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Smart solar panels could replace roadways

Posted on Monday, 2 June, 2014 | Comment icon 39 comments

The panels can detect obstacles on the road. Image Credit: YouTube / Scott Brusaw / Michael Naphan

A record number of backers are helping to crowdfund a revolutionary new type of road covering.

The brainchild of Scott and Julie Brusaw, the idea of replacing existing road surfacing with special hexagonal solar panels has been gaining widespread support and attention.

Created from tempered glass, the panels would be applied to all roads and parking lots to produce a network of interconnected surfaces capable of generating electricity while acting as a more durable alternative to conventional tarmac.

These solar roadways would also provide a host of additional benefits including the ability to light up in custom displays, making roads safer and easier to navigate at night while offering automated warning notices of upcoming hazards. Heating circuits would melt any ice on the roads while obstacles like potholes would become a thing of the past.

The idea has proven so popular that a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo has received over $1.8 million in contributions from 42,000 people within just a few weeks.

While some engineers have criticized the solar roadways concept as impractical, it's hard to dismiss the idea entirely. If indeed something like this were to actually happen it would undoubtedly represent one of the single greatest improvements in road technology ever conceived.

Source: CNET | Comments (39)

Tags: Crowdfunding, Solar Roadways

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #30 Posted by solxion on 3 June, 2014, 16:17
This is silly.Just put them on the side of the road at the proper angle and orientation. If someone wants to do their driveway with it, then that's different. Last time I checked, residential panels last 25 years.
Comment icon #31 Posted by Capt Amerika on 3 June, 2014, 17:44
Well there you have it. Nothing to see here, just ignore it and move on with the complaining about how the earth is dying. Thats so much easier to do anyways right? Maybe I'll go spend $40 on a single LED light bulb. that should save the planet.
Comment icon #32 Posted by paperdyer on 3 June, 2014, 18:43
Ever little bit helps!
Comment icon #33 Posted by TheGreatBeliever on 5 June, 2014, 14:40
Besides that.. Making all vehicles have a max speed of 50kmh will also prevent lots of accidents. Don see a need for high speed at all
Comment icon #34 Posted by aquatus1 on 5 June, 2014, 23:37
Spoken like a man who doesn't live in Texas.
Comment icon #35 Posted by Hugh on 15 June, 2014, 5:06
Some sort of raised tube system might work better... Put the solar panels on the upper half, something more durable on the lower half... Enclosed tube keeps the elements out... Cars could be standardized, and built specifically for the tube... Speed could be higher in the tube, and less chance of accidents because the cars can't go "off the road", and computers would control car inter-spacing, making it much safer... Electrical raceway underneath the tube, still up off the ground, more safe from flooding... Start off in cities, connect them all up down the road... or tube lol&#... [More]
Comment icon #36 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy on 15 June, 2014, 14:55
James May is that you ?
Comment icon #37 Posted by aquatus1 on 16 June, 2014, 1:08
So, basically Metro.
Comment icon #38 Posted by Hugh on 16 June, 2014, 2:16
Well, I'm thinking less train-like, and more car-like... The tubes could be similar to this set up: Hopefully solar power will become much more efficient and cheaper in the years to come...
Comment icon #39 Posted by stevewinn on 16 June, 2014, 10:49
by the time it becomes feasible a new technology or better solution will exist. its a good idea. instead of messing about - Build Nuclear power stations - and put all this green money into finding a solution to the nuclear waste produced, if we'd have put as much time and energy into finding a solution to this problem we'd be over the hill by now.

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