The 25,000 square miles of road surfaces in the continental U.S. is a lot of unproductive space, isn’t it?
Scott Brushaw, founder of Solar Roadways, thought so too. His company aims to transform America’s road networks into solar panels that, instead of merely absorbing sunlight, turn that sunlight into energy.
As Brushaw explains, “If we covered roads with panels at just 15 percent efficiency, we’d produce three times more electricity than this country uses on an annual basis”.
Roads would act as power grids transporting power to homes, businesses, and buildings alike. But in order to pull it off, Brushaw and his team will need to conceive a road made out of glass and then figure out how to pay for it. No small tasks indeed.
Still, Solar Roadways was granted the funds to produce a prototype from the U.S Department of Transportation. And in addition to solar-paneled roads, they’ve also developed some extraordinary innovations. Among the innovations – a crosswalk panel which acts as a weight sensor. Weight registration would trigger the road to light up, warning drivers of pedestrian presence. Cool!.
On the current asphalt network, Brushaw says: “It’s an antiquated system we’ve been using for far too long. It’s time to move on. We can make better roads. We can make better, intelligent, electric roads. Lets move on, put fossil fuels behind us.” (via Techcrunch)