[chbot] solar roads

Geoff sdfgeoff at gmail.com
Sun May 25 19:49:07 BST 2014

It's a bad idea.

This project has popped up on quite a few sites that I frequent, and I've
answered similarly to all of them:
 - The energy used to manufacture them and install them is very very close
to the amount you get out of them over their operating life
For a normal solar panel, it's energy payback time is about 7-8 years, a
third of it's life. For a solar road compared to a normal panel:
 - Shorter cell life (Wear and tear from driving)
 - Lower cell efficiency (because it's flat, and scratches)
 - Higher manufacturing energy costs (as it needs to be stronger to counter
the first point)
 - Higher installation energy costs (as there can't be seams, and existing
roads must be pulled up)
Using some approximations I figured that solar roads would have only a
slight energy saving compared to just using fuel (Energy Payback was 11-13
years of a 15 year life). Put in terms of money, it's not worth it.

So I doubt we'll see them anytime soon. Maybe when fuel goes up in price.


On Sun, May 25, 2014 at 11:15 PM, Peter Ellens <ellensp at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi.
> Off topic, but interesting.
> You guys that know a lot about solar, what do you think of these solar
> roads ideas
> https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/solar-roadways#home
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