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Solar FREAKIN' Roadways

Solar FREAKIN' Roadways

(7:00) It's the roadway of the future. The sooner we get these, the better our future.

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Guest: Sat (1465 days ago)

WELP, i'm not buying it as it is.

I want to see a feasability study before i make up my mind on this.

Does anybody have a link to such a thing?

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WELP, i'm not buying it as it is.

I want to see a feasability study before i make up my mind on this.

Does anybody have a link to such a thing?

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (1466 days ago)

If there was one product that could save the world, this is a great contender. And it pays for itself, how cool is that! I wonder which corporation is going to buy up all the patents.

If I was a dictator, as a one-off, I would ban any patents on this product and have the technology open source. I would hansomely reward the inventors and keep them in charge overall. I would divert all government investments and subsidies in fossil fuels, to resurfacing the country with solar roadways. I would encourage the rest of the world to do the same.

A few years later... a booming global electric car industry and climate change solved.

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If there was one product that could save the world, this is a great contender. And it pays for itself, how cool is that! I wonder which corporation is going to buy up all the patents.

If I was a dictator, as a one-off, I would ban any patents on this product and have the technology open source. I would hansomely reward the inventors and keep them in charge overall. I would divert all government investments and subsidies in fossil fuels, to resurfacing the country with solar roadways. I would encourage the rest of the world to do the same.

A few years later... a booming global electric car industry and climate change solved.

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cengland0 cengland0 (1466 days ago)

Solar technology has been around for many decades. Putting them on the road is not necessary and could actually require more maintenance than if you put them in the middle of the desert.

This is nothing more than marketing hype when more efficient solar technology can be implemented at a fraction of the costs. Here's an example: LINK

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Solar technology has been around for many decades. Putting them on the road is not necessary and could actually require more maintenance than if you put them in the middle of the desert.

This is nothing more than marketing hype when more efficient solar technology can be implemented at a fraction of the costs. Here's an example: LINK

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (1466 days ago)

Solar roadways is a different proposition to solar farms in the desert. Nothing wrong with solar farms, but compared with solar roadways, they look so last year. Coal power looks positively ancient.

Solar roadways is a radical update of the humble tarmac road - which coincidentally is a perfect medium to produce the huge quantities of electricty we need.

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Solar roadways is a different proposition to solar farms in the desert. Nothing wrong with solar farms, but compared with solar roadways, they look so last year. Coal power looks positively ancient.

Solar roadways is a radical update of the humble tarmac road - which coincidentally is a perfect medium to produce the huge quantities of electricty we need.

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Guest: originalmad (1466 days ago)

except of course its horrendously expensive, btw how do you get the tyre marks off the panels, difficult to get solar power through black tyre marks

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except of course its horrendously expensive, btw how do you get the tyre marks off the panels, difficult to get solar power through black tyre marks

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (1466 days ago)

Tyre marks are easy to get off, just clean them. Smart technology could easily locate underperforming units to be cleaned if necessary.

Rush hour traffic will significantly reduce the electricity produced by city roads (because cars would be blocking the sun), but that's OK because there is plenty of road surface to power our needs. Also, even without producing power, other benefits are huge - transporting power and communications, safety and information graphics, ice-free winter driving - basically all the smart bits.

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Tyre marks are easy to get off, just clean them. Smart technology could easily locate underperforming units to be cleaned if necessary.

Rush hour traffic will significantly reduce the electricity produced by city roads (because cars would be blocking the sun), but that's OK because there is plenty of road surface to power our needs. Also, even without producing power, other benefits are huge - transporting power and communications, safety and information graphics, ice-free winter driving - basically all the smart bits.

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cengland0 cengland0 (1466 days ago)

I agree. Also what about accidents that damage the road? That makes repairs much more expensive than before. If you have these out in the desert, you don't have to worry about automobile accidents damaging the equipment.

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I agree. Also what about accidents that damage the road? That makes repairs much more expensive than before. If you have these out in the desert, you don't have to worry about automobile accidents damaging the equipment.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (1466 days ago)

The inventors said test results were outsanding. I can believe that - glass is very tough. Glass is also made from sand - plentiful and cheap.

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The inventors said test results were outsanding. I can believe that - glass is very tough. Glass is also made from sand - plentiful and cheap.

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Guest: originalmad (1465 days ago)

Walter over time the glass will get covered in minute scratchs, It reduces the efficiency rapidly, just saying.ps Is a good idea in a lab, just not so viable when transfered to real world conditions

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Walter over time the glass will get covered in minute scratchs, It reduces the efficiency rapidly, just saying.ps Is a good idea in a lab, just not so viable when transfered to real world conditions

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (1465 days ago)

I doubt minute scratches will affect efficiency very much - the glass looks like it's frosted by default. But also, there's so much road surface, they don't need to be super efficient. Most roads outside of towns and cities would stay in pristine condition for decades, only marred by the occasional moose shit. Also, it would be a simple matter to monitor and replace units if efficiency drops below a threshold. These roadways are smart, smarter than you it seems.

This truly is a brilliant product that could realistically play a huge part in making the planet habitable for our grandchildren. Try being a bit more positive.

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I doubt minute scratches will affect efficiency very much - the glass looks like it's frosted by default. But also, there's so much road surface, they don't need to be super efficient. Most roads outside of towns and cities would stay in pristine condition for decades, only marred by the occasional moose shit. Also, it would be a simple matter to monitor and replace units if efficiency drops below a threshold. These roadways are smart, smarter than you it seems.

This truly is a brilliant product that could realistically play a huge part in making the planet habitable for our grandchildren. Try being a bit more positive.

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Guest: originalmad (1465 days ago)

Walter photons are electromagnetic. the angle at wich it hits a surface is important. see snow glare for an example. scratches will present a reflective surface

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Walter photons are electromagnetic. the angle at wich it hits a surface is important. see snow glare for an example. scratches will present a reflective surface

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Guest: Sat (1465 days ago)

speaking of photons, have you seen that they're trying to turn ligh into matter now?

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speaking of photons, have you seen that they're trying to turn ligh into matter now?

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Guest: Craig S. (1466 days ago)

I like the concept. But I have a feeling that the costs would be horrendous. Show me the costs and the return rate please.

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I like the concept. But I have a feeling that the costs would be horrendous. Show me the costs and the return rate please.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (1466 days ago)

I think they'll turn out to be a bargain if you consider the cost of climate change - $1.6 trillion a year and rising. Solar roadways have the potential to power the world cleanly all on their own.

They also replace our communication and power lines. That in itself is a huge saving considering the increasingly extreme weather we have to look forward to. Solar roadways are much more resilient to extreme weather, and much easier to repair. For a start, there's always a road to the point of damage - not so with traditional overhead or underground power lines. Then the repair is just a matter of unplugging damaged modules and replacing with new ones.

They will reduce car accidents massively, especially at night and in winter. Just imagine ice free roads all powered by the sun.

And of course, the biggest cost saving - they produce electricity and pay for themselves.

This is exactly what you'd design for a science fiction city from scratch. I fear our politics though is still stuck in the 20th century, courtesy of our selfish genes.

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I think they'll turn out to be a bargain if you consider the cost of climate change - $1.6 trillion a year and rising. Solar roadways have the potential to power the world cleanly all on their own.

They also replace our communication and power lines. That in itself is a huge saving considering the increasingly extreme weather we have to look forward to. Solar roadways are much more resilient to extreme weather, and much easier to repair. For a start, there's always a road to the point of damage - not so with traditional overhead or underground power lines. Then the repair is just a matter of unplugging damaged modules and replacing with new ones.

They will reduce car accidents massively, especially at night and in winter. Just imagine ice free roads all powered by the sun.

And of course, the biggest cost saving - they produce electricity and pay for themselves.

This is exactly what you'd design for a science fiction city from scratch. I fear our politics though is still stuck in the 20th century, courtesy of our selfish genes.

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Guest: BartmanJax (1465 days ago)

There are so many issues with this concept that it can never work.

Lets start with surface of the panels that cars, motorcycles, bicycles would be traveling on. Now lets add moisture. Think about it for a minute. Even seen the sign "Slippery when wet?"

Next, lets think about weather, specifically cloudy, foggy, overcast, whatever. Happens more often than not. Not going to generate any power in those conditions.

Now lets think about traffic. Pick any city. New York, Los Angles, Moscow, London, Paris. Then think about traffic jams. Blocking the sun will prevent electricity being generated.

How about shadows? Big cities. Big buildings. Streets that are in the shadows generate little to no electricity.

In the video, the narrator talks about melting snow. I've never seen a snow storm on a clear day and once the "panels" are covered with snow, it doesn't matter how clear the weather is, if the panels can't see the sun, electricity isn't generated and the snow won't melt.

Nice try, but this just isn't ready for prime time.

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There are so many issues with this concept that it can never work.

Lets start with surface of the panels that cars, motorcycles, bicycles would be traveling on. Now lets add moisture. Think about it for a minute. Even seen the sign "Slippery when wet?"

Next, lets think about weather, specifically cloudy, foggy, overcast, whatever. Happens more often than not. Not going to generate any power in those conditions.

Now lets think about traffic. Pick any city. New York, Los Angles, Moscow, London, Paris. Then think about traffic jams. Blocking the sun will prevent electricity being generated.

How about shadows? Big cities. Big buildings. Streets that are in the shadows generate little to no electricity.

In the video, the narrator talks about melting snow. I've never seen a snow storm on a clear day and once the "panels" are covered with snow, it doesn't matter how clear the weather is, if the panels can't see the sun, electricity isn't generated and the snow won't melt.

Nice try, but this just isn't ready for prime time.

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Guest: (1465 days ago)

I think maybe you stopped listening before they mentioned the traction performance on the prootypes alreay in existence. Please consider that becuase we need to make changes, and what we do at present is not good enough, we must be open to innovation or slip back into obscurity. By the way, I live in the far north, and snow during sun is not as uncommon as you suggest.

Our infrastructure, built generations ago and based on archaic technology, is crumbling into scale. Imagine the boost to employment this sort of innovation would create.

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I think maybe you stopped listening before they mentioned the traction performance on the prootypes alreay in existence. Please consider that becuase we need to make changes, and what we do at present is not good enough, we must be open to innovation or slip back into obscurity. By the way, I live in the far north, and snow during sun is not as uncommon as you suggest.

Our infrastructure, built generations ago and based on archaic technology, is crumbling into scale. Imagine the boost to employment this sort of innovation would create.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (1465 days ago)

Really, these are your issues with this product? "Surely they are slippery when wet" is the first question anyone would ask. The inventors say traction tests produced outstanding results.

Solar cells don't need direct sunlight to work, they are just less efficient in cloudy or shaded areas. That's why solar power in Germany works well. Germany is a country in northern Europe that experiences many cloudy days each year.

If you think about it, traffic makes no overall difference. Every car has a footprint that will block the sun. The size of that footprint doesn't change if the car is in a city or on a country road. What changes is which roadways are producing electricity at any given moment.

About big city buildings and shadows - city roads will produce less power than country roads, they are providing a host of other services like charging vehicles, providing instantly updatable road markings, monitoring traffic flow etc.

Solar roadways can melt ice when covered in snow in the same way that they can light up at night when there is no sun. Don't take up product reviewing as a career, you're not very good at it.

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Really, these are your issues with this product? "Surely they are slippery when wet" is the first question anyone would ask. The inventors say traction tests produced outstanding results.

Solar cells don't need direct sunlight to work, they are just less efficient in cloudy or shaded areas. That's why solar power in Germany works well. Germany is a country in northern Europe that experiences many cloudy days each year.

If you think about it, traffic makes no overall difference. Every car has a footprint that will block the sun. The size of that footprint doesn't change if the car is in a city or on a country road. What changes is which roadways are producing electricity at any given moment.

About big city buildings and shadows - city roads will produce less power than country roads, they are providing a host of other services like charging vehicles, providing instantly updatable road markings, monitoring traffic flow etc.

Solar roadways can melt ice when covered in snow in the same way that they can light up at night when there is no sun. Don't take up product reviewing as a career, you're not very good at it.

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cengland0 cengland0 (1465 days ago)

"If you think about it, traffic makes no overall difference. Every car has a footprint that will block the sun. The size of that footprint doesn't change if the car is in a city or on a country road. " It makes a difference if you parked your car in a garage and then drove it on the road. You suddenly block solar panels that were not blocked before.

I'm not against solar technology. It's great. What I am against is putting them on the road. Seems like a stupid thing to do. Imagine having to shut down major highways while these are being installed. You can have a better system by putting the solar panels in a desert away from traffic and using wires to bring that electricity into the city. No cars will be blocking the sun. No trees either.

Let me put it this way. If you were going to convert your house to solar technology, would you put the solar panels on your driveway or on your roof? I bet you'll opt for the roof because you know it's out of the way and will not be blocked by your car when parked.

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"If you think about it, traffic makes no overall difference. Every car has a footprint that will block the sun. The size of that footprint doesn't change if the car is in a city or on a country road. " It makes a difference if you parked your car in a garage and then drove it on the road. You suddenly block solar panels that were not blocked before.

I'm not against solar technology. It's great. What I am against is putting them on the road. Seems like a stupid thing to do. Imagine having to shut down major highways while these are being installed. You can have a better system by putting the solar panels in a desert away from traffic and using wires to bring that electricity into the city. No cars will be blocking the sun. No trees either.

Let me put it this way. If you were going to convert your house to solar technology, would you put the solar panels on your driveway or on your roof? I bet you'll opt for the roof because you know it's out of the way and will not be blocked by your car when parked.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (1465 days ago)

Yes I realise that a car in a garage is not blocking sun as it would do on the road. At this level of conversation, I thought it was a detail too far. I was assuming when one car leaves a garage, another is garaged. Also, the surface area blocked by vehicles is a tiny proportion of the total road area.

This is how I see it. Roads are basically unchanged since Roman days. Smart roads are the update we need for the 21st century. Combining power and communication lines with smart roads that can monitor conditions and display instantly updatable graphics, makes so much sense in a world with increasingly extreme and violent weather. In the long run, they will probably be cheaper than conventional tarmac because they will be much more resilient to extreme weather. They won't buckle in extreme heat, or crack in extreme cold, or get affected by flooding. And they will make driving much safer resulting in less road injuries and deaths, and cost savings for emergency services.

Installing them is not the problem you make out. When roads are resurfaced today, lanes are blocked and there is disruption. Smart roads will probably be quicker to lay than today's tarmac roads (they could be laid by machine like some railways are) and disruption would be less because smart roads can reroute cars efficiently.

Adding solar panels to smart roads is a stroke of genius. Now they even pay for themselves, charge your electric car, and can significantly help to stabilise our climate.

True the Koch brothers won't like solar roadways, but they've had it their way for far too long.

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Yes I realise that a car in a garage is not blocking sun as it would do on the road. At this level of conversation, I thought it was a detail too far. I was assuming when one car leaves a garage, another is garaged. Also, the surface area blocked by vehicles is a tiny proportion of the total road area.

This is how I see it. Roads are basically unchanged since Roman days. Smart roads are the update we need for the 21st century. Combining power and communication lines with smart roads that can monitor conditions and display instantly updatable graphics, makes so much sense in a world with increasingly extreme and violent weather. In the long run, they will probably be cheaper than conventional tarmac because they will be much more resilient to extreme weather. They won't buckle in extreme heat, or crack in extreme cold, or get affected by flooding. And they will make driving much safer resulting in less road injuries and deaths, and cost savings for emergency services.

Installing them is not the problem you make out. When roads are resurfaced today, lanes are blocked and there is disruption. Smart roads will probably be quicker to lay than today's tarmac roads (they could be laid by machine like some railways are) and disruption would be less because smart roads can reroute cars efficiently.

Adding solar panels to smart roads is a stroke of genius. Now they even pay for themselves, charge your electric car, and can significantly help to stabilise our climate.

True the Koch brothers won't like solar roadways, but they've had it their way for far too long.

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Guest: Craig S (1465 days ago)

I think the cost is important. For example, there are 4 million miles of highways in the USA. This does not include city streets. Let's say you convert 25% of these to solar roadways at the cost of $1,000,000 a mile which is half the low end cost per lane mile for a concrete road. This conversion would cost 10 quadrillion dollars. Sorry, but it's not going to happen. A more realistic solution might center on cold fusion power, or converting every roof to solar panels.

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I think the cost is important. For example, there are 4 million miles of highways in the USA. This does not include city streets. Let's say you convert 25% of these to solar roadways at the cost of $1,000,000 a mile which is half the low end cost per lane mile for a concrete road. This conversion would cost 10 quadrillion dollars. Sorry, but it's not going to happen. A more realistic solution might center on cold fusion power, or converting every roof to solar panels.

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cengland0 cengland0 (1465 days ago)

Finally a sensible response. I couldn't have stated this any better. Good job.

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Finally a sensible response. I couldn't have stated this any better. Good job.

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Guest: Craig S. (1453 days ago)

Hi, I totally buggered up my math when I said 10 quadrillion dollars. A million times a million is a trillion. (What's three decimal places among friends?) That said, if these roads are any less than 3-5 million dollars a mile I would be amazed. Still spendy.

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Hi, I totally buggered up my math when I said 10 quadrillion dollars. A million times a million is a trillion. (What's three decimal places among friends?) That said, if these roads are any less than 3-5 million dollars a mile I would be amazed. Still spendy.

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cengland0 cengland0 (1453 days ago)
Latest comment: Still too expensive considering we already owe 17 trillion.
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Latest comment: Still too expensive considering we already owe 17 trillion.
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WalterEgo WalterEgo (1465 days ago)

$2 million for a mile of concrete road in the US. Wow! There are many Bulgarians who will happily help you guys out. You should open up your borders.

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$2 million for a mile of concrete road in the US. Wow! There are many Bulgarians who will happily help you guys out. You should open up your borders.

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cengland0 cengland0 (1465 days ago)

That is what happens when the union gets involved and you impose minimum wage laws. The people that are willing to do it for less do not get the opportunity.

You should see them during road construction here. About 3 guys are doing actual work while 10 of them are supervising and doing nothing.

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That is what happens when the union gets involved and you impose minimum wage laws. The people that are willing to do it for less do not get the opportunity.

You should see them during road construction here. About 3 guys are doing actual work while 10 of them are supervising and doing nothing.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (1465 days ago)

I'd like to see some stats before I believe it costs $2 million a mile for a concrete road. If that includes the cost of the land, then obviously that doesn't apply to resurfacing roads.

The cost of solar roadways is actually negative, because they produce electricity that is sold. Roads can also be leased to ISPs and power companies so they can deliver their services. Much better to use solar roadways to deliver energy than pylons marching across beautiful landscapes, and leaky oil pipes.

Overall savings are enormous. Don't forget, climate change currently costs $1.6 trillion a year, and every year that increases. There are also the deaths and misery that extreme weather causes.

Over 30,000 people were killed on US roads in 2013. Solar roadways would massively reduce that number - an enormous saving for emergency and health services.

Can you think of other ways solar roadways can save money? I can think of loads.

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I'd like to see some stats before I believe it costs $2 million a mile for a concrete road. If that includes the cost of the land, then obviously that doesn't apply to resurfacing roads.

The cost of solar roadways is actually negative, because they produce electricity that is sold. Roads can also be leased to ISPs and power companies so they can deliver their services. Much better to use solar roadways to deliver energy than pylons marching across beautiful landscapes, and leaky oil pipes.

Overall savings are enormous. Don't forget, climate change currently costs $1.6 trillion a year, and every year that increases. There are also the deaths and misery that extreme weather causes.

Over 30,000 people were killed on US roads in 2013. Solar roadways would massively reduce that number - an enormous saving for emergency and health services.

Can you think of other ways solar roadways can save money? I can think of loads.

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cengland0 cengland0 (1464 days ago)

Google found the answer very fast. "Construct a new 2-lane undivided road – about $2-$3 million per mile in rural areas, about $3-5 million in urban areas." LINK

If climate change costs us 1.6 trillion a year but the solar highway in the USA (at 25% implementation) costs 10 quadrillion, how many years will it take to make that money back? Answer: 6,250 years. That is also assuming it costs half of what it costs to create an actual highway but I think it would be much more and there are no maintenance costs. Convert the entire world or even more of the USA, the costs will be higher.

Consider why people don't convert their houses to solar and you may understand the problem. It takes too long to break even so people don't make the initial investment. Seems silly since you can break even much sooner than 6,250 years. Have you gone solar for your house yet? If not why? I would like to but the only thing stopping me right now is my neighbor has extremely large trees blocking the southern exposure of my house.

"Over 30,000 people were killed on US roads in 2013. Solar roadways would massively reduce that number" you really think so? What was the major cause of those deaths? LINK 31% were alcohol related and solar will not stop drunk driving. The NHTSA didn't list all the reasons but I doubt it's because they didn't have writing on the roads. It's most likely going through red lights, following too close, GE ignition switch failures, etc.

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Google found the answer very fast. "Construct a new 2-lane undivided road – about $2-$3 million per mile in rural areas, about $3-5 million in urban areas." LINK

If climate change costs us 1.6 trillion a year but the solar highway in the USA (at 25% implementation) costs 10 quadrillion, how many years will it take to make that money back? Answer: 6,250 years. That is also assuming it costs half of what it costs to create an actual highway but I think it would be much more and there are no maintenance costs. Convert the entire world or even more of the USA, the costs will be higher.

Consider why people don't convert their houses to solar and you may understand the problem. It takes too long to break even so people don't make the initial investment. Seems silly since you can break even much sooner than 6,250 years. Have you gone solar for your house yet? If not why? I would like to but the only thing stopping me right now is my neighbor has extremely large trees blocking the southern exposure of my house.

"Over 30,000 people were killed on US roads in 2013. Solar roadways would massively reduce that number" you really think so? What was the major cause of those deaths? LINK 31% were alcohol related and solar will not stop drunk driving. The NHTSA didn't list all the reasons but I doubt it's because they didn't have writing on the roads. It's most likely going through red lights, following too close, GE ignition switch failures, etc.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (1464 days ago)

I must admit, road building costs more than I thought, which makes me think it's even more reason to rethink our roads.

First, we are talking about resurfacing, not building new roads, which on your stats comes in much cheaper, but still a whopping $1.25 million a mile - that's to "mill and resurface a 4-lane road". The thing is, roads always need resurfacing at some point, so the cost is actually the difference between resurfacing a road with tarmac, or laying a solar roadway instead. Same principle applies for new roads.

Another thing to keep in mind is solar roadways also carry power and communication lines. In London, we have road works and potholes galore, much of them caused by the lack of coordination between different utilities. Solar roadways would significantly reduce disruptive roadworks and potholes would be a thing of the past.

Power and communication lines cost money to lay, maintain and fix when the weather gets nasty. Instead, power and comunications corporations would lease roads at a lower cost than their current delivery methods, and reduce bills (lol).

In a world where increasingly extreme weather is normal, fixing a fallen power line would be as simple as driving up to the point of damage, removing the tree or whatever, and replacing a few units. Today after a heavy storm, we resurface a road at a massive cost... until the next storm.

Safety is not just the pretty lights, it's also the ice free roads and the consistent driving surface. Even a drunk driver will be safer on a solar roadway.

But the biggest point is that they create electricity, pay for themselves, and would provide a huge income if the US was powered by roads. The Koch brothers would just have to find another job.

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Original comment

I must admit, road building costs more than I thought, which makes me think it's even more reason to rethink our roads.

First, we are talking about resurfacing, not building new roads, which on your stats comes in much cheaper, but still a whopping $1.25 million a mile - that's to "mill and resurface a 4-lane road". The thing is, roads always need resurfacing at some point, so the cost is actually the difference between resurfacing a road with tarmac, or laying a solar roadway instead. Same principle applies for new roads.

Another thing to keep in mind is solar roadways also carry power and communication lines. In London, we have road works and potholes galore, much of them caused by the lack of coordination between different utilities. Solar roadways would significantly reduce disruptive roadworks and potholes would be a thing of the past.

Power and communication lines cost money to lay, maintain and fix when the weather gets nasty. Instead, power and comunications corporations would lease roads at a lower cost than their current delivery methods, and reduce bills (lol).

In a world where increasingly extreme weather is normal, fixing a fallen power line would be as simple as driving up to the point of damage, removing the tree or whatever, and replacing a few units. Today after a heavy storm, we resurface a road at a massive cost... until the next storm.

Safety is not just the pretty lights, it's also the ice free roads and the consistent driving surface. Even a drunk driver will be safer on a solar roadway.

But the biggest point is that they create electricity, pay for themselves, and would provide a huge income if the US was powered by roads. The Koch brothers would just have to find another job.

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cengland0 cengland0 (1464 days ago)

You somehow think that solar technology, once implemented, requires no maintenance. That is absolutely false. In fact, it is well known that you need to replace important devices such as your inverter every 15 years and that's an expensive piece of hardware to replace.

It is estimated that 100-300 metric tons of dust enters our atmosphere every day. This does not count the debris that will pile up from dump trucks and nearby lawn mowing. Are you going to install self-cleaning panels with a vacuum cleaner built in?

"Instead, power and communications corporations would lease roads at a lower cost than their current delivery methods, and reduce bills" I don't see that happening. Power companies already have their own lines so it's virtually free for them to continue to use their own lines. They have just to maintain them so why lease new lines? In the long run, it's cheaper to own than to lease. Examples are with other high price items like cars and houses. If you buy a house, you end up only paying for 30 years and then it's yours. If you lease, you pay for the rest of your life and walk away with nothing.

Speaking of power lines and the fallen tree issue, that’s only in older neighborhoods. New neighborhoods have the power lines underground to prevent that issue and to make the community look better. You do not need a solar road to have underground cables.

"Even a drunk driver will be safer on a solar roadway." Please explain because I don't see how.

Have you also considered that solar generates electricity in the daytime only so when those lights in the "smart" portion of this technology is needed most is the night time. We would have to use energy from an alternative source to power those lights. Thinking of storing the energy generated in the daytime so it can be used at night? Battery technology to support that is extremely expensive, inefficient, and requires a lot of maintenance.

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You somehow think that solar technology, once implemented, requires no maintenance. That is absolutely false. In fact, it is well known that you need to replace important devices such as your inverter every 15 years and that's an expensive piece of hardware to replace.

It is estimated that 100-300 metric tons of dust enters our atmosphere every day. This does not count the debris that will pile up from dump trucks and nearby lawn mowing. Are you going to install self-cleaning panels with a vacuum cleaner built in?

"Instead, power and communications corporations would lease roads at a lower cost than their current delivery methods, and reduce bills" I don't see that happening. Power companies already have their own lines so it's virtually free for them to continue to use their own lines. They have just to maintain them so why lease new lines? In the long run, it's cheaper to own than to lease. Examples are with other high price items like cars and houses. If you buy a house, you end up only paying for 30 years and then it's yours. If you lease, you pay for the rest of your life and walk away with nothing.

Speaking of power lines and the fallen tree issue, that’s only in older neighborhoods. New neighborhoods have the power lines underground to prevent that issue and to make the community look better. You do not need a solar road to have underground cables.

"Even a drunk driver will be safer on a solar roadway." Please explain because I don't see how.

Have you also considered that solar generates electricity in the daytime only so when those lights in the "smart" portion of this technology is needed most is the night time. We would have to use energy from an alternative source to power those lights. Thinking of storing the energy generated in the daytime so it can be used at night? Battery technology to support that is extremely expensive, inefficient, and requires a lot of maintenance.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (1464 days ago)

So do you agree that the cost is actually the difference between building or maintaining a tarmac road?

And since solar roadways make electricity, they pay for themselves?

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So do you agree that the cost is actually the difference between building or maintaining a tarmac road?

And since solar roadways make electricity, they pay for themselves?

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cengland0 cengland0 (1464 days ago)

A solar farm in the middle of the desert pays for itself too.

You never addressed the lights at night issue.

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A solar farm in the middle of the desert pays for itself too.

You never addressed the lights at night issue.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (1464 days ago)

So you agree cost is not the issue because they pay for themselves?

As for the lights at night, it doesn't have to be a room full of Duracells. There are some beautifully simple solutions, for example - pumping seawater into a tank on the top of a cliff in the daytime, and letting it out at night turning turbines. And it might as well filter the seawater in the process and help clean up our oceans.

Or how some solar farms work today - heating up a salt solution and storing it hot underground for night usage.

Keep in mind that the transition from a fossil fuelled world to electrically powered, is not overnight, and there's plenty of scope for innovation - something you'll just have to imagine with the imagination you don't have.

Perhaps your biggest objection is that solar roadways could bring power back to the people. If the government built solar roadways, starting with roads that need resurfacing anyway, then all that income can be used to reduce taxes and energy bills making US businesses competitive again and boosting the economy. As a patriot, why would you not want solar roadways?

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Original comment

So you agree cost is not the issue because they pay for themselves?

As for the lights at night, it doesn't have to be a room full of Duracells. There are some beautifully simple solutions, for example - pumping seawater into a tank on the top of a cliff in the daytime, and letting it out at night turning turbines. And it might as well filter the seawater in the process and help clean up our oceans.

Or how some solar farms work today - heating up a salt solution and storing it hot underground for night usage.

Keep in mind that the transition from a fossil fuelled world to electrically powered, is not overnight, and there's plenty of scope for innovation - something you'll just have to imagine with the imagination you don't have.

Perhaps your biggest objection is that solar roadways could bring power back to the people. If the government built solar roadways, starting with roads that need resurfacing anyway, then all that income can be used to reduce taxes and energy bills making US businesses competitive again and boosting the economy. As a patriot, why would you not want solar roadways?

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cengland0 cengland0 (1464 days ago)

"So you agree cost is not the issue because they pay for themselves?" That is not what I'm saying. Cost is a huge issue. It would be more cost effective to put solar farms out in the desert. I've repeated this over and over like a broken record but you still haven't read that part. I don't see the benefit of having the solar cells on the road versus elsewhere. I only see maintenance issues in the long term and high prices of installation initially. You can put those solar cells anywhere but you keep wanting to put them in high traffic areas where it's difficult to get access to them to repair or upgrade and are blocked by tree shadows and cars driving on them. One acronym: WTF?

"Perhaps your biggest objection is that solar roadways could bring power back to the people." Wrong again. We can all have solar on our rooftops right now and that technology has been around for decades. You never answered if you took that plunge or not. If not, why? It pays for itself so it should be a no-brainer, right? I told you that I would do it if my neighbor didn't have so many trees on my southern exposure. I believe in solar technology enough that I would invest in it to save in the long term but I'm not going to pave my driveway with them either.

Another thing, did you know it's more efficient to have the solar cells facing the sun than it is to lay them flat on the ground? Another good reason to not put them on the roads. What about a hill that goes from north to south so the part going down north is always in the shade? To complete the connections, you would still need to replace that part of the road and this adds unnecessary costs to the project. Putting them on mountain sides where it's selected specifically to be in the southern exposure (in the northern hemisphere) is smart but not all over the place regardless if there is sunlight or not is not smart and is wasteful.

You also avoided answering how this will prevent drunk driving. You made a claim, I questioned you about it, you avoided it. How convenient.

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"So you agree cost is not the issue because they pay for themselves?" That is not what I'm saying. Cost is a huge issue. It would be more cost effective to put solar farms out in the desert. I've repeated this over and over like a broken record but you still haven't read that part. I don't see the benefit of having the solar cells on the road versus elsewhere. I only see maintenance issues in the long term and high prices of installation initially. You can put those solar cells anywhere but you keep wanting to put them in high traffic areas where it's difficult to get access to them to repair or upgrade and are blocked by tree shadows and cars driving on them. One acronym: WTF?

"Perhaps your biggest objection is that solar roadways could bring power back to the people." Wrong again. We can all have solar on our rooftops right now and that technology has been around for decades. You never answered if you took that plunge or not. If not, why? It pays for itself so it should be a no-brainer, right? I told you that I would do it if my neighbor didn't have so many trees on my southern exposure. I believe in solar technology enough that I would invest in it to save in the long term but I'm not going to pave my driveway with them either.

Another thing, did you know it's more efficient to have the solar cells facing the sun than it is to lay them flat on the ground? Another good reason to not put them on the roads. What about a hill that goes from north to south so the part going down north is always in the shade? To complete the connections, you would still need to replace that part of the road and this adds unnecessary costs to the project. Putting them on mountain sides where it's selected specifically to be in the southern exposure (in the northern hemisphere) is smart but not all over the place regardless if there is sunlight or not is not smart and is wasteful.

You also avoided answering how this will prevent drunk driving. You made a claim, I questioned you about it, you avoided it. How convenient.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (1464 days ago)

OK, I'll start with the all important question about drunk driving - first I didn't say they would prevent drunk driving, I said even drunk drivers will be safer. It was a throwaway phrase.

Driving drunk on a well-lit, ice-free, consistent surface, is safer than driving drunk on an unlit, icy road full of pot holes. Can we now practice focusing on the bigger picture? The more you practice, the better you become. And it will help develop your imagination.

The reason for putting solar cells on roads, is that they will pay for smart roads, which are much safer, offer umpteen benefits like charging electric cars, traffic management, instant road redesign, delivering broadband, etc. and perhaps most importantly, are more resilient than tarmac to the increasingly extreme weather we know we have coming. The bonus is that they can provide clean energy for the whole country, and on a global scale, maybe even solve climate change - while looking really funky.

No problem with solar farms in the desert, just that they may not be needed.

So do you agree that cost is not the issue because we would be upgrading tarmac to smart roads that pay for themselves?

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Original comment

OK, I'll start with the all important question about drunk driving - first I didn't say they would prevent drunk driving, I said even drunk drivers will be safer. It was a throwaway phrase.

Driving drunk on a well-lit, ice-free, consistent surface, is safer than driving drunk on an unlit, icy road full of pot holes. Can we now practice focusing on the bigger picture? The more you practice, the better you become. And it will help develop your imagination.

The reason for putting solar cells on roads, is that they will pay for smart roads, which are much safer, offer umpteen benefits like charging electric cars, traffic management, instant road redesign, delivering broadband, etc. and perhaps most importantly, are more resilient than tarmac to the increasingly extreme weather we know we have coming. The bonus is that they can provide clean energy for the whole country, and on a global scale, maybe even solve climate change - while looking really funky.

No problem with solar farms in the desert, just that they may not be needed.

So do you agree that cost is not the issue because we would be upgrading tarmac to smart roads that pay for themselves?

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cengland0 cengland0 (1464 days ago)

The roads do not need to be smart. You can have signs off to the sides like we have today. They don't need to deliver broadband because we already have an existing infrastructure that does that.

"No problem with solar farms in the desert, just that they may not be needed." Another WTF moment. I thought you said we needed the energy and we and all life on this planet is all going to die due to global warming unless we do something.

Do you have solar cells on your roof?

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The roads do not need to be smart. You can have signs off to the sides like we have today. They don't need to deliver broadband because we already have an existing infrastructure that does that.

"No problem with solar farms in the desert, just that they may not be needed." Another WTF moment. I thought you said we needed the energy and we and all life on this planet is all going to die due to global warming unless we do something.

Do you have solar cells on your roof?

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (1464 days ago)

You are certainly no visionary that's for sure. Signs don't melt ice, recharge electric cars, or change into a basketball court at the flick of a switch. Just think of the broadband as a bonus.

That WTF moment was based on the inventors' claim that resurfacing all US roads would produce 3x the electricity the US needs.

So do you agree that cost is not the issue because we would be upgrading tarmac to smart roads that pay for themselves? Even make a profit.

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You are certainly no visionary that's for sure. Signs don't melt ice, recharge electric cars, or change into a basketball court at the flick of a switch. Just think of the broadband as a bonus.

That WTF moment was based on the inventors' claim that resurfacing all US roads would produce 3x the electricity the US needs.

So do you agree that cost is not the issue because we would be upgrading tarmac to smart roads that pay for themselves? Even make a profit.

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cengland0 cengland0 (1464 days ago)

It is cheaper to plow snow when it is needed than it is to replace all roads with snow melting technology. Still, even if you wanted to do that, you can put the heaters in the road without having the energy created there. You can have the solar farm in the desert and then put the heating coils in the concrete. Rich people in Minnesota do this today so they do not have to shovel their driveways.

I don't want my roads changing to a basketball court. Even if I did, I wouldn't want to spend 10 quadrillion dollars to have 25% of my highways have this ability.

"That WTF moment was based on the inventors' claim that resurfacing all US roads would produce 3x the electricity the US needs." Well, that might be true based on today's energy consumption but after it takes 300 years to convert all the roads, our consumption would be higher. That 10 quadrillion figure is only changing 25% of the highways and does not count small streets. I'm pretty sure the inventors intended for all streets to be converted to reach the energy goals. I bet if you could take the entire desert in Nevada and convert that to a solar farm, we could get 100% of our daytime energy that way. For night time, we would still use coal or nuclear. Again, there is no benefit to having the solar panels on the roads when it is more efficient and cheaper to put them elsewhere.

"So do you agree that cost is not the issue because we would be upgrading tarmac to smart roads that pay for themselves? Even make a profit." I have already answered this but you keep asking it. Cost is a huge issue even if it will pay for itself. It will take over 6,000 years to pay for a 25% conversion and I'm pretty sure they will all need to be maintained before that 6,000 years is up.

So answer my question. Did you put solar on your roof? It would pay for itself but you didn't do it did you? Why not? If it pays for itself, you would think every single person in the world would have solar on their roofs, right? But they don't so there is a reason. The reason is that it costs too much and we cannot afford the initial investment for it. Do you understand it now? Still, I'd like you to answer if you use solar on your house. I know the answer because you wouldn't keep avoiding it if you did have solar but I'd like to hear you admit to it.

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It is cheaper to plow snow when it is needed than it is to replace all roads with snow melting technology. Still, even if you wanted to do that, you can put the heaters in the road without having the energy created there. You can have the solar farm in the desert and then put the heating coils in the concrete. Rich people in Minnesota do this today so they do not have to shovel their driveways.

I don't want my roads changing to a basketball court. Even if I did, I wouldn't want to spend 10 quadrillion dollars to have 25% of my highways have this ability.

"That WTF moment was based on the inventors' claim that resurfacing all US roads would produce 3x the electricity the US needs." Well, that might be true based on today's energy consumption but after it takes 300 years to convert all the roads, our consumption would be higher. That 10 quadrillion figure is only changing 25% of the highways and does not count small streets. I'm pretty sure the inventors intended for all streets to be converted to reach the energy goals. I bet if you could take the entire desert in Nevada and convert that to a solar farm, we could get 100% of our daytime energy that way. For night time, we would still use coal or nuclear. Again, there is no benefit to having the solar panels on the roads when it is more efficient and cheaper to put them elsewhere.

"So do you agree that cost is not the issue because we would be upgrading tarmac to smart roads that pay for themselves? Even make a profit." I have already answered this but you keep asking it. Cost is a huge issue even if it will pay for itself. It will take over 6,000 years to pay for a 25% conversion and I'm pretty sure they will all need to be maintained before that 6,000 years is up.

So answer my question. Did you put solar on your roof? It would pay for itself but you didn't do it did you? Why not? If it pays for itself, you would think every single person in the world would have solar on their roofs, right? But they don't so there is a reason. The reason is that it costs too much and we cannot afford the initial investment for it. Do you understand it now? Still, I'd like you to answer if you use solar on your house. I know the answer because you wouldn't keep avoiding it if you did have solar but I'd like to hear you admit to it.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (1464 days ago)

I haven't put solar panels on the roof because I live in a block.

I thought you agreed that the cost is actually the difference between building or maintaining a tarmac road? ie. When a road needs resurfacing, the choice is to use tarmac at one cost, or solar roadways at another cost. You didn't answer when I asked you before, so I assumed you agreed - that after all, is your trademark technique for accepting you're wrong without admitting it.

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I haven't put solar panels on the roof because I live in a block.

I thought you agreed that the cost is actually the difference between building or maintaining a tarmac road? ie. When a road needs resurfacing, the choice is to use tarmac at one cost, or solar roadways at another cost. You didn't answer when I asked you before, so I assumed you agreed - that after all, is your trademark technique for accepting you're wrong without admitting it.

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cengland0 cengland0 (1464 days ago)

I honestly don't know what you mean by living in a block. Do you mean to say that you rent insetad of own? That I would understand. That being the case, I can understand why you don't go solar because you can't even afford to buy your own house so obviously you cannot afford an upgrade to the house either.

I do not admit I'm wrong. Quite the opposite actually. I'm so certain that I'm right on this is the reason I'm still discussing it. There is no way in the world that installing those solar panels in the road would cost less than resurfacing an existing road. Before I would believe that, you will have to show me how much a single panel costs and how many it takes to do a mile of road. Do you have those numbers by any chance?

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I honestly don't know what you mean by living in a block. Do you mean to say that you rent insetad of own? That I would understand. That being the case, I can understand why you don't go solar because you can't even afford to buy your own house so obviously you cannot afford an upgrade to the house either.

I do not admit I'm wrong. Quite the opposite actually. I'm so certain that I'm right on this is the reason I'm still discussing it. There is no way in the world that installing those solar panels in the road would cost less than resurfacing an existing road. Before I would believe that, you will have to show me how much a single panel costs and how many it takes to do a mile of road. Do you have those numbers by any chance?

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (1464 days ago)

Unfortunately I don't have those numbers, but I look forward to seeing them. Of course cost savings due to scale would also have to be taken into account.

But the point is, if a road has to be resurfaced anyway, and costs $1 million a mile with tarmac, the cost to "upgrade" it by laying a solar roadway instead may (hypothetically) only cost $0.5 million per mile extra. Factor in the benefits and I could well imagine solar roadways being cheaper than tarmac in the long run, even without the revenue from solar power.

For example: Remember winter 2013/4 when the polar vortex visited? Whatever the cost to the country was/is, it would have been substantially less if roads were ice-free throughout the arctic onslaught, amounting to huge savings to businesses, and communities, and lives on America's east side. Instead you have tarmac roads that will probably need fixing when they thaw out, only to go through the same onslaught next year.

The world is changing fast and we need to change with it if we are to survive.

Living in a block means living in an apartment. It's not my roof.

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Unfortunately I don't have those numbers, but I look forward to seeing them. Of course cost savings due to scale would also have to be taken into account.

But the point is, if a road has to be resurfaced anyway, and costs $1 million a mile with tarmac, the cost to "upgrade" it by laying a solar roadway instead may (hypothetically) only cost $0.5 million per mile extra. Factor in the benefits and I could well imagine solar roadways being cheaper than tarmac in the long run, even without the revenue from solar power.

For example: Remember winter 2013/4 when the polar vortex visited? Whatever the cost to the country was/is, it would have been substantially less if roads were ice-free throughout the arctic onslaught, amounting to huge savings to businesses, and communities, and lives on America's east side. Instead you have tarmac roads that will probably need fixing when they thaw out, only to go through the same onslaught next year.

The world is changing fast and we need to change with it if we are to survive.

Living in a block means living in an apartment. It's not my roof.

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cengland0 cengland0 (1465 days ago)

"Smart roads will probably be quicker to lay than today's tarmac roads" If you seriously believe this then you're more delusional than I thought. I lost all hope for you now. You're too far gone.

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"Smart roads will probably be quicker to lay than today's tarmac roads" If you seriously believe this then you're more delusional than I thought. I lost all hope for you now. You're too far gone.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (1465 days ago)

This is how they lay railway tracks in a modern country like Germany: LINK You're not using that imagination you don't have.

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This is how they lay railway tracks in a modern country like Germany: LINK You're not using that imagination you don't have.

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cengland0 cengland0 (1466 days ago)

Not exactly the same video but definitely a deja vu. LINK

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Not exactly the same video but definitely a deja vu. LINK

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Guest: (1456 days ago)

thunderf00t made a video about this.

LINK

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thunderf00t made a video about this.

LINK

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (1455 days ago)

OK, I'll admit it - thunderf00t destroyed the feasability of Solar Roadways pretty well. I don't agree with all the points he made, but the most compelling argument that swayed me (and there were a few), is that you wouldn't see road markings on a bright day.

So I concede - cengland0, you win. Solar Roadways are a great idea that will never work in reality, at least not in the forseeable future. Let's build more solar farms instead.

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OK, I'll admit it - thunderf00t destroyed the feasability of Solar Roadways pretty well. I don't agree with all the points he made, but the most compelling argument that swayed me (and there were a few), is that you wouldn't see road markings on a bright day.

So I concede - cengland0, you win. Solar Roadways are a great idea that will never work in reality, at least not in the forseeable future. Let's build more solar farms instead.

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