Desire to Know
Dr. Jane Goodall
Solar Roadways turn roads into energy farm 4 Dec, 2015 | Modified 4 Dec, 2015 | Views 834
If every paved surface was covered with their solar panels, they would produce more energy than the U.S. consumes.
Solar Roadways wants $1 million to turn the US' roads into an energy farm
At some point, you've probably sat back and said "Couldn't we solve climate change and the broader energy crisis just by sticking solar panels to everything?" It's not a bad idea, mind, but the cost and resistance to such a scheme would make it a nightmare to implement. But what about if we turned the nation's highways into solar farms that we could drive along?
According to their Indigogo page, a company called Solar Roadways want to cover every highway in the U.S. in thick LED-lit glass solar panels.
There are around 30,000 square kilometres of roads in the U.S., so if their plan is successful, the energy-generating potential is huge - in fact, if every paved surface was covered with their solar panels, they would produce more energy than the U.S. consumes.
Solar Roadways' hexagonal solar panels can generate enough power to light the road, melt ice and snow, and send leftover energy to cities.
Each interlocking hexagonal segment is covered with toughened and textured glass that's capable of withstanding 250,000 pounds. Beneath that, you've got a solar panel, a series of LED lights and a heating element that'll keep the ice and snow off the hardware in winter. The lights are used to replace conventional traffic lights, offering constantly updating safety warnings and guide lines that can adapt to traffic conditions on the fly.