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Solar Roadways

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by Evil Monkey, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. Sep 4, 2009 at 3:05 PM
    #1
    Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey [OP] There's an evil monkey in my truck

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    This guy has an idea to use solar panels for roadways. According to him, even with today's solar panels, it would produce 3 times our current energy use. The panels would provide their own electricity which could be used to draw LED lane markers and lines, add warning messages for slowing traffic ahead or warn of animals on the road and provide energy to heat the roads for in case of snow/ice. It could also power your house or provide internet access points.

    It would require a special panel, that technicallly feasible, that provides traction to vehicles similar to asphalt and support the weight of heavy vehicles. It's an interesting idea.
    http://www.solarroadways.com/
     
  2. Sep 4, 2009 at 3:09 PM
    #2
    Arcanite09

    Arcanite09 Well-Known Member

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    .... i love it! where can i sign up to invest?
     
  3. Sep 4, 2009 at 3:43 PM
    #3
    98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 is gooder 'en chicken Moderator

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    I don't see anything in there about snow and plowing?
     
  4. Sep 4, 2009 at 3:45 PM
    #4
    otter

    otter Well-Known Member

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  5. Sep 4, 2009 at 3:50 PM
    #5
    BakoTruck

    BakoTruck Well-Known Member

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    Yeah...and it would bankrupt us even more.
     
  6. Sep 9, 2009 at 8:52 AM
    #6
    Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey [OP] There's an evil monkey in my truck

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    He has a plan to put heating elements in the roadways so any snow hitting them would melt.
     
  7. Sep 9, 2009 at 8:53 AM
    #7
    Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey [OP] There's an evil monkey in my truck

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    It would be expensive for sure, but it would more than pay for itself in energy returns.
     
  8. Sep 9, 2009 at 8:55 AM
    #8
    JeffRock

    JeffRock Well-Known Member

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    Money up front, VS. Money returns.. hmmm
     
  9. Sep 9, 2009 at 8:58 AM
    #9
    wiscdave

    wiscdave Lets Do It!

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    Lets see it take an earthquake, and 40 tons driven on it, and 1000,0000 of cars a year...not happening.

    Quit smoking the Cheba..and we gave this clown 100k? WTF?
     
  10. Sep 9, 2009 at 9:01 AM
    #10
    nad

    nad mmmm tacos!

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    absolutely amazing idea, we need to start coming up with ways to produce energy without burning fuel and solar power is one of the most logical that , wind and hydro are all very smart ideas
     
  11. Sep 9, 2009 at 10:52 AM
    #11
    sooner07

    sooner07 1/2 man 1/2 amazing

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    I agree that it is a novel idea, I do not see it as being practical. Sure, there is a lot of upfront cost and there is return based on energy production... but how quickly will it need to be replaced and what is the replacement cost.

    That is one of the limitations with home solar power units. The upfront cost is barely recouped (by energy savings) before the panels have to be replaced due to wear and loss of efficiency. A part of the big expense on the home side is the DC to AC converter. A similar issue would be faced with these road systems. The current, if to be used in a city would need to be converted and boosted to be useable on the grid.
     
  12. Sep 9, 2009 at 11:09 AM
    #12
    nad

    nad mmmm tacos!

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    I could imagine that if roads started being replaced with these then the cost should start going down. its because no one uses solar power right now that it is so expensive.
     
  13. Sep 9, 2009 at 11:36 AM
    #13
    MyToyTaco

    MyToyTaco ╒╪╕

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    “There is crumbling infrastructure all over the country,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada

    33% of the nation’s major roads are in “poor or mediocre condition.”

    “U.S. infrastructure needs lots and lots of capital, and it’s not obvious where all that money is going to come from.” – Murray Bleach President of Macquarie Holdings, USA


    Well, when the roads do go to shit and the US can't afford to fix them, at least I know I'll be able to get around in my lifted taco :cool:
     
  14. Sep 9, 2009 at 11:39 AM
    #14
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    Great...Just what we need is a bunch of people driving along, trying to read the road....
     
  15. Sep 9, 2009 at 11:44 AM
    #15
    Veccster

    Veccster bass turds

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    I think solar panels and wind turbines are definitely on the rise...and they should be. It is free energy. I can see more and more homes incorporating solar panels into the roofs in the very near future.


    Another interesting thing I read about global warming is the COLOR of roads. They can change it slightly and it will greatly reduce the absorbed heat from the sun. Roofs are another area that can change....if it was required to make them gray and not black, the absorbed heat would be much less.
    Many areas are also reducing or eliminating black cars. I'm sure California will be one of the first to eliminate them.

    Solar powered roads are too far fetched for me. BUT solar buildings and solar rooftops are more feasible. Why not make an ENTIRE skyscraper powered by the solar panels that make up its exterior? Why replace your roof with shingles when you can replace with solar panels and cut down your electricity bills. The only thing stopping us is cost. Make the panels cheaper and we'll use them.
     
  16. Sep 9, 2009 at 2:46 PM
    #16
    OU812

    OU812 ban the term murdered out

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    Wind turbines, yes, hydro, yes, nuclear, yes.

    Solar panels embedded in the interstate.. :eek:

    So, I'm sure there a people here who have driven on I-90 and know that highway is perpetually under construction along with I-70 and the list goes on and on.

    As the banker said "Sorry, you plan simply doesn't make a good business case."

    The problem I have with solar is once the light is removed you have net zero energy.
     
  17. Sep 9, 2009 at 4:25 PM
    #17
    sooner07

    sooner07 1/2 man 1/2 amazing

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    It is not free energy. You are absorbing energy from one form that would otherwise go into the environment. I am not saying that it is always a large negative environmental effect nor am I saying that the effects are worse than current technologies. I am merely pointing out that no energy is free (collection has a cost and distribution has a cost) and there are always consequences to changing how the environment behaves.

    Changing the color does have a big effect. Right now, the way LEED is setup, standard grey concrete is much preferred over black asphalt. Most interstates are built of standard concrete, not asphalt. So, this doesn't really change freeways a whole lot from the norm.

    States banning or limiting cars based on color is BS. Cali did some preliminary studies on how color affects A/C usage but never intended on banning black cars (at least that is the internet investigation I saw showed).

    Cost is the ultimate limitation. With the lifespan of buildings, the cost for some renewable sources does not make sense. I have priced them for several buildings in Dallas in the last year. Even government jobs, which typically push the limits of sustainable technology do not have large solar arrays or wind turbines in their budgets.

    As the technology progresses, in the next 10 years, I think solar panels will be much more common place. But, I wouldn't hold my breath on them right now.


    Wind turbines are in such high demand that they are typically the limiting factor in if the wind farms that my company bids on will actually get built. Budget and infrastructure are issues, but availability and back orders of turbines kills more projects than any other factor (in our experience).

    BTW, net zero is actually a term for buildings that have zero net usage of power from the grid. Just saying.
     
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