Solar Roadways project blows past $1M crowdfunding goal

The company plans to ramp up production with the money it's raised

A project to develop solar power-generating panels that can snap together and form roadways and other surfaces has far exceeded its $1 million crowdsourcing goal.

With three days left to go, Solar Roadways has attracted more than 35.000 donors who've shelled out more than $1.5 million toward the project.

Hexagonal solar panels being laid into place to form a parking lot (Image: Solar Roadways

The Solar Roadways Indiegogo crowdfunding project even surpassed the previous record holder for the most Indiegogo contributors; that record had been held by Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal), whose project was to create a museum for Nikola Tesla (33,000 funders).

The Sagle, Idaho-based Solar Roadways company founders, Scott and Julie Brusaw, believe that if deployed on most roadways their technology has the potential to generate three times more electricity than is now used in the U.S.

The hexagonal panels can melt snow and ice to keep road surfaces safe and have LED lights embedded in them that can be used to reconfigure traffic patterns and issue warnings to drivers.

The Solar Roadway panels are made up of four layers. There's a half-inch thick glass surface, followed by a layer of LED lights, an electronic support structure (circuit board) and a base layer made of recyclable materials.

Solar Roadways prototypes have already received federal funding, and the Brusaws now hope to use the crowdsourcing money to ramp up production.

Solar Roadways' video explanation of its project for Indiegogo.

Lucas Mearian covers consumer data storage, consumerization of IT, mobile device management, renewable energy, telematics/car tech and entertainment tech for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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