The campaign that claims that greenhouse gases could be reduced 75% by paving roads and parking lots with solar pavers has over 33,000 funders. Solar Roadways plans to solar panels that can handle up to 250,000 pounds, heat up to melt snow, light up with LEDs to form lines in the road for bike lanes or crosswalks, have channels for water and create electricity. Funders can get metal mounting holes in a solar parking lot, pendants, glass panels, t-shirts, coffee mugs or tote bags. It’s called “Solar Freakin’ Roadways.”
Solar Roadways received two phases of funding from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration for research and development of a paving system that will pay for itself over its lifespan. They are wrapping up Phase II contract (to build a prototype parking lot) where the funding will be used.
The solar panels are covered by a tempered glass surface that has been tested for traction, load testing, and impact resistance testing in civil engineering laboratories around the country, and exceeded all requirements. The intelligent hexagon panels fit together like bathroom tile.
The company makes a lot of green and environmental claims
- It will pay for itself by generating electricity and instead of paying for power plants the money could be used for more solar road.
- Heating elements will melt ice.
- No pot holes, the material will not break.
- Embedded LEDs offer safer night driving.
- Storm water can be treated and transported.
- Data cables can be embedded in the system.
- Provides infrastructure for autonomous cars and EVs.
- Panels can transmit cell phone and data signals, buh-buh dead spots.
- Roads can post warnings of dangers ahead.
- Traffic can be monitored.
- No more green house gases or fossil fuels.
- Safer roads with fewer accident.
- Protects wildlife, Load cells in the Solar Road Panels can detect if something is on the surface of the panel, oncoming drivers will be warned via embedded LEDs of the danger ahead and will be given plenty of time to slow down. If there is crossing with many animals, data collected can show where a bridge can be built.
- Lower insurance and health costs.
- Better national security because the panels don’t show heat like generators do in battle.
Solar Roadways co-inventors and co-founders are Julie and Scott Brusaw. Scott is the engineer and Julie is a therapist.
The whole Solar Roadway buzz will be documented in a documentary film with its own website. The whole project appeals to dreamers. The only thing that has not been document is how much each panel will cost. Currently a 45 watt solar panel costs around $100 retail.