George Washington University completed a small, 100-sq-foot sidewalk paved with solar panels at its Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Ashburn, Va.
The demonstration sidewalk is paved with 27 slip-resistant, semi-transparent panels as well as a solar-powered trellis. The walkable panels have a combined average of 400-watt peak capacity, the maximum amount of power that can be produced under perfect conditions. The panels provide enough energy to power 450 LED pathway lights below the panels, according to the university’s news site. In addition the solar-powered trellis was installed at the end of the sidewalk to create energy that feeds back to Innovation Hall.
The walkable panels come from Spain-based Onyx Solar, a company known for designing and manufacturing PV materials to generate solar energy while also providing thermal and acoustic insulation. The walkway panels are a newly patented product for Onyx.
Other colleges are doing interesting things with solar: Earlier this year, Occidental College in Los Angeles announced Martifer Solar USA had completed a 1.142 MW solar PV system – a combination of a parking lot carport and a hillside ground-mount – on its campus and the installation incorporates elements of art into the design.