One wonders why these guys don't put their energies into making practical solar roof tiles. Something compatible with an existing design or designs, easily connectable and installable. Sure they would be more expensive than existing solar panels, but you could deduct the normal cost of roof tiles, which is considerable. Does anyone know if anyone has done anything like that already?
I too think that it was a wastage of money!! Totally impractical concept!! As you have correctly said, snow blocking the sun is one thing, dust and mud is another one. How is that protected against rain and storm? This is far far away from future reality and looks only Sci-Fi to me. I completely agree with the "negative feedback" video.
More that the solar roadways idea, I like the emblem on the guy's T-shirt saying "I always give negative feedback" with an image of an op-amp negative feedback circuit!! :)
It could be scary to most of you, but the most parctical argument why the Solar Roadways will always be a Sci-Fi and never reality (at least in Indian context)...the "road" would get stolen if you do not keep guarding every 500 mtrs (or less) of the road!! How many guards you would need? :)
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.
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.
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.