Solar Roadways Discussion

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by tweakmonkey, May 29, 2014.

  1. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    Last edited: May 29, 2014
  2. Commissar Smersh

    Commissar Smersh 2020 Staff Member

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    People are going to jack the tiles for the copper and rare earth metals inside.
  3. Phant0m51

    Phant0m51 From Utah, NOT mormon

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    While the idea is cool, its use is most definitely a dream that won't come true. Instead, take the startup money and build some infrastructure in a city to allow it to use solar power and set up that power, then slightly raise the municipal costs and provide "free" power to everybody. Place some if the municipal money in a savings account to help towards an adjoining city, while using the rest to keep the solar power flowing. A better use for the money with a more realistic outcome.
  4. namelessentity

    namelessentity Resident Cynic

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    It sounds like the cost of doing it makes the project sci-fi.
  5. mistawiskas

    mistawiskas kik n a and takin names

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    Or....just take 1/112 of that money ($56T) and improve on the solar paint that's already in development.
  6. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    I think this is a cool, crazy and terrible idea but it's fun to think outside the box.

    The merits of it are appealing but the obvious stuff like infrastructure /price aside, there are a few issues that these guys and their FAQ never seemed to address:
    1) how are you going to clean this surface? There's bound to be oil spills and debris just like pavement, which is already black. Cleaning roads really doesn't matter all that much because you'll just repave them at some point.
    If the glass is covered in oil/dirt etc. its solar properties are reduced and the LED lights are useless.

    2) day time visibility: they show all the lines and warnings as LED lights. Could you have the same contrast as the current method: white or yellow paint over grey/black?

    3) traction: I'd be curious to see how the plastic-glass mixture of the panels with any texture could ever have the same traction characteristics of rubber on pavement. Rubber sticks like glue to a hot road. I'd also be interested to see how the traction's effected by rain/ice/snow. The counter argument could be that the drain system and heated elements could prevent this entirely. Maybe this is the one engineering challenge that I think could be figured out.

    4) price: people are saying that solar pays for itself but if that was the case we'd have solar everywhere. It takes a long time for well placed solar panels to recoup their value. This is a much much more expensive endeavour per foot and the efficiency of many of the solar panels would be nearly zero... if you replaced every sidewalk with solar panels, half would be in the shade. 3/4 of the parking lot panels would be covered by parked cars etc. The cost per square foot must be 100:1 or greater of pavement and we're unable to afford to fix every broken road as it sits. Seems like a good project for a Tony Stark like dude.

    I'm also wondering about the gaps between the panels and how weather heat/expansion would cause problems.

    The good stuff:
    1) roads could be better and this is thinking outside the box
    2) simplified, underground cabling and routing makes the world prettier
    3) I think the heated road way thing would be cool
    4) lights would be cool at night
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
  7. Miller

    Miller Tweak Guru

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  8. namelessentity

    namelessentity Resident Cynic

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    I posted that video already :p
  9. Miller

    Miller Tweak Guru

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    my bad homie