Various mind-blowing energy-saving inventions are making waves around the world. So, it’s of no surprise that we would someday be able to produce energy doing something as simple as driving to work. Well, this part of the future is quite close to us now, and it is in the form of solar roads.
A solar road is a concept that allows us to walk and drive over solar panels while saving non-renewable energy and charge our rechargeable vehicles. Although the concept is yet to be implemented all over the world, the idea has piqued interests. It could be a great possibility in the future. In other words, a solar road is our way to the future.
These solar roads were a concept originated by a US-based company called Solar Roadways. They developed solar panels that include LED lights to create lines that spare us from using paint that emit harmful chemicals.
They can even accumulate ice and snow through their heating elements. Moreover, these solar road panels feature microprocessors that make them smart and allow them to communicate with each other and with the central control station and the vehicles.
These panels are made of specially formulated tempered glass that can even support the weight of semi-trucks. Thus, we know that the glass will not crack when the vehicles run over it.
While there are still a lot of improvements to be made on solar roads, they are only heading towards a brighter path. So, we will hopefully find a highly energy-saving and environment-friendly way to drive soon.
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How Does Solar Road Work?
Solar road panels are made up of super-strong glass and consisting of photovoltaic cells, LED lights, and electrical wiring. They are supposed to connect through highways, residential streets, parking lots, and driveways.
They create a tremendous power-collecting network and a system of delivery. Because of that, there would no longer be the requirement of messy wiring everywhere, dramatically reducing power failures.
Solar roads can power 428 homes with just a single mile of the solar-paneled roadway with only about 4 hours of sunlight a day.
Thus, solar roads may be an excellent idea for the future, and if everything goes right, we may soon be enjoying its perks.
Advantages of Solar Road
1. Next-Level Power System
Considering the smart way solar roads charge your vehicles and provide a power supply system, they set a new curve for solar technology. They save a lot of fossil fuel since they replace the regular paved roads. It’s not just an environment-friendly but healthy as well.
2. Can Power Electric Vehicles On-The-Go
One of the best features of this system is that if you own an electric vehicle, you can charge it on the way to work. Although yet to implement, it is of high possibility in the future.
3. Integrated LED Lights for Warning Signs
Another essential feature of the solar road is that it will have inbuilt LED lights to replace the road signs and lines. These lines are usually painted, which, too, emit harmful chemicals. Thus, while providing us with well-lit signs for safety, the LED lights, also, work for the environment.
4. Melts Snow and Ice for Safety
One of the major concerns of drivers is snow and ice. However, the heating system included in these road solar panels will take care of them. So, if everything goes right, you may be able to drive on entirely snow-free roads in just a few years.
Future of Solar Road
Solar roads are indeed great ideas for an environment-friendly and energy-efficient world. However, it has not been successfully implemented all over the world for now. Since the concept is still under development, we cannot say for sure that it will be a reality soon.
Nonetheless, the efforts its pioneers are making are only taking it further. The prototypes of the current solar roads are being tested in places like parking lots. But it is very much possible that we will soon be driving over solar panels and saving energy as well.
We can use solar roads to charge our electric cars and reduce the use of fossil fuels. We will get cleaner energy while reducing our electricity bills dramatically.
Since the idea of solar roads is new and is not very popular, they are indeed quite expensive at the moment. However, since they help in saving energy, their prices would be lowered if the idea is accepted worldwide. However, the cost of solar roads depends upon the system installed and the area it covers.
Researchers say that a solar panel lying under a road without an optimum tilt angle may not produce as much power as expected. However, if installed in a way that they don’t face much shade throughout the day, they might even be a groundbreaking invention.
Yes, a surprising number of places in the world already have solar panels installed. It was put to practice first in France. China, Georgia, Idaho, The Netherlands, and Budapest are some of the other places where you can see solar roads.
The solar panels used on solar roads are made of tempered glass, which was chosen for its hardness, strength, durability, and transmittance. It has passed traction tests, load tests, and impacts resistance tests. Its texture creates proper traction for vehicles and walkers. The solar panels also include top and bottom glass panels, solar cells, and LED lights.