New 1 km solar road opens in Jinan, China

December 28, 2017 by  
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China is getting in on the solar road -building action. A one-kilometer stretch of solar highway developed by Qilu Transportation Development Group just opened for testing near Jinan, the capital city of China’s Shandong Province. According to Quartz the expressway has three layers: the solar panels rest in the middle, with insulation below and transparent concrete on top. Solar panels sprawl across 5,875 square meters, or around 63,238 square feet, covering two lanes and one emergency lane in China’s new solar road now open for traffic. These panels can generate one million kilowatt-hours of clean power every year – that’s enough to meet the daily needs of roughly 800 households, according to Xinhua . Project designer Zhang Hongchao, in an interview with CCTV cited by Quartz, said the road can handle 10 times more pressure than normal asphalt roads. Related: France officially opens world’s first solar panel road Qilu Transportation Development Group chairman Xu Chunfu told Xinhua, “The project will save the space for building solar farms and shorten the transmission distance.” The electricity generated by the solar road could go towards powering street lights, a snow-melting system, surveillance cameras, signboards, and toll gate facilities, with excess energy sent to the state grid. The plan is for the clean power to one day also charge electric vehicles . Xu did not disclose the project’s cost to Xinhua, but did claim it was half of similar projects in other countries, saying, “With the development of solar power in China, the cost can be further reduced.” Zhang said the road cost about 3,000 yuan, or $458, per square meter, and as that is more than regular streets, it may take some time for the project to expand. The Qilu Transportation Development Group described the road as the “world’s first freeway photovoltaic pavement experiment section.” There are other solar roadways throughout the world – around a year ago France opened a one kilometer-long solar panel road in Tourouvre-au-Perche. Via Xinhua , Quartz , and Qilu Transportation Development Group Images via Qilu Transportation Development Group

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New 1 km solar road opens in Jinan, China

Rugged solar roads to hit four continents in 2017

November 25, 2016 by  
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Solar-generating roadways could soon be a reality on roads everywhere, thanks to new technology from Europe. According to Bloomberg , Colas SA, a subsidiary of France’s Bouygues Group has been working on solar panels that are tough enough to handle the load of an 18-wheeler truck – and are currently building them into some French road surfaces, with plans to test the technology across four continents in 2017. These panels have already undergone five years of research and laboratory tests, but before they hit the roads in a major way, the company plans to test them further by building 100 outdoor test sites over the next year. “We wanted to find a second life for a road,” Colas SA’s Wattaway Unit chief technology officer told Bloomberg. “Solar farms use land that could otherwise be for agriculture, while the roads are free.” How does a road made of solar panels withstand the weight of a massive semi truck, you might ask? According to Bloomberg , while the panels are made with ordinary solar cells such as those that might be on your roof, they are layered with several types of plastic on top to create a sturdy casing that can withstand abuse. It has electrical wiring embedded, and is coated with a layer of crushed glass to create an anti-slip surface. Related: Solar Roadways unveils super strong solar panels for roads in a prototypical parking lot Wattaway began testing the new product last month on a kilometer-long site in the French town of Tourouvre. At 2,800 square meters in area, the embedded solar panel array is expected to generate about 280 kilowatts of energy at peak capacity. The company says that’s enough power to light up a town of 5,000 people for a whole year. They also told Bloomberg they intend to test the technology in Calgary, Canada, Georgia, USA, throughout the European Union, Africa and Asia, with plans to commercialize in 2018. Add this innovation to Tesla’s solar roof and what Solar Roadways is doing in the U.S., and it’s been a good year for unconventional applications of solar power. Via Bloomberg Images via Wattaway

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Rugged solar roads to hit four continents in 2017

Solar Roadways are coming to historic Route 66

June 29, 2016 by  
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Solar roadways are finally gaining traction in the United States. Scott and Julie Brusaw have been developing their energy-generating roads for the last several years, hoping to replace asphalt with solar panels that can withstand the weight of cars. Now they are bringing their dream to a section of the historic Route 66 highway in Missouri . Solar Roadways will be installed on Route 66 as part of Missouri’s Road to Tomorrow initiative, which focuses on improvements like smart highways and incorporating renewable energy. Tom Blair, Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) engineer who heads Road to Tomorrow said , “It gets Missouri and MoDOT prepared for 21st century innovations. We expect them to be in place, I’m hoping, by the end of this year, maybe before snow flies. If [Solar Roadway’s] version of the future is realistic, if we can make that happen, then roadways can begin paying for themselves.” Related: Glow-in-the-dark cement could illuminate dark highways without electricity Solar Roadways , based in Idaho, designs energy-generating roads made of modular solar panels covered in tempered glass . Inside the modules are microprocessors that communicate with other panels, a control center, and even with cars driving on the road. LED lights in the panels provide street lines and signs, and there are even heating elements so snow and ice don’t build up on the solar panels. Plus, because the units are modular, if one breaks, it’s easier to replace it stopping so much traffic. Solar Roadways was first funded through a research contract from the U.S. Department of Transportation. An Indiegogo campaign garnered an additional $2 million. The idea is so popular, President Obama mentioned the project during his 2015 State of the Union address . It looks like there’s a bright future for the startup. Soon these smart solar panels could line more than just roads. Solar Roadways envisions their modules on surfaces from playgrounds to basketball courts and airport runways. Via CleanTechnica Images via Solar Roadways on Facebook and Pixabay

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Solar Roadways are coming to historic Route 66

One place on Earth where climate change is actually beneficial

June 29, 2016 by  
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Canada’s boreal forests may not suffer as much as other areas on Earth from climate change . Armed with climate data from as far back as 1960, scientists from Quebec and the United States scrutinized datasets of tree rings from black spruce trees to gather a sense of how the trees respond to varying weather conditions. Their discovery is incredibly hopeful: some of these forests might actually thrive in the warmer temperatures brought on by climate change. The scientists looked at tree ring datasets from 26,000 black spruce trees, matching rings with growth rates to see how the trees reacted to different weather. Around the 49th parallel, they found something intriguing. South of the parallel, when trees encounter hot, dry weather, they tend to show stress. North of the parallel, the reaction changes: the trees respond much better to warmer weather. These trees could thrive in the longer growing season climate change could afford them. Related: China’s eco-civilization plan calls for 23% forest cover by 2020 Lead author of the study Loïc D’Orangeville told Gizmodo, “Generally, the scientific community agrees that because boreal forests are constrained by low temperatures, they should see some benefits from global warming .” Where the forests grow in Quebec, winters are typically long and harsh. If winter shortens due to climate change, the trees might be able to grow for longer periods of time. Of course, there’s still the caveat of water : in warmer temperatures, trees need greater amounts to grow. At this point, however, the scientists think the warmer weather could outweigh the potential that there could be less water available. Harvard senior ecologist and co-author Neil Pederson said, “It’s hope. It’s a bright spot…this dataset is showing us an area that might be dynamically okay. The trees are telling us that it might not be so bad.” Via Gizmodo Images via Wikimedia Commons and Pixabay

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One place on Earth where climate change is actually beneficial

The Netherlands Unveils the World’s First Solar Bike Path

November 6, 2014 by  
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The Netherlands has an international reputation as a bike-friendly nation; it’s home to some 18 million bicycles and 21,748 miles of bike lanes. Now, an innovative project— SolaRoad —aims to make even greater use of all that green infrastructure by paving the bike paths with solar cells. On November 12, 2014, the first such path will open: a 70-meter (230 feet) stretch of Krommenie’s bike path will become the first solar-paved right of way in the world. Read the rest of The Netherlands Unveils the World’s First Solar Bike Path Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: cycling , dutch , green energy , Netherlands , solar bike path , Solar cells , solar path , solar pavers , Solar Power , solar pv , solar road , solaroad , TNO

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The Netherlands Unveils the World’s First Solar Bike Path

Four Solar Road Designs Unveiled by University of Rhode Island

November 11, 2010 by  
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There are 2.7 million miles of public roads in the United States, and in the past we’ve seen several innovative designs that transform these paved surfaces into energy and heat-generating solar roads . One company, Solar Roadways , has even come up with a prototype solar panel for roads, however they are expensive ($7,000 each) and it has been estimated that the cost for transforming the whole country’s roads solar would top $35 trillion. Faced with this is ridiculous cost, the University of Rhode Island has come up with four feasible methods for super-charging our roads with solar power – read on for a look at each! Read the rest of Four Solar Road Designs Unveiled by University of Rhode Island http://www.inhabitat.com/wp-admin/ohttp://www.inhabitat.com/wp-admin/options-general.php?page=better_feedptions-general.php?page=better_feed Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: K

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Four Solar Road Designs Unveiled by University of Rhode Island

Artist Builds Incredible Coral Reef from Sunken Statues

November 11, 2010 by  
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Located off the coast of Cancun, Mexico, artist Jason deCaires Taylor has created an incredible artificial reef of statues he calls the Silent Evolution . A compelling installation that took several months to complete, Silent Evolution embodies a spirit that shifts between sadness and awe, all while reminding us of the intricate relationship between man and nature.

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Oslo’s All-Electric Car Share Program Just Reached 1,000 Members

November 11, 2010 by  
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Some mornings we here at Inhabitat like to grab a cup of coffee, cozy up on the couch and dream about future days of sharing electric vehicles in our urban havens. But dream no longer – with EV car share programs like the “Cell” in the pipeline, this electrifying dream is becoming a reality.  Move About , Oslo, Norway’s EV car share program, has  just hit an impressive 1,000 members! An all-electric vehicle phenomena, customers of Move About pay a mere NOK 100 (or $17) for a monthly membership and are given an all-access pass to a fleet of EVs they can take around town for just $17 an hour. As a city already dominated by Think City electric vehicles, Norway is setting an inspiring green model ready to propel the rest of the world towards a more sustainable future

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Oslo’s All-Electric Car Share Program Just Reached 1,000 Members

CubeTube Turns Your Cubicle Into Solar Powered Kingdom. Maybe.

February 18, 2010 by  
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Images via Solar Road Technologies Here’s something you don’t see in every (or any) office building – a cubicle outlined in solar panels. It’s a way to convert all that wasted indoor lighting into energy to power…um…your desk lamp?

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CubeTube Turns Your Cubicle Into Solar Powered Kingdom. Maybe.

MicroEnergy Credits Help Speed Adoption of Clean Tech Worldwide

February 18, 2010 by  
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One family shows off a new Solar Water Heating system; Photo via Abri Beluga Described as “providing the handshake” between the carbon market and the microfinance industry, MicroEnergy Credits is a business solution that holds the potential to speed along clean tech adoption globally by making it much more accessible. The company has used the business model of microfinancing – handing out small l… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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MicroEnergy Credits Help Speed Adoption of Clean Tech Worldwide

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