Road solar panel has started being a thing of the recent society with the sole aim of saving energy. Some might view the idea as archaic but it’s worth the effort that’s being made and they will mean a lot in the near future with the current campaign aimed towards reducing global warming. The idea of solar roads has been developing from the past and culminating to the present and its becoming fashionable in all aspects (SPIE, 2017).
Solar roads are made from glass tempered solar panels and are laid on the bike tracks and light roads. These roads then create energy and its stored in the sub-grids located within the locality either for use when the sun goes down or as back up in times of need. In the past solar on the roads was meant to be used by traffic signs or any directions on the road by night; their use mainly helped in conserving energy. With time the idea was expanded and the building of “smart highways” began now it was for these solar to be laid down on the roads. A US company Solar Roadways has now set its eyes on replacing the whole asphalt roads and parking’s with these solar saving panels.
In china they have already built one road with that and it’s already producing 1gigawatt of energy per day. This is a milestone considering their capability in a nutshell they are the next big thing. When we talk of green movements solar is the way to go, these solar can do what fossil energy can do which pollutes the environment. In following the footsteps towards green earth, these countries include Netherlands and France who have already built 1-2km of solar roads for energy consumption.
To support the idea of solar roads I would like to argue on the point Decentralization of the Grid, decentralizing the grid serves much better in that when power outages occur on the national energy grid still the states could run their businesses with the energy saved from the solar roads and relayed to their power savers through the power cables on the sides to the localized grip. In these process also it supports the idea of electric cars which when driven on these roads they can be charged as their owners relaxed for the journey or any short break. This is because for green earth fossil energy must be done away with at all costs and electric cars brought to market; the cars will be efficient as these solar roads will have charging posts at reasonable intervals.
These solar roads also will replace the idea scrapping of snow, this is because with the heat stored beneath them they can actually melt away snow and make the road clear for driving. According to Roadways the panels will have solar powered LEDs which will replace the normal road signs and revolutionize the idea of night traveling, this is because the signs will lead the drivers and also the glowing solar panels will actually act as a lead to show the road boundaries. According to SolaRoad (Netherlands) spokesperson, the roads will save more in energy transportation poles; than expected they have better traction, this calms the fears of those who express fear that the solar roads will be slippery and cause many accidents. In France primarily solar roads were meant for the cycling paths but with the inventions and improvements they will now be fully fledged for the highways.
These solar panels used on highways currently can support trucks which weigh up to 12tonnes and with advancements they will support more weight and reduce the risk of breakage. The way these panels are connected makes their energy supply consistent; this is in line with breakage or one of them being covered with dirt. In case one breaks it does not affect the operability of other panels as it will be the only one disconnected and immediately a signal is sent through the microprocessors beneath them to the monitoring station for repairs and regular checkups.
On the hand of durability with special coatings these roads can last up to 20 years and within twenty years they could have done much to the environment and to the economy. This is because most roads do require regular maintenance and these solar roads with their toughness (hard glass) which has three layers works way better. Though people might ask what of the obstruction caused by threes and buildings which will prevent them from generating energy; this is not that a problem as these panels will be located on the road and the building can’t cover all the surfaces except pavement panels which have to be put at an angle for maximum sunlight collection and energy production.
By the time these solar roads will be fully accepted the green gases will be cut greatly and the ozone layer saved a lot as fossil fuels will be in minimal use and that can greatly help in environmental conservation. (GILPIN, 2014)
GILPIN, L. (2014, JUNE 5TH). How ‘Solar Roadways’ plans to create smart roads to produce clean energy and save lives and money. Retrieved APRIL 19TH, 2018, from www.techrepublic.com: www.techrepublic.com/article/how-solar-roadways-plans-to-create-smart-roads-to-produce-clean-energy-and-save-lives-and-money/
SPIE. (2017). Smart roads going solar. SPIE Newsroom.