The French Minister for Ecology and energy, Segolene Royal, has announced the intention of the French Government’s build 1,000 km of road with photovoltaic panels in the next five years. The initiative would be directed to take advantage of this road not only as a means of communication, but as an innovative way to provide power to millions of people.
That ad speaks of the great benefits of this idea: 4 meters of road would be sufficient to provide power to a home, and one kilometer would be sufficient to complete the delivery of 5,000 households. Everything looks promising until again put in the balance the advantages and disadvantages (that exist, and disturbing) to such projects.
The eternal promise of the solar road
5 million homes that could receive energy thanks to this solar road are certainly an amazing figure and that suggests again that such projects deserve massive support they have had in campaigns as the Indiegogo, the marriage of Scott and Julie Brusaw launched and raised $ 2.27 million.
In this case the project would be carried out by Enterprise queue, which would make use of panels Wattway, 7 mm thick plates they are placed on the pavement and they collect solar energy through a thin layer of polycrystalline silicon.
According to the company responsible for this layer provides enough resistance to the passage of heavy vehicles In addition to the traction needed for cars non-slip. Royal has indicated that the cost of the project would be covered by increases in gasoline taxes, something that she says it would be logical given that the price of fuel has been reduced in recent months.
The debate on the validity of the concept is very intense time in user forums as Reddit, where several users have raised their doubts to the construction This type of way and its validity as alternative systems to communicate all kinds of populations and as elements of energy harvesting.
A user of YouTube called Thunderf00t published almost two years ago a video where he warned of the disadvantages of these solar roads, and generated both in YouTube Reddit discussion was intense and resulted in all sorts of arguments about the true validity the proposal of this technology.
As explained a user in another discussion on Reddit, would have several important arguments against its construction, as the cost of construction, maintenance cost (it is likely that reparations are complex and expensive) or its real efficiency (constant passage of cars, dirt). Without forgetting that people could happen is stealing these panels for resale or use them more privately.
What about security?
Joins all these factors the fact that so far not is has failed to evaluate the behavior of a path of this type in practice because, simply, they don’t exist. The installation of 1,000 km from solar Highway seems a dangerously ambitious way raise an important evolution of infrastructures of this type.
In addition to previous criticisms which affects the own driving safety. Doubts about the friction that will provide this type of roads are important, and both material and the way in which arises on the asphalt are criticisms about the behavior of cars on a surface which could be especially in complicated weather conditions.
There is who has signed up for friction and traction of this type of solar roads will be sufficient to provide the necessary security. Brusaw marriage already explained that if the glass is ‘warm’, that makes it six times stronger than normal glass (something that probably also imposes a significant cost in production), and although this material fall apart would not make it into pieces with a sharp part.
Their arguments, such as those against, they are impossible to verify without those roads were finally put in place, and even when the interest generated by the idea is notable, one might think that deployment as massive as it posed by the French Government could be a potential disaster. We will be very attentive to this development.