Detractors Say that Solar Roadways Must Be Stopped

by , 06/08/14

Solar Roadways, solar roads, Solar roads Indiegogo, Solar Roadways funding, solar power, solar panels, drivable solar panels, Solar Roadways Indiegogo, Solar Roadways detractors, Solar Roadways cons, Solar Roadways support, Solar Roadways problems, Solar Roadways renewables international, Renewables International magazine, solar power innovations

Solar Roadways have been getting a lot of attention lately after securing nearly $2 million in funding on Indiegogo – but some detractors are decrying the innovation, saying that the idea just won’t work. The inventors of Solar Roadways say the project has the potential to free the US from dirty energy, save lives with intelligent signage and make roads safer with heating. But critics say that output issues, noisy roads and a simple lack of need mean that Solar Roadways just won’t fly.

Solar Roadways, solar roads, Solar roads Indiegogo, Solar Roadways funding, solar power, solar panels, drivable solar panels, Solar Roadways Indiegogo, Solar Roadways detractors, Solar Roadways cons, Solar Roadways support, Solar Roadways problems, Solar Roadways renewables international, Renewables International magazine, solar power innovations

The idea behind Solar Roadways is: We already use a massive portion of land for roadways; why not double task and make our roads generate energy? But according to the magazine Renewables International, a small amount of shade on a solar panel reduces the efficiency of the entire string. Because roads will usually be shaded by cars, trees and surrounding buildings, the output will be compromised.

Related: Solar Roadways Unveils Super Strong Solar Panels for Roads

The magazine also points out that roads are meant to be noisy or quiet depending on the speed of driving that is intended, but Solar Roadways by design are always going to be noisy. Perhaps the most unconvincing argument they make is that we already have the ability to install all of the solar we could possibly need, so there is no need for innovation: “[O]nce again we have entrepreneurs telling the public and politicians not to start building what we have, but to wait for some future breakthrough,” says Craig Morris, author of the article.

No doubt there will be unexpected issues with Solar Roadways and certainly they won’t be perfect for every road, but we think the possibilities for the idea extend beyond generating more green power. What do you think? Are Solar Roadways paving the way for a greener future or a flight or just another Solyndra poised to fail?

Via Renewables International

Images via Solar Roadways

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  1. Daniel Mulhern March 15, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    I believe in this concept. It\\\’s bound to throw up obstacles and issues along the way, but I cannot see any reason to knock it as vigorously as the detractors do.

    One thing about the shade issue. Surely if the roads are providing enough energy as anticated, and they are all connected, then they can provide power to the panels that are shaded. We know they are far more than just solar panels, and that the safety benefits alone are compelling. So why not use non-solar versions of the panels in shaded areas, thus saving hugely in costs for those areas. They would still be connected and have all of the other benefits.

  2. android March 14, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Unfortunately the concept of having solar roadways is not just impractical but physically impossible. The amount of glass silicon and copper needed to replace even a single major highway with a solar roadway would be almost impossible to attain.. not to mention the expense and complications associated with such a project… Do you realize how much an entire highways of solar panels and glass with its associated electrical infrastructure would cost? This is not an economically viable concept.. They also mention using recycled glass? How can you make a totally clear surface to allow light through with recycled glass?(or get enough recycled glass to make a giant highway into a solar roadway?)…. these people are scam artists who will end up with a few hundred thousand dollars after they can’t “get it to work”… This idea makes sense in no way at all.. household solar arrays as well as centralized renewable energy production is the way of the future.. not this scam..

  3. Roars Price March 14, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    even if we only get 10% of what SOLAR FREAKING ROADWAYS! promised thats still 10% more that what we have know.

    considering all our roads (besides Bioasphalt) are an oil based subsidiary.
    I’m not surprised that the oil companies are worried about a renewable, recyclable, environmentally conches alternative that is also smarter, more helpful and inevitably cheaper.

    Solar Roadways are the iPhone of roads in terms or technological advancements.
    don’t you think apple know competitors would have don’t anything they could to have postponed the iPhones realise until they could make there own cheaper iPhone copy.

    also apple iPhone was novel and expense in it infancy but since then has become a household name

  4. Roy Lawson March 14, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    I think it should be tested in various scenarios like high and low traffic areas, and see how viable it is. Honestly with the cost of PV and the cost of maintenance it doesn’t seem economically viable.

    There are cheaper ways than electricity to add light, such as glow in the dark or highly reflective paints.

    PV makes more sense on roofs and carports or open fields.

  5. Jon Hanzen September 22, 2014 at 9:36 am

    What will fly is the propensity for solar roadways to save lives! Developing technology installed with in the microchip that could communicate with the vehicles new onboard sensors to alert the driver when driving to close to the lines (on both sides of the road!) And maybe in the future even have the capacity for a more practical auto drive feature.

  6. Aaron Tyree July 27, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Dont you think its strange that when someone raises their own money to test and refine a technology, that people who are not involved try to stop them? What could possibly motivate anyone to try to stop someone from working on self funded technology research? Unless someone is directly involved in the project, or funding it, there is really no reason to say anything. Unless you have ulterior motives to sabotage the project or try to stop it before it gains traction.

  7. Charlie July 26, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    I see no reason to completely turn our backs on this, because the concept is wonderful, in my (humble) opinion. Maybe the technology needs to continue to be refined and developed so it can be practical to implement, but we\\\’ve waited decades for efficient, inexpensive solar collector panels, too, so I think this deserves as much respect and attention, going forward. We can make this a reality, if we put our minds to it…and nobody blocks the way.

  8. Zulma Aguiar July 26, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    The shading concern can be true. But have you ever driven through Texas? Texas is Huge. If you were to cover every major road, even just the federal highways, you could potentially not need another fossil fuel, carbon or drop of oil. This might worry the oil industry IN TEXAS and all of its investors is why “they” are trying to stop you from this fantastic idea. Solutions to problems already piss off investors of the opposing “solution.”

  9. Tirica Stefani July 26, 2014 at 11:32 am

    I loved the idea but it must be tested before we start paving any road. The beauty in this case is that we have a lot of pavement and concrete areas besides highways that are seldom shaded. Why not start there ? I would love it if the pavement in my yard would generate energy and also if i didn`t have to remove the snow by shovel during the winter. residential areas are also ideal i guess, slow moving cars so little noise and also few cars to give shade to the panels . All in all it is stupid to dismiss this idea so soon, it definetly has a lot of potential. Don`t give up !

  10. ebattleon July 22, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Just read the company Q and A…and they have a long way to go till this tech is proven viable far less commercialized. Its a good concept though there much work to do, and don’t only look at the solar aspects as the designers have much bigger plans hinted.

  11. moarcontent July 17, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    This idea is not a good one. Current solar panel efficiency is no were near enough and these won\’t track the sun. Earthquakes and ground moment would destroy these roads or at best leave giant gaps between the units. Power transmission and storage in remote areas if impractical as well.

  12. Arin Crumley July 16, 2014 at 4:12 am

    Look, it’s genius. It just is.
    Not every single road of course. A lot. A whole lot.

    Consider NYC having these on the sidewalk and streets. Just the ability to melt ice is incredible. And to light up the bike lane would bring so much safety. Also in rural areas the fact you can light up a person or animal that walks on the street is amazing.

    The arguments against the roadways don’t hold up. They say we just need normal arrays and no roadways. Okay. Why not both. They say there might be shade. Well same as a roof top that has a tree near by or a cloudy day. THe point isn’t just collecting power from light. That’s only one of the many cool aspects of this. The real point is when we bother to build something from now on it should create and distribute electricity. Roofs should have panels built into their design. So should roads. Water heaters should generate computational power while they heat. These are design principals for our modern times.

  13. Panchitecto GM July 15, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    like any technology these panels have their limitations but it does not mean they are useless. in very open out skirting city areas of New Mexico and west Texas this roads would be very useful. Not all roads are built of the same material, therefore we just have one more option.

  14. Aaron Hayes July 12, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    If they raised their OWN FUNDING to test it, and didnt need government funding, and are willing to do all the work to build and test it themselves, then…wow BRAVO to them! Anyone with half a brain would applaud them. At this point it almost doesnt matter if it works as well as they hope or not. At least they are taking action. Where as the rest of us arm chair opinionators just speculate. And really, anyone trying to stop this before testing..well you can be assured that they have a vested interest to see that it fails.

  15. Simonmc July 12, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    I think they should carry on with their development.

    I do not think we will see it used on roadways though I do see it being used in driveways and decking for private houses and carparks, pathways and spaces in public buildings.

  16. Charlie July 12, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Hmmm…I, too, have some doubts as to the durability of this, but I truly love the concept and I believe it should be put through some rigorous trials, somewhere that will prove or disprove its viability.

    As with many new ideas and inventions, very often the first generation or version or whatever we want to call the initial implementation of a concept…will need to be redesigned, or re-“thunk”, if you know what I mean.

    I’m in favor of promoting this toward full scale testing and necessary follow-through to ‘perfect’ it going forward. My guess is that most of the ‘backlash’ is coming from some of the Big Energy industries. I’m just sayin’…

  17. SandyTodd July 12, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Then put them on the shoulders and in the median. Never understand why there are always naysayers to any progress. We should all have solar hot water heaters, it’s way past time for that. There are solar panels that work in shade. There are solar roofing tiles. People say windmills are ugly, while ignoring smoke pouring out of coal power plants. Stop Being Duped America! We can have a nice life if you stop listening to greedy opportunistic people.

  18. Amir Muslim July 12, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    You know last time I checked they were working on prototypes. Meaning that these products for whatever purpose is not even close to being mass produced yet. I say let them see what they can do with it. If they fail in it, push onto something else. If they do not and succeed then more power to them. However, its important to not simply just prevent someone from trying an idea just because you think it has issues or may not work. If we operate on that mantra, half the things invented would have never made it off the table.

  19. Kenneth McGrath July 12, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Um, they’ve raised the money to test the product. Why are people attempting the junk science of “contempt prior to investigation” exactly? Oh, yeah… That’s right. They are not the engineers testing the product’s viability through a real prototype trial.

  20. baller25 July 1, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    I think that this idea would NOT work on roads because as many others have mention constant traffic running over it will wear down and destroy the panels rapidly, however I DO think that this would work on areas such as sidewalks, bike paths, and other areas that would normally be pave (just not with cars). (Note: the areas would have to be far enough away from trees, buildings, or other large objects that would shade the panels).

  21. muddmike June 20, 2014 at 9:36 am

    I am a supporter of solar energy, and have no ties with any energy companies or lobbying groups. I have read the solar roads web site and read their FAQ page, as well as most of the rest of the site. What I see on the site are vague, partial and deceptive writing. They make claims that they cannot ever possibly fulfill. Their site is clearly designed to appeal to people who are technologically and scientifically illiterate. Science and technology are not magic, and just wishing something would exist does not make it work. Unless you are in an area where everyone commutes to work in flying cars.

    I also happen to know about science and technology. While the glass may survive simple lab tests, they have not reported any tests that would test the survival of the glass panels when exposed to the stress of having vehicles driven over them. Glass is a material that gradually degrades. Every time a vehicle drives over the glass and flexes it, the molecular structure of the glass degrades.

    There are so many serious and unsolvable problems with this idea, that it would take many thousands of words, diagrams and calculations. Even if faced with this info, most supporters will spew the line, \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\”All of those problems are solvable.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\” The technologically illiterate who believe that science and technology are magic, will never be swayed by facts and science.

  22. muttley June 19, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Try it. If it works great. If not, then at least we tried.
    If all the great ideas that have come to fruition over the history of mankind was given up on before it was tried, we would still be in the dark ages.
    Think about it AC, heat, running water etc.
    Just a thought.

  23. Raymond Whitham June 15, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    “Detractors” as in Big Oil companies!

  24. Toddy Todd June 13, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    ‘revolverkiller’ is right.
    It’s not a case of being a detractor because we don’t have the faith in a good idea, it’s because the idea simply won’t work. If you don’t understand the science, it doesn’t matter how nice your opinion is I’m afraid, you just don’t have the knowledge to comment on the subject properly.

    Glass is a soft material, unlike the grit that is attached to your tires. It will only take a few hours of heavy traffic to completely ruin a Solar Roadway.
    You can’t see LEDs in the road in daytime.
    You can’t see LEDs in the road when there are cars on top of them.
    High Voltage electricity needs High Voltage cable to transport it – that alone costs up to $1,000,000 per mile, so even if the idea would work, which it won’t, you would still have the problem of moving the electricity to where you need it.

    Also… there is a reason that roads are not laid in small tiles, and that is because over time they would MOVE. Think about a pavement (the ‘sidewalk’ if you’re from the US), the tiles that make up a pavement move over time, and that is just from PEOPLE walking over them, not 18-wheelers or huge juggernauts, but PEOPLE.

    It is all simply a pipe dream.

    A fantasy.

    It would make a lot more sense to take the money they’ve collected and spend it on installing solar panels onto rooftops.
    If the team at Solar Roadways really cared about making progress for the planet and not about making money, they would have already given the money away to a better cause because they MUST know by now that the idea is a flop.

    P.S. Sorry for the dose of reality. I liked the idea at first too, but that just goes to show how powerful video marketing can be.

  25. Robert Swift June 10, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    First Kristine your Hot.
    I always a sceptic when it comes to Government waist spending money .
    I do like this Idea, but not for Highways. State parks , driveway, and maybe even small air port tarmac lanes(not run ways). low traffic is the key. I’m Engineer and I like the idea if the installation or removal is easy and the road surf (grip ) can be maintained at a reasonable cost.

  26. KMan June 10, 2014 at 10:29 am

    In doubt about the project? Please read FAQ:

    Thank you.

  27. Solar Lights June 9, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    It sounds like a great idea but my first concern was the amount of potential light pollution which already is an issue. If anything crosses the road or falls on it and activates the light cell I would think that would exacerbate the problem.

  28. BillyV June 8, 2014 at 7:26 am

    This project is fine, but after their $2M is gone, so will be the project. It’s another “feel-good” and starry-eyed attempt to go “green” at the expense of engineering practicalities and they have successfully “mooched” from similar folks their money. Good for them. I want to see what happens however, in two years with their ideas and how they spent the $2M. Solar Roadways will churn out the “roadways” until their money runs out. Yea, is better to have tried and failed to never had tried at all– occasionally makes some sense, but I never have seen anybody try to leap over a 30 foot wall in their tennis shoes unaided. Except the few crazies in the world, most won’t attempt that feat because our experience says it ain’t likely to succeed. There are just some things if you are a good engineer that, upon a simple investigation, need not be attempted. This will fail not because of necessarily bad design, but the manufacturing costs will kill the project. This is one of those. FYI, I am sitting on a wooden kitchen chair.

  29. Brandon Boutros June 8, 2014 at 2:16 am

    What about them makes noise and how does that effect their efficiency? That\\\’s something I hadn\\\’t heard about.

  30. revolverkiller June 7, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    a couple of words: glass roadtop. SUCKS as a road surface

  31. revolverkiller June 7, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    guys, its common sense and science that tell why the solar roads are retarded:

  32. Larry Gardner June 7, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Those who choose to “detract” from this project may freely do so from the comfort of their padded armchairs while Solar Roadways happily churns out their solar panels using the (over) $2 million that has been or will be contributed to their business. They will not be denied because of these objections which, by the way, they have looked into and solved or are in the process of solving. Before you say they won’t work, how about having a look at what’s been accomplished already?

  33. Veronica Martinez June 7, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    There will always be the negative people…
    Keep on keepin on!!!
    This is revolutionary!
    The industrial revolution was met with much opposition as well.

  34. Alayne Adler June 7, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    This would be useful on long stretches of highway that are necessary for transportation but receive little traffic. Especially good for South and Southwest rural areas. Lots of road, little interference.

  35. Christopher McLaughlin June 7, 2014 at 11:44 am

    To have tried and failed is better than to not have tried at all, I say. Start small and if things are going smoothly then advance to the next phase. It would be ridiculous to reject the idea without first attempting to apply it on any scale.

  36. Croft Egan June 7, 2014 at 11:43 am
  37. Evolversi June 7, 2014 at 11:39 am

    I rarely leave a comment, but I have to believe that anyone that thinks this is a bad idea is either working for a dirty energy company or a moron…. Sorry to be so harsh but honestly I don\\\’t see a down side to this and the argument for noise seems a little premature since I don\\\’t think anyone has actually heard what it would sound like in person. Most roadways are quite noisy to begin with as asphalt is not exactly considered a noise reduction material either.

  38. Erica Danielle June 7, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Annnd parking lots/ street parking. Issue solved?

  39. Erica Danielle June 7, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Well then how about sidewalks?

  40. Tom Walling June 7, 2014 at 9:36 am

    The exciting thing is that so many people not only thought it was a great idea, but that they were able to pony up a little cash that went directly to the project too. In the past, any other innovations would either come out of tax-funded gov\’t studies, or capital from wealthy stockholders. It shows that ordinary people who want to make a difference can finally give and share information in a productive way thanks to the internet. For me, even if SR ultimately fails, it\’s a good sign of our future.

  41. ankualex June 7, 2014 at 5:42 am

    @Richard Deal This man has some real arguments.

  42. Chad Stenning June 7, 2014 at 3:51 am

    Richard Deal I don\\\’t think you are a very Intelligent person and as far as I can determine you seem to be spouting bullshit. Maybe go to the inventors website and read up on it. Putting a raised roof on the road would be more expensive and dangerous, you would now need to pay for both the continual upkeep of the road plus this \\\”raised roof structure\\\”. If you read up, quoting facts: in climates that experience this thing called winter where this white stuff called snow falls from this thing we call the sky, if not effectively removed constantly, adding more cost, would accumulate on the top of said structure adding weight thus possibly collapsing on the road users. or the snow build up could just itself fall on the road users. plus other issues like melting and causing mass area of black ice on the pavement below, etc. As to having to rip up roadways etc. to install this technology again you are misinformed and should read the actual facts provided. This is my two sense. I whole heartedly agree with this technology and greatly look forward to seeing it implemented. Alas haters going to hate and dumb low intelligent people are going to hate and be stupid and continue the slow destruction of our planet. Peace out

  43. riezz1 June 7, 2014 at 2:53 am

    «People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.» —George Bernard Shaw

    Solar Roadways are in the making. They work. They are financed. People support them.

    Noone can stop private people from using Solar Roadways in their driveways and pathwlks. Noone can stop businesses from using Solar Roadways in their parking lots. Solar Roadways can only be stopped from being used in public places and due to reactionary interests, they will. But when everyone sees how magnificently Solar Roadways work, they will eventually be used everywhere.

    Get real, get Solar Roadways!

    «One resists the invasion of armies; one does not resist the invasion of ideas.» —Victor Hugo

    («On résiste à l\’invasion des armées; on ne résiste pas à l\’invasion des idées.»)

    «You have enemies? Why, it is the story of every man who has done a great deed or created a new idea. It is the cloud which thunders around everything that shines. Fame must have enemies, as light must have gnats. Do not bother yourself about it; disdain. Keep your mind serene as you keep your life clear.» —Victor Hugo, Villemain(1845)

    Victor Marie Hugo (February 26, 1802 – May 22, 1885) is recognized as the most influential French Romantic writer of the 19th century and is often identified as the greatest French poet.

  44. Llia Olsen June 6, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Prove it on a purpose built track, race electric cars that draw power from the split roadway they drive on. Or small scale it, race electric go carts, prove the endurance on real or scaled world wet, dry, snowy driving. With all that money you can build fun parks that will offer jobs and generate revenue and provide the public with the experience of driving on your road, you’ll gain the much coveted publicity and if done right the naysayers will have nothing left to say.

  45. Donna Fernstrom June 6, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Most detractors don’t seem to have read all of the available materials on the subject – or, they just not knowledgeable about technological advancements. Solar panels today are much more efficient than they have been in the past. The folks who think they would barely generate enough to light the LEDs… that’s frankly silly. You can light a LED with a solar cell the size of a penny on a calculator. LEDs draw very little power.

    Since they plan to install piezoelectrics in them in order to capture energy from the pressure of vehicles moving over them, the tiles would even generate some power at night.

    No one knows how much the tiles will cost, yet, so claiming they will be too expensive is like claiming Godzilla will come and stomp on them. It’s a fantasy. Wait and see.

    There are some issues. Can the LEDs be seen clearly in bright sunlight? I don’t know, and Solar Roadways hasn’t answered this question. Do they make a lot of noise when you drive on them? NO ONE knows, because the tiny parking pad they made is too short to test that – so claiming they will be too noisy is, again, a fantasy. Will the tiles work loose as cars drive over them? Have to wait and see. If THAT proves to be the case, it will be a stinging disappointment, but the tiles will still prove useful for sidewalks, walkways, outdoor basketball/sports courts, swimming pool surrounds, patios, and much more. They may also still prove viable for parking lots and driveways, which have slow traffic.

    This is a brand new idea – calm down and let them continue to test and develop it. You can’t insist that it will or will not work, without any evidence. Patience. 😛

  46. Ponta June 6, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    The shade of passing cars or even cars parked in a parking lot are surprisingly negligible, and is discussed in the FAQ on the SR web site. As for the sound created, exactly how does anyone know the sound level when even the designers have not tested it yet? As with the cost estimated cited in another comment, it relies on “facts” which are either pure guesswork or are completely made up. In fact, that sums up most arguments I have seen about how these roads will “never work”: they are either arguments already addressed by the designers, or are speculation.

  47. Dylan Wheeler June 6, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Richard Deal clearly does not base his opinions on logic.

  48. cjw1sd0m June 6, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    For anyone who has questions, most of the answers can be found here:

  49. I_V_A_R June 6, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    There is not TO MUCH environmental technology and innovation in this world at the moment. Its to litle. They will have the possibility to make give the surface the exact texture they want, who knows if it will be noisy or not, yet. Let them try it! Let us try it! maybe there will it will solve problems we don not even know of yet. And maybe these solutions can be applied in other technologies.

  50. Tyler Lines June 6, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Well simple, don’t have the whole road connected. Do it in sections. I am not sure who said it, but I am going to say it here. Those who say it can’t be done, should not interrupt those who are doing it!

  51. Matt Boehner June 6, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Start with low traffic parking lots. Surely Target or even Wal-Mart would be a player on developing the overflow parking areas of 3-4 stores in different climatic zones. If these hold up, it may have potential. Otherwise, we already know we can cut energy costs by 10-15% by just putting a small solar collector on every residential home. Think if building codes would require it too…

  52. Richard Deal June 6, 2014 at 10:56 am

    10 to 20 times the cost to make a road. Not to mention most of our roads are already made so they are just in the maintenance cost buckets which are much much less. So we are looking at remaking roads at great expense. IN fact you have to make a concrete road with 4 bolts per tile and THEN bolt on the tiles. Not to mention that ridiculously small amount of potential solar power from these things is only barely going to handle the LEDs and in NO way be enough to handle melting snow. So now we have to dump even MORE power into our road ways to melt snow because scraping them with snow plows or putting salt on them would be harmful to them.
    It would be FAR FAR cheaper to just put a raised roof over the road and put conventional solar panels on the roof. The road would last longer, it would keep weather out, cut down on sun glare, and generate real electricity . If you want to put these in private parking lots, sure go for it, but public roads at public expense?!? We need to spend our money on something meaningful.

  53. Jos Conil June 6, 2014 at 5:43 am

    Solar Roadways need not be stopped. In fact the concept is really great. It can very well be a harbinger of intelligent roadways of the future. But I’m against the means to harness the heat – drive-able solar panels. Even if the problem of vehicle safety and noise are sorted out, this proposal will be exorbitantly costly considering the components & electronics needed per square feet.And even if the cost is factored out considering the long term advantage, the environmental foot print of the materials used – PV panels & toughened glass – cannot be ignored.

    So I think the inventors should consider better alternatives to harness the heat. Perhaps heat conductor strips embedded in the road concrete / asphalt, connected to thermoelectric vertical tubes drilled into the ground can help when we go deep enough to create a considerable temperature difference between the road surface & the earth below. Thermoelectric generators are not that efficient now, but recently an R&D team from NW university & Michigan State University have come up with better thermoelectric material based on the semiconductor Telluride.

    Combine this with piezoelectric strips under the asphalt as done by an Israeli firm Innowattech ( uses parasitic energy or energy otherwise wasted in friction as thermal energy to produce power. This arrangement can produce power even after sunset.

    A combination of thermoelectrics & piezo electrics can harness both the ambient heat as well as the dead weight of vehicles passing over.

  54. Tyran Graham June 6, 2014 at 1:19 am

    Highways would be great even if it was just sections and I agree there is no harm in trying. We would still be producing usable energy much better way than what the world is doing now at least.

  55. fraskzx9 June 5, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    The need for all devices to be solar powered overwhelmingly destroys any&all objections!

  56. springcatz June 5, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    I have been watching this project for since 2010.The Indiegogo funding is to take prototypes out into the real world and test them in real life conditions.
    The eventual roll out of the modules may be quite different from what we see today.
    I live in subtropical Australia and can see the potential for Solar Roadways on a lot of our long isolated baking roads.
    We lose electricity generating infrastructure every time there is a large cyclone(Hurricane).
    We are quite interested in ideas that decentralise energy production and get our infrastructure down at ground level out of destructive winds.
    I will be watching the further development of SolarRoadways with great interest

  57. ajdorsey June 5, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    start with parking lots and new communities, in a few years after tech improves and costs/manufacturing/capacity are figured out, roll out to older roads during maintenance.

  58. ajdorsey June 5, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    start it in parking lots and driveways, if it is deemed worthy for high traffic roads, go for it.

  59. msyin June 5, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Well said, Mr. McGrath, what is the worst that could happen, we learn more and advance technology that could have long range positive implications on our roads, highways and parking lots. The challenges they face and over come could be a large boon to solar technology that could also help electric cars and even create smart connected highways. It is the possibilities that this can usher in that is so exciting and worth testing. We already know of technologies and policies that are harmful that we sill use despite alternatives, why try to shut this down when it is still just a trail?

  60. Kenneth McGrath June 5, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    “There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance – that principle is contempt prior to investigation” – Herbert Spencer

    These detractors fall in to that category, it seems to me. Why not try it out in one community and see how it works? Where’s the harm in that?

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