We are currently over-using and under-appreciating our own resources, meaning that we are presently living in a world where our resources are running out. Ezio Manzini says that due to this we are now seeing that more often people will help their communities, and others around them, in the long term using social innovation. Manzini says “These people may not only be solving their own problems. In doing what they do, they may also be setting the basis of a new civilisation.” These new social innovations are in everything, for example; technology, the way that data is shared, environmental battles and the scale in which problems are solved. These innovations are important as it is where us, as a people, have gotten together and used our unique creativity and design capacity to invent and realise something new together, which would benefit everyone and not just one person, group or organisation.Solar Roadways were created by the married couple, Julie and Scott Brusaw in 2006. The idea is still in the early stages of the companies research and development, however, they hope the panels will be available for public highways. For now, they are starting to instal them for non-critical uses such as driveways and parking lots. The Brusaws have currently installed two prototypes this way.It is the idea that all roadways can be replaced by specially engineered hexagonal solar panels that can be walked and driven upon. They also incorporate LED lights which can create different patterns on the ground which can be used for lines and signage on the roads, without using paint which will fade and have to constantly be reapplied. There are heating elements in the panels which prevent snow and ice from sitting on the roads and causing hazards. Each panel has a microprocessor inside which makes them intelligent, this means that the panels can communicate with each other, a command centre and vehicles. The panels are made from a strong specially formulated tempered glass which can hold the weight of a lorry. To combat the glass being a slipping hazard when wet, the panels are created with a tractioned surface which is a great substitute for asphalt.The main reason that Solar Roadways idea was created, is to one day create clean renewable energy on the streets from everyday use, in places such as pavements, driveways, car parks, bike paths and roads. Solar power already has many uses, however, the Solar Roadways concept is the idea to take the energy already created by the vehicles driving along the road that has not previously been utilised. The panels will have two purposes, one as a modern infrastructure and one as a smart power grid, possibly even powering homes and businesses as well.Currently, all renewable energy, including solar energy is nowhere near meeting the energy consumption needs of humans. The Solar Roadways are showing that the technology is advancing and the cost of solar cells is decreasing. If all the roads in America were substituted for the solar panel roadways, in a year you would create three times as much energy that country currently uses in that time. Obviously, the amount of energy created would not be a constant as different seasons and placings of the panels would increase or reduce the amount of light the panels receive, but even with this consideration, it would still be a suitable renewable energy source.Another benefit of using the new Solar Roadways is that the current power lines are either buried in the ground or on polls high in the sky where they are prone to damage from storms. High winds can knock down these lines if they are on high poles, ice can also collect on the cables causing them to then break and cause power outages. If the lines are buried utility workers have to dig them up, not knowing where they are exactly while having to avoid gas lines, which is a possible danger if severed. Solar Roadways offers a solution as they suggest using a “Cable Corridor”. These are two small underground tunnels, one for the cables and one for water pipes. The ‘cable’ tunnel has a place for the cables, where they can be safe from any of the elements, whilst being easy access for authorised personnel, also meaning power outages would be very rare.

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