Solar Roadways Unveils Plans for Energy-Generating Parking Lots, Nationwide Solar Network

by , 08/16/11

solar roadways, nationwide solar network, solar highways, solar highway panel, solar roadways parking lots, solar roadways project, solar roadways federal grant

We’ve covered Solar Roadways‘ plans to transform U.S. highways into a vast, energy-generating network in the past, and this week the company announced that it will develop solar parking lots as well thanks to a $750,000 grant from the federal government. With the money, company founders Scott and Julie Brusaw plan to create a prototype solar parking lot for testing, but their real dream is to develop a road system made from 12-foot-by-12-foot solar panels rather than traditional asphalt.

solar roadways, nationwide solar network, solar highways, solar highway panel, solar roadways parking lots, solar roadways project, solar roadways federal grant

“This will give us the funding needed to continue our research and development,” said Brusaw in a company statement. Previously, Solar Roadways received $100,000 from the federal government for its startup project.

The panels, designed by Solar Roadways founder Scott Brusaw, contain embedded LED lights that might eventually act as a “smart” system that illuminates lanes while displaying timely warnings to drivers about roadblocks and wildlife up ahead. At the same time, embedded heating elements in the panels could prevent snow and ice from building up on the road.

They are also encased in sturdy, shatter-proof glass to support traffic and areconnected by underground wires. The overall goal is to create a solar network that includes parking lots, driveways, walkways and other solar surfaces in locations like playgrounds, amusement parks, patios, bike paths and even airports.

While it sounds like an excellent idea, there are certain logisical problems – namely the price tag: US $35 trillion. Yes, TRILLION. With a ‘T’. Each panel is currently predicted to cost around $7,000. To put that in perspective, President Obama’s current health-care reform only cost a measly $1 trillion. Whether the project develops to its creators’ epic scale is doubtful, but it’s certainly a cool idea.

+ Solar Roadways

Via Business Week

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  1. FraserXD May 29, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Sure $35 trillion is tons of money. However the energy generated from the solar panels can start to pay for itself. If they start by creating parking lots, neighbouring stores can use the solar energy rather than pay their electric company. They could put the money from savings on electricity back into funding for more electric panels. Sure we\’d be taking away profits from electric and oil companies, but the current infrastructure is killing our planet. I would rather invest in a green future rather than keep pouring money into a system that causes devastating amounts of pollution.

  2. BruceWayne Ryan November 8, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Considering the complex inter-connected web of power/oil/nukes and the pollution index…. this idea is one of the best.

  3. oddwee September 3, 2012 at 7:57 am

    I love this when i first saw it on a GE inventor site. It was a contest. I love it! I had been thinking along these lines for a long time. I wanted solar fence panels, Solar decking, solar house siding,solar patios. I am not an engineer. I just like to be my own think tank. No one ever takes me serious, but When I find people who create my ideas a few years later I know I am on the right track! I am glad the Navy is stepping up for this solar parking lot. What about the decks on the air craft carriers they could be just like the solar road idea! I think solar patios woud be great and with the computer leds you would have your holiday decorations up permanently LOL this type of thinking started for me when we made solar oven in girl scouts and I am 57 now. Which makes me ask why do we keep making solar oven more expensive, and then say they are for poor countries?? Why isn’t some one working on a cheap solar kitchen? Something I could afford Disaster relief with a pop up solar kitchen and prices so normal low income people could afford them- solar oven, solar grill, solar cooker, with solar hot water to do dishes. I could put it up on my solar patio. I also like the idea of solar with out storage, the ones you can just plug it into the grid! Or the solar power you need during the day for camping, emergency relief, disaster situations?? I want to see solar to be like computer have become you don’t have to know how to build it, it is set up so you just open and use it! no wiring, not assemble required,no engineering degree. Solar for Dummies like me! I have the solar lights, that you use for plant decoration, and patio umbrella, 5 years ago I wanted solar grow lights so my garden would grow 24/7 they are now available! And at an almost affordable price!! So give me solar roads, that light up at dark and run the street and sign lights for a start, then work on the putting it back into the grid! And solar road guy i love what you and your wife are doing!!!

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