Solar Roadways and Sports Stadiums
With the Super Bowl just around the corner, we thought it would be a great time to paint a picture of how SR panels and Sports Stadiums could be a perfect match:
You are so excited that you have tickets to watch your favorite NFL team play today. You approach the parking lot and see something new. The whole parking lot is glowing in your team’s colors! There are glass hexagons everywhere (which ironically match the hexagon graphics the NFL is now using for games on TV). The LED lighting helps you to spot empty parking spaces. You notice that there are smaller spaces for motorcycles, larger ones for trucks, and handicapped spots are appearing on the fly as they are needed. There’s a section for EVs with dynamic charging plates, so that EVs can charge while their owners watch the game. After you park, LED arrows show you which way to walk to get into the stadium, which makes it easy. You notice the traction on the panels, which keeps them from being slippery, no matter what the weather. As you walk, you see that some of the panels have the team’s logo etched in the center of the hexagon panel. As you get near the stadium, you notice what seems to be some VIP parking spaces with names on them. As you get to the covered areas inside, the hexagons change to high resolution (more LED intensive). Now the panels have names and faces of players, and stats about them and the team.
As you get into the open-air stadium, you see that the entire interior of the stadium is also glowing from the same panels. The number of your row is illuminated in the aisle and even your seat number is illuminated beneath your seat. Those numbers disappear when the game starts.
The first time your team scores, the panels flash with the team colors. When there is a touchdown, the word TOUCHDOWN scrolls up each staircase and disappears into the air above. The colors change and have various special effects throughout the game. When fans get excited and stomp their feet, the LEDs get brighter! And they even seem to “dance” in time with the music at half time.
And while you might have been focusing on the cool/sexy look of it all, those panels are also generating clean energy from the sunshine that has always been there but is now helping to power the stadium. You may also have missed the Cable Corridors that are catching rain and treating the water on site. If you live in a snowy area, you will not miss the way the panels keep all walking and driving surfaces snow/ice free when the weather gets bad. Parking lots for tailgate parties could offer the same razzle dazzle use of the lights, including the interactive features inside if teams so choose.
That’s just one vision of how sports stadiums all over the world can utilize Solar Roadways panels. In the scenario above, those high definition hexagons would not be solar (solar cells prevent the LEDs from being as close together as they would be otherwise) but that is fine for indoor areas. Using the same glass hexagons would provide continuity and the areas without sun would be a great place to use them. For stadiums which wanted energy storage, seats could be designed with a place for hidden battery storage. Each stadium would be able to use the panels as they desire to create a unique experience for their fans.
Stadiums are ideal for solar collection since they are mostly empty and open to the sun’s rays most of the time. Some stadiums are making an effort to become more sustainable and many are making use of solar panels. The Philadelphia Eagles are a good example: http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/community/gogreen.html
Others NFL teams which are “going green” include: Redskins, 49ers, Jets, Seahawks, Patriots and Giants/Jets. The Atlanta Falcons are in the midst of building a brand new sustainable stadium.
There are so many stadiums and arenas in the world that if all of them were powered by renewable energy, it would be invaluable for us all. According to Wikipedia, there are over 200 sports stadiums with a capacity of 30,000 or more in North America:
That includes a variety of sports; college as well as professional teams. Closed stadiums and arenas would not be able to generate power in seating areas, but would still be able to make use of parking lots and walkways. Other countries are surpassing the U.S. in the greening of stadiums in such countries as Brazil, Taiwan, India, England, China, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, and Ireland.
Cheering our favorite sports teams is infused with emotions, connections, and meaning. With Solar Roadways® panels, stadiums will be able to help the planet, create a stunning, interactive viewing experience for their fans and be positive role models of sustainability – all at the same time.