Solar Highways

by Toni Black on July 29, 2011

Arizona solar Phoenix rebate installing solar panelsPost #7 – Black Platinum Solar & Electric, Innovative Technology – Toni and John Black

Now here’s a story that definitely belongs in the “Gee, Why Didn’t I Think Of That” category.

It’s the project to replace our asphalt highways (circa 1950s technology) with something befitting the 21st century. It’s the glass road…or more accurately, the solar panel roadway that can do more than capture solar power. It can serve as the grid to deliver electricity, phone, cable TV and more directly to our homes and businesses.

Solar Roadways has been developing and testing the technology…overcoming challenges ranging from the notion of driving on glass to providing good traction, making it strong enough to withstand both car and truck traffic and ensuring there the sun doesn’t reflect off the glass road and into a driver’s eyes.

As explained in the video below, the impetus for this project was the realization of just how expensive petroleum-based liquid asphalt had become. In 2007, a ton of liquid asphalt was around $175; today that same ton costs more than $1000. As Solar Roadways began its research, their calculations led them to realize that this was a highway that could actually pay for itself over time (similar to the advantages of home solar installations).

Consider this: There are 25,000 square miles of roadway, including parking lots and driveways in the lower 48 states. If covered with solar panels yielding only a 15 percent efficiency, the United States could produce three times the electricity that the country now uses annually. Factor in the additional benefits of the intelligent grid to virtually every home and business and the ability to flash messages on the roadway–right in front of a driver’s eyes–and well…don’t take our word for it; watch the video below. It’s truly inspirational.

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