As efficiency and durability improves in solar panels, we're seeing them installed in more and more creative places. In recent years, we've seen solar panels on rooftops, and of course, in a large scale in solar farms. Now, solar panels might take over our sidewalks. One exciting new company, Platio, is working on just that. Their latest solar sidewalk is paired with an electric vehicle charging station at Prologis, a local real estate developer in Hungary.
The sidewalk measures at 50 square feet and has a peak capacity of 720 watts. Solar cells inside of the sidewalk are protected from recycled plastic, letting anyone walk on it without any disturbance to energy generation. Platio has installed their technology in front of a mall in Astana, Kazakhstan, and next to park benches for charging devices.
Since Prologis focuses on green solutions in their development, they were a perfect testing center for the new solar sidewalk. The addition of an EV charging was beneficial as the sidewalk is near the company parking lot. If the charging station isn’t being used, energy generated from the sidewalk helps power an office building next to it.