The Flat Earth Society

Other Discussion Boards => Science & Alternative Science => Topic started by: rooster on May 23, 2014, 07:06:48 PM

Title: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 23, 2014, 07:06:48 PM
Just learned about this and I'm in love with the idea. How possible do you think this would be? Do you think it'll ever happen?

http://elitedaily.com/news/technology/need-convincing-solar-roadways-worth-funding-video-will-help/604220/

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/solar-roadways/x/7638461
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: DDDDAts all folks on May 23, 2014, 07:22:38 PM
I like the idea but is it cost effective?

Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 23, 2014, 07:29:26 PM
Quote
Solar Roadways has received two phases of funding from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration for research and development of a paving system that will pay for itself over its lifespan.
...
The implementation of our concept on a grand scale could  create thousands of jobs in the U.S. and around the world. It could allow us all the ability to manufacture our way out of our current economic crisis.

Seems so to me. It seems like it's nothing but positives.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Ghost of V on May 23, 2014, 07:32:46 PM
Technological kick-starter funded pipe dream.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 23, 2014, 07:39:50 PM
pipe dream.
Why's that? They're ambitious, but if it worked well enough in small settings then it could take off.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Ghost of V on May 23, 2014, 07:44:45 PM
pipe dream.
Why's that? They're ambitious, but if it worked well enough in small settings then it could take off.

I just don't see it happening. If it works in a small environment, great. The cost and work of replacing each roadway with solar panels is a ridiculous endeavor. I can see it maybe being adopted by some small (but densely populated) cities, but other than that...
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: DDDDAts all folks on May 23, 2014, 07:44:52 PM
I think this may take off once they've figured out how to store renewable energy more efficiently.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: DDDDAts all folks on May 23, 2014, 07:46:40 PM
pipe dream.
Why's that? They're ambitious, but if it worked well enough in small settings then it could take off.

I just don't see it happening. If it works in a small environment, great. The cost and work of replacing each roadway with solar panels is a ridiculous endeavor. I can see it maybe being adopted by some small (but densely populated) cities, but other than that...

I think it would be a local thing. We have wind farms here in the UK which have been funded by a local community in return for free/cheaper electricity.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 23, 2014, 07:50:26 PM
I just don't see it happening. If it works in a small environment, great. The cost and work of replacing each roadway with solar panels is a ridiculous endeavor. I can see it maybe being adopted by some small (but densely populated) cities, but other than that...
I think it would definitely take time. But if it worked so effectively and had nothing but benefits, then it would be stupid not to. Maybe they would start in small cities, and then all new roadways would be made from solar panels, and then they would slowly start replacing interstates and back-roads.

But I think that other countries would pick it up quicker. Places like Malaysia and South Korea.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on May 23, 2014, 08:27:30 PM
I've been following them for some time now.

I think it'll work once we get the infrastructure in place.  It'll be a lot of work, but once done it'll be there for future roads.  Right now we basically have black stuff on the ground and call it a road.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 23, 2014, 09:50:02 PM
I still don't see the ultimate purpose for these. We aren't exactly running out of space to put solar panels, which are cheaper, more efficient, easier to install, and won't have cars driving around on them all day. I really don't see these ever catching on or being anything more than a novelty.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: HHunter on May 23, 2014, 10:17:39 PM
I still don't see the ultimate purpose for these. We aren't exactly running out of space to put solar panels, which are cheaper, more efficient, easier to install, and won't have cars driving around on them all day. I really don't see these ever catching on or being anything more than a novelty.

Saves space, less vulnerable to wind, will be handled professionally, can save money, stuff like that. It's a really good idea.

Largest issue: Big oil won't be having any of this, at least in America.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 23, 2014, 10:28:08 PM
Saves space

We're not exactly low on this.

, less vulnerable to wind,

Solar panels aren't vulnerable to wind, unless you're talking about particulates, which definitely applies to a solar panel that is on the ground.

will be handled professionally

What does this have to do with it? Are you implying non-road solar panels are automatically done by amateurs?

, can save money

These solar panels cost loads more just to manufacture, the installation and infrastructure cost, not to mention maintenance, will be astronomical.

, stuff like that. It's a really good idea.

It's an absolutely awful idea.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on May 23, 2014, 10:47:21 PM
I still don't see the ultimate purpose for these. We aren't exactly running out of space to put solar panels, which are cheaper, more efficient, easier to install, and won't have cars driving around on them all day. I really don't see these ever catching on or being anything more than a novelty.
1. Can't be done on private homes by the government.
2. This can be an incentive for local businesses to go to an area.  "Hey, if you move here, you can get energy from our main street solar panels".
3. Maintenance is going to be far easier than asphault.  Broken panel?  No problem.  Replace it in minutes.  Asphalt requires you to either fill a pot hole or rip up the whole road and repave it, which can take days.
4. Plow trucks (for us snow prone areas) won't be required.  And ice has a hard time getting into solid glass.  Not saying it isn't possible, just saying it's not as vulnerable as asphalt.
5. Easy access to underground infrastructure.  Yes it's a pain to create but once done, there's no longer a need to block off a road, pull up the area you need, and access all the wires under it.  The access ways for the solar systems provide access to the other underground wires like power, data, gas lines, etc...

All in all, it's a very expensive undertaking but one, I feel, will put us in a better spot down the road.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 23, 2014, 10:58:08 PM
4. Plow trucks (for us snow prone areas) won't be required.  And ice has a hard time getting into solid glass.  Not saying it isn't possible, just saying it's not as vulnerable as asphalt.
The solar panels will be heated so ice wouldn't be a problem.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on May 24, 2014, 12:41:51 AM
4. Plow trucks (for us snow prone areas) won't be required.  And ice has a hard time getting into solid glass.  Not saying it isn't possible, just saying it's not as vulnerable as asphalt.
The solar panels will be heated so ice wouldn't be a problem.
They won't be heated 100% of the time.  Just to melt snow.  Which will then freeze later.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 24, 2014, 12:49:26 AM
They won't be heated 100% of the time.  Just to melt snow.  Which will then freeze later.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlTA3rnpgzU

It won't let me tag a time, I think there was a work-around but I don't remember what it was. Start the video at 1:15. Sure sounds like it would be heated constantly, they would have the energy for it. Plus, it looks like water runs off pretty easily.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 24, 2014, 01:17:47 AM
Heat is a byproduct of the photoelectric effect.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on May 24, 2014, 01:25:38 AM
Heat is a byproduct of the photoelectric effect.

They won't be heated 100% of the time.  Just to melt snow.  Which will then freeze later.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlTA3rnpgzU

It won't let me tag a time, I think there was a work-around but I don't remember what it was. Start the video at 1:15. Sure sounds like it would be heated constantly, they would have the energy for it. Plus, it looks like water runs off pretty easily.
Fair enough.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: HHunter on May 24, 2014, 01:37:04 AM
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We're not exactly low on this.
Most first world nations don't have a lot of space. And in any case, saving any space rather than destroying and fracturing habitats is always beneficial.

Quote
Solar panels aren't vulnerable to wind, unless you're talking about particulates, which definitely applies to a solar panel that is on the ground.

Directional panels are very vulnerable to wind, and can be damaged by high winds.

Solar panels that sit flat on the roof will usually cause that part of the roof to rise a little bit above the rest of the roof. This can lead to these panels being blown off in high winds.

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What does this have to do with it? Are you implying non-road solar panels are automatically done by amateurs?

Many private solar panels are in situations such as being placed on someone's roof. However, when there's an issue with the panel, people will either not realize it, or improperly try to fix it themselves, rather than hire a professional. The same phenomenon can be seen when comparing septic tanks to centralized treatment plants. When these utilities are decentralized, the level of professional maintenance is decreased, which causes issues in the functioning of the item. However the centralized treatment plants are much more able to employ dedicated professionals to deal with maintinence.

The same goes for solar roads. They will be centralized, government-controlled source of productions of solar energy. Therefore, these roads will likely be better maintenance than decentralized, private panels.

Quote
These solar panels cost loads more just to manufacture, the installation and infrastructure cost, not to mention maintenance, will be astronomical.

You had to subtract the costs of asphalt placement and removal and maintinence. You also have to subtract the costs of the solar panels that would otherwise be used to produce this power. Centralized production in cases like these will often be much more efficient than decentralized solar energy production.

Quote
It's an absolutely awful idea.

They said TVs were awful ideas. Look where we are now.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 24, 2014, 03:48:25 AM
Most first world nations don't have a lot of space. And in any case, saving any space rather than destroying and fracturing habitats is always beneficial.

Your definition of first world nation must differ from mine then, because as I see it all of them have loads of empty space.

Directional panels are very vulnerable to wind, and can be damaged by high winds.

Solar panels that sit flat on the roof will usually cause that part of the roof to rise a little bit above the rest of the roof. This can lead to these panels being blown off in high winds.

I'm not inherently worried about hurricanes hitting solar farms, since they tend not to be near the coast.


Many private solar panels are in situations such as being placed on someone's roof. However, when there's an issue with the panel, people will either not realize it, or improperly try to fix it themselves, rather than hire a professional. The same phenomenon can be seen when comparing septic tanks to centralized treatment plants. When these utilities are decentralized, the level of professional maintenance is decreased, which causes issues in the functioning of the item. However the centralized treatment plants are much more able to employ dedicated professionals to deal with maintinence.

The same goes for solar roads. They will be centralized, government-controlled source of productions of solar energy. Therefore, these roads will likely be better maintenance than decentralized, private panels.

If the government is doing it, you can be guaranteed the maintenance will be even worse. I should know, I work for them.


You had to subtract the costs of asphalt placement and removal and maintinence. You also have to subtract the costs of the solar panels that would otherwise be used to produce this power. Centralized production in cases like these will often be much more efficient than decentralized solar energy production.

Centralized solutions to large problems should always be avoided.

They said TVs were awful ideas. Look where we are now.

Who is this "they" person and why is their opinion relevant?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 24, 2014, 03:55:34 AM
Most first world nations don't have a lot of space. And in any case, saving any space rather than destroying and fracturing habitats is always beneficial.
Your definition of first world nation must differ from mine then, because as I see it all of them have loads of empty space.
That's odd.  First world nations aren't up for debate. The blue are first world nations. The USA, Canada, Greenland, and Australia are the only ones with "loads of space" depending on how you define the quantifier "loads".

(http://i62.tinypic.com/3477d4g.png)
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 24, 2014, 03:57:24 AM
That's odd. First world nations aren't up for debate. The blue are first world nations. The USA, Canada, Greenland, and Australia are the only ones with "loads of space" depending on how you define the quantifier "loads".

Europe also has rather huge swathes of low population density (i.e. empty space). You'd be amazed at how much of a country's population is packed into tiny spaces.

(http://media.web.britannica.com/eb-media/26/52826-004-B9954E3E.gif)


The only country with a problem seems to be Germany.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 24, 2014, 04:05:05 AM
You're leaving out a few densely populated countries there: England, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Poland. Honestly, that looks pretty crowded to me except for Spain, Russia, and the northern countries. And you're leaving out the other first world nations that are not in Europe.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 24, 2014, 04:16:53 AM
You're leaving out a few densely populated countries there: England, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Poland. Honestly, that looks pretty crowded to me except for Spain, Russia, and the northern countries.

Anything that isn't red is room for solar panels, and there is a lot of it.

And you're leaving out the other first world nations that are not in Europe.

You mean all the ones with vast areas of empty space? Which first world country doesn't have any space at all?

Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 24, 2014, 04:24:35 AM
You mean all the ones with vast areas of empty space? Which first world country doesn't have any space at all?
Ooh, so your definition of "loads of space" just means any empty space at all. That makes more sense now.

But this doesn't even really matter sense saving space wasn't even one of the big beneficial factors.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 24, 2014, 04:30:21 AM
Ooh, so your definition of "loads of space" just means any empty space at all. That makes more sense now.

Well it was really just defined as the ability to place solar farms. Seeing as how there is no first world country that has ever said "we have no places to put things anymore!" it was never an issue.

But this doesn't even really matter sense saving space wasn't even one of the big beneficial factors.

Then why of all the points I made you picked this one to attack?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 24, 2014, 04:47:19 AM
Then why of all the points I made you picked this one to attack?
I had to look back at why you were even arguing about saving space.

Solar roadways are not just for energy, did you watch the video?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 24, 2014, 04:49:10 AM
I had to look back at why you were even arguing about saving space.

Solar roadways are not just for energy, did you watch the video?

I read all of the relevant material a few months back when Dave posted this exact same thing and I still think it is a terrible idea.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 24, 2014, 04:55:12 AM
I had to look back at why you were even arguing about saving space.

Solar roadways are not just for energy, did you watch the video?

I read all of the relevant material a few months back when Dave posted this exact same thing and I still think it is a terrible idea.
I don't know what he posted but this may have more information. And so far you haven't really said anything as to why you think it's a terrible idea. If you think it's just a novelty that won't catch on that's a bit different than it being a terrible idea.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: HHunter on May 24, 2014, 05:21:30 AM
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Your definition of first world nation must differ from mine then, because as I see it all of them have loads of empty space.

Rooster already demonstrated the issues of this statement. Most first world countries have little amounts of open space, and the little that is left is preserved land.

Quote
I'm not inherently worried about hurricanes hitting solar farms, since they tend not to be near the coast.

That's rather naive, high-wind events can occur in many situations, including, but not limited to, hurricanes.

Quote
If the government is doing it, you can be guaranteed the maintenance will be even worse.

From what i've studied, government maintenance is consistently superior to individual private maintenance in all areas.

Quote
I should know, I work for them.

Irrelevant.

Quote
Centralized solutions to large problems should always be avoided.

Centralized solutions are consistently superior to decentralized solutions.

Quote
Who is this "they" person and why is their opinion relevant?

They is a multidimensional being that is almost always correct.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: jroa on May 24, 2014, 06:45:42 AM
It seems to me that, if you want to create electricity by having light penetrate a clear surface, the last thing you would want is for it to have cars drive over/on it.  Rubber is not transparent, and dirty oil is not either.  Not to mention the scratches from little rocks imbedded in the tires.  Plus, the panel does not make electricity when a car is directly over it.  This seems like the dumbest idea I have seen in a while.  Why don't they put put the panels a couple of meters in the air along side the roads?  This would make more sense. 
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Vongeo on May 24, 2014, 07:38:18 AM
Unless they sell like apple products or the brand new soda targeted at trendy teens, popularity probably won't take off.

People aren't even putting solar panels on roofs yet popularly.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Ghost of V on May 24, 2014, 07:46:12 AM
I was thinking exactly what jroa said. How will soral panel roads be protected from the very thing theyre made for? It will be like driving on a thin sheet of glass...
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on May 24, 2014, 01:01:37 PM
It seems to me that, if you want to create electricity by having light penetrate a clear surface, the last thing you would want is for it to have cars drive over/on it.  Rubber is not transparent, and dirty oil is not either.  Not to mention the scratches from little rocks imbedded in the tires.  Plus, the panel does not make electricity when a car is directly over it.  This seems like the dumbest idea I have seen in a while.  Why don't they put put the panels a couple of meters in the air along side the roads?  This would make more sense.
While the efficiency is reduced its balanced out by the volume. 

As for the rubber and oil, how often do cars leave rubber trails?  And how often do they leak oil?
Add to that glass which isn't as permiable as asphalt and normal rain may take care of the problem.  But that's something the prototype will help answer.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 24, 2014, 02:56:49 PM
Rooster already demonstrated the issues of this statement. Most first world countries have little amounts of open space, and the little that is left is preserved land.

Did you even read that little bout she had? All she did was show the opposite to be true, that every country on the planet has a lot of free space.

That's rather naive, high-wind events can occur in many situations, including, but not limited to, hurricanes.

Sorry, I thought we were talking about winds high enough to tear off solar panels. Those are only present in hurricanes.

From what i've studied, government maintenance is consistently superior to individual private maintenance in all areas.

And you actually called me the naive one. Wow.

Centralized solutions are consistently superior to decentralized solutions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northeast_blackout_of_2003
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 24, 2014, 03:15:37 PM
It seems to me that, if you want to create electricity by having light penetrate a clear surface, the last thing you would want is for it to have cars drive over/on it.  Rubber is not transparent, and dirty oil is not either.  Not to mention the scratches from little rocks imbedded in the tires.  Plus, the panel does not make electricity when a car is directly over it.  This seems like the dumbest idea I have seen in a while.  Why don't they put put the panels a couple of meters in the air along side the roads?  This would make more sense. 
So you think there are cars covering all the roads all the time?

And the glass is not weak or thin. They've been through 2 rounds of testing and have exceeded all requirements concerning weight and traction.

Plus, it's their hope to have this on sidewalks, driveways, and as sport courts in parks.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: jroa on May 24, 2014, 06:04:40 PM
As for the rubber and oil, how often do cars leave rubber trails?  And how often do they leak oil?
Add to that glass which isn't as permiable as asphalt and normal rain may take care of the problem.  But that's something the prototype will help answer.

Car tires constantly shed rubber.  It's what happends when a thing like friction occurs.  That is why tires wear out.  Or did you think that tires wear due to evaporation? 

Also, no matter how well engineered a car is, it will inevitably have a little less oil when you take it to have the oil changed than it did when the oil was topped off last time.  Where do you think this oil went?  I have not even mentioned soot from the exhaust pipe. 

In addition, you have natural dirt, such as mud and dust.  How long do you think that the road will stay clean?

So you think there are cars covering all the roads all the time?

And the glass is not weak or thin. They've been through 2 rounds of testing and have exceeded all requirements concerning weight and traction.

Plus, it's their hope to have this on sidewalks, driveways, and as sport courts in parks.

Cars do not cover roads all the time.  However, if it is a semi-busy road, then there should be less than two seconds between cars.  So, let's just say any spot on a road has a car on it 1/3 of the time.  Would it not be 33% more efficient to have the panel above the cars? 

The glass being strong or weak really has nothing to do with this.  Glass will eventually be scrached, reducing the efficientcy.  Are you suggesting that they have magical glass that never scratches? 

This all sounds like a scam.  It sounds like these people are trying to make money off of a pipe dream, fed by green hopes.   
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: jroa on May 24, 2014, 06:09:39 PM
While the efficiency is reduced its balanced out by the volume. 

Do you even understand what efficiency is?  You are basically saying that an engine that is 90% efficient is equally efficient as 9 engines that are 10% efficient.  Have you ever had a math or science class that discussed the meaning of efficiency?  Serious question here. 
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 24, 2014, 06:18:43 PM
Cars do not cover roads all the time.  However, if it is a semi-busy road, then there should be less than two seconds between cars.  So, let's just say any spot on a road has a car on it 1/3 of the time.  Would it not be 33% more efficient to have the panel above the cars? 

The glass being strong or weak really has nothing to do with this.  Glass will eventually be scrached, reducing the efficientcy.  Are you suggesting that they have magical glass that never scratches? 

This all sounds like a scam.  It sounds like these people are trying to make money off of a pipe dream, fed by green hopes.   
It seems like you didn't watch the video either. If all cement and asphalt are replaced by solar panels then you don't even have to worry about the busy roads since there is more than enough sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots that are not being covered by cars to make up for the busy ones. And it's not just about the energy. There are benefits to these solar panels being placed specifically underneath cars.

If a panel gets damaged it is easily and quickly replaced. I'm sure you know what happens when a road gets damaged. Construction crews have to come out and clog up traffic for extended periods of time just to strip and repave the road.

And it's not a scam, "Solar Roadways has received two phases of funding from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration for research and development of a paving system that will pay for itself over its lifespan." This pipe dream is just to get the first prototype parking lot which they inevitably will get.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: jroa on May 24, 2014, 06:50:25 PM
It seems like you didn't watch the video either. If all cement and asphalt are replaced by solar panels then you don't even have to worry about the busy roads since there is more than enough sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots that are not being covered by cars to make up for the busy ones. And it's not just about the energy. There are benefits to these solar panels being placed specifically underneath cars.

If a panel gets damaged it is easily and quickly replaced. I'm sure you know what happens when a road gets damaged. Construction crews have to come out and clog up traffic for extended periods of time just to strip and repave the road.

And it's not a scam, "Solar Roadways has received two phases of funding from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration for research and development of a paving system that will pay for itself over its lifespan." This pipe dream is just to get the first prototype parking lot which they inevitably will get.

Why would thy not just put these on people's roofs?  Then, they would not have to worry about dirty cars driving over them.  In fact, they have actually done this already.  It is not cost efficient to this on roofs, yet somehow, it is cost efficient to put them on roads? 

Also, replacing the panels was not a point.  Yes, panels can be replaced.  The question is, how much energy goes into each panel compared to the amount of energy taken from each panel.  So far, we have yet to get a net gain in mass.  Putting the panels under cars would not incease the efficiency.

And finally, it can not be proved to not be a scam just because the Federal Highway Administration has given money to research the idea.  Somebody has already made a lot of money and no conclusive results have been achieved yet.  Is this not the definition of a scam? 
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 24, 2014, 07:14:54 PM
Why would thy not just put these on people's roofs?  Then, they would not have to worry about dirty cars driving over them.  In fact, they have actually done this already.  It is not cost efficient to this on roofs, yet somehow, it is cost efficient to put them on roads? 

Yes, because you didn't watch the video you don't see the many benefits that come with it outside of solar energy. Warning signs to prevent accidents, heated roads which would keep businesses and schools open during the winter, better water drainage, wires would be running in a corridor underground rather than above ground power lines, quick construction, using recycled materials for manufacturing, etc.

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And finally, it can not be proved to not be a scam just because the Federal Highway Administration has given money to research the idea.  Somebody has already made a lot of money and no conclusive results have been achieved yet.  Is this not the definition of a scam? 

lol, wut? Don't you need to have prototypes on the road for it to have conclusive results? You can't have a conclusive results without going through the whole scientific method first. So far, their claims seem solid and substantiated.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on May 24, 2014, 07:46:47 PM
As for the rubber and oil, how often do cars leave rubber trails?  And how often do they leak oil?
Add to that glass which isn't as permiable as asphalt and normal rain may take care of the problem.  But that's something the prototype will help answer.

Car tires constantly shed rubber.  It's what happends when a thing like friction occurs.  That is why tires wear out.  Or did you think that tires wear due to evaporation? 
I am fully aware that tires eventually wear out due to friction.  What they don't usually do, however, is leave large deposits of rubber on the road.  The normal wear on a tire grinds the rubber into fine particles which ends up being nothing more than dust.  Dust which is quite nicely washed away with the rain.


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Also, no matter how well engineered a car is, it will inevitably have a little less oil when you take it to have the oil changed than it did when the oil was topped off last time.  Where do you think this oil went?
Oil burns up and becomes carbon deposits in the engine itself.  Yes gaskets do eventually leak but on a brand new car the oil will not leak out in any location.  On older cars, oil will begin to leak from gaskets.  Most notably the engine block gasket and the cylinder gaskets.  But the oil leak is very slow and won't have any noticeable impact on the road.  Especially in locations where rain exists.

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I have not even mentioned soot from the exhaust pipe. 
You mean the soot that is fine dust particles that often times are blown into the air by moving vehicles?  Yes, I can see how that's a problem...

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In addition, you have natural dirt, such as mud and dust.  How long do you think that the road will stay clean?
Until the next time it rains. 

Seriously, if these issues were actually a problem, why are painted lines still vislble?  Surely they'd have been covered by dust, dirt, mud, soot, rubber, and oil by now.


Do you even understand what efficiency is?  You are basically saying that an engine that is 90% efficient is equally efficient as 9 engines that are 10% efficient.  Have you ever had a math or science class that discussed the meaning of efficiency?  Serious question here. 
No.  I'm saying that a mass produced set of 10 panels, operating at 1/10 the potential (if no cars were on them) would produce as much as 1 panel operating at full potential (no cars).


It seems like you didn't watch the video either. If all cement and asphalt are replaced by solar panels then you don't even have to worry about the busy roads since there is more than enough sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots that are not being covered by cars to make up for the busy ones. And it's not just about the energy. There are benefits to these solar panels being placed specifically underneath cars.

If a panel gets damaged it is easily and quickly replaced. I'm sure you know what happens when a road gets damaged. Construction crews have to come out and clog up traffic for extended periods of time just to strip and repave the road.

And it's not a scam, "Solar Roadways has received two phases of funding from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration for research and development of a paving system that will pay for itself over its lifespan." This pipe dream is just to get the first prototype parking lot which they inevitably will get.

Why would thy not just put these on people's roofs?  Then, they would not have to worry about dirty cars driving over them.  In fact, they have actually done this already.  It is not cost efficient to this on roofs, yet somehow, it is cost efficient to put them on roads? 

Also, replacing the panels was not a point.  Yes, panels can be replaced.  The question is, how much energy goes into each panel compared to the amount of energy taken from each panel.  So far, we have yet to get a net gain in mass.  Putting the panels under cars would not increase the efficiency.

And finally, it can not be proved to not be a scam just because the Federal Highway Administration has given money to research the idea.  Somebody has already made a lot of money and no conclusive results have been achieved yet.  Is this not the definition of a scam? 
No conclusive results?
Are you suggesting that a parking lot prototype isn't conclusive results?
Currently their prototype parking lot is producing more energy than their shop requires.


If it really was a scam, making a working prototype would seem to be a very expensive way to conduct said scam.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: HHunter on May 24, 2014, 08:08:49 PM
Quote
Did you even read that little bout she had? All she did was show the opposite to be true, that every country on the planet has a lot of free space.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/1c/Europe_land_use_map.png)

Yellow land is land currently being used by humans. Much of the green land that is left is preserved. Please explain how this is "a lot of free space". Most other first world countries (such as south korea and japan) have the same issues.

Quote
Sorry, I thought we were talking about winds high enough to tear off solar panels. Those are only present in hurricanes.

See: Severe Weather
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Severe_weather
Quote
And you actually called me the naive one. Wow.

See Privately Owned and Decentralized Septic Tanks vs. Centralized, Government Water Treatment Plants

Quote
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northeast_blackout_of_2003

Thank you for providing a single example. For more on Decentralization vs. Centralization, see:

Global Warming
Ozone Depletion
Oil Spills
Gay Marriage in America
Slavery in America
Civil Rights in America
Feudalism
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 24, 2014, 08:29:17 PM
Yellow land is land currently being used by humans. Much of the green land that is left is preserved. Please explain how this is "a lot of free space". Most other first world countries (such as south korea and japan) have the same issues.

Okay, so let me get this straight, your argument is that there is literally no space at all left for anything in Europe? If the German government wants to build a new, well, anything, they fling their arms into the air and say "we don't have any room for anything!"

...Really?

See: Severe Weather
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Severe_weather

No winds outside of a tornado or hurricane is going to damage a solar panel. You're just spouting nonsense at this point.

Edit: Uh oh, looks like I was wrong. Better mark hurricanes off the list:

http://1bog.org/yes-solar-panels-can-survive-a-hurricane/

See Privately Owned and Decentralized Septic Tanks vs. Centralized, Government Water Treatment Plants

Yes, septic tanks are much better.

Thank you for providing a single example. For more on Decentralization vs. Centralization, see:

Global Warming
Ozone Depletion
Oil Spills
Gay Marriage in America
Slavery in America
Civil Rights in America
Feudalism

What exactly is your point? Have you given up? Also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: DuckDodgers on May 24, 2014, 10:50:01 PM
The rubber deposits and damage to the panels seem to be the biggest problem to me.  If you have driven on a highway, you have undoubtedly seen tire marks from where someone had to break hard, I see countless spots on my fifty mile commute to and from work.  In fact, new marks are appearing every couple of days.  Though this problem might be solved with periodic street cleaning.  In my mind it seems like it would be pretty easy to damage the panels, causing them to need to be replaced pretty frequently.  A fairly serious crash would likely cause damage to quite a few panels (depending on speed and size of vehicle).  I also see quite a few gouges in the road during my commute, which on an asphalt road is not a problem but a solar panel road would at least cause the panel to be defective but could lead to loose glass in a worst case scenario.  Just this past week we had a tractor trailer tip over and leak gas onto the road in my direction, there was a section of about 20-50 feet of roadway with tread marks and gouges in the road, along with severely marked up portions on the shoulder.  Which also makes me curious about vehicle fires and their effect on the panels.

All of this is said without me having watched the video yet, so if they did address my concerns sufficiently in them I apologize.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 24, 2014, 11:04:20 PM
The rubber deposits and damage to the panels seem to be the biggest problem to me.  If you have driven on a highway, you have undoubtedly seen tire marks from where someone had to break hard, I see countless spots on my fifty mile commute to and from work.  In fact, new marks are appearing every couple of days.  Though this problem might be solved with periodic street cleaning.  In my mind it seems like it would be pretty easy to damage the panels, causing them to need to be replaced pretty frequently.  A fairly serious crash would likely cause damage to quite a few panels (depending on speed and size of vehicle).  I also see quite a few gouges in the road during my commute, which on an asphalt road is not a problem but a solar panel road would at least cause the panel to be defective but could lead to loose glass in a worst case scenario.  Just this past week we had a tractor trailer tip over and leak gas onto the road in my direction, there was a section of about 20-50 feet of roadway with tread marks and gouges in the road, along with severely marked up portions on the shoulder.  Which also makes me curious about vehicle fires and their effect on the panels.

All of this is said without me having watched the video yet, so if they did address my concerns sufficiently in them I apologize.
They did not address it in the video.

It seems like the obvious concern so I'm sure it's not as likely as we think it is. The panels exceeded testing requirements which is a good sign right there.

And then there is this nice FAQ link which I just found. http://www.solarroadways.com/faq.shtml

EDIT: They have an answer for every question and concern that's been raised in this thread so naysayers should read it.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 24, 2014, 11:29:19 PM
They plan to use textured glass as a means to enable friction, which is additionally an awful idea compounded with my other points. Throughout the FAQ they seem to vastly underestimate the amount of wear and tear a road has to handle. I would be very interested in knowing the coefficient of friction on them and how well they withstand such friction applied nonstop.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: HHunter on May 25, 2014, 12:26:18 AM
Quote
Okay, so let me get this straight, your argument is that there is literally no space at all left for anything in Europe? If the German government wants to build a new, well, anything, they fling their arms into the air and say "we don't have any room for anything!"

...Really?

Thanks for the straw man: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man . How ironic.

Quote
No winds outside of a tornado or hurricane is going to damage a solar panel. You're just spouting nonsense at this point.

Edit: Uh oh, looks like I was wrong. Better mark hurricanes off the list:

http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2012/1119/Are-renewables-stormproof-Hurricane-Sandy-tests-solar-wind.
Damage on solar panels by a weak hurricane. Easily debunked.

Severe storms can have wind speeds not related to tornadoes above 150 miles per hour. As shown by Hurricane Sandy, sustained tropical storm-force winds are enough to damage solar panels.

Quote
Yes, septic tanks are much better.

No, septic tanks are well known suffer from inadequate maintenance and upkeep from their owners. Often septic tanks will be found polluting the local water supplies with nitrogen and other detrimental substances.

Quote
What exactly is your point? Have you given up? Also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man
You gave an example against my point. I gate multiple examples supporting my point. Do you not understand what a straw man is?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: DuckDodgers on May 25, 2014, 12:40:58 AM
The rubber deposits and damage to the panels seem to be the biggest problem to me.  If you have driven on a highway, you have undoubtedly seen tire marks from where someone had to break hard, I see countless spots on my fifty mile commute to and from work.  In fact, new marks are appearing every couple of days.  Though this problem might be solved with periodic street cleaning.  In my mind it seems like it would be pretty easy to damage the panels, causing them to need to be replaced pretty frequently.  A fairly serious crash would likely cause damage to quite a few panels (depending on speed and size of vehicle).  I also see quite a few gouges in the road during my commute, which on an asphalt road is not a problem but a solar panel road would at least cause the panel to be defective but could lead to loose glass in a worst case scenario.  Just this past week we had a tractor trailer tip over and leak gas onto the road in my direction, there was a section of about 20-50 feet of roadway with tread marks and gouges in the road, along with severely marked up portions on the shoulder.  Which also makes me curious about vehicle fires and their effect on the panels.

All of this is said without me having watched the video yet, so if they did address my concerns sufficiently in them I apologize.
They did not address it in the video.

It seems like the obvious concern so I'm sure it's not as likely as we think it is. The panels exceeded testing requirements which is a good sign right there.

And then there is this nice FAQ link which I just found. http://www.solarroadways.com/faq.shtml

EDIT: They have an answer for every question and concern that's been raised in this thread so naysayers should read it.
Thanks for that link, it was pretty informative.  I'm still a bit apprehensive about car tire tread marks though.  They mentioned about bicycle tire marks coming off using their finger and speculated that the next vehicle tire would remove or loosen the material, until they test this I'll remain a bit apprehensive about it.  I'm also wondering how bad sinkhole country will be for this.  Currently they can just slap on a metal slab over the hole until they can take care of it, you can't exactly secure a metal slab to glass panels easily.

It'll definitely be interesting to see the before and after of a test town, cost of making a new asphalt road vs. solar road, cost of maintenance, road closer statistics, etc.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on May 25, 2014, 12:50:56 AM
They plan to use textured glass as a means to enable friction, which is additionally an awful idea compounded with my other points. Throughout the FAQ they seem to vastly underestimate the amount of wear and tear a road has to handle. I would be very interested in knowing the coefficient of friction on them and how well they withstand such friction applied nonstop.
Plan?
Err... have.
They have used textured glass.  On their parking lot.

Do people not see the pictures?!

http://www.solarroadways.com/hirespics.html (http://www.solarroadways.com/hirespics.html)

The frictional coefficient is at least as high as asphalt.

And what do you think glass is, some horribly fragile material?  Haven't you ever heard of bullet-proof glass?

As for load:
http://www.wired.com/2014/05/solar-road/ (http://www.wired.com/2014/05/solar-road/)

250,000 pounds.
Not f*cking bad for glass!

And really, what kind of damage is a road going to have?  Car crashes usually end with a car hitting an object at high speeds, not the road.  In roll over cases, the force of the impact is going to be minor.  The only time you'd have something heavy hit the road with enough momentum to do serious damage is a trailer carrying very heavy objects (steel beam or what not) that crashes down and skids.  Or even just a tractor trailer that rolls over with a full load.

Your standard sedan?  Not so much.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 25, 2014, 12:58:34 AM
Yeah, I think there's this assumption of the glass being really fragile. But think about it, they wouldn't seriously consider this as an option if the glass were not able to withstand the obvious traction/impact concerns.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on May 25, 2014, 01:04:28 AM
Yeah, I think there's this assumption of the glass being really fragile. But think about it, they wouldn't seriously consider this as an option if the glass were not able to withstand the obvious traction/impact concerns.

It's passed all civil engineering tests required of any road material.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 25, 2014, 01:07:36 AM
Yeah, I think there's this assumption of the glass being really fragile. But think about it, they wouldn't seriously consider this as an option if the glass were not able to withstand the obvious traction/impact concerns.

It's passed all civil engineering tests required of any road material.
Yes, I know. I've already stated that before. But people hear "glass" and they think of shattering, fragile glass.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 25, 2014, 02:03:09 AM
Plan?
Err... have.
They have used textured glass.  On their parking lot.

Do people not see the pictures?!

http://www.solarroadways.com/hirespics.html (http://www.solarroadways.com/hirespics.html)

The frictional coefficient is at least as high as asphalt.

And what do you think glass is, some horribly fragile material?  Haven't you ever heard of bullet-proof glass?

As for load:
http://www.wired.com/2014/05/solar-road/ (http://www.wired.com/2014/05/solar-road/)

250,000 pounds.
Not f*cking bad for glass!

And really, what kind of damage is a road going to have?  Car crashes usually end with a car hitting an object at high speeds, not the road.  In roll over cases, the force of the impact is going to be minor.  The only time you'd have something heavy hit the road with enough momentum to do serious damage is a trailer carrying very heavy objects (steel beam or what not) that crashes down and skids.  Or even just a tractor trailer that rolls over with a full load.

Your standard sedan?  Not so much.

I'm not worried about the glass working for a parking lot where cars don't move quickly and frictional energy is low. I do know, however, is that cars have a lot of forward force, meaning a lot of energy transferred via friction. This is how pot holes come about, because sections of asphalt get worn by the sheer force of car tires all day. I question how much force this glass can handle day after day without becoming worn. Cars are essentially big sand paper grinders on asphalt. I don't know if you've taken sand paper to glass recently, but it doesn't take much friction to sheer particles off.

While this glass is probably tougher, I very much question how much frictional force it can take before becoming smooth. The fact that they need to texture the glass at all should be a red flag for safety.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on May 25, 2014, 02:19:11 AM
Plan?
Err... have.
They have used textured glass.  On their parking lot.

Do people not see the pictures?!

http://www.solarroadways.com/hirespics.html (http://www.solarroadways.com/hirespics.html)

The frictional coefficient is at least as high as asphalt.

And what do you think glass is, some horribly fragile material?  Haven't you ever heard of bullet-proof glass?

As for load:
http://www.wired.com/2014/05/solar-road/ (http://www.wired.com/2014/05/solar-road/)

250,000 pounds.
Not f*cking bad for glass!

And really, what kind of damage is a road going to have?  Car crashes usually end with a car hitting an object at high speeds, not the road.  In roll over cases, the force of the impact is going to be minor.  The only time you'd have something heavy hit the road with enough momentum to do serious damage is a trailer carrying very heavy objects (steel beam or what not) that crashes down and skids.  Or even just a tractor trailer that rolls over with a full load.

Your standard sedan?  Not so much.

I'm not worried about the glass working for a parking lot where cars don't move quickly and frictional energy is low. I do know, however, is that cars have a lot of forward force, meaning a lot of energy transferred via friction. This is how pot holes come about, because sections of asphalt get worn by the sheer force of car tires all day. I question how much force this glass can handle day after day without becoming worn. Cars are essentially big sand paper grinders on asphalt. I don't know if you've taken sand paper to glass recently, but it doesn't take much friction to sheer particles off.

While this glass is probably tougher, I very much question how much frictional force it can take before becoming smooth. The fact that they need to texture the glass at all should be a red flag for safety.
Are you really using the argument of "it'll wear out"?

Quote
I do know, however, is that cars have a lot of forward force, meaning a lot of energy transferred via friction. This is how pot holes come about, because sections of asphalt get worn by the sheer force of car tires all day.
This is false.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pothole


You do know that your entire argument is based on the idea that asphalt is somehow stronger than glass.  It's actually very weak by comparison.  Glass is a solid while asphalt is a loose collection of material (usually gravel) bound together by a liquid.

That's like saying solid pine is weaker than particle board.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 25, 2014, 02:35:55 AM
Are you really using the argument of "it'll wear out"?

Well, yeah, if you want to put it that way.

This is false.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pothole
"Traffic then fatigues and breaks the poorly supported asphalt surface"

Regardless of how asphalt is supported it is still almost solid rock held together with tar. If that can break apart from sheer frictional force, I don't think any form of textured glass will last very long.


You do know that your entire argument is based on the idea that asphalt is somehow stronger than glass.  It's actually very weak by comparison.  Glass is a solid while asphalt is a loose collection of material (usually gravel) bound together by a liquid.

Glass is a amorphous solid (it does not hold shape for extended periods of time) and can not withstand much frictional force. Take sand paper to glass and then take it to asphalt. You'll notice a big difference.

That's like saying solid pine is weaker than particle board.

Since you got your facts mixed up this analogy looks even worse.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on May 25, 2014, 05:08:07 AM
This is false.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pothole (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pothole)
"Traffic then fatigues and breaks the poorly supported asphalt surface"

Regardless of how asphalt is supported it is still almost solid rock held together with tar. If that can break apart from sheer frictional force, I don't think any form of textured glass will last very long.
Ummm... no.  The "frictional force" is the tar being ripped apart(slowly).  The pot holes are when the weight of a vehicle is pressed down on it.  Yes, rock is harder than glass.  Well, some glass anyway.  But then, the rocks aren't the road now are they?

Quote
You do know that your entire argument is based on the idea that asphalt is somehow stronger than glass.  It's actually very weak by comparison.  Glass is a solid while asphalt is a loose collection of material (usually gravel) bound together by a liquid.

Glass is a amorphous solid (it does not hold shape for extended periods of time) and can not withstand much frictional force. Take sand paper to glass and then take it to asphalt. You'll notice a big difference.
1. amorphous solids are not defined by that characteristic nor is it an explicit characteristic of amorphous solids.  They simply lack a crystaline structure.  Nothing more.
2. Rubber is not sand paper.  Sand paper on tires will destroy the tires.  Therefore, sand paper is actually rougher than rubber. (and it'll destroy asphalt faster fyi)
Also, the Moh's scale lists gorilla glass at about a 9.  Normal glass, a 7.
Rubber is lower on the Moh's scale of hardness than glass.  What does that mean?  It means rubber CAN NOT DAMAGE GLASS BY FRICTION! (see your windshield wipers for proof)

In fact, the textured glass will do more damage to the tires than the tires could possibly do to the glass.
The glass used was tested on a British Pendulum Testing apparatus at at one point, damaged it due to the high friction.

Finally:
http://www.tedpella.com/company_html/hardness.htm
Look at asphalt.  1-2.  1-2!
Damn near anything will scratch that.  Even GLASS will scratch asphalt!
So stop this poor argument about glass wearing down.  Even normal glass (hardness of 7) is harder than asphalt.  If anything, tires will wear down faster on a glass surface compared to an asphalt surface.


Quote
That's like saying solid pine is weaker than particle board.

Since you got your facts mixed up this analogy looks even worse.
Since you don't know anything about hardness, your comment looks even worse.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 25, 2014, 06:20:19 AM
1. amorphous solids are not defined by that characteristic nor is it an explicit characteristic of amorphous solids.  They simply lack a crystaline structure.  Nothing more.

It also means they are less stable in their current shape.

2. Rubber is not sand paper.  Sand paper on tires will destroy the tires.  Therefore, sand paper is actually rougher than rubber. (and it'll destroy asphalt faster fyi)
Also, the Moh's scale lists gorilla glass at about a 9.  Normal glass, a 7.

Uhh, what? You might want to read this over again and check your logic.

Rubber is lower on the Moh's scale of hardness than glass.  What does that mean?  It means rubber CAN NOT DAMAGE GLASS BY FRICTION! (see your windshield wipers for proof)

Last time I checked my windshield isn't textured. Dave, if rubber slid so easily on the glass, then the tires wouldn't have any grip on it. Come on, did you not see that leap while you were writing this garbage?

In fact, the textured glass will do more damage to the tires than the tires could possibly do to the glass.

This is additionally awful and if true is yet another reason these roadways shouldn't be used.

The glass used was tested on a British Pendulum Testing apparatus at at one point, damaged it due to the high friction.

How is that good?

Damn near anything will scratch that.  Even GLASS will scratch asphalt!
So stop this poor argument about glass wearing down.  Even normal glass (hardness of 7) is harder than asphalt.  If anything, tires will wear down faster on a glass surface compared to an asphalt surface.

I'm not talking about the glass wearing off, I'm talking about the texture wearing off and causing the glass to become smooth.

Since you don't know anything about hardness, your comment looks even worse.

Check yo self before you wreck yo self
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on May 25, 2014, 02:33:18 PM
I'm not talking about the glass wearing off, I'm talking about the texture wearing off and causing the glass to become smooth.

Since the entire argument basically boils down to this line, I figure I'd just quote that and get rid of the exceedingly long quotes.


Glass isn't a fluid.  Nor does it exhibit plasticity at temperatures seen on the road.  If tire friction created such temperatures, said tire would melt long before the glass became soft enough to be smoothed.

Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 25, 2014, 03:13:43 PM
While it's true they damaged the testing apparatus, they pulled back the friction's intensity afterwards. It was in the FAQ.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 25, 2014, 03:30:15 PM
Glass isn't a fluid.  Nor does it exhibit plasticity at temperatures seen on the road. 

Irrelevant.

If tire friction created such temperatures, said tire would melt long before the glass became soft enough to be smoothed.

At this point are you just throwing words at the wall hoping one will stick? Does this make sense in your head before and after you write it? I'm not trying to be rude I'm genuinely asking where these statements are coming from, because I certainly haven't claimed the glass would melt or become soft because that isn't necessary to smooth them.

I'm sure you've seen mountains before. Wind erosion? Did the wind melt the rocks, Dave? Friction can do some pretty terrible things over time. You understandably want to sweep the windshield analogy under the rug but for god sakes man don't do it two posts in a row.

While it's true they damaged the testing apparatus, they pulled back the friction's intensity afterwards. It was in the FAQ.

They seem to be more interested in high intensity, low interval rather than low intensity high interval, that is the problem I'm addressing.

Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 25, 2014, 03:39:36 PM
It seems like they'd just need time to see how eroded the texture becomes. But they said they have a lifespan of 20 years, I believe, so it may not happen sooner than that in which case they would be replaced anyway.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 25, 2014, 03:46:24 PM
It seems like they'd just need time to see how eroded the texture becomes. But they said they have a lifespan of 20 years, I believe, so it may not happen sooner than that in which case they would be replaced anyway.

I'll just wait and see I suppose. It's not like I have any real say in whether these damn things get put everywhere.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: DuckDodgers on May 25, 2014, 04:33:48 PM
If the panels do last 20 years from normal wear-and-tear then they are on par or slightly better than asphalt roads which last 15-20 years.  The roads near me never last close to 15 years though.  I've been here for about 15 years and have seen some roads stripped and repaved at least 2 times.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: jroa on May 25, 2014, 10:43:04 PM
If the panels do last 20 years from normal wear-and-tear then they are on par or slightly better than asphalt roads which last 15-20 years.  The roads near me never last close to 15 years though.  I've been here for about 15 years and have seen some roads stripped and repaved at least 2 times.

Your anecdote does not prove or disprove anything about your point.  It could have been inadequate skill on the part of the pavers or even inferior materials that caused the road to need to be repaved.  Also, when repaving, typically, more material is added, not taken away. 
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on May 25, 2014, 10:56:21 PM
Quote
Solar Roadways has received two phases of funding from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration for research and development of a paving system that will pay for itself over its lifespan.
...
The implementation of our concept on a grand scale could  create thousands of jobs in the U.S. and around the world. It could allow us all the ability to manufacture our way out of our current economic crisis.

Seems so to me. It seems like it's nothing but positives.

The cost must be astronomical.

And it sounds like its trying to fix too many problems.

But I think its cool.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: DuckDodgers on May 26, 2014, 12:29:22 AM
If the panels do last 20 years from normal wear-and-tear then they are on par or slightly better than asphalt roads which last 15-20 years.  The roads near me never last close to 15 years though.  I've been here for about 15 years and have seen some roads stripped and repaved at least 2 times.

Your anecdote does not prove or disprove anything about your point.  It could have been inadequate skill on the part of the pavers or even inferior materials that caused the road to need to be repaved.  Also, when repaving, typically, more material is added, not taken away. 
I was simply presenting the anecdote, not trying to prove it disprove anything. 
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 26, 2014, 12:37:46 AM
The cost must be astronomical.
Why? The budget would just switch from asphalt to solar panels. It might be a tad more expensive, but should pay for itself in maintenance and energy. Especially up north, businesses and schools would never have to close since there would never be any ice on the streets or parking lots.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on May 26, 2014, 01:11:40 PM
Glass isn't a fluid.  Nor does it exhibit plasticity at temperatures seen on the road. 

Irrelevant.

If tire friction created such temperatures, said tire would melt long before the glass became soft enough to be smoothed.

At this point are you just throwing words at the wall hoping one will stick? Does this make sense in your head before and after you write it? I'm not trying to be rude I'm genuinely asking where these statements are coming from, because I certainly haven't claimed the glass would melt or become soft because that isn't necessary to smooth them.

I'm sure you've seen mountains before. Wind erosion? Did the wind melt the rocks, Dave? Friction can do some pretty terrible things over time. You understandably want to sweep the windshield analogy under the rug but for god sakes man don't do it two posts in a row.
I'm just trying to figure out how you think rubber will erode glass.
I thought you might have figures the constant friction of the tires would heat the glass enough to smooth it but clearly not.  Yet you still claim friction.  Make up your mind on what force causes the damage.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on May 26, 2014, 01:57:23 PM
The cost must be astronomical.
Why?

Because you're paving roads with circuit boards not tarmac/asphalt.

This is kind of obvious.

but should pay for itself in maintenance and energy.

You mean a nation of road of interconnected circuitboards will require less maintenence than a road of hardened bitumen? If they're claiming this it requires massive scrutiny because complex systems require complex repairs. That requires complex tools and complex training for the guy holding hte tools. That means a higher salary for him.

The issue of under road heating is interesting. Because it turns an energy providing product into a road safety product. What if the heating panels fail? What if just one fails, leaving a patch of hard ice in an otherwise unblemished roadway? The supplier will have to guarantee that such a system will work 100% of the time for many years. I really hope they can deliver on that promise.

And if a load of panels do fail, will the local government be able to fall back on snow plows? I imagine a plow could do some real damage to all those ridged tiles.

I hate to be a Debby Downer but this just doesn't float for me. It's trying to fix way too many problems at once.

It might probably will work for parking lots and schools but not whole motorways.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 26, 2014, 02:49:31 PM
I'm just trying to figure out how you think rubber will erode glass.
I thought you might have figures the constant friction of the tires would heat the glass enough to smooth it but clearly not.  Yet you still claim friction.  Make up your mind on what force causes the damage.

Friction causes the damage, friction is a force, if you didn't know, and temperature is irrelevant (as far as this discussion goes, it isn't in physics, but we're not talking about roads and tires at 0.1 kelvins).

Friction physically wears objects away, literally nothing else is needed. I'm not sure where your disconnect is on this.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on May 26, 2014, 04:30:00 PM
Friction physically wears objects away, literally nothing else is needed.

Sounds like you need to calculate and compare the wear rate coefficients of glass and asphalt. Otherwise you're just making things up.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 26, 2014, 04:43:43 PM
You mean a nation of road of interconnected circuitboards will require less maintenence than a road of hardened bitumen? If they're claiming this it requires massive scrutiny because complex systems require complex repairs. That requires complex tools and complex training for the guy holding hte tools. That means a higher salary for him.
You can just unplug one and replace it in a matter of minutes.

Quote
The issue of under road heating is interesting. Because it turns an energy providing product into a road safety product. What if the heating panels fail? What if just one fails, leaving a patch of hard ice in an otherwise unblemished roadway? The supplier will have to guarantee that such a system will work 100% of the time for many years. I really hope they can deliver on that promise.
You can just unplug one and replace it in a matter of minutes.

Quote
I hate to be a Debby Downer but this just doesn't float for me. It's trying to fix way too many problems at once.
You're not a Debby Downer, you're just uninformed.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on May 26, 2014, 04:49:47 PM
You mean a nation of road of interconnected circuitboards will require less maintenence than a road of hardened bitumen? If they're claiming this it requires massive scrutiny because complex systems require complex repairs. That requires complex tools and complex training for the guy holding hte tools. That means a higher salary for him.
You can just unplug one and replace it in a matter of minutes.

Assuming the problem was in the panel. That's a massive assumption.

You're not a Debby Downer, you're just uninformed.

I don't see how.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on May 26, 2014, 04:56:00 PM
I'm just trying to figure out how you think rubber will erode glass.
I thought you might have figures the constant friction of the tires would heat the glass enough to smooth it but clearly not.  Yet you still claim friction.  Make up your mind on what force causes the damage.

Friction causes the damage, friction is a force, if you didn't know, and temperature is irrelevant (as far as this discussion goes, it isn't in physics, but we're not talking about roads and tires at 0.1 kelvins).

Friction physically wears objects away, literally nothing else is needed. I'm not sure where your disconnect is on this.
Yes, friction physically wears objects away.  But if you rub some styrofoam against a rock, what's going to be damaged, the rock or the styrofoam?

In this case it's a grinding force (your friction) but if one object is significantly harder than another, such grinding force isn't relevant for the road surface.  It might wear it away to dangerous levels in a hundred years but is that really a problem?


Also, because it's a glass pane on top of a solar panel, replacing it does not require replacing the whole panel.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 26, 2014, 04:58:07 PM
Assuming the problem was in the panel. That's a massive assumption.

"Since our system is modular, repair will be much quicker and easier than our current maintenance system for asphalt roads.
...
Each of the panels contain their own microprocessor, which communicates wireless with surrounding panels. If one of them should become damaged and stop communicating, then the rest of the panels can report the problem."

Damage to one would not necessarily be damage to all of them. If a section of road became damaged then they could spend more time replacing it, but it would still be quicker than with asphalt. Keep in mind it would also start small for testing.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 26, 2014, 05:02:56 PM
Sounds like you need to calculate and compare the wear rate coefficients of glass and asphalt. Otherwise you're just making things up.

That's impossible to do as they haven't given any clue as to what kind of glass they used.

Yes, friction physically wears objects away.  But if you rub some styrofoam against a rock, what's going to be damaged, the rock or the styrofoam?

Both, actually. The Styrofoam will simply be damaged more.

In this case it's a grinding force (your friction) but if one object is significantly harder than another, such grinding force isn't relevant for the road surface.  It might wear it away to dangerous levels in a hundred years but is that really a problem?

Glass isn't very resistant to friction, as we've already discussed it is an amorphous solid.

Also, because it's a glass pane on top of a solar panel, replacing it does not require replacing the whole panel.

That's not the concern. The concern is if you put these on a busy road, over time cars can't brake as effectively as they could when the panels were optimal. That is a major safety issue.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on May 26, 2014, 06:50:02 PM
Damage to one would not necessarily be damage to all of them. If a section of road became damaged then they could spend more time replacing it, but it would still be quicker than with asphalt. Keep in mind it would also start small for testing.

Assuming the interconnection of such modular systems is always error free. That's a big assumption.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on May 26, 2014, 06:51:19 PM
Sounds like you need to calculate and compare the wear rate coefficients of glass and asphalt. Otherwise you're just making things up.

That's impossible to do as they haven't given any clue as to what kind of glass they used.

Make an educated guess.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 26, 2014, 06:55:31 PM
Make an educated guess.

Not worth it without knowing any real variables, including the texture pattern and thickness. I would be wasting my time making a calculation that would probably be biased when I start guessing.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 26, 2014, 06:58:40 PM
Damage to one would not necessarily be damage to all of them. If a section of road became damaged then they could spend more time replacing it, but it would still be quicker than with asphalt. Keep in mind it would also start small for testing.

Assuming the interconnection of such modular systems is always error free. That's a big assumption.
Why is it a big assumption? If the signal is interrupted then there could easily be a default notification system in place and then the problem panel or panels could be fixed/replaced.

Make an educated guess.

Not worth it without knowing any real variables, including the texture pattern and thickness. I would be wasting my time making a calculation that would probably be biased when I start guessing.
The texture pattern is known.

Of course both of you are making these complaints assuming this goes from prototype to covering all the roads. This is going into proto-testing first where these questions will likely be answered more thoroughly.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on May 27, 2014, 02:23:09 AM
Yes, friction physically wears objects away.  But if you rub some styrofoam against a rock, what's going to be damaged, the rock or the styrofoam?

Both, actually. The Styrofoam will simply be damaged more.
Right.  Counting atoms now?

Quote
In this case it's a grinding force (your friction) but if one object is significantly harder than another, such grinding force isn't relevant for the road surface.  It might wear it away to dangerous levels in a hundred years but is that really a problem?

Glass isn't very resistant to friction, as we've already discussed it is an amorphous solid.
You know, I've been reading up on amorphous solids and for the life of me I can't seem to find anything that suggests that they deform easier or are more prone to frictional damage.  Do you have evidence to support your claim?

Quote
Also, because it's a glass pane on top of a solar panel, replacing it does not require replacing the whole panel.

That's not the concern. The concern is if you put these on a busy road, over time cars can't brake as effectively as they could when the panels were optimal. That is a major safety issue.

If you drive on an asphalt road enough, it'll erode into gravel.  What's the coefficient of gravel again?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 27, 2014, 04:03:07 AM
Right.  Counting atoms now?

Well in the case of styrofoam versus rock, probably. Rubber versus glass? I could count a few moles.

You know, I've been reading up on amorphous solids and for the life of me I can't seem to find anything that suggests that they deform easier or are more prone to frictional damage.  Do you have evidence to support your claim?

The bonds between atoms in an amorphous solid are very weak (being the exact opposite of a crystal).

If you drive on an asphalt road enough, it'll erode into gravel.  What's the coefficient of gravel again?

Hahah, what? Did you read this after you wrote it?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on May 27, 2014, 10:33:41 AM
You know, I've been reading up on amorphous solids and for the life of me I can't seem to find anything that suggests that they deform easier or are more prone to frictional damage.  Do you have evidence to support your claim?

The bonds between atoms in an amorphous solid are very weak (being the exact opposite of a crystal).
I have not seen anything about amorphous solids having very weak bonds between atoms.  What I have seen is that the bond type is what determines strength.  A covalent bonds, for example, are quite strong.
Also saying that a crystalline solid is stronger can be disproven simply by taking a pencil to paper.

Quote
If you drive on an asphalt road enough, it'll erode into gravel.  What's the coefficient of gravel again?

Hahah, what? Did you read this after you wrote it?
Are you suggestion that the road you drive on are pure asphalt?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 27, 2014, 02:47:41 PM
I have not seen anything about amorphous solids having very weak bonds between atoms.  What I have seen is that the bond type is what determines strength.  A covalent bonds, for example, are quite strong.
Also saying that a crystalline solid is stronger can be disproven simply by taking a pencil to paper.

The graphite in pencils is actually called amorphous graphite. Wow. You make this too easy.

Quote from: http://www.mineralszone.com/minerals/graphite.html
Amorphous graphite is generally used in the manufacture of lead for pencils



Are you suggestion that the road you drive on are pure asphalt?

Are you going to play pedantics now? I hope you're used to playing with yourself then, because I can assure you the only one playing pedantics will be you.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 27, 2014, 02:52:47 PM
This is just going to go back and forth forever. There's just not enough detailed info that someone like Irush would need in order to determine the friction rate to his liking.

However, the further along this project moves the more likely it is to draw in experts. I'm sure all safety concerns would be settled before mass production.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on May 27, 2014, 04:56:50 PM
I have not seen anything about amorphous solids having very weak bonds between atoms.  What I have seen is that the bond type is what determines strength.  A covalent bonds, for example, are quite strong.
Also saying that a crystalline solid is stronger can be disproven simply by taking a pencil to paper.

The graphite in pencils is actually called amorphous graphite. Wow. You make this too easy.

Quote from: http://www.mineralszone.com/minerals/graphite.html
Amorphous graphite is generally used in the manufacture of lead for pencils
http://asbury.com/technical-presentations-papers/materials-in-depth/amorphous-graphite/

Quote
The term “amorphous graphite” is a contradiction in terms All graphite is crystalline by definition, therefore it is impossible for graphite to be amorphous. However, the term was applied due the anhedral (no visible crystallinity) morphology of this form of graphite.
Try again.

Quote
Are you suggestion that the road you drive on are pure asphalt?

Are you going to play pedantics now? I hope you're used to playing with yourself then, because I can assure you the only one playing pedantics will be you.
You're the one who seems comfortable driving on a gravel asphalt mixture and not worrying about wear.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 27, 2014, 06:36:36 PM
Try again.

Amorphous graphite is made of microcrystals, which don't have the same properties as a full crystal structure. For example, diamond is a crystal, but graphite in pencil lead is not. You make this too easy yet again.

You're the one who seems comfortable driving on a gravel asphalt mixture and not worrying about wear.

Let me guess, you just learned during your google adventures that asphalt isn't what a road is actually made of. Should I golf clap that you can try pedantics now? Up until this point you seemed rather okay with my use of asphalt as a colloquial and interchangeable term.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on May 27, 2014, 08:14:47 PM
The bonds between atoms in an amorphous solid are very weak (being the exact opposite of a crystal).
What makes the covalent bonds in glass weaker than the covalent bonds in crystals?  ???
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 27, 2014, 08:20:14 PM
What makes the covalent bonds in glass weaker than the covalent bonds in crystals?  ???

(http://www.physicscentral.com/explore/action/images/crystal-vs-glass.jpg)

Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on May 27, 2014, 08:25:04 PM
What makes the covalent bonds in glass weaker than the covalent bonds in crystals?  ???

(http://www.physicscentral.com/explore/action/images/crystal-vs-glass.jpg)
I'm sorry, but what does that picture have to do with covalent bonds between atoms?  You do understand what a covalent bond is, don't you?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on May 27, 2014, 08:37:49 PM
Try again.
Amorphous graphite is made of microcrystals, which don't have the same properties as a full crystal structure. For example, diamond is a crystal, but graphite in pencil lead is not. You make this too easy yet again.
Look, you want to educate me, why don't you go and show me why a crystal structure is stronger than a non-crystal structure and why a microcrystal structure doesn't count as a crystal structure because I can't seem to find anything to back up your claims.

Quote
You're the one who seems comfortable driving on a gravel asphalt mixture and not worrying about wear.

Let me guess, you just learned during your google adventures that asphalt isn't what a road is actually made of. Should I golf clap that you can try pedantics now? Up until this point you seemed rather okay with my use of asphalt as a colloquial and interchangeable term.
I've known all along what asphalt was and what was in the road.  It wasn't until I got to the heart of the matter on why you think glass is a terrible idea that I began to wonder if our current roads were any better.
This led me to examine why things wore away with friction and grinding.  Unfortunately I couldn't come up with the same conclusion as you.  From what I've read, it's not about the crystal structure but rather the strength of the bonds.  For example:
Talc is a crystal but it's one of the softest crystals in the world.  You can scratch it with your finger nail. 

This lead me to hardness as being the factor that determines if something will wear away another thing.
And it turns out that the binding agent of the roads (asphalt) has a lower hardness compared to glass.

So if tires are going to grind away glass then they'd also grind away the asphalt in the road.  Based on the hardness difference, it would seem to me that a tire would grind away the asphalt faster than glass.  And when the binding agent get's worn away, what's left but the loose rock?  Well that and the sub-layer if there is one.


This is why I was being pedant.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on May 27, 2014, 08:47:22 PM
Not worth it without knowing any real variables, including the texture pattern and thickness. I would be wasting my time making a calculation that would probably be biased when I start guessing.

Then your conclusions and/or speculations have no basis in fact.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on May 27, 2014, 08:56:26 PM
Why is it a big assumption? If the signal is interrupted then there could easily be a default notification system in place and then the problem panel or panels could be fixed/replaced.

Assuming the default notification system works error free. That's a big assumption.

Just because its modular, or has an error reporting mechanism, doesn't mean all problems can be quickly diagnosed and fixed. If you have a car then chances are it features such a system. There are sensors all over the place reporting coolant levels, brake disc wear, headlamp luminosity and so on. And after it's been in the garage for a day the mechanic comes back and says "It wasn't your fuel intake that was faulty, it was the sensor. The sensor was misreading fuel levels and decided to limit the top speed because it thought you had no fuel left."

Don't get me wrong, it is cool that it has this reporting mechanism, and it will help diagnose faults 1000 times quicker. But there's still going to be a huge load diagnostic and maintenance work needed. If they claim this isn't the case they're lying. in my opinion.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 27, 2014, 10:29:12 PM
I'm sorry, but what does that picture have to do with covalent bonds between atoms?  You do understand what a covalent bond is, don't you?

I'm not interested in teaching you about chemistry, in fact, I'm not even interested in replying to you. You're boring.

Look, you want to educate me, why don't you go and show me why a crystal structure is stronger than a non-crystal structure and why a microcrystal structure doesn't count as a crystal structure because I can't seem to find anything to back up your claims.

Bonds between molecules are stronger when there are more of them, quite simply there a more of them in a crystalline solid than an amorphous one. You keep using graphite as an example, but it isn't a crystal, it has some crystal structures, yes, but it isn't a crystal. The crystalline form of graphite is called diamond and I don't think we'll be making pencils out of it any time soon.

I've known all along what asphalt was and what was in the road.  It wasn't until I got to the heart of the matter on why you think glass is a terrible idea that I began to wonder if our current roads were any better.

We're not talking about current roads, though. I'm explaining that these solar panels are a bad idea, I have not even once stated that asphalt roads are a good one.

This led me to examine why things wore away with friction and grinding.  Unfortunately I couldn't come up with the same conclusion as you.  From what I've read, it's not about the crystal structure but rather the strength of the bonds.  For example:
Talc is a crystal but it's one of the softest crystals in the world.  You can scratch it with your finger nail. 

A materials structure reflects how many bonds exist. You can reference the picture I replied to Markjo with (who apparently either doesn't understand it or doesn't want to).


This lead me to hardness as being the factor that determines if something will wear away another thing.
And it turns out that the binding agent of the roads (asphalt) has a lower hardness compared to glass.

To wear away a road's traction, you'd have to grind up the entire road. To wear away one of these panels, you just have to grind the texture off.

So if tires are going to grind away glass then they'd also grind away the asphalt in the road.  Based on the hardness difference, it would seem to me that a tire would grind away the asphalt faster than glass.  And when the binding agent get's worn away, what's left but the loose rock?  Well that and the sub-layer if there is one.

See above.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on May 28, 2014, 12:52:13 AM
Bonds between molecules are stronger when there are more of them, quite simply there a more of them in a crystalline solid than an amorphous one. You keep using graphite as an example, but it isn't a crystal, it has some crystal structures, yes, but it isn't a crystal. The crystalline form of graphite is called diamond and I don't think we'll be making pencils out of it any time soon.
http://www.steelguru.com/article/details/MjU%3D/Solid_State_Structure.html
I see your point.

Still, the bonds do help keep it together as well as what else they throw in there.  Gorilla glass is not the same as blown glass.

Quote
I've known all along what asphalt was and what was in the road.  It wasn't until I got to the heart of the matter on why you think glass is a terrible idea that I began to wonder if our current roads were any better.

We're not talking about current roads, though. I'm explaining that these solar panels are a bad idea, I have not even once stated that asphalt roads are a good one.
I had been under the impression that you favored the current road system.  If I'm mistaken then a lot makes more sense.

Well, it's very bumpy so at least it'll be noticable when it wears.


Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 28, 2014, 01:19:28 AM
http://www.steelguru.com/article/details/MjU%3D/Solid_State_Structure.html
I see your point.

Still, the bonds do help keep it together as well as what else they throw in there.  Gorilla glass is not the same as blown glass.

That's a change in the molecule the glass consists of, but not the structure of the glass. Gorilla glass' primary goals are to withstand impacts, not frictional force; this is evident when you note gorilla glass is scratched rather easily. Most phones have some sort of ablative coating on the glass to avoid this.

I had been under the impression that you favored the current road system.  If I'm mistaken then a lot makes more sense.

Well, it's very bumpy so at least it'll be noticable when it wears.

I'd rather have a bumpy ride than a ride so smooth the wheels can't brake.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 28, 2014, 02:12:40 AM
The ride wouldn't even be bumpy.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on May 28, 2014, 10:41:22 PM
The ride wouldn't even be bumpy.

That's another point. How will they cope with camber, and general "undulations"?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 28, 2014, 10:55:44 PM
The ride wouldn't even be bumpy.

That's another point. How will they cope with camber, and general "undulations"?
Have you seen a picture of it? The texture is small and close together, you can smoothly ride a bike on it.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on May 29, 2014, 02:11:05 AM
The ride wouldn't even be bumpy.

That's another point. How will they cope with camber, and general "undulations"?

Exactly.  The earth is not flat and neither are roads.  Hexagonal patterns tend to not cope well with anything but a nearly perfectly flat surface, especially ones as big as these solar pavers. 

Also, there is the small matter of the base that these solar pavers will be set on.  How will it handle things like frost heave and the general thermal expansion/contraction cycles that inevitably lead to potholes?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 29, 2014, 04:42:25 AM
While curved and sloped roads are an issue with the panels, they could easily solve thermal expansion and compression the same way bridges solve it (expansion joints).
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 29, 2014, 01:34:15 PM
Oh, I see what you're saying. Yeah, I wonder how they will get around that one. Maybe they'll use smaller sizes to cope with it? No idea.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: DuckDodgers on May 29, 2014, 02:07:09 PM
The only slope issue I can see being a problem is windy mountain roads.  This could be solved with smaller panels as rooster pointed out.  I'm curious if that question has come up in their meetings yet.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: EnigmaZV on May 29, 2014, 04:38:24 PM
The only slope issue I can see being a problem is windy mountain roads.  This could be solved with smaller panels as rooster pointed out.  I'm curious if that question has come up in their meetings yet.

I think the solution is to use them only on flat, straight stretches of road, in climates and latitudes where the sunlight is most plentiful, where they will be ideally suited. I don't think they mean to replace all roads with solar ones.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: DuckDodgers on May 29, 2014, 05:02:04 PM
I think you'd potentially be missing out on one of the major upsides of this technology if you did this, the defrosting.  Northern latitudes and mountains terrain are particularly susceptible to snow and ice accumulation and leads to list business during the winter.  This would help keep the roads clear of snow and ice and would probably keep businesses and across open 90% of the time.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 29, 2014, 05:18:32 PM
I think you'd potentially be missing out on one of the major upsides of this technology if you did this, the defrosting.  Northern latitudes and mountains terrain are particularly susceptible to snow and ice accumulation and leads to list business during the winter.  This would help keep the roads clear of snow and ice and would probably keep businesses and across open 90% of the time.

The problem with this is energy usage. While it sounds great, the amount of energy necessary to heat the panels enough to melt snow is tremendous. In winter months the panels would burn more energy than they create.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: EnigmaZV on May 29, 2014, 06:00:48 PM
I think you'd potentially be missing out on one of the major upsides of this technology if you did this, the defrosting.  Northern latitudes and mountains terrain are particularly susceptible to snow and ice accumulation and leads to list business during the winter.  This would help keep the roads clear of snow and ice and would probably keep businesses and across open 90% of the time.

The problem with this is energy usage. While it sounds great, the amount of energy necessary to heat the panels enough to melt snow is tremendous. In winter months the panels would burn more energy than they create.

I suppose as long as the net effect is a positive energy flow, or at least a net decrease to the cost of keeping streets clear, then it would be worth it.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 29, 2014, 06:11:25 PM
In winter months the panels would burn more energy than they create.
Only at night or on overcast days. They're still experimenting with temperatures and they wouldn't have to be heated all the time.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on May 29, 2014, 10:17:26 PM
The only slope issue I can see being a problem is windy mountain roads.

Camber. Or cant as wikipedia seems to want to call it:

(http://www.cdeep.iitb.ac.in/nptel/Civil%20Engineering/Transportation%20Engg%20I/12-Ltexhtml/p5/img1.gif)

You gotta encourage the rain to run off. The Romans figured it out first I think.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 29, 2014, 10:30:41 PM
You gotta encourage the rain to run off.
They have a pretty awesome drainage system shown in the video.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on May 29, 2014, 10:45:24 PM
The only slope issue I can see being a problem is windy mountain roads.
???  Do you think that city streets are all straight and level?  Lots of cities are built on and around hills and other undulating terrains.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on May 29, 2014, 10:48:52 PM
You gotta encourage the rain to run off.
They have a pretty awesome drainage system shown in the video.

The channels on the left and right? Its good but you've gotta get the water in there. So you need camber. You don't want standing water on a road.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: DuckDodgers on May 29, 2014, 10:50:40 PM
The only slope issue I can see being a problem is windy mountain roads.
???  Do you think that city streets are all straight and level?  Lots of cities are built on and around hills and other undulating terrains.
You can do better than that markjo.  Do these roads consist of sharp turns and steep inclines and declines?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on May 29, 2014, 10:53:23 PM
I think you'd potentially be missing out on one of the major upsides of this technology if you did this, the defrosting.  Northern latitudes and mountains terrain are particularly susceptible to snow and ice accumulation and leads to list business during the winter.  This would help keep the roads clear of snow and ice and would probably keep businesses and across open 90% of the time.

The problem with this is energy usage. While it sounds great, the amount of energy necessary to heat the panels enough to melt snow is tremendous. In winter months the panels would burn more energy than they create.
How much is required?
It doesn't have to get to any great temperature, just enough to keep snow from collecting.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on May 29, 2014, 10:58:26 PM
You can do better than that markjo.  Do these roads consist of sharp turns and steep inclines and declines?

There's probably a good reason why roads aren't tiled already.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on May 29, 2014, 11:05:06 PM
The only slope issue I can see being a problem is windy mountain roads.
???  Do you think that city streets are all straight and level?  Lots of cities are built on and around hills and other undulating terrains.
You can do better than that markjo.  Do these roads consist of sharp turns and steep inclines and declines?
(http://resources.touropia.com/gfx/d/tourist-attractions-in-san-francisco/lombard_street.jpg)
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on May 29, 2014, 11:25:30 PM
You gotta encourage the rain to run off.
They have a pretty awesome drainage system shown in the video.

The channels on the left and right? Its good but you've gotta get the water in there. So you need camber. You don't want standing water on a road.
It probably trickles down into little channels that feed into the large one. I'm sure they wouldn't go through the motion of making a cement channel without a way of directing water to said channel.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on May 29, 2014, 11:27:38 PM
Hmm. You'd hope so.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: DuckDodgers on May 29, 2014, 11:54:45 PM
Thank you for giving the one obvious example Dave.  Is that the standard?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on May 30, 2014, 09:58:25 AM
Thank you for giving the one obvious example Dave.  Is that the standard?
Would you like a less obvious one?  I'm sure I can pull up Google maps and play around for a while.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: DuckDodgers on May 30, 2014, 01:47:39 PM
Go for it.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 30, 2014, 04:59:40 PM
All roads (built to code) are sloped to prevent flooding. There is no such thing as a legal flat road as it is considered a safety hazard.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: DuckDodgers on May 30, 2014, 05:26:39 PM
My mistake for not making my post pendant-proof. I'm speaking of gradient, not of the general slope of the roadway from the middle to the edge.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on May 30, 2014, 05:35:09 PM
My mistake for not making my post pendant-proof.

What does jewelry-proofing your post have to do with mine?

I'm speaking of gradient, not of the general slope of the roadway from the middle to the edge.

We're talking about paving the roads with solar panels and why that may be a good/bad idea. What exactly are you talking about? It's starting to look like you're having an irrelevant sidebar conversation.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: DuckDodgers on May 30, 2014, 05:50:39 PM
My phone picked out pendant instead of pedant and I missed that, my mistake.  I was referring to my thoughts that windy mountain roads would be about the only major concern when it comes to hilly terrain, and this is due to the gradients involved in the roads and how quickly they increase or decrease in their gradient.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on May 30, 2014, 11:07:51 PM
My mistake for not making my post pendant-proof. I'm speaking of gradient, not of the general slope of the roadway from the middle to the edge.
The gradient, in and of itself, is not that big a deal.  It's the flowing contours that large hexagonal tiles have a hard time following.  There's a reason that you don't see cobblestone streets with 12 inch or so hexagonal pavers.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: EnigmaZV on June 02, 2014, 08:45:55 PM
I think you'd potentially be missing out on one of the major upsides of this technology if you did this, the defrosting.  Northern latitudes and mountains terrain are particularly susceptible to snow and ice accumulation and leads to list business during the winter.  This would help keep the roads clear of snow and ice and would probably keep businesses and across open 90% of the time.

The problem with this is energy usage. While it sounds great, the amount of energy necessary to heat the panels enough to melt snow is tremendous. In winter months the panels would burn more energy than they create.
How much is required?
It doesn't have to get to any great temperature, just enough to keep snow from collecting.

The energy required to convert a volume of solid water at 0oC to liquid water at 0oC is about the same amount of energy required to get that liquid water 3/4 of the way to boiling. This is not a trivial amount of energy.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Thork on June 02, 2014, 09:02:25 PM
All roads (built to code) are sloped to prevent flooding. There is no such thing as a legal flat road as it is considered a safety hazard.
They aren't sloped. They are cambered.  :-B
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 02, 2014, 09:12:38 PM
Enter Thunderf00t.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H901KdXgHs4
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: DuckDodgers on June 02, 2014, 09:24:09 PM
I watched about half of that video over the weekend, and his arguments aren't exactly the best.  He lists a retail cost for the glass instead of wholesale or production cost.  He doesn't really back up his "glass is soft" argument which Dave has already been kind enough to prove is false.  His LED test used a white backing, not that I really believe it'd make a huge difference.  His cost to bury lines figure didn't really break out the material cost and the labor cost,  since they already have to trench up the edge of the roads anyway the labor would be minimal.  Just to name a few instances of weak arguments.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on June 02, 2014, 09:30:29 PM
I think Thunderf00t is right. As I said before I'm sure there are large companies with roads/parking space that could accommodate this product.

It has a market, just not the one they've over-zealously pitched with a shouty man and cool laid back synth.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: EnigmaZV on June 02, 2014, 09:48:07 PM
Enter Thunderf00t.

Interesting. I don't know how I missed this, I subscribe to his station. I like watching him blow things up.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 02, 2014, 11:13:40 PM
Just a few more things to think about:
http://jalopnik.com/why-the-solar-roadway-is-a-terrible-idea-1582519375
http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/183130-solar-roadways-passes-1-4-million-in-crowdfunding-just-short-of-the-56-trillion-required-but-not-bad-for-a-crazy-idea
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 03, 2014, 12:25:23 AM
Are you guys all really arguing that the entire project would be too much all at once?

Really?
The idea that we'd do this all at once is just as silly as the idea that we'd build all of America's roads all at once.  Or America's rail way system.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 03, 2014, 12:47:53 AM
Are you guys all really arguing that the entire project would be too much all at once?
No, we're arguing that the project is completely infeasible. One of the many lines of reasoning is that the entire project would cost several times the US' yearly budget.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Снупс on June 03, 2014, 01:13:26 AM
Are you guys all really arguing that the entire project would be too much all at once?
No, we're arguing that the project is completely infeasible. One of the many lines of reasoning is that the entire project would cost several times the US' yearly budget.
Which would be spread out over a long, long time (decades, maybe), and would hopefully save enough to be worth it in the end.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 03, 2014, 01:15:15 AM
Which would be spread out over a long, long time (decades, maybe), and would hopefully save enough to be worth it in the end.
It wouldn't save anything. The costs of maintenance would be ludicrous.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 03, 2014, 01:15:58 AM
Are you guys all really arguing that the entire project would be too much all at once?
Lots of state and local governments have a hard enough time affording asphalt.  What's the cost per mile and how long would it take to recoup the premium for a solar roadway upgrade?  Will the base (let alone the tiles) last that long?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 03, 2014, 01:25:16 AM
I think you'd potentially be missing out on one of the major upsides of this technology if you did this, the defrosting.  Northern latitudes and mountains terrain are particularly susceptible to snow and ice accumulation and leads to list business during the winter.  This would help keep the roads clear of snow and ice and would probably keep businesses and across open 90% of the time.

The problem with this is energy usage. While it sounds great, the amount of energy necessary to heat the panels enough to melt snow is tremendous. In winter months the panels would burn more energy than they create.
How much is required?
It doesn't have to get to any great temperature, just enough to keep snow from collecting.

The energy required to convert a volume of solid water at 0oC to liquid water at 0oC is about the same amount of energy required to get that liquid water 3/4 of the way to boiling. This is not a trivial amount of energy.
It doesn't have to convert solid ice to water, it only has to be warm enough to keep the ice from forming.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 03, 2014, 02:50:49 AM
It doesn't have to convert solid ice to water, it only has to be warm enough to keep the ice from forming.
Snow forms long before it touches the ground. It does have to be able to melt it.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 03, 2014, 10:53:09 AM
I don't understand how keeping the panels slightly warmer than freezing is using the same amount of energy to get water 3/4 of the way to boiling.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 03, 2014, 12:32:09 PM
I don't understand how keeping the panels slightly warmer than freezing is using the same amount of energy to get water 3/4 of the way to boiling.
It takes 1 calorie of heat energy to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree C, but it takes 80 calories of heat energy to convert 1 gram of ice at 0 degrees C to water at 0 degrees C.  Where do you suppose that heat energy has to come from when snow, sleet or freezing rain lands on the solar tile, especially on short, gloomy days or at night?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 03, 2014, 05:26:24 PM
They're right rooster.
When snow hits the ground but doesn't stick (ie it melts) the ground is giving up energy to the snowflake.  If enough snow flakes fall, the ground could get cold enough to not be able to melt the snow anymore and it begins to stick.


Anyway...

You guys are looking at the cost and comparing it to road construction.  And it's significantly cheaper.  Even with liberal estimates repaving all the roads in the US wouldn't cost even close to the national budget.  (which makes me wonder where all the transportation money goes...)

Anyway the problem is that this road has 4 functions, not just 1.
1. Road. (paint, cat eyes, etc...)
2. Utility channel.
3. Storm Drainage
4. Power generation.

Start adding all that together and it starts looking like the cost of the solar roadways.

But I realized something, the solar roadways could destroy our economy.

Consider:
Right now, you can sell back power to power companies.  So if the government (local, state, federal depending on road) were to have a bunch of solar panels, where does the power go?  Why to the local power company.  It's sold back.  This means money for the government.  But the power company just lost a ton of money.  How much money can they lose and still stay in business?

We can apply this to home solar.  How much money can the power companies lose by having to "buy back" energy before they have to close up shop?  How high would the per kwh have to be to make ends meet when everyone has solar panels?  So the government would have to either take over OR offer subsidies.  Energy excess is a very serious problem.

If the government had to offer subsides, the subsidies would definitely be larger than the actual cost and it would cost governments MORE to have the same service.

Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 03, 2014, 05:35:19 PM
Where do you suppose that heat energy has to come from when snow, sleet or freezing rain lands on the solar tile, especially on short, gloomy days or at night?
I've already said something about this. They've conceded that it would require a lot of energy but they said they hadn't tested enough for all the conditions nor temperatures.

But some communities may decide that it is worth it to keep their roads clear and businesses open for the winter season anyway.

Yes, Lord Dave, I know how accumulation actually works. And I know energy is required to heat the panels and melt snowflakes, but the question is how much is really required at a bare minimum. The equation from a solid > liquid > gas is what went over my head.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 03, 2014, 06:28:37 PM
Consider:
Right now, you can sell back power to power companies.  So if the government (local, state, federal depending on road) were to have a bunch of solar panels, where does the power go?  Why to the local power company.  It's sold back.  This means money for the government.  But the power company just lost a ton of money.  How much money can they lose and still stay in business?
Are you saying that the power company wouldn't resell the energy that they bought from the solar roadway at a profit?  As it is, the power companies own the transmission lines, substations, etc.  When you buy your electricity from an alternative energy company, the power company still charges you for using their distribution infrastructure (delivery charge).  So don't worry Dave, the power companies won't be going broke any time soon.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: EnigmaZV on June 03, 2014, 07:21:11 PM
Where do you suppose that heat energy has to come from when snow, sleet or freezing rain lands on the solar tile, especially on short, gloomy days or at night?
I've already said something about this. They've conceded that it would require a lot of energy but they said they hadn't tested enough for all the conditions nor temperatures.

But some communities may decide that it is worth it to keep their roads clear and businesses open for the winter season anyway.

Yes, Lord Dave, I know how accumulation actually works. And I know energy is required to heat the panels and melt snowflakes, but the question is how much is really required at a bare minimum. The equation from a solid > liquid > gas is what went over my head.

It looks like 1 cubic foot of snow would typically make about 3ml of liquid water. So it would take 240 calories to melt a cubic foot of snow, or about 1kj, or roughly .3Wh of power. At ideal conditions, a 1 square foot solar panel can output about 31Wh of power every hour. If it's snowing, it will be overcast, so that will greatly reduce the power output. Also, since it's winter, the sun will be at a shallower angle, which reduces power further, and there is reduced daylight, reducing the amount of power it can make per day. I found a site that shows that early in the morning (sun at low angle) on an overcast day, their panel was producing 3% of it's capacity, or ~1Wh. If we assume 6 hours of sunlight, that's 6Wh per day, or .25Wh per hour, which if it's snowing at a rate of 1ft/day, then the solar panel doesn't produce enough energy to melt the snow. This is assuming no heating losses to the ground, or to the air. Of course this is a hugely rough estimate, I could make any number of different assumptions and come to vastly different conclusions.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on June 03, 2014, 07:27:21 PM
Your'e forgetting that solar energy generated in Florida will be pumped up to the northern states.

/trololol
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 03, 2014, 07:46:00 PM
Start adding all that together and it starts looking like the cost of the solar roadways.
Yeah, no.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 03, 2014, 08:14:14 PM
It looks like 1 cubic foot of snow would typically make about 3ml of liquid water.
Ummm....  No.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on June 03, 2014, 08:31:00 PM
yeah that doesn't sound like a lot. internet says different.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: EnigmaZV on June 03, 2014, 09:01:07 PM
It looks like 1 cubic foot of snow would typically make about 3ml of liquid water.
Ummm....  No.

I used that 1 foot of snow is about 1 inch of rain. so a cubic foot of snow, would melt to 1ft by 1ft by 1in of rain. Oh, I may be off by a factor of 1000. It'd be about 3l of water. So it'd be 1MJ of energy, which would be 300Wh of power, or 10x the power generated by a 1sq ft solar panel under ideal conditions.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on June 05, 2014, 02:20:47 AM
I'm glad we could all agree that solar roads are an awful, awful idea.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Vindictus on June 08, 2014, 02:41:08 AM
Couldn't we just like.. Put solar panels everywhere else first? Why does it have to be roads?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on June 08, 2014, 02:58:03 AM
Couldn't we just like.. Put solar panels everywhere else first? Why does it have to be roads?

See earlier in the thread where I put forth this very thing and a few people genuinely thought there is no room left for solar panels and they simply must be placed on the roads.

http://forum.tfes.org/index.php?topic=1564.msg29588#msg29588
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 08, 2014, 03:40:09 AM
Couldn't we just like.. Put solar panels everywhere else first? Why does it have to be roads?
Because a loud and obnoxious video says we should, and it would be like freakin' TRON.

Do not underestimate the power of dumb hype.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 08, 2014, 04:06:20 AM
PUT THEM EVERY WHERE!!
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 08, 2014, 04:09:51 AM
Meanwhile, nuclear power plants (the resolution of all our problems, our energetic lord and saviour) are being slammed down by the very same people who consider moving away from coal a priority.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on June 08, 2014, 04:24:24 AM
Meanwhile, nuclear power plants (the resolution of all our problems, our energetic lord and saviour) are being slammed down by the very same people who consider moving away from coal a priority.

but what if we get chernobyl'd? Who will save us when all the nuclear plants meltup? WILL SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 08, 2014, 12:12:10 PM
Meanwhile, nuclear power plants (the resolution of all our problems, our energetic lord and saviour) are being slammed down by the very same people who consider moving away from coal a priority.

but what if we get chernobyl'd? Who will save us when all the nuclear plants meltup? WILL SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!?
As we have proven in another thread: The kids ain't all right.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on June 08, 2014, 12:27:07 PM
Meanwhile, nuclear power plants (the resolution of all our problems, our energetic lord and saviour) are being slammed down by the very same people who consider moving away from coal a priority.

[off topic]

And ironically its often the same people that complain about wind farms. Wind farms are good, just not in my backyard.

If you want a fucking iPod then you get a fucking wind farm. Now make a choice fucknuts.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 08, 2014, 02:55:59 PM
Meanwhile, nuclear power plants (the resolution of all our problems, our energetic lord and saviour) ...
Incorrect.  Geothermal is the highly underrated solution to all of our problems.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on June 08, 2014, 03:17:37 PM
Meanwhile, nuclear power plants (the resolution of all our problems, our energetic lord and saviour) ...
Incorrect.  Geothermal is the highly underrated solution to all of our problems.

Geothermal plants can only be placed in very specific locations and don't produce nearly as much electricity as a nuclear plant.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on June 08, 2014, 03:34:56 PM
Geothermal plants can only be placed in very specific locations and don't produce nearly as much electricity as a nuclear plant.

Nuclear plants can only placed in very specific locations. Mainly due to fear rather than an environmental need. But still.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Thork on June 08, 2014, 11:28:30 PM
Nuclear plants can only placed in very specific locations. Mainly due to fear rather than an environmental need. But still.
False. Nuclear plants will grow almost anywhere.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: jroa on June 09, 2014, 12:23:47 AM
Thorium Reactors are the future.  They are relatively cheap, very safe, and have a high output of energy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_fluoride_thorium_reactor
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Shmeggley on June 09, 2014, 01:26:10 AM
Thorium Reactors are the future.  They are relatively cheap, very safe, and have a high output of energy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_fluoride_thorium_reactor

Also very difficult to weaponize. And Thorium is much more abundant that Uranium and if I remember right, it's easier to refine. We have the technology, we have the Thorium; why we aren't using them is beyond me.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on June 09, 2014, 04:01:40 AM
Also very difficult to weaponize. And Thorium is much more abundant that Uranium and if I remember right, it's easier to refine. We have the technology, we have the Thorium; why we aren't using them is beyond me.

Probably because liquid fluoride salt corrodes and eats through all known types of shielding for reactors. Other reasons are found in, funnily enough, the very link jroa provided.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_fluoride_thorium_reactor#Disadvantages
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 09, 2014, 12:31:27 PM
Thorium Reactors are the future.  They are relatively cheap, very safe, and have a high output of energy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_fluoride_thorium_reactor

Also very difficult to weaponize.
Incorrect.
http://www.wnd.com/2012/12/nuclear-weapons-suddenly-easier-with-wonder-fuel/
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Shmeggley on June 09, 2014, 07:21:47 PM
Thorium Reactors are the future.  They are relatively cheap, very safe, and have a high output of energy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_fluoride_thorium_reactor

Also very difficult to weaponize.
Incorrect.
http://www.wnd.com/2012/12/nuclear-weapons-suddenly-easier-with-wonder-fuel/

Blast the oily hides of the anti-Thorium conspiracy and their insidious propoganda.  >:(

Seriously though, that's news to me. What a bummer. Though it was never the case that Thorium had no proliferation risk at all. I wonder how it compares to U-235 reactors.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Shmeggley on June 09, 2014, 07:31:44 PM
Also very difficult to weaponize. And Thorium is much more abundant that Uranium and if I remember right, it's easier to refine. We have the technology, we have the Thorium; why we aren't using them is beyond me.

Probably because liquid fluoride salt corrodes and eats through all known types of shielding for reactors. Other reasons are found in, funnily enough, the very link jroa provided.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_fluoride_thorium_reactor#Disadvantages

Obviously a solution to this exists since there have been working Thorium reactors. The fact remains that despite the engineering hurdles, Thorium still has clear advantages (also listed in that same article, funnily enough) possibly the most important of which is safety, which I expect is most people's first concern when it comes to typical nuclear reactors.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 09, 2014, 07:33:57 PM
safety, which I expect is most people's first concern when it comes to typical nuclear reactors.
An entirely unfounded one (given that it's 2014 and not 1986), but yes, it sadly is one.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 09, 2014, 07:38:53 PM
From what I understand, some Thorium reactor designs are essentially breeder reactors and breeder reactors are used to make weapons grade fissionable materials.
Quote from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium-based_nuclear_power#Possible_disadvantages
Thorium, when being irradiated for use in reactors, will make uranium-232, which is very dangerous due to the gamma rays it emits. This irradiation process may be able to be altered slightly by removing protactinium-233. The irradiation would then make uranium-233 in lieu of uranium-232, which can be used in nuclear weapons to make thorium into a dual purpose fuel.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on June 09, 2014, 09:30:15 PM
An entirely unfounded one (given that it's 2014 and not 2011), but yes, it sadly is one.

Fixed. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster)
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on June 10, 2014, 02:02:57 AM
Fixed. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster)

That wasn't a problem with the nuclear plant itself, though; Fukushima was hit by a natural disaster.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 10, 2014, 06:19:47 AM
It also brought no harm to anyone whatsoever. Yes, sometimes shit breaks. We're talking about safety, not hype.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 10, 2014, 09:54:05 AM
Fixed. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster)

That wasn't a problem with the nuclear plant itself, though; Fukushima was hit by a natural disaster.
Two.  Frankly I'm surprised it sustained as little damage as it did.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on June 10, 2014, 09:25:00 PM
Fixed. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster)

That wasn't a problem with the nuclear plant itself, though; Fukushima was hit by a natural disaster.

You are correct because there will never be another natural disaster.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on June 10, 2014, 11:04:32 PM
You are correct because there will never be another natural disaster.

Highways can get destroyed during earthquakes, therefore highways are too dangerous to build. All roads should be dirt roads, because even though dirt roads are less safe and cost more to maintain than highways, they are not as susceptible to earthquakes as highways.


Didn't I say something earlier about getting your head checked? You should really look into it.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 10, 2014, 11:18:50 PM
You don't need to evacuate a city when a highway breaks.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: DuckDodgers on June 11, 2014, 01:19:26 AM
You can't evacuate a city when the highways break...
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 11, 2014, 01:30:14 AM
You can't evacuate a city when the highways break...
That would be true if highways were the only roads.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 11, 2014, 01:31:41 AM
You are correct because there will never be another natural disaster.

Highways can get destroyed during earthquakes, therefore highways are too dangerous to build. All roads should be dirt roads, because even though dirt roads are less safe and cost more to maintain than highways, they are not as susceptible to earthquakes as highways.

Highways don't contaminate the environment for tens of thousands of years when they break.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 11, 2014, 06:50:41 AM
It also brought no harm to anyone whatsoever. Yes, sometimes shit breaks. We're talking about safety, not hype.
it's 2014 and not 1986
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Ghost Spaghetti on June 11, 2014, 12:35:39 PM
An entirely unfounded one (given that it's 2014 and not 2011), but yes, it sadly is one.

Fixed. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster)

The Fukushima plant suffered an earthquake, tsunami, fires and lack of maintenance due to the aforementioned natural disasters and yet it still leaked very little radiation into the wider world.

Fun fact, coal reactors produce much more waste radiation

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste/
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 11, 2014, 07:02:04 PM
Thunderf00t really hates solar freakin' roadways.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KI8c2f8r0UU
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on June 11, 2014, 07:04:29 PM
Fun fact

Irrelevant. The implicit claim was that nuclear plants had been safe since 1986.

This is not safe:

(http://crowsnestecology.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/fukushima.jpg)

Highways can get destroyed during earthquakes,

Irrelevant. This thread is about nuclear power plants and their safety. Not highways.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on June 11, 2014, 07:07:48 PM
Thunderf00t really hates solar freakin' roadways.

Yeah. Function creep.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 11, 2014, 07:50:00 PM
This is not safe:

(http://crowsnestecology.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/fukushima.jpg)

An explosion (that ends up harming nobody - safe!) can happen to most types of high-energy power plants. It's kind of implied by the "high-energy" part of it.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on June 11, 2014, 07:58:34 PM
An explosion (that ends up harming nobody - safe!) can happen to most types of high-energy power plants. It's kind of implied by the "high-energy" part of it.

lol but no. Just because its high energy doesn't mean we should just shrug when it explodes.

Or: What does a risk matrix for a nuclear power plant look like?

I agree generally that there should be more nuclear power plants, but there's no denying that Fukushima was an accident.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 11, 2014, 08:53:25 PM
lol but no. Just because its high energy doesn't mean we should just shrug when it explodes.
We shouldn't shrug, and I never claimed we should. However, we're not banning coal because zomg it might break. Hilariously enough, that would be more harmful to people than a modern nuclear plant "disaster".

there's no denying that Fukushima wasn't an accident.
Erm, then what was it? Did the Jews do it?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on June 11, 2014, 09:37:59 PM
However, we're not banning coal because zomg it might break.

Because it doesn't.

Your article about nuclear vs coal seems to ignore the crucial radioactive waste. Imma guess that shit is pretty radioactive.

Did the Jews do it?

Wait what. Oh. Whoops. Fixed.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 12, 2014, 01:31:12 AM
Thunderf00t really hates solar freakin' roadways.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KI8c2f8r0UU

He does.
He also doesn't seem to understand that glass comes in a wide variety of makeup.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on June 12, 2014, 01:37:59 AM
Irrelevant. This thread is about nuclear power plants and their safety. Not highways.

Looks like you're having trouble in yet another thread. You should start reading thread titles before posting in them.  There is another thread about nuclear roadways if you want to discuss the safety of nuclear power.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: EnigmaZV on June 12, 2014, 04:50:13 PM
Thunderf00t really hates solar freakin' roadways.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KI8c2f8r0UU

He does.
He also doesn't seem to understand that glass comes in a wide variety of makeup.

Maybe he also gets a broken iPhone and sees if the gorilla glass can wear away asphalt. Of course the tempered glass of a coffee pot should be just fine, seeing as part of the original video showed them shoveling recycled glass into a wheelbarrow presumably to make these roadway tiles.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 12, 2014, 05:22:09 PM
The guy was just using stock footage to show using "recycled glass", I wouldn't take it too literally.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 12, 2014, 07:26:53 PM
The guy was just using stock footage to show using "recycled glass", I wouldn't take it too literally.
Stock footage specifically featuring himself and his wife?

He does.
He also doesn't seem to understand that glass comes in a wide variety of makeup.
This argument is simultaneously used to argue two points:

In either case, it won't be cheap enough or sturdy enough, but a much more pressing problem here is that you can't have it both ways.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 12, 2014, 07:29:02 PM
The guy was just using stock footage to show using "recycled glass", I wouldn't take it too literally.
Stock footage specifically featuring himself and his wife?
Oh did it? I didn't notice.

Can't you just melt glass and re-work it anyway?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 12, 2014, 11:03:53 PM
I don't know if it can be done, but it's certainly not practical.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 13, 2014, 01:24:05 AM
Thunderf00t really hates solar freakin' roadways.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KI8c2f8r0UU

He does.
He also doesn't seem to understand that glass comes in a wide variety of makeup.

Maybe he also gets a broken iPhone and sees if the gorilla glass can wear away asphalt. Of course the tempered glass of a coffee pot should be just fine, seeing as part of the original video showed them shoveling recycled glass into a wheelbarrow presumably to make these roadway tiles.
Why would he rub asphalt against glass anyway?  To prove Asphalt is harder than glass?

*watches video again*

Is that.. .is that asphalt with aggregate in it?
And why did he only show us a few seconds of scratches?  I watched it a few times and I couldn't see much of the scratches.  He didn't even show us the results.  He just rubbed it once then cut the film.

Also:
Aggregate is what scratched it.  I'd like to see him try that shit with PURE asphalt.  Which, according to the table of hardness, is much softer than glass.  But let him ignore such scientific details. 
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 13, 2014, 02:49:21 AM
Also:
Aggregate is what scratched it.  I'd like to see him try that shit with PURE asphalt.  Which, according to the table of hardness, is much softer than glass.  But let him ignore such scientific details.
I'm guessing that the pure asphalt would smear all over the glass and block quite a lot of the available sunlight.

Also, I think this video does a better job of showing the scratch tests:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_3362097223&feature=iv&src_vid=KI8c2f8r0UU&v=K3ftXinT4jI
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: DuckDodgers on June 13, 2014, 04:06:54 AM
I got through about 3 minutes of that video and noticed he is once again using retail price as well as assuming 100% conversion right off the bat.  He also assumes every LED will be on 100% of the time for his energy use calculation, when you can probably figure roughly 50% of the LEDs on a panel may be turned on at the same time, and not every panel in America would be on all the time.  Plus his voice is annoying.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Shmeggley on June 13, 2014, 05:46:11 AM
What would be the point of testing pure asphalt on glass anyway? The point is what happens when cars are driving over all the pebbles, dirt and sand that will inevitably get on the road.

I'm also curious to see how good the traction really is once the road gets all oily and wet?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 13, 2014, 09:00:28 AM
Is that.. .is that asphalt with aggregate in it?
Yes, the kind that you make roads out of. Why would he be using anything else?

And why did he only show us a few seconds of scratches?  I watched it a few times
If you watched it a few times, then you must have heard him a few times when he said he's got more details in his other video (the one markjo linked), and this one is just for laughs.

Aggregate is what scratched it.  I'd like to see him try that shit with PURE asphalt.  Which, according to the table of hardness, is much softer than glass.  But let him ignore such scientific details.
Why? It would have absolutely nothing to do with actual roads. It'd be an exercise in futility.

I got through about 3 minutes of that video and noticed he is once again using retail price as well as assuming 100% conversion right off the bat.  He also assumes every LED will be on 100% of the time for his energy use calculation, when you can probably figure roughly 50% of the LEDs on a panel may be turned on at the same time, and not every panel in America would be on all the time.  Plus his voice is annoying.
He already assumed 50 LEDs per tile, so that's your main concern covered. But hey. Slash all of his numbers by a factor of 100. Guess what? Still doesn't help.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 13, 2014, 12:26:04 PM
I also like how he pointed out that LEDs are kinda hard to see in bright sun and solar panels that just lay flat on the ground don't get nearly as much sunlight as angled and steerable panels get.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: DuckDodgers on June 13, 2014, 02:22:15 PM
I don't understand how assuming 50 LEDs per tile covers my main concern.  Under normal circumstances on a four lane highway you'll have 5 strips of light, assuming a 7 ft lane with a 2 ft shoulder on either side that's 32 ft. Take his 1.5 ft per tile measure and you have 12 tiles which is 600 lights. Figure each strip is two lights thick, 3 for the border strip, and 7 lights per length of tile since 7x7 is the closest even layout for 50 lights, and that is 49 lights for the lanes per 600 lights,  or 2% of the lights. Of course in cities it will be more, but a vast majority of US roads are not in the city.  Let's just assume 20% of lights need to be on, that's only 2.4 trillion of his 12 trillion figure.  Cut that in half to account for day and you get 1.2 trillion.  Cut that again to account for the empty nighttime roadways, we'll assume a very generous 40% usage and you get 480 billion which is a far cry from 12 trillion and also probably a significant overstatement.  This is also assuming the figures of 109% conversion.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 13, 2014, 03:24:55 PM
But hey. Slash all of his numbers by a factor of 100. Guess what? Still doesn't help.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: DuckDodgers on June 13, 2014, 04:19:25 PM
He isn't helping his case by using faulty numbers.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 13, 2014, 05:38:07 PM
He isn't helping his case by using faulty numbers.
When the numbers are multiple orders of magnitude outside of anything realistic or practical, accuracy isn't all that necessary.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: DuckDodgers on June 13, 2014, 05:51:51 PM
When the numbers are only a portion of your argument and you can't get them right, what other misinformation are you spreading?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on June 13, 2014, 08:43:50 PM
Why would he rub asphalt against glass anyway?  To prove Asphalt is harder than glass?

Yes.

I'd like to see him try that shit with PURE asphalt.

Are roads made from pure asphalt?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 13, 2014, 09:19:01 PM
I like his video, I didn't watch all of it though. I wonder if there's been a rebuttal from Solar Roadways answering these more specific arguments.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on June 13, 2014, 09:45:46 PM
Well from their website:

http://www.solarroadways.com/clearingthefreakinair.shtml

They still have major issues, and some of the assumptions they make in their rebuttals are flawed. I still maintain that the best they can do is strip it back to its bare components (toughened solar panel) and install it in a car park somewhere. Then wait 10 years and see how it works out. Fuck the touch sensors and the heaters and the LEDs.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: EnigmaZV on June 13, 2014, 09:50:23 PM
Yes, a proof of concept parking lot would go a long way to demonstrate how viable this system is. They should install these somewhere where there is ample sunlight year round, and where there is no need to run a snowplough over them. I don't see why they need millions of dollars to accomplish that.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 13, 2014, 10:10:49 PM
Seems like a decent rebuttal to me. Nice bit on the recycled glass, the hardness of tempered glass, and outdoor LEDs.

Yes, a proof of concept parking lot would go a long way to demonstrate how viable this system is. They should install these somewhere where there is ample sunlight year round, and where there is no need to run a snowplough over them. I don't see why they need millions of dollars to accomplish that.
And that's what they've been doing with the prototype parking lot.

Quote
Thanks to our funding from Indiegogo, we are now going to hire a team of engineers this summer, who will help us make tweaks to the design, streamline production and get costs down.

They say the money is used to hire a team of engineers and those don't come cheap.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on June 13, 2014, 10:33:58 PM
prototype parking lot.

It needs to be a parking lot that actually gets used. That someone paid for. With lots of parking bays. Not the promotional one they use in their pics. Its nice and everything, as a showcase of what it looks like, but its not a paying customer.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 13, 2014, 10:35:50 PM
It needs to be a parking lot that actually gets used. That someone paid for. With lots of parking bays. Not the promotional one they use in their pics. Its nice and everything, as a showcase of what it looks like, but its not a paying customer.
Fair enough, seems like a logical next step.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: EnigmaZV on June 13, 2014, 10:48:47 PM
So then why are they hiring engineers if it hasn't even been tested to see if it's a viable road surface? If part of those initial millions don't end up paving someone's lot for free, I don't think these guys are serious.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 14, 2014, 12:28:09 AM
It has gone through testing to be proven as a feasible road surface. The engineers are to make it all work smoothly and safely , etc. I'm sure you can imagine that a lot of tests, prototypes, and R&D has to go into something like this.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 14, 2014, 01:20:22 AM
What rooster said.

The project is going slow.  They built their own version in their own environment.
Next they'll build a parking lot or small road section in public.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 14, 2014, 04:14:21 AM
When the numbers are only a portion of your argument and you can't get them right, what other misinformation are you spreading?
Seemingly none, given how much you cling to the fact that ballpark numbers are ballpark numbers.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: DuckDodgers on June 14, 2014, 05:03:14 AM
Being orders of magnitude off is hardly in the ballpark.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 14, 2014, 01:35:54 PM
Being orders of magnitude off is hardly in the ballpark.
I rest my case. You have nothing, other than a claim that the ridiculous numbers should be different ridiculous numbers.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: DuckDodgers on June 14, 2014, 02:12:58 PM
So I guess accuracy isn't at all important when trying to refute an argument?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 14, 2014, 02:36:48 PM
Can we at least agree that the project is not done yet and requires more testing and final numbers on implementation and longevity?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 14, 2014, 02:50:39 PM
So I guess accuracy isn't at all important when trying to refute an argument?
Welcome to The Flat Earth Society.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 14, 2014, 11:06:13 PM
So I guess accuracy isn't at all important when trying to refute an argument?
That's the very point you're responding to right now, yes.

He isn't helping his case by using faulty numbers.
When the numbers are multiple orders of magnitude outside of anything realistic or practical, accuracy isn't all that necessary.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: NewSeeker on June 15, 2014, 12:06:48 AM
This has my full support.
The pictures really do it for me.
I wonder has he tested a Prius on the panels yet.

Interesting.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on June 15, 2014, 12:30:42 AM
Can we at least agree that the project is not done yet and requires more testing and final numbers on implementation and longevity?

I suppose. But its never going to pave USAmericas roads. Ever.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 15, 2014, 02:13:14 AM
Can we at least agree that the project is not done yet and requires more testing and final numbers on implementation and longevity?

I suppose. But its never going to pave USAmericas roads. Ever.
You're probably right.  Even if the technology was dirt cheap, lasted 100 years, and was proven to produce enough energy for us to sell to Canada AND Mexico it would never pave American roads.

Americans are just too damn stupid.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 15, 2014, 02:45:38 AM
Even if the technology was dirt cheap, lasted 100 years, and was proven to produce enough energy for us to sell to Canada AND Mexico it would never pave American roads.
Then its just as well that it's none of those things.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on June 15, 2014, 03:11:24 PM
Americans are just too damn stupid.

Well if it did all of those things then it probably would get picked up. I imagine BP would snap them up in a jiffy. Maybe they still will. There might be some innovation in the company that's worth buying. In the long run, from the perspective of the company, that's probably the best outcome. .... googles.... oh aparently Scott and Julie hold no patents on the technology ... which is cool because free software and all that ... but now BP will fuck them til they look like tubes.

This actually makes me sad. He and his wife seem like a cool people but they just needs to cover their bases and reign in the ideas.

Here's a TED talk Scott did: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwHtWSFmV1Q

I didn't watch the whole thing, but skipping through he starts talking about creating a water filtration system from road surface run off. And covering roads with recycled trash. And recharging electric cars (why no nuclear cars >:( )

He just needs to be reigned in. His wife is probably just as bad as him in terms of untethered dreams.

Think about Segway. Segway was a brilliant, largely finished product, that did a simple thing based on innovative sensors and software. According to the hype Segway was going to revolutionise the world. Roads and cities were going to be rebuilt around this new device. It never happened.

Now imagine if Segway was covered in special paint that made it more streamlined and efficient, and it had special sensors that were linked to a satellite network so you could perform maintenance checks remotely, and it had lasers to detect nearby electrical charging points.

Now imagine all these features were only half developed. Now imagine how even less successful Segway would have been.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 15, 2014, 03:26:05 PM
I definitely agree about getting his ideas reigned in. They need to focus on the practical real world possibilities. If that works out then they can think about military spy panels and the like.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 15, 2014, 03:49:04 PM
I definitely agree about getting his ideas reigned in. They need to focus on the practical real world possibilities. If that works out then they can think about military spy panels and the like.
Agreed.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: EnigmaZV on June 16, 2014, 05:19:50 PM
Military supply panels was a stupid pitch. The government already has those. NASA uses them to survey other planets.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: NewSeeker on June 16, 2014, 07:38:53 PM
I really want to donate to this, but can anyone tell me why they need public funding in the first place?
I was thinking of donating, but then I thought, why wouldn't the state fund this?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 16, 2014, 07:58:44 PM
As I recall, they did get some state (or federal) funding.  That's how they paid for the prototypes.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Ghost of V on June 16, 2014, 08:03:10 PM
I really want to donate to this, but can anyone tell me why they need public funding in the first place?
I was thinking of donating, but then I thought, why wouldn't the state fund this?

They don't fund it because its quite frankly a stupid idea that will not take off. The reasons for this have been explained thoroughly in this thread.

You should spend your money on Nuclear Freakin Roadways instead.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 16, 2014, 08:08:58 PM
I really want to donate to this, but can anyone tell me why they need public funding in the first place?
I was thinking of donating, but then I thought, why wouldn't the state fund this?

They don't fund it because its quite frankly a stupid idea that will not take off. The reasons for this have been explained thoroughly in this thread.

You should spend your money on Nuclear Freakin Roadways instead.
False. The Federal Highway Administration funded two prototypes.

http://www.solarroadways.com/faq.shtml#faqTesting
Quote
We have been working for years with just the two of us and a handful of volunteers. We have now reached the point that we need a team of engineers to help us make some final adjustments in our panels and streamline the production process to bring costs down and allow us to produce them more quickly. That is exactly what we are going to use the funding for. We are proud to start offering jobs, the more funds we get, the more we can offer. We can also start building machinery for assembly of the Solar Road Panels. You wouldn't believe how many solar cells we broke while assembling 108 prototype panels!

We don't know where the misconception has come from that we need to pay for projects. The Federal Highway Administration funded two prototypes for us and now we have a very long list of potential customers waiting for our panels to be ready for purchase.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Ghost of V on June 16, 2014, 08:43:33 PM
Yes, but they're not funding the whole project... Yet.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 16, 2014, 09:14:23 PM
Yes, but they're not funding the whole project... Yet.

Way to move the goalposts.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Ghost of V on June 16, 2014, 10:49:34 PM
I'm pretty sure he was asking why it isn't funded and being implemented now if it is such a good idea. I gave a reason. You initially moved the goal post when you misunderstood what we were talking about.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 16, 2014, 10:57:11 PM
I'm pretty sure [...] when you misunderstood what we were talking about.
You don't even know for sure what he was asking. In the broadest terms, they have received federal funding.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: NewSeeker on June 16, 2014, 11:17:43 PM
I really want to donate to this, but can anyone tell me why they need public funding in the first place?
I was thinking of donating, but then I thought, why wouldn't the state fund this?

They don't fund it because its quite frankly a stupid idea that will not take off. The reasons for this have been explained thoroughly in this thread.

You should spend your money on Nuclear Freakin Roadways instead.
False. The Federal Highway Administration funded two prototypes.

http://www.solarroadways.com/faq.shtml#faqTesting


Oh my. I'm admittedly skeptical about past science projects because they seemingly never come to fruition, but this has got to be the coolest thing I've ever seen. I hope they go far.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 21, 2014, 12:57:46 AM
They won't go far, because the project is about as feasible as lightsabers. Yes, it's really damn cool, and really damn impossible.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obS6TUVSZds
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 21, 2014, 01:14:46 AM
They won't go far, because the project is about as feasible as lightsabers. Yes, it's really damn cool, and really damn impossible.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obS6TUVSZds
Its impossible to pave a road with solar panels?
Or its impossible that America will pay to do it?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 21, 2014, 01:35:47 AM
PP thinks he knows everything.

Even if it were impractical it's definitely not impossible.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 21, 2014, 01:53:12 AM
PP thinks he knows everything.
Nah, but I know basic electronic and electrical engineering, since it's vaguely related to my field of study. And precisely because I don't know everything, I refer you to the judgement of those much more proficient in these fields than myself.

Even if it were impractical it's definitely not impossible.
No, the claims they're making are impossible. They go against the laws of physics.

Its impossible to pave a road with solar panels?
It's possible (although idiotic) to pave a road with solar panels. It might not be possible to do so without compromising the road's key requirements (durability, high friction in adverse weather conditions, etc.). It is impossible for this road to also power its own LED line markings, produce a return on investment, heat the road it constitutes and also become a super military surveillance drone comparable to NASA's description of the Curiosity rover.

The fact that it's financially impractical (which rooster was kind enough to remind us of), is just the cherry on top of the cake.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 21, 2014, 02:16:11 AM
PP thinks he knows everything.
Nah, but I know basic electronic and electrical engineering, since it's vaguely related to my field of study. And precisely because I don't know everything, I refer you to the judgement of those much more proficient in these fields than myself.

Right, you provided a Thunderf00t link which Solar Roadways has already made a rebuttal to, at least partially since I didn't watch his whole video I don't know. I'm pretty sure if it were impossible it would not have gotten as far as it has.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Blanko on June 21, 2014, 02:25:41 AM
But it's yet to be implemented or tested anywhere. How is that "far" at all?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 21, 2014, 02:27:16 AM
Right, you provided a Thunderf00t link which Solar Roadways has already made a rebuttal to
A response is not a rebuttal. They basically say "nuh uh" multiple times and provide unverified claims (and intentionally misinterpreted some accusations - for example, they took asphalt with no aggregate and said "see, it's soft! Roads are rubbish!" - why would they need to do that if they had actual answers to the issue?). I also posted EEVblog's video which provides some more thorough numbers.

I'm pretty sure if it were impossible it would not have gotten as far as it has.
We don't know how far it's gotten. They say they can heat the roads, they have yet to show it. And their FAQ very openly admits that:

Quote
Won't your textured surface make a lot of noise at high speeds?

Short answer: we don't know. The world's only prototype is a mere 36-feet long and in a place where we can't build up speed.

They don't even know how their road will behave in, you know, simple road conditions. They don't know how it'll behave with fast, heavy cars on them. They claim they tested things, but they provide neither the numbers nor empirical evidence to substantiate that.

Other things they didn't test:

Quote
How are you going to handle skid marks from tires? Won't that block your sunlight?

We weren't able to officially test for that during our Phase II funding from the FHWA as it wasn't in the budget.

Quote
Will the panels become hotter than asphalt roads? Will they burn us to walk in them in summer?

We haven't tested them (measured the heat) side by side
(and before you accuse me of quote-mining, the answer that follows is a non-answer.)

Quote
What is the maximum heat that the panels can endure?

The ICs are industrial grade, so for instance, the microprocessors can go up to 257 degrees Fahrenheit. We haven't had the funding yet to test our panels in an environmental chamber, but we are anxious to do so.

What they have could be OK-ish for an overpriced parking lot (that will never actually pay for itself, and will not actually provide you with significant amounts of electricity, but hey, it's flashy, it's shiny, big businesses will like it). As far as anything else goes, reality gets in the way. Their actual claims are simply impossible with modern-day technology and materials.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 21, 2014, 03:19:23 AM
Quote
Will the panels become hotter than asphalt roads? Will they burn us to walk in them in summer?

We haven't tested them (measured the heat) side by side
They have a test patch outside, don't they?  How expensive is a thermometer?  Couldn't they even just feel how hot the glass is compared to asphalt with their hands?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 21, 2014, 03:38:48 AM
No, no, they need funding, you see. Ka-ching!
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 21, 2014, 04:13:00 AM
Quote
Will the panels become hotter than asphalt roads? Will they burn us to walk in them in summer?

We haven't tested them (measured the heat) side by side
They have a test patch outside, don't they?  How expensive is a thermometer?  Couldn't they even just feel how hot the glass is compared to asphalt with their hands?
Well, they might live in a colder region (I think Ohio) in which case they can't test how hot it is in hotter climates unless someone wants to give them money to go to Florida and make a parking lot. You do know that sacrificing your livelihood and any other job for the sake of a huge invention is a big investment, right?

"Scott is an electrical engineer (MSEE) with over 20 years of industry experience. This includes serving as the Director of Research and Development at a manufacturing facility in Ohio (developing their line of products for over 12 years)" So he's not completely out of his depth.

We do know exactly how far they've gotten. They've been through two prototype phases (with the Federal Highway Administration) where they tested the friction and durability of the glass and have a parking lot, and they're completely honest with the things they haven't been able to test yet.

And for example, they totally killed Thunderf00t's LED argument. They claim that they passed the Federal Highway's tests for friction and plausible surface- have you seen the Federal Highway come out and say that it's false? Obviously, they've passed, just because they haven't provided the exact formula for their hexagonal patterned glass doesn't mean it's impossible. They tested for fucking tanks, they know the weight they can handle.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 21, 2014, 04:35:04 AM
Its impossible to pave a road with solar panels?
It's possible (although idiotic) to pave a road with solar panels. It might not be possible to do so without compromising the road's key requirements (durability, high friction in adverse weather conditions, etc.). It is impossible for this road to also power its own LED line markings, produce a return on investment, heat the road it constitutes and also become a super military surveillance drone comparable to NASA's description of the Curiosity rover.

The fact that it's financially impractical (which rooster was kind enough to remind us of), is just the cherry on top of the cake.
Why would it be impossible for all that at once?  Ok, the last part is just silly but the rest of it is possible.
LEDs aren't exactly high powered lights. 
The Return on Investment will be tough.  Without the math on how much each panel will cost during production we can't even begin to calculate a ROI. 

So let's take the 280 Watt Solar Panel from Home Dept.  $400/panel.  39.1"x77"
Let's pave that over 1 mile of road, 2 lanes.
Lanes vary between 9-12 feet in rural US for local lanes.  So that's what we'll do.  Let's use 10ft (for ease of math)
But I'm not stupid so I'm converting everything to metric.

1 mile = 1609.34 meters
Each lane is 3.048 meters wide.
Each Panel is 0.99314 meters x 1.9558 meters.
So the total area needing to be covered is 6.096*1609.34 = 9,810.53664 m2
Each panel has an area of 1.942383212 m2

So dividing
9,810.53664/1.942383212
Total Panels needed: 5,051
At $400/panel it'll cost $2,020,400.  Assuming we buy the panels straight from Home Dept.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Grape-Solar-280-Watt-Polcrystalline-Solar-Panel-GS-P-280-Fab1/202959966?N=5yc1vZbm31 (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Grape-Solar-280-Watt-Polcrystalline-Solar-Panel-GS-P-280-Fab1/202959966?N=5yc1vZbm31)

So how long would it take to get a return on investment?
Let's assume (impossibly) that no cars ever drove on it.  This will give us a lower limit on the minimum time it would take for a ROI.
Let's take New York since I'm more familiar with the state.
Peak sun averages about 4 hours.  But let's assume 2 because we have panels flat on the ground instead of at an angle.

5,051 at 280watts = 1,414,280 watts. 
1,414,280 watts*2 hours /1000 = 2,828.56 KWH

At the current rate of .08/kwh the panels would generate $226.2848 worth of energy a day.  (ignoring the LEDs)

So the flat cost of $2,020,400/mile and a return of $226/day, it would take roughly 24.5 years to break even.

But what if we use cheaper panels?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/181395099800?lpid=82 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/181395099800?lpid=82)
50x250w panels.
Or $156/panel.
Dimensions are a little different.
0.9906x1.64084 = 1.625416104 m2
6,036 Panels.  At $156 it'll cost $941,616.  Less than half of the other panels.
Total power generated per day: 3,018 KWH
or $241.44/day.
ROI: 10.6 years.

Wow that was a lot of typing. (weird that the cheaper, smaller panels produced more energy.  But whatever.)

Anyway, to calculate the same cost of the materials for an asphalt road, let's use this document:
http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/esc/oe/cost_index/historical_reports/PI_2012_qtr4.pdf (http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/esc/oe/cost_index/historical_reports/PI_2012_qtr4.pdf)

So $94.41/ton.

Asphalt concrete is about 2.243 grams per cubic centimeter.
(I'm probably going to screw something up with the math so please point out my mistakes)
Convert to meters.
0.000001 meters3
.002243 kg.

Density = 2,243kg/m3



Assuming 0.0889m thickness a 1 mile road would be
0.0889*1609.34 = 143.070326 m3

So Mass = 2243*143.070326= 320,906.741218 Kg
kg to ton conversion:
321 metric tons.
Cost: $30,305.61
Or 4 months worth of pure solar roadway energy.



TL:DR
Material Cost of Solar Panels for 1 mile 2 lane highway: $941,616
Time for ROI: 10.6 Years.
Material Cost of Asphalt Concrete: $30,305.61
Time for ROI: ?? (the roads produce nothing so their investment is all about having happy citizens and businesses but probably within 6 months if not sooner)


There!
The Math for all to see!
Solar roads are incredibly expensive.

3 mile island cost $1.91 Billion (adjusted for inflation) to build.
It generates 6,645,000,000 KWh /year.
At .08/kwh = 531,600,000 it's ROI  is roughly 2 years.

Heating the road is easy and they've shown it working.  It takes more energy than the panels will produce in the winter, but it can be done.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Blanko on June 21, 2014, 12:00:32 PM
What I don't understand about all this is, if we're going to produce a fuckton of solar panels, why would we put them on roads of all places?

Do people actually want to live in Tron?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rama Set on June 21, 2014, 12:11:28 PM
Yes. Yes I do.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on June 21, 2014, 12:52:03 PM
PP thinks he knows everything.
Nah, but I know basic electronic and electrical engineering, since it's vaguely related to my field of study. And precisely because I don't know everything, I refer you to the judgement of those much more proficient in these fields than myself.

Right, you provided a Thunderf00t link which Solar Roadways has already made a rebuttal to,

Just "posting a rebuttal" doesn't counter all the claims against an argument. Their rebuttal was prettty weak and mostly consisted of speculation about the amazing thing they haven't built yet.

Eg:

Quote
What will an earthquake do to a Solar Roadway?

Basically, any such force that could destroy an asphalt or concrete road would have a similar result with a Solar Roadway. Power will not be lost however: only the damaged panels will stop producing.

They somehow magically know that their power distribution system is impervious to earthquakes. This alone is an innovation given the damage caused to existing power networks during such a catastrophe.

I'm pretty sure if it were impossible it would not have gotten as far as it has.

Yeah you might hope so.

The difference between impossible and improbable is so slender one could barely fit a cigarette paper between them.

It is possible to cover the (USA) country's roads in solar panels. As a consequence the country will be bankrupt. As a consequence the nations roads will be much worse (for driving on).
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 21, 2014, 02:51:02 PM
Why would it be impossible for all that at once?
Because of physics. You can't heat up the solar panel's area sufficiently to melt the snow using just the solar panel. I'm ignoring the fact that it would be under the snow and clouds for the time being. The efficiency of solar panels is very optimistically quoted at 15%. Converting this back to heat is quite efficient, let's say 100% for convenience. So we get 15% of the sun's energy converted back into heat. Cool.

Now, how much heat does snow already absorb?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albedo#Snow

Between 10% and 60% depending on exact conditions. And guess what, usually that doesn't melt the ice. 15% won't do it either. You physically need more energy than you can produce with those panels.

LEDs aren't exactly high powered lights.
Yeah, EEVblog's somewhat generous approximations suggest they would only use 24% of the panels' power, but he assumed a single straight line in the middle, so let's say 20-30% and call it that. I'm happy to admit that 70-80% of the energy can still be used for other stuff (no, not melting the snow, fuck off.), but that's bugger all. Again, going with EEVblog's calculations, we're looking at several hundred Watt-hours per square metre - and you can only use that during the day! For some reason the Solar Roadways people assume that you can magically store energy in the grid - that's just not how it works. You use it or you lose it.

But I'm not stupid so I'm converting everything to metric.
Thank you.

So the total area needing to be covered is 6.096*1609.34 = 9,810.53664 m2
Each panel has an area of 1.942383212 m2

So dividing
9,810.53664/1.942383212
Total Panels needed: 5,051
You cannot realistically assume you're covering the entire road with solar panels. You need something there to actually support the cars, and the space for the LEDs, and the electronics.

Peak sun averages about 4 hours.  But let's assume 2 because we have panels flat on the ground instead of at an angle.
You also assume that nothing on that strech of road is currently in shade of any sort. Not objecting to it, just pointing it out.

5,051 at 280watts = 1,414,280 watts.
Nnnnnnope. You will never get STC out of a solar panel. Make that 250W and you're still being generous. But okay, I'm liking where you're going, so let's go on with that number. Let's just keep in mind that anything you say isn't just the minimum - it's less than that.

So the flat cost of $2,020,400/mile and a return of $226/day, it would take roughly 24.5 years to break even.
You assume that the only cost incurred is the solar panel. The return will be lower, and the cost will be higher, but 24.5 years is greater than their 20 years anyway.

But what if we use cheaper panels?[...]
ROI: 10.6 years.
Again, you assume your only cost is the solar panel. It's not. They are putting A LOT of stuff in there. Also, the power losses on this thing would be ridiculous. Watch EEVblog's video, he goes over them rather nicely. You about tripled the actual power you'd get in both scenarios, even though you tried to be realistic.

Heating the road is easy and they've shown it working.
Have they? Could I see it?

It takes more energy than the panels will produce in the winter, but it can be done.
Whoah, whoah, moving-the-goalposts alert. Yes, I'm not denying that it's possible to heat stuff with electricity. I'm doing it in my room right now. Hilariously enough, that's easier to do with asphalt roads since they're better heat conductors. The problem with that is that it'd be EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE - pushing it off to the side of the road is simply more practical.

And for example, they totally killed Thunderf00t's LED argument.
No, they haven't. They gave a non-answer. They showed several examples of LEDs that you look at at very convenient angles (close to 0 degrees - note that LEDs are rather shitty at the angles you'd see them on if they were part of a road:

(http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2010_04/1201/100412_Toshiba-L.gif)
)

and in the shade (as is the case with traffic lights - ever wondered what those little roofs above the lights are? Yep. They're exactly what Solar Roadways don't have.)

(http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01695/traffic_1695140a.jpg)

Also, a single traffic light has a very dense LED set-up. If you want to go with that, well, you no longer have enough power generated from the roadways.

The fact that they have to resort to these blatantly dishonest responses doesn't do them favours among those who at least understand the basics. Seriously, grab an LED and try looking at it at different angles. You will very quickly understand what the problem here is.

They tested for fucking tanks, they know the weight they can handle.
No, they fucking haven't. They posted an anecdote about how tanks will be totally fine. You need to read what they actually say before making dumb claims.

Quote
Can your Solar Roadways handle Army tanks?

Our current M1A2 Abrams tank weighs about 68 tons, or 136,000 pounds. That's a little over half of what our Solar Road Panels have passed load testing for.

When I was in the Marines, I was temporarily assigned to a supply company in Japan. I issued tank tracks with rubber "feet" which allowed the tanks to drive down the highways without causing significant damage to the asphalt. The Solar Roadways will have no problem handling a convoy of tanks!
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 21, 2014, 03:29:39 PM
Fine, my memory warped that FAQ, but they did test as a roadworthy material, in some ways surpassing asphalt. I guess Federal Highways doesn't feel it necessary to test the full weight of a tank.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on June 21, 2014, 03:34:53 PM
Dammit people, why are you still arguing this?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 21, 2014, 03:38:18 PM
Because it keeps progressing in development.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on June 21, 2014, 03:42:24 PM
Because it keeps progressing in development.

The opportunity cost of building a solar panel on the road is too high. i.e. this will never be implemented, no matter how hard these people want to live in a cyberpunk utopia.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 21, 2014, 03:51:36 PM
Because it keeps progressing in development.

The opportunity cost of building a solar panel on the road is too high. i.e. this will never be implemented, no matter how hard these people want to live in a cyberpunk utopia.
I can believe that, it's more about it being possible/impossible though.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on June 21, 2014, 04:46:16 PM
Dammit people, why are you still arguing this?

because nobody wants to argue that the earth is round (it isnt)
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 21, 2014, 04:52:39 PM
Why would it be impossible for all that at once?
Because of physics. You can't heat up the solar panel's area sufficiently to melt the snow using just the solar panel. I'm ignoring the fact that it would be under the snow and clouds for the time being. The efficiency of solar panels is very optimistically quoted at 15%. Converting this back to heat is quite efficient, let's say 100% for convenience. So we get 15% of the sun's energy converted back into heat. Cool.

Now, how much heat does snow already absorb?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albedo#Snow (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albedo#Snow)

Between 10% and 60% depending on exact conditions. And guess what, usually that doesn't melt the ice. 15% won't do it either. You physically need more energy than you can produce with those panels.
I see the confusion now.  See, I was always under the impression that the panels would use energy from the grid to melt the snow, not it's own solar cells.  It was more of a "no more plow trucks" type of thing then "look at how efficient our panels are".  Where did they make the claim that it'll melt the snow without using any grid power?


Quote
LEDs aren't exactly high powered lights.
Yeah, EEVblog's somewhat generous approximations suggest they would only use 24% of the panels' power, but he assumed a single straight line in the middle, so let's say 20-30% and call it that. I'm happy to admit that 70-80% of the energy can still be used for other stuff (no, not melting the snow, fuck off.), but that's bugger all. Again, going with EEVblog's calculations, we're looking at several hundred Watt-hours per square metre - and you can only use that during the day! For some reason the Solar Roadways people assume that you can magically store energy in the grid - that's just not how it works. You use it or you lose it.
Again, I always thought this was a "use the grid when you need to" system and not a "we don't need any outside energy!"

Quote
But I'm not stupid so I'm converting everything to metric.
Thank you.

So the total area needing to be covered is 6.096*1609.34 = 9,810.53664 m2
Each panel has an area of 1.942383212 m2

So dividing
9,810.53664/1.942383212
Total Panels needed: 5,051
You cannot realistically assume you're covering the entire road with solar panels. You need something there to actually support the cars, and the space for the LEDs, and the electronics.

Peak sun averages about 4 hours.  But let's assume 2 because we have panels flat on the ground instead of at an angle.
You also assume that nothing on that strech of road is currently in shade of any sort. Not objecting to it, just pointing it out.

5,051 at 280watts = 1,414,280 watts.
Nnnnnnope. You will never get STC out of a solar panel. Make that 250W and you're still being generous. But okay, I'm liking where you're going, so let's go on with that number. Let's just keep in mind that anything you say isn't just the minimum - it's less than that.

So the flat cost of $2,020,400/mile and a return of $226/day, it would take roughly 24.5 years to break even.
You assume that the only cost incurred is the solar panel. The return will be lower, and the cost will be higher, but 24.5 years is greater than their 20 years anyway.

But what if we use cheaper panels?[...]
ROI: 10.6 years.
Again, you assume your only cost is the solar panel. It's not. They are putting A LOT of stuff in there. Also, the power losses on this thing would be ridiculous. Watch EEVblog's video, he goes over them rather nicely. You about tripled the actual power you'd get in both scenarios, even though you tried to be realistic.

Heating the road is easy and they've shown it working.
Have they? Could I see it?

It takes more energy than the panels will produce in the winter, but it can be done.
Whoah, whoah, moving-the-goalposts alert. Yes, I'm not denying that it's possible to heat stuff with electricity. I'm doing it in my room right now. Hilariously enough, that's easier to do with asphalt roads since they're better heat conductors. The problem with that is that it'd be EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE - pushing it off to the side of the road is simply more practical.
My goal was a "Magic" number that couldn't possibly be reached.  And it's well above financial practicality at the moment.

Also, we seem to have different concepts on how it ties into the grid.  I've always thought it would use grid energy when it needs it (like at night and during snowy weather) but you seem to think they claim self-sufficiency.  If they do claim that then they're idiots. 

What about the shoulder?  You can have the panels supported with the "utility tunnel" under it which provides the drainage and the underground utility area.  It still has solar panels and you can run heating elements from one end of the road to the other with grid tie-in to warm the asphalt.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on June 21, 2014, 05:49:06 PM
Come on guys. This needs to stop. Ask yourself these questions:

"Why don't roads already have LEDs built into them?",
"Why don't roads already have heating elements built into them",
"Why aren't roads already made from toughened glass?",
"Why don't roads already have solar panels alongside them?",
"Why don't road already have pressure sensors built into them?",
"Why don't roads already charge electric cars?"
"Why aren't there already power conduits alongside roads?"

All of the claims of existing need and corresponding solution provided by Solar Roadways can be examined and assessed independently of one another. All of them, to my layman's eye, are left wanting. Munging them all together into one product doesn't make a better product. This isn't Power Rangers. In fact it probably makes it worse.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 21, 2014, 05:53:57 PM
Come on guys. This needs to stop. Ask yourself these questions:

"Why don't roads already have LEDs built into them?",
"Why don't roads already have heating elements built into them",
"Why aren't roads already made from toughened glass?",
"Why don't roads already have solar panels alongside them?",
"Why don't road already have pressure sensors built into them?",
"Why don't roads already charge electric cars?"
"Why aren't there already power conduits alongside roads?"

If everyone had this line of reasoning then nothing would ever be invented. Just because something hasn't been done before doesn't mean it can't/shouldn't be done.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 21, 2014, 05:55:12 PM
Quote
Will the panels become hotter than asphalt roads? Will they burn us to walk in them in summer?

We haven't tested them (measured the heat) side by side
They have a test patch outside, don't they?  How expensive is a thermometer?  Couldn't they even just feel how hot the glass is compared to asphalt with their hands?
Well, they might live in a colder region (I think Ohio) in which case they can't test how hot it is in hotter climates unless someone wants to give them money to go to Florida and make a parking lot. You do know that sacrificing your livelihood and any other job for the sake of a huge invention is a big investment, right?
???  Are you saying that Ohio doesn't get hot in the summer?  Seriously, they cant put just of their prototype panels on the ground next to an asphalt driveway to get some ballpark temperature readings?  Just what kind of testing have they been doing all this time?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 21, 2014, 05:58:20 PM
Come on guys. This needs to stop. Ask yourself these questions:

"Why don't roads already have LEDs built into them?",
"Why don't roads already have heating elements built into them",
"Why aren't roads already made from toughened glass?",
"Why don't roads already have solar panels alongside them?",
"Why don't road already have pressure sensors built into them?",
"Why don't roads already charge electric cars?"
"Why aren't there already power conduits alongside roads?"

If everyone had this line of reasoning then nothing would ever be invented. Just because something hasn't been done before doesn't mean it can't/shouldn't be done.
Then again, just because something can be done doesn't necessarily mean that it should be done.  After all, everyone has great ideas that won't work.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 21, 2014, 06:04:41 PM
Just what kind of testing have they been doing all this time?
You can go and read the testing they've been doing.

Then again, just because something can be done doesn't necessarily mean that it should be done.  After all, everyone has great ideas that won't work.
And that's true, but we wouldn't really be the innovative species that we are if we never tried any of our great ideas.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 21, 2014, 07:45:47 PM
Just what kind of testing have they been doing all this time?
You can go and read the testing they've been doing.

Okay, I will.
Quote from: http://www.solarroadways.com/prototypeII.shtml
Phase II tests performed on the glass so far:

Load testing
Traction testing
Impact resistance testing

The glass has exceeded all expectations and we're really pleased with the results.
So, with all of the load, traction and impact testing, someone couldn't put a hand down to feel how warm the glass got?  It doesn't look like they did any testing on the electronics either.

Also, I like their new numbers page (http://www.solarroadways.com/numbers.shtml).  It's all fine and dandy to calculate how much electricity the road could theoretically produce, but where are the numbers regarding how much electricity the road would use?

Then again, just because something can be done doesn't necessarily mean that it should be done.  After all, everyone has great ideas that won't work.
And that's true, but we wouldn't really be the innovative species that we are if we never tried any of our great ideas.
I didn't say that we shouldn't try any great ideas, I'm just suggesting that we should maybe think some of these "great ideas" through a little better before sinking millions of dollars into them.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 21, 2014, 07:57:26 PM
LOL  Shade trees lining a solar road/sidewalk.
(http://www.solarroadways.com/images/intro/Downtown%20Sandpoint%202%20-%20small.jpg)
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 21, 2014, 08:57:43 PM
It costs money to think ideas through.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 21, 2014, 10:19:10 PM
Their website isn't as updated as they update on their facebook page.


They've made posts about walking barefoot on the glass as well as riding a bike.  Both were fine.


But no formal testing was done yet.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on June 21, 2014, 10:24:41 PM
Solar panels on roads are a waste of resources and heated roads are a waste of energy. Combine the two and you have a great big waste of time.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 21, 2014, 10:29:55 PM
Solar panels on roads are a waste of resources and heated roads are a waste of energy. Combine the two and you have a great big waste of time.
So's Candy Crush but you don't see anyone stopping that train. :P
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 22, 2014, 12:42:21 AM
It costs money to think ideas through.
How much does it cost to realize that the great outdoors are dirty and dirt doesn't do solar panels any favors?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 22, 2014, 01:16:57 AM
It costs money to think ideas through.
How much does it cost to realize that the great outdoors are dirty and dirt doesn't do solar panels any favors?
Dirt rubs off really easily. It can even wash off with rain.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: DuckDodgers on June 22, 2014, 01:29:31 AM
It costs money to think ideas through.
How much does it cost to realize that the great outdoors are dirty and dirt doesn't do solar panels any favors?
As opposed to putting solar panels inside walls where there is no sun?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 22, 2014, 02:04:11 AM
It costs money to think ideas through.
How much does it cost to realize that the great outdoors are dirty and dirt doesn't do solar panels any favors?
Dirt rubs off really easily. It can even wash off with rain.
How often does it rain in southern California, Arizona or New Mexico?  Also, dirt + rain = mud.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 22, 2014, 02:27:38 AM
Dirt rubs off really easily. It can even wash off with rain.
But then we either need to very frequently (and very thoroughly) clean the roadways or accept that their effectiveness (of the solar panels and LEDs, at least) is going to be very variable. I'm convinced that the solar panels would be a relatively insignificant contribution to the grid anyway, so let's not worry about that; but do you really want to accept road markings that may turn out to be unreliable?

@Lorddave (sorry, too lazy to quote specific posts), fair enough, if we assume that the power to do all that stuff doesn't come from the solar panels themselves (my assumption that this would be the case comes from the Solar Roadways guy saying that if we covered all roads in mainland USA with solar panels, we could power the entire country solely off of that, as well as other claims on their page such as "we won't have to rely on foreign oil anymore!"), then everything is possible and merely highly impractical; but if that's the case, dare I ask why we even bother with the solar panels in the first place? A lit and heated road would be much cheaper, and the solar panel output is largely insignificant anyway. Why introduce an expensive and fragile element to the project if it doesn't serve much of a purpose?

How much does it cost to realize that the great outdoors are dirty and dirt doesn't do solar panels any favors?
As opposed to putting solar panels inside walls where there is no sun?
Well, there is also the option of putting them above the ground (e.g. on the roofs of houses). Sure, there will still be some dirt, but it's nothing compared to what's going on on a roadway.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 22, 2014, 02:38:02 AM
LOL  Shade trees lining a solar road/sidewalk.
(http://www.solarroadways.com/images/intro/Downtown%20Sandpoint%202%20-%20small.jpg)

...no solar panels on the roofs, though, because yes.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 22, 2014, 02:41:08 AM
How often does it rain in southern California, Arizona or New Mexico?
Then get a sprinkler system. Honestly, you're not very imaginative.
 
Quote
Also, dirt + rain = mud.
Sure, if it's stagnant but they already have a water run-off system planned.

...no solar panels on the roofs, though, because yes.
They keep saying it's less about a practical place to put solar panels and more about updating asphalt roads.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 22, 2014, 02:56:51 AM
...no solar panels on the roofs, though, because yes.
They keep saying it's less about a practical place to put solar panels and more about updating asphalt roads.
Which is problematic. They don't want to come up with the best solution to problems, they simply want to force their own idea through.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on June 22, 2014, 02:58:10 AM
They keep saying it's less about a practical place to put solar panels and more about updating asphalt roads.

By update, they apparently mean switching to an expensive and exceedingly bad alternative? Why not make asphalt hexagons? Why should we pave roads with rare resources that could be put to much better use?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 22, 2014, 02:59:35 AM
Which is problematic. They don't want to come up with the best solution to problems, they simply want to force their own idea through.
Unless they think it is the best solution. Maybe there are better solutions to asphalt roads but I don't see anyone else trying.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 22, 2014, 03:00:40 AM
Dirt rubs off really easily. It can even wash off with rain.
But then we either need to very frequently (and very thoroughly) clean the roadways or accept that their effectiveness (of the solar panels and LEDs, at least) is going to be very variable. I'm convinced that the solar panels would be a relatively insignificant contribution to the grid anyway, so let's not worry about that; but do you really want to accept road markings that may turn out to be unreliable?
Well here's the question: How come dust and dirt don't obstruct the paint?  It's the same problem.  It's not like dust avoids  settling on paint but would settle on glass.

Quote
@Lorddave (sorry, too lazy to quote specific posts), fair enough, if we assume that the power to do all that stuff doesn't come from the solar panels themselves (my assumption that this would be the case comes from the Solar Roadways guy saying that if we covered all roads in mainland USA with solar panels, we could power the entire country solely off of that, as well as other claims on their page such as "we won't have to rely on foreign oil anymore!"), then everything is possible and merely highly impractical; but if that's the case, dare I ask why we even bother with the solar panels in the first place? A lit and heated road would be much cheaper, and the solar panel output is largely insignificant anyway. Why introduce an expensive and fragile element to the project if it doesn't serve much of a purpose?
I disagree that the solar panels would be insignificant.  It would require a very high quantity but I think it would be a large amount of energy. 
It's financially impractical but I like the idea of our roads doing more than just providing a flat surface to drive on.    Plus I think the glass would provide an easier to maintain roadway than asphalt.  But I have no data to back it up.

Also, having utility tunnels next to/under every road can do nothing but be helpful.


Quote
How much does it cost to realize that the great outdoors are dirty and dirt doesn't do solar panels any favors?
As opposed to putting solar panels inside walls where there is no sun?
Well, there is also the option of putting them above the ground (e.g. on the roofs of houses). Sure, there will still be some dirt, but it's nothing compared to what's going on on a roadway.
Putting them above the road would make roads into tunnels and be less than visually pleasing for most.
Putting them on roofs is great.  But no government or public agency can force such a thing.  Which is the problem.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on June 22, 2014, 03:02:53 AM
Putting them on roofs is great.  But no government or public agency can force such a thing.  Which is the problem.

Uhh.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 22, 2014, 03:26:50 AM
Putting them on roofs is great.  But no government or public agency can force such a thing.  Which is the problem.

Uhh.

Let me rephrase:
It would be publicly unpopular to mandate solar panels on privately owned roofs.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on June 22, 2014, 03:28:38 AM
Let me rephrase:
It would be publicly unpopular to mandate solar panels on privately owned roofs.

Well, that really just depends on the area. I'm pretty sure there are some cities in California that would jizz themselves with smugness if solar panels were in the building code.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 22, 2014, 03:45:13 AM
Which is problematic. They don't want to come up with the best solution to problems, they simply want to force their own idea through.
Unless they think it is the best solution. Maybe there are better solutions to asphalt roads but I don't see anyone else trying.
Do you mean like concrete roads?  You know, sorta like what you would need to replace the asphalt road with as a base for the solar tiles?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Shmeggley on June 22, 2014, 04:09:26 AM
PP thinks he knows everything.
Nah, but I know basic electronic and electrical engineering, since it's vaguely related to my field of study. And precisely because I don't know everything, I refer you to the judgement of those much more proficient in these fields than myself.

Right, you provided a Thunderf00t link which Solar Roadways has already made a rebuttal to,

Just "posting a rebuttal" doesn't counter all the claims against an argument. Their rebuttal was prettty weak and mostly consisted of speculation about the amazing thing they haven't built yet.

Eg:

Quote
What will an earthquake do to a Solar Roadway?

Basically, any such force that could destroy an asphalt or concrete road would have a similar result with a Solar Roadway. Power will not be lost however: only the damaged panels will stop producing.

They somehow magically know that their power distribution system is impervious to earthquakes. This alone is an innovation given the damage caused to existing power networks during such a catastrophe.

I'm pretty sure if it were impossible it would not have gotten as far as it has.

Yeah you might hope so.

The difference between impossible and improbable is so slender one could barely fit a cigarette paper between them.

It is possible to cover the (USA) country's roads in solar panels. As a consequence the country will be bankrupt. As a consequence the nations roads will be much worse (for driving on).

In an earthquake they will be absolutely fucked, because instead of just filling in cracks and repaving, they'll have to repair wiring, rebuild the maintenance channel, their drainage channels, and only then will they be able to bolt on new panels. It'll probably take 5 or 10 times as long to fix as a regular road.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 22, 2014, 04:26:19 AM
Do you mean like concrete roads?  You know, sorta like what you would need to replace the asphalt road with as a base for the solar tiles?
Disadvantages of Concrete Roadways
Paving cost: The paving cost of the concrete road is little higher compared to asphalt paving.
Maintenance Problem: In case the concrete road breaks, the whole concrete slab needs to be replaced.
Safety features: In rainy and the winter season vehicles tend to slip or slide on concrete road due to rain and snow. (Well that's kind of a deal breaker right there)

They have some advantages but not many and definitely nothing significant. They boast about long durability but I rarely ever see a beautiful expanse of concrete road, it's mostly janky af where it's all roughly patched together like a quilt.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Shmeggley on June 22, 2014, 04:44:05 AM
Don't know if it's been brought up yet, but how well will this work on curved roads? If your road goes over a hill for example, aren't the gaps going to get bigger? And at the bottoms of hills, the gaps could close completely and jam the edges, no? I suppose you could have different sized tiles depending on the situation, but of course that's going to add yet another complication.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 22, 2014, 04:50:33 AM
Disadvantages of Concrete Roadways
Paving cost: The paving cost of the concrete road is little higher compared to asphalt paving.
Maintenance Problem: In case the concrete road breaks, the whole concrete slab needs to be replaced.
Umm... You do realize that the solar roadway is essentially built on top of a concrete roadway, don't you?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Shmeggley on June 22, 2014, 05:07:06 AM
Well here's the question: How come dust and dirt don't obstruct the paint?  It's the same problem.  It's not like dust avoids  settling on paint but would settle on glass.
The lines get dirty all the time. And faded. That's why we're always repainting them.

Quote
I disagree that the solar panels would be insignificant.  It would require a very high quantity but I think it would be a large amount of energy. 

So far the numbers I've seen don't seem to support this.
Quote
It's financially impractical but I like the idea of our roads doing more than just providing a flat surface to drive on. 
You may as well have stopped at "it's financially impractical". A lot of people like this idea, obviously, and I think it's neat too. But jetpacks are also a really neat idea.
Quote
  Plus I think the glass would provide an easier to maintain roadway than asphalt.

Yikes no. When somebody invents a machine that busts up the broken glass on a damaged Solar Roadway and spits out fresh tiles behind it, then you can say that. They already have machines that do this for asphalt roads.

Quote
But I have no data to back it up.

Welp.

Quote
Also, having utility tunnels next to/under every road can do nothing but be helpful.

It's not like we really need it though. Putting stuff underground is way harder than putting it above ground, hence why we generally have power poles and telephone poles, not power and telephone tunnels.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 22, 2014, 05:15:07 AM
Umm... You do realize that the solar roadway is essentially built on top of a concrete roadway, don't you?
Sigh. And how does that matter? Concrete as the road surface is the problem, concrete as a foundation for a different road surface is not a problem.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 22, 2014, 05:17:27 AM
Don't know if it's been brought up yet, but how well will this work on curved roads? If your road goes over a hill for example, aren't the gaps going to get bigger? And at the bottoms of hills, the gaps could close completely and jam the edges, no? I suppose you could have different sized tiles depending on the situation, but of course that's going to add yet another complication.
Quote
How do you make hills, curves, and crowns with flat hexagons?

Our first prototype was a 12-foot by 12-foot square. While it worked, its size and shape posed some problems, including the building of curves and hills.

We shrank our design to the shape of a hexagon that covers about four square feet. Our hexagon and half-hexagon (trapezoid) shapes allow us to construct curves. If we find we need other shapes for odd spaces as we progress, we will add them.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 22, 2014, 05:34:07 AM
Umm... You do realize that the solar roadway is essentially built on top of a concrete roadway, don't you?
Sigh. And how does that matter? Concrete as the road surface is the problem, concrete as a foundation for a different road surface is not a problem.
Because concrete roadways (even if they're only used as a foundation) are a lot of time and money to install and maintain.  Even with drainage, concrete foundations are subject to damage from thermal expansion/contraction cycles, among other things.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 22, 2014, 06:01:48 AM
Well something has to be a foundation and that something will need repair like all things. I'm not sure what your point is.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 22, 2014, 09:15:43 AM
Sigh. And how does that matter? Concrete as the road surface is the problem, concrete as a foundation for a different road surface is not a problem.
Slow down. Take a deep breath. Look at your own claims. They clash with each other.

Disadvantages of Concrete Roadways
Paving cost: The paving cost of the concrete road is little higher compared to asphalt paving.
This disadvantage remains regardless of whether you put glass and solar panels on top of the concrete or not.

Maintenance Problem: In case the concrete road breaks, the whole concrete slab needs to be replaced.
This disadvantage remains regardless of whether you put glass and solar panels on top of the concrete or not.

Safety features: In rainy and the winter season vehicles tend to slip or slide on concrete road due to rain and snow. (Well that's kind of a deal breaker right there)
This is the only disadvantage you get rid of by putting glass on the surface, but having been driven around in a car on concrete roads on numerous occasions I can assure you it's not a dealbreaker. Wet glass, on the other hand...
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 22, 2014, 01:41:12 PM
Maintenance Problem: In case the concrete road breaks, the whole concrete slab needs to be replaced.
This is not quite true.  Concrete can be patched (usually with asphalt) or by cutting out and replacing chunks of the damaged slab.

However, my main point remains.  As Pizza pointed out, very few, if any, of the disadvantages of concrete roadways go away just because you put textured glass tiles on top of them.  If anything, you're just adding more layers of complexity and maintenance (the tiles, the wiring, networking, etc.).

Speaking networked tiles, how long do you figure before some idiot hacks into the road network and starts messing with the LED signage?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 22, 2014, 03:13:04 PM
Where do they even say they are definitely using concrete? I still don't care for concrete, I would rather they use anything else just because it is a hassle to fix. The glass has more friction than concrete so being wet shouldn't be a problem. And yes Markjo, I know they can be super cheap and patch it up - it's awful.

The security of the tiles is something they are thinking of but that's a consideration for every single electronic. I don't think it diminishes its value just as I don't think a possible hacker diminishes the value of a credit account.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on June 22, 2014, 04:50:44 PM
Where do they even say they are definitely using concrete?

From memory they don't. They're using the now legendary crushed glass from the wheelbarrow to make some kind of "recycled" underlay.

But this, like many things about this project, is just speculation.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 22, 2014, 05:10:45 PM
Where do they even say they are definitely using concrete? I still don't care for concrete, I would rather they use anything else just because it is a hassle to fix. The glass has more friction than concrete so being wet shouldn't be a problem. And yes Markjo, I know they can be super cheap and patch it up - it's awful.

The security of the tiles is something they are thinking of but that's a consideration for every single electronic. I don't think it diminishes its value just as I don't think a possible hacker diminishes the value of a credit account.
I think that's what they used in their parking lot.  They had to.  They need a strong base to hold the tiles in place while also providing a purely flat surface to put the tiles on.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 22, 2014, 08:56:39 PM
Where do they even say they are definitely using concrete?
What else are they going to use?  Asphalt?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 22, 2014, 09:30:22 PM
I guess it doesn't really matter. Concrete is used for foundation work, I just wonder how quickly it will wear and tear being underneath just panels. Either way, something's gotta be there and it will ultimately need repair as well just hopefully not as quickly as if it were the actual road surface.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 22, 2014, 10:16:04 PM
I just wonder how quickly it will wear and tear being underneath just panels.
And trucks. Those are kinda important in the whole shebang.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on June 23, 2014, 08:16:53 PM
Even with drainage...

Yeah. Flooding and humidity will play merry hell with all those lovely circuit boards. They can waterproof them, but essentially they become unreusable. Waterproofing is also a significant cost addition. Edit: And they're more prone to overheating once waterproofed.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 23, 2014, 08:25:03 PM
It depends on the drainage system. It is possible to set it up in a way that the water never has to touch the circuits.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on June 23, 2014, 08:35:10 PM
It depends on the drainage system. It is possible to set it up in a way that the water never has to touch the circuits.

But this is just speculation right? They haven't built a solar roadway and flooded it and proven that water can never touch the electronics.

I'm no highways engineer, but I'll guess that roads don't flood because the immediate drainage failed, they flood because drainage further down the pipe failed, ie got blocked with twigs and detritus. I don't know how anyone can guarantee that such drainage systems will always be clear or that flood water will never touch the electronics (other than coating the cirtuit).

There's just so much speculation, and these are things that are fundamental cripplers to the project.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 23, 2014, 09:39:57 PM
I would like to make a note.

I was dropping my wife off at the train station and noticed the bumpy, yellow line by the edge of the platform.  It's designed to not only give you a good grip when leaving the train but also to make it easier for blind people to know where the line is.  (it's pretty thick)

And it reminded me of the solar roadways panels.  All bumpy and such. Except it's made of concrete.

So, concrete bumps.  Now, concrete is harder and stronger than glass.  Yet many of the bumps had been broken off.  This is due to cargo and foot traffic ONLY. 

And these aren't 50 years old, they're at most 10.  So it got me thinking: If concrete can't handle feet and cargo (like luggage) then how can glass handle cars and trucks?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Ghost of V on June 23, 2014, 11:15:25 PM
Still a terrible idea. Just accept it.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 24, 2014, 12:07:12 AM
It depends on the drainage system. It is possible to set it up in a way that the water never has to touch the circuits.

But this is just speculation right? They haven't built a solar roadway and flooded it and proven that water can never touch the electronics.

I'm no highways engineer, but I'll guess that roads don't flood because the immediate drainage failed, they flood because drainage further down the pipe failed, ie got blocked with twigs and detritus. I don't know how anyone can guarantee that such drainage systems will always be clear or that flood water will never touch the electronics (other than coating the cirtuit).

There's just so much speculation, and these are things that are fundamental cripplers to the project.
The drain would be underground in tunnels along the road, there shouldn't be too much detritus clogging it. But yes it is just speculation and plans so far.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: EnigmaZV on June 24, 2014, 12:08:01 AM
Now, concrete is harder and stronger than glass.

I don't know that it's the case that concrete is harder and stronger than glass.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 24, 2014, 01:16:14 AM
Now, concrete is harder and stronger than glass.

I don't know that it's the case that concrete is harder and stronger than glass.
Really?

This calls... FOR SCIENCE!

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/512411/your-next-smartphone-screen-may-be-made-of-sapphire/

Oh snap.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 24, 2014, 02:26:21 AM
It depends on the drainage system. It is possible to set it up in a way that the water never has to touch the circuits.
Does the word "condensation" mean anything to you?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 24, 2014, 02:31:37 AM
Now, concrete is harder and stronger than glass.

I don't know that it's the case that concrete is harder and stronger than glass.
Really?

This calls... FOR SCIENCE!

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/512411/your-next-smartphone-screen-may-be-made-of-sapphire/

Oh snap.
Is it just me, or did you just contradict your own claim?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 24, 2014, 03:54:43 AM
It depends on the drainage system. It is possible to set it up in a way that the water never has to touch the circuits.
Does the word "condensation" mean anything to you?
It does. But if they're sealed completely within glass then it wouldn't matter. However, I don't really know exactly how the panels are set up or if the circuit boards are sealed inside.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: EnigmaZV on June 24, 2014, 05:06:17 AM
Now, concrete is harder and stronger than glass.

I don't know that it's the case that concrete is harder and stronger than glass.
Really?

This calls... FOR SCIENCE!

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/512411/your-next-smartphone-screen-may-be-made-of-sapphire/

Oh snap.

After doing some "research" it looks like concrete has a hardness anywhere between 5-9, depending on what it's made of. Glass is anywhere from 6-7, so some glass is harder then some concrete. It looks like typically, concrete has a compressive strength of 5000psi, whereas for glass to be considered tempered, it would need to have a compressive strength of 10,000psi. Also, going the other way, concrete has very poor tensile strength.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 24, 2014, 09:36:36 AM
Now, concrete is harder and stronger than glass.

I don't know that it's the case that concrete is harder and stronger than glass.
Really?

This calls... FOR SCIENCE!

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/512411/your-next-smartphone-screen-may-be-made-of-sapphire/

Oh snap.
Is it just me, or did you just contradict your own claim?
Corrected!
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 24, 2014, 05:15:45 PM
Over the centuries, a variety of materials have been used to make roads: dirt, gravel, cobble stones, bricks, concrete, asphalt, etc.  If glass is such a wonderful material, then why hasn't anyone used it to make roads before now?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 24, 2014, 05:40:45 PM
Over the centuries, a variety of materials have been used to make roads: dirt, gravel, cobble stones, bricks, concrete, asphalt, etc.  If glass is such a wonderful material, then why hasn't anyone used it to make roads before now?
First and foremost, we had to get to a period of time where we have tempered glass - so after 1900. Then you sort of need to wait for it to be mass produced and accessible. And then you just need someone who is tired of potholes and ready to think of something new.

Glass is definitely a wonderful material.

As this keeps going you think of more and more unimaginative arguments. It's fine if you hate the idea, but "why wasn't it ever used before" is not a good argument.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 24, 2014, 06:02:37 PM
Silicosis is the only argument I need. Please don't sentence millions of people to agonising death just because of your ignorance.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 24, 2014, 08:05:38 PM
And then you just need someone who is tired of potholes and ready to think of something new.
I'm sorry, but how does glass solve the pothole problem?  ???

As this keeps going you think of more and more unimaginative arguments. It's fine if you hate the idea, but "why wasn't it ever used before" is not a good argument.
I don't hate the idea, I just think that it's overly ambitious and they need a reality check.  I think that "why wasn't it ever used before" is a very good argument, especially if you're considering a multi-trillion dollar investment. 

Then again, I don't suppose that the question a viability will really be answered until these guys actually lay down a few hundred yards of roadway for some real world testing, not the least of which being the question of actual energy production vs consumption of the system.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 24, 2014, 08:35:06 PM
Silicosis is the only argument I need. Please don't sentence millions of people to agonising death just because of your ignorance.
Kinda like breathing in Car Exhaust?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 24, 2014, 08:35:45 PM
Over the centuries, a variety of materials have been used to make roads: dirt, gravel, cobble stones, bricks, concrete, asphalt, etc.  If glass is such a wonderful material, then why hasn't anyone used it to make roads before now?

Here's a better question:
Why did they use all those other materials?  If asphalt is so great, why didn't they just start with that and skip the other crap?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on June 24, 2014, 08:41:01 PM
As this keeps going you think of more and more unimaginative arguments.

Perhaps true, but to be fair the original witty arguments were never really countered.

It's fine if you hate the idea, but "why wasn't it ever used before" is not a good argument.

Actually it is. It's the first thing an inventor should ask. It's a reality check. If it's a good invention then the answer is "because I'm the only one the see how these things can go together", or "I've discovered a new material that can do x".

I reckon tempered glass is pretty expensive. I reckon tempered glass, as currently manufactured, has a low friction coefficient.

So does the inventor have a supply of cheap tempered glass? Has he invented a way of producing tempered glass that's vastly cheaper than current means? Has he discovered a way of making tempered glass with a friction coefficient equal or greater than asphalt?

All signs indicate no.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Shmeggley on June 24, 2014, 09:04:49 PM
Over the centuries, a variety of materials have been used to make roads: dirt, gravel, cobble stones, bricks, concrete, asphalt, etc.  If glass is such a wonderful material, then why hasn't anyone used it to make roads before now?

Here's a better question:
Why did they use all those other materials?  If asphalt is so great, why didn't they just start with that and skip the other crap?

If Xbox One is so great (I don't know if it is, I still have a 360), why did they bother with the Atari 2600?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: DuckDodgers on June 24, 2014, 09:10:14 PM
Likewise, if Xbox One is so great, why was it never created until now? It's a terrible argument.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 24, 2014, 09:14:18 PM
Over the centuries, a variety of materials have been used to make roads: dirt, gravel, cobble stones, bricks, concrete, asphalt, etc.  If glass is such a wonderful material, then why hasn't anyone used it to make roads before now?

Here's a better question:
Why did they use all those other materials?  If asphalt is so great, why didn't they just start with that and skip the other crap?

If Xbox One is so great (I don't know if it is, I still have a 360), why did they bother with the Atari 2600?
The components didn't exist before.
Unlike asphault and aggregate which has existed for millions of years.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Ghost of V on June 24, 2014, 09:15:23 PM
If Sega's Dreamcast was so great, why did they bother with the Master System?  ???
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: EnigmaZV on June 24, 2014, 09:21:06 PM
Over the centuries, a variety of materials have been used to make roads: dirt, gravel, cobble stones, bricks, concrete, asphalt, etc.  If glass is such a wonderful material, then why hasn't anyone used it to make roads before now?

Here's a better question:
Why did they use all those other materials?  If asphalt is so great, why didn't they just start with that and skip the other crap?

If Xbox One is so great (I don't know if it is, I still have a 360), why did they bother with the Atari 2600?
The components didn't exist before.
Unlike asphault and aggregate which has existed for millions of years.

Glass has existed for billions of years.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Shmeggley on June 24, 2014, 10:08:59 PM
Likewise, if Xbox One is so great, why was it never created until now? It's a terrible argument.

Except Solar Roadways isn't the Xbox One. It's more like the Ford Nucleon: something we have the technology for but nobody asked for and is a potential disaster.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on June 24, 2014, 10:23:17 PM
Over the centuries, a variety of materials have been used to make roads: dirt, gravel, cobble stones, bricks, concrete, asphalt, etc.  If glass is such a wonderful material, then why hasn't anyone used it to make roads before now?

Here's a better question:
Why did they use all those other materials?  If asphalt is so great, why didn't they just start with that and skip the other crap?
I never said that asphalt is so great.  If anything, asphalt has some pretty significant disadvantages compared to some other materials, which is why all of those other materials are still in use today.  Then again, asphalt has some pretty significant advantages too, so it becomes a question of which material is most appropriate for the situation.

So, one the significant questions that needs to be answered is how do the pros and cons of textured, tempered glass compare to asphalt and concrete?  After all, if glass can't be made into a suitable road surface, then everything else is moot.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 24, 2014, 10:59:08 PM
Glass has existed but we're speaking of tempered glass.

Any arguments that were not countered was probably because I am not an expert on this. All I'm doing is using my imagination and facts/claims from their website.

There have been great arguments here and I'm willing to listen which is why I created this thread. However, "if Z is so great then why wasn't it invented before X and Y" is not a good argument.

Questions on the production of tempered glass are reasonable, as far as I know all of the donations are going to more R&D, wages for engineers, and tackling the production issue.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Shmeggley on June 24, 2014, 11:53:06 PM
It depends on what you are arguing. The question "If x is so great why hasn't it been done before" is a good starting point. If taken seriously, the answers will help determine whether it's a good idea to try "x" or not.

In the case of Solar Roadways, answers like "because glass is too slippery, will get scratched, etc" and "because the solar panels don't generate nearly enough power" highlight the problems right away. It may not be an argument itself, but not asking that question at the beginning of a project would be short sighted.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: DuckDodgers on June 25, 2014, 12:11:20 AM
Why hasn't glass been used before?  Because it is brittle and likely to be shattered.  Okay, let's make it tougher and shatter resistant!  Check.
Because it is slippery, especially while wet.  Okay, lets texture the glass a bit to provide traction!  Check.
But with texture, won't it be useless as a solar cell?  As you can clearly see, light is still pretty easily able to penetrate the glass!  Check.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 25, 2014, 12:28:47 AM
It depends on what you are arguing. The question "If x is so great why hasn't it been done before" is a good starting point. If taken seriously, the answers will help determine whether it's a good idea to try "x" or not.

In the case of Solar Roadways, answers like "because glass is too slippery, will get scratched, etc" and "because the solar panels don't generate nearly enough power" highlight the problems right away. It may not be an argument itself, but not asking that question at the beginning of a project would be short sighted.
As a starting question, sure. Not after testings, prototypes, and a 17 page thread of far better arguments.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 25, 2014, 01:16:38 AM
Silicosis is the only argument I need. Please don't sentence millions of people to agonising death just because of your ignorance.
Kinda like breathing in Car Exhaust?
Kinda, except hundreds of times as bad.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 25, 2014, 01:31:11 AM
Silicosis is the only argument I need. Please don't sentence millions of people to agonising death just because of your ignorance.
Kinda like breathing in Car Exhaust?
Kinda, except hundreds of times as bad.
Oh come now.  Why do you think we have air filters?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 25, 2014, 01:59:53 AM
Oh come now.  Why do you think we have air filters?
We do not currently have air filters surrounding roadways. Those would be essential to the survival of mankind if this project was pushed in its current form.

That, or we could all wear masks like the Japanese during a swine flu outbreak.

(http://www.world104.com/blog/tokyoinsider/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/426-swine-flu-japan-124299697198645500.jpg)
(http://f00.inventorspot.com/images/mask-mask-mask.jpg)
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 25, 2014, 10:19:46 AM
Oh come now.  Why do you think we have air filters?
We do not currently have air filters surrounding roadways. Those would be essential to the survival of mankind if this project was pushed in its current form.

That, or we could all wear masks like the Japanese during a swine flu outbreak.

(http://www.world104.com/blog/tokyoinsider/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/426-swine-flu-japan-124299697198645500.jpg)
(http://f00.inventorspot.com/images/mask-mask-mask.jpg)
We have car air filters.  So at least those inside their vehicles would be safe.  Until they left anyway.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Pete Svarrior on June 25, 2014, 10:56:36 AM
Pedestrians exist. :(
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on June 25, 2014, 12:34:05 PM
Pedestrians exist. :(
Maybe as points.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on June 25, 2014, 12:53:49 PM
Facemasks are of the future.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Shmeggley on June 25, 2014, 05:35:14 PM
Facemasks are of the future.

Solar Freakin' Facemasks
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Blanko on June 25, 2014, 05:59:25 PM
Facemasks are of the future.

Solar Freakin' Facemasks

Million dollar idea right there
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Shmeggley on June 25, 2014, 06:12:31 PM
Facemasks are of the future.

Solar Freakin' Facemasks

Million dollar idea right there

2 mil at least
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: fappenhosen on June 25, 2014, 08:22:02 PM
Any arguments that were not countered was probably because I am not an expert on this. All I'm doing is using my imagination and facts/claims from their website.

Yeah, and neither are we really. We're fighting through proxies. You're using the stats the company themselves provides, we're using stats that don't come from the company. I'd suggest that the company has a vested interest in making their product look viable.

Why hasn't glass been used before?  Because it is brittle and likely to be shattered.  Okay, let's make it tougher and shatter resistant!  Check.
Because it is slippery, especially while wet.  Okay, lets texture the glass a bit to provide traction!  Check.
But with texture, won't it be useless as a solar cell?  As you can clearly see, light is still pretty easily able to penetrate the glass!  Check.

And all for a final cost of less than £450,000 per km. (http://www.hertsdirect.org/docs/pdf/i/intrhimain.pdf)
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on December 13, 2014, 07:34:54 PM
Looks like the Dutch have beat us to it:
http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/11/09/netherlands-is-the-first-country-to-open-solar-road-for-public/
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on December 13, 2014, 07:40:09 PM
Their bike lanes look so safe! Get your shit together, America.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on December 13, 2014, 09:08:28 PM
Their bike lanes look so safe! Get your shit together, America.

Comparing them to America is like playing a Civ game and comparing a country with one city versus one with 500. Yeah, that one city is going to be more internally developed than most of your 500, but it's still a dumb comparison.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on December 13, 2014, 09:29:59 PM
Comparing them to America is like playing a Civ game and comparing a country with one city versus one with 500. Yeah, that one city is going to be more internally developed than most of your 500, but it's still a dumb comparison.
I'm not really comparing them so much as just wanting nicer bike lanes. The ones we have are death traps and we're not even allowed to bike on sidewalks.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on December 13, 2014, 09:34:06 PM
I'm not really comparing them so much as just wanting nicer bike lanes. The ones we have are death traps and we're not even allowed to bike on sidewalks.

Maybe you should be a real amurrican and drive a massive truck instead of biking around like a sissy.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: rooster on December 13, 2014, 09:39:05 PM
Maybe you should be a real amurrican and drive a massive truck instead of biking around like a sissy.
I opted for a nice middle ground with my old VW stationwagon.

(http://i58.tinypic.com/350jntw.jpg)
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: markjo on December 14, 2014, 04:40:26 AM
I'm not really comparing them so much as just wanting nicer bike lanes. The ones we have are death traps and we're not even allowed to bike on sidewalks.

Maybe you should be a real amurrican and drive a massive truck instead of biking around like a sissy.
Maybe you're missing the point that Holland is getting solar freaking roadways bike paths before Amurrica.  >o<
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: EnigmaZV on December 14, 2014, 04:51:00 PM
But does it light up and melt snow?
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Rushy on December 14, 2014, 04:56:21 PM
Solar biking paths make a lot more sense than solar roadways too. Bikes aren't nearly as traumatic as a car to the surface they are moving on.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on August 29, 2019, 05:34:58 AM
Just because this came on my feed and I thought it was ironic.

https://www.facebook.com/41869107125/posts/10156018452752126/

Quote
Why is this a graphic and not yet a real Solar Roadway?

We planned from the beginning that roads would be our last application. We chose to focus first on our lab testing funded by three USDOT contracts (just completed the last one), complemented by real world testing at our pilot site in Sandpoint, Idaho.

We have had some "copycats" who decided to rush to roads in other countries with less high tech products. We feared that was a bad idea, and it appears it was - according to media reports.

Our testing has gone very well and the latest results will soon be released. We are now gearing up for full production to meet worldwide demand. Roads will still be last. First up: Parking Lots, Sidewalks, Driveways, Patios, Bike Paths etc.
Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Dr Van Nostrand on September 08, 2019, 02:53:29 PM
Solar Roadways has been around since 2006 and has consumed vast piles of crowdfunding and public dollars without producing real results. Now they understand how impractical roads made of solar panels really are so they've moved roads to the end of their list of things to solarize. (even though it's in their name)

In my part of the country, there will NEVER be solar roads. There can be 100 F heat in the summer and -40 F in the winter. Every year the roads buckle, heave, crack and come apart taking months of maintenance work. It can dump 2-3 feet of snow overnight and the kilocalories to melt that snow in time for morning traffic would be way more than any system could generate. Now, imagine a snow plow spraying road salt tearing across the surface of solar cells lining this buckling heaving road pocked with small sinkholes.

There are parts of North America with long stretches of open road in the desert where the concept could be made to work (at great expense.) However, those road usually pass right by large swaths of open land that could be used for solar farms that are cheaper and more efficient.

This doesn't mean we shouldn't pursue the technology. Photovoltaic tar or paint would be a game changer that could be right around the corner. But, Solar Roads was just another crowdfunding fail.

Title: Re: Solar Roadways
Post by: Lord Dave on September 08, 2019, 04:03:13 PM
In fairness, the solar roads would be easier, if more expensive to fix.  Just pop in a new panel, basically.

But yeah.  I mean, it has its merits but not for commercial roads in America.