FAQ - INTRO
What are Solar Roadways?
Solar Roadways is first and foremost a multi-featured, modern, modular intelligent infrastructure product which also produces clean energy in places heretofore impossible.
What abbreviations do you use:
SR for Solar Roadways and SRP for Solar Road Panels. These are becoming so well known that we see others use them frequently in emails to us and on social media.
Where do you want to install Solar Roadways?
On every walking and driving surface in the world.
What kind of projects are you starting with?
We have always planned that roads, especially highways would be the last application we would tackle. We believe it’s smarter to begin with sidewalks, driveways, patios, bike paths, parking lots and the like. When we feel ready for roads, we’ll begin with residential roads and probably city crosswalks, then move on to all city streets and then our final goal: highways.
How many government contracts have you been awarded?
Three, by the US Department of Transportation. They funded the development and testing of our Solar Road Panels.
How many views has your Solar Freakin Roadways video had on YouTube by now?
We are happy to say that that wonderful video created for us by a volunteer has now had over 22 million views. We are overjoyed that so many people love it so much.
Some people suggest putting a canopy covered in solar panels over roads instead of your invention. What do you think of this idea?
I’m afraid we think it’s a terrible idea, but we know that some like it. Our state DOTS are currently struggling to keep up with the price of current roadways. The canopy idea requires that DOTs continue to make roads as they are AND pay for the canopies and solar panels as an extra cost. SRPs are a replacement product. They prevent potholes and eliminate the cost of pothole repair. With the canopy idea, that cost would be ongoing. Snow plowing would still be needed as snow would blow in from the sides of the canopy. Road lines would still need to be painted and repainted. Costs would be astronomical. Driving under a canopy would require frequent poles or columns to support the canopy. These could be struck by drivers, creating a safety hazard. Finally, the experience of driving under a canopy would likely block the view of many a beautiful landscape and sightseeing is one of the joys of a road trip. Many of these same objections hold true for solar canopies over parking lots too.
What kind of traction do the Solar Road Panels have and how does it compare to asphalt?
SR glass traction surface has been tested and meets all of the traction requirements of asphalt and concrete.
How much weight can Solar Road Panels support?
Testing through our USDOT contracts indicates that they can support vehicles up to 250,000 pounds.
How many installations have you completed thus far?
We have just completed two pilot projects thus far and also installed a few panels on our own parking lot. The first pilot was part of our second USDOT contract. We installed 108 SR2 panels, creating a parking lot on our own property. Our second pilot is an ongoing pilot project in our hometown of Sandpoint, Idaho. Although they paid for one set of 30 panels, we promised to keep replacing them with the latest models at our expense. It provides needed “real world testing” to compliment the laboratory testing our panels have endured. The Sandpoint pilot has been doing it’s job and bringing forth problems and glitches so that we can fix them in the subsequent model. We are grateful to the City of Sandpoint for providing this opportunity and for supporting our company as we move forward.
How can I buy panels for my home/business?
We are gearing up for mass production now. If you would like to be personally notified as panels become available, please email: Customers@SolarRoadways.com
How much do the panels cost?
We are working now to bring introductory prices as low as possible. We are having a whole line of custom equipment created. The more production we can bring in house, the lower the costs, which can be passed on to Customers. Economies of Scale will cause prices to fall further as we progress. If you would like to be personally notified of prices as they become available: Customers@SolarRoadways.com.
What myths circulate about Solar Roadways?
One of the main ones is the idea that we invented Solar Roadways to compete with rooftop solar in efficiency. That was never even a thought – it would be impossible because to make the panels sturdy enough to drive on requires thicker, stronger glass and the other features such as LED lights take away some of the “real estate” for solar cells. While they will never produce as much power as rooftop panels per square foot, the advantage is that Solar Road Panels can be implemented in places where rooftop panels could never work: roads, parking lots, etc. That means that in total, they can create a massive amount of clean energy if implemented on a grand scale – much more than rooftop solar. Rooftop solar is wonderful too, the more clean energy the better in our opinion.
I am a student and have chosen Solar Roadways for my project/paper? Can I reach out to receive help or advice?
Certainly. We are happy that so many students from elementary school through PhD dissertations choose SR for papers and projects. We hear that many teachers/professors lecture about SR too. Many students tell us that is the way they learned about Solar Roadways. We created an email address for student questions: Students@SolarRoadways.com.
I understand you stay away from politics. Why is that? What if I want to introduce you to a candidate of my choice?
Politics has become so divisive that it seems like leaders from one party reflexively reject proposals of the other party these days. Our worst nightmare would be to have SR endorsed by one candidate or party, only to have the opposition oppose SR only because they want to disagree with the views of their opponent. However, we are more than willing to meet with any and all candidates for public office. Some people make email introductions between us and the candidate of their choice and we appreciate that very much. We also often retweet people’s attempts to alert the candidate of their choice to SR on Twitter. We do this regardless of whether we happen to favor a particular candidate or not. We were happy to be invited to the White House by the Obama Administration and hope to have similar acceptance from the Trump Administration. We’d love to meet with the president – more government assistance could be invaluable to us as we attempt to move forward quickly.
Don't solar cells produce DC energy? How does a home or business use this?
The DC energy is converted into 240VAC energy to be used by homes or businesses. This is standard for any solar installation.
Have you thought about adding piezoelectric elements to your panels?
We’ve tested it, but the energy harvesting amounts to so little, we haven’t found a useful way to incorporate it yet.
What about motorcycles and bicycles, strollers, skates, skateboards, wheelchairs, etc.? Can they be used on Solar Roadways?
SR glass has the same traction requirements as asphalt or concrete surfaces.
How are you going to distribute the power? Won't you have to have cables along every road?
Yes. The power cables will be located alongside the road in SR Cable Corridors.
How long will Solar Road Panels last?
Everything in the panels should last at least 20 years.
Who owns the electricity that this new infrastructure produces?
Whoever owns the panels. For driveways, that would be the homeowner. For parking lots, the business owner. For roads, it could be the municipality, the state DOT, or the federal DOT.
Many articles have been written about the failure of competing solar roads in other countries. Your thoughts?
We don’t have much information about projects of the “copycats” as we like to call them. We always have believed that roadways should be the last application, so when we heard that some were rushing right to roads with a product that still requires paint and has no heating elements, we were worried. Especially since we read that the panels are just glued to the road. So when reports of failure surfaced, we were not surprised. Unfortunately, many journalists seem to be confused and think that all such projects are the same, when in reality no other product bears much resemblance to our own. We are the “original” Solar Roadways, who started the revolution and we are much further along in development as we’ve taken time for needed research and testing.
What will an earthquake do to a Solar Roadway?
The same thing is does to an asphalt or concrete roadway unfortunately.
How do you make hills, curves, and crowns with flat hexagons?
We chose the hexagon partly for just this reason. With our first USDOT contract, we built a very crude prototype to show feasibility. At that time, we thought we’d experiment with giant 12’ x12’ panels. It was a very good thing that we built one…we quickly realized that smaller panels would be much easier and faster to install. We experimented with various shapes and sizes. We played with small models and realized that the hexagon allowed us to work on hills and curves with ease. Crowns are easy – we’ll use a 3% grade just as with asphalt and concrete. Another advantage of hexagons as it makes it easy for Landscape Architects to work around planter beds and to create uniquely shaped flower beds. We’ve had a tremendously positive response to the hexagon – they have that “cool factor”. One supporter called them the “polygon of tomorrow”.
How can I become a Distributor for Solar Roadways?
We’ll need a whole network of certified Distributors and Installers. Ideal Distributors are those who already have a network in place: Contractors, Rooftop Solar Companies, Road Building Companies etc. Soon, we’ll begin offering classes to certify Distributors/Installers. If you would like to be personally notified as those are scheduled: Distributors@SolarRoadways.com
How can I become a Manufacturing Partner for Solar Roadways?
We expect to need at least one Manufacturing Partner in each state and in many countries. If the panels are produced close to where they will be installed, it helps to lower costs and is also better for the environment. Ideal candidates are those with engineering or manufacturing experience. If you would like to learn more about opportunities, please email: ManufacturingPartners@SolarRoadways..com
How many speaking engagements do you accept each year? How can I reach out to make a request?
We are only able to accept a few speaking opportunities each year. We’ve enjoyed speaking in places such as Florida, California, Dubai, New York etc. Soon, we’ll be speaking in Australia. If you would like to have Solar Roadways represented at your event (speaking and/or panel display), please email: Presentations@SolarRoadways.com.
Are you hiring right now?
Not at the moment, but SR will create thousands of jobs all over the world as we move forward. Types of jobs that will be created: Engineers, Installers, Administrators, Customer Service, Human Resources, IT, Marketing, Graphic Design, Software and Game Development, Video Production… and many others. We are accepting resumes for future reference: Careers@SolarRoadways.com.
Are you active on social media?
Yes, we are active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We are still active on Indiegogo too, in the InDemand program. There are buttons for all of these on every page of our website. Social media is the best way to share this amazing journey with us and keep up with our news. We value our supporters so much and try very hard to answer each and