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Solar Roadways want to replace ordinary asphalt with intelligent, energy-generating panels

By Shawn Knight
May 9, 2014
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  1. Over the past couple of years, we've seen an increased focus on improving our roadways through the use of technology. Glow-in-the-dark streets powered by the sun are now a reality in the Netherlands, offering up increased visibility at night and...

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  2. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 1,978   +390

    I think price would be the biggest area of concern here.
     
  3. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 1,720   +63

    Tech world
     
  4. BlueDrake

    BlueDrake TS Enthusiast Posts: 232   +56

    Most likely but that's the same as solar panels, among other expensive things we install with a large upfront cost. They pay for themselves over time, and this really has a lot going for it. Issue would be actually, getting the governments to go along with the idea. Since it would mean a lot of redoing everything to have these installed, just so we can then have a greater energy income than output. It's a lot of different branches also, that need to be convinced this is worth the money / time / effort involved.
     
    ikesmasher likes this.
  5. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 1,978   +390

    I think thats why cost is the issue - itll definately pay for itself eventually, the question is how soon is eventually, and its hard to get the people in charge to buy into things that will take a LONG time to pay for itself. Only time will tell.
     
  6. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,752   +96

    Not in this time frame and the asphalt companies won't allow this as they would suffer. Cement roads were the first but somehow those got killed off for asphalt.

    Also who going to pay for this? Local Tax Payers? They'll raise more taxes to pay for this tech. I hop not now.
     
  7. Yes sure working on shadows instead of roof, lol
     
  8. wowser

    wowser TS Rookie

    Because they pay for themselves, price becomes investment.
     
  9. chuqtas

    chuqtas TS Rookie

    For the money you get not just a road, but an energy generator and and infrastructure conduit (the road acts as the power network)

    Add to that the ability to "re-paint" the road lines using the LEDs and the ability to use headed coils to melt the snow, which will save some ongoing costs.
     
  10. VitalyT

    VitalyT TS Evangelist Posts: 1,973   +587

    Smarter asphalt than the drivers, is the way to go ;)

    But seriously, I don't think it will gain momentum, because self-driving cars will be here sooner, and then the whole smart road concept will become redundant.
     
  11. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 1,978   +390

     
     
  12. spectrenad

    spectrenad TS Rookie Posts: 81   +16

    Governments are short-minded, they won't spend more money now, even if it can save them some later, for the simple fact that they may not be there later (elections).
     
  13. Actually, I heard that Google was excited about the prospect of the smart road. The data chip in the panels makes for easier communication with self-driving cars and thus more accurate data (ie safer self-driving cars). Plus it'll make it easier (and cheaper) to recharge your electric car on the road.
     
  14. There are so many benefits of this over asphalt. Asphalt is getting more expensive as it's made with petroleum.

    No road painting. No snow removal. No potholes. You can always see the lines. No more power/utility poles. Leaky data cables. Charging while driving to extend electric vehicle range. Water filtration and pumping. Remove dependance on fossil fuels. Modular replacement/upgrades as high efficiency PV becomes available. Increased safety. Non centralized power grid.

    So many reasons to do it and so few reasons not to. Initial cost is high, but savings in safety, power generation, and convenience are well worth it, I'd say.
     
    VitalyT and spectrenad like this.
  15. david medina

    david medina TS Rookie

    Hi all. Paradigm shift means a lot of things, one of them is changing the way things are done, stablishing a different point of view about a problem. Solar Roadways has this vision and of course that bothers many people and corps. But climate change and there consequences have to be stopped. What Solar Roadways embraces is TREMENDOUS, it has "the big three" and much more. Of course it will cost money at the beginning, but the changes that come with it, worth the cost and we all will benefit. This crusade starts in the U.S.and then will go worldwide. I hope all understand this paradigm shift and join in.
     
  16. mgwerner

    mgwerner TS Rookie Posts: 19   +7


    Hmmm, "greater energy income than output."? Ever hear of the conservation of energy? It's the first Law of Thermodynamics.
     
  17. mgwerner

    mgwerner TS Rookie Posts: 19   +7

    Can't make solar panels without inputs from petroleum. While perhaps not nearly as much as for asphalt, the processes to refine the compounds needed for these kinds of panels require large inputs of energy, much of which currently comes from petrochemicals. Not that it is not a good idea, but a better awareness of the costs involved, and the processes to manufacture would allow a more informed opinion.
     
  18. wowser

    wowser TS Rookie

    Not really. Long term investment is nothing new, especially when it comes to infrastructure. Toll roads and bridges take decades to pay off and have been around for centuries. This is just a new kind of toll road that that pays for itself instead of collecting tolls or dipping in the pockets of tax payers. As long as it is cheaper than asphalt, long run, it will be a financial success.
     
  19. phoward

    phoward TS Rookie

    Solar Roadways is looking at the big picture. Solve many problems from power, snow removal, LED lighting to modular repair and cable and waste water management. Take a look at the vision.
     
  20. wowser

    wowser TS Rookie

    Income as in dollars, they end up generating more financial income in the form of energy production and other benefits than their initial cost to install.
     
  21. LRicci

    LRicci TS Rookie

    US Roads are over due for replacement, and as roads come up for replacement, that is the time to consider converting at least some portion to solar roadways. With the cost of asphalt doubling in the last decade (it is petroleum based) and concrete already more expensive than asphalt, there's an opportunity here .
     

  22. Hi all. Paradigm shift means a lot of things, one of them is changing the way things are done, stablishing a different point of view about a problem. Solar Roadways has this vision and of course that bothers many people and corps. But climate change and there consequences have to be stopped. What Solar Roadways embraces is TREMENDOUS, it has "the big three" and much more. Of course it will cost money at the beginning, but the changes that come with it, worth the cost and we all will benefit. This crusade starts in the U.S.and then will go worldwide. I hope all understand this paradigm shift and join in.

    Agree with the paradigm shift but stopping climate change is futile. The Earth's climate is constantly changing and has been recorded as doing so throughout history. We must let nature take its course and adapt just like the animal kingdom does and we must not be so arrogant as to think we can control it. It is only the greedy, corrupt and criminal politicians who have fed us the propagandist lie that it's humanity's fault that the Earth is warming up. I live in the UK and our climate has changed. It's now cooler than 10 years ago! If you remember they had to change the strap line from "Global Warming" to "Climate Change" because too many real scientists were disagreeing with and exposing the lie. Politicians would sincerely love to be able to tax the air that we breathe but of course putting it so bluntly would never sell to the masses, instead they conjured up this lie based around natural climate change and introduced a plethora of taxes on the back of it! Job done!!

    I welcome this idea and also the free energy devices that are now being developed all over the world. I hope that we see the end of this brainwashing program in my lifetime and see humanity begin flourish without being persecuted by huge ever rising utility and tax bills. If we spent defence budgets on this type of program instead of fighting false wars to keep the arms industries in huge profits, we would be making real progress.
     
  23. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,392   +1,586

    Not if the smart road is giving the smart car a heads up on road conditions.
     
  24. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 1,978   +390

    ...ive already responded once. Its rather common sense and im completely aware that they will pay for themselves eventually. Cost is an issue because governments often look at the shorter term and it might, depending on COST, prove difficult to persuade them its effective.
     
  25. JC713

    JC713 TS Evangelist Posts: 7,080   +920

    Yeah they will eventually be a money maker. Just how long that will take? Who knows.
     


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