Solar Roads?...

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Solar Roads?...

Postby Screw » Wed May 28, 2014 4:23 pm

The concept is here.

Will it take off so to speak?
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Re: Solar Roads?...

Postby aardvark_admin » Wed May 28, 2014 4:36 pm

Sadly, I see many engineering and practical issues standing in the way.

Roads get dirty very quickly -- with rubber, dust, mud, lichen, mold and other contaminants -- these will significantly reduce efficiency.

Glass is a very slippery substance so the surface will have to be carefully textured to provide grip and, even then, the result will be a relatively low grip when compared to traditional roading materials.

Another problem with any material that allows light to pass through is that it will also reflect light when the incident angle is beyond a certain level. This would make the problem of driving at night or reflections of sunlight causing glare a very real one.

Nice idea -- but practical?

I'm not convinced -- but would love to be.
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Re: Solar Roads?...

Postby Screw » Thu May 29, 2014 4:22 pm

Apparently it has a self heating option that stops ice and a self-cleaning function too. If they ever get it to fly so-to-speak, it certainly would do a lot for the power grid.
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Re: Solar Roads?...

Postby aardvark_admin » Thu May 29, 2014 4:28 pm

Sounds awfully complicated -- and how much energy does it require to melt the ice -- versus the amount of energy it generates on a cold winter's day when the sun is only at a very low elevation and therefore the effective energy density of that sunlight is incredibly low (especially when compared to a regular PVA that is angled to provide a more perpendicular angle of incidence?
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Re: Solar Roads?...

Postby Screw » Thu May 29, 2014 10:29 pm

Yes I can see that there would be lots of complicating issues to work out. If it ever gets viable it certainly would do a lot to resolve the power problems considering the amount of roading there is even in NZ. Currently it costs about $1B to build a two lane road for about 1 Km so it would need to be cost effective too. Who knows?
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Re: Solar Roads?...

Postby aardvark_admin » Thu May 29, 2014 11:21 pm

It sounds to me as if simply making it affordable for communities or individual households to erect PVAs would be a far more efficient way to go about this.

No distribution infrastructure and attendand costs involved and much higher efficiencies.

Of course the problem is that, given the significant dividends paid by its power and lines companies, the government would be decidedly unlikely to help folk go "off grid" would they -- even if it was helping to save the planet.
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Re: Solar Roads?...

Postby mad mike » Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:01 pm

read an article on bbc news the other day in hawai there is too much solar power during off peak times so the retailers are no longer acepting grid hookups as there is too much power at the wrong times would solar roads generate the same problem?

will look the article up shortly
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Re: Solar Roads?...

Postby mad mike » Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:05 pm

the square peg WILL fit in the roumd hole
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