Author Topic: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway  (Read 15963 times)

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Offline hermit

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #100 on: December 25, 2017, 12:54:22 am »
My engineering intuition says a big company is not going to waste effort and money on something that is never going to be viable. But further than that I rather do the math based on facts because intuition is a guess at best which can be completely wrong.
Some people get wealthy raising money and then bankrupting companies.  Some erroneously believe because of tunnel vision.  Some just completely lose touch with market trends.  Some simply bet on the wrong horse/tech.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #101 on: December 25, 2017, 02:19:54 am »
My engineering intuition says a big company is not going to waste effort and money on something that is never going to be viable. But further than that I rather do the math based on facts because intuition is a guess at best which can be completely wrong.
Some people get wealthy raising money and then bankrupting companies.  Some erroneously believe because of tunnel vision.  Some just completely lose touch with market trends.  Some simply bet on the wrong horse/tech.
Those are all valid reasons but I doubt the first three are the case. Bigger companies tend to do their homework and a multi-million project like this needs to have board approval. Marketing trends don't really apply since it is not a consumer product. Betting on the wrong horse happens all the time but that is still better than betting on no horse at all.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline jonovid

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #102 on: December 25, 2017, 02:51:43 am »
where is the wear data? 
ground in road dirt & grit has abrasive grinding on the level of transparency over time. put simply traffic will wear dark ruts in this.
that will diminish photovoltaic output efficiency. then there is temperature of a road on a hot day. heat can reduce photovoltaic output efficiency by 10-25%.
if solar panels are on a roof, air breeze can cool them. but a road surface is another matter entirely.
then there is the heat island phenomenon.
so may conclusion is - Dave is right ,...its Busted , and adding to that
I will go on say that this wattway solar roadway pavering or somewhat fragile looking solar photovoltaic vinyl roadway matting is
better suited as private driveway pavering. a product for private property owners that have fashion or political statements to make.
something to park the tesla roadster or rolls-royce EV phantom on.
then pay for driveway cleaning ,polishing and any ongoing maintenance.

My engineering intuition says a big company is not going to waste effort and money on something that is never going to be viable. But further than that I rather do the math based on facts because intuition is a guess at best which can be completely wrong.
Some people get wealthy raising money and then bankrupting companies.  Some erroneously believe because of tunnel vision.  Some just completely lose touch with market trends.  Some simply bet on the wrong horse/tech.
Those are all valid reasons but I doubt the first three are the case. Bigger companies tend to do their homework and a multi-million project like this needs to have board approval. Marketing trends don't really apply since it is not a consumer product. Betting on the wrong horse happens all the time but that is still better than betting on no horse at all.
Colas Wattway is testing public opinion  a kite-flying exercise  ;D
big companies often have political agendas.  also market trends can and will be manipulated to set agendas
so where did wattway's money come from? .an $ award from the UN .

quote from the wattway website-
colas, official partner of COP 21
as part of the COP21 United Nations conference on climate change,
colas has won a climate solutions award for the wattway solar road.


COP 21 = Agenda 21, a 23-year-old non-binding UN resolution
some say to subjugate humanity under an eco-totalitarian regime   its political!

more quote from the wattway website-
French Wattway panels....

.....without any need for civil engineering work.    :bullshit:
.....The composite material is just a few millimeters thick,
its a vinyl mat sitting on top of the asphalt.
also un-supervised work on public infrastructure & roads sounds shonky!
making it possible to adapt to thermal dilation in the pavement, as well as vehicle loads, a guarantee of durability and safety.   
 :bullshit: its a vinyl mat sitting on top of the asphalt. that has no guarantee of durability beyond three to five years.
taking into consideration the flexible material thickness and road dirt & grit has abrasive grinding on the level of transparency.
the word pavement was used, if this is only for the sidewalk or footpath, then this is dishonest marketing in suggesting highway use.

« Last Edit: December 25, 2017, 09:55:13 am by jonovid »
Hobby of evil genius      basic knowledge of electronics
 

Online Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #103 on: December 25, 2017, 07:30:28 am »
A GPS is trivially easy to jam too. Even a simple shield placed over the antenna will typically block it.
Then you drive past an unmarked van and your odometer raises a red flag due to no GPS signal.

You can't say you weren't warned becasue the red light on your dashboard was telling you all about it.

What am I supposed to do if the red light comes on? Pull over and stop in some sketchy area?

You'd keep right on driving and have a couple of days grace to get it looked at.

Frankly the whole unmarked van thing sounds a bit creepy, people would be up in arms about that in the US

Out of sight, out of mind. The USA will accept anything that isn't easily visible, just like the rest of the world.

« Last Edit: December 25, 2017, 07:34:52 am by Fungus »
 

Online Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #104 on: December 25, 2017, 08:09:59 am »
Because currently there's not much financial incentive to cheat.
Yes there is!

Right now you're not getting any monthly/yearly 'mileage' bills sent to you by the government. A lot of people are going to get pissed off as soon as those start arriving.

« Last Edit: December 25, 2017, 08:13:39 am by Fungus »
 

Offline NANDBlog

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #105 on: December 25, 2017, 08:24:01 am »
OK, let's put some numbers on it. From https://managementscope.nl/opinie/overkapping-snelwegen-verdaas-hijum-a12 (in Dutch) it appears that putting a structure over a highway costs between 6M€ to 60M€ per km. Let's use the average and calculate with 33M€/km. BTW other websites quote numbers between 15M€ and 70M€ per km so 33M€ seems like a good number.

Now let's put a 336kW solar farm on top of a highway over a length of 1km. According to Dave's numbers a 336kW solar farm costs around 527k€ installed. The total costs will be 33M€ +527k€=33.5M€. That means it costs 33.5M€/336k=99.7€ per Watt which makes Colas' solar roadway 99/15=6.6 times cheaper per Watt.
Your calculation are not even ballpark right. It is possible to place just 2 axis solar trackers in the middle of the highway. It is a proven solution. And there are special ones, with high ground clearance. I park my car below one at work. And it payed for itself already, so financially viable, it was already financially viable 10 years ago. 18 panels on it.
But then you are still placing panels besides the road and not over the road so you are not comparing apples with apples. Placing panels besides the road is cheap & simple but it doesn't maximise the usage of the available space. Try to come up with a cheap solution which spans 8 lanes (2x3 lanes + 2 emergency lanes).
I provided a solution which generates the same power, with fraction of the cost. I dont need to make up bullshit numbers for you. Because you are defending something, that is un-defendable.

You need to come up with two numbers for the solar road: ROI and lifetime.
Tell us the ROI, and the average life of road surfaces. I tell you. ROI will be something like 27*7 years, and lifetime is maybe 10 years.

I really cannot believe that how can an engineer be wrong, by magnitudes, and not realize it.

Those are all valid reasons but I doubt the first three are the case. Bigger companies tend to do their homework and a multi-million project like this needs to have board approval. Marketing trends don't really apply since it is not a consumer product. Betting on the wrong horse happens all the time but that is still better than betting on no horse at all.
Bigger companies can spend billons of dollars on bullshit, if it is goverment funded.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #106 on: December 25, 2017, 10:39:35 am »
OK, let's put some numbers on it. From https://managementscope.nl/opinie/overkapping-snelwegen-verdaas-hijum-a12 (in Dutch) it appears that putting a structure over a highway costs between 6M€ to 60M€ per km. Let's use the average and calculate with 33M€/km. BTW other websites quote numbers between 15M€ and 70M€ per km so 33M€ seems like a good number.

Now let's put a 336kW solar farm on top of a highway over a length of 1km. According to Dave's numbers a 336kW solar farm costs around 527k€ installed. The total costs will be 33M€ +527k€=33.5M€. That means it costs 33.5M€/336k=99.7€ per Watt which makes Colas' solar roadway 99/15=6.6 times cheaper per Watt.
Your calculation are not even ballpark right. It is possible to place just 2 axis solar trackers in the middle of the highway. It is a proven solution. And there are special ones, with high ground clearance. I park my car below one at work. And it payed for itself already, so financially viable, it was already financially viable 10 years ago. 18 panels on it.
But then you are still placing panels besides the road and not over the road so you are not comparing apples with apples. Placing panels besides the road is cheap & simple but it doesn't maximise the usage of the available space. Try to come up with a cheap solution which spans 8 lanes (2x3 lanes + 2 emergency lanes).
I provided a solution which generates the same power, with fraction of the cost. I dont need to make up bullshit numbers for you. Because you are defending something, that is un-defendable.
You are missing the point here. I think the problem Colas is trying to solve is where to put solar panels if all the easy spots are filled. Ofcourse their current installation isn't economically viable today given the alternatives. It's a demo! Your solution just goes for the low hanging fruit and calls it quits once that is gone. Hermit pointed it out clearly with his shale oil example. This was was deemed uneconomic forever... until the equations changed.

Several people already pointed out that solar alone isn't going to cut it to provide all the energy. Providing enough energy will require other sources (which besides wind and bio fuel?) and to utilise each source to the maximum possible. However short supply and high demand means higher prices and that is a big part of what made shale oil viable nowadays.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2017, 11:05:24 am by nctnico »
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Offline NANDBlog

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #107 on: December 25, 2017, 11:52:02 am »
No. You dont need to cover the entire earth to generate enough power. In fact, here is a picture for you, how much space needs to be covered. And solar is not the only green source.

This is a prediction for 2030, using solar thermal. You can power the entire EU by using a fraction of the deserted area in Spain. Until that is done, solar roadways is a pointless exercise in mis-engineering. The money invested in development can be spent to actually solve the issue. We can think about solar roadways in about 30-40 years, if fusion does not solve the issue by then.
 
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Offline drussell

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #108 on: December 25, 2017, 11:52:22 am »
You are missing the point here. I think the problem Colas is trying to solve is where to put solar panels if all the easy spots are filled.

No, the problem Colas is trying to solve is that they are a road building company.  A big, dirty, gritty, grimy asphalt-from-dead-dinosaur-fossil laying road building company.  Probably one of the biggest road building companies in the world with subsidiaries all over the planet, all bidding for government and military and commercial jobs, all with very few ways to try to even appear to be even somewhat "green."

Quote
Ofcourse their current installation isn't economically viable today given the alternatives. It's a demo! Your solution just goes for the low hanging fruit and calls it quits once that is gone. Hermit pointed it out clearly with his shale oil example. This was was deemed uneconomic forever... until the equations changed.

Solar in road is orders of magnitude away from being the lowest available fruit on the where-to-put-solar-panels tree.  If it were even close to being within the realm of possibility, then sure, go ahead and try to start working on it.  But it is not.  It is a solution looking for a problem.  It is a solution to an optics / publicity / marketing problem, not an economic or technical one.

The case comparison to things like shale gas or oil sands being uneconomical is a red herring.  They were were well within an order of magnitude from being economical when they first became known.  With the advances in technology and the increase in the economic value of the resource over the past 100 years they have become economical to extract.

The list of issues with the fantasy of solar in road becoming even remotely plausible anytime soon is absolutely mind boggling.  The fact that people with any breadth of engineering background think otherwise, even more so!   :o
« Last Edit: December 25, 2017, 12:01:30 pm by drussell »
 
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Offline drussell

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #109 on: December 25, 2017, 11:57:56 am »
Bigger companies can spend billons of dollars on bullshit, if it is goverment funded.

Bigger companies can spend billions of dollars on bullshit, ESPECIALLY if it is government funded.

FTFY.  :)

It doesn't require government funding, but it sure helps make it more likely!   ;D
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #110 on: December 25, 2017, 12:22:32 pm »
No. You dont need to cover the entire earth to generate enough power. In fact, here is a picture for you, how much space needs to be covered. And solar is not the only green source.

This is a prediction for 2030, using solar thermal. You can power the entire EU by using a fraction of the deserted area in Spain. Until that is done, solar roadways is a pointless exercise in mis-engineering. The money invested in development can be spent to actually solve the issue. We can think about solar roadways in about 30-40 years, if fusion does not solve the issue by then.
Look at which country those red squares are in! Also deserted areas aren't always really deserted. If you look closely at the north of Africa using Google maps you'll see that you have to travel deep inwards until the farms end. Another problem with having all the energy generated in Spain is that you'll need to transport an average of 95GWatt of electricity out of the country (see http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/File:Net_electricity_generation,_EU-28,_1990-2015_(million_GWh)_YB17.png for the amount of energy needed). At 1 million Volts that is 95000 Ampere. However, the sun doesn't shine 24/7 so the number is likely to doube/tripple. Constructing the power lines will be a massive and costly undertaking especially due to the mountain range which seperates Spain from France. Not to mention the political problems because it would give Spain a kill-switch for Europe. People still remember the oil crisis from the 70's where the Arabs cut off the oil.

Anyway, I'm still convinced it is bad to discard ideas of the bat and governments seem to agree with me. For example wind energy has been made economically viable through support by the governments. Nowadays we take it for granted but Dave could have made a very similar video in the 80's telling wind energy would never make it due to the abundance of coal. Look how the cost per kW/h has dropped over time where it can compete with coal and it is even viable to put wind turbines in sea.

There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline SL4P

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Online Halcyon

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #112 on: December 28, 2017, 06:54:24 am »
You make assumptions about maintenance costs and costs to build structures to put solar panels over a road (not to mention the years it will take to get the permits to build those structures) but I see no numbers to back those assumptions.
Let me get this straight...  You're saying that you believe it will be less costly to design a robust enough panel for in-road use, get that tested and approved, build the panels and install them into the road surface, then maintain them over the long term than it would be to stick them up on poles above the road surface?!   :wtf:

That's insane.   :scared:
I don't know what is cheaper/more expensive.
How about using your engineering intuition?
My engineering intuition says a big company is not going to waste effort and money on something that is never going to be viable. But further than that I rather do the math based on facts because intuition is a guess at best which can be completely wrong.

The big company is there to sell a product and make money. They couldn't care less how the client uses it or how effective it is. Look at Apple, they've been churning out crap for the masses for years yet people keep throwing money at them.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #113 on: December 28, 2017, 07:15:58 am »

The big company is there to sell a product and make money. They couldn't care less how the client uses it or how effective it is. Look at Apple, they've been churning out crap for the masses for years yet people keep throwing money at them.

Apple is a pretty poor example there. I'm not an apple guy but for the most part their products are very well engineered and nicely made. Overpriced yes, I don't like MacOS but I wouldn't call the products crap. I've never understood the fanboi attitude, so many people seem to have either an irrational love or an irrational hate for Apple that has nothing to do with the quality of the product, it's just weird.
 
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Offline nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #114 on: December 28, 2017, 01:58:47 pm »
My engineering intuition says a big company is not going to waste effort and money on something that is never going to be viable. But further than that I rather do the math based on facts because intuition is a guess at best which can be completely wrong.
The big company is there to sell a product and make money. They couldn't care less how the client uses it or how effective it is. Look at Apple, they've been churning out crap for the masses for years yet people keep throwing money at them.
But the bottom line is that Apple is making a profit so their product has value for their customers. Sure not every product turns out the be profitable or a success. Look at how Microsoft has failed on the mobile phone market and OTOH has great success with their game consoles. A company needs more wins then losses in order to stay in business.

Anyway, it is easy to find the flaws in something a one-man-band has dreamed up like some overunity device or the batteriser but as soon as there is a whole multi-disciplinairy team and serious money behind a project things change a lot. Then 'debunking' becomes more like a man with a whiteboard telling (ranting to) a whole bunch of people with PhDs in different areas they got it completely wrong.

I've worked at a research institute myself and I've seen new ideas being born first hand. In many cases an idea starts with some kind of prototype containing at least some duct-tape. From there an idea grows to a product in stages and at each stage a decission is made whether the project is still viable or not. This process takes years and there are a lot of smart people involved. A good example of such a process is Musk's Hyperloop.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #115 on: December 29, 2017, 12:14:45 am »
Moved to other thread below.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2017, 12:31:49 am by thm_w »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #116 on: December 29, 2017, 12:18:58 am »
FYI, I've split the electric car talk into a new topic here:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/renewable-energy/when-will-electric-cars-become-mainstream/
 
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Offline nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #117 on: December 31, 2017, 06:47:13 pm »
I have found an interesting PDF from the beginning of 2016 which explains how the Colas Wattway was developed until then (2005 to 2015):
http://www.colas.com/sites/default/files/publications/cst-mag3-fev16-en-web.pdf

Edit: the article starts at page 15
« Last Edit: December 31, 2017, 08:38:44 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 


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