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Old September 19th, 2011, 02:24 AM   #21
kramer81
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Surely if the roads were connected to the grid it would be much simpler to heat the road from that source rather than trying to transfer solar energy from the other side of the world? In reality if these roads ever do exist it would happen gradually and we wouldn't have a global network from day 1.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 12:17 PM   #22
MattiG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diablo234 View Post
While you do present some valid points, honestly it does not matter if the solar panels in themselves even collect enough energy to perform all those functions in themselves. As the guy in the video mentioned the main reason why they are looking into Solar Roadways is because of rising petroleum costs (which is the main ingrediant of asphalt). All of the other functions such as the LED lights, solar panels, etc are essentially just icing on the cake.
I think the key feature is being the solar panel.

Anyway, reality matters. Keeping the streets open by melting the ice need huge amounts of energy. There are about 6000 miles of streets in NYC. According to the rule of thumb of 300 W/sqm, and average street width of 5 m, the melting process needs about 15 gigawatts during the snowfall, equalling to about 15 nuclear power units.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 12:43 PM   #23
ed110220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kramer81 View Post
Surely if the roads were connected to the grid it would be much simpler to heat the road from that source rather than trying to transfer solar energy from the other side of the world? In reality if these roads ever do exist it would happen gradually and we wouldn't have a global network from day 1.
I think that is actually what would happen. The solar road would feed its electricity into the grid when it was generating, and take electricity from the grid when it needed it.

Transfering electricity over a very wide area has the advantage that it smooths out the differences between production and demand. Eg say there was a snowstorm in New York and no solar electricity was being generated there, even if it was just a USA-wide grid, there would be plenty of places where it still would be (say Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona etc). The bigger the grid, the bigger the smoothing effect.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 07:38 PM   #24
keber
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There are very big losses of electrical current over large distances even on 400/500 kV network. Losses are so large on distances over 5000 km (and you have such distances for a solar roadway), that I don't see any viable alternative except using superconductors.
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