Unchartered Power in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. is providing clean energy for electric vehicles (EV) in a whole new way. In the city’s Innovation District, solar power panels are being embedded into a roadway designed of fiber-reinforced polymer pavers. The pavers are built with electricity and computing technology within, and the solar panels will generate the electricity to power an EV charging port.
“Each one of those pavers essentially doubles as a nano-data center. And when they’re installed, it becomes a mesh network of data centers that provides edge cloud services, so that you’re not only collecting this data in real time, you’re also processing and managing this data in real time using the infrastructure in the panels themselves,” said Jessica O. Matthews, CEO of Uncharted Power.
The mayor of Poughkeepsie, Rob Rolison, commented, “Our partnership with Uncharted Power is an investment in the communities that make-up the great city of Poughkeepsie. Our power and data infrastructure impacts Poughkeepsie resident’s ability to work, learn, and succeed every day. This pilot program will demonstrate how we can rebuild our local infrastructure to be resilient in the face of new challenges and accelerate growth for our local businesses and residents.”
In Peachtree Corners, Ga., the Curiosity Lab is also working on solar power generating panels placed in roadways with testing occurring in an autonomous vehicle (AV) lane. As more EVs take to the roads, more charging stations will be needed, and the team at the Curiosity Lab sees this as a viable answer to the issue at hand. The solar power generating panels, manufactured by Wattway, are installed on the surface of the AV lane in The Ray, an 18-mile stretch of Interstate 85, and the power generated fuels an adjacent EV charging station.
“Our system should produce more than 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually for a Level 2 EV charger at no cost to EV motorists, and the charger includes a storage system for nighttime charging,” Greg Ramsey, director of public works at the city of Peachtree Corners. explained.
Directors of both projects see these pilot projects as just the beginning of smart infrastructure. The technology can be used to deploy power, monitor water pipes, and deliver broadband.