I just ran across this link and found it intriguing.Imagine all our roadways layed with solar panels.Sounds impossible right off the bat huh.Well according to the company Solar Roadways,it's very possible now.The USDOT has give 100,000 to Solar roadways to put together a first prototype.What do you think,is solaring are roads as worthy an idea as other uses for solar?
PS-Why cant I post pics? Is it allowed here?
09-01-09, 12:20 AM
Wonder how tough the stuff is, and how often it'd have to be replaced. If it was as dirt-cheap as just dump a few layers of compound on the road and a few electrode grids, it might be extremely cheap to make and repair.
Havn't a clue though if it's practical, I don't follow solar as closely as I'd like.
09-01-09, 07:18 AM
I read the same thing. It's supposed to be as cheap as regular roads, but it lasts about x4 as long and it's 15% efficient, which is pretty decent.
Solar is a very interesting industry. It, like batteries, has been pretty stagnant for many years, but all of a sudden it is experiencing a revolution because of nano materials. One company called Nanosolar has spent almost a whole decade to get where it is. It produces thin film photovoltaics by printing a special nano ink onto steel foil. It's a very cheap and capital efficient process, which makes it possible to mass produce a ton of this stuff for real cheap. No longer will PVs be expensive. In the next five years, it's my guess that we'll see an explosion in the use of PVs. Nearly everyone will use them.
I read about this company a lot because I think it may become the biggest producer of PVs very soon. Too bad it's not a public company.
They've been real quiet in the company blog for the past several months, but they did mention they'd received enormous investments and have been busy hiring people and ramping up production. But they say they'll have announcements in September.
Thanks for mentioning Nanosolar.I like this solar stuff so much that I sent Nanosolar and Solar Roadways each others websites.I told em both I really,really hope they can get together and try their best to make solar roadways work.Yea I know,why would they listen to me? But as I said,I just enjoy reading about anything solar and about future possible projects.
09-02-09, 01:21 AM
If anything, they might be competing! And I say let them compete! They'll make better technologies for cheaper!
It would certainly be a great sign for the green movement: that it not only has become feasible, but is the grounds of a new competitive industry.
You don't necessarily have to use state-of-the-art technology for PV. There are 1950s models of panels still working today at a good fraction of their original output.
I think this is a great idea.