Monday, May 12, 2014

Solar Parking Lots and Driveways

The Solar Parking Lot (Isaiah Mouw, Parking Matters, Spr. 14, 2014)

Also discussed here: City driving to get roadway test grant (Cameron Rasmusson, Bonner Conty Dail Bee, Apr. 3, 2014)

And here: Solar Roadways

And here:
The Promise of Solar Roadways: Scott Brusaw at TEDxSacramento (16 min. You-Tube video)  

Today we review progress by the inventor of Solar Roadways, Scott Brusaw, toward his goal of using photoelectric cells embedded in glass pavements in highways across the USA which would replace the energy generated by fossil fuels and cut greenhouse gas emissions in half. He has now passed two phases of tests and development funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation and has just finished building an outdoor parking 12 by 36 ft. lot which is described in the references noted. A key advantage for colder climates in addition to the electrical energy generated which could be used to recharge electric cars is the capability to melt snow that falls on the parking lot – and, when economically feasible, for driveways for private homes. Brusaw’s home city of Sandpoint in Utah, USA is seeking DOT funding to test a solar street in its downtown. 

 solar Parking-lot-east-300x225

Key Quotes: 

“In 2009, we received a contract from the Federal Highway Administration to build the first ever Solar Road Panel prototype…After successful completion of the Phase I SBIR contract, we were awarded a follow-up 2-year Phase II $750,000 SBIR contract by the Federal Highway Administration beginning in 2011. With this award, a prototype parking lot will be built and then tested under all weather and sunlight conditions.”

“One of the biggest challenges of this phase was to explore and test various glass surfaces and textures and test them for strength, traction, and durability and all test results have exceeded our expectations. In addition to the solar cells, the panels contain heaters to keep them snow and ice free and LED lights for road lines and verbiage”

“If the city secures the grant, a portion of a downtown street would be converted to Solar Roadway panels, which consist of energy-generating solar cells sandwiched between four-square-foot glass hexagon panels. These glass panels have been tested by civil engineering labs for traction, durability and strength, and the data indicates they’re suitable as a safe walking or driving surface,”

“The Solar Roadway is a series of structurally-engineered solar panels that are driven upon. The idea is to replace all current petroleum-based asphalt roads, parking lots, and driveways with Solar Road Panels that collect energy to be used by our homes and businesses. Our ultimate goal is to be able to store excess energy in or alongside the Solar Roadways. This renewable energy replaces the need for the current fossil fuels used for the generation of electricity. This, in turn, cuts greenhouse gases literally in half.”
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