GW debuts solar walk on the Virginia Science and Technology Campus

Oct 11, 2013
GW debuts solar walk on the Virginia Science and Technology Campus
Senior Land Use Planner Eric Selbst at the site of the walkable solar paneled pathway during construction on the Virginia Science and Technology Campus.

The George Washington University completed the first walkable solar-paneled pathway in the world this month on the Virginia Science and Technology Campus as a part of the sustainable Solar Walk project.

The landscaped pedestrian sidewalk boasts a solar-powered trellis and 27 slip-resistant semi-transparent walkable panels with that converts sunlight into electricity. The walkable are an extension of the public sidewalk between Exploration and Innovation Halls at the intersection of GW Boulevard and University Drive.

"GW is proud to announce that the Solar Walk which includes the first installation of walkable solar paneled sidewalk in the world," said GW Senior Land Use Planner Eric Selbst.

The walkable panels have a combined average of 400-watt peak capacity (Wp), the maximum amount of power that can be produced under perfect conditions. This is enough energy to power 450 LED pathway lights below the panels.

In addition to the walkable solar panels, the Solar Walk includes a solar-powered trellis designed by Studio39 Landscape Architecture. The trellis was installed at the end of the sidewalk to create energy that feeds back to Innovation Hall.

Onyx Solar, a company based in Spain, designed the walkable panels. The company is known internationally for designing and manufacturing photovoltaic materials that generate electricity from the sun, while also providing thermal and acoustic insulation and UV/IR filters.

"We are excited to explore the potential of this newly patented product and participate with Onyx in its goal of furthering unique photovoltaic technologies," Mr. Selbst said.

Onyx is also the designer and manufacturer of the largest photovoltaic integrated skylight in the U.S. at the headquarters of Novartis Pharmaceutical in East Hanover, N.J.

"The solar sidewalk is a great example of GW's commitment to in design and sustainability and will be a reference for others to follow," said Onyx Solar Vice President of Business Development Diego Cuevas.

GW Campus Planning began working with Onyx in the summer of 2011 after discussions about the design with Studio39, a company that GW contracted to construct the pedestrian walkway between Innovation and Exploration Halls and the solar-powered trellis.

"This project has proven to be an exciting example of the new innovation being designed and integrated into our university," said GW Construction Project Manager Nancy Balph.

Explore further: PV production grows despite a crisis-driven decline in investment

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Environmentally compatible organic solar cells

7 hours ago

Environmentally compatible production methods for organic solar cells from novel materials are in the focus of "MatHero". The new project coordinated by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) aims at making ...

Floating nuclear plants could ride out tsunamis

9 hours ago

When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects—specifically, ...

Unlocking secrets of new solar material

9 hours ago

(Phys.org) —A new solar material that has the same crystal structure as a mineral first found in the Ural Mountains in 1839 is shooting up the efficiency charts faster than almost anything researchers have ...

Ikea buys wind farm in Illinois

Apr 15, 2014

These days, Ikea is assembling more than just furniture. About 150 miles south of Chicago in Vermilion County, Ill., the home goods giant is building a wind farm large enough to ensure that its stores will never have to buy ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

IBM posts lower 1Q earnings amid hardware slump

IBM's first-quarter earnings fell and revenue came in below Wall Street's expectations amid an ongoing decline in its hardware business, one that was exasperated by weaker demand in China and emerging markets.

Microsoft CEO is driving data-culture mindset

(Phys.org) —Microsoft's future strategy: is all about leveraging data, from different sources, coming together using one cohesive Microsoft architecture. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Tuesday, both in ...

Quantenna promises 10-gigabit Wi-Fi by next year

(Phys.org) —Quantenna Communications has announced that it has plans for releasing a chipset that will be capable of delivering 10Gbps WiFi to/from routers, bridges and computers by sometime next year. ...

Down's chromosome cause genome-wide disruption

The extra copy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's syndrome throws a spanner into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, said a study published Wednesday that surprised its authors.

Researchers see hospitalization records as additional tool

Comparing hospitalization records with data reported to local boards of health presents a more accurate way to monitor how well communities track disease outbreaks, according to a paper published April 16 in the journal PLOS ON ...

Ebola virus in Africa outbreak is a new strain

The Ebola virus that has killed scores of people in Guinea this year is a new strain—evidence that the disease did not spread there from outbreaks in some other African nations, scientists report.