LED Technology

Friday, May 7, 2010

Energy Generating, Self-Heating Solar Roadway Unveiled

by Brit Liggett
solar roadway, messages, road, transportation, solar power, power 
generation, energy production, economy, road surface
The makers of the Solar Roadway just got a little closer to their dream of making every road in the United States a high-tech thruway that carries more than just cars. They’ve completed their first prototype and unveiled the photographs of the revolutionary energy-generating road surface. If installed on a real thoroughfare the Solar Roadway would carry vehicles, generate electricity for messages to drivers, self-heat to melt snow and ice, and deliver high speed phone and internet cables to the front steps of every home.

solar roadway, messages, road, transportation, solar power, power 
generation, energy production, economy, road surface
The makers of the Solar Roadway have high hopes for their product. In addition to creating a revolution in transportation infrastructure, they envision the installation of the Solar Roadway as a quick path to economic recovery. With some quick calculations they’ve estimated that installing the Solar Roadway on every road in the US will employ 2.5 million people full time for 10 years. That’s not to mention the manufacturing jobs that will be created to make the components in the road panels. It will take just over 5 billion panels to cover all the US roads and each panel requires 6192 LED lights, a special glass covering and a circuit board. That’s a lot of manufacturing.
The Solar Roadway promises to do a lot more than rebuild our economy through job creation. It will heat roadways to melt ice and snow, illuminate roads at night, carry cables for phone and internet service to homes, provide smart grid access for electric vehicles and deliver important messages to drivers through LED’s.
There seems to be one thing missing though — funding. The Solar Roadway website details the disarray that our current road system is in and notes that part of the reason we got to where we are is lack of funding. No doubt the Solar Roadway will be more expensive than the current inexpensive oil derived asphalt. So although it seems like a bright idea, it’s going to take a lot of cash money to bring this high-tech system to life.


Barcelona Introduces LED Streetlights That Cut Energy Costs by 1/3

by Cameron Scott
urban design, sustainable design, Barcelona, Spain, LED 
streetlights, green lighting, green design
If it weren’t already the case that no other city can hold a candle to Barcelona, it is now: the European city has begun using wireless LED street lamps — made by Spanish energy giant Endesa — that run on timers and motion detectors. LEDs aren’t cheap, but a new study from the University of Pittsburgh found that they offer the best green alternative for cities in a lifecycle analysis. Barcelona expects to see its municipal power bill decline by a third just from the timed LED lights.
Streetlights are low-hanging fruit, environmentally speaking. Their design tends to be clunky and they account for a massive chunk of city power bills, even though much of the time their light falls on empty streets. Design improvements and energy savers like motion detectors will also reduce the amount of light that beams skyward, which biologists increasingly say disrupts nocturnal wildlife. Like other fixtures designed to reduce light pollution, the Barcelona street lamps aim their light downward.

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