Pavnext - technological pavements

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Pavnext´s solution consists of a road pavement equipment that allows kinetic energy to be extracted from vehicles and consequently reduce their motion speed without any action of the driver and without impacting the vehicle, thus promoting road safety at locations where it is required to circulate at low speed. The energy captured is then converted into electrical energy, which is produced without associated emissions and can be used in public street lighting, crosswalks, sensors, traffic lights, charging electric bicycles or even injected into the power grid. Additionally, Pavnext also provides real-time data regarding traffic and velocity, as well as generated and consumed energy, which are sent to the cloud and later used to generate reports and to optimize energy consumption in real time, promoting energy efficiency.

We are looking for new international partners that are interested in implementing pilot plants with us, to help us validate our product and reach TRL9. Please don´t hesitate to contact us if you´re interested.

What is the goal of the project?

Pavnext´s solution tackles multiple challenges: road safety, clean electrical energy, energy efficiency, and smart cities. It addresses the primary cause of road accidents, speed, by extracting kinetic energy from vehicles, reducing their speed independently of the driver´s action. Additionally, Pavnext also promotes energy efficiency and sustainability by converting the energy captured from vehicles with very high efficiency into electricity, which can be used to power local lighting infrastructure, charge electrical bicycles or even be injected into the power grid. Its ability to monitor traffic activity can also be used to optimize the energy consumption to the real needs so, if there´s no traffic, low energy use.

What is the result of the project?

The goal is to have a TRL9 system that is based in three key metrics: increase the road safety of the place where the product is implemented by, at least, 60%, combining the autonomous speed reduction and the effective illumination of the crosswalk. Decrease the electricity consumption from the grid up to 90%, combining the produced energy with an optimization of the consumption, according to the real needs and offer a 5-year payback solution to our customers, that has a 20-year duration, being the first road safety solution to have an economic breakeven. We are planning to reach the market entrance stage at the end of 2020.

Who initiated the project and which organizations are involved?

Pavnext is a project resulting from 5 years of Research and Development activities and a PhD in Transportation Systems of the company's CEO, Francisco Duarte. The project was supported by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology), which has financed the R&D project over the last years, both through the PhD grant provided to Francisco Duarte, as well as with a R&D project that is supporting the experimental validation of the technology. Intercapital, SA an investment company acts as a business angel and has supported Pavnext' project over the last years, allowing us to make important technology validations. The European Commission, through the approval of an SME instrument phase 1 and ESA-BIC (European Spatial Agency - Business Incubation Center) that has approved financial support to Pavnext, so that we can integrate their technologies into our own products, providing also incubation and mentoring support to our team.

What is the next step?

We consider our current stage of development to be TRL 6 (working on TRL7 with agreements for three pilots in Portuguese cities). We have a fully functional system, with a surface, mechanical components and electricity production systems demonstrated in relevant environment. The next steps of development will focus mainly on the operational environment demonstration, confirming component design and material selection, integrating energy production with the local network or applications and the data collection and monitoring platform. Also, the electronics and data analytics solutions are under development, to be integrated in the pilot plants. Finally, we will develop the required certification process so that our products are certified at European level, for the market entrance stage.

What can other cities learn from your project?

Pavnext's mission consists of developing innovative solutions and products in the mobility and sustainable energy fields that make cities safer, smarter, more sustainable and more efficient, improving people's quality of life and promoting the planet's sustainability. Key success factors are Engineering and design of the main components of the product (structural elements, mechanical parts, electromechanical components, pavement installation components, electronic system for monitoring and control the energy, communications system, data analytics, and API for data presentation); Experimental validation of the final prototype (TRL7) - with performance objectives, related to the speed reduction, energy generation and data monitoring; Industrial development of the product, with cost goals, so that the production cost can be minimized for commercialization reasons and to be according to our pricing strategy; New IPR models and; International certification process of the product. Pavnext has the potential to be applied worldwide as it responds to global issues (road safety, clean electrical energy, energy efficiency, and smart cities).