Solar Roads Raises 1.4 in one month


I’m so hyped that this dream is moving forward.

The Future is Solar Powered!


I love this idea…why is this not in mainstream media?

Solar Freaking Roadways:

@ James It has been plastered all over Facebook. :slight_smile: That is where I first saw it.

And I agree, what a great idea. Will be interesting to see how their pilot projects go.

I like the idea however there are a number of things that I’m curious about, for example how much power does the road need at night for example (ie can’t be powered by sun light). Now certainly you can reduce power consumption by only powering LED markers etc in the vicinity of moving cars (say give them a 5 minute delay after stopping before shutting off local LED’s). And certainly while we are installing this road we could also include self navigated car controls as well.

Now the other side of my hat, loves this idea as tracking/locating folks become trivial once they are on the road (where they got on, where they got off, etc). Now of course depending on your view or this could be a good thing or a bad thing. A good thing for example would be if someone heads off into the ditch or off a bridge the road would alert you as to the accident and send out services. Speeding tickets could simply be mailed out to as the road would know when your speeding (there are any number of ways to identify the car). Stolen cars would be easier to find and say you could ‘lock’ your car and if it starts moving, then an alert could be sent out. There is a lot to think about when things ‘get smart’ as it opens all sorts of doors.

Sounds awesome. What sort of solar freakin’ protocol do you use to coordinate 3365 miles of LEDs on Route 20? I’m amazed when I see a large billboard of coordinated LEDs at a football game. Also, I seriously doubt the snow melting capacity of these things on solar power can keep up with a Michigan snow storm :smiley:

@ Ian, a Freaking Easy Protocol if you catch my drift (FEZ). I think the snow melting thing is that is melts the bottom layer of snow so that the top layer glides off.

It sounds neat, but is there any practical reason to use LEDs to illuminate (for example) a center strip over plain ol reflective paint? How often does a parking lot need to be reconfigured?

In my country some streets become one way in the morning and turn in to two way after lunch. It’s impossible to know when it changes back sometimes. LEDs would be very useful

The LED stop lights are having a problem with snow and ice. I wonder how this will be different.

We have that as well, it’s normally managed using overhead lights around here. This is convenient since you can see the overhead lights all the way down the road, so you can plan your lane changes ahead of time. This is especially nice when traffic is heavy, since you can’t see much of the road when it’s completely occupied with vehicles.

Have to agree on that one that even now with arrows on the road, it’s hard to see them when there is heavy traffic.

So very cool!
I do wonder how loud it will be. Tire noise is a bigger issue than most people realize.

Don’t get me wrong, I think turning roads into solar panels is a neat idea, but I’m skeptical that it’s practical.

Would it really be cheaper to put these roads in than it would be to put standard PV panels on poles next to the roads? If not, then one has to wonder why we’d do roads instead of something else.

@ godefroi, Apparently if you install them on the roads, the system pays for itself in longevity over the course of its life. The glass needs less maintenance and repair than asphalt. Or that was the plan anyways.

I guess the argument to be made is that roads have an inherent amount of real estate to take up. So this approach is using the exact same area for multiple purposes.

Having to install the panels on poles next to road would (1) require additional mounting land area (2) additional infrastructure to wire together and (3) would impact the “view” from the road (more about marketing the cities/town/area).

Oh boy, Google Will be Buying all of the interstate highway … we are doomed…

Graffiti will turn digital, think of the weird stuff people will do once they hack the boards and write/draw things with those LEDs.

I don’t have to tell you how election weeks will be… all kinds of things plastered on our roads…

Then again none of the above would happen only if We lived in a perfect world.

Great idea, not for our generation I’m afraid…

What happens to glass when it gets wet? ???

@ Mike, The texture pattern on the surface displaces the water so your tires stick just as good as or better than asphalt. (Again this is the intention).

It’s that exactly that makes me wonder about the noise as well. I also wonder what snowplows will do to these glass bumps. A 2000lb plow blade at 45mph might do interesting things :wink:

As for space, it’s not clear to me that we’re short on space. Beyond simple home-mounted PV panels, which have come down a LOT in recent years, the numbers claim that 1% of each of the world’s deserts could produce over 150 times the amount of electricity we currently use. Maybe it’s because where I am there’s plenty of desert available, but it doesn’t seem to me we’re short on space.