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Offline rooster

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Solar Roadways
« 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
« Last Edit: May 23, 2014, 07:15:55 PM by rooster »

Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2014, 07:22:38 PM »
I like the idea but is it cost effective?


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Offline rooster

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2014, 07:29:26 PM »
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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.

Ghost of V

Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2014, 07:32:46 PM »
Technological kick-starter funded pipe dream.

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Offline rooster

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #4 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.

Ghost of V

Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #5 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...

Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #6 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.

Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #7 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.

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Offline rooster

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #8 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.

Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #9 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.

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Offline Rushy

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #10 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.

Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #11 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.

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #12 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.

Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #13 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.

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Offline rooster

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #14 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.

Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #15 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.

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #16 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.



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.

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Offline Rushy

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Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2014, 01:17:47 AM »
Heat is a byproduct of the photoelectric effect.

Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #18 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.



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.

Re: Solar Roadways
« Reply #19 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.

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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.

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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.

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It's an absolutely awful idea.

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