solar roadways panel

.....Solar Roadways? Only One Way to Find Out If They Are a Pipe Dream

June 3, 2014

An outfit called Solar Roadways wants to replace asphalt roads and parking lots with solar cells and claims this idea is practical based on the tests it has run so far. The company has received some SBIR money and has given a TEDx talk on the subject which is viewable on its web site. 

But count me among those who have yet to be convinced, even after reading the FAQs the company put up meant to address critics of the idea. Unfortunately, the FAQs come off as a bit of a hand wave. Far more convincing is a YouTube video put up by a vocal critic:

Other media outlets have commented favorably on Solar Roadways' idea, but their dismissals of criticisms leveled so far don't inspire a lot of confidence among engineers who've been through a few development efforts "Ambitious, yes, but the Brusaws' small protoype — built as part of a contract with the Federal Highways Agency — is already generating electricity," breathlessly reported one source.

Of course, there is a bit of a difference between a small prototype generating electricity and a roadway able to hold up under 18-wheeler traffic for a few years. 

Only one thing is likely to begin silencing skeptics on a thing like this: A functioning section of roadway built from the stuff that still works a year of so after it goes live. 

Sponsored Recommendations

How BASF turns data into savings

May 7, 2024
BASF continuously monitors the health of 63 substation assets — with Schneider’s Service Bureau and EcoStruxure™ Asset Advisor. ►Learn More: https://www.schn...

Agile design thinking: A key to operation-level digital transformation acceleration

May 7, 2024
Digital transformation, aided by agile design thinking, can reduce obstacles to change. Learn about 3 steps that can guide success.

Can new digital medium voltage circuit breakers help facilities reduce their carbon footprint?

May 7, 2024
Find out how facility managers can easily monitor energy usage to create a sustainable, decarbonized environment using digital MV circuit breakers.

The Digital Thread: End-to-End Data-Driven Manufacturing

May 1, 2024
Creating a Digital Thread by harnessing end-to-end manufacturing data is providing unprecedented opportunities to create efficiencies in the world of manufacturing.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Machine Design, create an account today!