Years ago, when the phrase “global warming” began gaining popularity, a group of inventors started batting around the idea of replacing asphalt and concrete surfaces with solar panels that could be driven upon. Initiated was the thought of the “black box” on airplanes: What material was the black box made of? It seemed to be able to protect sensitive electronics from the worst of airline crashes.
This is what this group of inventors said:
“Suppose we made a section of road out of this material and housed solar cells to collect energy, which could pay for the cost of the panel, thereby creating a road that would pay for itself over time. What if we added LEDs to “paint” the road lines from beneath, lighting up the road for safer night time driving? What if we added a heating element in the surface (like the defrosting wire in the rear window of our cars) to prevent snow/ice accumulation in northern climates? The ideas and possibilities just continued to roll in and the Solar Roadway project was born.
In 2009, we received a contract from the Federal Highway Administration to build the first ever Solar Road Panel prototype. During the course of its construction, we learned many lessons and discovered new and better ways to approach this project.”
A new concept was born. This video was watched by more than 15 million people:
Solar Roadways has received two phases of funding from the US Federal Highway Administration for research and development of a paving system that will pay for itself over its lifespan.
Solar Roadways is about to wrap up our Phase II contract (to build a prototype parking lot) and now need to raise funding for production.
|Phase II Prototype Solar Parking Lot|
|Snow test – Powered row is snow/ice free.|
|Artist’s rendition of interstate|
|Solar Parking lot|
|Solar Parking Lot|
The Solar glass surface has been tested for traction, load testing, and impact resistance testing in civil engineering laboratories around the United States, and exceeded all requirements.
Solar Roadways is a modular system that will modernize our aging infrastructure with an intelligent system that can become the new Smart Grid. Solar Roadways won the Community Award of $50,000 by getting the most votes in GE’s Ecomagination Challenge for “Powering the Grid” in 2010. Solar Roadways had the most votes again in their 2011 Ecomagination Challenge for “Powering the Home”.
On August 21, 2013, Solar Roadways was selected by their peers as a Finalist in the World Technology Award For Energy, presented in association with TIME, Fortune, CNN, and Science.
Solar Roadways was chosen by Google to be one of their Moonshots in May of 2013.
Solar Roadways was chosen as a finalist in the IEEE Ace Awards in 2009 and 2010.
Solar Roadways has given presentations around the country including: TEDx Sacramento, Google’s Solve for X at Google’s NYC Headquarters, NASA, Keynote Speaker for the International Parking Institute’s Conference, to name some.
Solar Roadways is tackling more than solar energy: The FHWA tasked with addressing the problem of storm water. Currently, over 50% of the pollution in US waterways comes from storm water. Solar Roadways has created a section in our Cable Corridors for storing, treating, and moving storm water.
The implementation of its concept on a grand scale could create thousands of jobs in the US and around the world. It could allow everyone the ability to manufacture out of our current economic crisis.