America Is About to Get Its First Solar Roadway

Iconic Route 66 Set to Be America’s First Solar Roadway:-

Solar roadways are coming to the most famous highway in the United States — Route 66.

The simply named Solar Roadways, an Idaho startup run by husband-and-wife team Scott and Julie Brusaw, developed the technology and has entered a partnership with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) to install their durable solar panels at a rest stop in Conway, Missouri, along the famous road.

The Brusaws achieved some viral fame through their Indiegogo campaign and the accompanying video, which garnered over 20 million views on Youtube and netted $2.2 million in donations for further development on the project.

The panels are roughly 70 pounds each and hexagonal, made of tempered glass that has the strength to hold cars and trucks and a tractioned surface that performs similarly to asphalt. According to the company’s website, the panels contain “LED lights to create lines and signage without paint heating elements to prevent snow and ice accumulation,” in addition to producing clean energy.

The company has been developing the technology through donations and grant programs and haspassed two previous tests with federal highway officials prior to this latest project with MoDOT.

Further engineering is needed to work out problems before the panels can be widely used. Tom Blair, an assistant district engineer with MoDOT’s St. Louis area district and head of their “Road to Tomorrow” long-range planning effort, acknowledged the path ahead. “It’s hard to predict what this will lead to,” Blair said. “We’re a few years away from a final product.”

However, he did note that the technology had great potential, saying “Solar roadways can hopefully create new revenue streams.” He continued by stating that “if [Solar Roadways’] version of the future is realistic, roadways can begin paying for themselves.”

“Technology already has changed how we think about different things in our lives, and it is going to disrupt everything that every one of us transportation leaders have experienced to date in our life… It’s happening fast, and it’s going to be disruptive,” he concluded.

A similar project for a bike path made of solar panels, dubbed the “SolaRoad,” was implemented in the Netherlands in November of 2014 and yielded positive results. Although the project was prohibitively costly due to its experimental nature, the energy output provided exceeded initial expectations and provided important information for further development of new solar technologies.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is currently exploring the possibility of a solar bike path here in the United States based on the technology used in the Netherlands.

Article Via: US UNCUT

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