PV in Asphalt = Solar Highways Are Coming

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Scott Brusaw, an electrical engineer based in Sagle, Idaho, believes that addingsolar panels on rooftops will only be able to generate up to 2 percentof the total electricity demands in the UK. Brusaw further opines thatinstalling PV cells on highways is the way forward for renewable energy.

The inventor plans to create 3.7m square panels that will slottogether and link through junction boxes lying beneath them. With a USnational average of around 4 hours of sunlight each day, each of thesepanels will be able to produce about 7.6KWh of electricity, which couldeither be fed into the grid or stored onsite to allow electric cars torecharge through roadside plug-in points.

However, since photovoltaic panels are fragile, Brusaw has to thinkof a recipe to make these panels tough enough to withstand therelentless pounding that trucks and other traffic will throw at them.Covering panels with toughened glass is one option, but it leaves theissue of tire grip. Brusaw is planning to use thousands of tiny prismsbuilt into the surface, which will allow tires to grid and will alsohelp direct sunlight into the photovoltaic cells when the sun is low.

Via: New Scientist

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