Target: Anthony Foxx, United States Secretary of Transportation
Goal: Develop nationwide funding for the Solar Roadways project
Solar power is one of our most abundant resources, but at the same time it is our most underutilized. Engineering couple Scott and Julie Brusaw have created a way to change that. Based in Sandpoint, Idaho this amazing pair of inventors has created a way not only to improve our solar energy usage, but to improve the quality and safety of roads all over the country. This breakthrough has been dubbed the Solar Roadways project.
Solar Roadways work by covering a road’s surface with highly durable, hexagon-shaped glass panels. This glass is designed to handle the wear and tear of normal road usage while still being transparent enough to allow sunlight to pass through. It can withstand a weight of up to 250,000lbs. Beneath the glass is a layer of solar collectors, LED lights and heating elements. The LEDs effectively eliminate the need for lanes to be painted onto the surface, and can also be used to alert drivers to obstacles in the road such as animals or debris.
The heating elements are an amazing addition that could make winter driving in northern climates much safer. The heating elements keep ice and snow from accumulating on the roads, potentially preventing accidents caused by loss of traction or poor handling. Road repair would be made simpler, since each hex can be removed and replaced individually, and waste is eliminated because the defective sections can be repaired and reused or salvaged for scrap.
The individual sections are also almost impossible to steal. Even if a would-be thief makes off with one, it will continue to transmit its location and other pertinent information. This can lead law enforcement directly to the location of the panel. While initial implementation of Solar Roadways would be costly its safety features, durability, ability to generate power, and tracking capabilities make it a wise long-term investment.
This is potentially one of the greatest inventions of the century and we need your help to bring it to the attention of the people who can put it to work. Ask the Department of Transportation to secure funding to implement this project nationwide. Not only is it a fantastic source of clean energy, but it will change the way we look at our roadways for years to come.
Dear Secretary Foxx,
Recently a gifted pair of engineers in Idaho created a functional solar roadway system that would allow us to collect clean and renewable solar energy from the thousands upon thousands of miles of parking lots, driveways and roads that cross our great nation. Not only can this project create thousands of new jobs in multiple fields, it can use an abundant and underutilized source of energy to power our country and improve the overall infrastructure.
You can take that first step toward country-wide clean and sustainable energy and become an architect for change. I ask that you find a way to secure nationwide funding for this project so that it can be moved into as many markets as currently viable and implemented as quickly as possible.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Oregon Department of Transportation via Flickr