Monday, July 21, 2014

Creative Solar Thinkers

I read an interesting article in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.  Scott Brusaw, an electrical engineer in Idaho State, has come up with an intriguing idea.  Why not use solar power to do more than provide light and heat?  Why not put them on the ground and use solar energy to make parking lots, driveways, and bike trails?  No, not to make solar covers for these items, but to cover the parking lots, etc. with the solar panels.  Lay them down and drive on them just as you would do with asphalt or other roadway materials.

Brusaw's company, Solar Roadways, uses a knobby, tempered glass to create the road covering.  He has tested the panels by driving heavy equipment on them, and is convinced they can eventually be used for highways as well.  That would be something to see.  They should keep the snow and ice melted away, and, he says, that there could be lighted LED messages in the panels as well.

They have installed a prototype parking lot already for their testing and to demonstrate their durability and use.  Evidently they still must figure out how to store the energy generated.  But at least they are thinking in a creative manner, looking for something that we may all be using at some point in the future. 

Personally, I hope they are successful, and the solar panels are one day taking us from one part of the country to the other.  And when the blizzards come, and the snow is so deep on the road sides, wouldn't it be wonderful to travel a clean, brightly lit, precipitation free highway?  Can you imagine transportation without cars sliding all over the place and winding up in ditches or worse?  I think it would be a treat to see and use. 

So good luck to you, Mr. Brusaw.  May your tribe increase and prove beneficial to all of us.

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