Another major benefit of solar highways, as marketed by Solar Roadways, is their ability to produce their own heat. This may seem like something of a side-issue, but when you consider the implications, it’s actually quite genius.
By emitting their own heat, solar highways does away with the age-old issue of snow and ice on roads during the cold winter months.
The solar panels used in Solar Roadways’ design incorporate power elements. These are used to keep the surface a few degrees above freezing temperature. This way, snow and ice are immediately melted.
There are a few major perks as a result.
Snow and ice on our roads and driveways have been known to cause accidents, traffic delays, and injuries. The usual solution is to salt roads and sidewalks, but the salt has been known to corrode cars’ under-carriages.
Not to mention the amount of tax money spent on snow removal vehicles, right?
Furthermore, unlike asphalt and concrete, there’s no need to keep repainting road lines after they’ve faded from years of exposure. Solar Roadways’ design incorporates a series of LED lights, which can be programmed for any display. Warning signs, parking lot configurations - you name it, you can display it.
Even better, the intelligent panels detect pressure. If a tree has fallen across the road, or boulders in mountainous areas, the communication between panels will be able to display LED warnings to alert drivers in advance.
The Solar Roadways design also incorporates a power channel on the side. Here, power lines and even high-speed internet cables can be stored and tap into the solar energy as necessary.
This negates the need for telephone poles and power cable towers, which can cause considerable damage after and even during a storm. No more live wires thrashing about on the road when one of these structures gets blown over.
A second channel is used to capture the melted snow and ice, as well as stormwater. Stormwater has been known to contribute as much as 50% to water pollution, an issue solved by the Solar Roadways design.
These stormwater channels will direct the runoff to treatment facilities instead of allowing it to pollute the soil, lakes, and oceans. In some cases, the water may even be treated in the channel itself!