You might think that roads are roads and that’s pretty much all they are. Right now, you’d probably be 100 percent correct with that assumption, but in the coming years, a new technology is going to change all that. It’s called Solar Roadways (TM). Essentially, these are LED-lighted, intelligent solar panels that can be placed on the floor and instead of roads and driven on. Of course, we wouldn’t be talking about them if we didn’t think that the technology has huge potential, and we think that it’s something that could absolutely become reality within the next few years. If this is the case, then the lighting industry is going to be in high demand to supply the LEDs, go it’s good news for both those of us in the lighting industry, and the community.
So What Are Solar Road Ways?
In essence, solar roadways are roads made of solar panels, covered in glowing, controllable LEDs that are then covered in a high-friction, reinforced glass surface. The panels are hexagonal in shape and can be slotted together with ease, and there are a range of benefits to them that makes them advantageous for everyone, not just the lighting industry.
Benefits to Solar Road Ways
- The solar panels reduce road pollution by up to 75 %, and if they were to cover every road in the country they’d generate enough electricity to power it three times over. This electricity could also be wirelessly conducted into your electric car, keeping it charged at all times.
- The LEDs generate heat that can clear the roads of snow or ice when needed, meaning there’ll never be a slippery road surface ever again, reducing road accidents.
- The LEDs can be manipulated in terms of shape and colour configurations, so different information can be visualised when necessary. Imagine a road that displays real time information about traffic jams on the road ahead, or imagine if playgrounds were covered in this surface – you could change the court/pitch from one game to another at the flick of a switch.
- The glass plates themselves are pressure sensitive, and the pressure disturbances are captured and may be used for a variety of smart purposes. Imagine if a person/animal walks onto the road ahead of you. The road will detect this and send a warning to your vehicle to warn you.
- Finally, they pay for themselves. The government will never have to worry about potholes, signs or re-laning ever again.
As you can see, there are so many benefits to solar roadways if the technology rolls out. Hopefully the global community and the lighting industry can enjoy this one together.
About the Author: Chris Horridge