Scott Brusaw, Image credit Solar Roadway
When TreeHugger first covered Solar Roadways four years ago, Founder and invento Scott Brusaw was kind enough to leave a very long and thoughtful comment on the post, explaining how it worked. When Solar Roadways got a $100,000 grant from the Department of Energy two years ago, the Infrastructurist called it "totally batshit crazy" and I reported on that; I won't repeat what commenters said about me. Last year I admired his prototype.
Now Scott and Solar Roadways are in the news again; They just got a $ 750,000 grant to build a bigger demonstration project in a parking lot in Idaho.
Brusaw tells the Spokesman-Review:
"We'll do our own parking lot first," Brusaw said, "so we can monitor it 24/7, get all our data ... and start seeing how it holds up under all kinds of load tests....The ultimate goal is the nation's highways."
The Spokesman continues with a description of the concept:
The panels will contain solar cells, LED lights and electronics, hermetically sealed between layers of textured glass. The panels generate enough heat to melt snow and defrost ice. LED lights would be able to spell out traffic warnings or light up crosswalks at night.
Solar roadways could benefit the drivers of electric cars by providing charging stations. Brusaw said the panels' smart-grid component could even allow them to communicate with electric cars, alerting drivers to upcoming obstacles such as accidents or deer in the roads.
According to Brusaw's calculations, installing solar panels in the approximately 28,000 miles of paved surfaces in the lower 48 states would generate about three times more electricity than U.S. citizens use each year.
Really, one cannot help but admire the man's tenacity and dedication, and his success at keeping this thing going. Maybe it isn't so crazy after all.