Solar Roadway ( SR) panels are solarpowered road panels that can be individually pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle to form roads and parking lots.
These panels are fitted with LED lights that, when activated, form lane markings or warning signs.
SR panels are made with specially formulated tempered glass that is durable enough to support the weight of a 36- metric tonne truck. Damaged panels can be replaced with new ones.
SR panels have textured surfaces that provide traction for vehicles. They contain microprocessors that can be programmed, making the panels intelligent.
This allows the panels to communicate with one another, the central control station and the driver.
In future, the panels can display road directions for cars that have compatible technology.
SR panels can also store and produce power harvested from solar energy. They produce enough power to replace traditional power grids in small towns.
This eliminates the need to build a power plant to supply energy to power grids, hence reducing the usage of fossil fuels.
Solar Roadways Incorporated, the company that develops the SR panels, has received support funds of up to US$ 2.2mil ( RM9.1mil) from the public through crowdsourcing website Indiegogo to further continue the development and testing of its product.
With this amount of public and financial backing, we could be seeing the mass manufacturing and implementation of SR
panels on roadways in the near future.
Wind Trees are tree- shaped wind turbines developed by French start- up company NewWind. Each 26- foot tall Wind Tree is equipped with smaller, leaf- shaped wind turbines called Aeroleaf.
Up to 72 Aeroleaf can be installed on the branches of a Wind Tree. The mechanism in the Aeroleaf spins when it is blown by wind, generating energy.
Since Wind Trees are smaller than regular windmills, they can be placed in towns and cities.
It only takes a small amount of wind for the turbines to function, so even in cities and towns where much of the wind is cut off by tall buildings, the Wind Trees can still harvest enough wind to produce energy to power several low- energy structures in the vicinity.
Wind Trees were set up in Place de la Concorde, Paris, for testing last year. It is believed that the Wind Trees could go under mass production starting from June of this year, but will only be used initially in France before the turbines are shipped to other countries.
Wind Trees harness wind to create energy.