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Renewable Energy Powered Freeway

Conductive Cement and Conductive Rubber Tires
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Use conductive materials inside of the asphault/cement road that would transmit electricity into automobiles through conductive rubber tires. Connect the roads to Wind turbine farms and load the sides of the freeways with solar panels to power the roads. If you drive off the road you are SOL. Ok, we need lots of money now.
pragmatic_logistics, Mar 12 2009

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       In order to power something, the electricity needs to go in and out again, meaning the voltage would have to be different on each half of a lane. Once you've installed this system, why not build a railway line or tram system that would be cheaper, more efficient, and better?
Skrewloose, Mar 12 2009
  

       Can you give any details on this conductive cement and conductive rubber you speak of?
knowtion, Mar 12 2009
  

       // conductive rubber//
Tyres are already (a little) conductive.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 12 2009
  

       Get the voltage high enough, and anything will conduct. Might have a problem in that air will break down before rubber, though...   

       The obvious solution is to have each lane divided into two longitufinal strips, one +ve one -ve, and you essentiall complete the circuit from your left wheels to the right wheels. Might make lane changes fairly awkward though.
Custardguts, Mar 12 2009
  

       I have an unused can of conductive rubber cement at home (long story involving turtles omitted), so that stuff definitely exists.
jutta, Mar 12 2009
  

       [jutta] I want to hear about the electric rubber cyber-turtle rampage (or so I imagine the story to unfold).
spidermother, Mar 12 2009
  

       The split lanes came to me as well, although that would require the car to be insulated left to right... 100% kevlar cars only anyone? Motorbikes would find it interesting as well, let alone anyone crossing the road that happens to complete the circuit between their feet!   

       Maybe you could do it with a steel mesh running in a textured road surface and the same on the tyres (forcing a tyre change once the tread's run out!), although the electric bill is gonna go up every time it rains when the two halves become electrolysis electrodes!
Skrewloose, Mar 12 2009
  

       Instead use Thermoelectric, or Seebeck effect to convert the heat on the freeway into electricity. Wouldn't it be "greener"? Also.. Ninja Turtles?
xkuntay, Mar 13 2009
  

       holy crow, obviously somebody never had slot cars as a child, AND lives in a place where it never rains. My brain refuses to even process this, error:buffer overflow:too many flaws
WcW, Mar 13 2009
  

       I also want to hear the turtle story - please jutta, we're all sitting comfortably...   

       I think that it would work reasonably well, but there are almost certainly better ways - a trolleybus / bumper car style overhead system, or just batteries / fuel cells recharged by renewable methods, therefore [=]
MadnessInMyMethod, Mar 14 2009
  

       //lining the road with solar cells. These could actually be integrated into crash barriers//
Great on roads running East-west, not so good on roads running North-South.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 14 2009
  

       If you're having solar cells, why not have them installed on the road surface and protect them from the vehicles using them with a surface of glass.   

       Bear in mind, however, that these 'small electric cars' will need a lot of acreage of panels. Put it this way, the Solar race car I'm helping on needs nearly 8m2 of panels to support an average speed of about 35mph, and that's driving 8 hours and charging all the time the sun shines. Assuming you want 70mph, you'll need 32m2 of panels per vehicle, assuming everyone's driving something that weighs 250kg and looks like a UFO in the pursuit of low Cd.
Skrewloose, Mar 16 2009
  
      
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