American electrical engineer Scott Brusaw developed a system of ‘solar powered roads‘, with panels installed on highways, parking lots, driveways, bike paths and sidewalks.
Scott Brusaw in the second stage of developement of the ‘solar roadways’ project, uses a modular photovoltaic (PV) paving system that can withstand trucks up to 120,000 kilograms.
They pay for themselves primarily through the generation of electricity, which can power homes and businesses connected via driveways and parking lots. A nationwide system could produce more clean renewable energy than a country uses as a whole (solarroadways.com).
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.