Solar Roadways' Product:Started by husband and wife Scott and Julie Brusaw in Idaho, Solar Roadways has developed a prototype hexagonally shaped panel that has 3 layers:
Furthermore, according to Solar Roadways' conservative estimates, if these roadways were used throughout the United States, the energy problem would be fixed, as the solar panels would provide 3 times more energy than our country currently uses, as well as improving the infrastructure required to charge EVs. That being said, the company has not finalized a production cost for the individual panels, and many lifetime costs are still unclear. As such, it is hard to speculate on how exactly feasible this project will be. The Funding: Besides all the grants the company has obtained throughout the years such as the SBIR Phase II of $750,000 in 2011, this company has been pursuing an aggressive crowd-funding campaign on IndieGogo which has seen them surpass their original goal of $1,000,000. Overall, this company is definitely proving that the ideals of the socially conscious investor are alive and that people will indeed give money to a project that seems promising, even if the specifics have yet to be determined. This proves that when it comes to the environment, people will take a leap of faith on a good idea.
- Road surface layer - translucent and high-strength, it is rough enough to provide sufficient traction, yet still passes sunlight through to the solar collector cells embedded within, along with LEDs and a heating element. This layer needs to be capable of handling today's heaviest loads under the worst of conditions and to be weatherproof, to protect the electronics layer beneath it. The surface layer will also be responsible for redirecting sunlight to hit the solar panels at the optimal angle.
- Electronics layer - Contains a microprocessor board with support circuitry for sensing loads on the surface and controlling a heating element with a view to reducing or eliminating snow and ice removal as well as school and business closings due to inclement weather. The microprocessor controls lighting, communications, monitoring, etc. With a communications device every 12 feet, a solar roadway can be an intelligent highway system.
- Base plate layer - While the electronics layer collects energy from the sun, it is the base plate layer that distributes that power as well as data signals (phone, TV, internet, etc.) down the line to all homes and businesses connected to the solar roadway. It needs to be weatherproof to protect the electronics layer above it.