By Kelly Bergman, Prevent Disease, May 14, 2015
A green bike lane has been implemented in a 20 mile stretch of highway between the South Korean cities of Daejeon and Sejong and is in a region about 100 miles south of Seoul. The most amazing feature of this bike lane is that it’s covered in solar panels, an idea the could revolutionize power in many cities if properly implemented.
The video above shows an aerial view taken by a drone cam which shows the bike lane located 2~3 hours south of Seoul.
Solar panels not only generate power but in this case also provide protection to cyclists from sun and rain. What better way to utilize the median space than with solar panels which could be used to recharge batteries to power highway lights, substations for stranded vehicles, portals for electrical vehicles and even serve as residual power during the day for communication towers. The possibilities are endless.
Now the idea will likely be best implemented in the future when more vehicles convert to less polluting technology. The last thing we need is thousands of cyclists breathing in particulate matter from highway driven vehicles. For this reason I believe the concept is best suited for the solar technology itself and not the cyclists. Most highways are not the most conducive routes for cyclists anyway since they prefer shorter distances.
Exactly how much electricity they generate and exactly where that electricity is sent is not known but since solar panel efficiency is headed beyond 80 percent, if you calculate how many solar panels could be integrated in the median on a 20 or 40 mile stretch of highway, that is significant power.
But the most impressive solar powered devices may potentially belong to an Inventor who is developing solar power designed to operate four or five times more efficiently than the beat photovoltaic cells now in use, and at a small fraction of the cost.
Alvin M. Marks, an inventor who, holds patents for a 3-D movie process and polarized film for sunglasses, is working with the Westinghouse Electric Corporation to build prototypes of the solar power devices. He received one patent for the devices earlier this year and another in 1984.
Mr. Marks says solar panels made with Lepcon or Lumeloid, the materials he patented, could turn 70 to 80 percent of the energy from sunlight they receive into electricity.
In terms of power generation that could be a game changer if cities start implementing them in every highway over the world.
Kelley Bergman is a media consultant, critic and geopolitical investigator. She has worked as a journalist and writer, specializing in geostrategic issues around the globe.