Many of you who attended the 2012 Central Coast Bioneers Conference saw Scott and Julie Brusaw talk about Solar Roadways, the concept of replacing petroleum-based asphalt roads and parking lots with special solar panels that would generate electricity, provide road lighting, and even keep driving surfaces clear of snow and ice in cold climates. We have news from the Brusaws and want to bring our Central Coast Bioneers up to date on their successes. They now have a fully functioning 12×36 foot solar parking lot outside of their lab in Idaho that is collecting energy and preventing snow and ice from accumulating.
Currently the solar cells only cover 69% of the panels because of the necessity of using off-the-shelf solar cells. They are searching for a solar cell company who can make custom-sized cells so there will be 100% coverage. The Brusaws’ biggest challenge, the glass surface, was design tested in various university civil engineering labs for traction, strength and toughness and the results were far beyond their wildest dreams.
Solar Roadways now has a large list of interested customers from all 50 states and other countries, even though their product is not yet ready. Their home town of Sandpoint, Idaho, is applying for a grant to use the panels for roads and sidewalks. If you find yourself in Idaho during your summer vacation, drop by and tell Scott and Julie hello and get a tour.