TEDx: Solar Roadways, the pavement of the future.
Solar Roadways aims to evolve the way we view pavement; from an unsustainable ecological stressor to an innovative and sustainable platform that solves numerous challenges while utilizing recycled materials to build a sturdy power generating pavement with built-in programmable LED lights that keep drivers informed of upcoming roadway hazards and pedestrian activity. This new evolution will also feature built-in utility conduits for electric, phone, internet, and cable television infrastructures which are inexpensive to upgrade and require no additional digging, rainwater collection and diversion to the water and food production infrastructures, electricity generation via built-in solar panels, and a carbon negative footprint through the utilization of waste materials in its construction that would normally be clogging up landfills.
Solar Roadways relies on advances in material sciences to create a transparent glass surface that is capable of withstanding a fully loaded semi-truck slamming on its brakes. It is shatterproof, fireproof, and transparent while also being glare-free for maximum solar efficiency and driver visibility.
With a lifespan of only six years and a price of $16 per square foot for asphalt (and rising due to ever increasing prices for diminishing oil reserves), It won’t be too long before the $10,000 per unit Solar Roadway becomes a very competitive alternative to the high maintenance petroleum based pavements used in the majority of our modern day interstate highways and local roads. Designed utilizing interchangeable and upgradeable parts, these devices are easy to maintain and inexpensive to upgrade with higher efficiency solar panels as advances in technology are made. Company numbers show that these devices, with a solar efficiency of 18.5 percent as found in current commercially available solar panels, generate nearly enough electricity to pay for themselves at today’s electricity prices. Recent breakthroughs in solar panel efficiency that are currently under development increase energy production capability, generating revenue in excess of the purchase price of these units over their 20 year lifespan. Folks, these things will soon pay for themselves!
With the implementation of this technology, our towns and cities alike will become electrically self-sufficient and begin the process of unplugging themselves. Due to decreasing reserves and continually-diminishing oil production rates, the costs of maintaining asphalt pavement will only increase significantly over time. Solar Roadways offer us a sustainable green alternative to dependency on dead dinosaurs, dangerous radioactive materials, and polluting coal power generating technologies. “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” Check out their website for more information.