The day when the roads we drive on are as smooth as glass and replace our coal-fueled power plants is officially twelve feet closer. Solar Roadways has made good use of the cash they were awarded by the Department of Energy (DOE) and completed the first prototype of a panel they would like to see supporting the nation's traffic and electrical grid. The mockup module, which doesn't include the use of custom hardened glass with embedded heating element, solar panels or capacitors, is profiled in a series of photos on their new and improved website, and features micro-circuit controlled LEDs to "paint" situation-appropriate lines and messages. If the DOE deems the project fund-worthy after going through the Phase I reports and looking over the polycarbonate-protected prototype, Phase II will involve a "commercialization plan to begin the manufacturing process" and hopefully beget a more advanced product.
The DOE isn't the only group who's taken a fancy to the concept of having an intelligent, self-healing, decentralized power grid for a highway system. Solar Roadways also made the finalists list for the EE Times Sixth Annual Creativity in Electronics Awards for Most Promising Renewable Energy Award. The winner will be made known on April 27th. We wish them luck.
[Source: Solar Roadways]