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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 basil_hayden » Thu 28 Aug 2014, 13:40:36

Subjectivist wrote:
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?


Or the lowboy with that same oversized load and the canopy. We still have incidents where commercial vehicles turn onto parkways instead of staying on highways until they find the low bridge, I can imagine the fun canopies will bring. Just make it a tube so I can pass with speed along the ceiling. Make it a few tubes so we can send water to California and they can send lettuce back.

After thinking about solar roadways awhile, I'd rather spend all those resources on jet pack development.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby lpetrich » Sun 02 Nov 2014, 07:51:06

Progress in photovoltaic-cell canopies:

SolarCity and Zep Spice Up the Solar Carport Race : Greentech Media -- PV canopies for parking lots. Solar Carports and Structures by Park'n'Shade has some video about an innovative construction scheme: build the canopy framework, then slide in the solar panels.

Europe's first solar powered train tunnel goes live on Belgian high-speed line (video) (Engadget), Infrabel and Enfinity announce completion of 16,000-panel solar train tunnel (Gizmag) -- both have pictures of that PV-roofed tunnel. It's about 3 km / 2 mi long.

India's Largest Canal-Top Solar PV Plant To Come Online in Gujarat | CleanTechnica at about 10 megawatts. A 750-m / 2500-ft canal PV canopy at Narmada, built earlier, generates 1 MW.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Sat 08 Nov 2014, 12:52:17

The local authority-funded pilot scheme costing €3m ($3.7m) "SolaRoad" pilot cycle path is constructed with two lanes, one of which is made of prefabricated concrete slabs connected to the national grid. One lane is made of 2.5 by 3.5 meter slabs of concrete with an integrated layer of crystalline silicon solar cells and has a top layer of translucent, tempered safety glass (~1cm thick).
...
The short stretch of road is expected to generate enough electricity to power 2 or 3 average homes annually.

http://phys.org/news/2014-11-solaroad-w ... lands.html
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sat 08 Nov 2014, 14:19:41

Keith_McClary wrote:
The local authority-funded pilot scheme costing €3m ($3.7m) "SolaRoad" pilot cycle path is constructed with two lanes, one of which is made of prefabricated concrete slabs connected to the national grid. One lane is made of 2.5 by 3.5 meter slabs of concrete with an integrated layer of crystalline silicon solar cells and has a top layer of translucent, tempered safety glass (~1cm thick).
...
The short stretch of road is expected to generate enough electricity to power 2 or 3 average homes annually.

http://phys.org/news/2014-11-solaroad-w ... lands.html


Talk about a sense free solution! $3,700,000.00 for perhaps 3 homes is $1,233,333.34 per household. Even discounting for a twenty year lifetime that is a lot of money to supply a house with electricity.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby dinopello » Mon 17 Nov 2014, 06:54:03

Another MSM article on the solar road in the Netherlands with pictures.

It's really more a bike path than a road. The US would never build such a thing. Anything for cars would have the dilemma that it would typically be backed up with cars in traffic so no sun would get to the panels. And, most places in the US wouldn't build a path for silly little bicycles.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 21 Jan 2015, 15:47:58

Public Works: Could a Solar Power–Generating Road Someday Power Your Car?

An Amsterdam suburb now has a bike path that generates solar energy. On November 12, 2014, Dutch minister of economic affairs Henk Kamp unveiled a 70-metre cycle route in the commuter town of Krommenie, Netherlands, kicking off what could become national trend in power-producing roads.

Called SolaRoad, the innovation consists of 2.5-by-3.5-metre sheets of concrete, overlaid with crystalline silicon solar cells, and a centimetre-thick layer of protective, skid-resistant, tempered glass.

Kamp told reporters at the unveiling that the Netherlands aimed to triple its use of sustainable energy within five years and be energy-neutral by 2050.


Over the past year, the Netherlands has seen such eco-energy advances as solar panel “skins” retrofitted onto old houses and a bike path illuminated at night by millions of glowing, solar-powered nibs meant to look like van Gogh’s “Starry Night”.

“This could be a breakthrough in the field of sustainable energy supply,” writes Sten de Wit, one of the minds behind SolaRoad. “In particular, if the road concept will develop into a system, with which the generated electricity [powers] the vehicles driving on the road. Try to imagine that power will then be generated at the place where it is needed.”


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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Wed 13 May 2015, 00:30:50

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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Wed 13 May 2015, 02:05:12

Keith_McClary wrote:http://phys.org/news/2015-05-solaroad-path-electricity-yield.html


This seems, at this point, to be a WAY overhyped experiment. 3.5 MILLION Euros to generate a bit over 6000 KWH per year.

So this 70 meter long path of special tiles would power about 1.1 typical US houses a year, and they're all wound up about how much electricity is being generated.

http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=97&t=3

A public-private partnership in the Netherlands has such a pilot project going on, in the form of sunlight on the road surfaces converted into electricity, in the form of a bike path. The project participants for SolaRoad want the world to know that this project so far is looking good. SolaRoad is in a pilot phase for a three-year period; The Associated Press said that this was a 3.5-million Euro project.
The first six months of the pilot phase were successful, according to a SolaRoad press release issued earlier this month. The energy yield was beyond their expectations. Spokesperson Sten de Wit said they were surprised to see the level of success so quickly. Case in point: "The bike road opened half a year ago and already generated over 3,000 kWh," he said. "If we translate this to an annual yield, we expect more than the 70 kWh per square meter per year, which we predicted as an upper limit in the laboratory stage. We can therefore conclude that it was a successful first half year."
The engineers behind the bike path design had to develop a solar road that could not only have requisite strength but also resist skids. SolaRoad has been described as a "living lab" of about 70 meters.

I guess that wouldn't bother me, but then they claim they're thinking of charging the solar powered cars of the future continuously with "all" the power the road generates:
Looking to the future, TNO project manager Wim ven der Poel said, "Using this energy to charge electric cars while they are driving over the road is a beautiful dream, which might become reality. SolaRoad acts as a step towards a closed ecosystem. From mobility through energy back to mobility – which makes the circle complete."
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-05-solaroad-p ... d.html#jCp

So let's see. A Tesla Model S has about 70 KWH capacity in one of it's batteries (averaging the 60 and 85 KWH battery sizes). So they're going to charge a bazillion electric cars rolling over the road continuously, when a meter square chunk of road generates enough electricity to charge the car battery ONCE in an entire year (IF the electricity is used for NOTHING else).

Sure.

But wait! There's more. The article begins asserting lots of things that are going to be powered with "all" this capacity: :roll:
What a concept for a pilot project. Can't we change our roads into gigantic solar panels? Harvest energy from them? Get solar electricity from them, fed into the electricity grid and used for street lighting, traffic systems, households and electric cars?

I know these people want to justify their funding and all, but overselling by orders of magnitude seems a bit silly, even for those of a marketer's ilk.

OK. Now I get it. This would be "success" for a MILITARY project, right? Spend many billions of dollars for several miles of road with this. Charge a handful of cars and power a handful of houses and some traffic signals and street lights. Claim it is a "success". Replicate this to scale up to trillions of dollars.

Gee, it should be no problem, given all the spare $trillions every country has lying around in surplus. :lol: No, wait...
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Mon 01 Jun 2015, 06:28:04

Here is a video for the true believers in this technology. Watch until it sinks in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR574qhPSDY
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby lpetrich » Mon 15 Feb 2016, 22:47:14

Tanada's link titled: The stupidity that just won't die! Solar Cycleways and other snake oil!! - YouTube

Like finding out that a solar roadway has half the energy efficiency of rooftop solar panels. Thunderf00t, the video's author, mentions solar-panel canopies toward the end, and I agree that that makes *much* more sense than solar-panel roadways.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 16 Feb 2016, 00:21:34

4x0=0
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Fri 16 Aug 2019, 13:54:03

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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 16 Aug 2019, 14:15:06


Gee, this reminds me of Musk's "nearly indestructible" solar roof claims for Tesla.

You know, the panels which Tesla was supposedly going to sell in earth-blanketing quantities according to Musk, years ago.

Those same panels which are now supposed to enter TESTING on some roofs in 2H'19.

Those same panels which will be so heavy and so expensive as to be like Tesla cars: mostly impractical rich boy's toys.

I guess the good news is they did a small test before trying to roll it out to scale. But the bad news is, did the people who designed the fiasco HAVE THE FIRST CLUE, re durability requirements?
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 16 Aug 2019, 14:51:47

Here’s your answer, they didn’t account for LEAVES.

Who woulda thunk!
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 16 Aug 2019, 17:28:39

Newfie wrote:Here’s your answer, they didn’t account for LEAVES.

Who woulda thunk!

I could see not accounting for dirt / leaves reducing the solar output (though that should happen on rooftop solar panels too, at least to a large extent re the dirt), but somehow I think they missed something bigger like the VEHICLES, re all that damage so quickly.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 16 Aug 2019, 17:34:29

OK, I’ll try to not be snarky now.

The whole thing seemed a long shot from the start. I don’t understand how so many folks could have been caught up in the enthusiasm. But maybe this is just an example of how little of the physical world folks understand today.

Not a good thing.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby EdwinSm » Sat 17 Aug 2019, 05:41:35

Where it might work is in parking lots. Traffic is slower and there would be less wear and tear.

Looking at how badly the roads get around where, I live I hold out little hope for the top to be strong enough to cope with large vehicles (like tractors). Also I doubt it would last anywhere where a snow plough is needed.
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 17 Aug 2019, 06:33:08

Ed,

To my way of thinking it would make great sense to COVER parking lots with solar panels. I can think of a lot of advantages, but especially in warm places like Florida and Texas. It would shade the cars, cool the place, remove some of that heat the parking lots create, and provide rain cover. It is also a cost off set on otherwise non productive land. The down side is that they would require a substantial support structure and be susceptible to vehicular damage, but I think those things are within our grasp.

I see it happen occasionally, but very infrequently. Why? What am I missing?
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Re: THE Solar Road Thread (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 18 Aug 2019, 05:41:58

Thanks,

What amazes me is this simple and proven technology is bypassed for something so complex and risky.
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