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Cosmos, with Neil DeGrasse Tyson - In which we learn that FOX is not the same as Fox News

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Posts

  • CorehealerCorehealer The Apothecary The softer edge of the universe.Registered User regular
    I don't know about the whole US highway system! But I'd be willing to pay for a Solar powered driveway if the price wasn't too bad.

    Awesome concept.

    True enough. Definitely something to keep an eye on.

    488W936.png
  • chamberlainchamberlain Registered User regular
    Screw all the extra bells and whistles, just staying a few degrees above freezing has me sold.

    Oats
  • Wraith260Wraith260 Happiest Goomba! Registered User regular
    the video mentions that they've got a contract with Federal Highway Administration that saw the production of prototypes, but are now looking for further investment to expand beyond that. most likely starting with private parking lots and driveways before hopefully expanding onto main roadways. i know there are rules against linking these things, but a quick search will take you to their indiegogo page. they asked for an investment of $1m are are close to hitting $2m with over 2 weeks left. so yeah this is something that's moving ahead and towns, cities and states should be falling over themselves to invest in and embrace this tech.

    CorehealerEvigilantAistanoverride367
  • SealSeal Registered User regular
    Without getting into the pros and cons of the technology, that video makes me hate whoever made it. It's like a cross between Cony 2012 and a red bull commercial.

  • EmperorSethEmperorSeth Registered User regular
    This is probably my favorite episode since the one about lead.

    So, what are the odds of us getting another season? Is that even on the table?

    You know what? Nanowrimo's cancelled on account of the world is stupid.
  • CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    I'm having a hard time imagining those "solar roadways" working. How are they going to deal with the layer of opaque rubber/oil/dirt mixture that will get deposited onto the road surface by tires?

  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    Hover cars.

    Though, seriously, good question.

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
  • PhyphorPhyphor Building Planet Busters Tasting FruitRegistered User regular
    Corehealer wrote: »
    Wraith260 wrote: »
    with the focus on solar energy in this weeks episode this might be of interest to some,



    Holy shit this is amazing why don't we have these right now? I'm guessing it's simply a question of logistics (in terms of replacing all that concrete and asphalt) and not enough people being aware of this?

    Unfortunately... no.

    Consider snow melting: solar panels in good condition with clear glass convert a fraction of the incoming radiation into electricity. At is turns out, black asphalt is one of the best ways to convert energy into heat, much, much better than going through PV cells -> electricity -> heating elements. Given that the roads don't melt in the winter as-is...

    Also, roads won't be in good condition with clear gas. Oil/gas films, latent water, etc. Plus, the interlocking grid has to be pretty great, otherwise water will soak down... and you know, crush the panels when it freezes. Which is a large part of why the current (cheap, recycled, flexible) road surfaces are pretty good at what they do. Plus, normal glass is pretty damn slippery! And the pattern looks like there are raised ridges, a great place for snow to permanently collect and get compressed to ice. Plows can't actually plow down to the road surface without catching on the glass and probably destroying the entire surface.

    It's really not amenable to plowing at all - even if I were to grant that it could emit enough heat to keep the roads clear in normal conditions, what about during a massive storm. How quickly do you think it can melt a foot of snow on the road, when it receives no light to work with?

    Finally, you're much better off replacing roofing with solar panels - they can be angled to better capture the light. The power can be immediately useful and subject to fewer losses. I think they can even help with cooling in the summer by reflecting rather than absorbing light. In the winter, they still work decently unless the snow piles up on your roof. Less maintenance is required, and less rugged construction is needed - you don't drive 10 ton vehicles on your roof.

    Magic Box
    Academician Prokhor "Phyphor" Zakharov, Chief Scientist of China, Provost of the University of Planet - SE++ Megagame
    MarathonShadowfireN1tSt4lkerZilla360CorehealerGnome-InterruptusCaulk Bite 6
  • HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    Ok setting aside that the style of that video is incredibly offputting

    I am very skeptical of the claims for winter climates. I have a hard time believing those panels are going to keep themselves clear of ice in weather that consists of -20f with 20-30mph winds and if I had to guess what they'd actually do is turn the roads into skating rinks.

  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    Ok setting aside that the style of that video is incredibly offputting

    I am very skeptical of the claims for winter climates. I have a hard time believing those panels are going to keep themselves clear of ice in weather that consists of -20f with 20-30mph winds and if I had to guess what they'd actually do is turn the roads into skating rinks.

    ground temperature is often not air temp... and I would really hope that these panels connect to a national grid so power can be redistributed as needed.

    The north will need a lot more in the winter, the south a lot more in the summer, for instance.

    SW-4158-3990-6116
    Let's play Mario Kart or something...
  • PhyphorPhyphor Building Planet Busters Tasting FruitRegistered User regular
    Basically, do you think that a few watt heaters can replace this?

    1280px-TowPLow_front_view2.JPG

    Magic Box
    Academician Prokhor "Phyphor" Zakharov, Chief Scientist of China, Provost of the University of Planet - SE++ Megagame
  • DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    so if when those things break, won't it just spread a ton of glass shards all over the place and slice up people's tires?
    Also, how much grip do you get on glass?

  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    I also think that in Alaska and Canada and such it is a less sound investment, sure.

    But we have a shitload of land that will not have to deal with the issues related to constant freezing.

    AAAAND, if this generates enough energy to offset electric cars, we can change a lot of the pollution issues that would reduce the efficiency of these tiles.

    SW-4158-3990-6116
    Let's play Mario Kart or something...
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    last I checked california had pretty significant energy requirements and had huge sections with temperate weather

  • HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    syndalis wrote: »
    Ok setting aside that the style of that video is incredibly offputting

    I am very skeptical of the claims for winter climates. I have a hard time believing those panels are going to keep themselves clear of ice in weather that consists of -20f with 20-30mph winds and if I had to guess what they'd actually do is turn the roads into skating rinks.

    ground temperature is often not air temp... and I would really hope that these panels connect to a national grid so power can be redistributed as needed.

    The north will need a lot more in the winter, the south a lot more in the summer, for instance.

    This is true however the frost line for our ground is 4ft-6ft

    And air temp and wind chill are very much factors in ice formation. Especially when you have something that keeps slowly melting snow into water on a constant basis. Basically my skepticism comes down to can the heating elements out perform week long spans where the temp can remain below zero with wind and little to no sun and good god if so how much power is that going to take.

    Don't get me wrong I think this is an interesting and potentially useful technology but I have a hard time believing some of the claims about cold weather performance.

  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    Yeah, it takes Nuclear power a long time to build, but that's because there are so many hoops an owner has to go through just to get green-lit to build the plant, then so many hoops they have to go through while building the plant, then so many hoops they have to go through while operating the plant. A lot of these are artificial constraints. It's because of fear (and green peace) that nuke plants take forever to be built in the US. Failsafes after failsafes are built to try and mitigate the chances of a meltdown happening: solely because people today don't understand nuclear powe

    Green Peace has nothing to do with the difficulties had by the nuclear industry in the U.S. Green Peace has a horrific stance on nuclear power, but they are not a lobbying group that's listened to... well, much of anywhere.

    It's a problem of market confidence: investors do not like that it is tightly regulated & do not think that there is an interested consumer base to recoup their investment from.


    Fear mongering is a problem because it leads to not in my backyard, and not in anyone's backyard either. The left, the side that should be on the side of science, are the ones screaming about this the loudest. This shit is the damn hippies fault.

    I mean, I just linked to two different expert opinions, neither of which has a bias in favor of environmental protection, that outline the fact that the nuclear industry failed in the United States due to market forces.

    Can you in any way substantiate your claim that, somehow, the 'hippies' are to blame? What informed your opinion on that matter?

    With Love and Courage
  • Emissary42Emissary42 Registered User regular
    Not to cramp on the enthusiasm for the solar roads technology, but there are tons of far better ways to implement huge amounts of solar power that are vastly cheaper and more efficient.

    For one, what happens to the efficiency of the road as it's slowly worn down by abrasive sand, dust, gravel, and miscellaneous debris? Add in the constant fatigue from multi-ton vehicles constantly going overhead and you can see these things won't have nearly the same operational life as standard solar panels. Hell, you'll still need to build a solid base underneath them with concrete or they'll shift and loosen, turning the roadway into some sort of cyberpunk cobblestone surface while breaking their interconnects in the process (to say nothing of the smoothness of the ride on such a road).

    And that only begins to allude to the cost involved to make and maintain a roadway sheathed in armored solar panels; it would make far more economic sense to just cover the roadway in solar-lined tunnels, or build super-long, ribbon-like solar plants along the edges of highways or under long-range transmission lines. At least with the first option you're also marginally reducing energy consumption to keep vehicles cool, as they would be partly shaded from the sun while on the road.

  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Emissary42 wrote: »
    Not to cramp on the enthusiasm for the solar roads technology, but there are tons of far better ways to implement huge amounts of solar power that are vastly cheaper and more efficient.

    For one, what happens to the efficiency of the road as it's slowly worn down by abrasive sand, dust, gravel, and miscellaneous debris? Add in the constant fatigue from multi-ton vehicles constantly going overhead and you can see these things won't have nearly the same operational life as standard solar panels. Hell, you'll still need to build a solid base underneath them with concrete or they'll shift and loosen, turning the roadway into some sort of cyberpunk cobblestone surface while breaking their interconnects in the process (to say nothing of the smoothness of the ride on such a road).

    And that only begins to allude to the cost involved to make and maintain a roadway sheathed in armored solar panels; it would make far more economic sense to just cover the roadway in solar-lined tunnels, or build super-long, ribbon-like solar plants along the edges of highways or under long-range transmission lines. At least with the first option you're also marginally reducing energy consumption to keep vehicles cool, as they would be partly shaded from the sun while on the road.

    Well, you guys could at least be bothered to read the FAQ, where the inventors discuss these sorts of concerns.


    I'm not sure if Solar Roadways is the future or not, but I'm not going to begrudge someone for taking the technology somewhere interesting & building prototypes to see how well it can perform.

    With Love and Courage
    JacobyMild ConfusionZilla360override367
  • KrieghundKrieghund Registered User regular
    Solar should be on everything in the sunbelt and southwest. But good luck with that.

  • Zilla360Zilla360 21st Century. |She/Her| Surreal. Immersive. Earth.Registered User regular
    edited June 2014
    I think Solar roadways will be great for Driveways and Car Parks, but I'm not convinced they'll actually be replacing that many roads motorways/free-ways.
    It would be awesome though if someday you could charge your electric car in any car park you pulled into, for free, like Tesla do now with their solar chargers.

    Zilla360 on
    Skidzilla360.jpg | NH844lc.png | GACSALB.jpg My Blog | Gravatar | PSN | 72INGtl.jpg | HkSlskT.png
  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    edited June 2014
    Corehealer wrote: »
    Wraith260 wrote: »
    with the focus on solar energy in this weeks episode this might be of interest to some,



    Holy shit this is amazing why don't we have these right now? I'm guessing it's simply a question of logistics (in terms of replacing all that concrete and asphalt) and not enough people being aware of this?

    I'm thinking the idea of power companies owning highways via contract would be a major issue. Someone has to install and control the power, set up relay stations and transformers.

    However replacing a few neighborhood blacktops, roofs, raised medians, and other structures with these might be neat.

    Dedwrekka on
  • TraceTrace GNU Terry Pratchett; GNU Gus; GNU Carrie Fisher; GNU Adam We Registered User regular
    The economics of SCIENCE!*


    *Is being cut due to budgetary constraints

  • King RiptorKing Riptor Registered User regular
    Zilla360 wrote: »
    I think Solar roadways will be great for Driveways and Car Parks, but I'm not convinced they'll actually be replacing that many roads motorways/free-ways.
    It would be awesome though if someday you could charge your electric car in any car park you pulled into, for free, like Tesla do now with their solar chargers.

    Hydrogen cell cars are the future imo. I mean yeah lets make electric engines more effcient but people want a car that they can just fill up and go not plug in and wait an hour.


    Solar roadways seem like an obvious idea but we have so much unused land in the US thats literally baked by sunlight I dont see it being nessecary. We should build larger collectors in those areas first.

    I have a podcast now. It's about video games and anime!Find it here.
    DanHibiki
  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    Nothing says fixing the world like covering the Gobi, Sahara, and Nevada with panels.

    Andy JoeZilla360Caulk Bite 6
  • Just_Bri_ThanksJust_Bri_Thanks Seething with rage from a handbasket.Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Zilla360 wrote: »
    I think Solar roadways will be great for Driveways and Car Parks, but I'm not convinced they'll actually be replacing that many roads motorways/free-ways.
    It would be awesome though if someday you could charge your electric car in any car park you pulled into, for free, like Tesla do now with their solar chargers.

    Hydrogen cell cars are the future imo. I mean yeah lets make electric engines more effcient but people want a car that they can just fill up and go not plug in and wait an hour.


    Solar roadways seem like an obvious idea but we have so much unused land in the US thats literally baked by sunlight I dont see it being nessecary. We should build larger collectors in those areas first.

    Hydrogen being the future isn't so obvious.



    Some days I just want to smack people with a rolled up newspaper. Or a phone book.
    A folding chair is looking like an attractive option right now too...
    Zilla360
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    That's awesome.


    Hydrogen fuel still has the problem of inefficiency: you have to use electrolysis to get it, and you burn more power extracting it than you gain in fuel. You'd have to have a huge supply of other renewable energy in order to mass-produce the hydrogen at a loss... and if you already have the renewable energy supply, I have to ask why you'd be bothering with industrial-scale hydrogen production anyway?

    With Love and Courage
    Zilla360Shadowen
  • furlionfurlion Riskbreaker Lea MondeRegistered User regular
    I know it is just a tangent but with regards to the solar panel road, isn't the US highway system in incredibly poor shape? Like unbelievably laughably bad shape. If we cannot convince the government to just maintain basic roads, how on earth are they going to be convinced to spend extra money on those roads?

    sig.gif Gamertag: KL Retribution
    PSN:Furlion
    Smrtnik
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    furlion wrote: »
    I know it is just a tangent but with regards to the solar panel road, isn't the US highway system in incredibly poor shape? Like unbelievably laughably bad shape. If we cannot convince the government to just maintain basic roads, how on earth are they going to be convinced to spend extra money on those roads?

    Better shape than our sewer systems!

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
    Warren 2020
  • Wraith260Wraith260 Happiest Goomba! Registered User regular
    furlion wrote: »
    I know it is just a tangent but with regards to the solar panel road, isn't the US highway system in incredibly poor shape? Like unbelievably laughably bad shape. If we cannot convince the government to just maintain basic roads, how on earth are they going to be convinced to spend extra money on those roads?

    the idea is that the panels would be easier/cheaper to maintain. if one panel breaks/malfunctions they surrounding panels will tell you can you can send someone to fix/replace it, which would be a much easier task than finding/filling potholes. the poor state of US highways is actually being used as a reason for switching, not a reason against.

    in regards to hydrogen and its insignificances, that's something that will change as the technology is refined and improved. if any industry decides that hydrogen is a viable and attractive fuel source then those problems will be overcome pretty fast. even if renewables like solar/wind/tidal/etc become more efficient and widespread i still think that its just a matter of time before we turn our eyes towards hydrogen. i just can't imagine any reason why we wouldn't eventually harness the most abundant fuel source in the universe.

  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    That's awesome.


    Hydrogen fuel still has the problem of inefficiency: you have to use electrolysis to get it, and you burn more power extracting it than you gain in fuel. You'd have to have a huge supply of other renewable energy in order to mass-produce the hydrogen at a loss... and if you already have the renewable energy supply, I have to ask why you'd be bothering with industrial-scale hydrogen production anyway?

    Storage and energy density. Currently batteries are expensive, don't last all that long and require some dirty components. Using solar to get hydrogen and then process it into a storable state makes sense in that respect.

  • Wraith260Wraith260 Happiest Goomba! Registered User regular
    furlion wrote: »
    I know it is just a tangent but with regards to the solar panel road, isn't the US highway system in incredibly poor shape? Like unbelievably laughably bad shape. If we cannot convince the government to just maintain basic roads, how on earth are they going to be convinced to spend extra money on those roads?

    Better shape than our sewer systems!

    new idea!! Solar Freakin' Sewers!!! i'm gonna be rich!!

  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    furlion wrote: »
    I know it is just a tangent but with regards to the solar panel road, isn't the US highway system in incredibly poor shape? Like unbelievably laughably bad shape. If we cannot convince the government to just maintain basic roads, how on earth are they going to be convinced to spend extra money on those roads?

    Solar Roadways intends to use a lot of private capital & some state grant money to get the ball rolling (they don't have to lay down new roads - they just use the existing roads as a foundation for laying down the tiles & install the utility access corridor). In theory, once you get the ball rolling, people will see these cool new smart roads and want them in their own communities, applying pressure to county / state agencies to get on board. Unlike just fixing a road, this stuff is cool, so - again, in theory - the 'WOW!' factor will make the difference.


    Like, I think smart roads & dedicated access areas for utilities are awesome even if you don't have the solar part. That's just the cherry on top.

    With Love and Courage
    Smrtnik
  • Just_Bri_ThanksJust_Bri_Thanks Seething with rage from a handbasket.Registered User, ClubPA regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    That's awesome.


    Hydrogen fuel still has the problem of inefficiency: you have to use electrolysis to get it, and you burn more power extracting it than you gain in fuel. You'd have to have a huge supply of other renewable energy in order to mass-produce the hydrogen at a loss... and if you already have the renewable energy supply, I have to ask why you'd be bothering with industrial-scale hydrogen production anyway?

    Storage and energy density. Currently batteries are expensive, don't last all that long and require some dirty components. Using solar to get hydrogen and then process it into a storable state makes sense in that respect.

    http://www.engineering.com/ElectronicsDesign/ElectronicsDesignArticles/ArticleID/7611/Dual-Carbon-Batteries-Powerful-Safe-Reliable-and-Cheap.aspx

    Some days I just want to smack people with a rolled up newspaper. Or a phone book.
    A folding chair is looking like an attractive option right now too...
  • PhyphorPhyphor Building Planet Busters Tasting FruitRegistered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    Emissary42 wrote: »
    Not to cramp on the enthusiasm for the solar roads technology, but there are tons of far better ways to implement huge amounts of solar power that are vastly cheaper and more efficient.

    For one, what happens to the efficiency of the road as it's slowly worn down by abrasive sand, dust, gravel, and miscellaneous debris? Add in the constant fatigue from multi-ton vehicles constantly going overhead and you can see these things won't have nearly the same operational life as standard solar panels. Hell, you'll still need to build a solid base underneath them with concrete or they'll shift and loosen, turning the roadway into some sort of cyberpunk cobblestone surface while breaking their interconnects in the process (to say nothing of the smoothness of the ride on such a road).

    And that only begins to allude to the cost involved to make and maintain a roadway sheathed in armored solar panels; it would make far more economic sense to just cover the roadway in solar-lined tunnels, or build super-long, ribbon-like solar plants along the edges of highways or under long-range transmission lines. At least with the first option you're also marginally reducing energy consumption to keep vehicles cool, as they would be partly shaded from the sun while on the road.

    Well, you guys could at least be bothered to read the FAQ, where the inventors discuss these sorts of concerns.


    I'm not sure if Solar Roadways is the future or not, but I'm not going to begrudge someone for taking the technology somewhere interesting & building prototypes to see how well it can perform.

    We could, but they conveniently leave out anything that could possibly be negative. After all, they are a business and a startup. Look at their numbers page, sure they have impressive energy generation totals, but they don't then go into a breakdown of how useful it would be, how much transmission loss there would be, or how much heating the outdoors uses.

    $6900 / panel according to http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/solarpower/6155110/Solar-panel-roads-could-solve-energy-crisis.html, plus installation costs

    The energy they produce would be worth about $277/year each. Assuming a 1% discount rate, they would pay themselves off in a little over 20 years, so even if all their claims are true and you sell all the electricity for profit they're break-even. Over the same period, repaving everything every 5 years, the capital cost of asphalt is 1/6th, and you're better off with solar panels not on the roads, because if you go to their numbers page they start out with one number and end up with a realistic generation amount about 60% of that. Rooftop panels don't have to suffer all of the losses they do.

    Magic Box
    Academician Prokhor "Phyphor" Zakharov, Chief Scientist of China, Provost of the University of Planet - SE++ Megagame
  • Emissary42Emissary42 Registered User regular
    edited June 2014
    Hydrogen has some unique difficulties, particularly when it comes to storage: it's small enough to diffuse into the walls of its container, rendering it extremely brittle in short order. Now, using electrical power to catalyze methane might be a better choice but off the top of my head I don't recall if that was efficient enough to be useful compared to batteries.

    Edit: the methane would be produced with CO2 and water

    Emissary42 on
  • VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    Emissary42 wrote: »
    Hydrogen has some unique difficulties, particularly when it comes to storage: it's small enough to diffuse into the walls of its container, rendering it extremely brittle in short order. Now, using electrical power to catalyze methane might be a better choice but off the top of my head I don't recall if that was efficient enough to be useful compared to batteries.

    Edit: the methane would be produced with CO2 and water

    But the whole point of getting away from Octane is to eliminate CO2 emissions, so why would we then switch to methane which also produces CO2 when burned? Yes it does produce less CO2 than octane due to chemistry, but you'd have to burn more to produce a similar amount of energy as Octane which would just about cancel out any CO2 reductions.

  • Emissary42Emissary42 Registered User regular
    Veevee wrote: »
    Emissary42 wrote: »
    Hydrogen has some unique difficulties, particularly when it comes to storage: it's small enough to diffuse into the walls of its container, rendering it extremely brittle in short order. Now, using electrical power to catalyze methane might be a better choice but off the top of my head I don't recall if that was efficient enough to be useful compared to batteries.

    Edit: the methane would be produced with CO2 and water

    But the whole point of getting away from Octane is to eliminate CO2 emissions, so why would we then switch to methane which also produces CO2 when burned? Yes it does produce less CO2 than octane due to chemistry, but you'd have to burn more to produce a similar amount of energy as Octane which would just about cancel out any CO2 reductions.

    Unless octane (the molecule) is added, none would be involved in the process. You start with electrical power, water, and CO2, and end with O2 and methane. This being the case, the methane only exists as an energy storage medium with no change in atmospheric CO2 when it is burned or passed through a fuel cell to access that energy.

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    Phyphor wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    Emissary42 wrote: »
    Not to cramp on the enthusiasm for the solar roads technology, but there are tons of far better ways to implement huge amounts of solar power that are vastly cheaper and more efficient.

    For one, what happens to the efficiency of the road as it's slowly worn down by abrasive sand, dust, gravel, and miscellaneous debris? Add in the constant fatigue from multi-ton vehicles constantly going overhead and you can see these things won't have nearly the same operational life as standard solar panels. Hell, you'll still need to build a solid base underneath them with concrete or they'll shift and loosen, turning the roadway into some sort of cyberpunk cobblestone surface while breaking their interconnects in the process (to say nothing of the smoothness of the ride on such a road).

    And that only begins to allude to the cost involved to make and maintain a roadway sheathed in armored solar panels; it would make far more economic sense to just cover the roadway in solar-lined tunnels, or build super-long, ribbon-like solar plants along the edges of highways or under long-range transmission lines. At least with the first option you're also marginally reducing energy consumption to keep vehicles cool, as they would be partly shaded from the sun while on the road.

    Well, you guys could at least be bothered to read the FAQ, where the inventors discuss these sorts of concerns.


    I'm not sure if Solar Roadways is the future or not, but I'm not going to begrudge someone for taking the technology somewhere interesting & building prototypes to see how well it can perform.

    We could, but they conveniently leave out anything that could possibly be negative. After all, they are a business and a startup. Look at their numbers page, sure they have impressive energy generation totals, but they don't then go into a breakdown of how useful it would be, how much transmission loss there would be, or how much heating the outdoors uses.

    $6900 / panel according to http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/solarpower/6155110/Solar-panel-roads-could-solve-energy-crisis.html, plus installation costs

    The energy they produce would be worth about $277/year each. Assuming a 1% discount rate, they would pay themselves off in a little over 20 years, so even if all their claims are true and you sell all the electricity for profit they're break-even. Over the same period, repaving everything every 5 years, the capital cost of asphalt is 1/6th, and you're better off with solar panels not on the roads, because if you go to their numbers page they start out with one number and end up with a realistic generation amount about 60% of that. Rooftop panels don't have to suffer all of the losses they do.

    yeah they're not economical at the moment, but something like that won't get economical until a massive infrastructure project

    I think turning parking lots into solar panels is a better idea right now, as it will provide lessons and lower their price

  • VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    Emissary42 wrote: »
    Veevee wrote: »
    Emissary42 wrote: »
    Hydrogen has some unique difficulties, particularly when it comes to storage: it's small enough to diffuse into the walls of its container, rendering it extremely brittle in short order. Now, using electrical power to catalyze methane might be a better choice but off the top of my head I don't recall if that was efficient enough to be useful compared to batteries.

    Edit: the methane would be produced with CO2 and water

    But the whole point of getting away from Octane is to eliminate CO2 emissions, so why would we then switch to methane which also produces CO2 when burned? Yes it does produce less CO2 than octane due to chemistry, but you'd have to burn more to produce a similar amount of energy as Octane which would just about cancel out any CO2 reductions.

    Unless octane (the molecule) is added, none would be involved in the process. You start with electrical power, water, and CO2, and end with O2 and methane. This being the case, the methane only exists as an energy storage medium with no change in atmospheric CO2 when it is burned or passed through a fuel cell to access that energy.

    I see. CO2 in, the same CO2 out. Not great in my view since it still deals with greenhouse gases which I'd like to see humanity move away from completely, but it's a hell of a lot better than the current method we use to power vehicles.

  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    Veevee wrote: »
    Emissary42 wrote: »
    Veevee wrote: »
    Emissary42 wrote: »
    Hydrogen has some unique difficulties, particularly when it comes to storage: it's small enough to diffuse into the walls of its container, rendering it extremely brittle in short order. Now, using electrical power to catalyze methane might be a better choice but off the top of my head I don't recall if that was efficient enough to be useful compared to batteries.

    Edit: the methane would be produced with CO2 and water

    But the whole point of getting away from Octane is to eliminate CO2 emissions, so why would we then switch to methane which also produces CO2 when burned? Yes it does produce less CO2 than octane due to chemistry, but you'd have to burn more to produce a similar amount of energy as Octane which would just about cancel out any CO2 reductions.

    Unless octane (the molecule) is added, none would be involved in the process. You start with electrical power, water, and CO2, and end with O2 and methane. This being the case, the methane only exists as an energy storage medium with no change in atmospheric CO2 when it is burned or passed through a fuel cell to access that energy.

    I see. CO2 in, the same CO2 out. Not great in my view since it still deals with greenhouse gases which I'd like to see humanity move away from completely, but it's a hell of a lot better than the current method we use to power vehicles.

    ...this would literally have no effect on atmospheric CO2 levels. Its carbon neutral. Why do you care if it involves those gases?

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