Author Topic: EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!  (Read 2225 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!
« on: August 03, 2019, 07:50:49 pm »
It just never ends!
Two days after I posted my last solar roadways video, details and photos emerge of another two recent epic failures of the new SolaRoad installations in the Netherlands.
A trial with buses and trucks results in failures within a week and cancellation of the project.
Now the company wants to focus on smaller panels for solar powered bike chargers, bus shelters and CCTV cameras, another complete boondoggle.
This madness has to STOP!
Plus an update on Colas Wattway.


 
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Offline Brumby

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Re: EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2019, 08:20:48 pm »
WHile I'm not against the principle of alternative implementations of technology and the fact that such new implementations will commonly face a new range of challenges, the thing that really gets under my skin is the question:  Assuming the physical challenges are surmounted, will the result be economically attractive?

The argument that new ideas need to be tried out is a valid one - but it is usual to apply some critical assessment ... unless somebody knows someone - and that someone has a political agenda, with some funding they can splash (nudge, nudge).

The point made regarding existing implementation technologies for solar panels being far and away clear winning solutions puts sub-optimal performing options - like solar roadways - so far down the list of economic options that they really only serve one function at this point in time ... amusement.


Dave - just laugh ... or your head will explode.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2019, 08:22:56 pm by Brumby »
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2019, 08:23:53 pm »
(I'm probably too late with that last comment.)
 

Offline Zom-B

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Re: EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2019, 09:04:41 pm »
I was about to say, I'm sick and tired from all this sola(r) roadways, but then I saw the friggin name of the municipality I live in in the first minute of this video.

That rubbish (best seen at 8:47) is probably that "transparent concrete" but as it is as rough as 5-grit sandpaper, other rubbish (as well as black dust from tires) gets trapped in it.

Also, it's typical policy of the government in The Netherlands to first try to do something cheap, and then when the implementation goes overbudget by multiple factors and it fails anyway, try again using something yet more expensive....  Good example is the public traffic chip card. And to explain the increased cost, they often go with proportionally higher goals! (facepalm).
« Last Edit: August 03, 2019, 09:12:16 pm by Zom-B »
 

Offline coppice

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Re: EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2019, 09:16:02 pm »
I think Dave fails to understand the concept of "Successfully tested". They got the funds. They took the profit. How much more successful can anyone be?
 

Offline Zom-B

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Re: EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2019, 09:33:20 pm »
Actually it's as simple as that a negative result is a successful result. Inconclusive results would constitute an 'unsuccessful' result
 

Offline Psi

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Re: EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2019, 09:43:03 pm »
The people wanting more coverage of solar roadways are just trolling.
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 

Offline STrRedWolf

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Re: EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2019, 10:00:00 pm »
Hey Dave!  I figured I register and repost (with a bit more meat to the post) here from the earlier video:

Day of the video:  I work nearby the Baltimore Inner Harbor (blocks away).  I'll take a walk down and see if I can find the Solar Walkway installation.  They said 2018 spring opening but I don't remember seeing it last year when I went down past where they should be installing it.

Day after (Thursday):  Update to Baltimore’s solar walkway: A short demo was done at Light City Baltimore in 2018, with an outdoor temporary setup done for a longer time span.  It has since been removed.  There were plans for a permanent install in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, between the Rusty Scupper restaurant and the Harborview Towers... but per the Baltimore Visitors Center (who was coordinating the install) this has been mired in the negotiations and beurocracy.  Given Baltimore (and Maryland's for that matter) reputation for dragging public infrastructure works for too long, this can be declared a failure.

 

Offline pmkirkham

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Re: EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2019, 10:26:33 pm »
I wonder how much of this is due to most areas planning allowing a change of materials to the roads without any contention, but installing solar carports or structures to the sides of roads requiring a legal process.
 

Offline Razor512

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Re: EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2019, 11:51:21 pm »
There is one thing you forgot to consider, what if you want solar panels but are extremely scared of heights, and thus can't make it onto the roof?

Or what if you live in a sewer and the road could technically be considered the roof?


 #looking-on-the-bright-side
 

Offline TechSpecB

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Re: EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2019, 12:23:07 am »
Dave, You are preaching to the choir. Many of your viewers are technical people! You've addressed the drop in efficiency when the cells are installed flat, cars covering a third of the surface in heavy traffic, and the effects of dirt. Add to that the shortening of the solar panel's life by exposing it to foot, bike or vehicle traffic. We get it.

Unfortunately, the people paying for the road are not technical, and want a quick fix for their constituents. Everyone hates paying for road maintenance, and solar roads look like path to reduce this burden. If their advisers can't cite specific reasons as to why it's wrong, the politicians believe it's perfect and will last forever, which, of course, is only the two or more years they have in office.

One technical item:
What's the change in stopping distance of a vehicle on a solar panel? Is the glass surface far better than glass bridges in Venice, Spain or China? Are the surfaces of the solar panels some form of non-slippery transparent aluminum? (Aluminium in Australia) Or transparent concrete? Of course grit will help, and it looks like some of the grit on the bus lane was ground-up solar panel!

The trial lawyers (barristers) are in the wings, waiting. Reducing the speed of the traffic or posting signs to increase distance between vehicles on solar roads will be considered an admission of foreknowledge and liability in court.
 

Online Grandchuck

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Re: EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2019, 12:55:10 am »
How about piezo electric roadways?  They should generate too!
 

Offline coppice

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Re: EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2019, 01:02:43 am »
How about piezo electric roadways?  They should generate too!
This has been tried with walkways - both sanely and stupidly. Stupid was trying to get serious power. Sane was to get small amounts of energy to power small disconnected devices. I don't know if the sane attempts worked out well or not, but they didn't look obviously stupid.
 

Offline MathCubes

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Re: EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2019, 04:59:36 am »
Quick Question, as someone that has a sate certification in Hazmet and Firefighting.  Like how the H*LL would you do if you have to extinguish  a fire or control a hazard material that got release?  You basically stay away form them and put a black tarp covering them if they aren't damage.  To my knowledge even a shard broken form a solar panel can electrocute you though water.


If you are curious
https://ulfirefightersafety.org/research-projects/firefighter-safety-and-photovoltaic-systems.html
https://ulfirefightersafety.org/resources.html#training/firefighter-safety-and-photovaltaic-systems :-DD
 

Offline daqq

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Re: EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2019, 05:07:51 am »
If they want to drive cars somewhere around solar panels and have solar panels on the ground then the solution is pretty simple - SOLAR FREAKIN' TUNNELS! You build a tunnel where you used to have a road, and put solar panels on top of it. Is it bullshit? Sure! But surprisingly it's less bullshit than solar roadways AND it fill finally satisfy the obsession these buggers have with putting solar panels on the ground near cars.

Quote
To my knowledge even a shard broken form a solar panel can electrocute you though water.
Well, as most of the dozens of potential problems that arise with the solar roadways concept, the current solution is to ignore reality and basic engineering and hope unicorn farts and misguided public funding will solve the problem.
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Offline coppice

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Re: EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2019, 05:11:48 am »
If they want to drive cars somewhere around solar panels and have solar panels on the ground then the solution is pretty simple - SOLAR FREAKIN' TUNNELS! You build a tunnel where you used to have a road, and put solar panels on top of it. Is it bullshit? Sure! But surprisingly it's less bullshit than solar roadways AND it fill finally satisfy the obsession these buggers have with putting solar panels on the ground near cars.
In some countries you'll find substantial sections of fast roads near residential areas boxed in to control noise pollution. The roof of those boxes could support quite a few solar panels.
 

Online james_s

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Re: EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2019, 05:17:23 am »
Seems like such a waste of good solar panels too, I mean what more is there to be gained in testing a long stretch of roadway over testing a few meters? If a small section can't perform then why would a larger section?

And if you really want to put them on the ground, why not put them in the median which is mostly wasted space instead of trying to have trucks driving on them?
 

Online nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2019, 05:22:51 am »
If they want to drive cars somewhere around solar panels and have solar panels on the ground then the solution is pretty simple - SOLAR FREAKIN' TUNNELS! You build a tunnel where you used to have a road, and put solar panels on top of it. Is it bullshit? Sure! But surprisingly it's less bullshit than solar roadways AND it fill finally satisfy the obsession these buggers have with putting solar panels on the ground near cars.
In some countries you'll find substantial sections of fast roads near residential areas boxed in to control noise pollution. The roof of those boxes could support quite a few solar panels.
No. The space is much more valuable to build homes or offices on top. Building a tunnel just to put solar panels on top doesn't make sense from a financial point of view.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2019, 05:23:43 am »
If they want to drive cars somewhere around solar panels and have solar panels on the ground then the solution is pretty simple - SOLAR FREAKIN' TUNNELS! You build a tunnel where you used to have a road, and put solar panels on top of it. Is it bullshit? Sure! But surprisingly it's less bullshit than solar roadways AND it fill finally satisfy the obsession these buggers have with putting solar panels on the ground near cars.

I think there is already such a construction in China with a roof above a road with solar cells, but can't find it.

Regarding solar cells above parking lots: There are many examples of this concept, see e.g. here:

https://understandsolar.com/parking-lots-get-solar-canopy-makeover/

I guess they keep doing this stupid solar roadway tests, because there are stupid politicians who keep funding it, so why should the company stop doing it if it makes money?
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Offline daqq

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Re: EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2019, 05:27:43 am »
Quote
I think there is already such a construction in China with a roof above a road with solar cells, but can't find it.
One of them is here:

I'm OK with the concept of solar panels above cars, that's great!

I'm just not OK with the concept of solar panels on the ground under cars, which solar roadways people seem to have an obsession with.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2019, 05:34:16 am by daqq »
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Offline ogden

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Re: EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2019, 05:34:43 am »
In some countries you'll find substantial sections of fast roads near residential areas boxed in to control noise pollution. The roof of those boxes could support quite a few solar panels.
No. The space is much more valuable to build homes or offices on top. Building a tunnel just to put solar panels on top doesn't make sense from a financial point of view.

 :-DD Are you absolutely sure? Can you build house on top of this roof?

 

Offline coppice

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Re: EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!
« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2019, 06:16:01 am »
If they want to drive cars somewhere around solar panels and have solar panels on the ground then the solution is pretty simple - SOLAR FREAKIN' TUNNELS! You build a tunnel where you used to have a road, and put solar panels on top of it. Is it bullshit? Sure! But surprisingly it's less bullshit than solar roadways AND it fill finally satisfy the obsession these buggers have with putting solar panels on the ground near cars.
In some countries you'll find substantial sections of fast roads near residential areas boxed in to control noise pollution. The roof of those boxes could support quite a few solar panels.
No. The space is much more valuable to build homes or offices on top. Building a tunnel just to put solar panels on top doesn't make sense from a financial point of view.
If the space is needed for homes, why have they only built boxes around these roads? When you have a noisy road near your home you'll consider some pretty high expenditure on noise suppression to be excellent value for money.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!
« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2019, 07:28:04 am »
In some countries you'll find substantial sections of fast roads near residential areas boxed in to control noise pollution. The roof of those boxes could support quite a few solar panels.
No. The space is much more valuable to build homes or offices on top. Building a tunnel just to put solar panels on top doesn't make sense from a financial point of view.

 :-DD Are you absolutely sure? Can you build house on top of this roof?
This isn't a tunnel so try again.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!
« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2019, 07:36:47 am »
If they want to drive cars somewhere around solar panels and have solar panels on the ground then the solution is pretty simple - SOLAR FREAKIN' TUNNELS! You build a tunnel where you used to have a road, and put solar panels on top of it. Is it bullshit? Sure! But surprisingly it's less bullshit than solar roadways AND it fill finally satisfy the obsession these buggers have with putting solar panels on the ground near cars.
In some countries you'll find substantial sections of fast roads near residential areas boxed in to control noise pollution. The roof of those boxes could support quite a few solar panels.
No. The space is much more valuable to build homes or offices on top. Building a tunnel just to put solar panels on top doesn't make sense from a financial point of view.
If the space is needed for homes, why have they only built boxes around these roads?
That likely depends on local regulations. Adding a roof may turn the construction (legally speaking) into a tunnel which then likely needs many expensive safety features. Also if you put a roof over the box the area on top is more valuable to build something on. In the Netherlands near a city called Utrecht they build a tunnel over a highway (one of the reasons is noise suppression) and made the surrounding land level with the top of the tunnel. There will be houses and shops on top of the tunnel and the surrounding area.

Putting a tunnel over a road or highway just for solar panels is way too expensive. The tunnel I mentioned above cost 238 million euros to built. It is 1650meters long and spans about 60 meters. That makes 2400 euro per square meter for just the tunnel. There is no way you can recoup that investment by putting solar panels on top. The 1km test stretch of solar roadway from Colas costs 1785euro per square meter and that is for a product in the experimental stage.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2019, 07:48:57 am by nctnico »
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Offline Razor512

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Re: EEVblog #1234 - MORE Epic Solar Roadways FAIL!
« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2019, 07:41:26 am »
I wonder, how difficult would it be where after putting panels on a building, they then work to cover areas like parking lots with them (just large enough to provide shade for cars parked in the spots, but to leave the aisle clear?

For example, like this

Then for highways, instead of taking up a lane's worth of space to put panels near ground level (but not to be driven on), instead have panels cover a single lane with solar panels where there will be some shade but it will not completely block out a large amount of ambient light. For example take the noise cancellation barrier that user: ogden posted, and cover the top of it with solar panels.
 


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