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Old 07-24-2014, 08:00 PM   #21
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Solar shingles make more sense to me, though they are probably not yet economically viable.
My husband did a proposal for a company outside Philly that had one of the first patents on solar shingles. (1980's or early 1990's). Their business model was to develop something enough to get a patent, that was a threat to corporate interests, and have them buy the patent to quash/kill the concept. They had successfully sold their patent to one of the big oil companies.

So the technology has been around for decades - but not commercially viable because the first (or many) technical attempts were legally blocked from use.
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:28 PM   #22
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Huh? Bernie Madoff got tax dollars and did crowd sourcing? Or did he tell his marks that he was making money for them with solar panels? How does Madoff relate to any of this? LMAO.
No, no, no. The parallel is that he was scamming people. By telling them something they wanted to hear (great returns, low risk!).

This is a scam and they are telling some people what they want to hear (environmentally friendly! pays for itself! Improves your sex life!). Well, maybe not the last part, but I wouldn't be surprised to find it somewhere on their site. I'll keep looking.

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Old 07-24-2014, 09:12 PM   #23
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+1 on people who put their thumbs down on this!

At first, I thought that some guys have figured out a way to make PV panels so cheap and so rugged that they can be used to pave the roads. Then, I found out that they simply encased the ordinary PV cell inside glass blocks or tiles, then claimed that the glass is strong enough to drive a tank on.

So, what is the cost? No matter how strong this glass block is, the tiles still have to be laid on top of a substrate. In other words, first build the road then put this on top. And how are these connected together? He talked about these blocks having the smart for self-diagnosis, and even to report that they are being stolen via a wireless link. How are all that electronics getting protected from rain, snow, humidity? How to protect all the power connectors from corrosion?

Then, he talked about these tiles having internal heaters so that they will draw power from the grid to melt snow and ice in the winter. Oh my gosh! We will need to build a lot more nuclear power plants so we can heat our roads, even though we cannot afford to heat our homes with electric. And they also have internal LEDs to light up the road at night.

I should not have read through all that crap, but it is so ludicrous that I simply could not stop. What a load of BS!
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:34 PM   #24
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Seems like they found enough fools to the tune of 2.2MM. P.T. Barnum would be proud.
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:16 AM   #25
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Well now, let's think about this for a minute.
If one paved say a parking lot with these things, and they generated enough power to provide charging stations for electric cars, that would be a good thing.
If they also provided enough power to supply the store (lets think say Costco or WalMart here) at least during the day, that would be an extremely good thing. If it turned out that the idea wasn't such a great one after all, because say the panels stopped performing and couldn't be cleaned, or they weren't tough enough, or it turns out people pried them up for whatever, then we'd know. And could probably address the issues.

Or we could do a sidewalk (volunteering my own!) we'd get a better idea of how they perform in reality and stand up to traffic.

Refine this really great idea, and start paving roads. Now there's where the big savings will come in.

I mean, we gotta repave roads ever so often anyway, right? So, it's not like we'd be tearing up good roads for questionable improvements. We should know first if the idea works, and second, we retrofit as we repave.

I don't see much downside to this thing.
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:33 AM   #26
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It is my understanding that Wal-Mart installed roof mounted solar panels on some of their stores and they provided enough power to power the store during daylight hours. No need for solar pavers.

I think this couple has a hair-brained scheme but often useful products come out of such proposals.
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:49 AM   #27
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+1 on people who put their thumbs down on this!
+1.

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So, what is the cost? No matter how strong this glass block is, the tiles still have to be laid on top of a substrate. In other words, first build the road then put this on top.
Right. And when that road gets a crack or a pothole, the panels on top will become little shards of glass all over the place.

I think some people just don't know how hard a road "works", and the difficulty in making a good, long lasting one. When we fly over just about anywhere the only place where activity >is< evident is on paved surfaces--so why put solar panels there? There are tons of better places to put solar panels, places where they can be easily serviced without inconveniencing everyone.

But, the idea is already generating--money from rubes.
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:10 PM   #28
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Well now, let's think about this for a minute. ...
You need to understand, the thinking has already been done. Solar photo-voltaic panels have been around a long time. They are understood and characterized. There is more than 30 years of 'thinking' already, not just minutes. So let's review:


Quote:
... If one paved say a parking lot with these things, and they generated enough power to provide charging stations for electric cars, that would be a good thing. ...
We understand that panels with the proper angle to the sun produce more power than panels laying flat in a parking lot. So if these can produce X amount flat, they would produce more than X at the correct angle. There is no more thinking required to realize that this idea wastes some of the potential of the panel. Why charge 10 cars for example, if we could charge 15 cars with the same number of panels?

It is not a good thing to set something up that charges 10 cars when you could charge 15 instead. It's a waste. Waste is bad. So it's a bad idea.


Also, have you given a minutes thought to what the word 'parking lot' means? You park cars there. During the day, when the sun shines. So cars parked there will block the sun, reducing the effectiveness of this bad idea even further. So now it's a bad, bad idea.


Quote:
... If it turned out that the idea wasn't such a great one after all, because say the panels stopped performing and couldn't be cleaned, or they weren't tough enough, or it turns out people pried them up for whatever, then we'd know. And could probably address the issues. ...

Or we could do a sidewalk (volunteering my own!) we'd get a better idea of how they perform in reality and stand up to traffic. ...
But there is no reason to 'address the issues' because there is no benefit to begin with. And we already know a flat surface will stay dirtier than an angled surface, we don't need to waste money experimenting.



Quote:
Refine this really great idea, and start paving roads. Now there's where the big savings will come in.

I mean, we gotta repave roads ever so often anyway, right? So, it's not like we'd be tearing up good roads for questionable improvements. We should know first if the idea works, and second, we retrofit as we repave.
What basis do you have to say there will be any savings at all? This is the circular argument they use on their site. They just say it's cheaper so let's do it, though they have no numbers, and every reasonable estimate says this material would be FAR more expensive than asphalt (which is a recycled product). Where is this savings?

Their claim of 'savings' from the electricity generated is false logic. You would generate more electricity, cheaper, by placing the panels on rooftops, or by the side of the road. Use that savings (if any) to repave roads if you want. Getting less electricity with a more expensive installation makes no sense.

It's a bad, bad, bad idea. There just is no way to legitimately see any good in this.


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... I don't see much downside to this thing. ...
And I don't see any upside. None at all, except for the two people making money from this scam. Hopefully a way is found to put them in jail.


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I just came across that from the videos linked earlier. Wow, $2M in donations from gullible people. Mind boggling.

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Old 07-25-2014, 12:44 PM   #29
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Well now hold on. There are good issues being raised here, but in the end it's all speculation as to whether the idea would work or not.
Repairing a solar road should be easier than a paved road, and if they construct the panels right, including the support surface less often.
The bottom line is, build it somewhere and find out

I won't be even thinking about investing in this-yet-I agree, these two aren't giving up enough details on costs.
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:35 PM   #30
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Well now hold on. There are good issues being raised here, but in the end it's all speculation as to whether the idea would work or not. ...
No, it is not all speculation. It is a fact (geometry anyone?) that a panel laying flat will absorb less solar energy than one angled to the Sun.

It is a fact that a car parked over a solar panel will reduce its output.

It's a fact that an additional covering over a solar panel will reduce its output.

It's a fact that a flat panel will retain more dirt than an angled panel, and dirt blocks light and will reduce its output.



Quote:
Repairing a solar road should be easier than a paved road, and if they construct the panels right, including the support surface less often.
Now that is speculation!

How could replacing glass panels with electrical components in them be easier/cheaper then grinding asphalt and redepositing it?

And how do we know it would require replacement less often? Isn't that all speculation, with no basis?


Quote:
The bottom line is, build it somewhere and find out
Go ahead, on YOUR dime, not the taxpayer's. Then please report back on your progress.

Did you understand what I wrote? You might as well say the same about all the crazy perpetual motion schemes on the internet, 'well, let's build one and find out!'. I can tell you right now, that putting a battery and a motor on the rear wheels of a car, powered by a generator on the front wheels of a that car will not work. Or putting solar panels in front of the headlights of an EV to recapture the light (both these ideas have been suggested on the Tesla forums). I don't need to build one, because some of us understand the laws of physics, and realize that building one would be a waste of time, and distract from good ideas. Just like this stupid solar road is distracting from potentially good ideas.

Quote:
I won't be even thinking about investing in this-yet-I agree, these two aren't giving up enough details on costs.
Details? They have almost nothing on costs, let alone 'details'. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

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Old 07-25-2014, 02:12 PM   #31
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OK, I can't help myself...

The earlier video did a good job of busting the idea of using panels to melt snow, but they used big, country-wide numbers, and I think that loses perspective. So let's break it down for a one mile stretch of road, a 12' wide lane, per inch of snow. And don't forget, the electricity for this comes from the grid, the panels are covered with snow!

The math conveniently breaks down to 5,280 feet (one mile) times 12 feet wide divided by 1/12 foot deep (one inch) so factors out to 5,280 cubic feet per inch of snow. A cubic foot of snow is typically ~ 15 pounds (water being ~ 62#/cubic foot). So that's 79,200 pounds per inch of snow.

It takes 144 BTUs just to melt a pound of ice. Multiplying and converting BTU to watt/hours, we get...

3,342,747 watt hours per inch of snow per lane/mile. That's 3.343 Mega-Watt Hours or 3,343 Kilo Watt Hours. That is ~ 3x the average electrical consumption of a US household for an entire month, around the clock! For one lane of a one mile stretch of road!

And of course, some heat will be lost to the ground and the air, but I'll be kind and ignore that for now.

At the approximate national average of $0.10/KWh that would be ~ $334 to melt one inch of snow per lane per mile, or about $1000 for a 3" snow!

A snow plow might get 5 mpg, so that's about ~ $1 of fuel per mile? Throw in a couple bucks for the truck amortization ($250,000, useful life of 250,000 miles - roughly?), and a few more bucks per mile for the driver? And let's assume they make 3 passes to clear 3" of snow (generous?) - so, maybe ~ $18/mile for a 3" snow?

Compared to $1,000 And actually much more if you factor in losses to ambient air/ground.

And those of us who actually live in snow country know what happens when snow melts, and then freezes (when the heaters would be turned off). Black Ice!!!! You need to make sure you get rid of any standing water. It would probably take lots of heat to actually evaporate much of that water.

But the people who are promoting this say it is cost effective, so I guess it must be. Right?

Wrong!

Oh, I almost forgot - power outage during a snow-storm? Ever heard of those? I have!

So now we have a community with these fancy, high tech roads, and not enough snow plow equipment to clear them, and a city-wide black out, and no power from these snow covered panels. Sounds like the plot of one of those B-Grade horror flicks!

Snow-mageddon !


OK, bring it on - what are the non-speculative (OK, I'll give you a break, you can speculate a little) possible benefits that could outweigh the negatives?


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Old 07-25-2014, 06:55 PM   #32
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Another obvious flaw in this scam is that IF glass were somehow cheaper and better to use as a road surface..don't you think it would have already been done?

The very simple fact that no parking lot/highway/road is currently paved with glass means that it's physically not possible and/or cost-ineffective.

And that doesn't even begin to address the previously pointed out issues with the panels being at flat angles, etc.

You would need the road solar panel covering material to already be cost-effective and already be used currently in order for a sub-optimal solar panel positioning in the road to even hope to be close to make any economic sense. The fact that you're taking an idea of a road surface material that can't currently be used, and trying to mesh it with another stupid idea (solar panel at poor angle, among other many issues pointed out by the YouTube video), makes it a stupid idea squared!
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Old 07-26-2014, 03:57 PM   #33
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So, is there any way to bet against this loser of an idea and make some money? What we need is some sort of "Kickstarter-shorting" mechanism whereby people can speculate >against< crazy, unworkable startups that capture the imagination of some people.
Such a thing might serve as a useful market pricing signal to those who believe a particular idea "just can't lose." If 90% of the people are willing to bet against the idea, maybe they'd reconsider their investment.
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Old 07-26-2014, 05:26 PM   #34
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So, is there any way to bet against this loser of an idea and make some money? What we need is some sort of "Kickstarter-shorting" mechanism whereby people can speculate >against< crazy, unworkable startups that capture the imagination of some people.
Such a thing might serve as a useful market pricing signal to those who believe a particular idea "just can't lose." If 90% of the people are willing to bet against the idea, maybe they'd reconsider their investment.
Yes, please!

If nothing else, it would flush out the serial KickStarter con artists. Yes, that's a real thing. At least there's KickFailure ยป Some projects just can't be kicked hard enough.
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Old 07-26-2014, 07:11 PM   #35
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Here in AZ, I am waiting to see Walmart, shopping malls, office and medical complexes offering covered parking using solar panels to provide shade. Two birds with one stone. It is practical, easy to maintain, and a lot less expensive than solar pavers. What a scam!

I have seen a local restaurant with such covered parking. The local university has had a solar panel array on the top story of its multi-level parking for a few years. With the price of the panels coming down, I think we will see a lot of this in the future. Panels in parking lots and commercial places are not susceptible to shading by trees and close-knit neighbors like many residential installations.

Somehow, people overlook these lower hanging fruits, and go for the scams like these solar road pavers. But then, some people have been buying "100-mpg carburetors" or gasoline-line magnetizers for decades, so this is not really new.
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Old 07-27-2014, 08:34 AM   #36
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Somehow, people overlook these lower hanging fruits, and go for the scams like these solar road pavers.
I'm really surprised at how much money they've been able to raise through kickstarter ($2M). I would have thought that the comments would have been filled with substantive criticisms that we see posted here and that this would have warned people off. However, the comments appear to be mostly positive.
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Old 07-27-2014, 08:52 AM   #37
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I'm really surprised at how much money they've been able to raise through kickstarter ($2M). I would have thought that the comments would have been filled with substantive criticisms that we see posted here and that this would have warned people off. However, the comments appear to be mostly positive.
I'm shocked too....but looking at the numbers, assume the average person 'donates' (?) $40. That's just 50,000 people who rely just on 'feel good' feelings to make decisions devoid of facts thought it sounded like a 'good idea'.

Given the few articles and press it received, and given that many of the 18-35 demographic is on-line, I don't find it too surprising they could find maybe 50,000 rubes to fall for an idea that has absolutely no scientific basis for being a good idea, given the capabilities of existing technology in actual production and use.

And just look at how many BILLIONS of people believe that CO2 emissions have the greatest impact on global climate. They completely ignore the fact that the sun has, in fact, a variable energy output, and don't stop to factor in that something that is as big as the sun could easily vary its output by a mere 0.1%, and it could impact the climate on earth. Hell, look at the mere solar flares that happen with some periodic activity, and how disruptive they are - and that's just a freakin' little itty bitty flare of electrons!

So if billions of people ignore the single biggest climate factor impact (in fact, THE source of our entire climate)....it's certainly not a stretch to find 50,000 of them that would fall for this scheme and pony up $40, say, on average.

In fact, we should start our own crowdfunding idea for the perpetual motion machine:

ZERO emissions!
Requires no fuel once it gets going!
The ultimate Earth-friendly device!

That should get the interest of the 'save the world' types that don't bother to stop and think about science.
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Old 07-27-2014, 12:35 PM   #38
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...

And just look at how many BILLIONS of people believe that CO2 emissions have the greatest impact on global climate. They completely ignore the fact that the sun has, in fact, a variable energy output, and don't stop to factor in that something that is as big as the sun could easily vary its output by a mere 0.1%, and it could impact the climate on earth. Hell, look at the mere solar flares that happen with some periodic activity, and how disruptive they are - and that's just a freakin' little itty bitty flare of electrons!

So if billions of people ignore the single biggest climate factor impact (in fact, THE source of our entire climate)....it's certainly not a stretch to find 50,000 of them that would fall for this scheme and pony up $40, say, on average.

...
Maybe this could have something to do with the topic? Or are we going somewhere with this?
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Old 07-27-2014, 12:44 PM   #39
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...

In fact, we should start our own crowdfunding idea for the perpetual motion machine:

ZERO emissions!
Requires no fuel once it gets going!
The ultimate Earth-friendly device!

That should get the interest of the 'save the world' types that don't bother to stop and think about science.
someone beat you to it...

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/h...ergy-generator
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Old 07-27-2014, 01:33 PM   #40
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At the risk of unleashing a hurricane of criticism, this thread did get me thinking about roads and energy which got me wondering about road compression from traffic and weather as a source of power. The energy of traffic and the freeze/thaw compression destroys roads. Could we somehow capture it?

Knowing that there is rarely such a thing as an original idea, I did some googling:

robinmeadows.tumblr.com/harvestinggreenenergyfromcars

This seems like a potentially interesting, scalable and maintable idea.

I feel certain someone will tell me why this idea sucks rotten eggs. Please do so without also suggesting I am somehow genetically or educationally deficient or a stooge for some lobby or other...it's just a link to something interesting on a Sunday afternoon, not a manifesto or a request for funding.

Time to take the kids to the pool.
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