An Answer to Slick Roads

After weeks of snow and ice cover, I am glad to say that an end is near. An inventor has an idea to keep that ice and snow off our roads. Fox News has a fine article on this potential marvel of science at http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2011/02/02/solar-powered-glass-road-melt-snow-automatically/ .

There may be one fly in the ointment. Our intrepid inventor needs a little public cash to work out the feasibility of his road warming, solar-powered, glass road cover. He wants a $750,000 grant to build a prototype and see if it works.

Now this is the kind of project the government can get behind. First, it is exorbitantly expensive; according to Watts Up With That http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/06/at-4-4-million-per-mile-a-road-to-snow-where/, up to $4.4 million a mile.

And what could go wrong. Glass solar panels are strong enough for truck traffic aren’t they? High temperature summer expansion and winter frost buckling might not affect it. The solar panels contain photoelectric cells (they are cheap), which do not work well when dirty (we can give the homeless squeegees and pay them a few bucks), and batteries will have to be used to store the electricity to warm the road (luckily they are cheap and last forever). Water lines under roads never break. Glass is a wonderful product, which never gets slick when wet. Stopping distances will be shorter. It never gets cold enough or snows hard enough to overpower those feeble heating elements. In the off-chance that snow should overpower it, enough light will certainly get through to keep the system charged. Even then, those last-ditch effort snowplows will not mar its surface. It never snows at night when the system cannot recharge itself. No trees, buildings or roadway cuts ever cast shadows on the road. Fallen leaves, trash or road debris will not be a problem. The gouge in the roadway from a loaded truck losing a wheel will not cut deep enough damage the cells. I believe that we can all agree that maintenance costs will be effectively zero. The fact that even the best solar cells, placed in ideal locations, only last about twenty years, should not be a problem. At $4.4 million a mile, we can just rip them up and replace them. Think of all the jobs.

Yep, this is something the government can sink its teeth into. Any idiot can see that this is an idea whose time has come.

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Published in: on February 8, 2011 at 2:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

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