Program Highlights

The basic building block of what has been dubbed by its creators, electrical engineer Scott Brusaw and his wife Julie, a solar roadway. It could one day make for a highway built of 0.4 –square-meter hexagonal panels, a hodge podge of green circuit boards surrounding 36-watts worth of blue solar panels, all covered in thick, bumpy glass for safety and traction.

The idea is to put unused roadway to good use (generating electricity) while also providing an electronic means for lane shifts, driver messages and other utilities. Bonus: solar roadways obviate the need for an electric grid by including a “Cable Corridor” right in the side of the roadway that eliminates the need for power lines running alongside it. And if outfitted with sensors as well the solar highway could transmit real time traffic data or other information of interest. The novel idea has been around for a few years now, bursting back into prominence this summer thanks to a new crowdfunding campaign to support further research and development that garnered $2.2 million before closing on June 20.