Roads to solar energy


A new idea has been in the process, and it may be coming to the near future. According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, the United States is covered by approximately 4.12 million miles of roads (The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), 2016). But what else are these roads good for besides being used for traveling, they don’t harvest energy and the are usually faulted by potholes. however that may not be the case as they may be replaced with solar energy harvesting panels.  For years, energy used to be reliant on fossil fuels, which can include petroleum, gas, and coal, as well as using nuclear energy. These different  types of fuels were once the only fuels that could be used to create electrical energy. However, with these new panels, renewable energy may become more prominent in the future.

But how do these panels work though and how will they change the way that we travel? the company that created  the concept for solar roadways, Solar Roadways,  founded in 2006, introduced this idea on IndieGoGo in 2014, which immediately took off. These solar roadways are constructed from customizable panels that are integrated with a solar panels and energy cells to collect and store solar energy when needed. When the panels are used, the collect solar energy, and can pass the energy that the collect from one panel to another , ultimately being able to be collected and turned into clean electrical energy. Like a giant circuit electrical energy collected can provide energy to nearby homes and connected navigation signs and lamp posts.  These panels also have other capabilities than just being able to to collect and store solar energy. These panels are also equipped with multi colored leds which can be used to designate lanes, create cross that can display when and when to cross, and parking spaces to make a easy and customizable parking lot. Not only that, but these panels are self heating, meaning that there is now a lower chance of car accidents happening from icy roads. To increase traction and further reduce the chance of an accident, these panels are textured to improve tire traction.

With all of these bonuses of using these specialized solar panels, one would ask why are we not using these right now. Well, currently these panels are still in the testing phases as of right now, but Solar Roadways has won quite a few contracts including one from 2015 that was worth $750,000 to be used to perform better research to make these panels stronger and more durable.

Sources :

R & D – SolarRoadways. Retrieved September 16, 2016, from

Solar Roadways IndieGoGo page here

4 thoughts on “Roads to solar energy

  1. Jake Webster

    SOLAR FREAKIN’ ROADWAYS! Ha, I loved that video but in all seriousness this might be the coolest thing I’ve heard of in awhile. I hope I live to see the day when the country is covered with these things, cause I’m going on a road trip. Awesome topic, very concise blog.

  2. jgs5277

    This is a brilliant idea! I remember how some people would criticize solar fields for taking up a very large amount of space that could be used for something else, like farmland or a factory. Roads are a flat, wide, and seemingly infinitely long area that could be reengineered to serve two purposes, providing space for cars to drive on and harvesting solar energy. I have provided a link at the end of my comment that shows even more reasons why solar panel roads are superior to asphalt. Some including that they cannot get potholes, they remain ice free, and can display signs or provide light at night.

  3. orh5030

    I definitely believe in the future everything will be powered by solar energy. We will need to do this in order to save our Earth. Cars that run on solar energy will be awesome although I hope the stores at gas stations will stay in business so I can get a Red Bull in my system on long drives. For your blog try throwing some pictures in the middle of the text to make it pop. This will make your blog look more pretty. The information in the blog was very good.

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