Author Topic: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway  (Read 15934 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« on: December 19, 2017, 06:48:04 am »
Dave finally puts an end to the idea of Solar Roadways.
We have the test results of the world's biggest solar roadways project, the 1km long 336kW Colas Wattway project in Tourouvre France.
Stand in awe at how impractical and expensive it is!, and SPOILER, how it won't usher in a new era of renewable solar technology.
TLDR; Impractical Folly

 
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Offline rx8pilot

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2017, 07:21:20 am »
The general public does not get much past the headlines - and it sounds so cool.

The reality gets buried in the excitement and when $5million is on the line - somebody will line up to accept it every time.
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Offline hermit

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2017, 05:07:24 pm »
The mistake was they didn't get a proper dowser to show what parts of what roadways would work best when panelized.
 

Offline prof

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2017, 10:52:22 pm »
Hi Dave,

while you're completely right that it's more expensive and less practical than a solar farm, you're still somewhat missing the point: There're plenty of areas where you actually can't (due to free space constraints) or don't want (for ecological reasons) erect a solar farm. When the choice is between no solar energy or more expensive and less practical solar energy, the latter might be the better option.

Just my 2¢...
 
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Offline apelly

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2017, 11:07:08 pm »
There're plenty of areas where you actually can't (due to free space constraints) or don't want (for ecological reasons) erect a solar farm.
If there aren't any roofs there already, you probably don't want the power anyway.
I'd rather a Google clue, link, or some theory than "do this" (generally)
 

Offline apelly

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2017, 11:03:53 pm »
There're plenty of areas where you actually can't (due to free space constraints) or don't want (for ecological reasons) erect a solar farm.
If there aren't any roofs there already, you probably don't want the power anyway.
I'd rather a Google clue, link, or some theory than "do this" (generally)
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2017, 11:08:41 pm »
while you're completely right that it's more expensive and less practical than a solar farm, you're still somewhat missing the point: There're plenty of areas where you actually can't (due to free space constraints) or don't want (for ecological reasons) erect a solar farm. When the choice is between no solar energy or more expensive and less practical solar energy, the latter might be the better option.

Would you like me to do a video pointing up on Google maps all the government roof space available?
Not to mention putting the panel, you know, over the road.

I am not missing the point, I'm bang on. Only an idiot would put solar panel on the road instead of on roofs and poles.

 
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Offline apelly

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2017, 11:14:31 pm »
There're plenty of areas where you actually can't (due to free space constraints) or don't want (for ecological reasons) erect a solar farm.
If there aren't any roofs there already, you probably don't want the power anyway.

Edit: Dave beat me to it.
I'd rather a Google clue, link, or some theory than "do this" (generally)
 

Online nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2017, 12:18:14 am »
There're plenty of areas where you actually can't (due to free space constraints) or don't want (for ecological reasons) erect a solar farm.
If there aren't any roofs there already, you probably don't want the power anyway.

The problem with that reasoning is that in the EU the roof space per person is really small so solar panels on roofs only will not be enough. Not by a long shot. Also much of the land which would be suitable for large solar installations is either a nature reserve or in use for agricultural purposes. That leaves using the roads as large open spaces. It would be nice of someone could run some numbers on the cost of putting solar panels over the road. That could be double effective because when you drive in the shade you don't need the airconditioning to work that hard and it can keep rain & snow away from the roads making them safer.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online james_s

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2017, 12:20:33 am »
Finally busted? I thought Dave (and others) had busted this before, then busted it some more, and further busted it.

To whatever proponents remain, no amount of busting will change their mind because it has become a religious debate with them.

It was a dumb idea to start with, it will always be a dumb idea. I can see some of the tech being useful as artistic installations or some very niche applications where it could be in a pedestrian walkway but no way it would ever make sense as a road to generate useful power.
 

Online james_s

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2017, 12:22:55 am »

The problem with that reasoning is that in the EU the roof space per person is really small so solar panels on roofs only will not be enough. Not by a long shot. Also much of the land which would be suitable for large solar installations is either a nature reserve or in use for agricultural purposes. That leaves using the roads as large open spaces. It would be nice of someone could run some numbers on the cost of putting solar panels over the road. That could be double effective because when you drive in the shade you don't need the airconditioning to work that hard and it can keep rain & snow away from the roads making them safer.

So put them on the walls of buildings? Far from optimal, but much better than putting them in roads. The numbers just don't add up, putting panels in roads will never work, unless the roads aren't actually driven on.
 

Offline hermit

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2017, 01:06:33 am »

The problem with that reasoning is that in the EU the roof space per person is really small so solar panels on roofs only will not be enough. Not by a long shot. Also much of the land which would be suitable for large solar installations is either a nature reserve or in use for agricultural purposes. That leaves using the roads as large open spaces. It would be nice of someone could run some numbers on the cost of putting solar panels over the road. That could be double effective because when you drive in the shade you don't need the airconditioning to work that hard and it can keep rain & snow away from the roads making them safer.
The numbers just don't add up
That is the salient point.  Solar roadways may be better than 'nothing' but far from better than current alternatives. Don't get hung up on EU roof space.  Electricity is highly portable.
 

Online blueskull

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2017, 01:20:31 am »
You are not politician. A politician's goal is to use taxpayers' money to do eye candy projects that general, ordinary, non-nerd taxpayers would like to see, and keep the election and vote, and use his power to help his real golden supporters (lobbyists, etc.) happy.
 
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Online nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2017, 01:21:51 am »

The problem with that reasoning is that in the EU the roof space per person is really small so solar panels on roofs only will not be enough. Not by a long shot. Also much of the land which would be suitable for large solar installations is either a nature reserve or in use for agricultural purposes. That leaves using the roads as large open spaces. It would be nice of someone could run some numbers on the cost of putting solar panels over the road. That could be double effective because when you drive in the shade you don't need the airconditioning to work that hard and it can keep rain & snow away from the roads making them safer.
so put them on the walls of buildings? Far from optimal, but much better than putting them in roads. The numbers just don't add up, putting panels in roads will never work, unless the roads aren't actually driven on.
I highlighted the part you missed  ;D

@hermit: electricity is not highly portable. A very large chunk of what you pay for your electricity are distribution costs. Put the power source further away and the costs will increase rapidly.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online james_s

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2017, 01:30:55 am »
Putting them over roads could work in some cases, but would be considered unsightly in a lot of areas and then the structure has to be strong in places where snow is possible and you're still building a dedicated structure when it doesn't really make sense to do so. Forget about roads entirely, there are all kinds of more sensible places to put solar panels.
 
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Offline jonovid

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2017, 03:04:56 am »
maybe solar voltaic clothing will make the 2018 paris catwalk with footwear by batteroo! truly electrifying.
of course we will be waiting for Dave to crunch the numbers. as the lives of many-a smartphone depend on it.
Hobby of evil genius      basic knowledge of electronics
 
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Offline Brumby

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2017, 03:37:20 am »
Have you no shame?  :palm:
 

Offline NANDBlog

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2017, 04:07:52 am »

This one is 3.3GWh per year for about 3km.
There is 30.000 km of railway network in France.
 

Offline hermit

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2017, 04:39:01 am »
@hermit: electricity is not highly portable. A very large chunk of what you pay for your electricity are distribution costs. Put the power source further away and the costs will increase rapidly.
The infrastructure is already in place and the efficiency difference between solar road and solar farm will offset that cost pretty quickly.
https://www.power-technology.com/features/featurethe-worlds-longest-power-transmission-lines-4167964/
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2017, 06:39:59 am »
electricity is not highly portable. A very large chunk of what you pay for your electricity are distribution costs. Put the power source further away and the costs will increase rapidly.
In other words, the best place to put solar panels is very close to where most of the loads are - on buildings.
Cryptocurrency has taught me to love math and at the same time be baffled by it.

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2017, 10:36:50 am »
Hi Dave,

while you're completely right that it's more expensive and less practical than a solar farm, you're still somewhat missing the point: There're plenty of areas where you actually can't (due to free space constraints) or don't want (for ecological reasons) erect a solar farm. When the choice is between no solar energy or more expensive and less practical solar energy, the latter might be the better option.

Just my 2¢...
You appear to be from Germany. I've seen a lot of sane solar road around Munich. Instead of covering the actual driving surface, they cover the substantial areas between the driving surface and the fence, that are at the side of any Autobahn outside the dense urban areas. When this area is an embankment they use just one side of the road, but they can get natural tilting of the panels towards the sun when the road is in the right direction. Their land costs are obviously zero. Their land utilisation is effectively zero, since the space can't be used for much else. They can maintain the system without shutting down the road. They can easily replace parts of the system which have a lower life than the panels (e.g. inverters). Their costs must be as low as any other solar farm.
 
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Offline jonovid

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2017, 10:48:27 am »
Have you no shame?  :palm:

 :palm:  will there be more Batterizer videos too .. Dave ?  ???  why repeat yourself  :=\
Hobby of evil genius      basic knowledge of electronics
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2017, 12:50:17 pm »
 :palm:
 

Online nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2017, 01:45:51 pm »
Putting them over roads could work in some cases, but would be considered unsightly in a lot of areas and then the structure has to be strong in places where snow is possible and you're still building a dedicated structure when it doesn't really make sense to do so. Forget about roads entirely, there are all kinds of more sensible places to put solar panels.
Like where? And for a minute assume you are in New York city and covering central park with solar panels is not an option. That is the situation in most of West Europe.
Where Dave goes wrong in his debunking is that he is from Australia where space to put solar panels is not an issue at all. If you factor in the costs of space for solar panels the outcome of the equation may be that solar roadways do make sense in some areas.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline senso

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2017, 02:54:01 pm »
This busted crap videos are annoying, dont be surprised when you lose viewership when half your videos you sound like a lunatic ranting about some useless crap.
 

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2017, 02:55:56 pm »
Putting them over roads could work in some cases, but would be considered unsightly in a lot of areas

Really?

I often look out the window and think, gosh, that multi-lane high way is looking Sooooooo Beautiful today:




 :-DD
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2017, 05:07:13 pm »
Over, where the little things, like cars dropping bits of tyre, tearing them up in crashes and such is not an issue. Extra support structure is fine, having a roof that diverts rain and snow off the road as appropriate helps as well, because then the road needs less drains, and you do not need snow plows to keep the road clear. Having the roof means you can have the snow fall off on the side with ease.
 

Offline glarsson

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2017, 06:22:14 pm »
Like where? And for a minute assume you are in New York city and covering central park with solar panels is not an option.
Converting the roads of New York city to "solar roads" must be a non-starter. How much sunlight reaches the road surface in an urban canyon full of cars?
 

Offline unclebob

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #28 on: December 20, 2017, 06:25:12 pm »
Hi Dave, I think your audience already believes that solar roadways are a dumb idea. Solar system calculation are fun but maybe you could just let the morons build thier roadways an do a video about the solar system of a deep space mission spacecraft instead. I guess the numbers will be interesting.
 
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Offline hermit

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #29 on: December 20, 2017, 06:52:26 pm »
Given the range of readership you have to take into account that some may be in a position to step in and offer sanity to local governments considering such proposals.  They will need solid numbers to counter the sales staff selling their products to politicians whose only goal in life is the number of 'likes' they get in the forms of votes.  Reminders of how to rationally tease out the evidence provided is another useful product being offered here.
 

Offline NANDBlog

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #30 on: December 20, 2017, 07:55:19 pm »
Hi Dave, I think your audience already believes that solar roadways are a dumb idea. Solar system calculation are fun but maybe you could just let the morons build thier roadways an do a video about the solar system of a deep space mission spacecraft instead. I guess the numbers will be interesting.
It is a stupid idea, because there is an alternative, which is better.
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #31 on: December 20, 2017, 09:55:42 pm »
Hi Dave,

while you're completely right that it's more expensive and less practical than a solar farm, you're still somewhat missing the point: There're plenty of areas where you actually can't (due to free space constraints) or don't want (for ecological reasons) erect a solar farm. When the choice is between no solar energy or more expensive and less practical solar energy, the latter might be the better option.

Nope, if it's all protected national park (or something) then you don't need electricity there anyway. Ttansporting it somewhere else would cost more than it could ever generate and generate a massive amount of digging for all the underground cables, etc. which isn't allowed out there.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #32 on: December 20, 2017, 11:12:23 pm »
Hi Dave,

while you're completely right that it's more expensive and less practical than a solar farm, you're still somewhat missing the point: There're plenty of areas where you actually can't (due to free space constraints) or don't want (for ecological reasons) erect a solar farm. When the choice is between no solar energy or more expensive and less practical solar energy, the latter might be the better option.
Nope, if it's all protected national park (or something) then you don't need electricity there anyway.
But you can't use the space for solar panels either  :palm: so back to square one: find space for solar panels where there isn't room.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline aargee

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #33 on: December 21, 2017, 03:42:49 am »
I guess the same economic arguments could be made for money spent on going to Mars, not that solar roadways are an aconomical thing but hey...
You would think that lessons (both economic and engineering) are being learnt at all levels in trying to implement solar roadways.

Yes, the tone of the video is annoying, emotional and a bit disrespectful to the French people but it pays the bills - right?
Not easy, not hard, just need to be incentivised.
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #34 on: December 21, 2017, 05:33:03 am »
Nope, if it's all protected national park (or something) then you don't need electricity there anyway.
But you can't use the space for solar panels either  :palm: so back to square one: find space for solar panels where there isn't room.
Rewind three posts to the people pointing out that wherever there's demand, there's rooftops.  :palm:
 

Online nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #35 on: December 21, 2017, 11:11:17 am »
Nope, if it's all protected national park (or something) then you don't need electricity there anyway.
But you can't use the space for solar panels either  :palm: so back to square one: find space for solar panels where there isn't room.
Rewind three posts to the people pointing out that wherever there's demand, there's rooftops.  :palm:
You should rewind a few posts more and then you'll read that those rooftops are way too small to fit enough solar panels to meet that demand. I'll admit it might be hard to imagine for people who aren't used to really densely populated countries.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 11:13:25 am by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline f4eru

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #36 on: December 21, 2017, 06:43:39 pm »
Like where? And for a minute assume you are in New York city and covering central park with solar panels is not an option. That is the situation in most of West Europe.
Bullshit.
France : 116 people/km²
New York City : 10800 people/km²

You should rewind a few posts more and then you'll read that those rooftops are way too small to fit enough solar panels to meet that demand. I'll admit it might be hard to imagine for people who aren't used to really densely populated countries.
Nope. it works:
There are, in france 6 billion m² of roofs for 67 million people, and 600 billion kWh demand/Y.
That means 85m² of roof per people, for 8500 kWh/y, which means 105kWh/m²/y electrical. At 15% efficiency, that means 702kWh/m²/y of insolation, which is roughly 1/2 to 1/3 what France gets on roofs:
http://sycomoreen.free.fr/imgs/energie_solaire_france.GIF

Covering (the best) half of the roofs woud be much more than enough to meet that demand, but with a seasonal time shift.
So yes it's possible to extract enough energy, but it would need a year scale storage to replace completely fossil electricity including nuclear. That seasonal scale storage wil not happen before very long.
Still, it coud replace on the long run roughly half of fossils just by the simple measure of making PV mandatory on roof renovation.

source :

http://forums.futura-sciences.com/environnement-developpement-durable-ecologie/428704-surface-toiture-france.html

Some more details on electricity in France:
France has 85% of nuclear electricity, and more than half of the homes are heating with electricity, and badly insulated, for a country with a big part in a quite cold climate.
This is total nonsense, so roughly a third of electricity could be spared by a more efficient heating method, insulation, etc, requiring much less solar in the first place.

Politics want to keep the very high nuclear ratio despite the enormous risks, double cost, and unsolved long term storage. Why you ask? To be able to maintain bombs to nuke the world. Utter nonsense.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 07:27:57 pm by f4eru »
 

Online nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #37 on: December 21, 2017, 09:53:35 pm »
Like where? And for a minute assume you are in New York city and covering central park with solar panels is not an option. That is the situation in most of West Europe.
Bullshit.
France : 116 people/km²
New York City : 10800 people/km²
It is not limited to France. The population density of the NL is almost 4 times higher then that of France. And you should also compensate for suitable roofs since in most cases you'll only be able to use half of the roof (most roofs are pitched) or the roof may not even have the proper angle at all. All across the west part of Europe every m2 of land suitable for farming is used for farming and it is not like you can cut a piece of forrest down for a bunch of solar panels. So where do you get the rest of the solar panels installed? Also who is going to pay for the isolation of the homes?
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline prof

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #38 on: December 21, 2017, 11:21:10 pm »
You appear to be from Germany. I've seen a lot of sane solar road around Munich. Instead of covering the actual driving surface, they cover the substantial areas between the driving surface and the fence, that are at the side of any Autobahn outside the dense urban areas. When this area is an embankment they use just one side of the road, but they can get natural tilting of the panels towards the sun when the road is in the right direction. Their land costs are obviously zero. Their land utilisation is effectively zero, since the space can't be used for much else. They can maintain the system without shutting down the road. They can easily replace parts of the system which have a lower life than the panels (e.g. inverters). Their costs must be as low as any other solar farm.

Autobahns in Germany are not usually fenced. The fence you're referring to is actually something done by the solar farm operators to protect their property. The problem is that if the land is owned by the state, it is usually non-developable land and can't be used planted with solar cells. If it is not owned by the state it's actually up to the owner to get the required permits and there're tons of reasons why you might not get one, pretty much regardless of whether it's next to an Autobahn or not (though that certainly reduces the changes of getting one, since the state does not generally like buildings close to vital infrastructure). It's actually far more difficult to get permission to construct a solar farm on a green field (== commercial building) than to equip a roof with solar panels which is why some clever guys invented a clever way to exploit a loophole in the law by seeking permission to build an agricultural building (like a barn or "storage facility") that would never be actually used just to equip the roof with solar panels and sell the generated power.

The flaw with the "roof theory" is that you have to find roofs which are not already populated and as I mentioned above it's not quite easy to receive permission to do anything on the greenfield. Here often the only option is to replace existing  solar panels with more efficient ones or to get creative in the reuse of existing buildings...

Of course if there was a way to plant tons of solar farms in sunny and spacious Australia and transport the energy across  half of the planet where the conditions are not quite as favourable...
 

Offline hermit

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #39 on: December 22, 2017, 12:27:54 am »
I'm wondering how much opinion is being passed off as fact here?  Economics will eventually rule.  Dave did the math on why he doesn't believe the solar highway will become a reality anytime soon based on the economics.  All this talk about there is no room in France to do put them?  Dave compared the roadway to a nearby solar farm.  Economics will dictate whether the panels are located elsewhere and transmitted in via the grid or farms get displaced and the food gets shipped in.  Both seem to be more economically feasible than the solar roadway at this point.  Today's pipe dream may be tomorrow's reality, but tomorrow isn't today.  Yet. ;)
 

Online nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #40 on: December 22, 2017, 01:20:52 am »
Where do you want to displace a farm to? For example China is buying and renting farm land to grow food for it's people allover the world:
http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/974837.shtml
https://www.euractiv.com/section/agriculture-food/news/china-buys-up-agricultural-land-in-central-france/
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline hermit

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #41 on: December 22, 2017, 04:25:58 am »
If they have enough land to grow food for the Chinese then they have enough land to pop up a solar farm.  You're really reaching here.  If you are that convinced the only place to put solar is on roadways, well, let me suggest you drop your life savings into it.  Prove everybody wrong by making a killing in the solar road way market.  I doubt you have as much expertise in land utilization as you seem to be claiming.  But whatever.  Dave presented numbers.  You present stuff like "those rooftops are way too small to fit enough solar panels to meet that demand."  The very next post is numbers you don't dispute, you just ignore them.  Dispute the numbers with numbers, not conjecture.
 

Offline NANDBlog

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #42 on: December 22, 2017, 08:53:20 am »
Like where? And for a minute assume you are in New York city and covering central park with solar panels is not an option. That is the situation in most of West Europe.
Bullshit.
France : 116 people/km²
New York City : 10800 people/km²
It is not limited to France. The population density of the NL is almost 4 times higher then that of France. And you should also compensate for suitable roofs since in most cases you'll only be able to use half of the roof (most roofs are pitched) or the roof may not even have the proper angle at all. All across the west part of Europe every m2 of land suitable for farming is used for farming and it is not like you can cut a piece of forrest down for a bunch of solar panels. So where do you get the rest of the solar panels installed? Also who is going to pay for the isolation of the homes?
You make it sound, like the situation of the NL is the situation everywhere. It is not. In fact, I got a mail this year,  that is few years (8 maybe) the town I live in will be run on 100% renewable energy. Developed urban area next to Brussels. You can install wind farm in the NL. You do that for centuries. And offshore windfarms.
The solar is just now booming there, after a few years you will notice areas where it can be installed. It is surprising, when the parking lot at the workplace gets covered by solar. At first. And all the buildings.

And asking that "who pays for insulation" is the wrong question. Insulation pays for itself. You just need to place some incentives in motion, so people do it by themselves. This can simply be a low % loans. People are not stupid, if something, like insulating the house, is financially beneficial, they do it. Usually it is, but the costs up front make it prohibiting.

For example, they spent 100 million EUR in Hungary to insulate 200k flats from the "super ugly block of flats from the soviet occupation era". Energy requirement went down by up to 50%. That is 500 EUR per flat, less than the energy cost per year.
 

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #43 on: December 22, 2017, 11:25:39 am »
If they have enough land to grow food for the Chinese then they have enough land to pop up a solar farm.  You're really reaching here.  If you are that convinced the only place to put solar is on roadways,
If you have read the article then you should have noticed people are not happy about the Chinese buying land overseas to grow food. This also means that land suitable for farming is a scarse commodity otherwise the Chinese would have bought/rented land much closer to home. I'm not convinced that roads are the best place for solar panels. I just object to branding the idea as crazy off the bat without taking other factors into account.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #44 on: December 22, 2017, 01:56:46 pm »
Funny enough by me I went to Makro today, and as part of the renovations, they have covered the parking lot. What did they cover it with, but solar panels, which serve 3 purposes. They save Makro a shed load on the electricity bill, as they are grid tied ( I would guess, looking at the connection method and the microinverters hanging under the roof sections quickly of the completed sections), they keep cars cool by shading the otherwise open parking, and they also save wear on the parking surface from heat, so the tar will have a longer useful life as well. as a marketing thing also good.

Thus a good solar roadway, I might go there and grab some video as well if anybody is interested, and if I can actually get into the parking lot close to Christmas, might only be possible next week after the crazy season is over, and before the returns rush and back to school, where the signs and merchandise is up already.
 

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #45 on: December 22, 2017, 04:16:59 pm »
https://electrek.co/2017/12/21/china-solar-roadways-transparent-concrete-solar-cells-charge-cars/

Would like to know what transparent concrete is. The article says it "has similar structural properties with standard asphalt." So to my knowledge Asphalt isn't stiff but to some degree flexible and soft, it even can flow. I wonder if the solar cells in that constantly moving and flexing environment are protected by other manners.
 

Offline hermit

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #46 on: December 22, 2017, 04:19:12 pm »
I just object to branding the idea as crazy off the bat without taking other factors into account.
In the late 60's I thought people promising parents of children with genetic diseases that they would find a cure was cruel.  Any educated person at the time knew you couldn't cure genetic disease.  After all, it was in their DNA.  So yeah, I do agree that claiming they will never be feasible is a little out of line.
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #47 on: December 22, 2017, 05:12:28 pm »
I just object to branding the idea as crazy off the bat without taking other factors into account.

Like what? What could possibly save this idea?

 

Offline jonovid

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #48 on: December 22, 2017, 05:19:47 pm »
 :=\   busted... dun..... dusted.... Colas Wattway...is BS... why  :horse:
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 05:11:46 am by jonovid »
Hobby of evil genius      basic knowledge of electronics
 

Offline hermit

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #49 on: December 22, 2017, 05:28:20 pm »
I just object to branding the idea as crazy off the bat without taking other factors into account.

Like what? What could possibly save this idea?
Changing technology and market forces.  Currently, and probably for the foreseeable future, this is not practical.  But as with curing genetic diseases, that was once a pipe dream.  Honestly though, I think changing building designs will happen first.  http://www.solarbuildingtech.com/High-Rise_Building_Solar_Remodeling/high_rise_building_solar_PV_remodeling_.htm
 

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #50 on: December 22, 2017, 05:39:02 pm »
I just object to branding the idea as crazy off the bat without taking other factors into account.
Like what? What could possibly save this idea?
As told before: Running out of space to put solar panels. If I take my own roof as an example: it will be very hard to mount solar panels on it due to two large windows.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline f4eru

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #51 on: December 22, 2017, 10:05:25 pm »
Wow.
Nobody figured out yet how to put panels around windows.
Now that's a thing.
Figuring out how to solve that problem alone will take billions in research, and will make rooftop solar a factor 30 times less economical, so solar roadways can compete on a 1:1 cost per watt basis.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2017, 10:09:13 pm by f4eru »
 

Online nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #52 on: December 23, 2017, 12:39:27 am »
Wow.
Nobody figured out yet how to put panels around windows.
-Sigh-  :palm: Did you ever think about building code involved with placing solar panels on a roof? Things like required space from the top and bottom of a (pitched) roof and margins to the left and right eat up a lot of square meters you are not allowed to use.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline benst

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I hack for work and pleasure.
 

Online james_s

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #54 on: December 23, 2017, 04:39:01 am »
-Sigh-  :palm: Did you ever think about building code involved with placing solar panels on a roof? Things like required space from the top and bottom of a (pitched) roof and margins to the left and right eat up a lot of square meters you are not allowed to use.

And there's no building codes to deal with when putting solar panels in roads?

Maybe it won't work on your house, it's not really practical on my house either because it's surrounded by tall trees, but it would still be a lot more practical than putting solar panels in the street. No matter how you slice it, solar roads is a stupid idea, there is *always* somewhere more sensible to put them. Maybe it doesn't make sense to put them on your roof or my roof, so you put them on the roofs where it does make sense to do so and looking around I see a *LOT* of wide open roofs that aren't covered in solar panels. Just look on google earth, look at any country you want, there are millions and millions of roofs, walls, structures, millions and millions of square meters of surface area devoid of solar panels. Put the panels where you can, then put wind turbines where it's sensible to put those, and hydro dams, and tidal turbines, and fossil fuel plants, and everything else. We don't need any one tech to cover all of our energy needs.
 :horse:
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 04:46:01 am by james_s »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #55 on: December 23, 2017, 09:16:14 am »
Anyone who complains there isn't enough roof space is clueless and demonstrably wrong.
Random factory outside of Paris:
https://www.google.com.au/maps/place/Paris,+France/@48.9809092,1.8513427,1535m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x47e66e1f06e2b70f:0x40b82c3688c9460!8m2!3d48.856614!4d2.3522219
Not a single solar panel. Stupid.

Random small town outside of Paris
https://www.google.com.au/maps/place/Paris,+France/@48.9535897,1.8075935,440m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x47e66e1f06e2b70f:0x40b82c3688c9460!8m2!3d48.856614!4d2.3522219
Not a single one with solar panels. Stupid.

I could do this thousands of times and find roof space available all over France, and they are ideally located *right at the load*.
Solar Roadways is a demonstrably stupid idea until all the factory and housing roofspace is all taken with solar panel. And even then you can start to cover carparks, and elevate the panels on the roads like the South Koreans are doing etc etc.

As a comparison, a random western Sydney suburb, I didn't even hand pick it
https://www.google.com.au/maps/place/Baulkham+Hills+NSW+2153/@-33.7328145,150.9114091,195m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x6b12a29795cee0c9:0x5017d681632ad50!8m2!3d-33.76288!4d150.99212
Count the roofs with solar panels. Scroll around the rest of Sydney and look at the solar uptake:
http://pv-map.apvi.org.au/historical#11/-33.7826/150.9350
Some suburbs are over 25% solar uptake
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 09:18:16 am by EEVblog »
 
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Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #56 on: December 23, 2017, 11:29:42 am »
What could possibly save this idea?
Changing technology and market forces.

What factors in the equation could change to make this economic/sensible?

The solar radiation per square meter isn't likely to change anytime soon, neither is geometry.


Edit: Now China is at it: https://electrek.co/2017/12/21/china-solar-roadways-transparent-concrete-solar-cells-charge-cars/
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 11:36:36 am by Fungus »
 

Online nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #57 on: December 23, 2017, 02:48:29 pm »
Anyone who complains there isn't enough roof space is clueless and demonstrably wrong.
Better do some numbers first to see if the roof space is actually large enough to generate enough electricity. Spoiler alert: it isn't! Many roofs are pitched so you can only use half of the roof space. Subtract roof space lost due to ventilation pipes/chimneys, windows and building code requirements and the amount gets even smaller. In densely populated areas you get a double whammy. Homes have mutiple floors and a tiny roof space. So the roof space is the smallest where you need it the most. I understand this is hard to understand for people who live in countries where space isn't an issue an each home has a large surface area and thus a big roof.

For example: I have a house which is similar to 90% of the houses in the city I live in (all with a pitched roof). I can fit 20m^2 of solar panels on my roof (if I remove all the windows) which is good for about 2000kWh/year according to an online tool. With a usage of around 5000 to 6000kWh per year the solar panels on my roof would not be sufficient to deliver even half of the electricity usage. So off the bat I can prove your statement that there is enough roof space is false. And I have to note that my roof has the perfect angle and direction for solar panels!

Like I wrote before: roof space alone isn't going to cut it so there have to be alternative surfaces which can be used to put solar panels on.

Colas is a big company. It doesn't necessarily mean they are going to deploy solar roadways in France. Besides that all the major highways in Europe have an emergency lane which is basically an unused surface so ruggedized solar panels put on there won't see as much wear as when they are driven over constantly. However for accellerated testing you want to see how it holds up under load so it is better to put the panels on the actual road surface. I'm not saying putting solar panels on a road is the ultimate solution but if at some point the numbers add up it may be a sensible solution somewhere sometime. Don't forget it took over a century for electric cars to make some sense!
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 03:52:21 pm by nctnico »
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Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #58 on: December 23, 2017, 04:29:15 pm »
With a usage of around 5000 to 6000kWh per year the solar panels on my roof would not be sufficient to deliver even half of the electricity usage. So off the bat I can prove your statement that there is enough roof space is false.

Only of there's no possible way you could reduce that.

 

Online james_s

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #59 on: December 23, 2017, 06:08:00 pm »
Who says roof space alone has to cut it? You're still operating under the assumption that solar alone must meet ALL of the power needs which isn't the case. That still doesn't change the fact that until ALL usable roof space is covered in solar (it isn't, not even close) it makes no sense to look at far less optimal locations. Roads are very near the bottom of what is even remotely feasible, it's just a stupid idea, it will always be a stupid idea, no amount of mental gymnastics or excuses is going to change that. It's not like we're all a bunch of country bumpkins who have no concept of what a dense urban area is like. No matter how you slice it, the least suitable roofs are still going to be better than the most suitable roads. It's irrational to keep spouting excuses why the most sensible locations wouldn't work. Once all suitable roof space is covered in solar panels then we can start discussing alternative locations but until then the debate is over.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #60 on: December 23, 2017, 06:50:05 pm »
Who says roof space alone has to cut it? You're still operating under the assumption that solar alone must meet ALL of the power needs which isn't the case.
I think my calculation was clear enough to show that solar alone isn't going to be enough.
Quote
That still doesn't change the fact that until ALL usable roof space is covered in solar (it isn't, not even close) it makes no sense to look at far less optimal locations.
<snip>
It's irrational to keep spouting excuses why the most sensible locations wouldn't work. Once all suitable roof space is covered in solar panels then we can start discussing alternative locations but until then the debate is over.
It is not irrational because you have to define 'suitable roof space' first. There can be many reasons why people don't put a solar panel on their roof. Building regulations can be a tricky one. For example: in the NL there is a special exemption for solar panels and heat collectors but several conditions must be met.

Regarding France: As Dave noted very few roofs in France seem have solar panels. From my own traveling through France I have to come to the same conclusion. However before you can say 'we must use the roofs first' you have to find out why people in France don't have solar panels on their roofs. From looking at what the French pay for their electricity I doubt that it is because the electricity is too cheap for solar panels to make sense financially. So there must be other reasons which in turn make it sensible to look at other places to put solar panels. Just stating they are stupid is rather short sighted.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 06:54:33 pm by nctnico »
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Offline NANDBlog

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #61 on: December 24, 2017, 09:22:40 am »
1) Not everywhere is like in the NL.
2) You are in write only mode. You completely ignore all the good arguments, and concentrate on your one little stupid one, which is your roof is not big enough. And claim, that it is like that everywhere in the NL.
3) You ignore stuff, like the factory roofing, car parks, and other buildings. Go to Oosterwolde and check out the industrial park. 0 solar panels. Until that is done,solar roadways is a stupid idea.
4) It is completely unimaginable, that you will just import energy, right? Like from Germany, which has plenty of space for solar panels for both countries. You already import 30%. In the new EU, thinking strategically about single countries is pointless.
5) It is 27 times worse. If they would listen to you, and solve the NL's problem with solar roarway, the energy price would go 27 times of the price now. Do you, personally, want to pay that money? Seriously? I dont thing so, right? Imagine, getting an electricity bill of 1500 EUR. And BTW your car will be electric, because the NL goverment said so. Imagine, you have to pay for charging that.

It solar roadway is a solution to a non-existing problem, and it is probably net energy negative.

And the price of elecricity in France is 60% of the price here. NL has also dirt cheap electricity, thanks to relying on fossil fuels.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2017, 09:29:20 am by NANDBlog »
 

Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #62 on: December 24, 2017, 09:44:12 am »
I just had an idea.

How about....

SOLAR FREAKING RAILWAYS!

You put solar panels between train track rails to power the freaking trains!

Seriously though, that would probably be more viable than putting them on roads.  :-DD  The lack of power produced when the train passes over could also act as a method to signal where the trains or any obstacles are!  It's brilliant!   
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #63 on: December 24, 2017, 10:12:22 am »
It solar roadway is a solution to a non-existing problem, and it is probably net energy negative.

It is so expensive, requires so much maintenance, and produces so little energy per sqm that it's guaranteed by design to be net energy negative.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #64 on: December 24, 2017, 10:19:36 am »
Better do some numbers first to see if the roof space is actually large enough to generate enough electricity. Spoiler alert: it isn't!

You are wrongly assuming that the entire nations energy needs have to come from solar, that's massively wrong.

Quote
I'm not saying putting solar panels on a road is the ultimate solution but if at some point the numbers add up it may be a sensible solution somewhere sometime.

It's practically the worst possible solution for utilising solar panels, and it always will be.
Even if every rooftop and carpark cover was fool it still wouldn't be viable because of the cost and maintenance, not to mention the countless problems to do with it's use an actual road surface.
No matter how desperate the situation gets, it's will always be more viable to built the solar panels over the roads than on them.

Quote
Don't forget it took over a century for electric cars to make some sense!

Ridiculous analogy.
 

Offline SparkyFX

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #65 on: December 24, 2017, 12:03:58 pm »
I am not missing the point, I'm bang on. Only an idiot would put solar panel on the road instead of on roofs and poles.
In my opinion the whole point there is not that it´s solar panels, but the road part of the "solar road". Therefore it´s funding of ... roads. The municipal areas probably promise themselves or imply "free road maintenance" by using solar panels funded by private investors plus some tax money, instead of tarmac. Maybe the model is based on some strange butterfingering via the energy produced.

To investors such a project might be presented as a solar farm, calculated by their expected values. To the city it is a road. To the tax payer it is a futuristic thing/new street lights that kind of vibes/implies compatibility with electric cars. What is done there is a mix of concepts and neglection of downsides (like lack of redundancy, electrical supply/grid suddenly becomes road).

So if something breaks, they don´t fix the pothole, they exchange the panel after all, which is then - road maintenance(?), electrical work(?), warranty case?. All they need is a manufacturer unwise enough to guarantee their specs for a road grade panel. Which - given the grooves that heavy trucks do leave in roads (even those up-to-spec) after some years - sounds quite adventurous, even with a concrete base that has it´s own issues. Compensation strategies, like disallowing the users that do cause damage to protect the panels, kind of does not serve the purpose of saving you from cost. It skews the calculation because the damage is then done elsewhere and more concentrated than before which a city needs to pay for as well. You can´t lock out a whole city from road based freight transport.

Probably private investors usually would not invest in a typical, public tarmac road or in fixing potholes, but burning it in a solar installation project seems to sound better.
I assume they only got that far because you can always juggle the numbers between road installation cost, road maintenance, energy output and tax money to make the calculation look good by throwing all costs in the same pot and claiming to compare to that, problem is, it isn´t competitive in any of those. For a solar farm it is too inefficient by design (they didn´t reinvent the solar cell itself), for a road it is too expensive to build and maintain and too complex in structure. All thats left is an impression of a futuristic design, but it is not durable enough for that to last a certain amount of trucks rolling, braking, accelerating on it all year long to keep that impression before it became self financing.

Admittedly the idea itself sounds very compelling (sunlight is quite cheap), but having the solar cells above or next to the road would make a lot more sense in terms of durablity, ROI and financing of roads. Probably does not work that way in the US, where whole houses are transported on streets.

Population density comes with more traffic and therefore more infrastructure and therefore less unused space. I don´t see a reason to exaggerate such considerations as long as there are more viable alternatives. So roof installations, installing it in less constrained spaces like bike ways or pedestrian walkways or seperate solar farms are usually the way to go, if seen from the energy production point. Even if there was a magic bean that turns roads into ever lasting constructions, then a) it could be used to build any road that way b) consider the job loss for road maintenance. As long as that is impossible, roads and infrastructure itself probably needs to be cheap or at a certain price/performance ratio and kind of separated to stay redundant and good in it´s core purpose. E.g. a typical accident spills quite some liquids on the ground, i wouldn´t assume that to be spec´d into a solar panel and have a super road that is good in everything.

Same goes for things like inductive charging in roads, altough more simple, but still a mix of concepts, adding up the downsides.
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Offline drussell

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #66 on: December 24, 2017, 01:10:38 pm »
Don't forget it took over a century for electric cars to make some sense!

That is simply not true.  Up until 100 years ago, electric cars were more popular than internal-combustion engine powered cars and were poised to become the standard method of transportation.  Most used NiFe or NiCd batteries.

It was only because the infrastructure for gasoline distribution became more widespread more quickly for various reasons (most of them not technical, more political and chummy-chum business tactics than anything else, sound familiar?) that gasoline took over for transport instead of electric.  In hindsight, it probably would have been better all-around if it had worked out the other way but who knows!  :)

It has just taken 100 years for people to get back to trying to exploit the already known advantages of electric vehicles.

It is going to be very interesting to see how the road tax situation plays out, though.  That is going to be one of the biggest show-stopper to electric vehicle adoption.  Currently one of the reasons touted for buying electric is "well, it costs less per mile to run."  Disregarding the incentive programs and tax credits on the vehicles themselves, in most jurisdictions a huge percentage of what you pay at the gas pump is taxes, ostensibly for road maintenance and infrastructure, etc.  The more you drive and the more gasoline your vehicle consumes, the more you're contributing to that funding.

With electric vehicles, currently you're getting a free ride vis-a-vis gasoline/diesel.  Sooner or later they're going to have to find a way to tax that.  Either everyone's electricity rate is going to have to skyrocket for all power consumed, regardless of whether you're using that power for lighting or computing or vehicular transfer.  I think that's a terrible idea, though I'm sure some places will try to implement that sort of scheme.  I believe it would be best to have to tax you at yearly registration time or something for miles driven.  (This will quite possibly lead to rampant odometer fraud, though, of course.)  Personally I think they should then remove all those extra taxes on the gasoline also and just make everyone pay the same rate but they'll probably actually start adding excessive "sin tax" on gasoline instead.  The system is all rigged.  :)

 

Online nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #67 on: December 24, 2017, 01:12:15 pm »
It solar roadway is a solution to a non-existing problem, and it is probably net energy negative.
It is so expensive, requires so much maintenance, and produces so little energy per sqm that it's guaranteed by design to be net energy negative.
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. What would be more interesting is to figure out why there are so little solar panels on roofs in France. That will probably (partly) answer the question why the French deem it interesting to invest in solar roadways. I'm pretty sure the people at Colas did the same calculations you did and yet they went ahead.

I agree the 'Solar friggin roadways' with their illuminating tiles (if they work) are just a gimmick and far from serious but if a multi billion dollar company invests in some kind of technology I try and take it more seriously because these kind of companies typically don't flush money down the drain and have long term goals. Judging by the other test installations posted on Colas' website my guess is that they don't aim to put solar panels on highways at all but on surfaces with lighter use like parking lots, sidewalks, bicycle lanes, etc.
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Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #68 on: December 24, 2017, 01:12:47 pm »
Don't forget it took over a century for electric cars to make some sense!
That is simply not true.  Up until 100 years ago, electric cars were more popular than internal-combustion engine powered cars and were poised to become the standard method of transportation.

Yep, remember electric trams, etc.



And those old segways:



« Last Edit: December 24, 2017, 01:21:28 pm by Fungus »
 
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Online nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #69 on: December 24, 2017, 01:21:10 pm »
Don't forget it took over a century for electric cars to make some sense!

That is simply not true.  Up until 100 years ago, electric cars were more popular than internal-combustion engine powered cars and were poised to become the standard method of transportation.  Most used NiFe or NiCd batteries.

It was only because the infrastructure for gasoline distribution became more widespread more quickly for various reasons (most of them not technical, more political and chummy-chum business tactics than anything else, sound familiar?) that gasoline took over for transport instead of electric.  In hindsight, it probably would have been better all-around if it had worked out the other way but who knows!  :)
I doubt that because reasonable range and weight just don't work with those battery chemistries. Not to mention wear on the batteries themselves. Li-ion is barely good enough for an electric car. Also setting up a charging network isn't difficult. It just takes an investment and I'm seeing more and more fast charging stations for electric cars around here.

You are right about taxation and that worries me too. Over here about 64% of the price of gasoline is taxes so if electric cars start to form a substantial part of the cars then the reduction in tax income for the government will he huge. I'm wondering how they plan to rectify that.

@Fungus  :palm: Do you really think trains and trams run on batteries? Oh and just in case: trams / trains don't need wires overhead. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground-level_power_supply https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stud_contact_system. I love the 'Segway' picture though. Good find  :-+
« Last Edit: December 24, 2017, 01:39:02 pm by nctnico »
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Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #70 on: December 24, 2017, 01:26:08 pm »
With electric vehicles, currently you're getting a free ride vis-a-vis gasoline/diesel.  Sooner or later they're going to have to find a way to tax that.  Either everyone's electricity rate is going to have to skyrocket for all power consumed, regardless of whether you're using that power for lighting or computing or vehicular transfer.  I think that's a terrible idea, though I'm sure some places will try to implement that sort of scheme.  I believe it would be best to have to tax you at yearly registration time or something for miles driven.  (This will quite possibly lead to rampant odometer fraud, though, of course.)

London already has enough ANPR cameras to recognize which cars are entering the city and send them a bill:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_congestion_charge

 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #71 on: December 24, 2017, 01:28:15 pm »
@Fungus  :palm: Do you really think trains and trams run on batteries?

Um, no. No I don't.

The point you're trying to dodge was that there were far more electric vehicles on the roads 100 years ago than gasoline ones...

Don't forget it took over a century for electric cars to make some sense!

...and they made perfect sense to everybody.

« Last Edit: December 24, 2017, 01:29:57 pm by Fungus »
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #72 on: December 24, 2017, 01:34:41 pm »
You are right about taxation and that worries me too. Over here about 64% of the price of gasoline is taxes so if electric cars start to form a substantial part of the cars then the reduction in tax income for the government will he huge. I'm wondering how they plan to rectify that.

a) Vehicle tracking.
b) Separate electricity meters for vehicle chargers.
or,
c) A combination of both, to help find the cheats.
 

Offline drussell

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #73 on: December 24, 2017, 01:36:41 pm »
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:
 

Offline drussell

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #74 on: December 24, 2017, 01:44:19 pm »
London already has enough ANPR cameras to recognize which cars are entering the city and send them a bill:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_congestion_charge

Yes, but the vast majority of places do not have such a system and it most certainly isn't going to be installed everywhere, on every road.  :)  That's totally unrealistic. 

Multiple meters would be too easy to cheat.  Mandatory tracking of some kind is far more likely, unfortunately.  Hopefully just total miles or total charge input tracking being mandatory for the manufacturers to make visible and reliable somehow rather than actual vehicle tracking (GPS style), but I highly prefer the miles-driven approach which can simply be an odometer reading.
 

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #75 on: December 24, 2017, 01:51:16 pm »
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. I do know that it will involve more than putting a panel on a pole. First of all any kind of  construction will need to be able to deal with snow and/or strong winds and offer maintenance access to the panels. A few bits of aluminium tubing aren't going to cut it. If you want to use as much surface as possible a structure to support solar panels will become some sort of tunnel (roof over the road) which then may lead to needing to implement all kind of safety features like escape routes, extra lanes, etc. And then there are the endless procedures to get building permits because people will complain about the structures spoiling their view and stretch legal procedures for many years. Also think about the impact when the road needs to be made wider or changed. All in all the costs do add up quickly. Putting the panels on the road surface versus over the road isn't like expensive versus free so I don't want to discard either idea off the bat.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline drussell

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #76 on: December 24, 2017, 01:53:43 pm »
I doubt that because reasonable range and weight just don't work with those battery chemistries. Not to mention wear on the batteries themselves.

Not true.  The cars had acceptable range and the batteries were plenty robust enough.  Cars back then were much lighter and required much less horsepower to move at what was an acceptable speed at the time.  Substituting some battery weight for the heavy internal combustion engine wasn't much of a difference.

Today's vehicles are much heavier overall to begin with (for various reasons) but things evolved under the system it did over the past 100 years.  Who knows how things would have evolved under an alternate system.  To dismiss out of hand, though, that electric cars would not have been viable is quite a stretch.  They were working well enough back then already and were very popular compared to those smelly, noisy gasoline cars, even with their primitive-by-today's-standards battery technology.  Imagine how advanced batteries would be today if they had been the default mode of transportation for the past 100 years.

You can't go back trying to figure how things would be if they were different.  :)
« Last Edit: December 24, 2017, 04:17:21 pm by drussell »
 

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #77 on: December 24, 2017, 01:55:19 pm »
@Fungus  :palm: Do you really think trains and trams run on batteries?
Um, no. No I don't.

The point you're trying to dodge was that there were far more electric vehicles on the roads 100 years ago than gasoline ones...
Don't forget it took over a century for electric cars to make some sense!
...and they made perfect sense to everybody.
Until gasoline powered cars proved to have more range and where easier to use despite the foul smell and noise.
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Offline drussell

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #78 on: December 24, 2017, 01:59:39 pm »
I don't know what is cheaper/more expensive.

A simple back-of-the-envelope calculation will tell you that solar in roadways are a non-starter compared to pretty much everything else imaginable.  Certainly much, much worse than solar over roadways.   :palm:

Quote
I do know that it will involve more than putting a panel on a pole. First of all any kind of  construction will need to be able to deal with snow and/or strong winds and offer maintenance access to the panels.
...

You have seen the existing, viable, installed, working systems already in place, haven't you?  The Korean example from long ago in the other thread seems like a sound model to emulate, at least as a starting point for other interested locales.
 

Offline jonovid

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #79 on: December 24, 2017, 02:16:34 pm »
ridiculous  :horse: this electronic road is a solution to a non-existing problem that gives EU regulators have something to do and greenies something to look at.
at best its a fashion statement in driveway pavering for the ruling class elite.  :-DD 
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Online nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #80 on: December 24, 2017, 02:26:27 pm »
I don't know what is cheaper/more expensive.
A simple back-of-the-envelope calculation will tell you that solar in roadways are a non-starter compared to pretty much everything else imaginable.  Certainly much, much worse than solar over roadways.   :palm:
Without actual numbers that is just an assumption / opinion. And that is precisely what I object to because good engineers don't do that. Very early on in my career I have learned to ask questions and understand the reasoning behind a solution before calling it stupid. It greatly reduces 'foot in mouth' situations. People are dismissing an idea off the bat based on half of the story while sitting in their armchairs. See my reply to Dave.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2017, 02:31:53 pm by nctnico »
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Offline drussell

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #81 on: December 24, 2017, 02:31:08 pm »
Without actual numbers that is just an assumption / opinion.

Oh, my...  Do you work for Solar Roadways?   :palm:

Where are your numbers to refute those being provided by everyone else that show the whole idea is insane?

Have you actually watched any of these videos with the real numbers?   :palm:
 

Online nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #82 on: December 24, 2017, 02:37:27 pm »
Without actual numbers that is just an assumption / opinion.

Oh, my...  Do you work for Solar Roadways?   :palm:

Where are your numbers to refute those being provided by everyone else that show the whole idea is insane?

Have you actually watched any of these videos with the real numbers?   :palm:
I'm sure Dave's numbers are OK and I'm not refuting them. On the other side there is Colas a multi-billion euro company which has invested a lot of time & money into this technology. This tells me there is some crucial information which paints the big picture missing and it is therefore impossible to determine whether the idea of solar roadways the way Colas wants to implement them is worthwhile or not. I just sit and watch where the idea goes :popcorn: See what I added to my previous post.

Edit: IMHO Dave should visit Colas and have them explain how they think solar roadways are a viable solution.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2017, 02:39:44 pm by nctnico »
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Offline drussell

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #83 on: December 24, 2017, 02:53:56 pm »
On the other side there is Colas a multi-billion euro company which has invested a lot of time & money into this technology. This tells me there is some crucial information which paints the big picture missing and it is therefore impossible to determine whether the idea of solar roadways the way Colas wants to implement them is worthwhile or not.

... is about the same logic as:

My grandfather worked for the water board in Ashton under lyne in the U.K. He used to carry divining rods to trace pipes.
...
I know my grandfather used to use them every day so I assume they must have worked.

Just because Colas is spending money on it does not mean it is a viable idea.  There are many reasons for them to do it, even though it makes absolutely no sense from a technical and economic perspective.

Without actual numbers that is just an assumption / opinion. And that is precisely what I object to because good engineers don't do that. Very early on in my career I have learned to ask questions and understand the reasoning behind a solution before calling it stupid.

A good engineer should be able to do the order of magnitude calculation to realize that ideas like this are not viable.  uBeam, Batteriser, self filling water bottles and magic environmental condensers, solar panels in the roadways...   :palm:
 

Offline jonovid

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #84 on: December 24, 2017, 03:08:37 pm »
had a good look at the wattway solar road matting. 
the looks like it has lot in common with vinyl flooring.  :o only needs year of heavy vehicle traffic over it to rip this vinyl matting up.
not to mention the many open circuits from tears or gaps pulled apart by tyres skidding over it.
the average life span of an asphalt or bitumen surface is about 26 years.
just a thought, bitumen is made with crude oil and greenies hate that. so wattway product maybe therapy  ::)

this type of electronic roadway is more fun.
Interactive LED Floor
« Last Edit: December 24, 2017, 04:12:12 pm by jonovid »
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Online nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #85 on: December 24, 2017, 03:23:48 pm »
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.
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Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #86 on: December 24, 2017, 03:24:27 pm »
I highly prefer the miles-driven approach which can simply be an odometer reading.

A sealed GPS-based odometer with a way to detect it from the roadside would probably be most practical.

There could be odometer detectors at major intersections and police could park detector vans randomly to catch people who drive without one.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2017, 03:28:35 pm by Fungus »
 

Offline drussell

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #87 on: December 24, 2017, 03:39:44 pm »
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.

That is not the kind of structure you build to mount solar panels near or above your roadway.  :palm:

 

Offline drussell

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #88 on: December 24, 2017, 03:46:20 pm »
A sealed GPS-based odometer with a way to detect it from the roadside would probably be most practical.

There could be odometer detectors at major intersections and police could park detector vans randomly to catch people who drive without one.

Why would you add a whole bunch of unnecessary, expensive infrastructure instead of just recording odometer readings at registration renewal time?  Many jurisdictions already ask for that information for various reasons, including just simply for statistical analysis.  It seems more logical to simply do that and then have a tax bill based on that, hopefully with the ability to pay monthly or something instead of one huge lump sum with the sticker shock that would make some people unable to afford to drive.  :)

The solution to every problem is not necessarily more electronics and the bureaucracy to support and enforce.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #89 on: December 24, 2017, 04:16:24 pm »
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.

That is not the kind of structure you build to mount solar panels near or above your roadway.  :palm:
Yes it is. We are not talking about putting solar panels near a highway but over them so the structure will need a roof to catch rain, snow and ice. After all you can't have lumps of ice falling from the panels onto the road and cars. That would be too dangerous. So in turn the roof has to be strong enough to deal with a load of water, ice & snow.

As a sidenote: the Dutch word 'overkapping' literally means to put a structure over something. The word 'tunnel' is deliberately avoided because a tunnel is subject to very strict laws and thus way more expensive to build.

A sealed GPS-based odometer with a way to detect it from the roadside would probably be most practical.

There could be odometer detectors at major intersections and police could park detector vans randomly to catch people who drive without one.

Why would you add a whole bunch of unnecessary, expensive infrastructure instead of just recording odometer readings at registration renewal time?  Many jurisdictions already ask for that information for various reasons, including just simply for statistical analysis.  It seems more logical to simply do that and then have a tax bill based on that, hopefully with the ability to pay monthly or something instead of one huge lump sum with the sticker shock that would make some people unable to afford to drive.  :)

The solution to every problem is not necessarily more electronics and the bureaucracy to support and enforce.
I agree. The odometer is already mandatory and in many countries it is a criminal offense to tamper with it. Besides that GPS isn't accurate enough to determine the position of a car (especially in a city with tall building) so that is no solution both from a technical and legal point of view. From a legal point of view there has to be a way to proof beyond reasonable doubt that your car was at a certain point at a certain time and GPS simply can't do that.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2017, 04:23:35 pm by nctnico »
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Online james_s

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #90 on: December 24, 2017, 04:16:46 pm »
A GPS is trivially easy to jam too. Even a simple shield placed over the antenna will typically block it. Layering on more and more technology is just going to create more headaches and higher costs.
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #91 on: December 24, 2017, 04:25:40 pm »
A sealed GPS-based odometer with a way to detect it from the roadside would probably be most practical.

There could be odometer detectors at major intersections and police could park detector vans randomly to catch people who drive without one.

Why would you add a whole bunch of unnecessary, expensive infrastructure instead of just recording odometer readings at registration renewal time?

Because currently there's not much financial incentive to cheat.
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #92 on: December 24, 2017, 04:29:41 pm »
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.
 

Online james_s

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #93 on: December 24, 2017, 05:06:05 pm »
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? Frankly the whole unmarked van thing sounds a bit creepy, people would be up in arms about that in the US, I certainly would do anything I could to undermine the whole system. Could probably pull off something like that in the UK though, they seem to love their big brother CCTV cameras over there.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #94 on: December 24, 2017, 05:34:21 pm »
A sealed GPS-based odometer with a way to detect it from the roadside would probably be most practical.

There could be odometer detectors at major intersections and police could park detector vans randomly to catch people who drive without one.

Why would you add a whole bunch of unnecessary, expensive infrastructure instead of just recording odometer readings at registration renewal time?
Because currently there's not much financial incentive to cheat.
Yes there is! A car with less mileage is way more valuable so it is very lucrative to lower it's reading. This is why tampering with the odometer is illegal in many countries. In the NL you can check the national vehicle registration database online to see if the odometer of a car has been tampered with or not. BTW a car which is marked to have a tampered odometer is worth much less which is why my wife's car was pretty cheap to buy. At some point the unit with the odometer got replaced and this wasn't reported to the national vehicle database properly so the car's odometer got marked as 'tampered with' permanently.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2017, 05:40:18 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline hermit

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #95 on: December 24, 2017, 06:07:58 pm »
What could possibly save this idea?
Changing technology and market forces.

What factors in the equation could change to make this economic/sensible?

The solar radiation per square meter isn't likely to change anytime soon, neither is geometry.


Edit: Now China is at it: https://electrek.co/2017/12/21/china-solar-roadways-transparent-concrete-solar-cells-charge-cars/
The same factors that made fracking "economic/sensible".  I'm 65 and was told about the shale oil in grade school and the reasons it could "never" be used.  Nearly impossible to get out economically.  Well, it is still expensive but price, driven by demand, resulted in someone figuring out a way to get it out and make money.  Oil wells didn't go away and they are cheaper.  I don't want to hear oil wells and solar aren't the same.  I already know the arguments you can present and they are nothing but a distraction form the point that economics and technology could possibly make this feasible in the future. (What if someone comes up with a method of mass producing a lens in the surface to capture the sunlight instead of a random surface?  It only takes little bubbles of transmissive material.)  I've lived long enough to see this happen so given the pace of technology and the growing world population, I don't rule this out as feasible at some point.  As I pointed out in my original post, and again here, I've seen the 'impossible' become possible.  People can make whatever claims they want because no one is going to come back to this forum in 20/40 years time and give a rats axe about the opinions tossed out as hard fact.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #96 on: December 24, 2017, 10:40:03 pm »
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?

Quote
I do know that it will involve more than putting a panel on a pole. First of all any kind of  construction will need to be able to deal with snow and/or strong winds and offer maintenance access to the panels. A few bits of aluminium tubing aren't going to cut it. If you want to use as much surface as possible a structure to support solar panels will become some sort of tunnel (roof over the road) which then may lead to needing to implement all kind of safety features like escape routes, extra lanes, etc. And then there are the endless procedures to get building permits because people will complain about the structures spoiling their view and stretch legal procedures for many years. Also think about the impact when the road needs to be made wider or changed. All in all the costs do add up quickly. Putting the panels on the road surface versus over the road isn't like expensive versus free so I don't want to discard either idea off the bat.

Keep digging, you are basically the only person on here who thinks the system has real merit, there is a reason for that.
 

Offline NANDBlog

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #97 on: December 24, 2017, 11:04:46 pm »
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.

Trackers add a 30% increase in system cost. Fixed installation is cheaper, since there are no motors and stuff. And trackers are actually not really viable anymore since fixed installation with more panels is cheaper. But let's run concrete numbers.
A 3KW solar tracker costs 4500 EUR, plus about 2000 EUR for installation. So a 336KW system is about 750KEUR. You are not even close.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #98 on: December 25, 2017, 12:12:12 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).
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

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Re: EEVblog #1047 - Solar Roadways FINALLY BUSTED Colas Wattway
« Reply #99 on: December 25, 2017, 12:19:07 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.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

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.
 

Online 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
 

Offline 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 »
 

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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.
 

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

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
 

Online 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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Don't ask a question if you aren't willing to listen to the answer.
 

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.
 

Online 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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Online 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.
 

Online 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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Online 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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