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Old 05-21-2012, 09:43 PM  
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Science is Cool....

This is a repository for all cool scientific discussion and fascination. Scientific facts, theories, and overall cool scientific stuff that you'd like to share with others. Stuff that makes you smile and wonder at the amazing shit going on around us, that most people don't notice.

Post pictures, vidoes, stories, or links. Ask questions. Share science.

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Old 05-29-2014, 08:29 PM   #1831
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Technical possibility or fiscal?
I think the answer to both is yes....
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:27 PM   #1832
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Solar fences and guard rails and billboarads along our highways would make more sense. Repairing the solar panel highways from traffic abuse would be insane. They could use the sides of our roadways more efficiently and even sell lighted programable advertisements and make even more money. Roadways themselves wear out too quickley.
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:21 AM   #1833
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:54 AM   #1834
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Bacon chemistry...

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Old 05-30-2014, 10:26 AM   #1835
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Originally Posted by NewChief View Post
This post has been blowing up my Facebook feed. I'm curious what resident scientists think about this as an actual possibility?
There's a very simple problem with this. There's no good reason, right now, why it has to be on the road.

Sure there may be some hypothetical fringe benefits with solar roads that this video really tries to hype, and they should get kudos for trying to be bold and visionary, but the expense and maintenance is insane.

If we want solar panels, we haven't run out of room to put up the cheaper, more efficient kinds, we still have a lot of roofs that can get panels and we're installing more of them every year.

Once we get to a point where most roofs that are ever going to be on the grid have panels, and once we get to the point where we don't have any more deserts and sunny desolate areas that are economical for solar farms, if at that point we STILL somehow need more solar power, then solar roads might begin to be something to look at.

The creators should continue on with their hobby though. 700 years from now when we may possibly need them, at that point it would be nice if someone was working on refining the solar road design for all those hundreds of years.
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Old 05-30-2014, 10:30 AM   #1836
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I think the basic premise behind the idea is that the land where roadways lie is being 'wasted'

That being said, I think there are plenty of 'wasted' opportunities to put up solar panels that don't involve as much money to implement and maintain.
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Old 05-30-2014, 10:37 AM   #1837
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I think the basic premise behind the idea is that the land where roadways lie is being 'wasted'

That being said, I think there are plenty of 'wasted' opportunities to put up solar panels that don't involve as much money to implement and maintain.
yep, there is a crazy-huge amount of roof space and desert that is "wasted" before we should ever think about roads. We may end up having all the solar power we'll ever need before we ever run out of that space.
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Old 05-30-2014, 10:39 AM   #1838
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Another huge consideration with solar roads that I haven't heard talked about is the cost of implementation required by the construction entities. Current construction companies have incredible amounts of money already committed to the machinery and processes they currently use for traditional road construction. They'd need completely new machinery, technology, and processes for solar. You can't really compare just the materials costs without including the costs of reverting to a completely different/untested application method.
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:05 PM   #1839
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Originally Posted by ChiefsNow View Post
Solar fences and guard rails and billboarads along our highways would make more sense. Repairing the solar panel highways from traffic abuse would be insane. They could use the sides of our roadways more efficiently and even sell lighted programable advertisements and make even more money. Roadways themselves wear out too quickley.
I think the life expectancy of the solar roads is 30 years. Considering the longevity, upgraded communications infrastructure, free clean power, and incredible job creation, I think it's all more than worth it.

Not to mention the ability to quickly and easily change out bad panels by the square foot rather than relaxing entire roads...
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Old 05-31-2014, 12:10 AM   #1840
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Another huge consideration with solar roads that I haven't heard talked about is the cost of implementation required by the construction entities. Current construction companies have incredible amounts of money already committed to the machinery and processes they currently use for traditional road construction. They'd need completely new machinery, technology, and processes for solar. You can't really compare just the materials costs without including the costs of reverting to a completely different/untested application method.
Not sure how that aspect would change. There's still a concrete road beneath it, the only real change is the trough system to the sides and adding electricians to the equation.
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Old 05-31-2014, 12:16 AM   #1841
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yep, there is a crazy-huge amount of roof space and desert that is "wasted" before we should ever think about roads. We may end up having all the solar power we'll ever need before we ever run out of that space.
Not sure I understand this mind set. How is placing solar on roofs better?

It's not. It's inefficient.

Using this system we simultaneously upgrade our deteriorating road network, our puny communications infrastructure, and most of all, or antiquated, not sure how the hell it still works, inefficient power grid.
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Old 05-31-2014, 02:55 PM   #1842
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Not sure I understand this mind set. How is placing solar on roofs better?

It's not. It's inefficient.

Using this system we simultaneously upgrade our deteriorating road network, our puny communications infrastructure, and most of all, or antiquated, not sure how the hell it still works, inefficient power grid.
Its a hell of a lot better because its cheaper and more likely to be useful to the electrical grid by being closer to the infrastructure, more accessible by the infrastructure, and closer to the electrical need. If the goal is solar power, then the path is solar panels on roofs and solar farms in the desert.

There is really no good reason at all for solar roads other than "it sounds cool". Its not going to be a significant enough upgrade over the asphalt roads, assuming its even an upgrade at all, to justify the ridiculous cost. I also really doubt the durability of these glass panels. Asphalt roads are pretty durable, and they take quite a beating from traffic and weather. Those silly glass panels would probably get torn up far quicker.

edit: I also object to the silly idea of lighting up the roads. If we did have solar roads, they should not be lit up at all, they should only be gathering energy for our power needs, thats it. I would still want to use reflective paint and signs. Lighting up the road for the road lines is a big waste of electricity and we already have problems with light pollution at night anyway.
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:25 AM   #1843
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Personal air conditioning apparatus. You clip some sort of device on your hip and it gives you a personal bubble of climate controlled air.

When can I expect it?
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Old 06-03-2014, 05:20 AM   #1844
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Not sure I understand this mind set. How is placing solar on roofs better?

It's not. It's inefficient.

Using this system we simultaneously upgrade our deteriorating road network, our puny communications infrastructure, and most of all, or antiquated, not sure how the hell it still works, inefficient power grid.
The problem is that the roads are not really upgraded. As you said in your previous post, it is still a concrete road beneath.

You are still going to get the same issues with the roads degrading over time due to the cyclic behavior of the loading patterns. Not to mention the settlement and heave potentials and degradation of the sub-base material.

The only upgrade that you have for the roadways (themselves, not counting everything else the solar panels brings) is that the wearing surface is changing.

What I am curious of is how much spray would come up from the tires in the rain? Asphalt and concrete (to a lesser extent) allows for the water to pass through it so there is not as much spray from tires during downpours and this allows for safer roads. Will the panels have some sort of seepage at certain intervals?
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Old 06-07-2014, 10:22 AM   #1845
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Scientists Create Shatterproof Phone Screens

New Electrode Could Lead to Shatterproof Smartphone Displays
(Photo : The University of Akron) A transparent layer of electrodes on a polymer surface could be extraordinarily tough and flexible, withstanding repeated scotch tape peeling and bending tests, providing for a shatterproof smartphone touchscreen.
Too many of us are carrying shattered phones because screens we can't afford new screens. However, scientists from the University of Akron may have discovered a solution to save fragile phones their dilapidated doom.

Lead researcher Yu Zhu, assistant professor of polymer science at University of Akron, and his team created a transparent electrode that could make phones shatterproof.

Zhu and his team found that that a transparent layer of electrodes on a polymer surface helps boost surface toughness and flexibility. Researchers said that latest findings were proven with repeated scotch tape peeling and bending tests.

Researchers said the latest study could transform and replace traditional touch screens, which have coatings that are made of brittle indium tin oxide (ITO). Not only are ITOs weaker, they are also more expensive to manufacture.

"These two pronounced factors drive the need to substitute ITO with a cost-effective and flexible conductive transparent film," Zhu said in a news release.

He noted that the new film will be just as transparent as the traditional ITO, and may even offer greater conductivity.

Study data revealed that the novel film retained its shape and functionality after being bent over 1,000 times. Researchers believe that the latest invention could be produced in cheap, mass-quantity rolls.

"We expect this film to emerge on the market as a true ITO competitor," Zhu says. "The annoying problem of cracked smart phone screens may be solved once and for all with this flexible touch screen."

The findings are published in the journal ACS Nano.
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