Hungary installs solar sidewalks to charge electric cars

We are surrounded by cobblestones. Shouldn’t it contribute to sustainability?“. This is the question asked and answered by Platio, a Start Hungarian who has developed a solution to integrate solar cells into the ground, with recycled plastic elements. The proposal has attracted so much attention that it has already been launched in a logistics park in Budapest. The pilot is not only the engine of this innovation, but also becomes the first solar station integrated into sidewalks to charge electric vehicles in a logistics park.

Is a solution “Smart, attractive and space-saving”, assures Miklós Illyé, one of the co-founders of Platio. With the collaboration of the company Prologis, specialized in real estate management for logistics and distribution, the Start you have just installed your system for the first time: a Solar sidewalk capable of providing 700 Wp of clean energy to an adjacent electric car charging unit.

The approach, which combines high-performance solar cells with recycled plastic slabs, takes clean energy out of the grid to charge cars. However, the idea is for more. And it is that, when there is no demand in the recharging unit, the captured energy will be used for an office building located nearby.

The solution is distinguished by many aspects, including, now that it is put into practice, the extraordinary ease of deployment. Thus, the activation of this solar unit did not require more than a day. Unlike other approaches to solar technology integrated into the roadway, the one imagined by Illyé and two other young Hungarians stands out for the simplicity of its installation and maintenance. The fact that the system is modular helps, because it does not require any special type of foundation.

Although in this case it was made in a recharging zone, Platio does not see in this the only way out of his invention. “The electricity produced can be stored or used for functions integrated into the roadway or for public space devices which are located nearby”, they maintain the signature. Among the possible outlets for this technology, he points to urban lighting or traffic control systems.

Until it is extended to these possible uses, the experience in this logistics area of ​​Budapest is already, in itself, a milestone for the company. “This is an important step for us and for the accomplishment of our mission which is to contribute to electric mobility”, highlight the promoters.

These don’t seem to have left much detail in the execution of your idea. So, for example, they took into account the fact that the elements to be integrated into the sidewalks are non-slip, as well as durable and anti-theft. For this they used tempered glass, so the units are resistant to breakage under loads up to 10 tonnes. Also, if someone wanted to break these slabs, they would have to hit them with a weight of more than 5 kilos.

However, glass breakage does not prevent you from continuing to walk on these surfaces. However, if it is necessary to change a slab, it can be replaced with special tools, but quite easily. The same simplicity applies to maintenance, where only a little water is needed if it gets dirty. Overall, the system is positioned to gain traction in urban space as a smart and clean primary energy source.

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