This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
FIELD REPORT
News About Sustainability Issues and Green Products


Could Solar Roadways Pave the Way to a Sustainable Energy Economy?
The Solar Roadways crowd-sourced fundraising campaign has sparked the country’s imagination.
BY CHRISTINA BIRCHFIELD


WHEN I HEARD about the potential for solar cell roadways that light up with LEDs, all I could think about was John Travolta’s iconic disco dance years ago. But this isn’t the movies, and it isn’t 1977. A crowd-sourced fundraising effort through Indie go go has raised close to $2 million (as of this writing), or nearly 200 percent of the million dollars that the Idaho-based Solar Roadways needs to launch its effort to pave driveways, roads and parking lots with hexagonal solar-cell paving.


Company founders Scott and Julie Brusaw had already received funding in 2009 from the U.S. Federal Highways Administration to build a solar road prototype. Their prototype unit is a thick, hexagonal-shaped tempered-glass shell that allows light to hit solar panels. There are two surfaces: one is smoother and geared to pedestrians; a hardier, hexagonal-studded surface is designed to withstand up to 250,000 pounds.


The Brusaws imagine that LEDs could display traffic lines, warnings for weather, animal crossings and other cautionary driving directives—imagine pavement lights flashing “deer crossing” or “school crossing” with recommended speed limits. The LED pavement markings would also reduce maintenance, since road crews wouldn’t have to repaint lines. If one of the 110-pound panels breaks, road crews could just pop another one in place. The system includes a curbside trough, which houses cables that deliver energy and send and receive data. A separate trough collects stormwater for purification and/or treatment.


Hexagonal studs on the pavers not only provide traction but also improve solar collection. The six sides are angled at 45 degrees and function like prisms, so that no matter the sun direction, light focuses on the solar cells. The Brusaws say their demonstration roadway, located in Northern Idaho, generates 3,600 watts. They also anticipate that electric vehicles could be charged through wireless induction.


Though one of the obstacles to solar roadways is their upfront cost, the Brusaws say they would pay for themselves after 22 years. Four customers are in line to get driveways once the product is commercially available.


Learn more at www.solarroadways.com


 


 


Moth Eyeballs Inspire New Anti-Glare Coating
Researchers at the University of California-Irvine have developed a new coating that reduces glare from shiny surfaces, such as solar panels and electronic displays. A group under chemistry professor Robert Corn developed the material by etching a pattern of tiny cones, modeled on moth eyeballs, onto various nonstick surfaces and coating it with gold. The material absorbs virtually all light; it also repels water.


Source: UC Irvine
4 www.greenbuildermedia.com 07.2014

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78