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Solar roadways – a good or a bad idea?

Solar Roadway

At first blush, this looks like a fabulous idea:


Turn roadways into an enormous solar cell and get lots of other advantages like better new infrastructure.  A long while ago, I looked at making solar roadways (and parking lots and driveways and footpaths and….) under contract when I was at Squid-Labs : http://www.squid-labs.com/projects/cc.html

The very difficult thing about making a road is making it structurally sound enough to carry vehicles.  That means it has to take very high loads, and be very durable for up to 50 years.

So putting a solar cell there is completely possible, but then you’ll need to put some protective material on top that has some texture (so the roads are not slippery) and enough resilience to last a long time.  The problem is that that protective material uses A LOT of energy to produce.  Perhaps the company pitching this idea has some magic special sauce up their [...]

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