial, may be commercial, or even has a 'road-map' (the DOE algae plan), you deem it to be a success. I've just created a business. Care to forward me some cash? No interest, of course, and the chances the principal will be repaid are extremely low. Heh.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Rod_Cloutier » Sat 07 Jun 2014, 10:51:39

I saw the 'Solar freaking roadways' video today on you tube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=p ... rnpgzU#t=0

Even if major roads and trucks routes aren't possible due to wear and tear, and cost issues, the video suggests we should start with basketball courts, public walkways, sidewalks, and personal driveways.

Greatest new idea in a long time- I think I'll redo my driveway. (Next on my to do list)
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sat 07 Jun 2014, 11:13:01

Repent wrote:I saw the 'Solar freaking roadways' video today on you tube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=p ... rnpgzU#t=0

Even if major roads and trucks routes aren't possible due to wear and tear, and cost issues, the video suggests we should start with basketball courts, public walkways, sidewalks, and personal driveways.

Greatest new idea in a long time- I think I'll redo my driveway. (Next on my to do list)

Doing this for sidewalks and bike paths as a test would make sense, the traffic is light and intermittent during daylight hours. I still want to know the cost per unit area. If I could do the public sidewalk in front of the house that would be about 10 square meters and the city requires snow clearence so it should produce at least some power in the winter. On the other hand if I did the south facing slope of the roof it would have greater power density because the angle of the insolation would be much more favorable, and almost twice the surface area.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Rod_Cloutier » Sat 07 Jun 2014, 13:34:07

I watched that debunking video and he is right on most points. I doubt this would ever 'scale up'.

Still you and I, are aware of peak oil, the coming collapse of the dollar, and other issues or you wouldn't be here on this site.

Clearly, it would still work for small scale, for local power generation. Sidewalks, basketball courts, and driveways which are vacant 80% of the time, as actually suggested in the original concept video, would work. I'd redo my driveway with it, especially if it would lower my electric bills. After peak oil and or the collapse of the dollar, its small scale changes like this which will allow civilization to continue at some level.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Rod_Cloutier » Sat 07 Jun 2014, 13:43:23

But like he says in the video, you put the panels up on the roof. That's where mine are. And it's closer to the sun! LOL


Fine, put them there too; why waste any surface? I got tired of doom awhile ago, time to start rebuilding towards a new way of doing things.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 07 Jun 2014, 18:17:09

Repent,

Do a cost benefit analysis, for real, on how to save energy and how to become energy independent. Then order your solutions so that you spend the money wisely, taking the low hanging fruit first.
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Re: These Solar Roads Could Power The Entire Country

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 07 Jun 2014, 18:22:24

Newfie wrote:Good grief,not this kind of tripe again!

This is a scam out and out.


Yeah, I'm quoting myself. :-D
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby americandream » Sat 07 Jun 2014, 18:35:02

Solar roads from the perspective of the ordinary bloke will probably buy us time (if feasible)....perhaps stretch capitalism out another 4 decades or so beyond mid century. So from that point of view, I guess some can draw comfort. But when all is said and done, earth's capitalists will try and use this time to move elsewhere as another 7 decades of JIT consumerism's rubbish pump and dump will pretty much see this planet rendered uninhabitable.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Sat 07 Jun 2014, 19:43:06

Here is some more info about this project that I wasn't aware of and I bet you weren't either.

The Solar glass surface has been tested for traction, load testing, and impact resistance testing in civil engineering laboratories around the United States, and exceeded all requirements.

Solar Roadways is a modular system that will modernize our aging infrastructure with an intelligent system that can become the new Smart Grid. Solar Roadways won the Community Award of $50,000 by getting the most votes in GE's Ecomagination Challenge for "Powering the Grid" in 2010. Solar Roadways had the most votes again in their 2011 Ecomagination Challenge for "Powering the Home".

On August 21, 2013, Solar Roadways was selected by their peers as a Finalist in the World Technology Award For Energy, presented in association with TIME, Fortune, CNN, and Science.

Solar Roadways was chosen by Google to be one of their Moonshots in May of 2013.

Solar Roadways was chosen as a finalist in the IEEE Ace Awards in 2009 and 2010.

Solar Roadways has given presentations around the country including: TEDx Sacramento, Google's Solve for X at Google's NYC Headquarters, NASA, Keynote Speaker for the International Parking Institute's Conference, to name some.

Solar Roadways is tackling more than solar energy: The FHWA tasked with addressing the problem of storm water. Currently, over 50% of the pollution in US waterways comes from storm water. Solar Roadways has created a section in our Cable Corridors for storing, treating, and moving storm water.

The implementation of its concept on a grand scale could create thousands of jobs in the US and around the world. It could allow everyone the ability to manufacture out of our current economic crisis.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby americandream » Sat 07 Jun 2014, 19:48:41

Graeme wrote:Here is some more info about this project that I wasn't aware of and I bet you weren't either.

The implementation of its concept on a grand scale could create thousands of jobs in the US and around the world. It could allow everyone the ability to manufacture out of our current economic crisis.


Rearranging the energy profile of open loop capitalist resourcing (my emphasis).
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