Latest Solar Project! Only $4.3 Million to Run a Microwave

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The rendering should have told them all they need to know.

If you haven’t heard about the Solar Freakin’ Roadways, you probably won’t believe this story but it’s true. It’s an idea that came out of the global warming hysterical movement and it was inspired by Al Gore’s movie Inconvenient Truth.

After an expenditure of $4.3 million and six-and-a-half years, the Sandpoint Solar Roadways project in Idaho is complete and it is capable of running one microwave.

The Daily Caller reported: that it can’t even power a microwave most days. The project aka Solar Freakin’ Roadways generated an average of 0.62 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per day since it began publicly posting power data in late March. An average microwave consumes about 1 kWh per day.

On March 29th, the solar road panels generated 0.26 kWh, or less electricity than a single plasma television consumes. On March 31st, the panels generated 1.06 kWh, enough to barely power a single microwave. The panels have been under-performing their expectations due to design flaws, but even if they had worked perfectly they’d have only powered a single water fountain and the lights in a nearby restroom. Solar FREAKIN’ Roadways has been in development for 6.5 years and received a total of $4.3 million in funding to generate 90 cents worth of electricity.

Solar Roadways, the company that developed the technology on trial in Idaho, was founded in 2006 by husband-wife team Scott and Julie Brusaw. Their vision was to create solar panel tiles that can be installed on top of existing asphalt.

From KBCS:

The inspiration for the Solar Roadways company flowed from the married couple’s movie night. The flick was Al Gore’s global warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. In the audience were Julie Brusaw, a counselor, and her husband Scott, an electrical engineer.

Scott Brusaw: “After watching Al Gore’s movie, Julie turned to me one day and said, ‘Couldn’t you make your electric roads out of solar panels?’ At first I just kind of laughed, blew it off and said, ‘You can’t even step on those things, let alone drive on them.’ So she’s dropped it.”

But he didn’t.

Scott Brusaw: “It stuck in my head. I started thinking about that and a week later I came back around. You know I said, ‘If we could figure out a way to protect the solar cells that just might work.’”

Solar tiles as a road surface has an idiotic quality about it. The video says:

Years ago, when the phrase “Global Warming” began gaining popularity, we started batting around the idea of replacing asphalt and concrete surfaces with solar panels that could be driven upon. We thought of the “black box” on airplanes: We didn’t know what material that black box was made of, but it seemed to be able to protect sensitive electronics from the worst of airline crashes.

Suppose we made a section of road out of this material and housed solar cells to collect energy, which could pay for the cost of the panel, thereby creating a road that would pay for itself over time. What if we added LEDs to “paint” the road lines from beneath, lighting up the road for safer night time driving? What if we added a heating element in the surface (like the defrosting wire in the rear window of our cars) to prevent snow/ice accumulation in northern climates? The ideas and possibilities just continued to roll in and the Solar Roadway project was born.

To summarize: Airplane black boxes and solar panels in place of road surfaces; LED’s to guide cars down the road at night; heating elements to melt snow and ice. How much power would that take to melt snow in Idaho? Certainly more than what it takes to run a microwave.

Imagine laying out millions for that? People actually gave them $4.3 million to put this together.

What happens when cars drive over them?

It appears Sandpoint’s Solar Roadway might only be 30 squares in the town square that can be walked or biked on for its $4.3 million.

But they have lots of colors in those LED lights.

Here’s the video:


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