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 8.6 kg 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 recycled polymer composite.
The 34x34x6.1 cm tile 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 power output of 186 W per square meter and a 22.0% cell efficiency.
The cells are common commercial devices, sourced from an undisclosed supplier.
“The consumer selling price of each paver is determined by our partners, but our proposed list prices can vary between €50 and €80 per unit depending on the product type, quantity and market,” the company’s marketing manager, David Csende, told pv magazine.
In terms of mechanical stress on the panels, the pavement can handle the burden of occasionally crossing or parking vehicles as well.
“In order to achieve the greatest possible resistance against mechanical forces the elements resemble the construction of paving blocks rather than solar panels,” Csende explained. “The load-bearing layer is a recycled plastic composite with even more favorable physical properties than concrete. This makes 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 to accomplish, the company claims, noting that it is similar to conventional tiling. Platio said that the pavement can also be connected to recharging stations for electric vehicles.
The pavement include a five-year warranty. The company produces the components at a facility in Hungary.