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Power Week: Solar Roadways – Sci-Fi or Future Reality?

7/17/2014 12:55 PM EDT
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rtapl123
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Re: Thank You!!!
rtapl123   7/21/2014 11:38:50 PM
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Why would you build high technology into a piece of rock?  You keep technology separate.

David Ashton
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Re: Thank You!!!
David Ashton   7/21/2014 6:07:51 PM
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@MHRackin....have a look at Crusty's links below, the tiles he links to are really quite good looking - not much different from roof slates.  I know these are mostly used in the UK (from Welsh slate quarries) but there is no reason why the more usual roof tiles could not be built tlike this.    In Australia a lot of roofs (mine included) use tiles - usually cement ones.  A solar cell could be built into them without much trouble, I think?

dt_hayden
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Re: solar tiles
dt_hayden   7/21/2014 2:14:31 PM
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Sharp used to have solar tiles, which I believe were to be used in place of typical asphalt shingles, rather than placed on top.  Those dissappeared from their web site a few years ago.  Now they are marketing "SunSnap" panels which have easier installation and integrated/available microinverters (EnPhase).  http://www.sharpusa.com/SolarElectricity/SolarForResidential/SunSnap.aspx

mhrackin
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Re: Thank You!!!
mhrackin   7/21/2014 1:29:40 PM
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I'm surprised nobody has brought up the legal impediments for roof solar.  In my area (Atlanta) the building codes and the restrictions in nearly all HOA covenants explicitly forbid solar onstallations on roofs (for various reasons).  This may date back to the days when roof solar meant hot water heating (either pool water or domestic ho water supply) when roof loading and leakage risk were the primary reason.  The other mtoivation is esthetic, as a lot of the older technologies were fairly ugly!

Duane Benson
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Re: Thank You!!!
Duane Benson   7/21/2014 12:17:29 PM
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Roof tiles would make a lot more sense. I think it's pretty easy to see that very little about the system makes any sense at all.

Even if the technology and economics were close to what would be viable, roof panels would still make a lot more sense. On a roof, you don't need to worrry about the surface neededing to hold weight, nor do you need to worry about the surface requiring traction.

AZskibum
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Re: Thank You!!!
AZskibum   7/20/2014 10:41:27 PM
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I'm curious what the $1M goal of the Kickstarter campaign was -- maybe just proposal writing? Clearly that isn't going to get you very far if actual solar panels are to be installed on a piece of roadway -- even a rather small piece of roadway.

David Ashton
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Re: solar tiles
David Ashton   7/20/2014 5:24:27 AM
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@Crusty...."I must say I am pleased with the power output of my north faceing panels dull days they do better than the south facing panels."

I'm amazed, I would not have thought you'd get much from North facing panels in the UK...???

Crusty1
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Re: solar tiles
Crusty1   7/20/2014 4:42:48 AM
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Hi David, Yes was thinking could I get a crashed hybrid car, but the car breakers want more for the batteries than the car it's self.

I have a diverter on my inverter so that the export heats my hot water tank along with the solar water panel.

I must say I am pleased with the power output of my north faceing panels dull days they do better than the south facing panels.

All in all glad I bought in at the best subsidy time.

David Ashton
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Re: solar tiles
David Ashton   7/20/2014 3:12:53 AM
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Crusty - ref storage systems.  Friend of mine is about to build a new house and looked at a storage system.   5KW PV panels plus an 8 KWh (I think) storage for A$23K.  The array and inverter alone would be around A$ 7k.  BUT the storage means you are effectively saving 31C per KWh which is what the Electricity Co charges you, as opposed to the paltry 6c / KWh they pay you for feed-in.  He did his sums and thought it was worthwhile.  Its a Lithium battery storage and supposed to last 10 years.   If you got 25 KWH a day from the panels, and the storage system allowed you to use it all yourself, you'd save $28K+ in that time.  Doesn't sound like a very good return, though you'd be ahead a bit.  I'll ask him more when I next see him.

David Ashton
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Re: solar tiles
David Ashton   7/20/2014 2:59:58 AM
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Hi Crusty, thanks for that link.  Quick calcs - these give around 50 W / m2 as opposed to a sample 185 W panel I looked at which was nearly 150 W / m2.  So a fair bit less efficient, but very nice looking.  And depending on cost you could cover a lot more of a standard roof with these than with panels.

PS just reread the web page - they quote a peak output of 130W / m2, sounds high, I suppose the tiles overlap a fair bit which contributes a fair bit (only 35% of the tiles are active panel).  130 W / m2 is fairly respectable.

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