Solar Roadways – Biggest Indiegogo Scam Ever?

SR

Dr. Roy Spencer and I have been watching this project with amusement combined with incredulity. Somehow, this mom and pop operation have raised over $1.9 million on Indiegogo from gullible people who don’t have the skillset or decide to ignore basic physics, economics, and common sense in favor of future pipe dreams of green energy. This video that follows shows why their claim doesn’t make any sense, none at all. The best part? The impetus was for this idea was global warming. Here is what they say about the birth of “solar roadways”:

Years ago, when the phrase “Global Warming” began gaining popularity, we started batting around the idea of replacing asphalt and concrete surfaces with solar panels that could be driven upon. We thought of the “black box” on airplanes: We didn’t know what material that black box was made of, but it seemed to be able to protect sensitive electronics from the worst of airline crashes.

Suppose we made a section of road out of this material and housed solar cells to collect energy, which could pay for the cost of the panel, thereby creating a road that would pay for itself over time. What if we added LEDs to “paint” the road lines from beneath, lighting up the road for safer night time driving? What if we added a heating element in the surface (like the defrosting wire in the rear window of our cars) to prevent snow/ice accumulation in northern climates? The ideas and possibilities just continued to roll in and the Solar Roadway project was born.

Source: http://www.solarroadways.com/intro.shtml

Got that? Airplane black boxes to road surfaces logic, check. LED’s to guide cars down the road at night with optional Windex tankers ahead of you, check. Heating elements to melt snow and ice, but no cognizant idea of just how much power it takes to melt snow and ice versus the amount of power a dirty scuffed up solar cell will produce, check.

The most ridiculous parts of this idea don’t just include the unsuitability of solar tiles as a road surface (high friction surfaces and transparent optical surfaces are total opposites) and the ginormous production and maintenance costs involved, but also include the ill-considered support infrastructure requirements, the poor visibility of LED road lighting itself, and the short lifespan of materials involved.

All in all, it’s a colossal green tech train wreck, but these clowns may be laughing all the way to the bank, or they may be shysters, either way, there’s a sucker born every minute.

From the YouTube video description:

Well it basically proposes the union of 3 or 4 technologies. LED lights, solar panels, and glass roads.

Glass really isn’t a feasible material to make roads out of.

1) its too expensive. Just coating the US road system with roads would cost many times the federal budget.
2) Its too soft. Even with a textured surface for traction, it will wear away too quickly. Dirt on roads is basically small rocks, which are generally much harder than glass. Imagine taking a handful of dirt and rubbing it a window. Now imagine doing that with the wheels of a 20 ton tractor/trailer.
3) I have doubts about the physical properties of the glass to take the load and mechanical heat stress required of a road making material.

Solar panels under the road is a bad idea from the start. If they are under the roads, they are hard to maintain. They will have reduced light from parked cars etc. They are fragile. Not really congenial to the conditions you are likely to get on a road. In many ways building a shed over the road, or just having solar panels by the side of the road is a far better idea. However the power transport really isnt practical. One of the most efficient ways to transport electricity around is as high voltage AC. However to build those lines would probably double the cost of any construction. To bury the cables is even more expensive.

LEDs for variable road marking have been partially implemented. They are usually only cost effective in dynamic traffic management systems. For most roads its utterly pointless as the road markings almost never need to be altered. These LED are usually not easy to see (especially in full daylight when the solar panels are meant to be generating power).

However solar powered roadways has generated well over a million dollars for Julie and Scott Brusaw (a therapist and an engineer).

I’m still on the fence as to if they are just delusional dreamers or (now millionaire) con artists. A lot of this looks like just direct ‘what if’ daydreaming, but then you get the part of the promotional video where they are shoveling ground up coloured glass into a wheelbarrow, while narrating that they use as many recycled materials as possible in this project. It’s very difficult to not see that as a direct lie. They must know full well that they did not use any of that material in the construction of their glass tiles.

Watch the video:

And here is the original video pitch that earned these green dreamers 1.9 million dollars for an idea that was dead out of the gate.

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241 thoughts on “Solar Roadways – Biggest Indiegogo Scam Ever?

  1. Another of those “sounds like a great idea!” ideas that doesn’t pass 2 minutes of critical thinking. (The first video could have denounced the idea in that amount of time, if they omitted all the hyperbole and fluff).

  2. Its just an Idiot Tax, like those loonies who want you to contribute to them so they can buy EU Carbon permits and tear them up. I really don’t care what morons do with their money – its their affair, not mine.

    I’m less concerned about this – which is voluntary stupidity – than various governments making us pay for schemes like Wind & Solar which are only marginally less idiotic.

  3. Actually it is not so surprising that folks without scientific educations would find this interesting. My daughter sent me a link for this and asked what I thought. Instead of answering her I asked her “What didn’t they talk about in this promotion?” She thought for a minute and said “They didn’t say how much it would cost.” Bingo.

    You don’t need scientific expertise, just a critical mindset – and a deep seated suspicion of other people’s motives.

  4. this was one of the most controversial posts I ever had. The popular support for “solar roadways” is amazing, the shallowness of the supporters arguments for it equally amazing.

  5. This reminds me of the famed gnome underpants business plan: Step 1: Acquire millions of underpants. Step 2: ? Step 3: Get rich. Still working on Step 2, but we really like the look of Step 3.

  6. Basic physics? Like the laws of thermodynamics? Cold cannot heat Hot? But seems to work in your pet the GHE.

  7. johnmarshall says:
    June 4, 2014 at 6:24 am
    —-
    Not this nonsense again.
    Heat flows from both cold to hot and from hot to cold. Everything that is above absolute zero radiates heat.
    When the cold warms up, it radiates more.
    Thus cold can heat hot.

  8. Last sentence. Typo. “…dead our of the gate.”
    The same lack of common sense, little education and no real interest in science is why both the solar roadway and the global warming scam are so popular.

  9. woops…

    “Just coating the US road system with roads would cost many times the federal budget.”

    ….glass

  10. This is something I posted on a couple FaceBook groups, including “Scientific Mensa” that has a several member convinced that AGW is going to destroy us all but buy into this scheme without doing the most rudimentary calculations.

    According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Hampshire_Highway_System , NH has 361 km of Interstate Highway system. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_Highway_standards says “Minimum lane width of 12 feet (3.7 m).” Let’s assume 4 lanes on average. Obviously, it’s higher, but that will do. 361k x 3.7 x 4 = 5.34 M m^2 of highway surface.

    A decent snowstorm accumulates 1 inch of snow per hour, melted, that would be 0.1″, or 0.25 mm. Multiply them together and you get 1.335 K m^3 of frozen water per hour, or 0.37 m^3 per second.

    It takes 80 calories, or 335 joules, to melt one ml of ice at 0C. 0.37 m^3 is 370 liters, or, 370,000 ml. So it takes 370 x 335 kj, or 124 Mj to melt that much ice. A joule/second is just a watt, so to keep up with the snow storm will take 124 MW. That’s not too bad, it’s only 10% of NH’s normal electrical load. Melting a breakdown lane and the little strip by the median will need about 15%.

    If we wanted to use just solar power, note that electrical production is moot, all we need to do is be dark black. If we can schedule the storms to be around noontime in full sunlight, we can figure this out. Overhead sunlight is good for 1300 w/m^2 or so. Noon in December means the sun is at declination -23.44 degrees, our latitude is about 42-43 degrees, so the solar altitude is some 90 – 43 – 23 = 23 degrees. That means a square meter of a horizontal surface will have 1300 x sin(23) = 500 watts. Of course, the surface will be an ideal radiator, and if we’re assuming full sun during the snow storm, we should accept full radiational output and some of that coming back from greenhouse gas reemission. That should be about 200 W, so we’ll have just 300 W to use.

    The whole interstate system in NH will have 5.34 M x 300 W = 1,600 MW. That’s a lot more than I expected. So on a sunny day, solar energy can keep up with a moderate snow storm! Note that folks who have tried to clear ice off a driveway on a sunny December day may disagree.

  11. pbft says:
    June 4, 2014 at 6:24 am

    “Didn’t even mention what snowploughs would do to these things….”

    But didn’t you see “Heating elements to melt snow and ice”?

    Oh….. “But no cognizant idea of just how much power it takes to melt snow and ice versus the amount of power a dirty scuffed up solar cell will produce, check”

    Snowploughs it is, then!

  12. As long as we’re dreaming here…if glass isn’t hard enough maybe we could switch to diamonds.
    We could also store electricity for lighting and heating with lithium ion batteries. Did somebody mention that money is no object, or that no tax is too much to bear for such a noble cause?

  13. Puts me in mind of my daddy.
    When ever I got what I thought might be a real time or money saver he’d say to me,
    “Well, it might sound okay but it’s like overdrive on a jackass.”
    “It’s a good idea, it just doesn’t work.”
    cn

  14. So the roadway surface has to be installed on top of a concrete box, and they never leak. And they are really inexpensive to build. Good luck with that? 1.9 Million wouldn’t be enough money to build much.

  15. I’ve seen this pitch pop up in several places – it’s huge on FaceBook.

    When I point out the obvious issues, like cost and durability, people get MAD. As in “you have to be an idiot!” mad. Other issues, like electricity storage and long-term maintenance? “Well, they must have that covered, stop being skeptical.”

    The basic hook for this is “it’s solar, it must be GREAT!”

    One guy relied on “the cost of electronics always drops a lot.” Yeah, usually, but the biggest cost of these things isn’t going to be the electronics. It’s the two foot wide, half-inch-plus thick, hexagonal tempered glass plates. It’s literally more expensive than equivalent-size steel sheeting!

    The price of high-end tempered glass hasn’t really dropped for decades now, and there’s nothing in this project which even hints at a drop in price for the future.

    Not to mention, of course, the foundation to support the whole assembly with near-zero settling (nearly impossible to manage at a reasonable price).

    Then there’s the bolts and fastening systems which have to hold them down with almost zero movement, but have to allow easy replacement (while keeping people from just unbolting the whole thing for use at home).

  16. Both Anthony and Roy have read this comment from me already, but it bears repeating. Someone commented on one of the myriad threads about this, something to the effect: “the greedy oil companies will never allow what amounts to being a world-changing idea”…to which I answered “The oil companies will allow it, if the laws of thermodynamics allow it first”

    This folk-scam (crowdsourced) is a touchstone for those with no critical thought capabilities. The positive responses are fluffy reflections of the respondent’s mindset. The same people are likely to be ones who blindly accept consensus arguments. (Gawd, I sound like an Anti-Lewandowsky). This is a peculiar offshoot of AGW-cult thinking…a seemingly benign and naive attempt to create a solution. Seemingly. A Mom-and-Pop version of Al Gore, profiting from carbon reduction. But I think Idaho just got its newest Millionaires, and the whole thing will disappear soon enough, while Grist, Treehugger, and Desmogblog continue to give them free promotion. When the truth finally outs, the silence will be deafening. Pass the popcorn!

  17. The secret ingredient used to protect the memory unit in black boxes is… wait for it… Paraffin! So, that’s what they want to use to build roadways?

    “A multi-layered configuration is used to ensure the memory unit’s integrated circuits are adequately protected.

    The outermost layer is the housing, which consists of steel armor plate.

    Below that is a layer of insulation, followed by a thick slab of paraffin, which forms a thermal block. As the paraffin melts, it absorbs heat and therefore keeps the temperature of the memory core lower.

    Beneath the paraffin lies the board containing the memory chips.

    Underneath the memory board is another paraffin thermal block, followed by another layer of insulation.

    The entire assembly is mounted on a steel plate that serves as an access cover.”

    Read more: http://www.madehow.com/Volume-3/Black-Box.html#ixzz33g7wfPVZ

  18. This is all over facebook and most of my greenie friends have fallen for it hook, line and sinker. One of my “greenie” friends uses lots of “gas axe” time in her artwork, all that pollution, is also someone who believes coal fired power stations *comsume* vast amounts of water, well according to Greenpeace flier she saw. Pointing out facts like the water isn’t consumed, it *IS* used in cooling and is passed back to the source via an outlet, filtered and cleaner but slightly warmer, than the water taken at the inlet. Most of the water is returned, some of it goes up the cooling towers. Falls on deaf ears!

  19. oh that would work SO well up here in maine in winter in tree covered roads that maybe get 1 hr sunlight a day.
    and temp swings combined with vehicle weight would shatter them.
    would be fun to see what a bad plow cutting edge does to them, one missing road shoe and you could curl the panels up onto side of road with the wing in a really nice pattern I bet.

  20. They really should read “The Roads must Roll” by Heinlein if they want to propose a unique, all purpose change to the nation’s Transportation system. Sure, that was written in 1940, but it was still more plausible than this proposal was.

    These kids, they just don’t know the classics anymore.

  21. We already have solar powered roads in Canada. In spring, the heat from the sun melts the ice on the road. A clear demonstration of proof in principle. Now, can I get some $$$$ too?

  22. “gullible people who don’t have the skillset or decide to ignore basic physics, economics, and common sense”

    Exactly the problem with public policy pretending to be based upon in the sciences.

    “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” – George Carlin

  23. All of this is dumb enough but a simple workable solution was invented by Percy Shaw of Boothtown, Halifax, West Yorkshire, England in 1933 when he patented the idea of the cats eye.
    A simple reflector in flexible retractable housing it works very nicely and is resistant to snow ploughs and vehicles running over the top. Different coloured reflectors delineate the centre of the road and its edges.

    There were experiments with heated road surfaces where the summer heat from the asphalt surface was used to heat a large sub surface fluid mass which could then be used in winter to heat the road. However this was expensive and only effective in marginal conditions. In a prolonged cold spell the heat bank is soon depleted even in the UK.

  24. My favorite stupidity was their idea of covering a parking lot with the solar tiles. You know, a parking lot, where lots of cars shade most of the pavement. Now THAT is a really dumb idea.

  25. Don’t laugh. I predict that the Obama EPA will require these solar roadways to be in place in all 57 states by the year 2010. (And, no, 2010 is not a mistype. Gotta get moving on these things you know.)

  26. I investigated a guy that sold limited partnerships that had a habit of failing, but he always kept the commissions, management fees and salaries. His cons were always aided by some government connection of some sort – like the small DOT grant here. Never did get him for fraud because the lawyers wouldn’t take the case because we couldn’t prove he wasn’t serious about his undertakings. Yet, he proposed to start a brokerage to sell his schemes on an ongoing basis – so he was doing a sincere con. Which is what you have here, although the debunking makes me think scienter is closer to proof here. But then, so is their underlying fanaticism.

    Let’s test this at a California airport reserved exclusively for politicians. We can borrow some of their high speed rail funds to build it. Other. People’s. Money.

  27. Please contribute to my project http://www.ImprovedSolarRoadways.com the main purpose is to extract money from alarmists to fund my party lifestyle. I promise at least 1% of the proceeds will go to google paid search so I can extract even more money from alarmists…

  28. Thank goodness it only snows when the sun is shining. Otherwise we would need solar roads and snowplows.

  29. Her hubby sounds like a civil engineer – roads and stuff. It takes18 to 36MJ of energy per kilo of glass (5 – 10 (all in) kWh/kg or 2.3 -4.5kWh/lb). First figure the melt, second figure the all-in energy: mining the quartz sand and feldspar, transport, etc. Where I come from, an engineer with a stupid enterprise on public support would be decertified and possibly jailed; if it’s a scam, jail would be pretty much assured. If he was an ordinary citizen, he might get away with it.

  30. arthur4563 says:
    June 4, 2014 at 7:22 am

    > My favorite stupidity was their idea of covering a parking lot with the solar tiles. You know, a parking lot, where lots of cars shade most of the pavement. Now THAT is a really dumb idea.

    Yeah, but how about all the parking lots that are empty at night? :-)

  31. I think this is fabulous. The global warming psychosis has created a viable pool of marks for scamsters. As long as they target gullible private investors I’m all for it. A few “we lost our life savings” sob stories hitting the popular press will go a long way to discrediting the otherwise unchecked global warming mantra.

    New paper indicates global warming causes dumber investors; more research needed.

  32. Re Thunderfoot’s diatribe, Turn the maximum verbosity off.
    This sounds like nothing more than a scam to get rich at the expense of the stupid.

  33. My great idea is to put pipes in the roads and pump ocean water through them containing Dr. Trenberth’s deep ocean heat to melt the snow. That’ll kill two birds with one stone – removes the snow and removes the heat from the ocean. Maybe I should post that on Indiegogo, Radiant Roadways – A Real Solution. Hmmm….

  34. You almost wonder if the video was done as a joke. . . . I think my favorite part is the picture of a small farm tractor sitting on the tiles, ostensibly as proof that a thousand 80,000 pound trucks an hour going down the road at 70 mph over a tile surface won’t cause any damage at all to the tiles.

    I ran the numbers — at it looks to me like it would cost about $1.5 million dollars a mile for a two lane road — just for solar cells. . . . .I’ll leave it to someone else to figure out the cost of the actual tiles, the labor cost for wiring everything up, the cost of the heater units, the cost of the LEDs, the cost of the voltage inverters, and the cost of the trenches on each side of the road housing the various electronics. Then, of course, you have to figure in the cost of having the windex tanker/scrubber keeping everything clean. . . .

    This is a perfect example of something the greenies would embrace. . . .

  35. “Ric Werme says:

    June 4, 2014 at 7:37 am

    Yeah, but how about all the parking lots that are empty at night? :-)”

    At night you say? I guess you have not been privy to a full, depth of winter, dark dull rainy day in say southern England or southern Ireland? Where people get up for work, in the dark, drive to work, in the dark, park in slightly not so dark conditions (Covering these solar “panels” with minimal solar “light” with said car), work during the “day”, then go home, in the dark, exposing the “solar road” to all that lovely “solar” after they leave, in the dark.

  36. “Ben Wilson says:

    June 4, 2014 at 7:49 am ”

    I pointed this out too to my FB friends who are really keen on this. But then I point out that driving on wet glass is just a slipery as ice. And lets not forget how many of these “panels” cave in after a while…I would stick with blacktop!

  37. This is inspirational. Completely inspirational. There is money in them thar rubes.
    It is time to tuck in and get some.

  38. I think you are all being needlessly cynical. They know, as we do, that this will never be adopted on major public roads. But you can imagine large prestige companies putting it down on their driveways and employee parking of their headquarters etc. not for its utility, but because it shows everyone how much money they have yet at the same time care for the environment.

    As a business idea, it’s not as whacky as it looks AS LONG AS you appreciate the pitching as a public highways products is a smokescreen, and it will sell as a niche status product, and probably make them a sackfull of money.

  39. Ric Werme says:
    June 4, 2014 at 7:37 am
    arthur4563 says:
    June 4, 2014 at 7:22 am

    > My favorite stupidity was their idea of covering a parking lot with the solar tiles. You know, a parking lot, where lots of cars shade most of the pavement. Now THAT is a really dumb idea.

    Yeah, but how about all the parking lots that are empty at night? :-)

    Easy. You power the ‘solar’ cells with moonshine. It’s not altogether looney—if you can’t sell the idea, you can drink it.

    /Mr Lynn

  40. Ideal project for Arctic roads where the sun never sets in summer. Pity about the winter, though.

  41. Put them on airport runways. I’m sure there are grants to a) study the issue, b) study the issue some more, c) put a “pilot” operation together, and d) subsidize the “Airport Energy Self-Sufficiency Mandate (EPA Approved)”

  42. Agree fully with “soarergtl” above at 6:12am, “It’s just an idiots tax….”
    Usually the morally superior use MY money to make themselves feel better and to retain a seat on their high horse. This time they’re putting their OWN money in – so good luck with that.
    As the saying goes, “A fool and his money are soon parted”.

  43. TheBigYinJames
    “…probably make them a sackfull of money”. I think it has done already

  44. No mention of water in the interstices freezing and expanding in winter. They look to be quite expensive items too.

    Still it must be quite a good feeling to take money off of the greenies who want to feel good about themselves. Kind of a win-win as long as they never have to actually produce any let alone put them into service.

  45. Good for them.

    They are simply making use of the well-known law that states “it is immoral to allow idiots to remain attached to their brass”.

    I just wish I had the bottle for it!

  46. I always thought that depleted reactor rods could easily be recycled by burying them under roadways. What could be simpler? You get all the benefits of this silly project, including a warm blue glow…

  47. Why not just build a canopy, high over the highway, out of solar panels?

    It keeps the snow and ice off, so no winter maintenance. Without the effects of sunlight, precipitation, and ice, the road surface will last longer.

    Imagine the tremendous reductions in wasteful carbon emissions, from the vehicles underneath being shaded and needing much less air conditioning.

    The waste heat from the vehicles is put to use in the winter, as it aids the melting of ice and snow off the panels, if needed.

    There are even health care savings, good for society, from reduced cataracts and skin cancer, and less heat-induced road rage.

    Why push to acquire vast swaths of usable land to despoil and inflict the blight of vast solar farms, when we have so many black barren stripes already snaking throughout the countryside?

    Plus the roads already usually run alongside the electric lines, as both go to where electricity is used. No infrastructure construction to link the sources to the grid!

    Is that too practical for crowd-sourced funding? What about the government? Big Brother, can you spare a grant?

  48. Solar Roadways has already obtained Federal Highways Administration funding of nearly $1 million since 2009, according to their website. http://www.solarroadways.com
    It is well worth a visit to the site to see the power of sophisticated computer graphics to overwhelm common sense. The deer walking on the pressure sensitive roadway surface, triggering warning lights in the glass roadway…in daylight!…is apparently totally believable to huge numbers of Green minded Facebook followers.
    Each of the 160lb glass paving blocks contains it’s own microprocessor and communicates wirelessly with every other paver. What could possibly go wrong? Only Deniers would question.

    The breadth and level of gullibility to swallow this concept is breathtakingly dismaying.

  49. Yeah, I get this from my Facebook friends, too. The same ones who forward the “This [insert month] is very lucky, it only happens every [insert large number] years!!!” posts.

    When I point out that there are precisely 14 calendars, and very slowly the reason why, and that any particular month is repeated within a decade or so…crickets.

    This is the slacktivist generation, isn’t it? Who needs science and engineering when you have instant gratification (or shaming as the case may be?).

  50. Here is the ultimate problem as far as I can tell: These panels use active electronics. If each panel has a mean time between failure (MTBF) of 10 years, putting down 3650 panels means you have one panel failing every single day. Once any appreciable sized area is covered with these panels, one would have to employ someone full time to continuously repair/replace failed panels. This means that the deployment must be such that the panels can be easily replaced. This also means a LOT of fastening hardware must be used per mile of roadway *and* since the panels must be easily replaced, they are also easily stolen. Also, what happens with a gas tank rupture and fire? Currently you dig out the asphalt and put in a patch and you are all done in a few hours. What about a leaking battery case that spills acid? The areas between the cells must be water tight or water seeping in is going to freeze (I don’t care how good these things are, they aren’t going to keep from freezing at -30F on a cold winter night in Minnesota).

  51. Might as well just throw some piezoelectric material, semiconductive dust, some conductive fibers, into the asphalt mix and hope for the best.

  52. @Yellow-striped Roadkill

    As long as we’re dreaming here…if glass isn’t hard enough maybe we could switch to diamonds.
    We could also store electricity for lighting and heating with lithium ion batteries. Did somebody mention that money is no object, or that no tax is too much to bear for such a noble cause?

    Good thinking. Diamond is certainly more durable than glass, transparent as well. It may be brittle though, so it should be reinforced by carbon nanotubes. Also, the surface should be made self cleaning and the entire structure self repairing.

    However, lithium ion batteries are not such a bright idea. But energy storage is, so let’s split the task. Solar panels below the surface should make no electricity for the obvious reason we mostly need it in winter and at night, while the sun prefers to shine during daytime in the summer. Therefore solar panels are supposed to make some non toxic non flammable energy rich substance instead, like sugar and store it locally. The other component we need is a fuel cell that generates electricity on demand using said stuff.

    Now, technical feasibility and costs. The system described is utterly unfeasible and even if it could be built, its costs are prohibitively insane. That’s the end of it.

    Or is it? With the emergence of self replicating programmable molecular nanobots we shall be able to return to this idea, but not sooner.

    In that case road surfaces need not be manufactured at all, just sprayed with nanobots, which are programmed to self organize and build all the structures needed, up from the molecular level with closely packed arrays of micron sized energy modules below, using sunshine as their energy source and atmospheric carbon dioxide as raw material. That is, active road surfaces, with all capabilities described above could be grown if seeded.

    It is definitely a future technology, so the current push for SOLAR ROADWAYS is nothing but a hoax, a dishonest money grab.

    But there is nothing physically impossible in a diamond based road surface, it is just another allotrope of carbon, after all. Therefore it will become practical as soon as we have the technology to create it cheaply.

    Until such time it makes sense to preload the atmosphere with CO₂ as much as possible, otherwise the coming Diamond Age could deplete it in no time, killing all plants off effectively, which is kinda bleak. Or we’d be forced to replenish it from limestone, but in that case we’ll have to figure out what to do with the enormous amount of lime milk. If dumped to rivers, catastrophic ocean basification is inevitable.

  53. And all their demos were on a solid substrate.
    Pavement has no strength.
    It’s the subsurface soil that carries the load.
    And its physical characteristics change, seasonally.

  54. “pbft says:
    June 4, 2014 at 6:24 am
    Didn’t even mention what snowplows would do to these things….”

    1. they argue that plows wont be needed
    2. they suggest retrofitting plows into street sweepers”

  55. ‘ This also means a LOT of fastening hardware must be used per mile of roadway *and* since the panels must be easily replaced, they are also easily stolen. ”

    The panels are trackable.

  56. Pretty easily summed up:

    Solar panels/cells/power are a GOOD idea.

    Putting em in roadways seems like a particularly POOR idea.(for all the reasons mentioned in Roy’s article and comments there and here).

    Putting em ABOVE roadways may work, but then again, they can equally well go above other things too.

  57. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    June 4, 2014 at 8:25 am
    Why not just build a canopy, high over the highway, out of solar panels?
    ###########
    this is addressed in their literature. DAFS

  58. I remember when people were talking about making electricity at home by having a heat collector in the attic and in the crawl space. The temp difference could be used to make electricity some how. I know it did not work. But the diff between blacktop and the surrounding ground would be much greater. Could this be possible in theory? In practice?

  59. It cannot be a scam.
    Think of it more as a public service.
    The true believers, fools and bandits one and all, have raised our cost of energy, allowed insane regulations to crimp our freedom and continue the assault upon reason and our wallets.
    They promote civic insanity.
    Taking their money from their willing paws is no fraud, the less wealth the members of The Cult of Calamitous Climate have, the less damage they can do civil liberties and public wealth.
    Think of these Solar Roadways personel as thought leaders… saving the CCC members from them selves.
    After all the Alarmed Ones do advocate giving up modern energy use and such lifesaving conveniences .
    Al Bore.. My hero.

    Course the longterm consequence of depriving self pitying fools of their money is they always blame someone else, so their vengeance will fall upon all who tried to save them from making fools of themselves.
    Better get those FEMA camps ready.

  60. “No mention of water in the interstices freezing and expanding in winter.” Hey – only irresponsible conservative water does that! Responsible liberal water contracts as it gets warmer, and then contracts some more if it gets colder. Pretty soon, it seems like there was never any water in the first place. (It works for Liberal promises; why not water?!)

  61. markx:

    At June 4, 2014 at 9:33 am you claim

    Pretty easily summed up:
    Solar panels/cells/power are a GOOD idea.

    NO!!!
    All large but intermittently available electricity supplies are a BAD idea. All of them. No exceptions.

    Richard

  62. Flight?! HA!

    Invisible power from tiny object that make up the universe? HA!

    Thinking machines? HA!

    What’s next? I guess I’ll just go print a pair of shoes on my printer. HA!

    What exactly is so crazy about solar roadways? I would say that 2/3rds of the US would be unworkable for this idea. And the solar cells in their present form are way to bulky and fragile to work. But that’s the point of a campaign like this. A few million spent to develop the idea is peanuts. And so what if it doesn’t work? Perhaps it leads to something else?

    That’s frequently how invention works. Set out to solve one problem, fail at that, and solve something else in the meantime. Perhaps a process for solar roofs, which makes much more sense. But whatever. This money is a fraction of the amount your average CEO receives in bonuses every year, which they just sh!t into big stupid houses and other crap they don’t actually need, but makes them forget that they’re going to rot in the ground with the rest of us some day. It’s well worth the investment to see what these guys can come up with.

    The sun bathes the Earth’s surface in something like 100 petawatts every year. If you could capture a tiny fraction of that power, we’d be set. To do that, it’s going to take lots of people working on every possible angle. That you guys are simply so dead set against it is nothing short of insane.

  63. Ric Werme

    your calculation neglects the heat energy of earth radiating into space from natural sources (residual heat, radioactive decay) This value is .0863 watts per square meter.

    In addition to this continuous source of energy, there is significant thermal mass in the road substrate, this is why it takes several snow storms to cool the subsurface of normal roads before the snow “sticks”.

    If only a slight increase in this residual energy mass was added during snow storms, the squeegee effect of car tires running over the snow would also push significant mass off of the roads.

  64. I confess my initial reaction to solar roadways was the same as we see expressed above. Even so, I feel compelled to come to the defense of my fellow north Idahoans. Consider the following quotes…

    “Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.” (Dr. Dionysus Lardner (1793-1859), Professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy at University College, London.)

    “A new source of power… called gasoline has been produced by a Boston engineer. Instead of burning the fuel under a boiler, it is exploded inside the cylinder of an engine.

    The dangers are obvious. Stores of gasoline in the hands of people interested primarily in profit would constitute a fire and explosive hazard of the first rank. Horseless carriages propelled by gasoline might attain speeds of 14 or even 20 miles per hour. The menace to our people of vehicles of this type hurtling through our streets and along our roads and poisoning the atmosphere would call for prompt legislative action even if the military and economic implications were not so overwhelming… [T]he cost of producing [gasoline] is far beyond the financial capacity of private industry… In addition the development of this new power may displace the use of horses, which would wreck our agriculture.” (U. S. Congressional Record, 1875.)

    “There is not the slightest indication that [nuclear energy] will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.” (Albert Einstein, 1932.)

  65. From crosspatch’s Scientific America linki:

    That’s exactly what Scott Brusaw of Sagle, Idaho–based Solar Roadways hopes to do next February. The electrical engineer is currently at work building a prototype of his so-called “Solar Road Panel” with the help of a $100,000 small business contract from the DoT.

    So taxpayers are footing some of the cost for this idiocy. It seems way to easy to get a spot at the public funds trough, nearly makes me wish I wasn’t an honest person.

  66. Crosspatch, I went to your link. Those are the same people as these, apparently pulling the same scam. They’ve managed to live off this nonsense for 5 years. (And the fact that it was in UnScientific American tells you all you need to know about that “publication.”)

  67. The 52 watt (max sunny midday) output panels have 72 watt heaters ….powered by the fossil grid.
    (Scott Brusaw has a EE Masters from the University of Dayton.)
    If this is such a good idea, why are not invite investors?
    “… we have various fears about loss of control that can come with bringing in a large investor. We hesitate to go public (sell stock), because we’d then be answering to stock holders…”

    http://www.solarroadways.com/faq.shtml#faqInvestors

    Must be a sign to go read “The Madness of Crowds”.

  68. Do the raw materials even exist for this idea? They don’t call ‘em rare-earth metals for nothing.
    Also, forget heating the road. What happens to their circuitry when you put it under a glass lens on a summer day in Arizona? Are they planning on installing air conditioning for the panels, or maybe they will be liquid cooled? That should go over well in the desert.

  69. I remember the day my friend ( a former employee) from Omnivision came into my office in the late 90s.

    He showed me a 640*480 CMOS camera connected to a phone via the audio jack.
    we played around taking pictures on this dumb phone. Well, in those days CMOS sucked.
    phone displays sucked. I had just launched the first HD Mp3 player and my roadmap for product development look like this: add more disk space, add wifi, add 3D ,add GPS, add big color touch screen,
    and looking at this clunky camera, I decided to put an internal camera on the road map, and oh ya, add GSM..

    Of course everyone thought it was crazy.. I would be turning a MP3 player into a all in one device.
    I pointed folks at what Palm was doing, and Ericssons “penelope” the Nokia 9000.

    Of course people had all sorts of practical objections: digital photography was limited. Nobody would watch video on a handheld device. there wasnt enough bandwidth. screens were super expensive, memory was expensive and volitile. the phone companies would never agree. Battery life was estimated in the minutes, the cost estimates put the product at 1000 or more.

    Crazy idea.

    A similar thing happened in 1994. in that year i figured that a single z buffered tri linear mipmapped, 30 hertz pixel cost about a dollar. in other terms if you bought a million pixel system that could draw a z buffered, tri linear mimapped pixel at 30 hertz, it would cost you a million dollars.

    I built a cost model of the system. How much dollars went into drives. How much went into processing. how much went into memory. I sat down with Phil Carmack.

    https://www.linkedin.com/pub/philip-carmack/11/857/715

    We guessed at a bunch of stuff. Phil was convinced we could shrink 7 chips down to one.
    he was convinced we could put this 3D stuff in a PC. We pushed the numbers further, and it was clear that in a decade or so maybe 2 that 3D could make it into a phone or handheld device. Phil went on to join 3D0 and then a start up named 3dfx (later bought by Nvidia). a couple of years after our 1994 discussion, we were both shipping 3D on the PC.. mobile would follow almost exactly as we had guessed.

    Further back in 1985 I sat in a lead lined room brainstorming what the platforms of 2020 should look like. We took the pilot out of the plane. We made them from materials that didnt exist.
    we gave them sensors and electronics that didnt exist. optical backplanes, high bandwith coms, we showed how they could be trained to cooperate or swarm with each other. paper studies.
    simulations. lots of what ifs materials that were broadband invisible. subsystems that could actively cancel ( zone of slience) any threat radar. all blue sky. all impossible. All waay to costly.

    until today that is.

    And lastly one day I went into a design shop where the guy was doing a rapid prototype for me using stereo lithography. Hugely expensive. he joked. ‘one day it would be cool to be able to built parts with a ink jet printer.. except not using ink” haha, ya someday.

    I’ve also had my share of huge failures. 5 million wasted on chip here, 20 million blown on another thing that looked really good. Ive seen things that look easy become hard. And things that look impossible become easy.

    I still want my flying car.

    That said I’m not too hopeful for this idea replacing roadways, so I didnt contribute.It may find a use in other places which is a common occurence for wacky ideas.
    plus a couple of million bucks is nothing and nothing teaches you more than failure.

    have big ideas and fail. or be safe and boring

  70. Robert Bissett says:
    June 4, 2014 at 9:50 am
    I confess my initial reaction to solar roadways was the same as we see expressed above. Even so, I feel compelled to come to the defense of my fellow north Idahoans. Consider the following quotes…

    “Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.” (Dr. Dionysus Lardner (1793-1859), Professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy at University College, London.) . . .

    And so on. Good point, but the problem with ‘solar roadways’ is not that they are impracticable, and infeasible (given current technology), or just moonshine, but they make no sense. Why would you want to pave the roads with any kind of tiles, solar or not, when that would obviate the virtues of pavement? Why would you want to go to enormous expense to string together millions of those tiles with expensive wiring all over the country when you can generate electricity in central locations with traditional power plants? Yes, as someone suggested above, you could one day used nanobots to transform the highways into something else—who knows? by then we might not even need highways—the matter transporter has been deemed feasible, in theory. So then we could pave over the obsolete highways with cells that collect power radiated from satellites. Or something.

    I don’t think the fanciful idea of ‘solar roadways’ rises to the level of fast train travel, or splitting the atom, because that’s not the point of a roadway. You want solar power, then put it where the sun shines. You want ‘solar roadways’? Put them where the sun don’t.

    /Mr Lynn

  71. “So taxpayers are footing some of the cost for this idiocy. It seems way to easy to get a spot at the public funds trough, nearly makes me wish I wasn’t an honest person.”

    Funny,

    That reminds me of the $$$ I got from the government in the early 90s to study this crazy thing called Virtual reality.

    http://www.sbir.gov/sbirsearch/detail/153182

    I spent some time reading everything this dude wrote

    http://www.jaronlanier.com/

    and after a wonderful visit with him, thought the dream was worth my time and your money.
    thanks!

    At that point we had crappy 640*480 screens and the device looked like a brick strapped to your face.

    But the concept was simple: eventually, we argued, we though the display could be shrunk to fit into a device that looked something like this

    http://www.google.com/glass/start/

    it will never happen.

    dont even ask me the reaction we got when we suggested that it could be built into contact lenses.

    can’t do it. no way no how.

  72. “What exactly is so crazy about solar roadways? I would say that 2/3rds of the US would be unworkable for this idea. And the solar cells in their present form are way to bulky and fragile to work. But that’s the point of a campaign like this. A few million spent to develop the idea is peanuts. And so what if it doesn’t work? Perhaps it leads to something else?”

    every winner I have known in high tech. thinks like this.

    moon shots.

    sometimes shit blows up

  73. Ok, this is a little bit different idea than the one posted above but, since it concerns CAGW, I think it’s appropriate to bring it up here.

    Now, we all know that CO2, on its own, will not raise atmospheric temperatures much. It’s the positive feedbacks, most notably water vapor. Well, I’d like investors to assist me in the development of anti-perspiration suits. Now, we all know we all sweat more when it’s hot outside. Sweat is what? Water vapor? You betcha. So, my proposal is to make perspiration capturing suits (anti-perspiration is a little bit of an inaccurate description but it sounds catchy) to prevent the evaporation of human perspiration into the atmosphere. Voila, positive feedback water vapor amplification reduced. And, due to the emergency nature of CAGW I’m sure we could lobby Washington to require every American to wear these suits, so my investors will have a market guaranteed by law. Here’s the clincher. If the suits prove popular with voters (pretty damned unlikely) we could label them as ‘O’ suits. If the suits prove extraordinarily, teeth gritting, unpopular with voters (pretty damned likely) we could label them Bush suits. Well, whaddaya think? Wanna’ invest?

  74. These people are on their way, but I have a better idea, that I offer freely to anyone with the sand for massive fraud like these people. The idea is, instead of glass tiles, use carbon nanotubes and graphene, all made of carbon. Make these materials out of CO2 freely from ambient air, and release free oxygen as a benevolent byproduct. Voila! Now you can not only produce free power from free carbon, you decrease CO2 at the same time. That’s a win/win for Gaia and humanity. If glass roadways can attract $2 million, this idea should attract really big bucks from the same clueless investors. The only thing I ask in return for inventing this is a promise that you never use my name if you actually solicit funds for it.

  75. In the crowdsourcing world, a critic must prove why something will not work, instead of the inventor proving it will work. One emotional laden tweet can have more value than any amount of common sense analysis; a truly democratic process that Socrates could appreciate. Add that to the sad fact that most of the fans of this idea confuse technology with energy, and may not know the difference between energy and power. Dream Stealer indeed!

  76. wws said on June 4, 2014 at 7:09 am:

    “They really should read “The Roads must Roll” by Heinlein if they want to propose a unique, all purpose change to the nation’s Transportation system. Sure, that was written in 1940, but it was still more plausible than this proposal was.”

    IIRC (and it has been a very long time since I read the story), the “sun screens” were mounted over the road, and road itself was a sort of a conveyer belt. I don’t recall if there was a power storage system for nights and storms.

  77. This is an old idea and I remember coming up with it about 45 years ago when I was computing the area of land covered by asphalt during what seemed like endless drives through Alberta and Saskatchewan with my father while he was doing timber cruising. It seemed obvious to me then; there was a huge expanse of land covered with a heat absorbing substance which was much warmer than the surrounding area and one should be able to make use of this temperature differential to produce power. At the time I was thinking more in terms of large Stirling cycle engines which would have their hot ends embedded in the roadways. Having viewed hundreds of miles of highway on those trips I was very conscious of the damage done to the road surface by heavy trucks and while paving the roads with solar cells seemed like a good idea, I concluded it would only work if no vehicles were allowed on the roads. Now, I’d consider the use of Peltier devices to produce electricity from highways but have not performed a cost analysis of this method.
    While the amount of power collected by highways is huge, people also forget that the area of highways is also huge. Solar power is a good idea near the equator for remote locations, but when one gets to the northern latitudes of Canada, alternative sources of energy are far more practical. In Kamloops, latitude 50.7 degrees N, my experimental solar cell setup produces a maximum of 1.5 W of power for 2 hours/day on a really sunny day. Any cloud cover, and the power output drops to 50 mw. It’s fun to play around with solar powered distributed sensor systems to see if one can reduce their power requirements to the minimum possible but for large scale applications solar power is simply far too expensive. It would be far cheaper for me to use disposable batteries to power the distributed sensors rather than solar cells and the only reason that I’m playing with solar cells is that I ordered a bunch during one of my late night electronic shopping sessions on the internet and thought summer would be a good time to play with them. They’re also more durable than IR thermometers when used in an overhead cloud sensing configuration.

  78. Too late, Obama is already giving them a billion dollars. Let a thousand Solyndras bloom!

  79. Steven Mosher — Sure, BeaconPower had a big idea too. Lots of losers in high tech think big too.

    Government should not be trying to pick the winners from the losers at taxpayer expense.

  80. crosspatch says:
    June 4, 2014 at 10:43 am
    #1 indication that it won’t work as advertised: they have been around for 5 years and nobody uses them.

    A typical transformative product can languish for decades before finding its beachhead.
    some beachheads can be dead ends, others can be a safe haven until you can assualt
    inland markets.

    Their problem amounts to this. They are aiming at replacing all roadways ( the mass market)
    The success, if there is one, will not come in the market they want. It will come from
    a customer who has a bleeding from the neck problem. All transformative products are adopted this way. rarely in the mass market, always in a niche where the customer either has a really
    bad problem.. or a customer ( typically a gadgeteer) who buys stuff just because its cool.
    Mp3 for example. Little known fact but the first hot market was
    1) old men with CD collections averaging 571 CD
    2. Reporters.

    the teen mass market came much later

    so take the product and pitch disneyland, universal studios. pitch developers in Dubai that have no shortage of money and a willingness to do crazy shit

    The question is when will these guys pivot to a different market and how big will that specialty market be.

  81. talldave2 says:
    June 4, 2014 at 11:44 am
    Steven Mosher — Sure, BeaconPower had a big idea too. Lots of losers in high tech think big too.

    Government should not be trying to pick the winners from the losers at taxpayer expense.

    ###########################

    Of course the government should be trying to pick winners and losers. The issue is how you do the picking and how much you bet.

    For example.

    The government has a bad track record of picking short term winners and losers. take Solyndra.
    That bet was stupid and everybody in the valley knew it was stupid. We knew it was stupid because we had watched china crush whole industries.

    But when it comes to picking longer range trajectories, say 30 years and out, limited government encouragement in deep research has pretty good pay offs.

    Long ago sitting at Arpanet meetings many of us wondered how we could turn this wild technology into something commercial. Now at that point none of us would have put our own money on the line. So, we bet your money. Thank us.

  82. Boris

    “Now, I’d consider the use of Peltier devices to produce electricity from highways but have not performed a cost analysis of this method.”

    very cool.

    here was a fun idea

    http://www.greenprophet.com/2010/09/piezoelectric-generators-electric-cars/

    but your peltier ideas made me think of this.

    One day I was sitting in a design meeting looking at all the fricking heat this 3D chip would generate. At a trade show the frickin system shut down due to over heat.

    There were two ideas We came up with. Peltier devices and shrouds with built in fans for the cards.

    Everybody laughed and argued that there was no way people would build systems with liquids running around in them or buy graphics cards with shrouds.

    I dont think they had ever seen a cray cooling tower

  83. “A typical transformative product can languish for decades before finding its beachhead.”

    Ok, well, we shall see. My background is in hardware design though I am not currently working in that field. In particular, I designed power systems (mainly switching power supplies). That these panels have active electronics pretty much dooms them. They would be better off with conventional panels mounted in the conventional manner along the roadside with resistive heating to the pavement. When that isn’t needed, feed the grid. The more “passive” it can be made, the more likely it is to be a viable solution. This thing is nice — kind of like a $200 banana slicer is nice. Some are going to want to do it just for the sake of doing it (because its all solar, and stuff) but I believe the overall benefit will be negative.

  84. Well, solar roadways might work if they lay a solar panel and a lunar panel every other panel. Gotta have power day and night, don’t you know ;o)

  85. Long ago sitting at Arpanet meetings many of us wondered how we could turn this wild technology into something commercial. Now at that point none of us would have put our own money on the line. So, we bet your money. Thank us.

    ARPANET didn’t invent the Internet, Intel did. Someone would have come up with a protocol eventually, probably faster and cheaper than you government drones.

    • @talldave2 – Actually it was a consortium. Digital, Intel and Xerox. Arpanet was not looking at the commercial application, but at the government application. Networks were coming. and pre-date the commercialization of ARPANet.

  86. Taking away the power generation aspect, lets look at the other physical properties:

    Is it a *better* or even “just as good” a road surface as we have now?

    Can it be maintained with existing equipment / expertise or will it require the purchase of two sorts of maintenance gear and having two sorts of expertise.

    I am interested in its nighttime properties. Will it actually ENCOURAGE the formation of black ice at night because it has produced liquid water during the day and can not keep it thawed overnight?

    It is my opinion that the places that would be best suited for deployment would be large parking lots. There is not a lot of very heavy, high speed traffic. Parking lots are designed for peak capacity on weekend during holidays. On weekdays in non-holiday periods, the parking lots sit mostly unused leaving a lot of unshaded space. BUT, commercial parking lots are also the place that are least likely to get a government subsidy. So if you want to see its real viability, look at deployments in private commercial spaces where conditions are optimal for use. So far we see pretty close to none. Places where politicians like to throw money just for the sake of throwing money are not an indication of real value of it. It is an indication of political benefit to the politician. Politicians are at the whim of 50% +1 of the population. 50% of the population are below the median intelligence level and at least 1 person is profiting from that.

  87. But when it comes to picking longer range trajectories, say 30 years and out, limited government encouragement in deep research has pretty good pay offs.

    No, it doesn’t. For instance, they’ve spent tens of billions on fusion and have absolutely zero practical value to show for it — not a single watt of fusion power has reached a commercial grid. There is virtually nothing useful that government research has done that would not have been done voluntarily if not for the fact that government is already doing it coercively.

    Supposing the U.S. is better off with government-run research is like supposing North Korea is better off with government-run food supply.

  88. Steven, thanks for the link to an actual trial of piezoelectric power generation from road traffic. Something I’ve also thought about, but the economics aren’t likely that good.
    With Peltier devices, the efficiency is a function of the temperature difference across the device. One very practical application is my wood stove stovetop fan which rotates faster the hotter the stove gets. It does an excellent job of moving warm air around my workshop in winter and also has enough air flow around the plastic components of the electric motor to prevent it from melting. I consider this to be appropriate technology as it’s economically sound.
    The problem with highways is that one is dealing with a very distributed system and hence while the potential power output is huge, one also needs an equally large, very expensive distributed system to collect the power. Where piezoelectric power generation would be practical would be to put the piezoelectric generators in ones shoes and use an energy harvester chip to use the small amount of power one generates during a hike to charge a cell phone battery. Having a cell phones GPS turned on continually to allow plotting ones route during a hike will discharge an iPhone battery in less than 2 hours so in such a situation a piezeoelectric power source would be very useful.
    Distributed sensors are another area where solar or exotic power sources are useful as I’m finding out as I instrument my yard with soil moisture sensors in my garden and multiple microprocessors to read them out. Parallax’s Propeller chip can be set up for truly micropower operation and a solar cell/energy harvester chip/LiPo battery combination would work even in the winter if one is sampling at low data rates and writes power optimized code. I can see use of novel sources of environmental power revolutionizing the development of the internet of things as it would be very nice to put a remote sensor in an inaccessible spot and not have to worry about powering it via a cable or batteries. What I don’t see is the large scale use of such power given current economic realities.
    For collection of diffuse solar energy plants are the best devices to use for this and it would be far more worthwhile to see if one could engineer plants to convert solar energy into electricity and transmit this power via organic conductors to create a biologic battery. The nice thing about such a system is that one would be able to have the plants use carbohydrates photosynthesized during the day to produce electricity at night. So, the solar powered highway that would make the most sense would be to have such electricity producing plants growning on both sides of the highway and providing highway lighting and powering a set of WiFi routers which would allow one to access the internet while driving. Hacking chloroplasts to make them into a solar powered battery shouldn’t be that hard and a distributed energy generation system of this type would represent rational use of biofuels, not the insane conversion of food to fuel with the side effects of rising food costs and increased political instability in poor countries once people can no longer afford food. Plants represent a readily available form of nanotech and it would be worthwhile to put government money into hacking plants to come up with self-reproducing power generation systems. Perhaps a fast growing weed with electric eel genes and new genes to synthesize high conductance organic conductor pathways would be the answer. Of course, the watermelons would have head explosions over creating “genetically modified organisms” but such a solar power system would be very low cost if one didn’t count development costs. It would have to be open source, of course, and the plants would be required to produce fertile seeds that could be planted to increase ones local power generation capacity.

  89. Steven Mosher says:
    June 4, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Mosher says:

    Long ago sitting at Arpanet meetings many of us wondered how we could turn this wild technology into something commercial. Now at that point none of us would have put our own money on the line. So, we bet your money. Thank us.

    ARPAnet meetings where? Did they make it into the RFCs? I wasn’t involved in the dreaming, but did implement part of telnet, FTP, and Email for the systems at CMU and Harvard.

    talldave2 says:
    June 4, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    ARPANET didn’t invent the Internet, Intel did. Someone would have come up with a protocol eventually, probably faster and cheaper than you government drones.

    I call BS. I left CMU in 1974, and didn’t really get involved in the TCP/IP protocols until 1985. I do have the 1982 “Internet Protocol Transition Workbook”. I just checked – I don’t see any reference to Intel. There are a lot of DEC systems, of course. The PDP-10 was the workhorse of the ARPAnet, and early TCP/IP was done on that, PDP-11s, and of course VAX, especially at Berkeley where their 4.1 BSD Unix release became the workhorse of the early Internet, both on Vaxen and also on systems from many startups. Some Intel, I’m sure, but most not, e.g. Sun, Pyramid, Alliant, Convex, etc.

    The protocols were created by many of the people who were involved with the ARPAnet. Heck, telnet and FTP live on with very few changes to be carried by TCP instead of NCP.

    The “government drones” worked on the OSI protocol suite. Well, not quite fair, a number of private companies put a lot of resources into that. It’s just that simple and running trumps complex, expensive, and late.

    I recently bought http://www.amazon.com/Elements-Networking-Style-Animadversions-Intercomputer/dp/0595088791 in part to fill some of the network history I missed, and in part because I never bought when it was first in print. I don’t see anything about Intel in there either.

  90. The whole “solar roadways” is a solution to a non-existent problem. There’s no shortage of space to install solar panels across the US. It makes zero sense to install solar panels over huge areas they need to be concentrated to be useful.

    Ridiculous. Yet simple people support it without question.

  91. Didn’t Pink Floyd mention something about keeping “the lunatics on the path”.

    Well now we have loonies paying good hard earned cash for loonies on the road! Time to re-read “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” which contains Global Warming and screwball glass roads.

  92. If I was a member of this ”think tank”, I would try to think of a totally different tech. The asphalt does get hot. Maybe panels under the cars and trucks could pick up infrared radiation on a hot day and also have panels on the top to add direct solar. It might run a beer cooler in the trunk.

  93. I’m backing Dr. Roy Spencer with this. The knee jerk bigotry over this is astounding.

    I see nobody here are engineers. There are some issues with this design but avoiding the road heating idea, it is easily do-able.

    The problem with this design begins with the method to bolt these to the road which requires a concrete base with many, many accurately positioned studs. The glass road surface meets all roadway requirements. I would not use these where cars park/house shade but the likes of lighting up my rear patio with the possibility for kids to use as a disco floor?… I’d love them!

    On roads, they are thinking of these as power conduits, setting speed limits, directions and the ability to easily move lanes, like cats eyes, around roadworks. Repair would be easy and drainage between the panels.

    These will also make you electricity. Apart from being hexagonal, what’s not to like?

  94. Crowd sourced funding is kind of like the stock market. Only not as risky.

  95. Ric Werme: You are correct. Intel played no part in the development of the Internet protocols.
    DARPA was not just government, but a lot of Universities played a part. There were several different protocols developed and scrapped. The original APANET had very little in common with modern TCP/IP.

    It was around 1974 that Vinton Cerf et. al. created TCP.

    Until about 1980, Intel was producing the 4004 processor and RAM chips.

  96. pbft on June 4, 2014 at 6:24 am
    Didn’t even mention what snowplows would do to these things….”

    Don’t need snowplows…these things will melt all the snow and ice away with their infinite reserves of good clean renewable energy!

    I want to see the energy calculations. What is the energy per mile of road that could theoretically be generated, and how much energy is required to move an average slug of traffic through that mile. I’ll bet it’s not even close to breaking even.

  97. @Andyj says:
    June 4, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    “I’m backing Dr. Roy Spencer with this. The knee jerk bigotry over this is astounding.”

    Read the article and Dr. Spencer’s comments again (or perhaps for the first time?). I don’t get a ringing endorsement from Dr. Spencer’s comments, unless I’m misreading him.

    “I see nobody here are engineers. There are some issues with this design but avoiding the road heating idea, it is easily do-able.”

    I are a engineer as are several of the regulars who have commented above. N.B. Just because something is possible doesn’t mean it is feasible in any way shape or form.

    “The problem with this design begins with the method to bolt these to the road which requires a concrete base with many, many accurately positioned studs. The glass road surface meets all roadway requirements. I would not use these where cars park/house shade but the likes of lighting up my rear patio with the possibility for kids to use as a disco floor?… I’d love them!”

    I agree that they should not be used where cars park or where the panels would be shaded. I’d also recommend not using these where people drive cars.

    “On roads, they are thinking of these as power conduits, setting speed limits, directions and the ability to easily move lanes, like cats eyes, around roadworks. Repair would be easy and drainage between the panels.”

    Are you sure about easy repairs?. First off, what sort of monitoring system would be required to identify exactly which little hexagon needs replacing? Then, once a gimpy panel is identified, someone must go out, re-direct traffic, unscrew the little panel from its precision bolts, plug in another panel, and then bolt it back down. I like the current system where the orange barrels come out for a few weeks while they plane the roadway and then resurface with blacktop. They can do several lane miles in one overnight shift.

    “These will also make you electricity. Apart from being hexagonal, what’s not to like?”

    What’s not to like? Solar potholes, shorts to ground, scratched glass after 2-3 days of service cutting efficiency by 20-30-50%, ground heave and bed settling, washouts and undercuts… for starters. I’d also be concerned that the government contract would specify that the panels be wired in series so that officials can be quickly alerted when a panel goes out and they can dispatch someone to fix it.

    Go ahead, Andyj. Invest your money in it. This dumb ol’ engineer will put his money elsewhere.

  98. Sorry mods. The #$%! autocorrect on this computer just changed all my small i’s to capital I’s. Don’t know if it’s worth the fuss to fix ‘em.

    Best,
    H.R.

  99. friendsoffairview says: June 4, 2014 at 6:07 am “Dream Stealer. Maybe its the same reason we give money to homeless bums. We hope they’ll do something amazing with it.”

    Well, more than that, we give money to homeless bums to help them stay alive. We do hope they’ll change their life.

  100. Have the idiots looked at what a flight recorder enclosure is? A compact strong metal enclosure, opaque. Not magic material, a different strength requirement in any case.

    A strange analogy – better would be the steel plates temporarily covering holes in the road, but of course those are also opaque.

    To get wild, I’d look at thermo-electric devices to use road surfaces heated by the sun, though cooling the other side of the devices seems impossible at first glance. Better to use liquid heat transfer (pipes in the road surface). But I can immediately think of problems with those schemes, Including that they too require the sun to be shining (people who suffer through winters on the mid wet coast of NA will be ROFL at that).

    Some people naiively think that snake oil disappeared decades ago. :-)

  101. As for parking lots, careful which ones you speak of – offices and schools use theirs during the day, shopping centres mixed, churches in the evening and on weekends. Many factories use theirs day and evening (two shifts), private schools too.

    (Side tangent: the control freaks of Delta BC blocked building a church and office building together, insisting that churches had to be in residential neighbourhoods so children would have to dodge people rushing to church. The logical plan was to share parking space, due different times of use of the offices and church.

  102. friendsoffairview says:
    June 4, 2014 at 6:07 am

    Dream Stealer. Maybe its the same reason we give money to homeless bums. We hope they’ll do something amazing with it.

    Apologies if I’m missing a sarc here, but I do hope no one is stupid enough to give money to bums in the hope that they’ll “do something amazing with it.” Or maybe that was you point, and that the people who contributed to the indiegogo campaign are that stupid.

  103. The sad thing is, other start ups with viable ideas missed out on this misdirected funding.

  104. This is funny. I own an electric car, have done some study of renewable energy and generally (with important caveats) support renewables. I will support renewables a whole lot more if someone will just invent a cheap, grid-scale battery. But solar roadways? What a complete scam!

    And Roy Spencer, you’ll be happy to know that in the electric car group I belong to, the solar road project was hooted off the page.

  105. Steven Mosher said on June 4, 2014 at 9:34 am:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    June 4, 2014 at 8:25 am
    Why not just build a canopy, high over the highway, out of solar panels?
    ###########
    this is addressed in their literature. DAFS

    I’m reading this is basically a scam, so the “literature” is packaged deception for marketing purposes. So you are directing me to a propaganda site, where presumably I’ll find an honest appraisal of a competing proposal.

    So how long have you been directing people to SkepSci for a balanced discussion on global warming?

    BTW, you are wrong. There is no automatic FTP access, thus it is not a Direct Access File System from the internet.

    Guess that’s another inscrutable drive-by dropping from old Crypt-Mosh.

    Found it in the FAQ on the deceptive marketing propaganda site. Thankfully I have NoScript, AdBlock, and am running Linux, so I hopefully have adequate protection from the malware.

    http://www.solarroadways.com/faq.shtml#faqCanopy

    >It would be incredibly expensive as you would still have to pay for our current road systems. We plan to use the money already budgeted for roads for the replacement Solar Roadways.

    The money budgeted for roads is highway maintenance like cleaning and plowing, with pothole and crack fixing, sign and guard rail replacement. There are road resurfacing projects paid for by “whatever’s left”.

    Road and bridge replacement and new construction are usually special projects where they seek government funding, usually federal.

    Thus they are mistaken. There will still be road surface maintenance, cleaning and replacing pieces, etc. You still need guard rails and signs.

    There will be subsurface issues, which cause cracks and some potholes in tarmac, with sinkholes, etc.

    They would pay for the solar road with non-existent money. Scam.

    >If we still had to build current roads plus pay for the canopies, the cost would likely be so high that taxes would have to be raised to cover it.

    The Government will raise taxes regardless, as this is a “worthy project” reminiscent of FDR and the New Deal thus a plausible excuse. There will be massively expensive initial construction, worth decades of highway funds.

    When you tell the states they will have money freed up in the budget, they will spend it elsewhere. It’s tough convincing the public that this money they don’t have to spend on roads in the future cannot be a tax cut or used for sheltering abandoned puppies, but must go towards paying back a road-building debt they never asked for, for decades, with interest.

    Thus they are mistaken. It will have to be a Massive Public Works Project, for which they will raise taxes. Scam.

    >And it would leave our highway system just the way it is – crumbling and antiquated.

    Roads would last longer between resurfacings with the canopy protection. “Antiquated” is road width and patterns, location of major roads near former centers of population and industry instead of current ones, etc. The Solar Road won’t fix that. Scam.

    >Imagine taking a family vacation on one of these roads. It would feel much like being in a covered parking garage with a roof right over your car!

    Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? When has the drive been that great?

    >Then there would have to be pillars all along the road holding up the canopy, which would be unsightly and could lead to increased accidents.

    With precipitation and ice off of the road, extremely decreased daytime glare, and reduced eye fatigue, accidents will drop. The pillars, which would be outside of road edges, will no more increase accidents than guard rails and divider barriers. And since when have highways not already been unsightly?

    I’m sorry, Crypt-Mosh, but having to trudge through such easily refuted deceptive denying dreck is really making me want a smoke. Which I no longer do. So I’m going to stop. It is a scam, and their level of chicanery in marketing shows they know it as well.

  106. Did any of you even LOOK at their website? Here’s the part all of you seem to have missed. They are developing durable, impact resistant photovoltaic cells. They would LIKE to see them used to cover all the roads in the US, but their tech is meant to be used in smaller areas like private driveways and parking areas just as well. In other words, similar to Bill Gates in the early 80’s “I want to see a PC on every desk” which also got laughed off the stage by people like you, what they WANT in the future is not what they expect today.

    Since all of the comments I see here are debunking the idea of covering roads, maybe you should dial it back (just like the Solar Roadways website does) and consider them on a smaller scale. If it is practical to put solar PV on your house, then cells with similar efficiency placed in your yard, roof, driveway or anywhere else will perform exactly as well. Period. Depending on the cost / panel your personal return on investment period will vary compared to a roof system, but the overall effectiveness of the technology is exactly the same. Their literature online indicates they are using commercially available PV cells at about 18% efficiency. This is the ‘high-average’ end of current technology. Slap on a tempered glass cover instead of the usual plate glass or plastic, make it a nifty hexagon and add some circuitry to allow them to talk to each via wifi and run some LED’s and you’re done.

    Ridiculous extrapolations to the cost of covering every road in the US are irrelevant. If this product succeeds it will be one consumer at at time putting them in a private area. No one on the Solar Roadways website is talking about asking any taxpayers to magically pony up the multi-billions it would cost. They are selling a dream. It’s called marketing. Go read their actual claims and numbers and you’ll see a very reasonable business model.

    There is an enormous upside to this product without it needing to be ‘everywhere’.

  107. Steven Mosher says:
    June 4, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Piezoelectric or Peltier devices built into roadways would make more sense than solar tiles, as they could compensate for, and even utilize (piezoelectric) the stress of trucks and cars on the surface. Running thousands of heavy, dirty, oil-dripping vehicles across solar panels makes no sense at all. Solar-panel awnings over roadways would make sense, but none of these ideas concentrate the electricity collected in a way that is easily utilized—unless maybe it can be fed into the existing grid via the lines running alongside the roadways. But at what cost?

    The main question is: why bother? We can generate all the power we want with our huge reserves of coal and natural gas and uranium and thorium, and we already have a network to distribute that power. Is there any likelihood that these roadway systems could compete in cost? Solar power is good for small, specific applications along highways and byways, and is already being used.

    MarkP says:
    June 4, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    I don’t think I’d want those solar tiles in my driveway, which chronically suffers from left-over sand (from the winter), grandkids dumping dirt, leaves, and parked cars. Put solar panels up out of the way, on a roof or portico, and that may make sense. Or it will here in New England, when the liberals force electric rates out of sight, imitating California. The key to prosperity and progress is cheap, abundant, electric power, not taxpayer-funded boondoggles.

    /Mr Lynn

  108. LOL the parking lot prototype is idiotic. I assume parking lot is where you park your car. If you do the car will block the sun. Maybe that’s why people put solar panels on the roof.

  109. Until about 1980, Intel was producing the 4004 processor and RAM chips.

    Nope. Intel was making the 8080 in ’74. I should know. I designed an S-100 I/O board that went into the worlds first BBS. The Altair (an 8080 S-100 machine) hit the front cover of Popular Electronics in Jan of ’75.

  110. BTW Bill Gates got his start with S-100 machines with a Basic compiler. Running under the C/PM OS. His IBM DOS (developed by some one else) was an offshoot of C/PM.

  111. From MarkP on June 4, 2014 at 6:59 pm:

    If it is practical to put solar PV on your house, then cells with similar efficiency placed in your yard, roof, driveway or anywhere else will perform exactly as well. Period.

    Wrong. That’s a flat application. Unless you live in the tropics near the equator and expect the sunlight shining from directly overhead at noon, you will lose considerable production over tilting the panels towards the sun.

    Also sunlight from low on the horizon reflecting off solar paving stones certainly does not generate much electricity. They would not be a good choice anywhere outside the tropics where there could be ice and snow during winters with low-angle sunlight.

    Their literature online indicates they are using commercially available PV cells at about 18% efficiency. This is the ‘high-average’ end of current technology.

    SunPower currently says their top-end residential assembled panels get 21.5%. Bare cells at 18% doesn’t sound that great.

    Slap on a tempered glass cover instead of the usual plate glass or plastic, make it a nifty hexagon and add some circuitry to allow them to talk to each via wifi and run some LED’s and you’re done.

    Tempered glass for solar PV panels is common, low-iron type recommended. Common thickness spec is only 4mm (0.157″) thick, perhaps only 3.2mm (1/8″). Obviously the solar paving stones will have considerably thicker glass with greater transmittance losses.

    Plus they are on the ground, where they will collect dirt and dust and pollen and leaf residue and will require cleaning. My outdoor concrete and slate looks just fine with my strict regimen of benign neglect.

    Why would I want a backyard of tens to hundreds of wifi-enabled computing systems? That’s a lot of signals to cram into the frequencies. I can imagine trying to track them with the laptop as it struggles to make hundreds of connections. I don’t want them hacked, so they’ll need encryption, each with their own key. With the selection thoroughly randomized, and likely stored in a file I hope is not corrupted or lost.

    If it is, well, a device I can shine on the solar paving stone that would reset the key to default, would be terrible for security, anyone with one could reset and take over any of them. Perhaps even load malware to crack my home system. Same problem if I can send a reset over the electrical wiring. The paving stones would need a physical reset. So I would have to dig up each one, flip them over, and hit the concealed button. Ugh.

    Do you know that any necessary commands and data can be sent over the electric wires, just as how the electric meter on your house “phones home” your energy usage? Such signaling is the basis of most home automation. Why would they need wifi for what simpler tech can accomplish?

  112. Intel played no part in the development of the Internet protocols.

    Yeah, except for creating the entire reason anyone uses the Internet: affordable computing on a scale that makes widespread computer-to-computer communication useful.

    It’s like arguing Ford and GM had nothing to do with the development of the Interstate Highway System.

  113. I call BS. I left CMU in 1974, and didn’t really get involved in the TCP/IP protocols until 1985. I do have the 1982 “Internet Protocol Transition Workbook”. I just checked – I don’t see any reference to Intel.

    Intel is the reason the Internet exists. Without PCs, why would you build an Internet?

    The Internet was not invented by DARPA coming up with a protocol any more than U.S. auto transportation was invented by the people who make traffic signals.

  114. Andyj says:
    June 4, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    I see nobody here are engineers.

    Aerospace. Commercial. Industrial. Aircraft RATs, Black Box data recorders, and other aircraft systems.

  115. Without PCs, why would you build an Internet?

    And perhaps more to the point, if nearly everyone owns machines capable of BIPS, what are the odds industry isn’t frantically trying to come up with some protocol for them to talk to each other directly? TCP/IP happened to be around and workable, just needed to add a few trillion dollars of infrastructure and presto! you had a serious competitor to the fax machine. Well, according to Krugman. Turned out a little different than he expected, mainly because PCs can do a lot of things fax machines can’t.

    These guys are not even producing anything like ARPANET, which was at least eventually useful. It’s fine to be the guy who thought up Facebook in the 1970s, but there’s not much practical difference between being ahead of your time and having a totally unworkable idea because of laughably inadequate technological means.

  116. Philip says:
    June 4, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    > It was around 1974 that Vinton Cerf et. al. created TCP.

    I met Vint Cerf at DEC in 1978 Feb 6, he came to tell the network group there what sort of things they were missing out on (this was the era of proprietary protocols), I pumped for everything I had missed since leaving CMU.

    I know the date because that was the start of the Blizzard of 1978 in New England. Vint didn’t make it out of Massachusetts that Monday evening, but he did make it to his hotel. He finally got out Thursday. So there is a climate/weather connection in this thread!

    He even made it into my recollection, see http://wermenh.com/blizz78.html

  117. They are developing durable, impact resistant photovoltaic cells.

    I could never understand why my durable, impact resistant ice cream never took off. Investors kept waving their arms and uttering nonsense phrases like “not useful attributes!” I blame Wall Street.

  118. I think you’re all missing the point. Indiegogo is all about attracting *investors*, not solving engineering or environmental problems. All these people need to so is create enough buzz to get *public* money on board. If you were to invest in this at the crowdfunding stage, then some government somewhere (anywhere…) decides that this needs to be done, then your investment will pay off because that government is throwing money at the company you’ve invested in. Doesn’t matter how shitty or useless the product is, it could well pay off for investors.

  119. this entire article is stupid. the scientific method and innovation is about trial and error so no the idea is not perfect but if they keep trying they’ll figure out the solutions to all of your arguments about why it wont work. The only way they can keep trying is for someone to fund the research and development and their tests (hence indigogo). Your grandparents, if anything like you probably were skeptics of the wright brothers. but the kept trying figured out the solutions and now we cant even imagine a world without airplanes.

  120. talldave2 says:
    June 4, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    Intel is the reason the Internet exists. Without PCs, why would you build an Internet?

    The leading reason to build the Internet was that the ARPAnet was full – 64 IMPs, some sites had two, each IMP could handle four hosts.

    The reason to redesign the protocol was to apply things people had learned from the ARPAnet’s half duplex protocols. Instead of having two connections for a FTP control interface (and one more for each data transfer), switching to full duplex protocols let you send a message that both had data and also the acknowledgement for the previously received data.

    Without Intel-based PCs, both the ARPAnet and Internet did well. Like I said before, Vaxen were the primary system for much of university and industry access to the Internet. My first access from home was through a dialup line to a college in town, then later through dialup but not to AOL, I could have used a dumb terminal just fine.

    Windows PCs didn’t garner Internet protocol support from Microsoft until Windows 95, though there were various third party sources like FTP Software for several years before. It was the advent of the WWW that convinced Bill Gates that he had to get on the TCP/IP bandwagon – there were too many non-microsoft systems out there that didn’t and never would speak the Microsoft networking protocols.

    By then AOL had been connecting people to the Internet for a couple years though their dialup, and in 1995 debuted aol.com. So between 1982 and 1995 the Internet did pretty well without Intel PCs.

    I’m currently using an Intel PC (running Linux); my previous system used an AMD 64 bit processor. There are plenty of AMD and ARM processors (especially in cell phones) talking to the Internet these days. I see no urge to pay Intel homage to the Internet. Besides, they never have learned how to design a decent processor – Microsoft’s mass market was a much greater influence.

  121. Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:
    Sounds great, right? Think of all the square meters of road surface on the planet. Of course, that stuff is comparatively expensive, brittle, not tough. It simply will not hold up to traffic. Keep in mind that it needs to be mirror smooth, not the best thing for traction. Who would risk driving on a road that would give you no stopping power nor cornering control while wet?
    It is hard to believe anyone would give a dime for such an endeavor. Of course, as George Carlin pointed out, it is discouraging to realize how dumb the average person is, and it is scary to realize that half of them are dumber than that.

  122. talldave2 said on June 4, 2014 at 10:05 pm:

    I mean, think about it: who wouldn’t want to drive on roads made of ice cream?

    People who don’t want their cars messed up but don’t have the time to swerve and brake to avoid hitting all those kids licking the highway. And all the possums, deer, and bears as well.

  123. @rechard
    The Wright brothers invented the airplane. PV cells have already been invented. These people want to put PV cells on the road. That’s the last place you would put solar panels after indoors and under a shade. Dirt and dust are the mortal enemies of PV cells. They block solar radiation. Where do you find all the dirt? On the ground. Dirty tires roll all over the road.

    @m_simon
    Why are people still trying to invent cold fusion? Farnsworth already invented the Fusor in 1964 and high school students have made Fusor machines for fun.

  124. MarkW says, above
    Everything above absolute zero radiates heat….

    I agree BUT not what I said. Heat radiating from a cold area will not raise the temperature of any area hotter. This is scientific fact, through the laws of thermodynamics, Planck’s law etc. The GHE theory requires this to happen.

  125. A lot of really smart people said that humans would never be able to fly, much less send a man to the moon. Are we crazy or stupid to dream big? Maybe. While a lot of smart people are providing lots of really good reasons why something can’t or won’t be done, other people are actually doing it. We create our own reality.

  126. From johnmarshall on June 5, 2014 at 1:07 am:

    (…) Heat radiating from a cold area will not raise the temperature of any area hotter. This is scientific fact, through the laws of thermodynamics, Planck’s law etc. The GHE theory requires this to happen.

    Do you accept that blankets keep you warmer than without them? The room is colder than your body, the blanket is cooler than your body but not as cold as the room. Yet the cooler blanket keeps you warmer than if it was not there.

    The blanket slows the transfer of heat to the room. The greenhouse gases slow the transfer of heat to space, thus keeping the planet warmer than if they were not there, even when they are cooler than the planet.

    Your musings on thermodynamics and Planck’s Law and misguided and moot. This is not an ice cube that’s boiling water. This is a slowing down of the rate of heat loss. Your musings do not apply.

  127. It makes sense. In french “gogo” means : patsy, zany. Perfect kind of people for a fundraiser ;-)

  128. Andyj says:
    June 4, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    > These will also make you electricity. Apart from being hexagonal, what’s not to like?

    Instead of being part of the “Rat Race” we’ll be part of the “Hive”. Drunk drivers will be Bumble Bees, car carriers will be Queen Bees. The Highway Patrol can still be Bears and will be looking for money, err, honey.

  129. Come on MarkW, answer or continue to live in an environment shrouded be rules imposed by idiots

  130. mike says:
    June 5, 2014 at 2:28 am
    A lot of really smart people said that humans would never be able to fly, much less send a man to the moon. Are we crazy or stupid to dream big? Maybe. While a lot of smart people are providing lots of really good reasons why something can’t or won’t be done, other people are actually doing it. We create our own reality.

    Nothing wrong with “dreaming big.” I am impatient to go to the stars. I think Maglev trains and spaceship launchers would be fabulous (cf. James Powell et al, Maglev America: How Maglev Will Transform the World Economy, StarTram: The New Race to Space, http://www.amazon.com/Maglev-America-Transform-World-Economy/dp/149232759X ). But a “solar roadway” is really a dumb idea. There is a difference.

    /Mr Lynn

  131. “MarkW says:

    June 4, 2014 at 6:33 am”

    No. Does NOT radiate “HEAT”. Radiates IR in various bandwidths. Humans, usually, “feel heat” in a very narrow bandwidth of the IR spectrum, usually 1 micron. ALL objects above aboslute ZERO radiate IR. Is that heat? No!

  132. philjourdan says:
    June 5, 2014 at 9:44 am

    @talldave2 – Actually it was a consortium. Digital, Intel and Xerox. Arpanet was not looking at the commercial application, but at the government application. Networks were coming. and pre-date the commercialization of ARPANet.

    No, those three companies comercialized Ethernet, that’s almost certainly what you’re thinking of. While you can transport Internet protocol packets over Ethernet, there are many other message types that can be too. E.g. DECnet and other public and proprietary protocols from Microsoft, Novell, etc. You can have a very active Ethernet with no Internet protocol activity at all.

    These days, of course, most Ethernet traffic is Internet packets.

    Long haul Internet traffic is not Ethernet.

    • @Ric Werme – You are correct. However, tangental to that is the fact that Ethernet was the goose that got the Internet going. An open, if inefficient, standard, that made connections cheap. It has now even morphed to WAN connections. Of course the Ethernet of today is nothing like the DIX standard of years gone by. But the kernel is still there.

  133. mike says:
    June 5, 2014 at 2:28 am
    “A lot of really smart people said that humans would never be able to fly, much less send a man to the moon. Are we crazy or stupid to dream big? Maybe. While a lot of smart people are providing lots of really good reasons why something can’t or won’t be done, other people are actually doing it. ”

    No they don’t. They didn’t perform the emergency stop test.
    Mr. Inventor said “the technology is ready, now it’s time for manufacturing it.”
    Yet he didn’t do the emergency stop test.
    So his assertion that the technology is ready was a lie. As an electrical engineer he knows that a technology must be tested. So it was not an oversight, but a lie.

    And all of this is excrutiatingly funny. His fanboys gave him 1.5 million for that! Man! Genius!

  134. Dr. Strangelove says:
    June 5, 2014 at 12:07 am
    “@m_simon
    Why are people still trying to invent cold fusion? Farnsworth already invented the Fusor in 1964 and high school students have made Fusor machines for fun.”

    Because the Fusor can for principal reasons never deliver an energy surplus.

  135. Steven Mosher says:
    June 4, 2014 at 11:53 am
    “The government has a bad track record of picking short term winners and losers. take Solyndra.
    That bet was stupid and everybody in the valley knew it was stupid. We knew it was stupid because we had watched china crush whole industries.”

    a) Solyndra wasn’t stupid because China; Solyndra was stupid because it directs only a tiny fraction of the photovoltaic cell at the sun.

    b) If Solyndra stupid because China, and you and everyone in the valley knew it, why then is Solar Road not stupid because China and all the valley knows it? Help me, why could China not build hexagonal solar road tiles cheaper than the US if they were able to crush other industries?

    c) Just like Solyndra, Solar Road does not use solar cells optimally. As even well used solar cells mostly exist only through government subsidies, this obviously kills the Solar Road.

    I think you only knew Solyndra was stupid in hindsight and now you’re walking around telling everyone how obvious that one was. That’s stupid.

  136. I love this discussion about technologies before their time. I was a developer for a very early connectivity product in the 80’s which allowed PC’s to define/access remote drives (like on a DecSystem 20 or VAX) and also allow the remote users to control the PC. It was essentially a hi fidelity DOS emulator. Then we made it a black box, so it supported any WAN network protocol (like Token Ring, Ethernet, Frame Relay, whatever) as well as any LAN protocol like Netbios, Banyan VINES, Novell. It was a big hit with the banks, as they could then route Novell traffic over DecNet. When TCP/IP became popular, we then developed what I called “Port Multiplexing”, which is now known as NAT. We even had venture capital from Bain. Our biggest problem was getting information from Microsoft on internal Windows stuff. I can remember talking to Steve Ballmer and asking him about the SMB protocol. He said, “We can’t talk about that, it’s the family jewels!”.
    Bottom line is the company had a nice $5M buyout offer, blew that deal and went bankrupt, mostly due to idiotic management, emerged from bankruptcy and failed again because it lost the resources to keep up with the ever changing marketplace…

  137. Phase I of the project is complete. They have $1.9 million of funding. Time for Phase II: Picking out a retirement home in Belize.

  138. Greenie schemes and dreams all have one thing in common; they are built on the CAGW lie. They depend on the cost of “carbon” emissions going up in order for them to stay afloat, as well as the marketing boost that the bogus idea they are helping “save the planet” gives it.

  139. Does anyone want to join in my plan that I am going to crowd source?

    It is called Eco Freaking Unicorns! These unicorns will eat toxic and radioactive waste and breathe in CO2. Each day they will poop a ton of carbon free coal substitute and pee a barrel carbon free gasoline substitute. They will live forever, and can cook, clean, raise and educate your children. As an added benefit, if your drink their sweat it will make your penis larger.

    I bet I can out raise the solar freaking roads people, and my plan is more likely to succeed.

    • Nah, it’ll never work. PeTA will shut you down because it involves taking advantage of animals or something. Besides, you left out the part that gets you high, so right there you’ve lost the Colorado youth investors.

  140. I forgot.

    If you don’t think this will work, and don’t support it, you are evil and probably work for the oil or coal companies.

  141. Steve M, thanks for the old war stories. You are of course right: ideas develop into success in very unlikely difficult to predict ways.
    Sure things turn into couldabeens. The next big thing turns into a neverwuzzer. The you-gotta-be-kidding blows up and changes everything.

  142. The ignorance of the inventors of this mom & pop solar road in glass technology is mind boggling. Mind you, Although the criticism in the “Solar Freakin’ Roadways” video that tempered 12mm clear glass is $324 per 9 sqft is off base, clear glass is totally inadequate for PV applications, and finding enough low iron containing raw materials to make low iron glass probably is a fool’s errand.

  143. I find it interesting that the naysayers resort to name calling and negativity as their primary arguments. Is it really necessary to call people stupid or idiots because they are interested in supporting a project which they believe could improve the planet?

    I agree that this technology has a lot of issues to address. I don’t think that this would be argued by the inventors. However, that is exactly what funding is for. Those of you who are quick to vent and rage about the wasted money and ignorance of others for supporting research into this idea, would probably have laughed at Marconi and Edison as well. World changing products and systems are not born out of whole cloth, ready to go. They require someone to believe that the almost impossible, might be achievable and worth working for.

    Most importantly, whether this product ever works or not, I believe that the article and many of the comments show a frightening degree of short shortsightedness. Our country’s infrastructure is rapidly deteriorating and in need of a major overhaul of some kind. It is better to be thinking of a 21st century solution than a 19th century one. The investment will be huge, what ever we do, but we need a long term solution. Asphalt is a petroleum product, Constant wear on asphalt roads adds carbon to the atmosphere. We will, eventually, run out of oil. What will we use on the roads then? The cost of something like this would be enormous, without a doubt. However, the costs of updating infrastructure, maintaining an energy supply and mitigating climate change are all going to be paid by someone. We can shoulder part of the burden and try to make a difference or we can hide our heads in the sand and leave the costs to our children ,

  144. Pointing out that a project like this would require 384 billion tons of low iron glass is not name calling, or for that matter negative Forward2050 . It points out the complete lack of understanding of scale. Todays US glass manufacturing capabilities hover around 7 million tons annual capacity. To make this amount of glass in todays terms would require 55 thousand years – assuming you could find the raw materials and ignore all of the other glass needs the US may have.

  145. My biggest complains is that they are making claims they can never possibly fulfill. They estimate that their panels will work at the full rated power of a high end panel that is pointed directly at the sun, and is cool. A significant percentage of tiles will be shaded, some almost all of the time. How much sun shines of a sidewalk directly on the north side of a large building? They list that their electronics are rated to 125 C. How efficient are solar cells at that temperature. The sealed glass panels make this a solar oven. At that temperature LEDs also deteriorate rapidly. They claim at 20 year (175,000 hour) lifetime for their panels, yet LEDs at room temp are only rated to last 50,000 hours where their intensity is down to 70%. What will their intensity be after 100,000 hours be at the higher temp? I would be amazed if even 1 out of a million panels lasted 20 years, since the complexity gives many failure points.

    They claim they will repair their sealed panels. Who repairs sealed electronic modules? It is rarely cost-effective.

    They have been collecting power output data for their existing panels for months, but will not release it until they have a full year of data. (and they have collected the marks’ money)

    The only traffic that their test “parking lot” has apparently seen is a small tractor driving very slowly across it. Oh, I forgot, the poodle walked on it so it must be durable.

    How tough would it be to put out a few panels and drive cars over them at traffic speeds? This would show how many scratches the panels would get, then multiply that by 10,000 + vehicles per day.

    They seem to ignore that these panels are going to be subjected to massive vibrations, which will cause many problems including loose electrical connections.

    I calculated that melting a single 8 inch snowfall off of 1 mile of two lane road would require a minimum of 22,000 kW hours assuming the snow was at 0 C and the melt water was at 0 C, and that the heat would all go into melting snow. In the FAQ section they now admit that it might not be practical for ‘northern climates. I assume northern climate is anything north of the Florida panhandle. If they don’t use heat, eventually dirt will plug the the drains around the bolts, and they will fill with water and freeze. Now you have an ex-panel.

  146. Forward2050 says:
    June 5, 2014 at 4:24 pm
    . . . World changing products and systems are not born out of whole cloth, ready to go. They require someone to believe that the almost impossible, might be achievable and worth working for. . .
    . . . The investment will be huge, what ever we do, but we need a long term solution. Asphalt is a petroleum product, Constant wear on asphalt roads adds carbon to the atmosphere. We will, eventually, run out of oil. What will we use on the roads then? The cost of something like this would be enormous, without a doubt. However, the costs of updating infrastructure, maintaining an energy supply and mitigating climate change are all going to be paid by someone. We can shoulder part of the burden and try to make a difference or we can hide our heads in the sand and leave the costs to our children.

    You, sir, are the one hiding your head in the sand. We won’t ever run out of oil—not just because we keep finding more, but because we can make it from coal, and then from plants. And repaving our roads with glass solar bricks (that are not even aimed at the sun) is a ridiculous idea that has nothing to do with “updating infrastructure” (especially since it would make the roads useless for transportation). Nor do we have any capability to “mitigate climate change.” I gather from this that you subscribe to the myth that “carbon” (i.e. CO2) produced by man has a measurable effect on the Earth’s climate, and that somehow producing electricity from fabulously expensive glass-brick roads will “mitigate” it. Neither proposition is correct, and I defy you to produce any evidence that they are.

    I won’t even speculate on what you mean by “Constant wear on asphalt roads adds carbon to the atmosphere.” If you mean particles of asphalt, then probably so. Is that a problem? Tire wear produces particles of artificial rubber, too.

    /Mr Lynn

  147. L. E. Joiner says:
    June 5, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    “We won’t ever run out of oil—not just because we keep finding more, but because we can make it from coal, and then from plants.”

    You are correct. We will never run out of oil, but we will reach a point where the only oil we can get has a negative EROEI, taking more energy to produce the oil than the energy it contains. Tar sands “oil” is already at the point of requiring the input of one barrel worth of energy, usually clean burning gas, to produce two barrels of dirty bitumen. This is not to mention the destruction and poisoning of vast areas of formerly pristine forest and waterways.

    You apparently also believe in the myth that there is a great conspiracy by climate scientists to get tens of thousands of dollars in research grants rather than getting millions of dollars writing climate change denier articles for the fossil fuel industries.

  148. I’m very skeptical, but clearly there is no shortage of people willing to pony up money for this idea. Let them install it over a section of roadway, and then test it for a while to see how it works, and how much energy they can realistically generate. Far better they get this going with private money than bilk taxpayers for a pie-in-the-sky idea. Generation and delivery of electricity using the roadways is going to be fraught with technical challenges. It seems like we have a pretty good idea of how efficient solar panels are, and can probably make a good guess as to how much power they’d generate on a road surface – seems to me like it should be a simple task to calculate how much energy these will actually generate, and whether or not it would actually save any money.

    What I do see is that they got some government money – and then started a campaign to get even more money from investors. What happened with the government test they did? According to this website:

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/schumpeter/2014/06/crowdfunding-solar-roadways

    They have gotten several grants from the FHA.

    What turned me off was the whole “Solar freaking roadways” hype monolog of the video. Sounded like a circus barker to me – but I didn’t invest (anything more than any of these rest of us with taxes in the game did).

  149. DirkH

    “Because the Fusor can for principal reasons never deliver an energy surplus.”

    So why are people still trying to invent cold fusion?

  150. muddmike says:
    June 5, 2014 at 5:37 pm
    . . . You apparently also believe in the myth that there is a great conspiracy by climate scientists to get tens of thousands of dollars in research grants rather than getting millions of dollars writing climate change denier articles for the fossil fuel industries.

    Please name me one skeptical scientist who gets some of those “millions of dollars writing climate change d*nier articles for the fossil fuel industries.” Just one. There aren’t any. In point of fact, the oil companies have put unseemly amounts of money into whacko organizations like the Sierra Club, in order to appear politically correct I assume.

    On the other hand, the federal government has been spending billions of dollars on “climate change” (née “global warming”) research, skewing academic science to the point where practically every research grant has to throw in some putative connection to “climate change” in order to get funded.

    As for oil, tar and shale oil wells are still making tidy profits, and as I said, down the road we can always make petroleum from coal and from plants, if we need to.

    /Mr Lynn

    • Here is the one you asked for, Arthur B. Robinson of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, now making way more than he ever did as a professor.
      There are several scientists working for the Heartland Institute.

      They make a profit selling tar sands oil. I guess you believe that if you make a profit, then it is good. Drug dealers and contract killers also make profits.

      The main reason they make a profit on tar sands oil is they don’t have to pay for environmental destruction they do to get it out of the ground. So far they also haven’t had to pay for the deaths, illnesses and loss of livelihoods of people living downstream.

  151. imagine doing that with the wheels of a 20 ton tractor/trailer.

    Try a AB-Quad road train pushing close to 200 tons, plenty of sunshine on the Stuart Highway and the smooth surface will make it easy to scrape up the dead roos.

  152. Solar/wind powered atmospheric CO2 extractors. I don’t have the chutzpah to crowd fund it myself. So I’m giving the idea away. The CO2 extracted could be used to enhance the growth of plants that are commonly grown under artificial lights. I’m thinking the first example of this technology would be VERY welcome in Colorado.

  153. A lot of really smart people said that humans would never be able to fly

    They were right. Human’s still can’t fly. It is why airplanes were invented. Airplanes can fly. And CARRY humans.

  154. Ric Werme says:
    June 4, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    The ARM is not a decent processor. My favorite so far was the Mot 68000. Not perfect. But very close.

  155. Dr. Strangelove says:
    June 5, 2014 at 7:39 pm
    “DirkH
    “Because the Fusor can for principal reasons never deliver an energy surplus.”
    So why are people still trying to invent cold fusion?”

    Cold fusion – better called LENR – has nothing at all to do with the particle collision principle in a Fusor.

    Recent lecture from MIT:

    Cold Fusion , 2 laser experiment, kinda pumping the system with phonons,
    and once its going it keeps on going even when the laser is removed
    excess power production kept on going for weeks

    MIT Cold Fusion IAP 2014 Thursday January 30, 2014 (Full Lecture

    Fusor research on the other hand:
    Fusor style experiments:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inertial_electrostatic_confinement

    Some people try to make it oscillate, hoping this might result in energy gains:

    http://www.lanl.gov/p/rh_pp_park.shtml

  156. Forward2050 says:
    June 5, 2014 at 4:24 pm
    “I find it interesting that the naysayers resort to name calling and negativity as their primary arguments.”

    Making assertions up of whole cloth is not an argument. A realistic cost assessment and requirement analysis is not negativity; it is professionalism.

    Tells me that you are not a professional.

  157. Phil Mason (aka “Thunderf00t”) has done an excellent job of covering multiple bases with discussions of the fatal flaws of this scheme, in a manner accessible to the mens populi. Although it seems at times repetitive, such is sometimes necessary to reach the average listener. I would like to see what he would do to the ‘space elevator’ (aka “skyhook” cable-to-orbit) scheme.

  158. muddmike says:
    June 6, 2014 at 6:29 am

    Who are you paying for all the damage you do by just being alive? Profiting from things you had nothing to do with. Aren’t you ashamed?

    Me? I’m greedy.

  159. I understand that just by living I use up resources and pollute, and I try to minimize the damage I do. I don’t do anything I can to pile up money that I will lose when I die. I also try to help others to understand that they too can minimize the damage they do.

    I fact the biggest problem with the solar roads plan is that it lulls people into thinking that technology will magically solve all of our problems, so they can continue living the wasteful empty lifestyle of consumerism. This is the same problem that is caused by people saying that technology will continue to find oil and coal, so they do not need to evaluate their lifestyle.

  160. DirkH says:
    June 6, 2014 at 5:28 am

    Your LANL link is bad. And BTW the work that Park is doing (if he is the one I’m thinking of) is only very loosely related to the fusor. The density is much lower and the gas composition is VERY different.

  161. A new Polywell Paper is out: arxiv-web3.library.cornell.edu/pdf/1406.0133.pdf

    The Park (J.Y) mentioned by Dirk up thread is one of the experimenters.

  162. M Simon says:
    June 6, 2014 at 6:54 am
    “DirkH says:
    June 6, 2014 at 5:28 am
    Your LANL link is bad. And BTW the work that Park is doing (if he is the one I’m thinking of) is only very loosely related to the fusor. The density is much lower and the gas composition is VERY different.”

    THANKS! I should remember to test my links before posting. Maybe it worked and they moved it all into Area 51, together with the web page.

    Here’s a writeup from 2010.

    http://globalwarming-arclein.blogspot.de/2010/08/los-alamos-does-inertial-containment.html

    (OH! It helps against Global Warming! How very fortunate!)

    As to loosely related – of course. But the general idea of using a spherical field is still there.

  163. muddmike says:
    June 6, 2014 at 6:51 am
    “I don’t do anything I can to pile up money that I will lose when I die. ”

    So you’re a leech – paying no taxes yet using the infrastructure the taxpayers paid for, and being smug about it.

  164. Did the writer of this article or any of the posters care to look at the website’s FAQs? They address all of the issues mentioned here. And the indiegogo money is to do more research to iron out issues and bring costs down. Even if we never see solar roadways on every street in America, this is an excellent forward-thinking technology

  165. Just use perpetual motion engines in the vehicles and we won’t need any of this “small minded” stuff.
    Remember the” Everlasting Gobstopper” A jawbreaker that never melts,
    We’ll get some of them too.

  166. “I think you only knew Solyndra was stupid in hindsight”

    The issue wasn’t whether it was stupid. Lots of stupid ideas get funded privately. Waste your own money all you want.

    The issue was that 1) DOE knew the company was going bankrupt and gave them a loan anyway 2) the loan they got was subordinate to those owned by the investors 3) who were major Obama donors/bundlers.

    That’s why government doesn’t belong in the product development or venture capital businesses.

  167. People who don’t want their cars messed up but don’t have the time to swerve and brake to avoid hitting

    No worries, the ice cream road will have a sustainable, delicious, and high-traction waffle-cone surface.

    all those kids licking the highway. And all the possums, deer, and bears as well.

    I think you mean “toppings.”

  168. DirkH says:
    June 6, 2014 at 9:16 am
    “So you’re a leech – paying no taxes yet using the infrastructure the taxpayers paid for, and being smug about it”

    I work and pay taxes, I just don’t try to do extra things to pile up money for stuff I don’t need.I give it away any excess to worthy causes, unlike solar freaking roads.

    Life is more than piling up the most and coolest stuff. At least for me.

  169. “The leading reason to build the Internet was that the ARPAnet was full – 64 IMPs, some sites had two, each IMP could handle four hosts.”

    Surely you’re not under the impression that if they hadn’t done that, billions of computers wouldn’t talk to each other today?

    I see no urge to pay Intel homage to the Internet.

    And I see no urge to credit DARPA or ARPANet. It’s a nice protocol, but it could easily have been done by someone else. The same can’t be said of Intel’s contributions.

  170. Chris says:
    June 6, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Did the writer of this article or any of the posters care to look at the website’s FAQs? They address all of the issues mentioned here. And the indiegogo money is to do more research to iron out issues and bring costs down. Even if we never see solar roadways on every street in America, this is an excellent forward-thinking technology

    I have read the FAQ page. They DO NOT address the scratching of glass or its durability when faced with the stresses imposed on it by actual traffic. They do not completely describe their laboratory tests. I believe their 250,000 pounds of force was a static force test, which is much different than the pounding that traffic, particularly stopping, starting and turning.

    The only video they have of “traffic” is that small tractor driving slowly over their “parking lot”. Tractors are designed for soft ground, so the tires are low pressure, which spreads out the load. That is not even close to an 80,000 pound semi driving at 80 mph with 100 psi tires.

    In the FAQ section they also admit that melting snow “might not be practical in some northern climates”. I take that as meaning any place north of Alabama.

    They also have been collecting power output data for months but won’t release it until after they get their money.

  171. THANKS! I should remember to test my links before posting. Maybe it worked and they moved it all into Area 51, together with the web page.

    Actually San Diego, last I heard. It seems to be working, last report was confinement is excellent. I believe they’re now trying to test proton-boron11 fusion, which has much better aneutronicity.

    Polywells may not pan out. But government is throwing tens of billions into tokamaks that everyone already knows have no plausible path to commercial power (even the ARES vaporware designs for 50 years out have plant power densities far behind today’s light water reactors, meaning they cannot hope to compete economically). Of course they do provide decades of wonderful makework for teams of PhDs who only understand “breakeven” in terms of power balance equations, and naturally the consensus is they have the right approach.

  172. continue living the wasteful empty lifestyle of consumerism.

    I assume you’re posting this from a Buddhist temple, probably high in the Himalayas, where you and the other monks have forsaken all worldly possessions.

  173. Fusor style experiments:

    Polywells are really an Elmore-Tuck-Watson fusor with a shielded anode grid. They’re sort of a hybrid: magnetic confinement of the electrons, electrostatic confinement/focus of the ions. That lets them achieve much higher densities. For instance, at similar field strengths PWs should have 62,500 the power of ITER, without the ELM instabilities because magnetic curvature is good everywhere.

    This is typically very confusing to tokamak fusion scientists, who aren’t used to operating at the quasineutral limit in a driven system, and they usually seem to expect the whole mess to collapse into a Debye sheath and not do any fusion.

    Of course no one knows for sure how they will scale.

  174. Howdy All,

    1. I’m just an old highway engineer from the Midwest with jurisdiction over 900 miles of roads. 160 miles of pavements, the other miles are have rock (gravel) and dirt surfaces. Given my current funding constraints and material properties, I can’t keep my concrete or asphalt roads at the service level that we want now . Solar panels on roads? Sweet Jesus – My vocabulary lacks the words to fully describe the absurdity of such a scheme. Switch locations

    .. That is all.

    ML27

  175. muddmike says:
    June 6, 2014 at 6:29 am
    Here is the one you asked for, Arthur B. Robinson of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, now making way more than he ever did as a professor.
    There are several scientists working for the Heartland Institute.

    Robinson is an entrepreneur whose Institute does a lot of things. I don’t think the “several scientists working for the Heartland Institute” (assuming they exist) are making “millions of dollars writing d___r articles for the fossil fuel industries.” Heartland is very small potatoes compared to the huge ‘environmental’ NGOs (to which the oil companies contribute) and to western governments themselves, and only a fraction of Heartland’s work is focused on CAGW.

    Unlike the multitudes of scientists in government agencies and academic departments, the small coterie of scientists and engineers who frequent sites like this one are not receiving any largess from “fossil fuel” companies. They spend their own time and money to try and bring rampant climate Lysenkoism to a halt. They are Davids battling the “climate change” Goliath.

    /Mr Lynn

  176. It could be worse, some lunatic may tell us HUMAN carbon dioxide warms the planet.

    Then try to steal trillions by creating a ‘trading’ scheme for trading paper credits in human CO2.

    Nah that’s too far fetched. No one would ever fall for that

  177. Well the only part of the criticism, that I would disagree with, is the assertion that LEDs are not bright enough for daytime applications.

    They most certainly are, and in fact the biggest unsolved problem of LED lighting, is “glare”.

    They are just too bright for street lighting. Well unless you want to make them very inefficient.

    The glare of white LED street lights, and also auto main headlights is an unsolved problem.

    It is not a problem without solutions; they just have not been implemented.

    It’s a second law thing. The luminance (radiance) in a lighting or radiation system is an invariant under all optical transformations (refraction / reflection)

    You can’t make them brighter, and you can’t make them dimmer, while conserving all the energy.

    The game can only be changed with scattering processes, and the problem is to do that, and still make all the flux go to the right places.

    No I’m not going to tell you how to do that. Well unless you have plenty of grant money.

  178. It is a stupid idea – for all the reasons given above. One further objection is that roads are generally not flat (as depicted in the proposal) – there is usually some sort of camber. That alone would reduce the efficiency – but probably not as much as dirt and general wear.

  179. This post is not the first post to highlight the flaws in the program. Seriously though take all of the neat self heating, programable LED features out of it and it becomes durable solar panels that could take up no more ground than the roads in the us. Still there are sure some bugs that will need to be worked out, and it is a mom and pop shop doing this. But imagine these problems in the hands of a bigger organization with a think tank of engineers. It blows my mind to see people bagging on this when they pay billions of dollars to major oil companies for our current energy, when the answer could be right here in its infancy. When does something worthwhile come out flawless on the first try? it may not be the answer today but it is a promising start to what we desperately need. So unless you have a better idea, I see the only options as support something like this, or just keep paying the major oil companies to dig us a deeper hole of problems.

  180. I’m extremely pro solar but this is about the dumbest idea I’ve heard. I’m amazed at how many have been conned by rank amateurs that are either delusional at best or scamming retirement funds from well-meaning but scientifically ignorant people.

    If this idea had any actual merit or viability, there would be companies in the private industry happily offering money to support it if they thought it had a chance in hell of succeeding.

    The people who support this are almost a cult of sorts, no amount of logic or scientific reasoning will sway them, these roads will be built, thus it was said, thus it shall be done.

  181. “Did the writer of this article or any of the posters care to look at the website’s FAQs? They address all of the issues mentioned here.”

    If I had a dollar every time one of these cultists posted this, I’d have enough for a luxury European vacation by now. You only think that the FAQ answers everything because your last science class was back in your sophomore year of college and you were way too stoned or drunk to notice anyways.

    The FAQ is written to impress scientifically illiterate people, some of the stuff in there is written like it is made for a standup comedy.

  182. “. If it is practical to put solar PV on your house, then cells with similar efficiency placed in your yard, roof, driveway or anywhere else will perform exactly as well. Period.”

    MarkP, This is the most ridiculous thing you posted. Panels are installed at an angle in the U.S., never laying flat. To claim that panels installed under a thick layer of glass, laying flat would perform the same as a standard rooftop installation is beyond ignorant.

  183. @arthur4563 “My favorite stupidity was their idea of covering a parking lot with the solar tiles. You know, a parking lot, where lots of cars shade most of the pavement. Now THAT is a really dumb idea.”
    Because, you know, every square inch of a parking lot is covered by cars at all times. There are no places to drive them to find a space, and every space is ALWAYS filled.

  184. I think they are astep inthe right direction . coal burning power plants are killimg the planet slowly similar to smoking tobaco most morons don’t try to quite untlll it’s to late. Just because big oil companies don’t like them doesn’t mean fack all

    REPLY: Yes you should send all your money to this project right now – Let us know how it works out for you – Anthony

  185. Yes, only half of the panels are covered in a full parking lot. When people put solar panels on their houses they paint half of them black, or just do bother to connect them to the wiring.

    Why would you waste the money on panels when you know they will produce little if any power?

    This is also the case of many areas of roads and sidewalks. I guess we should put these panels in underground parking garages too.

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