Friday, November 5, 2010

Producing Electricity From Roads

Can roads produce electricity ? Now they may be able to. Experiments are underway to replace the asphalt surfaces on roads by photovoltaic cells. The challenge has been coating them or impregnating them on special glasses that can with stand the pressure of heavy vehicles traveling on them or the heavy bumps that they steel. In order to give it resilience against shattering, the technology developed for making bullet-proof glass is being used.
One technique being used is to deposit thin film photovoltaic materials on to flexible plastic, and then laminate especially toughened glass with plastic. A challenge still to be surmounted is to make this surface rough so that the necessary grip is provided to the vehicles, without reducing the efficiency of the solar cells.
The US Federal highways administration is providing funds for the project, which could lead to the roads generating sufficient electricity to allow electric cars to be charged by road side charging stations and power street lights also.
The days when you will use the road to power your electric car (instead of petrol or diesel used in combustion engines) may not be that far away.
This is the strange World of Science.

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