What Say To Turning Roads Into Solar Receptors?

For a change, here is a great idea, even if it is more about globull warming than power production

Walk barefoot on an asphalt road and you’ll soon realize how good the substance is at storing solar heat — the heat-storing qualities of roadways has even been put forward as an explanation as to why cities tend to be warmer than surrounding rural areas. Not content to see all that heat going to waste, researchers from the University of Rhode Island (URI) want to put it to use in a system that harvests solar heat from the road to melt ice, heat buildings, or to create electricity.

“We have mile after mile of asphalt pavement around the country, and in the summer it absorbs a great deal of heat, warming the roads up to 140 degrees or more,” said Prof. K. Wayne Lee, leader of the URI project. “If we can harvest that heat, we can use it for our daily use, save on fossil fuels, and reduce global warming.”

The research team has four main ideas for how that harvesting could be performed.

Those four ideas are

  • Cells on barriers (on top of the concrete dividers)
  • Water pipes in the road (reduce icing, used to heat or provide hot water for nearby buildings, or even turned to steam at a power plant)
  • Thermo-electricity (creating electricity be connecting hot and cool areas)
  • Electronic block roadways (basically turning the roads into solar receptors)

Turning the roads into solar receptors would have the added benefit of reducing the localized temperatures: instead of the roads holding heat, artificially increasing the effective temperature, they would be at much lower rates. Can you imagine replace most of the roadways with, basically, solar panels? In fact, as the article points out

Idaho’s Solar Roadways has been working on just such a system, although according to Lee, a driveway made with the blocks cost US$100,000 to create.

Yes, it is damned expensive. But, with time, better technology, the costs will come down. I’d say all the parking lots and such in D.C. should be replaced to practice what they preach, but, they would surely spend 5-10 times what the real cost would be. Maybe some of those alarmists who’ve made tons of money off climate alarmism could do the same.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach. sit back and Relax. we’ll dRive!

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