Solar Roadways has entered GE’s Ecomagination Challenge: a $200 million innovation experiment where businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators and students share their best ideas on how to build the next-generation power grid – and just might get funded.
They’ve teamed up with some of the best-known venture capital firms, including Emerald Technology Ventures, Foundation Capital, KPCB and Rockport Capital, to help back the most promising ideas.
Before you leave our site, please vote by visiting our Ecomagination page. This could be just what we need to begin the New Deal of the 21st century. Thank you very much and we hope you’ll enjoy our website.
This year (2010) alone, we’ve lost lives in coal mine and oil rig disasters and gas line explosions. The Gulf of Mexico has become a nightmare: lives and jobs lost – ways of life gone. What (more) is it going to take to drive us to wean ourselves off of our dependency on fossil fuels?
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.
In 2009, we received a contract from the Federal Highway Administration to build the first ever Solar Road Panel prototype. During the course of its construction, we learned many lessons and discovered new and better ways to approach this project. These methods and discoveries are discussed throughout this website. Please enjoy and send us any questions that you may have.