Solar-Powered ‘Smart’ Roads Could Zap Snow, Ice

dpw storm tlsIn the near future, technology could clear city streets of ice and snow — by simply melting it away. America’s harsh winters cost the nation’s economy billions of dollars each year in snow removal equipment, weather damage to streets and vehicles, extra days of school and revenue lost to closed businesses.

Scott Brusaw, a 53-year-old electrical engineer in tiny Sagle, Idaho, thinks he has a solution. So far, he’s generated interest from the federal government and General Electric in his idea for a solar-powered roadway made from super-strong glass, instead of conventional asphalt or concrete.

“I’m looking out the window now at about a foot of snow, so if we can make it work here, we can make it work anywhere in the country,” Brusaw said. “I’m hoping this spring we’ll start laying the foundation for it right outside our building here.”

Solar cells inside its glass surface would allow the roadway to act as a giant solar power generator, fueling embedded heating elements and making plows and other snow removal equipment unnecessary. Full story in CNN.

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  1. How about driving steam rollers down the rd and melting the snow? Folowed by a salter truck do that the water runvoff dose not turn to ice? Why has end something like this been invented yet? You can get a heated driveway but if we get allot of snowing a sort period of time the snow will still stick to it. Why would this be any different.

  2. How will the sun hit the surface of the raodway if is cloudy and stormy due to snow falling, plus the snow amassed on the surface already? Plus a street made of glass that when it gets wet is more slippery than ice, not the best idea if you ask me… Maybe some type of heating coil installed into the asphalt like radiant floor heating, but solar powered glass….no way.

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