Platio is a new company from Hungary dedicated to putting solar panels just about everywhere. Theyâre starting with sidewalks.
Founded by a team of engineers and architects the system uses solid solar panels overlaid on plastic backing that ensures the panels wonât break when stepped on or rolled over and that each panel connects with the next securely. Imre SziszÃ¡k is a mechanical engineer who created the injection-molded bases while MiklÃ³s IlyÃ©s and JÃ³zsef Cseh worked to ensure that the panels look great and work properly.
Theyâve raised $70,000 for the project so far and theyâve sold 150 square meters of solar tile for their pilot projects.
The product is recycled out of plastic waste and they click together like Lego. Electric wires inside the panels connect seamlessly as well, ensuring you can place them and forget them.
âThe founders are childhood friends and environmentally friendly technology enthusiasts,â said SziszÃ¡k. âTwo years ago, as all us happened to move to Budapest we started hang out again and realized as having expertise in very various fields we work together efficiently. We started this project two years ago, and founded our company a year ago.â
The project is still a bit pie-in-the-sky but I saw the actual product at the Smart City Expo and the team is already shipping product to pilot customers. Itâs a fascinating effort to generate free energy and reduce waste at the same time and, as the team writes, itâs an âalternative to the depressing regular concrete paving elements.â