We’re so excited to announce that the Hungarian startup Platio, which designed a modular energy-harvesting paving system made with recycled plastic, has now installed their first three systems. Within a span of just two months, they developed projects in Hungary, Sweden, and Kazakhstan. And it’s not just sidewalks that now boast the solar pavers, but pontoons providing energy for ships, and benches where passerby can charge their smartphones.


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Platio is helping to shape the future of cities with their solar paving systems. One creative use of their technology can be found in Budapest, Hungary, at Városháza Park, where their solar system stretches across a wooden bench. The smart bench allows park-goers to power their phones or tablets with clean energy, using either a USB cord or QI wireless charging. Local design studio Hello Wood installed the park’s wavy wooden benches. Founder Miklós Ilyés told Inhabitat in Budapest, where Platio is based, sustainability is generally not as valued as it should be, so they wanted to bring the idea into public awareness through the smart bench.

Related: New recycled plastic sidewalk harvests energy from the sun

Platio’s very first permanent installation was indeed constructed on a sidewalk, in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, in front of a mall in the new Green Quarter. Near the shopping entrance, around 861 square feet of the sidewalk is covered with Platio paving, offering a total peak output of 11.7 kilowatts. The electricity will help power the mall.

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Strong, anti-slip glass tiles top the recycled plastic solar paving system. Two specialists were able to put together the mall installation in just a few days thanks to the modular design and a built-in electrical network.

And it’s not just urban infrastructure that can benefit from Platio’s technology. The company partnered with engineering firm SF Marina to install the solar pavers on around 86 square feet of pontoons at SF Marina’s Swedish factory. The solar energy generated by the Platio systems will help power port facilities and ships.

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Ilyés told Inhabitat, “We believe minimizing natural resources in the building industry is a key to sustainable smart cities. Thousands of tons of plastic waste are generated every day and it is in fact a perfect building material. Also, by decentralizing power generation – for example with Platio field – valuable areas can be kept without public utilities, resulting in more area for planting trees and green areas in cities.”

According to Platio, as recently as last year they only had a prototype of their technology, but they’ve now successfully installed it in the real word. The three Hungarian engineers who started Platio want to help make future cities sustainable and energy-independent. Ilyés told Inhabitat next year they plan to commence large-scale manufacturing and introduce their infopavement system, which will offer traffic and navigation information as it generates clean power. He also said, “We are currently working on some new areas where our technology can be deployed, for example: a project where the clean energy generated by Platio units operates car charging stations, or where Platio is part of a roof terrace paving system.”

+ Platio

Images courtesy of Platio

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