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Topic # 205802 27-Nov-2016 22:49
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This is from today's Times:

 

"A road covered in a layer of thin solar panels that can help power homes and offices is to be built in the UK next year.

 

The quarter-inch photovoltaic material can be glued on top of a traditional road surface and is tough enough to withstand lorries driving over it, according to the engineers behind the scheme.

 

Colas, a subsidiary of the French engineering firm Bouygues, is planning to test its Wattway solar road at up to three trial sites in the UK. One of the locations is likely to be near Cambridge.

 

In areas with 1,000 hours of sunshine a year, just 12ft of road surface can provide enough electricity to power the lights and electrical appliances of one home. Cambridge averages about 1,500 hours of sunshine a year.

 

HOW DOES IT WORK?
Solar panels, coated in glass bead resin to give vehicles grip, can be glues to roads
12ft of road surface can provide enough electricity to power the lights and electrical appliances of one home
The technology’s inventors suggest harnessing solar power from roads will be a more publicly acceptable way of producing green energy than large solar farms.

 

“The potential behind this is huge, if you [consider] the number of square kilometres of road that are available for energy instead of building big solar farms in fields,” said Pierre Trotobas, Colas’s development manager. “There is no issue of public acceptance.”

 

The solar panels, which can also be glued onto cycle paths and car parks, are coated in a glass bead resin to give vehicles grip and prevent skidding. As well as being fed into the grid, electricity generated by the roads could be used to power street lights and electric road signs, and charge electric vehicles.

 

Colas is planning about 100 trials worldwide and has installed more than half a mile of the surface in the village of Tourouvre in Normandy. The 30,000 square feet of solar panels would be able to power all the public lighting in a town of 5,000 people for a year, according to the firm.

 

While the cost of the road is reportedly between £1,697 and £2,121 per square metre (10 sq ft), the company hopes to make the technology cost competitive with solar farms by 2020."

 

 

 

Sounds pretty cool.






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  Reply # 1678571 27-Nov-2016 23:17
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They've been pushing these for years now - I can't believe they're still getting money. Initially sounds cool, but are unfeasible for so many reasons that it feels like a public-funded scam. Here's a good video about it.


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  Reply # 1678573 27-Nov-2016 23:24
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I prefer this one: https://youtu.be/obS6TUVSZds

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1678575 27-Nov-2016 23:47
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  Reply # 1678610 28-Nov-2016 08:32
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I guess we'll see if they go ahead whether they work or not. It's a good idea of it does.





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  Reply # 1678612 28-Nov-2016 08:47
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They have put in a trial footpath in the netherlands and it seems so work OK. I think roads are a bad idea though. There are plenty of people smarter and more sarcastic than me who have debunked it on youtube and around the internet already, but there are a lot of good reasons it won't work as promised and the inventor is mainly giving pie in the sky reasons it might.

 

My personal reasoning against it is from having worked in East Tamaki and seeing first hand what trucks do to the roads out there. I have serious doubts about a glass panel being able to hold up for long amounts of time under heavy loads and also not be worn down smooth by constant abrasion. Even just building up a layer of road dirt would be enough to reduce the efficiency of the panel.

 

I personally think solar city is a far smarter bet. Roof tiles that function as solar cells means you don't have to deal with trucks driving over your comparatively fragile road based panels. It is a smarter way to implement the technology to my mind. http://www.solarcity.com/residential/solar-roof





Try Vultr using this link and get us both some credit:

 

http://www.vultr.com/?ref=7033587-3B


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  Reply # 1678623 28-Nov-2016 08:54
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It's a terrible idea even if it works.
Why bother putting solar panels on roads, where they need to be driven in by cars, be flat (worse angle for collecting rays), and quite often in the shade. There is so much roof space out there that could be used cheaper and more fficiently.

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  Reply # 1678624 28-Nov-2016 08:56
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Mars rovers die when their solar panels get obscured by dust build-up. Roads get layered with dirt from the air, oil and grease from vehicles, mud from their tyres, hydrocarbons from their exhausts. What happens if it snows? What happens during rush hour traffic jams? Roof panels seem more sensible to me.

 

 

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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  Reply # 1678652 28-Nov-2016 10:09
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WOW one of the biggest engineering scams ever. Councils and goverments still wasting money into this feel good scam.


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  Reply # 1678683 28-Nov-2016 10:40
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Resin = plastic.  Tiny bits of which will slough off and eventually find their way into the ocean.





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  Reply # 1678795 28-Nov-2016 12:13
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toyonut:

 

They have put in a trial footpath in the netherlands and it seems so work OK. 

 

it really has not https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-ZSXB3KDF0


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  Reply # 1678799 28-Nov-2016 12:27
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MadEngineer: it really has not https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-ZSXB3KDF0

 

 

Gawd that guy's voice gets annoying :)


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  Reply # 1678842 28-Nov-2016 13:13
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I think france announced something similar at the start of the year.




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  Reply # 1678864 28-Nov-2016 13:59
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The notion that they could be used in car parks is probably the dumbest idea of the lot (and that's saying something!).  

 

Do you know what happens to car parks during the day? (you know, the time when the sun is up). They are full of cars that block the sun's rays!

 

Why on earth would anyone think fitting these into car parks makes any sense whatsoever instead of just putting the solar panels in a tiltable panel on building's roofs so they can actually get solar access all day  (AND don't need to be built to an industrial standard to withstand the weight of cars)


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  Reply # 1679090 28-Nov-2016 20:39
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MadEngineer:

 

toyonut:

 

They have put in a trial footpath in the netherlands and it seems so work OK. 

 

it really has not https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-ZSXB3KDF0

 

 

I have watched all his videos on it. The cycleway is just OK, nothing more nothing less, it works but it is a novelty. Unless I am missing something, that is exactly what he says in the video too. It is nowhere near as good as rooftop solar and does nothing in my mind to prove the roadway concept is ready for using on real roads with cars and trucks driving on them.





Try Vultr using this link and get us both some credit:

 

http://www.vultr.com/?ref=7033587-3B


gzt

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  Reply # 1679102 28-Nov-2016 21:03
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I can see how roads are a tempting target. What is really needed is photovoltaic gravel and tar. Anyway, what will happen to the roads when it is all drone delivery and flying cars?

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