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Solar highways

Solar highways

Missouri will be testing solar highways. What is the possibility of charging a car as it passes over solar panels in road?

DTsea | 01/07/2016

Zero possibility.

Dramsey | 01/07/2016

Solar roadways are such a terrible, terrible, terrible idea.

That said, I look forward to seeing this proven in the real world.

SCCRENDO | 01/07/2016

I think it is an excellent idea but the efficiencies are so poor. If the low efficiencies can be worked out I'm sure it could be a good.

Dramsey | 02/07/2016

The efficiencies are always going to be low, because the solar cells will be obscured by very thick panes of scratched, dirty glass.

Will which offer terrible traction, much less than that of tarmac, especially when wet.

But at least they will be much, much more expensive and complex than standard roads.

SCCRENDO | 02/07/2016

@dramsey. Dreaming of the future. When the majority of our cars are EVs and our bright young people have come up with new materials the need may be there as well as the solutions. I agree that it is not something we are going to see soon.

Dramsey | 03/07/2016

Solar roadways are a profoundly silly idea. You literally couldn't come up with a less efficient and more expensive way to generate solar power.

My new idea is much better: simply cover the highways. With roofs. With solar cells on top.

Cheap and simple, these supported metal roofs-- think like a carport, but larger-- will not only be vastly cheaper and more efficient than solar roadways, but will offer the significant added benefit of saving vast amounts of fuel / power by dramatically reducing air conditioning load since vehicles will be shielded from the sun.

Really, the benefits of my design are so obvious and profound that I'm really surprised the DOT isn't knocking at my door already!

vperl | 03/07/2016

My perpetual solar/Gerbil machine works best, tin foil hat included .

Dramsey | 03/07/2016

You can run your gerbils on solar power??? What an age we live in.

vperl | 03/07/2016

Yep, they are warm and happy , need water and a double cheese burger every few hours.

bb0tin | 04/07/2016

@Dramsey
You said "You literally couldn't come up with a less efficient and more expensive way to generate solar power."
How about leaving the panels in the box when connecting them to the grid?

You said "My new idea is much better: simply cover the highways. With roofs. With solar cells on top."
It is already being done. Not a new idea I'm afraid.

Whether solar roadways is a good idea doesn't have much to do with efficiency. It is more to do with cost for whatever benefits it gives.

vperl | 04/07/2016

Dramedy,

If my power booster is good, I call him Fred, he gets a small order of fries.

Gave him last week off with extra compensation. Goes back to work after the Fourth.

Dramsey | 04/07/2016

@bb0tin,

Leaving the solar panels in a box would result in no electrical power being generated, so it fails from the "generate solar power" clause of my proposition.

And what do you mean someone else has already come up withinmy idea of roofed solar? Damn those intellectual property thieves!

bb0tin | 04/07/2016

@Dramsey
You said "eaving the solar panels in a box would result in no electrical power being generated, so it fails from the "generate solar power" clause of my proposition."
The box of panels was strapped to the roof and the sun shone through the cutouts for lifting. So it does generate solar power.

I invented the laser printer too. LOL.

gregcropper | 04/07/2016

In order for the solar roadway to not be slippery, they would have to add a texture to the surface, which would create horrible road noise. Installing solar panels elsewhere, such as on the ground in the median would make much more sense. Covering the highway with a roof would have the advantage of protecting the roadway from the weather, but would probably add far too much to the cost to be worthwhile.

bb0tin | 04/07/2016

@gregcropper
You said "which would create horrible road noise."
Why?
Since they can create the exact amount and direction of texture they want, it is possible to make it both quieter and better for traction than current surfaces.

vperl | 04/07/2016

bbOtin,

Your quote, " Since they can create the exact amount and direction of texture they want, it is possible to make it both quieter and better for traction than current surfaces.". Where is your link to prove that ?

You need to prove your ramblings, need a link with undisputed proof ... no proof

dansplans | 04/07/2016

@vperl +100

bb0tin | 04/07/2016

@vperl @dansplans
Think about it, just a teeny bit, and you will know why.

vperl | 04/07/2016

No link, no proof, your rules

LOL, ROFL

bb0tin | 04/07/2016

@vperl
You should be capable of proving it with a little thought yourself.

Madatgascar | 04/07/2016

Two of the largest costs of solar installations are land acquisition and transmission lines. Since the right of way for highways already exists, gov't can give an easement to the utility to install solar panels on poles (which can also help block freeway noise from adjacent neighborhoods), and the highway brings the power right into central city.

I also suggested solar panels over the Central Arizona Project canals and other canals in the US Southwest. These canals lose an incredible amount of water to evaporation, and being open to the sky are vulnerable to bio/chem attack, so covering them with solar panels would be a three-for-one - or a four-for-one if you consider they also solve the transmission problem.

bb0tin | 05/07/2016

@tbouquet
You said "Two of the largest costs of solar installations are land acquisition and transmission lines."
Rhubarb.
Refer to page 176 of this document.
http://www.ifc.org/wps/wcm/connect/f05d3e00498e0841bb6fbbe54d141794/IFC+...

You said " install solar panels on poles (which can also help block freeway noise from adjacent neighborhoods"
The panels are more likely to reflect sound back down which otherwise would have gone straight up and away, and therefore increase the sound levels.

You said "I also suggested solar panels over the Central Arizona Project canals and other canals in the US Southwest."
There are already floating solar farms. Nothing new there I'm afraid.

Perhaps you could research your statements before making them public.
A quick prophylactic google of 'utility solar plant costs' and 'water solar pv evaporation' may have prevented some discomfort.

vperl | 05/07/2016

No link your just another poser, prove your statement.

LOL

bb0tin | 05/07/2016

@vperl
Have another look at my post.

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vperl | 05/07/2016

No link, no proof

As usual your rules are for others

LOL

Madatgascar | 05/07/2016

@bb0tin, the document you referenced provides a nice breakdown of the costs of a solar farm. Land acquisition and power transmission do not appear to be large costs because they are not listed (at least not on page 176 - these are highly variable costs and probably beyond the scope of this document). There is a lot of rural land available for solar in the US Southwest, but it is chopped up by Indian reservations and other uses, and the challenge of aggregating land for utility scale solar farms and getting the power from there to the cities is not negligible. Right-of-ways for highways and canals have already been negotiated, why not use them?

I am also aware of floating solar panels, but they have not found much traction in the US because most of our prime solar land is in arid regions without large bodies of water. Canals are usually very narrow (20' to 80') and can be spanned easily so I did not bother to mention this in my post, but it could be an option. The Central Arizona Project Canal is over 300 miles long and would seem to be a prime candidate.

bb0tin | 05/07/2016

@tbouquet
There is plenty of land available for solar without any particular issues and it is cheap compared to the cost of the plant. Where do you think people farm for instance?

Google 'solar pv canals' and you will see that solar PV is already put on canals. Yours is not a new idea.

rlwrw | 05/07/2016

Canopy mounted PV panels would work except for the intangibles: People wouldn't be able to see the clouds, and in some cases, they wouldn't be able to see some of the scenery. Oops.
Whenever anyone runs off the road, they almost never go in between the support poles, they always seem to hit them, and collapse the canopy. It's as if the support poles have invisible signs on them that say "Hit Me."

vperl | 05/07/2016

No link, no proof

bb0tin | 05/07/2016

No think, a goof.

vperl | 05/07/2016

Refusal to provide a link equals you are not truthful or honest. You require others to provide a link for proof, you refuse.

Are your pants on fire?

bb0tin | 05/07/2016

@vperl
I did provide a link, which is why I told you to reread my post.
Have another look, without painted on eyes this time.

vperl | 06/07/2016

Pants on fire

vperl | 06/07/2016

Duck and cover, dippy

bb0tin | 06/07/2016

@vperl
All you are doing is spamming with inane posts.
Your posts have no value to the forum.
If you have a valid question then ask it.

SCCRENDO | 07/07/2016
Madatgascar | 08/07/2016

@bb0tin, I am not looking for a patent here, I'm just suggesting the idea be implemented. I had the ear of then-AZ Gov Janet Napolitano over 10 years ago with this idea but nothing happened. If it made any sense at all then, it should be a no-brainer by now.

Solar over canals makes a lot more sense than solar over highways.

bb0tin | 08/07/2016

@tbouquet
You said "Solar over canals makes a lot more sense than solar over highways."
It was you who suggested solar over highways.

Al1 | 09/07/2016

Maybe it will make sense some day but panels need to become really cheap. Literally cheap as dirt. Meanwhile there are plenty of unused rooftops where solar could make sense today and with current panels.

There is also plenty of open parking spaces where building roofs and putting solar panels could make sense.

That would substantially reduce need to transport energy over long distances.

Back to roads. Land acquisition could well be the most expensive part, but that doesn't mean that land in general is expensive.

You can't build a road that starts nowhere and goes nowhere. Nobody will need it. Meanwhile the middle of nowhere could be a best place for a large solar farm. You still need to deliver that energy to the point of use. Or you could move point of use (large data center) closer to the source.

Choice of Gigafactory location seems to be a nice combination of large areas of cheap land with lots of other factors. I am sure we'll see plenty of solar panels there at some point.

Long story short I don't think there will be shortage of land for solar panels. Not in the US.

Paving roads? Creates complexity while not offering any meaningful benefits.

This may change one day. Nanosolar promise comes to mind, however it hasn't yet delivered much. Meanwhile falling prices of regular PV dried up flow of investments.

bb0tin | 09/07/2016

@Al1
You said "Maybe it will make sense some day but panels need to become really cheap."
Solar over roadways and canals, and floating solar, are already happening.
Panels are cheap enough now.

You said " Literally cheap as dirt."
Rubbish.

You said "Back to roads. Land acquisition could well be the most expensive part, but that doesn't mean that land in general is expensive."
Eh?
The land is already acquired, which is how the road got built in the first place.

You said "You can't build a road that starts nowhere and goes nowhere."
What?
The road isn't built because of the solar. The solar is built because of the road.

You said "Paving roads? Creates complexity while not offering any meaningful benefits."
There are several meaningful benefits. The issue is the economics.

You said "Nanosolar promise comes to mind, however it hasn't yet delivered much."
Eh?
If you mean the company then it is bust.
If you mean thin film PV then research First Solar.
If you mean something else, then what are you talking about?

Your post is nonsense.

Al1 | 10/07/2016

@bb0tin

For all the happening there is 70 meters long tourist attraction in Amsterdam and a couple in Idaho testing their panels in some walkways and their own driveway.

http news nationalgeographic com/energy/2016/03/160310-will-we-soon-be-riding-on-solar-roads/

Aside from road dust, particularly black tire dust and diesel exhaust, which will quickly cover a portion of each panel, the continuous traffic covering panels will reduce their solar output, says Jacobson, adding they’ll likely suffer more wear and tear and need more repairs than other solar panels.

It is better to have roads for roads and panels for panels. Mixing the two will yield roads in permanent repairs and very inefficient and expensive panels.

For the cost of land that is already acquired, it was acquired for the road. For panels that same area could have been acquired much cheaper a little bit further from the road.

I know the company called Nanosolar is bust. I was talking about the initial promise of Nanosolar which was to create PV so cheap you'd print them on every brick of the wall, every window and every T-shirt. Thin film PV from First Solar doesn't come even close.

As for panels they could make sense on sidewalks, driveways, and bike lanes, as cleaning them from snow and ice is tedious task.

For parking lots solar canopies seem to make more sense, although they have their own issues.

bb0tin | 10/07/2016

@Al1
You said "Aside from road dust, particularly black tire dust and diesel exhaust, which will quickly cover a portion of each panel, the continuous traffic covering panels will reduce their solar output, says Jacobson"
How much, how quickly, and why can it not be cleaned off?

You said "the continuous traffic covering panels will reduce their solar output,"
Most of a highway is not covered by vehicles. The reduction in output is minor.

You said "they’ll likely suffer more wear and tear and need more repairs than other solar panels."
So what.
Normal roads need repair too. One of the advantages is that panels are potentially quicker and easier to replace than current surfaces. Depending on construction they could last longer as well.

You said "Mixing the two will yield roads in permanent repairs and very inefficient and expensive panels."
How expensive and how often?

You said "very inefficient and expensive panels."
Not true, but what number do you mean by "very inefficient"

You said "the initial promise of Nanosolar which was to create PV so cheap you'd print them on every brick of the wall, every window and every T-shirt."
Rubbish.
Nanosolar was CIGS.

You said "Thin film PV from First Solar doesn't come even close."
Rubbish.
Have you researched their latest panels?

PS: I am not necessarily supporting solar panels as a road surface, but the arguments against it have to be based on valid facts and reasoning.

Drdpharris | 10/07/2016

Oppositional defiant disorder?

Drdpharris | 10/07/2016

Oppositional defiant disorder?