Lighting the Way: Scientists Develop Solar-Powered Cement

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A lot of energy is consumed on a daily basis for both public and private purposes. Currently, many people are looking for renewable energy sources to save non-renewable sources and reduce the cost of energy. The governments of almost every country are supporting these steps and inspiring people to opt for renewable energy whenever possible because of the money it saves and the environmental campaigns it supports.

In recent decades, people from all over the world have started using solar energy for many different purposes. But now, a new and exciting way has emerged for solar energy to be used for the public interest: solar-powered, fluorescent roads.

Lighting for roadways might seem basic and simple. In reality, though, it requires a huge amount of energy. Streetlamps demand a lot of electricity, and that energy racks up heavy costs on a daily basis. To manage this situation, scientists at the Michoacán’s University of the San Nicolas Hidalgo in Mexico have suggested a revolutionary solution that will not only reduce the energy cost, but also save electricity by using renewable resources.

So what’s the plan?

Renewable energy is not new. We have been using solar energy to save electricity for quite some time. The Michoacán’s researchers have gone a step further. They have created a light-emitting cement to save energy. This solar-powered cement will absorb solar energy throughout the day, and this solar energy will be released in the darkness of the night, reducing or eliminating the need for electric lighting. In this way, roads, vehicles, bicycle lanes, and highways can all be lit naturally.

The project took nine years to show a result. Dr. Rubio, one of the scientists involved in this project, sought to engineer a variety of cements that would allow light to be absorbed. Cement contains crystals that make it opaque; if they could remove those crystals, they could be on their way.

Rubio’s team tried to modify the microstructure of the cement to get rid of these opaque crystals to get a complete gel substance. If they are able to produce the gel substance on its own, it will absorb solar energy during the daytime and release the energy in the darkness of night for up to 12 hours. Currently, solar-powered cement can emit only green or blue light.

What they developed starts out, like regular cement, as a dust-like concoction that dissolves in water. When mixed with water, the solar-powered cement takes on the consistency of hair gel, and, when it dries, it is much stronger and resilient.

Most fluorescent materials are currently used in plastic, and these plastics can last for about three years. But the new cement these researchers invented can stay useful for up to a hundred years. In addition, the intensity of the light can be controlled to make the driving easy for travelers.

The solar-powered cement produced by Rubio and his team is ecologically sound as it is made of clay, dust, and sand. The team has received a lot of appreciation and worldwide recognition for this new invention, which provides another step in the progress of renewable energy.

If you are in need of any type of electrical repairs or installation, call Penna Electric. Our knowledgeable, experienced staff will get your electrical work done right the first time every time.