The future of solar energy is upon us, and the viral YouTube video Solar Freakin’ Roadways proves the power of solar has no boundaries.
Engineering couple Julie and Scott Brusaw have revolutionized solar power and designed an innovative roadmap for clean energy independence—Solar Roadways. The idea is simple, and brilliant—replace all roadways, parking lots, sidewalks, driveways and outdoor recreation services with solar panels.
While Solar Roadways is still in its prototype stage, the idea has gone viral. Here’s why.
According to the video, these aren’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill solar panels, but rather “smart, micro-processing interlocking hexagonal solar units” that are covered with a new glass material designed and tested to meet all impact and load requirements. Simply put, you could drive a car, even land a plane, on these panels without any damage at all.
Every panel is also designed with a series of LED lights on the circuit board that can act as traffic lines and road signs.
Even better, Solar Roadways uses Enphase M215 Microinverters. And just like Enphase microinverters, these intelligent panels can easily be replaced individually if damaged or malfunctioning. For each four-panel series, there is an Enphase microinverter generating clean and free energy.
Enphase had a chance to talk with Solar Roadways creator Scott Bursaw to get the inside scoop. Here’s what we learned:
Enphase: Solar Roadway’s is a bold and groundbreaking way to use solar. What inspired your idea?
Scott: “My wife. We met when we were ages 3 and 4. My favorite toy was my slot car track, which was just an electric road with electric cars. It spurred an idea within me that we could make real roads electric, and that idea stayed with me my whole life.”
“Then ten years ago, when people started talking about global warming, my wife asked me, ‘Couldn’t you make those electric roads out of solar panels?’ I laughed. I explained how fragile solar panels are and that you can’t even step on them, let alone drive on one.”
“She dropped the conversation, but the idea had been planted in my mind and stuck.”
A few years later, they brought the idea up again, did their research and eventually came across a glass solution that made their vision possible. The Brusaws were awarded contracts from the Federal Highway Administration to build two prototypes, which turned into what we now know as Solar Roadways.
Enphase supports the Solar Roadways and has donated to the Brusaw’s fund to make it a reality. We’re inviting you to become a part of a movement with us.
Join us in the journey to Solar Roadways and donate here.
Solar Roadways may only begin with private driveways and parking lots, but as we rally together as an industry, and as a community, we can transform the way we power our world.