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Solar Roads


The world is becoming more environmentally aware of its negative impact. The creation of new technologies that are environmentally friendly have been trending within the past couple decades. We have seen the emergence and popularity of solar panels, clean cars, and more. Solar panels have been gracing the roofs of many homes with the prospect that homeowners will have their own supply of solar energy and actually accumulate solar energy that can be sent back to solar plants and repurposed. Clean cars once rare to see on the street, are now very common to own.   Solar panels have found a new purpose. With innovation, solar panels are now capable of bearing heavy weighted objects. This innovation has allowed them to be creatively used as roads to harvest solar energy. New research shows that it may even be used to charge electric cars in the future. Cars that can be wirelessly charged while driving to their destinations is a revolutionary idea. This concept, when implemented, will drive the sales of electric cars up. Drivers will realize that they will spend close to nothing on gas as they drive to and from their destinations.   The first country that will have these wirelessly charging highways and roads is China. China already has roadways that have solar panels underneath. Although the wireless charging function has not been successfully created yet, China is currently in the process of implementing solar panels into their highways. Presently, these solar panels are capable of harvesting energy and heating up to clear snow and ice. This beneficial feature will be great for cold weather areas, not only specific to China.   How do they work?   Engineers and technicians have figured out a way to successfully implement solar panels underneath roadways without them getting crushed. They have managed to do this by using a layering method. The first layer is that is closer to the surface is a clear type of concrete. This translucent concrete allows the solar panels to absorb solar rays without getting crushed by cars. The second layer is the solar panels. And the last layer is an additional layer that helps protect the solar panels from the moist ground.   The possibilities for solar panels are endless. Other countries have been implementing them everywhere. Cities have been placing them on roofs and windows. The Netherlands have managed to build a bike path that is capable of generating electricity. In 2016, a village in France implemented a solar panel road. And, here in the U.S., we’re testing solar sidewalks near Route 66.   The success and versatility of solar panels is taking the world by storm. If the solar roads are a success, it’s a good guess that they’ll be implemented in other parts of the world and as a permanent fixture in the road. The benefits of having a solar road outweighs the initial costs of construction and solar panels. This switch to solar roads will persuade consumers to switch from gas guzzling cars to environmentally supportive cars like fully electric or hybrid cars. This will result in a domino effect with other industries. Car manufacturers and solar companies will have to increase their production output to satisfy the growing demand for hybrid/electric cars and solar panels.   Solar roads might be the best thing to happen to our transportation sector.   https://electrek.co/2017/12/21/china-solar-roadways-transparent-concrete-solar-cells-charge-cars/ https://futurism.com/chinas-first-solar-highway-complete-soon-charge-electric-cars/