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Discussion Starter #1
This link is floating around social media at the moment, crazy video, but is this just hype? or the start of something really amazing?

Plenty of people here with a much more knowledge of Solar etc so I would be interested to hear others opinions on this tech.

There is some more info about it here.
 

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I'd be interested to know. I just imagine the cost is enormous and, depending on the country, who would or could afford the upkeep and maintenance?
I suspect that the efficiency would be horrendous by the time they are build strong enough to take the constant assault of hgv's.....
Love the concept though, and am sure that one day it will become a reality! Look to Denmark or Sweden to lead the way though ..
 

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Efficiency is not too much of a concern in this application, since the space is not at a premium. If the glass is really tough it'll probably outlive standard tarmac and shouldn't suffer from the terrible frost damage roads here get, doubly so as the units can be heated to remove snow/prevent it from settling - that in itself would perhaps pay for these things across 20 years since the number of accidents and deaths due to snow and ice are so high.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I found an alternative,somewhat negative but perhaps realistic viewpoint on this here.

http://www.equities.com/editors-des...project-on-indiegogo-is-actually-really-silly

They explain that this is just a way to fund a couple's hobby, that the solar roadways would be useless if installed in shaded areas and other things. I can understand the point that is being made here. I usually use this rule of thumb with this sort of thing - If it's on the internet and seems too good to be true it probably is.

In other news the fund raiser seems to have worked as they have already hit their $1m target. To me the glass looks quite bobbled - would this rough texture not make Tyre noise quite loud? A bit like rumble strips on the hard shoulder of a motorway.
 

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As roads....sounds daft. But maybe in a car park? On the roadway between the parking bays I mean, for powering the car park lights, ticket machines,etc...
 
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I have huge doubts that this would have adequate traction properties even with bobbles.

I love the idea though.
 

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You know in summer when you can't see along the road because of the heat haze? Or that smell you get from the tarmac boiling away...?

Yeah, even ten percent of that turned into electricity would be fantastic.

Traction, well they claim they broke a traction testing machine, but I suppose the truth will be seen with a full scale prototype. Maybe it won't prove suitable for high speed roads but could still be sufficient for 30mph roads.
 

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I think you are assuming the glass is smooth, like a window. I would think this is not the case.

I doubt the project would have gotten this far without decent traction. As already suggested, it could be used for round towns, etc where speeds should be 25-30 MPH.
 

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I hear what you are saying but I cannot see it. We can't even get the government to approve compulsory solar panels on new house builds... we stand no chance with this.

I could see it as a niche product in small-scale private installations... it seems like it might work in open-air car parks... slow-moving traffic, no HGVs, easy access to grid connections etc... but on public highways... can't see it. Sorry :)
 

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I don't think it would be all that hard to beat tarmac. Think about putting a trainer on the road and push it along. Pretty easy, right? Now put that same trainer on lino, or in fact a glass coffee table! It's probably more difficult to move, and I guess this is because there's actually more surface area in contact with each other than the tarmac.
 

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I hear what you are saying but I cannot see it. We can't even get the government to approve compulsory solar panels on new house builds... we stand no chance with this.

I could see it as a niche product in small-scale private installations... it seems like it might work in open-air car parks... slow-moving traffic, no HGVs, easy access to grid connections etc... but on public highways... can't see it. Sorry :)
Why no HGVs Paul?
 

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Another point to keep in mind, is that when ideas like this first start and the technology is developed and improved, the final product often ends up in a different market than the original idea.

I suspect that tarmac is a LOT cheaper than these, but what about your driveway at home? (hand's up those who have got block paving, or some other fancy stone flags). Pedestrianised town centres?
 

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Why no HGVs Paul?
Do you notice the damage to the road surfaces that HGVs inflict? It is massive and the pounding that any road surface must endure is going to be multiplied by factors if HGVs are regularly involved.

Don't misunderstand me. I am not just trying to be a naysayer here. I just can't imagine any surface that would allow for photo-voltaics be either hard-wearing enough or with a good enough coefficient of friction. Let's hope I am totally wrong and we see PV roads cropping up in the not too distant future :)

I am about to put in a new driveway... if it were available... I'd certainly consider it :)
 

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My (admittedly basic) understanding of road damage is that the tar in between the gravel slowly gets worn away by contact, cracks through loading and unloading, and trough thermal changes. Once enough of the tar is gone it can't hold the gravel in place and it gets torn away. I don't think a toughened glass panel would have any of these problems. I've seen in London some streets have those glass bricks in the pavement to let light into cellars etc. the surface of the blocks is usually worn, but the metal grid round them is more worn. I guess these blocks have been in the ground for decades.
 
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I take it you never drive on the inside lane of motorways then? Do you not notice the depressions on each wheel track that is created by constant HGV traffic?

HGVs are the biggest factor in road damage. Of course they do not do all the damage but where HGVs go there is always significantly more.
 
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