Every single day free energy comes streaming down to us; relatively unlimited, clean energy that until recent times was sort of a joke. Whatever you believe, you can appreciate words like “unlimited” and “clean”, right? The question is how do we justify putting more money in industries that previously have let us down. The simplicity of this solar collecting idea is what makes it a possible winner and a catalyst for solar power dominance. Quite possibly the solution to clean, renewable energy may be right under our feet. A winding network of previously misunderstood untapped usable space right under our noses. This may sound a little Back-to-the-Future, but keep an open mind, things have progressed quite a lot in only the past 10 years!
Our parking lots, driveways, patios, backroads, highways and interstates are awaiting quite possibly the most radical facelift of our time! The majority of them may, over the next few decades, become solar collecting cells! This may sound absurd but you must watch the video and try to think about all the applications that this could be used for. Entire roadways could be programmed by highly secured (let’s hope so) city centralized hubs that would dictate emergency signals as well as navigate detours for drivers and warn of upcoming danger. The light show necessary to produce all of these seemingly magical smart roads is powered by LED arrays which amount to a miniscule drain on the collecting cell. Each tile weighs about 130 pounds and can be easily replaced, which is still not the coolest part of this new idea.
The antiquated roads and highways across the country are a money pit. We can raise taxes and improve these roads over and over and over again but for what? Why keep filling more holes and in many cases repaving hundreds of thousands of miles of road per year when we could be creating energy and smarter, safer roads for ourselves. If we replaced every major road in North America with these solar-roads we could produce three times the energy we actually need, with zero impact on the environment. It is a great idea and a great step forward in this day and age. The only problem of course as with any new green tech, its hard to make and expensive.
Coming in at a whopping $10,000 per 12”x12” tile in its initial release it is certainly a very expensive and region complicated solution. For some areas of the country that receive less sunlight it may not be a viable option, but the creators are adamant that it will work. While the green tech boom has boosted the job market, the cost of replacing every single major road would almost be triple the annual budget. The great thing about technology is that we get better at it and it becomes easier, making it cheaper making it more awesome. While this technology isn’t coming to a local neighborhood near you any time soon, you better believe it could be within your lifetime!
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