Author Topic: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!  (Read 281405 times)

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Offline rob77

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Re: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!
« Reply #75 on: June 20, 2014, 11:20:26 pm »
can't you angle the LEDs towards oncoming traffic to increase their efficiency?

Sure just install servo motors on them, for every engineering problem there is a solution.  :-+

actually you could make small tetrahedron features in the PCB and place 3 LEDs - one to each face of the tetrahedron to cover a complete half-sphere :D
but i would like to see the manufacturer's face when you ask him make those small tetrahedron features on the PCB and to do 3D pick-and-place of the LEDs  :-DD :-DD :-DD
 

Offline Legit-Design

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Re: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!
« Reply #76 on: June 20, 2014, 11:28:04 pm »
actually you could make small tetrahedron features in the PCB and place 3 LEDs - one to each face of the tetrahedron to cover a complete half-sphere :D
but i would like to see the manufacturer's face when you ask him make those small tetrahedron features on the PCB and to do 3D pick-and-place of the LEDs  :-DD :-DD :-DD
Hmm what about one of those 3d displays. 3D display means the picture pops up from the flat surface. 3D display would have better resolution than RGB leds, so we could as a result even better giant display at our disposal! THERE IS NO LIMIT TO HUMAN INGENUITY!  :-+
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!
« Reply #77 on: June 20, 2014, 11:37:44 pm »
Actually a cheap optical grade plastic light guide will help, but you still have to use enough current to make them brighter than the sun or your headlights at night.
 

Offline Legit-Design

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Re: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!
« Reply #78 on: June 20, 2014, 11:43:24 pm »
Or we can just disable headlights at night, since road will warn us if there is anything on the road we should know about  :-+
Remember these are smart roads.
 

Offline Ross_ValuSoft

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Re: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!
« Reply #79 on: June 21, 2014, 12:08:20 am »
Roads usually are meant to have cars and trucks on them. So unless these guys are suggesting transparent cars and trucks, the more the roads are used the less sunlight will actually reach these panels. Their greatest efficiency is when the roads are deserted. Maybe they also invented the solar powered torch... the one without any energy storage.
 

Offline AndyC_772

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Re: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!
« Reply #80 on: June 21, 2014, 12:23:48 am »
Science.  Or lack of science in schools.  That's what we are really talking about here.  Aren't we?  That the average politician, average consumer, has no experience of science, or engineering.

This is what I find most depressing about the project. It's not that it's impractical and doomed to fail, it's that taxpayers' real, hard-earned cash, which could have been used to make the world a better place in some way, was allowed to be spent on it.

That's a colossal red flag IMHO. It absolutely screams out that nobody in government, who has the authority to decide where and how money is spent, has enough of a clue to spot BS even when it's so obvious.

It should be a warning to us all. The people whom we entrust with our money are not the best and brightest, they're obviously clueless.
 

Offline Len

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Re: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!
« Reply #81 on: June 21, 2014, 01:30:50 am »
another point is the SALT - it's common to use road salt to decrease the freezing point of the water and therefore avoid formation of ice on the roads.. how long will those tiles last in such a extremely salty environment during winters ? we all know what is salty water doing with electronics and cables ;)
That at least shouldn't be an insurmountable problem. Traffic lights already have electronics to control them, and cables and inductive loops running under the street.
 

Offline Dinsdale

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Re: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!
« Reply #82 on: June 21, 2014, 01:53:09 am »
I haven't been able to find anything like a mechanical drawing, close-up shots of the edges/bottom, or specifications.  Does anyone have a link?

I saw one video with an installation being done in what looks like a garage.  It demonstrated the led usage for lane markers and text.  However, that looked to be constructed of larger rectangular panels - NOT the hexagonal panels. Also, cabling seemed to be on the bottom surface.  This seems to be what they call "phase 1".  Is that true for the (phase 2) hex panels?
What is the interconnect system between hex panels?  If you allow random panel replacement, they must be able to lift-out/push-in, right?  That implies some type of wiper contact.
How are they fastened to the substrate surface?  Bolted down?  The substrate must be restrained from moving within some tolerance.  What happens when you pull a panel, allowing adjoining panels to move slightly together and the bolt center-lines move, and there is not enough space to fit the replacement or the bolt holes don't line up?  What is the spec. on that amount of movement?
What is panel-to-panel seal?  What is the effect of water, ice, insects, etc.?
What is the spec on change in the vertical plane?
Electrical problems aside, how would this mechanically ever have any kind of integrity or lifespan? 
Does he keep the $2M when nothing comes of this?

But it he wants to get some taxpayer money, he should come to Dallas, Tx.  The city council there will go for any half-baked idea such as this.  After all, they built the $100M, 6-lane highway bridge that, west-bound, ends at a surface street intersection (numerous accidents). And they want to build a major roadway INSIDE the Trinity River levy system
This can't be happening.
 

Offline sunnyhighway

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Re: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!
« Reply #83 on: June 21, 2014, 02:00:41 am »
and regarding the wipes instead of plows.... have they ever tried to wipe a compressed snow ? or will they wipe the roads constantly 24/7  to avoid compression of the snow by the vehicles ?

Maybe they 'll put some fancy high-tech windshield wipers on those tiles.
This of course, would require quite a lot of maintenance to prevent this from happening.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2014, 05:36:25 pm by sunnyhighway »
 

Offline Tek_TDS220

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Re: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!
« Reply #84 on: June 21, 2014, 02:01:45 am »
I had to laugh at this quixotic effort by Dave.  Of course, he is correct.  You can argue about the details, but the conclusion is unassailable.

Solar Roadways knows that their claims wouldn't pass the smell test with knowledgeable engineers and scientists.  However, their audience is gullible officials and the public who are willing to fund this work.  They have been successful so far.

You could do a video like this every day about technology 'breakthroughs' that we see in the media.  The latest one that makes me laugh is hydrocarbon fuels by electrolysis of sea water (US Navy).
 

Offline DJ

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Re: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!
« Reply #85 on: June 21, 2014, 02:15:50 am »
What is offensive is the degreed people who should know better are on board with this crap.

http://www.solarroadways.com/board.shtml

we've got a legitimate problem with certain members of academia who pad their incomes with endless government grants, without any legitimate goal beyond getting more grants.

If people or companies want to fund perpetual motion projects (and their ilk), fine. Just stop doing it with tax dollars.

When this turd fails, all government subsidies should be recovered from the bank accounts of these charlatans.


I'm all for research,  but this would get a failing grade as an undergraduate engineering project.

 

Offline rob77

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Re: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!
« Reply #86 on: June 21, 2014, 02:20:16 am »
another point is the SALT - it's common to use road salt to decrease the freezing point of the water and therefore avoid formation of ice on the roads.. how long will those tiles last in such a extremely salty environment during winters ? we all know what is salty water doing with electronics and cables ;)
That at least shouldn't be an insurmountable problem. Traffic lights already have electronics to control them, and cables and inductive loops running under the street.

trafic light are not immersed in the salty environment, the cables are in insulated cable paths under the surface, induction loops are submersed in tarmac/asphalt... neither of those are directly stressed by the heavy vehicles... and even if they fail it's quite easy to repair.

but we're here talking about a whole road made of electronic devices... there is no way to avoid the salty water to go inside the tiles - those tiles will be constantly stressed by the heavy vehicles - forming microscopic cracks - and those cracks are very welcome by the salty water in order to extend it's territory :D
 

Offline Legit-Design

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Re: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!
« Reply #87 on: June 21, 2014, 02:22:28 am »
Does he keep the $2M when nothing comes of this?
Why of course they will keep it. As long as there is reasonable proof they are using it to do what it was meant to do. They don't have to succeed! Why would project doomed to fail succeed?
They will hire people and hire themselves on this. They will pay themselves and everyone else professional wages. Why wouldn't they do that? They will continue to do this and maybe get few more government grants/whatever.
They will address all the coming problems same way they have done it so far, by just bodging something not thinking about it. If they don't do anything "wrong" they have no reason to stop doing it.
For most people just working on something and getting paid is all the same. They will make maybe a bigger prototype parking lot while they "finalize" their design, that money will be fast used and then there is nothing left.
When they have used all the money maybe they can start auctioning all the green solar roadways panels they have built and accumulated over time. Those people look old so maybe they will stretch it and retire because they are old.
Someone younger will come and take over. Remember people those are donations, you don't usually have to pay donations back unless you do something wrong or flat out lie.
They have NOT been trying to prove themselves wrong so far (that would be too easy) instead they are trying work around these obvious problems.
Why would they come out and say these same solar cells would be put to so much better use on our roof than on the road surface? Just because something is obvious doesn't mean they have to do it.

Can it be built? Yes!
Does it cost a lot? Yes!
Does it make sense? NO!

Maybe in 20-50 years some new nanotechnology discovery will come out and we can fix smart nanotube transistors into asphalt mix. Then everyone who believed in solar roadways will come out "AHA I TOLDS YOUS SO!".
Funny how it only took that long to make this somewhat reality. Or maybe we will grow our durable roads, houses and everything naturally, into the shape we desire, with nanobots/whatever and it all will collect the suns energy.
 

Offline stenor

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Re: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!
« Reply #88 on: June 21, 2014, 02:29:12 am »
This is what I find most depressing about the project. It's not that it's impractical and doomed to fail, it's that taxpayers' real, hard-earned cash, which could have been used to make the world a better place in some way, was allowed to be spent on it.

That's a colossal red flag IMHO. It absolutely screams out that nobody in government, who has the authority to decide where and how money is spent, has enough of a clue to spot BS even when it's so obvious.

It should be a warning to us all. The people whom we entrust with our money are not the best and brightest, they're obviously clueless.

That's what it seems like, yes. They say that the Federal Highway Administration is overseeing their work (engineers and all), giving them funding, etc
Very strange...
 

Offline DJ

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Re: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!
« Reply #89 on: June 21, 2014, 02:35:39 am »
Many (not all) government engineers would not last a month in industry.

Have we talked about condensation inside these? Or will they be filled with nitrogen?

30 year hermetic glass road tiles. Right.
 

Online daqq

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Re: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!
« Reply #90 on: June 21, 2014, 02:40:39 am »
Well, they deleted my comment in the discussion to their channel. And somehow the number of comments is getting lower rather than higher. I'm sure it's all legit and they have nothing to hide and can back everything up.

Quote
30 year hermetic glass road tiles. Right.
With active power connections to the outside world.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2014, 02:43:31 am by daqq »
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Offline DJ

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Re: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!
« Reply #91 on: June 21, 2014, 02:44:38 am »
Well, they deleted my comment in the discussion to their channel. And somehow the number of comments is getting lower rather than higher. I'm sure it's all legit and they have nothing to hide and can back everything up.

PT Barnum and all that.

Junk like this will be a (possibly deserved) black eye for un-vetted crowdfunding.

Screws things up for legitimate,  well thought out product development.
 

Offline Legit-Design

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Re: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!
« Reply #92 on: June 21, 2014, 02:45:21 am »
Have we talked about condensation inside these? Or will they be filled with nitrogen?

30 year hermetic glass road tiles. Right.

Another problem that is a show stopper for the whole idea?  :-DD

Where do all these problems keep coming from? How can someone design something that has so many inherent problems?

I guess they could do it like real solar panels are done, it's all inside clear epoxy. If I'm not wrong the top coating on solar panels is clear epoxy to let light in, glue the solar cells into their place, make them less likely to break. But clear epoxy was probably never meant to be driven over by cars.
 

Offline DJ

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Re: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!
« Reply #93 on: June 21, 2014, 02:59:24 am »
Guess we could pot everything.  So add in 30 yr optically clear thermally expansion matched wide temperature range electronics grade (no home depot silicone rtv, thank you very much) potting compound to the mix.

Maybe we'll bypass galvanic connections with qi-like inductive coupling.

Cost & weight goin up, as are losses.


Maybe they can reanimate Michael Jackson as their spokeszombie...





« Last Edit: June 21, 2014, 03:09:45 am by DJ »
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!
« Reply #94 on: June 21, 2014, 03:13:52 am »
This is what I find most depressing about the project. It's not that it's impractical and doomed to fail, it's that taxpayers' real, hard-earned cash, which could have been used to make the world a better place in some way, was allowed to be spent on it.

That's a colossal red flag IMHO. It absolutely screams out that nobody in government, who has the authority to decide where and how money is spent, has enough of a clue to spot BS even when it's so obvious.

It should be a warning to us all. The people whom we entrust with our money are not the best and brightest, they're obviously clueless.

That's what it seems like, yes. They say that the Federal Highway Administration is overseeing their work (engineers and all), giving them funding, etc
Very strange...

Did you consider that the solar roadway guys might just bend the truth "slightly" when they make such statements?
I delete PMs unread. If you have something to say, say it in public.
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Offline Legit-Design

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Re: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!
« Reply #95 on: June 21, 2014, 03:14:41 am »
Once they get this project rolling on it's own. They should tackle world hunger. Imagine fields that automatically detect what plants are growing on them and nurture and water the plants automatically.
 

Offline DJ

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Re: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!
« Reply #96 on: June 21, 2014, 03:18:07 am »
Once they get this project rolling on it's own. They should tackle world hunger. Imagine fields that automatically detect what plants are growing on them and nurture and water the plants automatically.

That would require too much infrastructure.

What we need are smart clouds.

Fund meeeeeeeeeeeee
 

Offline Legit-Design

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Re: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!
« Reply #97 on: June 21, 2014, 03:21:31 am »
Once they get this project rolling on it's own. They should tackle world hunger. Imagine fields that automatically detect what plants are growing on them and nurture and water the plants automatically.

That would require too much infrastructure.

What we need are smart clouds.

Fund meeeeeeeeeeeee

Smart weather, I think I saw conspiracy document about that one. In some remote location us government had huge facility, they were planning to control the weather to attack their enemies. Too bad controlling the weather somewhere has consequences everywhere in the world? Remember that stargate episode when they stole the weather control alien device and took it to earth?

Why don't we have crowdfunding for that small device that looked like little planet and had some rings on it which controlled the weather? That would be really handy... maybe we could limit the adjustment area to only few kilometers.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2014, 03:30:53 am by Legit-Design »
 

Offline DJ

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Re: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!
« Reply #98 on: June 21, 2014, 03:38:16 am »
Smart clouds are doable.

Smart weather is doable.

Smart politicians,  ummm...
 

Offline retrolefty

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Re: EEVblog #632 - Solar Roadways Are BULLSHIT!
« Reply #99 on: June 21, 2014, 03:41:41 am »
Typical green dreaming project. And when it fails they will just say it would work fine if man made global climate change was solved first.

 


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