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Solar Roads: An idea with promise for energy independence

October 19, 2010



Solar roads seem like one of the greatest inventions ever and the evidence is piling up as Solar Roadways inventors Scott and Julie Brusaw of Sagle, Idaho win contracts and gain investors and awards for their innovative approach to solving our energy needs.

The road surface will need to withstand the weight of tractor trailers and the inventors claim it can be done. Imbedded solar panels will generate enough heat to eliminate the need for snow removal and a system of LED lights can produce warning messages and alerts. The vision also includes a system for storm water recapture and charging stations for electric vehicles.

 From today’s Spokesman Review:

“Within the solar roadway’s makeup, power lines would be embedded along the shoulder, giving utility companies easy access for repairs and upgrades. Solar cells, LED lights and heating elements would be hermetically sealed between thick layers of textured glass that would become the new road surface.

Additional electronics would be sealed beneath the glass panels. The panels would generate enough heat to eliminate the need to clear snow. The embedded rows of LED lights would be able to spell out traffic warnings or create a built-in flare system for accidents. The roadways would also include a system of pipes to capture storm water and direct it to filtration systems so the water could be reused.

If all the roads in the lower 48 states were replaced with solar panels, Brusaw said, they would produce three times more power than this country has ever used annually.”

 The Idaho couple have already landed a $100,000 contract with the Federal Highway Administration to build a prototype and they recently won the $50,000 People’s Choice award in the Ecoimagination Challenge. It appears that investment interest and sound technology could catapult this idea into the national spotlight very soon.

 Scott Brusaw believes we can produce 3X the power we need in the U.S. with solar roads. It’s predicted that 2.5 million jobs could be created to make this dream a reality. If he’s right, this just may be the energy solution we’ve been looking for.

 I sure hope this idea is driven home to the White House. It’s time to stop talking and start walking, or driving, in this case.

 Here’s the article in today’s Spokesman:

 Here’s Solar Roadways website:

2 Comments leave one →
  1. themadjewess permalink
    October 20, 2010 9:07 pm

    We have solar lights outside of our home, they are great. They stay lit for hours.
    We do need to have a reliable energy source.

  2. October 22, 2010 9:19 am

    Hi Rosie
    Good ideas presented in your post. The only draw back I see is what if say a volcano explodes or some such thing and blocks the sun’s rays to earth, you know like during the “Dark Ages”? Then what?
    I think there is still yet, another alternative that man should be looking into, what that is, not sure of at this point. Hey maybe the horse and buggy days again—lol

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