A world without pavement, sidewalks, or asphalt roads may sound like a boring nightmare but what if those surfaces were instead blanketed in durable, cutting edge solar panels? According to engineering couple Julie and Scott Brusaw, solar roadways, driveways, and even courts used for tennis or basketball could be the next step in finding renewable energy alternatives. Just imagine how cool your company’s parking lot could look covered in interlocking solar panels that, instead of just sitting there getting hot like asphalt or concrete, absorb solar energy for you throughout the daytime.
“Here’s an idea crazy enough that it just might work: Pave the streets with solar-powered panels that have their own built-in heat and LED lights. That’s what Scott and Julie Brusaw hope to accomplish with their ongoing Solar Roadways project, which they just funded through a hugely popular crowdfunding campaign.
The husband-and-wife team has spent the better part of the last decade developing solar-powered modular panels that could be installed in roadways and parking lots, and would be able to collect power from the sun. Those panels could also keep streets clear of snow and ice, while illuminating them with LEDs.
Rather than paving streets and driveways with asphalt, the Solar Roadways panels would theoretically be able to decrease our nation’s dependence on fossil fuels by generating massive amounts of clean energy. Panels are made from ruggedized glass and connect to one another through a mesh network, so that even if one panel fails the system will notify repair crews that it needs to be replaced.”
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