It was revealed this week that an Idaho startup named Solar Roadways will be testing a solar road surface on a stretch of Route 66 in Missouri.

The new modular roadway will be powered by solar energy and will include LED lights for lines and signage, reducing the need for any paint.

It can also be used to generate heat to prevent snow and ice accumulations according to the company.

It includes a number of microprocessors that allows the modular panels to talk to each other, and even to vehicles that are driving on the road surface.

Thanks to the modular capabilities, it can also be repaired easily, without needing to disrupt traffic too much.

Solar Roadways explains more :

Our goal is to modernize the infrastructure with modular, intelligent panels, while producing clean renewable energy for homes and businesses,” the company says on its website. “We’ll be able to charge electric vehicles with clean energy from the sun, first on our solar parking lots and when we have enough highway infrastructure, while driving.

The Colas panels took 5 years to develop and consist of 7 millimeter thick strips glued to the road surface. The strips use a thin film of polycrystalline silicon to make electricity from sunlight. Colas says they have been tested extensively and can withstand the weight of a 6 axle truck. They are also said to be skid resistant.

It’s quite possible that this could be the future of road surfaces, however, at the moment, it is just in a trial phase.

Via: The Verge

Source: News Tribune

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