Scott and Julie Brusaw, the founders of “Solar Roadways” have recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, in order to create a project for repaving the streets in the United States with solar panels coated in a type of very resistant glass. “Solar Roadways” promises a pavement system which, once applied on all roads and parking lots from the United Stated, could produce more energy than what the entire country needs.
The numbers indicate that in the U.S. there are 28968 square km of roads and about 2 billion parking lots. Considering this potential, 8 years ago the Brusaws thought of an idea which seemed odd and strange at the time: “Driving on glass had never been done. We had a few big hurdles in the beginning. How do you put a traction surface on glass so the first time it rains everybody doesn’t slide off the road? How do you make glass tough enough to withstand the weight of 18-wheelers? What happens if someone’s walking out of Home Depot and drops an eight-pound sledgehammer?”
However, little by little, the two found a solution about which they state it could, eventually, cover the demand of power of the United States. “Solar Roadways” suggests creating a new type of roads pavement with an anti-bullet and very resistant glass, and altogether very thin, capable to sustain the vehicles weighting more 100 tones. The surface texture isn’t slippery avoiding the vehicles’ slide and it has heating micro-systems incorporated , which if powered, would melt the ice during winter time. Moreover, this pavement system would power the embedded LEDs to light up dividing lines and to send warning messages through the messages transmitted by sensors.
The same system used for the parking lots could power a continuous network to supply the energy demand for electric cars. If this project would develop, the designers claim that the drivers could eventually charge their cars directly on the road they are driving.
The Brusaw husbands are hoping to collect 1 million dollars on Indiegogo to use them together with a team of engineers in order to improve the technology developed by them and to implement it on small areas in order to test its efficiency.