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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 Newfie » Sat 07 Jun 2014, 21:07:30

Pstarr, I think we are fighting a loosing battle here. You can't fix stupid.

That is probably a bit cruel ( if warranted) but this is just another form of denialism. "We don't need to mend our ways, technology will see us through!"

One would like to think that otherwise intelligent and thoughtful folks would be able to see through the BS. But obviously it is not so. The elixir of hope is too sweet.

I expect I'll be roundly pummeled for these sentiments, so be it.

This idea is nothing but a SCAM!
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby americandream » Sat 07 Jun 2014, 21:14:23

Like I said when I first joined this site, the means will be found to prolong this system until it literally is down to the last crumb and pstarr is a good example of the false hope we are being lulled into. At the end of the day, this culture has inculcated an addiction to excess and it will be near impossible to wean ourselves off it. Nevertheless, energising exponential growth will not remedy the problems associated with exponential growth. It may mitigate PO and to that extent, may have rendered some concerns discussed on this site less problematic. However the underlying issue of sustained resourcing of exponential growth does not go away simply becuase we can energise it sustainably.

Newfie wrote:Pstarr, I think we are fighting a loosing battle here. You can't fix stupid.

That is probably a bit cruel ( if warranted) but this is just another form of denialism. "We don't need to mend our ways, technology will see us through!"

One would like to think that otherwise intelligent and thoughtful folks would be able to see through the BS. But obviously it is not so. The elixir of hope is too sweet.

I expect I'll be roundly pummeled for these sentiments
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 07 Jun 2014, 21:34:12

americandream wrote: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.


They WILL NOT buy time. It is just a way to piss away resources that could be better used elsewhere for something that makes some modicum of sense.

Trying to take a sensible approach to this what you want to do would be first to find ways of eliminating energy use. Just look around you and you will see TONS of opportunity to eliminate waste. Just to throw a couple out there that would COST NOTHING!

LIGHTING
Turn off lights in office buildings at night.
Get rid of lighted billboards
Make folks turn off lights in parking lots at night.
Freaking car dealerships are lite of like Christmas at 3am, why?
Put motion detectors in street lamps.

To get a bit more aggressive, think about the way we work. We live in a home, but then have an office, which we have to travel to. Nix that. Put a tax on driving to work so as to encourage working at home.

Look at the airlines. My God, I work with guys that fly three days a week and they can't get Gold status. We have folks, many who have no real office because they travel 4 and 5 days a week. It's not unusual for them to be on three or four flights in a day! This is insane.

I get chased all around the country for this job or that. You mean to tell me there is no one in Miami or Chicago who can do what I do? If so then they sure aren't paying me enough. Put a hefty tax on business travel. Use that money to foster development of the Internet infrastructure in the US. Seems we are already pretty far behind lots of other countries in that regard. Develop the ability to have real productive business meetings via the Internet with better conferencing.

Put a hefty sales tax on all kinds of shit we really don't need. Like clothes and cosmetics and shoes. Go to a mall, any mall, and walk through and make note of what there does not fall into the category of conspicuous consumption. Bloody little. But the clothes take energy to make, often have a lot of fossil fuel in their make up, then you have tis big space that needs to have heat, and light, and city services. For what! To salve our egos! To make us look pretty and sexy. Get rid of it! No cost. Boom, energy savings right there at your finger tips.

Of course no one will want to do this because it will upset someone, put someone out of work, it's not good for the economy. Well the bloody economy and work is the problem.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 07 Jun 2014, 22:07:47

OK, rant off. Here is bit different response.

When we are living on the boat, 6 days out of 14, it is pretty easy to monitor our energy usage. It breaks down like this.

Heat, 180 gallons of oil for 18 months, or two winters. We could fix that by sailing South.
Transport, even though it's a sailboat there are many times you really want to use the motor. Being patient and taking our time can ease that a good bit. Living at the dock it is nil.
Refrigeration, our solar panels (380 watts) and wind vane can just about keep up with this.
Cooking, we use kerosene, no simple replacement for that. A couple of gallons a month if we ere full time.
Lights, LEDs, almost nothing.

To be honest this accounting leaves out a few things. We take showers in the marina facilities. We also use the toilet there, if we used our inboard bathroom then we would have to do a pump out. We use some shore power in the winter when the solar and wind can't keep up with the oil heater fan requirements.

But that's about it. It's not a lot but even that is not sustainable, it's not carbon neutral. Cooking is the real tough one, it's either kero or propane.

Maintaining our city life, even though we live in small spaces in center city, is by comparison energy costly. Bigger place to heat, need a car to get around, public transport either doesn't go there or takes forever, and frequently is more expensive. The Wife has her office in our apartment, but I work in an office so there is that additional space and energy. And my work requires me to travel, fly mostly, which is energy intensive.

But, by comparison, we have a very small energy footprint (don't have TV or AC) compared to most Americans.

So if the average American reduced their power usage to our levels, reduced their CONSUMPTION to our levels, even using our city profile, then there would be huge savings in energy use.

That is where the future lies and where we will eventually go. If not by planning then eventually by necessity.

I find it fascinating that folks can't understand that which is so obvious.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Rod_Cloutier » Sat 07 Jun 2014, 23:12:19

I get chased all around the country for this job or that. You mean to tell me there is no one in Miami or Chicago who can do what I do?


??

What job would chase you all over the country other than an airline pilot or stewardess?
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 08 Jun 2014, 07:46:31

Apparently many.

I'm an engineer, one of my tasks is to estimate design/build projects. I have to attend meetings, many stupid and useless.

I fly less than many folks in our office. While they have different specializations they have the same kind of travel demands.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 10 Jun 2014, 19:16:55

Clearing the Freakin' Air

There's a lot of false information about Solar Roadways flying around the internet these days and some of it is just SO freakin' wrong that we've created this page to set the record straight!

Hi Folks,

We've gotten a lot of attention in recent weeks due to our Indiegogo campaign. The worldwide support has been nothing short of wonderful and we thank everyone everywhere.

Most of the attention has been very positive, but as the campaign became more and more successful (and popular), the naysayers began coming out in force trying to grab some attention. They use non-scientific "facts", misquote and mislead, and sometimes flat out lie. They write unprofessional articles and create deceiving videos to lead people astray. We were told by the Indiegogo staff that this happens to every successful campaign, regardless of the invention.

Haters are going to hate. Nothing we can do about that. One unscrupulous individual even took our viral Solar Freakin' Roadways video (by volunteer Michael Naphan) without our permission, and has used it to create another video, in which he has embedded deliberately misleading information. He is even making money by placing advertising on it to make a profit! (We could do the same, but we chose not to do so). And there are other journalists who have written articles with really irresponsibly misleading information.

False Claim: We picked a really stupid place to put solar panels

False Claim: Solar Roadways is going to cost $60 trillion dollars

False Claim: Asphalt roads are cheap and maintainable

False Claim: we can't afford to heat roads

alse Claim: Glass is softer than asphalt

False Claim: The shadow a single bird can take out an entire solar array - let alone a car!

False Claim: You can't see LEDs in direct sunlight

False Claim: We're attempting to use recycled colored glass to make new clear glass

We wonder about people who reflexively dismiss our concept without trying to understand it, or go on public forums to attack us. It's helps us to remember that there have always been people against change. For some it's just too scary. They want to just keep things the same. Perhaps they are the descendants of those who argued that the earth was flat, that we didn't need cars because horses worked just fine, told the Wright Brothers they were out of their minds, or insisted that we'd never reach the moon. Or perhaps they are the voices of larger entities who are now feeling threatened by the paradigm shift that is Solar Roadways.


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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Tue 10 Jun 2014, 22:00:05

pstarr wrote:There is a bunch of brilliance congregating around this project:
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August 8, 2010 at 6:19 pm
I think they’re maybe missing a trick here. If not only solar energy, but kinetic energy from the traffic could be collected, it’d definitely be a winner. Possibly even self-regulating temperature-wise for when it snows? Imagine a road powered by traffic that can also power the traffic on it…

This has to make you wonder, huh? I just hope they stay off the road while it's being brainstormed. LOL

It's in the Solar Roads FAQ:
Have you thought about adding piezoelectric elements to your panels?

We're currently experimenting with piezoelectric elements and thermocouplers for our next design. Both of these devices can produce energy around the clock.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Quinny » Wed 11 Jun 2014, 01:32:16

Sure someone could calculate how much solar road would be needed per km driven. Anyone know?
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 11 Jun 2014, 19:02:30

Are solar streets the solution to range anxiety?

Efficiency – that is what it’s all about.

Electric vehicles are the way to go – most pundits agree on that. The area where they differ is how the electric energy, which turns the wheels, is getting to the motor(s).

Today, we already have several options: hybrid-electric, in a variety of combinations of engine and motor; battery-electric vehicles (BEV) with a limited range, and range-extended vehicles, where an engine–generator-combination supplies the electricity.

Efficiency became important during the last few decades, as the world learned how emissions and dwindling oil resources would affect life on our planet. Not only did vehicle manufacturers consider actual fuel consumption, they included production of vehicles and supply of components into the overall picture.

The phrase ‘Well to Wheel’ was coined, to include all systems and components that drive a vehicle down the road, literally.

Automotive industry went a step further: ‘End of Life’, the recycling of everything contained in a vehicle was included in the overall process; designing not only for the life of the car, but also for the ecological footprint after its useful existence.


examiner

We Could Build a Solar-Powered Roadway. But Will We?

And the Brusaws aren't the only people who think America's cruddy roads need a revolution. Tech giant Qualcomm, for example, has acquired a spinoff from the University of Aukland in New Zealand called Halo. Its product can be embedded in pavement to recharge electric vehicles wirelessly through induction, the same technology commonly used to charge electric toothbrushes. Qualcomm has already begun licensing Halo to automakers for prototype vehicles. A California Energy Commission study released this year recommends building a piezoelectric road demonstrator to gather more data on the feasibility of harvesting the vibrational energy of traffic passing over the road's suface. And the Intelligent Transportation Systems office of the US Department of Transportation is developing technologies to enable cars to communicate with each other as well as with traffic lights, sensors, and other elements of an envisioned smart road infrastructure.


Yet Solar Roadways might have an advantage over other high-tech road advancement that have been proposed, Levine says. Try to convince a state to redo an entire highway with solar panels rather than asphalt and you might get laughed out of the statehouse, especially before the technology has been proven. But a single town could deploy something like a Solar Roadway in a parking lot, which would not require connecting roads from multiple jurisdictions and all the legal wrangling that comes with that.

"Assuming the technological promise is as it appears, I think it might have a shot," Levine says of Solar Roadways. "And here's why: it's readily deployable at a small scale. Unlike...inductive charging in roadways, it's actually not dependent on what other people do, or what other agencies do, or what other municipalities do.


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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 12 Jun 2014, 00:29:49

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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 12 Jun 2014, 07:31:23

pstarr wrote:"a Solar Roadway in a parking lot" sends my me into a deep dark funk. I am sad I am alive in a world where such dumbness shares a place in my mind. The rest of my mind friends want to kill themselves.


Well, don't come to work at my job. It's even worse there. And they are doing transportation engineering.

I guess the good news I don't see thing ever going anywhere past some local demonstrations, the size of the price tag will kill it. Perhaps I should even cheer on the originators of this scam, let them take the money and run and good for them.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Fri 11 Jul 2014, 20:03:03

Hard Road Ahead for Solar Freakin’ Roadways

The idea is to put unused roadway to good use (generating electricity) while also providing an electronic means for lane shifts, driver messages and other utilities. Bonus: solar roadways obviate the need for an electric grid by including a “Cable Corridor” right in the side of the roadway that eliminates the need for power lines running alongside it. And if outfitted with sensors as well the solar highway could transmit real time traffic data or other information of interest. The novel idea has been around for a few years now, bursting back into prominence this summer thanks to a new crowdfunding campaign to support further research and development that garnered $2.2 million before closing on June 20.



There are, however, a few challenges to overcome. What happens to the solar roads at night or on a cloudy day, when the PV is not generating electricity to power homes or cities? The Brusaws’ answer is to draw power from the grid, presumably from flexible generators, such as natural gas-burning combined cycle turbines or hydropower projects with the room to store water for a dark night (though Brusaw told me he expects wind turbines to fill this role back in 2009. He did not respond to repeated requests for an interview this time around.) As presently designed, the LEDs and heating elements are disconnected from the photovoltaics, meaning these elements require electricity from the grid 24/7. The heaters alone require more power than the available PV in the hexagon can supply.

Then there’s the materials challenge posed by the novel use of glass. This glass must be tempered, self-cleaning, and capable of transmitting light to the PV below under trying conditions, among other characteristics—a type of glass that does not yet exist. And that’s just the glass. There’s the additional challenges posed by putting together photovoltaics, LEDs and other components, not unlike a smartphone but one that will be run over by trucks.

Finally, there’s the problem that these 50 United States barely maintain asphalt roads, crumbling highways and unafe overpasses and bridges as it is. U.S. roads are essentially run to failure (i.e. as poorly maintained as possible) so how will any city, state or federal government pay any amount more to put in a solar road rather than paving with asphalt? It’s not just that the panel is more expensive than pavement, it’s the additional expense of maintenance, replacing the inevitable defects and generally tending a technological jumble subjected to the brutal pounding of daily traffic and weather, among other stresses.


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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Sat 12 Jul 2014, 02:12:08

Graeme wrote:a smartphone but one that will be run over by trucks.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby lpetrich » Thu 28 Aug 2014, 11:29:04

I agree with preferring canopies. My first thought is that there is a serious problem with keeping a "solar road" clean, because a dirty one's dirt would obstruct sunlight. It's much easier to clean a canopy, and a typical height should be well above most of the dirt. I also think that canopies would be cheaper than solar-road tiles, because they can be much more flimsy.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 28 Aug 2014, 12:37:49

lpetrich wrote:I agree with preferring canopies. My first thought is that there is a serious problem with keeping a "solar road" clean, because a dirty one's dirt would obstruct sunlight. It's much easier to clean a canopy, and a typical height should be well above most of the dirt. I also think that canopies would be cheaper than solar-road tiles, because they can be much more flimsy.


Not to mention that in theory a canopy would also serve to keep the road cleaner from precipitation and that should reduce accidents and maintenance costs for the road bed, while adding to costs for the canopy.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby lpetrich » Thu 28 Aug 2014, 13:34:55

Solar-road tiles also have the problem of surviving heavy vehicles traveling over them, like 18-wheeler semi-trailer trucks. I think that this problem is much more serious than what some of the tiles' advocates seem to think. Equivalent Single Axle Load | Pavement Interactive gives an approximate rule of thumb:

(road-damage amount) ~ (weight per axle)4

From that page:
Heavy trucks and buses are responsible for a majority of pavement damage. Considering that a typical automobile weighs between 2,000 and 7,000 lbs (curb weight), even a fully loaded large passenger van will only generate about 0.003 ESALs while a fully loaded tractor-semi trailer can generate up to about 3 ESALs (depending upon pavement type, structure and terminal serviceability).


ETA: This road-damage factor means that it's not enough to test solar-road tiles with cars or small trucks. One has to test them with fully-loaded large trucks.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Thu 28 Aug 2014, 13:52:52

lpetrich wrote:Solar-road tiles also have the problem of surviving heavy vehicles traveling over them, like 18-wheeler semi-trailer trucks. I think that this problem is much more serious than what some of the tiles' advocates seem to think. Equivalent Single Axle Load | Pavement Interactive gives an approximate rule of thumb:

(road-damage amount) ~ (weight per axle)4

From that page:
Heavy trucks and buses are responsible for a majority of pavement damage. Considering that a typical automobile weighs between 2,000 and 7,000 lbs (curb weight), even a fully loaded large passenger van will only generate about 0.003 ESALs while a fully loaded tractor-semi trailer can generate up to about 3 ESALs (depending upon pavement type, structure and terminal serviceability).


ETA: This road-damage factor means that it's not enough to test solar-road tiles with cars or small trucks. One has to test them with fully-loaded large trucks.


Good point, now picture what happens when a lowboy trailer hauling a large buldozer or excavator drives over it?
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