Earth Science - Other

New Technology Solar Roads

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"New Technology Solar Roads"
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Solar Roads are the proposed smart, energy storing roadways designed by Solar Roadways, a company based in Idaho. The purpose of these roadways is to replace existing roads and to have them perform numerous beneficial tasks besides simple energy storage and power supply. Going far past aiding the driver and making the road a safer place, the creators expect that these roads will be a valuable asset to the world at whole.

The simple structure of a Solar Road is the in its transparent top layer that acts as the actual road that is driven on, a layer of solar panels and LED lights, a layer of electrical connections, and a battery layer with a cable that connects to other road sections and possibly leads to buildings. A computer terminal on the side of the road helps the system to function and can also detect changes in the terminals far ahead that displays warning messages through the road to alert drivers to slow down or take caution due to changing conditions. There may also be sensors that detect the presence of animals on or near the road to inform drivers. Other components of the road may be heating devices for colder climates, which will heat the road surface to clear it of ice and snow, so plows will never be needed again!

Another bonus to the Solar Roads is that they could potentially replace the current electric grids that supply power now. This would eliminate large electric lines, transmission towers, and telephone poles in general. By having multiple paths for power transmission, rolling blackouts due to overloads, wind/weather damage to power lines, and other causes. Besides just roadways, the replacement of driveways, parking lots, bike paths, and more, would allow the underground transmission cables to connect directly to homes and businesses. Because there are large stretches of roadways that are open to the sun for the peak hours, ample supply can be generated without needing to worry about sections that suffer heavy traffic, are shaded, or otherwise incapable.

In the move towards a green future, Solar Roads would greatly reduce dependence on fossil fuels for power generation, gradually eliminating the need for foreign oil and cutting back domestic use of other energies. In regard to electric cars, the creators of these Solar Roads hope that recharging stations can be easily accessed and made plentiful by the constant daytime generation of power. If successful, the need for all foreign oils supplies would disappear with the fossil fuel dependant vehicles. Settling the balance of power is a big step towards the realization of a green future.

More about this author: Morgan Carlson

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