These are not only lyrics of a popular song, but also a business idea of our startup Platio. Trying to find a solution for renewable energy production in urban areas, a team from Hungary turn pavements into solar power plants.
As cities become more and more inhabited, energy demands are growing rapidly. The utility grid cannot keep up with the needs and regular solar solutions are not applicable everywhere. Here comes Platio. Turning pavements into resources of clean energy, they provide an alternative clean energy solution for cities, buildings and EV chargers.
Walkable solar modules collect energy of solar irradiance on the level of pavement with the help of high-performance monocrystalline Si cells. They are made of recycled plastic and connect to each other modularly, establishing electronic contact without additional wiring. Solar modules perform 155 Watt Peak per square meter and generate electricity that can be fed back to the power network or used to operate outdoor devices independently from the grid.
Proving that it is just as good as it sounds, Platio Solar Pavers are already running 4 piloting projects: one in Kazakhstan, one in Sweden and two in Hungary. “In our latest project, we connected our solar paving system to an EV charger to provide green energy for electric cars,” says József Cseh, co-founder of Platio. “With a rapid growth of e-mobility sector and thus higher energy demands, local and independent renewable energy sources become extremely important in order to supplement or even decentralize the utility grid,” he adds.
Working in collaboration with E.ON Hungary, Platio aims to integrate progressive and environmentally friendly technologies on the level of the paving, thus contributing to the energy independence and sustainability of future cities. “We cooperate with Platio because we believe that their solar solution can be integrated into our business in the future. We are currently further developing their business model and defining possible piloting projects,” says László Nagy, innovation specialist at E.ON Hungary and :agile mentor of the Platio team.
“We look at startups as sources of innovation,” László adds. “They create products and solutions that E.ON can benefit from in a short and efficient way. Closely working with startups also brings cultural change to the company. It inspires and motivates us.”