With only four days left in its crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, the Solar Roadways project has crushed its $1 million goal, standing at over $1.4 million from more than 34,000 backers today. The fascinating project is looking to replace the U.S.’s concrete and asphalt roads with solar panels. This is a promising way to produce a lot more electricity. According to pundits, this may solve just about every energy problem the country has including geopolitical, fossil fuel reliance, CO2 production and so on.
Explaining why the company turned to crowdfunding, founders of Solar Roadways and Idaho residents Scott and Julie Brusaw wrote on the campaign page,
“The idea to launch a crowdfunding campaign came to us from so many supporters that we looked into it. We have always been concerned about protecting our vision to implement this in the way that we think will have the most benefit: creating American jobs rather than outsourcing and then adding manufacturing facilities in other countries. That way we could help the economies everywhere providing many thousands of jobs. We have a vision for the way our facilities will be – campus like – with a positive atmosphere.
“We want to use as many recycled materials as we can and keep our manufacturing process as green as possible. We could go on, but you get the picture. If we can raise enough funds here, we won’t have to take on an investor and we won’t have to worry about losing our focus. If you like our vision and want to help, we’d be honored to have you in our corner.”
The Brusaw also noted the hexagonal-shaped panels are made up of four layers: half-inch thick glass surface, layer of LEDs lights, electronic support structure, and recyclable material base layer. The couple believes the panels may withstand up to 250,000 pounds or pressure. While its main job is to collect energy from the sun, the panels are also part of a “smart” system that may even talk to a cloud-connected vehicle. Mr. Brusaw stated, “We can produce three times more power than we use as a nation. That will eliminate the need for coal-fired power plants.”
While the glass does sound very reliable on roads, Mr. Bursaw revealed, “We hesitate to even call it glass, as it is far from a traditional window pane. But glass is what it is, so glass is what we must call it. We sent samples of texture glass to a university civil engineering lab for traction testing… and ended up with a texture that can stop a vehicle going 80mph in the required distance.”
After receiving funding from the Federal Highway Administration for its Phase II prototype, Solar Roadways is hoping to deploy the panels to actual roads. Just a few days following its launch, the campaign received tons of attention. It is set to close on Saturday.
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