Solar freakin roadways – Futuristic technology that can replace the asphalt!
At first glance it looks like the perfect combination. What is a road if not a waste of space when we aren’t cycling, walking or driving, anyway? Well, it wouldn’t be if it is a solar road. However, things are not as simple with the solar freakin roadways as we might think.
Solar freakin roadways – Futuristic technology that can replace the asphalt
The solar road has become an internet phenomenon that raised over US$2 million in crowd funding. The arguments for the technology behind the solar freakin roadways are quite compelling and the world was willing to take them into consideration.
So, are we seeing a point where the solar growth is going to be cross-pollinated to parts of out roadways? It’s highly unlikely when if we’re talking about the solar freakin roadways concept.
The solar freakin roadways project is based on PV modules. These things are made of cells and a cover glass that about a centimeter thick. To make this thing work, we need to make a complete technological change. Otherwise, it is just a niche industry that has little impact on our lives.
Solar freakin roadways price
Needless to say, the asphalt roads are way more cheaper that than the thick slabs of toughened glass. Unfortunately, this will never change. While the asphalt that’s a mixture of waste products costs around $5/m² the solar freakin roadways will be around $15-20/m². Moreover, it’s pretty obvious that compared to the asphalt the glass is energy intensive to produce.
Solar freakin roadways – Can they actually change the future of the roads?
Solar freakin roadways performance
While the idea behind this project is as good as it gets, we need to be a bit more realistic to foresee the outcome. Most roads are easily shaded so they cannot take advantage of the sun’s usable energy most of the time. Another great point is that roads are just prone to collecting dirt. That dirt will shade the modules which will lead to even greater inefficiency of this project.
Solar freakin roadways safety
Just imagine what it will be like to drive on a smooth glass surface in the rain. The truth is road surfaces wear with use- another fact that will never change.
All in all, you could say that 2 out of 3 reasons are real deal breakers. The road is a place that needs to be safe and cost-efficient. We need it as a pathway for our vehicles to transport materials and people in our everyday lives. Nevertheless, we can’t say that there are no benefits whatsoever with the solar roads. So, check out the video and see what this project is all about: