Solar Roadways

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Introduction

Solar roadways are an innovation that is aimed at production of clean energy and therefore a cleaner environment. As the name suggests these are roads that have solar panels within their structure. The solar energy they trap is an inexhaustible source of energy (Northmore and Tighe, 2012). This make the project sustainable as is the critical requirement in engineering designs. The aim of the design is to maximize its performance and in turn be of benefit to the society in terms of improving their standards of living (Wu, M.S., Huang, H.H., Huang, B.J., Tang, C.W. and Cheng, C.W.,pg 1935, 2009).

The purpose of this project is to have roads that have better performance surfaces while at the same time producing renewable electricity. The electricity generated from these roads could either be sold to the national grid or used by the nearest buildings. A lot of considerations have to be undertaken before embarking on the construction of these roads to determine the feasibility of the project.

Feasibility study

In terms of the weight that the solar roadways can handle it was determined that they can handle trucks that are up to 250, 000lbs (Solarroadways.com. (2017)). This means that all locomotives, tanks included, can use the roads. They are therefore feasible in terms of the amount of weight that they can handle.

The hardness of the material used to make them is impervious. Hardness is measured by an instrument known as Mohs scale which shows the resistance of the material to being scratched. The resistance is measured on a scale of 1 to 10 with the softest material being 1 and the hardest at 10. The roads are compared to asphalt roads in which the asphalt has a hardness of 1.3 while the glass used to make solar roadways has a hardness of between 5.5 and 6.0. This is the reason the solar roads are impervious and therefore not easily damaged.

The strength of the glass used on the road is increased by tempering. Tempered glass is four to five times stronger. The tempering does not make the glass to be harder. It makes it stronger. It is such glass that is used as bomb and bulletproof glass. The glass is also less likely to be broken by extreme temperatures.

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