I published an article on PV-Buzz defending the ‘Solar-roadways’ technology which became very popular and received positive as well as negative feedback from readers. I can still remember the chatter when this technology was announced–as it went on to be considered one of the 100 Greatest Innovations of 2014.

Although it was popular with solar proponents as a work of genius, many people made cheap shots at the technology questioning this and that. But then to their utter chagrin, the creators launched an online campaign to raise funds to help continue with their work.

This campaign surpassed funding records on Indiegogo and put solar technology back in the news by making headlines on almost every popular news network–on screen, paper and online.

Now they are back–but this time to provide an update on how far they have developed the technology, and also announce that Indiegogo has invited them to relaunch their fundraising campaign using indiegogo’s new InDemand Campaign feature.

This is a new type of perpetual campaign that Indiegogo has started to offer to those who have already had a successful campaign. The creators of solar roadways decided to jump on this opportunity after so many people have written to them asking to make donations and get perks for doing so.

Solar panels that you can drive, park and walk on. They melt snow & cut greenhouse gases by 75% ?!!!

Scott and Julie are the co-inventors of Solar Roadways. Scott is an Electrical Engineer (MSEE) and Julie is a Counselor (MA LCPC LMFT). Scott has worked in the engineering field for over 25 years and his main fields of expertise are in hardware, firmware, and software.

solar roadwaysCredit: Solar Roadways

For those who are new to this, here is their description of how they started this technology and how useful it can be:

We started working on our project in 2006. It’s been quite a journey taking our concept from a dream to where we are today, poised to become product ready and make the world a safer, greener place.

The implementation of our Solar Roadways project on a grand scale would change the world as we know it in significant ways. Imagine the possibilities of a post Solar Roadways world: Your home could be all or nearly off grid thanks to your solar driveway (which you no longer have to shovel or plow if you live in the north), patio, or walkways etc.

When you leave home, you’ll be driving on Solar Roadways which are snow and ice free, pothole free, and the LEDs help you see the lines clearly and easily, especially at night when many people suffer night blindness.

Downtown Sandpoint 2Artist’s rendition of downtown Sandpoint, Idaho – Home of Solar Roadways. Graphic design by Sam Cornett.

A study in the UK showed that LED markers on road lines reduced nighttime accidents by 70-percent. If there is danger ahead from a deer in the road or a sudden accident, the intelligent road can sense this and warn you to “Slow Down”. This will save the lives of countless animals and keep people safer too.

If you go somewhere new, the intelligent road can direct you with an LED-lit arrow that you follow to your destination. If you have an EV, you can stop and charge at a solar parking lot while you work, shop or eat, using clean energy from the sun. Eventually, you’ll be able to charge while you drive via mutual induction panels. Solar Roadways will provide the infrastructure to make this possible.

What’s been happening since we closed our original campaign?

Perks! We had over 48,000 donors – an Indiegogo record for that time. That equated to over 30,000 perks to process. Most of that was done by four generations of family members while Scott continued with the engineering work.

Paperwork! Due to the Indiegogo campaign, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) was nice enough to extend our Phase II SBIR contract final report deadline. We completed a successful construction and testing contract with the FHWA at the end of the year.

solar roadways_LEDsLED lights display on panels show as snow melts. Credit: Solar Roadways

Renovation/moving – we wrapped up our original campaign in June. Soon after, we were hard at work searching for an economical and suitable building to purchase in Sandpoint, Idaho. Thanks to your generous donations, Solar Roadways was able to go from a “garage operation” to a more traditional business. Our “new” building needed work: we required both office space for engineers and shop space for manufacturing. We couldn’t find anything ideal, so we improvised and renovated an 18-year-old shop building to meet our needs.

What are the short term goals?

We have several potential public pilot projects shaping up in Sandpoint, Idaho. All are within ten minutes of our new building. The ones we can currently discuss are:

– Amtrak train station platforms
– Sandpoint Airport (parking areas and tarmac)
– Sandpoint Welcome Center parking lot
– Animal shelter parking lot
– Sandpoint downtown city sidewalks

There are additional potential projects in the works, which we are not currently at liberty to discuss. Hint – many of them are extremely exciting and we can’t wait to share when we have permission!

Our intent is to install as many of these projects as possible later this year. We’ll monitor each of the installations and correct any glitches. Since we have already monitored our own prototype parking lot for four seasons, we don’t expect many problems, but these will be public installations, so we may have a new learning curve!

After we’re convinced that our panels are commercially ready, we’ll make them available to the world – if all goes according to plan, that should take place in 2016. The first product available will be for non-critical applications such as parking lots, driveways, bike paths, sidewalks, etc.

What are the long term goals?

While we’re supplying the non-critical application product, we’ll continue working with civil engineering labs to make the product ready for roads and highways. There are still several tests to be performed before we will be ready for our biggest challenge – highways: advanced loading, sound testing, shear testing, deflective testing, etc. Once all of these tests have been passed, we should be ready for the world’s roadways!

Solar Roadways is a modular paving system of solar panels that can withstand the heaviest of trucks (250,000 pounds). These Solar Road Panels can be installed on roads, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, bike paths, playgrounds… literally any surface under the sun. They help pay for themselves primarily through the generation of electricity, which can power homes and businesses connected via driveways and parking lots.

A nationwide system could produce more clean renewable energy than a country uses as a whole. They have many other features as well, including: heating elements to stay snow/ice free, LEDs to make road lines and signage, and attached Cable Corridor to store and treat stormwater and provide a “home” for power and data cables. EVs will be able to charge with energy from the sun (instead of fossil fuels) from parking lots and driveways and after a roadway system is in place, mutual induction technology will allow for charging while driving.

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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  1. I’m not even religious and I’m praying that these guys pull this off. It is so hard these days to be the originators and not get strangled by growth, have your concept stolen, or get entangled in bureaucratic muck. It is inevitable that variations will come from elsewhere if they achieve any success, so you can only hope that they get a slice of the success that they deserve. Success really is all about economics, just like solar; except they are now where solar photovoltaics was many years ago.

    1. Hear! Hear Bruce!

    2. Some perspective for you, sir:

    3. There are no prototypes, no working models.
      There are no test results.
      There are no projects.
      There are no approvals.
      There is nothing to invest in.
      There is no overcoming the scientific shortcomings.
      There is no money left, either, I’ll bet.

      Congratulations to everyone that got snowed by these two, and to those who continue to believe in something so fundamentally flawed it is laughable.

      1. You Lad don’t understand what they are doing and continue to do. I’d even bet my lucky scotch that you work in the power or oil industry, which would kill your business models.. They just said their short term goals. I was reading on there website even NASA is on board with getting them outfitted with solar roadways. Getting something like this ready for highways takes a long time and a lot of testing. This type of innovation takes time and a ton of work. If you think you can do better I’d like to see you try!

        1. They claim loads of crap, but that’s all it is. Sand Point Idaho Public Works will confirm for you that NONE of the projects they claim are moving forward, none of them are greenlit, all of them are pending, and depend on seeing a working prototype, which they have not provided. Further, the tiles you claim are their finished product have been scrapped in favor of 4″ wide tiles. Since each panel will have to have their own microprocessor, that will increase the cost of that particular component by a factor of 36 compared to the 2′ models.

          Those tiles have never produced a watt of energy, because if they had they would have posted that result. They do not produce visible light during the day, and only light up at night because they are powers from an outside source. Same thing as their heating elements. Not enough juice to light a single normal lightbulb.

          NASA has no affiliation with them, and neither does the military, even though they also have a complete nonsense page dedicated to ‘Military Applications’.

          Sunshine being blown up asses. That’s all this is. Complete Bullshit.

          Sorry Scotty. Best they beam you up now before you throw away your money.

        2. As for me working in power or gas, I wish I did, and they would have no objections to seeing them build this, because these panels will take a mumu mental amount of energy to create. All the plastics they will need come from petrochemicals. The glass will have to be reinforced with some membrane, which will also be plastic/petro based. The refining of the glass into something similar to sapphire glass takes 100 times the energy of regular glass, and don’t think ‘tempered glass’ is a solution, because all that is is normal glass that’s been rinsed in acid to smooth the surface (there goes your traction coefficient).

          Oil, coal, hydro, nuclear – they’ll all make a fortune off of this. However, this is going to die on the drawing board long before it secures a single large scale project. Their 3 million dollar RV parking stall is as close as you’ll see to anything resembling a parking lot.

          1. People from gas and oil companies are very much against of using solar and free energy discovered by Tesla. The reason is that they afraid that if free world uses free energy and solar energy. They will loose their job. So they are constantly denying these innovations. My brother also work in petrochemical company. He is aware of free energy. But he said he want to deny it because if these innovations get popular, he will no longer in demand. No job for him. Whenever petroleum prices go high. He looks very very happy.

      2. So, the pics of their Prototype II are fake? The driveway they made is fake? The indegogo site is fake and they didn’t just take in $5282 in the last 24 hours? The reporters never saw these panels? Of course, none of the 100s of news sites that they list on their website would ever sue them for using their logos and saying they wrote articles when they didn’t (CNN, Huffpost, Newsweek, BBC, etc, etc, etc). And of course the President would never have the company researched before mentioning them in the SOTU address.

        1. Tell you what. Show me the energy output of that RV parking spot they installed. Show me the storage system that allows them to operate at night with stored energy. Show me a signed contract with any municipality or county for any projects whatsoever. Show me a materials list for what they are building, a cross cut, a glass formulation.

          You can’t. So shut up.

          1. Awful hostile, aren’t we? I don’t understand why you’re so adamant in insisting that this is fake, when obviously you have no proof that it’s fake.

            When you go on a news article just to spew nonsense in a hateful manner, you’re just making yourself look stupid.

            1. Pretty damned sure I have absolutely proved they are not legit. But, if you have some proof they have a single project lined up, with contracts signed and deposits paid, feel free to share.

              1. Well, what if it eventually works?
                Sure, everyone posting is right.
                Bad idea, great idea.
                Actually, it’s a beautiful idea, that might not work. Yet.
                This project needs minds like yours, saying what’s wrong or why it’s not possible. And your argument makes sense.
                But we as humans, are evolving and technology is improving very fast.
                So, instead on focusing on the bad, and bringing the negative thought, think on the bad and bring a positive and developing way to make it come true.
                Because we all want to live in a place where we use the sun to move the Earth forward (energy speaking). Where we don’t polute the only planet we have to live on. Where we pay less for energy, and can focus on bigger problems (hungry issues around the world, maybe, or war, for example). Don’t we?
                I mean, maybe I’m not expressing myself clearly.
                Just think again, what if you wake up one day to solar roadways. Would you think the same you posted here? That it is bullshit, doesn’t work, etc.
                You don’t have to support it economically, but don’t bring the idea down. And if it doesn’t work, you can say: “Told y’all!” But what good will it do?
                We might have different points of view, and that’s great, but we have to be united. I feel like you want this to be fake or not to succeed.
                Therefore a project like this, needs money, time, work, energy, trial, failure, improvement… but it needs our approval.
                To summarize, we are in this together.
                Keep it up and I would love to read your reply. Smart people, interesting things.

                1. One of the biggest things people need to remember as they are reading this entire feed is that the technology already exists to power the country using the sun. There is absolutely no new tech being invented here. In fact, the only patent they hold is for the hexagonal shape of the panel to be used on a road surface. You want to build these as octagons, you have an open door.

                  Again, there is no new tech, and this is the worst possible use of such a system, which is why I vehemently oppose the promotion of this concept, which craps on the traditional solar model in their promo video. I am also opposed to companies such as this one making such grandiose and obviously false claims.

                  They have no orders, because they have no working prototype, and the three million dollar RV parking stall is a joke without the humour.

                  I absolutely agree that people should be exploring solar energy concepts, that are based in reality and scientific plausibility.

      3. LOL What ostrich you are.

      4. Test results from a similar project here here.


        Overall, it’s still too expensive. But the price should come down in 5 or 10 years as solar and other components continues to become cheaper.

        1. Read the article instead of just the headlines, and here’s what you’ll find:

          The project cost $3.75million dollars.
          It created enough energy to power a single bachelor apartment with one occupant for a year.
          The glass required a laminate coating to give it traction sufficient for bicycle traffic.
          That laminate broke down almost immediately due to wear and weather conditions.
          The intended expansion of the project is not moving forward.

          How, exactly, is that MORE successful than what they had hoped for?

          That same money could have been used to completely retrofit a large apartment building with a rooftop installation that would have powered the entire building.

          And there are some fundamental differences between this project and SFR:
          1) obviously, highway traffic vs bicycle traffic, but that also means this project isn’t covered with oil, rocks, rubber, dust etc.from vehicles.
          2) these panels do not use their own energy to produce roadway markings
          3) so, these panels are kept cleaner, with more of their surface area designated to solar cells (100% vs 50% SA), giving them an efficiency far beyond what SFR could achieve.
          4) given these facts, SFR, with smaller surface area of solar cells, using their own energy, the results would be lucky to be one-quarter as efficient. Meaning, they MIGHT be able to power the living room in the bachelor suite, for the bargain price of $3.75 million.

          As for your belief that components will be cheaper in the future, that may be true for solar wafers, possibly even LEDs. But glass and metal prices climb every year. Check out the math at the end of this thread for conservative calculations on what SFR costs per square foot, and per project. It will blow your mind,

    4. but there is actual proof because they installed a solar roadway in the Netherlands when they first got the money from the state highway administration so there your proof blue

  2. The only thing I can think of, in modern times, that even comes close to the sort of impact this technology will have on the world, is the ability to put a computer in every home, and business, in the world.

    1. @Daniel: The exciting thing about this technology I believe–is that it will make it possible for malls with huge paved parking lots to use that space to generate electricity. Imagine the impact!

      1. This concept doesn’t lend itself to parking lot applications, either, since stationary vehicles would cover up the solar cells that are meant to create the energy they need to light up the parking stalls. Solar cells as a system are only as efficient as the lowest-producing cell, so once a single cell is shadowed, the system becomes useless. Shopping malls have had it in their ability for decades now to install solar cells on their roofs, where they have an unobstructed line of sight to the sun, yet how many have done this? Rooftop installations could also track the sun to maximize energy collection, where these ground installations cannot.

        Again, no actual viability exists in this proposed application.

            1. No.

              Your statement is only true across a single panel with multiple cells. For a series of panels – like this system – it does not apply.

              Basic compartmentalization.

              1. False, and here’s why.

                Even though individual panels may have their compartmentalizations, they are working in a system with a specific purpose. The first requirement of these panels is to produce line lighting in the form of LED lights, at a brightness visible through the glare and grime in the road surface and bright sunlight.

                Since there is nothing in reality immune to failure, over time cells and panels will fail. When that happens, the panels around them must pick up the slack and power the function of the under- or non-performing cell. So now you have the neighbor cells contributing a portion of their created energy to the performance of the dead panels, by lighting their functions for them.

                Even though the cells are creating energy within their sealed units at different levels, the drain of dying or dead panels has the same effect, because of the primary purpose (lane marking), rather than strict power generation.

                Let’s say you have four panels. For ease of example, let’s say that each produces 100w of energy, and each lighting panel requires 50 of those watts to perform functions as designed.

                In a scenario where only power needs to be generated, and one of those panels dies, total power generation output drops from 400w to 300w. There is no other power requirement , since these panels don’t light up.

                However, in a scenario where one panel dies and a primary function must continue, total power drops to 250w, since 50w must be kept by the system to power the dead lighting panel. Then, deduct the power required by the other three panels to function, and you are left with 100w of the 400w generated being available for another purpose, such as heating elements. Meaning, these four panels can light up a single incandescent light bulb between them, and only during the day since no energy was sent to storage.

                CONCLUSION: As a result of the one panel dying, the available energy is cut in half (200w excess vs 100w).
                That is a significant effect.

        1. This statement is totally false information and has been dealt with by proven tested facts from Scott many times over on his Facebook fan page and from his Solar Roadway website. Shading only impacts the modules in shade NOT the entire solar array. (think microinverters) Parking lots have lots of open space most any day of the week. Go do your homework dude before you open your mouth and sound foolish.

          1. Why should he do his homework when he can just sound foolish an d have you answer his question for him. People get lazy and forget they can do research. Or some just don’t know how to research. Thanks for the reply though. P.s I love solar roadways!

          2. Scott hasn’t proven anything, much less that the panels can be seen in the day time. NOT ONE of the photos of these disco panels shows the brightness of the LEDS in the day time. They are all taken at night, and the patterns of the panels do not lend themselves to the artists concept pictures with full panel saturation, looking more like an LCD TV than the units in the photos.

            I challenge Scott Brusaw to provide the following videos to silence his critics:

            1) a demonstration of these panels providing any amount of excess energy under normal conditions, and under icy conditions using the heating elements they have promised, for a full 24 hour cycle to see how much extra energy needs to be inserted into the system to make it function as designed.

            2) a demonstration of these panels holding up to a b-train tractor trailer running over it at highway speed and hard-braking on their surface to illustrate the durability of the panels and the traction on that surface compared to asphalt in wet and dry conditions.

            Until they have those videos up on YouTube.com, they can expect a continuing barrage of questions regarding the viability of these panels and their continued fleecing of investors. Since neither will ever happen, it stands to reason that it’s time to turn off the funding for this laughable, ridiculous concept.

            If you invested money in this con, you have my sympathy.

          3. @Robert Grothe. Shove this math up your post!

            The Brusaws claim that these panels will ‘pay themselves off’, but give no indication as to what those costs will be. What we do know is that solar cells in preferred installations have a life span of five to eight years, so these panels will have a very constrained window for that investment to be recouped.

            I did a little math to illustrate the costs you’re looking at, JUST FOR THE PANELS. This would not include the preparation or installation of the bed it must sit on, labor, or any other expenses.

            A four lane highway is a minimum of 62 feet wide, at 12 feet per lane, plus ten feet on the outside shoulder and four feet on the inside shoulder. A mile is 5280 feet long, giving one mile of highway a minimum of 327,360 sq ft. These panels, assuming they are using the same design as their ‘parking lot’, are approximately 4 sq ft, and probably a little less given their hexagonal shape. So, to cover one mile of highway, you will need minimum 81,840 tiles. Per mile.

            Each of these tiles will require, as I understand it:

            A fitted form of custom glass. In my neck of the woods, 1/4″ tempered glass runs about $25 for a 4 sq ft section. These panels are 2.5″ thick, I believe, or 10x thicker. Cost per panel by weight is therefore approx $250, minimum, without any special formulation. This equates to $20,460,000. For glass. Per mile.

            An enclosure, rugged enough to withstand highway traffic and vehicles with GVWs at the high extreme. Titanium, or carbon fibre, most likely. Titanium being as abundant as it is, let’s use that. According to onlinemetals.com, a single sheet of 1/4″ titanium measuring 2’x2′ costs $1022.26 as of today. Figure two sheets per panel, since it needs to have sides, that’s approximately $2040 per panel. This equates to $167,323,516.80. For enclosures. Per mile.

            Each of these units uses upwards of 150 LEDs as their display method. On EBay.com, 20 x T10 Car White 8 LED 194 168 SMD W5W bulbs cost $1.79. Call it $2 including shipping. Each panel will require 8 boxes, for a cost of $16. This equates to $1,309,440. For bulbs. Per mile.

            Each unit will require solar cells to cover as much of the surface as possible, and by most calculations won’t exceed more than 50% of the surface area. So, each needs approx 2 sq ft of cells. Since the Brusaws claim their panels generate in excess of 32w, looking towards 50w, I priced out the 40w panels. Each panel costs $82.34. That equates to $6,738,705.60. For solar panels. Per mile.

            Each of these will require their own circuit boards, custom made, containing control circuits and processors. I have never priced out such things before, but will assign a value at approx $100 per board, which is likely very generous. Assuming that figure is workable, this equates to $8,184,000. For circuit boards. Per mile. Just to be really conservative, we will include the 82,000 inter connecting wiring harnesses with this figure.

            Each of these panels will need to be secured to what appears to be a cement bed using masonry bolts. Assuming the panels are 6″ deep and the bolts must be 6″ into the base, they would be a foot long. On Amazon.com, Hillman Group 811503 galvanized 12″ hex lag screws are $71.17 for 25. Call it $3 per bolt, each panel requiring at least four. That equates to $982,080. For securing posts. Per mile.

            Assuming we haven’t overlooked any major components (heating elements, perhaps?), our total comes to:
            $204,997,742.40. For tiles. Per mile.
            $2504.86 per square foot
            $109,111,701.60 per acre.

            So, if your local mall is looking at installing a solar parking lot measuring 10 acres, they’re looking at a cool Billion Dollars.

            The grandiose plan according to their video is to install this system on the 25,000 square miles of road surfaces in the USA. 640 acres per square mile, times 25,000 is 16 million acres, equating to $1,745,787,225,600,000. Approximately TWO QUADRILLION DOLLARS, if we include sales tax on the items required.

            Remember, we have not included the costs of labor, bed preparations, bed materials, conduits, channels, water treatment facilities, or anything else. Just the panels.

            You want to know why this concept doesn’t work, even if you COULD drive on glass? There you go. If you think you’re recovering those costs, you’re insane.

            And if any of you is planning on responding to these equations by saying ‘they can save money by buying in bulk’, you need to be shot for the sake of the species. When was the last time government spent LESS to do something?

        2. @Blue,
          Your comment is rather short sighted.

          Granted, once a car is parked on a Cell, it can no longer collect solar energy. But to say they are useless?!

          1. The LED component alone will minimize countless idle time for cars searching for spots. (which also means in and out faster)
          2. The parking SPOT is one thing but 50% of a parking lot is just roadway.
          3. There are very few Malls these days that even come close to maxing out their parking lots.
          4a. LED parking – automated parking spot alignment.
          Software could find the maximum design for most solar absorption on sunny days.
          4b. LED parking – automated parking spot alignment.
          again, can organize for faster parking lots, (Less emissions)

          that said, 60-70% of a parking lot can be collecting through the week.

          I’m not knocking the roof installations We get them here too. but this is progress with benefits.

          1. @Page. The object of installing such expensive systems would be to provide excess power to surrounding businesses, correct? The goal is not simply to save on paint costs for parking stalls.

            Let’s say you have a choice between installing 1000 panels on a roof, vs 1000 panels on the ground. The 1000 panels on the roof, as pure generating panels, use their entire surface area to create electricity, and produce 50w per. Total power generation maxes out at 50kw.

            The 1000 panels on the ground, lighting the parking stalls, have a portion of their surface dedicated to the installations of LEDs, and judging from the prototypes viewed in the videos, about half of the surface area is dedicated to solar cells, and the other half dedicated to the LED patterns. It is the black vs the green area on the tops of the panels.

            So, that reduces the total power being created by half. Then, as you mention, you believe half of a parking lot area is covered by parking stalls, so that drops the power in half again. Shadows from trees, buildings, etc would drop this number further. And I personally think parking lots are more along the lines of 2/3rds stalls. (Road, row, row, repeat).

            Then, the panels themselves USE power to light the LEDs and run the circuit boards and control systems.

            So, half the panels surface areas don’t create energy.
            Half of the panels are shaded.
            And most of the energy created is used by the panels.

            At best, the same surface area will produce 1/5th the amount of useable power as a rooftop installation, assuming a ground mounted installation is as efficient as a rooftop installation, which it is not.

            Long winded, but hopefully this sheds light on the topic.

  3. Sir, you are way ahead of your time. It is quite possible that your idea will be opposed and probably scrapped by the same guys who shut down and burn Nikola Tesla’s lab in New York ,because he offered the world unlimited free wireless electricity for life. When he demonstrated invention of remote control device they brought doctor to proclaim him insane. J.P.Morgan cut his finances the moment Tesla explained to him that he wants to do this for humanity to prosper, he did not want nobody to profit from his inventions. Take a book MASTER OF LIGHTNING and read it. You are having the same problems that Nikola Tesla had it at the turn of last century. If you solve the problem how to control and sell the solar power for profit to the masses than I would say your idea will be accepted and solar revolution will take place. Since that is not possible you are doomed to fail on global scale. Imagine society now days if we had unlimited energy and communication free for life for the past 100 years. It didn’t happened.You are offering the same in 2015 it will not happened for another thousand years due to fact can not be controlled for making the profit. What a shame isn’t it? You should take your inventions and go to China,,,If anybody on the face of this planet even try to experiment your way of making solar power that will be China since they will rule the world in the future.

    1. @Stephen: You have the same perspective a lot of our colleagues in the research community have–which is create, patent and sell to the highest bidder who then shelves it somewhere. The ideal thing about solar roadways and the creators is that they went to the media with their ideas which is a good move. Today we can and have the duty to continue supporting them with articles like these so that what you’ve described about Nicolas Tesla never happens.

    2. Stephen, remember these folks are from Idaho. Folks from this area don’t like interference and others trying to take control of their dreams and ideas. And since they went to crowd funding, 48,000 donators agreed with them to the tune of $2.2 million dollars. That is money freely given, even tho’ many of us would like to have a stake in this company/idea…even a non-voting one. Take a close look at Scott Brusaw. I wouldn’t trifle with stealing ideas from him (or Julie). My money is on the Brusaws (and their new team)riding this wave all the way…around the world.

  4. As a student I am really interested in this idea. There will be a lot of hurdles in getting this concept into full flow, but its not impossible. Corporate companies like Walmart and malls can convert their parking lots into a solar farm and maybe even earn money by sending power back to their grids. Looking forward to seeing this technology on East Coast! Keep us posted.

    1. @Rathod: Interesting isn’t it?

    2. I’d watch some of the critics on YouTube (an hour of your time for two) before buying all or even most of the promises made by the SFP team. Then do some of the elbow work (calculations) yourself to create an educated opinion on which to make educated decisions. I think too many bought into that funny, well-produced videomercial and donated before knowing if it really was feasible. I have serious doubts and reservations now that I did not right away.

      1. All those YouTube complaints are answered on their website.

        1. They simply have not. Melting snow instead of moving it is the biggie, but EROEI in general is not adequately addressed. I predict we won’t see 5 miles of these roads in the next 5 years.

          1. All they’ve managed to produce since 2009 with three million dollars is a parking stall for an RV, that doesn’t produce visible light during the day. You won’t a mile of this in the next century.

      2. I absolutely agree that people should be skeptical of new technology, and do research. I’ve watched the critical Youtube videos, and so far, I still think solarroadways is viable. There are serious open questions: what will it cost to manufacture a hex block? What will its real world meantime to failure be? What will maintenance costs be compared to traditional roads? But understand that solar roads provide many benefits that traditional roads don’t, so you need to calculate the total cost benefit. I continue to do independent research on this issue, and monitor their progress (and solaroad in Europe). At this point it’s wait and see.

        1. Here’s something else to consider (although you may have already). How do you build over uneven terrain using uniform blocks? Going up even the slightest of hills, where there are gaps between the devices due to the angles at play, you would be left with a very uneven surface. It’s like the Big Bang Theory joke where the punchline is I have a theory, but It only works with a spherical chicken in a vacuum. In effect, what you’re trying to do is build roads out of Lego pieces. Even the nodules in the glass for traction are similar to the tops of those blocks.

          In theory, these will connect properly on a perfectly flat surface, where the gap between edges is reduced as much as possible.

          The problem is, there are no flat roadways, nor are there even flat parking lots. Even on a level site, roads must, by design, be humped in the middle to drain rainwater to the sides so that vehicles don’t hydroplane on the water. Also, if you look at winding highways, especially those with higher speed limits, you will see that the engineering on the corners is banked. An extreme example of this would be corners on a NASCAR track. To a much lesser degree, all highways use this principle, to keep cars from flying into the ditch on every turn at highway speeds.

          Conceptually, the core of this idea is to be able to redo existing roadways with uniform hexagonal panels. So do you fill the gaps with mastick, as they did with their parking lot, or do you find some other filler between tiles to account for the cantilevers required? As soon as ANYTHING is required between the tiles, driving on these roadways will feel like you’re riding a skateboard down a cement sidewalk with spacers. Do-DO, do-DO. Uneven metal edges will prematurely wear out your tires, the constant vibration in the car will affect your suspension and therefore your steering. And since the nodules in the glass are raised from the surface, your tires are not contacting 100% of the road at any given time to begin with, giving you perhaps half the traction you should have.

  5. I wonder if I will miss the smell of rain on asphalt…

    1. @Luc: Believe us when we say, you will not!

    2. Never really liked the smell of tar anyways….

  6. you go with your dream and keep it up because it is the future. It was funny because my daughter and I were talking about why this can’t b done, I have worked in the asphalt field for over 15 years, and there is no study done on the fumes and how they effect us workers. We were just sitting around saying why can’t they make solar roads, because the roads up here in Canada are so dangerous during the winter months, that they should make solar roads or mix some kind of solar mix for the top surface to keep the roads from ice and snow,

    1. @Brenda: There you go with the awesome thoughts–Kudos for the positive thinking. Solar Roadways can benefit from every support.

  7. Love the idea – especially here in the north. Driving through 6 – 12 inches of snow is always a challenge, but ice is far worse. One suggestion (if you have not already thought of it) – make sure the roads can deal with frost heaves and permafrost. Good luck!

    1. @Laurie: That’s a good point to note — will pass on the tip!

      1. Look through the solarroadways(dot)com website FAQ, and they talk about frost heave. Given that they plan to heat the roads, you shouldn’t have frost heave. I’d like to hear more about that, since I thought the heating would only be used to melt snow/ice (on demand), while preventing frost heave is about keeping water under the surface from freezing.

        1. Heaving would happen in from the edge, or underneath, so it would be something to consider.

          But roadways already have to deal with this problem, and don’t do well with it, so how this system would be worse is, well, bonkers.

    2. These panels will never create enough energy to melt snow and ice in significant amounts, meaning they will require outside energy to keep clear in the winter. Electronics in an enclosed, sealed space react poorly to heat, which is why your computer has a fan to exhaust heat. And your concern about frost heaves should also extend downwards, into the supporting substructure these panels require, which by the looks of things is a 6″ thick layer of cement underneath and running alongside the string of panels. As soon as frozen water and heated elements are working against each other you will have expansion/contraction issues, which is exactly what forms frost heaves. The water will find its way into every nook and cranny, expand when it freezes, and corrupt the surface. There’s no avoiding it. So, what will happen to your tires when they hit one of these panels when it pops out of its slot? How many people are going to be involved in that accident?

      1. They react poorly to temperatures that are above what melts water.

        1. It takes the same amount of energy to turn one pound of ice into liquid water as it does to takes liquid water at 1c and take it to 70c. Radiant heat is less efficient than direct contact heat, so expect the guts to be heated well beyond safe limits,

          1. @Blue
            …how is that even relevant? heated driveways and parking lots are already a thing.

            the question at hand is, is it more efficient to spend the electrical to heat them or pay for snow removal.

            cost for snowplows, salt or sand, brine employees (working and not working) which costs less?

            that’s a relevant question.

            I find it rather odd that you’d expend your energy here negatively. Can i assume this is something that you want to see happen but just don’t think it’s there yet? you want more proof? or do you have something better in mind?
            Or are you afraid of this working… you have some type connection here? like an apposing company, or are you a snowplow driver yourself?

            1. The issue I have with this concept is this: there are absolutely no viable technologies being created here, and they keep sucking money out of sheeple.

              The tiles can’t be used to build roads,
              The substructure required by them is ridiculous.
              The glass surfaces are not suitable for driving on.
              The energy they create is used by the panels.
              The claims made on their website are false.
              Those claims are easily disproven.
              Sites like this create false impressions of viability.

              The concept of placing sensitive electronics underneath thousands/millions of commuter tires (one of the most punishing environments imaginable) is so fundamentally flawed and scientifically impossible to correct, that the USA government and every IndieGogo investor should have grounds for recouping their investment, by way of class action if necessary.

              They’ve practically stolen money from the masses, and not produced a single result.

      2. @Blue
        I agree with you here. I can’t see this coming to Canada anytime soon. Not till there is a way to water proof each division.

        Like you say water will find a way. And Heat in the summer will melt and move much too.

        But here’s another thing, you’re worried about heat from them trying to melt the snow… i have a hard time thinking that the heating method they go with will get any hotter than a hot sunny day.

        1. Either the Units will be sealed, where the heat will continue to build as water is kept out, or it will be vented and allow water in. Neither scenario works well for electronics. Water will certainly run in between and under the units, and when it freezes it will pop these panels out. Not even solid granite is immune to the effects of frost expansion, so the porous cement beds these things sit on will not fare well.

          As for the amount of heat being generated, think of what it would take for a heating pad on your driveway to melt through snow when it’s -20c outside. At that temp you can throw boiling water in the air and its snow before it hits the ground, so the water refreezes almost instantly. Remember, if these panels heating element DOES fail, there would be no back up plan. You couldn’t throw down salt or sand, or shovel them, or snowplow them. Look at what’s happening back east right now. You think these panels can come even close to keeping up with that type of snow load? Not a chance.

          1. And yet my solar panels are connected and work in all kinds of weather. I wonder why the panels don’t just “pop out”.

            1. Are your panels driven over? By tractor trailers? Do they need to light up to provide safety lines for traffic? Does your roof suffer from frost heaves?

              Then your statement isn’t at all relevant, is it?

    3. In order to heat a road and prevent snow/ice buildup as well as frost heaving, you’re gonna need something like a rather large nuclear reactor to power the roads for each and every medium to large sized city. The amount of energy to do what you and SFR is proposing is mind boggling and solar energy won’t even provide a fraction of it.

  8. My son is 11 yo and fascinated by everything solar. I showed him the write up on your product last year and he was so excited. He plans on installing it in our driveway by he time he is old enough to drive. I personally think it is a wonderful idea and hope to be able to see some applications in and around Boise in the near future. If not, we’ll be in line for driveway installation.

    1. @Rebecca: Way to go! Your son’s enthusiasm for solar is refreshing. Most kids his age think of video games and the sort. Let us know how we at PV Buzz can help him nourish his “Solar hobby” when he is old enough.

  9. How can one “invest” in this technology? And on the retail side, my son is looking into buying a tract of land (7 acres) for a parking business. I’m convinced that Solar Roadways is the way to go….bar none! Thanks

    1. @Bill: Donations are always welcome.

    2. They’ll tell you how to donate, but not how to invest. That’s an indicator of their true intentions right there.

      Tell your son if he wants to create a parking lot with solar capabilities to elevate the panels and park the cars underneath them. Once the parked cars block the sunlight to the cells underneath them, the purpose of the installation is negated. By raising the panels into parkade shades, you increase the efficiency of the photovoltaics, and no longer need to concern yourself with parking lines, or the expensive control systems that run them. Even better, all of the materials required to install this type of system are currently available.

      And if you’re asking yourself, if they exist already, why don’t people do that, that’s a very good question to ask and contemplate.

      1. Why wouldn’t you need lines, to deal with wind, vertical load and cantilever load?

        Yes, having overhead solar panels is better, cheaper for the panels, and you get shade. But you also then have to build structure which takes up space, requires engineering, and you still need to choose some sort of paving system underneath.

        It’s not like one is automatically better. They’re just different.

        1. See? Your response is “overhead solar panels are better”. That’s the end of the debate, right there. As for the costs of elevating them, they are miniscule compared to the cost of retrofitting roadways with reinforced concrete beds for these panels to bolt to, and we don’t have to choose paving of some sort because the roads already exist.

          Save massive solar projects for the farms, where their panels can enjoy line of sight to their energy source, track it across the sky, and not have to worry about being destroyed in any number of ways by traffic. The energy they produce in such a condensed setting can be inverted into useable energy without suffering a great deal of loss. And, we don’t need them light up at all.

          The least likely place for these to be, is the best place for them to receive sunlight to process – on a highway. In the artists illustrations, there is an idyllic setting of these panels running down a tree-lined street in suburbia. The problem there? SHADOWS! So, they would perform best on the open highway, but that’s where the most damaging conditions are. Everything about their proposals are impossible catch-22s. And I find it humorous as well as disturbing how many people they have managed to fleece.

      2. Solar over parking spaces is already here and very much commercially viable. They are called Solarports and are all over CA (and elsewhere). We have built them at apartments, businesses, the CA State Fair, and many other locations as have many other solar contractors. You want your solar above the parking spots, on rooftops, and along side roadways as sound barriers. All make more sense and are already here.

  10. Great to see Solar Roadways lighting the way!!

  11. I am a teacher of fifth graders and we have been following you all this school year. My students are very excited to think that this invention may become a possibility. We are waiting to hear that this is a reality for the world!!!

    1. @Lisa: You have awesome students!

  12. First off, let me say that I wholeheartedly support this idea. The potential it has is almost incalculable! That being said, there are a couple real-world issues I can think of that would need to be solved to make this a complete success. The first one is how to keep the panels clean- as dust and dirt are blown onto the road by the wind, or tracked onto it by cars, less sunlight will reach the panels and therefore less electricity would be produced. The second concerns the LEDs- in my experience, at least, LEDs can’t be seen with direct sunlight shining on them. Please understand- I’m certain there are solutions out there, I’m just wondering how the engineers behind this are doing at solving them. I really do want this project to succeed! I truly believe that there is no problem that can’t be solved with enough time and effort. Keep up the great work!

    1. @Aaron Dart

      I’ve been following this project since I stumbled upon the Indiegogo campaign last June, and I’m excited as heck too to see all the progress that’s been made since!

      You’ll want to check out the FAQ page on their site for some very useful info that addresses your concerns…

    2. I’m not sure why people think that LED’s can’t be seen in daylight? LED’s have become very common in billboards, business signs and directional signals in cars. Not only can you see them during the day but they are brighter and stand out more.

      1. The energy expenditure of such signs is enormous, and would never be able to be powered by solar energy alone.

        Again, do a little reading on the topic since you seem to have no basic understanding of the topics at hand.

        1. Why did you litter the thread with your negative comments? What is the point?

          And insults, too, I see, as if no one else had ever tackled the idea of LED lights.

          A tail-lamp of a car that’s LED uses less than 20 watts to provide 1800 lumen of a single color; a moderate 2′ solar panel is about 50 watts and rising.

          Are you saying you can’t see people’s tail-lights? That the entire road must be illuminated? What?

          That we shouldn’t ever dream or try?

          1. Here’s the point. As an investor advocate, I will be more than happy to bring light to the masses who, like you, are incapable of seeing through the shinola to see the shit underneath it. This company keeps sucking up government money and investors cash from sites like IndieGogo for a pipe dream that is impossible, and can be easily disproven on every claim.

            It’s a turd, no matter how they polish it. And if you want to see how completely delusional they are, check out the Military Applications page on their website.

            As if they aren’t laughing their way to the bank right now!

          2. A car’s LED tail lamps are actually pointed at the freaking eyes of the other drivers. They’re also shaded from the sun and often use small lenses to concentrate the light. The LEDs in SFR are recessed and pointed skywards. No recessed light source can be seen from shallow angles.

  13. I would like to agree with everyone else that this is an amazing idea and I support it completely. You guys are great for taking a relatively simple idea and really seeing it all the way through. And I, too, have my own concerns about the project that maybe some light could be shed on; like, maintenance of the panels and LEDs. Also, I’m curious as to what kind of protective measures are in place for the projects. I know you mentioned it being weight tested, but what about objects falling off vehicles and possibly damaging the system?

    1. Along this point… there would also be vehicle accidents (including rollovers) that would potential damage the system. I believe that panel replacement would be fairly simple, but would any of this affect the entire area around a damaged set of panels? Like, would the entire freeway around a major accident cause the system to fail for miles around?

    2. Here’s another scenario: The largest transport trucks often retread bald tires, and these retreads come off those vehicles at speeds great enough to fly straight through windshields. Before that happens, they thrash the asphalt for miles as the loose end slaps the surface with vicious force. One retread could take out miles of glass panels before it finally flew off.

      1. Another post positing basically nothing.

        You do know that if your vehicle damages the road, the state (well at least the western ones) will charge you for the damages?

        It’s true, trailers have been dragged for miles, starting huge fires. This isn’t an argument against a harder surface for urban roads.

        1. So, you’re one of those who believe glass is stronger than asphalt? Take your smart phone out of its case and rub the glass on the road outside your house. If the damage to the glass isn’t convincing enough, hold it straight out from your body and drop it to see which one breaks – the glass or the road.

          Asphalt does not have to maintain a scratch-free, optically-clear surface to function as designed. These panels, however, do. And, if the above scenario with the flying retread did occur, the roadway would be unusable until all the panels and underlying substructure and wiring was replaced. On asphalt, even if the road is burnt by fire or dented by land slides it is still usable once it is cleared.

          What’s more, asphalt is almost entirely recyclable, and there are road paving machines that can tear up the road, process it, and lay it back down in brand new condition in a matter of hours.once the circuit boards are destroyed, the only thing that you will be able to recycle will be the glass. The rest of it will end up in a land fill.

          1. They use specially treated tempered glass, specifically created for heavy impact and they have tested it with heavy vehicles…comparing that glass to cell phone screens is like comparing tissue to corrugated cardboard and saying they are both paper products so they have the same load bearing capacity…when you say things like that, I am inclined to think you don’t care about rational debate- you care about your perspective, which you have decided has no room for error, and that you can pass judgement for everyone else..you bring up some good points, and I know you say you are just trying to protect people, but you don’t even have any shred of even begrudging respect for what they have managed to build thus far…there was a day when this WOULD have been impossible, but come on, how many times must history prove that we really don’t know what we can achieve ( like flying, or putting a man on the moon-both of which were impossible-until they weren’t))or what we can discover about the world that changes all the rules- much less create ourselves and weave into the fabric of our world, where there is a will, there is a way

            1. Only 10 years ago, people said I was stupid for putting up solar panels. Their comments were always around money. You can’t eat money. Today, solar is less expensive than coal (I think it was 10 years ago, except coal subsidies). There are issues, but it seems they can be overcome.

            2. Your ‘input’ just demonstrates how little you understand about the topic at hand. Tempered glass isn’t some miracle glass formulation. It is regular glass that is washed in acid to remove surface imperfections. That is ALL it is, and when it shatters it explodes.

  14. i would thing since the curiosity rover was intended to work for three months and it is still going strong ten years later by solar power,considering all the red dust covering the panels…still pumping out electricity…check out the pictures of the rover you can see all the dust all over it and it still keeps charging those batteries…put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    1. How many vehicles run over the Mars Rover on a daily basis?

      Here’s your pipe back.

      1. And now you start in with the drug insults.

        Do you have anything else to do?

        1. Moron. His last statement was stick it in your pipe. So, stick it in yours.

          1. I’m with you Blue…what a complete load of bollocks this idea is. Maintain the rage.

  15. Updated:

    Solar roadways

    Anybody who believes this is a feasible concept has NO business writing about scientific concepts, as they obviously have no scientific background. There are hundreds of reasons why these solar-powered disco dance floor panels are unsuitable for a driving surface.

    Just for starters:

    1) Glass as a driving surface provides no traction at high speed or in wet conditions. The nodules they add to the surface to gain traction would result in a tremendous humming and vibration throughout any vehicle. They also provide an uneven thickness of glass between the Sun’s rays and the solar cells at the core of this concept.

    2) As vehicles travel on these panels, assuming the panels don’t collapse under the strain of the weight, velocity and braking of the vehicles, the glass will become etched and cause glass particles to become airborne, which has tremendous health concerns.

    3) LEDs require shade to be visible in bright sunlight, rendering the lanes, center line and warning systems of this concept moot. Drivers will never see these LEDS in sunlight, and they won’t function at night without storage systems.

    4) The DC current these panels are supposed to generate cannot be transmitted over distance, meaning that the panels will only power themselves, resulting in no energy being created for insertion into any other system.

    5) Stationary solar panels, sitting flat on the ground, have far less efficiency than those that follow the Sun throughout the day. Those panels, if perfectly clean, and trained on the Sun’s path, have a peak efficiency of 15%. This means that the Sun is six times more efficient at melting ice and snow than solar panels that are not covered by ice and snow, dust, rubber and oil.

    6) Solar cells have a relatively short lifespan, and require constant replacing. A complete system replacement every five years is the absolute BEST you could pray for.

    7) Solar cells when linked are only as efficient as the lowest-producing cell. Weakest link. Meaning that if there are 100 cells in the system, and one of them is shadowed, or covered in dirt, the entire string loses efficiency.

    8) According to their initial press releases, the cost of exploring the possibility of maybe engineering a glass through a Univeristy science department would run tens of millions of dollars, because such a glass does not presently exist. So far, of those tens of millions of dollars they need, they have two. If successful (which is extremely unlikely), the creation of this glass on a production scale would require huge petrochemical stockpiles. Presently the strongest glass available on the market in gorilla glass. Anyone who has replaced a smart phone screen will tell you that a) it is very expensive and b) it BREAKS!

    8a) For those who think that bulletproof glass or tempered glass is the solution, do a little research. You will find that there is no such thing as bulletproof glass, and the only difference between normal glass and tempered glass is an acid bath that removes surface imperfections. The same imperfections that will be immediately recreated by dirt and tires being ground in to the top surface. Any glass cutter will tell you it takes only the slightest etching in glass to cause a fracture point.

    9) The two million dollars raised during their fundraising campaign did nothing more than turn this concept into a swag shop. They have spent all their time since then sending out perks, tshirts, souvenirs, etc. You can see from their videos that the LEDs are only visible at night.

    10) In short, no amount of engineering will create a viable way to turn highways into solar power plants. No amount of research will create a low cost, feasible, glass, driving surface available on a commercial scale. No amount of money will change these realities. Stop financing this pipe dream.

    1. I feel like adding some black to you blue…if you are so negative all the time, keep it to yourself.

      1. Knock yourself out, Black. And while you’re at it, try and refute any of the above points to demonstrate how clever you are.

        1. Since you spend all your time replying to comments to be a troll, one wonders why you are here.

          1. And you’re here why?

    2. All your complaints are answered on their website.

      1. Saving future investors from getting conned out of their money is a noble enough effort for the time being.

        Now, if you’d like to try refuting any of the above points, you’re more than welcome to try and prove me wrong.

        1. I noticed you still didn’t bother to read the answers.

          1. Actually, I did. Months ago. And they still don’t have any more credibility than they did back then. Very simple,experiments and calculations disprove any claims of viability with this concept.

            If everyone is so for solar energy, why doesn’t everyone have panels on their roof? If glass is a suitable driving surface, why aren’t roads made out of them? Because they’re not, and it it isn’t. Have you seen the surface of these things in the video? Uneven surfaces resembling bubble wrap or rubber mats. And they want to put these on bike paths and and basketball courts, as well as on major highways? They will trash your tires and suspension on the roads, and twist your ankles on the playground. Plus, as soon as there is a micrometer of difference in the thickness of glass you create a fracture point. They try to impress the viewers of their video by driving a very light garden tractor over their prototypes very slowly. Not a real life application. Try running over them with a fully loaded B train and hammer the brakes to see what would happen. My prediction is they will no longer have a prototype, that glass and electronic components will be strewn far and wide, and the tires on the rig will be shredded. If they would like to prove me wrong, conduct the experiment and post the video here.

    3. Wow, you obviously have a lot of free time on your hands, imagine what you might accomplish if you put that time towards something useful.

      1. You lot need a wake up call, since your heads are so far in the clouds. Go ahead and invest your money. It will be the last time you see it.

        1. …And more insults at those who attempt to dream.

      2. Saving future investors from getting conned out of their money is a noble enough effort for the time being.

        Now, if you’d like to try refuting any of the above points, you’re more than welcome to try and prove me wrong.

        1. Prove what wrong exactly? It’s not like you’ve actually proven anything yourself. Good news is Solar Roadways will prove itself right or wrong before too long.

          1. And when it’s proven to be a scam, I hope the donators through indiegogo are able to get their money back. IndieGogo will get one hell of a black eye out of this when it falls apart.

            1. Are you invested in asphalt companies or something?

              Why are you so invested in it never being attempted?

          2. And when it’s proven to be a scam, I hope the donators through indiegogo are able to get their money back. IndieGogo will get one hell of a black eye out of this when it falls apart otherwise.

            1. Yeah I wouldn’t worry too much about people who gave money on IndieGogo, from the sheer amount of people who gave divided by what they raised it comes down to a pretty low $$ per person. Most people probably donated less than they spend on fast food or Starbucks in a week or even a day for some.

              1. Yep, the majority are at the low end. But obviously some people got bilked out of larger sums, and they should get their money back.

    4. Most new technology undergoes evolution, shedding what doesn’t work well for what does, becoming more useful and less expensive over time. It’s the dreamers who dare to put themselves and their ideas out there that keep the human race from stagnation. Because humans are stubborn, it’s the loud disseneters who keep us from giving up the dream that leads to “better”. Computers, LEDs, cell phones, solar anything, were all just dreams at some point. Thank you, Blue, for reminding me why we need people like you. Now, please own up to the reason you’re so obviously angry (else, why so rude?) Did you have the idea too, but no funding? Perhaps a competitive idea not going so well? Or, maybe your compulsion is just about providing the reasons why NOT, rather than providing your comments as suggestions for improvement? No matter your reasons, we hear you, yet still disagree. You’re welcome to your opinions. But your attempts to denigrate other opinions prove what’s important to you.

      1. What’s important is that these people are not allowed to con additonal people out of their investment funds. There is no improving this idea, because it is completely unviable. And since there are already technologies in place to create viable solar farms and personal solar devices, there is nothing to be gained by dumping more money at Scott Brusaws feet.

    5. I can’t even get through your comments. You lie. Out and out. Solar panels have a life of 25 years, not 5. My State of Arizona produces 8M MWhs. They don’t transmit that electric to houses and businesses? Of course they do. 15% efficiency does not equate to the sun being 6 times better at melting snow. One has nothing to do with the other. Solar cells are not limited by the weakest link. I have 36 cells all linked and one is not working at all. Guess what? They still give me about 80% of my electric needs. By your logic, they would give me 0 KWhs. If you’re lying about these things, you’re probably lying about the others.

      1. The State uses solar farms that collect the energy within relatively small footprints, meaning the DC current they collect can be centralized into AC before they transmit it. DC power cannot be transmitted over long distances without incurring major losses.

        And if you think that the sun is not the best, most efficient way to melt snow off a black or darker surface, you simply do not understand anything in this thread. Having solar panels is wonderful, and good on you, but that by no means indicates you understand how they work, or how inefficient they actually are in converting Suns radaiation into electrical energy.

  16. This seems like a good idea, but also very unrealistic. While renewable energy sources are the way of the future, this looks to be one of the most expensive and least efficient ones. To redo all the roads in the county, we are talking a gigantic expense paid for by taxes. So if the people of America are okay with paying for this, why don’t we use a forth of that money to put solar panels on every roof in America. It would be way cheaper, way more efficient with out the thick glass over them, there would never be a car parked on them, and they are all already tied to the grid.

    I know it wouldn’t look as cool, but it makes more sense and is a better route to go. I would still applaud solar roadways for getting people onboard with the idea of shelling out money to make a cleaner energy source, but if they were really interested in doing the right thing, and not just making money, they should convince people to subsidise roof top solar instead.

    Some facts have been thrown out that solar roadways would produce more energy than the country could use, but have we looked at how much more power efficient rooftop PV would produce for a fraction of the cost?

    It is not to my utter chagrin that you had a successful crowd source campaign, and I’m not saying anyone could do it, but Zach Braff did make twice the money, and that was just to make a shitty Zach Braff movie!!!………(JK, garden state is great)

    Okay, so I did take a cheap shot, but no less than Derick Ajumni’s. I do want just some simple answers that I have never seen in an article:

    How much would a panel cost?

    What is the effiency of a panel?

    Would a Solar roadway just be a dated technology if every one gets a Google car that deives by GPS in 5 years?

    Thank you for putting up with my bad attempts at humor.

    1. I’d like to give you some math for the efficiency of the panels, which I recently saw illustrated by Thunderfoot on YouTube. He has created some amazing videos to refute every claim by the Brusaws, and I encourage people to give them a view.

      A typical high end solar cell, receiving solar radiation through perfectly clear glass, operates at 20% efficiency, max.

      Since the panels are meant to operate 24 hours per day, half of that energy must be stored for future consumption, cutting that 20 percent in half, assuming the glass remains undamaged and perfectly clear.

      Once that energy is stored, it must be used to light the roadway lines using LEDs, which operate with 50% efficiency turning energy into light, thereby cutting the remainder in half again.

      Of the 100% available sunlight across any given surface area, solar panels using LEDs to light lanes, crosswalks, etc would only have 5% efficiency around the clock, assuming uniform 12 hours of sunlight per day.

      This number does not include power required to run the processors for the LED system, or heating elements which have been promised to keep the units free of ice and snow. Obviously, once these calculations are factored in, this becomes a negative energy system requiring additonal energy to function as designed.

  17. I find every commenter here to be too uncritically enthusiastic.

    1. That’s because they don’t have the scientific or critical thinking skills required to challenge any of the sunshine being blown up their backsides.

      Go to youtube and type in ‘solar roadways scam’ and click on some of those videos, made by real scientists and engineers, who demolish every aspect of this concept with demonstrations and actual scientific processes.

      My particular fave is Thunderfoot, who dissects every claim they make, every excuse and misdirection they offer as proof, and basically cuts the nuts off this obvious cash grab.

      The project obviously has its supporters, and thousands of people who threw their money into this, who are now too embarrassed to stand up and say they didn’t know the facts, but by educating future victims about this complete farce we can save them future embarrassment.

  18. Go on the TV show Sharktank. Even if it doesn’t get picked up (which it should), it will at the very least put the idea in front potentially of millions of more people that can add to the cause. I’ve always been a fan of this movement, so please make it happen. Cheers!

  19. Solar Roadways presents enormous possibilities when added to solar roofing.
    Every roof as well as every road should be considered as a potential placement.

    1. Roofs, yes. Roads, no.

  20. If Republicans are in charge of Congress we stand no chance of seeing this implemented on a federal level, if the Democrats are in charge, it’s probably a 50/50 chance. I’d love to not be pessimistic about this but the only way this happens is if the oligarchy can profit from it – and reducing the revenue potential of the utilities and energy sectors is not going to be in their best interest. Like Nero, they would rather see the earth burn than lose a penny of profit.

  21. I am delighted this groundbreaking project is going from strength to strength. I donated a small amount thru Indigogo, the first time I have done anything like that, and I am willing to give more when needed. The amazing thing about the Brusaw’s approach is that they can keep control of their genius idea and because it is ‘out there’ in this way, if there are any attempts by ‘Mega Corp’ to take over, there are 48000 (and counting) investors to stand up with them against any attempt at derailing their progress. Great to hear that the timescale for live testing is relatively short. Cannot wait to see the first trial sites in England!

    1. You won’t see any Mega Corp buy this project up, because it is a farce. Same reason why GMO hasn’t bothered buying into the thorium car tech. I hope you didn’t give them any of your money!

      1. There is also nothing TO BUY! SFR holds no patents for their concepts, nor have they created any new technology. Any company who wants to move forward with this has absolutely nothing holding them back.

  22. It would be a miracle to drive around on a pothole free street…Awesome idea too for melting snow and the prevention of cars sliding and colliding! There are about a million potholes here in the Chicago area but not sure if the panels could stand up to the severe below zero temps. The solar farm parking lot grid would also be clever. It reminds me of ‘New Energy’ stock symbol WNDW, in which see through solar film is applied to windows to generate electricity. Keep it up, hard work pays off

    1. Go do the math on how much energy it would take to heat the roads to prevent snow/ice buildup as well as prevent frost heaves and potholes. It’s mind-boggling!

  23. It’s unfortunate (and sad really) that those with valid points on how it “might” not work are limited in vision. It’s good that they have used their intellect to point out the “challenges” that the Solar Roadway folks face, but clearly these people now need to step back and let the dreamers get things done. After all, if it wasn’t for the dreamers, we’d never be able to travel long distance by air. We’d still be tethered to the Earth because gravity prevents us from having options. Rock on Solar Roadways! (your “contributing to-the-solution” supports are with you)

  24. Perhaps you could offer a consumer kit for part of a home driveway? Some folks can’t use solar on their roof tops but their driveways bake in the sun….plus less stress/use than a highway. Imagine a neighborhood with solar driveways.

    1. @Claire B. That’s their plan, to start with driveways, patios, sidewalks, parking lots. Rooftops will generally be a better place to put solar, but you are right, not every house can. Check back with them in 2016, you might be able to buy it for your driveway by then!

  25. Here are questions someone might ask Solar Roadways, surly Solar Roadways could answer these (but won’t). How much did the glass cost for each one of their 4 square foot hexagonal panels? Where they got them from (to proof they are being truthful)? How much would the price decrease buying in volume? I doubt very seriously they would give these number… humm wonder why, could it be they have something to hide? If not why would this be a problem, would salve a lot of the naysayers issues? The same question could be asked of the rest of the components.

  26. As I mentioned earlier the Solar Roadways fan club could ask these questions I brought up, unless you are too afraid of the answers.

    1. Unless the fan club and solar roadways are one and the same…………WHAT!?!? Their comments seem too enthusiastic and simple.

      1. and evasive.

    2. Doesn’t really matter now does it? Solar Roadways has enough money to move forward for now, they’ll be able to do their small projects in their home town and see how they work out. If it works out well they’ll expand and it’ll become a real nationwide thing. If it doesn’t it’ll just wither away and very few people will ever even remember it ever existed. It’s reached the point that it’ll stand or fall on it’s own merits no matter what anyone on the internet has to say about it.

      1. The problem is they are asking of more money, continuing their indiegogo campaign, with no results, and they won’t answer these simple questions. Why??, in my opinion it’s because they are afraid to loose their cash cow. I challenge you to ask, just to see what they have to say. If they have nothing to hide then it shouldn’t be a problem.

        1. You are missing the point, which is it doesn’t matter. If it turns out working like they say it’ll be the best thing since sliced bread. If not oh well people waste money on worse things on a daily basis.

          1. In my opinion it does matter, because if someone is trying to develop “real technology” that really would help the environment… funders may look at this as an example of “it’s a scam” and cause issues for the one’s developing “real tech.” to proceed.

            1. It obviously doesn’t matter too much to you because all you are doing is replying to an article on the internet which will accomplish exactly nothing. Now if you take some time do your own research, get it corroborated by others in the relevant fields and that research happens to show that Solar Roadways is a scam then you’ve actually done something that matters. Until then like I said above Solar Roadways has enough money to push forward with their local projects and we should learn a lot more how it all works in a couple of years from those.

              1. You assume I haven’t, but rest assured I have done the research. This article is posted up both on their face book page and indiegogo campaign. So if the “fan club” bother to read this, or bother to take the time to ask the questions I presented they would likely find out what I’m saying is true.

                1. I can tell you are trying to convince people what you have to say matters. Tell you what when you come up with what looks like a really promising idea I’ll root for you too. Right now I’m thinking the years of research they’ve done at Solar Roadways looks really interesting and I’m curious to see how it works out. While I’m hoping for the best if it doesn’t work out at least it keeps people interested in trying new things and trying to make the world we live in a better place.

            2. I’m with you, Ron. This is a perfect example of a money grab that taints people against future projects with actual potential, with a solid scientific foundation.

              There will never be anything significant happen with Solar Roadways, except their apparent ability to bilk millions of dollars from an uneducated public that really has no way to examine the material I n front of them in a meaningful manner. It’s kn the Internet so it must be true. And since I’m hearing it from more than one source it must be irrefutable. Here’s the problem. The same people have multiple sites and fake names. THIS WEBSITE is obviously conducted by people,working for Solar Roadways, given the way the responses are worded, always in the affirmative. This is NOT an unbiased article written by a neutral third party, and is meant to drive more donations into the box. Don’t give them another dime, and instead start using available solar tech to upgrade the power system in your own home.

      2. Actually, they DON’T have enough money to move forward. They have enough to send out hats and tshirts, but the REAL expense – engineering the glass – is tens of millions of dollars that they do not have, and will not get, because there is no scenario where a glass surface meant to create electricity through solar cells and a driving surface that undergoes severe punishment are compatible multiple uses.

        Solar cells require uninterrupted line of sight with solar radiation to create energy with efficiency in the 20% range. Any shadows, obstructions, or damage to the glass reduces this efficiency measurably. And since there is no material on the planet capable of withstanding abrasion indefinitely, this seals the fate of panels you can drive on.

        Cool idea. Complete science fiction. And, never to become science fact.

  27. @tsmacro Really you’ll root for me?
    We are a startup company in the R&D stage of development focused on the area of renewable bio-crude oil using algae as a feedstock.
    Although there are many companies attempting to create bio-crude from algae we believe we have come up with a better way. Based on the evidence from my extensive research, and experiments we at Alternative products inc. feel we are developing an effective supportive solution to our countries energy needs that is environmentally friendly, and cost effective.
    Though we are based out of Denison, TX. as a matter of convieniance the research is being pursued here in Durant. It is our intention to work with SEOSU, the city of Durant, and local business’s to further develop the technology, along with federal grants that we are applying for. What follows is a simplified explaination of what we’re doing.
    Would you consider a renewable crude oil source (system) that’s carbon neutral, eco friendly, and cost effective… Would this interest you?
    Now what if, this renewable crude oil used waste (trash that would normally go to landfills), as an energy input source, in it’s creation, and waste water as a nutrient source. Still interested?… Well lets continue on then.
    What if, the only “waste” produced from these processes where… pure air,… pure distilled water,… and fertilizer… What would you think of that?
    So… what if, this renewable crude oil source didn’t displace jobs, but created new jobs, a supportive technology, rather than a disruptive technology… (the oil, gas, and coal industry supports ~ 16,800,000 jobs world wide “I would hate to see these people put out of work”)… Have I peaked your interest?
    AND NO… I am NOT talking about nuclear energy. I am talking about something that’s natural, that has been around for many eons… Namely micro algae, that green pond scum that you try to get rid of in your fish tank, or swimming pool. This is where crude oil comes from. There are many companies in the US, and abroad that are trying to do what I am suggesting, but they are doing it the same old way, that is, in my opinion not very effective, “just providing patches to flawed systems, which is what I see time, and time again throughout my research”.
    This is what I have spent the past 10 years of my life doing, researching, experimenting, and redesigning the whole algae growth system, so that it would provide the ideal conditions to grow/produce algae, in abundant enough amounts year round cost effectively, thus making it economically viable to creat bio-crude oil from algae, and be able to compete with the cost of regular crude oil. All the technology exists right now to accomplish these goals, the videos I present show this.
    As an added bonus our patent pending technology we are developing also helps clean up the environment, much more than just the air, which I believe is of great concern to all of us.
    The numbers

    Once scaled up based on estimated yields from our algae growth system our (58) 30,000 gallon tank pilot facility.
    Per day we would remove from the environment approx. (keep in mind this is only the pilot scale)

    310 tons of Carbon dioxide (this is because for every pound of algae grown it consumes 1.8 pounds of Co2)

    50 tons of trash in our pilot scale facility, much more at commercial scale (we would burn this trash to provide electrical power, heat, for our processes, and some Co2 for algae growth)

    process 12 tons of waste water (each tank will consume about 50 gallons of waste water as a nutrient source for the algae per day)

    In our pilot scale facility we would produce approx.

    120 tons, or 35,000 gallons of crude oil per day

    1. See now you should have led with that! That does indeed sound impressive! From that you sound exactly like the kind of people I do root for to succeed. Personally though I think there’s room for both what you’re doing as well as Solar Roadways it shouldn’t have to be an either/or thing. I think new technologies have a hard enough time trying to gain a foothold against the entrenched business giants of our fossil fuel world w/out sniping at each other, when one new tech shows there’s other viable ideas it opens the door for others. In any case keep up the good work!

      1. I am in no way threatened by Solar Roadways, because if it works they still need massive amounts of plastic…this comes from oil, If it doesn’t work still no problem for me, we still need oil. What I have a problem with is I have a very good understanding of things mechanical that being said, if I started an indiegogo campaign (don’t intend too, but you never know) the odds of me being successful would become less… if this turns out to be a scam.

        1. I don’t think it’s a scam personally I really think the guy who’s doing it really believes in it. Is there unanswered questions, sure, but time will answer those questions and we’re getting closer to that time, when those solar road panels start being installed in real parking lots and roads in his hometown in Idaho that’s going to give us a real good clue on how viable it really it. As for you, now I’ve heard about the whole algae thing and heard people come up with reasons why that won’t work either. It sounds to me though you are addressing some of those concerns and approaching it from a little different and probably better angle which hopefully mean a better chance for success which I certainly will be rooting for! I’m a fan of all things science and technological that help us live in a better world. Unfortunately since my brain and higher math don’t seem to get along very well I’m pretty much relegated to being a fan. Anyway glad I had a day off today (work two jobs so usually pretty busy) and was cruising around the internet for what was new and interesting today.

          1. Thanks I didn’t really say it was a scam, and I agree Scott Brusaw believe in it. What I have a problem with is they hide information, the evade questions with what I call political speak (sounding like you are answering a question but not), or they ignore the questions altogether. I have seen this many, many times. In fact they banned me from their face book site because I asked questions they didn’t want to answer. As far as my tech is concerned it’s a completely different approach to growing algae, and producing crude oil from it. That has worked very well in our smaller scale prototypes, and through this testing scaling up makes no difference the physics work the same on small scale or big scale.

          2. If your interested.
            Below is my video of the relatively small scale prototype I have been experimenting with, this only represents about 20% of the total processes involved.
            Here are some real world examples of what I’m discussing, that would be incorporated into our system, these show the technology already exists to proceed with the development of our processes.

            Power, and heat produced from trash, this of course would be scaled down to our system requirments.

            Our system would provide all the energy requirments both electrical and thermal for these next processes of converting the algae directly to crude oil.

            Here is an example of captureing/using the Co2 emissions produced in our power plant.

            Here is another.

            This next video gives some information about algae, and explanes how the algae are grown, but again our system is quit different.

            Here’s another.

            This video shows given the proper conditions the algae can grow to very dense cultures, (this system shown is seasonal, as are the others), our system will provide the ideal conditions year round.

            1. Thanks for that, some good stuff there. It’s always reassuring to know there’s people working on things like this.

              1. Thanks I kinda get a little overzealous when people show an interest in what I’m doing. Our catch phrase is Alternative Products Inc. “We grow algae…. on purpose!”

  28. Never minding the cost of the project, the science behind solar power, and the impossibility of transmitting DC power over distance to power anything other than itself, the biggest hurdle seems to be finding or creating a perfectly clear, uniform driving surface with traction that is immune to abrasion or erosion that costs less than asphalt to install and maintain (otherwise, what’s the point?), and to do so in a commercially, economically viable fashion on a mass scale.

    In his own YouTube video from April 2010, Scott Brusaw claims to have three universities working on creating such a formulation. But, he never states which ones, how far along they were in their research, and if any of them were close to a solution. What he DOES show, in his indiegogo campaign video from 2914 is himself and his wife shovelling ground, multicoloured recycled glass into a wheelbarrow to be refined into panels tops.

    First off, any color added to the glass is not removable, and negatively affects the transmission of radiation through it to solar cells.

    Secondly, it provides a strong indication that the universities, in four years, have been unsuccessful in creating a proper material for this purpose, assuming any universities are actually putting any effort into it at all.

    An estimate I heard at one point was $40mil would be required to investigate the possibility of the creation of a glass that might be able to handle such tasks, but at the end of the day there would be no mass production of such glass possible due to the materials that would be required in its production. And since only diamonds are unable to withstand abrasion from other natural materials, it stands to reason that no matter the formulation, the surface will not remain intact indefinitely.

  29. Sweet fiery hell–get a life, people! You’re trying to be “Noble” and “Save future investors from getting conned out of their money?” Did you put this much passion, effort, and venom into any other fundraisers you perceived as scams? What a bitter, sad life you must lead to have nothing better to do with your time than p*ss all over this. Don’t like it? Don’t donate. end of story!

    1. Tell you what – find another scam that is so easily disproveable that has so many people completely bamboozled, that has taken money out of the pockets of naive investors and taxpayers and I will be happy to sound the alarm on them too.

      Post them on here if you like.

  30. How long until every road in America has these? 2020? 2025 at the latest? Please?

    1. Considering it would take tens of trillions of dollars to install this flawed system across the U.S. alone, would cost billions of dollars to subsidize power to annually, without ever seeing a watt of surplus energy, and the concept is fundamentally scientific nonsense, NEVER! That’s when you see that happen.

  31. I can see solar driveways or even solar parking lots but job #1 for roads is that they be safe to drive. So until they invent asphalt which can convert solar energy into electricity, it’s best to keep solar panels on rooftops or in fields.

    1. Precisely. Even as a parking lot they don’t work, since the parked cars would shade the PV cells.

      Anyone who wants to can buy solar panels today and install them on their roof over the weekend, so this project adds nothing to the present day availability or practical functionality of solar power creation.

  32. Seriously, nobody else sees through this cash grab?

    They’ve been taking grant after grant, and produced nothing. Then they got DOT funding, and still produced nothing. Then they took two million dollars from investors, and all they’ve put out since then are tshirts and swag bags!

    All tolled, they’ve taken over three million since 2009 on promise of delivery, and still haven’t even worked out what they’re going to use for materials. The ‘parking lot’ they installed, about big enough for one motor home, doesn’t produce visible light during the day., and did you see what it requires for a foundation? Reinforced cement! If it were cheaper to make highways out of cement, don’t you think they would already do that?

    So, just the substructure is going to cost more than normal roads, nvm the panels on top of it.

    To call it pie in the sky is an under exaggeration. It is pure crap!

  33. There are far too many people able to discredit this concept (and very easily, I might add) to take this seriously. It is laughable how incredibly simple experiments knock the legs out from the claims on SFRs website.

    I’ve been clicking through vids on YT and various other pages dedicated to bringing a reality check to the inventors, and this guy hits all the nails on the head. If you think this concept has any scientific merit, you really need to read this thru.

    For every vague detail and claim given by the inventors, there are a dozen scientists telling them they are delusional and proving their arguments properly. Good enough for me.

  34. I can
    t help but wonder if Mr. Blue works for an asphalt paving company….chuckles…The tiles do not have to cover an entire parking lot. just the driveway sections. The transition of a flat street to an adjacent angles road can be easily accomplished by a narrow concrete “ramp” area. The Hump shape of a roadway can be achieved with two flat lanes and a raised center. The point is that solar roadways makes revenue, (asset) an asphalt roadway is always a cost liability. I can foresee all manner of potential applications on “roadways”….including taxiways at major airports….so aircraft could easily be directed to or away from the terminal. Progressives and engineers dream up & create new things all the time….that’s our job, and we LOVE it. Conservatives and regressives ALWAYS bitch about new stuff. Sometimes, when these short sighted people are in charge, they can really screw their own industry by rejecting new technologies. My favorite example is the Swiss watch industry. They were the inventors of the quartz vibration based “clock”….dividing the know constant vibrations of quartz when electrically excited….but they produced mechanical watch movements and so, these conservatives saw no use for the higher reliability, greater accuracy and lower manufacturing cost….so they sold their concept and patents to the Orientals…so, Who really buys an old fashioned mechanical clockwork wrist watch any more? Want more examples? Who buys a mechanical calculator, typewriter, mimeograph, or dictation machine anymore? Who buys a rotary dial phone? People like Mr. Blue can always identify why something won;t work…they all did the same thing to Elon Musk. Conservatives are not people I care to have my children emulate. Conservatives are not even smart enough to care for their own planet.

    1. So what you’re saying is that we should spend 100 times more for a product that produces 1/3 the power output only 1/3 of the time???? (this has been proven by Solar road in the Netherlands with a much less complicated system that don’t have all the stuff that uses up the extra power). When the alternative (normal solar panels, positioned optimally) does a more cost effective job. This some how makes sense to you? Just not pretty enough for you… is that it???

      1. Essentially Solar Roadways is just adding to the cost of solar power electrical generation… astronomically, while lowering the efficiency at the same time. You think this is a good idea? Your analogy about the quarts movement… states that it’s better to improve something and lower the cost, which makes the rest of your statement counter intuitive.

        1. It’s nice to see I’m not the only one who sees this as a ridiculous cash grab and scientific/tech nonsense.

    2. Please tell me you’re not an engineer in charge of any projects, Don! Your level of naïveté is more indicative of a burger flipper than someone with post secondary education.

      Moving down your listing of nonsense:

      No, I don’t work for Big Asphalt, but I would have no problem telling you if I did.

      The parking lot paradigm you suggest is not the same as what has been presented by SFR in their false advertising video. They have a very distinct concept, nothing at all like what you describe.

      If these roads are flat, even if they have humps in the Center, they will become hydroplane hazards as water builds up on the surface, and cuts traction to tires even further than the knobby glass surface does.

      SFR will never make a dime of revenue, because this product will use the majority of the power created for its own purpose, and any extra will go to powering/heating weak and dying panels. So, spend hundreds of trillions on electronic line markings for the nations highways? GENIUS!

      There is absolutely NO chance they will ever make a runway out of these pieces of crap. Anyone who has ever seen a plane land has seen the tremendous impact and forces at play when the planes wheels touch down. A Boeing 747 can weigh up to 970,000 lbs, and is moving 160mph when landing, coming down on three points. Never mind runways – taxiways wouldn’t even be a contemplation!

      They are not progressive in this concept. They are either delusional or deliberately deceptive in their literature and social media, for all the above reasons. Neither am I a Conservative. I am a Realist. They are not. Neither are you.

      These solar powered disco floor panels are not a Swiss watch, as the watch development didn’t cost millions/billions/trillions, and if somebody bought into their concept they don’t die in a fiery crash as they will when these panels shatter under your tires. Same thing with the rest of your list of outdated technology. Apples v oranges. Check that. Apples v Mt Everest.

      I can certainly define why this won’t work. Anybody with a brain could. So, my questions for you are, do you have a brain, and did you read the owner’s manual on how to use it?

      As for your Musk example, his TeslaMotors.com have a blog set up to discuss SFR (my.teslamotors.com/forums/why-solar-roadways-wont-work) and the posters thrash it consistently. The experts and responders on that blog go into even more detail about how this concept is bullshit. It is at best science fiction, and at worst deliberate fraud. Snake oil. Oceanfront property in Arizona. Actually, THAT is more of a possibility!

  35. Ironically enough, the photo at the top of this feed features an artists concept of a Solar Roadway, which shows exactly why this is a fallacy.

    First, the road is running alongside a steep mountain cliff on the left side.
    Second, the right hand side is lined by forest/trees.

    Both of these would interfere with the amount of solar radiation hitting the roadway (which is in shade in the photo). That particular road MIGHT have four hours of sun per day hitting the surface.

    Third, the curves of the road and banking/engineering of the road are impossible to replicate using these uniform hex panels.

    Fourth, you can see the knobby glass surface, which will reduce traction vs asphalt surfaces by half, and cause the type of hum when your tires drift into the wrong lane on a highway.

    Thanks for providing the illustration that proves so many of the unresolvable issues.

    Maybe the author of this article would like to step up and demonstrate conclusively that any of my points are incorrect without hiding behind the SFR FAQ sheet which is rife with stupidity.

    1. One other thing is if you took Brusaw’s idea and broke it down to just the glass roadway, (took all the other stuff out) and presented this as a new road surface, I wonder what the response would be (alert rhetorical question he would probably get laughed out of the office), because Brusaw is suggesting that this would be cheaper and more durable than the road materials we use today.

      The point being it would have to be in order for this to remotely be practical, and is most certainly not the case.

      The reason behind this is you would have to build a road foundation presumably out of reinforced concrete in order to build the glass road on top of it (you can’t just place these things on the ground), and this is just one issue out of many others.

      1. Yep, you get it RonC. Now, to educate the others who don’t before they click the ‘Donate’ button!

  36. Let’s pave a road with these!! That’s a great idea!!


    1. Huh and they only take 80 VA or 80 watts each to light up the LED’s. Solar Roadway claim there panels only produce 36 watts each, and claim they will eventually produce up to ~ 52 watts each?!?! for four hours a day, but the LED’s consume this power 24 hours a day. People think this is going to provide revenue from the excess power produced?

      1. Never mind scientific principles – they can’t do basic math!!

  37. Check out this post by one of their neighbors.

    gigisno wyatt 1 month ago

    My husband and I live in Sandpoint. We called Public Works. They have yet to see a working prototype. All projects are proposed, there is no approval for anything, everyone is awaiting an actual product. When questioned, the Brusaws were evasive at best. Since their crowdfunding, they have acquired a building, conference room furniture, etc.; still no product. After searching the internet, I located this pdf from a student allegedly working on the civil engineering testing; Mr. Brusaw asserts he has never met this individual, I am in the process of contacting some media outlets and the state and federal agencies involved to determine if the pdf is in fact true or not. I can however tell you that the Brusaw’s took enough exception to pointed questions that they removed them from their social media sites, along with anyone elses pointed questions or concerns. Now they are setting up for crowdfunding round two with no accountability for funds received in round one. At present I think there are real reasons for concern that these folks are swag merchants, not real visionaries with a viable and tangible product to roll out to market. http://www.pitt.edu/~ngd13/Writing%20Assignment%203.pdf

    1. Yup, I was censored and banned from their Faceplant page for calling them out on the claim that their LEDs must work because LED signs and traffic lights do work during the day. Of course this ignores critical facts.

      1. LED signs use an obscene amount of energy, which contradicts the goal of providing excess energy to commerical and residential users.
      2. NO recessed light source can be seen from shallow angles
      3. LED signs and LED traffic lights are actually aimed AT PEOPLE’S eyes and not at the sky. LED traffic lights are shaded in order to work better.

      I also said that I’d eat my hat if they could post a pic of their SFR panels with their LEDs working during the day, from the shallow angles encountered by a road user.

      1. You too,

      2. Seems to be a trend here, I was banned as well, along with several others I know of. Maybe we should start a club we could call it the PBFS club (“people banned from SolarRoadways”)LOL! Our motto could be “you can’t handle the truth”

        1. I love it! I’ll look into firing one up on FaceBook so that people can discover how badly they’ve been taken.

          1. I’m right there with ya!

            1. All set, now to populate the group. Solar Roadways Fact or Fiction?


  38. Everybody, Pro and Con, read this article. It is the most level headed piece I’ve read about this concept, done by the DOT engineer that assessed the panels.

    Long story short, they will never make roads out of these things, but they’re hoping the research isn’t for naught and that something may, someday, possibly result in a sidewalk, somewhere.


    1. I would like to see a cross cut of an actual panel, and the power output of one, along with their storage system. For example, in the cross cut, show us what holds the glass off of the electronics? Does it sit in the frame on a rim of Fiberglas or titanium or..? Are there posts that hold it up so it doesn’t flex, which would cut the active surface area, or is the glass supported in the middle? How is the glass held in? Glue? Bolts? What type of highway speed tests have they done to see how they hold up against the suction forces of a tractor trailer and incessant vibrations?

      Maybe instead of blowing sunshine, the author of this article can do something constructive and investigative with their time rather than giving the indiegogo people false hope.

  39. One word: HAILSTORM!!

  40. Of course everyone on here realizes that this page, this article, is PAID ADVERTISING, right?

    PVBUZZ.COM is not a reporting site, it is a paid advertising site for companies in the solar arena. If Solar Roadways didn’t pay them to post the article they obviously wrote themselves, they wouldn’t bother reporting on them at all.

    To confirm these statements, go to the Home Page and check out the Pricing Packages for yourself. The only question that remains is, what advertising package did Scott Brusaw buy?

    This is the largest reason why TEAMPV only responds to the sheeple posts that support this flawed concept, and ignores posts from the people who have given this some thought and have serious, legitimate concerns.

      1. @ Voice of Reason: Its astonishing how naive and flawed your “Voice Of Reason” is. This is a news website. The link above is for services we provide which also help fund the website. The said services have nothing to do with news but all to do with social media etc. Please always think very hard before starting a conversation.

        1. @Derick

          This is NOT a news website. This blog was not written by a reporter. It was bought and paid for by Solar Roadways, and since the the company has taken money from the U.S. Government, indirectly it was paid for by the U.S. Taxpayer at large. This is NOT an unbiased news article. It is no different than a late night infomercial hocking Chinese consumer crap.

    1. You are correct, but this is posted up on Solar Roadways indiegogo campaign, and their Facebook page.

  41. Blue says:
    April 24, 2015 at 2:19 am
    @Robert Grothe. Shove this math up your post!

    The Brusaws claim that these panels will ‘pay themselves off’, but give no indication as to what those costs will be. What we do know is that solar cells in preferred installations have a life span of five to eight years, so these panels will have a very constrained window for that investment to be recouped.

    I did a little math to illustrate the costs you’re looking at, JUST FOR THE PANELS. This would not include the preparation or installation of the bed it must sit on, labor, or any other expenses.

    A four lane highway is a minimum of 62 feet wide, at 12 feet per lane, plus ten feet on the outside shoulder and four feet on the inside shoulder. A mile is 5280 feet long, giving one mile of highway a minimum of 327,360 sq ft. These panels, assuming they are using the same design as their ‘parking lot’, are approximately 4 sq ft, and probably a little less given their hexagonal shape. So, to cover one mile of highway, you will need minimum 81,840 tiles. Per mile.

    Each of these tiles will require, as I understand it:

    A fitted form of custom glass. In my neck of the woods, 1/4″ tempered glass runs about $25 for a 4 sq ft section. These panels are 2.5″ thick, I believe, or 10x thicker. Cost per panel by weight is therefore approx $250, minimum, without any special formulation. This equates to $20,460,000. For glass. Per mile.

    An enclosure, rugged enough to withstand highway traffic and vehicles with GVWs at the high extreme. Titanium, or carbon fibre, most likely. Titanium being as abundant as it is, let’s use that. According to onlinemetals.com, a single sheet of 1/4″ titanium measuring 2’x2′ costs $1022.26 as of today. Figure two sheets per panel, since it needs to have sides, that’s approximately $2040 per panel. This equates to $167,323,516.80. For enclosures. Per mile.

    Each of these units uses upwards of 150 LEDs as their display method. On EBay.com, 20 x T10 Car White 8 LED 194 168 SMD W5W bulbs cost $1.79. Call it $2 including shipping. Each panel will require 8 boxes, for a cost of $16. This equates to $1,309,440. For bulbs. Per mile.

    Each unit will require solar cells to cover as much of the surface as possible, and by most calculations won’t exceed more than 50% of the surface area. So, each needs approx 2 sq ft of cells. Since the Brusaws claim their panels generate in excess of 32w, looking towards 50w, I priced out the 40w panels. Each panel costs $82.34. That equates to $6,738,705.60. For solar panels. Per mile.

    Each of these will require their own circuit boards, custom made, containing control circuits and processors. I have never priced out such things before, but will assign a value at approx $100 per board, which is likely very generous. Assuming that figure is workable, this equates to $8,184,000. For circuit boards. Per mile. Just to be really conservative, we will include the 82,000 inter connecting wiring harnesses with this figure.

    Each of these panels will need to be secured to what appears to be a cement bed using masonry bolts. Assuming the panels are 6″ deep and the bolts must be 6″ into the base, they would be a foot long. On Amazon.com, Hillman Group 811503 galvanized 12″ hex lag screws are $71.17 for 25. Call it $3 per bolt, each panel requiring at least four. That equates to $982,080. For securing posts. Per mile.

    Assuming we haven’t overlooked any major components (heating elements, perhaps?), our total comes to:
    $204,997,742.40. For tiles. Per mile.
    $2504.86 per square foot
    $109,111,701.60 per acre.

    So, if your local mall is looking at installing a solar parking lot measuring 10 acres, they’re looking at a cool Billion Dollars.

    The grandiose plan according to their video is to install this system on the 25,000 square miles of road surfaces in the USA. 640 acres per square mile, times 25,000 is 16 million acres, equating to $1,745,787,225,600,000. Approximately TWO QUADRILLION DOLLARS, if we include sales tax on the items required.

    Remember, we have not included the costs of labor, bed preparations, bed materials, conduits, channels, water treatment facilities, or anything else. Just the panels.

    You want to know why this concept doesn’t work, even if you COULD drive on glass? There you go. If you think you’re recovering those costs, you’re insane.

    And if any of you is planning on responding to these equations by saying ‘they can save money by buying in bulk’, you need to be shot for the sake of the species. When was the last time government spent LESS to do something?

    1. Blue, I fully understand your anger but I hope you have some pleasurable things to lower your blood pressure because this “solar Roadway” mania is enough to drive any one who knows much about solar in the real world bonkers. You are sopt on.

      You came up with about $205 Million per mile of roadway.Today we sell and install real world solarports for parking lots (solar on commercial grade carport structures)turn-key (complete, all-in) for about $2.10/Watt DC (for the 300+ kW size range) using Tier 1 modules.For 1 mile of your 4 lane highway that comes out to 327,36 sq ft or about 15,738 modules. That is 4.879 MWDC. Price for this large system would then be about $10 million, not the Roadways $205 million. Better to put over parking lot anyways, which there are plenty. With solarports (or roofmount or even groundmount) you get far higher efficiency, better orientation and far less soiling (roadways are dirtier than even fields).

      I have been in solar for over 30 years and hate to see it turned in to attractive snake oil.

      1. typo: 327,360 sq ft not 327,36 sq ft. Sorry

      2. Don, thanks for costing out what a reasonable, reality-based alternative to this would be.

        Keep in mind also, that your price is all-in, installed, turnkey.

        The $205mil estimate is for pallets of unassembled electronics and materials, before labor, before site prep, before roadbed and conduit installation, before actual tile installation, before considering power storage costs, before infrastructure modification, before repair bills.

        The $205mil could easily top $1bil per mile once the rest of it is taken into account.

        As for my blood pressure? 100/70. No worries here. Like you, I would hate to see people shy away from legitimate green tech just because people like the Brusaws are cashing in on the wallets of the ignorant. Road surfaces are no place for solar tech.

  42. So, I’m very curious…

    People who donated to your crowd funding are all supposed to receive perks, of differing values according to their donation size. So my questions are: How much money was left over, after these perks were sent out and you’ve paid for them and the labour/shipping etc to process them? What has the leftover money produced in the way of saleable technology? And if you aren’t using it for the project, should you be giving these people their money back? Have you ever identified the cost per panel, so that we can see how many panels that money bought? Or, are you still stuck on that 108 panel demonstration unit?

  43. Holy shit! Way to shut down the debate! Just imagine that? Facts and hard numbers made everyone realize they were getting bamboozled, and they all went away, tail tucked.

    I’m guessing Blue is in logistics, maybe an engineer, but he definitely has the best grip on reality on this topic!

    Glad I found this feed. Keep up the good work. 🙂 🙂

  44. Timely blog post – For what it’s worth , if anyone has been searching for a NCAR SF 2-T , my wife filled out a template document here http://goo.gl/yMGD87.

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