What if Roads Were Made of Solar PV Panels?

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feature-0-1400621143438.jpg Four years ago, Scott and Julie Brusaw announced their provocative concept of "Solar Roadways,"*a system of modular ‘pavement’ solar panels that could be installed directly onto roads, parking lots, driveways, bike paths, and “literally any surface under the sun." The idea got traction (no pun intended) and since then, the Brusaws have received two

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  • solarix
    solarix Solar Expert Posts: 713 ✭✭
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    Re: What if Roads Were Made of Solar PV Panels?

    Come on, this can't be serious...
  • AuricTech
    AuricTech Solar Expert Posts: 140 ✭✭
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    Re: What if Roads Were Made of Solar PV Panels?

    Nope, absolutely no opportunity for graft in road construction contracts involving solar panel paving stones....
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: What if Roads Were Made of Solar PV Panels?

    Have these people ever seen what happens to a road in even one year?

    How about doing something sensible like putting them on the roofs of malls and building car ports at same with PV on the roof?

    PV roads! What a stupid, stupid idea.
  • South Africa
    South Africa Solar Expert Posts: 295 ✭✭✭
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    Re: What if Roads Were Made of Solar PV Panels?

    Here is a video on the concept: http://www.5by.com/wow/posts/69Y/solar-freakin-roadways
    5kVA Victron Multiplus II, 5.2kW array, 14kWh DIYLifepo4 bank, all grid-tied.


  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: What if Roads Were Made of Solar PV Panels?

    interesting, but not feasible for all roads. most of the roads in the northeast are over top of old water mains and they pop all of the time and some of the fixes pop too. then there's the other stuff down there too and often times they rip up the roads for natural gas and sewage not to mention some under ground electric grid wires and transformers. it's like anything else that the more in it and complex it is, the more expensive it is to fix whether a rarity or not. i do think it would be great for sidewalks though.

    come to think about it it would be useless on many roads here for the simple reasons of too much traffic shading it, many trees overhanging and shading the roads, and of course too many hills that shade many roads from southern exposures.
  • South Africa
    South Africa Solar Expert Posts: 295 ✭✭✭
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    Re: What if Roads Were Made of Solar PV Panels?
    niel wrote: »
    interesting, but not feasible for all roads. most of the roads in the northeast are over top of old water mains and they pop all of the time and some of the fixes pop too. then there's the other stuff down there too and often times they rip up the roads for natural gas and sewage not to mention some under ground electric grid wires and transformers. it's like anything else that the more in it and complex it is, the more expensive it is to fix whether a rarity or not. i do think it would be great for sidewalks though.

    come to think about it it would be useless on many roads here for the simple reasons of too much traffic shading it, many trees overhanging and shading the roads, and of course too many hills that shade many roads from southern exposures.

    All very true but where I am, none of it is applicable. :-)

    From what I can see, the US of A stretches over a kinda largish area, with lots and lots of long long stretches of open roads (east / west). The grids are all interlinked, kinda (the movies says so :-)), so if the sun comes up one side, power is generated and it continues till the sun sets on the other coast, probably less storage required.

    And for 3rd world countries, with little to no roads that are busy building roads and power stations ...

    But as Cariboocoot said ... start with the rooftops, put all parking lots under shade using solar panels ... but that must also be from east to west, and you still need to maintain the roads.

    Take all the ideas into a pot and make stew, for as Arthur C. Clarke said:
    Every revolutionary idea evokes 3 stages of reaction:
    1. It's completely impossible;
    2. It's possible, but it's not worth doing;
    3. I said it was a good idea all along.
    5kVA Victron Multiplus II, 5.2kW array, 14kWh DIYLifepo4 bank, all grid-tied.


  • PNjunction
    PNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
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    Re: What if Roads Were Made of Solar PV Panels?
    niel wrote: »
    ..it's like anything else that the more in it and complex it is, the more expensive it is to fix whether a rarity or not.

    YES! Like any revolution, or revolutionary product, nobody thinks about post-revolution. Who is going to be willing to repair and maintain these things? Will the cost justify the means over the ENTIRE LIFE CYCLE of the project? Would you want to pay for post-installation maintenance with your taxes? Who is willing to prove that the output is actually worth the cost, AND that output is consistently performing to the taxpayer?

    I'm with ya' on this one.
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: What if Roads Were Made of Solar PV Panels?
    PNjunction wrote: »
    YES! Like any revolution, or revolutionary product, nobody thinks about post-revolution. Who is going to be willing to repair and maintain these things? Will the cost justify the means over the ENTIRE LIFE CYCLE of the project? Would you want to pay for post-installation maintenance with your taxes? Who is willing to prove that the output is actually worth the cost, AND that output is consistently performing to the taxpayer?

    I'm with ya' on this one.

    to add to that train of thought, who would get the power generated from these public street pvs that we paid for with taxes? it won't benefit me as i don't have an ev.
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: What if Roads Were Made of Solar PV Panels?

    Well the latest push for this idea with its viral video included a link so you could "donate" to the cause.

    Can you spell "scam"? :roll:
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,522 admin
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    Re: What if Roads Were Made of Solar PV Panels?

    Well:

    http://www.autoblog.com/2014/06/02/solar-roadways-1million-indiegogo-video/

    Raised a $1,000,000 so far...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mtdoc
    mtdoc Solar Expert Posts: 600 ✭✭
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    Re: What if Roads Were Made of Solar PV Panels?

    Actually, they're up to $1.9 million and still 18 days to go. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/solar-roadways

    Unfortunately, this has gone viral

    Last week, I was helping to teach an introductory robotics class at my son's elementary school. At the beginning of the class one of the 4th graders wanted to share something that he was excited about. You guessed it - SOLAR FREAKIN ROADWAYS! :roll:

    He had learned about this in a earlier class. Several other students jumped in explaining what they knew about it as well.

    You know your crowdfunding campaign is a success when you've got elementary students talking about your indiegogo project.

    The sad part is that when this goes nowhere it will just provide more ammunition for the "solar is impractical" crowd...

    Yeah marketing... ::)
  • South Africa
    South Africa Solar Expert Posts: 295 ✭✭✭
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    Re: What if Roads Were Made of Solar PV Panels?

    My 2 kids and wife came excitedly to me, having came across the video from different sources, to tell me about this.

    It is circulating via email and on FB too.
    5kVA Victron Multiplus II, 5.2kW array, 14kWh DIYLifepo4 bank, all grid-tied.


  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: What if Roads Were Made of Solar PV Panels?

    "A lie can be halfway 'round the world before the truth has got its boots on." - Terry Pratchett

    Sometimes it seems people would rather believe what's not true than what is.