What are Solar Roadways?
Let’s go on a solar road trip and find out. Solar Roadways is the name of an Idaho-based company working on the development of an eponymous product: solar roadways. Solar roadways are highways built with special road panels that can generate solar power and have the potential to offer lighting, heating, and other smart road functionality.
What happened to the Solar Roadways® offering?
The Solar Roadways® offering is now closed and is no longer accepting investments. Solar Roadways® is the first company to develop Solar Road Panels, which opens up a brand-new market for the solar industry: all walking and driving surfaces.
Why China’s Solar Roadways?
In addition to financial advantages, Chinese solar roadway projects have an important technological leg up as well: most roads in China are made with concrete, while roads in the U.S. are usually constructed with asphalt. Asphalt flexes slightly under pressure, meaning that rigid solar cells will easily snap under the weight of cars and trucks.
What are the challenges of Solar Roadways?
One of the biggest challenges for solar roadways is the high upfront and maintenance costs involved. Solar panels are much more expensive than asphalt on a per square foot basis, and repair costs are also high compared to filling in potholes or repaving sections of road.