Admittedly I'm a bit of a science geek. As a teenager, when my buddies were all reading Sports Illustrated and Hot Rod magazine, I was reading Popular Science from cover to cover. So when the idea of "Solar Roadways" popped up on my radar this week it pegged my attention meter.
These are not just the seeds of science fiction but the foundation of an invention that could alter reality.
Solar Roadways is a modular paving system loaded with solar cells and
LED lighting that could replace asphalt-based surfaceways and produce
an estimated three times as much energy as is used in the United States.
“A solar roadway is a
decentralized power grid, which can become the backbone of the new smart
grid,” says Scott Brusaw in a video on Solarroadways.com.
Brusaw, an electrical engineer based in Sandpoint, Idaho, and his wife
Julie have invented a prototype to test solar roadways in everyday use. The modular paving system is made of thick glass panels housing solar
cells, microprocessors, heating elements, LED lighting and fiberoptics.
Don’t confuse it with window pane glass—the panels have been tested to
handle 250,000 pounds and conceptually based on the indestructibility of
black boxes that are recovered from airplane accidents.
Not only can business or residences that use solar roadways sell
energy back to the grid in a smart grid society, but the heating
elements within the panels can melt snow. Yes, no snow shoveling or
plowing. And the LED lights can be programmed for traffic lines,
construction detours, warning sensors--any type of road indicator, so if
a pedestrian was crossing a crosswalk, it could light up; if there an
accident up ahead, the road could tell you; if you had to refigure a
parking lot for a big event, you could reprogram the lines. And they
could provide light at night. In the first phase of testing, Brusaw
found that low beam headlights aimed at the solar roadway at night could
generate energy in the solar cells.
In addition to that, it can pay for itself by producing three times more energy than we use as a country?
In the bigger picture, just think of the economic impact this could have on the U.S.. One engineer estimated that it would take 5 billion 12 foot by 12 foot panels to cover all the roadways in the US. That's a lot of manufacturing and a lot of jobs (as long as we keep it here in the states)! Keep your eye on Solar Roadways!
Author:Mark Mulch Phone: 972-841-2324 Dated: May 31st 2014 Views: 3,232 About Mark: An accomplished Realtor, small business owner, and Ironman triathlete, Mark excels in delivering a h...
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