Just imagine all the roadways in the US covered with rugged, hexagonal tiles that capture solar power and use it to illuminate the road, display lane dividers and generate enough excess power to eliminate the need for any domestic electrical power generation.
Sound impossible? Not to Scott and Julie Brusaw. The Brusaws are the husband and wife team behind Solar Roadways, the company that is behind this wildly ambitious idea. They have received funding from the US Department of Transportation and, just last year, received over 2 million dollars via IndieGoGo, a popular crowdfunding site.
Wondering how this would work? The ultra-strong, hexagonical panels that make up a solar roadway would contain electrical circuitry that would keep the panels free of snow and ice in the winter and illuminating LEDS would display traffic guidance lanes. Excess power would be exported to the US Power grid.
The solar roadways team has been working on prototypes for years now and it seems they have reached the point where they can go into production. Because the concept is so forward thinking, it is unlikely that the panels would see commercial use just yet but would be used as a proof of concept and perhaps be used for small projects.
While it’s an undeniably great idea, the solar roadways concept still has a lot of details to be fleshed out. One of the biggest stumbling blocks is the sheer magnitude of the concept. Covering even a small part of the road infrastructure in the US would be a huge, ultra-expensive affair – almost incomprehensible, in fact. But that’s how the future happens, it’s created by wild-eyed visionaries that aren’t afraid to dream of crazy future technologies. They start out small and win over those that don’t believe “it’s possible”. This is exactly what Scott and Julie Brusaw are doing and in coming years we should see what comes out of it.