In the dog days of summer you may feel the heat radiating off of pavement surfaces, can we find a way to harness the heat for good?
Thermal energy has been used for decades to warm eco-friendly pools, but tech company Novotech has patented an idea known as Roadway Power Systems. Michael Hulen, Novotech founder, says the technology has many practical applications. For example, a hotel with a large parking lot could run a piping system under the pavement, using the heat absorbed by the asphalt to heat water for laundry and shower, reducing energy consumption. The captured heat can also create electrical power by creating high-pressure steam. This steam can spin a turbine and produce kilowatts or even megawatts of power.
Unlike conventional solar systems, asphalt retains heat even after the sun goes down, therefore it could continue producing energy even after sundown. Novotech estimates that a two-acre parking lot could cool a 30,000 square foot building. While the technology is still in the beginning phases and has yet to be rolled-out in large scale, it certainly seems to have promise in harnessing the heat!
For more information on Roadway Power Systems, click here.