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The Green Roadway – Good Idea, But Not New


The NY Times’ Green Inc today reports on a project called The Green Roadway.  In short, it’s a plan to put lots of solar panels and visit web site viagra 20 mg wind turbines along highways, at the proposed cost of $6.5 million per 10 mile stretch (though government incentives could lop off 65% of that), powering 2,000 homes in the process.

This sounds like a combination of two other ideas that are already in the works: technology that generates energy from moving traffic, and technology that simply takes advantage of roadside space.  

For example, the Oregon Solar Highway project is a plan to line strips of cailis canadian farmacy highway with solar panels, to power the lights that illuminate the highway at night.  And Massachusetts wants to put wind turbines on some land next to the cheap viagra cialis india highway, as well.  These projects fall into that second category – they utilize the highway’s real estate, but they don’t actually tap into the passing traffic.

On the other hand, some companies want to put piezoelectric generators under roadways, or in speed bumps, to actually generate electricity from moving vehicles.  The jury is still out on whether such technologies are smart ways to capture otherwise wasted energy, or simply ways to “steal” kinetic energy from moving vehicles, forcing them to visit our site canadian viagra scam burn more gas.

In principle, therefore, this is not new - except that the wind turbines will feed off the air produced by passing vehicles (though others have thought of this concept).  The details of the technology are secret, though, and being auctioned off to various US states.  So it’s possible that The Green Roadway’s founders have discovered revolutionary improvements over the aforementioned technologies.  But the cheapest cialis without prescription plan does seem to rely on small wind (i.e. little turbines, not giant ones), which most experts recognize as… not very effective.

However, it’s important to realize that putting solar panels and wind turbines along the road may achieve deeper and more meaningful goals than simply generating X kilowatts.  Power plants fueled by coal and gas are generally hidden from sight, which helps us trivialize and forget the significance of our energy infrastructure.  By bringing the instruments of clean, renewable energy into the public eye, projects such as The Green Roadway could help establish these technologies in the public consciousness.  Because it’s only real if you see it in front of you.

Via Green Inc.
Image via Flickr
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Comments (11)Add Comment
written by Bob Wallace, July 23, 2009
Putting panels over highways where traffic tends to move slowly makes sense to me. At least in places with a lot of hot weather. Cars in the shade don't need as much air conditioning.

Wind turbines along highways makes less sense. The movement of cialis discounted turbine blades is distracting, if not annoying.

Green Roadway
written by R, July 23, 2009
I'm afraid this is little more than a promoter's scam. It may not have been clear, but these guys are attempting to auction off a license to their IP, state by state, for six figures plus. Not mentioned, however, is the small fact that not included in these auctions is the right to public rights of way, generally controlled by various state highway departments. Not to mention the fact that none of this has ever actually been implemented (save for the Oregon solar highway project which is really just conventional PV in a open area near a highway intersection). No one has shown that it will work either at scale or in the harsh, real-world environment (think winter, snow storms, snow plows, etc.). A nice research project perhaps, but certainly not ready for the killing these folks hope they'll make.
written by residential wind power, July 24, 2009
I think that using this otherwise vacant space as an area to produce renewable energy is a fantastic idea. Not only will it produce energy but it will allow commuters to see what wind turbines can do and perhaps they might even consider installing a vertical wind turbine.

Great Story
written by Ivy, July 24, 2009
I think I agree with your last comment. Even if they were poorly built or if they didn't work very well, somebody will want to make them better.
written by cufflinks, July 24, 2009
Superb idea - i think though we should also be looking at gaining more hydro power stations as the sea is the prefect source for free power.
written by Fred, July 24, 2009
this is a convenient way to get energy
written by Mr. Sinister, July 24, 2009
Ask some of the California wine makers what happens when you put expensive solar panels in remote locations without surveillance or security ...
written by Bob Wallace, July 25, 2009
Ask people what happens when you leave your wallet on the sidewalk.

We use solar panels along rural roads all the time here in CA. They get mounted up high on poles where it's easy to cialis in uk detach them.

Other places, where tall poles aren't feasible, there are other techniques for securing stuff.

Don't put poles on buy cialis uk the highway
written by GoldCountry Offgridder, July 26, 2009
People will eventually crash into them. There are a lot better places to but green tech where it can be safely monitored and repaired. Skip this idea.
written by lewis, July 27, 2009
I wonder what the impact on wildlife would be? Highways are already large barriers to the migration and general movement of many forms of wildlife. Adding another few hundred/thousand feet on either side of a highwaywould only make the problem worse it seems, especially when extra fences would envariably be put up to protect such a large investment.
Small Wind
written by Twist9, August 03, 2009
On the topic of small wind I think that Doug Selsam of Superturbine fame would say you are dead wrong. If you harken back to the good ole' days of 2008 you might remember that he won Popular Science's Innovation of overnight cod tramadol saturday the Year award for his multi-rotor turbine which proved much more efficient than any single-rotor turbine on a small scale, with the additional benefits of a direct drive-train and self-alignment. It seems to me these turbines would be ideal for road-side application. Don't know what I'm talking about? Google Selsam

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