Solar Panels Under Your Feet

  1. Problem 

Energy. Traditional photovoltaic energy is obtained from roof solar panels or standing solar panels. In some areas, these solar panels are difficult to install. 

“It is very interesting that in the USA, for example, there are some places in the southern states where due to tornado threat it is difficult to install a solar panel.” 

They also take up space, putting a limit on how much solar energy can be produced. 

2. Tech – Platio’s Solar-powered pavement. 

  • Platio places solar panels on a plastic brick using a special pressuring method
  • The brick under the solar panel is made from recycled plastic. 1 square meter of the solar pavement is equivalent of 400 recycled PET bottles.
  • 1 solar pavement unit provides about 20 W of energy, and 20 square meters is enough to power the yearly average electric need of a household
  • This technology allows solar energy to be harvested in locations where conventional solar technologies cannot be installed.

3. Stakeholders

  • Households: this can be implemented for residential homes
  • City planners: can be used in smart cities such as pedestrian walkways or parks
  • Sustainability division of companies: can be used in outdoor areas of office buildings

4. Steps

  • Determine the amount of space that can be dedicated to installing solar pavement
  • Estimate the total solar energy that can be produced by this determined space
  • Consider the downside of the technology such as aesthetics, difficulty of installation, before making final decision.


2 thoughts on “Solar Panels Under Your Feet

  1. Thanks for sharing this, this is a really exciting innovation that I think has the potential to increase the use of solar in areas where conventional systems are not necessarily feasible. A couple of questions came to mind – first was how the energy provided would be impacted by people walking over the panels, but it from the article it looks like that activity actually generates more electricity (I am curious as to how this works and what technology is behind that). Second is how any meters and the interconnection process would work with this technology. I would imagine there is a solution given that some of these have already been built, but wonder if those would be a barrier to uptake in other jurisdictions with other (potentially differing) requirements.

    Emily Tregidgo – emt2179


  2. Super cool idea! A great way to implement solar power without sacrificing surface area, especially in cities like NYC where every square foot = $$$. As someone living in the NJ burbs, I automatically thought of how this type of solar panel set-up could be beneficial on a driveway where the surrounding black asphalt would probably attract a lot of sunlight. This article does say the materials can withstand a heavy truck, so it would be interesting to see this type of technology catch on in that way.


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