Roads & Bridges
Roads & Paving
Turning Canada’s highways into electricity generators
By Don Horne
Mitrex, a Toronto-based manufacturer of integrated photovoltaics, has released its latest product — a photovoltaic noise barrier (PVNB),which offers a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) rating of up to 0.7 through ASTM C423 testing, solar power production, and enhanced aesthetics for use on roads and highways.
In collaboration with noise barrier industry leaders including Durisol and Silentium Group, Mitrex was able to bring to market a photovoltaic noise barrier “that will energize our highways throughout North America,” as the solar power produced by these new, innovative noise barriers can be directly supplied and used by nearby infrastructure.
Mitrex is beginning to expand into road-integrated photovoltaics, with the ultimate goal of integrating solar into all surfaces with access to sunlight
“Partnerships like these allow us to decentralize energy and change the way we power our cities,” says Mitrex CEO Danial Hadizadeh. “We won’t stop here — we will continue to push the envelope to produce the next generation solar-integrated products. Cooperating with companies in other fields is where we can truly make a difference, and it’s essential to developing better, more efficient products and allows us to bring this technology to North America and beyond.”
Mitrex is a developer and manufacturer of solar integrated BIPV materials such as facades, roofs, railings, windows, etc. With roots in the construction industry and BIPVs, Mitrex is beginning to expand into road-integrated photovoltaics, with the ultimate goal of integrating solar into all surfaces with access to sunlight.
With a capacity of up to 22 W/SF on a single side (and 37.4 W/SF on a bi-facial barrier), these highway noise barriers transform our roadways into energy generators while maintaining the structure’s functionality. On average, each kilometre will be a power plant generating over 1.2 megawatts of electricity. The PVNBs can even be offered in virtually any design, including opaque and transparent options.
The truly revolutionary aspect of Mitrex PVNB panels is their noise-absorptive characteristics. With performance comparable to existing absorptive noise barriers, the ability of these PVNBs to reduce unwanted traffic noise while also producing energy is the first type of noise barrier wall system in its class.
Mitrex, along with market leaders Durisol and Silentium Group, have begun working with the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) to assist in establishing product approval guidelines for this new technology by integrating Mitrex absorptive PVNB panels into existing MTO-approved noise wall system designs.
As these new guidelines are being established, both Durisol and Silentium Group have selected some of their existing noise barrier wall systems throughout North America to begin retrofitting them with Mitrex absorptive PVNB panel technology. These pilot projects with government entities are aimed to capture data and analyze the PVNBs.
Expanding from typical building-integrated solar technology (BIPVs), Mitrex envisions a future where every surface touched by the sun produces renewable energy to minimize our contribution to global warming.
Solar noise barrier key features:
- Sound absorptive noise barriers for any roadway
- Integrated solar technology made in Canada
- High production capacity of up to 22-37.4 W/SF of electricity
- Aesthetic options including opaque, semi-opaque, and transparent
- Low embodied carbon coupled with clean energy generation; a negative carbon embodiment of over -1000 kg of CO2 per SM.