Solar & kinetic roads

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Solar & kinetic roads

Energy is the basic need for the development of the modern world, however when we think of the future most of us have started to think negatively about the planet and what humankind is doing to our home.
There are still some believers out there who believe that they can make a difference to the world and they are doing everything possible to change it.

 

Solar Roadways was founded in 2006 by Scott and Julie Brusaw, when they first introduced roads with integrated solar panelsin 2006. They claim that their technology could be a game changer in the attempt to make our planet more sustainable.

They have created the first prototype “solar panel roads” – this will replace all conventional tar roads.

This will not only create jobs in every country it is brought into, but it will also increase road safety with its built-in LED system that can inform drivers of any accidents that may be ahead or any other obstructions in the road.

South Africa can really benefit from something like this with its current energy shortages and problematic power plants. Imagine the roads you are driving on bringing electricity to the country, this would drop the rising electricity prices and provide safe roads for all to travel on.  With the introduction of this into our country there would also be an increase in jobs in this new sector, new skills to be learnt and the solar panels only have to be replaced when faulty.

 

So what are these “SMART’’ road panels and what makes them so special.  Well, if my research is anything to go by, then these revolutionary little solar panels could promise to pack quite the eco-punch.

The solar roadway is a road; a series of solar panels, structurally engineered to be driven upon.
Solar Roadway panels are made of tempered (safety) glass.
Glass was chosen for its hardness, strength, durability, and transmittance.
Solar Roadway glass is textured to create proper traction for vehicles and pedestrians.
Each unit is made of top and bottom glass panels, with the other components such as solar cells and LED lights enclosed in between.

 

The objective of the solar roadways is to be able to tap and store as much energy as possible to be used in business & domestic consumption. It is a revolutionary way of finding solutions to the petroleum-based asphalt roads, and the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity
One advantage of this project is that it is will enable the world to cut down on greenhouse emissions by half.
One major difference one will notice when comparing Solar Roadways glass panels to traditional tar roads is aesthetics. The hexagonal panels are quite a work of art and will dramatically beautify roads, highways etc. Unlike tar roads,
Solar Roadway panels are impervious to potholes. The repair of potholes is expense, and an unnecessary inconvenience to motorists, (with the panels) you can merely remove one and fix it (No more potholes to deal with)

In China, one of the world’s first solar highways is taking shape.

LEDs are used to paint the road lines, lighting the road at night would be achievable.

In France, a 1 kilometer-long strip of road is made entirely out of solar panels. This trial solar panels is to be tested for 2 years to see how much electricity its can generate.

In the Netherlands the newest bike paths doubles as a solar energy generator that helps power surrounding neighborhoods.

One major drawback of this project is its start-up and maintenance costs
South African governments are not moving fast enough to progress the uptake of solar energy, let alone solar road energy.

 

Could the solar panel superhighway be the power station of the future?

 

Sources:
Solar Roadways
Wikipedia
Ecopreneurist
Slate
Nootrix

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About Nirasha Rampersad

I started working for Leads to Business June 2017 as Support Assistance in L2Q.

L2B Blog: Renovation or Demolition?

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The defining line between renovation or demolition:

Here is a question that is posed to me at least once a month – “Do I renovate my existing home or do I demolish it and start from scratch with a new build?”
There are plenty of reasons to consider demolition. You may be looking to free up land, or perhaps you’re working on a major building refurbishment and need to change the layout.
There is a fine line when you are renovating where you need to know if you’re going to start wasting money fixing a house that is not worth fixing.
If your home is structurally sound, the outer shell of the home has been properly maintained (the roof, the siding/brick and the foundation) and it was properly done at the time of the construction then there is probably no need to demolish it.

Two ways you could demolish a building structure:

1. Explosive Demolition
2. Non-Explosive Demolition

  • Sledge hammer
  • Excavators and Bulldozers
  • Wrecking Balls
  • High Reach Excavators

 

Things You Should Know About Demolition

1. Demolition – So how do you demolish a building or home? Before you take down all or part of a building, you will have to apply to the Building Department for a demolition permit. The process is much the same as for a building permit, but some special situations may affect your application. In a demolition control area, for example, you will not be able to demolish a residential property until you have received a demolition permit issued by the municipal council.

 

I say the best way to demolish a building is also known as strip-out, this process is very popular right now. As recycling and salvaging of material are very attractive to builders during these days, allowing them to re-use material or recycle it. Selective interior/exterior demolition or recycling of wood, brick, metals and concrete are all recycled for future use in new structures blending the old with the new. This demolition process is not limited to removal of interior equipment, walls, floor, ceilings and exterior components. The main purpose of this method is to recover the maximum amount of primarily reusable and secondary recyclable material in a safe and cost-effective procedure. Although it is a labour intensive process and can be very difficult to achieve in a timely and economical manner for light framed buildings. Demolition may very well be the most exciting and speedy phase of construction. For a complete demolition, a home can come down and be entirely removed from the site in a day or two.

 

Question: I want to demolish my house and there are items like flooring and windows that may be reusable. Who do I call?

Answer: Find a demolition company that actively recycles the whole building. Most demolition companies crush materials with large machinery and cart it away. If you have good quality reusable materials like timber flooring, heritage bricks or period architectural features it’s worth looking for alternatives. Have a look at http://www.enviroserv.co.za/industries/construction

  • Woody and plant materials
  • Concrete
  • Gravel, aggregate, stone, and rock
  • Masonry and rubble
  • Metals (ferrous and non-ferrous)
  • Wood
  • Plastic
  • Glass
  • Doors and windows
  • Asphaltic roofing, Plumbing fixtures

2. Renovation – What is Renovation (also called remodelling)? It is the process of improving a broken, damaged or outdated structure. Renovations are typically either commercial or residential. Both remodelling and renovating mean to make improvements on an existing building or home. However, they refer to two slightly different types of construction. Renovation means “restore to a good state of repair”… Remodel means “to change the structure or form of something”.

 

If most of the changes that you want to do are inside the house and are more cosmetic, then you should rather think about renovating. Tearing down interior walls and moving plumbing and heating lines is not that big of a job and can be done on a moderate budget. With new dust stopping protection and floor protection, a lot of the work can be down without causing damage to the rest of the house that isn’t being altered. Plus this allows you to leave your furniture and other possessions in the house while it’s being worked on.

If you want to add square footage, adding an addition or several additions can easily be done, as long as you have adequate space on your property. Additions are an easy way to make your house more enjoyable and add value. It allows you to do something completely different than the rest of the house which would allow you to leave more of the original features in the existing house. This would allow you to bring a modern touch at a lesser cost than trying to reshape the whole existing interior.

 

3. Renovation or Demolition?

One of the big advantages of renovating rather than demolishing and building from scratch is that in some cases you can do it in stages – and still have a roof over your head for most of that time. Don’t forget to consider where you’ll live when you’re building or renovating, and how much that may indirectly add to the cost over the duration of your build.

If you’re demolishing or renovating, you may be able to recover at least some of your costs through salvage and recycling too

 

4. Steps to Planning a Renovation

A. Choose a design professional. To create a plan and detailed scope of work, most homeowners hire either an architect or interior designer, sometimes both. Many designers work on projects that don’t involve major structural work or additions and also offer assistance with material and colour selections. Architects may take on a wide range of work, or work only on floor plans and permits and leave the details of the electrical plan, baths and kitchen to another designer.

B. Interview contractors. Contractors are frequently brought into the process once a final design has been selected. Usually, there is at least a general idea of how the home will look from the outside, a dimensioned floor plan and some preliminary material selections. With this much information, it’s possible to provide preliminary estimates of cost.

C. Get your permits. Depending on the scope of your project and where it’s located, permitting can take a day, months or even years.

 

Sources:

https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/renovation-your-step-by-step-planner/
https://mg.co.za/article/2014-06-12-to-refurbish-or-not-to-refurbish
https://www.justlanded.com/english/South-Africa/South-Africa-Guide/Property/Renovation-Restoration 

http://www.build.com.au/should-i-renovate-or-demolish
https://theconstructor.org/structures/demolition-methods-process-buildings-structures/13941/

Bulldozer demolition image

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About Nirasha Rampersad

I started working for Leads to Business June 2017 as Support Assistance in L2Q.