Solar Roadways is an American company that recently won a government competition to prototype a street glass that can generate energy using solar panels.
The idea is to make the roads become sustainable: currently paved with asphalt, a petroleum product.
Scott Brusaw is one of the founders of Solar Roadways and is working on solar panels encapsulated within ultra-resistant glass, which has a similar texture to the pavement can withstand the passage of trucks and cars at high speed, is sufficiently transparent to let in the sunlight, and can collect energy through panels to put to trial that can be used in homes and factories.
Definitely the project presents a lot of challenges that have not been explored by technology yet.
The idea of inserting further includes Brusaw LEDS above the solar panels, which would mark the tracks (could change if there is an accident on a track, for example) and give warnings to drivers, such as speed limits or something happened on the road.
The project sounds like the future and the road is still far from reality, although he is currently seeking funding in GE Ecomagination Challenge competition.
“We have estimates of glass and universities to develop cost about $ 50 million to complete the research and be ready for production. If we could get some of that, we would greatly help to finish our research and development,” said Brusaw.
Prices of building a road system like this could still be very high, but as the necessary elements to develop the idea that the price is falling. Although more expensive than asphalt paving, the system could become self-financing with energy production that includes.