“Solar Road” Fails Miserably

By Willis Eschenbach – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

$4.5 million project generates just $36.86 worth of electricity so far

Back in 2014, Anthony Watts pointed out an upcoming project called “Solar Roadways”. This was a project to put solar panels on roads. Hey, what’s not to like? Plenty of roadway space, put it to double use, we get free energy from the sun, right?

Well, as Anthony presciently commented at the time …

All in all, it’s a colossal green tech train wreck, but these clowns may be laughing all the way to the bank, or they may be shysters, either way, there’s a sucker born every minute.

Since a few years have now passed, I thought I might update the information about the project. The first rule of investigations, of course, is “follow the Benjamins”. This saying comes from the fact that Benjamin Franklin appears on the US $100 bill … so here is the funding of the Solar Roadways project.

$100,000 – 2009 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) for a “Phase I feasibility study”.

$750,000 – 2011 SBIR grant from the DOT for Phase II to develop and build a solar parking lot. They put panels on a 12 x 36 foot (4 x 11 m) parking lot.

$2,200,000 – 2014 Indiegogo funding from the easily deceived.

$750,000 – 2015 SBIR contract for further research

$750,000 – 2016 SBIR contract for yet more research.

So to date, they have received $2,350,000 from you and I, the US taxpayers, and another $2,200,000 from mining that seemingly endless source called “a fool and his money are soon parted”, for a total of $4,550,000.

And what did we get for this four and a half megabucks of lavish private and taxpayer funding?

First, the solar parking lot. Here are the founders of the company with their monumental achievement …

solar parking lot.png

Wow … that’s plenty impressive … dare I ask what happens to the electricity output when cars are parked on the parking lot, or is that just too practical a question?

Next, the solar test roadway, which is in Sandpoint, Idaho. Twenty-five of the first thirty test panels died within the first few weeks. They were replaced by panels that delaminated …

solar roadway delamination.png

So the delaminated panels were replaced again. But to be fair, who would have ever guessed that driving loaded semi-trucks over solar panels might do some damage? … well, to be fair, you and I could have guessed that, but clearly they couldn’t. I suppose that’s why they needed so much funding.

In any case, the system has now been in operation with thirty panels for a couple of years. Being an inquisitive and curious sort of fellow, I went to their website to see how well they are doing … I found the following:

solar roadways energy production.png

On its best day, Tuesday, May 9, 2017, as shown in the graphic above the thirty panels generated a total of 1.3 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity … and on the most recent day, yesterday, it generated 0.25 kWh of electricity. On average, since it was started the production has averaged about 0.65 kWh per day.

The system went into operation on March 22, 2017. It has been in operation for 378 days, during which time it has generated about 246 kWhrs of electricity.

Now, my home electricity is expensive due to the asinine “renewable mandates” put into place by Governor Moonbeam here in Californistan. I pay $0.15 per kilowatt-hour, which is about double the cost charged in neighboring states where they haven’t drunk the green Koolaid.

And at that rate, the total of 246 kWhrs of electricity that cost $4,450,000 is worth about $36.86.

Gotta love these green pipe-dreams … enjoy the sunshine, dear friends, it will do more good smiling down on you than it would by shining on solar panels on the roadways.



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