Solar Panel Roads – Coming Soon

Posted on: November 18th, 2016 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

solar panel roads We live in a time of constant innovation and sharing of ideas. And, nowhere is that more apparent than in alternative energy. As the world becomes more aware of our diminishing energy resources and global warming, there are a lot of new and interesting ideas out there. One of those includes the idea of solar panel roads. Yes, using roads to harness the sun for clean energy.

While, to some, this sounds a little far-fetched, the truth is that this technology is already being tested. Indeed, it has a way to go before we see our roads transformed into solar roadways, but it is an active technology that is gaining momentum as these tests come to fruition.

These solar panels are hexagonal and are already being laid over a sidewalk new in Conway, Missouri, along Route 66. While this is only a small test, there are several others taking place. One test will be opening very soon in Idaho and another in Baltimore. Also, two European agencies are testing this technology. So, solar panel roads could be here sooner than we think!

Depending on the outcome of the test, if Colorado were to adopt the technology, it could be very helpful to drivers. One of the solar panel designs incorporates heating coils so they will melt away snow and ice. So, there could be little to no reason to use plows on those roads. Also, the panels have LED features that will light up to provide drivers with lane markers and actual messages.

Some people are critical of the design as they are made of glass. Many folks fear that the glass will reduce traction and become very slippery when they are wet. Or they thought it would crack, especially in cold weather. But, in a European test on a bike path, they found that at first, people would avoid the solar panel. However, as time went by, even in wet, cold and wintery weather, people still walked or rode their bikes over them and there were no reports of slips or falls.

With this testing underway, solar panels roads could, indeed, be part of our future. But, the realities and engineering to pave our roads with solar panels would be an immense undertaking. That will be the biggest hurdle, at this point, to overcome. That being said, governments are coming around to the lifetime cost of the infrastructure when they see the potential revenues coming from the energy-generating roads.

How to Use This Information

In the meantime, we don’t have roads that are solar powered. That means no automatic snow-free roads, so slips and collisions will continue. If you find yourself in need of auto body repair, please give us a call at 303-344-2212 or schedule an estimate appointment online.

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