Sunny Side of the Street: Can Roads Be Used to Generate Solar Power?

Dear EarthTalk: I notice occasional solar panels on roadsides, powering individual streetlamps or signs. Is any research being done to expand on this idea and implant solar collectors in roads, parking lots or sidewalks to generate power in a similar but bigger way?Emily Eidenier, via e-mail

The concept of using road surfaces to generate clean solar power is already moving beyond the idea stage. Roads absorb heat from the sun every day and are usually free of sightline obstructions that could otherwise block the transmission of light rays. And if the roads built for cars and driving are partly to blame for global warming, why not make them part of the solution too?

Idaho Company Pioneers Using Roads to Generate Solar Power
Idaho-based company Solar Roadwaysis one of the trailblazers. Electrical engineer Scott Brusaw was inspired to start the company when he heard Caltech solar energy expert Nate Lewis suggest that covering just 1.7 percent of the continental U.S. land surface with photovoltaic solar collectors could produce enough power to meet the nation’s total energy demand.

US Interstate Highways Could Produce Enough Solar Power for the Whole World
Brusaw put two and two together when he realized that the interstate highway system already covers about that much of the nation’s land surface, so he got to work designing a system that combines a durable and translucent glass road surface with photovoltaic solar collectors that could be wired directly into the electricity grid. Brusaw’s innovative design would also heat the roads in winter, thus providing an important safety benefit.

With improvements in the efficiency of solar collectors in recent years, Brusaw believes his system, if implemented from coast-to-coast in place of the tarmac on existing highways, could produce enough energy to meet the electricity needs of the entire world.

Solar Roads Prototype Undergoing Endurance and Feasibility Tests
But skeptics wonder whether such an expensive high-tech road surface can stand up to the rigors of everyday use—from overloaded 18-wheelers putting extra stress on the highway to oil spills seeping into expensive electronic circuitry—without having to be replaced or repaired often. Brusaw acknowledges that his system still needs fine-tuning, but in the meantime he is developing a working prototype along a 45-mile stretch of road between the Idaho cities of Coeur D’Alene and Sandpoint.

Solar Roads in the UK Reduce Accidents
Europeans are also pioneering ways to put the sun’s rays to work as they beat down on roadways. The British firm Astucia has developed a road stud that contains small solar panels and emits LED light to illuminate dark roadways. On the 120 U.K. roads where the new studs have been installed, nighttime accidents are down some 70 percent.

Excess Solar Power from Roads Used to Heat Buildings
And the Dutch firm Ooms Avenhorn Holding BVhas developed a way to siphon solar heat from asphalt road surfaces and use it to de-ice roads and to help power nearby buildings. A latticework of pipes under the road surface allows water to heat up during warm weather. The water is then pumped deep underground where it maintains its higher temperatures and can be retrieved months later to keep road surfaces ice-free during winter months. Apartment buildings, industrial parks and an Air Force base have benefited from the innovation, and the firm is working on exporting its system to other countries in the coming years.

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EarthTalk is a regular feature of E/The Environmental Magazine. Selected EarthTalk columns are reprinted on About Environmental Issues by permission of the editors of E.


The World of the Future

Some cross-over from our sub-project but in short we ask here in this post: what would you like YOUR WORLD OF THE FUTURE TO LOOK LIKE?

Remember the visions that you were given when you were little – little children, bidden not bitten by the gift that God has given – given us – to make a little difference – maybe lots and lots of what the world of the future is to look like.

love – from the BabyRobot Team


Strings To The Mother Or Magic Theory, What Is String Theory, M Theory & P Branes?

Cymatics – Visualizing Sound






…as we explore knowledge…to the fullest!

Characters and Behaviours

When Consciousness is Conditioned:

Would babyrobot’s problem-solving technique be reflective of its programmers’?

e.g. the lazy would always look to find a sneaky “work-around” – a way to avoid having to do things it found difficults (sic: simples!) e.g. graphics and artwork – how could we ensure a babyrobot doesn’t develop “workshy” tendencies? How would we instill passion and determination to find the optimal solution – are these qualities and characteristics of the soul and consciousness? – i.e. non-programmable? What’s a work-ethic? Can it be instilled through conditioning during development? All these and more shall be addressed in this section.

Who or What is The BabyRobot?

Who or What is the BabyRobot? – a brief flythrough on Prezi

via Formspring: Ask The BabyRobot any question!

Genuine research – this is not spam – we repeat….this is not spam! But please see our blog on and let us help you solve life’s little problems!

Please visit our formspring on to see previous responses, or click this link:

Consciousness, Artificial Intelligence and Spirituality

to ask The BabyRobot a question.

– thanks

#TeamBRDN :-)

Onward and Upward for www.BabyRobot.Net

Originally written: 13 04 2008 – revamped March-2011

More ideas…for www.BabyRobot.Net – – ->

Things to be documented…

Things to be implemented…

Things yet to be cemented…


Correct Understanding of Spoken Instructions…


Statements of Absolute Truth (spiritual rather than mental)

Statements of Relative Truth (about the Lower Dimensions: Matter, Energy, Space and Time)

Statements of Fact

Statements of Opinion – who’s opinion is strongest? Creators / Critics / Commentators / Consumers?


What will be the most controversial, and careful area of programming to be implemented in the BabyRobot project?

Intention is that motivating power or will, which all human-minds possess be it at a basic, animalistic (survival: food, mate, shelter) level or a more altruistic (genuinely caring-for-others) level, to the need for artistic and scientific expression and investigation, to, on the flip-side, ill-will, scheming, conniving, hurtful intentions in seeking dominance (financial, political, social) over others.

Will is such an intrinsic driving factor in the human psyche, that implementation of the slightest bias or pre-judice in developing the will of the babyrobot, would have far-reaching consequences in the later direction of development that babyrobots (original and subsequent generations) flow along.

If there is such a concept as Absolute-Purity,  it would be wise to implement it in the early stages of development of BabyRobot.

Examples of “pure-intent” for a babyrobot could be…

  1. to ‘love’, to care – for all of humanity (how would these concepts ever be defined and understood by BabyRobot?)
  2. to educate and inform
  3. to assist (but be careful to distinguish between assist, helping, hindering or interfering)
  4. to lead, to motivate, to inspire, to provide courage to everyone  who interacts with babyrobot
  5. to produce business or generate revenue (in which case, wouldn’t everyone want a BabyRobot “cash-cow” of their own – could it be possible to create a financially savvy machine?)

Examples of “Ill-Intent”…

  1. Harming innocents (how would a computer be able to tell in an innocent when even law-enforcers sometimes have trouble – recall “Robocop”?)
  2. Causing damage or otherwise violating an individual’s possessions, data, finances etc
  3. Deliberate misinformation to cause conflict between individuals (gossip)
  4. Deliberate with-holding of data or information that could assist an individual (definition of assist again would need to be explored and carefully defined).

In short, how would you instil ETHICS into a machine?

The sinister side of cyborgs, man-machines, robots that malfunction, etc. etc. have been the fodder for science-fiction books, films and TV shows since the birth of the genre.  In these plot-lines, the well-meaning intentions of the machines’ creators invariably become distorted, lost, or twisted,  turning formerly docile, compliant, humanity-serving machines, into dangerous, violent, or subversive forces  – which causes more problems than their creators ever imagined.

Think the terminator, Battlestar Galactica (and Caprica)

All of these ideas depend on the assumption that a computer is somehow able to transcend, or veer off the programming that was initially instilled in it:

This relates to a deeper philosophical issue about Free-Will versus Pre-programmed Destiny, and the occurrence of so-called Evil Human Beings: the same thing that allows for “Free-Thought” and “free-will” also has the potential to bring out ill-will in humans – is the same thing ever possible for a BabyRobot?

HYPOTHETICAL SUPPOSITION: THE [EMC-CP] – The Electro-Magneto-Chemical-Consideration-Processor – How are considerations weighed-up, balanced and acted-upon – is it just a simple matter of bio-chemistry?

Would there / could there ever be a limit to a BabyRobot’s Wisdom and Intelligence? How would we measure these things? What is Intelligence?

All this and more – to be explored here, regularly and often.

stay tuned, and thank you! – #teamBRDN

Welcome to TBR – The Baby Robot – on!

Welcome to TBR – TheBabyRobot: the blog section for the www.BabyRobot.Net web project.

In this blog, I hope to document my daily life experiences as seen through the eyes of a baby robot – with zero assumption and presumption, yet with exposure to as much input as is available – which is plenty in today’s connected world – Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions in a spirit of openness and sharing.

peace to all,


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