Hungarian tech company Platio has developed a new kind of solar pavement that could be used for outdoor applications in urban environments, homes, office buildings, shopping malls, and public infrastructure projects.
The pavement can operate at safe low voltages and can be assembled with walkable solar tiles, known as Platio Solar Pavers. They consist of anti-slipping hardened tempered glass, a solar cell array, and a layer made of the recycled polymer composite.
A single tile, measuring 34x34x6.1 cm, has four 15.6×15.6 cm cells for each module and a silicon nitride anti-reflection coating. The polycrystalline version of the cell has a nominal power of 158 W per square meter and an efficiency of 18.6%. The monocrystalline version has a power output of 186 W per square meter and a 22% cell efficiency.
The cells are common commercial devices, sourced from an undisclosed supplier, costing between €50 and €80 per unit depending on the product type, quantity and market.
In terms of mechanical stress on the panels, the pavement can handle the burden of occasionally crossing as well as parking vehicles. To make that possible, Platio’s elements resemble the construction of paving blocks rather than solar panels. And in that sense, the load-bearing layer is a recycled plastic composite with even more favorable physical properties than concrete — making the surface suitable even for vehicle traffic, despite the fact that the product is mostly intended for pedestrian areas.
The tiles are available in four different colors, including ocean blue, midnight black, purple and green. Modular installation is fast and easy according to the company, which said that it is similar to conventional tiling. Platio added that the pavement can also be connected to recharging stations for electric vehicles.
The pavement includes a five-year warranty.
With their tempered glass surfaces, Platio's tiles are completely safe for humans to walk on, and can even take the weight of a heavy truck. Nevertheless, the company dubs them to be perfect for public parks, rooftop gardens, or electric car charging stations.
A savvy local official could get in touch with Platio and enquire about bringing their savvy pavements to his/her community. These are perfect for public places where they could collect energy and later use it for charging electric vehicles and bikes, people's mobile devices and more. Aside from that, a pavement like this sends a strong message to your community and, we would add, to the entire world — that your municipality is both savvy and green. And that further attracts businesses and talent to your city/town.
You may want to explore some partnership with Platio or at very least to be their distributor (or just seller) for the communities your business serves. There's a renewable energy craze out there and with this kind of product, you get to join the ride and benefit from it. Big time. Your pitch to local officials and major businesses is rather simple - by procuring these solar pavements, they get to send a strong message to their constituents. And that message is all about being advanced and caring for the environment. The way we see it, nothing but good can come out of it.