While driving on solar panels might sound a little precarious, one company from Sandpoint, Idaho is changing the transportation game by incorporating solar energy into Missouri’s roadways reports the Kansas City Star.
Using the famous Route 66 as their first public test site, the Missouri Department of Transportation just employed Solar Roadways to implement their revolutionary technology at the Historic Route 66 Welcome Center near Conway, Missouri. Department officials are hoping to have the solar panels in place by the end of this year.
“If their version of the future is realistic, if we can make that happen, then roadways can begin paying for themselves” – Tom Blair, Road To Tomorrow initiative
The technology, which is already being employed on bike paths in the Netherlands, is taking a big leap into the highway system. However, Solar Roadways’ panels are not your run of the mill Solar City panels. The Idaho based company uses their own proprietary fireproof and bombproof hexagonal glass plates to build roads that are stronger than asphalt while employing smart technologies to better harvest solar energy.
Since 2009, Solar Roadways has inked 3 deals with the US Department of Transportation and their innovation has repeatedly been rewarded with further funding.
About Solar Roadways
Solar Roadways® (SR) is a modular system of specially engineered solar panels that can be walked and driven upon.
Our panels contain LED lights to create lines and signage without paint. They contain heating elements to prevent snow and ice accumulation. The panels have microprocessors, which makes them intelligent. This allows the panels to communicate with each other, a central control station, and vehicles. Many people are surprised to learn that our panels are made of glass… but not ordinary glass. SR panels are made of specifically formulated tempered glass, which can support the weight of semi-trucks. The glass has a tractioned surface which is equivalent to asphalt.
Find the entire Kansas City Star article here: Roadways featuring solar panels, smart highways are among MoDOT pilot projects
[Quotes Courtesy of The Kansas City Star]