Gallery: Solar Parking Lot of the Future Does Much More Than Park Cars

solasis light tower, solar concentrating power, solar concentrating, solar power, parking lot, parking lot of the future, nissan, designboom, renewable energy, power generating parking lot,

We’re pretty certain that parking lots of the future will be more than just storage areas for our vehicles. They’ll generate their own power, have morphing advertisements, and likely recharge cars as well. Well our friends at Designboom and Nissan are way ahead of the curve. They just announced the results of their Think Outside the Parking Box competition, and while we’re certainly impressed with some of the imaginative ways to park cars (car ferris wheel, anyone?), we were most excited about the Solasis Light Tower. This renewable energy generating parking lot actually uses the cars’ windshields to shine sun onto a solar power concentrating tower adding valuable juice to the grid. Read on to see how the designers propose to make the tower work and see some detailed pics of the final design.

In order to save precious surface area in the city, the Solasis Light Tower is slightly removed from the city center on a floating platform. Cars are parked so that their windshields and hoods face the solar receptor at the front of the parking lot. The designers, Klaud Wasiak and Yongbang Ho focused the concept around the Nissan Qashqai which has mesh made up of photovoltaics and mirrors on the windshield and roof. When parked, the mirrors activate and track the sun and redirect the beams of light to the solar concentrating power tower.

Drivers of cars who park in this offshore parking lot can hop on an underground metro line that will bring them to the city core. Or they may choose to cut through the above-ground park and get exercise by walking into the city. Wasiak & Ho designed this because they felt that parking lots are wasted and practically unusable space. With a power generating parking lot like this, the spaces actually give back to the city.

We also really likeNejur Andrei‘s concept, who proposed the SolarParking, a way to recharge cars wirelessly via photovoltaics.

+ Think Outside of the Parking Box Competition

Via Designboom


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  1. shitpeis November 26, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Looks good, but seems unrealistic, and like alot of trouble to go through with that idea. A couple of ideas that I think are better (doesent look this stylish though):
    – why not put solar panels ontop of parkinghouses instead, and only allow roofparking overnight?
    – a similar floating platform, only the future cars have solarpanels on roofs, hoods, windows etc. When you hook a cord up from the car to the grid, you put the power you dont need to charge the batteries, into the grid, whitch inturn releases a bike you can ride into town :)

  2. Helman700 November 13, 2009 at 9:55 am

    The question is how much energy can really be produced off the reflection of a windshield, it seems like common sense that a lot of that energy passes through the glass and turns to heat. If we all had those reflective visors to put on the dash or even an attendant could put them on the outside and we’d drop them off before leaving it would probably improve that.

  3. deegital November 13, 2009 at 9:24 am

    Well, let’s think of this “outside-the-box” idea from a classic “inside-the-box” point of view and try to find some minor improvements…
    Imagine this complex system of micro-mirrors on the roof of Quashqai, constantly tracking the movement of the Sun, locating (with some radar technique?) concentrating point on the tower, controlling servos to point the sunbeam onto the tower – and all of this stuff is constantly working, ’cause the Sun is constantly moving (in relative coordinates)… That would use a lot of energy from the car’s sources. I doubt whether this amount of energy will be compensated by the reflected beam’s energy at a distance of 100 meters (or wherever the tower is). Also that would add a noticeable amount of bucks to a price of this Quashqai.
    Why not add a minor improvement, which will let us save costs on complex mirror-systems in every car (and their repair/maintenance as well), save energy on constant tracking systems on every vehicle and also will let us park old cars (without such systems) without any harm to this parking/plant’s energy efficiency?
    That improvement is – mirror roof for every parking place, with it’s own centrally-controlled servo, centrally-tracked Sun and pre-calculated tower position.

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