The world we live in changes constantly, as well as our energy needs. For a long time, gas and oil have powered our vehicles and lives, but solar-technology has become more popular. Aside from installing solar panels on houses, buildings, cars, or open fields, some have proposed using roads. In fact, France took a leap of faith and installed the world’s first stretch of road made of solar-panels a few years back. However, as bright and innovative as the idea was, it did not yield pleasing results.
The idea is as simple as lining our roads with solar-panels that cars can drive over. In the time between cars passing over, the panels would absorb the sun’s radiation and convert it into usable energy. Since many roads bake in the sun every day, it seems like a sure thing. Yet, wear and tear got the best of the panels.
Time For A New Idea
Unfortunately, over time the solar-panels began to crack and were not producing the amount of energy predicted. In fact, the article states the energy yield was about half of what they were expecting. Apparently, another factor causing a lower than expected energy yield was dead leaves scattering across the road.
Every Failure Is A Lesson
Additionally, the solar-panel laced roads were deemed a failure by a local paper. They cited examples of damage to the roads being unsalvageable in some cases. Locally, we know what damaged roads can do to our vehicles and consequently our insurance policies.
Although the idea behind solar-panel roads is innovative and exciting, there are too many drawbacks. If falling leaves are enough to interfere, then the technology was not thought all the way through.