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View Full Version : Solar Highways, Too good to be true?



Sooocool
08-23-2010, 06:44 PM
A very impressive video that may be more possible than doable.

http://www.wimp.com/solarhighways

Sooocool
08-23-2010, 06:44 PM
A very impressive video that may be more possible than doable.

http://www.wimp.com/solarhighways

Airmail109
08-23-2010, 06:50 PM
Scalextric?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_energy_transfer

iroseland01
08-23-2010, 11:52 PM
this could be a pretty sweet idea...

building it to survive traffic is probably the easy part of the equation. Surviving the kinds of temperature changes, and a Midwestern winter on the other hand is a totally different thing.

But, even that is more of an engineering problem than an invention problem.

with that much spare available electricity, during the day, excess could be stored by using it to pump water to a reservoir uphill and then re-collect it with a hydro plant at night.

no, not at all efficient, but with that much spare it would not be a worry.

Also, it would get rid of the damn ugly airiel lines.

people like to talk about being green by forcing folks to use less energy..

We should be looking to accomplish it by making energy more green, more cheep and more reliable.

GoToAway
08-24-2010, 12:51 AM
It'll never happen. The heavy industry/oil corps all have lobbies far too powerful to ever allow it to happen.

hop2002
08-24-2010, 02:11 AM
It won't happen for a long time because it's too expensive. The guy talks about 25,000 square miles of solar roadways. Even using the cheapest thin film solar, which has a lower efficiency than he is basing his calculations on, the price would be around $9 trillion for the solar panels alone, without the cost of installation and the clear surface etc.

Then you have the problem of backup power storage for use at night, which would add more to the cost.

Even if the cost weren't so high, putting solar panels in roads isn't a very good idea. For a start solar panels should be angled towards the sun for greatest efficiency, not placed flat on the ground. Secondly, covering roads means the panels will often be in shade from buildings, trees etc.

raaaid
08-24-2010, 05:48 AM
yeah the oil police

i saw on tv a documental on tv about a whirlwind free energy machine that got supressed

apparently schauberger ideas are solid

i cant tell you farther about this whirwind macine cause i turned the tv off as soon as i heard that

i prefer cartoons to crazy stuff

Airmail109
08-24-2010, 06:31 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by hop2002:
It won't happen for a long time because it's too expensive. The guy talks about 25,000 square miles of solar roadways. Even using the cheapest thin film solar, which has a lower efficiency than he is basing his calculations on, the price would be around $9 trillion for the solar panels alone, without the cost of installation and the clear surface etc.

Then you have the problem of backup power storage for use at night, which would add more to the cost.

Even if the cost weren't so high, putting solar panels in roads isn't a very good idea. For a start solar panels should be angled towards the sun for greatest efficiency, not placed flat on the ground. Secondly, covering roads means the panels will often be in shade from buildings, trees etc. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The idea is to cover large areas without developing/destroying more land. Solar panels don't look nice and agricultural land is important. You've missed the point entirely.

Urufu_Shinjiro
08-24-2010, 03:24 PM
This is a good idea but I don't think it's going to go the way these guys see it. There's research going on right now into carbon nanotube solar cells that can literally be painted onto any surface, and the research is suggesting not only will this solar paint be more efficient than current solar cells but will be far cheaper to manufacture in large quantities since it will be basically "grown" in industrial vats. This way roads, buildings, parking lots, roofs, patios, any surface that is exposed to sunlight and can be painted, can generate power.

In the long run though I think solar is a dead end, fusion is the way forward.

Airmail109
08-24-2010, 04:19 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Urufu_Shinjiro:
This is a good idea but I don't think it's going to go the way these guys see it. There's research going on right now into carbon nanotube solar cells that can literally be painted onto any surface, and the research is suggesting not only will this solar paint be more efficient than current solar cells but will be far cheaper to manufacture in large quantities since it will be basically "grown" in industrial vats. This way roads, buildings, parking lots, roofs, patios, any surface that is exposed to sunlight and can be painted, can generate power.

In the long run though I think solar is a dead end, fusion is the way forward. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hows solar a dead end if it's more than 30 percent efficient and can be painted on to stuff?

God that's the holy grail. Right up there with Fusion.

Ba5tard5word
08-24-2010, 04:49 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by hop2002:
It won't happen for a long time because it's too expensive. The guy talks about 25,000 square miles of solar roadways. Even using the cheapest thin film solar, which has a lower efficiency than he is basing his calculations on, the price would be around $9 trillion for the solar panels alone, without the cost of installation and the clear surface etc.

Then you have the problem of backup power storage for use at night, which would add more to the cost.

Even if the cost weren't so high, putting solar panels in roads isn't a very good idea. For a start solar panels should be angled towards the sun for greatest efficiency, not placed flat on the ground. Secondly, covering roads means the panels will often be in shade from buildings, trees etc. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The board's resident oil company apologist rears his head again. You should go get a lobbying job, your talents are wasted on this website.

Urufu_Shinjiro
08-24-2010, 07:00 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Aimail101:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Urufu_Shinjiro:
This is a good idea but I don't think it's going to go the way these guys see it. There's research going on right now into carbon nanotube solar cells that can literally be painted onto any surface, and the research is suggesting not only will this solar paint be more efficient than current solar cells but will be far cheaper to manufacture in large quantities since it will be basically "grown" in industrial vats. This way roads, buildings, parking lots, roofs, patios, any surface that is exposed to sunlight and can be painted, can generate power.

In the long run though I think solar is a dead end, fusion is the way forward. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hows solar a dead end if it's more than 30 percent efficient and can be painted on to stuff?

God that's the holy grail. Right up there with Fusion. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, I would say it's a great intermediary step, except fusion can be done now if the money was invested Apollo style. Also a fully functional fusion reactor plant could be as high as 80% efficient, and once running the fuel is practically free and virtually unlimited. Also with solar you would need a large infrastructure for storing energy while the sun is shining, fusion would plug into the existing grid, assuming the large centralized plants are the way to go, many say that small regional plants would yield better results, some even say the home fusion reactor could become common and eliminate the grid all together.

If fusion was a pie in the sky hope, a "one day", then yes, I'd be all for the solar and wind revolution, but with the proper resource investment 100% of our power can be supplied by fusion in 20 years. And the nature of fusion means the biggest hurdle is getting started, after that then we can scale our power usage at any rate we please, successful and ongoing development of fusion power is most likely an absolute requirement for real space expansion throughout our solar system and a stepping stone to traveling beyond it.

Sooocool
08-24-2010, 08:04 PM
Thanks to all for your opinions on this subject, which I value way more than your average sponsored media sources.
I do have another question thou;
With the need for safe, clean, cheap and abundant energy in such demand by mankind, what seams to be the hold up on employing these technologies?

GoToAway
08-24-2010, 08:11 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Sooocool:
With the need for safe, clean, cheap and abundant energy in such demand by mankind, what seams to be the hold up on employing these technologies? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Because lobbies hold all of the power in capitalist societies.

Big oil (and the coal industry in the US) have everything to lose by adopting better technologies. Lobbies have deep enough pockets to buy influence in government, which is what they've always done.

It's not a coincidence that France and Japan are the only countries that take fusion research truly seriously. We'd be there already if it weren't for things like BP, Exxon-Mobil, and the coal lobby.

hop2002
08-25-2010, 06:24 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The board's resident oil company apologist rears his head again. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It's nothing to do with oil. The main source for electricity generation in most of the west is coal. Gas does play a part, but more "alternative" energy is going to require more gas plants as back up.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">With the need for safe, clean, cheap and abundant energy in such demand by mankind, what seams to be the hold up on employing these technologies? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

"Alternative" energy usually costs more and is less reliable. Many of the suggested solutions just don't work well at all.

Look at Germany. They have spent a fortune installing solar power. Germany has more solar panels installed than any other country. They are now building 26 coal fired power stations because solar just isn't providing enough power.

The UK is in a similar situation. In 1997 the new Labour government decided wind power was our future. We now have to urgently build new coal and nuclear power plants because wind just isn't generating enough. After 12 years of promoting wind power, last year wind, wave, tidal and solar power combined provided 2.5% of Britain's electricity generation.