Solar roadways primary purpose is to generate clean renewable energy from the walkways or driving paths.
Department of Transportation at Missouri has tested with a setup of solar tiles laid on the footpath. The experiment is taken up successfully at the historic Route 66 welcome center in Conway.
Each tile is a combination of a solar cell and LED lights. The tile is made of heating elements and tempered glass. The tile is strong enough to carry the weight of a mini truck for the test conducted.
If successful, then these solar tiles will act like panels which not only generate electricity but also clean the snow and drain the water on roads.
The panels are developed in such a way that they absorb the heat and store them so that the energy will be utilized even in winter. Electronic components and sensors with programmable capability makes this happen.
The aspect of repair and maintenance is also a point of consideration. Every crack or a break in a single tile should not affect the complete laid road. Hence, such issues are to be taken care in designing the laying of the roads. Above all these, safety to pedestrians is also to be taken care of.
The project is taken up by a start company named as Solar Roadways. This company is based in Sandpoint, Idaho. Company had utilized the recycled materials and incorporates photovoltaic cells in developing the solar panel tiles. Almost after 10 years of research and development, the company has launched a pilot project and opened for general public on September 30th 2016.
If this project succeeds, then the power supply problem would be completely negated. The solar energy can be utilized in many ways. Also, the future driverless cars and the electric cars might find useful resources from these types of roads. Especially the electric cars might derive a huge advantage from these roads.