Hot Asphalt as a New Power Source?

You might be driving your car on a future source of power.

Paved asphalt, as anybody who has walked down a city street in the summer can tell you, is a tremendous absorber of heat from solar energy– hence the term “heat island effect” during hot days.  Well, if researchers from Canada have their way, there may be an opportunity to utilize the heat-absorbing effect of asphalt as an effective power source.

According to an article on thestar.com entitled, “Hot asphalt an untapped source of power”, describes one possibility of how this might work:

“Since 2010, researchers… have been experimenting with different ways of harnessing this solar energy supply, laying a series of pipes beneath the street surface. These pipes could eventually be used to heat water that is then pumped to surrounding buildings, or filled with other liquids that turn to vapour used to drive steam turbines generating electricity to power street lamps and for other uses.”

Pretty novel ideas, wouldn’t you agree?

Take a look at the full article to learn more, as it’s an interesting read.  Now, let’s just hope that it can become a reality since it could be a win-win situation for cities and towns that have a high percentage of asphalt in their jurisdiction. 

The future of renewable energy may just be heating up…