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1 Crowdfunded Project Creates Roadways to Innovation

“Solar panels that you can drive, park and walk on.

They melt snow & cut greenhouse gases by 75%” ~Scott Brusaw

Solar Roadways (SR) has taken the power of a rehab project, using solar energy, to pay for itself a grand step further. Not only is it lighting the path to very innovative methods of collecting solar power, but also to making roads and other necessary pathways pay for themselves from the clean energy they are able to create. Some of the most wildly innovative creations have made their start in the unlimited potential of crowdfunding. SR found the power of the crowd to provide even more than funding for their rehab project: Collective knowledge, respect of innovation, and passion for clean energy. No idea is too big, and no amount of funds unreachable within the limitless opportunities of crowdfunding.

Solar Roadways

The Beginning

In 2009, after tinkering in their driveway, a couple with a concept of replacing rehab project, crowdfundingasphalt and concrete surfaces created solar panels that could be driven on. This is reminiscent of one start to the computer-age: Apple computers started by two guys and an Uncle's garage.

Pondering the strength of airplane black boxes to protect sensitive electronics against the wildest of impacts, is what provided Scott and Julie Brusaw the confidence that such material could be used in any roadway. Panels made of such material could then house solar cells to collect energy that would inevitably pay for that roadway. Innovation Nation even recognized the value. Once innovation had taken a tangible position, the brainstorms kept coming.

  • LED’s could be used to create the lane-lines and caution signs from beneath, lighting up for safer nighttime driving.
  • A heating element was to be added to the surface (like the defrost tape in our car windows) to prevent snow and ice accumulation in the colder climates.

The Solar Roadway Rehab Project Becomes Real.

SR secured a $100,000 grant from the Department of Transportation (DOT) that was intended to gain information from engineering experts from various fields to develop a report based on findings. "I didn't need that much money to have a bunch of professors write a paper. So I asked if we could simply build a prototype," said Scott Brusaw, an electrical engineer. In February 2010, After building the first ever solar road panel prototype, a 12-foot by 12-foot panel without solar cells, they tested to make sure the underlying electronics would function as expected.rehab project, crowdfunding

Related: Solar Farms Germinating Power

The electronics stood up, and GE’s Ecomagination challenge gifted Solar Roadways with the winning $50K community award, adding to the pool of finances to fuel further experimentation. In 2011, the Federal Highway administration followed up with further funding to create phase II, a 36-foot by12-foot parking lot. It was created, and tested under all weather and sunlight conditions.

Crowdfunding Comes Into Play...

When a greater pool of resources is sought. Chosen by Popular Science as one of the 100 greatest innovations of 2014, the public recognized the value as well.
In early 2014, SR entered a pool of greater potential resources by opening a crowdfunding campaign. The Indiegogo campaign ended with 220% of their goal raised by 48,000 donors. An Indiegogo all-time record. The $2,259,116 was donated from
people of 165 countries, and sent Scott and Julie Brusaw, of Sand Point, Idaho on their way to starting production for the roadway rehab project of a lifetime. The perks sent to donors were organized and shipped by family members, as Scott continued the engineering. Thanks to rehab project, crowdfundingthe generous donations, Solar Roadways rehab project was able to move out of the Brusaw’s garage and purchase an 18 year old building to rehab into office space for engineers and shop space for manufacturing. Currently in research and development, they are considering starting a second crowdfunding campaign for the next stages. Crowdfunding not only provided SR with their greatest lump of funds, but also advertising that has raised invaluable awareness to their cause, and to their need for future resources. Once innovation is supported by the recognition and financial support of others, innovation takes hold. Ideas unfold as limitless as the new found resources, and reality is then solidified.

Roadway Rehab Project

Holds More Innovation In Its Sights

Solar Roadways have made some changes to their panels in ansticipation of their first public installations this year. Why stop at incredible when these panels can now be made more efficient, easy to install, and even more cost effective?

Short Term Goals

Each current rehab project is located within 10 minutes of the new SR headquarters. More than one roadway rehab project planned for this years installation team cannot yet be discussed, but here are a few to wet your innovation appetite:

  • Amtrak train station platforms
  • Sandpoint Airport (parking areas and tarmac)
  • Sandpoint Welcome Center parking lot
  • Animal shelter parking lot (My personal Favorite)
  • Sandpoint downtown city sidewalks

These locations will benefit from their own parking lot or roadway rehab project, and these projects will also serve to refine the SR’s long-term capabilities. Once the company, now five people and growing, is confident that the panels are commercially ready, they’ll offer them to the world.

Long Term Goals:

While supplying the product with less critical components to the short-term rehab project, crowdfundingprojects, the knowledge-gaining partnership with civil engineering labs will continue. There are still multiple tests to be performed before the solar panel roadway rehab project is perfected and applied to highways. But the final product does not seem far off. Scott Brusaw broke it down for us: “Advanced loading, sound testing, shear testing, deflective testing, etc. Once all of these tests have been passed, we should be ready for the world's roadways!”

Related: The Solar Revolution

Real estate values in communities benefiting from Solar Roadways' innovation  and solar rehab project to revise roadways, parking lots and sidewalks into energy makers and money savers, are sure to rise. Jobs could be created, residents could benefit from less taxes and lower energy costs, and best of all: World conservation will be one giant step closer to preserving our natural resources.

Just how much energy could these solar road pavers create? Read more to find out

Do you think Solar Roadways will successfully apply their package to highway paving? Does this inspire you to innovate without limits, and use crowdfunding to create reality from it?



If you want to learn more, take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions we receive about real estate crowdfunding on a daily basis and find out why so many people are crowdfunding real estate projects across the country with Patch of Land.
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