Innovative Applications of Solar and LED to Create Intelligent Transportation

Innovative Applications of Solar and LED to Create Intelligent Transportation

Photovoltaic devices are on the road, and this is the idea of ​​Kurt Bursa. His company, Solar Roads, Inc., is embedding photovoltaic cells and light-emitting diode (LED) light sources in panels that can withstand traffic pressure. These LED light sources will make “smart” highways and parking lots feasible, and the markings can all change, and the batteries will generate enough energy to power the enterprise, the city, and eventually the entire country.

Each 12 x 12 foot solar highway panel, if calculated on an average of 4 hours of light per day, will generate approximately 7600 watt-hours of electricity a day. At this rate, a one-mile, four-lane road segment will provide power for about 500 homes. "If we replace all roads in the United States, then we will be able to generate more electricity than our country needs," Bursa said. Bursa, an electronic engineer, had just completed his first prototype panel in February, with funding from the US Department of Transportation.

Strong sunlight shines on the highway, wasting energy. Then take a look at Scott Bursa's plan to build a road using solar panels. The photo shows the solar road of Kurt Bursa.

Bursa’s goal is to reduce the cost of each panel to less than $10,000. This is about 3 times the cost of asphalt. However, he wanted the life of the panel to be more than three times the life of the asphalt road. At present, asphalt roads in many places must be repaved every 10 years. "If so, the cost is almost the same," he said. "But that's only a balance, and we can generate electricity."

The key technology for its commercialization is panel glass. The glass must have an embossed structure to generate traction, embedded heating elements to melt ice and snow, and can carry traffic for years. "The thorniest problem will be," Bursa said. "If there is a 40-ton truck driving in the fast lane on the highway, it may have an anti-skid tire chain. The panel must take that level." Meanwhile, if you want To allow sunlight to reach the photovoltaic cell, the glass must also have a self-cleaning ability; Bursa pointed out that the experimental phase of the hydrophilic glass can use sunlight to decompose organic dirt and use rainwater to wash without leaving a mark.

The next step for Solar Roads is to qualify for the second phase of funding, a two-year, $750,000 agreement to develop a commercial plan for the panel. At the end of the second year, Bursa will prepare to test in the parking lot. He believes that the parking lot is an excellent testing ground for experiments with LED light sources and power generation systems. The directional arrows and stop lines can be reconfigured to deal with peak times, and the generated electricity can power nearby businesses. “I spoke to people at Wal-Mart who were responsible for electricity,” said Bursa. “The supermarket area is about 200,000 square feet, and the parking area is about 4 times. I calculated the 800,000-square-foot parking lot and told him how much power it would generate even if it was completely parked. That will be 10 times as much as they use electricity."

However, Bursa wants to start a smaller, fast-food restaurant on a scale. McDonald's modified solar parking can make it largely or completely off the grid, or become a charging station for electric cars (when the owner enters the dining room, naturally). "Even the best electric car journey is only about 3 hours," he explained. "But if I had to find a McDonald's, I would drive from Idaho to the southern tip of Florida." Isn't it possible? Yes. But "providing billions of watts of electricity" will be a new and attractive slogan.

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