A crowd funding project is seeking $1 million to revolutionize the world's road infrastructure with "solar roadways" - solar panels that can be driven on, melt snow, and provide customizable illumination.
Imagine a world in which you no longer have to shovel your driveway, worry about potholes, or have difficulty seeing the dividing lines on streets at night. Scott and Julie Brusaw, co-inventors of Solar Roadways, are seeking to make that a reality with their modular paving system of solar panels.
But Solar Roadways isn't just a pipe dream. The project has received two phases of funding from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration for research and development of a paving system that will pay for itself over its lifespan - in this case, the panels pay for themselves primarily through the generation of electricity, which can power homes and businesses connected via driveways and parking lots.
Prototypes have been tested to withstand the heaviest of trucks, include heating elements to remain free of snow and ice, and have customizable LEDs to make road lines and signage. Electric vehicles will even be able to charge while driving on solar roadways through "mutual induction technology."
The inventors claim that a nationwide system of Solar Roadways could produce more clean, renewable energy than a country uses as a whole and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent. They are seeking $1 million to hire staff to move into production as quickly as possible and fill key rolls, including materials engineers, civil engineers, and structural engineers.
In the future, will we be literally walking on sunshine?