You think two people can’t make a difference? Just take a look at Sandpoint, Id., couple Julie and Scott Brusaw. She works as a counselor and he works as an electrical engineer. Julie wondered why couldn’t someone just turn all of the roads and parking lots into solar panels to harvest sunlight, convert it in electricity? She asked her husband who admits he poo-poo’ed the idea at first, but it kept nagging at him. Yeah, why couldn’t someone do that? And hell, why couldn’t that someone be them?
Between them, they came up with Solar Roadways, a project to develop solar panels that are strong enough to be walked on, biked on, driven on and parked on. What’s more, they contain heating elements designed to melt snow and, if that wasn’t enough, they’re embedded with LEDs to display warnings and traffic messages. Imagine a road that alerts you in the middle of the night, for example, that a deer has stepped onto it.
Each hexagonal panel has its own circuitry and is covered in tempered glass that can withstand 250,000 pounds of force.
The Brusaws have already received $700,000 in funding from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, which helped them finish Phase II and build out a prototype parking lot. But now they need to raise more money to take this idea into the production lane. To that end, they launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indegogo to raise $1 million. They would prefer to not seek investors that might pressure them to move manufacturing overseas. They think their idea would create jobs for Americans.
On top of creating jobs and generating electricity, Solar Roadways is also trying to deal with storm water. Part of their system includes a section called Cable Corridors for storing, treating and moving storm water.
If anything, these two individuals show how much of an impact mere mortals can have in a world that sometimes feels like it’s falling to pieces. We hope they reach their goal.
Credit: Solar Roadways via Youtube