Author Topic: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BUSTED  (Read 57391 times)

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Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BULLSHIT
« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2016, 06:08:41 pm »
The problem with governments handling this stuff, is the people who make these choices never think long term, they think only of what is good for their image right now.
E.g., some local schools have ordered ipads for all of the students to use in class, after a round 2 years, most of them are not working, the remaining ones have a host of issues such as pressure marks on the screen from people pushing it too hard, scratches, and crap battery life because they are run all day. When I was doing student teaching, and wanted to use the tablets, the cooperating teacher recommended that I avoid them since they are too unreliable, and don't last long enough to get any work done.

The principal got tricked into getting a ton of non serviceable tablets that ended up being junk after about 2 years.

How much do they normally spend on paper, books, crayons, wooden counting blocks, uniforms, sports kit, designer school bags, etc. every two years?

Put it in perspective and a tablet every two years might not be a big deal (so long as they get good value from it before it breaks).

(Although I'm sure there's a bigger problem lurking underneath: They'll be totally screwed on price for all the special educational apps that the kids will need)

 

Offline jesuscf

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Re: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BULLSHIT
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2016, 06:37:46 pm »
After hearing the news about this BS, I was waiting for this video from Dave.  Not disappointed!  Let see if Thunderf00t makes a video too.
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Offline Ampere

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Re: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BULLSHIT
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2016, 08:16:11 pm »
It seems like it would be better to place the panels over the roads. Motorists would be provided shade and protection from rain, and the panels would be able to function even during the largest traffic jam. The best part of it is that existing solar panel materials would be usable because they wouldn't need to withstand such heavy loads nor would they need LEDs to show lines in the road.

Everyone wins.
 

Offline Razor512

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Re: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BULLSHIT
« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2016, 09:18:43 pm »
The problem with governments handling this stuff, is the people who make these choices never think long term, they think only of what is good for their image right now.
E.g., some local schools have ordered ipads for all of the students to use in class, after a round 2 years, most of them are not working, the remaining ones have a host of issues such as pressure marks on the screen from people pushing it too hard, scratches, and crap battery life because they are run all day. When I was doing student teaching, and wanted to use the tablets, the cooperating teacher recommended that I avoid them since they are too unreliable, and don't last long enough to get any work done.

The principal got tricked into getting a ton of non serviceable tablets that ended up being junk after about 2 years.

How much do they normally spend on paper, books, crayons, wooden counting blocks, uniforms, sports kit, designer school bags, etc. every two years?

Put it in perspective and a tablet every two years might not be a big deal (so long as they get good value from it before it breaks).

(Although I'm sure there's a bigger problem lurking underneath: They'll be totally screwed on price for all the special educational apps that the kids will need)

Yep, they get screwed on licensing, and it doesn't replace textbooks or writing supplies, it is used as a supplement to a lesson. Other than that, schools mandate writing across the curriculum, then lots of textbook use.
To make matters worst, they are less function than the heavily discounted lenoovo notebook PCs that the schools typically get.
Before the tablet craze, the schools would get thinkpad x130e laptops which cost a little under $200 each after the educational discount. The batteries were removable, so the schools simply stocked  a case of replacements, and depending on use (the upper grades use them more), they would simply swap the batteries a week before the next school year started.

On the other hand, apple doesn't even give a discount on their tablets, and their iMacs only a very tiny discount, the schools pay a ton for them, and they don't stand up to the abuse.

For the tablets, most of them simply sit in the armored storage case, but never get replaced or serviced, since they can't really be serviced. The IT support services for the schools pretty much want nothing to do with them.

Other than that,it is easy to trick the administrative staff into ordering a ton of them because many of them may already have an iphone or an ipad, and they will get suckered into seeing all of the educational "benefits" of using them in the classroom to enhance lessons.

Sadly li-ion batteries that become frustrating to use after 500-700 charge cycles, are simply not fit for a school environment; same for touch screen displays.


-==--=-==-=-=-

On a side note, for solar roads, they will have trouble when it snows.

After the last large snow fall in NY, we have spots like this on the roads.

As soon as the snow begins to fall, trucks flood the streets, dumping salt, then when the snow begins to pile up, the plows come out and they scrape over the streets, while a salt dispensor dumps the large rock salt material, or even sand and larger rock material if the salt is not effective in handling the snow and ice (in order to avoid traction issues for cars and trucks on the road).



What needs to be determined is how the panels will stand up to that type of abuse.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2016, 09:29:42 pm by Razor512 »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BULLSHIT
« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2016, 10:01:38 pm »
After hearing the news about this BS, I was waiting for this video from Dave.  Not disappointed!  Let see if Thunderf00t makes a video too.

A Thunderf00t one would be fun, as always, he doesn't hold back.
 

Offline NANDBlog

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Re: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BULLSHIT
« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2016, 10:41:15 pm »
Dave, you should subtitle (in french) your video and send it to our french ministers...
we are used to politicians wasting money here, but yes they have found a new ecological way to do it for some more years...
Since when do politicians care about ROI or viability or long term impact or efficiency? Those are non existent measures for them. They only care about themselves, money and votes, the latter two serving themselves.
I've shot this image last year in Strasbourg, France, Rue d'Istanbul (nice european name  :palm:). Notice how the panels are mounted on a 90 degrees angle, they face south. And how the perfectly flat, top of the building is not covered with perfectly angled solar panels on mounts. I saw this multiple times, different parts of the city. They are not there for generating energy the most efficient, economic way... They are there for the show. At least they face south.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BULLSHIT
« Reply #31 on: February 13, 2016, 11:03:37 pm »
It seems like it would be better to place the panels over the roads. Motorists would be provided shade and protection from rain, and the panels would be able to function even during the largest traffic jam. The best part of it is that existing solar panel materials would be usable because they wouldn't need to withstand such heavy loads nor would they need LEDs to show lines in the road.
This makes a lot of sense but the problem is that it will be harder to move/extend the road later on and many people are afraid to drive in a tunnel.
The one thing Dave doesn't address but is very likely the reason why solar roadways actually DO make sense: SPACE. A road is an area of land nobody cares about if it is fitted with solar panels. If you drive through the north of Germany you'll see quite large fields perfectly suitable for keeping animals or growing food which are filled with solar panels so valuable land is wasted. The picture above shows the problem with putting solar panels on buildings: Aesthetics. IMHO you also can't compare prices from established technology versus new technology and say the established technology has already won. I you do that there will never be any progress.

And even if the French solar road fails the government has sponsored some jobs and hopefully gained a bunch of engineers with hands-on experience with solar panel technology.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2016, 11:20:57 pm by nctnico »
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Offline void_error

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Re: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BULLSHIT
« Reply #32 on: February 13, 2016, 11:53:51 pm »
I guess the only thing that would put this to rest is someone actually building it and honestly publishing the data.
As a net gain there will be knowledge about how to build a reliable solar road and what problems would come out of it.
I think the whole thing with solar roadways should have started smaller, not with several square meters of solar panels lying on the ground, but with solar doormats :wtf:.
It would have probably proven how inefficient it would be to cover scratched solar panels with dust and dirt and we would have had none of this bullshit waste of money and time and resources.
Trust me, I'm NOT an engineer.
 

Offline SilverSolder

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Re: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BULLSHIT
« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2016, 12:09:48 am »
These kinds of projects should probably just be seen as job creation schemes, fueled by the very low interest rates that prevail today.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BULLSHIT
« Reply #34 on: February 14, 2016, 12:37:09 am »
The one thing Dave doesn't address but is very likely the reason why solar roadways actually DO make sense: SPACE.

Because the ridiculous number of practical downsides of using them as a road surface completely trumps the fact that it might make sense in theory.
You shouldn't invest in something that just makes sense in theory, if the practical downsides are already known, and demonstrably will not get better with time.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BULLSHIT
« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2016, 01:46:35 am »
It seems like it would be better to place the panels over the roads. Motorists would be provided shade and protection from rain, and the panels would be able to function even during the largest traffic jam. The best part of it is that existing solar panel materials would be usable because they wouldn't need to withstand such heavy loads nor would they need LEDs to show lines in the road.
This makes a lot of sense but the problem is that it will be harder to move/extend the road later on and many people are afraid to drive in a tunnel.
The one thing Dave doesn't address but is very likely the reason why solar roadways actually DO make sense: SPACE. A road is an area of land nobody cares about if it is fitted with solar panels. If you drive through the north of Germany you'll see quite large fields perfectly suitable for keeping animals or growing food which are filled with solar panels so valuable land is wasted. The picture above shows the problem with putting solar panels on buildings: Aesthetics. IMHO you also can't compare prices from established technology versus new technology and say the established technology has already won. I you do that there will never be any progress.

And even if the French solar road fails the government has sponsored some jobs and hopefully gained a bunch of engineers with hands-on experience with solar panel technology.

I've been thinking on similar lines - and came up with this idea (using a bit of rough image bashing):

Before the last lanes are added:


and after:
« Last Edit: February 14, 2016, 01:48:53 am by Brumby »
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BULLSHIT
« Reply #36 on: February 14, 2016, 01:57:49 am »
Just a few points that came to mind very easily:

  • The strong centre barrier would be a good starting point for securing the support stanchions and protecting them against impact.
  • There is minimal chance of overshadowing by vegetation and nearby structures
  • High loads can still travel along the road - just avoiding the centre lanes and thus keeping to the slow lanes.
  • Road works are minimally impacted
  • Existing solar technology will provide more power than any road surface based madness
  • Reduced risk of accident damage
  • Electrical risk elevated

The wind risks are much higher, though...
 

Offline edy

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Re: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BULLSHIT
« Reply #37 on: February 14, 2016, 02:36:17 am »
Me thinks there is a construction mafia in collusion with politicians and some greasing going on to get these ludicrous projects on the taxpayer dollar.  :palm:  Sounds to me like it is a way to create "work" for either unions or spread money into the economy to trickle it down and hope it boosts the economy, as many infrastructure projects hope to accomplish. There is also the potential "ecotourism" spin-off as who knows what is going to line this road. Maybe a "tech-valley" will be started.

What happened to independent scientific/engineering evaluation as demanded by (a) the opposition government and (b) the taxpaying public. We in Canada have had similar engineering fiascos that cost us huge amounts of money for no reason. Just because it *can* be done, doesn't mean it *should* be done. Then again, the government loves spending other people's money.

I like the South Korean idea the best.   :-+  It has to be much cheaper than paving the roads, yet still follows the roadway. It creates a sheltered path for cyclists and also an easy way to guide cables and send out maintenance workers without disrupting traffic. Depending on the direction of the road, it can be set at an angle to maximize efficiency (east-west roads would be best).

Let's hope it is all talk and no action, for the sake of the French tax-paying public who are about to be reamed royally if they are to fund such a project... and don't forget to follow the money trail as I can't help but suspect there is a huge dose of either nepotism, bribery or kickbacks involved here somewhere.

SOUTH KOREAN ROADWAY:

« Last Edit: February 14, 2016, 02:40:36 am by edy »
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Offline DrGeoff

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Re: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BULLSHIT
« Reply #38 on: February 14, 2016, 02:44:40 am »
It seems like it would be better to place the panels over the roads. Motorists would be provided shade and protection from rain, and the panels would be able to function even during the largest traffic jam. The best part of it is that existing solar panel materials would be usable because they wouldn't need to withstand such heavy loads nor would they need LEDs to show lines in the road.

Everyone wins.

It would be better if they were as far away from roads as possible.
Have you seen what happens when some dickhead dumptruck driver 'accidentally' tilts his tray in a tunnel? We see that in Sydney on a regular basis. There goes all the fittings again. Imagine the devastation when he does it under a solar installation!

Better to stick them in a field as a solar farm.
Was it really supposed to do that?
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BULLSHIT
« Reply #39 on: February 14, 2016, 03:03:52 am »
I like the South Korean idea the best.   :-+  It has to be much cheaper than paving the roads, yet still follows the roadway. It creates a sheltered path for cyclists and also an easy way to guide cables and send out maintenance workers without disrupting traffic. Depending on the direction of the road, it can be set at an angle to maximize efficiency (east-west roads would be best).

Let's hope it is all talk and no action, for the sake of the French tax-paying public who are about to be reamed royally if they are to fund such a project... and don't forget to follow the money trail as I can't help but suspect there is a huge dose of either nepotism, bribery or kickbacks involved here somewhere.

SOUTH KOREAN ROADWAY:



Okay.... I hadn't seen that before.
 

Offline edy

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Re: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BULLSHIT
« Reply #40 on: February 14, 2016, 03:21:04 am »
Okay.... I hadn't seen that before.


I'm not saying the South Korean idea is the best either.... But it is (as Dave would say) "Orders Of Magnitude" better than a solar roadway IN THE ROADWAY ITSELF. It some form of "solar" mixed with a "roadway" so that is close enough to make it cool and news-catchy, which seems to be about all the substance there is to these projects... news-bites for the uneducated public who have no idea how costly and inefficient they are.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2016, 03:23:14 am by edy »
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Offline Brumby

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Re: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BULLSHIT
« Reply #41 on: February 14, 2016, 03:40:26 am »
Yes, it certainly is better than the 'drive over' solar panel solution, but it did give me one more feature of the idea I cobbled together:
  • Can be retrofitted to existing roads

(Now I'm just waiting for someone to show me it's not a new idea.  The South Korean one came close...)
 

Offline rrinker

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Re: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BULLSHIT
« Reply #42 on: February 14, 2016, 04:23:10 am »
 Seems fairly reasonable to me. Maybe not the total area and thus power generation the roadway idiots would like to claim, but no special new technology needed, and it takes advantage of existing space, and no wiring trenches to dig along the shoulders of the road. Are there any reports available on the Korean system? Be interesting to see how that compares to the calculated true results of the solar roads - like Dave's best case calculations, not the pie in the sky estimates from the backers.

 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BULLSHIT
« Reply #43 on: February 14, 2016, 05:33:33 am »
Seems fairly reasonable to me. Maybe not the total area and thus power generation the roadway idiots would like to claim, but no special new technology needed, and it takes advantage of existing space, and no wiring trenches to dig along the shoulders of the road. Are there any reports available on the Korean system? Be interesting to see how that compares to the calculated true results of the solar roads - like Dave's best case calculations, not the pie in the sky estimates from the backers.

I've yet to see any data at all on the South Korean system, or even a capacity figure.
 

Offline sarepairman2

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Re: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BULLSHIT
« Reply #44 on: February 14, 2016, 05:36:58 am »
well at least solar road way panels cannot fall off the roof after they are mounted by drunken contractors (have you ever met a roofer??).  :-DD

to play devils advocate, 

I feel like in general solar roadways have the benefit of being essentially town/goverment run, as they are on public space, so its easy for city planning/power company/etc to have stable numbers to work with.

Otherwise you have the uncertainty of "how many people are going to go for putting solar panels on their roof and stick with it and maintain their systems", meaning the need for redundancy never really goes away, and citizens are kind of holding each other hostage if taken to the ultimate extreme(could be a good or bad thing). Would you want a goverment inspector coming to your home to make sure your solar panels are in good condition since they are a community good? Solar roadways would allow like, "strategic" decisions to be made imo.

certain kinds of decisions could be avoided just because there is the idea that its possible for the citizens to hold the goverment by the balls by taking down the solar panels they own. Imagine if you owned the sidewalk infront of your house and a neighborhood could just have a informal town meeting and say we want to charge the goverment to remove the fence off our sidewalk. if our demands are not met....

I could see solar roadways becoming "reliable critical infrastructure" and essentially guaranteeing safe roads (as there is incentive to upkeep them as they produce money, rather then the only incentive currently being complaints about bad road conditions.

Solar road ways could transform the electric grid and have politicians be OK with it. Rooftop panels + civil liberties results in a rather ad-hock system.

Granted, this means if you want to buy a street to build a building it might be alot more expensive to buy as it is a power plant lol, talk about zoning nightmares
« Last Edit: February 14, 2016, 05:40:39 am by sarepairman2 »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BULLSHIT
« Reply #45 on: February 14, 2016, 05:37:22 am »
Let's hope it is all talk and no action, for the sake of the French tax-paying public who are about to be reamed royally if they are to fund such a project... and don't forget to follow the money trail as I can't help but suspect there is a huge dose of either nepotism, bribery or kickbacks involved here somewhere.

Not implying it's the case here, but the head of the company that own Colas has been investigated for political donation fraud before:
http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/9601160251/bouygues-chief-under-scrutiny
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BULLSHIT
« Reply #46 on: February 14, 2016, 05:39:44 am »
to play devils advocate, 
I feel like in general solar roadways have the benefit of being essentially town/goverment run, as they are on public space, so its easy for city planning/power company/etc to have stable numbers to work with.

There are other ways to do that without driving cars on the bloody panels. Look at the South Korean example for starters.

Quote
I could see solar roadways becoming "reliable critical infrastructure"

Regular roads require maintenance every few years. Solar roads and reliability should not be used in the same sentence.
 

Offline sarepairman2

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Re: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BULLSHIT
« Reply #47 on: February 14, 2016, 05:41:21 am »
i meant that they would stay in goverment control no matter what. and you would not have a protest about the "gobbermint stealing oah ruufs"

as in, we can send in some national guard to restore power to our city and we can use them to make serious grid planning decisions without trying to push mad legislation.

as a politician I could admire the fact that the community has such a nice distributed power plant, but I could not say "oh we won't bother running HV transmissions lines here because we crowdsource power" because then the town would have me by the balls.

And of course the power company could fuck the whole community if the system is that we have to sell power to them or use it ourselves. You would need a darknet/bitcoin style setup for power routing.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2016, 05:47:02 am by sarepairman2 »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BULLSHIT
« Reply #48 on: February 14, 2016, 05:45:48 am »
i meant that they would stay in goverment control no matter what. and you would not have a protest about the "gobbermint stealing oah ruufs"
as in, we can send in some national guard to restore power to our city and we can use them to make serious grid planning decisions without trying to push mad legislation.

What's all this talk about government stealing people's roofs?
The government has tons of land and building that don't have solar panels. Put panels on that land first.
People's homes are their homes, if you want panels on them offer incentives for people to take it up. Works well in many countries.
 

Offline sarepairman2

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Re: EEVblog #850 - French Wattway Solar Roadways BULLSHIT
« Reply #49 on: February 14, 2016, 05:47:46 am »
i meant that they would stay in goverment control no matter what. and you would not have a protest about the "gobbermint stealing oah ruufs"
as in, we can send in some national guard to restore power to our city and we can use them to make serious grid planning decisions without trying to push mad legislation.

What's all this talk about government stealing people's roofs?
The government has tons of land and building that don't have solar panels. Put panels on that land first.
People's homes are their homes, if you want panels on them offer incentives for people to take it up. Works well in many countries.

yes but you could never make a radical change this way, I am just saying that road ways might allow for that if there is enough of them.

I think there is a strong benefit to them, of course I am not saying that NOW is the right time to implement them.

if there is enough sqft of goverment building roof to meet all demand then the point is moot. i am assuming there is not.

how would you do distributed power in a suburb without solar roadways? almost all private land i imagine (other then roads).

i am focusing on the point of decentralized power generation right outside of your house, not solar energy. a powerful idea imo.



imo solar roadways fit under the umbra of decentralized power creation. decentralized anything is way more expensive then centralized anything, almost always. you can't attack the idea of decentralized power with the alternative of power plants (large land areas), and using private property of course becomes a massive political problem.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2016, 05:59:42 am by sarepairman2 »
 


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