Pavement Energy could provide Heat, Street Lighting and Melt Ice
KINGSTON, R.I - Researchers aim to harvest solar energy from pavement to melt ice, power streetlights, heat buildings.
The temperatures in the City is often considerably warmer than nearby suburban or rural areas. Now engineering researchers from the University of Rhode Island are examining methods of harvesting that solar energy to melt ice, power streetlights, illuminate signs, heat buildings and potentially use it for many other purposes.
“We have mile after mile of asphalt pavement around the country, and in the summer it absorbs a great deal of heat, warming the roads up to 140 degrees or more,” said K. Wayne Lee, URI professor of civil and environmental engineering and the leader of the joint project. “If we can harvest that heat, we can use it for our daily use, save on fossil fuels, and reduce global warming.”
Several methods of tapping into the energy are being explored. “This is a project that could be implemented today because the technology already exists,” stated K. Wayne Lee, URI professor of civil and environmental engineering, who is also leading the project.
This could be great news coming just as researchers at the University of California, announced global oil supplies will run out 90 years before replacement technologies are ready.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, based their conclusions on stock market expectations, on the theory that long-term investors are good predictors of whether and when new energy technologies will become commonplace, a university release said.