ziggie204 wrote:Did a bit of googling, here is a decent article about it. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2014/05/20/forget-roofs-are-solar-roads-the-next-big-thing/
50% more expensive than asphault construction, and the infrastructure that would be needed to support it. . . I'm just not sure it's worth it. Honestly, it would probably be a cheaper undertaking for local, state, and federal governments to buy every homeowner a solar panel for their roof.
That's a good article, thanks for linking. Here's the Vox article linked in the one you provided: http://www.vox.com/...ds-with-solar-panels
This certainly isn't viable in its present state, on a massive scale...but that doesn't mean it's not worth exploring. Two thoughts I have: these aren't viable on big-city roads. Huge, huge traffic volume, so breakdown and repair would likely prove costly. And the solar benefit is essentially nil when there's no, you know, sun. Also, diversification in panels seems like a no-brainer to me. In the south you don't need heated panels. And 75% of panels really don't need the LED system; on your average road what's the benefit of having costly LED lighting when all you need is a strip in the middle?
Anyway, I hate when people say 'this won't work' (not you, ziggie, just a few others in this thread and comment sections of other articles) and point out a few (legitimate) issues, without giving it a chance. They're starting with a few driveways in their hometown. If that works they'll move on to some parking lots. By then we're talking 2020 and the technology will be better understood, durability and repair can be hashed out, and the entire panel structure can evolve into something that hopefully can
be mass-produced for small-scale asphalt replacement projects. I love this idea, I don't think it's a cut-and-dried winner and the solution to all our energy problems. But I do think it can be a big contributor to reducing carbon emissions and slowly reshaping the way our roads and cars function.