Solar FREAKIN' Roadways
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27-05-2014, 07:17 PM
Solar FREAKIN' Roadways
Have you guys heard about these? They are solar powered roadways, that can help lower electricity costs and reduce carbon emission. Not only that they are so cool. They have built in LED lights that can be configured to create parking lots, recreational areas, show you if there's like a deer on the road ect. They also are heated and can melt ice and snow. Watch the video to see what they are all about and let me know what you think about them.




"If you keep trying to better yourself that's enough for me. We don't decide which hand we are dealt in life, but we make the decision to play it or fold it" - Nishi Karano Kaze
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27-05-2014, 07:25 PM
RE: Solar FREAKIN' Roadways
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...r-the-good


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27-05-2014, 07:28 PM
RE: Solar FREAKIN' Roadways
(27-05-2014 07:25 PM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...r-the-good

Just replied there Tongue but this isn't just third world countries, this can help all countries.

"If you keep trying to better yourself that's enough for me. We don't decide which hand we are dealt in life, but we make the decision to play it or fold it" - Nishi Karano Kaze
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30-05-2014, 07:06 AM
RE: Solar FREAKIN' Roadways
As a civil engineer this is interesting, but I have some concerns about its viability.

1. Upfront cost. This is the BIG one. Concrete is cheap. VERY cheap. Currently we are working to make it cheaper by incorporating fly ash (a byproduct from coal burning power plants) into it to replace the expensive limestone cement. This makes it cheaper and reduces landfills by using waste to make concrete. But you're not interested in that. Solar panels are EXPENSIVE. Concrete is pennies per cubic yard. Repeat. PENNIES per CUBIC YARD. Solar panels need to be individually produced and can cost hundreds of dollars per panel. How much would it cost a city to make one of their main roads out of this? Remember, you still need the concrete road beds, the support system of steel and concrete, the crews to put it together. 100 mil? 1 Billion? Suffice it to say this is not really feasible for most towns at the moment.

2. Durability. They've addressed this somewhat but high traffic roads take a lot of abuse. It's hard to imagine these panels being stronger than concrete in compression, and when it comes to large trucks we have problems. I'd like to see how the tests on these panels for compression. How much they can take before failure of some point. I regularly compression test concrete and would like to put these panels through the same test. I can see this working on sidewalks and playgrounds for this reason, but highways? Not so much. I've thought about putting solar panels on sound walls on highways, and that seems more viable.

3. Energy payback. Solar energy is still in its infancy. And while we COULD generate a lot with roads made of solar panels the cost would be slow to build back.
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30-05-2014, 07:34 AM
RE: Solar FREAKIN' Roadways
Too little, too late

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30-05-2014, 07:38 AM
RE: Solar FREAKIN' Roadways
(30-05-2014 07:34 AM)diddo97 Wrote:  Too little, too late

Aren't you a little ray of sunshine?

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30-05-2014, 08:26 AM
RE: Solar FREAKIN' Roadways
(30-05-2014 07:06 AM)natachan Wrote:  As a civil engineer this is interesting, but I have some concerns about its viability.

1. Upfront cost. This is the BIG one. Concrete is cheap. VERY cheap. Currently we are working to make it cheaper by incorporating fly ash (a byproduct from coal burning power plants) into it to replace the expensive limestone cement. This makes it cheaper and reduces landfills by using waste to make concrete. But you're not interested in that. Solar panels are EXPENSIVE. Concrete is pennies per cubic yard. Repeat. PENNIES per CUBIC YARD. Solar panels need to be individually produced and can cost hundreds of dollars per panel. How much would it cost a city to make one of their main roads out of this? Remember, you still need the concrete road beds, the support system of steel and concrete, the crews to put it together. 100 mil? 1 Billion? Suffice it to say this is not really feasible for most towns at the moment.

2. Durability. They've addressed this somewhat but high traffic roads take a lot of abuse. It's hard to imagine these panels being stronger than concrete in compression, and when it comes to large trucks we have problems. I'd like to see how the tests on these panels for compression. How much they can take before failure of some point. I regularly compression test concrete and would like to put these panels through the same test. I can see this working on sidewalks and playgrounds for this reason, but highways? Not so much. I've thought about putting solar panels on sound walls on highways, and that seems more viable.

3. Energy payback. Solar energy is still in its infancy. And while we COULD generate a lot with roads made of solar panels the cost would be slow to build back.

But don't forget the hundreds of dollars that go into fixing potholes and other stuff that concrete roads suffer because of weather. Concrete can barely takemother nature. Those issues also ruin our vehicles and damage them, costing us even more for repairs. The solar roadways wouldn't have those issues. Panels break? Just replace them.

(30-05-2014 07:34 AM)diddo97 Wrote:  Too little, too late

Nah, even experts say we can still make a difference.

"If you keep trying to better yourself that's enough for me. We don't decide which hand we are dealt in life, but we make the decision to play it or fold it" - Nishi Karano Kaze
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30-05-2014, 08:29 AM
RE: Solar FREAKIN' Roadways
(30-05-2014 08:26 AM)JDog554 Wrote:  
(30-05-2014 07:34 AM)diddo97 Wrote:  Too little, too late

Nah, even experts say we can still make a difference.

Sure, if we overthrow our governments, establish a dictatorship, and kill off 90% of the population. Drinking Beverage

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30-05-2014, 08:47 AM
RE: Solar FREAKIN' Roadways
Quote:But don't forget the hundreds of dollars that go into fixing potholes and other stuff that concrete roads suffer because of weather. Concrete can barely take mother nature. Those issues also ruin our vehicles and damage them, costing us even more for repairs. The solar roadways wouldn't have those issues. Panels break? Just replace them.

Potholes are a complex issue (believe it or not). A lot of them have to do with poor road bed construction caused by corruption in local governments not paying for proper foundation or by contractors who decide to go with substandard materials. A good road bed and proper concrete road design can mean a road that won't have to be repaired for 20+ years. Poor roadbeds mean that the road will be full of potholes and cracks within five. simply changing out the paving to solar panels does not change the problems associated with road foundations.

Even patching a pothole is cheaper than replacing a panel. Asphalt is CHEAP. Solar panels are not.

I still want to see compression tests on these roadways, btw. How many PSI can they take before failure? How about tests for impact? Sulfates and carbonate resistances? How will they stand up to salt and sand? How often will you have to clean them? Even if you heat them to remove the freezing you still have to replace the concrete road bed periodically due to corrosion.

Don't get me wrong, I like the idea. I'm just not convinced we're there yet.
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30-05-2014, 09:02 AM
RE: Solar FREAKIN' Roadways
(30-05-2014 08:29 AM)diddo97 Wrote:  
(30-05-2014 08:26 AM)JDog554 Wrote:  Nah, even experts say we can still make a difference.

Sure, if we overthrow our governments, establish a dictatorship, and kill off 90% of the population. Drinking Beverage

Someone woke upon the wrong side of the bed this morning.


(30-05-2014 08:47 AM)natachan Wrote:  
Quote:But don't forget the hundreds of dollars that go into fixing potholes and other stuff that concrete roads suffer because of weather. Concrete can barely take mother nature. Those issues also ruin our vehicles and damage them, costing us even more for repairs. The solar roadways wouldn't have those issues. Panels break? Just replace them.

Potholes are a complex issue (believe it or not). A lot of them have to do with poor road bed construction caused by corruption in local governments not paying for proper foundation or by contractors who decide to go with substandard materials. A good road bed and proper concrete road design can mean a road that won't have to be repaired for 20+ years. Poor roadbeds mean that the road will be full of potholes and cracks within five. simply changing out the paving to solar panels does not change the problems associated with road foundations.

Even patching a pothole is cheaper than replacing a panel. Asphalt is CHEAP. Solar panels are not.

I still want to see compression tests on these roadways, btw. How many PSI can they take before failure? How about tests for impact? Sulfates and carbonate resistances? How will they stand up to salt and sand? How often will you have to clean them? Even if you heat them to remove the freezing you still have to replace the concrete road bed periodically due to corrosion.

Don't get me wrong, I like the idea. I'm just not convinced we're there yet.

Well the Federal Highway Administration funded some prototypes so I guess it's just a matter of time to see if they will work or not.

"If you keep trying to better yourself that's enough for me. We don't decide which hand we are dealt in life, but we make the decision to play it or fold it" - Nishi Karano Kaze
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