A small United States company “Solar Roadways” is presently developing a road surface that may change the style of using energy. They’re making a road surface that is made of solar panels. If the solar road is fixed across the United States, it’d have the potential to yield more renewable energy than the country consumes.
A sample road has already been made and installed in a parking lot. Nowadays, the company is considering for funds in order to be able to make some improvements to the design and finally take it into production. The company plan is to design the glass solar panels in the shape of hexagons that are fitted with LED lighting. The panels can be fitted on various surfaces. According to Solar Roadways, the panels would pay for themselves, as well as benefit both homeowners and businesses alike.
The fresh pavement would generate adequate energy from parking lots and drives to power buildings, though extra energy from the panels would be sold back to the grid. Though the panels are made of glass, they’re not weak. In a beautiful demonstration, a truck weighing around 250,000 pounds was driven over the panels without inflicting any damage on them.
The other advantage is to built-in heating system that’d melt snow and ice on the roads and hence, lessen the weather-related accidents. The panels could even be used to charge electric vehicles sometime, using mutual induction panels that will charge the vehicles as it drives along the road. The panels can even use the energy from cars “headlights” meaning they could deliver power even at night. The glass used in making the panels is 10% recycled.
Furthermore, the panels would be wired to a network so any defective panel could be installed instantly. The cables are concealed in “corridors” to give the roads an aesthetically pleasing look and to make it tranquil for utility workers to gain access to the cables. Solar Roadways guesses that if they can cover the 31,000 square miles of roadways in America, they can produce three times extra energy than the country uses.
Indeed this is a massive claim and would greatly support the economy and the environment if brought into reality. Though, at the moment, the company needs a big amount of funds and has started an Indiegogo campaign. They’ve set a target of $1 million with which they hope to hire more engineers to support them to improve the design and create certain modifications. If company does meet their target, the project could be start at the end of year 2014. No doubt this is massive project and covering all of America's roads is sure to cost a lot more than their target.