Solar road panels with LED traffic illumination

Oct 7, 2009 Last month Idaho-based company Solar Roadways received a $100,000 contract from the U.S. Department of Transportation, to build their first-ever Solar Road Panel prototype.

Used for both roadways and parking lots, the Solar Road Panel features structurally-engineered photovoltaic panels that collect solar energy to power the roads’ own mechanisms, as well as nearby businesses and houses. Made of a high-performance glass, the panel’s top layer is textured to provide the same traction as asphalt in rain. It is also self-cleaning; the sun’s ultraviolet rays break down any surface dirt, which is then washed away by rain.

Solar Roadway Panel

LEDs embedded into the panels light up for the road lines and up-to-the-minute instructions (like “construction ahead”). The prototype also senses wildlife on the road and warn drivers to slow down. Heating elements would prevent snow and ice build-up, and a Ground Fault Interrupter isolates damaged panels (disrupted by storms or earthquakes, for example) to prevent them from shorting out surrounding units. The system also allows electric vehicles to recharge along roadways or in parking lots.

But all these mechanisms only use about a third of the power generated by the panels — the rest goes to the surrounding community. Each unit can potentially produce 7600 watt hours of electricity per day, based on four hours of sunlight – about a quarter of a household’s daily energy use. It would take about 880 panels to cover a two-lane highway for one mile — enough electricity to power over 200 houses. While it would take five billion 3.65 metre square panels to cover the asphalt surfaces in the U.S. alone, it could produce three times more power than the country has ever used — almost enough to power the whole world.

The first-ever Solar Roadways plant is planned for Sandpoint, Idaho, where the first batch of panels will be installed in the plant’s parking lot. The energy provided from the parking lot will put the entire plant completely off the grid.

Source: PV Review

Author:  Ray Andersson

Back to the list

Reviews forum #FORUM# is not exist

Submit Product Review

Download Review Form

LED Jobs Banner LED Directory Banner

Recent News

12/06/2011 Pleasanton Library Cuts Energy Use By 46% With Adura Technologies Wireless Lighting Controls

12/06/2011 Forepi Selects AIXTRON´s New 19x4-inch CRIUS II-XL

12/06/2011 Future Lighting Solutions Wins 2011 Best LED Service Provider Award

12/06/2011 Leica Microsystems Presented Its Latest Range of Innovative LED Illumination Modules for Microscopy

12/06/2011 Xicato Introduced 3000lm and 4000lm XLM LED Modules

12/06/2011 A.C. Lighting Inc Appointed LedGo North American Distributor

12/05/2011 Electronics Weekly Publishes Interview with Adrian Rawlinson, Marl International

12/05/2011 New ENCELIUM White Paper Examines How Addressable Dimming Controls Help Buildings Earn LEED Points

12/05/2011 i-Pix Satellite Mk II LED Fixtures Launched in September 2011 Gain Immediate Popularity

12/05/2011 Lumenpulse Unveiled Corporate Headquarters with "Evolution of Light" Event in Montreal, Canada

12/05/2011 Anolis Deliveres LED Architectural Lighting Solutions in South Africa

12/02/2011 Lighting Science Group's New 60-Watt Equivalent LED World Bulb Receives Consumer Electronics Show Best of Innovations Award

12/02/2011 Jim H. McClung Lighting Research Foundation Announced Funding of Research Projects

12/02/2011 Introduced New Explosion Proof Handheld LED

12/02/2011 SDG&E LED Holiday Light Exchange Brings Energy Savings to Balboa Park, Chula Vista and Escondido

12/01/2011 ZENARO Presents New Louver Luminaires with T5 LED Tubes

12/01/2011 Arima Changzhi Ramps Up HB LED Capacity with AIXTRON G4 MOCVD Systems

12/01/2011 CSA's State-of-the-Art LED Lighting Laboratory Opened in Atlanta

11/30/2011 Chroma-Q™ Launched Three New LED Luminaires

11/30/2011 Cree Introduced the New LMH2 LED Module Family