John Forrest
Sorry to burst the bubble here.... better to cover the car park, or as you yanks say, parking lot, with solar panels overhead...! Why...? 1. You still get the benefit of solar power. 2. You cover the car therefore in sunny areas less aircon and in cold areas less defrosting. 3... well angle the buggers, put gutters on the end and low and behold... grey water harvesting to flush your toilet, water your garden etc etc... Why the hell don't the big corps do this to their car parks I have no idea. PS my idea. I'll happily take a cut should this be used
The best application would be on strait bridges. There would not be any ground eroding under them and would be easier to maintain. Electronics flooding would be far less likely. Wiring to street lamps would be strait forward, and usually bridges are better lit so they can use more of the power generated without sending it to who knows where to make use of it.
In a parking lot I would not want to try to push a cart over all those bumps. Even if front of a house or business it can be hard to use a roller board dolly to move furniture or appliances. It needs a finer texture.
Concrete costs less over time than asphalt if poured to sufficient thickness, but cities don't use it that much (usually only in very steep areas because the asphalt creeps downhill). They prefer to spend less now, never mind tomorrow. Hard to change that. Politicians have too many other pet projects. Asphalt is usually put on fairly thin with less preparation under it than concrete.
Don't care for the design much. They should be one color unless the thing is lighting up to show lines. Great for nighttime. I wonder if it will be bright enough in the daylight. A dogbone brick shape would make more sense. And there will be installation costs. There is also a risk of shorts in rainy weather and if there were blackouts you could not use the roads.
Glass even though hardened, could be damaged by trailer chains, blowouts, accidents, landslides, slumping and geologic plate movement. In California there are a number of highways that are directly on faults because they are flat, cut through hills, and no one else wanted to build there. Asphalt will ooze a bit and adjust to movement.
The idea has merit. I don't think it is quite up to its potential with this design though.
Still, I would like to see a few built, just to see how they fair and what the issues are, so the technology can be improved. But perhaps several designs should be tried.
I think there needs to be an alternative to glass for this application that is still durable and transparent but requires less energy to manufacture.
John Forrest - completely agree. Overhead is simply cheaper and easier to maintain.
Although I was wondering if there was a way to harness the heat energy from road surfaces in hotter climates? Perhaps pumping water underneath to capture the heat? Just like underfloor heating circuits?
I think this idea is brilliant. Asphalt costs will continue to rise with the costs of oil. It would create jobs! Whole communities or neighborhoods could go off grid and eventually towns and cities with this product. It would save costs on energy for those communities - costs of maintaining their asphalt roads would more than pay for installing these. Asphalt roads need replacing every 3-5 years. These roads are designed to last 20 years. They are esthetically pleasing to look at rather than roads covered by solar panels structures overhead - overhead panels covering roads would be snapped by a good wind storm anyway. The glass on this solar road is stronger than steel and has been tested to withstand so many tons of pressure. A landslide, earthquake would effect asphalt too. This is a forward thinking solution to our climate crisis and our economic crisis. Kudos to Solar Roadways for working on this for 8 years to bring this idea to the world when we most need it!
I have no idea of the cost factor, but rather than solar, what about a piezoelectric layer between the concrete and asphalt with some means to protect the piezoelectric layer when the asphalt is resurfaced? Though impractical for low traffic areas, piezoelectric has the advantage over solar of working day and night.
On a smaller scale, bands of piezoelectric across a highway connected to batteries might be enough to power street lights and roadside displays.
Use as roof covering or sell to individuals for home units much more logical or cover the roads as a roof pavement would last longer or place beside roads in areas that are mowed.. No matter how durable they are they will not stand up to the constant abuse of autos striking them..
the idea is not bad but the product will be very fragile under the trucks and cars, it won't last long. also, i guess producing it isn't cheap and it must eating a lot of other natural LIMITED resources, like copper, just for example.
anyway, from beginning of using it, in order to avoid being crushed by tones of cars in less than one year i guess it would be way more profitable to fix it on the exteriors of buildings and on their roofs, where the mechanical stress would be definitely lower.
and , as a bonus, the buildings would look nice.
Hi John Forest They're already doing this in the IKEA car park in Malaga Spain. The solar panels shield the cars from the hot sun in summer and provide shelter from the rain in winter. They haven't thought of the water side, but they've covered most of the parking lot with these panels. Would you believe the only drawback is that in Spain, you now have to pay for all the electricity you produce from your own solar panels.
Gregg Eshelman
A solar parking lot full of cars wouldn't be generating much power. It would be more sensible to use these only in the driveways between the rows of parking spots.
Badger Watkins
A little wear and one rainstorm, and you have vehicles sliding everywhere. Oh hell no.