- Category: Solar
- Written by Paul Blore
Whether sustainability is just a fleeting buzzword, or part of a major shift towards a new paradigm, the notion is one that permeates American society. The definition varies from person to person, as does the sincerity behind any effort to ‘go green’. Even so, we as a culture are reassessing our way of life, the steps we took to get here, and what steps to take as we continue to develop.
The smart fortwo is produced at "smartville" in Hambach, France. Protecting the environment, energy efficiency and preservation of natural resources are hallmarks of smart brand. Only water-soluble paints are used for the smart's three basic colors which are black, white and red. Painting the tridion safety cell is done by the powder-coating process. This removes the need for solvents. The body panels with molded-in color are fully recyclable. The smart fortwo is also classified as an Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) due to its extremely low exhaust emissions. The catalytic converter is positioned close to the engine for a quick response. An electric pump blows fresh air into the exhaust port when the engine is cold to almost completely oxidize the carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbons (HC) and render them harmless.
The prospect of generating pollution-free power from the sun’s rays is appealing, but to-date the low price of oil combined with the high costs of developing new technology have prevented the widespread adoption of solar power in the U.S. and beyond.
"For roughly the cost of the current systems (asphalt roads and fossil fuel burning electricity generation plants), the Solar Roadways can be implemented. No more Global Warming. No more power outages (roaming or otherwise). Safer driving conditions. Far less pollution. What are we waiting for?"
- Scott Brusaw
The concept of using road surfaces to generate clean solar power is actually already moving beyond the idea stage. Roads absorb heat from the sun every day and are usually free of sightline obstructions that could otherwise block the transmission of light rays. And if the roads built for cars and driving are partly to blame for global warming, why not make them part of the solution too?