Inhabitat has been reporting on the Solar Roadways project since 2009, so we are excited to see that their latest Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign has raised over $1.5 million! Funds are going towards production costs and hiring staff, and there’s still a short amount of time left to show your support until the midnight PT, May 31 deadline.
The crowdfunding campaign had a goal of $1 million, and the overwhelming response to both the campaign and the brilliant video that explains it (above) shows how well supported the concept is. The current campaign sought to raise enough funds to employ engineers to improve the design of the panels and help transition Solar Roadways from prototype into production. Due to the success of the campaign, Solar Roadways recently started advertising for engineers and a CFO on their Facebook page on May 26.
In short, Solar Roadways is a modular paving system built from hexagonal solar panels that are tough enough to withstand almost anything traffic can throw at them. They can be used for roads, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks and bike paths—basically, any surface where bitumen, concrete or paving stones would be applied. Because they are modular, damaged units can be replaced easily. Other innovative features include LEDs for signage and road markings, heating elements to melt snow, and channels for both data cables and storm water run off. The system is designed to pay for itself over its lifetime through the generation of electricity. Individual houses and businesses could be connected directly to the power generated around them, and according to its creators, “a nationwide system could produce more clean renewable energy than a country uses as a whole.”
Although the Indiegogo campaign has already met its initial goal, funds are still gratefully accepted by the campaign. The company notes in an update: “We plan to begin hiring in June … The additional funds that are being contributed now will allow us hire even more people … Some of the additional positions on our wish list that that we also may be able to hire (depending on our final total) include: Software Engineers, IT Professionals, Cyber Security experts, etc.” You can show your support through Indiegogo until midnight PT, Saturday May 31, 2014.
Images by Solar Roadways