Solar Roadways is a brainchild of the couple Scott and Julie Brusaw. Its primary objective is the generation of clean and renewable energy on roadways and every other surface where people can walk or drive. The master plan includes sidewalks, parking lots, driveways, plazas, bike paths, playground, garden paths, courtyards, and the like.
While solar energy had already been used in many applications, the concept advanced by Solar Roadways aims to take solar energy to a new level. The concept is simple – collecting solar energy that hits the roadway and other target surfaces that are presently not utilized. The simple concept would achieve a dual purpose: cutting-edge infrastructure and a smart solar power grid.
Solar Roadway conducted research which was funded by the US Department of Transportation. They proved the viability of establishing a road system that would pay for itself through renewable energy generation. Solar Roadway completed two US Department of Transportation contracts. These showed the viability of the company’s goal of making road panels that could be the backbone of the country’s smart grid, energizing businesses and homes.
Importance of the Project
The Department of Transportation is currently faced with problems of having insufficient income obtained from the gas tax to maintain the country’s road system. While there had been cutting-edge technology advancement in the different fields, road technology is virtually unchanged. There is a pressing demand to modernize the road system in a manner that will pay for itself.
Solar Roadways’ concept can both modernize the road network and at the same time create renewable energy that will wean the country from its dependence on fossil fuels. The concept will also create a road network that will pay for itself because of the income generated from the energy production.
Potential of the Concept
Converting of all the country’s walking and driving surfaces into Solar Roadway panels will produce more than three times the electricity need of the US. But just like any new idea, a number of problems need to be overcome for the project to be viable, such as cost-effective transmission lines, energy storage, and the durability of the road solar panels in consideration with the volume and weight of traffic.