Solar energy. It's the clean, reliable, renewable energy source that more and more people are utilizing in their daily lives. A couple from Sagle, Idaho has taken the solar panel to a whole new level: solar roadways. But not just solar roadways: solar driveways, sidewalks, recreation parks, bike paths and tarmacs.
That's right. All those big black solar panels you see on houses, in fields, near farms and even on cute decorative lights may soon become the very roads you drive on daily. Scott and Julie Brusaw have come up with the idea to create roads out of solar panels. These panels would change the way we use solar energy.
The interlocking hexagonal panels are housed under tempered glass proven to withhold the weight and traction requirements for travel. The panels have pressure sensors and contain programmable LED lights that can be changed to fit the needs of the user. For example, if a tree falls during a storm, the pressure alerts the system and the road can alert drivers to the obstruction. Pilots flying at night would have better visibility to land. People jogging at night would have their path illuminated for them. What's not to love, right?
For those of us in colder regions, the solar roadways do another service: they melt snow. That's right, the solar panels have a mechanism built in that will heat the glass and melt away all that pesky snow and ice. No more shoveling or worrying about patches of black ice. As for all that water: it get's recycled. The unit that houses the panels also collects the water from melting snow and ice, as well as rain, and treats it before releasing it back into natural waterways.
These panels are a good thing. They produce electricity; in fact, they can produce 3 times the amount of electricity that the United States uses yearly. They never stop generating electricity, effectively reducing the cost of energy for everybody. They house all the electric cables in a chamber underground. And I mean all of them. Electric lines, data lines, cable lines, phone lines and internet lines...all of them would be securely housed underground, which eliminates surface poles and wires. They'd also create jobs. Manufacturing, testing, installing and maintaining these panels would create thousands of jobs, which in turn helps to rebuild the economy.
fundraiser has surpassed their $1 million goal, but the more money raised by May 31st, the sooner we can make this idea a reality.
And in case you're still confused or unsure as to what this breakthrough could mean for the world, take a look at the very descriptive and informative video below. Also, it would make the world look like Tron.
You're sold now, aren't ya?
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