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The Future of Our Roads

In the future our roads will be smarter and more useful because they be made with solar panels. At least that is what the company Solar Roadways has planned for our highways.

solar.roadway

Image source: www.cnn.com

The company has a prototype which is far different from the solar panels which we use on rooftops.

It is not only strong enough to support the load of vehicles but can also generate a billion Kilowatt hours of power which is more than any country can produce in a year.

These panels are brilliantly engineered into three layers: a road surface which is transparent enough to allow the sun’s rays to pass through to the solar cell behind it, and at the same time tough enough to withstand the vehicle loads.

Next the electronic layer, which contains the vital part, namely solar cells, apart from that this layer has other electronic devices which monitor load, illuminates LEDs and melts snow during winter.

The third and final layer is the base plate layer which forms the backbone of the prototype, its function is to distribute the power produced by the layer above it to the local power grid to which it is connected.

Federal Highway Administration gave a contract to Solar Roadways in 2009 to build its prototype which was a success. Last year FHA awarded Solar Roadways with a $750,000 contract to develop a solar parking lot which will be tested during all weather conditions to test its stability before using that on a highway.

Another interesting concept being tested is induction charging EVs as the car drives down the road.

Put simply this enables you to refuel your car as you drive down the road.

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