Technology Spotlight: Solar Roadways

Imagine covering all our sun-drenched roads with solar panels instead of concrete and asphalt – that’s what Solar Roadways has in mind for getting us unhooked from fossil fuels.

They’re starting small with driveways, bike paths, patios, sidewalks, parking lots, and playgrounds, to perfect their technology.

The Solar Roadway is a series of structurally-engineered solar panels that can be driven on, and which can collect energy to be used by our homes and businesses.

Any home or business connected to the Solar Roadway (via a Solar Road Panel driveway or parking lot) receives the power and data signals that the Solar Roadway provides. The Solar Roadway becomes an intelligent, self-healing, decentralized, secure power grid.

An electric road allows electric vehicles to recharge anywhere: rest stops, parking lots, etc. That gives them the same range as a gasoline-powered vehicle. Internal combustion engines would become obsolete. Our dependency on oil would come to an abrupt end.

In 2009, Solar Roadways won a contract from the Federal Highway Administration to build the first ever Solar Road Panel prototype.

After that was completed, they got a 2-year $750,000 follow-up contract to build a prototype parking lot and test it under all weather and sunlight conditions.

After the Solar Roadways technology is proven in parking lots,  the next step is residential roads, where speeds are slower than highways and trucks are not as common.

The final goal is the nation’s highways. Solar Roadways is already investigating using mutual inductance to charge EVs traveling over Solar Road Panels as they drive!

Here’s their website:

Website: http://solarroadways.com     
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Comments on “Technology Spotlight: Solar Roadways”

  1. lanard

    you are a generation changer. your ideas are on the same latitude as thomas edison and benjamin franklin. i would love to work with you one day on vehicles that can utilize this new technology as well as medical ideas.

    Reply
  2. christina garabedian

    My brother and I were discussing this possibility last year…did I pick up on some other form of energy you were sending out?

    Reply
  3. Rod

    Interesting idea. However, if one could make photovoltaics cheap enough for road pavement, why wouldn’t one install them first on roofs, canopies, etc. where they won’t be subject wear and tear of being driven on?

    Will these panels be durable enough to handle heavy traffic; scraping by snowplows; sand and deicers; freeze-thaw cycles; motor oil, roadkill, skid marks and other contaminants, etc.? Will they be cheap and easy to repair (like filling potholes)?

    Reply
  4. Rona Fried

    It’s an incredible that electric cars would be charged as they drive – that removes the biggest barrier to their adoption: range anxiety. Yes, they can also supply energy to homes, businesses and the grid.

    Reply
  5. Lorna

    Rona Fried, I wasn’t minimizing the importance of charging electric vehicles, I just wanted to know if they were also trying to energize the grid. The article was very lacking in 1) how the solarized road surface would power vehicles, and 2) whether it would also power the grid.

    Reply
  6. Alistair

    Would love to have these for my driveway. Roof of house is broken up into many small parts; driveway on the other hand is big, and sloped to the south.

    Reply

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