Solar Roadways: A New Source of Green Energy
Looking for the latest in innovative eco-friendly technology? Well Eat More Cake has found it…
What are they exactly? A micro-processing paving system made up of solar panels, designed to replace ordinary asphalt roads, pathways and playgrounds. It would have a glass surface with the same traction as ordinary roads and would be able to withstand the heaviest of vehicles (250,000 pounds).
This would be to replace our mundane everyday concrete surfaces with a technology which is not only safer, but would create enough energy to replace fossil fuels and be able to power our homes with clean energy. It would cut greenhouse gases by 75%.
A safer world
Not only would this mean a greener, healthier future through the replacement of fossil fuels, but they would also make roads safer. Solar roadways contain heating elements which would keep the roads free of snow and ice. This would mean fewer accidents caused by bad weather and replacing the need for snow ploughs and gritters, saving the governments huge amounts of money.
On top of this there is a cable corridor attached to allow for both the storage and treatment of rain water (preventing pollution), and creating a ‘home’ for power and date cables (no more worries about broken pylons blocking the road).
Changing roads as we know them
The panels also contain pressure sensors (load cells) which allow LED lights to activate and highlight any person or creature crossing the road. Drivers would not only be warned with a highlighted LED lit marking crossing area, but also with warnings to ‘SLOW DOWN’ appearing in LED signage on the road. These things are smart!
This would mean fewer accidents as any obstruction, accident, person or creature on the road would be ‘felt’ by the road and communicated to oncoming drivers.
The benefits of LEDs in the panels does not stop there. The panels can also be programmed to display everyday road signs, meaning no need for government expenditure on the painting of yellow lines. They can also be changed to display football courts, tennis courts, hop scotches, etc in backyards and playgrounds. Allowing anyone to play the sports they love without forking out for hefty gym memberships or sports clubs. Plus think how awesome our cities would look full of LED surfaces: comparisons have been made to the world of Tron!
It has also been said that if solar roadways were used to replace our highway infrastructures, electric vehicles would be able to charge whilst driving. Electric vehicles could be fitted with a power-receiving plate which would pick up energy from the induction plates in the road. As one of the common complaints about electric vehicles is that charging is difficult to access, this could mean more people switching to electric vehicles. Charging with clean energy and therefore cutting your bills – bye bye electricity bills and fuel expenditures!
On top of this, the panels could be used for disaster relief. Due to the small size of the panels they could easily be transported to areas of need to produce power and light.
Is this just fantasy?
No, solar roadways exist. Created in 2006, the product has been through various stages of testing and has recently received enough money through individual like-minded sponsors to begin testing on a larger scale. It will be starting with pathways and playgrounds.
In a few years they could be ready for mass production and by starting with private driveways and community lots, they could soon develop on an international scale. They will be providing jobs and creating capital, therefore cutting government debt. They could even be deployed to underdeveloped countries.
We at Eat More Cake think that solar roadways are a brilliant idea, and one that could change the world as we know it. Definitely one to watch.