In 2009, Solar Roadways, a startup in Sandpoint, Idaho, introduced the concept of a solar power path which could replace asphalt along with providing many additional benefits. These paths, currently being tested on Historic Route 66 Welcome Center in Conway, have been installed on the sidewalk instead of the road. This sidewalk acts as an initial trial of durability against daily wear and weather conditions, before testing commences on a road with more durability and hazards.
Constructed from numerous hexagonal panels, each links together to form a solid roadway of any length or width. The benefit of using individual panels means that the repair and maintenance is not only quicker and easier, but also cost-effective, as only specific panels need to be removed and replaced instead of the entire road.
Each tile consists of a solar cell which generates power to a grid throughout the day, as well as powering the LED lighting and heating inside the tiles. The LED lighting can be used as road lines or markings and the heating feature is used to melt ice for safer driving conditions. If successful, the power generated from the solar cells will be sent to a nearby electrical grid, and overtime will make up for the cost of production by the additional power they produce. To ensure the tiles are road safe, each tile is made from a resilient tempered glass with a rough texture for maximum traction.
Renewable energy sources like Solar Roadways are beginning to become more standard in society, powering houses, vehicles, and even cities. Eclipse Automation has experience in multiple renewable energy methods including solar and wind, to help you achieve maximum efficiency and reduced overall costs in your assembly process.