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My kind of Road's "Solar"

KiLLiNG-TiME

Distinguished Member
A very nice idea.
Solar Roadways - Introduction

Everyone has power. No more power shortages, no more roaming power outages, no more need to burn coal (50% of greenhouse gases). Less need for fossil fuels and less dependency upon foreign oil. Much less pollution. How about this for a long term advantage: an electric road allows all-electric vehicles to recharge anywhere: rest stops, parking lots, etc. They would then have the same range as a gasoline-powered vehicle. Internal combustion engines would become obsolete. Our dependency on oil would come to an abrupt end.
It's time to upgrade our infrastructure - roads and power grid - to the 21st century.
 
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DPinBucks

Distinguished Member
Cost?
Durability?
Skid Resistance?
Efficiency?

A great blue-sky idea, but needs a lot of thinking-through. It's not new, either. The Netherlands, I think, are already experimenting with solar-powered road markings.
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
How much to repair after an accident?
Grip looks very dubious to me.
 

Sparky83

Established Member
Go one set further and put a grove down the center, make everyone buy a new car that will go into the grove.

Hey presto we can all drive a life sized scalextric using the power generated by the road to drive along the road!
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
Groove?
 

MIghtyG

Prominent Member
A very nice idea.
Solar Roadways - Introduction

Everyone has power. No more power shortages, no more roaming power outages, no more need to burn coal (50% of greenhouse gases). Less need for fossil fuels and less dependency upon foreign oil. Much less pollution. How about this for a long term advantage: an electric road allows all-electric vehicles to recharge anywhere: rest stops, parking lots, etc. They would then have the same range as a gasoline-powered vehicle. Internal combustion engines would become obsolete. Our dependency on oil would come to an abrupt end.
It's time to upgrade our infrastructure - roads and power grid - to the 21st century.

*puts on engineers hat* (sorry)

Fossil fuels, oil in particular are required for so much more than running cars. From Medicines to clothes to computers to kids toys. We all use oil daily, and that includes the eco warriors who cycle 'cause its better for the environment'

You mention much less pollution, there is no such thing as clean energy. The panels have to be manufactured somewhere, somewhere which consumes energy and generates waste materials. Might be more manageable that waste from a coal fired power plant but its still nasty stuff. As far as I know Nuclear energy still yields the most energy for the smallest pollutants footprint. Sadly its also very easy to make it out to be a bogey man and no one likes it for some reason.

And the biggie, the internal combustion engine will become obsolete. Probably the most popular electric car with the most cars sold (in the UK anyway) is the Nissan Leaf, this has a range of ~100-150 miles from an 8 hour charge..... That means a trip I do regularly (Aberdeen - Glasgow) normally a 3 hour drive would become an overnight tip. Compare that to a conventional internal combustion engine with a high efficiency your looking at a range of 400 miles+ and a re-fill time of less than 10 min.

Don't get me wrong electric cars are great and will be the way of the future, but the technology simply isn't there to over throw the current technology.

Personally the only way I can see electric cars taking off (with current technology) is if we had easily removed batteries and standardisation of batteries. Then you could drive up to a 'refuel' station, take out your battery and switch it for a fully charged one, just like getting a calor gas tank refilled, you still have limited range but at least you can get going again in 10min vs. 8hrs.
 

KiLLiNG-TiME

Distinguished Member

MIghtyG

Prominent Member
ahh my bad sorry, I didn't read the full article as I had read a few things about these solar roads before. Just get a bit annoyed when people talk about this sort of stuff as if its ready to replace all our energy needs now and the only reason we aren't adopting them is 'because of the man'

its all too easy to get swept away with the broad sweeping statements like cutting our dependency on oil or the end of the combustion engine thanks to 'free' electricity, the second you start to look a little below the surface it just doesn't hold any water.
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
*puts on engineers hat* (sorry)

Fossil fuels, oil in particular are required for so much more than running cars. From Medicines to clothes to computers to kids toys. We all use oil daily, and that includes the eco warriors who cycle 'cause its better for the environment'

You mention much less pollution, there is no such thing as clean energy. The panels have to be manufactured somewhere, somewhere which consumes energy and generates waste materials. Might be more manageable that waste from a coal fired power plant but its still nasty stuff. As far as I know Nuclear energy still yields the most energy for the smallest pollutants footprint. Sadly its also very easy to make it out to be a bogey man and no one likes it for some reason.

And the biggie, the internal combustion engine will become obsolete. Probably the most popular electric car with the most cars sold (in the UK anyway) is the Nissan Leaf, this has a range of ~100-150 miles from an 8 hour charge..... That means a trip I do regularly (Aberdeen - Glasgow) normally a 3 hour drive would become an overnight tip. Compare that to a conventional internal combustion engine with a high efficiency your looking at a range of 400 miles+ and a re-fill time of less than 10 min.

Don't get me wrong electric cars are great and will be the way of the future, but the technology simply isn't there to over throw the current technology.

Personally the only way I can see electric cars taking off (with current technology) is if we had easily removed batteries and standardisation of batteries. Then you could drive up to a 'refuel' station, take out your battery and switch it for a fully charged one, just like getting a calor gas tank refilled, you still have limited range but at least you can get going again in 10min vs. 8hrs.
There is another possibility which is being worked on.
Fuel cells have been developed that can run on hydrocarbons as well as hydrogen.
Add to that biodiesel production using algae and you have, well, a solar powered car that can travel long distances, doesn't need expensive heavy batters and can be recharged in minutes.
The fuel cells still need to improved but the benefits are enormous as fatty acids (in diesel) as comparatively easy for algae to produce compared with the sugars for ethanol and fuel cells would run better on a simple fuel.
Part of the work going on is to reduce the temperature the fuel cells work at but given what there is to gain...
 

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