1. Standard memberyo its me
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    12 Sep '10 07:37
    A highway made of solor pannels, providing energy to many many homes. Paying for it's self in this way. Strong enough to take the weight of heavy goods lorries and able to display current traffic infomation.

    YouTube&feature=youtu.be

    What do you think of it and have you heard of any other good ideas?
  2. Germany
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    12 Sep '10 08:07
    Too expensive.
  3. Subscribersonhouse
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    18 Sep '10 03:01
    Originally posted by yo its me
    A highway made of solor pannels, providing energy to many many homes. Paying for it's self in this way. Strong enough to take the weight of heavy goods lorries and able to display current traffic infomation.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiZ5bSntwhM&feature=youtu.be

    What do you think of it and have you heard of any other good ideas?
    I think the lifetime of such an assembly would be too short to be economically viable. Especially in places like here in the east coast of the US or any cold country, the road freezes and even if the panels could take the temperature difference, the road itself would be expanding and contracting, flexing, potholes developing, concrete cracking. I don't think you could engineer highly fragile devices like PV cells to withstand that kind of abuse.

    There may be flexible cells developed for such a use but they have a pretty low efficiency compared to the best silicon cells. They would have to be made for ten cents a watt to be usable. They could maybe pave the margins where there would be much less traffic.
  4. Standard memberyo its me
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    18 Sep '10 07:07
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I think the lifetime of such an assembly would be too short to be economically viable. Especially in places like here in the east coast of the US or any cold country, the road freezes and even if the panels could take the temperature difference, the road itself would be expanding and contracting, flexing, potholes developing, concrete cracking. I don't thin ...[text shortened]... a watt to be usable. They could maybe pave the margins where there would be much less traffic.
    So it might work on long stretches of road that aren't used much- but that would be where there aren't many people living near by who can benefit from the energy.
    Could they be made of glass so they bend in the heat?
  5. Subscribersonhouse
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    19 Sep '10 06:02
    Originally posted by yo its me
    So it might work on long stretches of road that aren't used much- but that would be where there aren't many people living near by who can benefit from the energy.
    Could they be made of glass so they bend in the heat?
    They are already made of glass, the PV cells are made of silicon and silicon dioxide, which in fact IS glass but very thin layers inside the silicon. Silicon is extremely NOT flexible, I can testify to that, being an ion implant field service engineer for 20 years, handled thousands of wafers and those suckers are very delicate, you drop one and it is history. The only hope is some form of organic semiconductor, which have been made but like I said at a huge cost in efficiency, maybe 6ish % efficient so far Vs something like 40% for the very best multi-layer silicon cells. There is work going on on even greater efficiency but the very best always seem to be the least flexible.
  6. Standard memberyo its me
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    19 Sep '10 07:24
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    They are already made of glass, the PV cells are made of silicon and silicon dioxide, which in fact IS glass but very thin layers inside the silicon. Silicon is extremely NOT flexible, I can testify to that, being an ion implant field service engineer for 20 years, handled thousands of wafers and those suckers are very delicate, you drop one and it is histo ...[text shortened]... work going on on even greater efficiency but the very best always seem to be the least flexible.
    Oh. Sounds a really long way off then. Looked so promicing in that video!
    Thanks for taking the time to explain it all Sonhouse πŸ™‚
  7. Subscribersonhouse
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    19 Sep '10 21:272 edits
    Originally posted by yo its me
    Oh. Sounds a really long way off then. Looked so promicing in that video!
    Thanks for taking the time to explain it all Sonhouse πŸ™‚
    Another thing I see: It seems to me the actual cells would have to be responsive to the Infrared band of light, so the heating of the road would be converted into energy. If it had to be sensitive to visible light, it would have to be transparent and that would put whatever technology is used on top or underneath a transparent layer, the problem there being the loss of friction if the surface is smooth.

    It doesn't sound compatible with concrete or asphalt. If it could respond to IR, some energy could be extracted on a hot day, there are thousands of miles of remote roads in Nevada, Arizona, etc., with little traffic but if it was in a remote area, wouldn't it make more sense to just build regular silicon cell based PV's off the road?

    One big problem with national use of solar energy is the location of the most intense sunlight: In western states. There are thousands of square miles available but there is not the electrical infrastructure to carry the electricity to the big cities where it is needed so no matter how you generate your solar energy, if it is in the west where light is most intense, you have to build a large network of power lines in areas where none exist now. I mean the big guys, the half million to two million volt suckers that carry multigigawatts of energy.

    The problem there is copper or aluminum has a certain loss per mile at a given voltage, which is a constant. So if you lose say, 100 volts per mile, if you start out with a 100 volt line you end up 1 mile later with practically zero energy, the rest having gone to just heat up a mile of line. But if you start out with 100,000 volts, the physics of it says you still lose just that same 100 volts, leaving you with 99,900 volts a mile later.

    So if you start with 1,000,000 volts, 1 mile later you end up with 999,900 volts. Get the picture? The higher the transmission voltage the less the overall loss. So you could do say a long length of 10,000 volt line, you end up with 9,900 volts, which on a percentage basis loses a lot more energy than a 100 Kv line or a 1 Mev line. So to extract the maximum amount of energy and get it to where it is needed, you need to invest something like a half trillion bucks in new ultrahigh voltage lines going from the remote areas of the western states to the northern, southeastern and eastern states.

    Another way to look at it however, from the roadway solar cell POV, could be to provide charge to some kind of electrical pickup, wireless, that connects the power generated by the road, directly to the cars which could be total electric, making them a bit like electric bus lines in major cities like in LA, (like it used to be anyway, till the money grubbing oil companies and bus makers and tire makers decided electric bus lines were just too darn efficient and in one of the really major corruption cases in the US, bought out the city managers and got rid of that dreaded efficient transport system and installed diesel powered buses, the oil companies loved it, the tire manufacturers loved it, the bus makers loved it but of course the air quickly turned foul, I was one of the victims of that air. LA managers now realize it was a corruption issue, of course the players are all dead now so they are rebuilding the original system).

    So there could be wireless transmitters of energy that powers electric cars, it would take a strong engineering effort for sure, having to transmit 20 or more kilowatts to the car while it is driving. The only problem with that is you would not get much bang for the buck in remote areas, but only in towns so you are still left with the problem of transmission of energy from energy rich areas in the west to energy sucking areas in the cities. Back to building high voltage transmission linesπŸ™‚ But the idea of transmitters giving energy to cars on the road could work in cities, but it would be a heck of an engineering feat.
  8. Cape Town
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    20 Sep '10 12:15
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    But the idea of transmitters giving energy to cars on the road could work in cities, but it would be a heck of an engineering feat.
    Getting people to actually pay for their usage would be an even greater feat.
    It makes far more sense to use batteries and have lots of recharging stations (say in nearly every car park). The overall loss of power would probably be lower too.

    As for the original post, using solar cells to replace roofing sheets sounds like a far more sensible idea.
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    20 Sep '10 20:29
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I think the lifetime of such an assembly would be too short to be economically viable. Especially in places like here in the east coast of the US or any cold country, the road freezes and even if the panels could take the temperature difference, the road itself would be expanding and contracting, flexing, potholes developing, concrete cracking. I don't thin ...[text shortened]... a watt to be usable. They could maybe pave the margins where there would be much less traffic.
    They address these issues in the posted video. They talk about adapting glass for this specific application, so they obviously gave the durability issues a lot of thought, and they claim that if they manage to capture only 15 percent of the heat produced by the roads and converted to electricity makes for three times the current energy requirements of the entire United States.

    An interesting part of the presentation I thought was the idea that a cross-walk could be pressure sensitive so that when a person walks across, the road in front of a driver lights up (flash), "waking" the driver up.
  10. Subscribersonhouse
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    21 Sep '10 02:33
    Originally posted by Meinarl
    They address these issues in the posted video. They talk about adapting glass for this specific application, so they obviously gave the durability issues a lot of thought, and they claim that if they manage to capture only 15 percent of the heat produced by the roads and converted to electricity makes for three times the current energy requirements of the en ...[text shortened]... person walks across, the road in front of a driver lights up (flash), "waking" the driver up.
    I think the overall cost would be in the multi-trillions. With that much money you can build an ultrahighvoltage powerline and pave a few hundred miles of desert with PV cells, high efficiency one. Ten by Ten mile area paved with 20% cells would give you the power of 25 nuclear reactors.
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    21 Sep '10 10:24
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I think the overall cost would be in the multi-trillions.
    LOL!

    I doubt it would be a redo-all-highways-at-once project. They're probably thinking about a long-term, successive rebuild of roads, during which time the costs will drop substantially. The initial cost is always high, so I'm guessing that what they need is some investors to help out financially with those development costs in finding glass that can withstand the environmental effects, get the manufacturing process started and then to get the ball (or traffic) rolling.
  12. Standard memberPalynka
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    21 Sep '10 10:38
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I think the overall cost would be in the multi-trillions. With that much money you can build an ultrahighvoltage powerline and pave a few hundred miles of desert with PV cells, high efficiency one. Ten by Ten mile area paved with 20% cells would give you the power of 25 nuclear reactors.
    The problem with huge solar power plants is distribution. The irregularity of production coupled with large spikes is a problem (as we cannot properly store energy). One of the beauties of this concept is that it doesn't need huge concentrated energy production facilities.
  13. Germany
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    21 Sep '10 10:45
    Originally posted by yo its me
    So it might work on long stretches of road that aren't used much- but that would be where there aren't many people living near by who can benefit from the energy.
    Could they be made of glass so they bend in the heat?
    It won't work anywhere. There isn't much point in designing solar cells that are able to withstand freezing temperatures and ten ton trucks if you can just build a bunch of solar panels in the desert with higher efficiency and lower cost.
  14. Cape Town
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    22 Sep '10 05:53
    Originally posted by Palynka
    The problem with huge solar power plants is distribution. The irregularity of production coupled with large spikes is a problem (as we cannot properly store energy). One of the beauties of this concept is that it doesn't need huge concentrated energy production facilities.
    But it doesn't solve any of the problems you mention. Distribution and irregularity of production would remain issues.
    A huge concentrated production facility actually makes it easier to implement distribution and power storage. We can store energy, and it is much more efficient to do so in large quantities.
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    26 Sep '10 21:52
    Originally posted by yo its me
    A highway made of solor pannels, providing energy to many many homes. Paying for it's self in this way. Strong enough to take the weight of heavy goods lorries and able to display current traffic infomation.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiZ5bSntwhM&feature=youtu.be

    What do you think of it and have you heard of any other good ideas?
    Very interesting idea indeed, however I like the idea that is based on a mental plane of concept to transportation, as one going to their destination by their thought manifesting them there..
    I know to many of you this sounds preposterous but it has been done before, and these individuals that have are no more intelligent then any other being, just more aware of what LIFE is (spiritual) and grown to such this understanding...
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