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Imagine roads that are built to last for twenty years, never have snow and ice on them, generate electricity and warn drivers of potential hazards ahead.  Imagine if this roadway had built in wireless charging platforms that would allow electric vehicles unlimited driving distances.

Well, this is actually happening.

Solar Roadways has built their prototype and is crowdsourcing their seed money for their first production facility.

Here is an introduction to the technology

More videos and links to the indiegogo seedmoney campaign below the anti-hashtag

You can join the discussion and help to make this vision a reality

here
:

More videos:

combining this technology with Wireless Charging for electric vehicles will allow unlimited mileage for electric vehicles.  Imagine never having to stop for gasoline (or to plug in) EVER!

TDK moves quickly to commercialize wireless charging for electric cars

The wireless power transfer is up to 90% efficient, meaning only 10% of the power is lost between the transmitter and receiver. The power can also transfer through roadway materials such as concrete and asphalt, meaning it could be embedded in the ground under a parking space.

Originally posted to New Minas on Sat May 03, 2014 at 03:47 PM PDT.

Also republished by Kosowatt and DK GreenRoots.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Try a stretch in Chicago... (8+ / 0-)

    ...then we'll talk...

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sat May 03, 2014 at 03:50:05 PM PDT

    •  Well Germany's Pulling Gigawatts from Rooftops (12+ / 0-)

      in cloudy Europe around Newfoundland latitude.

      I think Chicago could kick some solar ass.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sat May 03, 2014 at 04:55:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The savings (5+ / 0-)

        No winter salt
        No winter plowing
        No pothole repair
        No paint
        reduced traffic accidents during Winter and increased safety due to embedded light communications.

        All of these make the power generation only a secondary benefit.

        A BIG secondary benefit.  If only highways were treated this way, with 30% efficient panels, we could electrify all transportation and would have significant electricity left over for storage-use later at night.

        Be the change that you want to see in the world

        by New Minas on Sat May 03, 2014 at 05:03:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Last time I checked (7+ / 0-)

          there was no mention of how much power it would take to keep the roads heated during winter in the northern climes.

          Given that solar radiation generally isn't enough to heat the road surfaces above zero, I'm fairly skeptical that these roads will be net power producers during winter.

          •  good point (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JeffW

            and question.  .   .

            On sunny days, the roads receive a lot of energy but once the ground below the roads freezes, it takes a lot of energy to rethaw.  

            The freezing happens at night and then snow cover.  It is a very interesting question.  I am not sure what kind of heat load would be needed to maintain an ice/snow free surface.  In this event, a snowplow would be more of a "squeegee plow" allowing melt to run off.

            cleaning is another major cost as well.

            Lots of muddy tires out there. . .

            Be the change that you want to see in the world

            by New Minas on Sat May 03, 2014 at 06:51:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Grid Electricity For Heat When Needed (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            New Minas, Maverick80229

            Can be imported from those areas that don't require heating. Once we have enough storage in our grid, the solar from all our roads will be enough to replace all fossil fuels. Utilities are starting pilot projects to determine how to re-use electric car batteries as grid storage even now. Of course it will be years before we have enough cars to get batteries from.

            The thing is, even a battery that has lost capacity, so that it is considered too weak to move a car as far as it needs to go is not useless. If your EV can no longer do your daily distance, you will replace the battery (or the car) and the weak battery will go to a big battery room at some utility, where it will supply whatever amount of power it still can, maybe for decades.

            I saw a new GE wind generator that has a battery built into the base so it can supply power even when the wind stops. Right now it's not a lot of battery, but it is enough to allow the utility to run up a conventional generating plant to take over. This does save some fuel...

            Reducing Oil Imports One Volt at a time.

            by Volt3930 on Sun May 04, 2014 at 12:38:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Plus (0+ / 0-)

              if the road is laid down over a concrete subsurface that is then laid down on an insulating barrier, the residual heat of the concrete would be a significant thermal mass to prevent freeze at night, once the sun is shining in the daytime, the light snow accumulation could be easily melted (if any accumulated on the surface at all)

              Be the change that you want to see in the world

              by New Minas on Sun May 04, 2014 at 10:20:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Eliminates electric poles (0+ / 0-)

          which aren't cheap to to erect and replace.

      •  Lotsa roof space in Chicago... (0+ / 0-)

        ...Calamity Jean is always kvetching about the "naked" roofs when we ride the el.

        Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

        by JeffW on Sun May 04, 2014 at 02:32:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sounds like an amazing idea! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    New Minas, alypse1, KenBee

    Thanks for sharing this. I'll be following this project with great interest!

    The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

    by Eric Stetson on Sat May 03, 2014 at 04:40:26 PM PDT

  •  Republished to Kosowatt group. n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    New Minas, alypse1, KenBee

    The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

    by Eric Stetson on Sat May 03, 2014 at 04:48:46 PM PDT

  •  Awesome idea, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alypse1, JeffW

    sound almost too good to be true.  They need to do a demonstration project, like all the roads on Catalina Island or something to see how it works.

    No matter how cynical you become, you can never keep up.--Lily Tomlin

    by MadScientist on Sat May 03, 2014 at 06:04:07 PM PDT

  •  Cool. (0+ / 0-)

    "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

    by HoundDog on Sat May 03, 2014 at 06:59:24 PM PDT

  •  I have no idea how much of this stuff will (0+ / 0-)

    actually be feasible but I've wondered why the roads' surface couldn't be harnessed somehow. An 'on-the-fly' electric vehicle charging system sounds good (assume it would work like those neat mag-lev HS trains).

    I see from reading the 'inductive charge' link given (below) that there are various designs for recharging EV's using this technology, neat.
    I still think if it worked as you drove along nobody would even have to plug in for a recharge, it would be a continuous process as you drive .
    Mix this with EV mag-lev 'tracks' for longer distance personal/commercial truck travel and we have a totally different transportation system.
    The beauty is it all still supports existing vehicles and the Ev's can go 'off-surface' too.

    The energy would come from the (vicinity of the) roads' surface powered by adjacent PV, wind, ?, sources. Why couldn't the road surface be a translucent non-skid "glass" or ceramic (for durability) with the PV cells embedded below.
    Glass is just processed SAND, one of the cheapest raw materials there is.
    Anybody who has stood on a (Texas) paved road knows how much effen energy there is just baking away. I should patent this ASAP, right?

    I have some (portable) handheld/pocket/beltclip remote radio handsets that work with a marine VHF fixed (base) radio unit, mounted inside the cabin, that are about like a large cell or wireless home phone in size/shape (not like the Portable VHF handsets shown in the Wiki link, these work on a different frequency and only comm with the base unit and don't have the rubberducky antenna, just an internal one).
    The charging stations for them use an inductive power transfer circuit to recharge their stock internal Li-ion batteries (works a bit like an inductive smooth cooktop).
    It's pretty cool, the charging stand has no metal contacts to corrode in the salt air, you don't fiddle around with them to make sure the contacts are touching (and not opening up with ships movement). You just drop the radios in the holder and let the charging begin, essentially transferring the charge power through the open air gap and plastic parts. The only drawback (and I'm working on a solution) is that the handhelds are terrible power hungry little bastards, and a full charge just doesn't last as long as it should.
    They do have optional battery 'carriers' to replace the Li-ion batts with regular or super-style conventional alkaline/other batteries, but those kinds don't seem to last much longer either (and when they're discharged you have to open the case/cover and replace them).
    (Ref: Uniden 625C/525 DSC marine VHF & WHAMx4 remote handsets; still a great VHF, IMO, look on ebay for pics)

    "The church of life is not in a building, it is the open sky, the surrounding ocean, the beautiful soil"...George Helm, 1/1977

    by Bluefin on Sat May 03, 2014 at 09:27:59 PM PDT

    •  Oh, BTW, what's all this "winter", snow, plowing, (0+ / 0-)

      salt shit?
      Don't gots that stuff down here (at least not more than a day or two every 10-15 years).

      "The church of life is not in a building, it is the open sky, the surrounding ocean, the beautiful soil"...George Helm, 1/1977

      by Bluefin on Sat May 03, 2014 at 09:32:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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