Solar roads

American Scientists have come up with a concept for the development of solar roadways. Conventional petroleum-based asphalt roads shall be replaced by energy collecting solar panels.
The Panels will consist of three layers:

  1. Road surface layer, a high strengthen glass layer that resists the heaviest weight under any weather condition.
  2. Electronics layer, consisting of solar cells for energy collection and storage, as well as LEDs to generate road markings which will replace street lights and signs. Additional will this surface be able to release heat to melt down ice and snow.
  3. Base plate layer, the connection to everything that requires electricity. Besides providing power the layer will receive data (phone, TV, Internet, etc.) and allocate it. At last it will be the road protection from the bottom.

Each panel will be 12 x 12 foot with a cost of $6,900, generating 7,6 KW/h.
The costs of this project will be immense but if realizable it would be a groundbreaking step into an environment-friendly and non oil-based direction.
The intelligent Highway shall make the road a safer place, reducing the weather influences while driving to a minimum. Further on the solar road would support the use of electric cars due to the fact that he biggest problem for electric cars is the recharging.
But the capital benefit would be by far the bisection of greenhouse gases.
If the project can live up to its promises there will be many more advantage side effects.
After replacing all the Highways, streets and parking lots in the US Solar roads even goes as far as them planning to” solar road” the entire world. The lit half of the world would power the dark half.
If everything is really realizable cannot be said right now and if the needed money can be raised is also very unlikely but the department for transport invested $100.000 for the first test road.

For further information official hompage

References:
http://solarroadways.com
http://www.dailygreen.de/2009/08/30/amerikanische-wissenschaftler-entwicklen-solar-strasen-2180.html
http://www.rfid-im-blick.de/20100212501/strasse-wird-zum-solar-roadway.html
http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/energy-from-solar-roadways/
http://www.physorg.com/news171545860.html
http://green.autoblog.com/2009/08/28/solar-roadways-get-prototype-funding-from-dot/

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