The Solar Road Panel

The heart of Solar Roadways is the Solar Road Panel. Hexagon in shape, this solar panel contains an onboard microprocessor which controls heating elements (to help prevent snow/ice accumulation), LEDs (to illuminate road lines, create verbiage, graphics, etc.), and communicates with other panels and vehicles wirelessly. The microprocessor monitors onboard temperature sensors and a light sensor. It uses this information to determine when to turn on the heating elements and how bright to adjust the LEDs. It also stores 8000 LED patterns that can be recalled at any time.

With funding from three U.S. Department of Transportation grants, we’ve successfully passed the following civil engineering tests performed at 3rd party university civil engineering departments:

  • Traction Testing – University of Toledo, Ohio
  • Impact Resistance Testing – Norwich University, Vermont
  • Load Testing – Norwich University
  • 3D Finite Element Method testing – Savannah State University, Georgia
  • Moisture Conditioning – Marquette University, Wisconsin
  • Freeze/Thaw Cycling – Marquette University
  • Shear Testing – Marquette University
  • Heavy Vehicle Simulation Testing – Marquette University

The SR4 weighs 70-pounds, covers 4.39 square feet, and is 1.4-inches thick. Over the years, we’ve increased the solar harvesting capacity: SR2 was a 36-watt solar panel. Our most recent model – SR4 – is a 48-watt solar panel using 23.7% efficient solar cells.

We’ve designed four iterations of Solar Road Panels. SR5 is currently being designed to be our first commercially available product. SR5 will be the culmination of everything we’ve learned over the years and designed for ease of manufacturing to optimize costs.

We are also going to create an in house microinverter. We’ve tested two commercial models at our pilot site and neither worked well with our unique solar panels, so we are going to design to the panels. This will allow us to offer Solar Road Panels and microinverters as a package.