I ran across this, and I think it's a fantastic idea. I have donated to what I believe is a very worthy cause.
A couple in Sagle Idaho (Scott and Julie Brusaw) have developed a solar roadway and they are trying to raise funds on indiegogo. The Solar Roadway seems like a great way to give the country it's energy needs and at the same time eliminate the need for snow plows and some signage as the roadway itself can have wording entered onto it via computer and a series of L.E.D. lights.
I plan on going to see the solar parking lot they have created at some point this year when I go north on a camping trip this summer. They are located about 135 miles north of where I live, so I don't go up there that often, but I may need to plan a trip sooner rather than later.
The city of Sandpoint Idaho is planning on putting in a test area of this new, and revolutionary roadway.
The text of their indiegogo campaign is below the fold.
I'm not associated with this new business in any way except for the indiegogo donation I made to them. I was hoping to spread the word though, on what I believe is a fantastic, innovative, and very green idea.
Please consider donating to this worthy cause.
Solar panels that you can drive and walk on, containing heating elements to melt snow and LEDs for lines and words.
Sagle, Idaho, United States Technology
Scott is an electrical engineer (MSEE) and Julie is a counselor (MA LCPC LMFT) in private practice. Scott has worked in the engineering field for over 25 years and his main fields of expertise are in hardware, firmware, and software. We started working on our project in 2006. It's been quite a journey taking our concept from a dream to where we are today wrapping up our second contract with the Federal Highway Administration and walking on our first solar parking lot prototype!
Would you like to join us?
We've come a long way since our project was just as inspiration! It's been an exciting journey, but also a tremendous amount of work for two people and occasional part time volunteers. Now, it's time for us to hire a team to help us move into production. We need to make a few tweaks to our product and streamline our manufacturing process so that we can make our panels available to the public as quickly as possible. We are blessed to have a multitude of potential customers, even before we are product ready. Many have been waiting on redoing driveways, parking lots, etc. hoping that we will be ready to give them the solar option they want. With your help, we can move into manufacturing quickly and begin installing sidewalks, parking lots, driveways, playgrounds, patios, etc., and then when we feel we are ready, we'll begin to install roads and highways.
If you love our concept, but aren't able to contribute financially, no worries. There are so many other ways to help out. We think only a tiny percentage of the world knows about our project right now. So we appreciate those who tell us they talk about Solar Roadways with people they meet. It helps us when people join in on our social media pages to "like", comment, share, tweet, and pin. We have to give a special shout out to our wonderful Facebook fans who have formed a sort of grass roots movement to help spread the word and move us forward. Thank you to each and every one of you!
The implementation of our Solar Roadways project on a grand scale would change the world as we know it in significant ways. Imagine the possibilities of a post Solar Roadways world: Your home could be all or nearly off grid thanks to your solar driveway (which you no longer have to shovel or plow if you live in the north), patio, or walkways etc. When you leave home, you'll be driving on Solar Roadways which are snow and ice free, pothole free, and the LEDs help you see the lines clearly and easily, especially at night when many people suffer night blindness. A study in the UK showed that LED markers on road lines reduced nighttime accidents by 70-percent. If there is danger ahead from a deer in the road or a sudden accident, the intelligent road can sense this and warn you to "Slow Down". This will save the lives of countless animals and keep people safer too. If you go somewhere new, the intelligent road can direct you with an LED-lit arrow that you follow to your destination. If you have an EV, you can stop and charge at a solar parking lot while you work, shop or eat, using clean energy from the sun. Eventually, you'll be able to charge while you drive via mutual induction panels. Solar Roadways will provide the infrastructure to make this possible.
The parking lot of your favorite store would be snow/ice free and lit with LEDs. Handicapped spaces will be created as needed so they no longer have to be dedicated. EVs can charge in the parking lot while you shop and business owners could also choose to offer some preferred parking spaces to EV owners. They could offer smaller spaces for motorcycles, larger spaces for RVs and trucks, all changeable at the touch of the manager’s computer button. The parking configuration itself can be changed as needed with presets too. Imagine your favorite sports arena all lit up with LED filled parking lots and walkways in team colors, perhaps displaying images of your favorite players on the walkway as you approach. Imagine going to an amusement park with solar walkways that change colors by area, event, time, or any other variable. Think of all of the tarmac at airports just baking in the sun. Our panels could not only generate large amounts of power, but pilots tell us they could be used to provide signage visible to them from the air.
We are concerned about all of the mountains of trash in our landfills and even worse - in our oceans. We want to utilize recycled materials wherever possible. We were able to use recycled glass as ten percent of the aggregate in our base layer for our prototype parking lot and we want to work with materials engineers to use as many recycled materials as we can at every phase of production.
All of the ugly overhead cables that mar our landscape and are susceptible to damage from ice, can have a home now in our Cable Corridors, where utility workers can access them easily. There will be no more cell phone dead spots and no more need for cell towers due to the "leaky" cables that can be installed in the Cable Corridor. It would be a home for fiber optic internet too, bringing high speed internet to everyone.
The other side of our Cable Corridors will also store, treat and redistribute stormwater. Our lakes and rivers and oceans become polluted by stormwater which is rain water that picks up things like pesticides from lawns and oil from roads and makes its way into the nearest body of water. When it's collected in Cable Corridors, it can be treated on site or moved to treatment centers or to wherever it's needed such as agricultural centers, aquifers, or helping drought stricken areas for example. In parking lots, water can be treated and then delivered to landscaping or wherever the business owner wants it to go. We can have cleaner water to enjoy while protecting fish and whales and all of the amazing sea creatures that depend on our wisdom.
In America, our infrastructure is badly in need of updating. State DOTs are struggling for money and are not able to keep up with maintenance the way they would like to. We were thrilled when the Federal Highway Administration expressed an interest in what we were doing and provided us the funding to move our concept forward. We have found a way to offer a road that can pay for itself over time by the energy it creates etc. Solar Roadways can also become the Smart Grid. The roads that already traverse each country are perfect for becoming the grid that carries our power. It will allow us to create an organized system, a decentralized system which is secure and protected, unlike the current centralized power stations. Solar Roadways can become the hub which welcomes other types of renewable energy and other inventions into the Smart Grid for distribution.
Our grand vision includes the ability to help in various ways where there is a need. In times of disasters, such as earthquakes or tsunamis, lack of power hinders rescue workers. After the Haiti Earthquake, we were asked if we could send some panels. Unfortunately, we were not product ready, but it made us realize how much our panels could help in such situations. They could be dropped in by helicopter and set up to provide a triage center for medical care and food distribution. There would be solar energy and light to help with current needs.
We often hear from third world countries such as African countries that desperately want our panels to help provide needed power. That power can be used to create clean drinking water and energy to run lights and computers for education.
We worry about Climate Change. We keep hearing reports that it's happening faster than expected. We can help by easing and then eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels. We began our project with the goal of helping with environmental issues and then realized our concept would help the world in so many other ways too.
So a post Solar Roadways world could be very different from the one we live in today. If you would welcome these changes, please join with us to help bring it about.
How can your donation help?
We were unsure how much to ask for in this campaign. The more we receive, the more people we can hire. The more people we have, the faster we can go into production, but there is no way to know exact amounts for an undertaking this huge. We're asking for $1 million to fill some crucial positions, but more funding would allow us to accomplish even more. If we don't reach our goal, we'll still hire as many people as we are able and use the funding to move us forward. If we meet our goal, it will allow us to begin hiring at least the most important members of our team: Scott's an electrical engineer, but he needs help from materials engineers, civil engineers, structural engineers and more. Once we are ready to go into production, we'll need people to make the panels, to transport them, to install them, to provide customer service, etc. Julie wants to use her experience in psychology to create a positive and rewarding atmosphere at our campus style facilities. We are so excited to have reached the point that we are ready! Each dollar will move us closer to that reality.
We'll be continually adding to this section.
What are you going to do about traction? Cars slip and slide on wet asphalt, let alone wet glass. What's going to happen to the surface of the Solar Roadways when it rains?
Everyone naturally pictures sliding out of control on a smooth piece of wet glass! Actually, one of the many technical specs is that it be textured to the point that it provides at least the traction that current asphalt roads offer - even in the rain. We hesitate to even call it glass, as it is far from a traditional window pane, but glass is what it is, so glass is what we must call it.
We sent samples of textured glass to a civil engineering lab. We started off being able to stop a car going 40 mph on a wet surface in the required distance. We designed a more and more aggressive surface pattern until we got a call form the lab one day: we'd torn the boot off of the British Pendulum Testing apparatus! We backed off a little and ended up with a texture that can stop a vehicle going 80 mph in the required distance.
How much a Solar Roadway system cost?
We're in the process of finishing up our prototype parking lot. Once the final pieces are in place, everything is wired up, and all of the software and firmware are complete, we'll begin our cost analysis. Our contract with the Federal Highway Administration ends in mid-July, so we should have it done by then.
To thank you for helping make our dream a reality, we're offering some perks we hope you will enjoy. We find that our supporters love to help spread the word about Solar Roadways. Some of our perks were chosen with this in mind: bumper stickers, coffee mugs, and T-shirts that will entice others to ask you, Tell me about Solar Roadways?" Other perks are limited edition keepsakes like samples of our actual glass and mounting hole covers engraved with your name. These covers will be mounted right on the world's first solar parking lot (see in the video) as a funder. These names will be seen by visitors from all over the world and filmed by media who come to visit. We'll also email you a pic and put one of each engraved name on our website for a minimum of one year - probably much longer.
We'll ship all items free of charge.
Here is more information to help you understand our perks:
Set of 3 bumper stickers
Mounting hole covers
Our prototype parking lot has 396 mounting holes. We're having security covers made, which will cover the holes. These covers will be engraved with the names/groups of the first 396 donations of $500.
These are smaller versions of our textured glass.
We will add a circuit board, LEDs, and solar cells to the larger hexagon to make it a small model of our actual Solar Road Panels.