Forum Thread

Solar Panels for roadways

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    Schmidt Wrote:
    jamesn Wrote: Schmidt you say that ..."The words "too cheap to meter" are your words along with "big promises"." Not exactly.

    The phrase "too cheap to meter" was part of a speech given by Lewis L. Strauss on Sept 16, 1954. He was a former Navy officer who was appointed CHAIRMAN OF THE US ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION in 1953 by President Eisenhower.

    "Our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter..." That's what HE said.

    Electricity was going to be so cheap and plentiful that it would not be cost effective to have a meter installed on our houses.

    Of course, we know that there is no such thing as a free lunch. But it sure sounded good at the time, didn't it?

    I agree with you that the solar highway concept has potential. History is full of examples of potentially promising technologies, and some of them do completely transform our lives like personal computers. Some, like electricity that would be "too cheap to meter" never really happened.

    In the article I don't see much talk of the cost of these solar highways, other than the phrase ..."not cheap when done correctly"... So, before getting my hopes up, I'd want to see more specifics on the costs, and one thing we know for sure--when government gives cost estimates, they are frequently wrong. WAY WRONG.

    I would love to think that we will all be driving on solar highways, and parking on solar parking lots which generate electricity which would be "too cheap to meter", but we've heard that before, haven't we?
    Wow James...I would not want to have you as overseer of disbursements of funds for research or taking an idea to the next level. During my working career, I sometimes was involved in deciding what research projects were worthy of funding at universities. I don't recall a single one that demanded certitude in costs. We provided seed money for a year or more, and if the idea continued to show promise, we would add more funds. That's the way these ideas take traction...seed money for an idea that can grow or fail. If the idea failed, we didn't slam anyone or hold anyone accountable. It was a learning experience. Nothing ventured...nothing gained.

    I'm just thankful for all the creative, visionary people, scientists and entrepreneurs, in the world that are not scared to take a risk.
    Here is my 5 cents to this subject; "Too cheap to meter" I guess you guys are forgetting the good old USA; the counties or the government will make sure they get their tax share; they will eventually even tax the air you breathe!!
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    Schmidt I agree with most of what you say. Yes funds should be provided for research, I certainly never said or even hinted otherwise. Nor did I demand ..."certitude in costs"... as you seem to suggest. But, an initial cost estimate compared to todays conventional highways and parking lots would be a nice place to start the conversation.

    I'm just saying that sometimes it's good to curb our enthusiasm. All "pie in the sky" ideas do not come true. History is full of projects and inventions that fail and for many different reasons, we all know that is just part of the process.

    Maybe the solar highways will be a huge success, and we will all be enjoying them soon. Some people may think so, but I am less optimistic. I hope I'm wrong about that.

    ..."Nothing ventured...nothing gained."... I could not agree more.
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    There is technology in the market where by traffic on the roadbed can generate electricity. Google Strongkor, a Canadian company that has ownership of this technology.


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    SwampyJackpot --

    Thanks for the heads up on this one. I looked it up on Smart Planet:

    "The technology is based on a principle called the piezoelectric effect, in which certain materials have the ability to build up an electrical charge from having pressure and strain applied to them. Sensors made from the materials are installed a few inches beneath the road surface to absorb vehicle-generated vibrations. The harvested energy is converted into electricity and transferred to a battery on the side of the road.

    "When the technology was put to the test in 2009, the Israeli government was able to generate 2,000 watt-hours of electricity simply by implementing the system on a 10-meter stretch of highway. Italy and Ireland have also looked into incorporating the technology onto their roadways.

    "“A major source of renewable energy is right beneath our feet — or, more accurately, our tires," said Gatto. "California is the car capitol of the world. It only makes sense to convert to electricity the energy lost as cars travel over our roads.”"
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    Another good idea worthy of some seed money....
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    Another wild and crazy idea...and it just may work. Who knows?

    Once again, no details of how much this may cost, and just to be clear, I'm not demanding specifics, but it would be good to get an idea of the money projected to actually install even a prototype.

    Let's see: this may actually work 24 hours a day instead of an average of 12 hours a day, AKA when the sun is shining, so right there there's double the advantage. That's always the deal with solar: it only works half the time.

    Seed money? Maybe so. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as someone once famously said.

    Now if only they could combine the solar highway with the piezoelectric effect, and maybe they will...

    Too bad I'm not an overseer of disbursement of funds.
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    Unfortunately I didn't see this post when it was first made. I did see the below you tube video last week and I thought it was amazing. It's based on the same info as the original video posted. No offense to these great scientist..... but they could quickly put you to sleep.

    For anyone who is interested, this video makes a great case for this process to at least be started. There is no down side. Just benefits to be realized.

    It's highly suggested watching.

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlTA3rnzgU

    Solar Freakin Roadways - Title.
    As suggested, it could be tried (at first) on a small limited basis. No more shoveling of snow ! No more hitting deers while driving. So many benefits and reduced costs. I fully admit this was posted before but this video is far more interesting and perhaps newer members haven't seen this technology which I hadn't seen until my son showed me this video last week while we were on vacation.

    Damn, link doesn't connect. However, if anyone is interested in something positive that could change the world for the better, reduce your bills, eliminate dependence on foreign oil, clean up the ecology, maybe help reduce global warming... go to you tube and search for Solar Freakin Roadways
    It's certainly worth your time and attention.
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    Our new technology is awesome. I wish we could look forward (in a few years) to solar highways, widespread use of solar panels for replacement of all our outdated and dangerous nuclear plants and coal fired plants. Then if we could put wind turbines in the wide open fields and prairies, the world would become a much better place, reducing pollution and helping the environment, all at the same time.
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    I just wonder who's going to clean off the snow of the solar panels? My Tesla is dead in the water!!
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    Dutch Wrote: I just wonder who's going to clean off the snow of the solar panels? My Tesla is dead in the water!!


    Watch the video. Ice and snow will melt off of solar (Roadway and Parking lot panels). Imagine no more train cars full of that nasty crude from Canada. No more ships full of crude to spill in Alaska of the Gulf of Mexico. No more pipelines pumping this crap all over the USA. No more need of Nuclear plants. Cleaner air, water and no need to bury spent uranium from Nuke plants. And we save a fortune at the same time.
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    That really sounds like PURE UTOPIA. The promised land. The PERFECT FUTURE of MANKIND... Count Me In ----
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    Try linking to http://www.USPTO.gov/patents/process/search/

    You'll locate thousands of patents on solar power, some of which have not even hit the market and some that are in review. ............and yes there are military/DOD/government patents in the works. Oh........the sky is falling chicken-little, the military has patents............heaven forbid.
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    AmcmurryFreedom Wrote: Try linking to http://www.USPTO.gov/patents/process/search/

    You'll locate thousands of patents on solar power, some of which have not even hit the market and some that are in review. ............and yes there are military/DOD/government patents in the works. Oh........the sky is falling chicken-little, the military has patents............heaven forbid.
    Sorry you are an indoctrinated very sick person; military patents should have been civilian patents; these patents were obtained via your tax money!!
    Civilian patents are obtained via the money from the industry; so there is a huge difference. Also the task of the military is to protect this country from countries/terrorists coming from the outside of the US whom indeed did attack us. It is not their task to create patents; so again expanding their empire. It is already crazy that in this country there is an Army corps of engineers who run civil projects. Because of that you get the situation that civil projects like here in FL are controlled via politics; the Army corps will always say "yes Sir" to the governor who is corrupting this state and has the Army Corps as his own little army to ruin this state. In any European country the army's first of all have no say in patents and secondly do not carry out civil projects; their task is only a military one. No power plays and sidelines like here. If I look at the news the word "military" is just about a standard word in all the news; sorry to say the Pentagon with 999 generals runs this country. Not the voters.